September 17th, 2014 at 11:30 am

When it comes to interior design, a staircase can present both a challenge and an opportunity. Below we’ve compiled some of our favorite interior design trends to help you lighten, brighten and freshen up your stairway. For more design inspiration, check out our staircase board on Pinterest at

  1. Create a wall gallery along the wall of your staircase. For best viewing from the first floor, hang the frames low on the wall and follow the angle of the stairs.
  2. Use a vinyl wall decal. These can be found on a number of websites and in stores. Some places allow you to create your own text. For a bolder statement use, vinyl decals along the base of your stairs to create a message as you walk up.



  3. Go contemporary by using a stencil or wallpaper only on the adjacent staircase wall.



  4. (more…)

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September 16th, 2014 at 11:30 am

About eight miles east of the Puerto Rico mainland, in the northeast portion of the Caribbean, is the picturesque island Vieques. The 55-square-mile island is home to about 14,000 people and the brand-new El Blok hotel.

Music executive Simon Baeyertz formed a partnership with architects Fuster + Partners to create El Blok. Twenty-two rooms come in five varieties: Estandar, Esquina, Terraza, Doble and Silencio. Rooms are simplistic with a touch of luxury and designed with relaxation in mind. Most of the furnishings were crafted locally from native materials.

El Blok’s restaurant and bar, Placita, is run by chef Jose Enrique and plays on the traditional Spanish and Creole influences of the island. “I like to say we’re a restaurant with rooms above,” Baeyertz says.

Read what The New York Times had to say or book your reservation by visiting


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September 16th, 2014 at 10:00 am


If you have hard water in your home, you’re no stranger to the white and brown spots on your sinks, tubs and glass. Any time your water is used, hard water spots can appear. Having hard water means it’s high in calcium, and the stains or rings you see are calcium deposits that remain after water has evaporated. However, these spots can be removed with little effort. Try any of these cleaning methods to get your kitchen and bathroom sparkling in no time.

  1. Try an oxalic acid-based cleaner. It quickly removes hard-water stains with minimal applications or continued scrubbing.
  2. Put lemon juice in a spray bottle and lightly apply to spots. Let stand for a few minutes before removing. This may take several applications.
  3. Spray vinegar onto the spots, let stand and scrub until removed. Another option is to combine the vinegar and lemon.
  4. Create a paste using vinegar and baking soda. Let the paste sit on the stain for about 10 minutes before scrubbing clean.
  5. LIME-A-WAY® and CLR® are corrosive and toxic cleaners, so use caution when applying on natural surfaces. Test each product in a small area before use.

One of the best things you can do is try several different cleaning methods. It can be difficult to tell which method will work best as ratios, dilutions and the severity of the calcium buildup all have an impact. Let us know your favorite cleaning tips and how you prevent hard-water buildup.


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September 15th, 2014 at 5:12 pm

HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, today announced the appointment of Steven John as president and CEO HomeServices Relocation, effective September 16, 2014. Mary Lee Blaylock, current president and CEO of HomeServices Relocation has been named senior vice president and general manager of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, effective October 1st.

John brings extensive executive management and relocation experience to HomeServices Relocation. Most recently, John served as senior vice president, client services for RELO Direct where he was responsible for all relationship management, service and accounting operations, vendor management and technology. Prior to joining RELO Direct, John was executive vice president of client services for Prudential Relocation and has worked for several Fortune 500 companies in various executive management roles involving finance, budgeting, operations and strategic planning.

As HomeServices Relocation’s president and CEO, John will be responsible for expanding the size, scope and footprint of HomeServices Relocation, providing operational and financial oversight and serving as chief liaison for new and existing clients.


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September 15th, 2014 at 11:00 am


As part of our goal to enhance the quality of the neighborhoods we live in and serve, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties created The Charitable Foundation as an outlet to give back. Through the Foundation, our agents and employees can make a difference in their communities. Since inception, The Charitable Foundation has provided hundreds of grants totaling more than $4 million to local organizations in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. The Foundation focuses on communities with an emphasis on education and environment.

How do we do it?

At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, employees and agents are encouraged and actively participate by volunteering their time and talents. One of the things that makes The Charitable Foundation so successful is that it supports a wide variety of organizations. Instead of focusing solely on one initiative, our company provides assistance to those bettering their communities. For instance, the foundation may assist in the coordination of a beach day cleanup, holiday toy drive or even volunteer their time in local public schools.

The Charitable Foundation currently has five chapters: Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange counties. As Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties continues to expand, so does the reach of The Charitable Foundation. To learn more, visit


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