I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of a restaurant that markets itself as green. For me, it’s all about the food. So let me talk about that first, and then I can talk about the green thing. Bella Green is a healthy fast casual restaurant that serves salads, pizza, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, soup, and desserts. Recently I enjoyed an outstanding chicken sandwich — grilled all-natural chicken breast, bacon, mixed greens, tomato, house-made pickles, onion, avocado, swiss cheese, mango ranch dressing, and served on a whole-wheat bun. That mango ranch dressing made the sandwich. And the pickles added an outstanding zing. They have an awesome selection of burgers, including veggie, beef, turkey and lamb. The sweet potato fries are fantastic and what I suggest as an accompaniment. They sell lots of salads all day long and they are excellent. The honey fried goat cheese with arugula is my favorite and the curry chicken is also different and exotic. The salads are my number one recommendation here. Servings are big so make sure you take one of their ecofriendly to go boxes. If you want pasta or comfort food, the quinoa mac n cheese is a guilt free bowl of gooey comfort. The spicy veggie pasta is also amazing and the spice warms you all over. They have a very eclectic mix of soft drinks and a good beer and wine selection. The clincher for dining at Bella Green is that it has the BEST patio in The Woodlands. It has a welcoming relaxing ambience that makes me think I’m in a different country. It is surrounded by trees and bushes so it is quiet and serene. Now to the green part. They aren’t talking about green food like lettuce. The web site says the following: “Our eco-conscious restaurants are low impact spaces that are good for the earth. We tread lightly. Accommodating different dietary needs is something we stand by, so each individual can enjoy finer dining at an affordable price. From using water-saving devices to alternate power sources, our green practices keep us in harmony with the environment.” They even have a place to park your electric car in front. So if you like being nice to the environment and want good food on a great patio, head over to Bellagreen.
By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource
A lot of people don’t realize just how much home stagers do for their clients. Certified professional home stagers are true artists and will go to great lengths to get that “right look,” as well as help seller’s maximize the return impact on the sale of their home.
Here are two, behind-the-scenes staging stories that show you how far your home stager will go to GET IT DONE RIGHT…
You may have seen this unique residence in your news stream a while back, but did you consider how it got staged? It is on an island just off the Connecticut coast and the residence spans the entire three-acre island.
There were five houses to be staged (a main house, guest house, tea house, game house, and pool house.) The real kicker is that the caretaker’s boat had weight restrictions and could not hold couches, beds, or larger pieces–so the stager had to be creative!
HSR Certified home stager Leia Ward of LTW Designs in Fairfield County is the brave home stager who took on this property, and using only accessories, staged it beautifully! Here is a photo of her loading up the boat with all her gorgeous furnishings.
Imagine how hard it must have been to crate all of those items over two docks, open sea, and yard space using just the wheel barrel you see here!
Leia and her team staged all day and into the evening but the outcome and sale of the home is what drives dedicated stagers like her.
Since staging outdoor spaces has become much more critical to buyers, Leia makes sure no stone is unturned using what the client had and adding many more accessories to update the look.
My second story entails a home that most people had given up on…
Looking more like an Amityville Horror Movie, this home had been neglected and abused for years and unfortunately the inside was not much better…
When RESA Stager of the Year, HSR Grad Brad Fletcher of the Home Staging Pros in Orlando, Fla. got a hold of this property … everything changed!
The transformation is unbelievable, and it’s hard to envision this is the same house! Updated flooring, paint, fixtures, A LOT of clean up, and staging makes this a home that buyers will pay A LOT more for!
Professional home stagers make this kind of magic happen every day for their clients. They are tireless, they are dedicated, and they are worth every penny.
Buyers beware … not all home stagers are equal. Is Walmart equal to Restoration Hardware in quality and design? It’s not about getting the best price for your sellers; it’s about getting the best return on their investment. Brad and Leia are stagers who do just that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Audra Slinkey is president of the Home Staging Resource, a RESA Accredited home staging training and certification company. Slinkey has personally trained over 3,000 stagers worldwide and is a bestselling author and international speaker. She also serves as president of the American Society of Home Stagers and Redesigners. Connect with her on Facebook!
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Black is getting popular in home design. Black fixtures, appliances, and even black furniture are emerging as one of the hottest trends in the new year.
Black fixtures are replacing brass or rubbed bronze as a trendy home hardware in 2018.
Black makes a great finish because it goes with anything. In matted finishes, it can also be easier to clean than your lighter, polished metals–so that’s definitely an added perk for homeowners too.
Black cabinets in the kitchen are getting trendy too. To offset the darkness, some homeowners are mixing the black cabinets with lighter cabinets. Check out this one from Weston Lodge…
Black stainless appliances are also gradually gaining more momentum in the kitchen. Black stainless was once again being showed in the newest appliance models at CES 2018, the consumer electronics show this year. As more smudge proof, black stainless is proving itself as a trendy alternative to traditional stainless.
Beautiful updated home with spectacular pool, pergola with gas grill plus zoned for top rated schools. From the moment you drive up, you will fall in love! Greeted by a grand staircase with both formals on the side. Kitchen has recent appliances including 5-burner gas cook-top with stainless hood and granite counters. Wait until you see the master suite with updated sumptuous bath and awesome custom closet! Study is private and could be second bedroom down. Walk to Buckalew Elementary, neighborhood park with pool, courts and path to Bear Branch Reservoir.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
The mega consumer electronic showcase, CES, lands in Las Vegas this week. It may not be the place you typically go to for décor trends, but technology is having an undeniable influence in home design, like see-through refrigerators and smart lighting.
Consumers look to you for expertise too. Forty-two percent of Americans say they would look to their sales agent to provide suggestions about how staging their home with smart home products could impact the sale of their home, according to a newly released Coldwell Banker Real Estate survey of more than 3,000 Americans.
So what do we see that has potential this year to spice up some designs? Here are a few picks from CES 2018.
Accent Wall Light Show
Nanoleaf’s color-changing Aurora light panels would make for an attention-getting accent wall in small or big doses. Connect them in any configuration you like. They just stick to the walls. The panels change colors, and you can sync the lights to music and also with one of your AI’s, Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. The panels are touch-sensitive so with a tap you can turn them on and off, dim them, or change the color.
Refrigerators just keep getting smarter. LG’s new InstaView ThinQ smart refrigerator features a 29-inch touchscreen that becomes transparent if you knock on it twice. You can also use the touchscreen to manage your food and get automatic reminders when items are running low.
Samsung has a similar model in appearance with its 2018 version of its Family Hub smart refrigerator. This year’s model offers support for Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant to handle voice commands. It can connect to other third-party devices for the smart home too. So you can actually view what’s happening outside your front door from your refrigerator door.
Notice both the Samsung and LG models are both featured in black stainless, which we still believe will be a growing competitor to traditional stainless steel.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall …
Check out this smart mirror. Kohler is introducing a new Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror, which is a bathroom mirror that has Amazon’s Alexa built-in. It features a dual-microphone solution for accuracy in voice-control and speakers are housed in the casings. There is also a motion-activated wayfinding nightlight for safety, and LED lights for makeup application or other grooming needs. It can also communicate with other connected products in your Wi-Fi network.
Is that an AI in your ceiling?
Talk with your ceiling lights. You’ll be able to with GE’s Smart Ceiling Fixture. It is a large disk that boasts a speaker in the middle. You can give it voice-driven tasks on anything, like adding an item to your grocery list or telling it to play music. You can also tell it to adjust the warmness or coolness of the lights. It responds to your commands. Flush mount or recessed can lighting options will be available.