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Surprising Fire Hazards and How to Prevent Them

by The Hat Team


It is estimated by The National Fire Protection Association that over 47,000 home fires reported to fire departments are caused by some kind of electrical failure as a trigger to ignition.  But there are some other unusual ways that fires can start that we should all be aware of.

Dishwashers
While you may be aware that overheating dryers or ovens can cause fires, you might think dishwashers are safe because they have water. And water puts out fires…right? Wrong!  Dishwasher fires can be caused by liquids coming into contact with the machine’s wires.  Serious damage can occur when fires are ignited in dishwashers.  According to a 25 year veteran of the New York City Fire Department, any appliance that powers a motor, heating element, or both always has a higher risk for fire - and dishwashers are a common example.  He advises that they never be turned on when going to sleep or leaving the home. Tips to Prevent Dishwasher Fires

Jars and Other Glass Objects
According to survivalists, one of the best ways to start a fire is to use a piece of glass to refract sunlight onto dry wood.  Without proper care, that same scientific process can happen on your own kitchen table.  In 2015 a fire broke out in a southwest London home because of sun rays reflecting through an empty Nutella jar, the Associated Press reported.  While it may seem to be a freakish way for a fire to start, the fire brigade’s investigative unit confirmed that the glass jar was to blame.  The chances of this happening in your home are slim, but it is important to remember to never store flammable liquids like gasoline, cleaning fluids, paint thinners and even cooking oils in glass jars that you intend to leave out in the sunlight.  Metal cans for commercial-use flammable liquids and plastic containers for things such as cooking oils are safer options.

Rodents
Small rodents like squirrels and rats like to burrow into your attic insulation in cold weather and chew anything they can get their teeth on, including rubber covered electrical lines.  Unfortunately, if electrical wires become exposed due to their protective insulation being compromised, there is a likelihood of igniting a flame.  The key to preventing this from happening is to keep the critters out to begin with.  Before winter season, make sure all vents are covered, holes are patched and cracks are sealed. 4 Ways to Protect Your Wiring from Rodent Damage

Laptops
If you have ever had your laptop computer in your, well, lap for an extended period of time, you know that they get hot.  Because of this, it is a bad idea to leave one sitting on a flammable surface such as bedding, furniture or carpet.  But the real culprit behind laptop fires is the lithium in the batteries.  A poorly made battery can overheat and burst into flames.  Remember the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones that were recalled because they were catching on fire? It was the lithium batteries that were the problem.  Any device powered by lithium ion batteries should be shut off when not in use and stored away from any flammable items.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professionals assist you with all your real estate needs! Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Photo Credit: metrofamilymagazine.com

Staging Your Home on a Budget

by The Hat Team


Chances are, if you are getting ready to sell your home, you are also preparing to purchase a new home. So, the last thing you want to do is spend more money on your current property.  However, you certainly want to get the best price possible when selling it, and per the National Association of Realtors, for every $100 invested in staging, the potential return is $400. As you can see, it will pay off in the end to stage your home to entice potential buyers.

Some people will hire a certified staging professional to get the job done.  While it might seem easier than doing it yourself, it is not the only way to get that SOLD sign planted in your front yard.  There are some simple, yet effective home-staging hacks that won’t break the bank:

  • Roll Out a Welcome Mat - Sounds simple, right?  It is!  First impressions mean everything when selling your home.  Also, prospective buyers tend to linger by the front door before the real estate agent opens the home for viewing, so an inviting entrance is crucial. A new welcome mat can cost as little as $15.  Purchase a modern mat that compliments the style of your home.  To further enhance the entryway, add a little green with some fresh plants.  An enticing entrance will make buyers want to see more!
     
  • Mount Mirrors in Strategic Spots - Every home has spaces like a dim hallway or small space that lacks natural light.  To spruce up these areas, hang a few mirrors.  They add extra light to rooms that look dark, and create an illusion of space. They will pack an extra punch if placed next to or directly across from a window because they will pull in more sun.  For a more decorative look, create a collage of several mini mirrors in different shapes and sizes rather than just slapping one large mirror on the wall. You can find inexpensive mirrors at craft stores and discount home stores. How to Use Mirrors to Create More Space
     
  • Set Tables and Serving Areas for Entertaining - A home filled with friends, food and laughter is a happy one!  Paint a picture of what entertaining in your home will be like for potential buyers.  Keep it simple, but aesthetically pleasing.  Lay out cloth napkins, wine glasses and solid plates in the dining room. Use matching mugs and bowls in the kitchen to produce the feel of family meals.
     
  • Replace Personal Photos with Art Work - Over the years, you have turned your house into a home by decorating with family portraits and personal mementos.  But potential buyers are going to want to be able to envision themselves living there and that is hard to do with your family members present in the form of pictures in every room.  So, get a head start on packing up your house by putting your pictures away and replacing them with art work that compliments the style of the home.  You can find inexpensive art at discount stores or you can print beautiful landscape photos to put in frames.
     
  • Make the Bathroom Look Elegant with White Linens - Spruce up your bathroom with crisp, fresh, all-white linens.  White towels, bath mats, and shower curtains give the room an instant update.  They inspire the feeling of a luxury spa without spending a lot of money.  Take it a step further by including some "spa like" displays. Simple additions like an orchid, candles and special soaps will go a long way. Spa-Like Bathrooms
     
  • Arrange Decorative Scenes - Decorative displays can give a cozy, lived-in ambience to a house.  Assembling classy vignettes of colorful vases, lanterns, books, plants, baskets, and other items atop dressers, counters and bookshelves will make a house feel more like a home. Group items in odd numbers and in varying heights and shapes while keeping them in the same color family. You will be amazed at what you can find to use in your house, but if you need to buy some things, you can mix in inexpensive pieces from craft and discount stores.  Done properly, these displays will have people feeling like they are looking at rooms right out of home décor magazines…and that is a sure way to impress prospective buyers. Staging Your Home with Inexpensive Decor

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professionals assist you with all your real estate needs!  Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Photo Credit: realtor.com

Using Plants to Prevent Pests

by The Hat Team

This time of year, many of us enjoy spending time outside in our yards. Whether we are playing, dining, doing yardwork or simply relaxing, our time outdoors can be ruined by nasty pests.  There are many remedies for getting rid of annoying insects, but if you are looking for natural ways to do the job, here are several plants you can put in your yard that will repel unwanted insects.  While they will not guarantee an insect free environment, they will help!

BASIL

Basil repels house flies and mosquitoes.  Use containers for planting basil by your house doors or in any outdoor areas where you like to relax and entertain.  It will serve more than one purpose because you can also use the fresh basil in your cooking!

LAVENDER

This pretty plant repels moths, fleas, mosquitoes and flies.  Its pleasing, sweet fragrance appeals to humans, but the bugs hate it! You can place bouquets inside your home to keep flies away.  Outdoors, plant it in sunny areas or near the entryways of your house to keep those areas pest free.  Check out the Everything Lavender website to find out how you can use lavender oil to make your own mosquito repellent.

LEMONGRASS

Lemongrass contains the natural oil, citronella, which is commonly found in candles that are used to keep mosquitoes away.  Ornamental lemongrass can grow up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide in one season.  It is an annual that does well in a pot or in the ground in sunny, well-drained locations.  Its aromatic, narrow leaves can be used in chicken and pork dishes and to flavor soups and salad dressings.  Many Asian recipes call for lemongrass.

MINT

Another plant that mosquitoes don’t like.  It’s best grown in pots rather than in the ground because it spreads aggressively.  Once established in a garden, it can be difficult to remove.  The leaves can be used to flavor minty iced tea. Containers of mint strategically placed in the garden or on the patio will assist in keeping nearby plants insect free. Fresh Mint Iced Tea

ALLIUMS

If you have a vegetable garden, beautiful, tall alliums will help keep insects out of it.  Considered a broad-spectrum natural insecticide, plants in the Allium family repel several insects that plague vegetable gardens, including slugs, aphids, carrot flies and cabbage worms.

CHRYSANTHEMUMS

The ingredient in chrysanthemums that makes them so effective as an insect repellent is pyrethrum.  Roaches, ants, Japanese beetles, ticks, silverfish, lice, fleas, bedbugs, spider mites, harlequin bugs and root-knot nematodes all will avoid chrysanthemums.  Pyrethrum is used in America’s most commonly available home and garden insecticide sprays. You can make your own bug spray using chrysanthemum oil, but make sure you know the risks of using it first. Uses of Chrysanthemum Oil

PETUNIAS

These whimsical beauties repel aphids, tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers and squash bugs.  Some people think of them as “nature’s pesticide”.  Popular because of their availability in a variety of bright colors, they require minimal maintenance and can be grown in numerous locations including beds, containers and hanging baskets.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professionals assist you with all your real estate needs!  Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Photo credits: Pinterest


Congratulations!  You’ve just moved into your new house!  It’s exciting, but it’s also a huge transition.  It takes time to make a new house feel like home. Here is a guide to help you get started:

  1. Be active.  If you have moved to a new area where you don’t know anyone, you may be tempted to isolate yourself.  After all, you have unpacking to do and maybe a new job to start. But try to resist that temptation.  Staying socially, physically and communally active triggers significant feelings that create the sense of home.  Make sure you take time to exercise; join a community such as a church, the school PTA or a book club and shop locally to get to know your surroundings.
     
  2. Surround yourself with living things.  A move can be difficult, especially if you are grieving the place you left.  It’s not uncommon for people to become depressed after moving to a new home.  Combat those feelings by cultivating relationships with living things. Start a garden, spend time with your children and pets or volunteer in the community.  Volunteer Opportunities in Montgomery
     
  3. Comfort yourself with colors.  Decorate with a palette of colors that lift your mood.  Choose colors that promote calm, happy feelings.  For example, earth tones create a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere that evokes feelings stability, reassurance and ease, while light pastel colors stimulate feelings of peacefulness, calm and cleanliness. 14 Calming Paint Colors
     
  4. Surround yourself with the familiar. Even before you are completely settled into your home, placing familiar items such as family pictures and heirlooms in your new space can make it feel more like you.  Some other ways to make you feel at home: cook favorite meals, burn candles with favorite scents and/or play your favorite music.
     
  5. Unpack. This may seem obvious, but it’s not unusual for people to still have boxes cluttering the house months after moving in.  Take your belongings out of the boxes right away and begin decorating and arranging furniture. The sooner you do this, the sooner this once strange place will feel like home! The Best Way to Unpack After Moving

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professionals assist you with all your real estate needs! Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Getting Away from It All in Alabama

by The Hat Team

Memorial Day is around the corner and with it comes the unofficial start of the summer vacation season.  If you’ve been thinking about where you can go to “get away from it all” this summer, you won’t have to venture far.  From relaxing coastal beaches, to historic inns and B&Bs, Alabama is home to many wonderful places to visit for a weekend getaway. Here are 5 of best weekend getaways in Alabama:

  1. Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa - Located in the charming little beach hamlet of Point Clear, AL, this resort offers a relaxing, entertaining oasis to guests of all ages and interests.  It boasts two exceptional golf courses, a 20,000 square-foot Grand Spa, a fabulous pool complex for kids of all ages, ten tennis courts, and miles of white sand beaches stretching along Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast.  You’ll enjoy dining at the Saltwater Grill seafood restaurant, and the Grand Steakhouse.  Elegant rooms and suites are beautifully decorated and include all the amenities you could ever want - free Wi-Fi, LCD TVs, a coffeemaker, fridge, and a work area with an ergonomic chair.

Photo Credit: historichotels.org

  1. Magnolia Springs B&B - This romantic Inn is set on a tree-lined street in the heart of Magnolia Springs, Alabama.  Charm oozes from this historical landmark which offers beautiful accommodations, scrumptious homemade breakfasts and a tranquil ambiance that makes it impossible not to relax.  Ideally located for exploring the area, you can venture out for a scenic drive to nearby Mobile Bay on the Gulf of Mexico, or play golf at one of the several courses in the area.

Photo Credit: magnoliasprings.com

  1. Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa - If you’re looking for elegance and romance, this is the place for you.  This resort offers 259 guest rooms with private balconies and lake views.  Upgrade to a high-level room and enjoy scenic views and a private Jacuzzi.  Lots of activities are available from jogging/walking trails, to a saltwater swimming pool, to a well-equipped fitness center. Indulge in a relaxing spa treatment, or just kick back and admire the breathtaking Alabama views.

Photo Credit: engagedbirmingham.com

  1. The Hotel at Auburn University - Located on the Auburn University Campus, this is the premiere hotel facility for all things Auburn.  Filled with charm, it offers sleek guest rooms and suites with top-of-the-line amenities for their guests, like premium linens, flat screen televisions, and walk-in rainfall showers.  You can upgrade to a room with a private living room and wet bar. Enjoy upscale dining onsite at the Mediterranean restaurant Ariccia Trattoria, and kick back and relax while listening to jazz at the Piccolo cocktail lounge.  Other amenities include an outdoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness center and the 22,000-square foot Dixon Conference Center.  There is a lot to do and see in and around Auburn, so check out this list of the 15 Best Things to Do in Auburn Alabama.

Photo Credit: agoda.com

  1. The Mistletoe Bough Bed & Breakfast - How could anyone resist a place called The Mistletoe Bough?  This quaint, romantic bed and breakfast offers a choice of five different rooms and suites with private bathrooms and Victorian-style décor.  Relaxation is the name of the game whether you are strolling through the lovely gardens or sipping sweet tea while sitting on the wraparound veranda.  Historic downtown Alexander City and several restaurants are walking distance from the B&B. But don’t worry about breakfast, because a buffet is served every morning in the Victorian dining room. Complimentary coffee, tea, and cool drinks are available throughout the day.

Photo Credit: m.alexcityoutlook.com

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professionals assist you with all your real estate needs! Call them today at 334-834-1500!

A Guide to Selling with Children in the House

by The Hat Team


Selling a home can be challenging.  There are so many things to consider. Between scheduling last minute showings and keeping your house in "staged-perfect condition" at all times, the stress can be overwhelming.  Now toss in a kid…or two…or three. Summer is almost here and that means kids won’t be in school, which makes keeping your home in pristine, “show-ready” shape is all the more difficult.  So, how do you cope with it all?  First, take a deep, cleansing breath.  Now…follow the advice of people who have been there, done that.  You CAN do this!

  • Make packing and moving an adventure! Once your house is on the market you know you are going to be preparing for a move eventually, so start right away.  Give your children little projects to complete to keep them busy and to make them feel like they are part of the process.  You would be amazed at how much help they can be if given the chance.
  • Have a “go-and-show” plan.  You want to take every opportunity possible to show your house, so prepare and be ready to head out the door if you get that last-minute call from your Realtor.  Have a list of “things to do” in mind so that you aren’t just killing time while you wait.
  • Remember that less is more.  One of the jobs you can give to your children is to choose the toys and other items that are most special to them to keep in their rooms while preparing to move.  The rest should be packed and stored out of the way.  Remember that visitors will likely look in closets and open drawers, so make sure you have smart storage solutions. 25 Super Smart Storage Ideas That Will Organize Your Entire House
  • Don’t forget to flush!  We all know that children, especially younger ones, can be a little absent minded when it comes to their toileting habits.  Assign someone to be in charge of checking all the bathrooms prior to leaving the house just to be sure everything has been flushed away!
  • Do a sniff test.  Let’s face it…kids can stink sometimes.  Summertime is a prime time for sweaty, smelly children who might not be as concerned with personal hygiene as they should be.  The odors emanating from them are NOT the first impression you want to make on potential buyers.  So be hyper aware of how your home, and especially their rooms, smells.
  • Stay neutral. If you have decorated your little ones’ rooms with bright colors and specific themes, you may want to change it up to appeal to buyers.  Remember that they want to be able to picture the house as their own, and that is easier to do with rooms that have neutral colors and simple décor. The Best Paint Colors for Painting a House in 2019
  • Relax.  I know…easier said than done.  But your house does not have to be perfect every second.  Try to keep up with clutter and cleanliness a little each day so that you don’t become overwhelmed when you find out someone is coming to see your house.  And remember to let your children help!

If you are in the market to sell or buy a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professionals assist you with all your real estate needs!  Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Photo Credit: nearsay.com

Montgomery Mother’s Day Happenings

by The Hat Team


Mother’s Day is just a few days away, but it’s not too late to plan a special day for the Mom in your life.  Here are some fun events for celebrating Mom in Montgomery this weekend:

  • Mother’s Day Lunch Cruise

No Mom should have to cook on Mother’s Day…unless she wants to!  Treat Mom to a lovely Mother’s Day Lunch Cruise on the Harriott II.  Enjoy a scenic cruise that not only includes lunch, but live entertainment as well! Boarding at 12:15 PM and cruise goes from 12:45 PM to 2:45 PM.  There will be a cash bar and concessions available as well.

Purchase tickets HERE.  Ticket price includes a gift for Mom!  For more information call 334-625-2100.

  • 9th Annual Agape’s Run for Mom 5K and Fun Run

This annual run takes place on Saturday, May 11, 2019.  Dedicate your run to your Mom or another special woman in your life.  Course begins at Vaughn Park Church of Christ and continues through the Vaughn Meadows community.  All proceeds from the run will benefit Agape of Central Alabama and its mission to support women, children, and families through foster care, adoption, and crisis pregnancy counseling.  For more information call 334-272-9466. Register for run HERE.

  • Take her out to the ballgame!  Does Mom love baseball?  Then what better way to celebrate her special day than by heading out to a Montgomery Biscuits game?  The Montgomery Biscuits experience is a fun time for the whole family.  The Biscuits will be playing the Mississippi Braves Saturday, May 11 at 6:05 PM (Family Faith Night with pre-game concert and MAX Fireworks), and Sunday, May 12 at 2:05 PM (Mother’s Day Stemless Wineglass Giveaway).  Purchase tickets HERE. For more information call 334-323-2255.
     
  • Celebrate Mother’s Day at the Montgomery Zoo!

Sunday, May 12, 2019 - 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM (last admission at 4:00 PM)

Celebrate Mother’s Day with FREE ADMISSION FOR ALL MOMS!  This includes admission to Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum.  If Mom loves animals, this is the perfect way to spend her special day!  For more information, click HERE.

Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team would like to wish all Moms a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of professionals assist you with all your real estate needs!  Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Photo Credit: lorensworld.com

April Showers Bring May Flowers

by The Hat Team

Spring seems to fly by so fast. Especially in years when the temperatures stay cool longer.  Before you know it the end of April is here and you haven’t even started your spring planting.  But even if you miss the early spring planting period, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a yard full of fragrant, colorful flowers in late spring and through the summer. There are several types of plants that grow in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8-10 that thrive in the summer months when planted in April.  And luckily, Montgomery falls right within those zones! Plant Hardiness Zone Map - Alabama

Here is a handy list of plants that are ideal for planting in late spring:

Bare Root Perennials

These plants are perfect for April planting because they are fast growers and will fill your landscape with radiant color during the summer.  Bare root perennials are sold by nurseries and online catalogs after they have grown for a year and had their growth trimmed to about an inch above the crown.  When purchased they are ready to be transplanted outdoors after removing soil from the roots.  Some examples of bare root perennials are: Daylily Plants, Astilbe, Clematis

Daylilies

Photo Credit: burpee.com

Annuals

There are several, easy to grow, summer-blooming annuals that can be planted in April. Sunflowers are quite sturdy and don’t require a lot of attention once planted.  They will thrive in a variety of soil conditions and they include short ones that grow a few feet tall, to tall plants that can grow to be 8 feet and taller.  Cosmos are easy to grow flowering plants as well and provide brightly colored blooms for your garden.

Sunflowers

Photo Credit: pexels.com

Flowering Shrubs and Citrus

Choose drought-tolerant shrubs to plant in April and they will do well through the summer.  Ceanothus, otherwise known as the California Lilac, produce blossoms of delicate, tiny blue and purple flowers.  Because there are so many, the entire bush looks like it is blue or purple.  Another good bush to plant in April is the Common Flannel Bush.  Also a California native, this bush produces vibrant yellow flowers that bloom all at once.  Rosemary Bushes have fragrant leaves that can be used for cooking and little blue or purple flowers for color.  Citrus Trees come in many varieties that have sweetly scented blooms.

California Lilac

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

So, if you didn’t get a chance to plant flowers in early spring, it’s not too late to add a garden full of vivid colors to your landscape!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of professionals assist you with all your real estate needs!  Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Your Guide to a Successful Home Showing

by The Hat Team


When your home is for sale and potential buyers are coming to see it, it’s vital that they not only feel comfortable in the home, but that they can envision it as their own. Here are some tips for showing your house that will help engage buyers emotionally and leave them feeling like they have found their future home.

  1. Make them feel WELCOME!

      The buyer may be a guest in your home, but don’t make them feel like an intruder.The idea is for them to be able to imagine it as their own.Leave the house while they are looking so that they can speak freely and comfortably about what they are seeing.Let them take their time. If they feel rushed they won’t have a positive experience.Leave a bowl of candy or small treats near the front door with a short note thanking them for coming to see your home.

  1. Check the temperature.

      If it is hot outside, turn on the AC. Set the temperature a couple of degrees cooler than usual so that it runs consistently and isn’t kicking on and off while people are looking.Sometimes HVAC systems can be loud.The same applies with heat when it is cold outside (set temp a couple of degrees warmer than usual).You want them to be comfortable in your house so that they will linger as long as possible.

  1. Create a mood.

     You want potential buyers to get good vibes from your house the minute they walk through the door.When weather appropriate, light a fire in the fireplace.Set your dining table in a way that is appealing.Have soft music playing.Create and ambiance that is irresistible!

  1. Be careful with scents.

      Some people are very sensitive to certain smells, so don’t spray the air or use plug in deodorizers.Avoid burning strongly scented candles for the same reason.If weather permits, open the windows (unless it is too noisy outdoors).Most people enjoy the smell of freshly baked cookies, but if you are going to bake, make sure you leave some treats out for the visitors so they aren’t disappointed! How to Make Your Home Smell Great During an Open House

  1. Make it visually pleasing.

      Open window coverings to let in natural light.Display appealing seasonal photos in prominent      places. If your yard isn’t looking so fabulous, keep window blinds partially closed so that buyers aren’t distracted by what’s outside while looking at the interior of the home.

  1. Light it up!

Turn on every light in the house…even the closet lights. Brighten dark rooms with extra lighting.  A spot light on the floor behind a piece of furniture is a great idea for brightening up a room with few windows.  Lighting Tips to Help Sell Your Home

  1. Encourage touching.

Drape lush fabrics such as velvet or silk throws over chair arms.  Leave doors slightly ajar so that visitors feel welcome but must open the door to enter the room.  If a room is carpeted, vacuum it in one direction.

  1. Finish off with food.

Encourage buyers to stick around and notice even more details about your home by offering them food.  You don’t need to have a catered lunch; finger sandwiches, cookies, tea, water and desserts will all suffice. Be sure to have serving utensils, plates, cups and silverware available along with a waste basket in plain sight.

  1. Encourage feedback.

Have a guestbook or a short pre-printed questionnaire and some pens next to the food.  Feeding the buyers will allow them time to give you some feedback.  This will provide invaluable information to you. Allow buyer anonymity. 6 Feedback Questions Every Listing Agent Should Ask

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of professionals assist you with all your real estate needs!  Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Fabulous Front Porches

by The Hat Team


When driving around looking at houses one of the first things you will notice are the front porches.  They are a reminder of the “good old days” and evoke feelings of nostalgia and comfort.  Front porches foster a sense of community, enabling neighbors to spend time out from behind closed doors where they can get to know each other.  There’s nothing better than summer evenings spent on the shady front porch with an ice-old beverage, listening to the crickets chirp and enjoying the gentle twinkling lights of fireflies.  Big front porches are great gathering places, providing an “outdoor living room” where neighbors can join you and impromptu parties can take place. But they can also be private; the perfect spot to snuggle into a comfy chair and read a good book…or even take a nap out in the fresh air.  And if you’re planning on selling your home, a well-appointed front porch provides fantastic curb appeal and is a big draw for potential buyers!

Perhaps you have a front porch that needs a little update, or maybe you are looking for a home that has one. Either way, here are some ideas for creating your own personal outdoor haven or gorgeous gathering place on your front porch:

  • Use a Bold Color Palette

Bold tones and bright hues can brighten up a dreary front porch and turn it into vibrant, delightful space. Outdoor rugs, painted furniture, or colorful cushions are all items that can add a pop of color to your front porch. 34 Colorful Porch Ideas

  • Think “Comfy”

It’s nice to have a beautiful front porch, but if it’s not comfortable, you probably won’t spend much time there.Use overstuffed cushions, add extra pillows, and be sure to have tables close to seating so you have a place to set your drinks.

  • Add a Lighted Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans pull double duty on a front porch. They not only provide the much-needed function of moving air, but they also provide illumination as the sun goes down and dusk turns to dark.Add to the charming aesthetic of your porch by choosing a unique fan/light fixture. Outdoor Ceiling Fans

  • Hang Artwork

Most porches offer a lot of wall space that often goes unused; the perfect spot for some artwork.Use your imagination and add paintings, framed photos, or sculptures that bring you joy.

  • Decorate with Flowers

Flowers and plants serve multiple purposes when used on a front porch.They provide color with beautiful blooms, create a soft transition from landscape to house, and if you plant the right flowers and plants, they will help to keep pesky insects away.Use window boxes on your railings, containers on your floor, and/or hanging baskets from the ceiling. 12 Plants that Repel Unwanted Insects

Spring is the perfect time to update and decorate your front porch so you can enjoy it during the warm seasons.  If you’re looking to purchase a home that has a desirable front porch contact Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of professionals and start your home search today. Give them a call at 334-834-1500!

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

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