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TOP-BANNER-NL-OCTOBER-2015

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Learn all about what’s happening in your area – or the area you’re thinking about moving to with these short and straight to the point Market Watch Videos on our YouTube Channel.

Want more detailed reports? Visit our Relocation Tools page to see market stats, use our area guide and map narrow your search.

You can also visit our new Hotline News section of our blog to view the detailed market statistics and our monthly Hotline News features. All the local, useful information that you’ve been looking for is now available at your fingertips!

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Contributed by Kaitlin Krull, Modernize

Keeping and maintaining a beautiful backyard is an important part of home ownership. However, at Modernize we know that landscaping and restyling your outdoor space can quickly get expensive. If you don’t have the money for luxury-grade backyard transformations, IKEA is the answer. Make your garden’s flat pack dreams come true with some of these original IKEA hacks.

1Pergola shade
If you’re lucky enough to have a pergola in your backyard, create your own stylish and functional shade with DYNING canopies and DIGNITET curtain wires (this hack works well for sunrooms and decks, too). When you’re drawing the shades on your outdoor lounge space, it won’t be that hard to imagine you’re in a sunny Italian villa.

2Ice chest
No backyard party is complete without ice cold refreshments. Serve yours in true IKEA hacker style with an ice chest made from a TARVA dresser unit and a built-in cooler. Basic carpentry skills are helpful for this particular hack, so if you need to brush up on your hammering and drilling, then get studying.

3Rocking chairs
If you have some well-loved EMMABO rocking chairs lying around the house, why not breathe new life into them by reusing the frame and attaching stained lumber slats to create an ultra modern Adirondack hybrid chair. This kind of hack would work just as well with other used IKEA chairs, so brush up on your Swedish design, get down to a thrift store, and start searching!

4Patio bar table
For people who love outdoor entertaining, a bar table is essential. Take a BILLY bookcase, add a lumber top and some decorative trim, and paint or stain to your taste. It’s that simple! Just make sure to keep the bar fully stocked, or even the most attractive patio furniture won’t be able to help you.

Walled garden
5After you’ve mowed the lawn, trimmed the hedges, and added all the patio furniture you could possibly want, there always seems to be one space that just doesn’t look right. Turn even the most unattractive walls into a trendy vertical garden by using GRUNDTAL kitchen accessories, BESTAENDE cutlery stands, and a few recycled plant pots.

Backyard oasis
6When your backyard leaves much to be desired in the way of entertaining space, just make your own! This incredible oasis using RUNNEN floor decking and assorted IKEA outdoor furniture is perfect for fancy house parties, weddings, or everyday use and makes me want to drop everything and run to the nearest IKEA store.

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Overloaded circuits and improper power cord use at home are hazards that should be eliminated, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). The ESFI recommends the following tips for homeowners:

• Be sure you are not overloading the circuit. Know the capacity of the circuit and the power requirements of all the electrical items plugged into the power strip and into all the other outlets on the circuit, as well as the light fixtures on the circuit.

• A heavy reliance power strip is an indication that you have too few outlets to address your needs. Have additional outlets installed where you need them.

• Understand that surge suppressors only protect the items plugged into it, not back along the circuit into which it is connected.

• Multiple plug outlets must be plugged directly into mounted electrical receptacles; they cannot be chained together.

• Ensure that all power strips and extension cords are certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as UL, CSA, or ETL, and read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

• Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis. Unplug and safely store them after every use.

• Do not place power cords and extension cords in high traffic areas or under carpets, rugs or furniture, and never nail or staple them to the wall or baseboard.

• Never remove the ground pin (the third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-prong outlet.

• Make sure extension cords are properly rated for their intended use, indoor or outdoor, and meet or exceed the power needs of the appliance or tool being used.

• All electrical items and extension cords should be kept in good condition. If damage is discovered, repair the item or dispose of it.

Source: ESFI

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If you live in a cold weather climate, fall is when you put in the storm windows. If you live in a warm climate, summer is when you step up the pool maintenance. No matter where you live, however, checking on – and maintaining – 10 areas of your home each year is one good way to ensure your home stays in peak condition.

From the home maintenance consultants at Home Depot, here is where – and how – to begin:

Roof – In early fall, check around vents, skylights and chimneys for cracks or leaks and repair or replace tiles as necessary.

Gutters – Clean gutters so leaves won’t clog them, and be sure they drain away from the house.

Fireplace – Clean out any leftover ashes. If heavily used in winter, you may want the chimney professionally cleaned. Make sure the damper is closed tightly.

Filters – clean or replace furnace filters once every month or as needed. Check and clean the dryer vent, air conditioner, stove hood and room fans regularly.

Safety Equipment – Be sure smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are in good working condition. Replace batteries twice a year.

Air Conditioner – In cold climates, put on waterproof covers when you cover or remove outdoor furniture.

Refrigerator – Test door seals once or twice a year to be sure they are airtight. Test by closing the door over a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill out easily, the seal may need to be replaced. If you have a coil-back fridge, the coils should be vacuumed twice a year.

Faucets – Check for leaks in kitchen and bathrooms and replace washers as necessary.

Windows and Doors – Replace seals as necessary to keep heat in and drafts out. If you added up all the tiny cracks where heating and cooling escapes, it could be the same as having a window open.

Siding and Paint – Look for cracks or peeling areas. Repaint or replace caulk as necessary.

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Looking for some ways to spice up your fall fetes? Then feast your eyes on these 10 great entertaining tips from Carla McDonald, the hostess with the mostest behind The Salonniere, the leading dedicated source of party tips from entertaining experts. As McDonald likes to say, “I feel a party coming on.”
Choose a stellar date. There’s nothing more festive than an autumn moon, so hold your party on or around an evening when the moon is full and bright. Full moon dates this fall are October 8th and November 6th.

Harvest your guest list. Select your guest list carefully. Have a look through your social media feeds to see who had interesting experiences over the summer that you think others might enjoy hearing about.

Spice things up with a signature cocktail. Welcome your guests with a drink that puts them in the mood for the cool, crisp days of autumn. Try a Spiced Pear Collins, which is made with gin, pear puree and rosemary.

Prepare a seasonal feast. Serve warm, earthy nibbles with fennel, figs and other fall flavors. Butternut squash soup topped with sage and served in shot glasses is a classic autumnal touch that looks beautiful passed on trays. Garnish your dishes with edible fall leaves.

Fill the air with the sounds of autumn. Create a seasonal playlist. Songs to consider are “Autumn Leaves” by Nat King Cole, “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire and “Forever Autumn” by the Moody Blues.

Bring food to your flowers. Reflect the bounty of fall with floral arrangements that include seasonal vegetables and herbs like chard, beets and purple artichokes.

Sprinkle seasonal touches into your decor. Serve your nibbles on leaf-shaped platters and choose linens in autumnal shades like gold and pumpkin.

Stoke the embers of friendship. Place votive candles in groups on tables to draw people together as though they’re gathering around a hearth.

Gather the leaves. As each guest leaves the party, send them home with a thermos filled with warm cider or a classic caramel apple. Nostalgic touches make people smile.

Chill. Remember to relax. If you don’t have fun at your autumn fete, your guests won’t either.

Source: The Salonniere

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When designing an outdoor space, start from the ground up.

According to the experts at Belgard® Hardscapes, homeowners can enjoy their patio, poolscape or driveway well into the fall season with a few key upgrades:

• Install a fireplace or fire pit as part of a backyard space to serve as a much-loved gathering spot and a complementing, permanent part of an overall outdoor living design.

• Explore large-format pavers for a natural stone look that mimics the appearance and texture of slate, flagstone or hand-chiseled rock.

• Take advantage of modular units like grill islands, brick ovens or wood boxes to create a customized outdoor space.

• Plant fall perennials that bloom during the season, including tall grasses, mums and certain varieties of hydrangeas.

• Define a space and add extra seating with built-in seat walls and add ottomans, throw pillows and stools to create an inviting outdoor setting.

Source: Belgard® Hardscapes 

 

 

 

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