Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Fresh Coat of Paint: Pick the Right Finish

Looking for a quick way to refresh your home? Before you go changing layouts or knocking down walls, try giving your interior a fresh coat of paint. This fairly simple task can dramatically alter the look and feel of your home.
Changing interior paint is an easy do-it-yourself project that you can tackle in a weekend or two. Before you get the rollers out and start painting, here are some basics about the interior paint finishes available:
Flat or Matte -- Hide imperfections with flat paints, which absorb light and make the colors seem darker. The downside? This type of paint is the least stain resistant, so reserve it for low-traffic areas and ceilings.
Eggshell -- Not as dull as flat paint but less shiny than semi-gloss, this low-sheen option works well in living rooms and bedrooms. Be aware that the shine can accentuate any wall imperfections, so it's best on smooth, well-prepared surfaces.
Satin -- This highly durable finish is often used on windows, doors and trim. Its soft sheen sets it apart from walls painted in eggshell or flat finishes, but be careful cleaning. Satin paint has less protection that the shinier options.
Semi-Gloss -- Designed to stand up to stains, semi-gloss paints are the easiest to clean, making them ideal choices for kitchens and children's rooms. This sheen also stands up to moisture, so consider this selection when repainting a bathroom.
Low VOC -- The name says it all. This type of paint contains fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which release toxic gases. Opt for low VOC paint if you want to go green in your home (and deal with fewer paint fumes).

Kathlyn's Tip -- For color inspiration, take a look at my listing for this beautiful home in the heart of the Heights at 211 22nd Street.  When selling your home, you can't go wrong with choosing from  a palette of white, grays, and blues for neutral background that's always pleasing to the eye.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Mini Mural in the Heights!

Please join us for the unveiling of the Heights' First Mini Mural Art Box designed by local artist, Shelbi Nicole

Saturday, February 20th
11 am-1 pm 
1333 Heights Boulevard, Suite 103 

The Mini Mural Project is a civic arts project dedicated to beautifying the city one utility box at a time. I'm the proud sponsor of the first one to appear in the Heights - right on the esplanade of Heights Boulevard. The Heights Mini Mural depicts a colorful bookshelf with some of my favorite titles. I encourage you to bring your favorite books to donate for a future little library that can be visited 24/7 in the neighborhood. 

Along with face painting for the kids and a raffle, we will also have the ribbon cutting ceremony for our new Why I Love Houston Properties Office on 1333 Heights Blvd., conveniently located near the Mini Mural. I love that I get to see the Mini Mural on my way to work and enjoy being a part of this community-wide effort to transform the ordinary into extraordinary works of art.  

See you on Saturday!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Put Your Best Floor Forward: 5 Popular Flooring Options

Thinking about giving your floor a facelift? You've got several flooring options, including the following:
Hardwood -- Hardwood is a classic choice that works with any architectural style and can last for more than a century with the right care. Maintenance is a cinch and repairs are simple enough when normal wear occurs or pets leave their mark. That said, keep in mind that wooden floors can be cold and loud if they're not accessorized with rugs.
Carpet -- Carpet, whether natural or synthetic, is one of the more versatile flooring options. Wool carpeting is durable and resists moisture and stains better than synthetic fibers like nylon and acrylic. Easy cleaning and natural insulation properties for both sound and temperature are upsides, but carpet can also turn into a mildew nightmare if water damage occurs.
Cork -- Looking for a more sustainable flooring option? Cork flooring offers a warm look and spongy comfort underfoot, plus the irregular grain hides imperfections. Though it's easy to install, cork flooring can be damaged by pets' claws, heavy furniture and sharp items.
Laminate -- Good quality laminate floors are an economical alternative to hardwood. They resist scratches and discoloration and typically work well in moist environments like bathrooms and kitchens. Unlike true hardwood floors, laminate flooring can't be sanded and refinished though, and it may offer a lower resale value when it's time to sell a home.
Tile -- This versatile flooring option not only lasts a long time and is easy to clean, but it also offers serious design flexibility. Tile's resistance to scratches, stains and moisture is a major plus, but it doesn't offer any insulation properties and installation can be difficult.

Kathlyn's Tip -- When selling your home, make a good first impression by replacing older carpet and dated floorings. Hardwood floors are always a popular option and refinishing them can give your home that "wow factor" to impress potential buyers.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Why I Love Houston: It's Carnival Time!

Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I Love Houston...It's Carnival Time!

Heights Home decked out in Mardi Gras beads!

You don't have to travel to New Orleans to enjoy Mardi Gras. Nearby Galveston has been hosting Mardi Gras celebrations since 1867. Imagine pairing parades and bead-throwing with beautiful Seawall sunsets and the historic Strand and you get an idea of Mardi Gras done island style. The 105th celebration of Mardi Gras! Galveston has a calendar full of events including tons of music featuring bands and djs, along with festive parades from the traditional Galveston krewes to eclectic ones like the canine and cat friendly, Krewe of Barkus and Meoux Parade on Sunday, Feb. 7 at noon, followed by a Children's Parade at 2 pm. The last parade is held on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 9, from 6:30-8 pm, when the Mystic Krewe of Aquarius takes to the streets of downtown Galveston with eight marching bands. 

Did You Know? Mardi Gras always kicks off on January 6, also known as Twelfth Night, which marks the Feast of the Epiphany when the infant Jesus first appeared to the three wise men. The Carnival season concludes at midnight on Fat Tuesday (2/9) which is the day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. 

If you're looking for celebrations closer to home, Houston has many ways to join the Mardi Gras revelry. 

The EQ Heights Coffeehouse is hosting a free Cheers to Carnival event on Saturday, February 6 
​from​ pm to 8 pm​. There will be ​mask-making and story time for the kids and a champagne toast for adults. Costumes are encouraged for all ages! 

Head to downtown's historic Market Square for Mardi Gras fun on Saturday, February 6, when the Bayou City Brass Band starts to play at 7:30 pm. There will be plenty of food and vendor trucks on nearby Main Street all night long. For sit-down dining, Treebeards offers extended hours for enjoying their Cajun comfort food or pop in the Honeymoon Cafe and Bar that sports old school New Orleans charm with quality coffee drinks and cocktails. 

Make groceries and merriment at the Rice Farmers Market on Fat Tuesday, February 9, from 3:30-6:30 pm for a fun-filled day with Cajun cuisine cooked onsite, free samples from local breweries, and a zydeco band.

Finally, for a full-on Mardi Gras Day feast, make a dinner reservation at Danton's Gulf Coast Seafood for a special menu of New Orleans cuisine and a blues band performing on Tuesday, February 9.

Feasting on king cakes is a Mardi Gras must with many local bakeries and groceries turning them out. For traditional, try Acadian Bakers where they also offer mini king cakes. Three Brothers Bakery has king cakes, king cake cupcakes, along with a cheesecake version. Hugs and Donuts is making giant king cake donuts during the Carnival season and is accepting pre-orders up until Fat Tuesday when they promise a special, surprise treat! New Orleans import, PJ's Coffee, will hook you up with their king cake coffee blend to accompany a slice of king cake or a whole one to take home. 

Did You Know? Every king cake comes with a small plastic baby to be placed inside as a reminder of its holy day roots. If you get the baby in your slice of king cake, tradition holds that you buy the next one!

Happy Mardi Gras Y'all!