How to Throw an Award-Winning Oscar Party at Home

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Academy Awards night is always exciting, but this year it’s even more so since Coldwell Banker’s “Home’s Best Friend” commercial will be airing! We know many of you have seen it already on our YouTube channel and Facebook page, but there’s nothing quite like seeing it on the big screen. What better way to enjoy the show and the commercial than by hosting a viewing party right in your own home?

Last year, my friends Tiffany & Jacquelyn invited me to an Oscar viewing party. As soon as I saw the invite, I knew I was in for an amazing evening. With Tiffany being a fashion stylist and Jacquelyn being an event planner, there’s no such thing as a “small get-together” with these ladies – everything is planned to perfection and always over the top in the best way possible! Here are some tips on how to throw an award-winning Oscar party at home:

Fabulous Decor is a Must!

Immediately upon entering Tiffany’s apartment, we were greeted by a table filled with macarons, mini champagne bottles, beautiful flowers, and candles. All of this was surrounded by big, coffee table style books about fashion – perfectly tying in one of the biggest elements of the Oscars! Treat your guests to sweet treats, bubbly (champagne or sparkling water if you have underage guests!), and make sure your table is set to perfection.

Alert the Fashion Police

My friends & I had a blast voting on the red carpet styles by using these homemade “score cards” with phrases like “Fire Your Stylist”, “Giving Me Life”, etc. These were created by simply attaching the star-shaped cards to long Popsicle sticks and finishing it off with a sparkly gold ribbon. They looked beautiful arranged in a glass vase on the table and even doubled as a centerpiece. We even had cards with emojis… you know, for those times when no words are necessary:

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Prepare for Mid-Show Munchies

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Voting on red carpet outfits can really make you work up an appetite (wink) so it was great to have these bite-sized snacks on hand halfway through the show. Provide a few options for your guests so they don’t go home hungry!

Don’t Forget Your Phone Charger

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You’ll want to make sure your phone is fully charged so you can participate in our Twitter party that night using the hashtag #homerocks. We’ll be hosting along with our awesome co-hosts from Adopt-a-Pet.com and bringing you everything from live red carpet coverage to great articles about dog grooming, adoption, and so much more.

See you on Sunday!

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6 DIY Projects to Make Your Dog Feel More Comfortable at Home

From the moment you brought that cuddly pup into your house, it just felt right. He greets you by the door, he rests with you on the couch, he snuggles up to you in bed—when he’s there, you’re home. Which is why these 6 impressive dog lovers came up with home upgrades to please their pets, and make them feel just as comfortable and loved as their owners. If your dog makes your house a home, take a look, and see how you can return the favor!

Dog Washing Station

Image: Hometalker S.J. Janic Company, Inc./ S.J. Janic Company, Inc.

When you’ve got a dog (or two) in the family, bathtime becomes an Olympic event. Anything that can make washing more comfortable for you and your dog is a downright miracle. That’s why this happy family added its own dog-washing station, complete with pull-out stairs, made just right for canines. (Learn more about this project)

Doggy Throne

Image: Hometalker Jenise/ DIY Fun Ideas

To keep her pup Lily out of the laundry basket, this crafty pet lover gave her a special place to call her own. And there’s no way any dog could forget her place in your heart, with a setup like this! Pull this fancy throne beside your comfy chair, for some living room relaxation time for two. (Learn how here)

Pooch Porch Hangout

Image: Hometalker Roechelle/ DIY Show Off

Imagine the scene: Sunday morning relaxing on the porch, a great book in your hand, delicious coffee nearby, and a lounging pup at your side. This dog bed repurpose includes a parasol, so that puppy gets just enough sun. Resting together is the perfect way to enjoy a lazy weekend. (Learn more here)

Leash Holder

Image: Hometalker Dawn/ By Dawn Nicole

Your dog wants to go out, but his leash is nowhere to be found. It could be anywhere from under the couch to behind the bookshelf. To solve that timely dilemma, this dog lover made sure that finding the leash was as easy as finding her keys, so that puppy knows he can go for a stroll whenever nature calls. (Learn how to make it here)

Silhouette Canvas

Image: Hometalker Karah/ The Space Between

Add your lovable friend to your family’s gallery wall of happy moments, even if they won’t sit still for a picture, by creating customized canvas art. This pet lover’s masterpiece is a great way to bring your beautiful dog into your design, and to introduce visitors and guests to your sweet household. (Instructions here)

Feeding Station for Tall Dogs

Image: Hometalkers Jacque and Matt/ The DIY Village

If you’ve got a big dog, meal time can be a bit of a workout, with those low food and water bowls. Give your friend a comfortable tabletop, like this thrifty DIYer, by turning some old kitchen chairs into adorable doggy feeders, not to mention chic home decor. …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Homes that Could Have Been in ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

Little Miss Architect Art Deco Geometry

While movie pundits expect ‘Boyhood‘ will sweep the Oscars this Sunday, many “in the know” seem to think ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel‘ (with its 9 Oscar nominations) will play spoiler and grab a few of the coveted golden statues. As is the case with all Wes Anderson films, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is absolutely spectacular to look at. From the striking color palettes and charming Eastern European scenery, to the meticulously crafted Art Noveau decor that exudes old world luxury – the world of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is a world most of us wouldn’t mind living in.

While the fictional city of Lutz in the imagined country of Zubrovka means living in that world would be impossible, there are plenty of current Coldwell Banker listings that would be a more than fine substitute. One look at these homes and you just might say they could have played a role in the movie I’m predicting will win Best Picture at the Oscars in a few short days (if Boyhood doesn’t win).

Take a look below!

Art Deco

According to LittleMissArchitect.com, the film’s design aesthetic is mostly Art Noveau, but there are clear Art Deco influences that can be noticed in the Hotel’s decor. Art Deco uses rich colors and bold geometric shapes, as exemplified by these arches that can be found in the Hotel.

If you want the real thing, this French home is right up Wes Anderson’s alley.

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Large Drawing Rooms

The large rooms in The Grand Budapest Hotel are highlighted by ornate custom beams on the ceilings, fine hand carved wood floors, beautiful rugs, french doors that let in wonderful views and paneled walls with some of the more intricate but subtle detailing you’ll see anywhere.

The two listings below, one from Chatillon En Bazois and another from Paris, both capture the look in the film almost to perfection. You can almost imagine the main character M. Gustave pacing or ordering Hotel employees to get things in proper shape for special guests.

Paneled Wall Listing 1

Paneled Wall Listing 2

Soaking Spa Tub

This may be a potential spoiler alert, but the inciting incident of the film is when Jude Law’s character meets and begins chatting with F. Murray Abraham’s character in the very large room with various different spa-like tubs.

This scene depicted takes place in the present day when the Hotel isn’t in its best shape. The listing below has a very similar spa-like tub, except it is in pristine condition in a beautiful Villa in the Italian countryside.

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Indoor Pool

Being located somewhere in the cold mountains of …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Finding Homes for Home’s Best Friend

Nothing compares to the warmth and comfort of being at home. But for many dogs across America, this feeling is foreign.

According to The Humane Society, between six and eight million dogs and cats enter shelters each year. Plus, almost three million healthy shelter pets are not adopted annually, and only about 30 percent of pets in homes come from shelters or rescues.

These sobering facts are what served as the inspiration for the newest project from Coldwell Banker Real Estate. After more than 100 years of helping people find homes, the real estate company has extended its mission to man’s best friend with its “Homes for Dogs Project.” By partnering with Adopt-a-Pet.com, North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website, Coldwell Banker will help 20,000 adoptable dogs find loving homes this year.

To increase awareness of the effort, Coldwell Banker has focused its latest advertising campaign, which will make its television debut during The Academy Awards on February 22nd, on the feeling of arriving home and being greeted by your dog. The commercial is called “Home’s Best Friend” and it features real rescue dogs, such as Max, who was adopted in 2014 after being spotted on Adopt-a-Pet.com.

Before he was put up for adoption, Max was picked up as a stray and delivered to a “high kill” shelter in San Bernadino, CA. The shelter only keeps dogs for five days before it puts them down, and after Max had been at the shelter for four days, a worker reached out to The Dexter Foundation, a local non-profit dog rescue and adoption agency, which quickly rescued Max and found temporary foster care for him.

“I found him on Adopt-a-Pet.com as I was looking for a dog to rescue of that sort of breed and age,” said Kelly Saffrey, Max’s current parent. “As soon as I saw his picture, I just knew he was the pet for me.”

Adopt-a-Pet.com currently has more than 15,000 shelters and rescues in its network, and it is thrilled to be partnering with Coldwell Banker.

“We share Coldwell Banker’s view that nothing turns a house into a home more quickly than the addition of a loving pet,” said Abbie Moore, executive director of Adopt-a-Pet.com. “And we are so inspired by the desire of Coldwell Banker to launch this amazing program.”

For more information on the “Homes for Dogs Project,” head to coldwellbanker.com/dogs.

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Fruits, vegetables and advice available at garden events

Beneficial Insects in the Urban Garden – Maximizing Free Labor: with Anita Howlett; Petal Pushers Garden Club meeting. 7 p.m. at the Burgess Recreation Center, 4200 Kalwick, Deer Park; 281-479-1223.

Emerald Ash Borer Workshop: sponsored by Houston Area Urban Forestry Council and International Society of Arboriculture – Texas Chapter. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Harris County Flood Control District North Service Center, 7522 Prairie Oak; 713-688-8931, 979-324-1929, isatexas.com.

Brazoria County Master Gardeners’ Fruit and Citrus Tree Sale: 8 a.m.-noon at the Brazoria County Fairgrounds, 901 S. Downing, Angleton; 979-864-1558, brazoria.agrilife.org.

Texas Tuff Landscape Plants – Blooming and Beautiful: with Master Gardener Sandra Duvall. 9-11:30 a.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Service, 4102 Main, La Marque; 281-534-3413, aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu; reservations at galv3@wt.net.

First of 12 programs sponsored by Fort Bend AgriLife Extension Service and Master Gardeners. 9-11 a.m. at the Bud O’Shieles Community Center, 1330 Band, Rosenberg; register by Thursday at 281-342-3034 or fortbend.agrilife.org/backyard-basics. $15.

Kitchen Gardening: with Master Gardener Mary Demeny. 1-3 p.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Service, 4102 Main, La Marque; 281-534-3413, aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu; reservations at galv3@wt.net.

Constructing the Home Vegetable and Fruit Garden: sponsored by Urban Harvest. 12:30-3 p.m. at Westbury Community Garden, 12581 Dunlap; 713-880-5540, urbanharvest.org. $30 members, $45 nonmembers.

Harris County Master Gardeners’ Open Garden Day and Workshop on Spring Vegetable Gardening: 9-11:30 a.m at Harris County AgriLife Extension Service, 3033 Bear Creek; 281-855-5600, harris.agrilife.org/hort.

The ABCs of Home Composting: with Master Gardener Ken Steblein. 6:30-8 p.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Service, 4102 Main, La Marque; 281-534-3413, aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu; reservations at galv3@wt.net.

Tomato Grafting: with Tom LeRoy. 11 a.m. at the Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2950, Tomball; 281-351-8851, reservations at arborgate.com. …read more

Via: Gardening

    

Real Estate Headlines with World’s Tiniest Home, Love Life and Sacrifices

It’s President’s Day. Possibly part of a three day weekend for you. Or if you’re a student in the Northeast, this is one of those dreaded make-up days for all the snow we’ve had. Before you know it we’ll be turning our clocks forward and you’ll be wondering what’s with all the Easter candy. But before you get too far ahead of yourself, here’s your weekly dose of real estate headlines to start your week.

Is marijuana reform helping real estate in Colorado?

A condo in NYC just sold for $47.4 million.

Bigger Pockets shares 7 sacrifices that must be made if you want to invest in real estate.

Here’s an explanation of how the economy affects real estate.

Could you live in the world’s tiniest home? Just so you know, the toilet is in the shower.

These homes look like they were pulled right out of a fairy tale.

How much do you need to make to afford an average home in LA? Oh just over $91,000.

The Huffington Post shares 6 things millenials should do before buying a house.

NAR thinks your love life impacts your home buying ability.

And finally, if you haven’t heard yet, we’re looking to find homes for 20,000 adoptable dogs this year. Help us out by visiting Adopt-A-Pet.com.

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The Homes of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is making a comeback. I’m not quite sure he ever really went away, but Hollywood & authors alike seem to be lauding this Founding Father more today than in recent memory. So in honor of Lincoln’s new status as a vampire slaying pop culture icon, here’s a look at some of the places our 16th President called home:

Knob Creek Farm

Knob Creek Farm in Hodgenville, KY
This farm house is the one that Lincoln often mentioned as the place he most remembers as a child. Abraham Lincoln was 2 years old when his parents moved to this 230 acre farm land because it had fertile soil for the Lincolns to farm. The original home was torn down back in 1870, but this replica was reconstructed in 1930. Looks like log cabins can stand the test of time.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site

Home of Abraham & Mary Todd Lincoln in Springfield, IL
This home in downtown Springfield, IL was the early home for Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. History tells us they bought the home for a mere $1,200 and some land from Rev. Charles Dresser who was also the person that married them just two years before. The home was originally smaller than what you see pictured, but the Lincolns had some additions made to it to accommodate for their growing family.

Willard Hotel in Washington DC

Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C.
So the obvious next home would be the White House, but a little known fact is that Lincoln actually stayed at the Willard Hotel prior to his presidential inauguration. In fact, Lincoln arrived here a bit earlier than expected when an assassination plot was uncovered and he was diverted from some appearances in Baltimore and instead sent to D.C. sooner than expected. The Willard Hotel was Lincoln’s residence for about 10 days prior to his inauguration and used the hotel as his home base for selecting cabinet members and is the place where Lincoln wrote his inaugural address. According to Abraham Lincoln Online, today the hotel maintains a small historical display in a hallway just inside the northeast entrance where you can see a copy of Lincoln’s $773.75 hotel bill which he paid with his first paycheck as president

For more info on Abraham Lincoln, visit Abraham Lincoln Online.

Photos courtesy of AbrahamLincolnOnline.org

Header image courtesy of loomingy1

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Romantic Homes To Inspire Your Valentine’s Day Weekend

hottub

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and what better way to celebrate than by taking a look at some of the most romantic homes currently listed by Coldwell Banker? Whether your home is currently romance-ready, or you just need a little inspiration, these photos are guaranteed to make you feel all warm & fuzzy inside!

After a day of skiing or hiking, what better way to unwind than in a Jacuzzi overlooking a beautiful mountain range? This home, located in Aspen, Colorado, is the perfect location for a romantic getaway!

Listed by Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate for $9,975,000

Listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for $10,700,000

Enjoy a breathtaking sunset and views of the Pacific Ocean from this home located in Carmel Highland, California.

hometheater

Listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for $16,500,000

Why buy tickets to see a movie when you’ve got a private theater right in your home? This estate, located in New Jersey, is the perfect place to cozy up with your Valentine and enjoy a movie together.

sauna

Listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for $24,995,000

Sure you could plan a spa day… but what if you had one in your own home? This Mailbu house has its own massage room and sauna, so you never have to leave to feel pampered.

waltz

Listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for $9,950,000

Imagine having this room all to yourself to put on your favorite love song and dance with your Valentine. You’ll feel like you just stepped onto a movie scene in this beautiful English Renaissance estate located in Lake Forest, IL.

However – and wherever – you’re spending Valentine’s Day this year, we hope it’s one full of lots of love!

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Home Tip of the Day: No Valentine’s Day Babysitter – No Problem

If you’ve struck out on finding a babysitter for the kids this Valentine’s Day, don’t fret! Here are a few ways you can still have some quiet time with your significant other.

For other clever home tips & tricks, subscribe to Coldwell Banker On Location to view the complete Home Tip of the Day video series.

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Valentine’s Day blooms with roses

Floribundas, 2 to 6 feet tall, get their name from their abundant blooms on single stems.

Grandifloras, a cross between a hybrid tea and a floribunda, produce single flowers or clusters on plants that are more than 6 feet tall.

‘Chrysler Imperial’ – This fragrant, high-centered red hybrid tea has been popular since it was introduced in 1952.

‘Mister Lincoln’ – Developed from ‘Chrysler Imperial,’ this hybrid tea has fragrant, velvety deep-red double blooms.

‘Don Juan’ – Popular since its 1958 introduction, this pillar rose has 8- to 10-foot canes with pointed buds that open to 5-inch rich-red, velvety blooms with a citrus fragrance.

‘Crimson Bouquet’ – This grandiflora is a beauty, with clusters of 4-inch scarlet blooms. …read more

Via: Gardening