November 25, 2015

Spice up your kitchen with some of these ideas!

As you'll probably be reminded tomorrow, the kitchen is always one of the busiest rooms in the house. A little imagination and some smart details can steer this room toward a look filled with personality...

1. Add a dash of copper. Copper is a hugely popular material, with a long history of use in the kitchen. Often it shows up in pots and pans, but it can make a real splash as a sink. With its nicely artisanal feel, a copper sink is an unusual, stylish choice.

2. Get a handle on things. Switch up your cabinet handles and pulls with metal, wood, glass, leather or ceramic. It’s an easy way to give your cabinets a fresh look.

3. Shine a little light on it. While kitchens often feature integrated overhead lights and task lighting, they aren’t particularly attractive. Try adding a more decorative table lamp to a work surface or sideboard to give the room a different feel.

4. Hang some art. While the kitchen is a practical room, it can use a bit of style, too. Hanging art in the kitchen can extend the style found in other areas of the house, and make the kitchen feel part of the whole.

5. Never underestimate the value of paint. A kitchen can be the perfect canvas for a creative paint job. Use paint to create the illusion of a backsplash, or a chair rail or paneling. It can make the room feel bigger or cozier, depending on the color.

Elite Homes builds beautiful garden home communities perfect for baby boomers 55+ - featuring, single-family, low-maintenance homes, in a relaxing and convenient locations around Louisville.

November 19, 2015

Time to get organized! Tips for Seasonal Storage.

The changing of the seasons from warmer to cooler weather usually inspires us to start cleaning things up, stowing them away for winter. This year, go from fall to winter smoothly with these tips.  

·       Change of seasons is the perfect opportunity to get organized. Time to sort through your shelves, drawers and closets, and purge anything you haven’t used recently. That means clothing, books, shoes, accessories, decorative items – everything!  Get rid of anything not used in the past 12 months.

·       Getting organized usually comes down to one basic concept – a place for everything, and everything in its place.  If you create a dedicated area for things – and use it all the time – your stuff will stay organized.

·       De-clutter kitchen drawers periodically to keep from accumulating outdated flyers, menus, magazines and newspapers. This will open them up so you can store more day-to-day items that you need to quickly reach.

·       Don’t forget to de-clutter files, too. Many household financial documents and papers may be available online through the provider’s website. If that is the case, discard old financial statements or bills that you can access electronically. Invest in a paper shredder for these documents to protect your identity and accounts.

·       Buy budget friendly containers that slide under furniture (sofas or beds) for off-season blankets, bedding, clothing, etc.

·       Don’t waste space! Move rarely accessed or out of season items onto higher shelves or into the attic or shed.

·       Do you have enough storage space? Or the right kind of storage space? Built-in cabinetry is a possible solution. If you’re considering built-in cabinetry, think of the space it will go in. And how you want to use it.  Consider open shelves, closed drawers, and space for bins or baskets!

·       Before reconfiguring a closet, think of how you use it. Do you have items that are longer – coats, dresses, trousers? Make sure you create a space that’s long enough to accommodate them. Do you fold and stack shirts & sweaters? Then you’ll need plenty of open shelving. Don’t forget to include a system for corralling belts, scarves, socks, purses and jewelry.

·       If you are looking to replace old, worn-out furniture in your home, consider buying pieces that also can serve as storage. Consider a coffee table that has drawers or an ottoman that can open up and double as storage space.

The bottom line? Efficient use of space and thorough organization are the keys to flawless seasonal storage.

Elite Homes builds beautiful garden home communities perfect for baby boomers 55+ - featuring, single-family, low-maintenance homes, in a relaxing and convenient locations around Louisville.

November 12, 2015

Tips for hosting Thanksgiving!

You look forward to Thanksgiving each November. Your mom, aunt, or even your sister always seem to pull it off without a hitch. But now you have your own home, and you've been picking up some subtle vibes that maybe, just maybe, could you host this year? Well, don't sweat it. You can do it – and make it look effortless.

Invite early
The key to a stress-free Thanksgiving is to plan early. Once you commit to hosting, the first thing you need to do is invite every single person you want to come. Even if your friends and family are spur-of-the-moment types, they very likely commit to Thanksgiving dinner plans by the first week of November, so start putting feelers out there ASAP. And don’t make assumptions, actually invite. Invite anyone you would want to have at dinner, and then let them tell you if they can make it or not.

Be organized
Planning and organizing isn't just nice, it's imperative to make sure you don't find yourself with missing ingredients, a house that’s a mess, and three hours of cooking still to be done when your guests arrive. That means making lists of everything you need to do for your dinner, preparing a schedule for the weeks leading up to dinner, and writing shopping lists before you head to the store for ingredients and supplies.

Plan your menu sooner rather than later
Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and you need a plan of attack. The first step? Figure out what’s on the menu. And decide if you’d like your guests to bring something. Chances are your guests will want to bring things… you just have to tell them what you need. And when your vegan friend asks what you’re going to be serving, you can show her the menu and ask if she would like to bring a vegan dish to share with the group.

Cook in advance
Don’t stress out by trying to cook everything on Thanksgiving day. Create a timeline, and figure out what can be made ahead of time. Casseroles can be premade. Vegetables can be chopped and ready to steam. Obviously some things can’t be cooked early, like the turkey, but almost everything else in the meal can be prepped and ready to just pop on the stovetop or into the oven.

Serve what you really love
Turkey and mashed potatoes are classic Thanksgiving dishes, but aren’t necessarily everyone’s cup of tea. Why not start your own tasty tradition? If everyone loves Aunt Betty’s lasagna, then serve lasagna alongside the turkey!

Set the table(s) in advance
As long as you don't have to worry about pets or small children destroying your dining room table, set it several days before the holiday. That way you won't be scrambling to find the best china that's somewhere in the basement; cleaning the dust off the wine glasses that are on that high shelf in the kitchen; and counting the flatware only to discover you don't have enough right before the first guest rings the bell.

Offer snacks before dinner
Tasty appetizers benefit the cook as much as the guests. They stay busy munching while you finish up in the kitchen! Try nuts, crackers and cheese, crudité or hot apps.

Keep the kids busy
For children, it seems like Thanksgiving dinner takes foreveeeer to land on the table. Keep 'em occupied with cute and crafty projects they can assemble with a favorite relative.

Move the decorations off the table.

Free up prime dinner-table real estate by moving oversize arrangements to the buffet. And don't bother with elaborate floral fantasies. Just go "shopping" in your backyard for branches of holly, crab apple, or bittersweet berries. Then bring in-demand items — butter, gravy, cranberry sauce — to the middle of the table.

Elite Homes builds beautiful garden home communities perfect for baby boomers 55+ - featuring, single-family, low-maintenance homes, in a relaxing and convenient locations around Louisville.

November 5, 2015

Still renting? Here’s why you should build and own, instead!

As the real estate market fluctuates, so does the rental market. At the moment, the rental scene is looking increasingly uninviting. A recent article in MarketWatch details how landlords are taking advantage of the intensely competitive rental market and will be hiking rates accordingly.

The numbers are staggering:
  •           88% of property managers raised their rent in the last 12 months and 68% predict that rental rates will continue to rise in the next year by an average of 8%, according to
  •       Many renters are spending more than 30% of their income on rent (the amount generally recommended) and need help qualifying for the lease.
  •           Around 43% of property managers reported seeing an increase in the number of applicants who do not meet the income requirements on their own and require a guarantor.
  •         34% of property managers reported that renters are holding on tight to their apartments and renewing their leases, either because they face higher rents elsewhere or they’re choosing not to buy property.
  •       The number of Americans spending more than half of their income on rent will rise by 11% from 11.8 million in 2015 to 13.1 million in 2025, a survey released last month by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and Enterprise Community Partners found.
If you’re going to be spending that kind of money, you should be getting something tangible out of it – like stability, equity and pride of ownership!

If you’re still in the rental rat race, stop! Take advantage of low interest rates and more lenient financing, and build an Elite Home of your own. It’s probably the best investment you can make in your future!

Elite Homes builds beautiful garden home communities perfect for baby boomers 55+ - featuring, single-family, low-maintenance homes, in a relaxing and convenient locations around Louisville.