6 Ways to Create a Classy, Inspiring Workout Room

5726470040_229923423a_b.jpgThe gym might be a great place to get a workout in, but there’s nothing like being able to exercise in the comfort of your own home! Oftentimes when people think of home gyms and workout rooms, they picture spaces cluttered with bulky exercise equipment, which can make the whole idea pretty disenchanting. Whether you’re a yoga fan or enjoy weightlifting or speed-walking on the treadmill, there are several ways you can make your workout room peaceful, classy, and inspiring!

Here are our 6 tips to help you create a home workout room that you won’t want to leave!

Choose a Great Color – Fitness rooms don’t have to be white or gray. In fact, we really love the idea of incorporating pops of color in the walls! Try painting the walls a soothing shade of blue, green, or purple. Lighter shades of yellow can also be cheerful and invigorating. We do recommend staying away from very strong colors like red and orange, though. You’ll want your workout room to be inspiring and calming, not draining!

Unclutter the Space – It’s hard to stay focused on your workout if you have piles of papers and junk scattered throughout your workout room. After all, clutter can make you feel unorganized and anxious. Get rid of the clutter and make your space a peaceful place that you can’t wait to spend time in!

Let in the Light – Who wants to exercise under harsh fluorescent lighting? No one, that’s who! If you can, try making your workout area a place that receives a lot of natural light. This will make the space energizing and relaxing. Like to work out at night or don’t get a lot of natural lighting? Opt for lamps and sconces!

Bring the Outside In – Houseplants can be a wonderful addition to your home, especially in your workout room. They not only help filter the air, but they also help create a calming, happy environment. Add a few of your favorite houseplants to help make your daily workouts more pleasant. We recommend easy-to-care-for plants like philodendrons – they are pretty forgiving if you forget to water them every once in a while!

Give Yourself Some Room – Okay, we’re stating the obvious here – exercise requires some space. Make sure that your fitness room isn’t jam-packed with equipment and that you have at least a few feet in every direction to do all the lunges, cartwheels, and yoga moves you want!

Choose Inspiring Artwork – Give yourself boosts of motivation with a few of your favorite prints! You can frame some of your favorite motivational quotes, put up prints of your favorite locations, or hang up some of your favorite artwork. Seeing these great pieces hanging on the walls will help inspire you to do your best!

Want a home that has plenty of space for your workout regimen but don’t know where to start? Call The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to begin your search today! Be sure to check out our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

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7 Easy Ways to Decorate Your Home After the Holidays

winter-door-decoration-christmasThe holidays are now over, which means that it’s time to put away the holiday décor for another year. Now is the time to transition your home from the holidays to winter décor, which is actually a lot easier than you might believe it to be! Give your home a mini-makeover this month – here are 7 ways you can refresh your home and keep it happy and bright after the holidays!

Bring in the Light – Let’s face it, during the winter season, some days can be downright dreary. Just because it’s gloomy and gray outside doesn’t mean that your home needs to be! Plenty of lighting can help open your space and brighten any room in your home. Bring out your favorite lamps, candles, and lanterns and light up your home in no time!

De-Clutter – Is your resolution this year to get more organized? Kill two birds with one stone by going through your home and de-cluttering your space! Gather any of your holiday decorations and put them away in their designated storage spaces. We’re talking about ornaments, wreaths, garland, and mini Christmas trees. Do a bit of “winter cleaning,” repurpose any holiday decorations that you know can double up as winter decorations, and let your space breath again!

Refresh Your Throw Pillows – Want an easy way to bring some life back into your home? Try using different throw pillows! Fresh colors and textures can work wonders on your couches, chairs, and beds. Try choosing pillows in a trendy color scheme to update your home’s look. We’re loving whites, blues, and gold and also whites, blacks, pale pinks, and metallic for chic color schemes!

Take Out the Red – Pops of red belong in the holiday season, not necessarily in winter décor. After all, winter is a time for whites, neutrals, grays, blues, and metallic shades. Try taking out the red berries out of your birch decorations to get the right feel. Paring down the greenery can also help you steer clear of any festive vibe!

Jazz Up the Walls – Bring in some cheer by using some fun, colorful wall décor! Think bright colors and chic metallic foils for a fresh, energetic ambiance. Don’t be afraid to mix canvas and framed art to give depth to your walls!

Think Rustic – The holidays are a bright, bold time full of noise and joy. Winter, on the other hand, is a serene time of year that evokes feelings of quiet and calm. You can bring this atmosphere into your home with a few simple rustic touches! Substitute pinecones for heavy garland. Bring in twine and rustic objects to create unique centerpieces for your mantel and coffee table for the season.

Keep It Cozy – Winter is the perfect season to bring out your coziest, warmest blankets, pillows, and throws. Toss your faux fur throw over your favorite armchair. Make the couch extra cozy with oversized fuzzy pillows. Add warmth to your bed with incredibly soft blankets. There’s just something so great about snuggling up with these items and enjoying a good book with some hot tea or hot chocolate!

Looking for a new home to keep you cozy during the winter and beyond? The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties can help with that! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started, or check out our current listings on our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

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

pexels-photo-54200It 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:

Get Outside – Yes, we said it – get outside and enjoy what winter has to offer! Journey down your neighborhood’s streets after they’ve been covered by freshly fallen snow. Have a snowball fight with your buddies and make snow angels with your family. Go skiing or simply take a drive and enjoy how the snow decorates the barren landscape.

Bask in the Sunlight – Along the same lines, it’s always enjoyable to take in as much sunlight as you can this season. Getting enough light during the winter helps maintain a positive mood and can help stave off those winter blues. Besides, sunny winter days are full of wonder! We recommend getting at least 15 minutes of sunshine a day, if you can.

Get Moving – While it’s awfully tempting to lounge around all day under your coziest blanket, it’s a really good idea to develop and maintain an active lifestyle. Bundle up and head out for a walk with the dog, or hit the treadmill in the basement or at your local gym. Staying active will make you happier and keep you fit and healthy!

Enjoy Winter’s Superfood Selection – When we think of eating delicious fruit and vegetables, we usually think about the fresh produce that summer gives. Winter, however, provides plenty of amazing produce! Enjoy fresh kale, Brussels sprouts, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, and clementine with your daily meals.

Pamper Yourself – Remember earlier when we mentioned snuggling with an incredibly cozy blanket? You should definitely do that! The long dark nights are the perfect time to enjoy yourself in the comforts of your home. Make yourself a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate and read your favorite book by the fireplace. Take a nice, warm soak in the tub. Do anything that will make you feel warm and happy!

Look Forward to the New Year – Now is the perfect time of the year to reflect and start looking forward to what the New Year has in store for you. Take the time to set a few personal goals for the coming year. Make sure that they are challenging yet attainable.

How do you enjoy the season of winter? Tell us in the comments below! We love hearing from you!

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

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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.

One of the biggest questions we usually wind up asking ourselves every year is this: should I decorate with white lights or multi-colored lights this year?

If you’re having trouble deciding between these two choices, here are a few reasons for you to use either of them:

White Lights

They Are Always a Great Neutral Color – If you don’t want to be totally inundated with color this holiday season, white lights might be right for you. Go totally neutral by pairing white holiday lights with metallic or glass decorations and plenty of gold, silver, and bronze. The color can come from the tree itself, the stockings, the presents under the tree, and other holiday decorations you place around your home!

They Always Add Ambiance – Glimmering white lights always add some level of magic, wonder and sophistication, especially during the holidays. Besides, their subtle light can complement any color scheme!

 

Multi-Colored Lights

They Get You in the Holiday Spirit – When added to trees, shrubbery, rooftops, and more, multi-colored lights give a happy, playful, and energetic vibe, which can really help you get in the holiday spirit. Thanks to LED settings, you can now customize your colorful light displays to sparkle, twinkle, and dance as well!

They Give You a Fun Color Palette – You can easily go with a more simplified route by choosing one or two specific colors, or you can choose to get more festive by using a myriad of colors. Whichever you choose, you have countless options, and there’s really no way you can go wrong!

Whether you put multi-colored lights or white lights on your tree or home this year, there really are no downsides to either lighting option. In fact, if you really want to, you can even choose to have the best of both worlds and use both! It all boils down to a matter of preference, so choose what you like!

Which side are you on? Be sure to tell us in the comments below! We love hearing from you. Happy holidays!

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

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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:

The Great River Road – Talk about a scenic drive! Our beautiful river road hugs the mighty Mississippi Road and spans of beautiful scenery including craggy bluffs and a huge variety of trees. It’s a perfect road to take if you want to look at the gorgeous fall foliage or just want to get out for a refreshing drive away from the city.

Rich History – History buffs will love discovering all of the rich and sometimes bizarre history that made the Metro East great. From the discoveries of Louis and Clark on the Mississippi to the harrowing tales of the frightening Piasa bird, there’s a lot to learn and appreciate by living here!

Cahokia Mounds – Once larger than London in AD 1250, Cahokia Mounds contains the remains of the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico. Take the time to learn about the ancient civilization that once made its home here, or simply climb and sit atop the largest mound and watch a beautiful sunset in peace.

The Way of Lights – The holiday season is a magical time here in the Metro East. One of the best things to do to celebrate is to head over to Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville to witness the annual Way of Lights holiday display. Enjoy more than one million colorful lights as you visit one of the largest outdoor shrines in the nation. It’s a must for residents of the Metro East (and anyone else, for that matter)!

Gorgeous Fall Foliage – You don’t have to travel anywhere far to see outstanding fall foliage – just look in the neighborhoods around you! Whether you travel down the streets in your hometown, take the time to peruse Pere Marquette State Park, or take a walk or bike ride down one of the many trails, nature’s beauty can be found right in our own backyard!

Quick and Easy Accessibility – The Metro East is a place that gives its residents both the peace of the countryside and the excitement of the city. You can easily enjoy plenty of small town activities, but if you’re in the mood for a bit of big city living, St. Louis is only a hop, skip, and a jump away!

Amazing Food – St. Louis is home to several food items that were created right here in our backyard! We get to know the true joys of eating toasted ravioli on a cold day, gooey butter cake at a get-together, provel cheese on our pizzas, and drinking an ice-cold Ski.

That Hometown Feeling – Perhaps the thing that we’re the most thankful for is the community in which we live. Our many communities are full of friendly, caring people. These people are the neighbors you live next to and work with, the people who come up and say hello to you in the store or at a local restaurant, and the people who would give your car a boost if the battery died. We are grateful to be living amongst genuine, hardworking, and caring people here in the Metro East!

Is it your dream to live in the St. Louis region? We can make it become a reality! Just call The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298. You can also take a look at all of our great listings by visiting us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com. We hope that you have a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving!

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

天地無用_(7736032314).jpgMoving 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!

Get the Utilities Up and Running – If you haven’t done so already, get the main house utilities up and running as soon as you can. You’ll want to call the power and water providers to help get your electricity, gas, and running water set up in your new home. Don’t forget about setting up Internet, phone, cable and other important services you may need or want!

Unpack the Essentials – Before you start tackling those looming stacks of boxes, get the 2 most important rooms – the bedroom and the bathroom – ready for immediate use. Assemble your bed, unpack your bedding, and make your bed so you can fall asleep easily at the end of the big day. In the bathroom, dig out your essentials such as your toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, other toiletries, towels, and, of course, your favorite bathrobe to use after a relaxing shower!

Locate and Get Familiar with the Fuse Box and Main Water Valve – Now that you’re in your new home, you will need to find where the fuse box and main water valve are located in case of emergencies or if you ever need to fix a power or water issue. Ensure that the fuses are labeled correctly, and get familiar with how to work the main water valve so you can limit damage should an emergency like burst pipes occur.

Change the Locks – You may hold the keys to your new home, but do you know who else may have a spare set? Secure your home against unauthorized access by changing the locks on all outside doors. This is a quick and easy fix that will help ensure that only you and your family have access to your home.

Connect the Major Appliances – If you’ve decided to move your major appliances, you will want to hook them up as soon as possible. When it comes to refrigerators, however, you will need to take extra precautions to get it installed correctly. First, leave your fridge upright on its final resting place for at least 3 full hours. Then, plug it in and turn it on. By giving it at least 3 hours to rest, you’ll allow the oil to relocate itself into the compressor where it belong.

Wipe Down Your Cabinets – Before you give your dishes, pantry items, and bathroom supplies a brand-new home, wipe down the cabinets inside-out. Use a non-toxic cleaner to make it sparkling clean, and replace the contact paper if necessary.

Clean the House Completely – While we’re on the topic of cleaning, it’s wise to give your new home a thorough cleaning. If possible, try to clean it from top to bottom before you move it – the process will be a whole lot easier. Don’t forget to wash the windows, vacuum the floors, and steam-clean the carpets! You’ll be happy you did this whenever you’re totally settled in.

Change Your Address – Now it’s time to inform all of the important people and institutions about your change of address! Update your information on your voter’s registration, and inform your bank, credit card companies, insurance companies, and other businesses about your move. Once that’s done, tell your family and friends about your new change of address if they don’t know already!

Keep Unpacking – As you’re unpacking all of your belongings and finding a new home for them, carefully inspect all of the boxes for any signs of damage from the move. Take your time unpacking and enjoy the process of decorating and settling into your new digs!

Still haven’t found your dream home yet? We can help! Just call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties! You can reach us at either (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298, or check out our listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

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

8117905297_8903e72f54_b.jpgHalloween 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.

In the weeks coming up to Halloween, friends and families of all shapes and sizes emerge to celebrate the fall season in their own ways. Many make it a tradition to visit Mill’s Apple Farm in Marine to pick apples and pumpkins or to enjoy a fun hayride. Groups of friends carpool over to the famous Great Godfrey Maze to get lost in the 7-acre cornfield while children enjoy the cow train and the corn crib. Others still take to the road and drive down the Great River Road by Alton and Grafton, enjoying the stunning visions of autumn in the trees that grace the riverside.

Then the magic all culminates and comes to life on Halloween night. As darkness falls, thousands of spectators line the streets of downtown Edwardsville for the biggest Halloween celebration in the Metro East – the EdGlen Halloween Parade! This tradition has brought joy and wonder to the community for nearly 95 years. Spectators watch in awe as marching bands, school groups, community organizations, entertainers, and more than 100 floats take to the streets, make noise, and throw candy to onlookers. Children laugh in delight as friends and family huddle together and enjoy hot chocolate and coffee while the parade marches on.

The magic continues as trick-or-treating begins. Rows of homes turn on the lights on their porches, acting as beacons for trick-or-treaters to receive delicious Halloween goodies. The night is alive as children and their parents and guardians flock to the streets and run up cheerfully to each lit up house. Groups of local residents walk together as the autumn leaves gently scoot across the sidewalks, illuminated by the iridescent glow of the street lamps. The night comes to a close as residents return to their homes, turn off their porch lights, and wind down for the evening.

Sound like a dream to you? We can help make it a reality. Let The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties help you find the perfect home for you here in Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, or other wonderful towns in the Metro East! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298. You can also get started by checking out our listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

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

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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.

While your home might look like a haunted house and you probably feel at home, would you really ever consider buying a real haunted house?

According to the 2013 Haunted Housing Report from realtor.com, 62% of American homebuyers are open to purchasing a real-life haunted house while 38% said they would walk away from the opportunity as fast as possible!

The study revealed that while a large majority of homebuyers are open to buying a haunted home, many of them will conduct their own research on a home’s history as well. Also, the study also shows that while quite a few Americans would be willing to purchase a haunted house at a discounted price, many say that their deal-breakers include levitating objects, ghost sightings, and seeing objects move from one place to another (and we can’t blame them!).

For those of you who wouldn’t dream of buying a haunted house but still like to get your thrills around this time of the year, there are some haunted locations that you can visit in St. Louis and the Metro East St. Louis region! From the spooky McPike Mansion and the Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton to the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis and the Lincoln Theater in Belleville, you can get your ghostly kicks in without moving to a new home.

So how about you? Would you be open to buying a haunted home? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!

8 Easy, Frugal Ways to Welcome Fall Into Your Home

haybaleIt’s official – fall is here! Although the weather still feels summery for the moment, we will soon be experiencing cooler temperatures, changing colors in the flora around us, and the crunch of fallen leaves under our feet. Autumn is an undeniably beautiful season, especially here in the Metro St. Louis region. But why just enjoy the season outside when you can welcome elements of autumn into your home?!

Here are 8 easy ways you can welcome fall into your home without breaking the bank!

Switch Out the Bed Linens – As soon as the nighttime temperatures dip and remain cool, it’s time to ditch the summery coverlet and break out the cozy comforter or duvet! Comforters are perfect for snuggling in when the weather turns colder. Don’t forget to rotate your mattress and wash or replace any older pillows!

Bring the Outdoors In – Now it’s time to go outside and gather a few choice items from Mother Nature to bring into your home! Decorate with twigs, dried flowers, gourds, fall leaves, and pinecones. Of course, it just isn’t fall without a few pumpkins in the mix as well! You can decorate your mantel with these items or put them in a glass bowl or a cornucopia.

Add Some Chunky Blankets – Strategically placing a chunky knit blanket or faux fur blanket on your sofas or chairs instantly adds an air of coziness to your space. While you’re at it, switch out the light, summery pillows for heavier, plush pillows.

Get Your Fireplace Ready – Before you fire up your fireplace for the season, make sure you get it cleaned and inspected by a professional! Arrange some logs and kindling nearby for easy access and to add a bit of warmth. You can also arrange a few pumpkins by the fireplace to give it that fall feel!

Dress Up the Dining Room Table – Spruce up your table with some table linens or fabrics in warm fall colors! We’re thinking dark, rich fabrics in shades of red, orange, and gold. Dark shades of purple can also work well as an accent!

Add Fall-Scented Candles – Pick out a few of your favorite autumnal scents and light them on the first cool afternoon for a cozy feeling in your home! Try scents like pumpkin, apple pie, or cinnamon. These will work perfectly in your living room and kitchen!

Treat Yourself to a Few Fall Treats – With the change of season, take some time out to treat yourself to a few autumnal goodies like a fresh selection of tea or hot chocolate mixes and maybe a new thermal mug. If you don’t have one already, make yourself a tea or hot chocolate station so you can enjoy your favorite fall beverage whenever the urge strikes. Don’t forget to complete the station with all of your favorite flavors, sugar, and marshmallows!

Bake Your Favorite Fall Treat – Bring the scents of fall into your home by baking and enjoying your favorite fall treat! Heat up the oven and create some delicious cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bread, or caramel apple cobbler to enjoy. Better yet, invite some friends over and enjoy these desserts together!

How do you welcome fall into your home? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook! Better yet, show us how you decorate for the season on our Facebook page! We love seeing our fans and clients get creative!

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

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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.

Gather Crops and Destroy Debris – Have you planted any veggies in your garden this year? If so, now is the time to gather your tomatoes and squash and dig up your potatoes. If you have fruit trees, be sure to gather any fallen fruit since this will keep wasps to a minimum and limit the spread of disease. Speaking of disease, take steps to prevent it by removing all plant parts from your garden, including leafy materials and pieces of the vegetables. Double-bag those parts and put them out with the garbage. This will help stop spores from reproducing and ruining your plants next year!

Tidy Up – Fall is the perfect time to clean up any foliage from your roses, peonies, and other plants that could have diseased foliage. Bag up those dead and diseased parts and put it out with the garbage as well. If you have spring-blooming plants or late bloomers, we suggest dividing them for next year. These include spring bloomers like irises, dianthus, brunnera, laminum, and primrose and late bloomers like black-eyed Susans, geraniums, hostas, daylilies, coneflowers, and yarrows.

Rake and Break Down Leaves – Your leaves don’t have to go out with the trash! Instead, rake them up, bag them, and let them break down over the winter. If you’d like to use them sooner, shred them with a lawnmower or with a leaf blower set on reverse and rake them into your flower gardens. These leaves will provide rich nutrients for next year’s flowers and plants.

Map Out a Crop Rotation – While you’re enjoying your cup of hot chocolate or hot tea indoors, take the time now to plan out your veggie crop rotation chart. Planting your veggies in different spots can help reduce the risk of disease during the next growing season, so be sure to plan ahead!

Plant Trees, Shrubs, and Perennials – It might seem counterintuitive to plant anything when the weather starts to get colder, but these plants can grow their root system quite well during this time. That’s because the weather is cooler and more cooperative with plentiful rain and soil that isn’t stressed out from extreme summertime conditions. So if you want to see some new shrubs and trees take root and grow in your yard, go ahead and plant them now!

What do you do to prepare your gardens and flowerbeds for the impending cold weather? Tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page!