PLAYguide: Home

Themed Home Decor

Be inspired by Reunion Resort’s most unique rental home. From a vintage drive-in movie theater to a bedroom on the moon, the sky’s the limit on decorating inspiration.

Words by Amanda Keefer 

Transforming your home into a wonderland can be easy and fun. Just ask Michael and Nicole Mendicino. After getting their feet wet in the vacation rental world in both Virginia and Pennsylvania, they decided to buy and renovate a place where an ultra-themed magical escape would be most appreciated. Of course, Orlando was the obvious choice.

This vacation rental sleeps 12 to 18 people, so it’s perfect for a multifamily vacation or reunion. You’ll want to arrive first to get dibs on your favorite room.

Moon Bedroom

Don’t worry about finding your way around the house. Simply reference the clever directional signage at the front door.

Sleeping in a real boat carefully crafted into a bed in the Castaway Master Suite seems like a super choice, but it’s a toss-up between that room and the Hot Air Balloon Room, where you might just float off into dreamland. (And that’s just for the adults!)

Boat Bedroom

Boat Bed

 

Beach Bedroom

Boat Bed & Beach Bedroom

 

Hot Air Balloon Bedroom

Hot Air Balloon Bedroom

 

Hot Air Balloon Bedroom

Hot Air Balloon Bedroom

 

Hot Air Balloon Bedroom

Hot Air Balloon Bedroom

The kids will have a hard time deciding whether they want to sleep on the moon, in a tree house or in an old-school arcade. No quarters required.

Tree House Kids Bedroom

Tree House Kids Bedroom

Tree House Kids Bathroom

Tree House Kids Bathroom

Arcade Kids Bedroom

Arcade Kids Bedroom

Arcade Kids Bedroom

Arcade Kids Bedroom

Arcade Kids Bathroom

Arcade Kids Bathroom

While this particular home is a rental property, Michael and Nicole believe that anyone can make a home transformation vision happen with a bit of planning. They advise starting with a plan. Sounds simple enough, right? Nicole used Pinterest for inspiration (don’t we all?) to create an individual vision board for each room.

After they crafted vision boards, it was time for the Mendicinos to buy a mix of ready-made, stand-out furnishings, such as the moon man, a taxicab pool table, an old-school game console, themed lighting and bathroom fixtures. Once these initial pieces were ordered, they added the final details.

Nicole’s tip: Don’t get caught up shopping in a bunch of stores for bits and pieces. It’s better to stick to your plan and order what you can online to stay within budget.

Drive-In Theater Bedroom

Drive-In Theater Bedroom

Drive-In Theater Bedroom

Drive-In Theater Bedroom

This type of themed decor calls for some custom pieces.Michael and Nicole are fortunate to be surrounded by talented family members to help with everything from sewing sandbags for the Hot Air Balloon Room to positioning stars in the Moon Room and spending days creating a bathroom floor made of 9,000 pennies.

Walking through the rental space and talking to this vibrant couple brought to light how to create an amazing space. Find your creative passion, take some time to plan, and by all means make the journey fun. The outcome is a space where families from around the world will make lifelong memories.

NYC Loft Billiard Room

NYC Loft Billiard Room

NYC Loft Billiard Room

NYC Loft Billiard Room

NYCloft3

 

Living Room

Living Room

Living Room & Pool

Living Room & Pool

Exterior

Exterior

 

For rental information, visit www.OrlandoThemeHomes.com.

Check out the video tour of the house here:

Also posted in Lifestyle | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Love Your Lawn (Sponsored)

Learn How to Care for Your Landscaping

This post is brought to you by Scotts

ScottsComposite

Spring is coming, which means it’s time to spruce up your surroundings and get your lawn back to looking lush and gorgeous, while helping our environment.

The benefits of having a great, green lawn go beyond providing you and your family with outdoor enjoyment during warmer months. A responsibly maintained lawn can also help the environment:

  • Lawns oxygenate the air, filter groundwater and absorb nutrients.
  • They help contain soil erosion and absorb more carbon dioxide than trees.
  • Well-fed lawns also contribute to a cooler surrounding environment.
  • Lawns reduce heat in and around your home by cooling the air and reduce traffic noise by dampening sound.

Florida residents, visit Scotts.com/Florida to learn backyard tips and techniques for keeping a healthy lawn and find out what Scotts is doing to help protect our natural waterways.

Also posted in Lifestyle | Comments closed

10 Best Towns For Families

Screen shot 2014-07-31 at 4.34.18 PM

 

FAMILY CIRCLE MAGAZINE NAMES LAKE MARY, FLORIDA TO ANNUAL “10 BEST TOWNS FOR FAMILIES” LIST

Family Circle announces the results of its exclusive survey to identify America’s 10 Best Towns for Families. The brand’s eighth annual list reveals the country’s top towns that provide affordable housing options, strong sense of community and exemplary school systems. Lake Mary, known for its small-town feel and family-friendly events, makes this year’s 10 Best Towns for Families list and is featured in the August 2014 issue of Family Circle, on newsstands July 8 and online at FamilyCircle.com/besttowns.

Family Circle reveals the 10 Best Towns for Families (in alphabetical order):

  • Apex, North Carolina: With historic buildings, a diverse population and a bevy of community events, this town is the pinnacle of quaintness.
  • Boerne, Texas: Top-ranked schools andrandom acts of kindness are the norm in this San Antonio suburb.
  • Brecksville, Ohio: Top-rated schools and ample green space provide a family-friendly setting where there is an equal emphasis on achievement and giving back.
  • Camas, Washington: Simple pleasures like hiking along the Columbia River Gorge or catching a summertime parade add charm to this picturesque Portland suburb.
  • Elmhurst, Illinois: A pedestrian-friendly downtown and opportunities for volunteering make this Chicago suburb a dream destination for families.
  • Franklin, Tennessee: Residents in this Nashville suburb revel in year-round events with an emphasis on the outdoors.
  • Lake Mary, Florida: Bursting with restaurants, stores and high-tech jobs, this Orlando suburb maintains a small town-feel with farmer’s markets, outdoor fairs and family-friendly events.
  • Westborough, Massachusetts: People love to mingle in this leafy Boston suburb where there’s a special connection across generations young and old.
  • Westfield, Indiana: Housing is affordable, the schools are stellar, but it’s Westfield’s sense of community that folks love most about this town.
  • Woodbury, Minnesota: Over two-fifths of households in this Twin Cities suburb have children, making Woodbury an attractive destination to raise a family.

Methodology
With the help of Onboard Informatics, a New York City research firm that provides real estate, demographic and other data, Family Circle initially assembled a list of 4,200 cities and towns with populations between 10,000 and 150,000. From that, nearly 1,400 localities having a high concentration of households with median incomes between $55,000 and $100,000 were selected. The editors then assessed which places best met its family-friendly criteria—including affordable homes, quality schools, access to health care, green space, low crime rate and financial stability—and ranked them from top to bottom. Family Circle selected the 10 winners from among the highest-rated towns.

Also posted in Lifestyle | Tagged , , | Comments closed

The 2013 Hillman Report Has Been Released

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 2.09.51 PM

Each year the president of Fannie Hillman + Associates, Scott Hillman, releases his annual Hillman Report. This is a comprehensive look at the 2013 Real Estate market in specific areas throughout Orange and parts of Seminole counties. It is a great resource for those interested in evaluating our market’s past performance to truly gain perspective as to where we are headed in 2014. Below is an overview of the report. To read the entire report click here.

Overall a positive year for area existing homes

The 2013 existing homes market in Orange and Seminole counties weathered the worst of a challenging economy over the past five years by posting some very positive numbers, and should continue to see gradual improvement in 2014, according to the just published 2013 Hillman Report.

“I wouldn’t say 2013 was a breakout year, but it certainly was a very good year, unquestionably the best one we’ve had in Orange and Seminole counties since 2007 in terms of transactions and median price increases which were both up in almost every category,” said Scott Hillman, president of Fannie Hillman + Associates, the 33-year-old Winter Park firm that twice a year publishes The Hillman Report which takes a comprehensive look at Winter Park, Maitland, College Park, Baldwin Park, and downtown Orlando housing and condominium markets.

“I think we can expect to see an appreciation of 4-6 percent in home values this year while prices will remain relatively stable through the first quarter before gathering some momentum in the second and third quarters,” Hillman noted.

The Hillman Report showed 2013 transactions for all single family homes up 5.7 percent over 2012, with biggest gainers in the $500,001-$750,000 price range, up 49 percent, followed by sales of homes in the $300,001-$500,000 million price category, up 43 percent.

The best performing neighborhood for single-family home transactions was Baldwin Park (32814) which saw sales jump 305 percent, while transactions for lakefront homes in Winter Park (32789) were up a collective 147 percent. Non-lakefront homes in the same zip code were up a healthy 21 percent.

Transactions for homes on and off area lakes also performed well in Orlando (32801 and 32806), increasing a combined 37.3 percent, while sales of lakefront and non-lakefront homes in Orlando (32803) were up a collective 27 percent.

Median prices for single-family homes were up anywhere from one percent for homes in the $300,001-$500,000 category to as much as16 percent for homes priced $300,000 and under.

Condominium sales, while down slightly overall, did post appreciable gains in the mid- and higher-priced ranges. Transactions were up 80 percent for condos in the $200,001-$500,000 price range, and climbed 10 percent for units priced over $500,001, even though the median price for those condos was up six percent over the previous year.

College Park (32804) was the pacesetter in condo transactions with an increase of 31 percent, despite a median price increase of 43 percent. The biggest jump in median price was 105 percent for condos in Winter Park (32792).

To learn more about The 2013 Hillman Report, or to download a copy, log onto the company’s website at fanniehillman.com. 

Posted in Home | Comments closed

Martha Sugalski's Lake Mary Home For Sale

deerhollowexterior

With triplets on the way, WESH-TV news anchor, Martha Sugalski, needs a bigger home! So she’s turned to her best friend, and one of Fannie Hillman + Associates top agents, to help her find the perfect place for her growing family.

How would you like to watch the evening news, in the comfort of a living room, formally owned by one of Orlando’s top news anchors? Well now’s your chance!

WESH-TV anchor Martha Sugalski has recently entrusted Fannie Hillman + Associates with the sale of her gorgeous Wingfield Reserve home. This four bedroom, three bathroom home has brought years of enjoyment to Ms. Sugalski, her husband and children, but as recently announced, that family is rapidly growing. Ms. Sugalski expects to deliver triplets this summer so finding a bigger home locally has become a priority!

“For so many years this home has been my safe haven. Because of the intense exposure of my job, this community has provided much needed privacy to me and my family. Watching my children run around our large yard or watching a movie during a ‘date night’ with my husband in our theatre room are all happy memories I will take with me wherever we go.” said Ms. Sugalski.

Wingfield Reserve is located in Lake Mary and offers a variety of features including tennis courts, private security patrols and A+ rated Lake Mary schools, all while being close to I-4, shopping, restaurants and bike trails.

For a private tour of Ms. Sugalski’s home or for more information about the property, please contact Fannie Hillman Realtor Glad Messeroff at 407.497.0132.

Also posted in Lifestyle | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Rocco's Nursery

DSC_3092

We think Rocco’s nursery in Windermere is adorbs! It’s the epitome of today’s modern nurseries. Mom Shannon Gunn did a super job putting all of the elements together. From vintage family heirlooms to new sentimental accents, Shannon personalized the room with panache.

Photos by Amy Smith

Don’t take our word for it. We asked the team at Anne Rue Interiors in Lake Mary to give us the dish on new trends in nurseries, with Rocco’s leading by example.

Gray Is the New Blue, Pink and Yellow
Gender-neutral paint colors, such as gray and beige, are on trend right now. Bring in a pop of color with accessories. We love lemon yellow, teal and orange. Use the color in small doses, like Rocco’s mom did, for maximum impact. We love how she put it in unexpected places, such as the picture frame, Buddha statue, stone floor cushion and ottoman.

No Theme Like Ice Cream
Sorry, Pooh Bear; today’s nursery is all about texture, color and patterns rather than theme. Mixing prints gives a room personality and depth. These horizontal paint stripes are current and interesting. It’s an easy way to get impact without a huge price tag. Rocco’s bedding is a perfect mixture of stripes, chevron and circles. A definite “do.”

Personal Touch
Show your personal style with knickknacks, such as the elements on Rocco’s wall. Display Mom’s favorite grade school record. Hang sentimental items, such as the headphones that Rocco wore for his newborn photo session. Or, create a photo transfer of your family pet on a wood frame.

Design Consultation
Mom Shannon wants to know … What should I do for window coverings?
Whether for a boy or girl, this is ultimately a baby’s room. Mom can bring some softness to the room by adding a full-length drapery valance in a solid fabric. Charcoal gray (or a darker color) to contrast the wall would be fab for Rocco’s space. Or, bring in your third color by having draperies in a lemon yellow or orange.

Anne Rue Interiors Recommends:
Love the art grouping; it’s kitchy, modern and fresh. However, you may want to scale it down to the size of the dresser. A grouping, picture or mirror shouldn’t be wider than what it’s grounded by. Move the guitar to a different wall, and bring the other items in a bit.

When you have stripes on the wall, keep the furniture simple and solid. The color-blocked painted pieces compete with the walls. When you upgrade Rocco into a regular bed, bring in some dark wood tones.

Anne Rue Interiors offers complete interior design services, including space planning, furniture layout, specifications and model merchandising. Whether you are building a custom home, remodeling or simply redecorating, Anne Rue Interiors welcomes the opportunity. www.annerue.com

DSC_3125

DSC_3181

DSC_3233

DSC_3145

Also posted in Lifestyle | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

5 Steps To Sell Your Home

Save-up & Fix-up!Don’t just sit there waiting for change – make it happen. If you are even just thinking about selling next week or even next year, start now! Set your goals and do your “vision board” (whatever it takes), but follow it up with some serious action today!

Written by Jamie Sharon

#1 Get an idea of what your home would actually sell for (not what you hope it will sell for) and stick to the facts, not your emotions. Look at what homes close to the same square footage and within a mile radius to your home have sold for. You should use numbers from the last 60 days. Visit my website to find the numbers you need www.SoldandForSale.com or email me (info@jamiesharon.com) and I will prepare you a detailed Market Analysis, for FREE.

#2 Get an idea of what you can afford and what you can get approved for. There is a difference. Your lender may approve you for FAR more than you can actually afford. The lender does not know that you spend too many weekends at the Ritz, pay a nanny large sums of cash and have a huge sushi and Amy Smith addiction (maybe that’s just me). Not to mention the money you’ll need to furnish and accessorize your new home. Only you can be honest about what you spend and how you live (and what you are ready to live without).

#3 The loan process is going to be a lot more detailed this time around, and most people will be required to put down much more than they have in the past. Cash is going to be king. Some of you are going to need it, not only for a down payment but also to pay off your current loan. The better your credit score, the better your rate, so fix that up anyway you can. This is a great article and resource I found on BankRate.com: http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/cc/20011008b.asp. Read it, print it and use it!

#4 On the home front, start TODAY to enrich the appearance of your home. Time to paint over the crayon on the wall, organize the closets, de-clutter (this means toys, too); you know the list that is just getting longer. If you still have a backsplash that looks like a 1980s shower, it needs to go. Don’t over-invest and buy products you want in your “forever” house. Re-do with cost effective, neutral and updated materials. There are plenty out there. Don’t underestimate what you can do on your own without the help of pricey subcontractors.

#5 Curb appeal IS important. Don’t be fooled, this IS a beauty contest. You don’t want people to drive by … you want them to slow down, gawk and hope to see the inside. You will get so much more bang-for-your-buck if you plant landscaping the first week of March and get some serious growing months in, as opposed to any other time of the year. Send the kids to Grandma’s for the weekend and get busy. Your forever home is waiting for you.

Also posted in Lifestyle | Tagged | Comments closed

Get Your "Move" On

Get Your "Move" OnMany of us bought homes in the past five years (yes, by us I mean me too) that we had no intention of staying in forever. With a growing family, your house is no longer a “home,” but instead has become a holding station until you can afford your “forever” house.  In this market, this five-year home might actually COST you money to sell but your “forever” home is such a great deal now. What to do?

Sell Now! What you have to gain is so much more than what you have to lose. If you are waiting for the market to recover enough for you to make more money you could be losing money in the long run. Let’s say in two years your $200,000 home finally appreciates 15% ($30,000) then, in turn, your $450,000 “forever” home appreciates 15% ($67,500). So, you are waiting to make $30,000 so you can spend $67,500. (Remember taxes, closing costs and rates will go up as well.)

The current low prices combined with today’s low rates are where you will really see the long-term savings. So, if you are looking to sell in the near future … The time is now! For more specifics, my friend and colleague (as well as one of the mortgage good guys) Fred Guitton, Sales Manager for National City Mortgage, breaks down the info in more detail on my website: www.SoldandForSale.com

Also posted in Lifestyle | Comments closed