New Year’s Resolution for Your Home

We did it! 2020 is here and we have made it to a new decade which means we all are thinking about ways to better our lives for the new year. I mean the saying is new year new you right? Well how about new year fresh home! The best way to start a new year is to start with the home, it will help you get into the right mind set to hit your other new year’s goals if the place you spend most of your time is updated and fresh for 2020 too!

Revamp

You don’t need to go out and drop a ton of money buying all new furniture, or re painting your whole house because let’s be honest, most of us after the holidays are aiming to save money not spend more. There are little things you can do to make your space feel fresh and new without breaking the bank, like new light fixtures! This is a simple way to freshen up a room and going to places like Home Depot and Lowes will help you save money but still get the stylish light fixtures you’re looking for.

Wallpaper

No, we haven’t lost our minds! Wallpaper no longer needs to look like your grandmothers living room. There are plenty of modern wallpaper options available and will instantly add character to a what was once dull room!

Add Some Life

Adding some greenery to your home can really change a space and make it feel brand new. Hanging some small vine potted plants adds great aesthetic while placing a larger plant or tree to a corner of your room that was once bare helps tie everything together. Bonus is the health benefits of having live plants in your home!

Clean that Tile

You may look at your kitchen or bathroom and think that you need a whole overhaul but that’s not always the case! You can bring in the professionals or to save some money by doing it yourself with some heavy scrubbing and grout cleaning. This can really make a huge difference and have your kitchen or bathroom feeling and looking brand new.


Decorating for the New Year

There is always that limbo time between Christmas and New Year’s where time seems to just stop and before you know it New Year’s Eve is a couple days away, you have people coming over for a party, and your house is looking like Christmas threw up instead of fresh and festive for The New Year. That being said you don’t have to put away all of your Christmas decorations or spend a ton of money to put up some New Year’s Eve décor that will make you and your guests feel ready to ring in The New Year!  

Colors

You can give your home the right New Year’s feel by bringing out some sophisticated colors in your décor whether it be with your Christmas decorations that are already up or with some new but inexpensive decorations! Black, white, silver and gold are perfect celebratory colors for The New Year, but the trick is to pick on main color like gold and use it for at least half of your décor and then accent with another color like silver or black.

The Table

If you don’t feel like decorating your whole house your table is the perfect place to add some New Year’s cheer because let’s be honest parties tend to center around the food and drinks. By adding some silver and gold candle holders, plates, chargers, flatware etc. to accent your table it can be a cheap but easy way to bring a sophisticated New Year’s look to your party without breaking the bank and with minimal effort!  

Party Favors

You can’t have a New Year’s party without party favors, and bonus they can be used for décor. Set sparklers aside in tall hurricane glasses on your mantle, or arrange a table or bar cart with silver, black and gold hats, crowns, poppers, horns, confetti and other festive favors that will instantly add the New Year’s feel to your party!

Champagne

No New Year’s party is complete without champagne so why not use it as a decoration as well! Hit up the thrift stores to find some unique champagne flutes to place around your table or bar cart. If you can’t find a matching set that’s ok! Having different styles adds a unique flare to your décor and people won’t have to worry about which glass is theirs.


Moving During the Holidays Tips

The holidays can already be stressful without adding moving out of your home to your to-do list. Whether your moving far away or across the street we have some helpful tips to make moving during the holidays as stress free as possible.

Budget, Budget, Budget

It’s already hard enough to stay on a budget with all the gift buying and other expenses you can incur during the holiday season, let alone having to add in moving expenses, but don’t fret. If you’re hiring movers aim to move mid -week, or if you want to avoid the cost of movers all together cost-efficient alternatives like rental trucks or portable moving containers would be a perfect way to save a few bucks. Lastly DOWNSIZE, the less boxes you have to move the cheaper it will be so look at selling some items on Craigslist or donating to places like Goodwill or Salvation Army.

Pack Early

This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but begin to pack a couple weeks early, and chose a location, like your garage to store all your belongings so they aren’t just piled around your house. Start with the non-essential items that you can go without for a few weeks and as time gets closer than start packing up the essentials!

Still Put Up Decorations

Just because you’re moving during the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate and decorate! All you have to do is make sure to keep your decorations to a minimum. There are lots of options when it comes to decorating that don’t require a ton of set up. Just be careful when it comes to putting up a Christmas tree if the holiday is too close to your moving date. Or if you do put up a tree make sure to use minimal ornaments. Lights, strung popcorn, and tinsel can be just as festive!

Keep Your Family Busy

Don’t let the stress of moving ruin the holiday fun! Stick to your family traditions just don’t push it. Make time to enjoy some old community traditions as well before moving to somewhere new. Drive around your neighborhood and look at the light displays, stop at your local coffee shop to grab some hot chocolate, anything to saver the time you have left before venturing to somewhere new!


Holiday Wrapping Tips

We spend a lot of time running around getting the perfect presents for our family members so why not take the time to make them look pretty which will add to your holiday décor! Now we know what some of you may be thinking, that you aren’t creative or even good at wrapping but we promise you with our simple tips under your tree will be looking like a Martha Stewart catalog in no time!

Create a Workspace

simple step will make a huge difference in your gift-wrapping productivity. The space doesn’t have to be a whole room or even have a table. It could be the corner of your bedroom or a makeshift space set up in your basement but by having a place where all your wrapping, bows and materials are will make it easier and a lot more fun to get the job done. Hey, it may even help spark some creativity!

Have the Right Tools

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to cut wrapping paper with dull scissors or have tape that just won’t rip right, so having the right tools is essential to not only making your presents look clean and professional but it will make your life a whole lot easier. No need to go crazy all you need is a ruler, two pair of scissors (one for paper one for ribbon), and two kinds of tape (double sided for bows and matte finish for packages).

Don’t Skimp on the Paper Quality

A wrapping nightmare can easily ensue if you have the wrong kind of paper. Too thin will tear easily allowing the corner of packages to poke through, too thick will make your packages look bulky and use up a lot of tape. The sweet spot is getting a medium grade paper with a bit of metallic finish. This type of paper will look nice and give you sharp clean edges.

Have an Array of Embellishments Ready

Even if you are the worst gift wrapper in the world, adding the right embellishment to the outside of the package will step it up a notch and make your packages look professional. Embellishments can be as simple as a ribbon, clippings of greenery or holly, or even some tiny inexpensive ornaments.


Holiday Décor Tips

Thanksgiving is over and the leftovers put away so what does that mean? Time to put up your holiday décor! Decorating for the holidays should be a joy and something to look forward to but with a short amount of time and all the décor choices that are out there it can also be very overwhelming. So, we gathered some of our top tips to make your holiday decorating merry and bright.

Plan Ahead

It is easy to get overwhelmed when thinking of how you want to decorate your home for the holidays, but don’t stress. Start by setting your decorating budget, then create a plan for where you want your decorations around your home and choose a color palate. By starting with these simple steps, a clear plan for what you want will appear.

Bring Cheer to Every Room

When decorating for the holidays the typical spaces are living\family room, outside, entryway, kitchen, and even bathrooms but a lot of people seem to forget their bedroom. Yes, people coming to your home for the holidays won’t be seeing your bedroom, but you will, so by adding some garland that may be left over here and there around your room is a perfect elegant way to bring cheer where you lay your head.

Dim the Lights

This is the coziest time of the year so by adding plug in dimmers to all of your lights it will bring an instant ambiance to any room at a very inexpensive price. Bonus they are very easy to install and can be found at any local hardware store!

Wrap Your Gifts Early

Yes, that means getting your holiday shopping done early as well, which we all know isn’t always realistic. So even if you just have a couple gifts bought, don’t hide them away, make them beautiful!  When it comes to wrapping try to choose a coordinated group of paper and bows that will match with your holiday décor. By doing this simple step you will take one last minute to-do off your list while adding something beautiful to your home that everyone can throughout the holiday season!


Decorating for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that seems to be forgotten when it comes to decorating. Most people jump the gun and put up their tree and garland before the Halloween candy is put away. So, if you’re one of those people who likes to wait till after Thanksgiving to string up those holiday lights but doesn’t know exactly how to decorate for the harvest season don’t fret, we have you covered.

Bring Out the Warm Tones

Following an autumnal pattern can be very easy and budget friendly. You would be surprised at some of the items in your home that would fit into this color scheme. For example, Amber glass in the form of vases, and votives and brass and copper candlesticks placed around your home creates a warm understated Thanksgiving feel.

Add in Nature

Sometimes all you need to create a Thanksgiving feel throughout your home is to use what’s found in nature. Mini pumpkins and gourds are perfect to place throughout your house, they don’t take up too much space but add texture and color to places that can be forgotten. To create a festive harvest atmosphere, add a tall vase of branches like holly berries to bring a pop of red or pampas grass to add a neutral golden feel

Velvet

Most people when they think of velvet think Christmas, but velvet can be a perfect way to bring a warm rich feel to your home during the harvest season. Adding some velvet pillows in deep burgundy or evergreen will add a pop of color to your living room and by using these colors you can easily transition them into your Christmas décor, plus it will save you money! To spice it up a little bit add some velvet pumpkins throughout your home or a velvet table runner. Mixing the traditional pumpkins and table runner with velvet will be a nice surprise to your guests.

Embrace Tradition

Sometimes there is no reason to reinvent the wheel when it comes to decorating for Thanksgiving. Focusing on the timelessness of the holiday can be just what your home needs. Keep it classic with linen adorned with a simple harvest pattern. Attaching vintage plates to the wall with no damage adhesive hangers helps bring in the old with the new, as well as using your grandmother’s crystal glassware and antique candle holders filled with tapered candles.


It’s Almost Fall, Y’all!

Even though most of Michigan is having a little second summer over here, our minds are firmly planted in Fall!  Whether you love the fall for all things pumpkin spice, you love celebrating Halloween, you enjoy the changing fall landscape, or everything is your favorite, there is an abundance of home décor options to fit every style! Here’s some of our top tips for bringing your décor ideas to life.

Stick to a consistent theme

If you aren’t an experienced decorator, or feel overwhelmed, one way to make things simpler is to stick with one consistent theme throughout your house. That theme could be a color scheme (like fall leaves colors or fall neutrals) a type of décor (rustic, spooky, natural for example), or could be built off of a specific piece (like pumpkins, or leaves, or scarecrows).

Shop discounts

Home deco can get expensive! Make sure as you shop for décor items to keep in mind beginning and end of season sales. You can save a lot of money by stocking up on next year’s fall décor in November this year.

Decorate in vignettes

It’s a classic rule in decorating, things look great groups of 3 or odd numbers. Does your décor plan call for a candle? Consider adding two candles of varying heights widths to complete the look. How about those pumpkins on the porch? A line of three pumpkins on your steps or a cluster of 5 on the patio will look so charming!

Consider a décor subscription box

Subscription boxes are just about everywhere in online retail, and not surprisingly, there are a bunch of great options for home décor. Having a retailer provide your décor Look into these to get started:

  • Decocrated: A quarterly décor subscription offering seasonal features like candles, books or linens. decocrated.com
  • Sundae Home: Delivered bi-monthly, this service offers multiple price points so you can choose your level of goodies! Get fun seasonal signs, blankets, candles and more. sundaehome.com
  • Deckd: Their tagline is “Seasonal Décor, Delivered to your Door” so it couldn’t be simpler! deckdhome.com

 

Whatever you decide for your fall decor, we want to see pictures! Tag @bhhsmichiganrealestate on Instagram or Facebook to potentially be featured on our pages. 


Top 5 Backyard Activities For Summer

School is out for most districts across Michigan, and that means the kiddos are home and ready for action! Whether you fall in the spectrum of parents who love the extra family time, or you’re in need of new activity ideas, we’ve got you covered! Here are our top ideas for backyard fun when on summer vacation. “No backyard” you say? Get in touch with one of our REALTORS® today – there’s plenty of summer fun waiting for you at a new home, and we can help get you there.

 

Water Fun
If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard pool – you know what to do! But if not, there are still tons of fun water activities to do in your yard this summer. Set up the sprinkler, or multiple sprinklers to make a great splash zone. No sprinklers, or no grassy area to play? How about a water balloon fight, or even better, make these DIY sponge balls for a more eco-friendly water fight!

 

Camping On Fire GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Backyard Camping
What a great way to get kids used to the idea of camping! Still close to home, just in case anything happens, but a backyard campsite can feel fun and magical just like a real trip away from home. Grab that tent, the sleeping bags, and the travel lantern and carry them a few short feet. Of course, no camping trip would be complete without a fire and S’mores. We love this little kit from Target.

 

Gardening
Have your kids test out their green thumb this summer! Gardening can teach our kids a lot of useful skills like the importance of habit, how to take care of something, and that hard work and persistence can produce amazing results. As an added bonus, it can help encourage healthy eating habits as well. Try to grow some veggies in a pot on the deck or patio or plant some gorgeous annuals in an existing garden.

 

Obstacle Course
Ready to expend some serious summer energy? You need a DIY obstacle course! This can be whatever you make it. Grab some noodles or hula hoops, any play equipment you may have, and some flags and create a custom course for the kiddos to run or race! We love these ideas from Heart of Deborah.

 

DIY Crafting
Kids love a fun crafting activity, but parents know that sometimes means a mess in your kitchen! Why not take the mess outside and try a new playdough or slime recipe in the backyard? Or, for more advanced crafters, you could create this fun kaleidoscope, or a bird feeder for your critter friends.

 

Are your kiddos older or “definitely not” in to hanging out with mom or dad this summer? Try looking at sports, arts or acting camps. Most communities in Michigan have some version of these and they can be excellent growth opportunities for teens. Or, kill two birds with one stone and encourage your teens to learn valuable life skills by helping you out with the yard work!


5 Severe Weather Tips for Homeowners

In Michigan we don’t often have to worry about many severe weather disasters – we’re lucky to avoid tsunamis and hurricanes, and tornadoes, fires and earthquakes are few and far between. But especially during the spring and summer months, the chance for thunderstorms, hail, damaging winds, and the occasional tornado do increase. So, what to do when those severe weather patterns strike? We’ve got the top tips from REALTORS® to keep your family and your home safe.

Make emergency plans for your home.
Ready.gov has an amazing guide for making an emergency plan for your home. They break it down in to four easy steps:

  1. Discuss key questions: How will I receive emergency alerts? What is my shelter plan? What is my evacuation route? What is my family communication plan?
  2. Consider specific household needs: ages, access needs, barriers, dietary needs, religious considerations, pets, etc.
  3. Fill out a Family Emergency Plan
  4. Practice your plan with the family/household

Research Insurance Options
It surprises so many homeowners every year, but your current home insurance policy may not cover you in the event of some natural disasters and weather events. Consider if your home is in a flood zone, if the area is prone to high winds, etc, and address this accordingly with your insurance company. If you’re ready to explore other insurance options, your REALTOR® is an excellent resource!

Create an Emergency Kit
In the event of an emergency, you won’t always have time to gather necessary items, severe weather often strikes fast. Taking the time now to create an emergency kit will save you precious moments and could help to keep your family safe. We recommend these essentials:

  • Non-perishable foods – ideally a 3-day supply for each person
  • Filtered or bottled water – ideally a gallon per person per day for at least 3 days
  • Lantern, candles, or flashlights
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio
  • Extra batteries (consider for flashlights or cell phones)
  • Basic tools to turn off utilities
  • Cell Phone chargers
  • Local maps
  • First aid kit
  • Blankets or extra clothing

Also consider your individual needs – if medication is necessary, do not forget to include this. Copies of important family documents can also come in handy – be sure they are protected from the elements. And finally, if you have pets, do not forget their essentials!

Clean Up and Seal Your Home
Especially in the event of high winds or rain and flooding, cleaning up and sealing your home from the outside can provide a lot of protection. You want to inspect and clean out all gutters and downspouts to allow water to properly flow away from your home. Seal small cracks with caulking to prevent water from getting in through those areas. Check trees for signs of weakness – it may be best to remove them before they can come down on or around your home.

After Severe Weather

  • When severe weather has passed, you may need to process, clean up, or restore your home. Be sure to consult professionals when appropriate and take necessary safety precautions.
  • Always assume any down power lines are live and thus dangerous.
  • Contact your utilities to turn off or restore services as needed like natural gas, electricity and water.
  • Do not venture in to flood waters, even if they appear shallow or safe.

We hope that severe weather does not strike, but in the event it does, remember, your REALTOR® is a great resource for you to find professionals that can help rebuild or repair, to find community opportunities, and ultimately, to be a sounding board for you on all matters of your home.


Warm Weather Homeowner Tips

In Michigan, we are finally having some consistently warm weather, so you know what that means: it’s time to ready your home for those rising temperatures!  Check out our tips below for quick and easy ways to make sure you stay cool and comfortable in the warm temps.

Get an A/C Tune Up

We know all too well that a nice summer day can quickly derail if the A/C unit isn’t working. So, protect yourself from sweltering temps by getting an A/C tune up. Many local companies offer tune up specials this time of year. Especially if your air conditioning unit was fully exposed to the elements, it’s good to have a professional take a look and make sure all fluids are still present, lines are in good condition and fans are functional.

Tune Up or Check Lawn Equipment

Especially if your lawn equipment was stored outdoors or in an outdoor shed all winter, now is the time to get it out and cross your fingers as you tug on that pull cord. Your lawn equipment will thank you (and you will be so much happier) if you check your oil levels, replace with new gasoline (if needed) and clean out any debris that may be left from last season.

Clean your Windows and Screens

This one is less for actual functionality, and more just quality of life! Enjoying those gorgeous summer views from clean windows is sure to improve your mood each day. Plus, cleaning your screens can help with indoor air quality, can help keep mold growth down and can save time and money on repeat window cleaning.

Inspect Outdoor Plumbing

As you clean up your lawn, add the extra step to carefully inspect your outdoor plumbing. It may be rainy enough now that the lawn doesn’t need watering, or your plants are already growing like weeds, but inspecting now can save you valuable time when you do need to water the lawn, fill up the pool, or play in those sprinklers! This may be a great time to call in a professional if you do see anything wrong.

Plan for Summer Days Outside

Do you have a pool, playscape or outdoor patio furniture? Now is the time to get those items out, clean them and then relax. If you do have a pool or outdoor water feature, make sure you follow proper guidelines or consult a professional. For playscapes and patio furniture, use this time to tighten any loose screws, check for anything that could splinter or cut, and oil any chains or attachments if needed.

Clean Out the Mudroom

Finally, we can say goodbye to the winter jackets and snow boots. Assess the quality of each family member’s clothing – is it time to retire the old jacket from the 90’s? Do the kiddo’s snow boots that they used once not fit anymore? Donate whatever can be and toss the rest. Remember, you can use Marie Kondo’s tips to tackle the mudroom. Then bring out your sneakers, flip flops, light jackets and hats!

 

Feeling like that backyard or outdoor space is not the right fit anymore? Springtime means the spring real estate market, so we have tons of available homes to choose from! Start your search today at bhhsmi.com.