Serving San Diego, Orange, & Inland Empire Counties


  • Spring is almost here & now is the time to start that garden! No space? No problem!There is lots of space friendly planters! Who says you need a farm to have a garden? You can use rain gutters, pots, tubs, etc. for planting veggies, fruit, herbs & even flowers!

    Check out the pictures below for some fun garden ideas!

  • Join us for games, crafts, character visits, a tea time snack and the Easter Bunny! Saturday, March 12th, 11am - 1pm in the Plaza across from Edward's Theaters. Admission is free but you must have a ticket present to enter. Ages 3-10 only. Please RSVP by picking up your ticket at Guest Services prior to event. No strollers permitted in Tea Party area. Stroller parking will be available. *Must be a member of Promenade Pals Kids Club. Not a member? Sign up here:

    40820 Winchester Rd, Ste 2000, Temecula, California 92591

    VIA:promenade Temecula facebook


    White still remains the top seller when it comes to color for most home furnishings but gray may soon edge it out. Home owners are reaching for shades of gray to decorate their spaces, with grays serving as a new neutral in all tones, from soft silvers to dark charcoals.

    Gray plays well with other colors, Dee Schlotter, a color brand manager for Glidden Paints, told The Washington Post.

    Kate Watson-Smyth, a London-based interior blogger, told The Washington Post that gray gives life to everything in a room. Gray makes everything look more modern and fresh. Gray makes all your possessions pop out. It gives them presence. A good picture on a gray wall its amazing!

    Gray is edging out the beige era. As Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, notes we were beiged out.

    Home furnishing stores like Ethan Allen, West Elm, and Restoration Hardware are showing gray throughout their furnishings. Also, gray kitchen cabinets are becoming more common as well as gray flooring.

    Jackie Dettmar of the carpeting manufacturer Mohawk Group, says shades of gray have become some of their top sellers for the last five years. Also, Kohler now offers five shades of gray in its plumbing fixtures for bathrooms and kitchens.

    Source: The Gloomiest Color on the Spectrum Is Now the Hottest for Your Home, The Washington post

  • By MIRNA ALFONSO (Patch Staff)

    CARLSBAD, CA Every year, San Diego residents -- particularly those in North County -- realize in early spring that all winter they hungered to see the vibrant colors of theFlower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, a treat of ranunculusflowers in various hues.

    Ubiquitously Southern Californian, and perennially San Diegan, the flower fields have been around for years and every year, no matter how long one has lived here, it is a wonderful surprise to see the buds in full bloom.

    There are 53 acres of them -- overlooking the mighty Pacific -- and visitors are encouraged to walk among them and well, smell the ranunculus; or is ranunculii?

    The paths are really dirt tracks -- it is a fully operating ranch -- so visitors are urged to wear comfortable walking shoes that they do not mind dirtying up a bit.

    There are also wagon rides, pulled by antique tractors.

    The fields are also handicapped accessible.

    The fields are open March 1 to May 8, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week -- weather permitting.

    Adults pay $14; seniors -- 60 years old and over -- pay $13; children from 3 years old to 7 years old, $7 and kids under 3 pay nothing.

    Pets must be kept outside the gate; the owners do not want the little beasts to eat the flowers.

    Photos via Flickr, Creative Commons; city of Carlsbad


    That homes with excellent curb appeal sell considerably faster and for more money VS. a home lacking curb appeal. Real estate experts tell us that as much as 50% of home buyers make their decision within seconds of pulling up to a potential home long before they even step through the front door! Here are some great budget friendly tips on improving your curb appeal! For more information or a free home evaluation contact our office at:(951) 663-4039

    A clutter free property, void of visual distractionsThe highlighting of existing architectural features of the house and outbuildings, or the addition of such features to create beauty and add interestAdding flowers/ greenery & fresh mulchA coordinated three-tone color scheme on house, garage, & other out-buildingsThe use of coordinated hardware & fixtures on house, garage & gates, etc.The appropriate use of accents (Plant pots, objects of art, water features, wind chimes, welcome mats, etc.)Space permitting, the tasteful use of beautiful patio furniture to help create a feeling of warmth & welcomeThe aesthetic use of architectural & landscape lighting

  • We feel staging is one of the most important things of selling your home, which is why we thought this would be an important article to share so you can see for your self.BEFORE & AFTER: DESIGN IDEAS FROM A HOME STAGER


    Before and After Stair Hall: First unclutter, then add functionality (here with a simple table and mirror); repaint if necessary to brighten the space and highlight architectural details.

    Proper staging makes a home feel spacious, tasteful, and inviting to the broadest range of buyers. Magichappens behind the scenes when a home is well styled!Before & After:Simplify and brightenthe living roomwith lighter paint and furniture, expose the handsome windows, and remove more personal items for a fresh contemporary look.How does staging work?A major goal of staging is to enhance the appeal of a home while maintaining its design integrity; that is, byediting & styling each room and dressing it up so that it appeals to the broadest market audience.Before and After:Replacing the dining set, credenza, and oriental rug with simpler furniture and sisal rug freshens and brightensthe space without personalizing it.While some homes are staged when theyre vacant, others are partially staged, incorporating the sellers furnishings with the stagers in a coordinated wayto create a look that best represents the property.Stagers make each room feel less personal by editing out older furniture and minimizing clutter.Before & After:Strongly personal objects and furniture like the grand pianos in two ofthe before photos above make it harder for others to see how to make a room their own.Before & After:Removing curtains and shades and simplifying the paint scheme makes the space feel more open and contemporary.Weadd sophisticated bedding and accessories such asfresh towels, accent pillows and flowers to enliven rooms like this master suite with color and excitement. We style shelves with books and interesting objects;and we provide andhang artwork throughout the house.Before and After:Pale graypaint withcomplementary hues in fabric and accent pillows, along with new furniture placementgive this former darkliving room a crisper, brighter look and better functionality.Many homes need a few quick upgrades before staging. These upgrades may entail painting walls frequently in lighter colors installing new neutral carpeting, as well as improved lighting, which may simply mean adding uniform-colored bulbs. We often suggest that the seller resurface kitchen counters and replace their old appliances with new stainless ones.

    Thoughtful furniture installation and placement give a buyer an understanding of how to use a space or how to best arrange their own furnishings.

    Before and After:Removing wallpaper and the window shade, and painting the ceiling in a light hue made the bedroom seem taller and lighter.

    Why stage your home?Staging a home is an investment. A thorough and professional staging effort can be the leading reason a property sells quickly, and in many casefor over the asking price.If a property is styled and furnished in good taste, with flair, it translates into competitive offers, increased demand and a higher sale price. A staged home will show better than its competitive properties; more often than not, the cost of staging comes back to a seller many times over in the final sale price. The benefits of marketing a home that has been thoroughly styled and prepared for the broader buying audience outweighs the initial expenses and yields a far greater return.

    Staging should help potential buyers see how a property will fit their lifestyle. A staged home will show better than empty properties. Its important to trust your real estate agent, who knows the value of not being penny wise and pound foolish, but to see beyond the cash outlay to the final sale.

    A stylish interior is inviting and because everyones aesthetic is not the same, we use a neutral palette while adding highlights of color. Our job is to add the pizzazz!

    Before & After:Removing the rug; replacing chairs and chandelier; and repainting to emphasize day light gave this dining room a fresher style that also adds a sense of spaciousness.Most importantly, staging and styling animate a home by adding a fresh, light feeling.Not all staging is created equal: while some prefer to show an interior as if in a magazine, my take is more basic: to suggest a simple, relaxed lifestyle that might make a prospective buyer feel at home in this property.Contrary to what one might assume, staging goes beyond furniture placement and filling a house with inventory. Basic furniture installation and placement give a buyer an understanding of how to use a space or how to best place their own furnishings.

    Before & After:A bedroom that was just a place to sleep is nowa place to dream!

    For me, staging is about creating style that inspires a buyers excitement as they visualize themselves emotionally and physically at home in the house.

    Cary Nowell is a designer and home stagerwho worksin a wide range of styles and house types from small cottages and urban condos to large single-family properties in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her esthetic is warmly contemporary and draws inspiration from time spent living in Paris.To see more of her interior design work, visitCary All photos are courtesy Cary Nowell.

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  • Inflatable, portable PhotonGrill cooks your food with nothing but the sun

    The barbecue of the future is here. Meet PhotonGrill, an inflatable 100 percent solar-powered grill that lets you ditch the charcoal for greener cooking. Perfect for camping and areas with fire bans, the lightweight, fire-free and fuel-free PhotonGrill is designed for portability and easily folds down to fit in a backpack. The best part? Its NASA-inspired technology is so efficient the grill reaches 500F in just five minutes.

    Recently launched on Kickstarter, the PhotonGrill is available at a discount for early bird backers and comes with a lightweight carrying case, solar-optimized pan, BBQ tongs, and an air pump. The portable and durable grill weighs only seven pounds and can easily be set up in just three minutes. A pot can also be attached for cooking. An optional add-on module will transform the PhotonGrill into a highly efficient power generator so you can charge your electronics with sun-powered electricity wherever you go.

    Heres how the PhotonGrill works: once fully inflated, the grill, made of lightweight plastic film, takes on the form of a reflective parabolic mirror that concentrates the energy contained in the rays of light into a small area, creating highly-localized energy thats powerful enough to cook with. The design team says the technology was based on experiments carried out by NASA in the 1960s

    By using heat to thermally deform the plastics polymers structure, the plastic is able to remember and transform into the desired parabolic shape when inflated, says the PhotonGrill team, who also claim the grill has 1,000 watts of power. Set atop a stable tripod, the parabolic mirror is made with highly robust polymer foils tested to ensure they can withstand all contingencies, even a large splash of boiling grease. PhotonGrill is looking to raise $111,964 on Kickstarter to bring the solar-powered grill to production.

    Courtesy of California Association of REALTORS. Click Here for Original article.

  • Americans Think Homeownership is a Sound Investment

    Media Contact: Jane Dollinger / 202-383-1042 / Email

    WASHINGTON (October 14, 2015) A vast majority of Americans believe that buying a home is a solid financial decision, and most believe they could sell their home for at least its initial purchase price, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors. The 2015 National Housing Pulse Survey also found that a preponderance of Americans think that now is a good time to buy a home.

    The survey, which measures consumers' attitudes and concerns about housing issues in the nation's 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas, found that more than eight in 10 Americans believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision, and 68 percent believe that now is a good time to buy a home. Seventy-one percent believe they could sell their house for what they paid for it, a jump of 16 percentage points from 2013.

    When asked for reasons about why homeownership matters to them, respondents answers did not change significantly from past years. Building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment, and having the freedom to choose their neighborhood remain the top three reasons to own a home.

    "Homeownership is part of the American Dream, and this survey proves that dream is alive and thriving in our communities," said NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark. "Realtors believe that anyone who is able and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to pursue that dream in a safe, responsible way, which is why NAR advocates homeownership issues and educating potential buyers about achieving their property investment goals."

    The number of renters who are now thinking about purchasing a home has increased since the last survey in 2013, up from 36 percent to 39 percent. Sixty-one percent of renters stated that owning a home is a priority for their future. According to the survey, 80 percent of respondents believe that pre-purchase counseling programs and classes are very or somewhat important. Forty-five percent of homeowners who said they did not take a counseling program, reported they would have taken part in one had it been easily available to them.

    Attitudes about the housing market have improved in recent years. Forty-nine percent of respondents indicated that they feel activity in the housing market has increased in the past year, compared to 44 percent in 2013 and 12 percent in 2011. Eighty-nine percent expect home sales in their area to either increase or remain the same. Concern about foreclosures has also declined, with only 15 percent of respondents indicating that foreclosure is a major concern.

    In addition to improved attitudes about the housing market, survey participants also showed an improved outlook regarding the economy. Only 36 percent think that job layoffs and unemployment are a big problem, a substantial drop from 45 percent in 2013.

    Perceived obstacles to homeownership have remained mostly unchanged compared to recent years; 78 percent of respondents point to college debt and student loans as the main obstacle to making a home purchase affordable. Seventy-six percent of participants said they have a full-time job but still did not make enough money to purchase a home. Seventy-four percent believe they do not have enough money for a down payment and closing costs.

    As the market has improved, concern about the cost of housing has increased. Two-thirds of survey participants said that home prices are more expensive than they were a year ago. There is additional concern over the lack of available housing; 41 percent said the lack of affordable homes is either a very big or fairly big problem in their area, an increase of 9 percent points from 2013.

    For adult millennials under the age of 35, the burden of student debt is their chief concern, with 86 percent of respondents naming college debt as an obstacle to homeownership. Over half reported that their housing costs are a financial strain on their budget, 65 percent are concerned about high rental prices, and 60 percent are concerned about high home prices. However, millennials tend to have a more upbeat and positive view about the future of the nation than older Americans, with 42 percent of millennials saying that the country is headed in the right direction compared to only 20 percent among those aged 50 and older.

    The 2015 National Housing Pulse Survey is conducted by American Strategies and Myers Research & Strategic Services for NARs Housing Opportunity Program. The telephone survey polled 1,000 adults nationwide in the 50 most populous metropolitan statistical areas. An additional 250 interviews were conducted with millennial adults (born after 1981) from the same geography. The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

    The National Association of Realtors, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

    Courtesy National Association of Realtors. Click Here for Original Article.