Date Archives: November 2022

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November
28

Quick Home Improvement Projects You Can Complete Before 2023

Home Projects

Autumn is in full swing, which means the year is drawing to an end. If you're like a lot of homeowners, you started off the year with a long list of home improvement projects, and you didn't complete as many as planned. But have no fear — there's still time to turn things around. Our real estate agents are excited to share some quick home improvement projects you can still complete by the end of the year.

  • Paint a Room
    Is there a room in your home that just looks a bit drab and outdated? Change things up with a fresh coat of paint.

    To get professional results, make sure you use a good-quality primer and let it dry completely before applying the paint. Start by "cutting in" around the edges with a paintbrush, then use a roller to paint the flats of the walls.

  • Power Wash Your Walkways
    Concrete and stone walking paths tend to become caked with algae and grime. Use a power washer to blast this all away. Start with a good concrete cleaner applied with the low-pressure setting. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse it away with the high-pressure setting.

  • Update Cabinet Hardware
    Replacing your cabinet hardware is a fun, quick way to give your kitchen a facelift. Replace older, dated hardware with new, nickel, or brushed bronze hardware. All you need is a screwdriver and some patience. 

  • Replace Your Switchplate Covers
    If you have boring, white, or beige switchplate covers, consider replacing them with more interesting, decorative ones. You can pick a different switchplate cover to suit the theme of each room. For instance, you may want a train-themed one in your child's bedroom and one with sunflowers on it for your sunroom. 

  • Create a Chalkboard Wall
    This project works well in a home office or even in a child's playroom. Purchase a bucket of chalkboard paint, and use it to paint one wall. You will probably have to use two coats, so plan for several hours of drying time between coats. Use a roller so the paint goes on as smoothly as possible. You or your kids can then write or draw on this wall with dust-free chalk. 

  • Paint Your Front Door
    If your home's facade could use a makeover, start by simply painting the front door. Choose a different color — one that coordinates with the rest of your home exterior but still stands out. Bright, stand-out front doors are trendy right now, and if you decide you want a different color, later on, you can always re-paint it. Just make sure you use high-quality exterior paint.

  • Replace Your Light Fixtures
    New light fixtures can transform your room! Shop for fixtures that represent your current sense of style, and install them throughout your home. Whether you like hanging light fixtures or flush ones, there are some beautiful options on the market these days.

There's still time to update your new home with some quick projects this year. If you're still searching for the perfect home, don't hesitate to contact us. We'll help you find Bradenton homes for sale and Sarasota homes for sale in time for the new year.

November
21

How to Create a Holiday Charcuterie Board

Holiday Dining Ideas

Whether you're throwing a holiday party or preparing for a relaxing evening at home, a holiday charcuterie board is a delicious addition to your festivities. Our real estate agents suggest following this guide to help you create a tasty holiday charcuterie board. 

  • Select Your Charcuterie Board
    You'll need a slab or flat board to house your foods and spreads. While some people use their charcuterie board as a decorative piece, others focus more on functionality. You can invest in a handsome wood or marble charcuterie board, or if you've only got a little time, you can use one of your baking sheets. Make sure your board is suitably-sized for the number of people you plan to serve. A small board is sufficient when preparing for a quiet evening at home. You'll want a board approximately 20 by 15 inches for a larger crowd to ensure you have ample space for everything. 
  • Decide What You Want to Include
    There are no limitations on what you can and can't include on your holiday charcuterie board. You can even create a themed charcuterie board that's perfect for celebrating the holidays after you check out Sarasota homes for sale or after exploring Bradenton homes for sale. Most people include a few types of meat; pepperoni, smoked salmon, turkey, ham, and salami are a few possibilities.

    Add two to three ounces of meat for each person when arranging a snack board and five to six ounces per person for a meal board. Next, decide what kind of cheese you want to incorporate. Select a mix of hard and soft cheeses for variety and better visual appeal. See that your cheeses coordinate well with your meats.

    Spreads and dips are essential for any charcuterie board. Jellies, jams, mustard, relish, ranch, and cheese spreads are just a few alternatives. Include items that can be used to sample the dips, like veggies, fruit, crackers, pretzels, cookies, and bread. Other popular charcuterie items include pickles, olives, nuts, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate candy. Once you know what food items your board will include, you can choose your bowls and spreaders. Look for bowls and spreaders that coordinate with your holiday decor or help set your desired ambiance. 
  • Arrange Your Board
    To arrange your charcuterie board, begin by placing the dips on the board. Next, lay out your meats and cheeses, putting coordinating flavors next to each other. Place fruits, veggies, crackers, and other items near the dips people are most likely to use them with. Keep wet items (like pickles and olives) away from dry foods (such as crackers and bread). Use fruit, veggies, and wrapped candy to fill any sparse areas of your charcuterie board. 

A charcuterie board is a fast, versatile option for a holiday meal or snack. Interested in purchasing a home with more space for your holiday festivities? Or a new kitchen perfect for creating your holiday dishes? Contact us to get started with your search!

November
14

Get to Know Sarasota's Historic District

historic district sarasota

Sarasota's historic district offers visitors an incredible opportunity to become better acquainted with the city's past. Spanning over two miles of walkable city space and featuring a variety of cultural, architectural, and culinary attractions, this area is a must-see for anyone traveling near our Sarasota homes for sale. Let's take a closer look at some of the buildings and businesses that make this area so remarkable.

Arts and Culture

One of the downtown historic district's biggest claims to fame is its arts scene. Even though the buildings here are old, the artistic community is very much alive and thriving.

You can visit the Art Centre Sarasota, home of the Sarasota Art Association, every weekday from 10 AM to 5 PM and on Saturdays from 12 PM to 5 PM. This building offers the city's talented artists a place to showcase their best works to the public. On top of the usual exhibitions and juried shows, the center also offers classes and panel discussions to help community members improve their own artistic skills and further their understanding of the field. 

Looking for some live entertainment? You'll find plenty at the Florida Studio Theatre. This venue hosts all kinds of productions, ranging from plays and musicals to improv comedy. It's a fantastic place for a night out, and the historic building that houses these performances is a spectacle in its own right. 

You'll love attending concerts and performances at the gloriously grand Sarasota Opera House. Under its sweeping high ceilings and elaborate balconies, you're sure to feel the majesty of this timeless art form. Our real estate agents are always excited when a new show is announced!

Architecture 

Sarasota's historic district also contains many beautiful old buildings showcasing various architectural styles. Some of these sites have even made their way onto the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

You can observe the hallmarks of the gorgeous Art Deco style in the ornate fixtures and arches of the Kress Building, an old discount storefront built on Main Street back in 1932.

With a slight detour onto S Orange Avenue, you'll find the imposing marble columns of the Federal Building. This colossal structure is an excellent example of the Neoclassical Revival architecture that was popular in Sarasota during the 1930s.

A little further down Main Street, you'll easily spot the distinctive H-shaped design and Mediterranean influences of the Sarasota County Courthouse. This type of design was another favorite back in the 1920s, but its recent revival has made this building look a lot like many of the trendiest new homes available today.

Shopping and Dining

The historic district is full of small shops and restaurants that are well worth a visit. 

You can experience sumptuous French fine dining at the Bijou Garden Café, a renowned local restaurant housed in a former gas station. This establishment is run by an award-winning local chef and features a menu that changes with the seasons to showcase the freshest and most flavorful ingredients. 

Later in the evening, you can order a few drinks at The Gator Club, the upscale bar and lounge currently occupying the building that was once known as Worth's Block. The building dates all the way back to 1912 and is one of the oldest structures still standing in modern-day Sarasota.

Sarasota's future is sure to be just as exciting and eventful as its past. It's time for you to become part of it. Contact us today to take a closer look at our many homes in Sarasota and find a property where you can begin building your own legacy.

November
7

6 Restaurants You'll Love in Downtown Sarasota

Dining Downtown Sarasota

Sarasota has a little bit of everything that makes Florida special, and that includes delicious food. While the area is best known for seafood, there's something for everyone near Sarasota homes for sale. You can try out a new place every week of the year and never run out of things to discover!

Our real estate agents know that having places for a hearty meal, a family outing, or a romantic night out is an important part of enjoying your new community.

Here are some of the local favorites you might like to try:

  1. 1592 Wood Fired Kitchen & Cocktails – 1592 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236
    1592 Wood Fired Kitchen & Cocktails has a history as one of Sarasota's most beloved Greek restaurants. It still serves up such Mediterranean favorites as gyro kebabs, chicken souvlaki, and spanakopita, plus it has now expanded into neighboring cuisines. The modern menu includes entries from Portugal, Italy, Syria, and Turkey, among others. Its two-course lunch special is one of the most generous in town.

  2. The Bijou Garden Cafe – 1287 First Street, Sarasota, FL 34236
    The Bijou Garden Cafe has been a Sarasota mainstay since 1986. Owner Jean-Pierre Knaggs gives this warm and welcoming eatery a fusion flair that reflects his own French and South African background. The innovative, seasonal lunch and dinner menus mean you will want to stop in after you take in a day at the museum or a night at the theater. The Cafe's desserts are true works of art!

  3. Cafe Epicure – 1298 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Cafe Epicure brings the spirit of the Italian trattoria to Sarasota, offering simple but robust food in an unfussy setting. Pasta, salads, and pizzas anchor the menu, along with small-plate appetizers. The Cafe touts a fine assortment of wines by the glass, providing terrific pairings with mains such as the chicken Milanese and the carbonara. Carpaccio is the most selected starter. Ask about the chef's specials!

  4. Caragiulos – 69 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236
    If you are looking for a neighborhood pizza place to bring the kids or visiting nephews and nieces, then Caragiulos may be the perfect place for you. Kids can craft their own pizzas out of diverse ingredients while adults savor the homemade Foccacia bread and other specialties. These range in complexity from the unassuming spaghetti and meatball platter to the authentic linguine with clam sauce and lasagna.

  5. C'est La Vie – 1553 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236
    C'est La Vie is here to bring the joie de vivre to Sarasota through a slate of French classics handmade with an "Old Country" dedication to craft, artistry, and freshness. Crepes, quiches, and croissants are available warm from the oven, filled or topped as you like it. Ideal for a little Parisian-style sit as you nibble your pastries and a small coffee – or a quick jaunt to take those delectable treats home with you.

  6. Drunken Poet – 1572 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236
    As the name suggests, Drunken Poet is a Bohemian cafe and has been known to host poetry (slam and otherwise) on occasion. Here, you'll discover an array of Thai, Japanese, and Chinese dishes, all whipped up from a small kitchen while you wait. It has built up quite a following for its versatile list of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free selections, while meat lovers rave about the Thai crispy duck and lamb shank.

Piqued your appetite? Contact us to find out more about Sarasota and neighboring Bradenton.

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