Power outages always seem to happen at the worst possible time, like in the middle of a storm or when you have a house full of people. That’s why home generators sales are up throughout the country, including here in Arlington, Virginia. We live in interesting times, and with many people still working or schooling from home, investing in a generator that will keep you connected and comfortable is something that appeals to many. If you’re interested in purchasing a home generator, here is some information to help you choose the right one.
How to Choose a Home Generator
Choosing the right generator for your needs starts with considering the size of your home and how much of it you want to power. It’s best to consult with your electrician, but in general an average size home needs between 5,000 to 7,500 watts to run just the essentials like heat, water and refrigerator. If you want to fully power your home – lights, charging electronics, streaming, etc. – then you probably would want to invest in a 20,000-watt generator. This also goes for exceptionally large homes, or if you foresee that you will be hosting a large amount of people in an extended power outage situation.
How to connect a home generator
Home generators run on a standby basis, meaning that they moment you lose power the generator will snap into motion and start powering your home, often within mere seconds. These types of generators have their own power source, most usually natural gas that is piped in from the street. When it comes to installation, it’s best to hire a licensed electrical contractor or specialist that has experience with installing and connecting whole-home generators. In addition to ensuring your generator is installed safely and effectively, they will also be familiar with any permits, codes or regulations you may need to adhere to in your city, neighborhood or HOA.
Is a whole home generator a good investment?
It’s also important to consider that while generators can cost several thousand dollars plus installation costs, they are for the most part considered a very good investment that stands the test of time.
- Most standby generators can run from 10,000 to 30,000 hours. If you use it for 100 hours per year, that translates to 10 to 30 years.
- If you sell your home, having a home generator will raise the value of your home and may impress potential home buyers.
- If you work from home and rely on having access to technology and internet for your work, a generator can save you many precious work hours.
- Home schooling for children is also usually dependent on having an internet connection as well.
I personally have a whole-house generator and am very happy with the results. It’s taken all the anxiety out of worrying about losing power during winter snowstorms or summer thunderstorms. And I can keep working, keep my phone charged, and stay connected with friends and family at all times too. If you’re interested in home generators, or have any questions about buying or selling homes in the Arlington, Virginia area, I am here to help at 703-593-6320 or by email at email@example.com.
Home gardens are great for a lot of things. They increase the value of your home, they are perfect for entertaining, relaxing outdoors, for kids to play, and green-thumbs to indulge. Here’s something you may not have realized, though. All that digging in the dirt is also good for your health, with studies showing that time outdoors helps people manage their fears, anxiety, and stress.
Burpee agrees with this trend, calling 2021 the Year of the Quiet Garden, declaring it the perfect spot for finding inner peace. As many people are working from home full time now, they are struggling with the juggle of work and home life. With all the hustle and bustle indoors, some R&R outside is an attractive idea, and provides benefits beyond peace and quiet.
Sunshine, for example, boosts vitamin D production which is essential for healthy function of immune cells in the body and supports brain health and mental function. It’s also known that the simple act of spending time outdoors increases serotonin levels, promoting calm and reducing stress. Gardening is also good for physical health, as it improves physical conditioning, helping keep your heart healthy and your joints and muscles active. Finally, it’s a great workout for the brain, too, stimulating creativity as you plan what to plant, where to plant it, and elements such as color, texture, sun, shade, and functionality.
If you could use a little more de-stressing in your life, and the idea of getting out into your garden appeals to you, here are a few tips for creating a soothing outdoor space that you, your family and friends can enjoy together.
Bright colors might get noticed, but they don’t cultivate serenity. For a peaceful vibe, go for soothing colors such as blue, green, white and cream.
Texture and Sound
Close your eyes, take a sip of your favorite drink, and think about what you’d like to hear in your peaceful garden. Things like the splashing of a water fountain, crunch of gravel underfoot, whispering of tall, waving grasses or quiet music of a wind chime can easily be added. Texture is a factor, too, so consider adding plants like velvety roses, or bushes that you can run your hand through like Lavender or Breath of Heaven.
Speaking of Fountains…
Nothing creates a greater sense of peace than the sound of water. There are so many different styles of fountains that it’s easy to find some to fit your personal style. From dramatic stone fountains that look like they just arrived from Venice to small table-top modern designs that can easily be turned on and off, there’s something for everyone, and the benefits can be enjoyed by all.
As Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying, “don’t let perfect get in the way of good.” Working in your garden is a forgiving activity. No matter how much time and effort you want to devote to creating your own “peace garden,” know that it’s worth it. Plus think of the additional benefit of increasing the beauty – and value – of your home as well!
If you’re ready to find some peace in other places too, like buying or selling a home in the Arlington, Virginia area, we can help. Licensed Realtor Mike Pugh has been helping clients successfully buy and sell homes and condos in the Arlington and Northern Virginia area for more than 30 years, and his clients credit him for making the process fun, stress-free and rewarding.
If you’re ready to buy, sell or learn more about the real estate market in the Arlington and surrounding Northern Virginia communities, Mike can help at 703-593-6320, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve all been quarantining for months now, and even though some restrictions are lifting we’re still spending much more time at home than usual. As Fall approaches, temperatures cool, and gorgeous colors are coming out here in Arlington, VA, outdoor living is getting more attention. As the new hot spot for gatherings when you want to safely “get away from it all,” now is a good time to think about updating your outdoor décor.
WARM THINGS UP: Fall means warm days and chilly nights, so adding patio heaters is always a good idea for extending the time you can spend outside. If you worry about having too much of an industrial feel, there are a lot of elegant and interesting designs available that can blend with your style. For a low-tech solution to chilly evenings, invest in a stash of stylish and comfy lap blankets.
COMFORT ZONE: For alfresco dining or a fun “happy hour” in the backyard, nothing is more welcoming than a firepit. Warm, relaxing firelight accompanied by friends, favorite cocktails, and single-serve snacks will make your outdoor gathering feel like a night at a trendy outdoor café. Drape chairs with cushions and blankets to increase the luxury factor. Then bring out food that can be prepared and shared while staying safely socially distant.
CREATE PROTECTED SPACE: Adding structures such as pergolas, gazebos, tents, or creatively hung drapes is a great way to increase the comfort level outside while also making for fun, creative spaces to entertain and hang out.
LIGHT IT UP: There are endless varieties of lights to fit every style and situation. This is a great budget-friendly way to update your outdoor space while adding some sparkle to make it feel special. You can drape lights across decks or in trees, but think outside the box and also add them underneath tables and railings or inside translucent vases for a soft glow. If you really want to impress, use LED smart lights you can control with an app to adjust brightness and hue. Candles are always a winner, but if those Fall breezes blow too hard, try LED lanterns for a cozy glow.
DON’T FORGET THE FRONT PORCH: While happy hours and family dinners are usually held in the back yard, front porches are perfect for early morning coffee and casual gatherings with neighbors all day long. If you have gorgeous Fall foliage you can see from your front porch, instead of decorating in oranges and reds, go simple with your color scheme using neutrals, blacks and whites that won’t distract from the view. Cozy cushions, chunky knit lap blankets and throws, and hardy flowers in antique planters are all classics for Fall that will make people want to linger. Add some spiced cider or pumpkin-flavored anything and you’re good to go!
The Fall Season is always beautiful here in Arlington. The cooler temperatures, the way the sun hangs in the sky, how life takes on a different pace, all making it easy to “fall” in love with.
If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in Arlington, Virginia or the surrounding region, I’m here to help. Just give me a call at 703-593-6320. Email is good too, you can reach me at email@example.com.
A lot has changed this year due to the pandemic, including how people are using their homes. COVID-19 quarantines and physical distancing protocols are forcing people to perform more of their daily tasks at home, causing homeowners to look at their spaces from a different perspective and altering them to fit what they need for work, school, fitness, and more. Rarely used spaces such as formal dining rooms, living rooms and mudrooms are getting makeovers to become study rooms, fitness areas, and modern home office workspaces.
Here in the Arlington, VA area, I’ve seen this happening throughout our community. Arlington is filled with people who find themselves in need of fully functioning office space able to meet the needs of their job without exposing them to the threats of the pandemic. In addition to working from home, there’s also remote school for the kids, adjustments for two-income families, and a need to address other lifestyle issues such as health, fitness and even just relaxing. The simple home office that was perfect a year ago isn’t up to the demands of two people working fulltime from home. And kids need much more than kitchen tables for schoolwork. Re-inventing spaces and creating hybrid solutions are a big part of the “new normal,” and is affecting home design in the following spaces:
Home Office / Workspace
Home offices are getting the lion’s share of attention these days, addressing things like proper seating, work surfaces, lighting, stable and secure internet connectivity, and more for a more robust office setting. Rather than working from the dining room or family room shared with kids, fully functioning home offices are being designed that can meet most demands of working from home.
Using the kitchen table for homework just won’t cut it anymore. Kids need easy access to computers and smart devices, and the internet bandwidth to handle multiple users in addition to parents working from home. Keeping kids close is still one of the main requirements when planning for schoolwork space. Monitoring their progress and their internet usage, as well as being close at hand for assistance when needed means kids need to be near where mom or dad are hanging out too. Since the kitchen is still the central gathering point of most home, kitchen-adjacent areas such as corner cubbies, hallways, large closets and even dining rooms can become the perfect workspace.
If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration for your children’s remote schooling needs, check out this article: Creating Modern Homework Spaces that Kids Will Thrive In.
Guest House / Guest Suites
A separate guest suite or even guest house is seen in a new light as useful for when a single family member might need to isolate themselves in case of illness. Outfitting these areas with items for eating, food storage, and office space is essential for providing distance, privacy and livability for family or guests.
Designing alfresco areas are taking on renewed importance post-COVID-19. Homeowners are seeking to carve out their own private outdoor space on balconies, patios, and backyards, and many are hiring landscape experts to help them create fresh-air havens. Incorporating water, fire, light, and natural species are a few key elements, along with appropriate seating that can allow for distancing needs. Spaces can be designed for everything from work to relaxation and dining to recreation.
Health and Wellness
A home is often called a sanctuary, and during pandemics, this is never more true. Hygiene as a design need is becoming a big part of home design: antibacterial and antimicrobial surfaces, touchless faucets, and sanitation stations equipped with disinfectant wipes, disposable gloves, mask storage, and sinks for hand-washing at every entrance are all gaining in popularity. Mudrooms are being converted from makeshift spaces to fully equipped transition spaces for things like contactless delivery of packages, groceries, and meals as part of the transition as well.
Whether you’re looking for new ideas or a new home, if you live or work in the Arlington, VA area I am happy to be a resource for helping you find or create a home that fits all your post-pandemic needs. Reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 703-593-6320.
Love your kitchen, but hate the mess? During these times when more people are cooking from home, and much of life is centered in the kitchen, having a space that keeps the dirty work contained can be a lifesaver. It’s the return of the scullery – and we’re not talking about Downton Abbey! In fact, right here in Arlington, VA, I’ve seen many of my clients purchase homes and immediately make some changes to get this very functional type of space set up right away.
A scullery can go by many names – super-pantry, butler’s pantry, kitchen annex, etc. – but its purpose is the same: Provide a space next to the kitchen for meal prep, counter-cluttering appliances, dirty dishes, and anything else that is best left behind the scenes.
New home design and construction in the luxury real estate market are seeing more and more of these space-saving, clutter-busting rooms with everyone embracing the concept from busy moms hosting book club to enthusiastic entertainers in pursuit of party-planning perfection.
How to create a scullery or pantry
If you have space adjacent to the kitchen that can be repurposed, such as a utility closet, unused dining room, or side porch, it’s the easiest place to start. Often it’s as easy as removing a small portion of wall and some simple electrical and plumbing work to create a space you’ll use much more.
If you’re buying a home, planning to remodel, or even designing a new home from scratch, there are often extra spaces near kitchens that remodeling experts and architects can transform to create the “extra” kitchen of your dreams.
What a modern scullery is used for
Food and party prep are one of the most popular uses for these types of large pantries. Opening wine, plating appetizers, mixing cocktails, and arranging flowers can all be done in private, then presented in all its Pinterest-worthy perfection to family or party guests. Most sculleries provide the basics such as a sink, cabinets for storage, space for large counter-top appliances such as microwaves or stand mixers, and possibly a small refrigerator.
Elegant entertainers with a goal to impress without all the mess usually want to have items such as an under-cabinet ice maker, wine refrigerator and second dishwasher. Busy parents who value family togetherness but crave a little breathing space, ask for areas that give them storage, counter space and an easy space for kids to grab-and-go on their way to school, sports and activities. Add-ons might include microwaves for midnight popcorn making, refrigerator drawers for after-school snacks, and a place to put smoothie blenders, juicers and coffee machine.
They might be an old-fashion idea, but sculleries are experiencing a new era of popularity as homeowners discover how practical, functional and fun they can be. If you are buying a new home in Arlington, VA or the surrounding area and want to learn more about finding the perfect place with all the space and functionality you need – including a scullery! – I can help. Give me a call at 703-593-6320 or email email@example.com.
After a season spent indoors and under quarantine, as the weather warms up people here in the Arlington, Virginia area are gratefully heading outside with visions of entertaining, relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends. Going outside to take a stroll, visit and interact with people in the neighborhood and just be social has become a new high priority as communities get reacquainted. Porch parties, driveway drinks, happy hour walks, and front and backyard gatherings are the new belle of the ball when it comes to social time outside this summer season.
If you’re ready to invite people over and spend more time in your front or backyard, we’ve rounded up some ideas for sprucing up your décor and creating ambiance that will delight, relax, or help you find whatever you’re seeking for quality time outside.
Trend #1: Fun groupings with bold colors
Outdoor furniture is taking center stage as people are creating spaces to fit different functions while using bold colors and accents to make a statement. Grouping chairs and tables on the patio, beside the pool, or deep in a yard under leafy trees or near blooming flowers can all create attractive settings that draw people outside.
Once you’ve caught people’s attention with your fun groupings, you can please their eye with bold colors. Chair cushions and pillows in fun patterns are an easy and budget-friendly way to add color. Umbrellas with bright colors are another way, and if you’re feeling like trying something really fun you could even paint furniture in bright blues, yellows, oranges or red to complement your outdoor décor and landscaping.
Trend #2: Blue is the color of summer
Pantone’s color of the year, Classic Blue, is a natural for summer, and easy to incorporate with furniture, accessories, and even landscaping and décor. Start with pillows and umbrellas. Add painted pots and planters in bright blues and fill your flowerbeds with blue flowers such as delphiniums, bluebells, agapanthus, hydrangea, cornflowers, forget-me-nots, grape hyacinth and lobelia.
Trend #3: Edible landscapes
A rising interest in sustainability, and a new-found appreciation for farm-to-table (or yard-to-table) has led to a renewed interest in home gardening. Many vegetables and herbs look great as part of landscaping while also providing a rewarding activity. If you have a small space, try container gardening, raised beds, or something fun like using pretty trellises to support vertical growth for tomatoes, peas, and other climbing plants.
Trend #4: Modern fire pits
The ease and size of portable propane tanks have made it possible for fire pits to experience a leap forward in design and functionality. Incredibly versatile, you can purchase fire pits in any size, shape and style these days to fit the unique furniture and settings you’ve created in the backyard.
Do a quick Google or Pinterest search for “unique fire pits” and you’ll see a cornucopia of ideas and selections from fanciful iron-worked designs to asymmetrical stacks to artistic renderings of animals, trees, mountains and other shapes in copper, steel, iron, brick, stone, cement and wood.
As you rearrange and decorate, remember that your goal is to create a warm welcoming ambiance that invites people to want to go outside to read, visit with friends and family, host a dinner, have a mini-cocktail hour, start the day with coffee, tea and nature, or just sit back and take a breath and a break from the stress of the everyday world.
Luxury is going low-key, in addition to focusing on details closer to the heart of the home, according to a recent report from the Institute for Luxury Home Living, an organization that tracks industry trends.
The changing face of luxury real estate has slowly turned its focus over the past few years to the point that a definite trend has emerged that recognizes the importance of amenities that address the overall well-being for a home’s residents.
Among affluent home buyers, large estates and mega mansions are no longer optimal goals. In fact, the younger generation (especially Millennials), are shying away from this type of home ownership in favor of investing in discreet residences while instead investing much of their money invested in design, décor and other upgrades that support physical, emotional and social wellness. One ‘must’ I often hear from clients here in Arlington is the inclusion of eco-friendly fixtures and fittings that enhance both well-being while also being both environmental and budget friendly.
On the other hand, in an era where frugal mindsets and eco-conscious living is growing in popularity, opulent statement homes and massive square footage aren’t appealing to as many homeowners. That’s where low-key luxury comes into play. No matter the location, it’s always possible to customize the interior of a home to fit each homeowners’ personal physical, emotional and even spiritual needs without creating homes that could be seen as wasteful or overdone.
Improving health and wellness isn’t anything new, and it’s no surprise that a focus on this is now permeating the industry to the point that it affects how home buyers and sellers are operating in today’s market. According to a recent Global Wellness Economy Monitor report, real estate that incorporates intentional wellness elements into its design, materials and building is quickly growing. There are now more than 740 wellness real estate and community developments built or in development across 34 countries – a number that grows weekly.
As an experienced real estate agent in the luxury market of Arlington, Virginia I’ve noticed these trends building over the past year and affecting both buyers and sellers in our market. Trends don’t necessarily translate to being “trendy,” and it’s important to engage a Realtor you can trust who knows the difference and is able to help you navigate today’s real estate market. If you’re ready to buy or sell in the Arlington area, give me a call at 703-593-6320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. With more than 30 years of experience working and living in this area, I can provide insights, connections and resources that will be invaluable to your success.