Monday, May 29, 2017

Keep Your Patio Furniture Looking Its Best

It's the time of year when the days are longer and outdoor furniture comes out of storage. Whether you lounge in handcrafted teak Adirondack chairs or pull up your favorite metal frame seat to your vintage glass-top table, patio furniture requires some necessary maintenance. Read on for our seven tips for maintaining your patio furniture.



1. Clean it periodically to prevent dirt and debris from dulling the finish. Regardless of the material, the finish will eventually lose its sheen if left unattended. Besides that, you don't want pollen pants after sitting down on an unkempt chair in the springtime.
For that initial cleaning at the start of patio season, do not be afraid to rent a power washer. You'll save time and elbow grease by enlisting the help of a power washer in that scrub session.

2. Cover patio furniture when you're not using it. Sun, wind and rain will eventually take their toll on fabrics, paint and stain. Using a custom cover or all-purpose tarp will help extend the life of your furnishings.

3. Keep rust under control by addressing the problem as soon as you notice it. If you're in a humid climate, your metal patio furniture (or components like nails) is susceptible to rust. The brown, flaky stuff is the result of exposure to oxygen and moisture, unavoidable for outdoor furniture. Grab some WD-40 and a wire brush and scrape off the iron oxide before it spreads.

4. Mildew is not your friend for many reasons. It's smelly and unsightly and can cause health problems. It is a survivor, though, and will cling to surfaces like gum on the bottom of your shoe. Mildew does not fare well in the presence of vinegar or baking soda. Both readily available agents will eliminate blight on the surface and the interior of cushions. Plus, you can use it to clean umbrellas or other colorful accessories without the adverse effects of bleach.

5. Paint is your friend when it comes to maintaining your patio furniture. If your metal table and chairs need a facelift, grab a few cans of spray paint formulated for outdoor use. Refresh the appearance with minimal monetary investment.
6. Water always wins. Even if the fabric or treatment claims to be waterproof, at some point water will penetrate the coating. If at all possible, move furnishings indoors when the season is over. Inside is also the best place to avoid damage from high winds and hail.

7. Table glass looks best when you can see through it. Prevent scratches, residue buildup and other blemishes by grabbing the rubbing alcohol and newspaper. Pour or spray liberally and wipe down with something you can recycle.

Whether you're cleaning for houseguests or planning to list your home for sale, connect with me for more ways to keep your home in tiptop shape.




UPDATE ON TESTA AREA GROWTH


We have to take the bad with the good.  The downtown Testa’s area will be a tough place to park for some time to come as the Frisbee group starts work on their forthcoming project.  Build-out is projected to be four years, with construction starting this coming October, and concerned folks want that reduced to two years. It was pointed out the Neiman Marcus' new building went up in two years.  New retail buildings will go up and condos, with an underground parking garage, and then life will be easier in the area, with new offerings, a favorite of many Palm Beachers.

Testa’s Restaurant opened in 1921 as a 13-seat soda fountain in the lobby of the old Garden Theater on Main Street, now Royal Poinciana Way and has grown and grown into a steady eaterie for Palm Beachers and visitors to the Island.

Parking and sidewalk access will present temporary problems. Other concerns are construction hours, lighting, security, pedestrian safety, traffic and other work-related issues. All agree it will be dusty and dirty for a while. Construction workers will park off the Island and be bused in.

Six buildings with retail on the ground floor will go up.  The second floor will have homes and there will be gardens, vias and courtyards.  A new restaurant is included and the underground parking garage. 

Once completed everybody will be/should be happy.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

WELL RECOGNIZED FATIO PALM BEACH HOME EARNS AWARDS



One of the most recognized properties along the ocean in Palm Beach is this 1928 residence, nicknamed “the ham and cheese house.” The Society Architect was Maurice Fatio.  It was the alternating horizontal bands of coral keystone and red brick on its facades that gave the property that nickname.

There are eight bedrooms and 16090 living sq ft.

The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach’s 2016 Ballinger Award for historically sensitive renovation was given to the property. Now The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation has bestowed a 2017 Meritorious Award on the property. It was given landmark protection in 1979.

Homeowners Penny and Marion Hugh Antonini spent two years renovating and restoring. The Antoninis’ renovation preserved original Fatio elements such as elaborately carved stonework, beamed-and-coffered ceilings and Cuban-tile floors. The project also lightened up the interiors with a modern color scheme of cream paired with light pinks, blues and greens.

A new kitchen, manufactured to specifications in Italy, was shipped to Florida and assembled on site. The roof was replaced, impact-resistant windows installed, and work was done on the swimming pool and beachfront cabana, reached through a tunnel under the coastal road. The central courtyard around which the house was designed was completely reworked.

New glass was installed in the living room’s carved-stone arched windows. As a result of an installation system devised through trial and error, the glass seems to disappear entirely so that the arches resemble an open cloister framing views of the ocean.

It remains a monument to the architecture and glamour of the 1920’s.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors



Many homeowners love hardwood floors not only for their look and durability, but also because they're simple to clean—at least relative to carpet, tile, and many other surfaces. But maintaining spick-and-span hardwood floors isn't quite as simple as it may seem, which leaves many homeowners wondering: What's the best way to clean hardwood floors, anyway?
“There’s a responsibility that comes with owning a wood floor,” says Brett Miller, vice president of education and certification for the National Wood Flooring Association in St. Louis. “People who haven’t had a wood floor before don’t always consider the importance of properly maintaining those floor coverings.”
If you want to keep your hardwood floors looking their best, here are the steps to take.
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Remove debris regularly
Your first line of defense is to remove dirt and debris as quickly and often as possible. Even the smallest specks of dirt act like sandpaper, and can scratch the floor's surface and make it look dull. So make sure to vacuum or sweep regularly—ideally once every two to three days, or more for high-traffic areas, says Miller. If you vacuum, use the hard surface setting on your machine, which turns off the beater bar and lowers the vacuum to the floor for better suction power.
Wipe spills immediately
Hardwood floors may look impervious to spills compared with carpet, but certain substances can actually eat away at the top coat of polish on your floor. Some common offenders include milk, mustard, and pet urine. So if Fido or Fluffy isn't fully house trained, make sure to pick up after accidents pronto.
Mop the right way
A damp (but not sopping) mop can also help keep a hardwood floor clean, provided you use the right cleaner (more on what not to use next). Most wood floor installers or manufacturers recommend cleaners that contain isopropyl alcohol, which dries quickly, and are available at home supply stores.
To make your own solution for a monthly clean, add a capful of white vinegar to a gallon of water, which will help dissolve grease and grime on the floor, but not strip the finish. To remove shoe scuffs, rub marks with a tennis ball, which cleans without scratching the finish.
Whatever you do, do not clean wood floors with a steam mop, Miller says. “Steam is horrible for wood floors. It opens the pores in woods and damages the finish, causing irreversible damage to any wood floor.”
Use the right cleaning products
“Wood is probably the easiest floor covering to keep clean, but you have to use the right cleaning products,” says Miller. In fact, contrary to what you might think, he adds, “anything that says ‘polish’ or ‘shine’ indicates you’re adding a layer of something to the floor, and it’s not a protective coating.”
The result? Your floor might look shiny right after you're done, but it will quickly smear and look dull (prompting you to clean your floors again). So when in doubt, stick with cleaning solutions recommended by a hardwood floor specialist rather than what's being hawked at your average grocery store.
And if it still doesn't look clean...

If vacuuming and mopping don’t restore the luster to your hardwood floors, it may not be due to lack of elbow grease. Eventually, wood floors withstand enough damage that they should be refinished—meaning the top layer of wood is sanded down to remove marks, then covered with sealant. Hardwood floors should be resealed about once every 10 years, or every two to five years if they get substantial traffic from kids or pets.

Monday, May 1, 2017

FLORIDA IS NUMBER ONE STATE FOR RETIREES TO MOVE TO

Florida is the most desirable state for retirees, according to a new report.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, SmartAsset determined which states that retirees are leaving and flocking to, analyzed by MarketWatch.




The report cites Florida's warm weather, beaches and the fact that it is one of seven states that doesn't tax individual income.

The states retirees are leaving in the highest numbers are New York, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Monday, March 27, 2017

BILL & MELINDA GATES HOME IN SEATTLE

“XANADU 2.0” IS AWESOME

·       Costing $60MM, it took seven years to build; Bill Gates also bought several surrounding houses for about $14.4MM.  The home has 24 bathrooms. Annual property tax is over $1MM.

·       Pool measures 60’x17’ and has a fossil-motif floor and underwater music system.  Locker room has 4 showers and 2 baths. Dive into the pool and you can come up by an outdoor terrace, going under a glass wall. Fitness gym is 2500 sq ft;  trampoline room has 20’ ceiling.   There is an elevator, but if you are into fitness, set your fitbit and head up or down the 84 steps from the entrance to the ground floor.

·       1000 sq ft dining room seats 24. 150 people can be fed dinner or 200 can be at a cocktail party in the 2300 sq ft reception hall.  Guests receive a pin that interacts with room sensors and can change to your preference the temperature, music and lighting.  This was built in 1995.

·      Guest house has 1 bedroom, 1 bath and is 1900 sq ft.

·       The grounds include an artificial stream and wetland estuary stocked with salmon and sea-run cutthroat trout. The sand on the lake bank is imported from warmer sandier climates, perhaps Hawaii.