Katy Perry Lights Up Housing Market With a $14.2M Montecito Mansion 

The pop singer Katy Perry and the actor Orlando Bloom have found a place to settle down together. The A-list couple plunked down $14.2 million for a jaw-dropping, oceanview estate in the seaside town of Montecito, CA, according to Variety.

Although the couple purchased the home last fall, they’ve spent the last five months moving in to their new coastal retreat, possibly adding their own custom touches, the New York Post notes. The home seems to have been impeccably maintained, but no doubt they preferred to update the interiors to their taste.

The property initially appeared on the market in 2019, for almost $20 million, and then slowly came down in price until it landed at $16.25 million last June. Perry and Bloom managed to score an even better deal with their offer.

The spread is a perfect place to enjoy family time. The two welcomed a daughter last summer, and the “California Gurl” is a Santa Barbara native who appears to be returning to her roots.

The area is popular with celebrities, such as Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, and even Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Storied estate

The couple apparently bought the home from the former CEO of Chrysler, C. Robert Kidder. He and his wife, Mary, held the property for over two decades, according to Variety.

Set on 9 acres, the circa 1928 build includes six bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. Originally designed by the Santa Barbara architects Edwards & Plunkett, it was notably renovated by Lutah Maria Riggs.

Riggs was the first woman to become a licensed architect in Santa Barbara, and the first woman in California to be named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Spanning four parcels, the spread maintains “much of the same spirit as it did when it was conceived,” according to the listing. The locale affords both ocean and mountain views. A long, oak-lined drive leads to the main residence.

The three-story Mediterranean villa opens up to the main level, with a living room, formal dining room, and open kitchen and breakfast room, which leads to an outdoor dining space. The cooking area includes a large island and butler’s pantry.

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Watch: Kelly Clarkson’s Massive ‘Farmhouse’ Gets a Price Cut—to $8.9M

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Other rooms include a glassed-in sunroom and a family room, and a lower level leads to a wood-paneled office and conference room. On the top level, you’ll find the bedrooms, including the massive master suite, with sitting area, fireplace, dual baths, walk-in closet, dressing room, and a private balcony.

The layout offers access to multiple terraces that look out to the grassy lawns and grounds.

On its expansive acreage, the property also includes a guesthouse, detached office, pool, cabana, and tennis court.

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom's Montecito estate
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom’s Montecito estate

realtor.com

Living room
Living room

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Sunroom
Sunroom

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Eat-in kitchen
Eat-in kitchen

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Bedroom
Bedroom

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Patio
Patio

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Pool
Pool

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Real estate roar

The couple both maintain ties with nearby Los Angeles. In fact, Perry has bought and sold multiple properties in the area—and even attempted to purchase a monastery.

The singer currently owns a harmonious $18 million Beverly Hills residence that she picked up in 2017 in an off-market deal. In a style described as “Hamptons modern,” the ultra-private, gated estate features five bedrooms, walls of glass, and woodsy acreage.

And the “Firework” singer has been attempting to light up the market with a home that she used as a guesthouse adjacent to her main house.

That place, completely suitable as most people’s idea of a primary residence, is still available for $7.85 million. She bought it in 2018 for $7.4 million.

The 4,400-square-foot space includes four bedrooms, a chef’s kitchen, a living room with fireplace, and a formal dining room. The spaces lead out to terraces, a garden and pool. The master suite is upstairs, with a separate bedroom wing that includes an office and a gym.

Perry's Beverly Hills guesthouse
Perry’s Beverly Hills guesthouse

realtor.com

Bloom, known for his role as Legolas in the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” movies, has also been releasing real estate. The English actor’s renovated bachelor pad, which he offered for $9 million in 2019, is currently off market, after its price was chopped to $8 million last year. The single-level contemporary features walls of glass, ipe-wood decking, and an infinity-edge pool.

Orlando Bloom's bachelor pad
Orlando Bloom’s bachelor pad

realtor.com

Source: realtor.com

13 DC Apartments under $1500 Available to Rent Today

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DC-APARTMENTS-UNDER-1500

 You may have read recently that apartments in DC aren’t affordable.  If you’re new to DC, understanding the affordable housing options in the district can be a challenge, so we made you this handy guide. We also went on the hunt for you and found 13 apartments for under $1500 available to rent now in Washington, DC!

Apartment hunting on a budget in Washington, DC is all about what trades you are willing to make.  A less trendy neighborhood will likely result in a larger apartment or a lower rent. Is a state of the art gym a must-have amenity for you? That’s okay, just know that you’re going to be squeezing into a smaller apartment.  The good news is, there are plenty of options!  This week we bring you 13 studio or one-bedroom and even a two-bedroom apartment for under $1500 available to rent now!

Looking for something different?
Search other available apartments in the Washington, DC area.

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The Foreland

Studio $1295 | Available Now
23 2nd  Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Everyday living is made comfortable and effortless at The Foreland. You can look forward to a convenient location, shopping, and a multitude of dining options. The units are equipped with hardwood floors and ample closet space. Multiple windows in each apartment provide ample amounts of natural lighting. The community is located directly across the street from the Supreme Court building and within walking distance of Capitol South Metro, the National Mall, Capitol Hill, and Union Station. Convenience and comfort are guaranteed at The Foreland.WC Smith embraces the belief that great customer service is our best amenity. Living at the Foreland means experiencing a higher level of service. Our service team is available 24 hours a day and you can access your resident account online any time; day or night. Discover classic charms and modern conveniences of the Foreland, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC.

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The Kenmore

1 Bedroom  $1495 | Available Now

5415 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20015

Experience a lifestyle that is as rich in history as it is in local activities. The Kenmore’s Connecticut Avenue location is distinct and convenient. This residence offers a 24-hour concierge beautifully renovated, classic style interiors. Spacious studios, one and two bedroom apartments are equipped with expansive windows that offer exceptional views.

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Hilltop House

Studio $1450 | Available 11/29

1475 Euclid St NW
Washington, DC 20009

Hilltop House is a hidden jewel of the Adams Morgan neighborhood. This community offers studio and one-bedroom apartments for rent. Each apartment has large windows and breakfast bars; creating a cheerful, open, and bright atmosphere. To keep apartment living and budgeting easy, all utilities are included with your rent. Hilltop House faces Meridian Hill Park, where residents may take in a variety of social and cultural events. Every Sunday the park is activate with kickball leagues, yoga classes, Frisbee sessions, and drum circles. Just a couple of blocks from the Hilltop House apartment community is the Columbia Heights Metro station with access to both the green and yellow like. Hilltop House Apartments have the perfect location to take in all that Washington, DC has to offer.

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1400 Van Buren

One Bedroom $1395  | Available 11/14

1400 Van Buren NW
Washington, DC 20012

1400 Van Buren is an apartment community with one and two-bedroom apartments for rent in the Brightwood neighborhood. You will feel comfortable and at home in these apartments with their beautiful hardwood flooring, ceiling fans, central A/C, and spacious floor plans. The apartments are located in a charming brick building with controlled access, on-site maintenance, on-site management, on-site laundry facilities, and more. 1400 Van Buren’s convenient location gives residents access to everything they need on a daily basis.

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Baystate Apartments

Studio  $1495  | Available 12/4

1701 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

Looking for features that look and feel like they came from a book and tell a story? The Baystate offers beautiful studio apartments for rent in a variety of floor plans. All utilities are included! No need to worry about extra bills. With the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC only two blocks from your front door, be fascinated with local culture and flavor. Having the Red Line Metro within walking distance means all of Washington, DC is yours to explore. Find touches of extraordinary in the every day.

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The Shawmut

Studio $1500 | Available 11/14

2200 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

Classic style and modern amenities are the perfect combinations to make you feel right at home. This pet-friendly building in the heart of Adams Morgan, just across the street from Kalorama Park, creates a comfortable living space for all. The Shawmut’s elegant, New York-style exterior gives way to beautiful one and two-bedroom apartments featuring hardwood floors, 9′ ceilings, and updated kitchens.Step outside and you are in the heart of a vibrant, thriving community. From the bustling 18th St Corridor down to Dupont Circle, you are never far from the energy of Downtown DC. Want to get away? The L2, 42, 43, and H1 bus lines are right outside your front door with direct connections to the Green, Red, and Yellow metro lines.

rent-control-apartments-DC-Frontenanc

Studio  $1450 | Available Now

4550 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

The Frontenac is nestled in the heart of elegant upper-Northwest. The Frontenac boasts spacious apartments with updated kitchens and bathrooms. Its classic architectural style, evident in our grand lobby’s high ceiling and in our apartment units’, arched doorways and traditional wainscoting, attracts tours of local art history students.You can meet your neighbors or take advantage of WiFi on the Frontenac’s peaceful roof deck or in its spacious laundry room. Take a stroll to the Van Ness metro station, Giant, Whole Foods, pharmacies, dry cleaners, restaurants, shopping, and great schools for students of all ages. Our neighborhood is full of hidden gems..

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Hampton Courts

Studio  $1460  | Available 12/1

2013 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009

Constructed in 1926, Hampton Courts has the elegant appeal of the early 20th-century architecture. The building is equipped with two elevators, a controlled intercom entrance, and a laundry room with a card payment system. The studio, one, and two bedroom apartments at Hampton Courts has updated appliances and spacious floor plans. All utilities are included in your rent, so no need to worry yourself about additional bills. The U Street Metro Station is three blocks away and provides access to the yellow and green lines. Zipcar and car2go vehicles, as well as Capital Bikeshare bicycles, are just a block from the building giving you endless means of transportation. The Saturday Farmer’s Market, Yes Organic Market, Trader Joes, Vida Fitness and several yoga studios are all a few blocks away from your front door. Come and explore the city living in Hampton Courts.

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6100 14th Street

1 Bedroom  $1395  | Available Now

6100 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20011

Located in the Brightwood neighborhood of Washington, DC. There are no limitations set when living at 6100 14th street; tons of shopping and dining options nearby, a Metro bus stop right at your doorstep and only a mile to the nearest metro station. Offering spacious and affordable one and two bedroom apartment homes.

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Penn View Apartments

2 Bedroom  $1315  | Available Now

2515 R Street, SE 
Washington, DC 20020

Design cannot be defined by one component but rather the artful intersection of style and function. Located just minutes away from Capitol Hill, Penn View apartments offer affordable efficiencies, one, and two-bedroom apartment homes for rent. Penn View’s luxurious kitchens and functional floor plans are just a few of the features you’ll find at this community. Quality is always on trend.

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1401 Sheridan

Studio $1250 | Available Now

1401 Sheridan Street NW
Washington, DC 20011

1401 Sheridan boasts spacious floorplans which include separate dining rooms in each apartment. Beautiful hardwood floors, expertly landscaped grounds, and abundant closet space add to the charm and convenience of these studio and one-bedroom apartments. 1401 Sheridan is located between 14th and 16th Streets near Georgia Avenue providing easy access to Rock Creek Park, Carter Barron, and much more.

Apartments-all-utilities-included-dc-Jetu-apartments

Jetu Apartments

2 Bedroom $ 1125 | Available Now

2100 Maryland Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

Discover our beautifully landscaped community located in the heart of Northeast, near Langston Golf Course and National Arboretum. Jetu Apartments offers affordable one and two bedroom apartment homes for rent. Featuring gas range stoves, upgraded kitchens, frost-free refrigerators, mini-blinds, and wall to wall carpet. Each apartment offers a separate dining area with chandelier lighting. The grounds include two new playgrounds, a community room, and a community garden.

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Skyland Apartments

One-Bedroom $1029 | Available 11/16

2333 Skyland Place SE 
Washington, DC 20020

Moving to the Skyland means you have a choice of a townhouse or apartment home. Our beautifully landscaped community is impeccably maintained. Enjoy the features of your new updated kitchen including; gas ranges, frost-free refrigerators, and garbage disposals. Dishwashers are available in 3 bedroom apartments. There is also an on-site dry cleaner and a tot lot. Skyland Apartments is located near Anacostia Metro and the new Safeway. Uncovered parking is available.

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Also published on Medium.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

How to Make Your Lawn Look Like a Baseball Field

It’s time to take throwing the ball around with your kids to the next level. Advance to the big leagues by getting creative with backyard landscaping. Here are our tips for how to make your lawn look more like a baseball field.

It’s all in the stripes: Professional stadiums have those clean, beautiful stripes in the grass. This pattern is created by bending the blades of grass: blades that are bent toward you look dark and blades that are turned away look light.

Refine your mowing technique: Pay careful attention to your mowing and make sure to stay in a straight line. Always look a good few feet ahead of you while you mow. Try to cut the grass long, as long grass bends more. The longer the grass, the better the stripe.

Roll it out: After you’ve mowed, you’ll need to intensify the stripes by going over them with a roller. This will really bend the grass. If you have a gas-powered rotary lawn mower, you can attach a roller to the back (found at your local garden care center or home improvement store). You can also go the DIY route and either attach weights to the rubber tail on the back of the mower, attach a heavy welcome mat to the back, or build a roller yourself.

Choose your grass: Different varietals bend differently. Northern grass may bend best. And of course, make sure to fertilize well to increase the likelihood of a full, healthy, green lawn.

Pick your pattern: You have three standard stadium patterns to choose from: the basic stripe, the checkerboard, and the diagonal. To get the basic stripe look, first mow around the perimeter of your lawn, then mow in alternating directions to create the stripes, and finish by mowing over the perimeter again. For the checkerboard, do the same as the basic stripe, but add in a step traveling in the opposite direction to create perpendicular stripes. The diagonal look is achieved by creating a checkerboard pattern but in diagonal directions.

There you have it, a few ways to make your yard look more like a field of dreams. Batter up!

Source: century21.com

This Brooklyn Condo Has a Dreamy Backyard that Will Make You Forget You’re in the City

If we’ve learned anything in the past few months, is that city life isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be — especially when you find yourself spending far more time inside than planned.

With city dwellers now heading to the suburbs and less crowded areas, looking for bigger spaces and more amenity-rich homes (especially when it comes to backyards and outdoor spaces), we too find ourselves drawn to listings that offer a little more than just decent square footage.

That’s why we just couldn’t resist this charming condo set in a private duplex in the tree-lined Boerum Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. The two-bedroom unit comes with warm, open interiors, a dedicated home office, a large walk-in closet and 355 square feet of outdoor space (in the form of a serene backyard patio) that will make you forget all about the crowded city life.

Brooklyn condo with a charming backyard patio. Image credit: Alex Mahgoub//Compass

Recently listed for $1.474 million, the Boerum Hill condo is repped by Compass brokers Alex Mahgoub and Martin Eiden, and comes with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

With a beautiful open kitchen/living/dining space with modern appliances and beautiful built-in custom cabinets and bookcase, the 1,459-square-foot unit is filled with wonderful details and earthy accents — including a wood staircase handcrafted from 200-year-old reclaimed oak.

Lovely condo in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn NY. Image credit: Alex Mahgoub//Compass
Lovely condo in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn NY. Image credit: Alex Mahgoub//Compass

The wooden staircase leads to a lower level that hosts an over-sized bedroom with 9’ ceilings, a large walk-in closet, and a zen-like view of the landscaped garden. There’s also a dedicated home office on this floor, perfect for a work-from-home setup and only steps away from the calming backyard (you know, for those well-deserved breaks).

Speaking of the unit’s backyard, the private and serene patio looks like the perfect place to enjoy a summer BBQ, a morning coffee, or a simple weeknight dinner under the stars. Worth noting that the apartment also comes with a washer/dryer, central air, and a private storage unit.

Lovely condo in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn NY. Image credit: Alex Mahgoub//Compass
Lovely condo in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn NY. Image credit: Alex Mahgoub//Compass
Brooklyn condo with a charming backyard patio. Image credit: Alex Mahgoub//Compass

The condo is part of 52 Third Avenue, a 15-unit pet-friendly boutique condo that comes with its own fair share of amenities, including a bike room, a communal outdoor patio, a beautiful shared roof deck with Manhattan views, and an on-site laundry facility.

It’s located in one of the most charming neighborhoods in New York, Boerum Hill, which has a unique small-town feel in the midst of the excitement and energy of the city. With lots of brownstones and townhouses, trendy bars, restaurants, and indie shops, the community attracts many young professionals and has a charming village vibe.

More lovely homes

Children’s Book Author Jordan Chouteau Lists Gorgeous Brooklyn TownhouseThis Stunning Former East Village Synagogue is Now Seeking Renters
A Charming Home Featured on HGTV’s ‘Property Brothers’ is Looking for New Owners
Everything You Need to Know about Gracie Mansion, the Official Residence of the Mayor of NYC

Source: fancypantshomes.com

Here’s How to Grow a Garden Indoors

Summer is coming to an end and fall is right around the corner. But that doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying gardening. According to a study in Psychology Today, there are multiple benefits of having house plants. They have been found to lower blood pressure, increase attentiveness, lower anxiety, and improve well-being. Furthermore, a NASA study found that plants purify the air. Need another reason to grow plants inside? Pasta, pizza, and other delicacies taste better with fresh ingredients. Ready to get started? Here’s how to grow a garden indoors.

Give yourself some space: An indoor garden can take up as little or as much space as you are able and willing to use. Most plants (even something like tomatoes) can be grown on a windowsill. Consider using a table, bench, or shelves designated for your little garden.

Pick your plants: Choose wisely. Smaller plants that require less direct sunlight will do better indoors. Here are some good choices: carrots, lettuce, kale, peppers, onions, beans, parsley, basil, oregano, lavender, cilantro, rosemary, chives, strawberries, blueberries, and citrus.

Let there be light: Some of your plants will survive in a sunny window, while others will need more help from special lighting. There are several types of lights you’ll have to choose between, including: incandescent, fluorescent, compact fluorescent, and High Intensity Discharge bulbs. The wattage needed will vary based on the size of your garden.

Keep up with maintenance: Tending to your plants indoors involves regulating temperature, humidity, and water. Plants generally prefer a temperature range of 65-75 degrees. Look for signs like the tips of the leaves turning brown, plants losing their leaves, and plants looking withered. To counteract this, mist plants regularly or run a humidifier. Plants grown in containers may dry out more quickly and require more watering.

Move things around: If you decide to move your plants outside, give them about a week to prepare. Leave them outdoors for a few hours each day, gradually decreasing their time indoors to get them acclimated. And if, at the end of the growing season, you decide to move plants from your backyard garden indoors, give them the same acclimation period.

Go ahead, get growing!

Source: century21.com

8 Ways to Use Synthetic Turf to Beautify your Yard

Choosing between installing artificial grass, also known as synthetic turf, and natural grass can be a difficult decision for some homeowners. While you may be drawn to natural grass for its feel and organic look, there are a number of benefits to choosing synthetic turf that may make you think twice. If you are too busy to upkeep your lawn, turf provides less maintenance and a longer lifespan compared to traditional grass. It’s also typically created from recycled materials, comes in a variety of textures and colors, and even has the potential to increase your home value.

In some locations, it might even make sense to install artificial grass over natural grass. For example, if you live in a city that has a hot and dry climate such as Las Vegas, NV or Austin, TX, having turf can prevent your lawn from wilting and dying due to the amount of sun those cities get annually. However, if you’re set on using natural grass for your lawn, there are still many creative and aesthetically pleasing ways to incorporate artificial grass into your lawn. Take a look at these 8 ideas on how you can work with an artificial grass company to beautify your yard.

1. Install a synthetic turf golf green 

Your short game is just as important as your long, so installing an artificial grass putting green is the perfect way to get some practice without leaving your home. Golf greens are easy to install and can be customizable. Typically, they are around 1,000-1,500 square feet. For best results, source out an area that is flat, has minimal bumps and extrusions, and gets just the right amount of sunlight. A local turf company can then help excavate, cut, and install the artificial grass and holes. Finished with the proper landscaping, golf greens can serve as a stunning backyard feature that is both aesthetic and fun for the whole family.

2. Build a dog area for play and potty time

If you own a dog and live in a small place like an apartment, having a synthetic turf potty pad for your dog can be a great solution. Typically, they are built with short bristles for cleaning and a drainage system to catch urine. Turf doggy mats are versatile in size and can fit on a sunroom, patio, terrace, or balcony. They are especially great for training puppies or older dogs with bad bladder control. When not in use, synthetic turf potty pads blend in to look like a patch of grass. Not to mention, it saves your real grass from developing brown spots.

If you have the outdoor space, you can use turf to create a play area for your pet. Pet-friendly synthetic turf is a great option if you are trying to keep your dog away from natural grass chemicals. Installing artificial grass for pets also helps prevent fleas and ticks, worrying about patches and brown spots, and digging unwanted holes. Give your dog the ability to roll around in the grass without the worry of getting sick.

3. Use synthetic turf walls and dividers for privacy 

Fences can be an eyesore. However, they are critical for privacy and to keep intruders out. Installing artificial grass fences or hedges is a great way to maintain privacy, while also elevating the look of your backyard by adding greenery. If you are looking for flexibility, some individual paneled artificial grass fences come on rollers that can be used to section certain parts of your yard if you are hosting a garden party or small get together.

4. Make an entertainment area for backyard hangouts 

Do you love to have people over for bonfires, casual wine nights, or backyard parties? Maybe you want to kick your feet up by the fire while you sip on a glass of wine. If you are worried about your feet suffering from uncomfortable surfaces, installing artificial grass around your bonfire pits and patio is a comfortable and stylish solution. Section off a small area, place patio furniture on top, and enjoy a relaxing hangout area on the turf.

5. Create an elegant driveway

For a touch of added elegance, use synthetic turf in between your driveway to bring in patterns and color to the exterior of your home. Real grass can become compact due to the weight of a car. Installing artificial grass between flagstones or concrete can make your driveway pop and always looks fresh.

6. Cover your outdoor furniture with synthetic turf

If you’re tired of boring patio furniture, a fun and unique way to include synthetic turf in your backyard is by purchasing turf-covered furniture. These pieces are designed for outdoor living, are low maintenance, and can be left outside year-round. They are a great way to blend nature with your home and can be designed to look good under a deck, gazebo, fire pit, or play area.

7. Design a multipurpose sports field

For the athlete looking for a way to get some practice in, installing an artificial grass sports field in a larger backyard can get you the training you need without having to go to the local park. Multipurpose sports fields can be used for soccer, lacrosse, or even spikeball whether you want to increase your skills or just get a friendly game in. 

8. Construct a playground 

When constructing your playground, safety will likely be top of mind. In that case, you’ll want to choose a surface that has some cushion to it and is free of chemicals. Synthetic turf is a great alternative to wood chips or gravel, as it has a soft texture and natural aesthetic feel. You can even include a shock pad underneath turf to reduce fall injuries. 

*Before attempting these projects, consult with a turf professional.

Source: redfin.com

5 Steps to Grow an Indoor Spice Garden

Spice up your apartment!

Looking to add a little flavor to your apartment? It’s easy to do so, both literally and metaphorically, by growing your own indoor spice garden.

Add a dash of extra fresh ingredients to home-cooked meals using plants grown in your DIY herb garden. They’re shockingly easy to grow! Wish we could say the same about some other members of the flora and fauna community (ahem, orchids).

The benefits of an indoor spice garden

There really are no cons to having your own indoor spice garden. However, the pros are numerous and convincing:

Money savings

Dried herbs and spices are awfully pricy for such small bottles. Five bucks for a tiny jar of tarragon that you’ll probably never fully use? Ridiculous!

By comparison, the supplies necessary for creating and maintaining a DIY herb garden are minimal, since it’s pretty much just young plants, possibly seeds and dirt and grow lights if you’re feeling really adventurous.

Fresher ingredients

You don’t have to be the second coming of Wolfgang Puck to appreciate fresh cooking ingredients. Your dishes will be full of extra flavor, plus you won’t have to wonder where that cilantro has already been or who has previously handled it!

Fresh herbs on a table with tags reading arugula, rosemary, dill, parsley and thyme.

A dash of natural beauty

A bit of extra greenery brightens up any home, especially apartments where space for plants and indoor trees is typically limited. A window sill full of herbs and spices is sure to add extra natural beauty to your space. Then, of course, there’s the benefit of delicious herb-related aromas!

Personal pride

If you’ve never flexed your green thumb before, a DIY herb garden is a perfect way to learn the basic ropes of gardening. There’s no feeling quite like seeing those first shoots peek through the dirt, so give it a try, then pat yourself on the back when everything comes up roses (so to speak!)

Steps to growing herbs indoors

Compared to an outdoor green space, an indoor spice garden is much less difficult. Still, there are decisions to make and steps to follow to achieve success!

Step 1: Pick a location (or two!)

Woman with brunette hair in a blue and white plaid shirt holding a box of spices.

As all plants require at least some sunlight to grow, identify the window spaces that have the best light for the herbs you’re growing. South-facing windows offer the most sunlight during the winter, so those are the best choice for plants that grow best in tropical climates, such as thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary and bay laurel. However, herbs like mint, chives, chervil and parsley don’t require such heavy light, so nurture those near east or west-facing windows.

If you want to get really fancy try setting up grow lights for best results, especially when growing from seeds. Then, it won’t really matter where the plants are!

Step 2: Purchase plants or plant seeds

Three plant containers, one white and two tan, are in a window sill.

Purchase plants any time of year! Pick up a few from the local nursery and consider buying more attractive containers than those plain, black plastic ones they come in. Think farmhouse chic, a la Joanna Gaines!

If planting from seed, start in spring. Buy the seeds you want, as well as a bag of seed starting potting mix. This is very important because heavier types of potting soil aren’t good for helping the germination process.

Some people opt to start the seed-planting process in plastic trays that have a lot of individual cells. Then, transplant the sprouts into clay pots. But you can really do either! Whichever container type you select, place the newly seeded containers out of direct sunlight in a warm room. Use clear plastic to cover them until germination happens, then take the plastic off and place it in sunlight or under grow lights (preferably the latter).

Step 3: Water and fertilize

A woman is watering her plants inside her kitchen with a glass pitcher of water.

Water is another essential ingredient to herb garden success. Be careful not to add too much of a good thing, however. Do not allow the soil to get very wet. Instead, water lightly using a watering can or sprayer to keep the soil slightly moist.

Frequency of watering really depends on how quickly your plants dry out. The amount of sunlight and temperature inside the apartment affects this. Do a fingertip test to make sure each plant really needs watering before you do it.

Starting a week or so after germination, use a liquid houseplant fertilizer a couple of times a month. Follow directions accordingly.

Step 4: HarvestA man is picking herbs from his indoor garden and putting the leaves he pulls off into a small bowl.

Don’t cut into that brand new plant right away! Instead, wait to start snipping until the plant is at least four to six inches tall.

To harvest, cut the outside leaves first. Use kitchen scissors or shears that are both clean and sharp. This will help the plant heal more quickly. Take care not to cut more than one-third of the plant at any given time, so that it can grow and mature at a good, strong pace.

If the plant starts to flower be sure to pinch the buds off, or else it will change from a producing plant to one that is more interested in reproduction.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Two glasses filled with strawberry and lime mojitos topped with fresh fruit and herbs.

Your enjoyment of these herbs is only limited by your imagination! Top your favorite dishes with fresh green onion or cilantro, or cook with sage or thyme for extra flavor. Some even go well as cocktail garnishes (mint)!

The best herbs to grow in your indoor spice garden

The great thing about growing your own herb garden is that you don’t have to plant anything that doesn’t suit your palate. Not a fan of cilantro? Don’t even bother! Put basil on everything? Plant extra!

Certain herbs are extra popular in DIY gardens. When you’re planning your garden, consider these versatile cooking herbs:

  • Lemongrass: Fans of Asian cuisine should definitely plant this easy to grow herb.
  • Parsley: This one is tricky to grow from seed, so perhaps start off with a plant, instead. Never transplant parsley from one container to another!
  • Rosemary: A must for soups and stews, this aromatic herb grows best in full sun.
  • Mint: One of the easiest to grow, mint is a great addition to just about any type of recipe.
  • Chives: Another on the cinch list, chives grow quickly and with little help. They make a wonderful and tasty garnish atop many dishes!
  • Basil: A little trickier than some herbs to grow, basil is well worth the extra effort.

Watch your spice garden grow

With a little effort and TLC, an herb garden is just the thing to spice up your home and cooking. Try your hand at a variety and note what works and what doesn’t. As with any gardening, growing herbs indoors takes time to learn and perfect. Keep at it and before you know it you and your guests will be enjoying flavorful herbs and spices that put the bottled stuff to shame!

Source: rent.com

James Carville and Mary Matalin Selling NOLA Mansion for $3.38M

The political odd couple James Carville and Mary Matalin have voted to let go of their New Orleans home. It’s now on the market for $3.38 million.

Not to worry, the Democratic political consultant known as “the Ragin’ Cajun” isn’t leaving Louisiana. Apparently, the couple, who moved to the area over a decade ago, simply decided to downsize into a smaller home nearby.

“I live in New Orleans. It’s my home. I don’t have an iota of desire to live anywhere else,” Carville told nola.com. Matalin is a Republican political consultant.

The two, who dated while working on opposites sides of the 1992 presidential campaign, can both agree on their great real estate choice.

They have owned this glorious Colonial Revival since 2008, when they reportedly picked it up for $2.2 million.

It looks as though the political operatives are angling for a profit on their longtime investment, which has also been used for political fundraisers and nonprofit events.

So what’s the spin on the house? Located near Audubon Park, the “inspiring architecture with modern refinements” measures a grand 8,279 square feet.

Built in 1906, its ornate interiors include a living room with fireplace, a formal, wood-paneled dining room, and built-in bar. An “ultimate” kitchen includes a breakfast nook with built-in seating and opens out to the back deck.

All five bedrooms are en suite, including the master, and there are two more half-bathrooms.

Other perks include a third floor suitable for an office, craft area, or extra guest room. A lower level offers a media and lounge area.

Outside, the quarter-acre garden is a “tropical oasis,” according to the listing description. The lushly landscaped backyard includes a pool, fountains, and a covered deck for outdoor dining and entertaining.

Matalin also owns a brick townhouse in Alexandria, VA, which she snapped up for $2.2 million in 2019.

The Federal-style abode dates to 1770, and is located in the “Captains’ Row” neighborhood in the heart of Old Town. The high-powered couple formerly owned another townhouse in Alexandria, which was featured in Architectural Digest.

Matalin launched her political career as a strategist for the Republican National Committee. In 1992, she ran the re-election campaign for President George H.W. Bush while dating Carville, then the chief strategist for the campaign of the Democrat Bill Clinton. Carville now co-hosts a political podcast.

After working on opposing campaigns, they went on to marry. They documented their story by co-authoring the bestseller “All’s Fair: Love, War and Running for President.”

Recently, Matalin and Carville penned a bestselling sequel: “Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home.”

Carmen L. Duncan with Re/Max N.O. Properties holds the listing.

Source: realtor.com