5 Fun Ways You Can Make the Most Out of Winter This Year

how you can make the most out of winterIt may not be official, but we dare to say that winter has arrived! We have recently experienced plunging cold temperatures, goose bump-inducing wind chills, and even a little bit of wintry precipitation. While some people aren’t big fans of winter, we think it’s a wonderful season full of beauty and opportunities to make fun memories!

Embrace winter this year! Here are a few ways you can make the most out of the season both at home and outside:

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White Lights or Multi-Colored Lights – Which Side Are You On?

white lights or multi-colored lights

The holidays are officially here! If you couldn’t tell from the colder temperatures and the shorter amount of daylight we’ve been experiencing, you can easily tell that the season is upon us whenever you go outside and see the beautiful spectacle of holiday lights. Trees and shrubs are bedecked in multi-colored lights, trees sparkle with clear white light in living rooms, and a myriad of bright lights can be found downtown or in your own neighborhood.

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8 Things We’re Thankful for in the Metro East St. Louis Region

Fun things to do near St. Louis

As residents of the Metro East St. Louis region, we are surrounded by a large number of wonderful places, people, amenities, and activities. Too often, though, we take these great things in our lives for granted. This Thanksgiving week, we’d like to give everyone a little reminder of just a few of the countless things we have to be thankful for here in the Metro East. Here are just 8 of our favorites:

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9 Essential Tasks to Do After You Move into Your New Home

moving day to-do listMoving day is finally here! All of your belongings are packed and waiting to be moved over to your new home. We know that moving day comes with a huge mess of emotions and you trying to figure out where you want everything as your movers bring in your belongings. While moving everything into your home is understandably at the forefront of your mind, there are a few other tasks you will need to attend to once you’ve moved in.

Here are 9 big tasks you will need to do once you move into your dream home!

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There’s Nothing Like Halloween in Edwardsville and Glen Carbon!

Halloween in Glen CarbonHalloween is quickly approaching. Pumpkins and decorations in black and orange adorn the houses in the neighborhoods across the nation, homeowners and renters are purchasing candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters in just a few short weeks, and children of all ages are thinking about what they want to be for Halloween this year and are finalizing their costumes. While Halloween is a fun time to celebrate in the countless towns and cities nationwide, there’s nothing quite like Halloween here in our own backyard of the Metro East St. Louis region.

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Haunted Houses – Would You Say Good Buy or Good-Bye?

would you buy a haunted house?

It’s that time of the year again! Throughout our neighborhoods, we can see countless homes bedecked with fall and Halloween decorations. Pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns dot patios and stairs, ghost clings haunt storm doors and trees, and skeletons dance in the windows of our homes. This time of the year is exceptionally spooky with the arrival of fall, shorter days, and, of course, Halloween, and Americans love decorating their homes in celebration of the holiday.

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5 Essential Tasks to Help Prep Your Garden for Fall and Winter Now

how to prep your garden for fall and winter

It might still feel like summer out there, but fall and winter will be here before you know it. When it comes to our gardens and flowerbeds, it’s important to think ahead and prepare for the upcoming seasons. So don’t put those gardening tools away just yet! Here are 5 important tasks you should do in your garden to prepare it for the colder months.

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Traveling? Take Care of Your Home First With These 9 Tips!

thermostat

If you’re planning on taking a trip sometime this summer for business or for pleasure, you’ve probably thought about which hotel to check in, which restaurants to try out, and which attractions to see along the way. You might also have your bag packed and ready to go. But what about your home? You’ll need to take steps to secure your home before you take a trip – otherwise, you could have a possible break-in on your hands.

Don’t worry – there are plenty of easy steps you can take to deter would-be thieves! Here are 9 simple steps you can take to keep your home safe while you’re out, whether it’s for 2 days, 2 weeks, or somewhere in between.

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Want a Little Home Office? Turn Your Closet Into an Office in a Snap!

how to make a closet officeThere’s nothing quite like having your own little home office to retreat to so that you can do your bills in peace, continue some work from the office in the comfort of your own home, or write or create something beautiful. Sometimes, though, space just isn’t an option. You might not have that extra room to dedicate as your own personal home office. You might not even have room for a desk in your home or apartment.

So how can you have your own little home office without having to move, renovate, or build on to your home? It’s easy! Just turn a closet of yours into your own little compact office!

When you begin making your closet office, so to speak, start by maximizing every square inch of the space with smart storage solutions so that your new space will be worth showing off! You will need to keep in mind that this new “room” is also not like any other in your home; you will need to be very wise about how you implement pieces of furniture and space-saving devices.

See below how you can start making your compact office now!

Choose a Great Wallpaper – Since this is an interior segment of your room, you will want to make it pop and stand out from the rest of the room instead of blending in with boring paint or, worse even still, leaving it that nasty white, beige, or off-white color that has been on the wall since the home was built, a wall that has been shrouded in darkness and covered with dust. We humbly suggest using wallpaper instead! Find a really gorgeous piece of wallpaper that speaks to you or makes you feel more creative or productive. A great wallpaper will take your space from closet to a destination

Try Floating Planks – Shelves are a great way to help conserve space, but clunky hardware and the visual clutter of brackets can really put a cramp on your compact office space’s style! Instead, try using floating planks! The won’t overwhelm a tiny room, but they will still have all the space you need to store all those things you need for your office! As a bonus, they will hardly obscure your gorgeous wallpaper!

Select Fun Organizers – With this small space, think outside the box a bit! You don’t have to be tied down to boring office supplies and organizers, especially when office supplies and boxes come in so many great prints, colors, and designs these days! Choose files and boxes that spark your interest. Instead of using a boring old cup for your pencils and paper clips, opt for something more fun like a trophy or a nice vase!

Light It Up – If you’re familiar at all with design, then you probably know that the right lighting can make a space come alive and that poor lighting can negate any positive effect that any paint choice or piece of furniture could provide. To make this closet office a bright, inviting space, choose overhead lighting or even a dainty chandelier to provide the right light while giving your small space an ambiance of elegance. You may also wish to use a desk lamp for practical task lighting as well.

Make Your Own Desk – If you want to place a small desk in your closet space, that’s fine by us, but did you know that you can easily make your own custom desk! You really can! Just start with two standard file cabinets and attach a wheeled stand to the base of each cabinet (to make moving it a cinch!)! You can brighten up the boring cabinets with a bit of indoor/outdoor spray paint as well. Finally, position a ready-made melamine desktop on top of the two cabinets, and you’re ready to use your very own easily-movable desk!

Choose Your Final Furnishings – When you’re done creating your own closet office, select your final furnishings to finish the job! We suggest picking a nice, soft rug that has a big of a personality to make a soft spot for your bare feet and also a small, versatile chair that can easily move elsewhere within the room or underneath the desk if at all possible.

Want more tips? Searching for a home of your own that has enough room for a home office (or at least a big enough closet) and your other must-haves on your list? You’ve come to the right place! We can find you that perfect place just for you in no time. Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can best assist you!

9 Easy Ways to Make Your Patio Pop!

patio tipsSpring is finally here, and several people around the nation will begin working on their yard and garden. But what about your patio? It’s time to start thinking about what you want your patio to look like and what function you want it to play!

There are so many things you can do to make your patio accent your yard and garden instead of the other way around. Make your patio work for your yard this year instead of always feeling like you are working for it!

Here are 9 quick and easy things to do to make your patio this pop this year!

Tone It Down– If your yard has a good variety of plant types and textures, then you want your patio to be a little more toned down. You don’t want to try to add too many additional types of patterns to an already diverse setting because it can become very overwhelming and too jarring to be relaxing.

Say Hello To Your Biggest Fan! If you have a structure overhead to help shield you from the elements you may also be shielded from the refreshing summer breeze. This could warm you up during the summer months rather than help cool you down. One way to counter this is by installing a ceiling fan if possible. This will not only help get the air moving and help keep you cool but it is also an added light source!

Light Up Your Life – When creating a beautiful patio, why not consider using exterior lighting? It not only helps keep you safe at night and illuminates your pathway, but it can also help create gorgeous ambience!  It’ll help cast light on your dinner plates after the sun has set as well as make the light source decorative and fun looking.

Bring Nature to Your Patio– Tie your patio together with the rest of your yard! You don’t want your patio to come to an abrupt end when it hits your yard and garden. By placing decorative potted plants on the patio you can make your patio and yard flow together nicely despite how large or small your patio is. Try putting your favorite plants and succulents in beautiful pots of all shapes and sizes to give your patio life and a chic look!

Over the Garden Wall – Trellises are a simple and easy way to soften the edges of your patio. By choosing the height, spacing, and type you can easily find a design that fits the needs you have. They also provide a nice way to add a flowering vine to your yard!

Consider Using Your Front Yard – Front yard patios are not all that common, but that doesn’t mean you have to let all that space go to waste! Instead, move your patio to the front! It will give you a place to easily entertain your guests and neighbors and can accent your home beautifully. Using mid-height flower planters will provide you with an elegant and beautiful privacy wall and will also give you more space to plant!

Get Creative – If you have a partially enclosed patio or a patio that is protected from the elements then it’s time to decorate it! Accent it with cushions, pillows, accent rugs, decorative pots, and more so that it has the feel you want. Add in favorite pieces of art – just make sure they are properly shielded from the elements! Add a photo frame or two of your latest vacation. Make your patio a space that you’ll never want to leave!

Make Your Patio Multi-Functional – Make your patio have more then just the typical use. Make your prep station work as a breakfast bar as well. Allow one side for seating so that you can eat your breakfast or lunch out there while having a larger table for dinner and dinner parties! Not only will you have a prep-table and a serving area but also a great place for you and your closest friends to gather for small get-togethers!

Introduce the Element of Water – Water features, even a small one, provide a soothing sound and a calm environment. Birds and butterflies also find themselves attracted to these water features to drink from and bathe in. Allow these beautiful water elements to become a focal point in your yard to help you attract and appreciate the beauty of nature!

You don’t have to take part in all 9 of these ideas in order to create a vibrant, welcoming patio that will be the envy of all your neighbors! Feel free to employ one, two, several, or all of the tips to get that patio you’ve always dreamed of!

Speaking of dreaming, now is the time to find that dream home you’ve always wanted! We can help! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com today to find that home you’ve been dreaming of living in!