Consumer Real Estate News

    • Foods That Can Help You to a Better Night's Sleep

      2 February 2023

      Whether from work worries, other stressors or just a too-busy to-do list, everyone has trouble sleeping from time to time. But nutritionists tell us that making the right food choices can help us get a better night’s snooze. Try upping your intake of these common vittles and see if your sleep quality improves.

      • Bananas - Besides its big helping of potassium, the humble banana offers a good amount of vitamin B6. Eating one before bedtime can boost brain-calming levels of serotonin.
      • Salmon - The vitamin D and omega-3s found in salmon is another way to increase the production of soothing serotonin. It’s best eaten no more than twice a week, however, because of concerns about the mercury it may contain.
      • Almonds and Brazil Nuts - Both are packed with magnesium, which can enhance levels of sleep-regulating melatonin. A study reported by the National Library of Medicine reported a 10% drop in the number of students reporting insomnia after eating 10 almonds a day for 14 days.  
      • Crab - Low dietary intake of the mineral selenium has been linked with difficulty nodding off. Eating more crab meat is one way of getting your selenium fix, plus crucial sleep nutrients like calcium and vitamin B6.
      • Soy Foods - Greater intake of isoflavones, found in soy products such as tofu, are linked with higher chances of getting optimal sleep. Just one daily portion of soy, which could be tofu, a glass of soy milk or a serving of edamame, made it more likely people got enough snooze time.
      • Butter Beans - Also known as lima beans, and delicious in soups or salads, these humble beans contain phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin B6, making them a powerhouse when it comes to inducing better sleep.
      • Cottage Cheese - Cottage cheese on crackers or crispbread is an ideal bedtime snack, providing a balance of tryptophan for initiating serotonin and melatonin formation and carbohydrate, needed to transport this amino acid into the brain.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • The Ultimate Kitchen Design Guide

      2 February 2023

      Even if you're working closely with an interior designer or a kitchen design firm, understanding what goes into a kitchen design is an integral part of the process. Before working with a design professional, it’s helpful for you to understand the different components that go into the planning stages of designing a kitchen to ensure the process is as seamless as possible. If you have a kitchen redesign planned soon, read on to learn more about everything that goes into a kitchen design project.

      Make a List of What You Want
      Assess your current kitchen, and make a list of all the missing features and functions. For example, if you entertain often, perhaps you need an additional prep sink or a second dishwasher. Or, if you love getting the newest kitchen appliance, you may need extra storage to conceal these larger appliances. If you have a busy household, maybe you need warming drawers built-in to the cabinetry to keep everyone’s meals warm. Or, if your family tends to gather around the island, perhaps you need more creative seating options. Whatever you feel like your kitchen is missing, write it down. It’s easier to scale back than add to your list once the design process begins.

      Set the Budget
      No matter how high-end your kitchen is, every project has a budget. This will make the project easier to design and implement, giving your designer better insight into selecting materials. Plumbing, electric, appliances, materials and labor all go into the kitchen design budget. To cover any unexpected costs, it’s wise to build in an extra 10-20% into your overall budget.

      Visualize the Layout
      While your design professional will create the layout for you, it’s your job to thoroughly think through how you use your kitchen. For example, if you and your partner like to cook together, you’ll need ample space for two cooks. If you have younger children who like to be in the kitchen with you, you’ll require plenty of room to move around. The working triangle is a long-standing guide to laying out the kitchen. This means the sink, refrigerator and oven range are in a triangular shape and help create a more seamless cooking experience. 

      Factor in Lighting
      Don’t let lighting become an afterthought. As you plan the layout and cabinetry design, consider where you want light sources. For example, you’ll likely want recessed lighting in the ceiling in addition to pendants over the island. You may also want to include sconces and picture lights into your design to add a visual element.

      Think Through the Creative
      Gathering as many inspirational photos as possible is the best first step to take so you can start to shape your kitchen’s design vision. Whether you prefer white, colored or natural wood cabinetry, selecting the cabinet color is the best place to begin to determine your kitchen's design aesthetic. The cabinet color will help guide your decisions on the wall color, flooring, the countertop material and shade, the backsplash material, the hardware finish and the lighting options. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Your Ultimate Guide to Tea

      2 February 2023

      Want to swap your morning coffee for something new? Look no further! Tea is a wonderful alternative to coffee. This warm beverage is packed with nutrients and health benefits. Check out this guide to learn about each variety and what it has to offer. 

      White Tea
      White tea is the least processed of all the tea varieties. It is harvested before the leaves fully open giving it a sweeter, more delicate flavor. White tea has a lower caffeine content than both green and balck tea. This antioxidant rich beverage offers a refreshing fruity flavor that can easily be enjoyed at any time of the day. 

      Herbal Tea
      Herbal tea, unlike its counterparts, incorporates herbs, spices and other plants. This tea variety is uncaffeinated and offers many health-benefits based on the type. 

      • Chamomile tea offers a mellow, honey-sweet flavor. It is said to reduce stress and improve sleep quality. It also helps to reduce menstrual pains and aid with muscle spasms. 
      • Rooibos tea is smoky, sweet and nutty in flavor. It helps to improve blood pressure and circulation while also monitoring good and bad cholesterol levels. 
      • Peppermint tea is perfect for soothing an upset stomach. It also helps in improving constipation, motion sickness and irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Peppermint tea can also help reduce headaches. 
      • Ginger tea is fantastic for fighting morning sickness and indigestion. This spicy beverage can also aid in relieving joint pain. 
      • Hibiscus tea offers a sweet, fruity flavor. It helps decrease blood pressure and improve liver health. 
      Green Tea 
      Green tea is made by steaming and pan-frying tea leaves then drying them. Green tea offers a unique grass-like, earthy flavor. This variety has more caffeine than white tea, but less caffeine than black tea. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to help reduce inflammation.

      Black Tea 
      Black tea is the most consumed of all the varieties. Along with its high caffeine content and strong, earthy flavor, black tea offers a variety of health benefits. Its high antioxidant content has been shown to reduce risk of disease. Black tea has also been shown to reduce inflammation and support healthy immune function.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Elements of a Luxury Primary Bedroom

      1 February 2023

      Your bedroom should be a place of refuge and relaxation. It should be a space void of clutter, and just because it’s not a high-traffic space, doesn’t mean it should be an afterthought. A luxuriously restful bedroom can help you recharge and start your day successfully. Read on for inspiration on the elements every luxury primary bedroom needs to create the relaxing oasis you deserve.

      Choose One Focal Point
      Whether it’s a glamorous four-poster bed, a pair of plush velvet armchairs or a stunning shagreen dresser, choose one piece as your focal point and have the rest of your furniture complement this one piece. This approach will reduce visual clutter and create an understated, serene vibe.

      Softness Underfoot
      If your home primarily consists of hardwood and tile flooring, low pile, wall-to-wall carpeting in the bedroom will feel like the ultimate luxury. However, if you prefer to not cover the wood floors, a wool rug underfoot will create a similar feeling. Size up on the rug, so you can ensure that the softness extends beyond the bed.

      Invest in Art
      Going to sleep and waking up surrounded by your favorite art pieces will positively impact the way you end and begin your day. So, instead of saving your best works of art for the high-traffic areas, allow these types of pieces into your bedroom so you can personally enjoy them.

      Hang a Statement Light Fixture
      Instead of relying solely on recessed lighting and table lamps, install a hanging statement light fixture for elements of romance and glamor. Bedside sconces and art lights also add additional lighting layers that contribute to a bedroom’s overall coziness.

      Keep the Surfaces Clear
      Nightstands can quickly become catchalls for your odds and ends. Make it a point for your nightstand to be a sacred space. Keep the surface as clear as possible, with a water carafe, small clock and a tray for your book or tablet. Keeping a clear nightstand will create a vibe of luxe simplicity and make your room feel lighter.

      The same goes for the dressers. Keeping this space minimal, including only a tray with your necessities, a picture frame or two and a small lamp, results in restrained elegance.

      Incorporate Greenery
      Fresh greenery or a weekly bouquet of fresh flowers adds freshness and depth to any room. Greenery is often the finishing touch that a space needs, and it will make an average bedroom feel more luxe. As a bonus, it will help purify the air, which is advantageous for sleeping.

      Choose Overfilled Pillows
      Overly plush pillows will elevate your bed from a basic bed to a cloudlike destination. Overfilled, plush pillows will make you feel like you’re sinking into a bed in a five-star resort and provide the ultimate in relaxation.

      Design a Custom Closet
      A custom closet allows you to maximize your space and organization and makes getting dressed feel like a luxury. Whether the closet is a full-sized room or a walk-in closet, you’ll find that getting dressed becomes an experience in itself.

      Designing a bedroom and keeping luxury top-of-mind will result in restful sleep and an overall sense of well-being. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Kitchen Counter Stool Guide

      1 February 2023

      Your kitchen counter stools can be the finishing touch for your kitchen that pulls the whole design together. Whether they are upholstered, leather or rattan, every counter stool style lends a different look and feel. One of the most essential elements of selecting a kitchen counter stool is ensuring correct measurements. Read on to learn more about measuring kitchen counter stools and how to choose the best set for your kitchen.

      Select the Seat Height
      The first step is selecting the right height for your kitchen island. You should allow nine to 13 inches between the seat and the counter to sit on the seat comfortably. As you search for kitchen counter stools, you may wonder about the difference between counter stools and bar stools. Counter stools are shorter than bar stools, as counter stools fit under a kitchen counter and bar stools are meant to fit under a bar. Counter stool seats range from 24 to 29 inches high, whereas a bar stool seat measures 29 to 32 inches high.

      Assess the Function
      Before looking for stools, think about how you will use the seats. For example, a backless or swivel stool offers more flexibility. In contrast, a stool with arms and an upholstered body in performance fabric upholstered provides more comfort and safety for younger children. If your kitchen stools are used primarily for eating, a low-maintenance surface, such as metal, wood or leather, may be your best choice, as they can easily be wiped down.

      Select the Style
      Selecting the style is the fun part of choosing a kitchen counter stool. While choosing a stool that complements your kitchen design style is always safe, selecting a stool in a contrasting design style brings additional visual interest. For example, if your kitchen has a lot of wood, bringing in a metal or leather stool can help balance the room. A chair with texture, such as a rattan frame, a leather-backed stool or a carved wood frame, also brings dimension to any kitchen. 

      Alternatively, you may not want your stools to make a statement, and you may prefer more discreet seating. Backless stools that can easily tuck under your counter may be the best selection for you. A backless stool option is also a smart choice if the seating area is in a high-traffic area. 

      If you like to entertain and your guests tend to gather in the kitchen, swivel stools let you rotate around to engage in different conversations easily. If comfort is your primary goal for your kitchen counter stools, an upholstered body with arms will allow you to sink back and comfortably enjoy your meal, coffee or conversation. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.