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May
23

5 Tips for Creating a Reading Spot in Your Home

Home Tips

Reading is an excellent year-round activity for family members of all ages to enjoy. Plus, the Pacific Northwest is home to many local bookstores full of books to add to your summer reading list. While summer reading is certainly enjoyed outdoors, an indoor reading nook makes it so you can enjoy your new favorite novel even when it is raining. 

After you've stocked up on new reads, follow these tips for creating a cozy reading spot in your home. 

  1. Select a Quiet Spot with Minimal Distractions
    Most people prefer to read in a quiet, serene environment so that they can focus on their book and won't be distracted by typical household sounds. If you're worried that your home is lacking sufficient space for a designated reading space, one idea is to turn a closet into a reading nook by adding a built-in bench. Or, if you have an area that you aren't sure how to use, like a built-in seat or a storage area under your stairs, this is an excellent spot for your reading nook. Another option is to set up your reading nook outside. A deck, porch, or shade tree are excellent spots to transform into a reading nook. Once you find your ideal spot, decide how you want to store your books. Floating shelves, a designated bookcase, and a utility cart are all options for housing your reading materials. If you need to house your books in a different location than your reading nook, a metal utility card works especially well because you can roll the books to and from your nook and their permanent storage area. 

  2. Make Your Reading Nook Cozy and Comfortable
    A comfortable reading nook just begs you to spend hours curled up with your favorite book. Outfit the space with furniture and accessories that are pleasant to use, like overstuffed chairs, soft beanbags, a chaise lounge chair, a recliner, a love seat, a hammock, an egg chair, plush throw pillows, soft blankets, or comfy floor cushions. If your nook is outside, add a waterproof storage chest to conveniently store pillows, blankets, and cushions when you aren't using them. 

  3. Add Decor
    Your reading nook should incorporate decorative items that make you happy to use the space, like your favorite scented candle, fairy lights, fun photos or interesting artwork, wall decals, flowers, and plants. For an extra special literary twist, add elements from your favorite novels, such as wall art with quotes from a book you love. 

  4. Make Sure Your Space is Functional
    It isn't sufficient for your reading nook to merely look nice; it needs to include elements that ensure it's a terrific fit for your needs. For example, you might like to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a snack while you read. You'll appreciate having a side table in your reading nook so that you're not trying to balance a tray on your lap while you read. Or, perhaps your reading nook is outside on your deck. When the weather is too hot, you find that the heat distracts you from your book. Consider adding a small tabletop fan so that you can quickly cool your reading space when the temperature inches upward. You should also confirm that you have ample lighting to illuminate your book so that you don't strain your eyes. A task lamp with soft light is an excellent addition that ensures you have sufficient illumination. There are even rechargeable task lamps available if your nook doesn't have an electric outlet that's easily accessible. 

  5. Banish Clutter from Your Reading Nook
    Not only does clutter make your reading nook less inviting, but it can distract you from your book. Make it a rule to never let clutter accumulate in your reading space by giving everything a home and always putting an item back where it belongs. If items still have a way of finding a spot in your reading nook, despite your best efforts, one option is to add a stylish bin or basket so that you can store the clutter out of sight until you're through reading and ready to put it away or dispose of it.

Want a home with more space for your books or for a larger reading nook? Or a home where you can enjoy your favorite hobbies year-round? Our brokers can help! Contact us today to begin your search! 

April
18

Where to Find Little Free Libraries in Seattle

Seattle Libraries

The Little Free Library movement has been gaining popularity in cities all around the country, but few places have embraced it with more enthusiasm than Seattle. All around the city, you'll find Little Free Libraries where you can freely exchange books with friends and neighbors. Find something new and exciting to read while supporting a good cause in the process. Our brokers have more information on what Little Free Libraries are all about and where you can find some of the many Little Free Libraries in Seattle.

What is a Little Free Library?

The Little Free Library (LFL) movement started with simple goals, to provide a way for communities to freely exchange books and foster a love of reading in communities all around the country. In order to accomplish this goal, charters are issued to people who want to set up a Little Free Library in their neighborhood. Most Little Free Libraries come in the form of book exchange boxes holding a few dozen books, which are open for all to enjoy. You can download the LFL app or check the interactive map to help you easily find libraries close to you. It's also easy to register online if you're interested in setting up a new LFL in your own neighborhood near Seattle homes for sale.

Little Free Library Locations in Seattle

  • Essentia Seattle – 2008 1st Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
    The employees at the Essentia mattress store in Seattle include many who enjoy a good book, so the team at the store came together to set up a Little Free Library to share that love of reading with everyone who happens to stop by. This LFL is located in the Belltown neighborhood, surrounded by other shops, salons, dining destinations, and residential properties.

  • Cayton Corner Park – 1625 19th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122
    The Friends of Cayton Corner Park are hard at work designing and building a new park at the corner of 19th Ave. and Madison for everyone in the community to enjoy. They've set up an LFL in a temporary location that will be there throughout the construction process of the new park and plan to find a more permanent location for the LFL once Cayton Corner Park is officially ready to open to the community.

  • Center for Wooden Boats – 1010 Valley St., Seattle, WA 98109
    Interested in borrowing books with a nautical theme? One of the more distinctive Little Free Libraries in Seattle can be found at the Center for Wooden Boats, where the library exchange box is built from the bow of an old wooden rowboat. Fittingly, you can find this LFL on the docks in Lake South Union, and it's open for borrowing during regular business hours for the Center for Wooden Boats.

  • Alison Marti Little Free Library – 211 Howe St., Seattle, WA 98109
    Created in honor of a parent who instilled a love of reading in her children, the Alison Marti LFL is all about sharing that love of reading with the next generation of young bookworms. This LFL is regularly stocked with fresh children's books, from old, classic books that have been passed down for generations to the latest releases in children's literature. Stop by to grab a book to read to your own kids or donate a book for other children to enjoy.

  • Bagley Blues Little Free Library – 3812 Bagley Ave N., Seattle, WA 98103
    One of quite a few Little Free Libraries along Bagley Ave., the Bagley Blues LFL offers a unique perk. Along with a great rotating selection of different books, this library is built next to an herb garden in planters. The library's owner encourages visitors to take home a few sprigs of fresh herbs for themselves, along with a book.

  • John Hay Jaguars – 2235 12th Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119
    Constructed and signed by the 2020 fifth grade class from John Hay Elementary, the John Hay Jaguars LFL is a great example of the creativity that goes into building so many of the Little Free Libraries in Seattle. It includes a beautiful glass window, a shingled roof, and a red coat of paint to match the school's colors.

Ready to find a home close to all of the art, culture, and community spirit Seattle has to offer? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Seattle, WA, area.

August
16

National Honey Bee Day: Plants Bees Love on the West Coast

Honey bee gardensOne of the best reasons to buy a home is to have enough land to practice all your hobbies. Gardeners know it's crucial to have enough space for their plants to flourish. By choosing the right plants and nurturing them in the right ways, they make a positive impact that reaches far beyond their own home.

Never is this more obvious than when it comes to the humble honey bee!

Support Your Local Honey Bee Population with Bee-Friendly Gardening

National Honey Bee Day, also known as Honey Bee Awareness Day, is observed every August 21 in the United States. What better time than now to learn precisely what you can plant to attract bees and other pollinators? After all, the great majority of plants need pollinators like the bee to help them thrive!

When gardening to attract honey bees, remember that these little creatures have preferences. Flowers that consistently attract honey bees have visible pollen or nectar, making it easy for them to reach. Long, thin flowers don't appeal to bees, whose short tongues can't reach in. 

Hybrid flowers bearing big, showy blooms tend to have less nectar and attract fewer honey bees.

In addition to bees, hummingbirds and butterflies are common pollinators. Just because you see one type, it doesn't mean that the other types have been scared off. Plant a variety of flowers and you will get plenty of different pollinators. For those who are wondering, blue is widely believed to be honey bees' favorite color!

For a more bee-friendly garden, our brokers encourage you to consider these additions:

  • Bee Balm
    These colorful flowers have a unique "frilly" appearance and attract a wide range of pollinators. In addition to bees, you can expect to see more butterflies and even hummingbirds. Their distinctive dark green leaves hold a surprise: When crushed, they provide a surprisingly strong citrus-mint smell.

  • Joe Pye Weed
    Don't be put off by the name – this perennial plant is far more than a simple weed! Beloved by butterflies, in particular, Joe Pye Weed adds a pop of vivid pink, purple, and white all throughout late summer and fall. The dome-like flower growths are supported by lovely vanilla-scented leaves.

  • Yarrow
    Throughout history, Yarrow has been prized in many areas of the world as a plant associated with healing. These days, this perennial is appreciated as a drought-tolerant and colorful addition to any garden. It is highly attractive to both bees and butterflies. Beginning gardeners love yarrow because it is so easy to care for.

  • Delphinium
    This flowering plant adds texture to a garden thanks to its tall spires of colorful flowers. Those flowers come in a full spectrum of colors including blue, lavender, red, pink, purple, and white. A delphinium is sure to attract its share of admirers of all kinds – but it is particularly favored by hummingbirds.

  • Hardy Fuchsia
    With long, tubular flowers, the hardy fuchsia is another plant that calls out to pollinators of many different kinds. Bird-lovers enjoy planting it as a rest stop for hummingbirds and other feathered friends. Multicolored flowers are not uncommon with the hardy fuchsia, which usually blooms from late spring until frost.

  • Penstemon
    Bees can be attracted to the gently fragrant penstemon in surprising numbers, visiting its tubular flowers from far and wide. Butterflies often choose to alight there, too. Penstemon is well known among gardeners for its propensity to thrive in hot, sunny conditions. Beware that it does require regular watering.

  • Catmint
    A distant relative of the catnip plant, catmint won't be quite as compelling for your feline friends – bees, on the other hand, adore it. Bees are by far the most common catmint pollinator and will be visiting from late spring through the summer. Catmint's loose spikes of pink, lavender, or white can fit in many places in your garden.

Plant a few of these flowers and you're more likely to see honey bees buzzing along happily in your garden. Local, native plants often get lots of attention from bees. You can make their job easier by creating a water source in your garden. Bees use the water to cool their hives.

Looking for a new home with a yard perfect for putting your green thumb to the test? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain to discover real estate opportunities throughout the area.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 09/29/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 09/29/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of RMLS (last updated Thu 09/29/2022 12:50:32 AM EST) or Willamette Valley MLS (last updated Wed 09/28/2022 11:51:47 PM EST) or COAR/MLSCO (last updated Wed 09/28/2022 11:31:24 PM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Thu 09/29/2022 1:23:54 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Bain may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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