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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8 Easy, Frugal Ways to Welcome Fall Into Your Home

ways to welcome fall into your homeIt’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!

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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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Love Your Living Room With These 8 Intriguing Color Schemes!

classy color schemes for the home

Are you bored of your tired living room colors? Do you feel unrested or uninspired whenever you enter the room? This special space is not only the first room that your guests will typically enter, but it is also a sanctuary for you to unwind in at the end of your busy day.

Fall in love with your living room all over again! Check out these 8 unique paint color combinations and choose a look that’s right for your space:

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8 Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials to Choose for Your Kitchen

popular kitchen countertops

Your countertops are the star of the kitchen. It’s typically what homeowners and even potential buyers notice right away as soon as they step inside the kitchen. If you’re considering renovating your kitchen or need new countertops to replace any old or damaged countertops, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with so many different choices of countertops at your fingertips. After all, it’s important to choose a material that’s right for your lifestyle, suits your budget, and looks good in your kitchen.

Choosing the right countertop for your kitchen doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s a quick look at the various types of countertops you can have in your kitchen. See which one fits your needs the best!

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How Long Do Your Appliances Last?

how long do appliances last?

Whether you’re moving and are in need of new appliances or you’re in the hunt for a sorely-needed update, it’s always a good idea to be aware of your appliances’ shelf life. After all, you don’t want to be caught unaware when a major appliance goes on the fritz or breaks down permanently.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy little list to help you remember your major appliances’ shelf life! While you’re reading this list, keep in mind that these numbers indicate averages. Your appliance may last longer if you purchase a higher quality of equipment or if you maintain them well. Here is the list from Consumer Reports:

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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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6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Sunroom This Summer

maximize your sunroomThere’s no doubt about it – summer is here to stay for a while! While it’s fun to spend time with your friends and family outdoors during the summer months, but it’s also plenty of fun to spend time indoors in your sunroom as well. Your sunroom doesn’t just provide you with hours of enjoyment, but it also shields you from bug bites, pollen, and sunburns.

Whether you’ve had your sunroom for years or it’s brand-new, here are 6 ways you can get the most out of your sunroom this summer!

Get Comfortable – Although many sunroom owners feel like they need to have nothing but wicker furniture in their sunrooms, we totally advocate comfort first and foremost. Remember, this space will function like a second living room in the warmer months, so make sure you have furniture that is both comfortable and inviting. We’re thinking plush seating, plenty of pillows, some throw blankets, and maybe a rug or two.

Put In a Small Dining Area – What’s better than enjoying a delicious meal or fun tea party in the sunlight? If you can, try putting a small dining table and chairs somewhere in your sunroom for those summertime get-togethers with your friends or for the times you want to enjoy dinner while watching the sunset.

Keep It Cool – More than likely, your sunroom doesn’t have air conditioning. If not, make sure to keep the temperature comfortable with a ceiling fan. It can make a big difference in temperature and allow you to enjoy the room in comfort as you read a book, watch TV, play a game, or simply admire the view.

Don’t Forget the Shades – The best part about sunrooms is those big, generous windows that really let the sunshine in. If you want some privacy or want to regulate the temperature more effectively, it’s best to install some sturdy shades to keep the room cool during those sweltering summer days.

Plants, Plants, Plants – You know what else likes your sunroom, aside from you and your family and friends? Plants! Bring some potted plants and cute flowers into your sunroom to make the space even more enjoyable. These plants won’t just give you clean air to breathe, but they will also add a splash of color to the space!

Keep It Simple – As you’re adding all of these furnishings into your sunroom, try to keep it as streamlined and simple as possible. A simple atmosphere makes for a calming retreat that you’ll want to spend all of your time in every day!

There’s so much you can do to make your sunroom the most enjoyable it’s ever been this summer! If you don’t have a sunroom and are looking for a home that has the sunroom of your dreams, then call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298. You can also view our current listings on our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

The 7 Daily Cleaning Habits of People With Spotless Homes

habits of clean peopleDo you find yourself frantically picking up and cleaning whenever company comes over for a visit? Do you enter panic mode and start thinking about the mess in your home whenever a homebuyer decides to come see your house? If this sounds like you, there’s good news! You can make cleaning so much easier by implementing a few simple cleaning habits into your daily life.

Whether you want to keep a clean home for yourself, your guests, or future homebuyers (or all of the above!), try incorporating these 7 cleaning habits that people with spotless homes do every day:

Make Your Bed – This is one of the most difficult habits to maintain, but it’s very easy to do and is worth the few minutes you must spare in the morning. Making the bed every morning immediately makes your bedroom look cleaner. Studies have also suggested that those who make their beds every day sleep better as well!

Keep Paper to a Minimum – It can be easy to leave hulking stacks of junk mail, take-out menus, packaging from deliveries, and newspapers on just about every surface. Tackle this issue before things get out of hand! When you grab your mail every day, sort out important documents for you to keep and throw away any junk mail right away. Whenever you’re finished with a newspaper or magazine, recycle it as soon as possible. You’d be amazed at how clean your home will become!

Clean Up Right After Dinner – It’s so tempting to leave the dishes till tomorrow. We say resist the urge and clean up as soon as you’re done with dinner! Rinse and put any dirty cutlery, plates, or cooking accessory in the dishwasher. After that, wipe down your countertops and stove to keep them shining and spotless. If there are any crumbs on the floor, do a quick spot-sweep to keep your floors clean. You can get a head-start with this task by cleaning as you cook as well!

Pick Up as You Go – As you go about your day or come home from work, take the time to notice the spaces around you and put things away in their proper homes. Straighten up the couch pillows, put your shoes away as soon as you get home, put your hygiene products back in their designated space once you’re done using them. These easy tasks take just a few seconds of your time but can really help make your home look and feel cleaner.

Dust and Vacuum Regularly – You might not be a fan of cleaning, but those with spotless homes take the time out to dust and vacuum a few times every week. Doing so can save you from having to do more intensive cleaning on the weekends when you could be out having fun or relaxing in your clean home. If you have hardwood floors, consider using a Swiffer once a day or every other day before going to bed to keep the dust bunnies at bay. Got carpet? Vacuum every few days to keep the floors looking great. This will make cleaning go by much faster. Plus, clean floors sure do feel nice under your feet!

Clean the Bathroom Sink After Use – All you need is a container of baby wipes for this one! Store them under the sink, and use one after you using the sink. It’s an easy way to bid farewell to ever having to see toothpaste and soap in the sink again! If doing this after every use is too much, try wiping down the sink every night before going to bed.

Put Your Clothes Away Every Night – When it’s time to change outfits or change into your favorite pajamas, resist the urge to toss your clothes on a chair or on the floor. Put dirty clothes in the hamper and clean clothes in your closet or drawers. It makes laundry day much more bearable! Speaking of laundry day, fold and put away your clothes as soon as the load is done.

Whether you want to know how to keep your house looking better than ever or want to start searching for your dream home, the Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties is there for you! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to talk to an agent, or learn more about us online by visiting www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

8 Inviting Paint Color Ideas You Should Try on Your Front Door

blue doorWhat’s the first thing that people notice about your home? The front door! The color of your front door gives guests and passers-by an idea of the type of atmosphere within and they type of people who inhabit the home. But wait! Before you make a mad dash to get a quart of paint in your favorite color, step outside and consider your door’s style, the trim, and the siding. What color are they? Which hues would be the most complementary and the most inviting? Which colors will give you the formal or friendly feel you’re looking for?

If you’re not too sure which paint color is right for your front door, read up on 8 different color ideas below to help you get started!

Yellow – If you want to really welcome your visitors into a happy, warm home, yellow might be your color of choice. This color can brighten any exterior and pairs well with white and gray tones.

Cherry Red – Speaking of bright, cherry red is a great way to bring some life to your front door. Pair it with brick, with white siding, grays – the sky is practically the limit! It’s an easy way to make an even easier, universal message: welcome!

Deep Red – Not ready to make the commitment to a bright color but still want to convey a sense of welcoming? Deep, rich tones of red will do the trick. From crimson to raspberry to brick, a darker red will give your exterior that refined, sophisticated look you want. Better yet, it will look sleek and stunning with just about any exterior!

Orange – Feeling bold? A punch of orange might be right for you! With the right tones, orange can look incredibly modern, hip, and welcoming. We recommend it with white, off-white, and even blue siding!

Green – Bring an ounce of nature to your curb appeal by painting your front door a vivid shade of green. You have a plethora of hues to choose from as well. For a more reserved, stately look, choose hunter green or olive. Mint, lime, or neon green can bring a zesty pop of color, especially when you have white siding!

Blue – Who says that blue isn’t a great color for the front door? Welcome guests to your home with a sublime royal blue or navy hue, or add a pop of personality by choosing a teal or electric blue. It can look clean-cut and sharp against white siding and can also pair well with yellow and grays.

Purple – While it is a bit unconventional, purple can look absolutely beautiful on your front door! Want a light, happy feel to your home? Lavender can work great, especially if you have white siding. For a more formal feel, rich hues of plum or orchid can get the job done. Surprisingly enough, purple can complement just about any exterior palette!

Black – Classic, chic, and stately – a black front door’s got it all! Painting your door black is an easy way for you to make an elegant statement. Don’t be afraid to use other exterior accents to tie the black door into the rest of your home’s design as well!

Which color is your go-to color for the front door? Do you have an unconventional color you like to use that just works, no matter what? Tell us in the comments below! If you’re looking for a home to call your home, we can open all sorts of doors for you. Just call (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 and talk to the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties today!