Date Archives: January 2021

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11 Tips for Upgrading Your Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen Upgrading Tips

At one time, kitchen appliances were considered primarily functional. They brought a new level of convenience to households, but style-wise, most designs were pretty limited.

Today's appliances have become equal parts, time savers, and decor statements. Keep your kitchen looking modern with these tips from our brokers for upgrading appliances. 

  1. What Is the Born-On Date?
    Nothing lasts forever, and that's certainly true for appliances, no matter how expensive or advanced they are. Don't hold your breath, hoping your 10-year-old dishwasher can hang on. It may still be operational but most likely running at a sub-par performance. Know the average lifespans of appliances and make plans to replace them when the time comes.

  2. Repair or Replace?
    Uncertain whether a repair is preferable to a replacement? Experts recommend the 50-50 rule of thumb. If an appliance is more than 50 percent through its expected lifespan and repairs would run more than 50 percent of buying new, then go with a replacement.

  3. The Price Is Right
    Appliances are major purchases, so even if you've included them in your budget, you want to get the best value for your dollar. According to home improvement guru Bob Vila, stores want to clear out the old inventory when new models come out. Shop for dishwashers in September and October, refrigerators in May, and ranges/ovens in January. Holidays are also good times to watch for sales.

  4. Go Green
    When it comes to appliances, green is more than just a color. As appliances continue to become more energy-efficient, newer models can help preserve the environment and save you money on your utility bills. Check an appliance's Energy Star tag, which displays its Energy Star rating along with annual estimated energy use and cost.

  5. Mix and Match
    In the past, have your kitchen appliances been replaced piecemeal? Unfortunately, not all products share the same lifespan. As a result, they often end up being replaced at different times. The clashing styles cause an imbalance that throws the look of the whole kitchen off. If possible, it's best to replace all your appliances simultaneously for a coordinated appearance.

  6. Check the Warranty
    Before you purchase a new appliance, be sure to check out the warranty. If you're choosing high-end appliances, it may be worth the investment to buy an extended warranty that will cover potentially costly repairs. 

  7. Style and Substance
    The days of basic white appliances are in the rearview mirror. Of course, vintage is always in style, so you can certainly get hip, retro-styled designs. Stainless steel is high on the popularity list, but a color is also an option. Benjamin Moore has chosen Aegean Teal as the Color of 2021, while Pantone offers two: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, a lemon yellow. Black, red, and brown are other good choices.

  8. Lifestyle Choices
    Do you love spending hours in the kitchen with Food Network how-to videos running on your iPad? Maybe you're a working parent who wants quick but healthy ways to feed your family. If your kitchen isn't compatible with your lifestyle, the net result is frustration. Consider the role you want the kitchen to play in your life and design accordingly.

  9. The Sounds of Silence
    No one wants to yell to be heard over a noisy dishwasher or clunky range hood. Even when working properly, older appliances are much louder than today's models that operate with barely a hum. Stop letting those annoying sounds drown out your latest Netflix binge.

  10. Higher Education
    Has your home become "smart?" Innovations such as voice-activated assistants like Alexa and programmable thermostats make it easier to manage your home, even when you're not there. Smart appliances let you keep an eye on what's in the oven or make extra ice when company's coming, all from an app on your phone or tablet.

  11. Lay of the Land
    A kitchen's layout and placement of appliances are intertwined. Maybe the original builder ended up putting appliances where they fit, rather than where they actually made sense. Between the current range of sizes, styles, and installation possibilities, it's much easier to create a logical flow more conducive to efficiency. 

Whether you're the owner or buyer of Portland homes for sale, we provide friendly and experienced assistance. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for more information.


Healthy Dining Options You Can Find Near Seattle

Seattle Healthy Dining

It's that time of year again -- the time when everyone starts to think about changing their habits and getting healthier in the New Year. Luckily, there are plenty of great local restaurants that serve healthy fare. Having a go-to list will help make the transition so much easier! 

We recently asked our brokers for recommendations. Here are a few of their favorites. 

  1. Eve Freemont: 704 North 34th St., Seattle, WA 98103
    Popular restaurant Eve Freemont is committed to serving clean, wholesome food that's good for the body and the soul. They're known for their globally-inspired, locally-produced menu that features items like Bibimbap and Bison Burgers. If you're looking for a clean-eating restaurant with a hip, modern vibe and a unique variety of food options, this is it.
  2. B-Side: 421 E. Thomas St., Seattle, WA 98102
    For a healthy breakfast or lunch, you can't go wrong with B-Side. This small, quaint restaurant offers classic items like breakfast sandwiches and eclectic items like house-made pickles, rice bowls, kombucha, and 24k Beer (Ranier with spicy fermented carrot juice). They're open daily from 8 am to 2 pm and are within walking distance from some of the best Seattle homes for sale. They also have a walk-up window and accept Google Pay for extra safety and convenience.
  3. Plum Bistro: 1429 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122
    Capitol Hill's most loved vegan restaurant since 2009, Plum Bistro, has made a major reputation for itself. Here you'll find artful, upscale dishes that even carnivores love. They serve brunch, lunch, and dinner, as well as tasty drinks and desserts. We recommend trying the General Tso's Cauliflower, Buffalo Portobello Burger, or "Northwest at its Finest" -- made with herb-roasted mushrooms and black truffle sweet potato gnocchi. In addition to the Bistro, the Plum family also includes Plum Chopped, Sugar Plum, Pantry by Plum, and the Plum Truck.
  4. Mamnoon: 1508 Melrose Ave., Seattle, WA 98122
    An award-winning Middle Eastern restaurant, Mamnoon offers a modern version of traditional classics. The menu changes seasonally, giving you a steady stream of new, healthy dishes to try. We recommend the Mama Family Meal, which is $40 and has plenty of food for two people. This option allows you to choose a meat or vegetarian entree, seasonal salad, rotating side, and rich and tasty labneh. These specials change all the time and are a great way to explore their delicious menu.
  5. Harvest Beat: 1711 N. 45th St., Seattle, WA 98103
    Voted Best Vegan Restaurant in 2019 by Restaurant Guru, Harvest Beat offers healthy, vibrant food while also supporting local farmers and foragers. At this time, they've suspended in-house dining and are only offering food to go. However, the meals are still incredible! They serve lunch and dinner and items like cookies, hummus, and pickled vegetables from their market. For a truly memorable experience, try their five-course dinner menu to go. 

  6. Marination: 2000 6th Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
    Known as Seattle's sauciest food truck since 2009, Marination offers Hawaiian-Korean curbside cuisine. They now have multiple locations, including Marination Ma Kai in West Seattle (1660 Harbor Ave. SW), Marination 6th & Virginia, and Super Six (3714 Hudson St.). Also, keep an eye out for "Big Blue," their mobile food truck. No matter which location you visit, you'll love the delicious and flavorful menu options. This includes a huge variety of unique tacos like Miso Chicken, "Sexy Tofu," and Kalua Pork. They also offer sliders, kimchi fried rice, salads, fried foods, and lunch plates. Visit once, and we promise you'll find yourself craving it again and again.
  7. Homegrown: 999 3rd Ave., Seattle, WA 98104
    Not only do the folks at Homegrown offer delicious, healthy food, they also are on a mission to reduce their environmental impact by ensuring all of their ingredients are sustainably sourced. If you want to take good care of your body and the planet, you'll feel great about ordering from them. The seasonal menu features tasty options like carrot sweet potato soup, spicy braised tofu bowls, grass-fed steak, and blue sandwiches.

  8. Bounty Kitchen: 7 Boston St., Seattle, WA 98109
    Seattle vegan and vegetarian restaurant Bounty Kitchen is a modern neighborhood cafe offering a chef-driven menu with a focus on healthy eating. They serve brunch all day, every day, as well as salads with layers of flavor and texture, noodle bowls, grain bowls, and more. 

Is a new home on your 2021 wish list? If so, we can help! We've got lots of great listings available, so don't delay. Contact us today to get started. 


Your Guide to Portland's Historic District

Portland Historic District
When most people think of American history, the East Coast gets most of the spotlight. But that's not the only area in the country where you can see beautiful historic buildings. Our brokers love The City of Roses, not only because it has a culture blooming with innovation, but that its rich history is so well preserved and celebrated. Walking around some areas of Portland provides an exceptional glimpse into the past, especially when strolling through the historic district of Irvington.

Historic Irvington

Irvington only recently received placement on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. This sprawling area includes over 2,800 structures in Portland's largest historic district. A massive wave of new construction occurred just after the 1905 Louis and Clark Centennial Exposition. More than half of all structures built between the turn of the century and 1970 have wooden exteriors made from local timber. The rate of growth increased as the decades passed: 14 percent of Irvington was completed in the first decade, 25 percent during the 1910s, and 40 percent during the '20s.

Although nearly 3,000 buildings were constructed, only 2 percent of them are used for public or commercial use, such as churches and schools. The remaining 98 percent are all homes. Most of these homes have federally protected characteristics, ensuring that the district's charm is not sacrificed for a more modern aesthetic. This includes the protection of structures from unnecessary demolition and development. Plus, there's a prioritization of environmental-friendly practices within historic districts. Many of these buildings are "green" even in their maintenance, and mature trees have a smaller chance of being removed due to construction needs.

What to do in Irvington

Whether you're a local or just visiting, a stop in Irvington is always a great way to spend the day in Portland. Here are a few of our favorite places in and around the Irvington historic district:

  • Irving Park — 707 NE Fremont St., Portland, OR 97212
    A lovely green space to the north of Irvington, Irving Park is a 16-acre century-old park perfect for a mid-afternoon picnic.

  • TwentySix Café — 2723 NE 7th Ave., Portland, OR 97212
    Fuel up with morning coffee, wind down with a cocktail, or enjoy a few small plates for lunch at the artsy TwentySix Café.

  • Irvington Tennis Club — 2131 NE Thompson St., Portland, OR 97212
    If you love tennis, the Irvington Tennis Club has four indoor and two outdoor courts to get a match going.

  • Zama Massage Spa — 2149 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232
    Pamper yourself with relaxation at the Zama Massage Spa with a menu of full-body treatments like massages and pedicures.

  • The Wishing Tree — 2954 NE 7th Ave., Portland, OR 97212
    View wishes others have made or make your own by attaching your heart's desire to this wonderful Wishing Tree.

  • Portland Story Theatre — 3333 NE 15th Ave., Portland, OR 97212
    Settle in for a riveting performance at Portland Story Theatre, a nonprofit hosting local productions.

So Much More History to Explore in Portland

Irving is far from the only historic district in Portland. In fact, there are nearly two dozen other locations deemed historic districts, including:

  • Alphabet
  • East Portland, Grand Avenue
  • Halprin Open Space Sequence
  • Kenton Commercial
  • King's Hill
  • Ladd's Addition
  • Laurelhurst
  • Mount Tabor Parks
  • Mount Tabor Reservoirs
  • New Chinatown, Japantown
  • Peacock Lane
  • Rocky Butte Scenic Drive
  • Skidmore Fountain/Old Town
  • South Portland
  • 13th Avenue
  • Washington Park Reservoirs
  • Willamette National Cemetery
  • Yamhill

Portland is also home to six conservation districts: Eliot, Kenton, Mississippi Avenue, Piedmont, Russel Street, and Woodlawn. With so much diverse history throughout Portland, you can spend years uncovering fascinating places, interesting figures from the past, and impressive landmarks that once helped mold this city into an icon of the Pacific Northwest.

Would you love to call Portland home? Then we would love to help you! Contact us today to schedule tours of our Portland homes for sale throughout Irvington and other historic districts.

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 03/27/2023. The listing information on this page last changed on 03/27/2023. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of RMLS (last updated Mon 03/27/2023 5:15:35 PM EST) or Willamette Valley MLS (last updated Mon 03/27/2023 5:11:48 PM EST) or COAR/MLSCO (last updated Mon 03/27/2023 5:11:38 PM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Mon 03/27/2023 5:13:55 PM 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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