My Blog

What is Your Interior Design Style?

5/15/2019

Thinking about updating, but you're not sure on your interior design style? Take this quiz to find out, and then find some inspiring ideas!

Click HERE to take a quick quiz by Buzzfeed to learn more about what your interior design style is! Once you've discovered your style, try visiting PinterestHouzz, or a number of other home decor and inspiration sites!

2019 aMAYzing New Homes Tour

5/9/2019

Tour aMAYzing new homes, compare builders & check out new design trends. Attendees receive special builder incentives & a chance to win great prizes!






Join us for this two week open house event May 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th. Tour new homes, compare builders and explore the newest home design trends. Each builder will be offering special incentives and get registered to win several great prizes including a $1,000 gift card to Gilcrest Jewett!

The Vineyard by Bella Homes will be on the tour - come check us out! 

Learn more about the tour HERE.


20 Ways to Enhance Your Home's Curb Appeal

4/24/2019





First impressions are crucial, and that counts for your home, too. That's why we've come up with a few simple ideas for adding style and upping your house's curb appeal.

A Warm Welcome

Have your neighbors swooning over your curb appeal with an inviting front porch featuring a cozy wood swing and a mix of patterned blue throw pillows beckoning visitors to this sunny front porch.

 

Go Bold

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a home’s curb appeal. A bold color pairing, like navy blue and bubblegum pink, will ensure your home isn’t lost in a sea of cookie-cutter houses.

 

Wood Accents

If color isn’t your thing, touches of wood accents will do just the trick when boosting your home’s appearance. This home seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper, features cedar details add a natural alternative when it comes to exterior accents.

 

Modern House Numbers

Say goodbye to ordinary house numbers. Add a modern, chic vibe to your home’s exterior by upgrading to a laser-cut wooden plaque.

 

Well-Manicured Lawn

No matter how beautiful a new plant or house feature may be, it will never get a chance to shine if neighbors can't see past a wild, unkempt yard. By maintaining a nice, healthy lawn height, you can ensure your home will be noticed for all the right reasons.

 

Walk This Way

Choosing the right hardscape can be a challenge, but a simple stone or brick path is a great way to add charm to your entryway. If the inviting look isn't enough to convince you, just imagine life with no more muddy footprints or sunken heels!

 

Rocking Out

A pair of rocking chairs on the front porch will elicit nostalgic memories of the past, while also provide the perfect backdrop for creating new experiences.

 

Borderline Design

For a classic curb appeal boost, hedge your home with an adorable picket fence. Cover it with lovely roses or vines for a look that is sure to impress.

 

Illumination

Landscape lighting illuminates this home’s front showcasing all its best features- unique architecture, tidy landscaping and appealing shrubbery.

 

An Open Door

A front door can add a lot to a home, especially when it comes to curb appeal. Large glass panels above on this front door add an inviting and elegant touch to its exterior.

 

...to view the other 10 ideas and view photos for inspiration, click here
By: Keri Sanders and Morgan Faulkner

 

 

The District of Prairie Trail in Ankeny, IA

4/11/2019




Living in Central Iowa allows you to experience some of the best things Iowa has to offer! 

Spread out on over 1,000 acres in Ankeny, Iowa, Prairie Trail is the essence of small-town living with the advantages of a larger city - neighborhood parks, the shop around the corner, outdoor concerts, and sidewalk cafes. The District at Prairie Trail is at the center of it all. Shops, restaurants, bars, boutiques and more have joined The District and are attracting a growing audience.

Learn more at thedistrictpt.com or by visiting the Facebook page.

There is always something happening in Prairie Trail!

Best Perennials for Growing in Containers

4/3/2019

Growing in a confined container is not an ideal condition for any plant, but properly cared for perennials can thrive quite nicely in a container.  Typically they just may not grow as large as they would when grown in the ground. Learn more about potted plants for spring!



When creating a container garden with perennials you will first consider the same things for planting any garden:  sun, shade, water and wind exposure.  Soil must still be considered since you will be planting in a light, water retentive medium with good drainage and not every perennial will like that environment.  However the perennials that prefer poor soil with low nutrient levels may still do well if you care for them (or should I say not care for them) properly.  Remember to select plants with the same or very similar requirements for each container.  To keep your container interesting, select perennials with long bloom times and include spring, summer and fall blooming plants.

To design an interesting container garden, also try to include thrillers (tall primary plant), fillers (at least a couple lower growing plants with complimenting foliage or blooms), and spillers (low growing creepers or vining plants).   Add some annuals or foliage plants for season long interest.  Or you might prefer a container full and overflowing with just one lovely plant, which can often make a big impact.

Your container should also be well balanced in height versus width or middle “bulk”.  Using a tall central plant you can balance the arrangement with fuller medium height plants and low plants that spill over the edge.  Don’t forget that a large heavy container also adds visual weight to your arrangement.  As with any design principle, throwing out all the rules and planting a container completely out of balance can create a very simple and striking centerpiece.  As always, do what YOU love!

What to consider when selecting perennials for containers:

  • Perennials typically will not grow to full size in a container because their roots are restricted.  Larger perennials may only reach about half the normal size.
  • Compact or dwarf varieties of large perennials are best for containers.
  • Perennials with a spreading form may overtake other plants in the container and eventually outgrow the container.
  • Vining plants can be grown on a pillar frame inserted into the container or allowed to spill over the sides.
  • Shade containers will rely heavily on foliage for interest.  Choose colorful, variegated or heavily textured leaves.
  • Remember that perennials usually need two seasons to reach their size and flowering potential.  But since they don’t grow as vigorously in a container, plant your container fairly full but give each perennial a bit of space to fill out.  Perennials that reach 12” wide normally should be planted 6-9” apart for a very full container in its’ second season.  You may want to use a few annuals the first year to give your container that full look.
  • Plan an overwintering method for containers with plants that are not at least two zones hardier than your growing zone.

 

***Read the rest of the article HERE***

 

 

Kitchen Inspiration: Backsplashes We Love

3/6/2019
Upgrading your kitchen? From appliances to countertops to lighting and more, there are many facets to consider when you decide to take on this type of project. One of the elements that can really set the tone of your kitchen is the backsplash. Are you going with a modern subway tile, or traditional mosaic? Do you prefer a subtle look or a bold print? The style you select can have a big impact on your kitchen. To help inspire you, we've shared some of our favorite backsplashes below. Enjoy!


What a beautiful, blue pattern. We're loving this stylish look.




There's nothing wrong with chic, classic subway tile style.



A unique tile shape creates a dynamic look, without the commitment of a bright color or pattern.



Skip the fuss of tiles, and use art to create a bold backsplash.




Classic tile, bold color. We love the combination!


We hope these photos help inspire your kitchen renovation. Looking for more ideas and advice? Visit a Marketplace Events Home Show near you to connect with local experts and find everything you need to refresh your space.  *As seen on: https://desmoineshomeandgardenshow.com/blog-social/marketplace-events-home-garden-blog/2018/08/08/kitchen-inspiration-backsplashes-we-love

How to Tidy Up While Downsizing with the KonMari Method

2/19/2019

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo created the KonMari Method for tidying up. Her advice became a hit sensation after she wrote a best-selling book and even starred in a Netflix show called “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo." The KonMari Method is now a worldwide trend, with many people turning to social media to share their home transformations.

Anyone who wants to tidy up their home can use the KonMari Method, but it can be especially useful for active adults who want to downsize into new homes or move forward with retirement plans. The KonMari Method guides homeowners to only keep the possessions they truly love, which leads to a smaller and more meaningful collection of items that can fit in a new home with ease.

We’re breaking down the KonMari Method step-by-step so you can downsize your home and transition into retirement with happiness.

Downsizing with The KonMari Method

The KonMari Method differs from traditional organization advice in a few ways. First, instead of cleaning room-by-room or little-by-little, you clean by category. Second, you choose what to keep, not what to throw away.

Active adults can use this method to downsize their homes as efficiently as possible. After homeowners sort through their possessions and only keep the items they truly love, it means they only have to move the items they truly love. This saves a lot of time and hassle when moving while decreasing the stress surrounding a big move. To follow The KonMari Method to downsize your home, you must adopt the six basic rules of tidying up.

Rule 1: Commit Yourself to Tidying Up

To finish the KonMari Method, you must commit to completing the process, understanding that it can take weeks to sort through everything and that it can even be an emotional process. For any active adults planning to downsize in the next few years, it will likely be worth the effort when you move only your most valued possessions into your new home.

There’s no better time than the present to start The KonMari Method, especially if you know you want to move to an active adult community in the next few years. But if you’ve already set the date for your move, it might be helpful to set a date for when you want to finish decluttering, too.

Try to pick a date at least two weeks to a month before your move date. That way, you will finish The KonMari Method with far fewer possessions and still plenty of time to pack everything before the move. You might find yourself amazed at how much easier it is to pack after you’ve decluttered all of your possessions.

Rule 2: Imagine Your Ideal Lifestyle

To help you commit to the process, consider how The KonMari Method can help you achieve your ideal downsized lifestyle. Think about the home and the active adult community you’ve chosen. Visualize the way you want to live and feel when you move to your ideal active adult community. Recognize that the KonMari Method might be just the thing to create a turning point in your life and help you reach your ideal lifestyle.

Many active adults move into 55+ communities so they can spend more time enjoying the hobbies they love. When you downsize into your new home with only the possessions you love most, you will have a cleaner and more organized home. You can spend less time cleaning and organizing excessive items and spend more time enjoying your active lifestyle.



...finish the rest of the article here: https://www.55places.com/blog/how-to-tidy-up-your-home-with-the-konmari-method

 

 

 

 

 

GET ORGANIZED FOR 2019

2/6/2019

The start of the New Year is the perfect excuse to make your home a little more organized - even if it wasn't on your list of resolutions. To help you create a space with more structure, we've shared our top three organizing tips. Check them out below and get ready to add some order to your home.

1. Curb Your Clutter
When it comes to getting organized, the biggest obstacle is clutter. It's easy to accumulate things (furniture, clothing, art, dishes - anything, really) and it's hard to let stuff go (are you really sure you won't need that third colander one day?). Before you start rearranging your decor, think critically about your possessions. What do you need? What do you love? What can you get rid of? It was William Morris that said "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." Consider this thoughtfully as you begin decluttering.

2. Recognize (and Fix!) Problem Areas
Organizing your whole home can be a daunting task, so don't think of this project that way. Instead, start with the most challenging areas of your space, and focusing on fixing them. Can't find anything in your closet? Clutter making every trip into and out of your home a struggle? You can't build a bigger closet or foyer, but you can donate old clothing and store off-season shoes and jackets in a different location. When you fix problem areas one at a time, you end up organizing your home. What aspects of your space are currently plaguing you? Start there.

3. Find Beauty in Functionality Organization can be a thing of beauty. Embrace the decor trend of putting items on display - like opaque kitchen cabinets and bathroom shelving. When your things add to the look of your space, you'll be more mindful of what you're purchasing and the state you keep it in.


As seen on the Des Moines Home and Garden Show blog, January 2 2019.

How to Protect Your Home During Extreme Cold Weather

1/30/2019

How to Keep Warm in Your Home

  • Have your furnace inspected before cold weather arrives. Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks, install a clean air filter, and check the thermostat to see if it’s working properly.
  • Inspect fireplaces, and chimneys before using, and have them cleaned if needed.
  • Keep drapes and blinds closed, except when windows are in direct sunlight.
  • Put up storm windows, or install sheet plastic window insulation kits on the inside of windows.
  • Cover or remove any window air conditioners.
  • Insulate electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls with foam seals available at home centers.
  • Caulk any cracks or holes on the outside of your house.
  • Repair or replace weather stripping and thresholds around doors and windows.
  • Run paddle ceiling fans on low in reverse (clockwise when looking up) to circulate warm air.
  • Put draft snakes on window sills, between window frames, and against doors.
  • If you heat with propane or fuel oil, make sure the tank is full.
  • If you heat with wood or coal, have plenty of fuel on hand.

How to Protect the Outside of Your Home

  • Clean your gutters and downspouts before cold weather arrives to prevent ice from forming in them.
  • Spray an ice repellent solution on steps and walks before freezing weather arrives
  • Check antifreeze levels in cars. Add if needed, then run the engine to circulate the new antifreeze through the radiator and engine block.
  • Add freeze resistant windshield wiper fluid, and spay to circulate it in lines.
  • Check air pressure in tires, since cold weather causes the pressure to lower.
  • Bring in container plants, add mulch around plants, and cover plants that are prone to frost damage. Remove covering when temperatures warm above freezing.
  • Drain birdbaths and fountains
  • Gently sweep snow off plants and shrubs in an upward motion with a broom.
  • Use rock salt, sand, or clay based kitty litter on walks and drives (NOTE: Salt can damage grass and other plants).
  • Don’t overdo it when using a snow shovel.
  • Stay off your roof during freezing weather, but once the ice and snow have melted, inspect your roof for any damage.


*As seen at https://www.todayshomeowner.com/how-to-protect-your-home-during-extreme-cold-weather/



DMAAR's Circle of Excellence Award for 2018

1/29/2019
The Des Moines Area Association of Realtors selected Kris Gardner as an award winner of the 2018 Circle of Excellence! 

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