1. Clean the Gutters If your home sits under a pollinating tree, then your gutters might have brown or yellow stains dripping down the sides from the spring’s pollination cycle. But even if it doesn’t, leaves may have accumulated, which not only clog gutters, but can cause stains as well. Now is a great time to scrub your gutters down because the weather is warm and they’ll stay relatively clean until the fall.
2. Clean Exterior Lights Have you ever cleaned out the dead bugs from your home’s exterior lights? Many people don’t think to do this, but those bugs add up. They not only look gross, but they also dim the quality of the light. This is an easy chore that will give your home a bright, clean look.
3. Fix Concrete Cracks If you have a concrete driveway, patio, or path, you know that the winter months can be brutal on these areas. The constant freezing and melting, as well as the salt you throw down, all contribute to cracks. If left unattended, these cracks will get wider with each successive winter season. If the crack is small, buy concrete caulk. Simply clean out the crack (a pressure washer works great for this) and apply the caulk. If the crack is large, then you’ll need to apply concrete patch.
4. Caulk the Exterior Caulk not only helps protect the exterior of your home from the elements, but it also helps keep it air-tight, which means lower monthly utility bills for you. Exterior caulking should be done once per year. And you sure don’t want to do this outdoor project during the dead of winter or during a wet fall or spring. Start caulking around windows and doors first. If your home has a wooden exterior, use clear caulk between any slats that are separating or open.
5. Clean and Seal Your Deck Decks get dirty. Give your deck a good scrubbing with a stiff brush and soap or use a power-washer. Then, apply a fresh coat of sealer to protect the wood from rain and next winter’s snow. Not only will this keep your deck in good repair for years to come, but it looks great too!
6. Clean Up Outdoor Furniture Are your Adirondack chairs looking faded and sad? Is your patio furniture coated in dust and grime? Clean your furniture from top to bottom. If the material can be painted or stained, why not add a fresh coat? Painting outdoor furniture can be a great project to do with your kids, too. Just be sure to use a low-VOC or nontoxic paint.
7. Add an Outdoor Fireplace If you’ve been dreaming about summer nights in front of an outdoor fireplace, now’s the time to make it happen. Create a safe space in your yard for a fire pit; it shouldn’t be close to overhanging trees and should be at least 15 feet from the house. Dig into the ground to form a circle three feet in diameter. Pour sand in the bottom, and then surround it with a metal fire pit ring, which can be purchased inexpensively from any home improvement store. Once you’ve gathered some wood, you’re good to go!
Final Thoughts Summer is a great time to do a lot of things – especially in regards to home improvement. For outdoor projects, wear a sunhat and plenty of sunscreen and don’t forget to keep your water bottle full and handy. Remember, easy projects like these are inexpensive and take little of your time, but they can add loads of value—both visually and financially – to your home. What home improvement projects are you taking on this summer?
The comfort level of your home is significantly influenced by the design of the interior setting. It’s important that you decorate with the latest trends to create a modern and contemporary setting that reflects your taste. If you’re looking to update your home decoration, here are a few designs to consider using this year.
Marble Marble is a luxe material that looks stunning when used in different areas of the home. Marble countertops create a regal environment in the kitchen or bathrooms and will boost the home’s value. Marble accent pieces can also be used with a side table that is placed in the living room or a marble clock in a home office. Marble wallpaper or fabric will also make a statement if you want a more affordable option when furnishing your home.
Jewel tones add a subtle amount of color to the interior setting and help to brighten up the space. Jewel colors consist of pastel shades, emerald green, and violet. The colors will reflect the outside setting and will allow you to maintain a neutral environment that isn’t overly bold or loud.
Nailhead Details Nailhead details have made a comeback from past years and are a popular look for different furniture pieces that are used throughout the home. Choose a headboard that has a nailhead design or a sofa that incorporates the luxe look. Although it’s commonly added onto upholstered pieces, it is also used to create intriguing patterns on the fabric for extra embellishment that looks eclectic.
Subway Tiles Subway tiles continue to be a hit this year for their sleek and urban style that creates a light and airy setting in bathrooms and kitchens. Subway tiles are a versatile choice that looks classic and can work with a variety of different styles. You can utilize subway tiles to work with a farmhouse style or bohemian design. Use a dark grout with the tiles to prevent dirt from being visible as you use the space. The tiles are also available at different prices, making them affordable for most budgets. If you want to have a twist on the design, opt for installing matte glass subway tiles.
Metallic details add extra shimmer to interior settings and can dress up the space. Use brass hardware on your kitchen cabinets or install a silver chandelier in the middle of the room to set the style of the space. Metallic features can also be added to the outside of the home with copper rain gutters that are installed.
Modern Holiday Decorations When it’s time to decorate during the holiday season, modern decorations are popular to create a chic setting that doesn’t have to be traditional. Use a white Christmas tree that will stand out in the room and look beautiful with metallic ornaments that are hung on the branches. Real garland that is draped on the fireplace mantle will also look appealing and can add a touch of the outdoor setting into your home.
Wallpaper More people are choosing wallpaper over paint to add extra detail with fun prints and patterns that set the tone of each room. For larger spaces, choose an accent wall where you can apply the wallpaper, which should work within the color scheme of the setting.
When you want to transform the inside of your home, these are a few decorations to choose from. By incorporating trendy decor looks, you’ll create a stunning environment that will look chic and updated for several years to come.
The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County
presents Haiku Hike at Carp Bluffs
Haiku Hike at the Carpinteria Bluffs
August 26 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Join us for a Haiku Hike with artist and activist Arturo Tello. This slow stroll will be just over 3 (flat) miles along the Carpinteria Bluffs.We will have 5-6 stopping points to allow your creative expression to flow as we explore our haikus. No experience necessary! Novice poets welcome!
= Meet at 9 am at the Baillard parking lot.
Nature inspires us
The Heart’s written expression
Montecito Vacant Lot With Foundation127 Loureyro Road, Montecito
Offered at $849,000 www.127Loureyro.com
Vacant land with Montecito water meter, ready to build on a flat approximate .71 acre lot in Montecito Union attendance area. The foundations of previous structure remains and consists of approximate 2,500 square foot home, 525 sf garage and 680 sf guest house.
The site is completely fenced, gated and private with some mature landscape vegetation, fruit trees such as avocado, peach, persimmon and macadamia nut. Easy to see and ready to build with county approval!
Contact: Maurie McGuire at Maurie@Montecitoland.com / 805-403-8816 or Scott Westlotorn at Scott@Montecitoland / 805-403-4313
One of the original Mesa properties built in 1926, skillfully restored with modern utility and impeccable attention to detail. Luxurious finishes complement this Spanish style two bedroom/two bath home with original oak floors, high ceilings, wood burning fire place, red tile roof and Italian tiles in kitchen and baths.
This light infused home sits on over a quarter acre and is beautifully landscaped around outdoor living spaces with classic water fountains, fruit and shade trees. Enjoy filtered ocean views, all conveniently close to Shoreline Park, Santa Barbara Harbor and downtown. Easy to show by appointment, call us today and come experience the joy of living the Mesa lifestyle.
Summer is here — it’s a great time for summer cookouts. It’s also a great time to taste what’s in season, including squash, avocado, and peaches. Below are some tasty, nutritious menu options to bring to your next cookout.
Power-Packed Deviled Eggs
Hard boil eggs, half them, scoop out the yolk, and mix it with avocado. Put this mixture back into the cooked egg whites. For a flavorful finish, add paprika.
This appetizer is packed with high-quality protein, as eggs contain all essential amino acids, all B vitamins, and healthy omega-3 fats, which lower inflammation. Eggs are often referred to as a perfect protein. Avocados are full of antioxidants including vitamin C and E and carotenoids.
Peaches and Coconut Cream
Slice up organic ripe peaches into a bowl (with or without skin), and pour coconut cream over them. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!
Peaches are a great summer fruit. They are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. They are also a good source of fiber, niacin, and potassium and a great source of vitamin C. Peaches help your body fight free radicals, prevent cancer, and protect your heart from disease.
Grilled Herb Chicken
Take organic, pasture-raised chicken breasts, and season with fresh-chopped garlic, rosemary, thyme, paprika, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Grill on medium heat until cooked thoroughly. Serve with grilled summer squash (below) for a healthy dinner!
This is an easy dish packed with nutrients! Garlic is an anti-microbial agent (cooking with it kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi), which raises HDL levels. Rosemary boosts the immune system and improves circulation. Thyme is a great herb for digestion, paprika is high in vitamin C and antioxidants, and cayenne improves circulation.
Grilled Summer Squash
Cut ends off yellow squash, and slice vertically (about ½ inch thick) to make long strips. Brush with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Grill five minutes per side until just starting to soften.
Squash is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has been found to help protect prostate health and has anti-cancer benefits.
Santa Barbara South County Market Overview from 2013-Present day
Featured below is Real Estate market and sales data for Santa Barbara’s South County. The numbers date back to 2013 in order to show trends and fluctuations in the market over several years up to present day. The entire market overview is based on Homes & Estates, and PUD’s (Planned Unit Developments. Below is the table of contents for the Market Report.