Adding Color for Home Appeal

Since Sir Isaac Newton first invented the color wheel in 1666, color theory has been explained in terms of primary, (pure red, blue, yellow) secondary (green, purple, orange) and tertiary (blue-green, etc.) hues.

The wheel is useful in determining color harmony -  colors opposite each other on the color wheel are complementary, but how does that help you choose paint and carpet colors?
To develop your interior color scheme, the color wheel is a good place to start, but it’s only one of many tools you can use. Learning how colors are created and what effect they have on you can also be useful in choosing the right colors for your décor.
Hue, tint, shade and tones 
If there were only 12 colors in the universe, choosing a decorating color scheme wouldn’t be difficult, but it’s the millions of variations of the color wheel that complicate matters.  So let’s start with how colors are created.
The colors that comprise the color wheel are called hues, the point at which any color is at its clearest. See:
As pure color, hues are energetic, attention-grabbing, and bold.
If you add white, you soften the hue, cool it down and turn it toward a pastel version of itself, otherwise known as a tint.
Tints are like the early buds of spring - youthful, delicate and gentle.
If you add black to any hue, you deepen and darken the color, which is known as a shade.
Shades tend to be rich, mysterious, and sophisticated.
A tone is composed of a hue with added grey, or a blend of white and black.
Tones tend to be neutral, relaxing and comforting.
Color and mood
Keeping the effects of hues, tints, shades and tones in mind, colors have the power to energize or to relax you, to annoy you or to soothe you. The impact they have on how you want to feel is largely due to how much color you use and where. 

 The main color  - To choose a main color for your décor, think about how you want to feel when you’re in the room. A stimulating color such as red is terrific for dining and entertaining areas, while a bedroom or master bath may be more attractive in a restful tone of blue. 
Accent colors – Whatever you choose as your main color, you can punch it up or tone it down by putting other colors around it. For example, you may choose a neutral beige or tan for your couch and draw attention to it with a bright orange throw or accent pillows.
Placing color for effect 
Start by choosing the color family you want based on your favorite hue, such as royal blue. Imagine the whole room done in your color and you may begin to see a problem –the hue is simply too intense.
Next, imagine only your walls painted in your royal blue. Still too intense? That’s your cue that you need to tone the color down for a larger space.
Choose whether or not you want the color on the walls to be dark or light, and that will tell you whether or not you want to go in the direction of a tint or a shade.
Now, imagine your room again in the color you’ve selected. More pleasing this time? If you like the color but still think it needs some modifying, just tone it down further by adding more grey, or by lightening the color to a tint.
If you prefer the drama of a deeper or richer tone on your walls, you can lighten the effect by painting your doors, trim and crown molding a soft white which will make any wall color pop. 
The beauty of color theory is that you can use almost any color you wish in a home, if it’s appropriate to the room’s purpose and in the right amounts. You don’t have to give up your royal blue. You may simply find that you enjoy your favorite color more in smaller doses, such as accessories or dinnerware.
Source: Better Homes & Gardens Greenhouse

Driveways That Welcome You Home

Options are limitless when installing a new driveway or repairing an existing one. They’re an excellent way to frame the look of the property, and a great way to shape buyer expectations as they stroll up to see what’s inside your home. By choosing the finish and type that works best, you’ll make the home feel more polished. The following are a few different options to consider.
Crushed Gravel
Crushed gravel driveways normally consist of small stones intermixed with coarse sand and other aggregates. Because there is no actual hard surface, they are generally easy to maintain, and with little cracking or shifting, require little to no repair. If your property is in a rural area, gravel driveways are an excellent finish for your warm country cabin. For snowier climates, consider that snow removal may be challenging and the winter months particularly dirty, as the surface will likely stay wet for longer periods. One consideration to improve the appearance of an existing crushed gravel driveway is to have your local landscaper refresh with enough stone to replace the top three inches before you list your home. This may require several yards of material but will be very appealing to the eye of a potential homebuyer. After the stone has been evenly distributed over your driveway – park on the street to avoid stirring it up.
Concrete—while difficult to do yourself—is a versatile, polished and highly desirable surface. Different colors can give the surface almost any appearance to match your home’s exterior (it can even be mixed with different stones to give it the look of an aggregate). It can be stamped and sealed in different ways to give it the look of brick or even cobblestone. Concrete is likely the longest lasting driveway type for almost any climate. If touching up, consider a concrete stain that will help hide some of the blemishes accumulated over the years.
Brick is an excellent non-slip surface for both cars and kids. If you’re home is older, it’s an excellent choice to give the property additional character by recreating a more traditional driveway setting that will be attractive to interested buyers. One of its main advantages is that brick is easily replaceable; because the foundation is normally stone, sand, then brick, cracked sections can easily be interchanged. Additionally, you may choose interlocking brick with holes for more eco-friendly water drainage directly to your property versus the run-off to the street and subsequent sewer system.
If you have a good size budget, also consider cobblestones. Because they will shift and be uneven, it adds even more old worldliness to the front of your home.
The most common type of driveway is asphalt. It is the most economical (per square foot) and convenient in terms of installation time. When selling your home, make sure you either re-seal your asphalt driveway (for less than $150 you can buy a 5 gallon drum, roller and broom stick and be finished in 2 hours) or completely re-install to give a nice fresh appearance. If in doubt consult a professional.
Stone, pavers, a mixed driveway (using multiple materials) and compressed earth are all other driveway types to consider. Whatever you choose, it’s important to consider the property type and the desired aesthetic. If the two work well together, you’ll have made a significant investment in the value of your home.
Source: Better Homes & Gardens Greenhouse

Baby Boomers Are Big Home Buyers

Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate recently released the findings of a national survey of Baby Boomers (ages 49-67) which revealed this influential generation’s feelings of optimism about living an independent, active lifestyle; a lifestyle unrestrained by planned retirement communities and instead bolstered by living out their life passions. The survey indicates that 57 percent of Boomers plan to move out of their current home and 70 percent believe the house they retire in will be the best home in which they have ever lived.

“With approximately 77 million Boomers in the U.S., it’s quite significant for our industry to see that this population has so much positive anticipation for the home in which they will be retiring – and for the majority, their aspirations involve making a move,” said Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. “Baby Boomers are known for being a hardworking, trailblazing generation. As they have done with every other major life event, they are marching head-on into retirement with big plans and no desire to change pace. Our study shows that Boomers continue to surprise with nuances of what they care about and what they are prioritizing.”

Among Boomers who feel more confident about achieving their ideal retirement lifestyle compared to five years ago, the top factor is having a retirement lifestyle plan (49%).

“This mindset shows us that, for Boomers getting ready to retire, there’s more to it than solely saving money in the bank,” said Chris. “To have the utmost confidence in their retirement plan, this generation is actively planning a comprehensive lifestyle plan, taking into account the type of home and community they want to live in, as well as the option of continuing to work or taking advantage of travel and entertainment opportunities.”

Approximately 1 out of 4 Boomers surveyed are also likely to buy a second home to use during their retirement years, such as a vacation or beach house. For a generation that was hit hard during the recession, this commitment to lifestyle planning and desire for their “dream home” is a great show of optimism.On the selling side,31 percent of Boomers are more likely to want to sell their home now than they were five years ago, showing a renewed confidence in the real estate market.

Additional survey findings unveiling the retirement motivations and aspirations of Boomers include:

- Visitors Only: This generation, often referred to as the “Sandwich Generation,” has cared for children and grandchildren as well as aging parents, but most – 83 percent – do not expect family to move into their home in the future, indicating they expect any “house guests” to be temporary. So, Millennials, don’t get too comfortable at Mom and Dad’s.

-Making the Move: When asked which type of community Baby Boomers would most likely move to, 39 percent opted for a rural community, such as a farm or small town. Next in line was the traditional retirement community such as a 55+ exclusive neighborhood (27%), followed by an urban community such as a metropolitan city (26%).

- Putting Down Roots: Many Boomers have planted roots in their communities and want to remain in a familiar place. In fact, of those surveyed who are not already retired, 72 percent plan to retire in the same state in which they current live.

- Custom Treatment: Among those who plan to move out of their current home, 69 percent are willing to make updates or renovations to their next home to fit their specific wants and needs. However, when all Boomers were asked to pick the most important factor in choosing their next home, having low-maintenance home features topped the list (42%).

- Retirement To-Do List: Historically,retirement was almost automatic at the milestone age of 65. Many Boomers, however, have a different plan in mind, since 28 percent of those surveyed who are not yet retired, plan never to retire. In fact, 46 percent of Boomers who plan to retire still anticipate working part-time.

About the Survey

The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Baby Boomers Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 U.S. adults ages 49-67, between February 6 and February 18, 2014, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 49-67.

Luxury Living in South Texas: This Week's Featured Listing From My Office

Exceptional estate home with gorgeous country & city views. Home features 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. Luxurious Master Suite with outside access on the first level. There is  also a second bedroom with full bath downstairs for guests.

The open and airy kitchen features granite counters, stainless steel double ovens, refrigerator & 6 burner gas cooktop plus walk in pantry.

The second level features three spacious bedrooms with two full baths plus an oversized game room with a balcony to enjoy the views.

The private backyard is a garden oasis with a huge patio area, sparkling pool and outdoor kitchen. Circular drive for easy entertaining plus a three car garage.

If this sounds like your dream home, it can be yours for only $675,000

Packing Tips for Summer Trips

9 Tips for Summer Trips
Summer vacation is in full swing. Whether you’re camping, road tripping or taking to the air, plan ahead. Consider these packing tips before you go.

Now you’re rolling
Rolled clothes in your suitcase save space and minimize wrinkling. Rather than folding and stacking clothes, roll items up like a sleeping bag.

Easy access snacks
Curb travel munchies (and save money at the gas station) with an assortment of nuts, fruit, trail mix and pre-cut veggies. Have a cooler? Pack ready-made sandwiches and cheese snacks. Keep them within arms reach.

It’s your deal
Talk about big fun in a small package. A deck of cards, a pen and notepad equal hours of fun for everyone. Card games bring people of all ages together. Play Memory, Crazy 8s, Kings in the Corner, or Hand and Foot.

Ready-to-go toiletries
You know the feeling…the moment you realize you forgot your toothbrush. Minimize the risk with an always-ready toiletry bag. Keep it stocked with travel-size shampoo, toothpaste and floss, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap and cotton swabs. Then, grab it and go.

First aid in the bag
Blisters, bug bites and bad headaches—oh my! Keep a first-aid kit handy (a resealable baggie will do). Include an assortment of bandages, hand sanitizer, anti-itch cream, antiseptic wipes and an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Wash and wear
Pack a small resealable baggie of laundry detergent, a rope and clothes pins. If you need to wash a few items in a sink, you’ll be set.

Go old school—print your itinerary
We all love GPSs and mobile devices, but low signal, dead batteries or a cell phone dropped in the lake lead to travel angst. Stay on track. Print your travel itinerary. Have addresses, directions and contact info on hand just to be safe.

Put plastic bags to good use
The most memorable days end with the dirtiest clothes. Plastic bags are great to have along for dirty clothes, wet swimsuits and towels, or sandy, soiled clothes.

Stay hydrated
Refillable water bottles make perfect travel companions for long drives, hiking and lounging in the heat.
Take some time off to celebrate our country's independence with family and friends. Here's some local events you can enjoy.

Windcrest 4th of July Parade & Celebration
Friday, Jul 4 10:00 AM 
Windcrest City Hall San Antonio, TX
The City of Windcrest will host its 3rd Annual 4th of July Parade & Celebration Friday, July 4 at City Hall. The opening ceremony will begin at 10:00 AM led by the American Legion Post 612 in front of City Hall. The parade will follow at 10:30 AM and will circle the Windcrest Golf Course. Immediately following the parade there will be a celebration with music, food and refreshments.

2nd Annual Kirby 4th of July Fireworks
Friday, Jul 4 2:00 PM to Saturday, Jul 5 12:00 AM  
Friendship Park Kirby, TX
Fireworks, family activities, carnival, booths, DJ, Live Entertainment – Mario Flores and Soda Creek Band and Electric Circus.  Visit for complete information.

Woodlawn Lake Park San Antonio, TX
Friday, July 4, 2014  8:30 AMWoodlawn Lake Park serves as the backdrop for the H-E-B Fireworks Extravaganza that follows a day of FREE activities and entertainment. The San Antonio Parks Foundation presents the City's OFFICIAL July 4th Celebration sponsored by San Antonio Parks & Recreation Dept., HEB & Rio San Antonio Cruises. Activities start at 8:30 am with a 4K Firecracker Family Fun Run, live music, carnival rides, great food & our spectacular RED, WHITE & BLUE Family Parade at 11:30 AM. Opening Ceremonies are at noon & the H-E-B Fireworks close the evening. This is a Family & Pet Friendly Event.

Schertz 36th Annual Fourth of July Jubilee Parade
Join the Alzafar Shriners in Schertz for the 36th Annual Jubilee Parade honoring Independence Day. Parade begins at 9:30 AM. on July 3rd at 1001 Elbel Road. The parade route extends from Buffalo Drive to Schertz Parkway to Main Street to Oak Street.

Annual Schertz Fourth of July Jubilee. 
The popular fireworks display starts at 9:15 PM, but there is plenty to see and do before that. The 4th of July Jubilee will be a rocking and rolling party of pageantry, parade and patriotism. A family-friendly carnival and scores of food and beverage booths carry Jubilee into the night where anticipation grows for bright stars and colorful, magical lights, courtesy of the fireworks show.
Admission is free for the two-day event at Pickrell Park, on Aero Avenue at FM 1518. Stay up to date with activities at