Everything’s Coming Up Roses: 10 Popular Spring Flowers

Spring has sprung! We can’t wait for picnics, baseball games, dining al fresco, and gardening! You know what they say, April showers bring May flowers. We’ve rounded up 10 popular spring flowers that are perfect for your garden, centerpieces, or bouquets.

1. Daffodils: Plant daffodil bulbs in the fall and they will bloom in the spring and summer. Daffodils are bright and cheery flowers! Learn more about caring for daffodils here. William Wordsworth was fond of daffodils. Read his beautiful poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.







2. Roses: Roses come in a wide variety of colors and forms. They look beautiful planted or climbing a wall or fence. Stop and smell the roses! Learn more about roses, and how to plant them from Lowes.







3. Lilacs: Lilacs come in red, pink, yellow, blue, purple, and white. Plant multiple colors to add a pop of color to your garden. Learn more from Almanac - then start planting!







4. Tulips: Tulips come in a wide variety of colors including beautiful multicolor flowers! Tulips are perennials so they will grow back year after year, saving you time and money. Marianne Williamson once wrote, “A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower.” Learn how to plant tulips here.






5. Hydrangeas: Hydrangeas come in red, pink, blue, purple, and white. Sometimes the different colors show up in one plant! Hydrangeas are a classic, preppy, flowers that are commonly seen in beach towns like The Hamptons and Nantucket. Learn how to plant and care for them here.








6. Camellias: Camellias are beautiful! It has been said that there are 3,000 different types ranging in size, color, and form. Camellias are the official flower for Alabama. They are beautiful in gardens and bouquets. Camellias were frequently mentioned in the classic book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Learn how to garden Camellias here.










7. Peonies: Peonies come in red, pink, yellow, and white. They are perennials and some have been known to live for 100 years! The famous writer, Henry Mitchell once wrote, “The fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers, a rare fusion of fluff and majesty, the peony is now coming into bloom.” The Almanac has great tips for planting these beautiful blooms.










8. Dahlias: Dahlias come in all different colors and varieties. The poet, Lord Holland once wrote, “The Dahlia you brought to our isle your praises forever shall speak ‘mid gardens as sweet as your smile and colour as bright as your cheek.” Learn how to plant them here!







9. Irises: In Greek mythology Iris is the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. Irises are perennials. They attract butterflies and hummingbirds and look beautiful in flower arrangements. Learn how to plant them here!







10. Azaleas: Did you know that Azaleas are called, “the royalty of the garden?” There are white, purple, red, orange, pink, and yellow azaleas. Bicolor azaleas have different patterns on the same plant! The Azalea Society of America has interesting facts and tips about azaleas.









Fill your home and your garden with fresh flowers this spring. Read our Recommended Reading to learn more ways to style your home with your favorite blooms!


Recommended Reading:

-How to Style a Centerpiece

-How to Style a Coffee Table

-Home Decor 101: How to Style a Nightstand

-A Day in the Garden Paint Palette


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How to Style a Bookshelf

Marcus Tullius Cicero once said, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” We agree! A bookshelf is a great place to store your books and, when styled correctly, it can be a great tool for decorating your space!

Here are four simple tips for styling your bookshelf:

1.  Shh…don’t tell any librarians but we recommend skipping The Dewey Decimal System in favor of organizing books by color, height, category (i.e. fiction or non-fiction), or alphabetically by author or title. Extra Credit: Do all of the above!

2.  Don’t limit your shelves to just books. Add other items like your favorite pictures, small framed art, topiaries, small statues, vases of fresh flowers, or jars of candy! No one likes it when books fall subject to the domino effect, incorporate bookends that are quirky and fun or sleek and sophisticated.

3.  Use your favorite paint color or wallpaper to decorate the inside of your bookshelf and create an unexpected pop of color or pattern!

4.  Now that you’ve styled your bookshelf beautifully shine a spotlight on your work by invest in bookshelf lighting.

We hope you enjoy our tips!

For More How-To’s:


Coffee Table


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Color Palette: Ginger Jars

Use this color palette to create the spa-inspired look you’ve always wanted!

What: This palette was inspired by cookies and ginger jars!

Where: This color palette would be delightful in a bathroom. Light colors make a room feel larger, so paint your walls horizon. Create the perfect base of neutral color for a relaxing suite Paint the tiles shades of moonshine. Buy a burgundy vanity to create a balance with the neutral shades you’ve incorporated in the room. Add an azure patterned rug and oxford hand towels to tie the look together seamlessly!

Why: This color combination creates a sophisticated, tranquil room that you’ll enjoy for years to come. Ginger jars are Chinese jars that were historically used to hold ginger and other spices. Ginger jars are thought to have been from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) (Chapin House). They are commonly used for home decor because of their ability to be used as vases, storage vessels, and purely decorative pieces around the home. They are steeped in history and add a decorative element to the modern home!

For more inspiration, visit A Day in the Garden: Color Palette!


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CENTURY 21 Triangle Group To Open Downtown Office In Raleigh, NC

The CENTURY 21 Triangle Group is expanding, now offering clients the opportunity to work with the team in an office in the heart of downtown Raleigh, NC. We chatted with Tim Steele Lehan to get the details on the team’s new location and what this second office will provide for current and new clients.

C21: Exciting news about the new office. Where exactly is it located?

TSL: It is right in downtown Raleigh, in the Bank of America building, on the main drag.

C21: How will this office differ from the first location in North Hills?

TSL: The properties vary so much from North Hills to downtown. Downtown is a specific type of real estate – condos, town homes and historic properties. You need a certain quality of urban lender, local HOAs and top inspectors to handle those historic homes.

C21: Will you hire new agents to service this new clientele?

TSL: Yes, we’ll be hiring new agents for this office with downtown-specific knowledge. There are a lot of small brokerages locally, but now that we’re downtown, and we have the CENTURY 21 brand name behind us, we have more resources available to us than ever before – the strength of the website, the brand marketing tools – it gives us even more awareness.

C21: How will this new team make itself known?

TSL: The priority is to build a team of agents who can be active in the community, volunteer, serve. We want people involved in city planning, city development and city council meetings.

C21: What are the characteristics of a stellar agent?

TSL: With our office, it’s going to be a baseline knowledge of downtown. We want personality and passion. We want someone who loves where they are. Someone we don’t have to push because they are already excited. We want people who want to make this community a better place. The number one thing is someone who is hard working and has an ethical approach to everything that happens in real estate.

C21: Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

TSL: What’s fun about the CENTURY 21 brand is the teamwork. We all push each other to be better as a group. That’s empowering.

C21: Thank you, Tim. Congratulations on the new space.

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CENTURY 21 Affiliated’s Kel Svoboda Named To REALTOR Magazine’s “30 Under 30”

This year, Kel Svoboda of CENTURY 21 Affiliated has been named to REALTOR Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list. Kel is one of two CENTURY 21 Agents who made the roster.

We sat down with Kel to congratulate him on this honor and learn the secrets to his success at such a young age.

C21: When did you join the CENTURY 21 System?

KS:  I joined last year. Dan Kruse brought me on to takeover as regional manager. Dan was so impressive to me. He comes from a real estate family and he just has strong values. He’s a great person. He and I share a lot of goals as far as growth – the sky is the limit!

C21: How is the “30 Under 30” list determined?

KS: There is an application process. Usually the local Associations send out a call for applicants. Mine did and I filled it out.  The National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Realtor.com then screen the applicants and choose a top 50. After that, they open it to online voting and then finally, the list is announced.

C21: Do you know any of the other honorees?

KS: Actually, there is another CENTURY 21 Agent on the list, Krista Clark from Iowa. We met through this, we’re Facebook friends now and I am actually going to see her in Chicago next week.

C21: To win this type of recognition, you have to differentiate yourself. How do you do that?

KS: My real estate story is different from most people. I started at 18 years old as a loan officer. I got my real estate license at 19 years old. I have built a very well rounded understanding of mortgage, tile and real estate.

When the market crashed, I didn’t walk away. I stayed committed and focused. In fact, I started the statewide Young Professionals Network in Wisconsin. I spent a year working on that.

But the biggest thing is, for me, it’s not about the paycheck in this business, it’s about the value you bring to your clients.

C21: Who has mentored you?

KS: I really didn’t have one specific person. There are so many areas of business that intrigue me. I am the type of person who sees someone successful and I reach out to him or her to introduce myself and learn how he or she is doing it. I also try to do the same and pay that forward to the younger generation.

C21: How do you hope to transform the industry?

KS: I really hate that car salesmen reputation that can come with real estate. We have to build up the professionalism and the ethical standards. It’s all in how you handle yourself.

For example, I have two children and I want to conduct myself in a way that will have people telling my kids I handle myself with honesty and integrity.

C21: If you could tell an 18 year old thinking about joining this business one thing, what would it be?

KS: I wish I would have learned the value proposition earlier in my career. I wish I had understood the actual value of what you are doing for your client. You’re not chasing the commission when you understand the value of the services you provide.

C21: Kel, congratulations again on this distinguished honor.

To connect with Kel, please follow his Facebook page.

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Game of Thrones Great Houses: CENTURY 21® Edition

Game of Thrones is back! We couldn’t wait one more second so we found the CENTURY 21® homes that fit the mottos of The Houses of Westeros.

House Stark – Winter is Coming











Protect your family by stocking your pantry with non-perishable food and buying salt and snow removal tools.

House Lannister - A Lannister Always Pays His Debts











Use our Mortgage Calculator so that you can also pay off your loans.

House Tyrell – Growing Strong











If you are lucky enough to have a yard full of old trees, don’t cut them down. They may be a source of protection.

House Greyjoy - We Do Not Sow











Don’t sow. Build an outdoor porch.


House Tully - Family, Duty, Honor











Spend time decorating a comfortable and classic family room that the entire family will enjoy from game nights to movie nights and everything in between!


Tune in tonight to watch the debauchery and deception continue.


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Spring Cleaning Checklist: Bedroom

Your bedroom is one of the most important rooms in your home. There is something so wonderful about coming home to a clean and comfortable bedroom and our newest spring cleaning checklist will help you get there!

Stay tuned for the next checklist!

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How to Style a Coffee Table

A coffee table is a focal point of any den or living room. Style your coffee table to show your personality and create an area that your family and guests will love!

Here is our list of essential items for your coffee table:

1. Box: Conceal clutter by storing remotes in a covered box.

2. Fresh Flowers: Fresh flowers make a big difference in a room. If you are hosting company, put a vase of fresh flowers on the coffee table. A succulent or cactus is a great year round alternative to flowers.

3. Coffee Table Books: You can find coffee table books in almost any bookstore. They are books that are intended to be a distraction or conversation starter for guests. They are usually large hardcover books. We recommend having a stack of three books on your table.

4. Candle and Matches: Burn your favorite candle and keep a beautiful matchbook nearby.

5. Photo Album: Place a small photo album on you coffee table so that your guests can look through your pictures and reminisce.

6. Paperweight or Figurine: Place a paperweight or figurine on top of the stack of books. Choose a conversation starter or something quirky that shows your personality.

What essential items would you add?

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CENTURY 21 Affiliated Named “Best Place To Work”

CENTURY 21 Affiliated in Madison, WI has been named the “Best Place to Work” by Madison Magazine. We sat down with team’s leaders, Bill Kessler and Dan Kruse, to learn more about this accolade and how the Madison office has developed such a strong, supportive culture.

C21: Congratulations on being named the “Best Place to Work.” How are the winners determined?

DK: It’s interesting the way they do these awards. The magazine puts out a survey to the entire staff of our company. In order to even be considered, over 50% of your staff has to respond to the survey. The results are then judged within categories based on the size of your business – small, medium or large.

C21: Which category were you competing in?

BK: We were in the “large” category, which is 100 employees or greater. Given that employee participation in the survey is the first hurdle of consideration, we are really proud that over half of our team completed the questionnaire.

C21: Is this the first time you have been honored by the magazine?

DK: Yes. This was the first time we participated and we’re thrilled to have surpassed our industry category and won for “Best Overall.”

C21: What do you think makes the Madison office so special?

BK: The word is team. We really like a team and we are bonded together. Our staff participates in the hiring process and there’s always been a practice here that in addition to the skill set, candidates have to be a cultural fit. We try to discover, are they open to being sharing, transparent people? Are they willing to pitch in and help others?

C21: What motivates your team to continue to succeed?

BK: One of the things employees in our Madison office get behind is the opportunity for growth. If they started at the front desk and worked their way up to accounting or events manager, there has always been an opportunity to grow within the company. No matter your level, we want to give you the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. Also, whenever we do major events, we bring as many staff people as possible. They are involved in the joyful, fun part, not just the hard labor.

C21: How will you celebrate this achievement?

BK: The magazine held a party for all winners, which we attended. But the celebration is really continuing every day, as our team is now being recognized around town from their photos in the magazine article!

C21: Will you work this new title into your recruiting efforts?

DK: Our social media director has already blasted the news everywhere possible! The “Best Place to Work” accolade will definitely be part of our local recruiting campaigns. We do a monthly video for our company and next month we will feature this in our update. Being in an industry you love, with the number one employer in the area is the best case scenario for a real estate professional.

C21: Congratulations again, Bill and Dan.

To learn more about CENTURY 21 Affiliated in Madison, WI, visit their website.

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6 Simple SEO Tips for Real Estate Agents

Use blogging and basic SEO tips to grow your real estate business.

SEO seems overwhelming but there are simple steps you can consider taking to increase site views and,  potentially, leads.

Here are six key tips:

1. Keywords: Keywords are the terms that people will search to get to your blog. Use popular real estate terms such as: home, selling, buying, real estate, homeowner, home buyer, and real estate agent.

2. Titles: Your blog posts should have titles that make people want to click and read your post! Write catchy and intriguing blog post title and use keywords so that people know what the post will be about. A good title might be: 10 Expensive Mistakes First-Time Homeowners Make. Make it clear what the person will find when they click the link – you will be rewarded for having people stay on your site instead of leaving right away.

3. Links: You should use both internal and external links. Internal links direct readers to other blog posts or sections of your website. You will be rewarded for having a site that is seen to be relevant and useful – one way to do this is to link to external sources because doing so provides more information and context for the reader.  Be sure the reader knows they are going to an external source that you did not author.  You are also rewarded when other sites list your blog as a source and link to your posts. A permalink is a link to an individual blog post. You should have a keyword early in the title. The permalink is optimized for SEO not readers so it can be something simple like real-estate-mistakes. Put hyphens in between words.

4. Images: When people do a Google Search for images your images may come up in results. Increase your chances at coming up in search results by having detailed image titles and alt text. Your image title should be a good description of the image. For example, instead of naming the image File 1 or something generic, name it with the same name as your blog post or something descriptive about the subject matter of the image. If people Pin directly from your site the title of the image will be the caption on Pinterest. Alt text provides Google with more information about the image. Your Alt text should be a short description of the image, for example, blue house for sale.

5. Be social: Set up social media profiles for your blog or company and publicize your posts on your social media channels so that people can find it and start reading!

6. Content: The most important SEO tips don’t involve titles, tags, or links. The best way to increase your SEO is to consistently write original content that provides value to your readers. You will have more information that will come up in search results and you will create a loyal following of people who come back over and over to read your posts and learn from you!


What are your favorite SEO tips?


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