Archive for July, 2012

Getting the Right Sized Interior Trim

Adding trim to your walls, windows, and doors instantly adds beauty to your home.  Crown molding creates a striking focal point and enhances the qualities of the other design elements in a room.  Choosing the right size of trim is important because you want to be sure it enhances the beauty of the room rather than makes it appear too elaborate or gaudy.  In the end, however, you ultimately need to choose what you like and what gives you the look you want.  If you want a modern interior, ceiling and floor moldings should be kept to a minimum, but if you’re going for a classic look, crown molding and casings will help you achieve that.

So, to help you determine which size of interior trim would be most appropriate in your home, consider these tips:

  • Decide what style you want in your room. Having a standard design in your house will help you decide if you need to add trims or not. Do you want to make the room appear modern and slick? If so, install thinner baseboards or none at all. Thick baseboards are often seen in more traditional homes.
  • Follow a 7 percent ratio when sizing your baseboards. A 7 percent ratio means that your baseboard should be 7 percent of the total height of the wall.
  • Consider the height of the room. If you have a room with lower ceilings, use smaller trim and less of it. If you have higher ceilings, you have more leeway in terms of the size of trim you choose.  Larger baseboards help make rooms with high ceilings look cozier.
  • For crown molding, a good trick it to make the molding the same in every room, so it has a consistent flow and doesn’t look mismatched. If you have shelving that needs crown molding, be sure it matches what’s on the walls as well.
  • If you want to install a chair rail on the wall, make sure that its height is one third of the wall from the floor. This will make the room appear taller and more open.  Chair rails are also great if you want to use two paint colors on your wall or you want to incorporate different patterns and textures in each section.
  • Door and window casings are ideally half the size of the baseboards. However, it’s fine if they are the same size if that’s what works best with your home interior.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors




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Sunbeam Partners With OKC Law Enforcement | Backpack Supplies For Children

School will soon start in Oklahoma City and children who are living with their grandparents will have the chance to use a new backpack this coming fall. Sunbeam Family Services has partnered with the law enforcement of the city for a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program, which involves giving away backpacks and other school supplies to children.

Sunbeam Family Services is a local nonprofit organization that aims to fulfill the needs of the community through foster care, early childhood education programs and senior citizen services. Throughout the more than 100 years of servicing to the city, Sunbeam has already helped thousands of people all across the metro. The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program is part of the organization’s advocacy to help grandparents who are living with and are raising their grandchildren on their own.

To help these kids get ready for the beginning of the new school year, Sunbeam will be giving free school supplies to 430 children who are living with and are raised by their grandparents. Law enforcement officers within the city are also helping out to make the program more successful. Triad, the collaboration of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department, the local police departments and senior citizens will be providing the donations through an area-wide funding.

Aside from Sunbeam and Triad, there will also be volunteer members of the Oklahoma City and Midwest City police departments to help by putting supplies in the backpacks to be given away to children on Tuesday. Backpacks will be donated by the Oklahoma Recyclers Association.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors


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How to Properly Ventilate Your Bathroom

The bathroom is the place in the house that contains the most moisture. We take showers and baths, wash our faces, brush our teeth, and flush the toilet, keeping a constant stream of water passing through the room. With that level of moisture, it’s no wonder that mold and mildew can easily accumulate

Proper ventilation in the bathroom can help to remove that excess moisture. When air circulates properly throughout the room, it helps prevent moisture build up, which otherwise increases the cultivation and spread of germs and bacteria.

In order for you to properly ventilate your bathroom, consider these tips:

  • Open your windows. Nothing beats fresh air for good ventilation. Not only does it remove bad odors, but it also balances the air pressure inside the room. Bathroom windows are a wonderful way to allow the flow of fresh air.  Just make sure you choose the right size and materials that will allow airflow and withstand moisture, while still giving you privacy.  If your space allows, a great way to achieve all of that is to have shutters on your bathroom windows that give you privacy while still letting air pass through.  Avoid using wood materials as they usually do not stand up well to moisture.

  • Add a door to your bathroom. If you have a common bathroom and feel comfortable adding an entrance from the outside (from your backyard, for example), then install a door that will enable you to increase the air ventilation inside your bathroom. A second floor bathroom leading onto a balcony is also a great arrangement if feasible.
  • Turn on the exhaust fan. Ventilation devices are common in houses, but people frequently make the mistake of choosing the wrong sized fan for a space.   Ideally, a bathroom exhaust fan should be able to remove one cubic foot of air per minute.  So, to properly ventilate the room and achieve good air circulation, do the math and determine which size of fan will be able to do that most efficiently.
  • Turn on the air conditioning or heater.  Depending on the season, the air conditioning  or heater can help remove moisture from the bathroom, which reduces the chances of mold buildup.
  • Add live plants. Placing live plants inside your bathroom will help purify the air. They don’t have to be big, but you will notice that they add beauty to the area and make it feel more like spa environment.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors




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The Essentials for an Ideal Nursery

Planning for your baby’s room is an exciting thing.  In order to prepare for you little one, you need to be sure everything that you will need will be within easy reach.  You also want to be sure your baby is comfortable and safe.

So, below are the essentials you need to include in your baby’s room:

  • Crib

When choosing a baby crib, finding a durable material is essential to ensuring the safety of your baby.  Also be sure to choose a crib that is large enough to accommodate the baby as it continues to grow.  If you are having twins, you will either need an extra large crib or two separate cribs for each baby.

  • Changing Table

Choose a changing table that is multi-functional and matches your crib and nursery theme. Be sure it is the right height for you to be able to work easily when changing your baby. Add a soft pad on top, so the baby is comfortable while you change it, and also be sure it has several shelves below to hold diapers, linens, and clothes.

  • Rocking Chair

When it’s time to put the baby to sleep, a rocking chair is very helpful. It will provide a comfortable place for you to rock the baby to sleep, and it is also perfect for late night feedings.

  • Storage Solutions

You need lots of extra storage space for your baby’s toys, clothes, books, and essentials like diapers.  Baskets and bins will help you keep everything clean and organized if you label them based on what they contain.  You can even opt for colorful baskets to match the decor of the nursery.

  • Baby Monitor

Baby monitors give parents peace of mind by allowing them to keep track of how their baby is doing, even if they are in another room.  This is particularly helpful when you are sleeping at night or trying to get other things done while your baby is sleeping.

  • Light

Keep your nursery bright when the baby is awake and dark when it is sleeping. A lamp with a dimmer switch is the perfect way to control the lighting at night, and you can choose a style and color that fits the nursery’s decor.  Small night lights are also helpful.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors




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Best Hotel Bathrooms and Bathroom Designs | Destination Weddings and Honeymoons

Alan and I really paid attention to hotel designs as we remodeled our home several years back. It helps to get outside of the local trends and see what the rest of the country/world is doing in style! What you think about these hotel bathrooms?
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Best Artistic Design: In a town known for its gorgeous architecture and thriving artistic community, los baños at the 37-room Casa de Sierra Nevada, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, fit right in. Each is uniquely designed, with antique Talavera tiles (many hand-painted), plus appreciated extras like separate tubs and walk-in showers,  heated floors (it gets chilly in this mountain town, especially in the winter months) and Molton Brown amenities. The most stunning water closets are housed in Casa Limon, the 18th-century-style mansion on the grounds. Our favorite, in the colonial suite, contains a hammered-copper tub tucked into a nook with shutters that open for breezy evening baths.


Best Seascape: The hillside Jade Mountain, on the island of Saint Lucia, is one of the Caribbean’s sexiest resorts. The 23 rooms (known as pool sanctuaries, each with a celestial name like Moon or Galaxy) were built without a fourth wall, so there’s nothing between you and incredible views of the sparkling sea and towering Piton mountains. Bathrooms are open-plan, melding into the ambience. Showers include a rain showerhead and six separate body sprays, but our favorite touch is the two-person chromatherapy Jacuzzi, whose underwater LED lights are customizable to your mood, from calming green to energizing red.


Best High-Tech: Got a gadget-loving groom? He’s gonna love this. With just a simple tap on the tubside control pad, guests at The Peninsula Tokyo can switch the bathroom ambience to “spa,” which dims the lights, silences the doorbell and phone, and pipes in soothing music. The toilets are also high-tech: Seats automatically raise, shut and heat — and they come with four bonus buttons, including bidet, wash, dry and a curious option known as “massage.” There’s even an automatic nail-polish dryer! The tech touches extend beyond the bathroom: Enjoy wireless, Skype-able phones; bedside controls for lighting and temperature; and surround-sound music systems. But all the bells and whistles can’t compete with the comfort of your round ofuro soaking tub, some with front-and-center city views.


Best Exotic Effect: Malaysia is known as a cultural melting pot, and the Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, on Malaysia’s white-sand Tanjung Rhu Beach, reflects that with decor that blends Asian, Indian and Arabic influences. All baths feature imported Spanish Amarillo marble and accents in the rich yellow hues associated with Malaysian royalty. Upper-level pavilion loos are inspired by Turkish hammams, with a two-person sunken bath accessed through a spade-shaped entryway. Lower-pavilion rooms up the ante with outdoor terrazzo soaking tubs. The spa can set you up with an in-room Malay bath ritual, which blends coconut leaves, Kaffir lime, lemongrass and spices into a blissful soak.


Best Terrace: California’s Post Ranch Inn is an oasis tucked in the cliff above Big Sur. The 40 architecturally varied rooms have a few things in common: a design aesthetic that harmonizes with nature, copious amounts of windows, and incredible views from as many places as possible, including bed, terrace and bath. Pacific-suite bathrooms put tumbled-marble soaker tubs in front of floor-to-ceiling windows, and they open to wraparound terraces. Each Ocean House suite has a two-sided fireplace, to be enjoyed from both the living room and bathroom. Mountain rooms swap views of the ocean for endless acres of pristine forest.


Best Zen Spread: Phuket is one of Thailand’s busiest tourist towns, but you’d never notice while tucked away at Anantara Phuket Villas, situated on a blessedly secluded stretch of Mai Khao beach. Modeled after the traditional homes of southern Thailand, the oversize villas here are feng shui perfection, built with architectural principles that embrace outside light and air. The 83 pool villas have sleek marble bathrooms with floor-to-ceiling doors that open to gardens blooming with orchids, jasmine and birds of paradise. Here you’ll find your outdoor rain shower (there’s another one inside), plus a mosaic-tile plunge pool and a sunken terrazzo tub that’s encircled with candles come nightfall.


Best Sunbathing: Anguilla’s powdery beaches are some of the most beautiful in the Caribbean,  but sometimes you want to soak up the sun with no fear of tan lines. Enter the oceanfront junior suites at Cap Juluca. The top-to-bottom marble washrooms were designed with couple-friendly tubs and glass-enclosed showers that open onto private outdoor solariums complete with lounge chairs, palm trees and half-walls that ensure privacy without making you feel closed in. In the mood for a romantic bath à deux? The spa concierge can prepare an in-room Tropical soak using papaya, candlenuts, sea salt and rose petals.


Best Vista: Few places on the planet can claim scenic superiority to the expansive landscapes of East Africa. Perched on the edge of the 12-mile-wide Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unbroken caldera in the world, Tanzania’s &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge makes the most of the locale. After a day on safari spotting lions, zebras and elephants, get cleaned up in your dreamy bathroom, designed with Tanzanian pine, floor-to-ceiling windows and a claw-foot tub. Opulence comes in unexpected forms, like glass-beaded chandeliers, vases stuffed with lush red roses from nearby Arusha, and the views: The tub, rain shower and W.C. have windows facing the caldera.


Best Standard Digs: Bigger is better at The Palazzo hotel, in Las Vegas. Even the entry-level Palazzo Luxury suites come with 120 square feet of bathroom fun, with a deep Roman tub, a 20-inch high-def TV, chic bath products from Agraria San Francisco, and a separate vanity area with a wall-mounted makeup mirror and plush velvet stool, perfect for primping. Higher levels throw in a jetted tub and choice of room extra: massage table, pool table or piano.


Best Art Direction: Leave it to film director Francis Ford Coppola to build the film-set-worthy Turtle Inn, an award-winning eco-resort in coastal Belize. The 26 thatch-roof cottages are designed to mimic the region’s tropical beauty. Open-air showers are deceptively simple, with a clever bamboo nozzle for faucets, plus landscaping that features locally sourced limestone and lush vegetation like red ginger and fragrant hibiscus. Interiors are finished with handcrafted furnishings and textiles personally chosen by the family and imported from Bali and Central America.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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First Arts and Cultural Affairs Position Added In Oklahoma City

A new position has been officially added to the 2012-2013 budget of Oklahoma City involving overseeing the arts industry of the city. The first Arts and cultural Affairs position of the city has now been filled by the former head of the Urban Redevelopment Division for Oklahoma City’s Planning Departments, Robbie Kienzle.

Since 2009, the City Council had provided more focus on the art industry of the city given its profitable benefits in the business sector as well as its attraction to tourists. An ordinance had been approved, which grants the art industry one percent of the construction expense of the city. The one percent will be used to construct new buildings or implement renovations related to the arts.

Kienzle’s position will entail acting as administer the to the arts community and making sure that proper development budgets are being implemented. Keinzle will also be in charge of supervising local art activities and events as well as the existing art collection of the city.

The Oklahoma City City Council had chosen Kienzle for the position given her extensive job experience with regards to city development as well as her leadership in the field of the arts. Aside from her headship in the Planning Department, Kienzle was also the Director of the Festival of the Arts, the Executive Director of the American Institute of Architects and the Visual Arts Consultant for the MAPS projects.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors




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Improvement Ideas for Your Outdoor Deck

Outdoor decks are very popular this time of the year, when everyone wants to spend time outside and enjoy the warm weather.  Since decks often serve as additional outdoor rooms during the summer months, you want to be sure you feel comfortable.  There are many ways you can make improvements to your deck to make hosting unforgettable parties and partaking in mid-afternoon rest and relaxation even more enjoyable.

Below are some ideas you can use when making improvements to your outdoor deck:

  • Use decorative railings. Most people have basic, ordinary deck railings whose primary purpose is to serve as a safety measure. But, by enhancing your outdoor railings with something unexpected like glass panels or wooden rails, you would be surprised by how beautifully it transforms your deck.
  • Add a roof on your deck.  It will act as a shield from possible rain and sunlight and make the space more comfortable.
  • Screen your deck. Adding a screen to your deck will enhance its privacy. If you have an unattractive backyard you’d rather not look at or simply want to hide yourself from the view of your neighbors, screening is the perfect solution.
  • Add flowers. By setting something fresh and natural on your deck, it will easily blend in with your surroundings and serve as natural decor.  You can position potted plants near the stairs, hang plants above the railings, or even add a nice bouquet of flowers to serve as your table centerpiece.
  • Add ambient decorative lighting. Your deck can still be used at night if you add lighting, and it will create a relaxing, pleasant tone. Hide small lighting fixtures in each corner of your deck for a dramatic look or install tall lampposts for brighter lighting.
  • Fill your seats with colorful and comfy pillows. Make your deck better suited to lounging with friends and family by adding fun pillows that are comfortable to sit on, hug, and hold.
  • Arrange some rugs. Adding an area rug beneath your outdoor table or seating will make it feel like you’ve brought the indoors outside.
  • Add a hammock. Make your deck a place you would want to enjoy every day by adding a hammock.  It’s the perfect place to read a book on a warm afternoon or watch the kids play outside. You can even sneak in a power nap to reenergize you for the rest of the day.


Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors




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Functional Alternatives to Toy Boxes

Having a storage alternative to traditional toy boxes will not only offer more aesthetic choices to complement your home décor, but will also enable you to save money. Typical toy boxes can sometimes be quite expensive, but fortunately, there are plenty of attractive, functional alternatives that are more cost-efficient.

If you want to shift your storage style from traditional designs to more fun and creative options, here are some fresh ideas to choose from:

  • Shelves with easily removable plastic bins – This kind of storage will not only promote a clutter-free room, but it will also teach your little ones how to organize their things. Install a built-in shelf with different compartments, so you can insert bins into each compartment. Then, label each bin as to what goes in it, such as dolls, toy cars, blocks, books, etc. Each time your child plays, he or she will only have to choose the bin with the desired items and not will not have to drag out all of the toys.
  • Bench with bottom storage – Create multi-functional storage using a long bench with storage underneath for your kid’s toys. The bench on top can be used for extra seating, while simultaneously holding all of your child’s toys underneath it.
  • Hampers or laundry baskets – If you have an extra hamper at home, instead of throwing it away, use it as extra storage for your kids’ toys. Hampers are normally sturdy enough to carry a full load of toys, plus you can then easily carry them to anywhere in the house in one trip versus having to go back and forth to pick up toys.
  • Rolling storage – Picking up your kids’ toys is easier with a rolling storage unit. It reduces the back and forth time, and depending on the size, you may even be able to easily roll it under a cabinet or the bed.
  • Storage ottoman – If you want to have toy storage in the living room, and ideal solution is a storage ottoman. Just like any other ottoman, it complements your sofa set and other home decor, but it also has a removable lid, so you can store things inside.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Oklahoma City Launches Public Open House for PlanOKC

To showcase the latest developments on a plan for the city, the Oklahoma City Department of Planning will be hosting an open house for the public on Tuesday, July 31. A comprehensive plan for the city called planOKC will be presented during the meeting.

PlanOKC is the latest development plan for the city that has a long-term goal of providing a healthy and sustainable city for all residents. PlanOKC began in 2008 and has seen continued progress through the creation and improvement of polices and facilities spanning the 621-square-mile city.  The plan focuses on providing better transportation options, retail and entertainment opportunities, culture, education, and safety. City planners are hoping to have the plan finalized and adopted by 2013.

The open house for planOKC will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the third floor of the Council Chamber of City Hall, 200 N. Walker. There will be a 30-minute meet-and-greet followed by a short presentation of the plan and its goals.  After the presentation, attendees can meet with the city’s planners to talk more about the plan and ask questions.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Eliminate Paint Smells Inside Your House

Repainting your home makes it look fresh and new. However, one drawback is the overwhelming smell of the paint. Not only is it uncomfortable when you breathe, but it also poses a health risk, especially to children who may be roaming around the house.

So, for the next time you decide to paint your home, here are some useful tips for how you can remove the paint smell:

  • Use non-VOC paints. VOC paints are those that do not contaminate the air inside your home. VOC means Volatile Organic Compounds, which are unstable compounds that vaporize in the air and cause air pollution. If breathed into the body, they can cause certain health problems like headaches, cancer, and damage to internal systems.
  • Use charcoal. Activated carbon or any ordinary charcoal can effectively remove even the strongest smell of paint and deodorize the room. Place small pieces of charcoal in a wet paper towel and leave it in the room overnight.
  • Use an air purifier. The bad smell of paint is caused by the artificial compounds that vaporize into the air. If you purify the air, it instantly cleans your environment by removing the toxins that come from the paint.
  • Light a candle. When you light a candle in a freshly-painted room, the flame burns out the fumes. Let it burn for a few hours in the middle of the room and check on it from time to time to be sure it doesn’t start a fire.
  • Make use of fresh air. If you are painting a room with two or more windows, open them to allow cross ventilation, which will reduce the paint smell inside.
  • Place buckets of water around the room. A bucket of water can also absorb the smell of the paint.  However, it does not work as quickly as a candle or charcoal, so leave the bucket of water in the room until the smell is gone.
  • Use kitchen essentials like vinegar, onion, baking soda, lemon, and coffee grounds. These ingredients absorb odors, and all you have to do is leave them out overnight.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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