Outdoor Space Ideas – How to Make Your Outdoor Ambiance More Functional!


As the owner, you will like to make your home look as attractive as possible. Much like the interior space, where you live in, you need to focus on the outdoor ambience and make it fun, lively and functional. With proper setup and decoration, you will easily be able to transform your outdoor areas such as patio, porch and yard into an amazing space that would allow your family to enjoy sunshine and fresh air. Here are some outdoor space ideas for decoration that will add to the functionality of the space.

Go for bold colors

When decorating the outdoor area, go for bold and vibrant colors. Choose accessories and furniture with bright colors, which can make the space come alive and even make the indoor area inviting for visitors. Do not choose black and darker colors which trap heat and make furniture very hot to sit on. When bright colors are used in outdoor settings, they add gaiety, excitement and fun.

Go for creative lighting

Another of the best outdoor space ideas is to try efficient lighting, which would improve the appeal and mood of your outdoor living area. Although electric bulbs are good for everyday purposes, it is during party occasions that you can try some dramatic ideas by adding candles, torches and lanterns to add some mystery to the environment. This would also help you to highlight the best elements and hide the unattractive parts beneath the shadows. In ordinary situations, let your lights point upwards to highlight your home. If you want a soft glow, point your lights downwards.

Incorporate a water body

If you have a larger outer space, you can also add a water feature which would make the ambience look more calm and elegant. There are amazing cascading waterfalls and even store-purchased fountains that can be added to the external space. You may even hire professionals to make a small pond in the garden area with some colorful fish inside and beautiful saplings planted all around except the front area.

Add an open air kitchen

You can also add an open air kitchen to the outdoor section, which would save innumerable trips to the indoors when you are hosting a party. The kitchen could comprise of a pizza oven, a sink, a grill, a cooking area and even a fridge. This is one of the best outdoor space ideas that can be useful for those who hold outdoor parties often.

Just Listed – 2563 Clearview Circle, Dallas TX 75233

This home is gorgeous!!! Kitchen has SS appliances, granite counter-tops, beautiful tile flooring and a walk in pantry. Master bedroom boasts a huge bathroom and walk in closet with built in shelves, dual sinks, jetted tub and a separate shower. There is crown molding throughout the home and 23 ft ceilings. Back yard has a covered patio, perfect for entertaining or cooking out. Additional media room or home office upstairs.

Source: 2563 Clearview Circle, Dallas TX 75233

Does a Staged Home Sell Faster? How to Stage Your House and Sell It Quickly!


Research has shown that a house, when staged properly with furniture, tends to sell much quicker and at a higher price than homes which are un-staged. Staging is an essential part of selling a home and can significantly increase the selling prices of homes by making the interior look more inviting to prospective buyers. This is nothing but rearranging your existing furniture in a way that can show your home in the best possible light. Read and know how to get a staged home to sell faster with these tips.

Go for a neutral arrangement

Although it can be very tempting to stage your home in a way that expresses your individuality, it is not a good idea to do so. You should try a classy yet neutral positioning, so that potential buyers can walk easily from one room to another and find the interior to be well-lit and attractive. Avoid very modern designs and too vibrant colors, and stay away from over-the-top arrangements.

Concentrate on the important rooms

If you intend to rent furniture to deck up your vacant home, make sure that your focus is on the important spaces. Considering that staged home sell faster, you should focus more on the rooms that are most important – such as the master bedroom, living room and kitchen. Do not spend on hiring too many furniture for non-essential rooms, as buyers will envision their life in your home primarily on the feel that they get from the main rooms.

Create a video

If you live in the home and will be vacating it, it is a good idea to make a proper video of your home with all your furniture sets in it before they are removed. This will allow you to save expenses on renting furniture, and you can show the video to prospective buyers when they come on visits.

Remove unnecessary furniture

Remember that staged home sell faster when it is presented in the best possible way. Keep in mind that you will be trying to sell your home and not show buyers a glimpse of your personal life. Remove all unnecessary furniture and keep them in the basement or some other non-essential room or even pack them away to another home. Keep minimum furniture which would be enough to make buyers understand how their living arrangement would be like. Do not annoy them with excessive furniture sets that would hinder entry of light into the rooms.

Armstrong Real Estate Group Mission

Our mission at Armstrong Real Estate Group is simple: to help our clients achieve their desired goals in the time frame to which we’ve been afforded. Whether we are acting as a Buyer’s or Seller’s Agent, you are our priority. Towards this end we create a collaborative environment where the lines are always open and serve all of our clients with the highest levels of expertise, professionalism, guidance, and accountability that they deserve. We understand that you are making one of the most important decisions you can make in your life and we take this responsibility as your agent to heart.

We promise to respect your desires and time, and to represent you with the most results-oriented, professional means at our disposal.

Come visit us @ http://eastdallastxhomes.com/

Selling a Home – Tips to Remember While Selling Your House


Selling a home is a major decision. If you wish to get the best price, you need to invest a lot of time and energy into the selling process. There is a lot of preparation involved, but the efforts can be worthwhile in the massive returns you can get out of your investment. Here are some interesting and useful tips to help you sell your home in the best possible way.

Research about the local housing market

It is necessary to talk to people in your area and also browse various major real estate websites in order to find the actual pricing of homes similar to yours in the locality that you live in. Lots of major newspapers list the asking and selling prices of houses that have recently been sold, along with the time span for which they have been listed in the market for. Check the local papers and find out the prices of homes in your area for the last 6 months. You can get a fair idea about how much your home is worth.

Choose an agent

Although selling a home without an agent can save 6% of fees, you can get a lot of assistance from them. The sale of a house involves a lot of marketing, negotiations and paperwork and an agent can help you with the same. Ask for referrals from neighbors and friends before hiring an agent. Interview the agent and ask him about what the selling price of your house is likely to be. Check whether his thoughts match your research. Stay away from agents who speak of a very higher price.

Get informed about the Commission Structure

Once you find a good agent, sign a proper listing agreement. It is nothing but a contract which lays down the specific points, such as the period for which the agent will represent your property, his fees for the same and other important information.

Make Preparations for an Open House

Irrespective of whether you have hired an agent or selling a home as its owner, you have to make sure that your house is suitable for showing to potential buyers. Prepare your home by de-cluttering it, cleaning it up, painting it and repairing the flaws before showing it to prospective buyers.

Time it right

Finally, it is important to sell your home at the right time. Have your agent review the contingency that comes with bids. Get guidance from agents on how to make responses to bids.

Come check us out for more information http://eastdallastxhomes.com/

Dallas-Area Home Prices Rise

Dallas-area home prices rose 8.2 percent in June, nearly double the national rate, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price report.

For the fourth-consecutive month, Dallas ranked No. 3 nationally after Denver (up 10.2 percent) and San Francisco (up 9.5 percent) for the 12 months through June. The average increase for 20 large metropolitan areas tracked by Case-Shiller was 5 percent.

High demand combined with a limited supply of homes (2.4 months in July) is driving up Dallas-area prices. Home prices are 19 percent higher than their pre-recession peak in April 2007.

To determine your home’s value in today’s competitive market, call me today. To find just the right agent for your real estate needs visit EastDallasTXHomes.com.

D-FW Luxury Market: Solving the Puzzle

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 03:15 PM PDT

Luxury Market Banner


The spring 2015 edition of Grand Vie: Luxury in Living magazine recently mailed to homes across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

As the magazine’s market-update feature, Spotlight On the D-FW Luxury Market, points out, now is truly an extraordinary time to sell a luxury home in North Texas.

In the past year, 2,355 single-family homes priced at $750,000 and up have been sold by real estate agents. That’s approximately 12 percent more luxury home sales than during the prior 12 months.

In addition to featuring many of Dallas-Fort Worth’s premier luxury properties currently for sale, the 16th edition of Grand Vie offers a plethora of interesting editorial content. Check it out now at grandviemagazine.com.

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Trees Add Beauty, Value to Your Home

Posted: 20 Feb 2015 10:57 AM PST

Trees Add Beauty, Value to Your Home

Trees don’t ask for much — dirt, water, sunlight. Yet they provide many benefits for you and your home: They add beauty and value to your property, cut your energy bills with the shade they provide, provide a home to wildlife, and improve the air you breathe.

To get the full benefits from your trees, choose the right one and plant it in the right location. Planting a tree that sheds its leaves annually on the west side of your house provides cooling shade in the summer. In winter, after it loses its leaves, the same tree will let in sunlight that cuts heating bills.

If you’re planting a new tree, think about its fully grown size and shape before you dig. Roots too close to your home could damage the foundation or block sewer lines. The wrong tree in the wrong place could actually lower your home’s appraised value.

To learn more about trees and how you can improve the environment while improving your property value, visit arbordayfoundation.org, where you’ll find a wealth of useful information about trees.

PHOTO: Shown is  1204 Chatsworth in Colleyville, which is offered by Ebby’s Alice Bien for $679,000.

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DFW Weekend Round Up (2/19-2/22)

Posted: 19 Feb 2015 02:03 PM PST

 DFW Weekend Round Up (2/19-2/22)

This weekend’s events have no clear theme, but that just means there’s something for everyone! Take a look…

If you’re looking for things to do that are more food and drink centric, click here.

Thursday, Feb. 19:

The Book of Mormon: If you didn’t make last year’s show, now is the time to catch the Tony Award-winning musical created by the people behind South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. This is the final weekend that it will be at Winspear Opera House.

The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville: This musical includes two major stars, Mandy Patinkin and Taylor Mac. On top of that, the show is directed by Tony-winner Susan Stroman. Follow the pair as the take on a post-apocalyptic world at the Eismann Center in Richardson through Sunday.

Medea: The Greek tragedy, presented by Dallas Theater Center, will take place in the basement of Kalita Humphrey’s Theater through March 29.

Thin Line Festival: The 8th-annual festival in Denton goes all weekend long. Thin Line will deliver an engaging program of high quality documentary films, world-class music, and (new in 2015) a diverse palette of photographic art.

Friday, Feb. 20:

Disney in Concert: The Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents classic songs from Disney movies that you’ll never forget, old and new. Friday through Sunday, the orchestra will play songs from Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and more.

Ticketstock 2015: The annual sports talk event hosted by the crew from 1310 The Ticket is back at Irving Convention Center Friday and Saturday. Join them for free admission, autographs, and concerts.

Wynonna Judd: The country music singer will be at Arlington Music Hall for stories and song.

Saturday, Feb. 21:

Chinese New Year Celebration: The Crow Colleciton of Art celebrates the Year of the Ram with their 16th-annual free Chinese New Year Celebration.Head to the Hardwood District for crafts, fortune telling, a photo booth, family yoga, food trucks and more.

Sunday, Feb. 22:

Seryn: The sextet from Denton will be at Dan’s Silverleaf singing new-age folk songs you can’t help but love.

Image via The Ticket

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Love Where You Live: Exterior

Posted: 14 Feb 2015 10:00 AM PST

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Today is the final day of our Love Where You Live series and we want to thank you for following along as we explored the rooms that inspire all of us to love where we live. On the final day we are talking about the home exteriors. Driving up to your home at the end of the day should be a relaxing and welcoming experience. An exterior that just “feels like home” is the ultimate realization of loving where you live.

Love Where You Live: Exterior

We knew we had to pick something special for the final day, so we went with timeless and classic. The home at 8 Robledo Drive is a French Traditional decorated in understated French Country style. It just feels right, from the smooth, cream stucco and gabled roof to the mature, soaring trees and circular driveway. This home is the manifestation of elegance and sophistication. We’re relaxed just looking at it and can’t imagine the joy of getting to return home to it each and every day.

Overall, this home has 3 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, 5,819 sq. ft. and a 3-car garage. It is located in the exclusive gated community of Los Arboles and was designed by Tie Davis, with construction by Cy Barcus and landscaping by Naud Burnett. It’s a gem and a haven from front door to back porch. Take a minute and get the full tour, here.

For more stunning exteriors, click here.

Previous posts from the Love Where You Live series:  Day 1- Master Bathroom, Day 2- Living Room, Day 3- Dining Room, Day 4- Outdoor Space, Day 5- Master Bedroom, Day 6- Breakfast Area, Day 7- Media Room, Day 8- Home Office, Day 9- Kitchen, Day 10- Walk-in Closet, Day 11- Entry, Day 12- Game Room

For more Valentine’s ideas, click here

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Love Where You Live: Game Room

Posted: 13 Feb 2015 02:11 PM PST

We saved this feature just for Friday. A game room is the perfect place to watch the game, relax, and enjoy the weekend. It’s a space for family and friends, adults and kids to have a some fun without ever leaving home.

Love Where You Live: Game Room

The game room at 1029 Abbey Lane in Mclendon Chisholm, TX is an ideal addition to our Love Where You Live series because it brings so much together in one room. This space offerers a pool table, an area to play cards, recliner seating in front of the TV, a fireplace, and a full bar- with another TV! Obviously, this room is just as beautiful as it is functional thanks to the wood trimmed, vaulted ceiling, crown molding, handscraped hardwood flooring and tall stone fireplace. We’re jealous of anyone who gets to look forward to a weekend in this game room!

To give you the full picture, this room belongs to a 5-bedroom, four-bath, and two half-bath home with 6,628 sq. ft. of living space. The backyard is an oasis, with an outdoor TV, four fire pits, and a saltwater pool and spa with a built-in table and seating. Did we mention all of the covered outdoor space as well? This home is ideal for anyone who loves to entertain and do it right. Take the full tour,here.

For more game rooms and entraining spaces, click here.

Previous posts from the Love Where You Live series:  Day 1- Master Bathroom, Day 2- Living Room, Day 3- Dining Room, Day 4- Outdoor Space, Day 5- Master Bedroom, Day 6- Breakfast Area, Day 7- Media Room, Day 8- Home Office, Day 9- Kitchen, Day 10- Walk-in Closet, Day 11- Entry

For more Valentine’s ideas, click here

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This Week in Food & Beverage News

Posted: 27 Jan 2015 11:12 AM PST

This Week in Food & Beverage News

This week’s events are all about beer, but if you like burritos, Girl Scout cookies, and Russian festivals we have some options for those, too! Don’t forget to check up on the latest openings and closings as well.

Tuesday, Jan. 27:

Buy Sofritas, Get a Free Chipotle Burrito: Head to your nearest Chipotle where a purchase of sofritas will get you a free burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos on your next visit through Feb. 28.

Vertskebap: The Austin-based kebap restaurant opened in Addison in October of 2014 and the Preston Hollow Village location opens today. Stop by for authentic kebaps, which are similar to panini sandwiches with meats, vegetables, and yogurt-based sauces. The Grand Opening will be held Saturday, Jan. 31 and will feature one free entreé per guest.

Wednesday, Jan. 28:

Community Beer Company Pint Night: Head to Greenville Bar & Grill for a pint night featuring the Community Mosaic IPA. Keep the glass when you buy the pint!

Lakewood Sin Mint and Girl Scout Cookie Pint Night at Luck: Get a taste of Lakewood Brewing Company’s latest creation, Sin Mint, at Luck in Trinity Groves. A special Girl Scout Cookie Beer Pairing Flight will also be available.

Friday, Jan. 30:

Russian Winter Festival: The annual celebration runs from Friday to Saturday but begins Friday at 7pm in an ice pavilion at Hotel St. Germain. Offerings include an ice bar and a multi-course Russian and Eastern European-inspired dinner paired with vodka. Contact Hotel St. Germain for reservations.

Wine Dinner at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse: The owner of Napa Valley’s Keenan Wine will be at the steakhouse for a three-course, wine-paired dinner. Offerings include various red and white wines paired with pan-seared swordfish, dry-aged lamp chops, a Strip Loin tasting with roasted vegetables and a potato puree, and a mocha parfait for dessert.

Saturday, Jan. 31:

Community Beer Company Beer School: Head Brewer Jamie Fulton will guide you through all you need to know about beer on the last Saturday of the month. This month’s curriculum includes a history of beer, beer styles & samples, tasting techniques, brewing process, private tour and more!

Cooking Classes at Dallas Farmers Market: The Winter Session of classes continues Saturday with chef Hugh Steward of Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill. The theme is “Texas Kobe Beef.”

Saturday Brewery Tour at Deep Ellum Brewery: Every Saturday from noon to 3pm, pay just $15 at the door for a DEBC pint glass, three beers, and a live music. There are always food trucks onsite as well.

Sunday, Feb. 1:

It’s Super Bowl Sunday!! Just about any sports-loving spot with TV’s will be showing the game and most are running specials on wings, beer, and other game day treats.


Bijoux: The Inwood Village restaurant will close on February 28 after eight and a half years of service.

Kin Kin Urban Thai: A fresh take on traditional Thai will be available in the former location of Cyclone Anaya’s on Oak Lawn in March or April. A Fort Worth location in West 7th is set to open in February and one at Preston Forest is expected to open this summer.

Oak: The restaurant’s chef, Brian Zenner, will leave the restaurant and will be replaced by John Tesar, of Knife and formerly of Spoon, in February. The menu is expected to be a union of Tesar’s creations at Rosewood Mansion and Spoon.

Pints & Quarts: A new burger joint will be opened by Midsmith owner Brooke Humphries on the corner of Ross & Greenville Ave. in April. It will have a “vintage gas station vibe” and sell quality fast casual burgers and flat top dogs all under $10.

Quesa: A new Mexican restaurant is coming to Cedar Springs at the beginning of February in the old Nuvo location. Expect authentic street food a la Mexico City and a full bar.

Time Out Tavern: The sports tavern on Lovers, lovingly called The TOT, has been sold by original owner Kevin McCormack to Aaron Saginaw. Saginaw has worked at The TOT for nearly ten years.

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Robin Roberts Appearance Postponed

Posted: 27 Jan 2015 10:55 AM PST

Robin Roberts Appearance Postponed

Tonight’s Tate Lecture Series Ebby Halliday Companies Lecture featuring Robin Roberts has been postponed due to Winter Storm Juno. Roberts was unable to leave New York City prior to the cancellation of flights resulting from the historic storm.

Roberts, the popular co-anchor of ABC News’ Good Morning America, a cancer survivor and author of “Everybody’s Got Something,” is just one of the intellectual and entertaining voices the Tate Lecture Series brings to Dallas. This season alone, the series has featured such luminaries as former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright, best-selling author and New York Times columnist David Brooks, world-renowned photographer Platon, and Pulitzer prize-winning author and presidential biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin, among others.

The Ebby Halliday Companies are proud to be in the second year of a four-year sponsorship of the series. A portion of the proceeds from each lecture supports the next generation of leaders by providing full-tuition scholarships and study-abroad opportunities for exceptional SMU students. To learn more, click here.