Category Archives: Uncategorized

Garage Organization Ideas Under $50

“It’s amazing how much ‘Stuff’ we collect over time.  Are you taking advantage of all the space available in your garage?”

Denise Buck & Ed Johnson – DC Metro Realty Team


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Budget Decorator: 15 Shortcuts to Holiday Style

“You don’t have to go ‘All Out’ in order to make your home look festive.  Just some simple touches can do the trick.”
Denise Buck & Ed Johnson – DC Metro Realty Team
With Christmas around the corner, I’ve been on the lookout for inspired projects that will create a festive vibe with very little effort. The ideas gathered here (including a simpler way to adorn your home’s exterior and a semihomemade gingerbread house) all use holiday staples and materials readily found around the house, so you can whip up decorations that are as budget friendly as they are simple. You can have just as much fun decking your halls this way as by going a more traditional route — but with less stress and with more money left when you are done.

Here are 15 quick, creative and crafty projects and ideas that you can pull off in no time flat.

By Laura Gaskill, originally published on HOUZZ

A Punch List for Party Decorating

“It’s always nice to add a few extra touches to your home, before the quests arrive.  Make them feel like it’s a special event…because it is!”
Denise Buck & Ed Johnson – DC Metro Realty Team
When planning a party at home, decorating can easily slide down the to-do list as more essential tasks (like menu planning, shopping and cleaning) take priority. But isn’t much of the fun of a party the feeling that things are a bit fancier than the everyday? A few well-placed, non-holiday-specific decorations can dress up parties from now through the New Year. Hit these seven decorating hot spots, and you’ll know your home is party ready.
By Laura Gaskill, originally published on HOUZZ

The Quick and Easy Way to Clean a Microwave

“It’s always a chore to clean the inside of a Microwave, if you haven’t taken some preventive measures.  Good ideas on removing stubborn messes.”
Denise Buck & Ed Johnson – DC Metro Realty Team
Whether popping popcorn, reheating pizza slices, softening butter or melting chocolate, your microwave does heavy-duty work day in and day out. And that also means heavy-duty grime and food odors. Over time, all that exploded food mess can make your microwave less efficient. The good news is that we have a fast and easy way to get your microwave back to just-out-of-the-box clean, or almost there.

Healthy Home: 8 Ways to Add a Standing Desk

“We’ve all heard that sitting all day is not good for us, but how do you add a standing desk at home?  Here are some interesting ideas….”
Denise Buck & Ed Johnson – DC Metro Realty Team
By Becky Harris, originally published on HOUZZ
Studies showing that sedentary lifestyles are killing us have launched a thousand headlines. By now you’ve probably heard the catchphrase that “sitting is the new smoking,” in terms of danger to our health. The notion has even invaded pop culture. On sitcoms, the forceful corporate female character has swapped her power suit’s shoulder pads for a treadmill desk.

Switching things up from sitting to standing keeps the blood flowing and, according to studies, can help prevent illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Here’s how to incorporate some standing room in your office space at home.

Bring a Beach Vacation into your Home

“Are you missing the beach, now that you just got back?  Not able to get to the beach as often as you’d like?  Here are some ideas to bring that ‘Beach Feeling’ into your home.”
Denise Buck & Ed Johnson – DC Metro Realty Team
The days are already getting shorter. Do you know where your beach vacation went? Whether your shore time is already over or it’s just not going to happen this year, missing it in the summer can be a bummer. A little beach house flair for your home may help ease the longing, if only a little. I hope you can adapt one or more of these ideas to make summer around your house feel more like vacation.
Originally published on HOUZZm by Becky Harris

Kitchen Designs that Work for Everyone

“Well designed and good looking Kitchens are one of the most important things that buyers are always looking for.  Knowing what will work for ‘everyone’ when designing your new Kitchen can help you when you eventually sell it in the future.”

Denise Buck & Ed Johnson – DC Metro Realty Team

Call it what you will—accessible design, aging in place, design for all—creating a kitchen that works for all ages and abilities is a good idea that adds value to your home. Kitchen designers say requests for kitchen improvements that aid independent living are increasing as the remodeling market bounces back. “You may not think you need it now, but if you’re already remodeling, do it now while you have the money,” says Paula Kennedy, a certified kitchen planner from Seattle. Here are some tips from Kennedy and other pros.


Start with storage that’s within easy reach. “The  sweet spot for everything is between 15 and 48 inches,” says Kennedy. Add slide-out units and turntables to lower cabinets and glass doors to upper cabinets so you can see what’s inside. Open shelving and easy-glide drawers are other good choices and D-shaped pulls are easier to handle than knobs.


Work spaces

Counters of different heights work for adults chopping veggies as well as for children baking cookies and cooks who prefer sitting while prepping. Consider an island with different levels—one at the typical 36 inches and another at 30. A built-in desk can double as a work surface.


Sinks and faucets

Hands-free faucets are becoming more popular and lever-style handles are easier to nudge than knobs. Add a pull-out spray for cleaning the sink and filling large cooking pots. And a shallow sink of 6 inches or so won’t swallow your dirty dishes.


Lights and outlets

For task lighting, strips of LED lights are easier on the eyes than a series of spot lights, says Kennedy. Make sure all work areas are well-lit and replace lightbulbs in hard-to-reach fixtures with long-lasting LEDs. Rocker light switches are a cinch to flip. Raise outlets off the floor from 12 inches to 18 and lower light switches from 48 inches to 42. Adding extra outlets under the edge of the counter eliminates reaching over it.



As with any kitchen remodel, make sure you have ample floor space. A work aisle should be at least 42 inches wide for one cook and 48 inches for more than one. Select a non-skid floor that’s easy to clean. Choose a floor color that contrasts with your cabinets so the edge is easier to see.



Normal doorways are 32 inches wide but opt for at least 36 inches, which will accommodate a stroller, a wheelchair, and your new refrigerator. Threshold-free doorways won’t trip you up and lever handles are easier to swing open.


Plenty of today’s appliances have bright digital displays, making it easier to see time and temperature. Also consider these features:
Refrigerator. There’s no perfect configuration. Side-by-sides put most food at eye level and have a more shallow door swing. The freezer drawer of a French-door model may be too heavy for some people to open. Look for continuous door handles.
Dishwasher. Raising a dishwasher can make it easier to load but that’s an impractical solution for most kitchens because it disrupts the line of the countertop. Dishwasher drawers are another option.

Microwave. Instead of an out-of-reach, over-the-range microwave, opt for a countertop model or one built into a lower cabinet.
Ranges, cooktops, and wall ovens. Induction cooktops and ranges stay cool to the touch. No matter what type you have, make sure the controls are on the front to avoid reaching over hot pots and burners. Some of the latest wall ovens are being designed with doors that swing to the side instead of down, making it easier to take things in and out.

Cookware and utensils

Hand strength can be an issue for both young and old. Oxo Good Grips has built a reputation on its easy-to-manipulate kitchen gadgets and there are plenty of other ergonomic tools on the market. Invest in an electric can opener and lightweight cookware with two handles instead of one. In a pinch, an adjustable wrench can be used to open stubborn jars and pop champagne corks.

Other ways to update

For more ideas and to find help from a pro, check the websites of the National Association of Home Builders, the National Kitchen & Bath Association and the National Aging in Place Council.

–Mary H.J. Farrell (@mhjfarrell on Twitter)

Kitchen Remodeling Guide

Find everything you need to know about remodeling your kitchen including the best appliances and materials from Consumer Reports tests in the Kitchen Remodeling Guide.

Published on Yahoo! Homes

How Do You Clean a Glass Shower Door?

“Ever wondered what was the best way to clean and maintain a glass shower door?  Well, here are several tips and ideas that might make your job easier.”

Denise Buck & Ed Johnson – DC Metro Realty Team

Most people loathe household chores. But is any cleaning task more difficult to stick to than squeegeeing shower walls and doors after use? The squeegee rule, a seemingly reasonable request to reduce hard-water stains, mineral buildup and mildew, is great unless you’re short on time, patience, energy or all of the above.

In fact, for the squeegee-averse, opting to use the guest bathroom and its shower with a curtain instead of a glass door is a timesaving trick that is not uncommon. My friends recently admitted that they shower in their guest bathroom so they don’t have to clean their newly remodeled, all-glass master bath shower. There’s got to be a better way. And I think there is.