Your Complete Holiday Light Display Guide in Metro St. Louis

If your favorite way to get into the holiday spirit is taking in some world-class light displays, then you’re in luck! The metro St. Louis area has so many amazing light displays to offer. Whether you want to take a carriage ride through Tilles Park or roast s’mores over the fire at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are just a few of our favorites in this handy holiday light display guide to help you plan a festive evening filled with holiday cheer.

Winter Wonderland

Take your time strolling past over a million glimmering lights, fashioned into more than 100 displays of festive characters and winter scenes. Guests also enjoy the different transportation options that Winter Wonderland offers. Go on a carriage ride, drive, or walk through Tilles Park on select nights. For walking events, registration is required, and feel free to bring along your cameras, strollers, wagons, and dogs on a leash. This is an all-weather event that you can visit rain or shine.

Wild Lights

St. Louis Zoo’s Wild Lights holiday event features brand-new light displays and themed areas and is a great place to stop for festive food and beverages. Gather around fire pits to warm up and roast some s’mores – kits are available for purchase. For individuals with sensory sensitivities, one night will mirror the traditional experience yet include sensory maps, quiet areas, and trained staff ready to assist. And, of course, what is a visit to the St. Louis Zoo without seeing some animals? Wish a holiday hello to the animals in Penguin & Puffin Coast and the Insectarium!

Garden Glow

Celebrate the season with great photo opportunities among dazzling installations at the Garden Glow, where a million lights glow at iconic locations across the Missouri Botanical Garden. See the inflatable snowglobe, fun holiday frames, and other Christmas-card-worthy photo spots. You and your family can even meet Santa Claus on select dates! There are several opportunities to pick up drinks, hot chocolate, and s’mores along the path. Cafe Flora is also open for those who want a dine-in meal.

Holiday Lights

Drive through Holiday Lights at Grant’s Farm with your family to see countless festive scenes just outside your car windows. Register online for which night you’d like to attend, pack up the car with blankets and snacks, and, once you arrive, turn on the radio to holiday songs. You can see the Budweiser Clydesdales, the Busch Family Estate, and more along the 280 acres it spans across.

Brewery Lights

Experience the magic of more than a million twinkling lights at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Soulard! Brewery Lights offers a complimentary 16-ounce beer and chances to enjoy different brews at Love Beer Plaza for adults. This family-friendly outdoor event features a state-of-the-art light show with a 22-foot tall digital holiday tree and a train ride, a 40-foot tall snowman, and a DJ for the kids.

Holiday in the Park

Six Flags transforms during the most wonderful time of the year with over a million lights and loads of festive decor. At Holiday in the Park, you can see the animals at the petting zoo, visit with Santa, and say hi to Bugs Bunny and his Looney Tunes friends. Limited-time-only treats, like peppermint funnel cakes and cinnamon sugar pretzels, and over a dozen rides are available for the whole family to enjoy.

Santa’s Magical Kingdom

Just down the street from Six Flags is another place to go! Jellystone Park Resort is hosting Santa’s Magical Kingdom with four million lights across 35 acres. These lights bring to life custom-designed animated scenes, making it appears that reindeer are flying overhead, elves are frolicking in the trees, and much more. Your family can drive the car or, for an even more unforgettable holiday adventure, book a ride aboard the Santa Express Train or the Old-Fashioned Holiday Wagon Ride. As you drive past the North Pole, the kids can put their letters to Santa in his mailbox.

Way of Lights

Join the annual winter tradition at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, as they have a breathtaking display that focuses on the birth of Jesus Christ. Mondays and Tuesdays are particularly special at Way of Lights. Show your military ID on Monday to get a discount, and bring the family on Tuesdays to enjoy discounts on activities and avoid the large crowds. The church parking lot has live animals for camel, donkey, and pony rides. There are carriage rides every day except Saturdays. On one night, they will host the Way of Lights Run, a 5K competitive run and a 1.5-mile fun walk. Those not able to join in person are encouraged to join the 5K virtual run or walk, which has extended dates.

Grove of Lights

Walk through a holiday light display that covers four acres during this entirely outdoor event. Grove of Lights at Lost Hill Lake features special themes, artisan booth fairs, a charity toy drive, and Santa on certain nights, so be sure to check out their events page! Food and beverage vendors are on-site with tasty treats, such as hot chocolate and s’mores. Along with the holiday displays and photo opportunities, the kids will have fun in the interactive craft and game area.

Dasher’s Lightshow

POWERplex STL, a competitive sports facility, is bringing holiday fun to the community. Experience the magic of the holidays at Dasher’s Lightshow, where you can drive through light tunnels, see snowmen, and merrily listen to your favorite holiday tunes on the radio with your family. Continue the fun by hopping over to Dasher’s Christmas Experience. It’s here that you can take pictures with Santa and visit the children’s play area, indoor concession stands, and artisan market.  ​​​​

Wonderlight Christmas

Right across the river into Illinois is another winter attraction! World Wide Technology Raceway set up over one million lights just down the street, synchronized to traditional and newer Christmas music played on the radio station 89.5 FM. Wonderlight Christmas is a great option to see holiday lights with family and pets from the comfort of your car. It’s open nightly, including the holidays, for those who want extra holiday cheer on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Christmas Wonderland

A group of retirees and volunteers who call themselves The Grandpa Gang are responsible for transforming Rock Spring Park in Alton, IL into a massive holiday display. In fact, Christmas Wonderland has more than four million lights for visitors to see as they drive through the park! Perhaps the best part is the popular Enchanted Forest display, where visitors get to vote on their favorite decorated tree.

Fun Neighborhood Lights

Visiting big commercial displays isn’t the only way to celebrate the season. It’s also nice to check out local neighborhoods spreading holiday cheer. Here are some of the best houses for Christmas lights throughout St. Louis and across the river into Illinois.

One that stands out, in particular, is Candy Cane Lane. In the spirit of winning a holiday competition, the 6500 block of Murdock Ave. in St. Louis turns into a winter wonderland scene filled with holiday lights and festive decorations. Each year, the residents add to the display, drawing in more visitors. Other streets have joined in on the competition. Be sure to check out Snowflake Street, the 6500 block of Neosho Street, and Angel Avenue, the 4700 block of Prague Avenue, while you’re there! These friendly competitions bring merriment to those who set up the decorations and those who go to see them.

See Houses for Sale in St. Louis

With all of the joyful experiences that metro St. Louis has to offer, it’s no wonder that people choose to move here. The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties helps people find the right home in the perfect neighborhood. Are you ready to get started? Simply view our current listings or call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298!

Fun St. Louis Winter Activities

The temperature is dropping, the leaves are falling, and the sun is setting earlier and earlier. Winter is just around the corner, which means it’s time to break out the hot chocolate, ugly Christmas sweaters, and your favorite holiday tunes. While some see winter as a time to hibernate, life continues even as blizzards blow in and the roads freeze over. So, instead of daydreaming of all the things you can do underneath the beating sun of summer, find out what you can do with your time now. Stick around and learn what the top St. Louis activities are that will leave you feeling merry and bright this winter.

See The Lights

You don’t need to travel to Paris to feel like you’re in the City of Lights this winter. St. Louis Boasts beautiful light displays throughout December that will leave you oohing and aahing in wonder. Try The Way of Lights—a mile-and-a-half drive that boasts over one million lights and displays. Or perhaps you’d like to take a trip through the Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park this holiday season. Tilles Park’s Winter Wonderland has been a time-honored tradition for St. Louisans for over 30 years. Experience something truly magical, made possible by millions of lights and various holiday scenes. Other holiday light displays around the St. Louis area include:

Theatre, Music, And More

St. Louis prides itself on its robust population of talented thespians, musical artists, and dancers. This year don’t miss out on the many different performances scheduled around the city. Experience the classics, like Rudolph the Red Nosed-Reindeer at the Fox Theater December 17-18 or The Muppet Christmas Carol in Concert, December 11-12. Whether you prefer a classic or new take on the holiday spirit, there is something for everyone this holiday season. Other performances include:

Family Favorites

Take a trip out of Union Station on the Polar Express this December and give your kids memories that will last a lifetime. Tickets go fast, so make sure to book your trip today. And make sure you don’t miss out on Grinchmas, Saturday, December fourth. The Grinch’s heart has grown three sizes, and he’s ready to give back to his community. This year he’ll be raising funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children. Each photo with the Grinch will cost $7, or you bring a toy to donate, in which case, the photo will only cost $5.

Looking for something some more family fun? Try different holiday-themed activities with festive music, lights, drinks, and more at:

Whether you’re at Six Flags St. Louis or skating on the Midwest’s largest outdoor skating rink, you’ll be overwhelmed in exaltation as you spend these winter days enjoying your friends, family, and all those who partake in this season of celebration.

Check Out Our Museums

We have history, art, science, and more, all available throughout winter. A personal favorite of ours is the City Museum. This quirky, 600,000 space warehouse has been transformed into a wonderland all its own. Part funhouse and part theme park, no matter how many times you go, there always seems to be something new to enjoy. This crazy experience is excellent for the whole family. Other St. Louis classics include the following:

After Hours

Bring in the new year at Ballpark Village. From concerts to watching the Blues play their way towards victory, there’s something for everyone. How could you turn down a night full of great music, friends, and drinks? Do remember, while live, in-person concerts are back on, there will be limited capacity to allow for safe social distancing, so buy your tickets soon if you haven’t already.

Along with Ballpark Village, countless rooftop bars around the city provide a good time and an even better view. You can see a list of our favorites below:

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties

When you move into a new home, you move into a new community with new people, places, and activities. TheMassey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties values their St. Louis roots and urges everyone to embrace everything this city has to offer.

Are you looking to contact The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties? Visit our website today, or call the following phone numbers to talk with a member of our team: (618) 791-5024 & (618) 791-9298. Don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re here to help you feel at home.

2021 Holiday Decorating Trends

What do eating comfort foods, celebrating time-honored traditions, and opening heartwarming gifts have in common? Put them all together, and you’re spending time with loved ones during the holidays! Of course, before you can invite everyone over, you need to decorate. Find the best 2021 holiday decorating trends below to spruce up your space.

Use Merry and Bright Colors

Red and green don’t have to be the only colors you see this holiday season. They’re a classic combination for sure, but this year people are expanding their color palettes to include neon, pastel, and jewel tones. You can search online for a custom neon sign, hang up a pink wreath, or decorate the tree with multicolored ornaments.

Hang Vintage Tree Trimmings

What was popular decades ago is back in style. It’s time to find those long-overlooked treasures you have in storage! People are particularly interested in displaying glass ornaments from the 1950s, which are often in bright pastels and vintage shades of chartreuse, blues, and pinks.

Walk Down Memory Lane

This year, with more people able to travel home for the holidays, homeowners want to express how nostalgic they feel with their décor. Using vintage ornaments, old dishes, and passed-down table linens will unlock happy memories. Plus, reusing decorations instead of buying them new is environmentally friendly.

Go Green for the Holidays

Interest in sustainability has grown over the last few years. Now, people are looking for cards, wrapping paper, gifts, and holiday decorations that are sustainable in some way. Consider handcrafted or wooden decorations in addition to those made of recycled glass or paper.

Personalize DIY Decorations

This holiday season, get creative and budget-friendly with DIY decorations. Sew a tree skirt, make your own stockings, and even craft a paper garland or wreath. Incorporating dried orange and grapefruit slices creates a vintage vibe. To make your guests feel extra special, you can set out personalized placeholders by having a fun photo or handwritten name card at each seat.

Bring Natural Elements Indoors

Holiday celebrations are the perfect time to bring the outdoors in, especially when it’s too cold to stay outside for long. You can put up a real tree, bring in houseplants, and decorate with evergreens. When choosing evergreens, look for holly, ivy, euonymus, pine, and spruce because they don’t dry out quickly. Some homeowners spray paint leaves with silver, gold, or other colors to keep them from withering and add a nice holiday touch.

Find a Home That Makes You Joyful

By following these tips, you’ll spread holiday cheer throughout your home. But what about the other months of the year? If a new home is on your wishlist, the real estate experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties are here to help! Call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 and learn more today.

How to Brighten a Dark Room

A common interior design challenge is figuring out how to brighten a dark kitchen, living room, or bedroom. This is especially true if your place doesn’t have many large windows to let in natural sunlight. Luckily, there are many ways to decorate your home and create ideal lighting conditions. From painting the ceiling to covering the floors, we gathered our favorite tips on how to brighten a dark room.

Hang a Mirror or Two

Use mirrors to their full potential by placing them near a light source. As light bounces off the reflective surface, your room will feel brighter and more spacious. You can hang mirrors across from windows to take advantage of natural lighting. Otherwise, positioning a mirror near a table lamp or floor lamp will achieve a similar effect.

Add Light Fixtures

When there is a lack of natural light, adding light fixtures like floor and table lamps may be the way to go. At the same time, how you aim the light also makes a difference. Focusing a narrow area of light on the floor won’t be very luminous. When you wash the walls or ceiling with light, you give every corner of the room a warm glow. This simple shift will make the room feel cozier and more spacious as well.

Embrace White Walls

If your ceiling or walls are in a dark color, it’s time to strap on your overalls, grab your paint roller, and open a gallon of white paint. Since white paint reflects light onto other surfaces, it makes the room appear brighter and bigger. Yet, if you consider white just too boring, consider adding ornamental trims to the ceilings for added texture, or painting an accent wall with a refreshing color.

Deep Clean Your Windows

Think of wearing glasses with smudges on them. In the same way, windows can become dirty and limit visibility. So, perhaps the answer to brightening up your dark room is a good window cleaning. While this sounds obvious and almost too simple, the less dirt and dust on your windows, the more sunshine there will be. 

Opt for Light-Colored Curtains

Luckily, there are plenty of window treatment options that will give you privacy while still letting light into the room. You can swap heavy drapes for lighter materials, such as linen. Another option is using Venetian blinds to help direct sunlight up toward the ceiling. Since dark curtains absorb light, opt for shades of beige or light gray.

Pick Minimalist Furniture

The furniture you choose should match your personal style and go well together. At the same time, think about how your sofa, chairs, tables, and more impact the light in your home. In particular, stuffing an already-dim room with oversized furniture will cast more shadows. When you compare a walnut coffee table with a translucent acrylic, you can see the difference. Picking minimalist furniture with smooth, sleek lines and lighter colors is the key.

Reduce the Number of Accessories

When too many objects are in a room, they crowd the space, making it feel dark and small. Take away some of the art and accessories while decorating. Plus, using baskets to store small items will organize your belongings and remove them from everyday view. By narrowing down your pieces, your space will have a bright, clean look.

Have a Bright Area Rug

Flooring is more difficult to replace than the wall color or furniture, which is why area rugs are a great idea. They add softness and texture, and large rugs help to expand the visual space. The rug doesn’t have to be a solid color; use this as another opportunity to show off your personality and aesthetic. When selecting a color, look for those in white, ivory, or yellow, or a combination of warm hues.

Reach Out to The Massey Team

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties will help you discover the home of your dreams. As our experts know, sometimes all it takes is re-envisioning your current space. Other times, a new home is just what you need, which is easier to find with a knowledgeable real estate agent by your side. Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298, or get started by viewing our current listings!

Carpet VS. Hardwood Floors: Which Is Right for You?

Are you looking to renovate your home? Or perhaps you’re looking to buy, and you don’t know which type of flooring is the right fit for you. When deciding whether to go with carpet or hardwood floors, you have to think about your budget, the resale value of each, the maintenance each requires, and many more considerations. In this blog, we’ll be discussing the different aspects of carpet and hardwood flooring so you can decide which is the right choice for you.

Cost

Almost always, quality hardwood will cost more than carpet. On average, installing hardwoods can cost between $12 and $20 per square foot, while installing carpet can cost anywhere between $6 and $12 per square foot. However, there are hardwood and carpet alternatives.

Engineered hardwood flooring can be dramatically cheaper than solid hardwood floors. The average cost of this floor option will run you about $7 to $15 per square foot.

Synthetic carpets are petroleum-made. We’ll talk later about why that may not be a great thing, but if you opt for a natural carpet option, like wool, expect to pay upwards of $20 per square foot.

You should also consider the lifespan of both hardwood flooring and carpet. Depending on the grade of carpet you purchase, you’ll end up replacing it after about ten years, while hardwoods, if properly maintained, can last generations.

Resale Value

On average, 54% of home buyers are willing to pay more for a home with hardwood floors. This statistic proves that hardwood floors have a direct impact on the value and price of a home. However, carpet still reigns as king for older generations, especially in multi-level homes, where sound travels quickly. Some people prefer carpet for bedrooms, children’s rooms, and stairs because it offers comfort, warmth, extra padding for young and elderly residents. Overall, when it comes to resale value, hardwood is prized for its classic look, but you’ll have people looking for some carpet.

Maintenance

When it comes to maintaining them, hardwood floors are easier. Sweep and damp mop them to clean dust, spills, surface stains, and other debris. Unfortunately, things like dust, dirt, and allergens become trapped in carpet fibers over time. Vacuum both floors regularly, but certain stains require a deep shampoo cleaning or special chemicals and treatments with carpet. At the end of the day, if you’re concerned about keeping things clean, we suggest you go with hardwood floors. They’re less susceptible to staining, and they don’t trap dust and allergens.

Health/Environmentally Friendly

As mentioned earlier, most carpets these days are made from synthetic materials like nylon and polyester. Petroleum is nonrenewable and breaks down unevenly, giving off volatile organic compounds as it ages. Natural carpets, like wool, have less impact on the household and environment, but they will cost more.

As well as offering allergen relief, hardwood floors are a more sustainable flooring option for the environmentally conscious. Trees can be replanted and renewed. Just make sure that an ecologically sound company is harvesting the wood for your floors in an environmentally friendly way.

Appearance

While carpet offers more variety in color, texture, and feel, hardwood also comes in hundreds of styles to meet any interior design need. Ultimately, it depends on the look you’re going for. Carpet is soft to feel and appearance, while hardwood offers its rich natural tones. Match that with the wood’s varying grain, and your wood floors create an opportunity to make a bold statement.

Water and Heat Resistance

Neither carpet nor hardwood flooring is ideal for damp or hot conditions. While the synthetic fibers in most modern carpets make them exceptionally resistant to water, water can still seep down into the backing layer and the wood subfloor where mold can grow. As far as heat goes, carpet damages easily by heat. Some carpet materials can even release toxic gases if caught in a severe home fire.

Hardwood is fine for living areas and even the kitchen but keep it away from bathrooms and laundry rooms. You’ll want to avoid installing wood floors on concrete slabs, as moisture from the ground tends to seep through those slabs.

Intense heat can scorch hardwood. Mild scorch marks can sometimes be sanded out and refinished, but the best thing to do is just to stay away from that intense heat.

Carpet VS. Hardwood—Conclusion

Overall, we suggest hardwood for your home, with a touch of carpet here and there for those of you who prefer the comfort and security it can provide. While hardwood floors cost more, they offer a higher resale value for your home. Their timeless and effortless look can turn any room into a designer’s dream. You’ll be the envy of all your house guests with your clean lines and glossy finishes.

Hardwood is also easier to keep clean and more environmentally friendly than many carpet options available today. However, we understand that budget and preference are everything, so we’re not telling you to forgo carpet entirely. Carpet has its benefits and is perfect for some homeowners. We hope this helped clarify why some individuals choose hardwood over carpet.

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties

At The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, we’re here for all your home needs. We’re the experts on selling, buying, and maintaining your home. Are you interested in our current listings? Check out our website! Do you want to learn more about our services and what we offer? Call either of these phone numbers to talk with a team member: (618) 791-5024 & (618) 791-9298.

7 Common Color Mistakes to Avoid In Your Home

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to decorating your home. What style of couch should you purchase? Do you want a glass or wood dining table? But, most importantly, what color schemes should you indulge in? Color can be tricky to get right, especially if you don’t have a keen eye for detail and general knowledge of color theory. But there’s no need to worry! In this blog, we’ll be discussing the common color mistakes people make so you know just what you can do the next time you find yourself decorating a space.

Not Considering Light

Does that blue look green to you? Is it a trick of the light? Could be. Whether artificial or natural, light changes the look of color depending on its brightness and time of day. To avoid painting an entire wall and discovering that your color has transformed, paint a small sample of your desired color on the wall and let the light do its work. This way, you can get an idea of what the color will look like at any point of the day without wasting time and money.

The same concept goes for decorating with furniture and accent pieces. Ask for sample swatches of different fabrics that you can place in the lighting of your home so you can see just how that fabric interacts with the light.

Mixing Too Many Colors at Once

For most people, the goal is to make a room look cohesive and feel peaceful. You can’t do that if you mix too many colors at once. The goal is to find a balance. Try referencing the color wheel. There are warm colors and cool colors. You’ll want a balanced mix of those two. A good rule of thumb is the 60-30-10 rule. To avoid overwhelming the space, stick to three colors. 60% of the room is the dominant color, 30% is the secondary color, and the last 10% is the accent color.

Being Too Matchy-Matchy

The opposite of mixing too many colors at once is not having enough variety. Balance is vital in creating the perfect color palette for your home. You want to make a visual story with color in your home, and you don’t want that story to become dull and predictable. To avoid this, add a handful of small touches of color throughout your home that has nothing to do with your color palette.

Not Creating a Cohesive Home

If you want, you can make every room a completely different color scheme and style. However, that can leave things feeling hectic and messy. You don’t need to have the same color palette in each room, but adjacent rooms should have complementary colors in common, so you create a particular type of flow throughout your home. Create tie-ins so that your home feels like a total package and not just a few separate parts.

Playing It Too Safe

You don’t want to make your home more boring than it needs to be! To avoid this means you may have to take some risks, even with neutrals. Not everything has to be beige. Try a blush or a gray. Gray is highly sophisticated and great for painting an ample space because light will alter the hue ever so slightly from room to room.  You can also use a beautiful bright color a vivid wallpaper to introduce color into a room. Make sure to pick a shade that complements your existing furniture and accessories for a cohesive look.  

Using The Wrong Finish

Sometimes a color would have looked better with a bit of sheen for a glossy finish. Or, perhaps, a matte finish is just what you needed to finish the room. Just like testing a color in different lighting, you’ll want to try different finishes. Pin up or paint a sample of different finishes when picking out a color to see it in the space and the light.

Don’t Rely on Color Trends

Color trends are great for adding a pop of color here and there, but too much of an ‘in’ color can be a bad thing. You want to create a space that is timeless no matter what. Don’t invest too much money in a trendy color because you never know when your taste will change. Pick easily replaceable things. That way, you’re able to add modern freshness to a space without breaking the bank.

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties

With The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, you know you’ll be in good hands. Our experienced team members are here for all your home needs. From finding a new home to helping you to decorate through our blogs, you’ll know you can’t find better service anywhere else. So, contact our team today using these two phone numbers: (618) 791-5024 & (618) 791-9298. Want to look at our current listings. Visit our website today!

Your Ultimate Fall Checklist for Your Home

It’s September, which means fall has arrived. When we think of fall, we automatically go to the rich and vibrant leaves that change as the air becomes cooler. We think of pumpkins, some spooky and some cute and inviting, but most importantly we think of the cozy days spent inside. Nothing’s better than sitting in the comfort of your home after spending hours raking up leaves or going for a hike. Since you’ll be spending more time inside, you need to make sure your home is cozy, inviting, and pleasing to eye. Here is your ultimate fall checklist for your home.

Earthy, Nature-Inspired Colors

Designers are turning away from traditional fall colors and choosing other nature-inspired hues, such as deep greens, blues, and browns. These colors may not be traditional, but when used in deeper shades with warm undertones, they feel more than appropriate for the season. Incorporate these colors in throw pillows, area rugs, and fall décor around the home for an instant fall refresh.

Entertaining Spaces

After over a year of quarantine, many of us are looking forward to welcoming our friends and family back into our homes. That means entertainment spaces like the kitchen, dining room, and living spaces will major focal points this fall. You want your guests to have an overall good experience while in your home. Appeal to all the five senses by using plush furnishings and décor as well as candles or essential oil diffusers. Scent can bring a level of coziness into a space you never thought possible!

Cozy Sanctuaries

More and more people have realized the importance of having a home that allows you to cozy up and to feel like you can separate yourself from the craziness of the rest of the world. Pick a special nook in your home. Turn a window seat into the perfect spot for morning coffee with a plaid throw and some cozy pillows or place an armchair in a warm corner to create a reading nook. Add an occasional table, a small lamp, and some treasured accessories, like a framed family photo, and suddenly you have your new favorite personal hang-out spot.

Layer Textural Fabrics

Layering is all the rage this year. Layer chunky, knit blankets and decorative pillows with velvets and other rich, textured fabrics. You can also experiment with boucle, faux fur, and cashmere. The goal is to create eye-catching depth and a pleasing feel to all your furnishings.

Indoor Fall Décor

Candles bring fall indoors while staying warm and comfy. Macrame offers a bohemian look that’s natural and classic. From decorating walls and furniture, macrame is a blast from the past that’s versatile and pleasing to the eye. Basket and tray wall décor adds a unique twist to the gallery wall trend.

Outdoor Décor

Create a unique and eye-catching space by using some creativity to give your front porch or front step a facelift. Lanterns gives a traditional look and adds warmth. A fall-themed garland looks darling draped over your front porch railing or door, and don’t forget pumpkins! Choose gourds in all different shapes, sizes, and colors to create a personal pumpkin patch. Add deep greens and blues to your décor to add a richness that is to die for.

Vintage Décor

The pandemic helped us realize that our homes not only need to be functional, but more personal as well. We find comfort in the things we know. The means bringing a blast from the past into your living space. That means using things like your grandma’s china. Worried about feeling too old? Don’t worry. According to designer Killy Scheer when interviewed by Purewow, “antique furnishings mixed with more contemporary pieces and a little whimsy go a long way to keep the look from getting too referential.”

Partitions & Room Dividers

Rooms that had been for guests only have now been transformed into homework/workstations. The need for privacy and solitude has become paramount in our homes, but the need to feel connected to the rest of the home is still there. As a result, we’re seeing a resurgence of midcentury modern room dividers that allows for the kind of privacy people are looking for. There’s a push for some separation while maintaining sightlines to adjacent rooms. Partition screens or serving counters can act as a definition between the kitchen and living space.

Kitchencore

This is a whimsical mix of cottagecore and cabincore. The mix of rustic, English countryside décor with the free spirited cottagecore feel has created kitchencore. Kitchens are still the hub of the house, but gone are the days of sterile, white countertops and cabinets. Dark palettes, stained woods, stone countertops, and statement fixtures and hardware are not only more fashionable, but they’re more durable too! Natural material—cabinets with visible wood grain, interesting countertops, faucets that blend into the counters and other finishes, rather than stand-out features—will be huge.

 Bring The Outdoors In

We’re not talking about plants here, people! While plants are great, you don’t need a ton of them to bring an outdoor feel into your living space. Switch to natural fibers in furnishings like rattan, cane, wicker, and wood. Use fabrics like wool, linen, and cotton and maximize natural light. One trend that’s on the up-and-up is chinoiserie. Chinoiserie is a European interpretation of Asian decorative arts that include floral motifs and nature-inspired scenes. It can be seen in a variety of mediums like wallpaper and ceramics. If this seems overwhelming, don’t worry. The only thing you need to remember is to focus on furnishings, textures, and patterns.

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties is here for you. From finding you the perfect home to giving you the perfect tips and tricks to help you create a space that’s unique to you, we ensure that our clients are given everything they need to make the home buying/owning process enjoyable.

Looking for your next home? Check out our listings here.  Have any questions or wish to contact The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties? Call one of these two phone numbers to get in touch with a team member: (618)791-5024 & (618)791-9298

How to Organize Your Closets Like a Pro

Take a moment to consider the look of your closet. Are clothes packed together on hangers? Are there piles of shoes on the floor? When you plan an outfit for the day, is it challenging to find items you want to wear? And lastly, are you frustrated that your closet contains clothes that no longer fit or are out of style? An organized closet takes out the clutter, guesswork and frustration in life. Improve your productivity and mental health with our tips on how to organize your closets like a pro.

Empty Out Your Closet

The first step to organizing your closet is to pull everything out. By doing so, you can see what you have and how much you can let go of. Maybe you’ll even find a long-lost item! The closet is much easier to dust and vacuum when it’s empty, so now’s the perfect time. 

Sort Items Into Piles

Sorting through a mountain of clothes on your bed is overwhelming and ineffective. Instead, group items by category, like long-sleeve shirts and cardigans, and work through one pile at a time. Hold up each item and think about if this is truly your style, if it fits well, and goes with other pieces you own. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and keep what sparks joy for you. Place these into the keep pile, and for all other items, place them into piles to be tossed or donated.

Invest in New Hangers

While it can be tempting to buy whichever hangers are the cheapest, mismatched hangers can make your closet look messy and disorganized. When hangers are the same, clothes sit at the same height. Slim, non-slip hangers create extra space and keep clothes from sliding onto the floor. Depending on the garment, pant hangers, padded hangers, and wooden hangers can also come in handy.

Reorganize Your Closet Space

Now that you know what clothing items you want to keep, it’s time to place them in the closet. That doesn’t necessarily mean they should go in the same spot. Maximize the space you have to keep it clutter-free. Wall shelves, stacking drawers, and an over-the-door system are customizable alternatives to holding accessories like shoes, hats, and bags.

Store Sweaters Folded

Sweaters often have a delicate knit and can be thick and heavy. Hanging this type of sweater can cause them to stretch out and lose their shape, especially at the shoulder. It’s best to store them folded. Sweaters that are lightweight and tight-knit are safe to hang on padded hangers!

Put Away Seasonal Items

A great way to free up some closet space is by storing seasonal items in a different location. Put them in clear storage boxes to easily see what’s inside, and then move the boxes to another room, like the attic or basement. Or use under-the-bed storage solutions. Think of bed risers and zippered storage containers or stylish wheeled drawers. If you have the closet space, store clothes by season with the current season at the front.

Use a System That Works for You

There are different ways to organize clothes. The most typical is by clothing type where shirts go together, then pants, and so on. Another method is to hang up clothing items by function. Group the pieces you wear to the office, everyday pieces, and gym clothes. Organizing your clothes in order allows for easy access. Life becomes more stress-free when you have what you use most within reach and organized to best fit your needs.

Reach Out to The Massey Team

If you’re looking for a new home, staying organized is a great way to showcase your house and get ready for the big move. With over 45 years of experience, The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties makes the process of buying or selling your home as stress-free as possible! Give us a call at either (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 and learn more today.

Tips For Keeping Your Pool Sparkling Clean

Man cleaning swimming pool with vacuum tube cleaner early in the morning

It’s summertime, which means you’ve opened your pool for the season. This is great! Some fun in the sun isn’t complete without a pool party, but nothing ruins the perfect pool day like a dirty pool. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you keep your pool sparkling clean so enjoy these beautiful summer days.

Skim Off Leaves & Debris

Skimming the surface of your pool should be done daily. For this, you’ll need a long-handled leaf skimmer to gather up leaves, insects, and any other debris that might have fallen into your pool. The goal is to catch the debris before it falls to the bottom of your pool where it’s harder to clean and where the debris can cause stains. If you have trees anywhere around your pool, it’s recommended that you trim them back to reduce the amount of possible debris. Skimming is important because it also keeps debris from clogging the filter.

Brush Sediment from Pool Walls

You should brush the pool walls and fixtures every week to get rid of any dirt and algae that may have collected there. Use a brush to brush the walls, ladder, slide, and any other fixtures to remove the dirt. To make things easier for yourself, try and brush the dirt towards the main drain of the pool where it will be vacuumed up easily.

Vacuum The Pool

Once the algae and dirt has been brushed from the walls and fixtures of your pool, you can vacuum any debris that has fallen to the bottom. There are two different types of vacuums you can use—an automatic or manual vacuum.

If you want to go with an automatic vacuum, there are three types: robotic, pressure, and suction. A robotic vacuum is the most energy-efficient and works separate from your filtration system. The pressure vacuum is your middle of the road automatic vacuum that utilizes the pressure line from the filtration system to move around your pool. The final, and cheapest alternative is the suction vacuum. The suction vacuum uses the water flow from your filtration system and attaches either to a dedicated suction port or skimmer.

The alternative to an automatic vacuum is the manual. With a manual vacuum you’ll want to submerge your vacuum head and hose before hooking to vacuum up to the filter. When you vacuum the bottom of your pool, make sure you move like you’re pushing a lawn mower, and that the lanes you make overlap to ensure you are picking up the most debris possible.

Maintain Chemical Levels

An important part about owning a pool is understanding the necessary chemicals needed to keep the water clean and clear. The two things you’ll want to monitor the most are the chlorine and pH levels. Chlorine is a chemical that kills germs and bacteria in the pool water and the pH level (measures how acidic or alkaline the water is) influences how effective the chlorine is at keeping the water clean. You can use a water testing kit to test your water about twice a week. Your chlorine should measure between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million, while the pH levels should read between 7.2 and 7.6. If the pH is too low add an alkali to reduce acidity, and if it is too high, add an acid to the water, muriatic acid or sodium bismuthate are the most used.

Shock & Algaecide

Once a week you should shock, or super-chlorinate, your pool to kill any bacteria or algae that may be growing. You can buy shock at any pool supply store, but make sure to read the box to see how much you should use, because it varies on the size of the pool you need to shock.  Apply algaecide if you notice any algae growing along the walls or fixtures of your pool. Algae can turn your water green, yellow, or cloudy.

Backwash

Backwash refers to cleaning out your pool filter. This is when you run water through the system in the opposite direction. If your water starts to get cloudy it’s time to backwash.

Maintain Good Water Circulation

If you don’t maintain water circulation it could affect how the chemicals in your pool, like chlorine, are dispersed, which throws off the hole balance of your pool’s ecosystem. To maintain good water circulation, you should run your pump for at least eight hours a day, clean out your skimmer basket weekly, empty out your pump and filter basket weekly, consistently clean filter, and monitor and troubleshoot any unexpected PSI changes.

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties

Looking for a property with the perfect pool for summer parties and relaxation? Contact The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties today! To get a look at our current listings at https://masseyteam.bhhsselectstl.com/. Want to get in contact with a member of our team, reach out to either of these two phone numbers: (618)791-5024 & (618)791-9298

How to Refresh Your Home on a Budget

Chances are, you’ve looked around your home and decided now is the time for an update. What you liked years ago has changed, and so have you! We’ve compiled a  list of seven tips on how you can refresh your home on a budget – and help you fall in love with your home all over again!

Swap Out Accessories

Ready to give your couch or bed a facelift? Add a pop of color to any room with accessories. Decorate with colorful accent pillows and throw blankets to match the season or your mood. Pillows can add texture, pattern, color and that finishing touch that you’re looking for and are an inexpensive way to change the look of a room.

Change Up the Hardware

You may have noticed, as you’re taking out ingredients and cookware to make dinner, that your kitchen isn’t exactly your style any longer.  No worries!  An easy way to update your kitchen’s aesthetic is with new hardware for your drawers and cabinets.  Knobs and pulls are easy to install and generally inexpensive – and can put a fresh and modern spin on your cabinets and kitchen style.

Incorporate Plants Indoors and Out

Did you know that studies show that plants can reduce the feelings of anxiety and depression, can make you more productive and boost creativity, and also increase the air quality in your home? Adding plants to any space is a great way to give a room character while achieving some health benefits for the occupants! By breathing in this fresh air, you’ll naturally feel more relaxed and less stressed. And, your room will look more cozy too! If you’re a newbie, here’s a list of 12 beautiful flowers that are easy to grow!

Bring Out the Paint

Walls show signs of wear and tear over time. There are scratches from moving furniture, holes from hanging up paintings, and chipped paint from age. A fresh coat of paint easily and quickly updates the look and feel of a room.

Want to create instant curb appeal? Go ahead and freshen up the front door while you’re at it. As we all know, first impressions matter. Consider painting your front door with a bright, welcoming shade like blue, yellow, or red.

Make a Statement With Your Walls

A fresh coat of paint isn’t the only way to revive your walls. You can also create a statement wall by adding your favorite paint color or wallpaper pattern to a central wall in your room. Also, consider adding artwork by hanging a large painting, or create a sophisticated gallery wall with photos and art of varying sizes. This is a great opportunity to display photos from vacations and other memorable outings.

Add Warmth With Rugs

A great way to add warmth and charm to a space is with the addition of area rugs. Adding area rugs in the entryway and under tables can help anchor any room. Combining rugs, blankets, and pillows with complimenting colors and textures can help create a warm, cozy vibe and quickly refresh any room.  And the best part? Adding area rugs can also help cut heating costs in the winter months!

Create A Cozy Nook

A small, calming space can be just what you need to relax. In the corner of a room, set up a small table and comfy chair, and adorn them with a fuzzy blanket and comfortable pillows. Place a small bookshelf and a reading light to make the ideal reading nook, or a floor mat for the perfect spot to meditate. You’ll feel more at ease in no time.

Trust the Experts at The Massey Team

Not sure where to start? Trust the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties! We’ll help you find the home of your dreams and make positive changes. Give us a call at either (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 and learn more today.