The 3 Most Important Decorating Elements

Courtesy of Maggie Winterfeldt, PopSugar

Home interior designers can do wonders to a space no matter how tight the budget or small the square footage.

And almost all designers agree on these decorating rules: Focus on 3 key elements when decorating to create a stunning home.

It turns out that you don’t need a lot of stuff to make your space feel finished if you consider these 3 things — texture, color, and scale. By following the rules, you can create a space that’s attractive, comfortable and stand-out gorgeous!

Texture: The More the Merrier

texture-more-merrierAdd texture with area rugs, drapery, vintage pieces, or natural fibers in upholstery pieces.  This living room has an abundance of texture!

 

Color: Layer Three

layer-3Layer color in your space to add depth, even if it’s neutral (especially if it’s neutral!). Choose 3 colors–a light color, a dark color, and something in between — and scatter them throughout your room.  The room in the photo is a perfect example of neutral colors, layered perfectly.

 

Scale: Go Big, or Go Home

go-big-or-stay-homeDon’t overwhelm a smaller space by crowding a lot of small furniture and accessories into the room. This just emphasizes the small size.  Instead, incorporate large pieces—large art pieces, leaning floor mirrors, big area rugs and larger scaled furniture, to emphasize space in the room.

The above photos feature larger furniture and accessories placed in relatively small rooms.  Decorated in completely different styles, you can see the cohesive effect of layering 3 colors, as well as the use of larger furniture pieces.

If you’re worried about decorating a small space, paying attention to these 3 tips will usually make a room feel larger and give it that “pulled together” decorator look.

The Brandee Kelley Groups loves to bring you decorating ideas, as well as various tips and advice from experts on all things HOME!  If you enjoy this information, we hope you’ll “Follow” our Blog!

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Concerned with Home Security? Check Out These Tips

Flowers-Landscaping Tips
Deadbolt locks and alarm systems help protect you against burglary, but the following tips on outdoor security measures you can take that will add an extra layer of safety to your home and family:

  1.  Use natural plant as deterrents. Burglars don’t want to walk thru thorny shrubs and flowers to get to your windows, so plant them around your foundation.thorny rose_Fotor

2.  Prune vegetation regularly. Overgrown hedges provide hiding spots where thieves can lurk.

3.  Trim the trees. Leave sufficient distance between tree branches and the roof or second-story windows to limit intruder access.branches collage

4.  Leave a clear line of sight to windows or doors. Blocking these views leaves your home more vulnerable to break-ins.

5.  Install additional lighting. Illuminate your yard and house to eliminate potential hiding spots. You might consider adding motion-activated lighting to help ward off possible intruders.lighting

6.  Put gravel beneath ground-floor windows. Burglars rely on silence; stepping on gravel can create noise and intruders don’t want to get caught.gravel flower beds_Fotor

7.  Protect the back door with good quality locks and lighting. Many thieves try this less obvious point of entry first.

8.  Replace solid privacy fences. Solid fencing helps intruders go undetected. Partial privacy fencing is a more secure option.

9.  Lock all gates. Keep front and back gates locked at all times. Collage_Fotor

10. While not related to landscaping tips, cultivate a good relationship with neighbors who you can rely on to keep an eye out for any problems if you’re going to be out of town. Make certain they have a phone number where they can reach you in case of an emergency. And don’t forget to return the favor!

While pleasing to look at, landscaping can make a difference in your safety. Consider whether your current setup promotes security or makes your home appealing to thieves. Use these landscaping security tips to help prevent your home from becoming the target of a burglary.

Provided courtesy of the Brandee Kelley Group, Keller Williams Realty | 817.635.1141

Need Some Color in Your Life? Target Introduces Their Marimekko Collection

Want to inject some bright colors into your life? The distinctive colors and patterns of Marimekko are the perfect choice and Target is launching their Marimekko Collection on April 17.

Architectural Digest has provided the following 4 tips for incorporating these colorful furnishings into your home.

target-marimekko-01#1 – Don’t be afraid of color. You can mix four or five shades for an all-over patterned effect or use single-color items to introduce a bold pop of color.

target-marimekko-02#2 – Mix things up. Marimekko’s graphic table settings look liveliest when a few patterns are mixed together. If you’re not crazy about too many prints, pair Marimekko dinner plates  with solid-color glasses or chargers.

#3 – Establish a palette by adhering to two or three complementary hues, such as pink and yellow, white and black, or two shades of blue. Even if you’re using loads of patterns, the thoughtful color scheme will make things look put together.

target-marimekko-03#4 – Don’t forget patio decorating! Adding a splash of color or pattern will transform any cramped patio into a summery oasis.

The Brandee Kelley Group loves bringing you decorating ideas and tips.  We’re all about REAL ESTATE, whether buying or selling your home, as well as enhancing the home you love!

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Do You Love Your Open Kitchen? or NOT???

For years, the open-concept kitchen has been touted as the ideal kitchen arrangement. In fact, it’s rare to find newer houses that don’t have kitchens open to some kind of adjoining family room or living area. But……… is it right for YOU?

The basic argument for opening the kitchen to living areas is interaction between the family and the cook. After all, we spend a lot of time there! But some homeowners are having second thoughts about open kitchens, because they find they don’t multi-task well. Would you welcome a few walls and doors to keep your kitchen separate from the rest of the house?


The following are REAL comments from REAL people on a recent home builder’s forum. Clearly, these comments reflect different points of view on this topic, and we thought you would find them interesting.

PRO OPEN KITCHENS:
“An open concept kitchen is ideal for entertaining! You can chat with your guests and chop onions at the same time! You can monitor your children or watch TV while whipping up some homemade ravioli!”

“My open kitchen allows me to interact with my family when I’m preparing a meal. If my kitchen were closed, I would feel isolated.”

“I grew up in older houses with small kitchens that were totally closed off from the rooms around them. It always seemed like an open kitchen was the dream. When I bought my first house, the kitchen was open and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and I like being able to interact with my family when I’m there. My kitchen is a gathering place for my family.”

“My kitchen is open to my family room and I like it, but it’s definitely a distraction when you’re trying to watch TV or hold a conversation on the couch while the dishwasher is rumbling or pots and pans are clanking a few feet away.”

“My mom’s house has a kitchen that’s closed off to the rooms around it, and the biggest hassle, she says, is when she’s entertaining and has to carry all the dishes and things to the dining room down the hall. It’s not as convenient.”

PRO CLOSED KITCHENS:
“I knocked out a kitchen wall in my old house and built a family room addition. Instead of looking out my kitchen window and seeing trees, I created a view of my family room. I had young children at the time. I fell for the “I can be in the kitchen and see the kids” trap. Now that the children are grown and I downsized to a smaller home, I decided to keep my kitchen walls. I need my wall!”

“They used to design kitchens so the smell wouldn’t go through the house when you were cooking.”

“I know it is personal preference, but I just don’t like the huge, open interiors that you see in almost every home that’s been built in the last 10+ years. I love for a home to have rooms, real, separate rooms. A big kitchen is great, but I don’t want it open to the family room.”

“No, please, go sit down and watch TV or something and I’ll call you when dinner’s ready. I’m nervous enough trying to put the meal together, with everything cooked to perfection. I can’t talk, entertain guests and cook at the same time.”

“My kitchen is my personal space. Leave me alone!”

These comments clearly show that what’s right for one is not right for all! So tell us — do you love open kitchens? Or would you rather have some privacy?

No matter what your taste in kitchen design, the Brandee Kelley Group can help you find the home of your dreams with a kitchen that’s just right for YOU! Call us today at 817-635-1141 to start your new home search!

Homeowner Safety and Security

safety photoThe Brandee Kelley Group enjoys publishing our Blog posts on all sorts of topics related to real estate. We hope that you find these posts informative and/or entertaining, but perhaps none of these posts are more important than homeowner safety and security.

No matter where you live, as a homeowner there are specific, preventative steps you can take to lessen the chance of falling victim to crime. The following tips and advice, courtesy of the National Association of REALTORS, are steps you can take to protect yourself, your family and your home.

SECURITY TIPS FOR NEW HOMEOWNERS

Nothing compares to the feeling of being settled in a new home, but home security can sometimes be overlooked in favor of more pressing issues for new homeowners. While major safety issues such as fire alarms and working locks are top of mind, other important aspects of home security can fall by the wayside and go unattended.

Burglary and theft are two of the most common household property crimes, and they’re the easiest to prevent. There are many precautions homeowners can take to limit the chance of a burglary or theft that should be addressed soon after moving into a new home.

1. Maintain your yard and keep your shrubbery trimmed so criminals aren’t able to hide behind them.

2. Install outdoor lighting. A well-lit exterior discourages criminals from hiding in your landscaping. Lights with motion sensors are also a good idea.

3. Update door and lock hardware. It’s always a good idea to replace your locks and make sure that all entry points are secure when you move into a new home.

4. Meet your neighbors. The more friendly eyes watching out for your property the better. By introducing yourself to your neighbors, you’ll both be more comfortable alerting each other if something appears different.

5. Consider installing an alarm system. Security systems are a major deterrent for criminals. They don’t need to be expensive to be effective.

6. Homeowner crime is not your only safety concern. So is fire and carbon monoxide poisoning, so check batteries in your detectors to make sure you are protected.

SUMMER SAFETY

Summertime brings an uptick in crime rates across the country. The following are important tips to protect your home during warm weather months:

1. Lock doors and windows, even when you are outside working in the yard or swimming in your pool. Unlocked doors and windows are just what criminals are looking for, especially while family members are busy outside the house.

2. Use specialty locks. Not only should doors and windows be locked at all times, but homeowners should make sure the locks they’re using are a bit more complicated than the average lock. Burglars want a quick in and out, so using a lock that will frustrate thieves is an easy way to prevent a break-in.

3. Lock and large items. Protect your larger items that you store in the garage or in your yard. Lock lawn mowers, bikes, grills, etc. and engrave them with your initials so that you can identify your property in case it’s stolen.

4. Light things up. Outdoor lights are a great deterrent to criminals who don’t want to be seen. Focus especially on the rear and sides of your home.

5. Be aware of neighborhood activity. You know your neighborhood better than most, so be a good neighborhood watchdog, and alert your neighbor and police to unusual activity.

6. Protect yourself. Be aware of con artists running home improvement scams and deception burglaries, and don’t leave personal information lying around.

YOUR VACATION CHECKLIST: MAKE SURE YOUR HOME IS SECURE WHILE YOU’RE GONE

Your bags are packed and you’re about to head out the door for a vacation, but preparing your home for your absence is just as important as remembering to pack your toothbrush.

Just like you create a packing list, homeowners should have a home safety checklist they follow before leaving their home for any extended period of time.

1. Lock doors and windows.

2. Make the residence look occupied. Try to make things look as normal as possible while you’re gone. Keep your blinds in their normal position, hire someone to mow your lawn, ask neighbors to park in your driveway, place a hold on mail and newspaper deliveries.

3. Use timers. Placing lights, TVs, radios, etc. to turn on and off at normal times is an easy way to make it seem like someone is home. Nothing says you’re away like a dark house multiple nights in a row.

4. Beware of social media. Don’t announce your vacation plans on Facebook or social media. Don’t broadcast the dates that you’ll be away from home. Share your photos and travel stories AFTER you return from your vacation. If you have a landline, leave a normal message on your answering machine, and don’t share that you’re out of town.

5. Tell select people that you’ll be away. Ask neighbors to keep an eye on your property, and leave a phone number where you can be reached in case of emergency. Notify police if you’ll be gone longer than a week and consider asking a friend or neighbor to check in on things while you’re away.

6. Remove your spare key. If you keep a spare key hidden outside your residence, either take it with you or leave it with a neighbor. A criminal will often check for a spare key if they’re trying to enter your home.

Enjoy your summer and enjoy your home! And be SAFE!
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Essential Guide to Watering Your Lawn

Keeping grass green in Texas is a challenge, but here are 8 tips on the proper way to water your lawn, courtesy of the landscape experts at House Beautiful Magazine.

Let’s face it—THIS is what you want!

Unfortunately, this may be what you’ve got!
ugly backyard
Here are some tips from the experts:

1. Water in the morning.

Between 4:00 am and 10:00 am is best, since the air is cooler and there’s usually not much wind to blow the droplets. In the middle of the day, water evaporates too quickly. And in the evenings, water can cling to the blades of grass overnight, which can cause lawn diseases, mold and fungus. In fact, the experts say that watering at night is about the worst thing you can do for a lawn.

2. Soak 6 inches into the soil.

Water long enough to moisten the soil about 6 inches down, which is the depth of a healthy grass root system. To see how far the moisture has reached, check the soil every 15 minutes the first time you water. The best way to test is to take a shovel and lift up the sod.

Time how long it takes the water to work its way 6 inches into the ground, then water for that duration every time you turn on the hose.

3. Use pulsating sprinklers, not oscillating ones.

Built-in lawn sprinklers are the best systems for watering the grass. An irrigation system is the most efficient and will pay for itself in the long run and it’s worth the investment.

But for homeowners who don’t have an in-ground irrigation system and don’t want to invest in one, a pulsating, revolving sprinkler hooked up to a garden hose is the next best choice for an established lawn. (For a new lawn, see the next tip.) The sprinkler shoots out the water horizontally at a high velocity so it’s not as vulnerable to wind and evaporation as oscillating types, which spray the water straight up.
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4. Go easy on newly planted grass.

Pulsating sprinklers work great for lawns with mature grass, but for new yards, the intense water stream can wash away the seeds. Oscillating sprinklers are a better choice for new lawns and won’t wash away seed, allowing the grass to take root.

5. Water twice a week, max.

For clay soils, which is prevalent in north Texas, the experts recommend watering about once a week. Overwatering can lead to fungus and lighter, more frequent watering encourages a shallow root system. Fewer waterings that reach the 6 inch soil depth encourage the roots to grow deeper. You actually train the roots to go down deep into the soil. The best advice is to water every 3 (for sandy soil) to 7 days when summer heats up. It’s much better to water deeply but less frequently.

6. Get a timer.

If you’re watching the clock and trying to remember to shut off the water on time, chances are you’ll forget that the sprinklers are running. So get a timer. They turn off the water automatically after a designated time to ensure the lawn gets the proper amount of water. The timer connects to the spigot, then the hose connects to the timer.

7. Go all in, or don’t go at all.

If homeowners don’t want to water their lawn, it will go dormant just like it does in the winter. Not watering won’t harm the grass unless there is a drought lasting longer than about 30 days. But letting the lawn go dormant, then watering, and then discontinuing the watering again is hard on the grass.

Don’t half-water and go back and forth between dormant and watering because this stresses out the grass. And hope for a good rainstorm, which brings your lawn back to life.

8. Let water soak into hard soil.

Lawns in new housing developments where the topsoil was removed often have a soil so hard water won’t sink in. In that case, homeowners need to water in stages to soften the ground so the water can work its way down. It’s recommended that you water for 30 minutes, let it soak in, then water for another 30 minutes. If you water it all at once, after 15 to 20 minutes, the water will run off.
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Hopefully, these tips will help you have an inviting and green lawn–where the grass is greener in YOUR yard!
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8 Things Organized People Have In Their Homes

If searching for your keys is a part of your morning ritual, it’s time to break the cycle. Being organized is more than just a personality trait. It’s a lifestyle decision that’s easier to achieve if you stock your home with the right tools. These 8 organizational and clutter-busting essentials will make your daily routines at home more convenient and, yes, even more fun!

Acrylic shelf dividers keep your folded items neatly stacked. Available at organize-it.com
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Glass storage jars are chic and you can see the contents at a glance. These jars are available at World Market.
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A catch-all for keys eliminates the question “Has anyone seen my keys”!!! If you think key hooks are unattractive, there are many solutions for a perfect place to toss your keys. This handmade leather tray is attractive, but you could also use pretty baskets or decorative open top boxes.
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Get convenience and control of all your spices. This attractive storage idea is fun and — well, kind of spicy! Even if you’re not crafty, you can make it yourself with just a few inexpensive supplies. Visit A Beautiful Mess on this link for an easy tutorial on how to create this spicy display, but don’t be surprised if your friends want one too! http://bit.ly/1dpVi6p
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Labeled boxes for storing almost anything, almost anywhere! Available at Linens N Things. lnt.com
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Makeup brushes stored upright in pretty jars, glasses, mugs, vases, etc.
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If you don’t have an installed closet system, these wall-mounted mesh drawers may be the perfect solution to closet clutter. Available at containerstore.com
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Inexpensive oval tension rods offer a perfect solution to organizing those hard-to-store lids, cutting boards and trays. Tension rods are available at home goods stores everywhere. Install them in minutes, and those storage problems disappear instantly!
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For garages, playrooms, hobbies and crafts, steel shelving units create quick and inexpensive storage. Check out Lowe’s and Home Depot for a variety of shelving systems.
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The Brandee Kelley Group loves to bring you fresh ideas for making your home and your life more pleasant and less stressful, and we plan to implement some of these essentials in our own homes! If the chaos in your home is the result of just too much stuff squeezed into a too-small house, perhaps it’s time to make a move to a larger home. Feel free to contact us at 817-635-1141 to discuss your housing options.
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