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Megan Napier
REALTOR®
(804) 314-9935
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Articles Tagged "Home Improvement"

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June
20

Kitchen Gadgets that Come in Handy

Kitchen Tools

Cooking is so much more enjoyable when you have the right tools for the job. And yet, selecting kitchen gadgets is not always as simple as it may seem. You don't want to purchase tools only for them to sit there unused. Unused kitchen tools can make your kitchen feel cluttered, especially to potential buyers!

Here are some key kitchen gadgets that our real estate agents recommend adding to your collection. Each of these tools simplifies your life and cooking routine in its own unique way.

  • A Pressure Cooker
    If there's one countertop appliance worth buying, it's a pressure cooker. These devices can cook meals like stews and braises in 30 minutes, versus the 4 or 5 hours they would take on the stove. You can also use your pressure cooker to make perfect rice, steam veggies, and craft perfect risotto.

  • An Electric Can Opener
    Opening cans with a handheld can opener can be pretty frustrating. If you have money in your budget for an electric model, definitely spring for one. You won't have to suffer through wrist fatigue to make tuna casserole ever again.

  • A Salad Spinner
    Buying whole heads of lettuce is often cheaper than buying pre-bagged lettuce, but then you have to clean it. Luckily, cleaning heads of lettuce is easy if you have a salad spinner. You just spray them down, then pile the leaves into the spinner. Press the button a few times, and the spinner will dry the lettuce, preventing it from wilting in your fridge. You can even store your lettuce inside the spinner.

  • A Spray Bottle for Oil
    Are you tired of trying to lubricate your pans without flooding them with oil? There are spray bottles made specifically for cooking oil. Fill one up, and spritz your pans with ease. This is also a more eco-friendly option than using aerosol non-stick sprays.

  • A High-Powered Blender
    If you like making smoothies, dressings, and sauces, then it's worth investing in a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix. They do a much better job than low-end blenders, and their motors last longer, too.

  • A Vacuum Sealer
    Are you tired of throwing away food that spoiled too soon? Maybe you like to pre-portion food into bags, but they often leak. A vacuum sealer will solve both of these problems. Vacuum-sealed food stays fresh for a lot longer since it is not exposed to air. Plus, vacuum-sealed bags are far less likely to break open and leave a mess in your fridge or freezer.

  • A Knife Sharpener
    When your knives get dull, you don't have to throw them away and replace them. Instead, invest in a good knife sharpener, and use it to keep your blades in tip-top shape. If you get into the habit of sharpening them every week or two, you'll never find yourself fighting with a dull blade again.

  • A Digital Thermometer
    If you're looking at Richmond homes for sale and you see a digital thermometer in the kitchen, you know the owner is a serious cook. A thermometer lets you cook meats and other foods more precisely. Digital versions are easy to read and give quick results.

If you fill your kitchen with these gadgets, you'll have a lovely time making your favorite meals and snacks. Contact us if you're still looking for the perfect place to call home. We'll help you find a kitchen to decorate and fill. 

May
16

How to Pick the Right Furniture for Your Outdoor Spaces

Outdoor Furniture

With warmer temperatures and flowers in bloom, it's the perfect season to start spending more time outside. If you just bought one of the Richmond homes for sale with a backyard or patio, you're probably looking forward to how you'll use it this season! You could lounge outdoors while reading a book or grill some food to share with friends. Of course, this is most enjoyable when you have outdoor furniture that suits your needs. Make the most of your outdoor spaces by selecting the right furniture. Here are some tips for selecting furnishings for your own patio or yard.

  • Measure Your Space
    Outdoor spaces often look larger than they actually are. You don't want to arrive home with a new patio set and find out it doesn't fit your space. Make sure to measure the area you're planning to furnish and bring those measurements with you as you shop.

  • Map it Out
    As you look at various furniture sets, use a piece of graph paper to sketch the way you'll arrange the furniture. Use the measurements you took of your space, along with the measurements of the furniture, to guide you. Experiment with different layouts to see which option you like best.

  • Sit on Chairs Before Buying Them
    People often focus on the appearance of outdoor furniture, overlooking the fact that furniture should be comfortable, too. This is why it's a good idea to shop for furniture in person. Sit in the chairs before you buy them and make sure you choose ones that are comfortable. Does the back offer enough support? Are you at a reasonable height when you scoot up to the table?

    Some people prefer patio chairs with cushions, but there are some really comfortable, non-cushioned chairs out there, too. Sit in a few and see how you like them. It really is a matter of personal preferences.

  • Choose a Low-Maintenance Material
    Maintaining outdoor furniture is not as fun as relaxing in it. So, make sure you choose furniture made from easily cleanable materials. Vinyl and aluminum are both good choices. If you like a more natural look, teak and cedar tend to be the best wood options. These woods resist rot, so you can hose them off to clean them.

  • Look for Easy Storage
    Most people like to store their patio furniture in a garage or shed during the winter months. So, when looking at various furniture choices, consider how easy it is to store. Chairs and tables that fold up will take up less space in storage. If you prefer rigid chairs, look for ones that stack. Also, try picking up the furnishings. Be sure to choose furnishings you can lift and carry safely. Vinyl is a good, lightweight material for those with less strength. Wood, while beautiful, can be heavy. So if you go with wooden furniture, make sure you have help moving it.

  • Coordinate Colors With Your Landscaping
    Neutral colors like white, black, and natural wood should look good with most any landscape. But if you want brighter-colored furniture, make sure the color you choose coordinates with your landscape and home exterior.

    It often works well to choose a color that is seen in small amounts elsewhere in your yard or garden. For instance, if you have purple flowers, purple furniture may look nice. If you have forest green trim, then outdoor furniture with some green is an option.

With these tips, you're sure to find the perfect outdoor furniture for your yard or patio. If you're still looking for the perfect house and yard to furnish, contact us. Our real estate agents will gladly walk you through the buying process.

April
25

7 Ways to Increase Your Home's Storage Space

Storage Space

Is your home looking a little cluttered? Getting rid of any extras is a good first step, but you'll also want to look at ways you can improve your home's storage space. Creating more and better storage solutions will ensure you have places to stash your items so they don't keep cluttering up your counters and tables. Luckily, our real estate agents have some useful storage tips to help make your space look more open and inviting for potential buyers.

  1. Use Your Vertical Space
    Take advantage of the space above your refrigerator, the space on top of cabinets, and even space at the top of your living room walls. Look for some easy-mount shelves you can add in these places.

    These higher-up shelves are perfect for storing lightweight items and smaller containers. For example, you can keep your extra kitchen towels on a shelf above your fridge.

  2. Store Sheets in Your Pillowcases
    If you're tired of having sheets tumble out every time you open the linen cabinet, shove each set of sheets inside its matching pillowcase. The stuffed pillowcases should then stack neatly in your linen closet.

  3. Replace Your Footstool With an Ottoman
    If you have a basic footstool in your living room, consider donating it and replacing it with an ottoman. An ottoman has a lid that you can lift off, revealing empty storage space inside. 

    Ottomans are perfect for storing magazines, books, remote controls, and other living room items. They'll give you a convenient way to clear off your coffee table, and you can also use them as footstools or makeshift seats, as needed.

  4. Purchase Clear, Plastic Storage Bins
    Storage bins are perfect for storing items in your basement, attic, or spare room. However, if you can't see what's inside a storage bin, you're likely to rifle through several of them before you find what you need. This problem is easily solved with clear plastic storage bins.

    As you fill your plastic storage bins, position the items so you can see them from the outside of the bin. This saves you from having to label the totes and makes it easier to find what you need.

  5. Hang a Pot Rack in the Kitchen
    Having to go through a drawer overflowing with pots and pans can make cooking an annoyance. You probably end up with pots and pans sitting all over the counter because putting them away is a hassle, too. A pot rack makes storing your pots and pans much easier. 

    You can hang the pot rack next to your stove or over the stove, depending on your kitchen design. Hang large, heavy pots on the bottom and smaller, lighter pots near the top.

  6. Use an Over-the-Door Pocket Hanger in the Bathroom
    In the bathroom, there tends to be a lot of items you want within reach. You don't really want to hide these things away in a drawer.

    For convenient bathroom storage, purchase an over-the-door pocket hanger. Use this to store your hair products, brushes, razors, and other toiletries, so they're tidy within reach.

  7. Hang Hooks Inside Kitchen Cabinets
    Whether you screw hooks into the cabinet doors or purchase stick-on ones, they give you a convenient place to store items like measuring cups and extra mugs. Put some in your lower cabinets for dish rags and scrubbers, too. This will help highlight the space your cabinets have to offer.

If you work on creating more storage space and simplifying your storage approach, your home will stay tidier. Don't forget to contact us if you're looking for Richmond homes for sale. Our experienced and professional agents can guide you through the process.

January
10

Get Your Home More Organized in 2022

Home Organization

The year has just started but there's still time to make a New Year's resolution for your household. Perhaps you could resolve to keep your home more organized! A good organizational scheme makes it easier to find what you need and tidy up when you're done for the day. Or if you're getting ready to list your home for sale, a well-organized home will show better, and be easier to get ready for prospective buyers.

So, how do you go about keeping things more organized in 2022? Our real estate agents have a few helpful tips.

  • Divide Your Fridge By Food Group
    When your fridge is disorganized, you're more likely to misplace things until they spoil. An easy way to organize your fridge is to divide it into zones based on food groups. Keep fruits and veggies in the bottom drawers. Put your dairy on one shelf and your meats on another shelf. Drinks deserve their own spot, and you can put condiments on the door. Label your shelves if you think you need a reminder to put things back where they belong.

  • Buy Some Over-the-Door Organizers
    Those plastic shoe organizers that hang over doors are good for more than just shoes. Put one over your child's bedroom door, and use it to store their small toys. Or, put one over your own bedroom door, and use it for belts and other accessories.

  • Gather Your Cleaning Supplies in One Spot
    Do you have cleaning supplies under the bathroom sink, others in the kitchen, and still others in the basement? Get organized by consolidating them all into one cleaning supply storage area. This could be an extra cabinet in your laundry room or a shelf in your hall closet. Put the cleaning supplies you use most often in one bucket so you can grab the whole bucket and go.

  • Designate a Clutter Basket
    Buy a large basket, and set it in one corner of your living room or hallway. When you find an item someone left out, put it in the clutter basket. Once a day, empty the clutter basket, putting these stray items back where they belong. This will help keep your home from getting too disorganized when life gets busy.

  • Put an Outbox by the Door
    Put a box or a basket in your entryway, and use it to hold onto items that you need to take outside or to your vehicle. This will help prevent items from building up in the entryway and being forgotten again and again. It will also keep your entryway looking tidier for those last-minute visitors.

  • Swap Out Your Seasonal Clothing and Items
    Gather up all of your warm-weather clothing and decor, and put it in tote boxes. Store it out of the way until spring comes again. This will help eliminate clutter, making more space for your winter items. Don't forget to declutter while going through your seasonal items as well! 

Once you get your home more organized, you'll feel so refreshed and at ease. Contact us if you're still looking for Richmond homes for sale. We can guide you through the process and ensure you end up in a home you love. 

October
11

How to Add Personality to Your Home

Home Tips

The hustle and bustle of daily life can be a drain on your energy and health. To promote a healthy lifestyle, experts recommend making your home a place of comfort and relaxation where you can unwind from a stressful day. Our real estate agents know homebuyers are drawn to welcoming spaces that reflect all the comforts of home.

Once you purchase a home, you can add special touches that reflect your design style and personality and welcome you home. Start incorporating your personal style into your new space by following these tips. 

  • Decorate with One-of-a-Kind Pieces
    If you inherited a few family heirlooms or purchased some great vintage pieces, adding them to your home will create a unique style. One-of-a-kind pieces that can't be replicated instill character and personal charm in a home. Antiques and family heirlooms introduce pieces of history that enhance special memories, while vintage items bring out creative and sometimes quirky personality traits.
     
  • Hang Art Reflecting Your Style
    Whether you're an educated art connoisseur or a novice, art plays an important role in design style. If you don't have the budget to invest in original art pieces, look for art that reflects your personality. If you're a whimsical free spirit, look for abstract art with bold patterns and colors. If you're a bit more reserved, landscapes and historical scenes may be more your style. Hanging art that reflects your personality is a great way to welcome yourself home after a long, stressful day.

  • Display Your Hobbies
    Most of us have hobbies we enjoy, even if we are not masters of them. Displaying your hobbies in your home is an easy way to add personal touches to interior spaces. If you play the guitar, hang it on a family room wall or display it in a bookcase. If you love throwing pottery, choose your favorite pieces and display them on shelves and tables. If you enjoy photography, display some of your favorite photos throughout the house in frames that compliment your interior design style.

  • Showcase Your Collection of Books
    If you're an avid reader, you likely have a large collection of books that range from paperbacks to beautifully bound novels. Books make wonderful design accessories when they're displayed in bookshelves, hutches, and cabinets. Gather a collection of your favorite books with embossed leather and colorful jackets and put them on display. They will not only reflect your personality, but they will also start many memorable conversations with guests around a warm, cozy fireplace.

  • Relax and Unwind with Nature
    Plants and flowers have health benefits because they increase oxygen and decrease carbon dioxide in the air. It's a good idea to bring green plants and flowers into your home. You can add personality with clay or painted pots, decorative containers or baskets, or colorful glass vases that reflect your style. If you have a backyard or a deck, create a peaceful garden oasis where you can relax with nature while you enjoy your morning cup of coffee or your favorite glass of wine after dinner.

Creating a comfortable, welcoming home that reflects who you are and the things you love is what home is all about. If we can help you find that perfect home among the Richmond homes for sale, contact us today.

September
27

Home Security Tech Upgrades

Richmond Home Security

Home security is a big deal for Virginia homebuyers. Whether showing historic homes with older features or new homes with all the bells and whistles, our real estate agents are always asked about home security.

While some Richmond homes for sale have state-of-the-art security systems, others may need security improvements. If you're a techie, you may know about laser security systems, safe-room doors, and biometric locks, but those aren't the only ways to keep your home safe. Take a look at 7 tech-centered ways to increase home security:

  1. Smart Home Alarm Systems
    Smart home alarm systems like Google Nest and SimpliSafe are easy to install and affordable for DIY homeowners. Both systems link to smartphones and come with sensors that attach to windows and doors. Google Nest also syncs with your Nest camera and Google Assistant. These systems will help give you peace of mind whether you're home or away on a trip.

  2. Biometric Digital Door Locks
    Sure, a conventional key works for locking your doors. But are you looking to secure your doors even more without making a trip to the locksmith? Check out the Samsung SHS-P718-LMK Push Pull Biometric Touchscreen Digital Door Lock that requires dual activation by a fingerprint and a password for entry. An IR sensor sounds an alarm if suspicious movements are detected or if doors open while you're away.

  3. Ring Video Doorbells
    Ring video doorbells have been around a while, but they're upgraded each year. The Ring Video Doorbell Elite works during the day and at night with its infrared night vision. By linking to your smartphone, it immediately sends an alert when someone approaches your door.

  4. Shatterproof Windows
    Windows are common entries for home intruders, but not anymore with shatterproof, bullet-resistant, high-security windows. For added protection, these windows can be fitted with electronic keypad readers and electro-mechanical locks. 

  5. Perimeter Fencing
    Perimeter fencing may not be a high-tech home security feature, but it does protect your home against unwanted 2 -legged and 4-legged intruders. Seco-Larm E-9644- IR Curtain Sensors added to your fence top will trigger when a single beam or two adjacent beams are disrupted.

  6. Landscape Lighting
    If your front or backyard is unlit after dark, you're welcoming intruders to your home. Protect your home with security lights, up-lights and down-lights in trees, spotlights on walls, and pathway lights along driveways and walkways. An upgrade like this will help deter potential intruders. 

  7. Locking Mailboxes
    Mail theft is big business these days for burglars and thieves who want to steal your identity. A locking mailbox will deter mail thieves, porch pirates, and hackers who can make your life a nightmare. Check your local hardware store for a variety of locking mailboxes to protect your home.

Still searching for a home that you'll want to add all the latest smart home technology to? Contact us today to learn more about homes in Central Virginia. We can help you find your dream home!

July
12

Learn How to Keep Your Pets Safe on National Pet Fire Safety Day

Pet Fire Safety Day

July 15th is National Pet Fire Safety Day, making it a perfect reminder to revamp your family's fire safety plan to ensure your four-legged family members stay safe. Our real estate agents know that a little preparation makes a big difference in your family's safety. Check out these tips to keep your pet safe from a house fire. 

  1. Install Monitored Smoke Detectors
    Monitored smoke detectors are usually installed in a home as part of a security system. With a monitored smoke detector, emergency services are notified about the fire, even if you aren't home. If you're concerned about a fire breaking out while your home is unattended, a monitored smoke detector can help protect your pets by shortening the response time of first responders.
  1. See That Your Pet is Used to a Crate or Leash
    During a fire, you'll need to quickly evacuate your pet. The easiest way to do so is by putting them on a leash or in a portable crate. However, if your pet has never been exposed to a leash or crate, they'll likely freak out if they're expected to tolerate these items, especially during the stress of a fire. Check that you have a secure way to transport your pet and that your pet is comfortable with that method. Make sure that you always know the location of your pet's leash or crate.
  1. Put Decals on Your Home to Alert First Responders
    If a fire breaks out when you're away, first responders won't know that your pets are inside. Prevent this problem by placing a rescue alert stick on your front door. This sticker first responders know that pets are inside of the home and tells them what pets they're looking for. 
  1. Create a Fire Evacuation Plan
    Your family needs a fire evacuation plan to ensure everyone gets out safely. Assign each pet to a specific family member. Ideally, assign the pet to a person with who they're likely to be in close proximity and that they're comfortable with. Make sure that each family member knows their assigned pet's favorite hiding spots so they can quickly locate them. 
  1. Take Steps to Prevent a Housefire
    Keep your pets safe by making a few changes that prevent the likelihood of a fire. Richmond homes for sale that have certain safety features are also likely to attract potential homebuyers. Check that all the electrical cords in your home are secured; unsecured cords often look like toys to curious pets. You can even conceal them with a box or fixture designed to contain and hold cords. See that your pets can't reach or access the knobs to your stove, and avoid leaving candles unattended around your pets. Or, swap your candles for flameless alternatives. 
  1. Have Your Pets Microchipped
    In the chaos of a housefire, a frightened pet may get loose or hide outside. Have your pets microchipped and regularly check that the information is up-to-date. If someone finds your pet, they'll be able to quickly get them back to you. 

Find a home both you and your pets will love in the Central Virginia area. Contact us today to start your search!

June
14

How to Get Started With Upcycling Furniture

Upcycle Furniture

Where mere recycling does keep junk from hitting the landfills, upcycling breathes new life into old items and increases their value. The result is one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture that make a statement in your home. As our real estate agents show you some of our beautiful Central Virginia homes for sale, look for ways some homeowners have used upcycling to their advantage. Then let your own imagination soar.

  • A Solid Foundation
    As you browse thrift shops, you'll notice a vast difference in the quality of the materials used. Close your eyes to the water ring on the top of the bureau; it can be sanded away. Pay more attention to the sturdiness of the structure. While loose table legs can be secured, deep gouges in the wood or peeling veneer can be difficult to repair without leaving unsightly scars. 

  • Get Creative
    Some items can be difficult to imagine fulfilling a different purpose. For example, an outdated television cabinet, try to envision it with the doors removed and a new finish. Would it serve as shelving in the craft room? Or would it look better holding that eclectic collection of memorabilia from your travels? And don't get hung up on the boring maple stain from the '70s. You can change it to whatever finish you want to match the rest of your furniture.

  • Be Bold
    The real beauty of a home decorated with upcycled furniture is its totally unique character. You won't find a duplicate in a magazine or on Pinterest. This is your opportunity to inject your own personality in the house beyond just hanging family photos. So if you want to repurpose a thrift store treasure completely, go for it! An old cabinet door can become a beautiful end table, while dresser drawers can make stunning shelves. The only voice that will tell you that you can't do that is the one in your head.

  • Research Finish Options
    If your distressed chest of drawers makes your eyes hurt, don't feel alone. That weathered look is great if that's what you want, but what if your goal is an ultra-modern house? The good news is that the home improvement stores are loaded with millions of options. Think about the overall color scheme of the house and what will look best with it. Consider the style. A tabletop could be a piece of polished metal or a mirror. Remember, it's all about you.
     
  • Outsource if Needed
    Let's face it. We don't all have unlimited skills. But you don't have to limit your goals. When you find that great overstuffed chair for your home library, but the Naugahyde is split, there's no reason why you can't pay to have it reupholstered in the luxury fabric of your choice. Or perhaps you don't have the time or inclination to do a job yourself. A handyman would be happy to hang the shelves or paint a chest of drawers. An art student from your local junior college would likely be thrilled to get paid to add a mosaic top to an end table. 

Richmond has many beautiful houses just waiting for someone to make them their own. Contact us for assistance in finding yours. 

May
17

Why You Shouldn't Skip These Home Maintenance Tasks

Richmond Home MaintenanceOwning a home is a great investment, but it's not all fun and games. Any property requires regular maintenance to keep it in good repair, and as the owner, it falls to you. You'll find that there is typically a hierarchy of maintenance: things you can hold off on for a little while versus things that need to be done on time or immediately lest bigger problems develop. Here are five home maintenance tasks our real estate agents say you shouldn't skip and why you should prioritize them.

  1. HVAC Tune-ups
    A professional should set eyes on your HVAC system at least once a year, preferably twice if you have central AC. The general rule of thumb is to have your furnace tuned up in the fall and your AC tuned up in the spring. This not only keeps everything running smoothly and extends the life of the system and its components but also enables your technician to keep an eye out for developing problems before they become large (and expensive) problems. Having a well-maintained HVAC system can also help when it comes time to sell, as the furnace is one of the things buyers look at when they browse Central Virginia homes for sale.

  2. Water Heater Maintenance
    Many people install a water heater and forget about it until, of course, it stops working or starts leaking. Annual maintenance can actually make a huge difference in the life of your water heater, however, and possibly even catch problems before they lead to significant water damage. A tech will inspect your water heater for signs of problems and then drain and flush it to get rid of sediment buildup that collects on the bottom of the water heater, leading to corrosion and heating element failure.

  3. Gutter Cleaning
    Cleaning your gutters is another thing that needs to happen on a seasonal basis. Most experts recommend having your gutters cleaned in the spring and fall, but if you live in an area with many big trees, you may need to clean them more frequently. Gutters that aren't cleaned regularly may get clogged with debris from nearby trees, causing them to back up. The resulting overflow of water could cause expensive water damage to your home if not caught in time.

  4. Sump Pump Testing
    A sump pump isn't a "set it and forget it" kind of feature. It's easy to forget that it's down there in the basement, but if you don't do some periodic maintenance, you could end up without it when it's finally needed. You can test your sump pump by simply pouring some water in just to make sure it'll still kick on when needed. If it doesn't, you should get a technician out to have a look as soon as possible.

  5. Dryer Vent Cleaning
    Many people forget or don't realize that their dryer vents need to be cleaned out periodically. The lint trap collects most of the lint from your laundry, but some still gets by and will build up in the dryer vent over time. In addition to making your clothes dry more slowly, if that lint buildup gets bad enough, it can actually start a fire!

A well-cared-for house requires less emergency maintenance and will show better when it's time to sell. If you're thinking about selling your home, take the time to get caught up on all of your deferred maintenance, and then contact us to get the listing process started.

April
12

Fun Features to Add to Your Landscaping

Landscaping Ideas

With landscaping season finally upon us, it's time to start thinking about how you can boost your home's curb appeal. Your yard and landscaping are the first things guests, and potential buyers see when visiting your home. As a result, good landscaping not only makes your home look nice but can help to boost your home's value. 

Consider incorporating these fun features into your landscaping this spring before listing your home among Central Virginia homes for sale.

  1. Add Outdoor Furniture
    With a record-breaking number of people spending more time outside of the house last year, stylish outdoor furniture has definitely become a major trend. Creating an outdoor oasis with a comfortable sitting area near the patio, pool, or garden can create the best outdoor feeling. Just make sure to pick styles, sizes, and designs that fit the surrounding area.

  2. Optimize Your Lighting
    Outdoor landscaping lights are generally inexpensive and a great way to add a romantic vibe to your lawn this summer. String lights over the patio, LED lights along your flowerbed, or lantern lights along your walkway -- these are all great ways to shine a little extra light on your landscaping this spring. 

  3. Add a Fire Pit
    What better way to spend time with friends and family than to gather around the fire pit on a cool spring evening. Not only does a fire pit provide a source of heat, but it can also serve as the focal point of an outdoor gathering space. Consider a stylish fire pit made of brick, stone, or concrete.

  4. Create a Grand Entrance
    Our real estate agents love using spruces or shrubs to create a grand entrance. By planting two trees or shrubs on either side of your driveway, front door, or garden, you can really define your entrances and impress your visitors. 

  5. Incorporate Levels
    Adding terraced levels to your yard or garden is not only visually appealing, but it can actually make your yard look larger. If your yard slopes, consider creating defined spaces or sections. Terracing your yard can allow you to define specific spaces for dining, fire pits, or gardens.

  6. Add Some Native Plants
    It's easy to see why native plants are popular these days. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they're also easy to take care of since they thrive locally. Not only do they look nice, but they also are important for supporting natural wildlife. 

  7. Try a Vertical Garden
    Vertical gardens are really becoming popular these days, and they're incredibly easy to create. Just choose a location and grab a vertical frame, a plastic sheet, and some fabric. You can then plant whatever you'd like - flowers, edibles, or succulents. For a more traditional look, you can even try adding some vines or ivy.

Beautiful landscaping is the best way to make a great first impression when visitors stop by your home. For more tips on how to make the most of your yard, contact us today.

March
22

Know These Things Before Starting a DIY Project

DIY Project Tips

Whether your home needs a few upgrades or you want to complete some overdue repairs to get it ready to put on the market, opting for a DIY project can help you save money and let you complete the project on your terms. Our real estate agents know that an updated, well-maintained property is attractive to potential buyers. Here are some best practices to follow before starting a DIY project. 

  1. Know What Tools You'll Need
    Having the skills and ability to complete a DIY project is part of the process; you also need to confirm that you have the tools to do the job (or can access them). It's surprising how many tools a seemingly simple project requires. You don't want to put your project on hold because you have to scramble to find a special wrench or drill bit to complete the work. If you don't have the tools in your toolbox, see if you can borrow the items from a friend or even rent the piece. Many hardware stores have rental programs for tools commonly used in DIY projects. 
  1. Consider the Time Required for the Project
    Another component to research is how long the project will take. Remember, you'll need to prepare the space for the project and gather supplies for the project. Once the project is complete, you'll need to clean the space and return it to its former appearance. All of these tasks can add hours to a seemingly quick project. If something goes awry during the project, this will add even more time.

    For example, let's say you want to paint your living room. After all, a fresh coat of paint often helps Richmond homes for sale look their best. Before starting, you'll need to research your options for paint and paint tools, compare prices, and purchase your supplies. Moving and protecting your furniture and photos will take some time. You'll also need to clean the walls and fill any holes or cracks; this adds another hour to the project. You anticipate spending two hours painting the walls. However, this is for one coat of paint. If the paint requires two coats of paint, you'll need to double your estimate. Once all your painting is complete, factor in an hour to clean up, uncover the furniture, and move things back into place. A job that you thought might only take 2-4 hours can actually take double that amount of time. 
  1. Go Through the Project Before You Get Started
    Before you start the project, read through the instructions from start to finish. This ensures you understand the time, resources, and skillset required to complete the project. Make sure to keep your limitations in mind. Some projects seem simple but call for advanced skills that novice DIYers may not have. 
  1. Know How to Handle Mistakes
    Mistakes are a part of any DIY project. Try to prevent mistakes by using the correct materials and tools. Slow down, and make sure to double-check your measurements. When a mistake occurs, have additional materials on-hand to remedy your errors.

After you complete your latest DIY project are you ready to put your home on the market? Contact us today to get started!

February
22

DIY Tips for Your Home Library

Richmond Home Library

A home library is a great way to add a touch of elegance to your home while showing off your books. Plus with so many wonderful bookstores around Richmond, it's no surprise if you've accumulated quite the collection! 

Whether you're looking to convert an entire room into a library or just simply looking to set up a reading nook, our real estate agents pulled together a list of tips to help you create your own DIY library.

  1. Choose The Right Location
    The best location for your library is largely dependent on how much space you have available. It's also somewhat contingent on the size of your book collection. Those with a lot of space to spare and a lot of books may want to convert an entire room into a library. If you're looking to display a small number of books, consider placing them under a staircase or on a living room shelf. With a couple of bookshelves and a comfy chair, you can also convert any bedroom or living room corner into a cozy reading nook.

  2. Arrange Books By Color
    Organizing books alphabetically can create a stuffy look. Instead, why not arrange your books in a more creative way? Grouping books by colors can really create a vibrant look, especially if you have a lot of bright covers. You can also consider arranging them by size, or by separating horizontal rows with vertical stacks.

  3. Comfortable Seating is a Must
    Figuring out how to display your books is only one component of creating your own library. You also need a comfortable place to sit. Whether it's a big couch or your favorite recliner, be sure to add a comfortable surface, so you can curl up with your favorite read.

  4. Make Sure There Is A Table Nearby
    A good table is a key part of any library. If you've transformed an entire room into a library, try to add a long center table to the middle of the room. If your library is more of a reading nook, a smaller end table can add a nice touch.

  5. Add A Ladder
    Nothing creates a library vibe quite like a ladder attached to floor-to-ceiling shelving. If your library is big enough, definitely consider adding a rolling ladder into your library design, so you and your visitors can reach that top shelf book.

  6. Optimize Your Lighting
    Your home library shouldn't be in a dark area of the home. If your bookshelves aren't getting enough natural light, consider adding additional lighting fixtures at the top of each shelf so you can easily read the titles. You'll also want to make sure there is adequate lighting for reading so you don't have to strain your eyes.

Looking for the perfect home among the Richmond homes for sale to display your book collection? We're here to help!

For more tips on interior design or help finding your dream home, contact us today!

February
1

Renovating? 5 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe

Richmond Pet Tips

Home renovations can be stressful for the whole family, as you shift furniture out of the way or temporarily lose access to important parts of the home. It can be especially hard on the furry members of your household, who struggle to understand why their favorite spot by the window is suddenly off-limits. But with some careful planning and reassurance, you and your pets can get through the renovation process comfortably. Follow these tips to make the process less stressful for your pets. 

  1. Communicate With Your Contractors
    Ask the contractor what areas of the home the workers will need access to for the renovation and for approximately how many hours of the day. Note that this may change slightly, as projects can take unpredictable turns. But you'll be able to know which areas of the house to keep your pet out of most of the time. Let them know how many pets you have and where they will be while they are working. Clear communication will help ensure your pet isn't let out of the house accidentally while the renovation is in progress. 

  2. Give Them a Spot 
    Choose an area well away from the noise and mess for your pet to seek refuge. This area should have their food, water, favorite toys, and a bed or blanket. Your bedroom may be the best room for this, but if yours is one of the Richmond homes for sale getting a new master bath downstairs would be better suited for your pet's space. 
     
  3. Take Them Away from the Noise
    Getting out might be the best strategy for large or noisy projects. Visiting a pet-friendly store is a great chance to get a new treat or toy as a reward for putting up with all the mess. Stop by a dog park, or if your backyard isn't full of lumber and tools, a day closer to home might work well. If your renovation project is extensive or your pet is especially nervous around strangers, you may want to consider boarding your pet for a portion of the project's duration. 

  4. Don't Forget Their Routine
    Change is always stressful, and the antidote to stress is routine. As much as possible, keep feeding times and other important rituals as closely as possible. Remember to take them on their daily walk or other activities they enjoy.

  5. Examine the Space
    When the work is completed, do a thorough inspection of the area. Look for small tools or bits left behind that could harm your pet. Make sure there are no chemicals left behind, and any paint or lacquer is at least dry to the touch. The "after" of a home renovation looks amazing, but for a pet, it's a maze of unfamiliar sights and smells. Ensure that these aren't overwhelming as you and your pet get used to the new look. 

Our real estate agents love seeing all family members enjoy their home, four-legged family members being no exception. If you have any questions about keeping your pets happy through home renovations and projects to complete before listing your home for sale, contact us today. 

January
4

2021: Top Colors for the Year

Colors for 2021

Each year, paint companies and color pros choose hues that will make a splash in the coming year based on the current trends. Brighter, bolder colors were unveiled for 2020 in anticipation of a year filled with confidence and optimism. For 2021, however, things are moving in a subtle direction. The reignited passions for creating beautiful homes, along with the need for more peace and serenity, have influenced many of the expected color trends of 2021. Here are the top shades our real estate agents know so far and how you can use them in your home.

  1. Aegean Teal by Benjamin Moore
    Benjamin Moore selected Aegean Teal 2136-40 for its 2021 color of the year. This intriguing, soft color is a blend of gray and blue-green. It marries green's association with nature and wellness with the tranquil nature of blue. The gray undertone helps provide a modern look to it. The color creates natural harmony and an invitation to reflect and reset.

    Add it to your home: This color's calming qualities make it a great option for home offices, bedrooms, and kitchen cabinetry.

  2. Ultimate Gray and Illuminating by Pantone
    Pantone chose two contrasting colors for 2021: Ultimate Gray (a dull, familiar gray) and Illuminating (the bright yellow of lemon skin). These colors combine to reflect a sense of resilience and optimism. The gray cloudy skies evoke our collective experiences over the past year of quarantine. The yellow highlights hope and light at the end of the tunnel. 

    Add it to your home: Perfect for upholstered furniture and walls, gray is a timeless neutral that provides a foundation for interiors. The yellow adds a dash of positivity and brightness when used on wall decor, accent furniture, the front door, and accessories like throws and pillows.

  3. Satin Paprika by Rust Oleum
    Popular spray paint brand Rust-Oleum chose its 2021 color of the year, emphasizing warmth, calm, and comfort. Satin Paprika, an earthy red hue, anchors other trending shades the brand has chosen, curated to complement modern boho aesthetics, outdoor living spaces, and midcentury modern style.

    Add it to your home:
    To add this earthy, spicy hue to your space, try spraying a few coats on accent furniture or update wall decor for a vibrant feel. The color pairs well with earthy tones like black matte and brass finishes.

  4. Passionate by HGTV by Sherwin-Williams
    A rich, bold red, Passionate is a hue that blurs the line between modern and traditional. It is part of a larger collection dubbed "Delightfully Daring," which comprises shades of rich brown, aqua, and energetic green. When used thoughtfully in design, this red shade can easily incite emotion and add energy to a room. It creates a refreshing backdrop for nature-inspired accents and neutral furniture.

    Add it to your home: The warm hue of this paint looks cozy in a home library or den. Or consider adding it to your home office for a professional touch. 

  5. Aqua Fiesta by Glidden
    Rather than select a Color of the Year, Glidden announced its first-ever Accent Color of the Year: Aqua Fiesta. This bright, refreshing aquamarine hue looks great on millwork or accent wall. While the color might be overwhelming if painted all over a wall, it helps perk up a room even in small doses, especially when combined with neutral colors.

    Add it to your home: Pair it with a cool gray to lend spa vibes to your bathroom. In living areas and bedrooms, combine with neutral accessories or cream-colored fabric for a soft look.

Are you dreaming of a new home that you can paint with some of these top colors in 2021? Contact us today to discuss your goals and start touring some of the best Richmond homes for sale.

December
28

Fireplace Safety Guide to Follow This Winter

Fireplace Tips

One of the best ways to warm up this winter is to curl up by the fireplace with a good book. A fireplace adds a cozy touch to your home in colder weather, but if it's not maintained and used properly, it can pose a fire hazard.

Our real estate agents suggest the following fireplace maintenance and safety tips you need to know this winter:

  1. Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned annually
    Creosote and soot – byproducts of fires that aren't burning efficiently – can build up and coat the inside of your chimney. Once this happens, these substances can catch fire. To prevent this from happening, call a professional to clean and inspect your chimney before using it this season.

  2. Take care of ashes properly
    After using your fireplace, take care of the ashes properly, so a smoldering one doesn't start a fire. Don't vacuum them up because live coals can still remain and could cause a fire in your vacuum cleaner bag. Instead, remove them from the firebox by using the ash dump or scooping them out from the firebox once the ashes are cold. 

  3. Use a non-flammable rug
    Buy a non-flammable rug – which you should be able to find at a fireplace supply store – to put in front of your fireplace. That way, if sparks fly out, they won't damage your carpet.

  4. Protect your kids
    Never leave a fire unattended if you have children in the house. Now's the time for them to learn to stay away from the fireplace as well as the tools you use for it.

  5. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
    Make sure you have enough working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. This will help your family stay safe in case of a fire or if there's a buildup of carbon monoxide – an odorless, clear, and tasteless toxic gas. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested monthly, and their batteries should be replaced annually.

  6. Your fireplace should have a door
    Make sure your door has a tight-fitting door rather than a screen. A door will keep sparks inside the fireplace, while a screen may let some escape.

  7. Check the flue or damper
    Before starting a fire, check your damper or flue to make sure it's open by looking up into your chimney with a flashlight or mirror. It should remain open to let smoke out of your house, so keep it that way until all the embers have stopped burning.

  8. Use wood that's dry and well-aged
    Avoid using wet or green wood in your fireplace. These woods cause more smoke and make more soot build up in your chimney.

  9. Keep the area around your fireplace clear
    Keep all flammable items – including draperies, newspapers, and furniture – away from your fireplace. If they get too close, they could catch fire from a sparking ember.

  10. Never leave a fire unattended
    Never fall asleep or leave your home with a fire burning, even if it's just for a brief moment.

  11. Keep a window cracked
    If you can, leave a window slightly cracked when you have a fire going. That way, you'll be keeping the room ventilated and give any smoke or gasses a chance to escape.

Contact us today at Napier ERA if you're interested in Richmond homes for sale. If a fireplace is on your list of must-have items for your new home, we can show you houses where one or more fireplaces creates a beautiful focal point.

November
9

Lighting Upgrades That Make a Noticeable Difference

Lighting Upgrades

No home makeover is complete until you upgrade the lighting. Proper lighting choices can set the ambiance, change the mood, and help highlight a room's design. Plus, why settle for outdated and inefficient lighting when the fun, functional options out there are unlimited? With the right pendants, recessed lights, lamps, task lights, sconces, and flush mounts, you can purposefully give your rooms an entirely new look. Here are our real estate agents' tips for transformative room-by-room lighting upgrades.

  1. In the Kitchen
    Cooking, baking, cleaning, and gatherings can benefit from careful consideration of task and ambient lighting. When it comes to your kitchen, lighting should set the mood and help you see properly for all your food preparation. Think in particular of under-cabinet lighting that can illuminate your countertops while you work without relying on an overhead light that casts shadows. Light the dark corners of your kitchen like counters, pantries, shelves, cupboards, and counters. These areas become more beautiful and functional when properly lit. Pendant lamps above kitchen islands, breakfast nooks, and kitchen sinks can be a fun and functional upgrade.


  2. The Bathroom
    With an emphasis on personal grooming, the bathroom requires proper lighting placement. Most bathrooms have a central ceiling-mounted fixture and over-the-mirror strips of lights that cast odd shadows. You can replace those with recessed light in the ceiling and vertical wall sconces on the sides of the mirror. Alternatively, you can install vanity lighting around your mirror to cast the perfect amount of light and create a soft glow. 


  3. Living Rooms
    As an area where people spend a lot of time and engage in a wide range of activities such as watching TV, chilling after work, having conversations, hosting friends, or playing board games, the living room is incredibly versatile. As such, you should consider making your lighting as adaptable as the room. The concept of layering light works great in the living room. Table lamps are great, but adding a big floor lamp, oversized pendant, or large lantern can create a great focal point.

  4. In Hallways and Along Staircases
    Staircases often form the main focal point in a hallway, but dark ones aren't safe. This offers great opportunities for fun, dramatic, and practical lighting. To begin with, the space above a staircase is a perfect place to add sparkle and visual interest with a show-stopping chandelier. You can also layer your lighting and bring a dramatic effect to your hallways and stairs with inset floor-level lights, LED strips, and wall lights. If you want to focus on the stairs, LED strips underneath individual stair treads can bring that noticeable difference you're going for. LED lights are a good choice because they're inexpensive to burn, cool to the touch, and have a lifespan of 10 or more years.

In general, when you are planning to install new lighting fixtures in your space, it's best to:

  • Install layered lighting. Go for general lighting (pendant or overhead), ambient lighting (decorative sconces or candles), and specific lighting (table or task).
  • Incorporate reflective surfaces such as metallic finishes, glossy floors, and mirrors.
  • Choose the right shade for fixtures.
  • Install smart lighting, energy-efficient lighting, and dimmers.

Contact us today to learn more about how lighting can bring a noticeable difference to your space while also appealing to buyers looking for Richmond homes for sale.

October
26

Give Your Fall Landscaping a Boost with These Tips

Fall Landscaping

The temperature is starting to drop, and the sun is setting earlier in the day. Fall might be here, but that doesn't mean it's time to skimp on your lawn maintenance. While raking leaves is most often associated with autumn lawn maintenance, there are actually several things you should do to improve your yard's appearance and ensure it's in great condition when spring arrives. To help, our REALTORS® compiled a shortlist of ways to improve your landscaping this fall:

  1. Clean Up Around the Yard 
    Once fall arrives, it's time to clean up around the yard. In addition to raking leaves, make sure you pull weeds, remove dead annuals, and pick-up any fallen fruit or dead branches. Eliminating debris in the fall is essential for maintaining lawn health throughout the winter or if you are wanting to boost your curb appeal when listing your home among other Richmond homes for sale.

  2. Fertilize Your Lawn
    Fall is the most important time to fertilize your lawn because it helps strengthen grass before winter sets in. Strong roots in the fall mean a healthy, green lawn in the spring. Also, don't forget to reseed any bare spots! The actions you take now will make for a vibrant yard when the weather gets warmer.

  3. Mow Your Lawn As Needed
    Be sure to keep mowing until the grass stops growing. It's generally recommended you keep your grass between 2 and 2.5 inches tall in the fall. If your grass is too long, it could grow mold from snow or heavy rainfall and cold temperatures.

  4. Add Some New Plants
    There are some flowers, such as pansies and mums, that are great to add to your garden in the fall as they thrive in cool weather. Autumn is also the time to plant some bulbs, like daffodils, tulips, and crocus in your garden, so they're ready for springtime. Be sure to plant before the ground freezes. Talk to your local nursery about options for fall planting. 

  5. Aerating Is Key
    Over the summer, your soil tends to compact, restricting air, water, and nutrients from reaching roots. Aerating your lawn is the process of penetrating holes in the soil so these vital elements can make their way into the ground. There are several aerating tools you can use, such as spikes, slicers, or plugs, or you can hire a professional.

  6. Eliminate Excess Thatch
    Thatch is a layer of organic matter that develops between soil and grass. When thatch builds-up, it can also prevent water from reaching the soil and can also create a breeding ground for lawn disease. If thatch is more than 1/2 inch thick, you'll want to invest in some dethatching tools to pull it up.

A beautiful spring lawn starts in the fall. Don't wait until spring to work on your curb appeal when you can get started now! For more tips on fall lawn maintenance, contact us today.

October
12

How to Get a Timeless Look in Your Kitchen

Timeless Kitchen RichmondThe kitchen is one of if not the most important room in the home, so if you're redecorating it, you might be tempted to look for the latest stylish trends. However, it's better to consider timeless looks that are functional, pleasing to the eye, and draw in prospective buyers when you're ready to sell your home. The latest and greatest kitchen design elements may become passe in another few years, so it's better to stick with looks that have stood the test of time.
  
Our real estate agents suggest the following ways to get a timeless look in your kitchen:

  1. Neutral Tones
    Using a white, off-white, or neutral palette in your kitchen creates a sophisticated look. It's easy to brighten up with pops of color that can easily be switched out as your preferences change. And when it's time to sell your home, a neutral kitchen palette appeals to most prospective buyers, who can determine what color of accents they'd like to use.
      
  2. Subway Tiles
    A subway tile backsplash creates a clean appearance and is easy to install. You'll find that it brightens your kitchen and works well with many different styles of décor.
      
  3. Stone Countertops
    Stone countertops are durable and work well in kitchens that are anywhere from rustic to modern. If your budget is slightly higher, you may want to consider stones such as marble or quartz, but if you're trying to lower your budget, granite or limestone are good choices.
      
  4. Deep, Wide Sinks
    A deep, wide sink is highly functional, enabling you to take care of kitchen tasks such as peeling fruits and vegetables and peeling pots and pans more easily. Add a sink top chopping board that's the sink's size, and you'll have a timeless, efficient setup.
      
  5. Kitchen Islands   
    Islands can increase your storage space, seating, and workspace and serve as a focal point to your kitchen, but they're about style in addition to function. Choose one that's impressively styled with contrasting counters, intricate woodwork, and cabinet colors like navy.
      
  6. Ample Storage  
    Ample storage is crucial in a kitchen and will never go out of style. To make sure your kitchen has enough storage, consider getting built-in drawer organizers and pull-out cabinets for pots, pans, and canned goods. Toe-kick drawers are also popular options.
      
  7. Ceiling Treatments
    You probably don't give much thought to your kitchen ceiling, but it has the potential to add to the room's timeless style. If you have a small space, shallow coffers are ideal, and if you have a larger kitchen, try adding molding that complements the shape of your kitchen island.
      
  8. Fold-Down Tables  
    Fold-down tables let you save space since they can be folded up and stored anywhere. They can also be moved to another room or even outside if that's where you need them. They're also attractive, whether you're using them to eat dinner on or as a study table on a given day.
      
  9. Shaker Cabinets
    Shaker-style cabinets are one of the best examples of timeless design since they've been in style for more than a century. They're known for their recessed panel doors and minimalist design that goes well in any kitchen style, from traditional to modern.

Contact us today at Napier ERA to find out how to make your kitchen stylish and functional while also appealing to prospective buyers looking for Richmond homes for sale

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/15/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/15/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CAAR MLS (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 3:25:34 PM EST) or CVRMLS (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 3:28:01 PM EST) or Williamsburg MLS (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 2:54:43 PM EST) or NNAR MLS (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 3:26:29 PM EST) or Chesapeake Bay & Rivers (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 2:50:24 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Napier Realtors ERA may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --


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