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Showing Houses …

Well here comes the headline straight from Houzz. [Transitional becomes the No. 1 style as farmhouse loses steam] This according to the U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study.

Once again West Michigan, we are on the end of a trend that has taken off in our area. I love the farmhouse look, I see elements of it everyday as I show houses, be it the big sink in the kitchen or the signs over the walls telling us to GATHER in the dining room or the ones that let us know where our LAUNDRY and PANTRY’s are.

Farmhouse decor

So now, homeowners remodeling their master bathrooms are selecting natural and neutral colors to compliment their TRANSITIONAL, contemporary and modern style spaces, according to this new Houzz data. And farmhouse style, which had risen in popularity in master bathroom upgrades in recent years, has now declined. While you’re planning that master bathroom remodel, know that 21% are choosing a transitional style. What is Transitional? Transitional blends the classic elements of a traditional look with the clean lines and subtle color palette of contemporary style.

Photo by Moore House Interiors, LLCMore bathroom ideas

White is the most popular color for upgraded master bathroom vanities, and shades of gray for walls, wood elements on the walls themselves and heavier framing on the mirrors. White countertops is the No. 1 pick at 46% A white bathroom looks clean, crisp and bright. Add some natural wood elements into the design, and suddenly the space feels warmer and more inviting.

Meanwhile, vinyl/resilient flooring and engineered wood are on the rise, with their stats capturing a combined 10% of upgraded floors in 2019, compared with 6% in 2017. I think our area may be higher than that, with ceramic starting to take a backseat. These floors are beautiful, water resistant if not waterproof, and they are warmer on the feet on cold winter days.

1989 Bathroom 2019 Makeover
Cabinet Color Sherwin Williams Gray Shingle
Walls Sherwin Williams Cream Puff
Flooring Mannington Adura Max
Cape Shell

New Look For Your 5th Wall

One of the many joys of homeownership is incorporating your signature style throughout your home. From furniture and rugs to artwork and paint colors, there are so many ways you can make a space all your own. 

But there’s one space in the home that’s often left untouched — the ceiling. Though rarely considered, it’s a vital part of your home’s story. 

Whatever your design style, there are plenty of ways to dress up your fifth wall. Check out these ceiling styles and get your creative juices flowing.

Go Modern Minimalist  
If you like sleek and elegant design schemes, minimalism is for you. A minimalist home has clean lines in a defined color palette. Forego bright color schemes and add elaborate elements sparingly. 

Add Some Rustic Charm
If you’d prefer a more accessible look, then rustic style is the answer. It’s comfortable, warm and inviting with neutral tones and natural textures like wood and stone. Wood ceilings are gorgeous, immediately making a room warm and inviting. Rough-hewn panels, bold beams or reclaimed wood will add stunning character to your barnhouse decor. 

Keep It Traditional
If you’re looking for a style that’s casual and understated, consider a classic look. It’s a great option whether you enjoy muted tones or simple pops of color. For traditional ceilings, bright white paint with recessed lighting is a tried-and-true choice. Your cool and classic fifth wall can be flat or vaulted with lavish details like crown molding or coffers. 

Bring the Focal Point Down
If a crisp, white ceiling is your preferred style, you can dress up your fifth wall with a pendant lighting. Other ways to be creative, try a color on your ceiling.

Photo by Michael Nash Design, Build & HomesBrowse kitchen ideas

#GrandRapidsInsight #GrandRapidsHomes #ShowingHomes


Grand Rapids Insight 8.31.19

As we head into August there are still some exciting concerts and events going on. “Restaurant Week” will be starting August 7th- 18 so keep it on your list and try some different eats. Summer Nights at the Market continues at the Fulton Street Farmers Market, and some of you tell me you’ve not been to Dutton General Store, and to that I say get in your car immediately and head over to 3422 68th St.. It has the best shopping for gifts, clothes, bling & home decor. Cheers!

weekend in the city
weekend in the city

#RestaurantWeekGR #SummerNightsAtTheMarket #DuttonGeneralStore

Rightsizing for Seniors

I have been selling real estate for over 35 years and since I am over 65 considered by most to be a “senior citizen” myself. The words can sting for a minute until you change your mindset and start appreciating the fact that hey, I’m alive and I deserve this title and the freedom that comes with it. Things are not the same as when my parents were reaching this milestone. I am not needing nor wanting to retire but intend to live like my heroine, Betty White, so I have many years to plan for. I choose to enjoy my career, my home, friends and clients, and travel. Seven years ago, my husband and I sold our 2-story home in Ada and moved into a ranch in the Crystal Springs golf community. I wanted my space, but also wanted a main floor master suite. My daughters called this “flattening out” not downsizing and when they used this term I laughed for a week. While still helping first time and relocating buyers, I have decided to devote the majority of my time to helping seniors, or soon to be seniors, plan for the next chapter of their lives.

So, if this scenario, or a variation of this, may be weighing on your mind, let’s start really looking at your house and to see if it’s time for you to “RIGHTSIZE.” Have you lived in your home for a long time and have rooms that you never use? Is your lower level or basement starting to accumulate cobwebs because you don’t use any of the extra space? Are all your bedrooms on the second floor, maybe even your only full bathroom? Do you have boxes and tubs filled with “stuff”, unused small appliances and gadgets, old cookbooks, dishes, vases and car parts taking space on your shelves? It’s time to let some of that go and rightsize your life NOW while you can. Don’t put it off and have an event happen in your life whereby you must make an unexpected move quickly. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a walk out or daylight basement if you want, it just makes sense to have all your main living area on one level.   

Begin by having a heart to heart talk with whomever is most important in your life, be that a spouse, your children, or a friend you’ve had for many years and start envisioning where you’d like to live when you rightsize.

  • CONDOMINIUM Many decide to move to a condominium to free up time and energy with  outdoor maintenance. There are many varieties such as stand alone, duplex style, no steps and no basement.
  • SMALLER HOME Maybe condos are not your vision. Moving into a ranch style home where you can live on one floor, with a lower level that could be finished or unfinished may be more suited to you. You can always hire private lawn maintenance and snow removal.
  • APARTMENT Moving to an apartment could be an option if you want to free up your cash and not have the burden of a house to maintain
  • RELOCATE Are you wanting to make a long distance move to be near your children or south to a warmer climate?
  • SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY living with other seniors could give you a sense of connection and offer you endless options of involvement, especially if you don’t have an extended social network.

Envision yourself in a space of your choosing and let’s start planning on how to get your there step by step. Follow my blog and I’m going to give you one assignment a week to start helping you arrive at the splendid next chapter of your life .

Ignoring your side yard?

When getting your house ready for sale, or just sprucing up your landscaping, don’t forget your side yard. So often, people put their lawn clippings and yard waste where they think buyers won’t notice. They do, and your neighbors notice it, even though you think its out of sight because of a fence. Resist the “easy way out” urge and find some ideas to make your side yard look as great as the rest of your yard!

Preparing your home FOR SALE … It might be all about color …

Getting ready to put your home on the market? Winter can be a great time to prepare. If you have collections of pictures on your walls, now is the time to lovingly pack them away so that prospective owners can visualize their own life in the house without distraction. Once all or the majority of them are down, do the walls look a bit dingy or are there shadows around where the pictures were? Is there candle or fireplace residue on your walls or ceilings? Walk through your home as if you were a buyer, or better yet ask a friend, one who can be brutally honest with you, to walk with you and decide if you need to pick a good color and paint before listing. You want your walls to give a great first impression, down to the trim. White baseboards (or even stained wood), often have a layer of dust covering them. Wash or paint/stain if chipped or past clean up stage. If your kids have bright colored rooms and they are in good shape and painted well (not an inch splashed over on the ceiling or trim), well, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Check with your real estate agent to see if they need to be neutralized. I tend to be on the safe side with grays or greige, and have Sherwin Williams Perfect Greige SW6073 in my main living areas, just be careful your paint choice doesn’t have too much pink in it. And agree or disagree, the many colors of blue just might start to influence your next painting project. The perfect shade of blue looks beautiful in kitchens with white cabinets and trim, is perfectly soothing in bathrooms, and makes laundry rooms look crisp, clean and just makes you want to wash clothes, well almost. For a fresh, beach like look

Check this out if you’re deciding on a color theme for your home, you just might want to revisit BLUE

Behr Blue bathroom paint ideas

Oh, The Places We’ll Go (with our dogs)

Hail to the Queen!

For all dog lovers out there, myself included, my attention is drawn to any event that features  furry four legged buddies.  I’m currently a Golden Retriever owner, this my second one, a rescue dog, but my daughter who lives in Atlanta has always loved Corgi’s, so when I noticed this “Corgi’s in the Park” event, I told her I’d go and check it out.  And what a special day it was for these sweet Corgi’s and their owners  at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids. Corgi lovers from all over the area, even some from out of state, were on hand to play and bond with other owners and show off their stuff. Many dogs, and even some owners, came in costume as they met in the fenced in ballpark, some walking, some running and dogs having fun wrestling. There were tents set up to keep dry in case of a shower, music,

Corgi’s Under The Sea

and Two Scotts BBQ making a slightly chilly fall day well worth the trip. I chatted with many owners and was educated by a couple, finding that Corgi’s are the smallest of the herding dogs originating in Pembrokeshire, Wales, they are the preferred breed of British Royalty, (hence the Queen Elizabeth and Prince William pictures at one of the tents) and also that there are 2 distinct breeds; a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, recognized because they don’t have a tail, and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. I am so happy I went to this event because I also fell in love with these pups. Thanks to Jari Brey  for organizing this event which also raises awareness for Paws With A Cause. Dog lovers, put it on your calendar for 2018 !

Wonder Loaf

Michigan vs. Michigan State

Cutest Ear of Corn ever!

Sombrero Guy

Favorite Motorcycle Rider

Sweetest Face

 

 

 

A Winter Visit to Mackinac Island

As a Realtor, driving through the snow and showing homes in the winter can occasionally be a challenge in Grand Rapids. When one of my lifetime clients considered purchasing a summer home on Mackinac Island I was up for the task. What I discovered though, was that this trip would be one of the most memorable times of showing homes of my career. Northern MI Realtors have more fortitude and can have way more fun!

The adventure began with a 4 hour drive north, stopping at a favorite stop in Cadillac, Clam Lake Beer Company for lunch. I highly recommend them for their extensive menu, great food, and of course spirits and craft beer. Crossing the majestic Mackinac Bridge at night was a first for me. At 5 miles in length, it’s the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere! For the feint of heart, they have vehicle escort service across the bridge.

Then it’s rise and shine at 6:30 to catch the 8:00 Star Line Mackinac Ferry to the island. The usual 20 minute summer ride can take more than twice that long as the boat cuts through the ice. Meanwhile, we are toasty warm inside the boat with an occasional sneak outside to photograph and video.

 

getting around via winter taxi

winter taxi

Upon our arrival, the docks were busy with construction workers unloading lumber and supplies as this is the season for hotels and shop owners to get their projects done before tourist season. We saw windows being replaced, front porches partitioned off in plastic while buildings were undergoing a facelift. Our hotel was the only one open this weekend, and we were very happy with the accommodations at the  Pontiac Lodge. There was one restaurant open,  Cawthorne’s Village Inn (same ownership as the Grand Hotel) where Planked Whitefish is a favorite. I especially liked that they had the Grand Pecan Roll, a fudgy ice cream classic featured at the Grand Hotel.

The Mustang Lounge was our alternate choice that was open for food and drink. Our server/bartender  Miranda made a great Cosmo, instantly adding her to my friend list. They also serve breakfast, lunch and appetizers. Except for historic Doud’s Market which has been servicing the island with groceries since 1884, all of the other stores and eateries were in hibernation and the street was filled with parked snowmobiles and the occasional horse drawn island taxi. Our host, and listing agent for our home tour was Billy Borst from Mackinac Island Realty. My client, Cindy, rode shotgun behind Billy and I scored the sled and off we sped through the snow covered streets, up and down hills to view available inventory and see some pretty exciting scenery. Showing homes by snowmobile was a first for me!

We also did a lot of on foot touring that day. From Mission Point Resort  through Main Street to the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Hotel  The sky was blue and even in the crisp afternoon the sight of the Grand Hotel closed for the season sparked memories of Jack Nicholson and the movie “The Shining” but there was no sign of the 2 little girls or boy in the hall or voices of “redrum”. Imagination run wild!!!

Grand Hotel in winter

Grand Hotel closed for the winter

In the evening we joined my daughter, Alicia and her partner Thomas for a twilight cross country ski trail lined with lanterns. Beautiful groomed trails took us past the Arch Rock and Sugar Loaf rock formations and ended at a bonfire complete with hot chocolate.

Twilight XCountry Trail

Twilight XCountry Trail

Arch Rock

Arch Rock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following a fabulous meal and a good nights rest, we were back out in the morning to take a taxi to the airport. The ferry doesn’t run on Sunday’s in the winter, so taking a small plane to the mainland was our only option. I don’t mind saying I was slightly terrified. William, the pilot, assured me that he had 15 years of flying experience so Cindy and I along with our 2 other flying companions hopped in the plane, me in the co pilots seat. It’s a 5 minute plane ride from Mackinac Island to St. Ignace and the views of the Mackinac Bridge were fabulous. I found myself disappointed that the ride was over so soon. As I left the island after our winter view,  I am now anxiously awaiting my return trip for our closing on Cindy’s new condo at the end of April. Then, of course there is always the Lilac Festival, Fourth of July, the Labor Day walk across the bridge, etc. etc.  ………..

flying over the Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Island Air transportation to St. Ignace

with Alicia VanHeulen, Thomas Birks, Cindy Idema & me, Karen Gill

snowmobiles parked everywhere on Main Street

A little story with a moral …

3 weeks ago my husband Bill had total knee replacement surgery and was doing relatively well. At his 2 week followup appointment we went in to have his staples removed. I dropped him off at home around noon to ice his knee and rest and went dashing around on errands. I called him at 1:00 to see if he wanted anything to eat, and he said he wasn’t feeling well. He may just have been very tired from going out after surgery for the first time, but at 3:00 he thought we should go in to the emergency room to be checked. At 3:45 in E.R. he had an EKG and 20 Dr’s and nurses came flying into the room. He was having a heart attack. At 4:15 he was in the cardiac cath lab having a blockage cleared.  Bill didn’t have big clues like crushing chest pain or pain in his left arm, just some general “discomfort”. He is doing well now, and having experienced this, we want you to know that if you, or someone you love has that nagging thought that something is wrong, listen to your body and please go to the ER, or better yet, call 911. It may turn out to be nothing, but you may just be having something serious happening, and time is of the essence.

Warning signs of a heart attack