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5 Hardy Plants to Make Your Space Green Courtesy of Pensacola Real Estate Professionals

With the emphasis on going green these days, Pensacola Real Estate Professionals wanted to point out that live green plants in your home are a great way to start! The 5 following plants are hardy and require minimal attention for those that have not been necessarily gifted with a green thumb!

jade1. Jade: The jade plant is sometimes referred to as the “Friendship Tree,” “Lucky Plant” or “Money Tree”. Sounds like it might be a great plant to have around, right? Jade has small pink and white flowers. And since it is in the succulent family, it needs very little water.

Care: Plan on watering it once a week in the summer, and once every two weeks in the winter. If exposed to a lot of sunlight (generally, jade needs to be in a bright room), the tips of the jade plant can turn red, which causes a colorful effect.

2. Aloe: It’s easy to see the many uses of aloe when you walk the aisles of a drugstore. There are aloe gels for various ailments, but it is just as effective to take the aloe gel straight from the plant. If you get a minor burn, break off a leaf from the base and rub the gel on your skin. Be sure to consult a medical professional before trying this. Saving the leaf and extra gel is simple – simply place the leaf in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to five days.aloe

Care: Aloe is another plant in the succulent family, so all it really needs is a room with bright sunlight and some water every two weeks or so.

3. ZZ Plant: The ZZ plant is tropical, perennial and originally comes from the eastern part of Asia. The leaves of the ZZ plant resemble the Zamia plant and are sturdy and glossy.

zz plantCare: Perhaps the easiest plant on this entire list to care for is the ZZ plant. This low-light tropical plant is happy in virtually any condition. Although it prefers at least some light, you can keep it in a fairly dark room. The ZZ plant does not like to be watered very often, and you should make sure the soil is dry before watering.

4. Philodendron: Meaning “tree lover,” philodendron plants are vines that often climb trees in their native, tropical habitat. There are many lovely varieties so you can easily choose a type that suits your style.philodendron

Care: They don’t require much water and actually prefer to get dry between watering(s).

Tip: Since these vines spread so well, it’s easy to train them up a pole or trellis in your home.

5. Snake Plant: Commonly known as “Mother-in-Law Tongue,” the snake plant may be the most popular plant on this list. Its long, dense leaves add height to any space, and it comes in a variety of beautiful shades of green.

snake plantCare: Put the snake plant in a well-lit area and water when the soil is dry to the touch. Water along the edges of the pot and avoid watering directly in the middle of the plant.

A nice selection of all of these plants can be found at local businesses such as: Lowes Home Improvement Store, Home Depot and B & C Nursery.

Not only are houseplants pretty to look at, but as studies have shown they can help reduce allergies, purify the air in your home and give any space a calming effect. With these five easy-to-maintain houseplants, you can get all of these benefits with minimal work and care. You may find your thumb is greener than you thought.

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October/Fall Lawn Care Tips

fall lawn care 2Here are a few simple tips for Floridians who want to make sure that the grass is always greener in their lawn. Remember, the first impression people have of your personal Real Estate is tied directly to the first impression they have of your lawn.fall lawn care

As Fall begins in the Florida Panhandle, here are a few lawn care tips. Check the HGTV.comHow To” list of Fall Lawn Care tips, as well as those I’ve included here.


As a native Floridian, I will be happy to give you additional lawn care tips or guide you to other local professionals, such as those at B & C Nursery, to help you design the Real Estate property, lawn and garden of your dreams.

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How to Rake Your Leaves, Without Breaking Your Back

leaf falling 1We are just starting to flirt with the crisp, cool days of Fall! Ah! What a welcome relief from the heat of Summer! Because we live in the beautiful Florida Panhandle, we are fortunate enough to enjoy a change of seasons.

At this time of year, an untold number of Americans flock to areas to see the turning or changing color of the leaves. Of course, with the falling leaves comes the annual chore of raking those leaves off of our lawns! There are all sorts of on-line sites, such as Medicine.net, that offer medically-based tips on how to take care of your lawn.

In addition to medical advise, there are, thank goodness, rakes of every style and description that have been created to save our backs from succumbing to the aches and pains, that can be the result of this task! An assortment can be found at any Lowe’s Home Improvement Store or at The Home Depot Store.

Choosing the right equipment to tidy up your personal piece of Real Estate is an important first step. The least intensive way to go about this job is by using a leaf blower. The downside is that this is a noisy exercise may not impress the neighbors, and it is even more likely they won’t be happy when you blow your leaves into their yard or the street! Okay, so this may be a last resort!

A second option may be a lawn sweeper.  It is better for the environment and will still clear away the leaves. A lawn sweeper  is similar to a large lawn mower that sweeps up the leaves and automatically drops them into a hopper. After which, you still need to dump the leaves into a garbage bag or trash can.

This option is quick and the least manually demanding. Unfortunately, lawn sweepers can be quite costly and require a good bit of space to store when not in use.

If you opt for a traditional rake, here are a few things to consider:

Use a wide-headed rake with a long handle – rakes with a wider span gather more leaves with each sweep. Look for a 25 to 30 inch width made of durable plastic or metal. You should look for a handle long enough to be able to allow you to stand basically erect while raking (usually at least 48 inches).leaf raking 1

Consider a pivoting-head rake – The rakes have a head that pivots 270 degrees, allowing for better leverage and less back strain. Here again, the drawback is that these style rakes can be more expensive.

Try a leaf scooping rake – These rakes look like a crab claw and performs both the raking and scooping function. The scooping function can save you time and the energy required to bend over to perform the same task.

An ergonomically-shaped rake, that’s clog free and has a curved handle will help you to use the correct posture for the job at hand. If you don’t have one of these, just remember not to slouch and don’t reach to far away from your feet. You want to remember to move around when raking. This will alleviate undue back strain, too.

Approach leave raking smartly! You may think you will get a “jump on it”, if you head out when the leaves first start falling. But, it is actually better to wait for a fair amount of them to fall, and then plan a “dry” day to head out with the rake. Both of these will allow you to rake less often and less strenuously.

The most effective raking is done with a medium-paced motion that doesn’t get slowed down by long dragging sweeps or too much leaf bulk. Choosing a cooler day, when the wind is calm or lightly blowing is optimum.

Remember to dress the part, too! Wear layers of clothing and gloves to protect yourself from biting insects, spiders or thorns. If the weather or the chore warms up, you can always remove a layer of clothing to make yourself more comfortable.

leaf raking 2For those of you with back concerns, remember not to stuff too many leaves into your garbage bag or can, as this heavy lifting will affect your back negatively. Also, limit the time you spend bending over and when you do bend at the knees.

With a little planning, it is easy to tailor to your needs and keep your lawn leaf-free. Your local hardware store can provide you with the rake, that best suites your price point and individual needs. And with the advent of shopping on-line, a mouse click or two can fulfill this acquisition as well!

Contact your local garbage collection agency, as some don’t even require you to bag your leaves. You just put the piles on the curb for pick-up, thus saving you time and money. Check to see if this is an option in your community.

One final thought. Do get out and enjoy this lovely time of year. It is gone in a heartbeat, and it is something you don’t want to miss!

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Double-Duty Room Design and Furnishings Are All the Rage

Today, more than ever, double-duty or multi-tasking is pretty much the norm!  Busy individuals are demanding more from each room in their house. Real Estate spaces that serve multiple uses are popping up all over in floor plans, magazine spreads, such as in Better Homes and Gardens and home decor programming.

washer and dryer in bedroom closet

Strategically planning out what works best for each individual varies, but rest assured, that if there is a need to do laundry in a bedroom or send an email from a laundry room, a good home builder can design these rooms to facilitate those needs. It isn’t unheard of to see a seating area, desks and charging stations in a laundry room. Or for that matter, to see a washer and dryer housed in a bedroom closet. People store their clothes there, so why not wash and dry them there as well.

Furniture manufacturers are trying to help make every square inch count, too. Modern pieces include coffee tables with adjustable heights to accommodate working at a computer or eating, end tables that double as file cabinets and chests with docking stations for electronics.

Because of the portability of lap top computers and other mobile devices, a home office no longer requires a dedicated space. Working from home can take place in any room.

Furnishings are being designed to keep clutter to a minimum and to help people stay connected and  organized. A console table with hinges works well, for instance in a recreational area of the home, for television viewing or crafts. It can easily become a dining spot for 6 people by extending the leaves. Varied sizes of Stacking or nesting tables increase room functionality, too, and  those on wheels can easily be moved from place to place.

Hideaway furniture is another way to design a room for multiple functions. murphy bedMurphy beds, that are stored vertically in a cabinet along a wall, such as those that may be found at Alpha Murphy Beds, which services Northwest Florida  or Murphy desks which slide out from bookshelves are just a few examples of how one can use specialty furniture to mask a room’s dual function.

From young urban professionals to retirees, everyone can appreciate a double-duty world, where we all want to  maximize our living space.

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From Grand Staircases to Snail Showers: Home Decor Through the Decades

Pre-1900 Grand StaircasesReal Estate decor has run the gamete from the Pre-1900’s to the 2000’s, according to www.Trulia.com.

In the Pre-1900’s or during the “Gilded Age” of J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, affluent homes often boasted stunning grand staircases, double-wide pocket doors that slid into the walls, bay windows and coffered ceilings.

By the 1900’s, Tin Ceilings were a common feature, as they were inexpensive, fireproof and durable.

The 1910’s saw the emergence of built-in buffets, China cabinets, leaded glass windows and claw-foot tubs in the bathrooms. There were less frills, as people opted for cleaner and simpler lines. This decade gave rise to the Craftsman Style with gently pitched roofs, deep overhanging eaves, square columns and generous front porches.

As bootleg booze and sky rocketing stocks fueled the Jazz Age of the 1920’s, an era of conspicuous consumption ensued. The best residential architecture incorporated luxury touches like French doors and windows. Coffered ceilings, crown molding, arched doorways and plenty of glitz and glam were signs of the time.1920s example home with French Windows

The 1940’s saw post-war builders embracing many modern techniques, designs and materials, some first used for commercial purposes. Glass block walls, which were  first used in factories, had the advantage of letting in natural light. Clean lines and surfaces marked the best treatments of the decade.

Carports were a  hit and a common housing feature during the 1950’s. They offered the advantage of a full garage, but with a much lower cost. Other distinct characteristics of the time included: screened-in porches, eat-in kitchens, window seats and skylights.

1960s Terrazzo FloorsTimes were a changing in the 1960’s, and homes oft times had such distinctive features as terrazzo floors, which were a composite floor of marble, granite or other stone chips laid in cement and polished to a high shine. Attractive and practical, this flooring was in keeping with the clean modern designs of the day. Other common features included parquet floors, bow windows and chain link fences.

The 1970’s saw the rise of disposable income, when families began building vacation homes. The A-Frame Style was the go to design of the day. People often elected this style because  of its simplistic design and low cost. Eat-in kitchens, sliding glass doors and wraparound decks were other common attributes.

A home design feature not seen prior to the 2000’s, is something known as the snail shower. As its name suggests, it is a shower with an s-curve with the shower head at the end of the curl to avoid water splashing out of this open design. 2000s Snail ShowersBecause these showers take up more room, they are typically seen in larger, luxury homes. “McMansions” dot the landscape of this decade. Media rooms, Florida rooms, rich hardwood floors, dazzling granite tile floors, gourmet kitchens and recreational rooms are commonly seen attributes.

If you have a picture in your mind of Real Estate from any of these decades that you would like to build or find, feel free to contact me here or call me, and I will be happy to help.

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