Quintessential Blue

Weekly Photo Challenge: Blue

This week’s photo challenge on the The Daily Post is ‘Blue’. So many images come to mind with this word. The sky. Water. Cobalt blue glass. Pottery. Coldwell Banker Burnet real estate signs. The blue jay. Blueberries. Hydrangeas. Where to begin? Let‘s start here:

This, to me, is quintessential blue; the beloved blue jean.

A magazine cover depicting water and the word blue.

Lake Calhoun and the Minneapolis Skyline

A starlit background with a message.

Ready to buy or sell a home? Call us.

Ellen Walsh | 612.220.3304 | emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Kate Walsh | 612.220.3309 | info@designhouse9.com

 

Coldwell Banker Burnet
Minneapolis Lakes Office

The Dining Room

A Showcase Series of Dining Rooms

– Dining Room 1 –

This dining room is surrounded by glass on three sides and features a vaulted ceiling. The view provides a relaxing ambiance.

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Life’s Celebrations

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused
(Part 2)

Tomorrow I will be attending a friend’s bridal shower. It will be held at the family’s home. We celebrate many of life’s passages in our homes. It’s only natural.

These two photos are slightly out of focus and yet they likely will make an impression. If you’re a married woman, this photo will perhaps take you back to the day or days you were shopping for your dress, as well as the day you were married. If you’re engaged, you may be in the midst of shopping for your dress. If you’re single, you may be dreaming of the day that you’ll walk down an aisle, flanked by friends and family, wearing such a dress, and ready to begin a new chapter in your life.

Regardless of your marital and dress status, life itself –and love– is for celebrating. Each day offers something to be grateful for and a reason to celebrate. Tomorrow we’ll raise our glasses and say “Cheers!” and wish the bride-to-be a life full of love and happiness.

May today find you of great cheer and ready to celebrate.

Ciao!

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Boosting Your Home Appeal at Low Cost

There are plenty of good tips in this article from The Associated Press. If you want tips specific to your home and getting it ready for selling, give us a call. Our background in antiques and interior design has paid off for our sellers with faster than average sale times.

Low-Cost Things
Homeowners Can Do to Spruce Up Property

When times are tough, women who can’t afford a new dress often purchase a new accessory or lipstick to recharge their wardrobes. Known as the “lipstick effect,” the tendency applies to homeowners too.

Barry Culkin, CEO of Questech Corp., a tile manufacturer in Rutland, Vt., noticed sales of his $5 cast stone and marble switch plate covers rose whenever the economy faltered. Last year, sales of their covers at major retailers were up 15 to 20 percent.

As homeowners rein in spending, more opt for small indulgences and postpone major renovations. Whether the goal is a new look for a worn kitchen or simply an injection of color in a room, here’s a list of some of the best ways to give a space a quick uplift. Many cost much less than a designer lipstick and a few don’t require any financial outlay.

“I am seeing quite a bit of Yankee ingenuity in my customers. They are getting pretty smart about using and repurposing items to add some zip to their living spaces,” says Shirley Walsh, owner of Kalembar Dune, a vintage home decor shop in Boston.

Simply moving furniture and accessories around and borrowing from other areas of the home can give a room a whole new look. If you want to splurge, consider hiring a designer who specializes in redesign.

The instant gratification of having it all accomplished in a day is hard to resist but “it’s also low stress because it uses familiar furnishings,” observes Pam Faulkner, owner of Faulkner House Redesign in Oak Hill, Va. The cost to have Faulkner make over a room ranges from $400 and $700 depending on the space.

A little elbow grease also can go a long way. Sparkling windows bring in light and make the entire house shine. Often, all carpets and rugs need is a thorough cleaning and they will feel almost new. The same holds true for wood floors and trim.

Nothing is a better quick-change artist than paint. But you don’t have to go all out. Rather than entire room, paint an accent wall, trim or piece of furniture. “Never underestimate the power of paint and pillows, always the best lipstick for your home in any shade,” advises Marcia Richards, a Phoenix, Ariz., interior designer.

Give a living room or bedroom a facelift by shifting the color scheme. Pillows add instant color, but to complete the look, mix in color keyed accessories, such as a throw and new lamp or lampshade. If your budget allows, go a step further and add a rug and/or slipcovers.

Orders for fabric by the yard are up, says David Petersen owner of Maine Cottage Furniture in Yarmouth, Maine. He notes that more consumers are re-covering rather than replacing worn furnishings.

Small luxuries can have a big impact on our moods and our homes. Flowers and new plants inject new life and color to any space. Try replacing regular light bulbs with full spectrum bulbs which are more like sunlight.

Sometimes all it takes to spark up an entire room is a unique accessory or piece of individual art.

New hardware is traditionally a quick fix for dated kitchen cabinets. But elsewhere, exchanging old doorknobs for polished bronze or nickel can give an entire house an up-to-date look. Using levered handles also increases a home’s universal design quotient.

And maybe you can’t afford to change the tub or the tiles, but a dated bath can get a quick uplift simply by altering a few elements. Instead of remodeling, Michelle Samuels spent about $150 to give a bath in her Mill Valley, Calif., home an update. She replaced her antique gold towel racks and faucets with updated brushed silver versions. She painted the frame around the mirror a soft silver with craft paint and completed the effect with new door handles.

Removing old fluorescent lights and replacing them with pendants or a more contemporary fixture also has a big impact.

Don’t wait until you can renovate to give your kitchen a new look. Sometimes changing only one facet can refocus the entire space. New hardware and light fixtures are quick and inexpensive. Don’t forget refacing or painting cabinets if new is beyond your budget. If the countertops are in good shape, consider tiling the backsplash. Reorganize cabinets so the space works better. Add new accessories or update countertop appliances so they coordinate.

Increasing curb appeal is traditional advice for anyone selling their home. But nothing is more akin to applying lipstick than revamping the entry. Replace a worn front door if the budget permits. Otherwise give the old door a new look with paint. Seasonal plants, new house numbers, a new doormat and trimmed walkway will make you feel like you are coming to a new house.

Shop thrift and consignment stores for some unique finds; then polish and paint. Also think about creating your own artwork in colors that will make a room pop. You will save a bundle and possibly discover an inner artist you didn’t know existed.

© 2010 Camilla McLaughlin, Associated Press

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Ellen Walsh | 612.220.3304 | emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Kate Walsh | 612.220.3309 | info@designhouse9.com

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
April 16, 2012

Market sentiment can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Just as negative economic news sent a chill through the housing industry over the last several years, a newly confident consumer buying up excess inventory and further housing-related sundries helps stabilize and support home values. Some sellers are even starting to see rising prices. The numbers are beginning to reflect the fact that multiple offers on homes for sale are now more than anecdotal conversation between real estate professionals. For this week, new listings were down while purchase contracts were up compared to the same week in April 2011.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending April 7:

• New Listings decreased 19.0% to 1,411
• Pending Sales increased 15.5% to 1,036
• Inventory decreased 27.3% to 17,289

For the month of March:

• Median Sales Price increased 7.1% to $149,900
• Days on Market decreased 9.4% to 145
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.8% to 92.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 38.5% to 4.7

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
April 9, 2012

The weekly scorecard showcases that home buyers were more active compared to the same week last year. Buyers have been taking advantage of an affordable market, but sellers in many areas have been lazing in the tall grass like lions as the herd moves past. Watch for a changing landscape this spring and summer. Even skeptical sellers are sensing a need to get back into the hunt.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending March 31:

• New Listings decreased 12.1% to 1,532
• Pending Sales increased 25.2% to 1,113
• Inventory decreased 27.2% to 17,274

For the month of March:

• Median Sales Price increased 6.4% to $149,000
• Days on Market decreased 10.0% to 144
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.7% to 92.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 39.2% to 4.6

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update | Minneapolis–Saint Paul
March 26, 2012


National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) reached 28. To put that in perspective, it went from above 70 in 2005 to below 10 in 2009. The HMI has not seen 28 since June 2007. This and other landmark data points are coalescing to signal calmer waters ahead. That’s not to say you should expect double-digit annualized appreciation, but both buyers and sellers are displaying the sort of confidence that is fluttering through the rest of the economy.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending March 17:
• New Listings decreased 1.3% to 1,406
• Pending Sales increased 23.1% to 1,029
• Inventory decreased 27.5% to 17,088

For the month of February:
• Median Sales Price decreased 1.4% to $138,000
• Days on Market decreased 9.0% to 145
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 2.5% to 90.6%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 35.2% to 4.7

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Irish Blessings

Happy St. Patrick’s Day
March 17, 2012

There are many people who have a blessing ceremony for their new home when they move. Are you one of them? What did your blessing ceremony consist of? As a student studying Feng Shui, I participated in a blessing ceremony for one of my fellow students who had bought and moved into his first home. There’s more to be said on the topic of house blessings and I’ll save that for another day.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. I’m Irish and I’ve always liked Irish blessings. Here are a couple I particularly like:

May you always have
Walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire!

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May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.

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And lastly, a bit o’ green, golf course style!

“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time–
a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.”
–Adrienne Cook

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
March 12, 2012


The last six years or so have been tough on home prices, and even the most optimistic prognosticators say it will take another six years for median sales prices to approach the halcyon days of assured annual value increases for home sellers. Generations of stable home price increases gave way to a boom-and-bust cycle that would have made the Pets.com sock puppet blush. As we enter what should be an active spring market, our communities would do well to focus effort toward creating healthy, happy homes. With those in place, prices will rise again.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending March 3:
• New Listings decreased 23.2% to 1,402
• Pending Sales increased 29.7% to 940
• Inventory decreased 22.9% to 17,818

For the month of February:
• Median Sales Price decreased 1.1% to $138,500
• Days on Market decreased 9.0% to 145
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 2.6% to 90.6%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 36.5% to 4.6

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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The Master Bedroom

What’s Your Style?

–Number 1–

People have a keen interest in the master bedroom of a home. It’s a place to get away, unwind, rest, heal, rejuvenate, and share special family time. Here then begins a series of photos of master bedrooms.

This bedroom is in an older home in the Lowry Hill area of Minneapolis. Note the various elements here: leaded French windows, four-poster bed, antique cane settee, oriental rug, soothing blue walls with white trim, antique light fixture, and scalloped-edged roman shades.

What do you look for in a master bedroom? Do tell.

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Home and Garden Show in Minneapolis

Home and Garden Show

February 29-March 4, 2012
Minneapolis Convention Center

$2 Off Discounted Tickets to the Home and Garden Show

The Home and Garden Show is taking place at month’s end. This is an opportunity to get lots of ideas and advice on these two topics. Hundreds of exhibits and displays will be placed throughout the Minneapolis Convention Center. Show highlights include:

Innovation Avenue

Green Scene

The Ultimate Backyard Lounge

Glorious Feature Gardens

The Idea Home

The Chandelier Fashion Show

Taste on Third Avenue

Shop the Marketplace

The Annual Plant Sale (5pm on Sunday)


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What show would be complete without celebrity guests? Here’s a partial list of celebrities at the show this year:

Chip Wade of HGTV’s Curb Appeal, The Block and Designed to Sell

Mark Brunetz of Style Network’s Clean House

Pat Simpson, nationally recognized home building and remodeling expert

Marjorie Johnson, a national star in the world of baking (and a Twin Cities native)

HOURS:

Wednesday Noon – 9pm
Thursday 10am – 9pm
Friday 10am – 10pm
Saturday 9am – 9pm
Sunday 9am – 6pm

ADMISSION COSTS:

$13.00 adults;
$4 children 6 to 12
5 and under free

More information on the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show

Maps – Minneapolis Convention Center

More information on Gardens

Here’s a link to Entertaining–Green/Eco Tips–Recipes | Tips Trends and Tools for those who can’t make the show in person.

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Home and Patio Show

Home and Patio Show

February 16-19, 2012
St. Paul River Centre

$2 Off Coupon for the Home and Patio Show

If you’re planning to make some changes to your home or gardens this year, here’s an opportunity to get ideas and “how to” information. Hundreds of exhibits and displays will be placed throughout the three levels of the River Centre. Home improvement seminars will be presented by the Home Depot Pros. Topics include:

Do-It-Yourself Tile Installation: Ceramic, Porcelain and Stone

Do-It-Yourself Installing Pre-Finished Laminate and Hardwood Flooring

Do-It-Yourself Light Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Landscape Lighting

Do-It-Yourself Toilet Installation and Repairs

Painting Tips and Techniques


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Looking to spruce up the landscape and garden? The Minnesota State Horticultural Society is sponsoring the garden seminars. Topics include:

Container Gardening for the Balcony, Deck or Patio

Small Space Vegetable Gardening – Jennifer Porwit, Master Gardener

2011: Oh, What a Year! – Bobby Jensen, KARE 11 and The Lawn Ranger

Ornamental Grasses Susan Oven, Master Gardener

Crafting Cool & Creative Containers – Don Engebretson, The Renegade Gardener

Organic Gardening – Mark Armstead, Linder’s Garden Center and Greenhouse

Master Gardeners will be available on Saturday and Sunday to answer questions. Looking for bulbs? Check out the bulb sale each day.

HOURS:

Thursday Noon – 9 P.M.
Friday Noon – 9 P.M.
Saturday 10 A.M. – 9 P.M.
Sunday 10 A.M. – 6 P.M.

ADMISSION COSTS:

$9.00 adults;
$2.50 children 6 to 12
5 and under free

More information on the Minnesota Home and Patio Show

Directions to the River Centre

The Renegade Gardener

LessLawn.com

More information on Gardens

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Would You Live in a Pink House?

The Pink Victorian

I always seem to notice pink homes. Perhaps it’s because they are rare. What sort of person lives in a pink house? Creative? Confident? Artistic? Fun? Bold? Gentle? Caring? Content? Blissful? Loving? Sweet?


What if I wrote those same adjectives in another way:

Creative.
Confident.
Artistic.
Fun.
Bold.
Gentle.
Caring.
Content.
Blissful.
Loving.
Sweet.


If a home is going to be pink, it needs to be the right shade and hue of pink. This Victorian wears its pink well. Some homes will wear pink better than others. Victorians, yes. Cottages, yes. These styles generally have some architectural detailing that works well with pink. Your basic 1950’s rambler? Probably not so much.

Locale makes a difference. Southern states may have more of these pink homes than northern states. This home is here in the northern state of Minnesota. I get the sense winter wouldn’t be quite so dreary coming home to a pink house.


Landscaping can make a difference as well. Note the variety of landscaping here that softens the overall ambiance.



Would you live in a pink house?

I would.

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Decorating for the Holidays

Finding the Unexpected

Photo of the Day
December 15, 2011

Here’s an example of a home with attractive holiday curb appeal. Lighted trees flank the front door, a lit wreath hangs on the chimney, and a lit shrub on the left side balances the trees by the door.

I came home and looked at the photo on my computer’s large screen. I noticed a surprise element in the photo. (Click on the photo to enlarge it.) Can you find it? Does it put a smile on your face?  Happy holidays!

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For Sale: Mac-Groveland Cottage

Upcoming Listing!
$144,900

This property is now pending and is no longer available for showings.


This charming cottage is coming on the market later this week. The home is set back from the street for greater privacy. The front and side yards have beautiful perennial  gardens and raised beds for annuals and herbs. This home is within walking distance to the river, Grand Avenue shops and restaurants, Macalester College, and the University of St. Thomas.

One Bedroom +  Sun Room, Office or 2nd Bedroom
Living Room
Formal Dining Room
Eat-in Kitchen
Upper Level Loft/Studio
Screened Porch
Hardwood Floors
Garage
Central Air

Walk Score = 85 / Very Walkable

Read about the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood.

Call or email us if you’d like more information. A more complete post, with additional photos, will be posted here later this week.

Ellen Walsh
emwalsh@cbburnet.com
612.220.3304

Kate Walsh
info@designhouse9.com
612.220.3309

Coldwell Banker Burnet

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