Archive for the 'Home Improvement' Category

Coral Gables Old Spanish Has 2014′s Color Trend Throughout

Vintage bathroom

Vintage bathroom

In early January, I posted Interior Design Color Trends For 2014. This adorable bathroom in a 1928 Old Spanish in Coral Gables is purple with white accents. Other accents, such as a chandelier and Cuban tile, also contained the trendy purple color.

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Interior Design Color Trends For 2014

Decorative throw blanket in Radiant Orchid – Elle Decor

The 2014 color choices for interior design, as well as for fashion, appear to be “muted and Deco-inspired: rose quartz, amethyst, topaz, olive, whiskey and raisin,” according to designer Michael Berman.

Two exceptions to the muted colors are acid yellow and Pantone’s color of the year, Radiant Orchid


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Going Green In Your New Construction? First Step Should Be Protecting Existing Trees

Well, it finally happened.  My neighbor has sold his home on a beautiful, tree-lined, deep lot in north Pinecrest.  It is not quite an acre, but I am guessing a huge home will be going up on the site.  I hope I am wrong and that our soon-to-be-new-neighbor will appreciate all of the wildlife their back yard is home to and remodel instead of tear down and build the maximum allowed home.  Over the years that we have lived in our house, we have enjoyed seeing fox and watching  large predatory birds nest and raise their young in our neighbor’s yard.

We are lucky to live in the Village of Pinecrest, which like many cities in Miami-Dade County, has landscaping regulations that include tree preservation, but I have witnessed lushly grown lots be completely bulldozed to accommodate  homes that cover the majority of the lot.  Once built, small oaks and palm trees are planted in the front and back yards with shrubs planted around the sides.

The house below is a great example of how existing trees can be incorporated into new construction.  The house on this lot was torn down but many of the trees were kept.  They provide shade and character for the house as well as a canopy to shade the street.

New Construction With Trees

New Construction With Trees


FPL’s A/C Duct System Assessment Can Save You Money

In December, we had FPL come out and conduct a duct test on our air conditioning system.  We found out that our air conditioning was extremely inefficient and that we had some major duct leaks.  We had our a/c replaced and our FPL bill went from over $300 per month to just under $200.  We figure the savings on our electric bill will pay for the a/c in about a year and a half.  We just had our duct work replaced and the house is so much cooler.  I have a feeling our bill is going to be even lower in the next couple of months.

Riviera Drive Gets A Facelift

I drive Riviera every day on my way to and from work and love all of the renovations that have been going on on that street between Hardee and U.S.1.  Whether on a waterfront lot, like the house below, or a dry lot, over 6 homes have recently had major remodeling done.

I love the new look!

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Village of Pinecrest Passes Resolution To Protect Matheson Hammock

Matheson Hammock Marina

At a special Village council meeting this evening, a resolution was passed stating opposition to the proposed boat storage facility at Matheson Hammock Park. Council members felt that the county’s Parks Department did not provide the public and surrounding municipalities with opportunity to provide input to their Request For Proposals for dry boat storage at the park.

Although the developer said that opposition was premature since impact studies had not been conducted, it was specifically because of the lack of information available about the impacts of the proposed structure, which is completely out of scale for the park in its sheer size (500 feet long and 50 feet high!), that the Village passed the resolution. 

Matheson Hammock Park is a park used by many residents and visitors in Miami-Dade county and the addition of any structures should proceed slowly and with public input.  It is, after all, supported by our tax dollars and admission fees.

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Stop Unwanted Junk Mail, Sales Calls, E-mails

I just received an e-mail from a client who closed on their new home in December and now find themselves flooded with unwanted junk mail.  One of the small negatives of purchasing property is that the tax roll information is picked up by just about anyone selling everything! 

Luckily the Federal Trade Commission can help you end all that unsolicited mail and annoying calls either on-line or by calling a number.


3 Quick Fixes To Add Curb Appeal

An article in today’s Miami Herald discusses the importance of first impressions when you are selling your home.

According to the article, you have 8 seconds to make a first impression, whether good or bad. Three quick and relatively inexpensive fixes for the front of your house include:

1. Mulch existing landscaping
2. Put colorful potted plants on front porch
3. Place attractive porch furniture on the porch


The Importance of Inspections

An inspection buyers had done on a house the other day reminded me of how important inspections are, no matter how great the house looks.  Many homes that have been updated have improvements and upgrades done by licensed roofers, plumbers, electricians, etc.  Permits have been pulled, work has been inspected and the permits have been closed.  However, there are also many properties that have had work done by handymen, miscellaneous relatives, or Tim Allenesque do-it-yourselfers.  It is in the latter instance where a home inspection really pays off.  As a buyer, you want to make sure you are paying for real upgrades and improvements, not what in Spanish we call “pura pinta”, which basically translates into just the paint.  If your are a buyer, ALWAYS, get an inspection.  As a homeowner, make sure you have the work done properly.  What turns out cheap today, may come back to bite you when you decide to sell.




Custom Make Your Own Shower Curtain

Check out for custom making your own shower curtain with summer photos.  Great idea for college students.