5 Steps to Help You Plant the Perfect Herb Garden

herb garden

As winter officially comes to a close this week, many homeowners have spring on their minds. Maybe you’re feeling the itch to break out the spring decorations and breathe new life into your home. Perhaps you just can’t wait to get outside and start digging in the dirt and planting flowers again. Or maybe this year you want to do something totally different like start your own herb garden.

If that last option sounds like you, then you’re in luck! We have 5 handy tips to help you start your very own herb garden. Check them out below!

Determine How You’ll Begin – There are two ways you can begin your herb garden: with seeds or with grown plants. If you choose seeds, you may come out with more plants to glean your herbs from. For beginners, basil, dill, parsley, chives, fennel, and cilantro are quite easy to grow. Want to buy small plants instead? That’s perfectly fine, especially if you choose to plant perennials. While the plants may take a bit more time to settle in, they will last you for years and years once they take root.

Choose the Right Herbs – It probably goes without saying, but we have to say it anyway: plant herbs that you will actually use in future dishes. For instance, if you enjoy relaxing with a calming cup of tea before going to bed, mint is a great herb to choose. Pick a few of your favorites and add more throughout the years.

Find the Right Soil – If you’re preparing a spot in your yard for your herbs to grow, you’ll want to break up and loosen the soil with a large garden fork so the plants can take root more easily. Prevent drainage problems by adding some compost to the soil, too. Planting a container garden? Make sure you purchase an organic potting soil mix that is designed for containers. Your plants will appreciate it!

Plant in the Right Place – To have a garden full of healthy herbs, put them in a spot that is good for both you and the plants. You’ll want to place them in an easy-to-access location so you won’t forget about them. Most herbs will prefer a setting that has full sun, so long as the temperatures don’t rise above 90 degrees in the summer. Remember to check the soil often and water them when they get dry!

Prune Them to Productive Perfection – Keep your herbs neat and productive by snipping off the tips of their shoots frequently. Doing so will make them produce more for a longer time. By the way, you can eat the flowers, seeds, and plants of your herbs!

So, did we miss any pro-tips that have helped you in the past? Post your advice in the comment section below!

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When Is It Too Early to Decorate for the Upcoming Season?

when is it too early to decorate for spring

Living in the Greater St. Louis region is pretty great. We’re close enough to plenty of exciting venues and fun things to do, yet we can still get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy life at a slower pace whenever we want.

We Midwesterners are also fortunate to experience all of the seasons and the joys they bring. Sometimes, though, we find ourselves teeming with anticipation for the upcoming season, whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter. We can’t wait to update and refresh our decorations and accessories, our throws and pillows, and our wardrobe. The question is – when is it too early to start decorating for the upcoming season?

Here’s the answer (and you may or may not like it): there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to decorating. However, switching up your décor is dependent on two general factors: the calendar and the weather.

Typically, it’s acceptable to begin decorating for the new season on the months in which they begin – March for spring, June for summer, September for fall, and December for winter. Sometimes, though, we can take cues from the weather. If the temperatures are teasing spring like they have been this past week, or if the trees are beginning to bloom (or lose their leaves in autumn), then you can see it as a sign from Mother Nature that it’s time to refresh your décor.

Just remember – even though you may feel done with a season (winter, for example) and are ready to move on to the next, it’s always best to enjoy the season as long as it’s here. Otherwise, you’ll miss the beauty of the season right in front of your eyes!

When do you decorate for the seasons? Do you stick to a hard and fast rule, or do you let the weather dictate when you’ll make the swap? Let us know in the comments below!

8 Pet Goals All Responsible Owners Should Achieve

National Responsible Pet Owners Month

As pet owners, we all love the furry, scaly, slow-moving, or feathery animals that share our homes with us. We know that owning a pet is a very rewarding experience, but we are also aware of all the time, energy, and responsibility that come with taking care of an animal.

In celebration of National Responsible Pet Owners Month, we want to help you become an even more responsible and caring pet owner. Whether you’re looking for your new four-legged best friend or have had the privilege of caring for a special animal for some years now, here are 8 things you can do to ensure that your pet is happy and healthy!

Choose a Pet That Fits Your Lifestyle – It’s so easy to cave in to a cute face, whether it’s that super friendly beagle, sweet Tuxedo kitty, or furry-as-all-get-out Siberian husky. Resist and choose a pet or breed of animal that fits your lifestyle. Your future best friend needs to have the right energy and temperament to fit your way of life and your family’s needs.

Pet-Proof Your Home – Pets are curious creatures, especially when they’re first introduced to your home. It’s wise to not leave out your favorite shoes or that expensive handbag when your pet isn’t being supervised. Consider putting safety locks on the cabinets in your kitchen and bathroom, and cover your power outlets, at least until your pet becomes more familiar with your home. Keep dangerous objects out of reach by putting them up high, using a baby gate, or closing doors to keep your pets out.

Make Them Feel at Home – Give your pet their own special corner for them to enjoy nutritious food and plenty of water. Also, make them feel completely at home by giving them a comfy bed in a designated spot in your home. For social animals, this could mean snoozing peacefully somewhere in the living room where you and your family and friends gather. For others, it might mean nodding off in a quiet space away from noise.

Give Them Plenty of Exercise – Remember to give your furry buddy plenty of love and attention by playing with them! Keep a variety of pet-friendly toys and puzzles around for them to play with and enjoy, and be sure to give them plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Don’t forget to let them interact with other animals and people regularly as well!

Keep Them Tagged – Sometimes our pets are a little too adventurous and wander off by themselves. In case this happens, be sure to put a collar with ID tags on your pet or microchip him. Doing this will ensure that your pet is returned to you more quickly and more easily!

See the Vet Regularly – Whether it’s for an annual or routine visit, it’s important that you take your pet to see the vet on a regular basis. Along the same lines, remember to bathe and groom your pet on a regular basis. It will depend on the type of pet and breed that you own, so be sure to ask your vet what’s best.

Get them Spayed or Neutered – All too often, countless animals enter shelters nationwide every year. Do your part in decreasing the pet population by spaying or neutering your furry friend.

Be There for the Long Haul – When you adopt a pet, you are committing yourself to caring for an animal for its whole life. Just like in any relationship, you will have good and challenging times together. Prepare to invest time, energy, and patience in your pet. Even if you and your pet have to work to overcome separation anxiety, chronic health problems, or house training, it will be worth coming home to your friend every single day!

If you’re ready for a pet but your housing situation isn’t, the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties can help! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298, and we can help you find your dream home for you and your future pet!

10 Easy Ways to Get Out of a Decorating Rut

home decor

It’s happening again: you wake up, reluctantly dragging yourself out of bed as the sunlight streams through your curtains. You casually look around your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and living room as you prepare yourself for the day ahead, and you just feel so uninspired. It’s like a scene out of Groundhog Day – you feel like you’re living the same day over and over and over again. You’re Bill Murray, but instead of repeating the same day constantly, you’re trapped inside a dull space that no longer brings you any joy. Will this cycle of misery ever end?

The answer is yes! All you need to do is shake things up a little bit. After all, doing or seeing the same things too often can get old in time. In celebration of Groundhog Day and for everyone out there who feels like they’re living in a decorative funk, here are some handy tips to help you feel inspired once more:

Rearrange the Furniture – One of the easiest ways you can get your creative juices flowing is simply by rearranging the furniture. Swap out works of art around your space. Make one of your chic living room chairs your new desk chair. Heck, even moving your sofa off your wall can make a world of difference (by the way, February is Pull Your Sofa Off the Wall Month!).

Clear Your Kitchen Countertops – Does your kitchen feel a bit overcrowded? Try taking everything off the countertops and temporarily placing them in a different room. Look at everything that used to grace your countertops – the coffee machine, the spice rack, the toaster, your trusty cookbooks, and even the plethora of dishtowels you had hanging around – and reevaluate what you really want in your kitchen. This should help clear up some space, reassess what you really want and need, and give your kitchen a cleaner, sleeker look.

Give Something a Paint Job – Whether you’d like to freshen up your walls, a piece of furniture, or the frame of an old mirror, a new coat of paint can really help give a room a whole new look! Don’t be afraid to take a risk. After all, it’s only paint, and if you don’t like it or grow bored with it, you can always use a different color later!

Make a Gallery Wall – Do you have a few favorite works of art or photos that you haven’t really put on the wall yet? Try putting them in frames and creating your own gallery wall! Experiment with color and placement until you’ve got it just the way you like it.

Try a New Shower Curtain – Sometimes your bathroom can feel like new with something as simple as a new shower curtain. Choose to go big with a bold and beautiful design or opt for a clear or white curtain to make your bathroom appear larger, more open, and more luxurious.

Swap Out Accessories – Small changes can make a big difference. Take the time to go through each room, take stock of your accessories, and see how you can change things up a bit. Look at your blankets, rugs, pillows, figurines, and even the window treatments to see what you can do to transform your space. You’d be surprised by how versatile some pieces can really be!

Change Out Your Bedding – Tired of the same old bedding greeting you every night and morning? Consider reversing your quilt or comforter or switching it out with a duvet from another room! Don’t forget to switch out the pillows as well. To experience the whole effect, give yourself an extra minute or two to make your bed every morning!

Try Something Completely Different – Sure, you have your own sense of style, but sometimes seeing the same ol’ same ol’ can be dreadfully boring. Get out of your comfort zone a little bit and buy or do something totally unorthodox for you. Paint your front door a bright, happy color. Splurge on that patterned chair you fell in love with. Adding a few different touches here and there can really help you break out of your decorating rut and make you fall in love with your space all over again!

Revitalize Your Coffee Table Space – Still have the same books collecting dust on your coffee table? Here’s an easy solution – try setting out a handful of small books or one large, sleek picture book. Feel free to leave the large book open on one of your favorite pages to see if inspiration will strike.

Visit New Stores – If you’ve passed by a store, were curious about it, but never went in, you officially have our permission to go check it out! Take your time and look at how items are arranged by color, shape, and texture. Unleash the artist inside you and explore some uncharted territory. You never know what might move you!

Did you know that social media is also a great place for you to find some inspiration? Check out our Instagram page to help you get creative and say good-bye to those Groundhog Day vibes stat!

10 Cozy Ways to Stay Warm All Winter Long

cozy winter indoors

Just when you think that winter has loosened its grip (remember that glorious January thaw we had last week?), it’s snatched us up once more in its clutches. With below-freezing temperatures and gloomy gray days, you may feel like you’ll never be warm again.

While spring is slowly but surely making its way back, we have some tips to help you stay warm and snug for the rest of the brutal winter season. Check them out below!

Light a Fire – If you have a fireplace, then it’s time to put it to good use! Keep your fire tools and supplies close by to make starting a blaze a breeze. Bedeck your mantel with your favorite decorations, snuggle up in a comfortable chair, put your feet up, and bask in the warmth that a fireplace gives!

Bake Something Delicious – Want to stay warm and enjoy something delicious? It’s time to break out the cookbook, turn on the oven, and bake your favorite food! Whether you’re making the perfect chocolate chip cookie or a cozy comfort food like mac ‘n’ cheese, you can’t go wrong with baking in the wintertime!

Sip and Savor Your Favorite Hot Drink – What better way to warm up than enjoying your freshly-baked treats with your favorite hot beverage? Sip your favorite tea, wake up to a hot cup of coffee, or a mug of hot chocolate with the works as you lounge in your favorite chair.

Dress Up Your Windows Properly – You’re probably not running around in a tank top and shorts. Just like you, your windows should be properly outfitted for the weather, too! Stay warm by replacing thin curtains with heavier drapery made of wool or fleece. Don’t forget to open them up on sunny days to soak up some free heat!

Throw Some Throws Around the House – Don’t get us wrong – throws and blankets are perfect for snuggling in as the snow tumbles to the ground, but they can come in handy in other ways! Try laying a throw over your headboard or over a railing to create more texture. Remember, additional texture means upping the coziness factor!

Add a Rug or Two – Bare floors during the winter can be a bit of a shock to the system underfoot. Keep your feet feeling fine by adding a rug on your bare floors. Rugs, especially those with greater texture, will feel warm and cozy underfoot, so opt for a shaggy rug to pad across on cold mornings!

Enjoy a Warm Bath – Instead of turning up the thermostat, draw a warm, relaxing bath! Wash away the stresses of the day by adding some Epsom Salt or lavender oil. Don’t want a bath? A nice hot shower can do the trick, too!

Stash Extra Blankets Wherever You Lounge – Here’s an easy life-hack for you: make sure to keep a few extra blankets in the rooms you to tend to hang out in the most. Fill up a basket, an ottoman, or a trunk with your favorite throws and blankets. This is especially handy if you want to keep your thermostat lower to save on energy.

Block Drafts Like a Pro – Drafty homes can make you feel cold and uncomfortable. Block the winter air with weather-stripping, caulk, and door sweeps. To see if you have any air leaks, walk by the windows and doors with your hand and a small candle. If the flame moves at all while you’re standing still, then you probably have an air leak!

Make a Comfy Reading Nook – Who doesn’t love curling up in a cozy space to read a good book during the winter? Wherever you choose to create your perfect reading corner, keep plenty of pillows and a quilt or blanket nearby. Complete your space with some great lighting to read by and a spot to place your favorite beverage in between page turning!

Warming up to the idea of finding your dream home? Don’t be left out in the cold! Just call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started today! Don’t forget to check out our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

10 Clever Ways to Incorporate Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018 in Your Home

ultraviolet decorNew year, new you, new look for your home! Pantone has announced that their Color of the Year for 2018 is the regal, cosmic, and mysterious ultraviolet. A bold and beautiful hue, ultraviolet evokes fantasy, mindfulness, creativity, spirituality, and non-conformity, making it an irresistible addition to your home this year!

One of our favorite things about this gorgeous color is its versatility. Because it has both warm and cool elements, ultraviolet can go with just about anything, giving you an original color palette for you to enjoy all year long. Whether you want to create a dramatic or intriguing color scheme, evoke the imagery of an eternal spring or a desert sunset, or want to give your space a timeless yet edgy look, there are so many ways you can use ultraviolet to your advantage in your home.

Here are 10 easy ways you can breathe new life in your home with this vibrant color!

Liven It Up With Accents – Brighten up a drab space with a few bold ultraviolet accents! From adding a few ultraviolet pillows and throws to laying down a stunning rug, this hue will make your space feel cozy in an instant.

Make It Dreamy With Pinks and Blues – For a celestial feel that evokes a never-ending sunset, pair ultraviolet with shades in the same color family, specifically blues and pinks. Throw in a bit of soft silver or cool copper to add a metallic dimension to your color scheme for a dazzling color palette!

Add a Stunning Work of Art (or Two) – Bring in the Color of the Year with a beautiful painting that inspires you. Hang a large piece that features ultraviolet over your couch, display a series of smaller paintings on an accent wall, or create your own gallery of wall hangings in the same family color to create a heavenly effect!

Treat Your Windows Like Royalty – Want to update a room in a snap? Curtains are an easy way you can revitalize a room quickly. Try some curtains in a deep purple to keep you warm and cozy while giving your space a more regal feeling!

Make It Picture-Perfect With Purple Frames – Create an elegant gallery wall with ultraviolet frames! Don’t have any? Simply paint old mirror or picture frames ultraviolet for an instant and inexpensive pop!

Jazz It Up With Jewel Tones – Make a bold statement in your home by pairing up ultraviolet with a few jewel tones! While ultraviolet plays well with just about any color, the rich hues of ruby red add a sense of drama and elegance to any space. Balance it just right with a few golden accessories or a gold mirror frame.

Add Some Ultraviolet Furniture – Nothing is quite as inviting as a purple couch or ultraviolet chairs! Bedeck your living areas with these beautiful pieces of furniture, or refinish a few older chairs and paint them in ultraviolet to give your space a cozy yet polished look.

Pair It With Black – Ultraviolet and black work well together and can look absolutely stunning in any space! Add black furniture with ultraviolet accessories or paint the wall surrounding a black fireplace deep purple to give the room a bit of dramatic flair.

Spice Up Your Bedroom – Purple is often a good color choice for bedrooms. Imagine how beautiful ultraviolet would look in your bedroom against white linens and bedding, especially when you dim the lights to rest. Not ready to paint the walls purple? Try something smaller like an ultraviolet headboard or lamps to add a bit of character to your bedroom!

Paint the Front Door – Painting your front door instantly adds curb appeal. Create some intrigue with a pop of purple pizzazz! Ultraviolet will look especially stunning on homes in white, gray, and charcoal, along with brick homes. Just don’t be surprised if you notice a few of your neighbors copying your home’s look after a month or two!

Longing for a home that makes you feel like royalty? We can help! Call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298! Get started by checking out our listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

10 Ways You Can Create the Perfect Winter Retreat for Guests

winter guest room

Are you expecting some guests to drop by and stay a while at your home this winter season? If so, you’ll want to give them a comfortable space to sleep in, not on a foldout couch in your home office or a futon in the basement. Give them a warm wintry retreat in your guest room by using these 10 tips!

Play with an Icy Palette – Winter’s color palettes – hues of white, light blues, creams, and metallic shades – can be welcoming and cozy in a guest room. These brighter colors can also help bounce light throughout the space, making the most of the short amount of sunlight we receive during the season.

Try Seasonal Scents – There’s really nothing like the smell of a delightful fire, but if you don’t have a fireplace, don’t worry – there are plenty of other wonderful wintertime scents for your guests to enjoy. We recommend something inviting like vanilla, cinnamon, or gingerbread during the winter. Want to help your guests relax when they wind down? Lavender and chamomile are great choices!

Add a Rug – Want to add extra warmth, color, and texture to your space all at once? Include an area rug! Whether the guest room has hardwood floors or wall-to-wall carpet, a rug ups the coziness factor and helps your guests feel snug and at ease.

Pamper Them with a Robe and Slippers – Speaking of being comfy, nothing says luxurious quite like a soft plush robe and slippers. Be sure to add a robe to a hook on the back of the door and place slippers near the bed. Your guests may forget that they’re staying at your home and not a relaxing resort!

Don’t Skimp on the Bedding – Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. That means you should roll out some high-quality sheets and top them with a warm, comfortable duvet or comforter. Add the finishing touches with an array of pillows in different sizes and textures!

Throw in Additional Seating – If you find that your guest room has extra space, try adding a few pieces for extra seating. An inviting armchair, small love seat, or a little couch can work wonders in helping your guests settle in with a warm drink and a good book.

Wrap ‘Em Up with a Throw or Blanket – Of course, nothing goes better with a hot beverage and page-turning piece of literature than a cozy blanket or throw, especially faux fur. Your guest room will absolutely ooze luxury and warmth when you add a soft faux fur throw on the bed, chair, or couch.

Let There Be Light – Whisk your guests away to their very own sanctuary by using a variety of lighting options! Create the perfect ambiance with candles, adjustable lighting, and even a strand or two of white Christmas lights.

Adorn the Walls with Art – Don’t forget about the walls! Make the guest room perfect by hanging artwork with complementary colors and theme to match the space’s comfy-cozy aesthetics.

Include Some Reading Material – Winding down with a good book or fun magazine is a great way for anyone to end the night. Give your guests the luxury of literature by adding your favorite books and a few popular magazines. Make them feel even more at home by placing a book or two next to a fresh vase of flowers on the nightstand!

Don’t have a guest room but warming up the idea of having one? Call on the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties to help you find the perfect home for you and your needs! Just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or check out our listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com and get started today!

8 Easy Ways You Can Kick the Winter Blues at Home This Year

a book, a pink mug, and a cozy-looking gray scarf

Like it or not, winter is slowly but surely approaching. If you find yourself beginning to dread the entrance of a new season, don’t fret. There are a few very easy things that you can do at home to help you have a happier winter!

Here are 8 clever tips to help you keep your mood elevated all winter long:

Bring in Some Nice Scents – Did you know that your sense of smell is directly connected to your emotions? You can thank your limbic system for that! Beat the winter blues with some happy or relaxing scents. We like orange, lemon, or lime for a mood-boost or chamomile and lavender to help you kick back and relax.

Keep Your Home Tidy and Clean – Piles of clutter can make you feel more anxious and unmotivated. Combat this by keeping your home tidy and neat. Make your bed in the morning, do small tasks when they come up (say, doing the dishes after making a meal), and clean regularly. You’ll find that your mood is more elevated when your home is picked up!

Let in Natural Light – Speaking of a mood boost, light is a natural way to make you happier! Even 15 minutes of sunshine can help! Open the blinds and curtains, trim back obtrusive tree branches, and clean the windows to let the sunlight pour in more easily. Craving more daylight? Sitting next to an artificial light such as a light box can work wonders!

Stock the Fridge and Pantry with Healthy Food – It can be so tempting to reach into the pantry for a bag of chips or grab a carton of ice cream out of your freezer to munch on, but it will more than likely leave you feeling not so great (and not so happy). Eat well-balanced meals to help give your body the nutrients it needs to feel and function well. Your diet should consist of lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and complex carbs. Want to treat yourself? Indulge in rich dark chocolate moderately!

Get Out and Exercise – We know that one of the last things you want to do in the winter is to go outside and work out, but you’ll feel so much better once you do! Sticking to a regular exercise regimen can help you combat the winter blues, improve your focus, and lower stress levels. Too cold or snowy to go outside? There are plenty of exercises you can do inside to help give you that boost of endorphins!

Play Some Upbeat Music – Music can affect us in so many ways. It’s no wonder that upbeat tunes have been shown over and over to improve our moods significantly, both in the short- and long-term! If you haven’t done so already, create a playlist of your favorite cheerful songs and blare them shamelessly in your abode!

Invite Some Friends Over – Sometimes during the winter season, we feel like hibernating. While a little bit of solitude is healthy, be sure to reach out and spend time with your friends and family! Have the gang over for a fun game night, ask the fam to drop by and check out that new comedy you just found, or hold a holiday potluck with your closest pals!

Get Comfy – Maybe you’re not a fan of all that winter brings with it – the longer nights, the cold weather, the icy precipitation. While you can’t do much about the weather, you can definitely treat yourself to some comfort during this time of year! Wrap yourself in your softest blankets, cozy up with your favorite hot beverage, and read a good book by the fireplace as you watch the snow drift lazily to the ground. Who knows – you might actually come to love winter if you do this enough!

What are some things you do to combat the winter blues in your home? Be sure to tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

8 Bright Ideas to Help You Bring More Sunshine Into a Dark Room

a bright room with white brick walls, shades of white, and pops of color

It’s that time of the year again when we turn back the clocks one extra hour and begin seeing less and less daylight in our days. If you’re dreading the lack of light and want to have more sunshine in your life (and home), don’t fret! We won’t leave you in the dark. Just follow these 8 tips to help you brighten up a dark space:

Choose a Light or Neutral Color Scheme – It almost goes without saying that rooms painted in dark hues will reflect less light. Create the illusion of light by painting your rooms a white or light neutral color. The lighter the color is on your walls, the more light they’ll reflect. Think shades of white, cream, light neutrals, and pastels for a happy and bright room!

Keep the Contrast – While a light color scheme can definitely brighten up a space, a room bedecked in nothing but one bright color can feel pretty dull and uninspired. To make the room pop, add accessories, decorations, and other objects in your favorite color. Items in navy, crimson, hunter, or royal purple can really tie a light room together without overpowering it. Darker furniture or picture frames can also do the trick!

Hang Mirrors Strategically – Want to double the amount of sunlight you get in a room? Hang a large mirror or an assortment of smaller mirrors directly across from the largest window in your room! While mirrors won’t do much to brighten up dim hallways and small bathrooms, they can work true wonders in larger rooms.

Cut the Glare – While you’ll want plenty of light in your room, the quality of lighting you use can create a negative effect. Eliminate harsh glare by avoiding glossy paint and choosing a matte paint, which will reflect light in every direction. Additionally, we suggest situating lights near your walls and placing LED strips underneath cabinets to create a soft glow.

Reflect Light with Shiny Surfaces – As we mentioned earlier, it’s wise to avoid going glossy on the walls; however, reflective surfaces can come in handy when it comes to bouncing light around the room. Choose accessories such as acrylic accents, mirrored surface, and objects in metallic finishes to amplify the sunlight in your space.

Reconsider Your Window Treatments – To maximize the amount of sunshine you receive, we suggest saying good-bye to dark, heavy curtains and switching them for translucent shades instead. Sheer and semi-sheer window treatments are great for letting light into the room while still providing plenty of privacy throughout the day. Want to block the light at night? Invest in blackout curtains that can be pulled all the way back during the day and closed completely at night!

Trim Up the Trees – Sometimes our outdoor view can block light from entering our home. If that’s the case, it’s time to break out the shears and trim back the bushes and trees before winter arrives! You may find that, once you cut back some persnickety branches, your home may be infused with more sunlight than you’ve seen in months or years!

Clean the Windows – We know this sort of goes without saying, but say it we shall! Cleaning your windows inside and out can have a huge effect on how much sunshine streams into your home! Simply wash the windows with a sponge and mild soapy water like dish soap, wipe them dry with a squeegee, and finish the job with the help of a soft chamois cleaning cloth.

Looking for a new home? Let us help shed some light on your search! Call The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com for more information!

9 Quick and Easy Last-Minute Halloween Decoration Ideas

Halloween jack o' lantern background

Halloween is less than two weeks away, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to decorate. In fact, there are plenty of things you can do to celebrate the holiday in time with the perfect frightening flair!

If you’ve waited till the last minute this year and need some ideas stat, here are 9 quick and easy Halloween decorating ideas to help turn your home into a spooky setting (in a good way)!

Paint Some Pumpkins – Don’t feel like carving a jack-o’-lantern? You don’t have to! Just grab some pumpkins of various sizes and paint them instead. Go with classic looks like black and white polka dots or stripes, or get a bit more creative and paint something scary, funny, or meaningful on them. Set them on your front porch or throughout your home to give your abode a spooky vibe!

Create Your Own Candy Corn Pots – Remember those cheap terra cotta pots you’d find all summer long? Score a few of those pots at your local hardware store, grab some white, orange, and yellow acrylic paint, and create your own candy corn pots! These fun pots are perfect for displaying frightening foliage or filling with your favorite Halloween goodies.

Decorate with Black Flowers – Speaking of scary foliage, find some fake black flowers at a crafts store and arrange them in a few vases around your home! You can add a few fake maroon and dark purple flowers to give your arrangements more depth or ramp up the creepy factor with fake spider webs and spiders, ravens, or other spooky items!

Make Your Own Chalkboard Tombstones – Come up with your own clever chalkboard tombstones for less than $20! All it takes is a tombstone template, plywood, saw, chalkboard paint, and a bit of determination. When you get ready to paint, make sure that you apply three coats of paint to your creation. Once it dries completely, grab some chalk and get creative!

Scare Up a Ghost Lollipop Bouquet – This decoration is easy and, once the holiday is over, edible! Just find some lollipops, drape white cotton over them, tie each of them with twine, and paint black eyes on each ghost. Place these so-cute-it’s-scary creations in a mason jar (bonus if you spray-paint your mason jar black!) and use them as a fun centerpiece!

Invest in Some Tall Black Candles – Make your very own creepy candelabra with the help of a few black candles! After you place the candles in the candelabra, lightly drape some fake spider webs over it for a more eerie feel.

Hang Out With Some Ghosts – Dangle some spooky spirits from the ceiling! Just snag a few small Styrofoam balls, cover them with cheesecloth, paint eyes on them, and hang them from the light fixtures in your home. It’s as easy as that!

Create Creepy Creatures of the Night – Got some old plastic or ceramic animals hanging around the house? Take them to the dark side by spray-painting them black and adding red glitter (or better yet, glow-in-the-dark red paint) to their eyes! This will really give your home a devilish vibe in time for Halloween!

Group Together Some Scary Drac-o’-Lanterns – What’s orange, small, and has big fangs and red eyes? Drac-o’-lanterns! If regular ol’ pumpkins won’t quite cut it for you, find a few pumpkins, print out a mouth template, cut out the “mouth,” and wedge some plastic vampire teeth into the hole. Finish your creation off by sticking in red pin map tacks into the pumpkins for eyes. Group them together on your mantel, a side table, or on the coffee table to give guests a real fright!

You know what’s really scary? Living in a home you don’t love! If you’re on the hunt for your dream home, be sure to contact the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or check out our current listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.