RMM - JANUARY 23 - Aura Elton


Sweet Home Make & Share

New Year’s Resolution: Declutter page 08 Design 10 Design & Decor Trends for 2023 page 04

Enjoy Your New Year’s Party! Make-Ahead Recipes for Dips, Boards, Drinks, & Desserts page 10

PLUS Need Easy Houseplants? Try Succulents! page 16 & Get Your Sunroom in 2023 page 20

aura.elton@gmail.com (407) 748-8300 aura-elton.homesweethome.digital

courtesy of: Aura I Elton

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Dear Homeowners, This month Home Sweet Home is ringing in the new year in style! This issue includes our Top 10 Design Trends for 2023, full of creative ways to showcase your style throughout your home. Many of us use the start of the new year to jumpstart those projects we’ve been putting off. If you’ve got cluttered spaces you are determined to clean up in 2023, check out our Resolution: Declutter article. If you’re ready to dive in, try our 1-hour Junk Drawer Challenge and build momentum for all of your decluttering projects this year. If you’re hosting a New Year’s party this year, we’ve got you covered with a delicious and (mostly) prep-ahead menu. These easy small bites and drinks will help you avoid the stress of the kitchen and enjoy mingling with your guests. Does colder weather have you dreaming of that sunroom you’ve always wanted? We show you how to make your sunnier space a reality this year. And if you’re looking for easy plants to bring some of the outdoors in, take a look at the low- maintenance succulents featured in this issue.

I’m wishing you and yours a 2023 full of peace and prosperity. I hope the gift of this magazine inspires you with ways to further enjoy your home sweet home!

Happy New Year!

Aura I Elton GLOBAL REALTY CAROLINA LLC (407) 748-8300 aura.elton@gmail.com aura-elton.homesweethome.digital



Table of Contents


Spreads 11 Boards 12 Trifle 14 Mocktails 15

Easy Dips &



10 Design & Decor Trends for 2023

Festive Berry

This new year, consider including new ideas and inspiration for your home, whether it’s designing or redesigning a space, sprucing things up (or taking things down a notch) with décor, reconfiguring a room, or refreshing the entire flow of your home. Take a look at H ome Sweet Home’s top 10 trends for home design and décor for the upcoming year. Resolution: Declutter Resolved to declutter and really get organized this year, but unsure where to start? Jumpstart your decluttering momentum with our Junk Drawer Challenge. If indecision slows you down, we’ve got tips for making quick decluttering decisions so you can enjoy clutter-free home in 2023. 08

Cocktails &

Looking for Low Maintenance Houseplants? Try Succulents!


If your past attempts at nurturing houseplants have led to disappointments, don’t worry! Because succulent plants store water within, they can survive in almost any climate with simple and easy maintenance. Learn more about succulents and which varieties are safe for pets and children. Make 2023 the Year You Get Your Sunroom 20 Adding a sunroom allows you to enjoy the sunlight while providing protection from the elements three or four seasons of the year. With a plan, a budget, and a schedule, 2023 can be the year to finally make it happen.

New Year’s Hosting: Enjoy Your Party with Make-Ahead Recipes for Dips, Boards, Drinks, & Desserts


You’re hosting a sophisticated shindig to ring in the new year. Cheers! Here’s a menu for a holiday celebration with delicious eats, tasty treats, and a drink menu that can’t be beat. Host a swanky soirée without sacrificing too much of your time. It’s your party and you should enjoy it!


January 2023

10 Home Design & Décor Trends for 2023 It’s a new year, full of new potential and possibilities. This new year, consider including new ideas and inspiration for your home, whether it’s designing or redesigning a space, sprucing things up (or taking things down a notch) with décor, reconfiguring a room, or refreshing the entire flow of your home.

Natural & Eco-Friendly As we become more sustainability savvy, more homes are being built and renovated to become “green” and energy-efficient, which saves on costs and lessens environmental impact. Expect this trend to continue in 2023 with nature-inspired and eco-friendly interior design and décor. For example, many homeowners are now carefully considering the environmental impact of materials used in their homes. Some ideas include using natural elements for décor and furnishings, including materials such as wood, stone, cork, and clay. Ethically sourced and recycled materials like glass or metal are also available. Add finishings in cotton and linen— used for bedding, throw pillows, and curtains—and you’ll have a timeless, natural aesthetic made of high- quality and durable materials. Choosing more natural and eco-friendly materials for your design and décor ideas will help you to not only be on trend, but also ensure you’re doing your part to create a more sustainable planet for generations to come. 01 Here are Home Sweet Home’s top 10 trends for home design and décor for 2023.




Functional Workspaces with Flair

In 2023 we’ll see design for dedicated, functional workspaces evolving with an emphasis on fun and flair! Workspaces at home can range from the home office or office nook, to the craft studio or workshop, to the household command center. Regardless of the type of work you do at home, this trend encourages adding color and inspiration to brighten your space. In addition to keeping a workspace that’s clean, comfortable, and organized, think about how to spice it up a little with furniture, pillows, accents, fun colors, patterns, photographs, or art—add touches that not only help you focus but also boost your mood. Minimalism 05 It seems like the phrase “less is more” is becoming more popular, and minimalism in the home is a trend that will continue for 2023. First, think decluttering. The more stuff you have, the harder it is to keep your place clean and organized, and the more quickly your home will become cluttered. Get a jump start on decluttering by checking out the article on decluttering later in this issue. Another way to create the minimalist look is through your décor choices. Think simplicity and calm when it comes to choosing colors and patterns. It can feel chaotic if many things are competing for your attention in your space, so choose one focal point—whether that’s a piece of furniture, and accent wall, a pop of color, or an art piece. Then choose more monochrome pieces that complement your focal point. Natural textures and shapes found in wood, earth, clay, and natural fibers can layer visual appeal without adding chaos.


Outdoor Living Spaces Creating great outdoor living spaces is trending for 2023. As more people are working from home, we’re trying to create not only fun, functional indoor workspaces— more on that later—but also ways to extend our living space. Creating outdoor living spaces does just that. Wondering if you can create a usable space in your own yard to help you enjoy more time outside? A few design trends for outdoor living in 2023 include adding a fire pit, raised garden beds or a potted garden, and artificial turf. Bigger projects include adding decks or patios, adding a water feature, or even adding an outdoor kitchen space for grilling year-round. Natural Lighting 2023 is the year of natural lighting. Bright, airy spaces that allow for lots of daylight will continue to trend this year. Natural light improves mood, focus, sleep, and general health and wellness, so it’s no wonder that this trend is on the rise and being incorporated into interior design and décor. 03

Some ideas include featuring “naked” windows (no curtains or blinds); layering shades of white or cream (white wallpaper or paint, white accents, white furniture); and reflective surfaces. If you prefer your windows to not be bare, choose airy, lightweight curtains that are slightly transparent. This way, you have the benefit of natural light filtering in without the direct rays, and you’ll have privacy, too.


January 2023


Big & Bold Just because we’ve listed nature-inspired and minimalistic design ideas for 2023, doesn’t mean you can’t go big. In fact, big and bold is definitely in this year. Want both bold and minimalist? It’s possible, like making a statement but keeping it simple. Think accent wall painted in a bright color or wallpapered in a funky pattern, while the rest of the walls remain clean and neutral. Or try all neutral-toned, simplistic wall colors with splashes of vibrant art pieces. You can even use this trend with your furniture and accessories, choosing a few pieces that add that pop, pizzazz, and personality. Some fun ways to go “big and bold” include incorporating geometric patterns and the industrial look.


Wallpaper Wallpaper is back for 2023, though it’s already been a growing trend. Wallpaper is perfect for adding a stylish, unique personality to your walls (or to just one accent wall). It can create an instant mood in any room or space. Here are some specific trends to watch for this year: • Using unique and eco-friendly materials, such as recycled materials, and natural materials like bamboo and straw • Ombre wallpaper (a faded look that appears like watercolor artwork) • Floral/botanical printed wallpaper • Panoramic wall murals/ landscapes • Bold colors and patterns




Arches & Curves Arches and other rounded shapes, like circular rugs and crescent-shaped sofas, have been trending lately, but 2023 is seeing this trend expand even further. Look for these shapes in interior decorating, with inspiration from rounded architectural details, mushroom lighting, and oblong mirrors. Furniture like tables and chairs, cabinets and drawers, nightstands and desks, bed frames, bookshelves, and credenzas are also headed in a curvier direction. And don’t forget the classic, timeless symbol of the Renaissance archway. Arches are finding their way into doorways, hallways, window framings, and mirrors. Arches offer strong, striking visual effects in a home. This element provides a seamless transition from room to room when incorporated throughout the home. If you pair an arch with a bold color, pattern, or wallpaper, the dramatic effect will be intensified.


Self-Care Space We are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of, and need for, daily, deep self- care—beyond bubble baths and brief breaks. Creating a self-care space, which is a major trend for 2023, gives you somewhere within your own home (or yard) where you can get away. Some ideas include a meditation space, a reading nook, a crafting or sewing area, or a space for stretching or yoga. It can be anywhere you choose. You don’t need to dedicate a separate room in your home. It’s often more practical and feasible to find space within an existing room. This space could be within your main bedroom, basement, office, bathroom, or backyard—even an unused closet. Once you’ve chosen a spot that makes sense, the key is to clean it and keep it free of clutter so it’s ready when you need it. Make sure there’s a comfortable spot for you to relax, and add calming details like plants, candles, or your favorite cozy throw blanket. You might even want to establish boundaries—maybe with a screen, bookcase, or curtain—so that you can feel as if you are truly in a different space. The last step is making the time to use it!


Vintage & Retro

Hello, nostalgia with a twist and classic meets contemporary! Vintage and “retro-futurism” is making a comeback in interior design and décor for 2023. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, retro-futurism refers to the trend that looks to the future through a lens defined by the past.

Whether it’s vintage pieces of furniture, futuristic designs, a faded look, retro art, or a revamp of an entire room or space, consider embracing this fun trend. After all, it’s all about adding some character to your home. With a nod to the past and a wave to the future, seemingly contradictory aesthetics can actually blend well together!


January 2023


1-Hour Junk Drawer Challenge Pretty much everyone has a junk drawer or a similar catch- all spot. If you’re like many of us, you might even have more than one. While it’s nice to have a few random everyday items readily available, the junk drawer quickly turns into the holding zone for everything you don’t know where to put. Keep the junk drawer, but if yours is overflowing, try our tips for maintaining organization so it’s useful.

Resolved to declutter and really get organized this year? Our experts suggest starting small. By tackling one small, manageable task like a single cabinet, bookcase, or drawer, you will build momentum for the larger projects like a closet or the attic or garage. What about that overflowing junk drawer? Try the Junk Drawer Challenge and you’ll be able to check at least one (tiny) space off your decluttering list in just one hour!

Grab your kitchen timer and give yourself 15 minutes for each of the following 4 steps. In an hour (or less, if you’re an overachiever), you’ll have a neat and tidy drawer and the momentum to tackle your next decluttering spot.



What To Do With Decluttered Stuff

Indecision about what to do with decluttered stuff can stop a project in its tracks. This infographic will help you keep moving forward.


Dump and Sort Literally. Just dump everything out and start sorting. Put similar items together: rubber bands together, thumb tacks, hand tools, take- out menus, business cards, tape, scissors, pens, paper clips, and on and on. Be Decisive What do you actually want in your junk drawer? If your office is in another part of the house, you might want a few rubber bands, a pair of scissors, and some thumb tacks at the ready. But you don’t need an entire rubber band ball or craft kit in there. Rehome With all your piles sorted, put the tools back in the garage, office supplies in the office, gift cards into your wallet and shoe laces with the sewing supplies. With a little thought, most things in your junk drawer will easily find a new home. Organize the Rest Silverware trays and other easy-to-find drawer organizers are useful for organizing your junk drawer because they allow you to group items together and keep them from spilling all over the drawer. Also rely on small containers, like old film containers or prescription bottles for small items like thumbtacks, paperclips, or screws. Use binder clips for open seed packets or to hold together piles of coupons or business cards.





January 2023

ENJOY YOUR NEW YEAR’S PARTY! A Host’s Guide to Make-Ahead Recipes for Festive Dips, Boards, Drinks, & Dessert You’re hosting a sophisticated shindig to ring in the new year. You want to impress your guests with a holiday celebration with delicious eats, tasty treats, and a drink menu that can’t be beat. But it is your party, after all—and as host you probably want to be able to enjoy time with your guests instead of spending all evening in and out of the kitchen. Instead of hosting a full-course, sit-down dinner, try a spread of dips, appetizers, desserts, and drinks. These hearty and flavorful make-ahead recipes will cut down on prep time and post-party clean-up. Guests will enjoy being able to mingle and come and go as they eat and drink.

Further, you don’t need to sacrifice quality or creativity. We’ve got some great ideas that are fairly easy to prepare, many ahead of time, to help you get inspired to host the ritziest new year’s affair in the neighborhood.



Delicious Dips

Forget store-bought salsa and ranch dip. Homemade dips and spreads are easy and decadent choices for New Year’s hosting. Have on hand a variety of crackers, chips, fresh breads, pitas, and pre-cut veggies for dipping. Here are two recipes for dips that go way beyond basic, but are still relatively quick and easy to prepare. Better yet, prep the day before and you’ll only have to arrange your table on the day of the party.

ROASTED JALAPEÑO GUACAMOLE z 3-4 ripe avocados z 1-2 fresh jalapeño peppers z red onion z 6-10 cherry or grape tomatoes z lime z fresh cilantro z salt and pepper to taste Instructions:



z 1/4 cup lemon juice z 1/3 cup water z 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste) z 2 cans of chickpeas (15 oz) drained and rinsed z 1 small shallot z 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin z dash of cayenne pepper z 1/2 teaspoon of salt z add extra virgin olive oil as needed when blending to make smooth Starting with the water, lemon juice, and tahini, add all ingredients to a blender. Add the chickpeas, shallot, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Blend while adding olive oil as needed (usually a tablespoon or two) until super smooth (about a minute). Chill until ready to serve.

1. Start by roasting your fresh jalapeños until the outside skin starts to wrinkle and split and to show some browning and char. There are two ways to roast the peppers: By holding them over the flame of a gas stovetop (as long as you have metal tongs!) or by popping them in the oven on a baking sheet (15-18 minutes at 425 degrees should do it). Let the roasted peppers cool in an airtight container (such as a glass food storage container). When cool enough to handle, remove skin from the peppers and dice. 2. Chop red onion (some red onions are very strong, so feel free to start with ¼ or ½ and go from there) and tomatoes. 3. Cut and core avocados and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add diced jalapeños and chopped onion and tomatoes. Add the juice of ½ of a lime, 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro and salt and pepper. 4. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more lime juice, pepper, or cilantro (tortilla chips are likely also salted, so be mindful of that when adjusting salt levels). If you want more heat, add a dash of cayenne pepper. 5. Serve in a dish with a lime wedge or cilantro sprig, along with tortilla chips, plantain chips, or fresh vegetables for dipping. 11 January 2023

Charcuterie Boards

Kick up your New Year’s entertainment with the perfect appetizer for ringing in the new year: a DIY charcuterie board. Of course, you can find pre-made options at your local grocery store, but it’s much classier—and way more fun—to make your own where you curate your favorite ingredients. All it takes is a grocery list and shopping trip, and then assembling your ingredients on a board in a beautifully arrayed display. There are so many different ways to do a charcuterie board, but a basic principle is to be sure to have a variety of flavors, textures, and tastes. Choose a few cheeses (vary hard or soft), some nuts and/or grains, some cured meats, fresh and/or dried fruits, marinated olives or peppers, and vegetables. Boards are also versatile in terms of how much of a meal they provide: if your board is just serving as an appetizer, you may go lighter on the meats and breads in favor of nuts and crackers. But if your board is serving as the main meal, you may want to lean more heavily on hearty breads, sandwich spreads, and a larger variety of proteins.




Instructions: 1. Cut up all the various cheeses into bite-sized pieces to best fit and move around on the board. For any of the soft cheeses, put the wedge on the board—and include a cheese knife—so guests can slice off their own preferred amounts. 2. Add and arrange the meats. Include a few varieties besides the standard prosciutto. 3. Add sides such as olives, pickles, veggies, hummus, and mustards. Serve these sides in small dishes to keep them separate and mess- free. 4. Add the fruits. Fresh fruit (purple and green grapes; a variety of berries) and dried fruits, like raisins, cranberries, and apricots, add color to the board. 5. Add grains, such as rosemary or cranberry crisps, multigrain pita chips, pretzels, rice crackers, hearty and grainy breads, bagel bites, and more. 6. Fill in the gaps with nuts. Almonds, cashews, pistachios, and candied pecans are some charcuterie board favorites. 7. Now the fun part: Arrange your board however you like. What looks appetizing as well as aesthetically pleasing? What will impress your guests? Play around with the arrangement a little to find what works.

Sample Ingredients

z Firm cheese: aged cheddar, Gruyère z Mild cheese: Gouda, Asiago

z Soft cheese: Brie, Camembert, goat cheese z Meats: prosciutto/various cold meats (capocollo, chorizo, Genoa, turkey) z Olives, pickles, marinated peppers z Veggies: carrots, celery, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower z Fruit: purple grapes, green grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries z Dried fruit: dried cranberries, apricots, raisins, figs, dates z Grains: seeded crackers, pita chips, chewy breads, rice crisps z Nuts: pistachios, cashews, candied pecans, Marcona almonds z Dips and spreads: try our homemade hummus recipe, or sweet spreads such as honey, fig jam, or pepper jelly. For tangy spreads offer whole grain mustard, Dijon, or olive tapenade

How to Make it Vegan-Friendly Impress any vegan guests with a vegan-friendly charcuterie board. There are simple substitutions for the cheeses and meats; you can even make a “charcuterie board station” with two boards to please everyone’s palette and dietary needs. Charcuterie boards are known to have something savory, sweet, salty, spicy, and for dipping, so if you hit each category, you’re good to go. Focus on dairy-free dips, vegan cheeses, fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, pickles, crackers, and breads.


January 2023

Dessert Here’s a simple idea for a tried-and-true treat: trifle! Showcasing a trifle at your party as your main dessert will not only impress your guests but also leave you much less stressed, as trifles are often quite easy to prepare. In fact, often, all you need to do is layer cake with fruit, custard, whipped cream, and other fun surprises to create a showstopping and dramatic dessert treat. You can make individual desserts in smaller glass dishes or a full-size trifle in a large glass dish.

Instructions: 1. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks, adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract 2. Mix the lemon curd with a bit of cream to thin it a bit, then add the lemon curd mixture to the whipped cream and gently mix throughout 3. Put the fresh berries in a separate bowl, reserving just a handful of whole berries for decorating the top of the trifle 4. To the bowl of berries, add 1 tablespoon sugar, and mash up the berries (with a fork or pastry blender) to release some their juices 5. Build your layers:


Ingredients: z Premade poundcakes (1 large or 2 small), angel food cake, or lady fingers (store bought is easiest here) z Three pints fresh berries (we love a combination of raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries, but any fresh berries will work) z Lemon curd (also store bought) z Heavy cream z Granulated sugar z Vanilla extract

Begin with a layer of broken up pieces of the cake Then add a layer of the berry mixture including drizzling some of the juices Then add a layer of your lemon cream mixture




6. Repeat the layering until your serving dishes are filled, one or two times more depending on the height of your dish, ending with a lemon cream layer at the top 7. Decorate the top layer of the trifle with whole berries and (if desired) a sprig of fresh mint.




Lemon, lime, mint, and cucumber combine with a homemade simple syrup in this easy, refreshing mocktail recipe.

Make your simple syrup in advance (this lasts up to 2 months in the refrigerator).

Cocktails & Mocktails No New Year’s hosting party is complete without the beverages. Think beyond champagne or punch. Whether you serve cocktails, mocktails, or both, you want to go the extra mile for your guests to dazzle them with your delectable drinks, but you don’t want things to be too complicated, either. Here’s two simple and classic drink options to ring in the new year. Cheers!

Ingredients (makes a pitcher to serve 8):

juice of 4 lemons (about ½ cup) juice of 4 limes (about ½ cup)



fresh mint leaves


one small cucumber, very thinly sliced


4 cups lemonade 4 cups seltzer water



ice for serving


Tip: To go from mocktail to cocktail, you will need to add white rum—two ounces per glass.


1. In advance, make a simple syrup by mixing equal parts water and sugar (a cup of each is plenty) in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once sugar has dissolved, transfer syrup to a heat-proof container and let chill for at least 30 minutes. 2. Mix lemon and lime juice in a large pitcher 3. Add mint leaves and about ½ cup of the chilled simple syrup. 4. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine, using the end of the spoon to “muddle” the mint leaves by crushing them slightly. 5. Stir in 4 cups of lemonade and 4 cups of seltzer water. 6. Add thinly sliced cucumbers and stir. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Pour over ice and garnish with a sprig of mint.


This sweet and sophisticated mimosa is made with natural apple cider and cinnamon.


z Champagne (or sparkling grape juice for a mocktail)

Natural apple cider (chilled)


Cinnamon sticks (for stirring & garnish)


Sliced apple, for garnish


Directions: Fill a glass or champagne flute about halfway with apple cider. Top with champagne, then stir lightly with a cinnamon stick until incorporated. Garnish with an apple slice and cinnamon stick.


January 2023

Looking for Low Maintenance Houseplants? Try Succulents!

The first question that may come to mind for the first-time gardener is: What exactly are succulents?

Succulents are a diverse group of plants characterized by their thick leaves, pads or stems, which have a full or fleshy appearance thanks to the ability of these plants to absorb water for long periods of time. This means that succulents are perfect for the gardener who is just beginning or those with hectic schedules who love having plants but have little time to devote to caring for them. While many people instinctively think of the prolific Cactaceae or cactus family when considering succulents, this class of plants includes a wide variety of species encompassing more than 50 plant families. Indeed, succulents are noted for their diverse assortment of styles and shapes, vibrant colors and distinctive blooms.



How to Care for Succulents

Because succulents are able to store water, these types of plants can survive in almost any climate. Though often associated with arid regions, succulents are native to a variety of environments from forests to coasts, the tropics and even the High Alps. These adaptable plants can survive in temperatures ranging from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If your past attempts at nurturing houseplants have led to disappointments, don’t worry! Succulents only require watering approximately twice a month, so it isn’t something you have to remember to do each day. Because succulents naturally retain the water they need to thrive, it is important that these plants be potted in containers that allow for ample drainage. You should choose a pot that is large enough to hold the plant and its potting soil so that when you water it, the excess easily drains away without pooling. Make sure the pot has a large, clear draining hole so moisture isn’t allowed to accumulate near the plant root. If succulents are overwatered, they are apt to develop root rot. When watering succulents, be sure to direct the hydration at the soil. Leaves that get wet and remain so for too long can also begin to rot. Remember, your succulent will take

in the amount of water it needs to survive. Overwatering it can cause it to drown or allow rot to take hold. To avoid this, check the soil before watering and make sure you have allowed it to dry out since its last watering. When the soil is dry to the touch, you will know it’s time to water your succulent once again! When cooler temperatures descend, be sure to move your summer succulents inside for the winter. These plants require a lot of sunlight — at least six hours per day, so place them by a South- or East-facing window. Or, if you have one, a sun porch or glass sunroom makes an ideal indoor home for your succulent houseplant. Unsure because there isn’t a lot of natural light in your home? Remember, there are numerous varieties of succulents, and some prefer low light conditions! Just be sure to read each plant’s card description and instructions carefully and speak with a professional at your local nursery or gardening center before you make a purchase. ANOTHER TIP: Take note of where your furnace registers are before choosing where to place your succulent houseplant. The combination of dry cold and the close exposure to heat can cause your succulent to dehydrate!


January 2023

Varieties of Succulent Plants

That Are Safe for Pets and Children

If you have small children or “fur babies” in your home, you always want to be cautious about any and everything you bring into your environment that curious little ones may tend to mistake as a snack! The following is a list of just a few of the many succulent plants in a range of colors and textures that will brighten your home while maintaining an atmosphere that is safe for every member of the family!

Hen and Chicks

The whimsical name for this evergreen succulent is a nod to its distinct composition: clusters of small rosettes (chicks) grow in a circular pattern around the larger (mother hen) plant. This type of succulent tends to be small and grows best in rocky soil that is well-drained. Hens and Chicks grow well when subjected to plenty of direct sun. There are many variations of Hens and Chicks, so double check with an expert at your local nursery or gardening supply store to be sure you choose a variety that is safe for pets and children.



The Benefits Associated with Indoor Plants

Aside from the lively beauty houseplants naturally bring to your home décor, their presence also creates a welcoming atmosphere. A 2015 scientific study suggests that having household plants may also be beneficial to your health. Study participants were assigned two tasks: performing a quick computer-based function and repotting a houseplant. When each assignment was completed, the researchers measured and noted the heart rate and blood pressure of each participant, as these vital signs are common indicators of stress levels. The tests revealed that although the study participants were young men who regularly worked with computers, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure was observed after completion of the simple computer function. In contrast, when the study participants finished the indoor gardening task, the same vitals were taken again, showing a reduction in stress levels. The study found that gardening or even being around plants can help alleviate physiological and psychological stress. Other investigative studies indicate that having plants in your home office or workplace may improve your ability to concentrate and boost your productivity. Horticultural therapy has been recognized for centuries and has been shown to improve well- being among individuals dealing with depression, anxiety and even forms of dementia. So, if you or someone in your family is prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), commonly known as the “winter blues”, try introducing an assortment of your choice of succulent plants into your home to spruce up your mood as well as your décor!


There are around 35 species of Aeoniums, and they are available in a variety of sizes ranging from as small as five inches to as large as six feet! These succulents are popular for their rosette shapes and vivid array of colors. Like most succulents, Aeoniums need sunlight, but avoid exposing them to intense sun as doing so can cause them to burn, yielding black “sunburn” spots. Sedum Sedum succulents come in two varieties, creeping or clumping. You can expect a clumping Sedum to grow to about three feet in height. The clumping Sedum is particularly attractive when potted in a hanging basket with its foliage allowed to drape naturally over the sides.


January 2023

WHAT IS A SUNROOM? A sunroom is different from a full addition. It can take many forms, but at the core a sunroom is a bridge between the indoor space and the outdoor space. Sunrooms can be insulated and equipped with electricity, but they don’t have to be. The trademark characteristic of a sunroom is copious amounts of windows—up to 80%! Advantages of a Sunroom There are many advantages of a sunroom. If you’ve been dreaming of one, you’re probably familiar with some of them. • Protection from the Elements Whether the weather is windy and rainy, or hot and sunny, a sunroom offers you protection. It’s a space that’s not quite exposed enough for a sunburn or rain on your face, but where you can watch the water drip off the house or the morning mist rise on the horizon. It also shields you from bees, mosquitos, and other flying, biting insects that might ‘bug’ you. • Extended Seasons A sunroom allows you to not quite be outdoors many weeks more than a standard patio or porch. Depending on the type of sunroom you decide on, you can even enjoy the space year round. • Additional Living Space Even if it’s seasonal, a sunroom gives your family a bit of extra room to roam at home. You can use it for entertaining or make it into a workspace. A sunroom can also serve as a studio, playroom or lounge. • Connection with Nature The openness and visibility provided by your sunroom means you can watch the wildlife, sunrise or sunset, and trees swaying in the breeze. With screened windows that open, you can hear the birds chirping in the morning and take in the hoots of owls in the evening.

Make 2023 the Year You Get Your Sunroom Enjoying your morning coffee or evening cocktail on the deck is one of the many joys of summer. Depending on where you live, this pleasure might extend a bit into the fall or start in the spring. In most areas though, there are limited days on the calendar where you can embrace your outdoor space. Adding a sunroom allows you to change all that by providing protection from the elements three or four seasons of the year. With a plan, a budget, and a schedule, 2023 can be the year to finally make it happen.



TYPES OF SUNROOMS Before you can get underway, you’ll need to be clear about what type of sunroom you want. We’ll start with some terminology. The first thing a contractor will ask is whether you want a three-season or four-season sunroom. As the name indicates, a three-season sunroom is typically reliably comfortable from spring through fall. This type of setup frequently forgoes supplementary heating and cooling, so if it’s too cold or too hot, you may need to move to the temperature-controlled sections of the house. Although they can be equipped with outlets for plug-in heaters or fans, they often aren’t, which means you might be running an extension cord from inside the house.

In contrast, a four-season sunroom is outfitted for year-round use. Not only will it provide heating and cooling, but it’s also insulated for more efficient temperature control.

Prefabricated Sunrooms The most common type of sunroom comes

Solarium For the maximum amount of light, you may be thinking of a solarium. These spaces have glass roofs, where sunrooms typically have a regular metal or asphalt roof. Solariums are not temperature controlled, but they are great if growing plants is a high priority for you and you live in a mild climate. Conservatory The conservatory is similar to the solarium in design since they both feature glass ceilings in addition to the walls. However, a conservatory is commonly more comfortable with access to electricity and temperature controls.

Custom-Built Sunroom Depending on your needs, you may want to have a sunroom designed specifically for your home. Note this is the most expensive option, but it’s the best way to guarantee you’ll get every feature you want. Enclosed Porch One of the easiest ways to achieve your dream for a sunroom is to enclose your existing patio or deck. This can be done as a custom job or a DIY project. You’ll need to ensure your current deck or patio provides a supportive foundation. Otherwise, the process involves building supports for a roof and framing in the walls to bolster all those windows.

premanufactured and ready to put into place. This room is flat-packed and built by the contractor onsite. Oftentimes the contractor has a connection with the manufacturer and has been trained in the installation process. However, some small and basic kits can be installed by the homeowner, DIY style. Prefabricated sunrooms rely on lightweight materials such as steel, fiberglass, and vinyl for the frame. Since they are made offsite in a factory, they come in predetermined sizes. You’ll need to pick the design that works best for you.


January 2023


Your budget will vary depending on whether you stick frame your sunroom or buy a prefabricated room. It will also depend on the size of the space, whether you need a foundation, the cost of building permits in your area, and what type of materials you choose. In general terms, a three-season sunroom will run anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000. A four-season sunroom is quite a bit more due to the additional HVAC work. Plan for $25,000 to $80,000. A solarium is in the middle at between $35,000 to $70,000 and a conservatory will cost $20,000 to $80,000. Speaking to averages, a three-season will run about $25,000, a four-season $45,000, and a prefabricated room anywhere from $5,000 (for a very small, DIY room) to $30,000 (installed). Costs can go much higher initially if you add solar panels for future energy-savings. Investing in highly effective, insulated windows will also save you on your energy bills and keep the space comfortable, but come at a cost. Figure out which investments are important to you.

Set the Timeline Get started early in the year if you hope to wrap up the completion of your sunroom in 2023. Even if you can’t ‘break ground’ until summer, if you wait until the thaw to start planning you may find delays in contractors’ calendars and material deliveries. Start by interviewing contractors and finding out their availability. Ask if they have experience with sunrooms. Request pictures, references, or testimonials. Also verify they are licensed and insured. You’ll need some time to decide on the right contractor. Once you do, get him or her on the calendar.

Decide on Materials Work with your contractor to map out the design for your sunroom. Then choose the windows, wall surfaces, roofing, and decor you’ll use. Make sure to discuss whether your contractor will order the supplies or if you will. Even better, put it in writing. Include timelines, expectations about the scope of the project, and payment details in a contract. Your contractor should provide this. When they do, read it carefully and make applicable changes before signing it.

As the time approaches, check in with your contractor about supplies and the work schedule.

Remember to respect your contractor’s time by having questions ready and keeping discussions brief. Keep the project flowing by making decisions quickly. Also, remain malleable. Construction almost never goes precisely as planned so build in some flexibility with timelines and budgetary expenses. Congratulations With a plan, a budget, and a schedule you’re well on your way to fulfilling your dreams for your home’s sunroom. Get ready to enjoy your relaxing space where you can read, meditate, work, craft, nap, or entertain.



What is Your Home Truly Worth?

To Request a Copy of My Free Home Value Report to Determine What Your Home is Truly Worth, Call (407) 748-8300 or Email aura.elton@gmail.com

This is all 100% free with no obligation. After you submit the online questionnaire, you will receive my free report with information that will help you determine your home’s value. I recommend printing it out and taking a drive to see the homes I’ve identified as comparable to yours. See how your home measures up. This will help you get an even more accurate idea of what your home is worth.

An appraiser would charge hundreds for this service, but I will provide one at no cost.

If you would like my free, professional opinion on the value of your home, I’d be glad to help. We can talk on the phone, or we can meet in person. I look forward to helping you! Aura I Elton GLOBAL REALTY CAROLINA LLC

(407) 748-8300 aura.elton@gmail.com aura-elton.homesweethome.digital


January 2023

What’s Your Next Move? En mi libro, Secretos del vendedor pudiente de viviendas, analizo qué hacen de manera diferente los vendedores de viviendas adinerados. Te revelo sus estrategias, secretos, consejos y mucho más para ayudarte a vender tu casa.

Read it now or request a free copy at aura-ielton.book.live/es-biz-card-book

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