Flower Seed Valentines

A sweet idea for Valentine’s Day giving. Vegetable and herb seed packets would be just as nice for a foodie or gardener.

warmhotchocolate

Yesterday, I finished making Jenna’s Valentine’s for her classroom party. I love the idea of giving flower seed packets instead of candy, so I was pretty excited about these. Jenna also seemed pretty happy with these little boxes, until she saw the Valentine’s I’m making for her brother. More on that later this week when I get done cutting, folding, gluing and filling 21 paper Minecraft treasure boxes.

flower seed valentines: give packets of flower seeds instead of candy for classroom valentines

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What Not to Do When Remodeling

It seems many people are thinking of remodeling or adding on to their homes rather than moving given the real estate market we’ve had these past several years. If you’re one of these homeowners, here’s information on the Top 10 Remodeling Don’ts. A remodeling project is very often stressful. These tips may help reduce your stress levels and keep you on budget!
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And if remodeling simply won’t meet your needs, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you make your next move.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
612.220.3304
Coldwell Banker Burnet

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Downsizing Help: Color and Scale Ideas

Considering downsizing? Call us. We’d love to help you make your next move.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
612.220.3304
Coldwell Banker Burnet

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Decorating For The Holidays

I love this version of holiday decorating. It’s simple yet sparkly!

There’s a bit of organic whimsy here that I find especially appealing. I’ve decided to sell my fake tree and get a branch from nature. How are you decorating your home?

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Privacy and Beauty in Orono

4505 West Branch Road
List price: $424,900

SOLD

Three Bedrooms ~ Two Baths

Main Floor Master ~ Open Floor Plan ~ Hardwood Floors

Newer Roof and Mechanicals ~ Walkout Lower Level

Double Attached Garage ~ Close to Golf Courses ~ 9.55 Acres

Approximately 2400 Finished Square Feet ~ Taxes: $4208

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For additional information, please contact:

Ellen Walsh
emwalsh(at)cbburnet(dot)com
612.220.3304

Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty

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Design a Garden That Flows and Intrigues

Summer is waning in the northern states and most people probably aren’t thinking about gardening. I’m fascinated by gardens any time of year. Here’s a post I found on designing garden transitions. If you have a patch of land, why not create a design that enhances it and provides you a beautiful view and a place to unwind, play, entertain, etc.

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Magnolia Cottage: What’s in a Name?

Magnolia Cottage

I saw this sign on the front of a house during one of my travels. It was a charming house. A white brick exterior with black wood shutters, window boxes and front door. The shutters featured a black iron curlicue along the bottom, detailing that stood out against the white background.

Magnolia Cottage Window

A white picket fence wrapped around the house, and the gate opened onto a gently curving flagstone walking path that led to the front door.  A mix of green shrubbery sat along the foundation of the house. Everything was neat and tidy and appealing.

Magnolia Cottage Ext

Many of the homes on Captiva Island have names. I always take pleasure in reading what people have chosen to name their homes. Unfortunately, you rarely see a lot of the homes on Captiva due to the long driveways and tremendous tropical growth. The homes are well hidden from the road.

The signs are all on the road. Each one is individually created. I often wonder what the homes are like, and what the owners are like. Does the sign personality mirror the house and occupants?  Does the name say something about one occupant and the artwork about another? Who came up with the name? Do owners who buy these named homes keep the names or create a new one or pull the sign up out of the ground and go without? One thing I know. Of the homes that had been named and could be seen, all were well-kept and maintained. It makes me think there is something in a name: a sense of pride, a little more love, an embracing of home as part of the family.

Have you named your home? I’d love to hear the name and what it means to you. In the meantime, I’m going to think about a name for my own home. Stay tuned.

Home Offices

The home office. It’s become quite commonplace in homes today. Here’s some inspiration.

A home office in San Francisco

Chalkboard wall on one side and library design wallpaper on another in Vancouver

This one is about the view, and the bookcases.

A bright and airy upper level office in San Francisco

Under the stairs in Toronto

Thoroughly modern in Miami

Creative use of a dish drainer!

Another sunny spot, with room for family or friends to sit and read or listen to music or be creative

Luxury, man-cave version of an office space

Blue velvet and silver silk bring glamour to a woman’s home office

An accessible main floor office in Atlanta

A variety of textures and colors create a sophisticated home office in San Francisco

A closet home office can be closed off when not in use

Room for two in Portland, and both have a view

A pretty desk area off the kitchen in San Francisco

Traditional detailing and a stylish color palette create an inviting space in Minneapolis

An office with a Murphy Bed doubles as a guest room

Light and dark decor and glass shelving

“Homey” home office in Atlanta

An office in a bedroom closet in Minneapolis

Now that’s a view! In Boston

Incorporating the office into the living room with a mix of glamour and modern decor

Eclectic elements come together in style in this home office in Chicago

Elegant gold accents in this home office in Orange County

Floating desk and shelves in a condo home office

Eclectic elements in an interior designer’s home office in San Francisco

ASID-MN first place award winning office, craft and laundry room.

Fun with red and white in Chicago

Snazzy in Seattle

Utilizing pull-out shelves to hide equipment

Minimalist design with an artistic touch in Hong Kong

As you can see, the possibilities for a home office are endless! There are so many styles to love. What style will you create in your home?

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2012: A Very Good Year

Our Minneapolis Lakes Office soared in 2012!

Here’s a note we received today from Robin Peterson, president of Coldwell Banker Burnet:

Congratulations to Matt Baker and the Coldwell Banker Burnet Minneapolis Lakes Office. Today they were honored for achieving the Top Office in the United States for Total Units for Coldwell Banker. Outstanding!

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Ready to buy or sell a home? Call the sister team.
We’d love to help you move forward.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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I Love Porches!

If I had a choice between having a porch or a deck, then a porch would win any day of the week. I’m devoted to screen porches in particular. There’s nothing like having a shaded or sunny spot with no bugs and a breeze. And if it’s raining, you can still enjoy a screened porch despite the weather(provided the rain is coming down rather straight and your porch is large enough to allow you a sitting spot away from the screens).

I spend time on decks but they can get too hot in the middle of the day. The mosquitoes can eat at you in the evening, or even dusk. Forget being out there when it rains, unless you want to be wet.

Here, then, some images showing a variety of porches. Summer is on it’s way after all.

A traditional porch in Boston

Note the blue ceiling on this porch

This one has a rustic feel with its wood furnishings

A conservatory style porch in London

Another conservatory, this one in Philadelphia

A sweet porch in Charleston

An octagonal porch in Chicago

A porch with motorized Phantom screens and a fireplace

A small cottage in Los Angeles with a sweet and inviting front porch

A porch decorated with colors and plants

A wraparound porch in Portland, Maine

This porch feels very open and airy with its high ceilings

I had to include this one because I know exactly which house this is. I’ve been inside this house and this porch! The views are lovely.

 

Real Estate Update

Housing Supply Overview
February 2013

HSO Art Large

Let’s review what’s transpired over the past 12 months. For the 12-month period spanning March 2012 through February 2013, Pending Sales in the Twin Cities region were up 14.8 percent overall. The price range with the largest gain in sales was the $350,001 to $500,000 range, where they increased 42.7 percent.

The overall Median Sales Price was up 13.3 percent to $170,000. The property type with the largest price gain was the Condo segment, where prices increased 13.8 percent to $108,000. The price range that tended to sell the quickest was the $190,001 to $250,000 range at 103 days; the price range that tended to sell the slowest was the $1,000,001 and Above range at 245 days.

Market-wide, inventory levels were down 31.6 percent. The property type that lost the least inventory was the Single-Family segment, where it decreased 28.9 percent. That amounts to 3.0 months supply for Single- Family Detached homes and 2.4 months supply for Townhomes and Twinhomes. See the PDF below for the full report.

HSO Feb 2013

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Interested in buying or selling real estate? Contact the Walsh Sisters.
We’d love to help you make your next move.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
612-220-3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Coldwell Banker Burnet

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Hardwood Flooring in the Kitchen

I love hardwood floor in a kitchen. I know some people get concerned about ruining them due to all the cooking that takes place here. There’s really not a need to worry though. Hardwood flooring is durable with some care. Mostly we swept our floors. It’s a low-tech, quiet way to care for them. Wood is  also warmer both visually and underfoot than tile and concrete. Wood offers natural beauty and an organic nature that has timeless appeal. It adds so much to a kitchen.

Have you been on the fence about putting wood flooring in your kitchen? Does this help you make up your mind?

The homes I grew up in had wood floors in the kitchens. We had three dogs and numerous children in our house. My parents still prefer wood floors in their kitchen.

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A Beautiful Living Room

Here’s a beautiful room that reminds me of summer. I love the dark wood floors, the white walls and furniture, the wood accents (coffee table and chair arms), the fireplace, and the wall of windows. This is a great example of bringing nature inside your home. Isn’t it inviting? The pet dog seems happy enough.

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What Goes Up When Something Comes Down?

One day I was out walking around one of the city lakes here in Minneapolis. I came upon this retaining wall and gate. Not so unusual except that the house that once stood behind this gate was no longer there.

Gate

Here’s the house that used to be on this lot. My thanks to Dorothy Childers for permission to use her photo. It was a white stucco house with a red tile roof. The design has some quirky features and there appears to be an addition (possibly two)made over time.

2358 W Lk Isles - DChilders

Here’s the new house that is going up.  I took this photo back in October, 2012. I haven’t been back to see if they’ve completed it yet.

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Here’s a shot of the back side:

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This new one has a lot of detailing:

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I like the copper accents. I’m not sure I care for the “wavy” brick exterior. No doubt there is a name for this look; I don’t know what it is. I think house numbers with a bit more polish would be better for a home of this stature. Perhaps the owners are creative types and preferred a bit of whimsy over elegance. What do you think? Do you like this new house or the old house better?

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There are many good tips in this post.

Broadside

This comment on my last post has made me wonder how to be more helpful:

“The best way to have an attractive home is to have a design sense. It is not about how much it costs or where you buy it, but about what you buy and where you put it.”

Buying and placing furniture and objects feels intimidating and overwhelming and confusing to many people.

There are so many choices — and money is never endless — so what is the right thing to buy?

Think of your home as you do your wardrobe, something you build over time, adding better quality when possible.

Whatever your gender, you always need basics: a dress or suit (something elegant); some casual trousers (khakis, jeans, leggings, whatever), and so on. We tend to buy clothes without a ton of hand-wringing, and know that our tastes are bound to change over 5…

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Transforming a backyard shed into a charming little cottage.

down to earth digs

5 years ago we “dropped” our little garden shed

into a weed patch of our new property.

I had little time to ponder the placement of the beloved shed–I was just grateful it had made the journey.

I knew it was the beginning of my garden.

A garden I had dreamed of nearly my entire adult life.

So let’s take a little peak back in time–and see how Rabbit Run Cottage was created.

Thought I’d repost this from last year….

It’s a good time to start planning those Spring projects!

Hope this gives you a little inspiration.

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