This Weekend Brings Fun to the Upstate

family kid on sholders

There is plenty to choose from this weekend and here is a list of the major festivals and events going on several days this weekend below and find more on our community calendar here.

  • Abbeville Spring Festival: Runs Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. in downtown Abbeville.
  • Great Anderson County Fair: Runs through May 4 at the Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center, 3027 MLK Jr. Blvd. in Anderson. Hours of operation are Friday, 4-11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – midnight; and Sunday 12:30-11 p.m.
  • Greer Family Fest: Runs Friday 6-10 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Greer City Park and in downtown Greer. The Marshall Tucker Bandperforms Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
  • Mayberry Comes to Westminster Festival: Friday and Saturday in downtown Westminster
  • Piedmont Plant & Flower Festival: Runs Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Greenville State Farmers Market on Rutherford Road.
  • Spartanburg Spring Fling: Runs Friday from 5-11 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. in downtown Spartanburg.

Friday-only events:

Saturday-only events:

Source – FOX Carolina

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How to Make a Kitchen Sizzle

 

kitchen

Whether you are getting your house ready for the market or creating a dream kitchen in a home you just bought considering a major kitchen redo is a major project and expense. Here are tips and trends to help you.

The cost of redoing a kitchen is on the rise, averaging $109,000 for an upscale renovation and $55,000 for a mid-range transformation, according to the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report.

Experts say the following trends are generating the hottest buzz in kitchens this year:

1. Quartz is the new granite. Because of its presence in many homes and due in part to so lower prices, granite has lost star power. What’s taking its place is quartz, which is similar to quartzite; it’s easier to maintain and affordable.  It offers a less-fussy patterned appearance to suit contemporary styles

2. LED lighting. Because it’s been mandated by certain states and the federal government has required that incandescent lamps be phased out unless sufficiently energy efficient, more professionals and home owners are making the switch to energy-wise LEDs underneath cabinets and in cans, pendants, chandeliers, and sconces.

3. Backsplashes have become a major focal point. Subway tiles are still popular, though now with beveled edges; matte rather than glossy finishes; a variety of colors rather than just classic white; and in larger 4-by-10-inch formats rather than traditional 3-by-6-inch sizes. Today’s trend is also to lay the tiles in vertical rather than horizontal rows. Bigger glass tiles in shimmery hues are grabbing attention, too—and they represent a green choice, made out of recycled materials.

4. Drawers beneath countertops rather than doors. Rather than have to go through a two-step process of opening below counter cabinets and reaching into and rummaging through shelves, drawers that pull out and present all their contents are taking hold. The one downside: These shelves aren’t adjustable as are those in many cabinets.

5. Appliance trends. Options, options and more options are available in today’s high tech kitchens.  Here are a few to consider.

* Microwave drawers that are easier for all generations to reach than those placed above a range or cooktop.

* More powerful gas range burners that offer higher output.

*French-door style refrigerators that make it easier to view contents when doors are opened, they’re now available from some manufacturers with four doors.

* Hot-water dispensers on refrigerator doors.

* Beverage centers and wine coolers that are placed strategically at points of use.

* Dishwashers that have three and four racks for silverware and utensils; also, models that use less water, are quieter and bigger, and place jets along side walls.

* Integrated appliances, better camouflaged behind panels to dress up open-style kitchens.

*Long, deep, one-bowl sinks, sometimes with cutting boards to conserve space.

6. Cleaner, contemporary lines. Styles fade in and out, typically following suit with fashion trends and the economy. This year, home owners are gravitating away from traditional and even eclectic designs, instead opting for streamlined, modern looks. This preference is showing up in less-ornamented cabinet fronts, sometimes with a flat door or minimal molding and simpler hardware. Trends also include less exotic countertop patterns, simpler floor choices such as wood planks or bigger tiles with less grout, and pared-back color palettes.

 

Source – Realtor Magazine

Window Boxes Add Curb Appeal

window-boxes-06

Add beautiful window boxes for added interest and a pop of color. No matter if you lack the time, money, or energy to maintain large, sumptuous borders, you can still enjoy colorful flowers and foliage in planters that are small enough to change in five minutes and striking enough to give your house a new look.

Make It Interesting

One simple rule to make window boxes like these more interesting: Plant a thriller (something tall, such as a blooming geranium), a filler (something to add fullness, such as colorful caladium), and a spiller (something to trail over the sides, such as purple petunias).  These are just suggestions just make sure you have a thriller, filler and spiller.

Summer Window Boxes

A window box dresses up the front of the home while providing extra gardening space. Use light colors of foliage and flowers to create a cooler feel in summer. If you have a smaller garden in the same area use the same colors to accentuate.

Go for the Bold

The big challenge in choosing plants for the window box was picking colors keep in mind the color of your house so they will really pop.  If you lack this natural talent visit your local nursery and they will be happy to help you.  Some nurseries will even fill your window boxes with stunning plants for an additional charge.

Winter Window Boxes

Winter is equally stellar when you know what to plant. Begin with a focal point, the one element that draws attention. The thriller could be tall snap dragons or round colorful kale both are an excellent choices.   To each side plant pansies or violas to add color and be the filler. Accent with green and add your spiller with ivy.

Lighten Up the Living Room

white living room

Create a Blank Canvas

A white room can serve as a gallery-like showplace for collections and your favorite items. Gather your collections together to showcase how special they are to you.  A blank white canvas sets off the beloved items you’ve acquired over time, without feeling over decorated.

Accent with Varying Hues

Whites don’t always need to be as pure as the driven snow. Try neutral window treatments that pick up a room’s wood tones. For example beige gray paint color on wooden beams highlights the newly painted white ceiling beams for extra dimension. This makes the ceiling looks taller and the space seems larger.

Shift Shades Between Rooms

Using white in adjoining areas creates a cohesive effect that doesn’t disrupt the quiet visual of a white space. But having the same shade of white in every room could look sterile, so switch up your specific shades according to the lighting of the room and the ambience you wish to create.

Source – Southern Living

Get Your House Ready To Sell

welcome mat

1. Get rid of any extra furniture- This means that any furniture that doesn’t serve a real, functional purpose needs to go. It can be sold, or just in storage, but it needs to get out of the house. You want as much of your space shown as you can.

2. Hide the toys- Before your Realtor takes any listing photos or shows your house, hide the toys! Unless there is a designated area used as a playroom, toys need to be hidden. Buyers want the spaces they are looking at to feel fresh, clean, and grown up.

3. Open doors- Be sure to open all of your interior doors before showing your house. The home flows together nicely so that the potential buyers can understand the layout of the home more easily. When showing, you don’t want any big surprises. The potential buyers need to be able to easily walk from one room to the next.

4. Turn on lights- When showing your home, turn on all of the lights before you leave. This is especially the case if your house has light switches in strange places. The last thing you want the potential buyers to do, is search for your light switches. By having the lights on, it makes the home feel brighter and more cozy.

5. Good smells- The smell of your home will be one of the very first things that the potential buyers register in their brains when looking at your home. Be sure it is a good smell and not over powering.

6. Fix up the curb appeal- This doesn’t mean that your front yards needs an entire makeover, but make sure that it looks warm and inviting. Plant some flowers, fix your fence, and mow your lawn. It is the little things that really make a difference.

7. Clear off counter tops- Nobody wants to look at clutter. Put your bread and bananas in the cupboard before your house is shown. You want potential buyers to feel like there is plenty of counter space. While you are at it, take down the cutter off of your fridge to make your kitchen feel fresh and clean.

8. Clean doors- You don’t realize just how dirty your doors are until you start scrubbing them down! Clean the doorknobs to make sure they aren’t sticky and make sure there aren’t dirty fingerprints all over the door. It is a small detail that most people won’t notice unless they are dirty most likely. You don’t want potential buyers to notice dirty doors.

9. Clean your windows- There is so much dirt, dust, and who knows what else that gets stuck to windows. Clean them inside and out. It is amazing to see how much more light comes through when the windows are clean. It makes the entire room feel cleaner too.

 

The Wilhite House, Historical Building in Anderson, SC

 

hist houseThe Wilhite House was originally the home of Dr. P.A. Wilhite and his wife, Miss Cora Hillis.  Anderson, SC has been the home of many innovated people throughout the years and Dr. Wilhite is no exception.

Dr. Wilhite is renowned as the discoverer of the anesthesia ether. The use of ether as an anesthetic in the mid 19th century was heralded as one of the greatest advances in surgical technology to date. Before anesthetics, surgery was an incredibly painful and horrific experience. Surgeons had few options for dulling the intense pain.  It wasn’t uncommon for people to commit suicide rather than go through the nightmare of surgery.

The Wilhite House,  the 6,000 square foot mansion was built in 1858. The home is located 604 S. McDuffie St. Anderson, SC and is currently occupied by Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Monroe, the fifth owners of the home.

Anderson is full of historical homes and buildings and we discover more of them in this blog.

Dog Safety for Outdoor Yards

dog-cocker-l

For many dogs, a home with a backyard is a place of safety and fun. Yet, for some dogs, the yard can be a source of danger as well.  Conducting a safety check of your property is always a good idea.


Insects

Fleas and ticks can be more than a nuisance, as both can carry various diseases. Be sure to use a flea and tick preventative for your dog; if you are not sure which to use, ask your veterinarian. You can help reduce the risk of fleas by not keeping piles of yard debris, as fleas tend to like warm, shady spots with moisture. If you have a pile of yard debris such as grass clippings and leaves for compost, be sure to enclose the pile so that your dog doesn’t choose it as a spot to lie down on. Ticks can carry disease such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease. Ticks like longer grass as well as brush, such as woodsy undergrowth. Keeping the grass mowed to an appropriate height will help reduce the incidence of ticks.

Some insects are less obvious. Look for other insects that can cause problems, such as wasps and poisonous spiders. Some stinging insects, including some species of bees and wasps, construct homes in the ground, such as along sheds, foundations and fences. Unfortunately, these are areas where dogs tend to investigate often and since dogs often investigate with their nose, they run a heightened risk of getting stung on their sensitive noses. Look for small holes in these areas and if you find any, handle them accordingly.

Don’t Poison the Dog While Going For A Green Lawn

Many homeowners employ herbicides to control weeds and pesticides to control a wide variety of insects, such as grubs and ants. While those products can be applied to a lawn and not affect humans, it can be a different story for dogs. Not necessarily because the product is more poisonous to dogs, but dogs tend to actually lay down on the grass, run barefoot on it and then lick themselves – ingesting the herbicides and pesticides in the process.

Herbicides and pesticides come in a wide variety of formulations. If you must apply them to your property, be sure to not exceed the recommended application rate. If using a liquid formulation, look for those that have a shorter drying time. If your dog tends to nibble on grass  consider skipping herbicides and pesticides completely.

Don’t Forget The Landscaping

Plants can be dangerous to your dog too. This is especially important if you are purchasing a home (or recently purchased a home) where a previous owner may have planted plants that you might not be familiar with. For example, daffodils are often a welcome sight in spring and by summer, they are usually trimmed down. By fall, there might not even be a clue that daffodils are present on the property. Yet if a dog decides to chow down on daffodils, the effects on the dog’s liver can be quite nasty. The ASPCA has a complete list of plants that are poisonous for your dog at their website ( www.aspca.org ).

Dogs That Love To Swim

Swimming pools can be great fun but they also carry risks. Be sure that your dog knows how to swim and how to exit the pool; put up a see-through pool fence so you can see if your dog goes into the pool and avoid leaving your dog unsupervised when he can get to the pool. Dogs can and do drown. Be aware that ground temperatures near pools (particularly in-ground pools with cement or pavers as a surrounding feature) can become quite hot. Older dogs and short-nosed dogs can be at increased risk of heatstroke. Be sure to check on your dog frequently if his idea of a perfect time is to lie down close to the pool. Consider putting a raised dog bed in a shady spot close to the action so that your dog has a spot out of the sun and with airflow underneath him. If you have natural water or a built-in pond on your property, the same cautions apply. Of course, be sure to keep fresh water (not pool water!) available at all times.

Every home and yard environment is unique. It would be impossible to identify every type of possible danger that could await a dog in a yard. Take the time to walk around your property, poking around the bushes and plants at the height your dog is, to be sure you identify any hidden dangers in your yard.