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DIY Terrariums Make your own air plant terrariums with these simple steps from Kelly Green. Identify your vessel. You may already have a glass container, or you can pick one up at stores such as Hobby Lobby and TJ Maxx.  Purchase an air plant to fit your container. The plants can often be found at boutique shops, garden centers, and through online sources.  Use organic elements to add interest to your creation. Take a walk outside and look for fallen branches, pine cones, pebbles, or sand.  Add a grounding element as a base for your glass vessel. Anything from reindeer moss to river rock can make a pretty presentation. You can even raid your button drawer for something different.  Create your terrarium. Enjoy the process of designing something unique, organic, and long-lasting for your home.
DIY Terrariums Make your own air plant terrariums with these simple steps from Kelly Green. Identify your vessel. You may already have a glass container, or you can pick one up at stores such as Hobby Lobby and TJ Maxx. Purchase an air plant to fit your container. The plants can often be found at boutique shops, garden centers, and through online sources. Use organic elements to add interest to your creation. Take a walk outside and look for fallen branches, pine cones, pebbles, or sand. Add a grounding element as a base for your glass vessel. Anything from reindeer moss to river rock can make a pretty presentation. You can even raid your button drawer for something different. Create your terrarium. Enjoy the process of designing something unique, organic, and long-lasting for your home.
Boise Home Gardens

Homegrown

Indoor Plants Add an Organic Touch to Your Surroundings

Houseplants are back in a big way (especially low-maintenance varieties), and there are plenty of do-it-yourself projects to make your natural accents stand out from the crowd. Take a cue from Kelly Green, owner of Southern Green (southerngreen.org), who offers unique plant species and containers to accompany them. You can find her work as an art consignor at Tootie and Tallulah’s Annex—a gift, art, and home consignment shop in Berkley, Michigan, owned by Jeri Brand.

As Green explains, when her air plant orbs began selling like hotcakes, a DIY terrarium bar was born. Though generic styles are readily available, Green’s customers wanted something more personalized, which is exactly what they get when making their own arrangements.

While some people like to provide their own containers, others buy one or more at The Annex for their DIY projects. “[Customers] buying a couple of orbs and plants and working on the arrangements themselves is becoming a staple of the store,” says Green, who grew up in Tampa, Florida where indoor plants were the norm. “Even as a kid, I would enjoy plants like bromeliads.”

Plant containers can have as much personality as the plants inside, especially those with a whimsical twist. “I try really hard to find things that are unique, like a ceramic head with a plant on top that looks like hair,” says Green. She also favors quirky vintage vessels like a pink one she found that was shaped like a koi.

Garage and estate sales can be great sources for clever containers. “What was tacky in the ’70s is now very avant-garde,” says Green, who utilizes items like the piece of vintage pottery she paid a couple of dollars for at a thrift store. She also suggests looking at your potential throwaway objects in a different light. “They can be an interesting vessel for a live plant or an air plant,” adds Green. “Succulents are always very popular, and you can put them in something if you’re worried about drainage.”

If you find ceramics you want to use for plants, you can always drill a hole for drainage, she says. Just ask an expert at your local hardware or home improvement store about the right drill bit. You can also add packing peanuts to your potting soil to help with drainage. “Put a bunch at the bottom,” says Green. “Unlike rocks, they sort of hold the moisture when you want it to drain and dry.”

Another easy DIY project is to spruce up your existing plants with simple additions like curly willow sticks or pine cone picks. “Reindeer moss can make a plant look like something the florist just sent,” she says.

For Green, teaching others how to make their own creations comes with the territory. She offers one workshop, for example, about mounting staghorn ferns. “They look like antlers, and they’re fun and hardy. You can mount them on a piece of wood to hang as a really cool object of art,” she says. Another workshop focuses on how to make a dramatic centerpiece with real plants. “Some can actually last forever with plants like sansevieria that need very little water,” says Green. “I love a live centerpiece. It makes a real statement.”

Some customers choose the workshops or the terrarium bar for private parties. “People enjoy the uniqueness of it,” says Green, who believes the increased demand for live plants may be because people are more aware of health benefits like cleaning the air and boosting your mood. Their visual appeal is just a pretty, added perk. Written by Jeanine Matlow for Boise Homes Realty Keith Vermilyea. Photography provided by (from top) ©iStockphoto.com/mixetto, ©iStockphoto.com/loonara.

Create Your Custom Rock Garden
Create Your Custom Rock Garden
Boise Rock Gardens

The Art Of The Rock Garden 

   A spring garden might conjure images of lush green landscapes with tiny buds, but there are plenty of regions where traditional spring gardening isn’t an option. Thankfully, there are ways to spend time beautifying your yard this spring even if the ground conditions aren’t conducive to planting. Consider swapping sod for a hardscape and create a stylized rock garden. Get inspired with the following jumping-off points and then let your imagination be your guide.

   As long as rock gardens incorporate rocks they can still include water features, shrubs, and trees. But keep it simple and low maintenance and focus on featuring mostly rocks. Determine where you want your rock garden located and clear the area of any existing plantings that you don’t want to incorporate into the design; however, you’ll want to keep small shrubs or trees because they lend needed contrast and varied heights.

   Blend locally sourced rocks or boulders with rocks of other colors, shapes, and sizes. Let the natural terrain inspire a subtle design. Build a path with smooth river rocks that mimics a flowing creek, or frame a sculpture with an organic rock design. Written by Maresa Giovannini for Boise Homes Realty Keith Vermilyea, Photography provided by (top) CharlieTurchetta/iStock/Thinkstock.com, (above, clockwise) jeep5d/iStock/Thinkstock.com, katkov/iStock/Thinkstock.com,hikesterson/iStock/Thinkstock.com, herreid/iStock/Thinkstock.com.

Boise DIY Furniture

WELL-DRESSED

A Piece of Functional Furniture Gets a Makeover for a Special Cause

Four years ago, Kristine Franklin, designer and author of the blog The Painted Hive, was selected by Feast Watson, Sydney, Australia-based manufacturer of timber finishes, to participate in their campaign The Re-Love Project. This effort, in cooperation with the Salvation Army, invites designers to upcycle or “re-love” worn furniture items into stunning statement pieces. The completed designs are auctioned on eBay, with the proceeds going to the Salvos Stores of the Salvation Army. It continues to be one of Franklin’s favorite annual undertakings.

Franklin usually has a concept in mind for these projects and spends time hunting down a piece of furniture that fits her vision. Most recently, she found a simple melamine dresser that needed updating and lots of love. “I chose this piece because it was basic and something that many people might already have or be able to obtain relatively easily,” she explains. “It’s also the kind of piece whose potential might often be overlooked.” Here, Franklin shares an overview of her Re-Love project—a midcentury-meets-Moroccan dresser with one-of-a-kind drilled details.

“I wanted a white finish, and the dresser was already white. But, as with most flat-pack furniture, it looked like . . . well . . . flat-pack melamine furniture!” says Franklin. So, she decided to paint the cabinet box, but not before sanding the unit thoroughly with coarse-grit sandpaper. Franklin carefully wiped everything down to remove any residual dust and grime. Then, using a spray gun, applied four light coats of extra-durable Feast Watson floor paint in White Shine. “There are specialty ‘laminate’ paints you can use [for melamine], but I have found that a really thorough sanding using coarse-grit sandpaper and then a good cleaning with isopropyl alcohol creates a surface which will happily allow any good-quality paint to adhere well,” she says.

After painting, Franklin decided on a decorative design. She created a scale template of the drawer fronts in Photoshop and then enlarged the design to fit. “If you don’t have Photoshop, you can use any image editing program. GIMP is a great free alternative,” she adds. “After taping the sections of the design together, I flipped it over and traced around the entire design using a gray lead pencil. With the drawer fronts in position, I placed the design on top (traced side down), weighted it with something heavy so it wouldn’t shift, and then began sketching over my gray lines.”

Next, it was time to drill the holes. After many trials, Franklin decided to go with a 6mm drill bit in her Bosch bench drill; it created holes large enough for color to show through yet small enough to accommodate the design intricacies. “Although it’s tempting to drill through super quickly, drilling too fast can splinter the rear of the plywood excessively, so it’s worth taking some time and allowing the drill to do the work,” she advises. “If you are experiencing issues with the back of the plywood splintering a lot, check that your drill bit is sharp and try clamping a scrap piece of wood to the rear of the plywood.” About six hours and 3,000 holes later, this labor-intensive yet completely invaluable step was completed.

 

Well-Dressed
 
 
She sanded both the front and rear plywood pieces thoroughly, used a round file to tidy up some of the holes, wiped the new fronts clean, and stained the plywood. “I usually use a rag to apply stain, but in this case I used a brush so I could stipple the stain inside the holes,” explains Franklin. “However, I did use a rag to remove any excess stain, wiping in the direction of the timber grain.” Once the stain was dry, she applied three coats of Feast Watson Scandinavian Oil, sanding with fine-grit sandpaper between applications. After installing the new drawer fronts with Liquid Nails adhesive and a few finishing nails, she completed the look with simple brass knobs.

Franklin says many people have ambitious ideas floating around in their heads. She feels the Re-Love Project provides her with the perfect excuse to push herself by bringing these lofty dreams to life. “More than that though, I have a genuine desire to inspire people, not [by] simply sharing ideas, but by arming them with the information and confidence to have a go at creating something really amazing for themselves,” she explains. “It’s certainly not always easy, but that’s what makes it so rewarding!” Written by Carolyn M. Runyon. Photography by Kristine Franklin, The Painted Hive (thepaintedhive.net) on Boise Homes Realty Keith Vermillyea.

DIY Dressers--

Sidestep Pricey, Overhyped Attractions to Find More Authentic Local Value
Sidestep Pricey, Overhyped Attractions to Find More Authentic Local Value
Think Boise Homes

 The Tourist Traps

Wherever there is a coastline, people will head to the beach. And because it’s such a huge draw, beach-town visitors are susceptible to overpriced food, events, and souvenirs. Thankfully, you and your family can avoid the hype and enjoy a meaningful vacation that won’t zap your wallet. Here’s how.

MOVE OVER A BLOCK OR TWO

In beach towns, there’s typically a main drag, the one or two streets where you’ll find the crowds and the most concentrated attempts to grab your attention and money. Of course, you should explore this street to see why people flock there. But when you’ve had your fill of hawkers and gawkers, veer off this path and explore the neighborhoods just a couple streets over. At the very least, you’ll avoid the crowds. At best, you may find a hidden gem in a cozy restaurant or a locally owned retail shop that’s worth checking out.

SCAN THE DAILY PAPER

Every beach hotel has that one corner. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s the one loaded with all the pamphlets, shopping guides, and discount-ticket flyers. On your next beach trip, skip this corner. Instead, fish for some quarters in your purse or pockets and hunt down the local newspaper vending machine. Look in the lifestyle or entertainment sections. You might find a review of a local restaurant or event listings for nearby museums, theaters, and parks. Skim for upcoming sporting events and then join the locals to root for the hometown team.

ASK THE LOCALS

If you scanned the newspaper and found a great event to attend, then you’ll probably be mixing and mingling with townies. Take advantage of the chance to chat with people who call the city you’re visiting home. Ask them for restaurant recommendations and get their advice on which touristy events are worth the price and which should be avoided. The service professionals you encounter on your trip are another great resource for local information. A casual conversation with waitstaff or retail shop workers can often lead to budget-friendly dining or entertainment recommendations.

CELEBRATE THE SUBURBS

Your beach town lodging options are no longer limited to hotels, motels, and campgrounds. There are many online marketplaces where people place short-term rental listings. These rentals include spare rooms, mother-in-law units, apartments, or even entire homes. Some rentals are on the main drag, but more affordable options can be found farther inland. This is an especially good option if your vacation destination has good public transportation or plentiful public parking. If the rental has a kitchen, a few home-cooked meals and snacks can cut the costs of eating out. These lodgings also provide another chance to chat with locals. Rental owners are often full-time residents who are familiar with the town.

LOOK BEYOND SOUVENIR SHOPS

Shot glasses, magnets, and t-shirts are the stock in trade of the neon-lit souvenir shops that line Main Street in most beach towns. Rather than choosing a cheap bauble, look instead for more meaningful purchases. Resort towns often attract artists. If a painting, print, or craft like pottery speaks to you, invest in one significant item. Or, pick up a piece of well-crafted jewelry that will remind you of the trip every time you wear it.

HIRE A GUIDE

Is the resort town you’re visiting in another country where you don’t speak the language? Or is it a place you may visit infrequently, like Hawaii, Alaska, or Australia? Consider hiring a guide for part or all of these once-in-a-lifetime trips. A knowledgeable guide can save you money by ensuring your time is well spent. Local guides can help you become acclimated to the city and transportation options. Often, they know how to bypass long lines and crowds at the most popular attractions. Websites like ToursByLocals.com and Tourguides.Viator.com help you find local guides. Vayable.com goes one step further, connecting you with local guides who offer city-specific experiences like food or photography tours.

FALL INTO THAT TOURIST TRAP

You know your family best. If snapping a picture in front of the “World’s Largest Ball of Yarn” is a can’t-miss experience, then do it. There’s nothing wrong with visiting and enjoying tourist hotspots. For some towns, that’s part of the charm and something you shouldn’t miss. Above all, focus on the experience. It will be the memories that stay with you long after ticket stubs and tchotchkes have made their way to the dustbin. Written by Ronda Swaney for Boise Homes Realty Keith Vermilyea. Photography provided by (from top) ©iStockphoto.com/anyaberkut, Comstock/Stockbyte/Thinkstock.com.

Is Now The Time To Buy Boise Homes?

Is Now A Good Time To Buy?

You've likely heard by now that we're in the middle of what industry experts like to call a "sellers market", and while it's very much true that right now is a great time to sell your home there are a number of reasons why it's also an amazing time to buy!

How can it be both? Granted, sellers are especially motivated right now because of low inventory and high demand - which almost guarantees a better return on their investment - but even with prices likely being higher there are still some great benefits to buyers.

It's About Timing
Compared to last year home buyers are more ready to buy now. With the cold Winter months and the uncertainty of the elections out of the way many people are feeling more comfortable with finances.

Supply Vs Demand
Home inventory is low right now; even if there wasn't a rush on listings their general scarcity adds a sense of urgency to the market. What if the home you want gets a better offer? This drives a lot of potential buyers off the fence and to the signing table much faster.

The Sky Is Falling
Many would be mover-uppers and potential home buyers are motivated right now because they're afraid the mortgage rates are going to go up - and they likely should be. How does that aid in making this a buyers market within a sellers market? Because RIGHT NOW the rates are still low!

Price Check
Of course money is always a factor, but with inventory being low and demand for homes being high it's almost a certainty that home prices will also be going up. For the savvy home buyer this is a sure sign that if you're thinking of buying any time this year it's likely the sooner the better.

Are you considering buying a home and just having a terrible time finding the right one? Your dream home is out there and we can help you find it! Contact us or use our website to search for the current available homes today!