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8 Great Tips to Get Your Home Winter-Ready

 

 

 

 

 

Mow your leaves!

When leaves decompose, they feed your lawn invaluable nutrients for winter. Not only does mulching your leaves with a mower nourish your lawn, you won’t have to do all that raking! The key is to cut the leaves into dime-sized pieces when they’re dry, so they readily break down into your grass.

Use your mower without a bag, or get a mulching blade, which runs around $20. Rick Wroblewski, owner of iMow, says this blade “creates lift under the mower and cuts the leaves multiple times before they’re discharged.” He recommends one to save time plus get best results. Watch Mow, Don’t Rake, Those Leaves!

Prep your mower

As your mower sits all winter, remaining fuel in its engine decomposes and “varnishes” the carburetor, causing trouble in the spring. Rick says the simplest way to winterize your mower is to add fuel stabilizer. Then run the engine for a few minutes to make sure it circulates through the gas tank and carburetor. “If you don’t at least do that, your mower won’t start in the spring. Gas has a very short shelf life, especially gas with ethanol, which ruins rubber gaskets and such.”

DON’T prune

It’s tempting to get out the pruning shears after the leaves fall, when you see the underlying structure of your trees and shrubs. But horticulturalists say wait until late winter, just before spring growth begins.

It’s best to get advice specific to your plants and Utah. You can consult a horticulturalist or master gardener at local nurseries. One exception: Hire someone to remove deadfall or trim limbs close to your home or power lines that cause trouble in a winter storm.

Prevent water damage!

If your home had lots of icicles last winter or ice dams—which can cause meltwater to back up into your house—an energy auditor or weatherization contractor can fix air leaks and inadequate insulation that cause these issues. You may be eligible for an energy tax credit or rebate for this.

Also, make sure your gutters are clean and in good condition, and add extensions to downspouts so water runs at least 3 – 4 feet away from the foundation. You can get these for under $10, e.g., this one at Home Depot.

Caulk windows & doors

If gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. (Check the joints in window and door frames, too.) Silicone caulk is best for exterior use, because it’s impervious to the elements and won’t shrink.

Tune your HVAC system

A technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to make sure it’s clean and working well so it’s getting manufacturer-rated efficiency. The inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage.

Reverse ceiling fans 

If your ceiling fans have a reverse switch, use them year-round! Reverse the blade direction when you turn on your heat. Since hot air rises, the fan will push heated air down into the room. This can save you money in heating bills, especially great if you have high ceilings!

Drain faucets & sprinklers

Disconnect all garden hoses from their faucets. If you don’t have frost-proof faucets (if your home is older than 15 years, you probably don’t), turn off the valve inside your home, then open the faucets to drain them. We recommend getting professional help to winterize your sprinklers. It will probably cost you $50-150 but will prevent bursting pipes and big headaches come spring.

 

The Executive Chef at Pallet Shares the Perfect Fall Recipe!

For Buzz Willey, the story is classic: he grew up with the warm, embracing aroma of his Italian grandmother’s kitchen and nurtured a lifelong passion for cuisine, which led to culinary school and culminated in opening a restaurant. Now, 8 years later, Buzz’s restaurant Pallet is an award-winning hotspot in a city where the culinary scene is booming. He says, “It’s amazing to be part of it, a city that’s growing and so many great chefs coming up.” He says that in the restaurant business, a cook will stay with you a few years, learn, and move on. “It’s a lot of fun watching them grow and seeing what they do.”

In a fast-growing restaurant scene, how does Buzz create a menu that stands out? As you would expect, it’s based on classic principles: use the freshest, brightest ingredients for the best flavors, and make what you love. In Utah, because there are four seasons, Buzz says always using ingredients that are in season means the menu is always changing, and finding new and better ways to make your favorites means they’re never boring. Buzz says it’s a team effort, where all the chefs consider what’s in season and environmentally sustainable. He says, “Then I ask them, what did you grow up eating? What are you comfortable cooking? And we’ll go from there.”

The menu at Pallet changes 4 to 8 times a year. The flexibility lets them make changes depending on seasonal availability—and lets the culinary team stay creative. “We change it when we want a change. We’re not stuck cooking the same things.”

For home cooks, Buzz says, “Cook what you like and want to eat. You’ll get better at what you’re doing, keep trying—and taste it while you’re cooking—you’ll improve on the things you cook.” He says to use seasonal foods, which will force you into trying new things.

“I’m a giant fan of the farmers’ market, and they’re all over Salt Lake and Park City,” says Buzz. He also likes the Tagge’s farmers’ carts and Asian and Hispanic markets. His tip for shopping at the farmers’ markets? Don’t limit your shopping to produce. Look at fresh meat, cheese, eggs, and honey. He mentions Morgan Valley Lamb, Frog Bench, Top Crops, Drake, Clifford, and Bread Riot (“go early, before 9:30”), but recommends you “explore the whole market!”

And now, what you’ve been waiting for, Chef Buzz’s fall recipe that reminds him so much of his grandma and the warmth of her kitchen: “It’s really fun to let something go for 4 hours—the aroma fills up your house”:

Braised Lamb Shank
1 ea large onion
3 ea carrots
10 ea garlic cloves
4 ea celery
1 c dried tart cherries
4 ea sprigs rosemary
4 ea sprigs thyme
2 qts veal stock/beef broth
1 c red wine
¼ c balsamic vinegar
8-10 lamb shanks
TT salt
TT black pepper

Method:
Preheat your oven to 275°F, peel and rough chop the first 4 ingredients and set aside. Season the lamb shanks using just the salt and pepper, applying a healthy amount of each. Heat up a large rondo or large skillet, add oil and sear the shanks thoroughly and place in a deep pan. Deglaze the rondo or skillet using the veal stock, red wine, and balsamic vinegar. Once the liquid has come to boil, pour it over the lamb shanks (should almost cover the shanks), and add all the other ingredients. Cover the pan with parchment paper and tin foil and place in the oven for 4 hours.
Pumpkin Puree
2 c dice pumpkin
½ onion julienne
6 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1½ c cream

Method:
In a large sauce pot, sweat the pumpkin, onion, and garlic cloves. Add the butter and sherry without browning the vegetables and add cream to cover the mixture. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until veggies are soft, blend thoroughly in Vitamix or similar.

Holladay Mid Century Modern Living Home for Sale

Holladay Mid Century Modern Living Home for Sale

Presented By:

Tara Paras

Paras Real Estate
801-560-0176

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$ Click for current price
6 BEDROOMS |

This Single-Family Home is located at 1987 E Gunderson Ln, Holladay, UT is currently for sale and has been listed on Trulia for less than 1 day. This property is listed for $800,000. 1987 E Gunderson Ln6 beds, 4 baths and approximately 4,000 square feet. The price per square foot is $200. The property has a lot size of 9583 sqft sqft and was built in 1966. 1987 E Gunderson Ln is in Holladay, UT.

 

December decor

Whether you like high shine or an antique finish, brass warms up a cool room in an instant. Don’t be afraid to mix metals in your décor. You’ll love the balance it brings to aspace, even 

in small accent pieces.

These brass side tables are not only adorable but double as stools for big gatherings. This is one of our favorites. The table top is the perfect size for a seat, and it’s light enough to move around.

Try a trendy color
Navy blue is a hot hue! Imagine a velvet couch and woolly blanket on cold nights. Or a navy accent wall (complemented with brass fixtures!). Navy is easy to add to décor, because it’s classic and versatile. A deep blue lampshade is perfect for dark nights and would be a fun DIY project. Blue may be a cool color, but it’ll warm your soul!

Give yourself a hygge!

Hygge is Danish for cozy comfort, and if you haven’t begun already, December is definitely the time to start. Grab fuzzy socks, soft blankets, and hot soup. Try hygge at home!

Light pumpkin, pine, or apple scented candles: what’s more cozy than a hot flame and the smell of winter goodies? Opt for soy vs. paraffin, which is harmful to your lungs and the environment. (FYI, the scent of pumpkin is an aphrodisiac!)

Glogg! Put a pot of red wine on the stove, and add orange peels, raisins, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, and ginger. Your fragrant drink will warm you up on a wintry day, and will make the whole house smell glorious.

Grateful for our client Frederick “Paco” Salazar!

Frederick "Paco" Salazar
Frederick “Paco” Salazar

In November, we launched Paras News, with a spotlight on veterans. This week we want to give thanks to our client Paco Salazar for letting usfeature him and tell his story of courage, accomplishment, and humility.

Seawolves – HA (L)

Paco was a combat Vietnam vet, a helicopter door gunner in the squadron who became the HA(L)-3 Seawolves. In 1968, Paco was wounded when his chopper went down. He and others injured in the crash were presented with the Purple Heart, whose recipients include JFK, John McCain, and John Kerry, among many others in combat. But Paco humbly declined the distinguished award, saying the KIA (or Killed In Action) were “the guys who deserve the Purple Heart.”

Back in the States, Paco went to college on the GI Bill and got his master’s degree in social work. He became the principal at an alternative high school in the Granite District and eventually a college dean at Salt Lake Community College, where he stayed 25 years. Now retired, Paco spends his time uncovering antique treasures as a “picker” and as best buddy to his 7-year-old grandson.

Home Design Trends to Watch this Year

We frequently get questions from clients who are taking on decorating and remodeling projects and want to ensure their dollars are invested wisely.
Which looks will last for years to come, and which ones will feel dated quickly? What colors and styles are most popular among buyers in our area? How can I add the most value to my home?

So we’ve rounded up some of the hottest trends in home design to help guide you through the process. Whether you’ve planned a simple refresh or a full-scale renovation, making smart and informed design choices will help you maximize your return on investment … and minimize the chance of “remodeler’s remorse” down the road.

WHAT’S HOT NOW

While 2017 was all about millennial pink, brass fixtures and bright white kitchens, this year we expect to see a move toward warmer, cozier elements throughout the home.

1. Warm Colors
A cool color scheme has dominated home design in recent years, but this year warm neutrals like brown and tan are back, along with rich jewel tones. While the pastel craze of last year is still hanging on, expect to see alternative color palettes featuring deep, saturated shades of red, yellow, green and navy. Grey will remain popular, but in warmer tones, often referred to as “greige.”

 2. Cozy Elements
Along with warmer colors, we can expect to see a shift from stark, modern design to cozier looks. Velvet upholstery, woven textures and natural elements, like wood and stone, will heat things up this year.

3. Mixed Metals
It used to be considered gauche to mix finishes, however the look of mixed metals will be very big in 2018. Brass will continue to trend, along with matte black and classics like polished chrome and brushed nickel.

4. Bold Patterns
Expect to see a lot of bright, bold patterns in the form of geometric shapes and graphic floral prints. These will be featured on everything from furniture to throw pillows to tile.

5. Natural Elements
Look for the use of natural elements throughout the home, including wood, stone, plants, flowers and grass. Botanical patterns will also be seen in prints, wallpaper and upholstery. Concrete accents will complement these additions in an effort to bring the essence of the outdoors inside the home.

6. Feature Walls
Also called an accent wall, a feature wall is one that exhibits a different color or design than the other walls in the room. Expect to see an increased use of feature walls showcasing rich paint colors, bold patterned wallpaper, and textures brought in through millwork and shiplap.

7. Statement Lighting
Lighting will take center stage with distinctive fixtures, including local artisan and vintage pendants and chandeliers. And smart lighting technology will enable homeowners to customize their lighting experience based on time of day, activity and mood.

8. Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors will continue to dominate the market. The trend is toward either very dark stains paired with light-colored walls or light stains with darker walls. Greyish tones will remain popular, as will matte finishes, which are easier to maintain than high gloss. Expect to see frequent use of wider and longer wood planks, as well as distressed and wire-brushed finishes, which add texture and dimension.

9. Smart Homes
Everything is getting “smarter” in homes, from locks and lights to thermostats and appliances. And with devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, you can control many of these with voice activation from a central hub. We will see continued integration of and advancements in smart-home technology in 2018.

KITCHEN TRENDS

While white kitchens will remain popular in 2018, expect to see more color this year in everything from cabinets to tile to appliances.

1. Two-toned Cabinets
Two-toned cabinets are quickly overtaking the white-on-white look that has dominated kitchen design for the past few years. While white remains a classic, grey and bleached-wood cabinet variations are surging in popularity, along with darker neutrals like navy and green.

2. Quartz Countertops
Granite reigned as the top countertop choice for many years, but quartz is now king. It’s highly durable, low-maintenance and comes in a wide variety of styles and colors. It’s also heat resistant, scratch resistant and non-porous (unlike granite and marble) so it doesn’t need to be sealed.
3. Bold Backsplashes
After years of dominating backsplash design, the white subway tile is officially on its way out. Expect to see it replaced with more elaborate shapes, patterns, colors and textures. Tile that mimics the appearance of wood, concrete and wallpaper is also gaining in popularity.

4. Statement Sinks
While stainless steel and white porcelain are always safe bets, the trend is moving toward sinks that make more of a statement. Look for unexpected pops of color and materials like natural stone and copper. Touch-free faucets are expected to gain favor with homeowners this year, too.

5. Brass is (Still) Back
Brass fixtures came back in a big way over the past couple of years and will continue to be a popular choice in 2018 along with matte black, black nickel, polished chrome and brushed nickel. Missing from the list? Rose gold, which is decidedly “out” this year.

6. Multi-purpose Islands
Kitchen islands have evolved from simple prep-stations into the “workhorse” of the kitchen. Many feature sinks, built-in appliances and under-counter storage while also serving as a casual dining area. They have become the focal point of the kitchen, and we expect to see more of them in 2018 and beyond.

7. Black Stainless Steel
Black stainless steel is the hot new finish option for appliances, and it’s hitting the market in a big way. It offers a cutting-edge look and is easier to keep clean than traditional stainless steel. However, it’s harder to match finishes amongst different brands, so it’s probably only feasible as part of a complete appliance package.
8. Appliance Garages
Appliance garages are counter-level compartments designed to house small appliances like blenders, toasters and stand mixers. They make it convenient to have these items readily accessible, without the look of a cluttered counter.

BATH TRENDS

Expect to see many of the same kitchen design preferences carry over into bathrooms this year, including two-tone cabinets, quartz countertops and brass fixtures.

1. Neutral Tones
Neutral shades will continue to dominate in the master bathroom as homeowners seek a soothing and relaxing retreat atmosphere. But expect to see more options than just white. Shades of brown, grey, blue, green and tan will help to warm things up.

2. Natural Elements
Natural materials are particularly hot right now in bathroom design. This includes the use of wood and stone on walls, cabinets, counters and backsplashes, as well as the incorporation of botanical design elements.

3. Large Tiles
We expect to see a lot more large and slab-sized tiles in bathrooms, which have less grout so they are easier to clean and maintain. Wood-look porcelain tiles are also a favorite in wet areas, as they offer the warmth and rustic appeal of wood with the durability of tile.

4. Stone Sinks
Sinks will continue to be an area where homeowners like to exhibit creativity, and hand-carved stone sinks are especially fashionable right now. These may be more suited to powder rooms, where functionality isn’t as crucial.

5. Freestanding Tubs
There’s been a tub resurgence in bathroom design after years of preference for stand-alone showers. Modern tastes are gravitating toward freestanding tubs that serve as a showpiece for the bathroom.

6. Smart Features
Smart technology has entered the bathroom with the addition of features like wireless shower speakers and high-tech toilets, as well as digital shower controls that automatically adjust to your preferences in temperature and spray intensity.

OUR ADVICE

Style trends come and go, so don’t invest in the latest look unless you love it. That said, highly-personalized or outdated style choices can limit the appeal of your property for resale.

For major renovation projects, it’s always a good idea to stick to neutral colors and classic styles. It will give your remodel longevity and appeal to the greatest number of buyers when it comes time to sell. It will also give you flexibility to update your look in a few years without a total overhaul. Use non-permanent fixtures – like paint, furniture and accent pieces – to personalize the space and incorporate trendier choices.

If you’d like advice on a specific remodelling or design project, give us a call! We’re happy to offer our insights and suggestions on how to maximize your return on investment and recommend local shops and service providers who may be able to assist you.

 

Sources:

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