5 Trends for your home exterior in 2019

I am always curious to see what home trends are on the rise.  Luckily Houzz helps me out by creating these wonderful lists of all the things you want or need to know.

This year, mixed materials, farmhouse inspiration and inviting front porches are very in.  Which of these trends do you like?

Design, Real Estate

6 Tips for a Successful Remodel


If you are renovating the home you just purchased or if you are considering updating your existing home, following these tips can help make sure you are pleased with the results of your renovation.

  1. Set the budget.  Be realistic about the cost of the improvements you want to make and be sure to allow a cushion to cover unforeseen expenses that always come up
  2. Don’t over improve the property.  If your renovations turn your home into the nicest home in the neighborhood with a state-of-the-art kitchen and bath you most likely will not get back the cost of the remodel when you sell the home.  Keep this in mind if you want to sell in the next few years.
  3. Be prepared for inconveniences, dust, noise and delays.  Construction projects can be loud and messy.  You won’t be able to use the area that is being remodeled for a period of time.  Which means if you are updating the kitchen be prepared to eat take out for a while.
  4. Do your research ahead of time.  Hire a quality contractor with lots of recommendations.  Check their references.  Insist on a detailed contract and timeline.
  5. Secure valuables before the job starts.  If you don’t want it broke, lost or covered in dust pack it away before construction begins.
  6. Inspect the work carefully before making the final payment.

Following these 6 tips should help ensure a successful renovation!

And if you want to see my video about these tips click here

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.


Design, Fun

The Importance of Sleep

DSC_0598Regular, good quality sleep is important for our health.  Research suggest adults need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to be well rested.

Did you know-

  1.  Your brain needs sleep to function at its best.  Poor sleep can negatively impact your ability to concentrate as well as your productivity and performance while quality sleep improves problem solving skills and enhances memory.
  2. Good sleep can increase your athletic performance.  Sleep is when your body recovers from your day’s activities.
  3. Poor sleep puts you at a greater risk for a heart attack or stroke.
  4. Quality sleep improves your immune system helping you stay healthy
  5. Poor sleep can increase your weight.  When you are tired you are likely to have less energy for working out.  It also can increase your cravings for foods you would normally avoid but your resistance may not be the same when you are tired.

How can you get a better night’s sleep?

  1. Set a schedule and stick to it.  Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.  Don’t sleep in on weekends.
  2. Control your lighting.  Get out in the sunshine or bright light early each day.  Avoid screen time for an hour before bedtime.  Keep your bedroom dark, no nightlight.
  3. Get enough physical activity during the day.
  4. Limit caffeine and alcohol especially before bed.  They can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and your ability to stay asleep.

Improve your sleep environment

  1.  Keep your bedroom quiet.
  2.  Invest in good window shades to keep the light out.
  3.  Make sure your bed and pillows are comfortable.
  4.  Use the bedroom for sleeping.  Do not watch television in the bedroom, have your excercise equipment in the bedroom, pay your bills at the desk in your bedroom, etc.  This helps your brain associate the bedroom with sleeping only.

ox master bath

Begin by following these tips and you should see the quality of your sleep improve.

And of course if you need help finding a new bedroom to sleep in give me a call I am happy to help you find your Tampa Bay dream home!

Kelly Harden, Realtor

Mihara & Assiciates, Inc.






Time to get organized in the Kitchen

Moving into a new place?  Or is it just time to bring more organization to your life?  Here are some great ideas for organizing your kitchen cabinets.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.



Tips to Beautify the Rooms in Your Home

living room

Judy Garland told us “There’s no place like home”, so why not make your home the most beautiful and cozy place you can stay in?

Here’s a few tips that aren’t a lot of hassle and can help showcase the best features of every room in your home:



Going with a neutral scheme can never go wrong, but if you’re feeling like your room is a little drab, don’t be afraid to go with a bold color. You can do an accent wall that compliments the current color scheme or use your furniture or accent pieces to bring a touch of color. Color doesn’t have to mean clutter, you can keep the rest of the room simple and add the dramatic touch with a few elements.



Bringing in some mirrors can add light and room to your space. Using mirrors in staging is known to help the room look like it’s much bigger than it is it. Add a few accent mirrors, preferably right across the room from a window, to brighten up your space and keep it from feeling too tight and small.



Furniture can get expensive, but there is so much you can do with a room by getting creative with accessories. Get some unique decorative pieces and let your room tell a story around them. Make at stop at your closest antique store and look for some pieces that are bold and speak to you.  Stores like Hobby Lobby or TJ Maxx have beautiful and unique pieces that are incredibly affordable.




Nothing gives a space some life like some life, literally. Add some plants to your rooms, lots of green ones that are easy to keep alive, to add a unique touch to the room. You’d be surprised how much a room looks “finished” when you add a beautiful tree to the corner of a room.



Don’t block out your windows with heavy drapes or hide them behind furniture. Decorate around your room in a way that compliments the windows and brings the natural light in.



Use fur throws or pillows, use patterns in your fabrics, etc. Don’t be afraid to add unique textures throughout your home or even metallic finishes. Just add a few pieces, don’t use too many textures or they can get overwhelming. Select a few textured items that complement each other and put them around your room.

LRE+Social+Stock (1)



Something I say often, get rid of all the clutter to make your room feel more open and welcoming. If you have a hard time walking around your room or your tables are so full of things you cannot see the wood, it may be time to get a few boxes and start cleaning out the things that don’t really belong.

Kelly Harden, REALTOR

Mihara & Associates, Inc.


Design, Real Estate

Twilight Photography can make your home stand out from the crowd

DSC_0273Twilight photos use lighting to create a mood that enhances listing photos.  It is a great way to showcase your home and help it stand out from the crowd.


If you have decorative outdoor lighting evening shots can look fantastic.


Start with a professional photographer.  Then turn on every light inside the home and all outdoor lights as well.


If you are getting pool photos turn on the pool lights too.

When done well twilight photography will help show the beauty of your home to potential buyers, and it’s a lot of fun too!

Kelly Harden, Realtor

Mihara & Associates, Inc.



Tips to organize your kitchen cabinets

Can you use a little help organizing your life?  I sure can!!!

This Houzz blog has some great organizational tips for your kitchen cabinets.  Now I need to follow them!!!

Kelly Harden, Realtor

Mihara & Associates, Inc.


Design, Real Estate

What is the difference between staging and decorating?

LRE+Social+Stock+InteriorWhen it’s time to list your home for sale I always suggest a consultation with my favorite stager.

This is when most clients ask why do I need a professional stager?  My home is beautifully designed, in fact it took a couple of years to get it perfect just the way it is today.

A stager and an interior designer both utilize the same design principles but they have completely different goals.  A designer wants your home to reflect you and your tastes while a stager is trying to make sure your home appeals to a large audience of potential buyers.

Stagers will show buyers how uses for various rooms in the home.  The will make sure each room has a single purpose.  Instead of having an office that doubles as a guest bedroom and tv viewing area they will design the room serve one function.  Buyers can get confused with too many options.

A good stager will make sure home looks it’s best when photographed.  Buyers shop for homes online before deciding what properties they want to view in person.  Stagers ensure the home will photograph well.

Investing in a good stager and following their guidance will help your home stand out amongst the competition and help your home sell faster and for more money.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.



11 Bathroom ideas that are trending right now

Bathrooms are very important to home buyers.  Many of my clients have decided against a home because the bathroom didn’t have quite what they were looking for.

This blog from Houzz shows some great bathroom designs that are trending right now.  If a bathroom remodel is in your plans do yourself a favor and check out these trends to see if one will work for you.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.



Looking to update your kitchen?

Have you considered painting your cabinets to update your kitchen?  I have a client who is thinking about painting her dark wood kitchen cabinets.  She is thinking about white paint on the cabinets and grey on the kitchen island.

Painted cabinets are a hot look right now and it’s less expensive than replacing all of the cabinets.

This article from Houzz gives you step by step instructions if you decide to tackle the job yourself or simply want to learn more about it before hiring a professional to do the work.