Blog News December 9, 2015

DIY Outdoor Holiday Decorating Ideas

Deck your walkways and porch with these outdoor holiday decorating ideas.

Now that December is officially underway, there’s no more putting off digging out your holiday décor and decking the halls. What about the exterior of your home, though? It deserves to look as festive as the interior, and I can help! Use these outdoor holiday decorating ideas to welcome the season as you welcome guests to your home.

  • Cranberry Candles: All you need for this easy DIY is a few minutes and a few items. Line your walkway with bundles of evergreen boughs. Periodically, place a sturdy, large glass votive in amidst the bundles. Fill it with a little faux snow, top it with faux cranberries, and nestle a candle in the middle for a beautiful, seasonal way to light the night.
  • Garland Game: Keep your garland game strong by adding your own touches to a store bought garland. I love adding cranberries and apples for pops of red with pinecones and cinnamon sticks to add earthy textures and scent.
  • Outdoor Ornaments: Buy the largest holiday ornaments you can find. Fill planters with moss balls, your ornaments, grapevine balls, and other pretty spherical items to create an eye-catching display. Hint: plastic ornaments fare much better outdoors than easily breakable glass ones.
  • Bells & Boughs: Try a new take on the classic wreath by gathering up a few evergreen branches and a couple of small bunches of fresh, fragrant herbs. Looped seasonal but sturdy ribbon around the bottoms of all these stems, creating a bunch. String some jingle bells through your ribbon so they hang down over the bunch and hang the whole display on your front door.

Before you can use any of these ideas, you need to have the right home to decorate! To get it, contact me, Betsy Dittman. I have a whole host of property listings throughout Los Angeles and Conejo Valley so you can find the perfect property for you! Let me give you the gift of your dream home this holiday season; call me today.

Blog News June 24, 2015

The Best Firework Displays In Los Angeles

Where To Catch Fireworks On The Fourth Of July

Sure, the backyard barbecues and poolside parties are fun, but nothing feels quite as American as catching a fireworks display on Independence Day. The good news is that across Los Angeles, there are a number of great opportunities to catch a stunning show in the sky. I love celebrating this holiday with the local community and have some favorite ways to catch the great sky shows in our area. Here are a few of the best displays in the area you will not want to miss!

  • Americafest: Allegedly the biggest fireworks display in all of Los Angeles, this show brings thousands of people together to celebrate at the Rose Bowl. Festivities at Americafest start a 2:00 p.m. but the highlight of the event is definitely the fireworks, which go off at 9:00 p.m. You will not want to miss this show, produced by Pyrospectaculars by Souza.
  • Culver City Fireworks Show: Culver City is pulling out all of the stops for the holiday this year. Bringing together live music, food trucks, games for the whole family, and more, they will be offering plenty of entertainment at their event held at West LA College. All of the fun kicks off at 4:00 p.m. and will lead up to a stunning fireworks show.
  • Hollywood Bowl Fireworks Spectacular: A personal favorite, I try to hit at least one night of the festivities at the Bowl. Kicking off on July 2nd, the festivities include live music from legend Smokey Robinson. On the Fourth, a live orchestra will time their music with the fireworks display.

I hope you have a great time celebrating the Fourth of July this year! So you can get into your dream home to celebrate your freedom in 2015, contact Betsy Dittman. I am here to help you find the perfect luxury real estate for your lifestyle in Los Angeles, the San Fernando and Conejo Valley areas.

Blog News May 8, 2015

Best Of Botanics: Los Angeles Edition

Beautiful view of Japanese Garden in Los Angeles park, California

Find Your Rest At These Local Gardens

In the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, you may find yourself craving just a moment of respite. Where do you go to find it, though? Work is busy, home always requires something of you, and your favorite hangouts are always filled with social activity. Is there not an oasis to which you can slip away?

Fortunately, there is! Los Angeles offers some stunning botanical gardens. Here are just a few.

  • Huntington Library, Art Collections, & Botanical Gardens: Whatever your mood, the impressive acres of this botanical landscape has a themed garden to suit you.
  • Descanso Gardens: Showcasing the beauty that grows in Southern California, these gardens have five acres of roses, areas of lilac, orchids, and ferns, and over 600 varieties of camellia.
  • Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden: If you want to feel surrounded by nature, this garden is for you. Wander through the tropical forests, pause to look in on the fish, and watch wild peacocks for a truly relaxing afternoon.
  • James Irvine Japanese Garden: One of Little Tokyo’s hidden gems, this community garden offers a tranquil walk along its outer path where you can enjoy the carefully tended plant life, calming stream, and waterfall.
  • The Japanese Garden: In this idyllic spot, beautifully manicured trees and picturesque teahouses surround a central pond. Built to mimic stroll gardens of the 18th and 19th century, this garden offers you the chance to wander in peace.

If your perfect home puts you close to relaxing, interesting local attractions like this, contact Betsy Dittman. I am an expert in luxury Los Angeles real estate and the nearby hidden gems so you can find your dream home to support your dream lifestyle. To work with an expert in luxury home sales and buys in Los Angeles and Conejo Valley, call me today!

Blog News April 24, 2015

2015’s Hottest Remodeling Trends

close up of couple with  blueprint at homeWhere To Focus Your Energy When Renovating Your Home

If the spring season has you in the mood for a fresh start, remodeling your home will freshen it up and increase your home’s value. Where, exactly, should you turn to make the most of your efforts? Here are the top trends for home remodeling in 2015.

  • Soaking Tubs: The bathroom is a great place to start your remodel, as updated tile work and cabinetry is trending. Most importantly, though, consider getting away from the standard tub/shower combo. Larger soaking tubs are rising in popularity, especially free standing models. Bigger showers are more popular, too; consider putting in a walk-in shower.
  • Gray: Beige is no longer the go-to neutral color. Gray is on the rise, and do not be afraid of darker colors. Charcoal is a great neutral color that will make a big impact. Since any accent color can pair beautifully with gray, it is a safe bet in any room in the house.
  • Sinks: After years of doing dishes, you are probably ready to make the process easier. Super deep single-bowl sinks are trending, making the after-dinner chore a little bit easier on all of us.
  • Wellness: Fortunately, our awareness about the toxic chemicals and gases in our building materials is on the rise. It is becoming increasingly popular to get rid of cabinets containing formaldehyde and off-gassing finishes so your homes can be as healthy as possible.

If no remodel would be enough to make you happy in your home, contact Betsy Dittman. I have the insider insight into the best real estate in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles and am here to help you find your dream home so you can skip all of the hassle of remodeling. To find a home utilizing the hottest trends that will stay popular in the long-term, call me today.

Blog News March 31, 2015

LA’s Top 3 Sushi Restaurants

Sushi on a white plateThe Best Local Places For This Japanese Cuisine

One of the best parts of living in or near Los Angeles is our access to some of the finest dining not only in the country, but also in the world. Our plethora of restaurant options is further bolstered by our proximity to the sea, giving us access to the best, freshest seafood. So you can fully take advantage of all the area has to offer, do not miss the top three local sushi restaurants, according to LA Weekly.

  1. Urusawa: Urusawa promises an experience as delightful and luxurious as the plates it serves. Offering only the freshest, most beautiful (and often most rare) specialties, Hiro Urusawa learned his art from Masa Takayama, generally known to be the best sushi chef in the United States. While Takayama has left for the East Coast, Urusawa stays local to wow us with his sushi and his restaurant. 218 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills • (310) 247-8939
  2. Kiriko Sushi: Ken Namba, Kiriko’s chef, has mastered the traditional art of sushi while giving it his own personal touch. Namba prepares for the entire restaurant yet manages to do it all with an air of calm that is contagious. Step into the mahogany sushi bar to experience a meal, and an evening, you will not soon forget. 11301 W. Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles • (310) 478-7769
  3. Mori Sushi: Since so much of sushi’s flavor needs to be delicately drawn out by the best chefs, when Morihiro Onodera retired from Mori a year ago many expected his assistant chef to deliver a lower quality product. Fortunately, Mori and its meticulous in-house creation of everything from green tea ice cream to soy sauce to flatware have been perfectly maintained. 1500 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles • (310) 479-3939

Do you have a real estate agent who is guiding you towards the best luxury real estate close to the finest restaurants in Los Angeles and Conejo Valley? For your guide to the best sushi and best homes in Southern California, contact Betsy Dittman today. I look forward to helping you find your dream home in 2015.

Blog News February 20, 2015

Three Apps For Your DIY Projects

Smartphone with appsUse These Apps For Your Next Home Improvement Project

If you are working on your home, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. Because the improvements have to be conducted in your home, you never get to leave the work behind for longer than a night on the town. Fortunately, as technology has advanced there are smartphone apps that can make your DIY projects easier. To help you get the most from your home improvement project, check out these apps.

  • RoomScan: As you try to re-envision your home with updated furniture and décor, it is helpful to have the floor plan drawn out. Unfortunately, if your room is not a simple square drawing out the shape in the right proportion can be a challenge. RoomScan can quickly and accurately sketch out any floor plan for you, and the only thing you need to do is tap your phone to each wall of the room.
  • Houzz: CNN did not deem Houzz the “Wikipedia of interior and exterior design” for nothing. This app is filled with examples of great design and décor, and you can even search by specific paint colors to have a better understanding of how each hue will look in the room.
  • SnapShop: You know heading to that ritzy boutique would likely result in you finding your dream piece, but could also lead to you busting your budget. This handy app allows you to snap a picture of the item you love, enter a small amount of information, and then offers you similar options at different price points from hundreds of retailers.

Are you looking for a luxury real estate expert to help you visualize your dream home for 2015? If so, contact Betsy Dittman today. I serve Beverly Hills, Conejo Valley, and Los Angeles and am here to be your guide to California luxury real estate properties. You deserve to work with a dedicated, educated agent so call me today.

Blog News February 13, 2015

The Benefits Of A Design-Build Firm

Relaxing GardenHow One Company Can Meet Your Landscaping Needs

After you get into your dream home, it is time to create your dream landscape. You would not want your new property to be left lackluster, so it is important to get a team on board that you can trust to ensure the work you have done is of superior quality. If you want to leave bringing your landscaping dreams to life to a trusted company, you should consider hiring a design-build firm. These companies will be able to handle your landscaping needs from start to finish. Here are a few pros of hiring a design-build firm.

  • Simplicity: Rather than having to seek out two different companies—one to design your landscape and another to build it—you can hire just one to handle your needs from start to finish.
  • Expectations: Because a design-build firm is fully acquainted with the work that needs to go in to bringing an idea from the drafting table to your property, they will only offer you designs on which they can actually execute. You can rest easy knowing your expectations will be fully met by working with a design-build firm.
  • Budgeting: A design-build firm offers the benefit of having your design and execution costs combined into one price. They will also be aware of what materials are available, in which seasons, at which prices, so that their budgeting will be accurate.

If you have not yet found your dream home, do not wait to contact Betsy Dittman today. Why should you hesitate before getting into the luxury real estate you deserve in 2015? Serving Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Conejo Valley, I will help you find the right California luxury real estate properties to bring your home buying dreams to life.

Blog News February 9, 2015

Valentine’s Day In Los Angeles

Retro Valentines card with abstract heartsDon’t Miss These Restaurant Openings

Not that you should ever consume a boring meal, but Valentine’s Day is an especially important date to put emphasis on finding the ideal dining location. To help you find the perfect place to celebrate the day with your special someone, check out these restaurants offering notable Valentine’s Day menus.

  • Blue Plate Oysterette: With locations in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, getting to this “beachy chic” seafood restaurant is a snap. They will be serving up blackened steak with lobster tail and parsnip puree, lobster tagliatelle served in shellfish sauce with cherry tomatoes and arugula, and king crab legs with classic corn and French fries complemented by arugula salad for the holiday.
  • Church & StateFor a four-course prix-fixe menu sure to delight every palate, do not miss the special Valentine’s Day menu served at this Industrial Street eatery. Its holiday menu will include halibut, Maine lobster, butternut squash risotto, pate á choux, and more for $85 a person.
  • RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen: For just $48 a head, you and your sweetheart can enjoy a shared appetizer, entrée each, shared side item, and two desserts. Options will include sweet-hot shrimp as the appetizer, spice-crusted Ahi tuna and black pepper New York strip for your main course, and caramelized banana custard cake to finish the night with something sweet.

Wouldn’t it be nice to work with a real estate agent who understands the local scene? You can, by contacting Betsy Dittman today. Serving Conejo Valley, Beverly Hills, and Los Angeles, I will be your guide to California luxury real estate properties so you can find your dream home this year. Do not get lost amidst the mélange of luxury real estate in Southern California; get the guidance you deserve by calling me today.

Blog News January 19, 2015

Get The Most From Your Square Footage

interno casa

How To Maximize The Space You Have In Your Home

If you have been feeling cramped in your home lately, you may feel your appreciation for your home diminishing. It can be challenging to live somewhere you do not feel you can spread out and decompress. Protect yourself against falling out of love with your home by using this checklist to get the most out of your square footage.

  • Implement A Juliet Balcony: If you are feeling cooped up in your home, opening up to the outdoors can go a long way towards making your space feel larger. Consider adding a Juliet balcony for a connection to the fresh air and extra light the outdoors has to offer without actually adding square footage to your home.
  • Minimize Cabinetry: If you have a small kitchen, nothing will make it feel cramped quite as quickly as adding heavy cabinetry above your counters. Let the room breath by opting for open shelving or—if you are not short on storage—windows.
  • Make Your Own Foyer: You do not need to have an expansive foyer to create space for shoes, jackets, keys, etc. to call home. Add a bench and even a half-height wall to define the space in front of your door as a small foyer. Make sure the changes you implement include ample space for storage, and you will happily find the front room of your house clutter-free, making it feel more spacious.

You deserve to see the best California luxury real estate properties before buying your next home. To connect with an agent who will ensure you see every premier property in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and Conejo Valley that could be a fit for you, contact Betsy Dittman today.  Betsy  is the real estate expert that will help you get into your dream home in 2015. Call her today.