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Friday Five // March 9th, 2018

Each Friday, Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company is proud to present the Friday Five, a roundup of five events happening throughout the Lowcountry over the weekend. There’s always fun to be had in Charleston and its surrounding areas! Attend a St. Patrick’s Day block party, learn about “rebel girls”, help clean up the marsh, and more. Whatever you choose to do, our staff and agents wish you a very safe and happy weekend!

Want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day two weekends in a row? You’re in luck! The 15th annual St. Paddy’s Day Block Party and Parade will take place this Saturday in Park Circle. Start the day with a parade at noon, then make your way to the block party on East Montague between Virginia Avenue and Jenkins Avenue. Enjoy live music on three stages; food and frosty beverages from local vendors and food trucks; arts and crafts vendors; a kids’ zone with inflatables, face painting, and other hands-on activities; and mechanical bull riding for the adventurous at heart!

March is Women’s History Month, and the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry is observing it with a Rebel Girls Celebration on Saturday from 9am to 11am. Inspired by the book Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, which reinvents fairy tales and inspires girls and boys with the stories of 100 extraordinary women, from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams. Bring the kids to meet some of the Rebel Girls from the book (including Frieda Khalo and Julia Child) as well as a few of Charleston’s own Rebel Girls like Joan Robinson Berry from Boeing South Carolina, Chef Lauren from WildFlour Pastry, local architects from Liollio Architecture, The Lowcountry Highrollers and more.

If you’re interested in helping to keep the Lowcountry beautiful, join the Charleston Waterkeeper, Keep Charleston Beautiful, Lowcountry Land Trust, Frothy Beard Brewing Company, and Lowcountry Marsh Sweepers as they team up for the Ashley River Marsh Sweep at Northbridge Park on Sunday from 10am until 12pm. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and close-toed shoes or boots. Cleanup materials will be provided. After the cleanup, head over to Frothy Beard Brewing Company, which will donate a portion of each pint sold to support efforts to protect, preserve, and beautiful the Lowcountry.

It’s Second Sunday on King Street again this weekend! Spend your Sunday afternoon on America’s most unique “main street,” enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes, and shopping of King Street. From 1pm until 5pm, King Street will be closed to vehicle traffic so locals and tourists alike can stroll the street and check out the many dining and shopping options. Make sure to stop by Kittsona King St. for a dog Adoption Meet and Greet, hosted by Sinbad-Sadie Second Chance Rescue. Download the voucher for two hours of free parking here.

Also on Sunday, the Homeless to Hope Fund and Solutions for the Greater Good will host the Homeless to Hope Benefit Concert at the Gaillard Center. Join Charlton Singleton, Quiana Parler, Heather Rice, Lowcountry Voices, and Mayor John Tecklenburg for an evening of inspirational performances to help alleviate homelessness and increase affordable housing. The concert is coordinated by the Mayors' Commission on Homelessness and Affordable Housing in collaboration with the Mayors from Charleston, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Summerville. 100% of proceeds support the Homeless to Hope Fund.

 

Kitchen Materials: Use This, Not That

Saving money is a top priority for many homeowners who are building or renovating a kitchen. It might seem like going with the most inexpensive materials would help you stick to your budget, but sometimes they’re not the best choice. The cheapest materials are cheap for a reason. They’re simply not as durable and don’t last as long as their more moderate counterparts. This means you’ll have to spend more in the end when you have to repair or replace them. Here are five such materials to avoid—along with five alternatives—when you’re building or renovating a kitchen.

Plastic Laminate Countertops

Don’t get us wrong. Laminate is a great choice if you have a strict budget to stick to. Just don’t go too cheap. Stay away from cheap plastic laminate that looks thin and dull. These scratch easily and don’t hold up against steam and other heat, like from a hot pan. New laminates offer great colors and texture, and new technology allows for scratch resistance and even patterns that mimic natural materials like wood or stone. The slightly higher price tag will save money in the long run, because you’ll definitely have to replace and/or repair the cheapest laminate sooner than you think.

Cheap Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Your kitchen floors really take a beating, so you’re going to want quality flooring in this room. Again, if you’re on a budget, vinyl flooring is a good option. There are some really high quality designs out there these days, some of which even mimic the look of tile or wood flooring. Beware, however, of the cheapest sheet vinyl, which can be very thin and will wear out much more quickly than other materials. Spend just a little more and get higher quality sheet vinyl or vinyl tiles, some of which come shaped like wood planks for the look of wood flooring without the cost.

Flat Paint

Some people love the look of flat or matte paint, but the kitchen is definitely not the place for it. Flat paint marks easily and isn’t easy to clean at all, so it’s better used in lower traffic areas like bedrooms or offices. Use semi-gloss or high gloss paint in the kitchen instead. Even if you don’t love a shinier look on the walls, you’ll be thankful the first time spaghetti sauce gets splashed on your paint job. Glossy paint will allow you to wipe it right off without absorbing any food or liquids.  

Trendy Tiles

There are some absolutely beautiful patterned tiles available at all price points. The problem with installing bold patterns and colors is that tastes changes and trends die. You might regret that bright Moroccan tile backsplash in a few years, and replacing a tile backsplash can be time-consuming, messy, and costly. Instead of super trendy materials, go with classic subway tiles or something neutral that goes with your countertops. You can easily add those patterns, textures, and colors you love through kitchen accessories.

Lower End Cabinet Fronts

Some cheaper laminate cabinet fronts, known as thermofoil, can seem attractive because they’re a lot more affordable than other options. These cabinets are basically vinyl wrapped around fiberboard. They’re not heat resistant and they can warp and yellow over time. You can still use laminate cabinet fronts, but go with modern materials. They’re still budget friendly even though they’re a little pricier than the lower end laminate, but again, they’ll last longer, saving you money in the long run.

How-To Tuesday: Keep Your Home From Looking Dated

Home decor is like fashion for your house; and just like in the fashion world, home design trends go in and out of style pretty quickly. It can be difficult to keep up with the times if you concentrate too much on trends and themes in your home decor. Unless you have a very large budget and unlimited resources, it’s smart to keep things simple and easily changeable. Follow the tips below, and you won’t have to worry about your home looking dated anytime soon.

Stick with a neutral palette.

When was the last time you heard someone talk about an accent wall or a faux finish on the walls? It’s probably been quite a few years. The instant you walk into a home and see a maroon accent wall and floral wallpaper border, you know that house probably hasn’t been redecorated since about 1998. Keep your base colors neutral with whites, creams, beiges, and grays, and you shouldn’t need a major redo for a long time. If you like bold colors and patterns, bring them in with textiles and accessories.

Keep trends to a minimum.

Sure, you love aztec prints now, but that doesn’t mean you’ll still love the same theme five years from now. Rooms built around one theme become dated very quickly. If you really want to infuse a room with trendy patterns and themes, do it in small doses. It’ll be much easier to switch things out once you grow tired of a trend.

Make it personal.

Instead of heading straight to Pinterest to look for design inspiration and what’s popular for everyone else, ask yourself what you want. What’s your personal taste? What are your favorite colors? What makes you feel most comfortable and “at home”? Figure out fundamentals like these first and then build on them. Using your unique style and taste as a basis for home decor will help ensure things don’t get too trendy and go out of style quickly.

Go for classic furnishings.

For larger furnishings like sofas, bedroom sets, and entertainment centers, keep it simple and classic, and you shouldn’t have to invest in new pieces for a long time. Clean lines and neutral colors are key here. Streamlined furniture will stay classic for much longer than a new, trendy design.

Do seasonal purges.

Layers make for super interesting spaces, but a little goes a long way. Once things start to pile up, it all becomes too much. Each time the seasons change, take some time to cull at least a few items in every space in your home. This will help you stay on top of things and

Be willing to adapt.

Embrace change! It keeps things from feeling too stale and blah. As long as you’re used to changing things up, you’ll be able to adapt quickly when trends you’ve adopted go out of style. These changes don’t have to be huge. In fact, they can be as simple as changing out or recovering cushions, switching out kitchen hardware, or hanging new artwork.

As long as you keep things neutral and classic and are willing to change with the times, you shouldn’t have to worry about hearing the word “dated” in reference to your beloved home.

 

8 Spring Break Activities in Charleston

Charleston is the perfect place for anyone to spend Spring Break, no matter what age. From families with small children to college students, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. There’s a wealth of activities available all over the Lowcountry. Here are eight tried and true activities for Spring Breakers of all ages.

Go to the beach. Take advantage of the fact that you’re on the coast. There are multiple beaches, all beautiful in their own right. Choose from Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, and more. If it’s still a bit too chilly to swim, you can bask in the sun and enjoy looking for shells and wildlife on the beach. It’s easy to spot dolphins just off the shore! If you’re on the athletic side, check out surfing or kiteboarding lessons.

Do a culinary tour. Charleston is a culinary heaven for foodies. With new restaurants and bars opening all the time, it’ll be quite a while before you run out of options. If food’s your thing, it won’t be difficult to find a different place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. From larger chains to locally owned specialty spots, you won’t be disappointed with the list of choices.

Visit the South Carolina Aquarium. Lovers of aquatic wildlife will have a field day at the South Carolina Aquarium. Situated downtown on the Charleston Harbor, this not-for-profit organization is all about inspiring conservation of the natural world through caring for animals and educating the public. Spend time watching sharks, turtles, and fish, and interact with divers at the two-story Great Ocean Tank. Learn about the rescue and rehab of sea turtles at the Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery. Watch otters swimming and playing in the Mountain Forest. Visit the Touch Tank to interact with starfish, hermit crabs, sea urchins, stingrays, and more. There’s even a brand new play area with climbing equipment and books for the younger crowd.

Challenge yourself. If you’re looking for adventure, plan a visit to Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park. It’s Charleston’s premier high climbing ropes and outdoor adventure park, featuring 72 suspended obstacles up to 35 feet in the air. Channel your inner Tarzan by swinging among the trees and navigating the aerial obstacle course with three levels of difficulty. If you’re thinking it sounds dangerous for younger members of the family, don’t worry! The Explorer’s Gateway was designed for children ages 4 to 9 in mind. It’s less challenging at 15 feet high and is easy to navigate, balance, and climb.

Shop til you drop. We love a good retail therapy session, and Charleston is the perfect place for it! Visit Tanger Outlets to find an awesome deal, cross the bridge to Mount Pleasant and shop the Towne Center, or stroll along King Street to check out local shops, popular boutiques, and world-renowned brands like Apple, Lily Pulitzer, and Louis Vuitton to name a few.

Have a history lesson. Charleston is known for being rich in historical buildings and sites, so this is a must-do. Take one of many tours around the peninsula. Catch a boat to Fort Sumter. Stroll along the Battery and Waterfront Park and have a picnic. Check out the many plantations in the area. Explore Charles Towne Landing. Take a tour of historic homes. Visit the Charleston Museum. There are so many activities for history buffs that it can almost be overwhelming!

Discover the power of play. A visit to the Lowcountry Children’s Museum is an absolute must for families with small children. The museum’s mission is to “engage young children’s potential by inviting families of all backgrounds to explore environments and experiences that spark imagination and stimulate curiosity through the power of play.” Kids will have a blast in the new Hideaways exhibit, where they can dream up and build magical places using blankets, pillows, dowels, fasteners, hooks, and their brilliant imaginations! They can create masterpieces in the art room, live out a storybook fantasy in the Medieval Creativity Castle, explore the kids’ garden, delight in water play, climb aboard a pirate ship, shop and learn in the Publix Market, and more. The littlest visitors, ages birth to 3 years, will love the Infant & Toddler Playspace, designed to help grow motor skills.

Enjoy a day on the water. If you’re not a beach person, there are still tons of water activities to enjoy in the area. Kayaks, paddleboards, and boating are particularly fun and popular. Rent a boat or take a day cruise on a catamaran, then follow up your day on the water with dinner at one of Shem Creek’s delicious restaurants. Sip a cocktail and watch the dolphins play in the creek at sunset.

Friday Five // March 2nd, 2018

Looks like we’re in for a beautifully sunny weekend, so let’s get out and enjoy the sunshine! A food and bev favorite, a run with the Wild Things, and free admission to county parks are among the choices for this edition of the Friday Five. Read on for more! Whatever you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company wish you a safe and happy weekend.

An absolute must-do event, the Charleston Wine + Food Festival kicked off this week and continues through Sunday. The 2018 schedule features over 100 events consisting of dinners, lunches, brunches, signature events, cooking classes, excursions. The Culinary Village in Marion Square is the heart and soul of the festival. An all-inclusive daily ticket guarantees five hours of tasting, sipping, chef demos, live music, shopping, and more. Check the website for the official schedule of events and tickets.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center will be home to even more Wild Things than usual this Saturday, thanks to the Where the Wild Things Run 5K. Walk, jog, or run your way through the scenic nature trails at Caw Caw, making sure to keep your eyes peeled for a variety of wildlife along the trail. Kids’ activities include readings of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and free pop-in family-friendly yoga. An awards ceremony with local food and beverages will be held after the race.

See paintings come to life this Saturday at the Sottile Theater with Off the Wall and Onto the Stage. The paintings and imagery of world-renowned and award-winning artist Jonathan Green are brought to life by the South Carolina Ballet through the choreography of William Starrett. Watch as Green’s vibrant colors infuse the stage through backdrops while the music breathes life into the paintings’ characters in vignettes of the Gullah lifestyle of South Carolina’s Lowcountry.

A family favorite takes place in Hampton Park on Sunday from 1:30pm until 4pm—the Charleston Parks Conservancy’s Teddy Bear Picnic! Bring your favorite stuffed animal and enjoy the festivities, which include live music, a teddy bear fashion show, facepainting, seed planting, cookie decorating, crafts, games, and everybody’s favorite, the teddy bear hospital. Bring your “sick” bears to be patched up by volunteers from MUSC Children’s Hospital and MUSC Children’s Health, the official partner of the teddy bear ER. The party will wrap up with a teddy bear parade. Teddy Bear Picnic admission and all activities are free, but registration is strongly recommended for participation in activities and goodie bags. Families are invited to bring a picnic lunch, blankets, and chairs to enjoy an afternoon in the park.

The Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission will host Customer Appreciation Day Sunday from 12pm until 4pm. Visit Caw Caw Interpretive Center, Cooper River Marina, Folly Beach County Park, Folly Beach Pier, Isle of Palms County Park, James Island County Park, and Johns Island County Park for free admission and special bonus activities. Many of the parks will also have Gold Pass giveaways, so make sure to sign up!

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