A living room decorated for Christmas

The Art of Entertaining for the Holidays

Inch by Inch Life is a Cinch

Your new year resolution may include making big changes, like selling your home for instance. This may be so you can downsize, upgrade or travel the world even. One thing you need to know going in to this venture is it is a team effort with you and a Real Estate pro, that is if you want a less stressful transaction. Selling your home in Spring or early Summer are traditionally good times to sell your home. So starting now will get you ready right on time. Here are a few things to add to your mini resolution list to achieve your major 2017 goal of selling a house.

  • Hire an Agent

    – Price Guidance

    – Neighborhood Knowledge

    – Handling Paperwork

    – Professional Networking

    Group picture edited and cropped

  • Declutter

    Clean blinds, ceiling fans, baseboards and under furniture.  Pack away knickknacks and de-clutter counter tops.  Steam carpets to remove dirt and pet odors and organize closets to utilize available space.

    – Hold a Garage Sale

  • Pump Up Curb Appeal

    our curb appeal is the first thing potential buyers notice when searching for a new home, even when they visit without an agent and do a drive by. $400-$500 can return 4 times this amount when invested in landscaping

    – Trim bushes

    – Power Wash siding & sidewalks

    – Wash Windows

    – Freshly Paint Front Door

    – Purchase a new Doormat

    painted door

  • Photography

    Be sure your agent uses a professional photographer when capturing your home. Millennials (people between the age of 18-34) will be your buying market and they use the internet to shop. So visuals that are crisp and illustrate your home in the best light is a must.

    Bluewater Agents have a photographer on the ready!

    332 Divot Court Swansboro

  • Staging

    – Brighten up with lights (100 watts for every 50 sqft)

    – Vary wall hangings (try grouping items and abandoning the expected “hanging line”)

    – Bring in greenery and flowers

    – Add some color in the form of paint (warm tans, honeys and soft blue-greens)

    – Rearrange furniture to open up space


    Home scents

Garage Sale Tips and Tricks

The Art of Entertaining

expertly decorating your home during the holidays


I cannot believe December is here with Christmas on its way! The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year. Of course, who isn’t excited for the holiday season? It is a time for giving (not just receiving, although I think anyone would be lying if they said they didn’t have a few items on their own lists), decorating, celebrating the season, and for some of us, hosting holiday parties!

I love being the hostess. I am a planner and perfectionist; which means I drive my husband crazy on a daily basis. When we entertain everything must be in order, look its absolute best, and for big events, decorated perfectly. Each year we scour the stores for new ornaments, decor, tableware, and anything else that catches our eye. I like for our home to feel cozy and festive.

While setting up for gatherings or parties, I like to have dedicated areas for everything. I roll in a bar cart to set up the liquor, mixers, glassware, and ice. The counter top bar becomes an horderves buffet while the dining room is set for dinner. Festive coasters decorate the coffee and end tables to invite drinks to sit on them (whether or not that actually happens is a different story in and of itself). The mantel and tree are lit and holiday music is played throughout the evening. And in true holiday spirit some disaster is bound to occur. In our home it usually consists of Simon (our cat) jumping on the table to try and get some tasty treats or Scout (our dog) running for a toy, mauling over someone in her hot pursuit, and red wine spilling because said guest is now on the floor.

pillows sevan-collection-knitted-christmas-design-throw-blanket-c2d157c6-d501-45e8-8431-41ee3ca14bee_600throw reindeer

While red is not normally in my color wheel, there is something about the vibrant color that screams HOLIDAYS to me. I like to add a touch with red throw blankets, pillows, and place-mats. To break up the vibrancy of the color I like to add white and light beige undertones. This is a drastic change from my normal gray and blue/green hues

My main issue from year to year is my dining room table. I always feel my center piece is just a little too generic or not keeping with the rest of my theme. However, this year I plan to master it. My center piece will be full of garland and pillar candles. My table will pop with the place settings and still keep some of its coastal cottage charm with the nautical napkin rings below. With the red place-mats, white china, and red napkins my table will be festive and inviting!


birch-lane-anchor-napkin-ring-cos33807 christmas-table-setting

My home is about to be holiday ready, just a few more items are needed for it to be 100% and entertainment to begin. In fact, in crazed perfectionist fashion, I am going to rope my husband into finishing my masterpiece today! Seasons Greetings!

-Excerpt from Laina’s Blog


Written by Laina Collins

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms

332 Divot Court Swansboro, NC 28584

3 Bedrooms | 2.5 Bathrooms

150 Sand Castle Drive Emerald Isle, NC 28594

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms

1210 Emerald Drive Emerald Isle, NC 28594


I grew up on our beautiful Crystal Coastal and have enjoyed the beaches, boating, and atmosphere of coastal living for much of my life. For 6 years I lived in Charlotte, NC where I worked as a Pediatric Cardiology RN; however, my husband and I decided Charlotte was not for us anymore and it was time to move back to the coast.
I have always had a knack for helping others whether it was on mission trips or my career as a nurse. I am excited to be helping others from a different perspective now and hope I can be of assistance to you in finding your paradise on the Crystal Coast.

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