Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Poplar Grove Plantation’s 23rd Annual Herb and Garden Fair

After March 20th, spring will have officially arrived! Along with better weather, spring breaks and Easter, gardening will be on the minds of many area residents. If your don't know an azalea from an oleander or would really like to give vegetable gardening a try, make plans to attend Poplar Grove Plantation's 23rd Annual Herb and Garden Fair. The 2-day event starts on Saturday, March 28th from 9 am until 4 pm. On Sunday, March 29th, the hours are 10 am until 4 pm.

For the uninitiated, this is so much more than a huge plant sale. Throughout the weekend, there will be a wide variety of classes on a multitude of topics. Experts will be on hand to offer help on popular subjects such as square foot gardening, edible landscapes, how to create a bird sanctuary, drought tolerant landscaping and so much more!

The fair's very knowledgeable plant vendors will be offering guidance and selling annuals, perennials, shrubs, native plants, vegetable starts, herbs, container gardens, plus supplies and materials to get you started! Because every garden space needs a little artful or whimsical touch, crafters will also be in attendance. Here's a little advice, if you see something you love, such as a garden flag or unusual birdfeeder, get it, because these one-of-a-kind items things go quickly!

And please bring the kids! Along with all of the gardening activities, for an extra $5, there will also be barnyard tours and wagon rides. Just make sure the youngsters have on close-toed shoes. This activity is set for Saturday only from 10 am until 2 pm.

As for lunch-no worries! Food vendors will be on site for your convenience. Admission is $5 for ages 13 and up. Those over 62 and active military visitors get in for $3. For all of the details, please use this link: www.poplargrove.org

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Exploring Coastal Design Styles

Island-inspired, coastal motifs have long been a favorite decorating style. Whether you opt for sea glass colors, soft whitewashes or bold stripes and solids reminiscent of nautical signal flags, there is definitely more than one way to do it. Have a look at the most popular types of coastal decorating styles and their defining elements. Does one stand out or do you favor an eclectic mix? The good news is, there are no rules!

The Islands

Bright, clear colors play a central role here-think hibiscus pink, vibrant greens, mango orange, Caribbean blues, and pineapple yellow. This style is carefree and probably the most whimsical. Wall art or upholstery fabrics filled with leafy ferns, frolicking fish, dancing crabs, majestic parrots or naughty monkeys are all possibilities. That's because florals and animal prints pay homage to the lush tropical settings so many of the world's islands are known for. Textiles and textures also go hand in hand with island style. Furniture made from wicker, rattan, and bamboo paired with woven, natural fabrics and decorative items of clay, wood and glass are easy to find and fun to decorate with. A hammock strung up in a shady spot enforces the island mantra: "No hurries, no worries".

Cape Cod-Nantucket

Defined by the practicality of New England's rugged seafaring communities and their preppy summer visitors, this style has been a design mainstay for decades. Whitewashed shades of creams, beiges and grays allow nautical colors, like navy and Nantucket red to pop. Furniture is typically no-nonsense and sturdy and upholstery is often slipcovered for easy care. Decorative items tend to be firmly rooted in centuries old traditions such as scrimshaw, woodcarving, lobster pots, spyglasses, anchors, sailor knots, and the coveted Lightship baskets.


Incorporating a few more upscale elements, Lowcountry is an easy blend of casual and formal interior design choices. Soothing sea glass colors or deeper shades of greens, blues, and a touch of coral are often used against a backdrop of light, bright vanillas and creams. Chintzy, rich fabrics and traditional furniture styles such as Chippendale and Queen Anne lend an air of sophistication to this coastal design scheme. Accessorize with large, perfect shells, plants, landscape plein air paintings, watercolors and prints of seaside motifs and botanicals.

Carolina Cottage

Comfortable and casual, a typical coastal Carolina cottage will be an eclectic affair. This style option easily pulls ideas from a variety of sources, including, traditional cottage style, Cape Cod and farmhouse. The look should appear effortless and stir memories of bygone trips to the family beach house. Chalk painted furniture, colorful quilts and pretty pieces of pottery make way for a rainbow of color choices. Of course the predictable decorative choices are framed seascapes, mermaids every way, mason jars filled with shells and sea glass, antique fishing tackle and vintage surfboards. However, the great thing about any design style is that you can make it your own by deviating from the norm and letting your unique personality shine through!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Preparing for House Hunting

Most of us here in coastal North Carolina eagerly count down the days of winter as we anxiously await those bright and breezy days ahead. The winter months tend to be the slow season for home sales everywhere, which is why now is a great time for prospective home buyers to chart their course of action. That way, when the aftermath of the holidays and headaches of tax time are resolved, hopeful buyers will be in a position to jump on listings that meet their specifications and budget. What's that? You know you want to purchase a home but haven't quite hammered out some of the finer details? Here's a handy checklist that should help make way for smooth sailing on your quest for a new home:

Establish your budget

Rather than waste time looking at homes that you will never be able to afford, go ahead and get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you'll know your financial boundaries and your searches will be more rooted in reality. Sellers also seem to take pre-approved buyers a little more seriously!

It's a good idea to also take time to thoroughly look at your financial picture. You are likely to be pre-approved for more than it makes sense to spend. Get a good idea of what you can afford for a down payment, and for your monthly mortgage payment.

Pinpoint your first choice location

For many, this will likely be the first consideration. Of course at Wrightsville Beach, there are so many great locations from oceanfront to sound front and quiet little neighborhoods in between! Decide where you would like to be and then begin watching listings in that area.

Establish "must-have" home features

If you are going into the venture with a partner, their input is also needed and be aware, there will be compromises. Think about aspects such as architectural styles, floor plans, the number of bedrooms, baths, and interior must-haves like tile, granite and hardwood. Big yard or no yard? Porch, deck, or patio? Boat dock, water view, built-in amenities? Free standing home or condo? In such discussions, it may come up that you view a garage as a must have, while your partner feels a state of the art kitchen and spacious bathrooms are priorities. That's why discussing these points before hand can save on time and tension later.

Make the most of online research tools

Of course our experienced agents will be happy to guide you and provide all of the pertinent details on properties you're considering. However, you can also browse current Wrightsville Beach homes for sale on our website and get a sense of what is available on the market right now.

While you're online take a look at our Resources section

There you'll find area information, helpful contacts for everything from your homeowners insurance to tile installation. You can even check out today's weather in beautiful Wrightsville Beach! - Check it out.

Get organized

When looking at many listings it's easy to get overwhelmed, and all the beautiful homes can run together. You start asking yourself, "Which one had the great view from the master bedroom?" "Was that the home with the great built in storage?" Find a system that works for you to keep the details of the homes that have gotten your attention.

If you're into technology you might keep the information on your computer, or even your phone. Or you might prefer a good old fashioned binder in which to store hard copies of flyers and information on listings. When you see a home in person take notes and photos (bring a camera or just take quick shots with your smartphone) and add these to the information you already have on the property.

Taking the time to give a little extra thought to what you want from a future home purchase is also an effective way to streamline the house hunting process. That way, when the right place on Harbor Island, in Cordgrass Bay or the south end hits the market, you'll be ready!

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