Black Accents Make Comeback in Home Design

Black is making a comeback in home design, with black fixtures, appliances, and furniture emerging as hot trends for the new year. Ryan Brown of Brown Design Group in Southern California predicts that black fixtures will replace brass as the most trendy home hardware in 2018. “They look great in modern applications, as well as transitional homes,” he told®. “And the best part is no water spots to clean off.”

Matted black furniture also will gain popularity in 2018, says Amy Chernoff, vice president of marketing for AJ Madison, an appliance and fixture retailer. Black goes with anything, and in matte finishes, it’s easier to clean than lighter, polished metals. Also, Chernoff predicts that black stainless appliances—an alternative to the shiny finish of stainless steel—likely will become trendier in the new year. “The smudge-resistant, minimal and sleek look was in line with 2017 kitchen trends,” Chernoff told Kitchen & Bath Design News.

Source: REALTOR Magazine


The Front Porch Is in Demand

The front porch—a classic feature of American homes—is making a comeback but with a twist.

Younger crowds are literally turning porches into stages. “Porchfest” is growing in popularity across the country, in which neighborhood music festivals pop up that are enjoyed from homeowners’ front porches.

The Atlantic Monthly’s CityLab reports: “In the Instagram age, the front steps have become places to see and be seen, throw a rocking concert or party, and to foster metropolitan community in a walk-by, stop-in-for-wine sense.”

Read more on REALTORmag…

The Real Factors That Boost Your Home’s Bottom Line

The galloping real estate market is a scary and exhilarating thing.

On the one hand, as home prices soar, how on earth will you ever buy one? On the other, assuming you do pull off the biggest purchase of your life and become a proud homeowner, those very same rising prices are a promise that one day you, too, will make bank.

And that’s exactly why savvy buyers and owners obsess about how much their home will be worth in a few years—and why.

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A Secret Amenity Couples Want: 2 Masters

If your listing has two master bedrooms, you may very well have a highly desired feature that many couples want in their next home and are willing to pay extra for.

Among the top 10 percent of markets nationwide, active listings that include multiple master bedrooms are priced, on average, about 9 percent higher than those with just one master, according to a® analysis.

Luxury home builders are taking notice of the growth in demand. A 2016 survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting found that nearly one in three potential home buyers in the $2 million and above price range said they wanted dual master bedrooms.

Read more…

4 Landscaping Trends for 2017

With warmer weather and longer days on the horizon, now is the perfect time to get your yard in shape for summer. Keep this year’s top five landscaping trends (according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals) in mind as you get started.

  1. Going green (the color)

Combine different textures and shades of green for a more dramatic lawn. Think of mixing leaves of different size and shape as well as plants with a variety of verdant hues.

  1. Going green (the earth-friendly strategy)

More sustainable landscape designs have been becoming more popular over the past few years. Why? They’re better for the planet and can reduce maintenance costs. For example, more homeowners are planting “smart” lawns – varieties of grass bred to stay green with less water.

  1. Giving bees a chance

With bee populations in trouble, people are actually starting to welcome the stingers in their yard by planting native plants that provide the nectar they feast on. The efforts to save vital pollinators is another sign of consumers seeking greener, sustainable practices for their yards.

  1. Going Danish

The Danish concept of hygge is about creating an atmosphere of coziness by embracing life’s simple pleasures. How do you implement hygge in your yard? Add features that promote mindfulness, such as water fountains or aromatic flowers, and arrange seating in a way that encourages conversation. And don’t forget to include spaces that inspire play – for kids and adults. The experts at note an uptick in requests for things like bocce courts, fireplaces and hammocks, features to help home owners relax and play outdoors.

Considering a move, or know someone who is? I’ll be happy to help – contact me!

5 Things Every Loving Homeowner Should Know About Their Own Home

Your relationship with your home is one that will hopefully last a long time, so it pays to learn its most intimate details. And not to be weird, but we really do mean intimate: what turns it on (or off), what makes it hot (or cold), and its delicate inner workings.

Because, after all, your home takes care of you—it keeps you warm, safe, well-fed—so it has every right to act a little high-maintenance and demand some TLC in return. Neglect your house, and there could be hell to pay later in the form of floods, electrical outages, and worse.

So as a sort of how-deep-is-your-love kind of test, ask yourself if you know these five things about your home—and if not, maybe you should go find out.

Open Floor Plan Still Popular

Front Door

Open floor plans continue to reign. Eighty-four percent of builders say that in the typical single-family home they build, the kitchen and family room arrangement is at least partially open. Fifty-four percent say it’s completely open, according to responses from a September 2016 National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

“Completely open” essentially means the two areas are combined into the same room. Partially open signifies areas separated by a partial wall, arch, counter, or something less than a full wall.

Seventy percent of recent and prospective home buyers say they prefer a home with either a completely or partially open kitchen-family room arrangement; 32 percent say they prefer the arrangement completely open, according to an NAHB survey.

Only 16 percent of buyers say they want the kitchen and family rooms in separate areas of the house.

As demand continues to increase for open floor plans, homeowners of existing-homes are also looking to open up their kitchen and family room areas. Professional remodelers report that 40 percent of their projects involved making the floor plan more open by removing interior walls, pillars, arches, etc., according to first quarter of 2016 data in the Remodeling Market Index.

Source: “Builders Satisfy Demand for Open Floor Plans,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog