Windermere Cut Party – Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo is nacho average holiday and this year the Windermere Cup has planned the biggest Cinco de Mayo party in Seattle in conjunction with one of the world’s premier rowing regattas. What do they have lined up? Let’s taco bout it!

The party will take place along the north shore of the Montlake Cut, west of the Montlake Bridge. Here you’ll have access to a Beer and Margarita Garden, while enjoying live music and a stunning waterfront view overlooking Portage Bay.

Brian DiJulio and The Lovejacks will kick off the event, playing from 6pm to 8 pm. Following them, the always entertaining Spike & the Impalers will take the stage and play out the evening till 10pm.

Food Trucks will be on hand with three of the most popular and sought after Mexican food vendors in the Seattle area; El Camion, Taqueria Tonita, and Tacos La Flaca.

Don’t lay there and siesta – It’s time for a fiesta! Purchase your tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets. And don’t forget, you can come back down to the Montlake Cut on May 6 for Seattle’s biggest free sporting event – The Windermere Cup. More info on WindermereCup.com.

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Home Decorating Trends Expected To Last Through 2018

Home décor and design trends are an ever-changing landscape by nature. Consumers grow weary of seeing the same colors and styles, and who doesn’t love to freshen up their home with a few new throw pillows? Some trends can be fleeting and you might feel resistant to jumping into them if you’re afraid that this year’s color of the year is next year’s Harvest Gold.

According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, there are several trends in home decorating right now that are so popular, she doesn’t see them going away any time soon.

Geometric Patterns

Geometrics are seemingly everywhere right now; from backsplash tile, throw pillows, and bedding to wallpaper – the biggest commitment of them all.

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Typography

The popularity of this trend is not exactly new and it doesn’t appear to be losing any steam. Whimsical pillows and framed art with sweet messages seem to be the new text message of the home, inviting guests and proclaiming love for our friends, families and home town. In a world where Instagram and Pinterest appear to have taken over our lives – it’s no wonder we are so fond of these visual and tactile messages of inspiration, love, and comedy.

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Wood treatments

The presence of technology, especially a year from now, will have us craving natural elements like wood more than ever. Expect to see wood in unexpected places like ceilings and as accent walls. But this won’t be your Grandparent’s wood-paneled basement from the 50’s. Think one accent wall of rustic, reclaimed wood with natural aging, or elegant box-beamed ceilings.

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Fringe

Already very popular in fashion, fringe edging in small doses adds texture, softness and evokes a home-spun feeling that is endearing and blends well with other trends right now, like wooden accent bowls and handmade ceramics. Expect to see it used in more areas like blankets and curtains, as well.

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Metallics

Metallic accent furniture continues to become so popular, it has been referred to being “the new neutral”. Along with larger pieces like coffee tables and dining room tables, iridescent fabrics and wall art are also becoming more readily available to add a little sparkle to a room. Don’t think that this means you’ll need gold-plated columns erected into your home. Vintage finds from thrift shops and DIY projects like painting old furniture are also a fun way to bring this trend home.

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Intense colors

Anyone who is active on Pinterest knows that dark wall colors in vivid tones are wildly popular right now. In stark contrast to the bright and lively Greenery, chosen as color of the year by Pantone, the Benjamin Moore Paint Company chose their color of the year to be Shadow 2117-30. They describe it as “Allusive and enigmatic — a master of ambiance.”

Clearly a bold statement like this isn’t for everyone but an accent wall in a room that is not too small or dark already could be an amazing feature. Paired with metallic and lots of white furnishings and the effect is dramatic and glamorous.

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Work Smarter – Not Harder with Smart Home Technology

While still in its infancy, the number of smart home products—devices that let you control lighting, thermostat, or even your crock pot from your smartphone—is rapidly growing. These are products and whole ecosystems that help you control your home via a single iOS or Android app. You can pick and choose your favorite gadgets to assemble an affordable, intelligent abode on your own terms, or opt for an entire smart home system that does all the work for you.

As home automation becomes more prevalent, naturally there are more and more products becoming available as “smart devices”. Here are some of the more diverse home gadgets we have found, beyond thermostats and security cameras:

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GE WiFi CONNECT WASHER AND DRYER

Check washer progress with an app that lets you monitor cycles and settings, extend drying times, monitor levels of Smart Dispense tanks, download custom specialty cycles and receive alerts when clothes haven’t been removed.

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LOGITECH HARMONY ELITE, UNIVERSAL REMOTE CONTROL

More than just a TV remote – the Logitech Harmony Elite offers all-in-one control of up to 15 home devices including your TV, satellite or cable box, Apple TV, Roku, TiVo, Blu-ray player, game consoles, plus connected lights, locks, thermostats, sensors and more. There’s even a free app that turns your smart phone into an additional remote.

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PETZI TREAT CAM

Missing your pet while you’re away? The Petzi Treat Cam provides a way to connect with them through your smart phone from anywhere. Dispense treats, watch live HD video and speak with your pet using the 2-way audio.

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FRIGIDAIRE SMART WINDOW AIR CONDITIONER

A wifi connected air conditioner that you control through an app on your smart phone allows you to turn the unit on or off, change temperature, control modes and adapt fan speeds – especially handy if you want your home cooled off before you get home!

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SAMSUNG FAMILY HUB REFRIGERATOR

A few years ago, having a French door refrigerator with cameras, wifi, and a gigantic touchscreen would have been the stuff of dreams. Today it is a reality. This high-end fridge will let you peek inside it while grocery shopping, search for recipes on the 21.5 inch display, mirror your smart TV so you can keep watching your movie while you grab a drink, share calendars, photos and best of all – it even keeps your food cold.

Windermere Luxury Breakfast March 2017

This week, more than 100 Windermere brokers from all over the Puget Sound area came together to discuss the local luxury real estate market, premier their newest luxury listings, and hear from featured speaker, Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate.

Matthew Gardner gave a lively and engaging presentation on the regional economy and housing market, and how they compare nationally. He spoke of the impact that the technology sector is having on Seattle area housing, as well as King County’s population, which has grown by more than 50,000 since 2011. He said that more and more Silicon Valley-based tech companies are looking at Seattle in order to keep their employees happy, including Apple, Facebook, Google, and others. For some, the lifestyle and relative affordability is seen as a much better choice than cities like San Francisco where even the highest paid employees simply cannot afford to buy a home.

Matthew also discussed the Millennials who he says are incorrectly described as being the “renter generation”.  Instead, he said that many of them are delaying their home purchases because of student debt and lack of choice in the current market. But 2016 saw a significant increase in the number of Millennial buyers in Seattle, and he expects to see even more in 2017.

In terms of what to expect in the luxury housing market in the coming year, Matthew says it will generally parallel what we’re seeing in the rest of the market. Competition from Seattle’s growing wealthy population is causing homes to sell quickly and driving up prices. Furthermore, interest rates for jumbo loans remain historically low, making it more accessible for buyers to access large sums of money to purchase higher end homes.

 

 

What Buyers Want Today

The National Association of REALTORS® recently released their 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Here are a few items about buyers that we thought you’d find interesting.

If you’re looking to buy or sell your home, reach out to a Windermere Real Estate broker to help you successfully navigate the Seattle housing market.

 

This blog originally posted on Windermere Eastside Blog

Best of the Northwest Art and Fine Craft Show

With so much great art on view at Seattle’s museums and various art walks, it can be hard deciding which shows to prioritize. The Best of the Northwest Art and Fine Craft Show has long been a celebrated cultural event in Seattle for its carefully curated booths of more than 100 of the area’s best artists and artisans, but there are many other things that also make the annual show stand out.

  • The show is organized by the Northwest Art Alliance, a nonprofit organization that has supported Seattle artists since 1989.

Originally founded by a group of artists to produce a holiday art show, the NWAA has since become an important resource for artists. Exposure, education and essential tools to foster the growth of emerging artists is their primary function, along with providing the public access to the artwork of Seattle’s greatest artists that are not necessarily featured in local museums.

  • The booths are intimate spaces to view art.

While the exhibitions on view in each booth are conceptually rigorous and thematically expansive, the scale and installation of the booths invites close and thoughtful viewing.  The intimate setting also provides a special opportunity to talk with the artist about their work and their passion for their medium.

  • The show is held in a historic building: Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park.

The property is historically significant based on the role it played in the U.S. Navy’s expansion and development in the Puget Sound region, and on the architecture of many of its buildings. Hangar 30 has the distinctive Art Deco architectural style characterized by streamlined, rhythmic machine forms, exotic imagery, and the use of materials to give a feeling of motion.

  • Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park is adjacent to the NOAA Western Regional Center.

Created in the early 1980’s The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Art Walk includes six outdoor artworks by nationally recognized artists. The most recognized sculpture is “A Sound Garden“. This piece is located at the eastern end of the NOAA campus and features organ-like pipes that make sounds depending upon wind direction and speed.

  • The Popular Art-4-Kids Table

Kids 12 and under can enter the show for free and have a great time trying out numerous art techniques.

 

Spring is Here: Get Your Home Ready!

Now that the days are a little longer, the sun a little warmer, and blossoms are starting to pop, you may suddenly have the urge to do some spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition; an opportunity to sweep the cobwebs from your home, clear out the dust that accumulated during the winter, and let the sunshine in.

For many people spring cleaning may seem tedious but it doesn’t have to be! Crank some tunes, get some room decor inspiration from Pinterest, and get out the garbage bags because it’s time to get cleaning.

  1. Make a list of what needs to be cleaned in each room.

Lists can help you stay organized — especially if you have a huge project on your plate. Walk through each room and write down what needs to get done. Writing a list will ensure you have all the cleaning materials you’ll need before getting started.

  1. Make your playlist.

Listening to music while cleaning can make things go by faster. Of course, you don’t have to make a playlist; you could always just turn the radio on to your favorite station.

  1. Get three bins and label them: trash, recycle and donate.

As you go through each room, make sure to declutter. Recycle old magazines and papers from the previous year. Put items you no longer use or need, like that book you bought 10 years ago but never read, in the donate box. Itemize your donate pile when finished because you may be able to deduct those donations on your taxes.

  1. Work on one room at a time.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you want to clean your entire home all at once. Refer to your list in step 1 and check each one off as you go. Tracking your progress will keep you working in an organized fashion and keep you going when you start to get tired.

  1. Set an amount of time to work on each room.

It’s easy to get distracted, looking at items you’ve forgotten or old photographs, and before you know it you’ve spent the entire day cleaning just one single room. Set a timer so you don’t fall into this trap and to give yourself small breaks throughout the process.

  1. Get some help.

Don’t do all the cleaning yourself! Recruit your kids, significant other or roommates to help out. Anyone who contributes to the mess should also help clean it.

  1. Start from the top and work your way down.

Use the law of gravity and clean from the top of the ceiling to the floor. Knock all the dusty cobwebs from the corner, wash the curtains, clean the windows, dust/vacuum the furniture, and finally vacuum the floor.

  1. Consider using natural cleaners.

Many chemical-based cleaners emit hazardous fumes. Some cleaners when mixed together can even emit toxic fumes that can seriously hurt you. Vinegar is a great substitute to use as a general household cleaning solution, and it is not nearly as expensive as packaged cleaning solutions.

  1. Be patient.

Take your time and let grimy surfaces, like the ones in your bathroom and kitchen, soak in your cleaning solution. Work on something else on your list while your cleaner does the hard work.

  1. Reward yourself at the end.

Having something to look forward to at the end of a long day of cleaning sure makes things go a lot faster. Plus, you worked hard and deserve it. Treat yourself.

Saint Patrick’s Day in Seattle

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day which means Corned beef and cabbage, green beer, and people dressed like deranged Leprechauns are everywhere. Despite the lack of a large population of Irish descendants in Seattle, we still have several great Irish Pubs that share the food, music and merriment of a pub you might find in our Sister City; Galway, Ireland. So if you can’t celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day on the Emerald Isle – then do it in the Emerald City.

Murphy’s Pub

Family friendly until 9pm, Murphy’s offers a seat to your whole family – but your dog is welcome to stay there with you until closing time. The oldest Irish Pub in Seattle, Murphy’s was also the first to offer local microbrews when Redhook Brewery opened in 1982.

TRY: Black and Tan

Mulleady’s Pub

Being a restaurant with food that is much better than the usual pub fare, Mulleady’s will be serving a five-course St. Patrick’s Day dinner tonight. Calling ahead to see what the lines are like might be prudent.

TRY: Red Breast Collection Spirit Flight

Conor Byrne

A tried and true Irish Pub, the doors open today at noon and the live music starts at 1pm. Skillet Street Food will have a food truck parked outside all day – no word on what their menu might be.

TRY: Jameson and ginger cocktail

Owl N’ Thistle

Located on Post Alley in an old red brick building, on a rainy Seattle day, all you need to do is close your eyes to make believe you’re in Ireland. The doors open at 11am today with live music starting at 1pm. Post Alley is closed off in this small section so revelers can also hang outside.

TRY: Irish coffee

Kells

Arguably the most well-known Irish restaurant and bar in Seattle, so naturally their Saint Patrick’s Day event is huge. In fact, their festival is a three-day event from Thursday, March 16 through Sunday, March 19. The doors open at 9am and music starts at noon.

TRY: Guinness or Harp lager

 

Why We Love Living in Seattle: Lesser Known Parks Worth Discovering

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Kubota Gardens

Hidden in South Seattle, Kubota Garden is a stunning 20 acre landscape that blends Japanese garden concepts with native Northwest plants. Master landscaper Fujitaro Kubota was a horticultural pioneer when he began merging Japanese design techniques with North American materials in his display garden in 1927. His vision has undeniably permeated the horticulture culture of the Puget Sound area and remains as one of the most enduring and beloved landscaping designs in countless home gardens.

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Parson’s Garden

It’s the most romantic park in the city, and still one of Seattle’s best-kept secrets. Stroll among the flowers, picnic on the lawn, or just climb up a tree for a private moment. The intimate and natural setting makes this a lovely spot for small gatherings, so don’t be surprised if you stumble upon a wedding during your visit.

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A Sound Garden

Located on a hill overlooking Lake Washington in Northeast Seattle, giant pipe-like structures murmur, whistle, and howl when the wind blows through them at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration center on Sand Point Way.

Designed and built by sculptor Douglas Hollis, it is one of several art installations to be enjoyed on the NOAA campus. And if you’re wondering, the answer is yes: the Seattle band Soundgarden was named after this inspiring piece.

Visiting the NOAA campus is free, but security is tight. Make sure to bring a photo ID with you in order to get a day pass, and be prepared to have your bags searched. You also have to park your car and hike about a half mile to get to the art installations, but the walk is well worth it.

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Thomas C. Wales Park

Once the site of a gravel pit, the Thomas C. Wales Park is an urban wildlife habitat and public art installation on Queen Anne. Adam Kuby’s five “Quarry Rings” that punctuate the site not only allude to the landscape’s history but create bird and nesting habitats within the park, as well. Walk the path through the park to get the best view of each of them.

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Lowman Beach Park

Located a few blocks north of the more popular Lincoln Park in West Seattle, this little gem will not disappoint you. It is a waterfront park with about 300 feet of beach area, plus an acre of land above it with tennis courts and swings. Take a picnic lunch or launch a kayak from the water’s edge.

2017 Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show

A fur-ocious competition with the most paw-some and glamour-ruff dogs outside of Paw-llywood

To say Seattle is a dog lover’s city is putting it mildly. Off leash dog parks, pubs that allow dogs, dog-centric parades, and doggie daycare centers have become the norm for our fair city. With all of these dog lovers in one city, naturally the arrival of the Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show is a highly anticipated event. This year it will take place on March 11 and 12 at the CenturyLink Field Event Center.

Signature events will include everyone’s favorite: best-in-breed, as well as agility and obedience trials. These events are fun for dog lovers to watch, but the list of demonstrations this year also sound pretty entertaining. These are events that are not judged; they are purely educational and entertaining. Topics range from obedience, fly ball, herding and other typical dog sport themes, but there are two unique demonstrations that really stand out:

First, Amy Trotter the Pig will be hogging the spotlight and demonstrating her remarkable obedience, rally and agility exercises.

Agility Pig

The second wildly popular event is the Dog and Person Dance Demonstration, which is just as fun and crazy as it sounds: choreographed dance performances between owners and their dogs. Hopefully the four-legged dance partners won’t have any trouble, considering they have two left feet.

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For more information on the show and ticket sales, visit their website at:  Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show