Trending paint colors as you prep for sale

The four hues that move homes

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Take Care | 5 Ways to Balance Working from Home and Homeschooling

During the course of a typical day, parents juggle many tasks between home and work. These unprecedented times have parents stretched further than before—adding homeschooling to their long list of roles. As we all work through this new reality together, here are five ways to help manage your child’s educational needs while also working from home.

Set a Schedule

Whether your child is in pre-school or high school, they’re no doubt accustomed to being on a schedule inside the walls of their school – and there are benefits from that. Write the day’s schedule in a highly visible and highly trafficked place or use devices powered by Alexa or Google to set reminders. Among other things, this sets clear expectations for what can be expected for the day. 

Take Breaks

Every household will be different – just like every child. It’s important to tailor your schedule and workload to what works for your family. That being said, everyone needs breaks. Grab a snack, cup of coffee or a breath of fresh air with your child to break up your day; enjoy the quality time. Studies show that taking breaks help our brains perform better.

Lean on Virtual Assistance

Managing screen time is a point of contention when it comes to the age of your child and how often they’re on their phone/tablet, but in these times it’s important to get help from where you can. Let people like renowned children’s author and artist Mo Willems teach art class, let celebrities handle story time, or call on Les Mills to proctor gym class. There are also a plethora of worksheets available from places like Lakeshore to keep the activities going while you get some work done.

Mix it Up

Schedules and a catalog of resources are great, but variety will keep your learners engaged and stave off the much-maligned sentiment of, “I’m bored.” Talk to your child and determine what’s working – and what’s not – before venturing out of comfort zones. Is your child an avid reader? Try Oxford Owl to foster some alone-time with an age-tailored story. Looking for a more hands-on task? Make organizing socks, toys, pencils, or the pantry into a game.

Lower Expectations

At the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you and your family and that means you can’t guarantee anything. Don’t live in a world of absolutes – if a schedule that has treated you well falls apart for a few days, don’t fret; staying flexible will keep both you and your child more content in the long run.

We are not the experts here – we’re all in this together. Learn more about succeeding at this balancing act from MoneyThe Atlantic, and the BBC. Share what’s working for you in the comments.

Posted on April 14, 2020

 

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Furnishing Your Home for Extended Remote Work

New York, New York | Nikki Field & Benjamin PofcherSotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

For many people, the “office” isn’t a corner office in a high-rise building—it’s at home. With the current global health crisis shaking up how business is done, more and more people are finding themselves working from their living spaces.

Working from home can be a tough transition for those unfamiliar with and unprepared for it, but there are a few ways to furnish your home for a better remote work environment. From rearranging furniture and seeking out more ergonomic solutions to creating an inspiring and motivating space, these tips will help the remote worker set boundaries between home life and work life, even if they’re both happening within the same four walls.

Upgrade Your Desk and Chair

Dubai, United Arab Emirates | Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty

The right equipment can make a home office a sanctuary. When it comes to selecting a good chair, it’s best to choose one that has been designed to maximise good posture and suits your body type. Chairs with adjustable lumbar support—as well as a flexible seat and armrests—let you choose the most comfortable settings, while materials like high-tech mesh provide full support and help to regulate body temperature. You’re likely to spend a lot of time at your desk chair: pick something that is both functional and stylish.

When it comes to desks, work surfaces with adjustable height capabilities allow you to take much-needed breaks from sitting, while materials like marble and reclaimed wood will keep work stations from feeling too corporate. In your home office, comfort should be your top priority, and finding the right chair and desk is an investment in your health and wellbeing that will help keep you at your best, most productive self.

Prioritize Your Tech Setup

Perugia, Italy | Diletta Giorgolo S.Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

As meetings and conference calls move from in-person to online, a good tech setup becomes a home office necessity. Check that you have a strong internet connection, upgrade your service if needed, and work with your employer to ensure you have all the technology required to do your job well. Working with a monitor and keyboard will be much better for your posture than a laptop, especially if you’re able to configure the screen for eye-level work.

If you’ll be making frequent conference calls, make sure your computer is up-to-date and has the right software and capabilities for programs you’ll be using often. Now is also a good time to move to using virtual desktops and implement cloud-based document storage, if you haven’t already, so you’ll be well-equipped to work from wherever you are.

Good lighting is essential in a home office: assess the amount of natural light that your space receives throughout the day, and install soft, flattering overhead lights. Avoid fluorescents. In a home with more than one working family member, create spaces so that you can all take calls comfortably—this may mean commandeering a walk-in closet or den as an overflow work space.

Add Inspiring Artwork and Decorative Plants

Dallas, Texas | Jennifer LeLashBriggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

As much as an at-home office space needs to be functional, it should also encourage creativity and foster mental wellbeing. Painting the walls a soothing color and hanging art will contribute to a calming work environment. Choose abstract pieces in muted shades, images of landscapes that remind you of favorite places, or framed children’s drawings—these will serve to brighten your workspace and turn it into a space you actually want to spend time in. Forgo the basic home office supplies for more design-forward essentials, like sculptural brass tape dispensers or minimal marble clocks.

Bringing greenery into your home office is also a good way to improve focus and mental outlook. Whether you opt for a large potted tropical plant or a collection of small cacti for your desk, bringing nature into your workspace has been shown to improve productivity, reduce stress, and boost oxygen levels.

Establish a Fitness Corner

Beverly Hills, California | Angela Roessel & John GalichSotheby’s International Realty – Beverly Hills Brokerage

One of the best ways to boost your energy levels during a remote workday is with movement. It can be easy to lose focus or become distracted at home, especially when starting a new routine in a new space, so allowing yourself scheduled activity breaks will help you keep your attention where it needs to be.

If possible, find a spot in your office where you can establish a fitness corner and furnish it with your favorite equipment. If lifting weights helps you process your thoughts, add a bench and weights in varying sizes for a quick 10-minute lift session. For yoga enthusiasts, find a permanent spot for a mat; for fans of virtual fitness classes, create a dedicated space in front of your computer so you can join in without needing to reconfigure the room every time. By adding a fitness space into your work area, you’ll give yourself permission to take a much-needed pause, while replacing movement between meeting rooms or to colleagues’ offices with other exercise throughout the day.

Making a home office work for you is as much about inspiration as it is about functionality. Good office design contributes to an overall sense of well-being and improves effectiveness, something that all remote workers can benefit from right now.

Discover more reasons to stay motivated and inspired at home with these library-focused listings.

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6 Museums You Can Tour from the Comfort of Your Own Home This Weekend

While staying at home and practicing safe social distancing are the best courses of action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn’t mean we have to miss out on cultural landmarks around the world. Thanks to the Google Arts & Culture Project, from New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, to Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, here are 6 museums you can tour right now from home.

MoMA, New York

The first museum founded to showcase modern art, The Museum of Modern Art in New York has been doing just that for more than 90 years. From Picasso to Van Gogh, the MoMA is home to incredible pieces of history from the world of contemporary art.

Museo Frida Kahlo, Mexico City

Tour La Casa Azul, the former home of world-renowned artist Frida Kahlo – and current home to the museum honoring her life and legacy. Visible here are not only works from Kahlo, but also numerous personal belongings including her clothing and a body cast she famously painted while ill.

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

On display at the Musée d’Orsay, you’ll discover famous works from French artists who lived and worked between 1848 and 1914. Paintings by Monet, Gauguin, and Cézanne – among others – are featured on this Parisienne art tour.

La Galleria Nazionale, Rome

With just about 500 of its approximately 20,000 artworks digitized for this virtual tour, La Galleria Nazionale in Rome features everything from antiquities to seminal pieces representing the Futurist and Surrealist art movements.

Georgia O’Keefe Museum, Santa Fe

Honoring one of America’s preeminent artists, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum settled in the same New Mexican desert she once called home. It is dedicated to enriching visitors in the incredible legacy left by the late artist with its collection of her paintings; of which 30 can be viewed online.

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

One of the more thoroughly digitized experiences is Rijks Museum in Amsterdam. With over 145,000 works available to view virtually, enjoy incredible works from artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Verspronck, to name a few.

Looking for more? Travel + Leisure offer more digital tours of incredible art museums

Posted on March 27, 2020

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Putting Down Roots | How to Settle in to a New Home

Boca Raton, Florida | John Poletto & Mark NestlerONE Sotheby’s International Realty

There’s a difference between a house and a home. It can take time to personalize the interior of a new house with your own sense of style and décor, making it a welcoming place that becomes a family’s central hub. To help give any new house a head start, or refresh during an extended stay at home, we’ve compiled a few simple tips to make your new property feel distinctly yours.

Start Organized

Bluffton, South Carolina | Renee MeighanCelia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty

The best way to start off in a new home? Make sure you’re organized from the get-go. To make unpacking a breeze, ensure boxes are clearly labeled and organized by room, and that any furniture is placed in its proper spot from the very beginning. You’ll receive an instant sense of familiarity when you walk into your new house and see all of your belongings close to—if not perfectly—where they’re supposed to be. If you’re having renovations done, like painting or decorating, schedule them in advance to avoid chaos as much as possible.

Add Some Greenery

Riverside, Connecticut | Steve ArchinoSotheby’s International Realty – Greenwich Brokerage

Bringing a touch of the outdoors inside is a sure way to make a new space feel fresh and welcoming—and plants have the added benefit of purifying the air. To spruce up your new home, try large potted plants like palms and ferns to brighten entranceways and living rooms. And if you’re looking to instantly achieve that at-home feeling before you’ve settled on more permanent plants, add some fresh bouquets of flowers to the kitchen on your first day in your new abode.

Making Scents

Chicago, Illinois | Tim SalmJameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Smell is a powerful vehicle for nostalgia. Just a hint of a certain scent can transport us to a memory of a vacation or a moment with friends. Whether through a candle, incense, diffused essential oils, or your go-to soap, adding fragrance to your new space makes it even more welcoming. If you’re looking for new scents to christen your new home, try light florals in the living room, something fresh and herbal in the kitchen, and relaxing lavender in the bedroom to aid sleep.

Sounds Like Home

Singapore | Veniz KwongList Sotheby’s International Realty

It’s hard to resist a thrill when a favorite song comes on the radio. Bring that magic mood into your new home by listening to curated music as you settle in. Make a playlist, press play, and let the music of your life fill your new space as you decorate and adjust to your new environs. Creating new memories through sound can smooth the adjustment process.

Fill in the Blanks

Beverly Hills, California | Eric LaveySotheby’s International Realty – Beverly Hills Brokerage

Unless you’re planning for a minimalist design in your new house, blank walls can be a deterrent in making your space feel homey. That’s not to say you should rush to add permanent artwork: while you decide on your chosen pieces, adding family photos and favorite decorative items from another home can quickly make your new space feel comfortable in the meantime.

Turn on the Lights

Beverly Hills, California | Almila GozenSotheby’s International Realty – Brentwood Brokerage

Lighting is crucial for setting ambiance in a new home. Consider if you need to make any updates to the placement and types of lighting in your house before you move in, so that rooms are cozy and welcoming when you arrive. Lighting candles can also set the tone for those first special evenings in a new space.

Stock the Kitchen

Wellington, Florida | Thomas BaldwinEquestrian Sotheby’s International Realty

The kitchen is the soul of the house, so your new address might not feel like much of a home while it remains empty. Fill your fridge upon arrival, whether you pre-order for delivery or pick up fresh produce on the way. Cooking a meal in your new kitchen is also a great way to feel settled. Invite some family and friends over for a casual meal in the early days of your residence: a celebration with company can make any house a home almost instantly.

Moving into a new space, whether as a permanent residence or a seasonal getaway, is always an exciting time. You may be looking forward to a change of scenery or the chance to create more memories with familiar faces. Regardless of the type of property or how much time you’ll be spending there, these simple ideas go a long way towards making your new home feel like you’ve lived there for years.

Find the perfect setting for your next personalized home in one of these luxury properties.

Posted on March 23, 2020

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The 6 features your luxury seller should upgrade

Getting a luxury home into selling shape is all in the details…

Britt Klein, Associate Broker, Sotheby’s International Realty in Santa Fe

“Intimately understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your listing is essential for effective marketing,” says Britt Klein, Associate Broker with Sotheby’s International Realty in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “You want to place your listing in the strongest possible position for a sale.”

After all, buyers are quick to take things at face value. According to Jon Mand, Broker with Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty in Louisville, it’s crucial for agents be able to see a property from the buyer’s perspective so they know what to change. “The objective of my initial walkthrough is to view the home through the eyes of a potential buyer in order to accurately assess the current condition and marketability of the property,” he says.

Jon Mand, Broker, Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty

What are the first things he looks for? “Is the paint chipping? Is there visible water damage? Deferred maintenance is the first priority for our sellers to tackle. A beautifully staged room will quickly be overshadowed by heavily worn hardwood floors and drywall in need of repair.”

In some markets, what’s outside matters almost as much as the interiors. “My clientele are craving the ultimate indoor-outdoor living experience,” says Klein. “When possible, I encourage sellers to work with interior and staging specialists as well as landscape architects.”

 

So what are the upgrades agents need to stay on the lookout for? Here are our top six picks:

Take care of the basics

1. Refresh the walls
Paint chipping, water damage, and flaws in the drywall can steal the show from even the most elegant homes. Walls are a high priority, and they can be a quick fix — especially if the problem is simply the color. “Whether the home is $200,000 or $2,000,000, painting consistently remains the greatest return offered to sellers out of any pre-listing work or staging I recommend,” says Mand. While rich jewel tones are having a moment in design, for selling a home, neutrals still see the best return on investment in luxury properties: soft gray-blues, warm browns, and beiges create a blank canvas for allowing buyers to picture themselves in a space while conveying a sense of refinement. If the creative urge strikes, kitchen cabinets and bathrooms are places where a bit of color is less likely to deter luxury buyers.

2. Replace flooring
“Updating or refinishing flooring is a close second to walls,” continues Mand, “and can make a world of difference to a space.” Floors are a particularly nuanced feature because there are so many types to choose from. Hardwood remains appealing to buyers, although tastes regarding plank width vary between markets; in humid climates, ceramic and granite tile can provide sophistication without the risk of warping. Consistency in flooring throughout a house can matter more than type: sellers are well advised to choose an attractive option for the main rooms of their home in order to keep buyers from identifying flooring as a problem area.

3. Raise ceilings

Luxury Kitchen Interior

Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty

Along with walls and floors, ceilings are an oft-overlooked surface that can be improved in order to lift and lighten a space. Vaulted ceilings are highly sought after, and for luxury condo buyers, ceilings of at least 13 feet are in vogue.

“I once recommended several changes to a home, including a fresh coat of paint throughout, refinishing hardwood floors with a darker stain, and replacing an older dropped ceiling,” recalls Mand. “At that time, the clients decided to move forward with listing without making any improvements. The home sat on the market for several months before they decided to remove it and make the changes originally suggested. Upon reentering the market, we immediately received multiple offers and ultimately sold above ask.”

Brush up on the extras

4. Modernize the kitchen
When asked about the upgrades that bring the biggest benefits to sellers, both Klein and Mand are quick to mention kitchens. “As far as significant renovations go, sellers will see the most value for resale in a complete kitchen update,” says Mand.

This is an area of the home that builds up a lot of wear and tear; it’s also a space where buyers are especially concerned about having the latest features, whether it’s energy efficient lighting or a smart refrigerator.

5. Splash out on the master bathroom
Unlike the kitchen, homebuyers focus on the master bath as a luxury more than a necessity, but it’s another upgrade that Klein and Mand unanimously agree is one of the most important. It’s also one of the most likely to maximize the seller’s return on investment. Details like radiant in-floor heating, soaker tubs, and open-concept Italian showers can take a master bath from run of the mill to attractive oasis.

6. Design a tranquil outdoor space

Luxury home exterior at night

Sotheby’s International Realty – Santa Fe – 326 Grant Avenue Brokerage

A property’s façade is the first thing buyers see when attending an open house; that’s why, for Klein, curb appeal is non-negotiable. “The exterior experience is among the most important upgrades, and provides a great return on investment,” she notes.

Landscaping, patios, and the indoor-outdoor lifestyle is even more critical in secondary home markets. “In Santa Fe, buying a luxury home is often a choice rather than a necessity,” she says. “Most secondary homebuyers need to emotionally connect with the property, and are willing to pay a premium for a move-in-ready residence that offers an idyllic Southwestern lifestyle.”

On trend or timeless?

When it comes to advising sellers on upgrades, it’s vital agents know what’s current. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to style, as long as you steer away from anything outdated. Mand advises his clients to focus on traditional aesthetics with wide appeal; Klein makes sure to identify and replace any features that have fallen out of fashion and may adversely affect marketability.

“Recently, I worked with a seller who had designed their Santa Fe residence with a dramatic French country theme,” she describes. “The home was exquisite and tastefully decorated; however, the design theme deterred buyers who wanted the Santa Fe experience. My sellers willingly replaced the antique crystal chandeliers with rustic wrought iron fixtures and restaged the home with a neutral theme. This rebranding broadened our audience, which resulted in a significant surge of activity and an immediate sale.”

Ultimately, your sellers are relying on you to tell them what requires an upgrade — whether or not they know the scope of work needing to be done. “Being an objective and knowledgeable third party during an often emotional and tiring process will make all the difference to your seller,” says Mand. In the end, superior service is what counts most in the luxury real estate space.

BY SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY


About Sotheby’s International Realty

Sotheby’s International Realty was founded in 1976 as a real estate service for discerning clients of Sotheby’s auction house. Today, the company’s global footprint spans 990 offices located in 72 countries and territories worldwide, including 43 company-owned brokerage offices in key metropolitan and resort markets. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a franchise system. The franchise system is comprised of an affiliate network, where each office is independently owned and operated. Sotheby’s International Realty supports its affiliates and agents with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Affiliates and agents also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.

The affiliate network is operated by Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, and the company owned brokerages are operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Both entities are subsidiaries of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and Sotheby’s International Realty Inc., both fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.

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Design | 7 Futuristic Materials Having a Moment

Corona Del Mar, California | Linda Chan & Sana AmarithPacific Sotheby’s International Realty

What makes a house truly feel like a home? Aside from the events that take place between its walls, much of a home’s personality is found in the materials, textures, and accents that bring it together. While it can be time-consuming to keep up with the latest design trends—especially the perennials that come in and out with the seasons—incorporating the latest high-end materials into your home is an easy way to give a space an instant, luxurious update. From cozy fabrics to rich metals, here are seven futuristic materials to freshen any room.

Bouclé

Harrison, New York | Alix PrinceJulia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty

An ultra-soft, looped yarn fabric, bouclé is a material that exudes warmth and whimsy. Traditionally a popular texture for coats, bouclé is adorning couches, loveseats, and throw pillows to add instant comfort—and a little fun—to the living room without sacrificing high-end style. Curling up on furniture made from this fabric is a lush experience; it’s getting up once comfortable that becomes a challenge.

Rice Paper

Naples, Italy | Sabrina MajelloItaly Sotheby’s International Realty

When it comes to the burgeoning trend of sustainable home décor, materials like rice paper, jute, linen, and wool are making a big name for themselves. Rice paper lanterns and floor lamps are perfect accents for bright, minimalist spaces that adhere to the design tenets of serenity and relaxation.

Ceramic

Cyprus | Anastasia YianniCyprus Sotheby’s International Realty

By no means a new material, ceramic is having a moment in 2019. Patterned ceramic tiles are an exciting way to spruce up walls and flooring, and artists worldwide are creating stunning bowls, flower pots, and vases in both high-shine and matte finishes. Whether for function or simply for display, unique ceramic artwork makes a clear statement.

Acrylic

Hamburg, Germany | Alexander StehleHamburg Sotheby’s International Realty

For a clean, minimalist look and feel, acrylic furniture is a fuss-free, futuristic trend to incorporate into your home. Acrylic coffee tables, end tables, and hallway or entryway pieces provide a balance of function and style without detracting from the overall design of the rest of the room. And in tight spaces, clear acrylic furnishings allow light to travel without adding any visual disruption.

Velvet

Laguna Beach, California | Sean StanfieldAriana Gaffoglio, & Seth NelsonPacific Sotheby’s International Realty

There’s just something about velvet that elevates a room. A velvet couch, especially in a rich jewel tone, not only makes a glamorous statement, but the fabric’s plush feel is a luxury in itself. An example of the old being made new again, velvet is making a splash in contemporary rooms with a hint of Art Deco. Not ready to commit to a velvet couch? Try throw pillows, a blanket, or a headboard to bring this trend into your home.

Concrete

Sydney, Australia | Michael PallierSydney Sotheby’s International Realty

From tables to benches to tiling, concrete has stepped into the interior limelight. A major component of industrial design, concrete can bring texture and contrast to spaces that are rich in other natural materials like wood and wool. Statement walls and concrete islands create focal points in bright and open rooms, and, when properly sealed, concrete is a resilient material to use in kitchens and workshops.

Copper

Lisboa, Portugal | Jose GorjaoPortugal Sotheby’s International Realty

It’s time to bid farewell to rose gold—last year’s ubiquitous accent metal—and say hello to the warm, earthy glow of copper. Integrate this rich metal into your home through lamps, kitchen and bathroom faucets, side tables, and even picture frames and plant pots. Keeping your copper from oxidizing involves the application of sealant, but the care of faded metals can be easily addressed with products found in most kitchens.

Whether you’re looking to update a space with on-trend touches or are planning a home renovation, there are plenty of futuristic materials to draw from to bring your spaces into the present. Choose from elegant details that accentuate a minimalist space or rich fabrics to add depth to a modern room—with elements made from acrylic or copper, velvet or bouclé, forward-looking design options are at your fingertips.

Explore these beautifully designed luxury properties for inspiration and find your next home.

Posted on November 5, 2019

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The Etiquette of the Housewarming Party

 

Westover Hills, Texas | Laurie Brants & Rob SchumacherBriggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

The finishing touch to any major renovation or move, a housewarming can mark a new era in the life of your home. And like any social gathering, there are guidelines for housewarming party etiquette that every host—and guest—should keep in mind.

Housewarming parties are traditionally more casual affairs, but there are a few ways to ensure they are a memorable and thoughtful occasion. Whether you’re hosting or attending, here are a few helpful pointers to make that fall refresh as celebratory as possible.

For the Host

Take Time to Settle In

Diablo, California | Anton Danilovich and Rebecca BurnsGolden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty

Establishing a new home—or finishing extensive renovations—is an exciting accomplishment, one you’ll want to share with friends and family. But there’s no rush to make your home party ready. Leave yourself time to apply the final coats of paint, hang art, and select the perfect pieces of furniture to make your space feel complete. Invitations can wait, and taking a moment to settle in ensures your home feels like yours—and is warmly welcoming when it comes time to host guests.

Think Strategically About Timing

Park City, Utah | Brian WilsonSummit Sotheby’s International Realty

Your housewarming will have a different feel and structure depending on what time of day you’re planning to invite guests into your new home. If you’re hosting a Sunday afternoon gathering, catered canapés and mimosas are a brunch-appropriate refreshment choice; if you’re aiming to welcome guests during dinner hours, be sure to serve enough food to constitute a meal. Hosting in the evening means refreshments can be limited to casual drinks and light hors d’oeuvres—the scale and scope of your party is best determined by when it’ll take place. Clarify the food offerings on your invitation, and confer with your caterer on ways to keep service natural and easy.

Invite the Neighbors

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico | Wesley GleasonAgave Sotheby’s International Realty

The main purpose of throwing a housewarming party is to settle into your new home by welcoming others into your space, but it can also mean settling into a community. By inviting your neighbors to your festivities, you’ll be setting the tone for future friendly interactions in the neighborhood. It’s an easy way for your neighbors to get to know you—and you them—in a low-pressure, casual social environment.

Go Light on Decoration

Perugia, Italy | Diletta Giorgolo S.Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

A housewarming party needn’t be weighed down with elaborate themes or grand gestures—this is a party designed to share your beautiful new space, so your home can do most of the work. Simple decorative measures like elegant pillar candles, fresh flowers, and freshly-pressed tablecloths are sufficient and allow your guests to take in your space without the distraction of ornate displays. If seating or servingware are going to be an issue, rent the appropriate pieces to help your evening progress smoothly. The goal is to keep the focus on your home; encouraging flow through your entertainment spaces and guiding guests on tours should take precedence over show-stopping extras.

For the Guest

Come Bearing Gifts

Raleigh, North Carolina | Susan BashfordHodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty

While a host should never request gifts or send out gift registries with housewarming invitations, it’s accepted practice to bring a small present when celebrating a new home. The gift need not be elaborate, but it should act as a small gesture of thanks for their hospitality and as a way to help them settle into their new space. A glass decanter is an elegant choice, as is a marble serving board or bottle of wine: think of gifts as a way to augment the host’s future social gatherings in their space. The gift is a token of appreciation for the invitation as much as it is a way to warm their home.

Bring Warmth

Encinitas, California | Kevin DalzellRyan Dalzell, and Jim DalzellPacific Sotheby’s International Realty

It may seem simple, but remembering to compliment the homeowner’s new space is an important part of being a gracious guest. Your host has invited people in their home en masse for the first time, and reassuring comments are a kind and simple way to help them celebrate this achievement. While it is a social gathering, it’s best to refrain from letting the food—or drink—distract you from the true purpose of the event: let the home and the host remain the focus.

The housewarming party comes with best etiquette practices, like any other social gathering, but one of the most important things to remember is that it should be enjoyable. Whether you’re a host or a guest, keep things relaxed: the point of the party is to establish memories in a new space, and to turn a house into a welcoming home.

If thoughts of hosting have you aspiring to a new space, discover homes for living and entertaining among these inspiring listings.

Posted on September 26, 2019

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5 Eco-Friendly Overhauls for Your Next Renovation

Happy Earth Day! While we all want to reduce our environmental impact, it’s often said that sustainability equals sacrifice. But there are a few additions that can make our homes work smarter, not harder. From native plants to reclaimed materials, these eco-friendly upgrades are standing ready for your next renovation. Here are five ways to reduce your carbon footprint without skimping on modern conveniences.

1. Install Energy-Efficient Windows

Ontario, Canada | Perry BariaSotheby’s International Realty Canada 

More comfort, smaller carbon footprint—two things you can count on when updating single-pane windows to their energy-efficient counterparts. Whether you’re renovating in a region with four seasons or an environment with tropical temperatures, bolstered panes work to optimize and regulate a home’s temperature. By sealing in warm air during the winter and keeping out the heat come summer, double-pane windows lessen the need for fossil fuels, like those required for natural gas furnaces. Framing materials can also make a difference—consider the eco-friendliness of fibreglass when making your selection, as did the designers of this contemporary Halton Hills, Ontario home.

2. Use Local Flora for Landscaping

Mexico City, Mexico | Alejandra RomoMexico Sotheby’s International Realty

When it comes to designing an eco-friendly landscape, choosing native plants is the way to go. By being naturally acclimated to a region’s weather and rainfall conditions and resistant to local pests, they require minimal maintenance and less use of pollutants like insecticides and pesticides. From a design standpoint, they work to deepen the sense of place—which can feel particularly restorative in a vacation home such as this orchard home in Malinalco, Mexico, where homeowners can escape the stresses of day-to-day life among plant varietals that are local to the area.

3. Invest in Solar Panels

Tenino, Washington | Michael MorrisonMorrison House Sotheby’s International Realty

For those looking to sell, solar is one eco-upgrade where you may see a return on your investment. As with a recently renovated kitchen, many buyers are willing to pay a premium for a solar energy system, meaning a 3.1 kilowatt system is capable of upping a property’s resale value by roughly $18,000.

Scottsdale, Arizona | Kathleen Benoit & Karen BaldwinRuss Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty 

In cities like Scottsdale, which receives an average of 299 sunny days a year, solar energy is becoming the norm. But many are surprised to learn that even areas with heavy cloud coverage receive an average of two hours of sun per day. While four hours is ideal, solar panels make it possible to live nearly off the grid in a region as overcast as the Pacific Northwest.

4. Bring Natural Stone into the Kitchen

Savaneta, Aruba | Aruba Sotheby’s International Realty

The kitchen is often one of the most-used rooms in the home, so it only makes sense to choose materials that are built to last. Natural stones such as marble, quartz, and granite are virtually indestructible as kitchen surfaces, making them one of the most sustainable options in the long term. Fortunately, they’re also some of the most beautiful—as revealed by this breezy beachfront Aruba estate.

5. Lay Reclaimed Wood Flooring

Pacific Palisades, California | Barbara BoyleSotheby’s International Realty – Pacific Palisades Brokerage

In the age of mass production, nothing beats the authentic character and rustic charm of reclaimed wood—just take a look at the 100-year-old oak barn flooring in this California abode. But beauty isn’t the only thing upcycled wood has in its favor. Whether it was used for an ancient ship or centuries-old barn, most reclaimed wood comes from old-growth trees and is stronger, more resistant to rot, and more dense than new-growth. What’s more, reclaimed wood effectively traps air, making it a natural insulator when used as flooring.

Whether buying or selling, it’s more important than ever to consider the environmental impact of a home. Thankfully, it’s possible to reduce our carbon footprint without sacrificing style or comfort—all it takes is some smart strategizing and renovating to help us live a little more green.

Looking for more Earth-friendly inspiration? Check out these eco-friendly homes you could own.

Posted on April 22, 2019

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RESIDE® Magazine | Marie Kondo’s 5 Favorite Things

Whether it is her #1 New York Times best-seller, The Life‑Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering, her Netflix series, or her many appearances on television promoting her trademarked KonMari™ Method of tidying by category, Marie Kondo is rapidly becoming a household name.

In the latest issue of RESIDE Magazine, Kondo took the time to take us through her home and show us a few items that, to coin her own phrase, “spark joy,” in her life.

I get to experience the joy it brings me every day.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Kondo, 34, now lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and two children. In 2016 Kondo told New York Times Magazine that her, “dream is to organize the world.”

See more of Marie Kondo’s favorite things in the latest issue of RESIDE Magazine

Posted on April 9, 2019

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