Category Archives: Seasonal Home Tips

Paragon Homes Presents: Ten Top Tips for a Tip-Top Summer!

Paragon Presents: Ten Top Tips for a Tip-Top Summer!

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At Paragon Homes, we love summer just as much as the next guy or gal — and this summer, we have even more of a reason to celebrate as we prepare for the Grand Opening of our new community in South Fayette Township!

But we think everyone should be just as excited for summer, so we’ve compiled a list of the top ten tips to have a great summer this year and always.

1. Wear sunscreen. It may seem like a no-brainer, but with having to worry about sunburn, skin cancer, sun spots, wrinkles, and more, it just isn’t worth it to bake in the sun, sans sunblock. Choose a higher SPF for greater safety and effectiveness.

2. Bid adieu to bugs. From bug spray to citronella candles, do what you can to protect you, your family, and pets from bug bites and other creepy crawly afflictions this summer. Here in Western PA, ticks and mosquitoes are projected to be even worse than usual this season, so beware!

3. Grill safely. Make sure that when you are partaking in an outdoor barbeque or grill-off that you are practicing the utmost safety. When it comes to grilling, it is important to be careful lighting the grill, using caution as to not burn yourself, and making sure that meats are not undercooked, which can spread disease.

4. Protect your home. Traveling? Be sure to have a housesitter, a security system, or at least neighbors who are on high alert. Criminals tend to target households where the family is out of town on vacation. Keep doors and windows locked, and don’t broadcast your whereabouts all over Facebook if you have a public profile.

5. Care for your lawn. Care for your grass and your garden. A neat, healthy lawn is a great way to add a tough of elegance to the outdoor of your house.

6. Family first. School’s out for the summer and it’s a great time of year to put the family first. There are many evening and weekend activities to entertain the whole family, allowing you to bond and stay busy during the sunny summer months.

7. Relax! Those long, lazy, hazy summer days are an open invitation to relax, decompress, and de-stress. Take advantage of it!

8. Camp safely. Make sure that when camping you use all precautions for a safe, happy, healthy camping trip. Always carry a First Aid kit and have a way to communicate with the “outside world.” Also be sure to familiarize yourself with poisonous insects, berries, or plants, and so on.

9. Be active outdoors! There’s no excuse to NOT exercise during the summer. The weather is great, and there are so many fun activities from biking to hiking, swimming, rock climbing, rafting, and more, that there is no reason not to be active.

10. Swim with care. Make sure that you are careful swimming, and are extra vigilant when your child is in a pool or in the ocean. Drowning accidents are tragic and many times can be prevented. Be aware; swim with care.

We hope that the summer of 2014 is one to remember.

~~

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. You can reach Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.visitparagonhomes.com

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, one of Pittsburgh’s Most Influential Twitter Users by the Pittsburgh Business Times, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, pug, doberman, frogs, and cats!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Goodbye, Dust Bunnies … Hello, Easter Bunny! Spring Cleaning Tips from Paragon Homes

Dust_Bunny

Easter is upon us, and with Easter comes fun family traditions like Easter brunch, egg-dyeing, Easter egg hunts, picnics, Easter baskets, and more.

Whether you will spend your Easter season planting daffodils, serving up mimosas, painting eggs, or enjoying yummy Easter candy, Paragon Homes wants to wish you and your family a “hoppy” Easter and a happy Spring!

Speaking of, have you gotten to your spring cleaning yet? If not, there’s no time like the present to begin spring cleaning before the Easter Bunny (and perhaps your friends and family) arrive.

Here are some tips on how to get rid of dust bunnies as you prepare to welcome in the Easter bunny:

 Paragon Homes Presents:

Easy Spring Cleaning Tips:

  • Prioritize by room to make it easier and less intimidating.
  • Don’t neglect your appliances: clean out the fridge, oven, dishwasher, etc.
  • Disinfect your garbage disposal.
  • Try lemon oil on doorknobs.
  • Dust, dust, dust!
  • Get rid of clogs – use Drain-O or Liquid Plumber  in your drains.
  • Use the proper brooms for sweeping: indoors, choose one with finer bristles; outdoors, go for stronger, stiffer bristles!
  • Clean out your closets and drawers. Donate some, sell some, trash some.
  • Declutter your home office by getting in organization mode.
  • Multitask: catch up on phone calls while you clean, or dance around as you vacuum, making it a workout.
  • Time your chores. You’ll realize that most household chores take less time than you imagine, making them seem more tolerable once broken down realistically.

Another easy tip is just this simple: hire a professional! Even if you don’t have a regular housekeeper, some maid or cleaning services have ‘spring cleaning’ specials and deals.

And who knows … if you drop enough hints, maybe “somebunny” special will gift you with a day of cleaning this Easter or Mother’s Day. You never know!

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. You can reach Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.visitparagonhomes.com


Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, one of Pittsburgh’s Most Influential Twitter Users by the Pittsburgh Business Times, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, pug, doberman, frogs, and cats!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Home Organization for the New Year

Most of us could use some help when it comes to more organized living, and Paragon Homes wants to help with these useful home organization tips. If you’ve resolved for better home organization in the new year, here are some ways to help you stay better organized in your Paragon Home.

  • Tackle that junk drawer! We all have one … don’t neglect it. Organizing it will be an easy first step in what can become an overwhelming process!
  • Hang it up! Look into different types of hangers. Nowadays, there are special hangers for special garments AND all of your other items from scarves to belts, handbags, and other accessories. This will help your closet to be more organized and easy to access.
  • Store instruction manuals in a 3-ring binder. This will help prevent clutter, and they’ll be easy to find when you need one. In fact, binders and color-coded folders can be a great way to store everything from tax documents to report cards, medical records, and more.
  • Repurpose shoebox lids or cardboard as drawer dividers.
  • Use plastic bins or collapsible storage bins rather than stacking clutter out in the open.
  • Shrink-wrap sweaters and other bulky clothing in a Space Bag or other space-saving storage bag.
  • Designate spaces in your home for specific purposes. Sounds simple, but may be easier said than done. When all else fails, get creative and think outside the box when it comes to storage and organization.
  • Invest in a magazine rack or another way to store magazines and newspapers, rather than having them strewn about your home.
  • Use a pill organizer for medications, or, group medications by category (stomach, allergies, pain relievers, prescription drugs, etc.) so that they are easy to access when needed. Also, throw away expired drugs.
  • Likewise, clean out your refrigerator often, making sure to throw out foods and beverages that are past their expiration date.
  • Toolboxes, makeup boxes, and the like are not just a waste of money. Buy them or make your own so that everything has a place.

What other ways can you think of to better organize your home?

Paragon Homes’ Tips for a Safe and Happy Halloween

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This Halloween, we at Paragon Homes want to wish all the little boos and ghouls a safe and happy Trick-or-Treating experience. No matter what your costume or favorite Halloween candy may be, this is one holiday that can be fun for all.

Just like in our custom-built Paragon Homes, we value safety when it comes to our little Trick-or-Treaters, too. Paragon new home communities are very safe, and in general, Pittsburgh is a safe area, with a relatively low crime rate in comparison to its metropolitan counterparts. Nonetheless, ABC News cautions, “As kids prepare to put on their costumes and roam from house to house Thursday, parents and neighbors should keep in mind that their presence on the road and around homes requires additional caution.” According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 2x as many children are killed in pedestrian-car accidents between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 p.m on Halloween night, which falls on October 31.

Here are some tips for a safe Halloween experience: ·

  • Be cautious and mindful of where you place your decorations, and be aware of the safety level of your Halloween décor.
  • Make sure sidewalks and porch steps are free of potentially harmful debris, and that the area is well-lit, if possible.
  • Be a safe driver and a safe pedestrian.
  • Choose costumes that allow kids to see, move, hear, and breathe easily. Be smart when picking the perfect Halloween costume for your child. Also consider safety when considering a pet costume.
  • Do not collect candy from strangers. Inspect all candy before allowing your child to eat it, and have him or her alert you of any pieces they may find that are open or appear to have been tampered with.

As a general rule of thumb, teaching your child neighborhood safety and the rules of “stranger danger” will come in handy not just at Halloween but as your kid continues to grow. Accidents can happen even in the most upscale of suburbs and we at Paragon would like to see that number decrease, especially on Halloweens in years to come.

*Disclaimer: We assure you that our Paragon Homes are not haunted! (One perk to building a new custom home from the ground up!)

Enhancing Your Outdoor Living Space | Paragon Homes

Our outdoor living space can be a huge asset to our home and property. The way we care for our yards, our landscaping, and our outdoor lighting and furniture can really make a difference. From curb appeal to entertaining, relaxing, and more, our outdoor living space should be treated as a part of our home.

 

Planting flowers, shrubs, and greenery can really spruce up your yard and accentuate your gorgeous Paragon Home. Making sure to keep your grass cared for and trimmed is another must, as is caring for any trees and plants surrounding your new home.

 

If you’re into entertaining, you’ll want to consider your outdoor living space as a part of your home.

 

What kind of lighting do you want outside? What about furniture, hammocks, a pool, or a bar? Do you want a basketball hoop or a maybe a fire pit could come in handy as summer turns to a chilly Pittsburgh fall.

 

There are many questions to consider in creating custom outdoor living space. Think about your family’s individual needs: are you into gardening? If so – vegetables, or flowers? You can eat fresh veggies right from your garden or you can create beautiful indoor centerpieces with flowers you’ve grown, too.

 

Depending on your style, you can also think about yard décor. Do you like the kitschy fun of a yard gnome? The retro feel of a gazing ball? Or, do you prefer simpler things like solar lights, tiki torches, white twinkle lights, or subtle statues of angels or animals?

 

Whatever your style is, keep it true to you and yours. You want your yard, patio, and deck to be like an extension of your home, and so you should care for it as such.

 

Be sure to check out Paragon Homes for our unique custom home designs.  You can choose a home plan as is, work with our team to make any custom changes you like, or we can design a custom plan around you from the ground up. Don’t forget to check our blog often for more Pittsburgh custom home and lifestyle tips.

 

Spring Holidays: Entertaining for Easter in your Paragon Home

easterplateWith the Easter season approaching, many a family with gather to celebrate the holiday at home.

Some tips for entertaining for Easter in your Paragon Home include:

  • Hosting a casual Easter brunch buffet in kitchen. (Or, try green eggs for St. Patrick’s Day next weekend!)
  • Cooking a large feast in your spacious, functional, Paragon kitchen – large enough to cook with your family and friends!
  • Serving a traditional Easter dinner in your dining room.
  • Try a Greek Easter menu, and grill a leg of lamb outside on the patio.
  • Utilize your indoor and outdoor space by having an Easter egg hunt for the kids. (Or, for St. Patty’s day, a green-themed party for the adults.)
  • Will the weather too unpredictable for an egg hunt? Have a family-friendly egg painting party on or near Easter Sunday.
  • Spice up your Easter décor by featuring an “Easter tree,” a fairly new trend that Martha Stewart Living suggests trying.
  • Change up your home décor for the spring, featuring floral displays, cherry blossoms, orchids, and even bird themes, pastels, and sunny hues.
  • Paula Deen suggests focusing on different egg dishes for Easter, and also serving dyed deviled eggs or hard-boiled eggs at your Easter fete.
  • According to Taste of Home, an Easter-bonnet party for little girls would be a smash hit for this holiday! Or, try an adult version with an old-fashioned tea party complete with fancy hats and cucumber sandwiches for a refreshing and unique twist on the Easter season.
  • Don’t skip the spring cleaning! You’ll want to keep your beautiful Paragon home in tip-top shape all year ‘round and spring is the perfect time for a fresh start and a cleaner, more organized home. Let your living space reflect your inner space – think calm, peaceful, serene, and de-cluttered.
  • Spring is also the perfect time to start caring for your lawn. Don’t neglect your landscaping! Start anew this spring with lawn manicuring and fresh flowers and plants.

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, spring is a great time for fun with family and friends. Brush off the doldrums and dust of winter and “spring ahead” with joy, whether it’s a lush garden party, a lighthearted Easter egg hunt, or, an intimate dinner – and don’t forget to “spring ahead” this Sunday by setting your clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time.

~~ Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. You can reach Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.visitparagonhomes.com

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, pug, frogs, and kitten!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Autumn Has Arrived: Decorating Your Paragon Home for Fall

Fall branch centerpiece by Martha Stewart

Fall branch centerpiece by Martha Stewart

Fall is officially here, and autumn is a fun time of year to experiment with seasonal décor both inside and outside of your home.

Decorate your custom-built Paragon Home with these fun – and also customizable! – ways to share your fall holiday aesthetic!

 

  • Put miniature pumpkins in a clear vase. Garnish with a black, orange, or gold ribbon, and you have an easy accent piece or centerpiece for the fall.
  • Make a simple wreath out of cornhusks, for a rustic chic feel in your home.
  • Create a seasonal garland on your porch or doorway that is made out of colorful dried decorative corncobs.
  • Make a modern, modified version of a cornucopia to hang in place of wreaths.
  • Incorporate pinecones or miniature decorative corncobs into your place settings at Thanksgiving.
  • Have candy dishes filled with candy corn around the home for a signature Halloween treat…and a pop of color!
  • Place hardy mums on the front porch or doorstep….you can never go wrong there!
  • Play around with scents. Just as you can custom-build your Paragon home, you can customize its personality with fragrance. For autumn, try scents like pumpkin, cinnamon, fall leaves, or apple.
  • Make a “fall foliage” wreath or centerpiece out of dried autumn leaves and branches.
  • Fill window boxes or planters with gourds and pumpkins.
  • Spray-paint pumpkins white or ivory for a chic twist on traditional fall hues.
  • Put different kinds of colorful squash in a bowl or basket in your kitchen.
  • Fill a decorative dish or vase with acorns.
  • Use twigs, acorns, and pinecones in your fall décor in a fresh, modern, and simple way to try a new twist on rustic chic. It will be less country and more luxe.
  • Fill a vase with cranberries for a piece of Thanksgiving décor.
  • Make charming ghost decorations out of lace to make Halloween a little more upscale.

 

There are so many ways that you can change up your décor for the fall. In fact, there are some easy ways to “redecorate” for every season in your Paragon home. Some great ideas include: switching out tablecloths, placemats, or runners; keeping seasonal flowers in vases in your home; changing your throw pillows from season to season, and more.

 

How do you decorate your luxury Paragon home for the fall holidays?

 


~~ Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. You can reach Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.visitparagonhomes.com

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, pug, frogs, and kitten!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!