3 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal Over a Weekend

Adding some curb appeal to your home doesn’t have to mean breaking ground or breaking the bank. With a few hours of an afternoon, or over a weekend, you can add some personality and make your home stand out on your block.


Small Brown House


1. Paint

Painting the door, trim and shutters takes between four and six hours, and uses only a few gallons of paint. Be sure to choose a color that is complementary to the rest of the house. Choose something lighter or darker, but in the same color family, or go with a bold color for the door. A fresh coat of white paint is also a smart option to go with. Tip: If your garage door faces the street, or is part of the facade of your home, make sure you give it a fresh coat of paint, too.

Woman and Man Painting House Exterior


2. Pressure Wash the House

Giving your home a good wash down can give it an instant facelift. You can even do the pressure washing in stages. Start with the front of the house, then the sides, then move to the rear area. Be sure to wash the front walkway, too. Over a weekend, you can break this down into chunks of work time, and still get in some R&R.

Pressure Wash Siding


3. Clear the Clutter

Remove clutter from the yard, driveway and corners like near the garage, the front porch or areas near the front door. Remember, first impressions count, especially from foot traffic of people who may end up being a prospective buyer.

Clearing Yard Clutter


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The post 3 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal Over a Weekend appeared first on Pro.com Blog.

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3 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal Over a Weekend was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home


Designer Lookbook: Rebecca Van’t Hull’s Colorful Weekend Retreat

A room with a view is always inviting, but you can’t overlook its interior. That’s what one family learned after rebuilding a weekend getaway on the West Arm Bay of Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka. They felt the new property lacked character, so they brought in designer Rebecca Van’t Hull. Her solution: more color – and lots of it.

Situated in Shorewood Lane, about 45 minutes west of Minneapolis, the weekend home struck Van’t Hull as a place where the owners could push design boundaries. The property’s sizable layout and stunning lakeside views also made it ideal for entertaining.

“In addition to a gorgeous master suite, the home features three bedrooms upstairs, with twin-over-full bunk beds in each, allowing up to 11 people to sleep on the top floor,” says Van’t Hull. “The lower level features 10 bunk beds and two trundle beds. The entire house can sleep 23 people easily.”

Bright ideas

Once the family agreed on a casual and coastal look – “Minnesota lake life is all about a casual and playful environment,” says Van’t Hull – the designer went full throttle on color.

She chose Benjamin Moore’s Bunker Hill Green, a muted take on the traditionally bright Kelly green, for the sleek kitchen cabinets. “It’s a natural choice, especially since the kitchen wasn’t the family’s everyday kitchen,” says the designer.

Planning the kitchen was easy, but maximizing the sleeping quarters and creating a user-friendly space that could accommodate several children at once proved to be more of a challenge. After gathering inspirational images, Van’t Hull to her problem to her brother, a custom cabinet- and furniture-maker based in New Orleans.

“We worked together to finalize the design for the space, which includes a cubby inside each bed for a light fixture and room to set down a glass of water or plug in a phone,” she says. The result is one of the most inviting – and incredibly stylish – bunk beds we’ve ever seen.

Van’t Hull went similarly bold in the bathrooms, installing a trough-style sink from Kohler in one of the larger spaces, which she expects will get plenty of use in the summertime.

She fashioned the upstairs powder room in a “preppy Americana look,” with a lipstick-red cabinet and white-and-navy striped wallpaper. With its classic white marble countertop, the cabinet feels unexpected, yet it somehow ties it all together.

“Often good design employs an eclectic mix of things both modern and old,” Van’t Hull notes. In the end, she says it’s all about balance.

Take the full home tour:

Get the look at home

Van’t Hull shares her tips to get an eye-catching look in your own home.

  • Be bold. That is, if you have the guts to follow through with your vision. “This will keep your home from looking mundane or typical,” the designer says, and in the end, it will be what stands out most. Van’t Hull says one of the touches she’s most proud of is adding several vibrant rugs throughout the home.
  • Get inspired. “Look for inspirational images to either emulate or share with your designer,” says Van’t Hull. It’ll help you define your vision and better explain your goals.
  • Have fun. “Acquire things that make you happy and tell a piece of your story,” says Van’t Hull. The Fay + Belle rug was rescued, bleached, cleaned, then overdyed in an eye-catching turquoise color. Now, the authentic accessory has a new lease on life, far from its origins in Nepal and Turkey.

See more home design inspiration on Zillow Digs.

Photos by Troy Thies Photography


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Designer Lookbook: Rebecca Van’t Hull’s Colorful Weekend Retreat was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

10 Spring Cleaning Projects to Tackle This Weekend 

Spring cleaning is all about getting our homes ready for a new season of sunshine, warmth, and time outdoors – and indoors, too! Now’s the time to wipe off the grime, clear out the cobwebs, and get those living spaces ready for the year ahead.

When you put together your spring cleaning checklist this year, consider adding the following tasks, if you aren’t already planning to do them. These projects will not only put the cherry on top of the clean-home sundae, but also make your home more functional.

Best of all, you can knock out most of these jobs in a weekend.

Wash windows, inside and out

Some say clean windows make your whole home look better, and we think it’s true.

For a DIY cleaning job that yields professional results, use a solution of water, ammonia, and white vinegar. Apply the solution to your windows with a large sponge, and remove it with a professional-grade squeegee.

Clean refrigerator and air conditioner coils

These appliances create a cooling effect by circulating air through the coils. Over time, dust builds up on the coils and decreases their efficiency, making your refrigerator or air conditioner work a lot harder.

Unplug the appliance, then vacuum out the coils with your vacuum’s crevice tool. You can also use a special refrigerator-coil cleaning brush, available at most hardware stores.

Check ceiling fans

Clean your ceiling-fan blades to remove winter dust build up.

And if you reversed your ceiling fan’s direction to clockwise for the winter, turn it back to counterclockwise for the warmer months. This sends the air straight down, creating a cooling effect.

Clean dryer vent

Cleaning a dryer vent is easier than you might imagine. First, unplug the dryer from the power source. Next, clean out the vent with a special dryer-vent cleaning brush or a vacuum.

Deep-clean carpets

Even if you vacuum regularly, a thorough carpet cleaning once a year will reach deep down into the fibers to clean out debris, dust, and food particles.

You can hire a professional to do the job, or rent a professional-grade carpet cleaner from a home improvement store.

Inspect roof, gutters, and chimneys

Spring is the perfect time to check your roof for damage that may have occurred over the winter. If you can’t use a ladder to get up on the roof, try inspecting it with binoculars.

Check decks and patios

If the finish on your wooden deck still looks good, that’s great! You might just need to clean the deck to get it ready for summer.

If the finish appears to be worn, then you’ll want to consider both cleaning and resealing the deck. For decks made of composite material, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and preserving the deck.

Prep lawn equipment

Get those lawn mowers, weed whackers, and pressure washers out of storage, turn them on, and make sure they are running properly. If they’re not, now is the time to take them to a shop for repairs.

Clean outside furniture

Use Murphy Oil Soap for wood furniture. For most other types of outdoor furniture, a solution of dishwashing liquid and water should do the trick.

Freshen up your front entrance

Sweep and/or wash the front porch and steps. Put out a new welcome mat. Add a pot or two of brightly colored annuals, and your home will be ready for spring!


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10 Spring Cleaning Projects to Tackle This Weekend  was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

Save $$$ by Signing Up for the No-Spend Weekend Plan

Plan to catch up with old friends or put in some quality time with a current relationship.

If you’ve been burning through your cash lately, give your budget a break — try out the no-spend weekend plan. It means getting creative and finding other ways to spend your time (beyond just spending money).

No-spend weekends offer a unique method to cut spending and free up cash to save instead. This is a perfect way to boost a fund for a down payment or other major savings goal.

What does a no-spend weekend plan really look like?

Before you dismiss this exercise as impossible, understand that “no-spend” can be interpreted as “no discretionary spending.” A no-spend weekend means not buying things you want (but don’t necessarily need). You can be as strict as you want with this savings challenge, but going to extremes isn’t mandatory for you to enjoy the positive effects.

If you need to purchase gas for your car to get to work or grab a few groceries so you can prepare meals at home, do so. And of course, don’t skip paying your rent or utility bills. Handle the essentials and focus on cutting the costs that are optional and within your control.

How to enjoy your no-spend weekend

With no discretionary spending allowed, you’ll need to find free ways to enjoy your Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Consider these ideas to get you started, then brainstorm some ways to spend your time (without spending money!) that you would enjoy:

  • Get outside: Depending on your location and the time of year, this may or may not be your best option. But if you can get outside and enjoy activities in the fresh air, this is a perfect way to spend your time over the weekend. Go for a walk or hike, try a new activity or team sport, or find an outdoor venue you can visit for free (like public gardens, for example).
  • Invest in a relationship: Plan to catch up with old friends or put in some quality time with a current relationship. Play a game, cook a meal, or have a meaningful conversation together. Doing so will bring you far more happiness and fulfillment than purchasing more material stuff you don’t even need.
  • Relax: If you’re always working on something — be it through your job, personal project, or other responsibility — a no-spend weekend is the perfect time to simply relax. Curl up with a book from the library, watch a movie, write, draw, make time to meditate, or catch up on something around your home that you’ve neglected.

Follow through

If you make it through a no-spend weekend, congratulations! This great exercise can help you prioritize experiences and relationships over trying to find fulfillment through spending money on stuff while also opening you up to new opportunities.

And of course, there’s that main benefit: It can help you reduce spending and free up cash to save. But you need to make sure that after you finish a no-spend weekend, you follow through and actually transfer the money you didn’t spend to your savings!

Giving this exercise a try means giving your budget a break — and it also provides you with a unique way to give a savings fund for a particular goal a boost. Try a no-spend weekend once a month, or every other week.

Have you ever tried a savings challenge like this one? What mental tricks do you use to give your savings a boost?

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Save $$$ by Signing Up for the No-Spend Weekend Plan was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home