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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Well, time has somehow slipped by a little faster than usual here in the Northwest.  Since the last post (can it really have been so long ago?!), much has changed.  Most notably, the market has done an about face and it is really keeping us on our toes.  Low inventory, few days on market, multiple offers, and higher than list price are creeping back in to play.  There are still wonderful homes and fantastic deals if you are patient and have some money to put down on your home.

Another big change for us at Team Green PDX is the welcome addition of J'mir - our wonderful new buyer's agent.  J'mir is a wonderful asset and has oodles of experience within the new construction world.  Pop by the model home at The Reserve at Cooper Mountain to say hi or to take a peak at the views!

Mt Hood as seen from The Reserve

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Time in the City

There is really no great excuse for why we haven't been posting.  Of course we've been busy, the market is quite perky right now.  But, we've also been enjoying the lovely NW summer sunshine and taking advantage of the quick weekend getaways that abound (Sisters, Seattle, the Oregon Coast, etc).  While we've been off not posting, those itty bitty seeds grew up (almost) into beautiful yellow (almost) tomatoes.

Better brief & tardy than not at all right?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Scheming & Sowing

For many folks with damp cabin fever, this time of year brings out the strong to desire to have the most epic backyard grilling/gardening season ever this summer.  The sketch pad (um, napkins from the bartender) comes out to plan an arbor, rain harvesting system, pervious patio, and of course, a fire pit to extend the season even longer.  To avoid falling prey to the rookie mistake of scheming over beer or coffee all wet season only to feel stunned by glorious Summer into lazing about idly, here are a few tips. 

Step 1:  save your empties (egg cartons, that is).
Step 2:  get some non-GMO, organic seeds.  Look through your FB friends - the ones with the most anti-Monsanto posts can give you some of their seeds.  Or you can hit Cherry Sprout Produce on N. Albina for some nice heirloom seeds.
Step 3:  put some dirt (or potting soil if you are fancy) in your empties and poke some seeds in with your finger.  Stick your masterpiece on the windowsill (indoors for now).  Don't drown them, but don't let them go thirsty - they prefer to drink via daily mist (save the beer bong for when they are older).

By the time those little seeds germinate, you'll be patting yourself on the back and you will truly owe it to your new plant friends to transfer them to a home where they can grow & foster your canning fantasies.  Use this inspiration to set up your outdoor oasis where all your friends look so stunning in the fire light.  Or you could do a sweet and easy container garden this year...   

play date

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rules of Thumb for Adding Color (plus a little math)

Creating a home that makes you feel comfortable and causes you to smile when you walk in the door is so important to many of us.  Finding the perfect color scheme to help create your special brand of ambiance can be tough.  Here are some tips that have proven invaluable both in our own homes and when making staging decisions for our listings. 

What color do you usually wear? 
People usually clothe themselves in colors that they like and that make them feel good, so starting with your prominent wardrobe hues is usually a good idea. Use these colors for furniture and accents, not just on the walls.  To mirror the way the external natural environment looks use dark color values close to and on the floor, medium values on the walls, and light values on the ceiling.

The color wheel keeps on turning

Generally, if you want to create a room of relaxation and general coze, related colors work best. These are colors that live next to each other on the color wheel like blue and green. To create a feeling of formality and to invite a sense of drama, you should use complementary colors. These colors are opposite on the color wheel such as yellow and purple.

Dominant, secondary, and accent colors 

Math is even helpful in artistic pursuits!  In this case, use the 60-30-10 rule. Allocate the colors of a space into components of 60% dominant color, 30% secondary color, and 10% accent color. Applying this no-fail equation, use the dominant color on the walls (usually the biggest chunk of color in a room unless you live in a glass house!). Use the secondary color on the upholstery.  Finally finish up with the accent colors for accessories, like throw pillows or mounted animal heads. 

One last tip (that you might already know)

No matter what color scheme you choose, they say it is a good idea to put something black in every room. It doesn’t have to be a big piece - a picture frame or a lampshade will do. Black serves to anchor all the other colors within the room.

mother nature's something black = shadows

Friday, January 20, 2012

On being green (not with envy)

Whether you are a die-hard granola or you just want a piece of the cost savings that stems from efficiency, chances are you can go a little greener.  Usually this means tapping the common sense area of your brain, but sometimes better choices are a bit more esoteric. 

Tried & true simple tricks:

Don’t have a dual flush toilet and don’t think yellow is all that mellow?  Put a brick in the toilet tank to use less water per flush.

Hate toxic cleaners?  Diluted white vinegar kills bacteria and the pickle-y smell dissipates quickly.  For extra cleaning power on appropriate surfaces (toilet, tub, etc.) take a trip back in time to make an exciting (and cleansing) volcano by dumping some baking soda on your grimy surface before spraying your white vinegar.  See, school can teach us something!

Captain Obvious chimes in with some other brilliant thoughts:  switch to CFL bulbs, use real napkins & hand towels vs. land-filling bleached disposables, use your legs to get around more, stop already with the plastic everything, and compost your food waste (better yet, don’t waste - make stock with your leftovers).

Advanced ideas:
Sick of GMO produce?  Want local?  Aquaponics are a great way to have your cake (um, veggie cake) and eat it too.  This closed-loop food system can even be set up in small spaces so as long as your Tiny Home has power you can farm inside!

Schlep your own non-plastic containers to the market to get your bulk items.  This is on the advanced list for a reason.  Keeping your grocery bags strapped to your bike is easy (where were you on this one, cappie?) but managing to use your legs only while carting around mason jars to fill with lentils is a quite a feat.  If you manage to do this, then please share your tips as this is seriously such a pain; you are a hero.  Of course, reusing simple paper sacks instead of jars works too.
ride, don't drive, to your playground

Friday, January 13, 2012

The opposite of flip-flops & sundresses

This is the time of year when resolutions are starting to seem unnecessary and we start wondering why we didn't plan a tropical vacation for January or February (or both).  So we've decided to try to come up with a list of January blues beaters.

1)  Hit the mountain and pray for powder 
2)  Scoop up good deals on post-vacation sales (homes, clothes, dog toys, you name it!)
3)  Make a giant fire with old paperwork that you should have thrown out ages ago
4)  Spend time outside (run, play soccer, hike, surf) & congratulate yourself on how hardcore you are
5)  Lose the unhealthy relationship with your phone & develop one with your couch while reading trash
6)  Annoy neighbors & local poochies by picking back up your dusty musical instrument of choice
7)  Play games in front of your old paperwork fire (don't throw the scrabble board at your friends if they bingo!)

Anything to add to this list?  Yeah, we kind of wish it was summer too...

another good January activity, x-country skiing @ trillium lake

Friday, January 6, 2012

Show & Tell, Bedtimes, & GO BLAZERS!

These days we collectively breathe a sigh of relief after the holidays.  Some of us truly get excited to get back into the thick of it.  When we were kids, Christmas was the highlight of the school year.  One of the best parts about getting cool gifts was going back to school for an informal show & tell session.  Now our favorite holiday moments usually involve "quiet time", which if we are remembering correctly was the kid form of evil torture.  Getting back into the old post-holiday routine could also be called one of the worst things ever -- boring

Fortunately, adulthood isn't as awful as some of our kid selves might have predicated.  Taking the time to plan, set goals, and create enthusiasm with your colleagues is the new show & tell.  Keeping the excitement alive is also a lot easier when you get to go to bed whenever you want!  

xmas gift = not so quiet moment