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Displaying blog entries 51-60 of 173

LOVE-LY Master Bedrooms

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Valentine’s Day always leaves us with L-O-V-E on the brain! So, now seems like the perfect time to talk about what’s happening behind the closed doors of your master bedroom.  And, of course, by “what’s happening,” we mean how your master bedroom is decorated!  

 

(Do we have your attention now?!)

 


 

Master bedrooms are often overlooked and ignored when it comes to updating and decorating, but we think that your bedroom deserves as much attention and care as your kitchen, living, and dining room.  After all, you DO spend approximately one-third of your life in it!  Might as well make it as comfy and as retreat-like as possible, right?

 

We think so!  Therefore, we’ve compiled a short list of simple, low-cost ideas to makeover your master into a cozy place to crash, where you’ll be sure to have sweet dreams!

 

1.  Make it functional.  From sitting spaces and libraries to exercise areas and home offices, why not make your room work for you?  It may be just as simple as adding a small desk or comfy chair to the corner.  Regardless, seating in the bedroom can make a room feel cozy and inviting. 


 


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2.  Light it up!  Use any windows to your advantage, but also reserve the right to your privacy.  Think: Roman shades or wooden blinds that can be opened during the day to let the light shine in and then closed again at night to ensure maximum privacy and darkness for a good night’s sleep.  And don’t forget the lamps!  We’re firm believers that you can never have too many light sources!  Soft lamp light is sure to make your room feel warm and cozy.

 

Lastly, does your master have a great view that just can’t be beat?  If so, take advantage and arrange your room accordingly. 

 

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3.  Small changes can make a BIG difference!  Simply put: pick some paint and invest in a new, fresh bedding set!  This IS a place that you’re planning on spending a significant amount of time, right?  Well, then, fancy it up!  Start with finding a new sheet set, duvet, comforter, or quilt that fits your personality and decorating style, then choose a paint color to match.  Trust us -- you will be AMAZED at what these simple updates will do for your sweet dreams!

 

 

4.  Make it personal!  Your room should reflect youFrom simple pieces of personalized artwork and gorgeous photo galleries, to vinyl decor and wall treatments, your options for self expression are endless.

 

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5.  Regardless of how beautiful your bedroom is, YOU will not want to spend any extra time in there unless it is comfortable!  And, while this may be a bit more of an investment, we encourage you to collect furniture that comfy and well-crafted.  But don’t forget to look beyond the fancy furniture to pillows, blankets, rugs, and other cozy textiles.  Additions such as these are relatively low-cost and have a big impact.  So, begin there and when the time is right, start your furniture shopping with comfort and durability in mind.

 

Bottom line?  Making your master dream-worthy doesn’t have to be costly and exhausting.  Start simple, think outside the box, and work towards a comfortable and inviting space where you can rest easy and retreat when necessary. 

 

And with that, friends, we’d like to wish you a BELATED Happy Valentine’s Day filled with L-O-V-E and many sweet dreams!

Des Moines Home & Garden Show 2016

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Raise your hand if you’re in desperate need of a break from this long winter! We certainly are!

 

Well, we’re here with some good news for us all -- the Des Moines Home & Garden Show is happening now.  Like, TODAY through Sunday!  It is the perfect way to distract yourself from these cold, snowy winter days AND help you re-focus on what it is to come...warm, sunny spring and summer days conducive to home improvements and gardening goodness.

 

 

The 38th annual Des Moines Home & Garden Show is sure to be full of fantastically fun features, such as over 400 exhibitors, national and local celebrities (helllloooo, Kevin O’Connor!), and all of the latest products and services in the building and remodeling industry.  A show known for its feature gardens (designed with local celebrities), the Des Moines Home & Garden Show guarantees that attendees will not be bored!  You are sure to find “innovative products, new ideas, practical advice, and great deals in remodeling, home improvement and gardening, with hundreds of experts under one roof.”  In addition, with an increasing demand for the full range of home furnishings, interiors and outdoor lifestyle products, this exhibition is the ideal place to keep up on the latest and greatest, and to bring a little spring and summer inside during this frigid February.

 

From widows and flooring to cabinets and landscaping, and so much more, be sure to come, shop, compare and save! 

 

Here’s all you need to know about this awesome event!

 

WHEN: Thursday, noon to 9 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Iowa Events Center, 730 Third St., Des Moines.

COST: Adults: $12 (online: $10); children ages 7-12: $4; children ages 6 and under: free.

Home and garden show highlights

Do you have a whole-house remodel planned, or just need to fix that drywall patch? Check out the Des Moines Home + Garden Show for …

GARDEN MARKET: New last year, with a variety of garden products such as benches, statues and garden art.

TINY HOUSE EXHIBIT: A showcase by the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity Restore on how to cut costs and live a simpler life.

SIPS AND SOUNDS LOUNGE: Take a break in the lower level lobby with live music.

TWO CHICS AND A HAMMER: Mother and daughter duo Karen ​E Laine and Mina Starsiak are setting out to revitalize their hometown of Indianapolis one property at a time. They're buying up run down homes and transforming them into stunning urban remodels. With Mina's real estate know-how and Karen's no-nonsense legal background, these ladies are unstoppable in getting a property they want and enlisting their family's help with demo and construction. When it comes to exciting new homes in the city of Indianapolis, it all comes down to Two Chicks and a Hammer.

SERVING UP STYLE: Pairs of local designers and media celebrities create an outdoor tablescape based on the celebrity's style.

HERO DAY: Again, the show will offer free admission to all firefighters, law enforcement officers and military personnel on Friday.

See Kevin O’Connor

Kevin O'Connor, host of the hit PBS series This Old House, will look back on 35 years of the longest running home improvement show in television history. He'll share the greatest hits and highlights, revisit the biggest and best projects, and share never before seen video and photos from the archives and from his private collection. Join Kevin for a funny and engaging presentation and bring your questions.

{source: Des Moines Register}

 

What to Serve at your SuperBowl Party

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Are you in the midst of planning a last-minute Super Bowl party, but just don’t know what to serve?  Just like the decorations, your food options are endless!  And what was supposed to be a fun get-together with your fellow friends & football fans, is now a source of stress.  Well, stress no more!  We are here to save the day...or at least give you some great crowd pleasing, easy ideas for hosting the best Big Game bash!

So, here we go!  Our favorite football party foods, in no particular order.

 

Make it a tailgate!  We wrote a whole post on terrific tailgating, but just to refresh your memory -- fire up the grill, serve hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and dip.  Then, pull out the yard games (weather permitting!  We’re thinking a basement or garage might be a better Iowa option...) and let your guests enjoy the low-key, lots-of-fun atmosphere.

 

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Get guests involved -- Call it a Super Bowl Party Potluck.  This doesn’t have to resemble a post-fellowship-jello-salad-in-the-church-basement potluck that you’re familiar with!  Nope, ask guests to bring their very favorite appetizer, snack, side, main dish or dessert.  As the host you can opt to provide the table settings and drinks...or not!  Your party, your rules!  Have fun with it and don’t feel bad about asking friends to contribute.  You are hosting, afterall! 

 

 

Pardon our pun, but we think a Souper Bowl could be fun!  From chicken noodle and potato to stew, chowder, and chili, a variety of warm soups would surely please even the pickiest of partiers.  And you can even up the ease by calling on your crockpot.  Prepare the soups early, then join your guests and enjoy the festivities.

 

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Walking Tacos/Nacho Bar would be as easy as it sounds! Let your guests get involved by creating their own nach/walking taco concoction.  Offer up taco meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, sour cream, salsa, and so much more.  No one will go home hungry. 

 

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We’re stating the obvious here but -- PIZZA!  Really, it can’t get any easier than picking up the phone and ordering a couple of pies!  Everyone loves pizza...almost as much as parties!

 

 

Finally, for all of you over-achievers...Go BIG!  We’re thinking this would earn you some MAJOR party points!

 

 

Selling your Home During the Winter Months

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Last year we visited the subject of SELLING YOUR HOME DURING THE WINTER MONTHS, and now that we’re back in the midst of frigid temps, it only seems right to re-share that post with you! So, here it is:

 

 

What could be more stressful than selling a home?  Selling a home in the winter, of course! And while January might seem a little late (according to the calendar!) to be broaching this subject, us Iowans know that, realistically, we still have 3-4 more months of “winter-like” weather.  This means that there is still plenty of time to take action and get your home listed and sold before spring even decides to show up!  Here are our top tips for selling your home in the winter months!

 

Take control of the snow and ice situation.  Keeping snow and ice at bay and away from your walkways and entryways is important if you want prospective buyers to get into your home safely and with ease.  Just like mowing your lawn in the summer, shoveling and maintaining your home’s exterior in the wintertime, helps the house look well taken care of and loved. Bonus tip: Even if you’re not currently living in the home, make arrangements with a friend, neighbor, or business to do snow and ice removal.

 

Go for a warm and cozy feel.  It might mean adjusting your thermometer a bit, but warming your home before a showing will help prospective buyers be comfortable.  And while you’re going for that comfortable feel, cozy things up a bit with pillows and throws in the living spaces, and perhaps a large folded-over comforter on a bed.  Make prospective buyers see themselves living comfortably in the house.

 

Make the most of natural lighting and supplement with good interior lights.  Lighting is especially important during the winter months when our days are shorter and the sun doesn’t always shine.  Take advantage of any and all outside light by opening all window coverings and turning on all (yes, all!) the lights in the house.  Again, we’re going for coziness here!  Bonus tip: Ensure that all light fixtures are clean and bulbs are burning bright.

 

Keep the windows clean.  Daylight during the winter can draw attention to dirt and grime that otherwise might go unnoticed.  Keep a prospective buyer’s focus on the home, not its state of cleanliness, by washing the windows.  If this isn’t a project you feel comfortable tackling, hire it out!  Trust us, a good window cleaning is worth the investment.

 

Make your home pleasing to the nose, not just the eyes.  Capitalize on our strong sense of smells, and feelings that those elicit by making sure that your home has a pleasant aroma -- without going overboard.  It can be as simple as baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies or burning a candle a couple hours before a showing (just remember to turn off the oven and/or blow out the candle!).  We’ve blogged about the Stinky Side Of Real Estate before and encourage you to re-read that to re-freshen your memory AND home prior to your first showing or open house!

 

While there may be fewer buyers during the wintertime, generally, the ones that do exist are serious and have some sense of urgency.  Capitalize on this by making your home stand out from the others with just a little effort and preparation.  And, as always, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, let us help!  Contact us anytime!

 

Steve Hidder, Broker/Owner

Ankeny Real Estate Service

219 SW 3rd Street

Ankeny, IA 50023

(515)964-3662

www.ankenyrealestateservice.com

 

 

 

 

Unique Home Ideas for your Canine Companion

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Just like humans, we believe man’s best friend deserves a place to call their own in any home. If you are a dog lover, then why not set aside a space for your pet to enjoy? Either indoors or out, dog houses and other canine luxuries can add a bit of fun and practicality for pets and owners alike. There are plenty of kennels and dog houses that you can purchase, but we’ve put together collection of contemporary, out-of-the-box ideas and designs that are more suited to fitting in with a more modern home design.  Take a look and give ‘em try!  We’d love to hear what your canine companion takes to his/her new digs!

 

 

If your pet dog spends longer periods in the home, rather than outside, why not provide the perfect pooch palace as part of your interior design?  Bring the bed inside by building it into the wall, a desk, a bedside table, or another piece of furniture!

 

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For convenience sake, try out some of these supremely awesome indoor ideas that can take the headache out of feeding, watering, and pet ownership, in general!

 

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Home Decluttering Made Easy!

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Whether you’re in the spring cleaning mood (already!) or readying your home for sale, DECLUTTERING your space can be difficult and downright overwhelming.  That is why we’ve put together a list of 6 easy steps to help ease the stress of cleaning out your stuff!  Well, what are you waiting for?  Clear that clutter!

 

 

1.  Make A Plan, Man! Whether it be a weekend’s worth of work, or many months, start with a written out strategy.  Begin with a list of areas of the home that need decluttered, then set dates to tackle those spaces, and stick with it! Oh, and one other must-do to boost morale and increase motivation?  Tackle your most dreaded/cluttered areas first.  See the payoff from those cleaned out spaces will be enough to keep you going!  And don’t forget to the enlist the help of your family/housemates. 

 

This is just one example of how your declutter calendar/plan could look:

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Or try this method:


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Find what works for you!

 

2.  Ready yourself...both mentally and physically.  Once you have your decluttering added to the calendar, you’ll be more likely to actually do it AND be prepared for it!  Give yourself no excuses to skip the stress by having the necessary supplies, such as trash bags, laundry baskets (keep reading), boxes, music, food, and a clear mind.

 

3.  Give yourself a set amount of time.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up on clearing things out midway through, so we suggest working in blocks of time.  Whether it is 15 minutes, twice a day, or 3 hours on the weekend, set yourself up to succeed! And remember, slow and steady sometimes wins the race.  Commit to one room, drawer, closet, or area per day and see a BIG impact in no time at all!

 

4.  Make 3 Piles: Keep, Donate, Trash.  This is an easy system for your big stuff sort and, likely, everything you come across can be categorized in one of these 3 areas.  We recommend using large laundry baskets that can easily be moved from room to room or space to space.  Label your baskets, and don’t second guess your initial reaction! 

 


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Questions to ask yourself when deciding how to sort objects:

● Do I use this?

● Do I need this?

● Will I even know it is gone?

 


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5. Get creative with storage and use what you have!  Storage ottomans, cubes, boxes and baskets all make for useful clutter keepers. Think outside the box and, if necessary, invest in storage solutions -- but NOT before assessing your need!

 


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6. Designate a spot for everything AND a system for paper clutter.  This is the key to keeping clutter at bay.  Taking the time to organize after you’ve sorted all the stuff, will pay off HUGE when the doesn’t come back!  Check out our previous post on Home Organization for easy, applicable ideas!

 


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Bottom line when it comes to streamlining your stuff? Decluttering can be done effectively and with minimal stress if you have a plan and stick with it!  

 

Family Friendly New Year's Eve Ideas

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Go big and stay home! Is that YOUR motto for a New Year’s Eve spent with kids? The days of dancing past midnight and sleeping until noon may be gone, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end! Nope. We’ve got you covered with these kid-approved FAMILY FRIENDLY NEW YEAR’S EVE IDEAS!

  1. New Year’s Eve Count Down Bags

  1. DIY Balloon Drop

 

  1. New Year Reflections

 

  1. Cookies and Milk Toast

  1. New Years Tree

  1. New Year’s Eve Scavenger Hunt

  1. Balloon Countdown

  1. NYE BINGO!

  1. Paper Plate Shakers

  1. Minute To Win It Competitions

Tips for Day after Christmas Shopping!

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Don’t worry if you missed Black Friday or Cyber Monday—you can still snag great deals the day after Christmas. Here’s how to get the most out of your post-holiday shopping.

Holiday Light Displays Around the Metro

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Nothing says “Holiday Spirit” like grabbing a snack and some hot cocoa, then jumping in the car to take in the lights and sights of the season!  In and around the Des Moines metro, the choices are plenty when it comes to areas for your tour de lights.  We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight just a few of our faves! 


 

Unfortunately for the Make A Wish Foundation and all of Iowa, our top pick, Jolly Holiday Lights, is now closed for the season. Heavy rains earlier this week were just no match for this awesome event. Those wanting to still make a contribution to Make A Wish, can do so {here}.  Though we are sad for the foundation, its volunteers, and all of those who enjoy this display year after year, we are confident they will be back again in 2016 and will be bigger and better than ever! Until then, we’ve got you covered with plenty of other lighting display choices!

For starters, we recommend planning a drive through of a few well-known Beaverdale neighborhoods!  Beaverdale Lights is a show of about 50 homes on Ashby and Wallace Avenues east and west of Beaver Avenue.  Some of these are historic homes with some serious holiday cheer!

One of the more popular light displays on this list, the entire Historic Valley Junction area, comes out with lights, Christmas icons, and tons of holiday cheer. They turn it on full force with more than 100,000 holiday lights strung around the shopping district.  You’ll want to get out of your car and walk around to take it all in!

 

While you’re out and about in Des Moines, see to it that your tour involves a drive to the Gingerbread House at 200 North Main Street in Grimes.  This is where Bob Jordan and his family set up their elaborate indoor and outdoor display every year. And just to put this one in perspective, the Jordan’s have so many lights that they beginning the decorating process in October!  A show said to use more than 1,000 feet of drop cord, the 2010 show used 127 plastic snowmen and 74 Santa Claus statues. The family gives all proceeds to the Special Olympics – a win, win in our book!

Up for just a little longer drive? Ted Lare Garden Center in Cumming is a great spot to see beautiful holiday lights. The garden center is decorated with thousands of twinkling lights, including their large metal cactus by the front doors of the Center. Put the kids in their jammies, turn up the Christmas tunes and make the drive. They’ll be asleep when you get home!
 

Looking to stay a little closer to home, Ankeny friends?  Our town is proud to feature several well-lit neighborhoods known for their festive-ness and magnificent light displays! 

 

Perhaps the most popular is the famous Gingerbread Lane on Richland Court and the nearby Richland and Rio Circles. Rumor has it that Santa, Mrs. Claus, and four elves will be making an appearance on December 18th, 19th and 20th and collecting donations for the Food Bank of Iowa from 6-8pm. These neighbors have a story to tell and do so using lights and decorations! 

Called the city’s best kept Christmas light secret, some homes in The Country Club division boast beautiful displays and lots of holiday spirit, as well!

 

Of course, the well lit and decorated homes in and around Ankeny are too numerous for us to mention all.  But we want to know…Where have you found the best light displays and festive decorations?  We’ll be checking the comments and making sure to take your advice!

 

DIY Holiday Gift for Neighbors

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Christmas is right around the corner and we know how crazy life can be, so we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite DIY Neighbor (or friend!) Gift Ideas! Oh, but these aren’t just any neighbor gift ideas.  These are the cutest, quickest, and easiest gift ideas out there. PLUS most of them come with free printables!  All you have to do is print – total score, right?!

1. Eat Drink & Be Merry

2. Snowball Playdough

3. Disposable Dishes

4. Snowman Mason Jar

5. Gingerbread House Kit

6. Christmas M&M Poem

7. Bread Wrappers

8. Donut Gift Tag

9. Christmas Stove Top Potpourri

10. Snowman Popcorn Covers

Now, the only question is: How will you ever decide which one to pick?!?

Displaying blog entries 51-60 of 173