Selling the Most Expensive Home in America

Friday, January 20th, 2012

The most expensive home in the U.S. was recently on the market and its sale is the subject of a new HGTV reality show.  “Selling Spelling Manor” tells the tale of Candy Spelling’s decision to downsize by putting her 57,000-square mansion on the market and commissioning a 16,000 foot penthouse condo at the top of a Century City skyscraper. 

Candy is the widow of Aaron Spelling, a TV mogul who produced some of the top shows of the 70s and 80s.  The asking price of the manor was originally $150 million, but Candy accepted an $85 million offer from a 22-year-old British heiress named Petra Ecclestone.  The house was on the market for at least two years – even the most expensive homes have seen a recent drop in prices.

You can take a virtual tour of the amazing Spelling estate by watching this YouTube video.

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Attic Makeovers

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

If you’re thinking about moving because your house is feeling cramped, you may be able to find a solution by looking up.  There could be hidden potential in your home’s attic.  Don’t let ducts, insulation and rafters intimidate you. By working with an architect or contractor and taking advantage of every bit of free space (including low clearances and angular spaces), you can repurpose your attic and create new space for living.  Since plumbing in your attic may be limited, a playroom or office may be a better choice than a bedroom suite.

For tips that will help you decide if you attic is a good candidate for attic remodeling, check out this article on the Better Homes and Gardens website.

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Hottest Home Design Color for 2012

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

The Boston Globe recently profiled some of the top interior design trends for 2012, based on new furniture and fabrics being shown at the Boston Design Center.  One of the top trends is a royal color – purple.  While some people may think that purple is an eccentric choice for home design, it’s actually a versatile choice.  Because it’s a combination of blue and red, it can be combined with almost any other color.  It also works well with neutrals like white and gray.

For more information about decorating with purple, visit the Boston Globe website.

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How to Winterize Your Windows

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

During the colder months of the year your home’s drafty windows may be causing you to spend more money on heating.  Here are some suggestions for winterizing your windows:

  • Apply self-stick rubber weather sealing to window frames to keep cold air out.  This is a cheap solution but may come with a high price tag if the sealing leaves residue on your window frames when removed.
  • Use a window insulation kit to insulate your windows with shrink wrap plastic.  This is a cheap, effective solution but some people are not happy with the cloudy look it can give windows.
  • Install cellular window shades or heavy layered curtains to block drafts from your windows.  Cellular shades insulate while still letting in light, but they may not block drafts as well as curtains.
  • See a demo on how to shrink wrap your windows in this YouTube video.

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    Anywhere Fireplace

    Saturday, December 10th, 2011

    Nothing can compare with the ambiance of a warm crackling fire in a fireplace.  Unfortunately, not every home is equipped with a fireplace – a problem that the makers of Anywhere Fireplace have made it their goal to solve.  This wall-mounted enclosure burns bio-ethanol liquid fuel made from renewable plant resources.  The Anywhere Fireplace is free from smoke, gas, soot and ash. 

    If you’ve always dreamed of having a fireplace, this smokeless fireplace is an eco-friendly alternative.  Find out more on the Anywhere Fireplace website.

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    Yogibo Next Generation Bean Bags

    Sunday, November 13th, 2011

    A company called Yogibo claims to have taken the old familiar bean bag chair into the new millennium. Filled with “near-frictionless” beads and covered in a durable cotton and lycra fabric, Yogibo furniture conforms to the body’s shape and provides new levels of bean bag comfort. The Yogibo product line includes sofas, lounge chairs and several types of pillows in a wide spectrum of colors. Each piece, including the Yogi Max sofa shown above, is incredibly lightweight.

    Yogibo bean bags are the perfect piece choice for dorm room furniture, but they’re also right at home in a bedroom or family room (or in any room where comfort is key). Find out more about Yogibo Bean Bags on the official Yogibo website.

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    Dyson Hot Bladeless Heater

    Monday, November 07th, 2011

    Dyson has a well-deserved reputation for rethinking ordinary appliances and creating completely unique product designs.  One of the latest Dyson offerings is the Hot, a bladeless space heater that uses Dyson’s Air Multiplier technology. The Dyson Hot consists of an oblong ring with no exposed heating elements. The heater has precise temperature control and a special safety feature that causes the it to automaticaly shut off if it tips over. According to Dyson, the Hot is designed to heat small- to medium-sized rooms.

    The Dyson Hot doesn’t some cheap (it retails for about $400) but you won’t find a more eye-catching fan from any other manufacturer. It comes in two color combinations: silver/white and blue/gray.

    Find out more about the Dyson Hot on the official website.

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    Winterizing your Pool

    Friday, October 28th, 2011

    Unless you live in a year-round warm climate, the approach of colder winter weather means it’s time to close your pool for the season.  Before covering your pool, some of the things you’ll need to do include balancing your water chemistry, adding winterizing chemicals to keep the water clear, lowering the water level and servicing the filter and pump. 

    Using the correct procedure when cleaning and covering your pool will help ensure that it’s ready for use when you uncover it in spring. 

    Find out more about the tools and supplies needed to close your pool and the steps you’ll need to follow in this YouTube video from Lowe’s.

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    Invisible Floating Bookshelves

    Friday, October 21st, 2011

    Anyone who loves to read will tell you that books are the ultimate room accessory.  If you’d like bookshelves that really make a statement and draw attention to your book collection, check out these concealed floating bookshelves from Umbra.  The powder-coated steel shelf is actually concealed within the bottom book on the stack. 

    This reasonably-priced shelf comes in large and small sizes.  Find out more about it on the Umbra website.

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    The Short Sale Solution

    Friday, October 14th, 2011

    For homeowner’s who are “upside down” in their mortgage, meaning that their home’s value has dipped below the outstanding balance on their mortgage, a short sale may be the solution. Unlike foreclosure, a short sale allows a homeowner to avoid foreclosure and the embarrassment of having their home sold in an auction or public sale.

    A short sale is the last resort for homeowners who don’t qualify for other options for debt relief.  Previous efforts to modify the current home loan must have failed and the owner is no longer able to make monthly mortgage payments.  Homeowners who have undergone hardships such as job loss are more likely to be successful in negotiating a short sale with their lender.

    For more information about short sales, visit the Bank of America website.

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