Local Events In Plainfield and Shorewood

photo of downtown Plainfield, Illinois for an article about local events.

  • Pirate Party: Happening at the Shorewood Village Hall on Sunday, February 26th from 11 am to 2 pm. This party is for all ages and will include crafts, snacks, and a showing of the movie Pan. The cost is $10 for residents and $15 for non residents and the deadline to register is February 21st.
  • Shorewood Flashlight Egg Hunt: Friday, April 7th at 8 pm at Cene’s Four Seasons Park for kids ages 9-13. This is free and does not require registration.
  • Breakfast with the Bunny: This will take place in Shorewood on Saturday, April 8th at 9 am for kids of all ages. This is for residents only and is free for kids under 2, $8 for kids 5 and under, and $12 for adults. The breakfast will be at Troy Fire Station #2 and will include fun activities, a pancake breakfast, and pictures with the Easter bunny.
  • Shorewood Easter Egg Hunt: Saturday, April 8th at 10:30 am. No registration is required and the event will take place at Cene’s Four Seasons Park. The kids will be divided into 3 groups; group one will go first and will be ages 3-4, group two will go second and will be ages 5-6 and group three will go last and will be ages 7-8.
  • Volunteer Fair at the Plainfield Public Library: March 4th from 10 am until 12 pm. Participants will be able to meet with representatives from 20 local groups including the Plainfield Park District.
  • Who’s Got Talent: March 10th from 6-8 pm at Plainfield South High School. This is for performers ages 10-18 (no bands) and is for both residents and non-residents with no registration fee. Cost of admission is $5 per person, and kids under 2 are free.
  • Tack Swap: March 25th from 10 am until 2 pm at Normantown Equestrian Center in Plainfield. Participants can bring their tack, blankets, clothing and other horse accessories to trade or sell. The cost to reserve an 8 foot table is $20 and it is $10 to bring your own table (8 ft max).  The registration deadline is March 20th.
  • Plainfield Flashlight Egg Hunt: April 7th from 8-9 pm at Clow Stephens. Participants must pre-register as on site registration will not be allowed. Registration deadline is noon on April 6th and the hunt will take place rain or shine. Cost for the event is $6 for residents and $7.50 for non residents.
  • Egg-citing Activities: April 8th from 11 am until 12 pm at Clow Stephens Dog Park. Kids will be able to collect eggs that the Easter bunny left behind and will receive a treat bag at check-in. The Easter bunny will be available from 10 am until 11:30 for photos. This fun event will happen rain or shine.
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Top Kitchen and Bath Design Trends For 2017

Photo of a modern kitchen with quartz countertops for an article about top kitchen and bath design trends for 2017.

  • Traditional styles are losing momentum and both contemporary and transitional-style design elements are gaining popularity in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Bathrooms: Asian Fusion, Mid-Century Modern, and Shaker styles will rule in 2017. Both neutral and more bold colors will be seen including a lot of gray, white, and off white but also purple, blue and violet.  Undermount sinks are still a popular choice but trough sinks are also emerging on the design scene. As far as finishes go, brushed brass and gold are top choices but be on the lookout for designer colored faucets. The most popular type of bathroom storage is still wood vanities and linen cabinets but we are seeing a trend towards open shelves and floating vanities. As far as tubs go, it looks as though homeowners are losing interest in whirlpool tubs and are opting for larger showers instead.
  • Kitchens: Kitchens with clean lines, lot’s of storage, and simple cabinet doors are definitely in. Two toned kitchens continue to be popular with gray and white being the colors of choice although blue and black cabinets will be seen as well. A variety of materials are being used for both accents and surfaces. For countertops, granite is still falling in popularity while quartz is king. Convection ovens and induction cooktops are being incorporated into kitchens more and more and microwave oven drawers are being chosen instead of built in microwaves or freestanding ones.

Photo of a wood vanity in a bathroom for an article on kitchen and bath trends of 2017.Photo of a trough sink for an article on kitchen and bath design trends for 2017.

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15 Minute Home Makeovers

 

Photo of a modern kitchen for an article discussing 15 minute home makeovers.

 

  • Switch the plates: Update switch plate and outlet covers.
  • Make touch ups: Touch up scratched baseboards, window and door trim, and marks on the wall that won’t go away.
  • Change out hardware: Putting in new drawer pulls and knobs can give a room an inexpensive face lift. Home improvement stores have a wide variety of inexpensive hardware to choose from.
  • Update the mailbox: Give an old mailbox a makeover by scrubbing it down and then spray painting it, either the same color or a new hue.
  • House numbers: Switch out your old house numbers for new ones to create a custom look. Some numbers are peel and stick and others need to be nailed in. There are different material choices such as wood, plastic, brass, stainless steel, etc. Expect to spend about $6-$30 a number.
  • Toilet seat: A new toilet seat can instantly improve the look of your bathroom without spending a lot.
  • Declutter: Spending 15 minutes a day decluttering a room can really make a huge difference in your home. Start in the kitchen by clearing off your refrigerator door and watch your kitchen instantly look cleaner. Put mail and other paperwork in labeled boxes with lids or other organizers; put school supplies in caddies, etc.
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Tax Breaks For Homeowners

Photo of the word tax on top of money for an article about tax breaks for homeowners.

        


Tax season is upon us and there are many benefits awaiting homeowners:

  • Mortgage Interest: This is a huge money saver and can be taken on both primary and secondary homes, as long as you itemize your return and your loan is less than one million dollars.
  • Mortgage Points: Points, which are percentage based fees that a lender charges to originate a loan, are seen as a type of mortgage interest which is paid in advance. As long as you meet certain requirements, you can deduct these points in full the year they were paid.
  • Property Taxes: The amount you paid in property taxes can be entered on your federal form for as long as you own the home. You can find this amount by looking at your annual statement that you just received by your lender. This must be an itemized expense.
  • Home Improvements: Many homeowners took on various home improvement projects in the last year and you may have been one of those homeowners as well. Projects range from adding additional square footage, replacing the roof, etc. The money spent on these projects can help to lower your tax bill. If you used a home equity loan or other loan tied to your home to fund home improvement projects,  the loan will qualify for mortgage interest deductions just like your home mortgage.

 

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Home Improvement Projects With The Best Returns

 

Photo of the exterior of a home for an article about home improvement projects and their expected return.

When thinking about doing a home improvement project to your home, do you ever wonder what your return may be? The Remodeling Cost Vs. Value Report from Illinois Realtor Magazine lays out what type of return you can expect on your projects:

  • Replacing the garage door: 83%
  • Steel entry door replacement: 82.5%
  • Attic bedroom: 81%
  • Wood deck addition: 78%
  • Minor kitchen remodel: 76%
  • Wood window replacement: 74%
  • Vinyl window replacement: 73%
  • Vinyl siding replacement: 73%
  • Composite deck addition: 69%
  • Fiberglass entry door replacement: 66.8%
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Best Romantic Restaurants

Photo of a Valentine's Day tabletop for an article on the best romantic restaurants.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Here are some of the best romantic restaurants in the area!

Plainfield

  • Sovereign: 24205 W Lockport Street (815) 556-8577
  • Wine & Cheese by TCC: 24104 W Lockport Street (815) 436-3499
  • Capri Sogno: 24102 Lockport Street (815) 733-5815
  • Volar: 24136 W Lockport Street (815) 267-6372

Naperville

  • Paris Bistro: 2835 Showplace Drive (630) 357-1005
  • Meson Sabika: 1025 Aurora Avenue (630) 983-3000
  • La Sorella Di Francesca: 18 W Jefferson Avenue (630) 961-2706
  • Pizzeria NEO: 47 E Chicago Avenue (630) 922-8200
  • The Melting Pot: 4931 S Route 59 (630) 717-8301

Shorewood

  • Little Saigon: 201 Vertin Blvd (815) 782-6395

Joliet

  • Tin Roof: 158 N Chicago Street (815) 727-0123
  • Barolo Ristorante: 2765 Black Road (815) 729-3606
  • Al’s Steak House: 1990 W Jefferson Street (815) 725-2388

Lockport

  • Tallgrass Restaurant: 1006 S State Street (815) 838-5566

Chicago

  • Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf: 218 W Kinzie Street (312) 624-8154
  • Penumbra Wine Bar: 3309 W Fullerton Avenue (773) 772-2343
  • Bandera Restaurant: 535 North Michigan Avenue (312) 644-3524
  • A Tavola: 2148 W Chicago Avenue (773) 276-7567
  • MK Restaurant: 868 N Franklin Street (312) 482-9179
  • DiSotto Enoteca: 200 E Chestnut Street (312) 482-8727
  • RM Champagne Salon: 116 North Green Street (312) 243-1199
  • Boka: 1729 North Halsted Street (312) 337-6070

 

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Let’s Talk Curb Appeal

Photo of a red front door with a matching doormat for an article about improving curb appeal.

Curb appeal is so important because it is the first impression that people have of your home. Here are some ideas to improve your home’s curb appeal, especially if you are thinking of putting your home on the market.

  • Give the front door and shutters a fresh new coat of paint. Either go with a traditional hue such as black, white, grey, navy blue, etc. or try a trendier shade. Check out Arsenic by Farrow & Ball (a blue/green), Sunburst by Benjamin Moore (yellow), Evening Sky by Benjamin Moore (deep blue), Folly Green by Farrow & Ball, Hampshire Rocks by Benjamin Moore (gray), etc. Just be sure to check with your HOA if you have one to get permission before painting if needed.
  • Install a new mailbox
  • Plant trees, shrubs, and flowers
  • Put up new address numbers
  • Invest in new outdoor lights
  • Paint your garage door if needed
  • Power wash the exterior, siding, and walkways
  • Perform any necessary maintenance on fences
  • Repair or replace the roof if it is needed
  • Clean dirty windows; unclean windows really do detract from the appeal of a home’s exterior
  • Replace any rotted wood
  • Replace any missing siding
  • Once it’s warmer outside, keep bushes and shrubs trimmer and the lawn watered and mowed
    Photo of a new mail box for an article on curb appeal.
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Five Tips For Selling A Home Quickly

 

Photo of a home for an article with tips for selling a home quickly.

1. Improve curb appeal: The curb appeal of a home is the first impression that buyers see; make sure the lawn is mowed and that porches, exterior walls and the driveway is clean.

2. Invest in small upgrades: Making small upgrades to a home can be a great idea before selling but be careful about spending too much money. Overhauling the entire kitchen may not pay off in the end, but making small improvements such as changing out the kitchen faucet or putting new knobs on the cabinets can go a long way.

3. Depersonalize: Remove family photos (at least some of them), take down eccentric art, and repaint any spaces that have loud colors on the wall. The goal is for the buyer to visualize the space as their own.

4. Price your home appropriately: It’s imperative to price your home correctly; too low and you will leave money behind, too high and your home could sit on the market. It’s important to work with your Realtor to come up with the best price for your home.

5. Sell at the right time: Usually spring is prime home buying season; the weather is nice and families with kids are able to move before summer break, allowing them to make a nice transition. Although plenty of home buyers are out shopping year round, it’s a good idea to have your home market ready by spring.

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Winter Home Fixes

 

Photo of a home during winter to discuss winter home fixes.
  • Squeaky door hinges: Apply some powdered graphite ($2.50 for a 3 gram tube) around the pin where the hinge turns.
  • Loud floor boards: Use an anti-squeak repair kit such as Squeeeek No More ($23) or for a cheaper alternative, simply shake some talcum powder into the seam where the floorboards come together and the powder will quiet the floor by creating a buffer between the boards.
  • Rusted shut-off valves: Look under sinks and behind toilets to see if the valves are rusted; if so, they may not work properly when you need them to. If they are rusty, spray some WD-40 on the handle shafts and twist the handles back and forth to let the oil soak in. If they won’t budge, spray some more WD-40 on and wait a couple of hours before trying again.
  • Peeling paint on shower ceilings: Since this area sees a lot of heat and moisture it can really distress the paint. Scrape off the old paint and replace it with an exterior grade paint. Also, be sure that the bathroom fan is always running when the shower is being used to help get rid of excess moisture.
  • Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors: Replace the batteries in all of your detectors at the same time once a year.
  • Exhaust filter in the stove: Remove the filter and wash it to remove the grease; this will make the exhaust vent more efficient and can help stop a stovetop fire from spreading.
  • Dryer vent: Pull the dryer away from the wall and disconnect the vent pipe. Vacuum up any lint inside of the pipe and also remove lint from the spot where the pipe connects to the dryer. Clean any lint off of the exterior dryer vent as well. It’s very important to do this periodically; clogged dryer vents are one of the main causes of house fires.
  • Drain hoses: Check the clothes washer, dishwasher, and ice maker.  If any of the hoses are leaking or cracked, replace them to prevent future flooding.
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