Ben Esposito - RE/MAX Real Estate Center



Posted by Ben Esposito on 3/8/2020

Image by Irina from Unsplash

Whether you have young pets or older ones, there are certain household hazards to be aware of. Puppies and kittens can get into trouble while exploring different parts of your home out of curiosity. Adult dogs and cats can also end up getting hurt or sick from common household dangers for pets. Keep the following tips in mind to make your home as safe as possible for your pets.

Food Hazards

Some types of foods are toxic to dogs, cats or both. Chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic and macadamia nuts are among the foods that can make pets, especially dogs, seriously ill. You should store these foods out of your pet’s reach, and immediately pick up any that falls on the floor before your pet can get it.

Toxic Plants

Certain household plants and flowers can cause potentially life-threatening illnesses in dogs and cats if they ingest them. For example, lilies, amaryllis, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths are considered toxic to cats. For dogs, azaleas, irises, sago palms, begonias and philodendrons are among the plants that are considered toxic to dogs. You should avoid having these types of plants inside your home to lower the risk of your pet ingesting them. If you do have any plants that are toxic, you should keep them in an area that your pets can’t get to, such as high on a shelf or in a closed-off room.

Medications and Cleaning Products

Medications and cleaning products can make pets dangerously ill if they swallow or ingest them. You should store these items in cabinets that your pets can’t get into. Consider installing childproof latches on cabinets to prevent your pets from being able to open them.

Wires and Cords

These items can become strangulation hazards in your home, especially when you have curious pets around. Wires and cords also put pets at risk of electrical shock if they chew on them or play with them. Hide cords and wires out of reach of your pets, and use childproof window blind products to prevent your pets from playing with these types of cords.

String and Small Items

Dogs and cats can end up with serious injuries if they swallow pieces of string or small items, such as buttons. This can happen if they chew on clothes or get into sewing supplies. You can reduce this risk by keeping clothing items, shoes and craft supplies stored away in an area that your pets can’t reach. You should also check your rugs and furniture for strings or small items that might have fallen off clothes or other objects before your pets find them.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Ben Esposito on 3/1/2020

Houseplants may seem like a strange thing to bring into your home. Plants belong outside, don’t they? Plants and people actually have a relationship where they need one another. Plants produce much-needed oxygen for humans. Humans release carbon dioxide, which plants need to perform photosynthesis. Plants should be placed throughout the home, especially in bedrooms, to release fresh air throughout the night when sleeping. Essentially, the right plants in your home can help to improve your overall health and well-being. 


Increases Humidity


Many people complain of having dry air in their homes. Plants actually release about 97 percent of the water that they take in. This moisture is released back into the air and increase the humidity in the air. This means that putting several plants together can really help to increase the moisture levels in a room. Having a more moist room helps to keep respiratory symptoms from flaring up as well as decreases the number of colds, dry skin flare ups, and other ailments associated with dry air.     


Natural Air Purifiers


Plants are natural air purifiers. They remove toxins from the air and even get rid of a large percentage of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds can be found in everything from paint to newspapers and textbooks. VOCs are actually transformed into food for the plant. 


Just How Many Plants Should You Have?


To improve your health and the air quality in your home, you’ll want to place plants about every 129 square feet. For air purification purposes, you’ll want to place about 16-18 plants in an 1800 square foot space. This may sound like a lot, but if you consider spreading plants throughout your home, you'll fill the quota fairly quickly. Larger plants can also be used, placing one or two per room to fill this suggested requirement.  



Best Houseplant Choices:


  • Gerbera daisy
  • Spider plant
  • Boston fern
  • Philodendron
  • Snake plant
  • Peace lily


These plants all have different benefits but most are best known to purify the air, improve happiness, and increase well-being.

If you don’t have a green thumb, you should definitely get one. Most houseplants are not that hard to take care of. It’s easy and fairly inexpensive to equip your home with a good number of houseplants. The greenery will also add to the ambiance and decor of your home’s overall theme. Every room, including the bathroom, can benefit from these plants. Think of houseplants like another member of the family- one that gives you oxygen and clean air to breathe!       


 





Tags: decorating   houseplants  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Ben Esposito on 2/23/2020

Photo by Lauren Fleischmann on Unsplash

Whether you need to hang bath towels in the bathroom or hand towels in the kitchen, a towel rack is an awesome thing to have around. And it is even better if made custom to suit your tastes and elevate the look of your home. For even more brownie points, you can make the towel rack yourself — and all it takes is some old picture frames and a little bit of elbow grease. Ready to start this fun project? Follow these seven easy steps.

1. Gather Your Tools & Materials

To create your custom towel rack, you will need:

  • 7 Old picture frames in various sizes
  • 1/2-inch screws
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood filler
  • Plastic wall anchors
  • Paint and brushes
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Old newspaper
  • Hanger
  • 2. Mock Up Your Design

    Working on the ground, mock up the design for your picture frame towel rack. Start with the largest frame in the center, as that will be used to secure the completed towel rack to the wall. You should have the frames overlap enough that you can secure each one together using two screws.

    3. Screw the Frames Together

    After finalizing your custom design, use your drill to create pilot holes for your screws. Then, screw the frames together, one by one, being careful to avoid cracking the wood. Cover the tops of the screws with wood filler, creating a seamless surface.

    4. Sand & Paint the Frames

    With the frames assembled, sand down the exterior surfaces to scuff up the finish. This will help the paint stick to the surface. Then, put down newspaper and place your frames on top. Use your paintbrushes to apply a new coat of paint in your desired color. Allow the initial coat to dry for four hours, then repeat. Allow the second coat to fully dry overnight, though 24 hours is better.

    5. Add a Hanger to the Back

    Unless your central picture frame already has a hanger, you will need to add one to the back to create a solid mounting point. If your towel rack is a bit on the large side, consider using two mounting points to give it enough strength when the extra weight of the towels are added.  

    6. Mount the Rack on the Wall

    Put the towel rack against the wall to find your preferred installation point. Remember to account for the length of the towels when they are folded over the bottom edges of the frames. Then, drill a hole, or two if you have dual hangers, in the wall, big enough for the plastic anchor.

    Use the handle of your screwdriver to tap the plastic anchor into the holes you just made. Then, add a screw to each plastic anchor and secure them almost all the way down with your screwdriver. With those in place, you can then hang the towel rack from the screws in the wall.

    7. Add Towels & Enjoy

    After securing your towel rack to the wall, you just hang your towels to complete this project. You can then go about your business, secure in the knowledge that you always have a towel close at hand when you need one.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Ben Esposito on 2/16/2020

    Everyone likes to keep their home smelling fresh. At the very least, it assures us that when our guests come they have a pleasant aroma that welcomes them into the home. However, fragrances can be beneficial in other ways.

    Some are calming, while others stimulating and invigorating. They can help you set the tone you’re aiming for, whether it’s a relaxing bath or sitting down to get some work done in your office.

    At one time, you didn’t have many options when it came to giving your home a pleasant fragrance. You could burn candles, which can be dangerous if you have children or pets running around. Or you could use a plug-in air freshener, which are expensive and smell artificial.

    Recently, however, a third option has been gaining popularity--essential oil diffusers.

    Essential oils have a number of uses. They’re in the cologne and perfume we spray on our bodies, they’re in the room spray we use to freshen up our homes, and they’re an ingredient in a number of other cosmetic and therapeutic products.

    Many are said to have medicinal value, such as a decongestant or a sleep aid. Others are used simply because they smell great.

    In this article, we’re going to talk you through using an essential oil diffuser in your home and what oils you might want to start with.

    Methods of oil diffusion

    There are a number of ways you can spread the aroma of essential oils in your home. One of the quickest and easiest ways is to put a drop or two of essential oils on a tissue and simply wave it around in the room.

    For a more far-reaching effect, you’ll need to find a longer lasting way of diffusing the oils. Many people choose steam. You can either purchase a steam oil diffuser or just put a few drops into boiling water.

    Another option is to use a heat source. You can buy tea light to heat the oils or, if you want to avoid open flames, buy an electric heat diffuser.

    Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and if you’re new to essential oils, it might be a good idea to start small by simply buying a starter pack of oils, smelling them to see which you like, and putting a couple drops in a boiling pot of water or dabbing them on a tissue.

    A note of caution: essential oils are strong. Getting them on your hands or clothing, especially if undiluted, can mean your hands or clothes smelling like that oil for several days. You should also avoid putting them near your eyes or mouth as many essential oils can be dangerous.

    Which oils to use

    Oils have a range of scents--floral, citrus, earthy, spicy, minty, and so on. Knowing which oil you want for a given scenario is a matter of preference and trial and error. However, there are several blends or “recipes” that people prefer.

    Common pairings include:

    • Orange and peppermint

    • Lavender and lemon

    • Bergamot and patchouli

    • Basil and sage

    • Cypress and cedarwood

    • Lemongrass and eucalyptus




    Tags: home   fragrance   essential oils   diffuse  
    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Ben Esposito on 2/9/2020

    Image by Mike Gattorna from Pixabay

    The benefits of buying a luxury home that's under new construction include customizing it to fit your life and your family, and choosing your own finishes is a perfect way to achieve this goal. But which finishes will still maintain their beauty under the stress of busy families on the go? Which ones require the least maintenance and will wear well under heavy traffic? Our experts have put together the perfect primer for homebuyers who want to customize their new construction from the ground up, so that the surfaces look great, last long and require minimal upkeep. Here's what we recommend:

    Cast Concrete Countertops

    Concrete tops the list for designing versatile-yet-gorgeous countertops. Completely customizable right down to the color, concrete is an upscale, elegant material for countertops in both kitchen and bath, and it has benefits that make it worth the effort, including:

  • Superior Heat Resistance
  • Extreme Durability
  • Ease of Maintenance
  • Versatility
  • When you choose cast concrete as your choice of countertop, you can customize it to fit any shape and any space. You can even choose to have materials such as decorative river rock embedded. You can have your concrete countertops dyed, stamped or polished to ensure that they're custom to your luxury home and your home only. 

    Eco-Friendly Flooring

    Even if you're drawn to exotic hardwoods such as jatoba (Brazilian cherry), resist the urge to install them in your new luxury home because they contribute to harmful deforestation of the world's rainforests. Opt for eco-friendly, sustainable woods instead. There are plenty from which to choose, including:

  • Bamboo
  • Cork
  • Plantation Teak
  • Reclaimed wood is a viable alternative to non-sustainable wood, as well. Old barn timbers and salvaged pine logs make beautiful, luxurious flooring options that add history and architectural appeal to every home without harming the planet. 

    Sustainable Cabinetry

    Wood is, far and away, the most popular choice for luxury kitchen cabinetry. And it's not just the type of wood used, but the style and design of the cabinets, as well. For upscale, luxurious wooden cabinets in your kitchen, pantry or bath, consider American hardwoods such as cherry, maple, alder or ash. The growth and harvesting of these trees are monitored by the American Hardwood Export Council and strict best management practices ensure that no species is stressed or over-harvested. Additionally, they're exceptionally hard to withstand all the dings and scratches that come with family use. Lastly, they look exquisite when installed in your kitchen as paneled ends on upper cabinetry, decorative legs on islands, and as the frames for elegant, glass-paned doors. 

    Your new luxury home is only made better by customization. Talk with your builder today about which finishes you'd like to see incorporated, and you'll love the end result even more.