Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Guest Blogger Dazzles with Thanksgiving Tablescape

We are SUPER-excited to have the wonderful Lauren from The Art of Living Beautifully, guest blogging HERE on Housing Cents!!  Lauren is a life-stylist who specializes in tablescapes, wardrobe styling, Stella & Dot, and clearly being FABULOUS!!! Check out her tips for creating a wonderfully welcoming and elegant Thanksgiving table for your upcoming gathering.  
The Thanksgiving Table. Quite possibly one of the most important tables we set all year because this is the one holiday that literally takes place at the table, around a meal. The tablescape is the celebration. I typically incorporate lovely elements of Fall such as colorful leaves or pumpkins, but the question of how to make it little less expected pops up each Fall as I begin to envision the table where my friends and family will gather and give thanks. 

Like all the tables I set throughout the year, I began with a source of inspiration to set the tone. This year inspiration struck as I turned to page number sixty two in the November issue of Southern Living Magazine, the step-by-step tutorial on how to create a centerpiece using a shallow wooden bowl seemed simple. And gorgeous. And so it began.  
Deer antlers, real and fake fruit, sticks, preserved flowers and a large cornucopia filled a long wooden tray to make a colorful centerpiece that was low enough for guests to easily see over. The preserved flowers were really the key in making this centerpiece simple as I didn't have to worry about florists foam or keeping the flowers alive. 

My dining table is made of teak and has natural-shaped edges which makes the use of a tablecloth difficult. If you face the same challenge at your home, try cutting a piece of burlap to cover only the top of the table. It will protect the table and soften the effect amongst so many hard surfaces such as dishes and flatware, plus burlap comes in a large variety of colors...some even have metallic thread woven within!

Leaf placemats sat beneath my white china and Queen's Quintessential Game bowls. The pheasant is such an appropriate bird for the season without screaming "turkey theme!" all over the table.

My favorite element of this table was the use of copper accents. Copper flatware, napkin rings and even copper mugs (we're drinking Moscow Mules, aren't you??) brought a rustic elegance to the table with its rich color and home-y feel. Of course wine with your meal is always enjoyable...but so is a refreshing cocktail in a fancy mug!

In lieu of a desert fork or spoon, at the top of each place setting I positioned a mini cornucopia to hold a place card and lovely pumpkin truffle. I know various cakes and pies are always a large part of Thanksgiving meals across the country, but if you are looking to scale back your meal just a tad, why not offer a small bite of something sweet for guests to enjoy after the meal. Save the pie and coffee for later in the evening.

Regardless of how many you are entertaining or how glamorous you believe your meal will be, providing a beautiful table makes every occasion all the more memorable. Don't you feel blessed when the table where you are dining matches the delicious food that has been prepared for you?
May your November be full of grace. May your table be elegant and full of loved ones. And may your meal be perfectly seasoned, rich in flavor and in love.
-ciao for now-
For more great advice on living beautifully, visit Lauren's website, The Art of Living Beautifully, her Pinterest boards or follow her on Instagram for oodles of FAB inspiration and an aesthetic feast for your eyes.  From recipes to design to fashion, Lauren has you covered.

Thank you Lauren!!! You are our style hero!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hardwood Floor Care Tips

There is nothing, literally nothing, like hardwood floors.  Whether they are hand-scraped, polished or a more modern wide-plank, maintenance and good care enable them to endure day after day, long after installation. Thanks to Highland Homes, for these tips.  Enjoy!

Tip of the Month courtesy of Highland Homes

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Little Afternoon DIY...

With shows such as House Crashers, I Hate My Bath and Rehab Addict, it may seem that a full room remodel is doable in a weekend, or a day.  Ah, that is the magic of television. These projects involve many more steps and people, for that matter, than you see on your screen.  Homeowners often feel overwhelmed by the arduous work that goes into a full room remodel.  Why not instead, opt for a smaller project, such as a furniture re-purpose, paint or refinish that just might make your tired room sparkle again, AND you can accomplish in say a day!!!

Get some great tips from Christine Brun, with creators syndicate, or check out TEAM-PRZADA's Pinterest Boards for inspiration.  We particularly love our  DIY-TRY and have pinned a ton of great small projects to help amp up your home's functionality and decor.  Author Christine Brun references Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but we have personal experience with Maison Blanche.  It is sold, right in the heart of Downtown Plano at Southern Vintage Glam.  Bonus, you can sign up with SVG's owner, April, for a class on how to use this FAB paint.  As with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, the appeal of Maison Blanche Chalk Paint is the ease with which it adheres to surfaces.  There is no need for stripping, sanding, or difficult prep prior to painting.  GREAT colors, easy to work with and a quick wipe-down of the surface and voila, you are ready to paint!!!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

TEAM-PRZADA Makes Searching for That Special Neighborhood- SO MUCH Easier!

Check out our website, to search for some of those new or very sought-after established neighborhoods in Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, and surrounding areas.
We are adding new communities and descriptions ALL THE TIME.  Each link pulls from MLS and updates in real-time, so you should be able to see the most current listings in each neighborhood!

Look for the neighborhood links on the left-hand side of the page!

After you click on your desired neighborhood, click on the hyperlink and see the most current listings!
Happy Searching!  Call Pat or Nancie TODAY to help you find your next home, no matter the neighborhood you desire!  

Thursday, July 30, 2015

LOVE your Outdoor Space- 5 Upgrades to Keep You Outside

You know how we love the blog, Candy's Dirt over here....Candy does a great job of helping you get your North Texas real estate fix.  This time, the "dirt" is a primer on how to transform your ho-hum backyard/outdoor space to a lux retreat that you actually want to use to beat the North Texas heat. Read on for the expert top-five tips, from Nicole Arnold from Nicole Arnold Interiors, then follow the link for more information.

  1. What Goes Outside Should Belong Outside- furniture and cushions that can sustain the outdoor conditions will leave you happier and will hold up better to Mother Nature.  Furniture covers are a great idea to keep critters from damaging your investment, or that always-enjoyable crazy-sideways-rain.
  2. Make it Bright- Adequate lighting makes the space more enjoyable, especially for evening time spent outside.  Think layers, string lights, lanterns, a few overhead light sources all mix well to create good lighting. 
  3. Don't Forget the Rug- Rugs create a good foundation and provide softness in the space.  Make sure you use a good outdoor rug pad in order to prevent mildew.  The rest is up to taste...a pop of color, a geometric pattern, animal print or neutral texture can all create a great jumping off point for design. 
  4. Comfort is Key- Texas summer heat can be a beating, so build in options that can keep you cool.  Misters, overhead ceiling fans and curtains that can be drawn to help block that late-afternoon or mid-day sun all play a part in making your outdoor space more livable and more comfortable! 
  5. Plants Add Color and Texture- Plants and flowers can be that finishing touch that really make your outdoor space inviting and come alive!  Container plants, groupings of pots, flowerbeds, shrubs, trees, and herb gardens provide that bit of lushness that softens the hardscapes of patios.  Layering color with flowers can be a complimentary or bold way to set off your design.  
Click on over to Candy's Dirt, real estate blog for more explanation on these great outdoor upgrades! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Home Tours

It's that time again!!!  Time for the Dallas area's bevy of Spring Home Tours.  If you have never spent the day at a home tour, well, then, you have NOT experienced all that spring-time in Dallas has to offer.  Do yourself a favor...step back in time for a day and check out at least one of these grand tours!  Why not treat Mom to the Annual Swiss Avenue Mother's Day Home Tour....

-Park Cities Historic And Preservation Society- April 11th 2015

-Hollywood Heights & Santa Monica- April 25th & 26th, 2015 with a BONUS Art & the Park Festival on April 26th, 2015 complete with Food Trucks

-Swiss Avenue Historic District- Mother's Day Weekend, May 9th &10th, 2015 with a lovely Mother's Day Brunch in Savage Park

For more information on Dallas area historic homes, check out one of our FAV sites, Preservation Dallas!

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Warm Treat to Brighten a Cold Day!

We received the ultimate treat last week!  Got a call about 9:30 Thursday morning asking if someone would be home at 10:45, if so, Tiff'sTreats was going to deliver a box of "piping hot" cookies!  Not much that is better than HOT, fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies, especially when you are a bit under the weather, in my book! ;)

Our DEAR and clever friend, Karen, knew of this great, innovative company that specializes in baking and delivering cookies.  They do not deliver unless someone is home to receive the tasty, hot treats!  The silver lined box was wrapped with a ribbon and four layers of the hot yummy goodies were inside....chocolate chip, peanut butter, cinnamon!  As one of the lucky recipients, I can attest, that surprise can make your day!

Tiff's Treats bakes and delivers in Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio!  You can find all of their locations on line at  If you need a gift for a special occasion or just been thinking of a friend, you might want to give Tiff's a call.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Do you have a set schedule for home improvement or DIY home maintenance? If not, according to the Dallas Morning News, you should...Here is a seasonal list of suggestions:


  • Plumbing- Inspect all plumbing for leaks or small problems like leaky faucets and clogged drains.  Those "small" problems can cause BIG headaches in the long-run. 
  • Roof- Check for damages and make general repairs.  Those repairs can lengthen the lifespan of your roof. Neglect can cause long-tern damage. 
  • Trees & Shrubs- Keep trees & shrubs trimmed otherwise roof damage can occur.
  • Paint - Touching up your home's exterior paint will boost curb appeal and exterior paint lifespan, which is your home's first defense against weather and pests.
  • Gutter & Downspouts- Clean leaves and debris from your gutters and your downspout.  Ignoring this job can lead to foundation issues.
  • Windows & Doors- Install weather stripping during this season.  This will prevent unwanted air from leaking into a home, which can dramatically affect heating costs.
  • Refrigerator- Vacuum the coils on the back of the fridge.  Letting the coils build up with dust and dirt can decrease your fridge's efficiency.
  • Furnace- Service the furnace will keep it operating properly and safely.
Tips for Every Season- 
  • Garbage Disposal- Flush the disposal every season. Regularly doing this will keep it clean and functioning.
  • Smoke Detectors- Responsible home ownership means testing the smoke detectors regularly.  Smoke detectors are the single most important step to ensuring home safety.