How To: Create a Backyard Movie Screen

For the past few months I have seen the picture above floating around on Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media sites. It is one of those pictures that epitomizes how much fun a backyard is during summer time.  After doing some digging I found the brains behind this wonderful idea and it turns out to be Pottery Barn!

After reading through their directions I learned this project is surprisingly easy and extremely affordable.

What You Need

  • 2 thick, white queen–size ironed flat sheets
  • Top pole 1.5″ diameter x 10′ long
  • Bottom pole 3″ diameter x 10′ long
  • Rope — 2 different thicknesses

Instructions

1. Start with two queen–size ironed flat sheets. Sew them together with white thread so the long sides are joined creating a tube.
2. Insert the 1.5–inch diameter pole and let the fabric hang down.
3. Attach thicker rope to the ends of the top pole so that it can be attached to a tree.
4. Once attached to a tree, slide the thicker pole through the tube created by the sewn sheets so that it creates a weight at the bottom of the screen.
5. Attach thinner rope to the ends of the bottom pole.
6. Insert two tent stakes …read more

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10 Incredible Waterfront Properties

When summertime rolls around, the majority of us turn into little fish! There is something captivating about the water that keeps us coming back for some good ol’ fun. Whether you prefer an ocean, lake, bay, pool etc. as your sanctuary–you’ll surely marvel at these incredible waterfront homes from across the country. 

1. Island Getaway-  $10,800,000
The soul of this Beach House is its world renowned sandy beach setting. A fierce commitment to purity in design was embraced in every detail of construction.

2. A Hidden Gem- $10,300,000
A private Montecito beachfront estate, this home has a gated beach with cabana and dramatic ocean views.

3. Majestic Views- $9,690,000
Whitewater panoramic ocean views from every room; perfect for watching sunrises and sunsets.

4. Glass House with a View- $8,995,000 
Known affectionately as the Capo Beach Glass House, this Robert Quigley-designed masterpiece sits directly on the sand in Capistrano Bay, featuring a sweeping oceanfront panorama, two-story ceilings, an exquisite glass pavilion and inviting juxtaposition of expansive windows and concrete walls.

5. Cape Cod Style Beach House- $7,950,000
Pristine, private, and protected, this beautiful Cape Cod beach house is one of the rare homes on the dry …read more

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What Home Buyers and Sellers Value Most

Early this spring my girlfriend and I took “the leap” and began actively and seriously looking into buying our first home. So it is with a new sense of credibility and certainty that I can confirm what I’ve often heard before: Buying a home is the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. With that being said, I can also report that I’ve never been more excited, thrilled or proud! As bipolar as it may seem, the conglomeration of these mixed feelings are completely normal when dealing with the complexities and large financial commitments associated with purchasing a home.

So it came as no surprise to me when the results of a recent Google Consumer Survey we conducted began to trickle in. A representative sample of Americans (who had bought a home previously) aged 25 and up confirmed that the number one thing they valued and found most important when working with a real estate company was TRUST.

As home buyers and sellers we put a lot of faith in the real estate professionals and companies we work with. We put faith in them to advise us ethically and capably, to advocate and go to bat for us, and to …read more

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Fill Your Guest Room with Texas Hospitality on a Budget

Welcome your family and friends to a stay in Dallas/Fort Worth with a comfortable, beautifully designed guest room. Giving your extra bedroom a face lift doesn’t have to break the bank. All it requires is a little work and some imagination!

Create Some Space

The biggest point to remember is that this room should be the place in your home where your company can completely relax and store their gear. One of the biggest mistakes people make in their guest room is making it double as a storage unit. First and foremost, make sure there is space under the bed or in their closet for luggage and an empty drawer in the dresser for their things. Free up a little room in the closet for them to hang their clothes.

Creating space is important in a guest room also because it’s typically the smallest room in the home. The least expensive makeover for any room is paint, and you can make your spare room look bigger with a soft, light color both on the walls and on the furniture. Painting them the same color will make the room look bigger. Choose furniture that can do double duty. A small chest of drawers, for …read more

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Real Estate Headlines for the Week of the MLB All Star Game

Ah the Mid-Summer Classic is upon us. The unofficial halfway point of the baseball season also ushers in what’s usually some of the hottest days of the year and the slowest days in sports. But before you choose to settle in or completely ignore the Major League Baseball All Star Game, here’s your weekly dose of real estate headlines:

How hot is the real estate market? Here’s an example of a 30% overbid on a home for sale.

Gen Rent? Try Gen Own. New report from National Association of Realtors shows younger generations are more likely to buy a home.

Trendy homes on tiny lots is the latest craze to hit the streets of Los Angeles.

Yahoo Finance explains how to buy a home for $15,000. Excuse me while I go memorize this article…

Foreclosures are at the lowest level in 7 years.

Would you invest $100,000 in renovations for a home…you rent?

TheBillfold has a really interesting first-hand account of what it’s like to buy a house with your boyfriend in the current real estate market.

How would you like to own a home that is partially buried…on purpose?

And finally Casa …read more

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What Types of Grass Thrive in the Philadelphia Climate?

Wondering what types of grass thrive in the Philadelphia climate? Whether your yard is your baby or you’re competing with your neighbor for the greenest grass, we’ve got your back with the best grasses for the Philadelphia weather.

Since our beloved Philadelphia has relatively unpredictable weather – hot, muggy summers and winters that alternate between mild, reasonable, and ridiculous – the question of thriving grass is difficult to answer.

As a city that is just outside the edge of the humid sub-tropical zone that spreads from the South to the southern end of Pennsylvania, we have a healthy rate of precipitation. This reasonably wet and hardy climate means that we have healthy growing seasons, but we need grasses that can thrive in both hot summers and cold winters.

The best grasses for growth in Philadelphia are generally cool season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescues, and Ryegrasses, but there is one warm season grass that fairs very well in Philadelphia – Zoysia.

Zoysia

Zoysia is the only warm weather grass that grows well in our climate. It is suited to Philadelphia homeowners who have yards that are mostly sunny or get full sun. It is popular with those who enjoy …read more

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Home of the Week: A Minimalist Mediterranean in the Bay Area

In our newest ‘Home of the Week‘ we move from the historic home that spawned the phrase, “keeping up with the Joneses” to a minimalist Mediterranean jewel just minutes from San Francisco.

Listed for $11.4 million by Denise Laugesen with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, this expansive home provides a unique brand of chic sophistication and European elegance, all in one of the loveliest parts of our country. This three level traditional home features 4 masterfully appointed bedroom suites and 2 designer half baths as well as a guest house right off the pool with its very own sauna.

This sumptuous retreat is laid out perfectly over one acre of land and features a harmonious blend of modern and traditional themes. Other highlights of this home are the stainless steal outdoor kitchen, wine cellar with tasting bar and two flexible rooms to accommodate a variety of lifestyle needs like a gym or theater!

The video for this latest ‘Home of the Week’ shares a great deal about this phenomenal property, but if you’d like to see more, visit coldwellbanker.com to look at a few lovely photos.

…read more

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How to Prolong the Life of Your Plants During Summer

After a cold and rainy first half of the year, many people thought summer and sunshine would never come. Well, it is certainly here now! While it may be easy for us to beat the heat by staying indoors with air conditioning, visiting the beach, or even taking a dip in our backyard pools— for plants staying cool and alive is significantly harder.  A lot of us take pride in our perfectly manicured lawns and gardens and understandably become brokenhearted to see them wilt, discolor, and even die during the tough dog days of summer. However, there are some tips and tricks that can help to prolong the life of your plants this summer.

1. Set a feeding schedule
One of the most common mistakes people make, that actually helps to speed up the deterioration of their plants and lawn, is to water at the wrong time of day. The best time to water your greenery is either in the morning, before the sun comes up, or in the afternoon, when the sun is beginning to go down. The key is to never water when the sun is out and beaming. If you do, the water almost becomes like …read more

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Dog Parks in Dallas-Fort Worth Meet Needs of Canine Residents with Style

The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is a welcoming place for dog-lovers and their four-footed companions, from encouraging participation together in many activities throughout the year to allowing dogs at a variety of open-air cafes and events, to providing special places for dogs, large and small, to exercise and become socialized.

Bark Parks” are popular – there are now four parks in Dallas, while Fort Worth claims the nation’s top-rated park, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. They provide protected play and exercise space for the pooches and are very attractive additions to their neighborhoods as well.

Popular with Pets and People

The first city-owned off-leash dog park in Dallas, on East Mockingbird Lane near White Rock Lake, is open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. It is a popular destination, as are the adjacent walking paths and bike trails around the lake itself. After a safe workout at the dog park, many a Dallas dog will accompany an owner on a jog or a sprint on-leash through the larger White Rock recreation complex.

Dallas maintains parks in various areas, ranging in size from the 21-acre Dallas North Bark Park on Gramercy Oaks to a pocket-sized canine play space in Deep Ellum, in the …read more

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3 Ways to Transform Your Outdoor Space

2 3 Ways to Transform Your Outdoor Space

Guest Post by Rob Wachter

Summer is the time to enjoy early morning sunrises with a hot (or iced) cup of coffee, relaxing barbeques with family and friends, and, of course, late night S’mores around the fire pit with the kids.

Who doesn’t love taking the party outside?

It’s no surprise outdoor living areas are trendier than bell-bottom pants in the ‘70s. People enjoy being outside and want to maximize every possible creature comfort a home might offer. As a result, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and comfortable design schemes have become the norm for architects and designers.

Even if your outdoor space doesn’t feel very inviting, or you don’t have thousands to invest, don’t let that stop you. Here are three easy and inexpensive ways to get started turning your outdoor space into an inviting destination.

Comfortable Seating

(Image Flickr AForestFrolic)

You’d be surprised how comfortable seating will draw people outside. Try installing a hanging swing bench and picking up some Adirondack furniture (or build it yourself). You might consider painting the furniture with bright colors to splash up the area.

Mood Lighting

4 3 Ways to Transform Your Outdoor Space

(Image Flickr Avant)

There’s no substitute …read more

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