August 15th, 2014 at 12:00 pm
When creating a centerpiece for your home dining room sticking with traditional classics like flowers and fruit is a safe bet. However, a centerpiece can also represent your design tastes, personality and creativity. Look beyond your garden and find inspiration in your own style, interior design and other elements of nature.
Start by examining your room. Is there a certain design theme (nautical, safari, modern, rustic, etc.)? Look for ways to incorporate your current theme into your centerpiece. Take for example the Nantucket dining room featured on Houzz.com. The designer further incorporated beach style into the centerpiece by using rope knots.
Unique centerpieces can also showcase or add a pop of color. If you’d like to enhance certain colors already featured in the room, create a centerpiece in those same colors. If your room is more neutral toned, add a bright color to your table. (more…)
August 14th, 2014 at 3:29 pm
By now it’s no longer news to anyone living in Southern California that residents are in the middle of an extreme drought. New restrictions have been enforced and government and community leaders are urging residents to conserve whenever possible. Although the need to comply with new restrictions is paramount, don’t miss out on the potential savings opportunities available to you for your conservation efforts!
Our current drought is one of the worst in California’s history and we are currently depleting our reserves. Conservation is the key to getting through the drought and recovering quickly. In an effort to encourage conservation participation local and state authorities are offering rebates and incentives for residents that meet certain criteria.
To see if you qualify for rebates or incentives, start first with your appliances. High-efficiency washers, toilets, rotating nozzles, weather-based irrigation controllers and soil sensors may all qualify. If your home uses turf grass, now is the time to replace it! Turf removal rebates start at $2.00 per square foot from SoCal Water$mart, but other local authorities, such as The San Diego Water Authority offer additional rebates. If you’re going to replace your turf be sure to apply for all qualifying rebate programs. (more…)
August 14th, 2014 at 1:00 pm
Although the details of the first garden may forever remain unknown, it’s safe to assume that gardening has been around for hundreds of years. For many, gardening is seen as an art form and an expression of self and home. Gardens can be made to be beautiful, filled with flowers and trees to provide shade on a sunny afternoon, but a garden can also be a source of food and in the past, maybe even survival. Traditionally, gardens were fenced off in some way to provide a barrier of protection against animals. The practice of fencing off a garden led to the art of espalier.
Espalier is the training and pruning of a plant (typically a tree) to grow flat against a barrier such as a wall or fence. This art form can be used in your home garden as an architectural accent. Use it to dress up stone walls or a fence. Try using fruit bearing trees such as apples or pears to add a pop of color to your perimeter.
Some garden centers sell plants that have already been trained, but if you’re looking to train a plant start by planning out your pattern. Common themes include traditional designs that have the plants growing horizontally, vertically or crisscrossed. Once you’ve planned your pattern determine a suitable location and what type of plant you’d like to use. Depending on your pattern, additional equipment may be required such as posts or wires. Consider talking to a local professional at your garden center for additional information and advice on your specific property. Remember, training can take months to years, so be patient and continue to prune as needed!
August 13th, 2014 at 12:00 pm
The Wolff Residence is on the market and represented by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties’ agents Simon Salloom and Tyson Park. The home, designed and built by John Lautner, AIA in 1961 is a modernist architectural masterpiece that blends elements of wood and stone and features stunning views from 16’ floor to ceiling windows. The awe-inspiring four-bedroom home sits on a private cul-de-sac, includes a beautiful pool and one-bedroom guesthouse.
Taking full advantage of the terrain, The Wolf Residence climbs down a steep hillside and is reminiscent of a tree house. Lautner often stated that this was his finest homage to his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright. Expressive engineering and design seamlessly integrate the residence into its natural environment. The home is so impressive that in 2006 actor Vincent Gallo purchased the home and had it classified as a historic building under the Mills Act; a special designation that allows the city to award homeowners breaks on property taxes in exchange for restoring and maintaining their properties.
August 12th, 2014 at 10:00 am
There’s a new ordinance affecting the residents of the City of Ventura that also impacts home sales. Effective February 3, 2014 inspections of private sewer laterals are required prior to closing. This new ordinance came about due to a lawsuit involving the City of Ventura’s sewage overflow and in an effort to prevent disruptions in operation of the public sewer. The required inspections are aimed at helping residents identify timely inspections and repairs or replacements of private sewer laterals. A private sewer lateral is the pipe that connects a business or home’s plumbing system to the City’s wastewater collection pipeline. The homeowner is responsible for the entire pipe length, not just the portion underneath their property. Although Ventura Water is responsible for maintenance on the main pipelines, private property maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner.
If you’re a real estate agent or someone that is considering selling your home, you are encouraged to have a licensed plumber inspect your home prior to the opening of escrow. This will ensure you that you have plenty of time to complete the inspection and required paperwork. Sellers are required to submit the Private Sewer Lateral Inspection Report to the city’s Building and Safety Division prior to closing. (more…)