The Teal Deal

The Teal Deal


a home decor photo series

Teal is timeless. This worldly blue refreshes a room with instant elegance no matter the era. In this photo series, we explore home decor designed in shades of teal.

Timeless with a twist. The classic all-white overall look never gets old. Add a bit of art deco romance with a teal velvet bed frame, fabulous chandelier, and gold statement mirror for an elegant, modern style. Natural textures and materials add additional coziness to the overall look with lace-lined bedding, glass and shell accents, and a contemporary rug.

In this elegant bedroom, a dark teal feature wall is set off with organic white decor and plush bedding. Soft, textured accents such as the paper lanterns, neutral leaf duvet, and decorative branches play against the luxuriant color-washing wall treatment creating a classic look that is both warm and refreshing.

Sometimes you just have to take a risk and go all out! This bold teal pattern makes a statement and takes center stage when paired with modest furnishings. Additional white and reflective accents help break up the pattern making for a chic and modern living room.

This mid-century modern influenced room incorporates fun graphic prints and classic teal accents. The teal tone of the full size drapes pairs well against the grey color walls. Contrasting and matching shades of decor sprinkled around the room are grounded in the geometric rug in the center.

Teal and red, mixed with timber and notes of copper, is a daring combination that truly makes a statement. While both are strong, bright colors, they complement each other for a timeless, luxury look.

This fun, retro-inspired sitting room contrasts bold teal paint with pops of natural tones to create this comfortable setting. The dual sofa’s button tufting and golden leather upholstery are a nod to the classic design and double the warmth of this room. The intriguing paintings and indoor plants further add to the playful styling.

Cozy and rich. This bedroom is immersed in deep teal lending to a feeling of comfort. Minimalist decor and luscious finishes further warm the space.

It is not necessary for teal to be the main color for your room to make a bold statement. Use it in small accent pieces and place this color throughout the room to create a cohesive connection.

This exquisite teal chandelier is highlighted by dreamy velvet upholstery and clean lines. Rich hardwood floors, cast brass accents, and inky bursts of deep purple convey a sense of poetic nostalgia.

Stairs are a practical part of the home – but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun too! A bold statement staircase can be a simple and striking way to brighten up your entry or add some visual interest in your open concept home. Although often overlooked creatively, the staircase can become quite the eye-catching feature when handled with a bit of outside-the-box thinking.

This alluring teal bedroom is filled with serene jewel tones creating a relaxing, chic escape. The combination of richer blues and greens along with pops of lush velvet textures, achieve an effect that effortlessly balances luxury with comfort. Softer grays with cool undertones create a calming, easily-elevated look.

A vibrant shade of teal can inject brightness into any small or dark space. The white farmhouse sink pops against the bold high-gloss teal covering the kitchen walls, cabinets, and trim. Warm wood counter-tops and shiny silver fixtures and appliances all work together to reflect light around this cozy space.

This room’s bright jewel tones create a space that is both dynamic and intimate. Contrasting glossy and matte textures, as well as clashing patterns and opposite color combinations, creates an unexpected and soothing effect. The supple velvet teal sofa stands vibrant against the matte wall and helps to amplify the warmth from the brass decor for a fun yet sophisticated look.

Moody vibes envelop this luscious living room with dark teal walls and matching sofa. A warm vintage side table and ethereal layered art combine with pops of white to create a calm and soothing sanctuary.

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21 easy home projects to tackle while you’re hunkered down

21 easy home projects to tackle while you’re hunkered down

Level up your spaces without buying anything new

As the U.S. confronts the spread of the novel coronavirus, most of the country has now implemented stay-at-home orders. And while we grapple with how to pay rent, whether we’re headed into a recession, and how the virus is impacting the housing market, we’re also left with a more basic question: What should we do while we’re stuck at home?

There’s only so much comfort TV to binge-watch before restlessness kicks in, so for those of us that are able, this extended time indoors is an opportunity to tackle those long-avoided home projects. Of course, now is not the time to flock to the stores for nonessential items, so we’ve gathered a list of ways you can upgrade your space with things you probably already have at home.

From restyling your bookshelves to prepping your planters for spring, here are 21 easy projects you can do while social distancing at home.

Rearrange things for a fresh perspective

Renovating your entire living room or splurging on a new bedroom set likely isn’t in the cards at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make some changes.

Try a new furniture layout: It’s easy to get in a rut with the same ol’ furniture setup, but what if you tried something new? Move the couch to a different wall, adjust where your armchair sits, or mix things up by swapping rugs from one room to another. Even switching a lamp from a side table to another spot in your house could brighten up a space in new ways.

Bring out the “special occasion” dinnerware: There’s no better time to add a bit of drama to your table, so bust out the china, special silverware, or fancy wine glasses. Now that we’re all eating at home, it’s the perfect chance to sip and savor at the dinner table using our favorite pieces. Want to share the fun with a few friends or family? Try hosting a virtual dinner party.

Restyle your bookshelves: Even avid readers don’t change up their bookshelves all that often, so now is the time to rethink them. If you’re focused on the literature, arrange your books by alphabetical order or by theme. If aesthetics are the priority, remember these three tips from designer Emily Henderson: Declutter, use neutral colors, and focus on a few standout pieces.

Cleaning projects

There’s a lot of talk about cleaning these days, and rightly so. But beyond disinfecting all of your high-touch surfaces, it’s also past time to buckle down on the tasks you avoid doing.

Clean your vents and baseboards: Heating and vent covers accumulate dust over time, and cleaning them can help reduce allergens in your home and increase the efficiency of your air conditioning or heating unit. Vacuum the vents with a dusting brush attachment or wipe with a dry microfiber cloth—avoid using water or other cleaning products, because they can smear the dust.

You can also unscrew the vent covers and place them in a sink filled with hot, soapy water. But don’t rub them too hard or paint may come off. And while you’re at it, turn your HVAC unit off and change the air filter on your furnace.

Go under your bed: Vacuuming and cleaning the toilets are usually on the weekly to-do list, but when was the last time you cleaned underneath your bed? Don’t wait until the next time you move to clear out the dirt—move the bed, empty out any storage boxes you might have underneath, and vacuum the dust. Plus: You might be surprised at the things you’ll find (hello, missing phone charger).

Clean out your bathroom drawers: This is another task we put off when we don’t have the time. Our bathroom drawers take a lot of daily abuse; after emptying the drawers you’ll likely find hair, spilled makeup, toothpaste, and so on. Once the insides are free of gunk, toss the junk and reorganize what’s left.


Where to begin? There’s no shortage of home organization projects that can yield big results, but the options below won’t require a trip to the store.

Tackle the closets: Face it: Even the most organized among us can have a messy closet, and now is the time to make it right. Start by taking everything out of the closet, purging what’s no longer used, and cleaning the interior. If it’s a clothes closet, sort your clothes by category and be sure to hang delicate items and stack thicker things like denim. Put your most-used items at the front, while seasonal or rarely used pieces can go up higher or in the back.

Tidy up the entryway: Whether you have a spacious mudroom or a tiny coat stand, things accumulate in our daily life. Reevaluate your hooks: Are they helpful? Hanging at the right height? Do you need more or fewer of them? Vacuum or shake out any door mats you have, then purge any knick knacks or unused items hanging around.

Label your supplies: A few labels can go a long way in creating a more organized household. Have storage bins or containers in your kitchen pantry, under the bed, or in a linen closet? A label maker works great if you have it, but you can also write on regular paper and tape the labels on.

Pay attention to your walls

Walls may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to home projects, but a few updates can make a big difference.

Straighten—or redo—your wall hangings: From photos to artwork to TVs, the items on our walls become crooked over time. Take a stroll through your house and straighten everything—you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes. Alternatively, take down all of your photos or artwork and make a new gallery, perhaps moving items to a new room to keep things fresh.

Touch up your paint: Many of us have a few cans of paint tucked away in our homes, from the last time we did a project or from when we moved in. Make sure it matches your current walls and then walk through the house and touch up the high-use areas, especially door frames, baseboards, and doors.

Put empty frames to use: Photo projects require a ton of time and energy to complete, which means they sometimes never make it off of your to-do list. Go through the house and add photos to any frames you’re not using; alternatively, you could also swap out older photos for new ones.

Evaluate your lighting

Lighting is one of the most important elements in design, and our homes can go from stark and unwelcoming to cozy and warm just by swapping out a few bulbs. Want to take the next step? Here are pro tips for improving your home’s lighting—without an electrician.

Replace bulbs: Have a few extra lightbulbs lying around? Go through the house and replace any that have gone out.

Clean your lamps: Sometimes the culprit to bad lighting isn’t a dead lightbulb, it’s dirt. Unplug lamps and clean the lampshades with a dry microfiber cloth or vacuum cleaner attachment. For other types of lamps, clean the bulbs and use a cloth to dust off the hardware. Note that you should always do this when the light bulbs are cool to the touch.

Clean your curtains: Clean curtains can make a room feel much brighter. Most drapery stores advise cleaning your curtains a few times each year, but it’s a task many of us neglect. First, look at your care instructions to determine whether you can wash your curtains or whether they have to be dry cleaned. Velvet drapes can be washed with a chamois cloth dipped in hot water, while silk curtains sometimes call for hand-washing. If you can machine-wash your curtains, use the gentle cycle, cool water, and mild detergent, and hang them to dry.

In the kitchen

The kitchen is another area of the home that benefits from special attention; we spend so much time cooking and eating that it can become disorganized quick. Beyond the regular duties of washing dishes or cleaning out the fridge, the tasks below will help your kitchen look better and function more smoothly.

Moisturize your wooden cutting boards: Remember that gorgeous wooden cutting board that you use as a cheese and charcuterie plate? When was the last time you moisturized it? In order to prevent warping or cracking, both wooden cutting boards and spoons should be oiled about once per month. Start by cleaning your boards and letting them dry. Then apply a food-grade oil like mineral oil or beeswax and let it soak in overnight.

Take stock of the essentials: Clean out your liquor cabinet or spice shelf and figure out what you have and what you might be missing. There’s no way to know if you have three bottles of cumin or a few versions of Cointreau until you take stock.

Finally clean your small appliances: Most of us probably clean out the refrigerator and wipe down the stove on a regular basis, but small appliances are often neglected. Hand-wash all of the removable parts of your coffee maker and run a few brewing cycles with distilled water. Empty out your toaster oven or toaster trap door and then shake the appliance over the sink to remove loose crumbs. Deep-clean your Instant Pot by wiping down the inner cooking chamber with a damp dishcloth; washing the silicone sealing ring in hot, soapy water; and running a cycle of water, distilled white vinegar, and a few lemon peels to remove odors.

In your yard

Spring has sprung in much of the country, and it’s an ideal time to prep our spaces for summer. Whether you have a small outdoor balcony or a sprawling yard, here are a few places to start.

Clean up from winter: If you have a small patio or balcony, grab a broom and sweep off the dirt and dust of the past few months. Larger yards will need a bigger cleanup—start by getting rid of any leaves and pine cones that might have fallen during winter storms, and then prune away dead or damaged branches. Now is also the time to clean up around your perennial plants or shrubs and remove damaged grass areas for spring seeding.

Prep your planters: Gather your empty planters—big and small—and clean them so they are ready for planting. Discard any that might have broken at the end of last season, then check for drainage holes.

Scrub your outdoor furniture: You’d be surprised how much dirt can accumulate on outdoor furniture, even if it’s been in storage. For wood and wicker furniture, use a mild oil-base soap like Murphy Oil mixed with warm water. Other types of furniture do fine with dishwashing liquid mixed in a large bucket of warm water, and many patio cushions can either be wiped down or thrown in the washing machine.

This article was written by 

Housing Market Positioned to Bring Back the Economy

Housing Market Positioned to Bring Back the Economy

All eyes are on the American economy. As it goes, so does the world economy. With states beginning to reopen, the question becomes: which sectors of the economy will drive its recovery? There seems to be a growing consensus that the housing market is positioned to be that driving force, the tailwind that is necessary.

Some may question that assertion as they look back on the last recession in 2008 when housing was the anchor to the economy – holding it back from sailing forward. But even then, the overall economy did not begin to recover until the real estate market started to regain its strength. This time, the housing market was in great shape when the virus hit.

As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist of First American, recently explained:

“Many still bear scars from the Great Recession and may expect the housing market to follow a similar trajectory in response to the coronavirus outbreak. But, there are distinct differences that indicate the housing market may follow a much different path. While housing led the recession in 2008-2009, this time it may be poised to bring us out of it.”

Fleming is not the only economist who believes this. Last week, Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, (@DrFrankNothaft) tweeted:

“For the first 6 decades after WWII, the housing sector led the rest of the economy out of each recession. Expect it to do so this time as well.”

And, Robert Dietz, Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders, in an economic update last week explained:

“As the economy begins a recovery later in 2020, we expect housing to play a leading role. Housing enters this recession underbuilt, not overbuilt…Based on demographics and current vacancy rates, the U.S. may have a housing deficit of up to one million units.”

Bottom Line

Every time a home is sold it has a tremendous financial impact on local economies. As the real estate market continues its recovery, it will act as a strong tailwind to the overall national economy.

Kirkland, WA: Moving forward after being the pandemic’s U.S. epicenter

Kirkland, WA: Moving forward after being the pandemic’s U.S. epicenter

As one of the country’s first cities impacted by COVID-19, Kirkland was initially given the undesirable distinction of being the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. Yet, the way in which the city has handled the crisis has garnered positive press, launching Kirkland into the spotlight as a role model.

Mayor Penny Sweet says that her city’s response has been a natural progression, and she feels grateful for the solid infrastructure that was already in place.

“We were fortunate that it hit a city with an established emergency medical system,” Sweet said. Even after a significant number of firefighters were forced to quarantine at home, there was never a time when Kirkland didn’t have a full response team available.

Sweet has been happy to speak with mayors across the nation to share what has been learned here in Washington after the first COVID-related death was reported on Feb. 29. Not long before that, a call had been made from one of Kirkland’s firefighters to a King County EMS to report: “Something big is going on here.” Despite this knowledge, getting testing has proven incredibly difficult from the beginning.

Even during those early “spinning” days, Sweet reports that those on the frontlines knew they had to act wisely — and swiftly. Though there’s clearly been no rulebook for how to navigate such a crisis, she is amazed at how residents have acted “responsibly, thoughtfully.” Sweet is most impressed by how the community has held itself together, often relying solely on the city to get things done.

“The level of responsiveness and common sense played a huge role,” Sweet said.

Throughout, there have been abundant signs of “basic hope and resiliency.” Kirkland neighbors have ordered takeout meals to support local restaurants as often as they’re able, and Sweet is constantly learning uplifting stories about inspiring individuals like Tricia LaVoice. This woman went around putting up blue bows outside the Life Care Center of Kirkland, where the crisis began. Sweet is amazed at how early LaVoice jumped to action, launching the “Blue Ribbons for Hope” initiative simply to offer glimpses of promise.

Now, she said, if you drive around Kirkland, you’ll see bows tied to trees, plus banners displaying messages like “We’ve Got This.” Then there was Hopelink’s Food Drive, a four-hour event in mid-April; organizers expected 10,000 pounds of donations, but in the end, neighbors contributed more than 25,000 pounds.

“Cars couldn’t get off the freeway because the line was so long,” said Sweet.

Sweet said they have a plan in place to anticipate what’s next. She added that her husband, Rep. Larry Springer, is actively working on the recovery response so that conversation is constantly swirling around their household. Sweet is hopeful: “I believe we’re going to make it to the other side.”

About a month ago, the city was able to raise thousands of dollars through the chamber to launch the Kirkland Small Business Relief Fund, for which the first round of grants was distributed to 250 qualifying businesses. Sweet is actively working to bring in money for a second round of funding. Local businesses have adapted in innovative ways; Purpose Boutique now offers Virtual Styling, the DERU Dinner Club offers ready-to-heat meals available for curbside pickup and Caffe Ladro announced the release of a new coffee blend called “We’re In This Together” ($3 of every bag purchased goes to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, and the bag features an illustration by Seattle-based artist Christina Dean).

(Image: Courtesy Explore Kirkland)
Sweet understands firsthand the plight of small business owners since she and her husband have owned and operated The Grape Choice, a retail wine shop in downtown Kirkland, for 35 years. When the crisis first hit, she was most worried about their staff. They’ve been able to shift their model, and now she and her husband are often the ones dropping off orders on customers’ front porches.

Sweet is realistic about the incredible losses suffered — financially speaking, as well as a massive gap in human services.

“A good percentage of businesses won’t make it,” she said. But countless calls have been dedicated to finding the right avenues and the next best steps. She deems these discussions “time well spent. It gives us a chance to hear one another’s voices.”

The mayor knows it’s human nature to try to “wrap the situation up in a hopeful, resilient, and going-forward” manner, which she thinks is wonderful. There’s really no other perspective to take. Yet she also admits that, when it comes to reopening, “doing the right thing is really, really important.” While speaking with fellow business owners, many say, “We can make it through this — this one time.” Yet they won’t make it twice.

“We have no hope if we don’t do the right thing; we can’t take another chance,” Sweet said.

Sweet is incredibly proud of Kirkland, of King County and the entire state. She credits this region’s “culture of innovation and action in the community.” Not only does this area benefit from the collaboration of really wise people, but also, “nobody hesitates to throw stuff on the table.” As soon as Kirkland and Seattle “got punched,” Sweet says they had the foresight to sit down with “really smart groups of people.”

And although Kirkland is the 12th largest city in Washington, Sweet thinks they’ve taken an approach more intimate than many larger cities. She reiterates her willingness to get on the phone with mayors across the country seeking guidance.

“The fact is,” Sweet said, “We will be a stronger community. We’re going to come out of this better.”

Donations can be made to the Kirkland Small Business Relief Fund, and EvergreenHealth Foundation is appreciative of all financial, personal protection, and food donations, too.

This article was written by Corrine Whiting and originally appeared on

Local Market Update – May 2020

Local Market Update – May 2020

We hope you are weathering the new normal as best as you can. With everyone spending more time than ever at home, real estate has taken on a whole new importance. For those who are interested, here is a brief update on how COVID-19 continues to affect our local market:

  • Business was better than expected under the Stay Home order. COVID-19 did reduce real estate sales in April as compared to a year ago, however the number of sales rose steadily each week of the month. Sales growth continued in early May and we expect sales to increase slowly week by week. 
  • The number of new listings dropped, suggesting that would-be sellers are waiting until the shelter-in-place order is over to put their home on the market. With local technology companies continuing to hire, buyers will continue to face competition for limited inventory in the coming months.  
  • Home prices remain stable, with the median price of homes sold in April up slightly from a year ago. Sellers appear to be pricing homes realistically and buyers are not finding deep discounts. 

The monthly statistics below are based on closed sales. Since closing generally takes 30 days, the statistics for April are mostly reflective of sales in March. Next month’s data will offer a more telling trend of the effect of the virus on the local housing market.

If you are interested in more information, every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market. You can get Matthew’s latest update here.

As our current situation evolves, know that the safety of everyone remains our top priority.

This post originally appeared on