Sarasota FL Real Estate Blog by Linda Trautweiler, Realtor

PureStyle’s Charlene Neal on Five In-Demand Interior Design Trends

Responsible for creating beautiful spaces for Neal Communities and Neal Signature Homes, Charlene Neal has a constant pulse on new trends in interior design and classical styles that homebuyers still love. Here is her take on the five most in-demand interior design trends in Sarasota.

White kitchen cabinets are still going strong both with traditional door profiles and modern flat panels. White cabinets give an open concept kitchen a sleek and cohesive look that will visually expand the space. It’s also a blank canvas for colorful accents.


Lakewood Ranch Named Third-Best-Selling Master-Planned Community in U.S.

With 1,206 new-home sales in 2017—an increase of 56 percent over 2016—Lakewood Ranch has been recognized as the third best-selling, master-planned community in the country by the independent real estate consulting firms RCLCO and John Burns Real Estate Consulting. 

Sales were brisk, says Laura Cole, vice president of marketing for LWR Communities, but 2017 was a busy year in other ways. Lakewood Ranch added three new neighborhoods, including the 100-percent solar village, Polo Run; opened the much anticipated Waterside Village in Sarasota, which will be walkable to a new waterfront town center; broke ground on CORE, a mixed-use research, commercial, and entertainment district; and launched a farmers market. The Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club completed more than $25 million in new and renovated facilities, making it the “next generation” club for families in the area, Cole says.


High-Value, High-Impact Remodeling Projects to Help You Sell Your Home

Focus on remodeling projects that will make a statement and pay off when it comes time to sell your home.

When you’re trying to sell your home, you have to choose carefully. Is it worth it to redo your kitchen counters for the sale, or will the new owners simply replace them with their own picks? Should you bother repainting? These projects, ranging in price from $500 to $10,000, are sure to impress potential buyers, ultimately padding your pocketbook when it comes down to the final asking price.


Cozy up a fireplace

Fireplaces are natural gathering areas even when a fire isn’t lit. Turn yours into a crowd-pleasing focal point with a decorative surround and/or an updated mantel furnished with attractive accessories. If your fireplace is brick, you can also paint or whitewash the bricks for an instant update.

Make a statement with tile

The shimmer, brilliance and varied colors of glass tile make it a dramatic and popular choice for a backsplash or countertop in the kitchen or bath....

Top 5 Home Improvements That Increase Your Home’s Value

Top 5 Home Improvements That Increase Your Home’s Value

With all the home improvement ideas out there, discovering the ones that’ll increase your return on investment can be difficult. The bathroom and kitchen are the hubs of the home and improving these will instantly add value to your property. These two areas are always an excellent place to start your home improvements. However, if your kitchen and bathroom already look great and are in excellent condition, there’s no reason to disturb their aesthetics. Instead, implement these five budget-friendly home improvements throughout your home to boost your home’s value.

Hardwood flooring

Updating the floors is one of the best home improvements you can do to increase your home’s value. However, you don’t have to tear apart the entire house to receive these benefits. Instead, focus on larger and/or weathered areas to highlight your home improvements. Replacing old carpet or tile with modern options, such as hardwood or mosaics, will bring an immediate rise in property value.

  • Refinish hardwood floors for a cost-effective home improvement

Update fixtures

Some of the best home improvements can be done throughout your entire house without having to tear or rip anything apart. Old fixtures...

The Ultimate Guide to Sarasota’s 2017 Arts and Entertainment Season

In a season packed with drama, dance, music, arts and more, the shows, festivals and concerts you must see.

By Kay Kipling  10/30/2017 at 4:06pm  Published in the November 2017 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Approaching the Border

Both timely and timeless, this exhibition at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art features video works by five international artists, including Mexicans Emilio Chapelo and Yoshua Okon, Italian/Lebanese artist Christiana de Marchi and the United Kingdom’s K. Yoland. All challenge us to examine our thinking about the U.S./Mexico border. It’s about a lot more than building a wall; the exhibit meditates on the broader meaning of borders and how they shape us. On view Nov. 5 through Jan. 21. 359-5700,


Remember the charming surprise hit movie about a boy and a girl who meet in Dublin and make beautiful music together? This stage version (yes, it features songs from the film) won a...

6 Rustic DIY’s to Create a Charming Home Atmosphere

6 Rustic DIY’s to Create a Charming Home Atmosphere

6 Rustic DIY’s to Create a Charming Home Atmosphere

Rustic home décor is often associated with a woodsy, countryside appeal. There are no fancy crystal chandeliers or genuine cheetah rugs in these spaces. Instead, it’s an aesthetic all about a comfortable and earthy atmosphere made up of nothing more than simple fashion and humble statements. Some of the best rustic home décor can be made with a bit of TLC and elbow grease.

Go Antique Shopping and Revamp Old Pieces

One of the easiest DIY projects to create rustic appeal is to revamp antiques. Make a day of visiting antique shops, collectors and enthusiasts to find hidden treasures to turn into your own. Oftentimes,...

Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Fluorescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit