Bring on the Patterns: How to Combine Designs with Confidence

Usually when it comes to options, more is better, but that may not be how you feel when you get to a home decor store. There is an overwhelming number of fabric, color, and style options. Don’t worry. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that even the pros use formulas to create the styled rooms we all love. Use these tips and techniques to create a home you’ll love.

Adopt the Rule of One: One floral, one stripe, one check, and so on. Use this approach to limit your selection to no more than one of each so that you won’t have to worry about similar patterns clashing. Create a cohesive design by selecting similarly colored detail pieces like throw blankets, pillows and vases.

Start Small: If you’re uneasy about decorating with a large-scale or dominant pattern, use it in small doses. Decorative pillows are a great way to introduce patterns into your space without needing to make a big change.

Live Large: The larger the room, the bolder your use of patterns can be. To create a more intimate feeling in a big space, repeat a pattern or two. For example, use the fabric from window treatments on a chair cushion.

Give Texture a Try: Not into big blooms and colorful stripes? Create an alluring room by combining textures like hard wood and rugs and fabric in a variety of textures.

We hope that these tips help you create a beautifully decorated home. We’d love to know your tips for combining patterns and designs. Connect with us on Twitter and share your advice!

 

Recommended Reading:

-5 Ways to Take Your Living Room From Good to Great

-10 Secrets for Making Your Bedroom Appear Larger

-Small Changes, Big Differences: 5 Low Cost Ways to Give Your Home a New Look

 

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Text Messaging Etiquette for Real Estate Agents

It has been reported that 31% of Smartphone users prefer text messaging over regular phone calls. Although you may be used to calling clients, your clients may prefer to communicate by text messaging. When it comes to text messaging clients, it can be tricky to know what is appropriate. Here’s the 411 on text messaging etiquette.

1. Proper language and punctuation: When speaking with clients over text, it’s important to remain as professional as possible. It’s best to not use abbreviations or “text message language.” Remember, this is still a business matter and you should behave as if you were talking on the phone, speaking in person, or writing an email.

2. Business Hours: When it comes to text messages, you should treat it the same as phone calls and emails. Would you call a client at 5 am or 11 pm? If the answer is no, do the same with text messages. Only send messages during “business hours.”

3. Length: Keep your text messages short and sweet. Don’t overwhelm your clients with information that is probably best received face to face. Send text messages with information that needs an immediate, short response and be sure to not discuss important, legal information over a text message. Use text messaging to coordinate logistics.

4. Permission: Before you start texting your clients ask them if they would prefer to communicate by phone, email or by text.

Text messaging between real estate agents and clients can help business flow smoothly. It can be beneficial in showing that you are tech savvy. This may be even more important with first-time homeowners who are younger and more accustomed to texting.

 

Recommended Reading:

-Facebook Tips for Real Estate Agents

-Instagram Tips for Real Estate Agents

-5 Simple Pinterest Tips for Real Estate Agents

 

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How to Turn Your Home Into the Ultimate Haunted House

Trick-or-treat! Halloween is around the corner and, besides watching horror movies, the best way to get into true spooky spirit is to decorate. Pick pumpkins for a hint of Halloween spirit, or put in a lot of effort so that you have the spookiest house on the block. WARNING: Even the bravest trick-or-treaters may stay away this year.

1. Pick a theme: You may want to pick a unique theme such as a haunted graveyard or a vampire’s den. Staying within a theme will make it easier to find the right decorations and make your house stand out.

2. Eerie atmosphere: Attack the five senses. Create an eerie feeling in your home by hanging dimmed twinkle lights, setting up a smoke machine, and adding sound effects like screams and ominous music. You’ll spook your guests the moment they walk through the door!

3. Creative, scary props: Mix and match with bigger and smaller props. For the bigger ones, choose something that will bring a spookier feel to the house, like (fake) body parts strewn across the room or hologram wall photos that seem to be staring into your soul. Choose smaller props like (fake) spider webs, a (fake) pool of blood, or even (fake) hanging bats.

4. Dress up: Ask family, friends, and neighbors to help scare your guests. Ask them to dress up as spooky creatures that match your theme.

5. Main attraction: Having a big finish at the end of your haunted house can be the icing on the (poisonous) cake. Set up something big that will give your guests goose bumps, like a haunted laboratory with a monster, or a graveyard scene.

Get ready to scare anyone who is brave enough to enter. You may end up having a lot of leftover candy to eat. The scariest thing in your future may be a trip to the dentist.

 

Recommended Reading:

-5 Ways to Make Your Home Cozy for Fall

-5 Zombie-Proof Houses Your Family Won’t Be Caught Dead In

-First Impressions: Door Decor For Fall

 

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What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie? 10 Real Houses Where Your Favorite Scary Movie May Have Occurred

Do you like scary movies?

Halloween season is in full force and it brings out the Psycho in all of us, doesn’t it? Horror movies instill us with an overwhelming fear that is almost unbearable. Whether people are performing an exorcism, or running away from Michael Myers, one thing thatalmost every scary movie has in common is a haunted house. Here’s where your favorite scary movies could have occurred.

WARNING: THIS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART.

1. Located on the same street as the famous, haunted Amityville house, this home looks like it jumped right off the movie screen.

2. Would you stay in a hotel that looked like this at night? It doesn’t matter if Norman Bates has a believable face; we know what happens in these places.

3. Knock, knock. Who’s there? Don’t fall asleep in a house like this without expecting to find Freddy Krueger knocking at your door.

4. Would you enter Room 237? This home bears a resemblance to the hotel where someone axed through the bathroom door.

5. It’s Halloween, of course, so you’re entitled to a good scare. Hopefully Michael Myers stays away from this Chicago home.

6. Take a trip and visit Ichabod Crane in the infamous town of Sleepy Hollow.

7. Can you say paranormal? No one wants that kind of activity in their home.

8. Would you feel protected from Damian in this house?

9. What an excellent house for an exorcism. This Boston house would make Linda Blair feel right at home.

10. Always have Caller ID. A stranger may call this Seattle, WA home.


Stay safe and sound inside your non-haunted house! The only visitors you’ll be getting are friends, family, and neighborhood kids looking for candy.

 

Recommended Reading:

-5 Zombie-Proof Houses Your Family Won’t Be Caught Dead In

-The Ultimate Home Personality Quiz

-Modern Homes For Your Modern Family

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Ask Our Expert: The Art of First Impressions

How can my clients add style to their entryways?

-Jan Maness, CENTURY 21 Real Estate Group, Alcoa, Tennessee

While they may only be pass-through spaces, entry halls allow you to show your style while offering a glimpse of what’s to follow.

Here are a few tips:

Establish the Home’s Theme Immediately: If your entry hall is visible to several other spaces, its décor should create a seamless transition from room to room. Meaning, don’t decorate your entry hall as if it were an island.

Flip-flop Paint Trick: Reverse wall and ceiling colors from a visible nearby room into the entryway. But keep the trim color the same for visual continuity.

If You Can’t Build Out, Build Up: Though the footprint may be small, entry wall space is usually significant. So don’t be afraid to merchandise it floor-to-ceiling. Wall mounted shelves and picture ledges can start from 3 feet above the floor to within 2 feet of the ceiling. Framed art can tell your story while a collection of frames adds architecture to the space. Mirrors in interesting frames can help to visually expand smaller entryways.

Think “Hotel Entrance:” A small, round central table offers a place to locate a large vase of flowers, or a great palm tree that jets upward, helping to add a living element and more drama.

Include Fabric: Texture-driven materials from surrounding rooms help to integrate the entryway into the overall home design scheme. Small-upholstered pieces and drapes also help make hollow acoustics more intimate. You can do it!

Christopher Lowell, an interior designer and Emmy Award-winning TV host, is known for doable design advice that nets stunning results.

 

Recommended Reading:

-Ask Our Expert: First Things First

-Be My Guest: How to Style a Guest Room

-How to Style a Gallery Wall

 

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If Houses Had #Hashtags

Hashtags have become a part of our everyday life. For people who are unfamiliar, a hashtag is used on social media as a way for people to designate and find specific categories of content.

Have you ever thought about what your home’s hashtag would be? We’ll help you find it! #dontsaywenevergaveyouanything

Colonial Homes: #AreTheKennedysHome #BowTiesAndHairBows #PreppyLife #PrinceOfATownCalledBelAir

Brownstones: #HipsterHomes #CarrieBradshawIsWritingFromHerWindow #BachelorPad #NoNeedForAGymMembership

Mansions: #PrivatePoolParties #FourCarGarage #16Bathrooms #RingTheButler #MansionCrushMonday  #RichKidsofBeverlyHills

Tudor Homes: #EnglandsFinest #TheTudors #DowntonAbbey #TeaTime

Castles: #WillandKate #WatchingFromMyTower #IsThatHogwarts #Rapunzel #GlassSlipper

Contemporary: #Artsy #WeLoveTheEnvironment #ModernFamily #StraightEdge #WallofWindows

Cottages: #WhereIsSnowWhiteHiding #FairytalesLiveHere #Whimsical #HappilyEverAfter #NotYourHobbitHouse

Your home deserves its own unique hashtag. Get creative and think about the essence of what makes your home distinct.

 

Recommended Reading:

-Modern Homes for Your Modern Family

-What’s the Difference?

-8 Things You May Have Thought When Your In-Laws Stayed Over

 

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If Houses Had #Hashtags

Hashtags have become a part of our everyday life. For people who are unfamiliar, a hashtag is used on social media as a way for people to designate and find specific categories of content.

Have you ever thought about what your home’s hashtag would be? We’ll help you find it! #dontsaywenevergaveyouanything

Colonial Homes: #AreTheKennedysHome #BowTiesAndHairBows #PreppyLife #PrinceOfATownCalledBelAir

Brownstones: #HipsterHomes #CarrieBradshawIsWritingFromHerWindow #BachelorPad #NoNeedForAGymMembership

Mansions: #PrivatePoolParties #FourCarGarage #16Bathrooms #RingTheButler #MansionCrushMonday  #RichKidsofBeverlyHills

Tudor Homes: #EnglandsFinest #TheTudors #DowntonAbbey #TeaTime

Castles: #WillandKate #WatchingFromMyTower #IsThatHogwarts #Rapunzel #GlassSlipper

Contemporary: #Artsy #WeLoveTheEnvironment #ModernFamily #StraightEdge #WallofWindows

Cottages: #WhereIsSnowWhiteHiding #FairytalesLiveHere #Whimsical #HappilyEverAfter #NotYourHobbitHouse

Your home deserves its own unique hashtag. Get creative and think about the essence of what makes your home distinct.

 

Recommended Reading:

-Modern Homes for Your Modern Family

-What’s the Difference?

-8 Things You May Have Thought When Your In-Laws Stayed Over

 

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5 Creative DIY Projects You Can Do with Wallpaper

Don’t throw out your extra wallpaper. Use it for creative DIY projects around your home. If you’ve never applied wallpaper before, it can be a daunting task but won’t be an issue if you follow these directions.

Here are five easy DIY wallpaper projects that will transform your home.

1. Colored closet: Wallpapering the inside of a closet will make it appear bigger and brighter, adding color to an otherwise ordinary space. The best wallpaper for closets and small spaces is foiled wallpaper to give off extra reflection and bring light to small, dark corners.

2. Dress up your drawers: Your drawers can be drab and boring. Give your dresser and cabinet drawers a little polish. Wallpaper the inside and outside of your drawers but you don’t need to stop there. Take the wallpaper outside the bedroom drawers and DIY your kitchen and bathroom drawers as well.

3. Wallpapered ceiling: Give any room a dramatic upgrade when you paste a patterned or colored wallpaper on the ceiling. If you have a low ceiling, this is a great time to try out dip-dyed wallpaper that fades from intense color to white or neutrals. This type of wallpaper gives the illusion of taller walls.  Attention will immediately be drawn upward and can change the look and feel of the room.

4. Sized up staircases: Glue decorative wallpaper to each stair for a delightful new design. If you’re using patterned wallpaper, keep the placement consistent so there is a more symmetrical, even look.

5. Wallpaper Photos: Turn your leftover wallpaper into art!

What are you waiting for? Start decorating!

 

Recommended Reading:

-3 Things to Do With an Abundance of Autumn Leaves

-Just DIY It: 5 Natural Cleaning Products

-How to Style a Coffee Table

 

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Home Safety Tips for the Elderly

Creating a safe home for the elderly people in your life is crucial. Household places and items that used to pose no problem may now be difficult or, worse, dangerous. These tips will help you ensure that your home is as safe as possible.

1. Fall-proof your home: Falls are the number one cause of injury among the elderly, so preventing falls should be the first priority. Install non-slip strips on floors, steps, and showers or tubs. Arrange your furniture in a way that will open up walkways, and make sure staircases have handrails on both sides.

2. Intercoms and alert systems: Having a medical alert system along and intercoms around the home will ensure a higher degree of safety. Having access to other forms of communication is valuable If there is an emergency and someone can’t get to the phone.

3. Double locked doors: Having doors that lock both from the inside and outside is very smart, especially on bathroom doors. If someone falls while in the bathroom or bedroom, and the door is locked, it can pose a dangerous situation. When you have a door that can be opened from the outside as well other people can come in to help.

4. Well-lit areas: It’s important to keep your home as well-lit as possible. Having light in areas such as staircases, hallways, and on the front porch is essential to safety. Being able to see exactly where you’re walking and what you’re doing can prevent falls and other injuries. Additionally, make sure bedrooms and bathrooms have automatic night lights.

5. Shower chairs: Install shower chairs, bath benches, and grab handles in the bathroom. Unfortunately, bathing increases the risk of slipping and falling but this precaution greatly minimizes the potential for injury.

6. Prevent accidental scalding: People over age 65 are four to five times greater to experience a fatal injury from a burn or scald. Turn back the water heater to 120 degrees F to help ensure that there is no way anyone can get burned.

These small changes can make a big difference in creating a safe and comfortable environment for elders.

 

Recommended Reading:

-What’s the Difference

-Small Changes, Big Differences: 5 Low-Cost Ways to Give Your Home a New Look

-How to Make a House a Home: Creating Memories

 

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5 Essential Networking Tips for Real Estate Agents

Networking is important for any career, but it’s especially important for people in the real estate industry. A crucial component of a successful real estate career is the ability to make connections and form strong, authentic relationships. People are trusting you to help them with one of the biggest decisions they’ll make. You need to be able to make connections (and keep them).

1. Attend networking events: Going to a networking event is an easy way to meet potential clients and professionals in your industry. Bring your business cards and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to as many people as possible.

2. Engage in meaningful conversations: When it comes to networking events, quality is better than quantity. You may feel compelled to talk to as many people as possible, but it is actually more beneficial to talk to fewer people but have meaningful conversations with them. It’s much easier to follow up and create relationships when you can reference the conversations you’ve had.

3. Prepare in advance: Prepare your elevator pitch in advance. Know how to describe where you work, what you do, and any hobbies or interests that make you unique. Think about a few questions to ask if you run out of things to talk about. People love talking about themselves and it will show that you are interested in getting to know them.

4. Follow up: After meeting someone, immediately follow up by email to keep the conversation going. If you stay in touch, it’s more likely that you’ll be the first person they think of when they’re in need of buying or selling a home.

5. Participate in your community: Whether it’s joining your REALTORS® association or going to a town meeting, it is good to be active and engaged in your community. Getting out there and making face to face connections will be beneficial your career. This will also allow you to become more familiar with your community, giving you an advantage when it comes to buying and selling in the area.

There is always room to improve how you network. Practice makes perfect. The more your network and make actual, in person connections, the better real estate agent you will be.

Recommended Reading:
-Facebook Tips for Real Estate Agents
-Benefits of Working with a Real Estate Agent
-Tech Talk: 5 Apps for Real Estate Agents

 

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