-AA+A Hot New-Home Trends to Watch

firepianoThere were plenty of new ideas, features, and designs of interest to the real estate community at the 2017 International Builders’ Show and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, both held in Orlando, Fla. last week. We were there to gather the top trends and buzzwords you need to know about now.

Modernity in Moderation

It turns out designers, home builders, and consumers have different ideas of the meaning and salability of the term “modern,” and the industry is working to bridge that gap. Seth Hart of DTJ Design in Boulder, Colo. explained how “moderated modern,”—where asymmetrical windows and color and material combinations that provide high contrast—can be used on more traditional homes to provide an updated feel without breaking the bank or turning off buyers.

“It’s not about doing wild roof forms,” Hart told attendees. “It’s all about how you create a modern design in something that still has a broad market appeal and is done affordably.”

Eric Brown, a builder representative with Artisan Homes Realty, LLC in Phoenix uses the term “comfortable contemporary” to help identify the style. “It’s going to attract baby boomers,” he predicted, noting this style offers “something that reminds them of their old home, but it’s updated.”

Another twist on this trend comes in the form of the “modern farmhouse,” which was another popular buzzword at the show. Many of the winners of the National Association of Home Builders’ 2016 Best in American Living Awards featured farmhouse sinks, reclaimed wooden beams, and barn doors layered into modern designs. Even the farmhouse elements themselves are being updated, as is evident in cleaner, more minimalist designs made of contemporary materials.

The Secret Hideaway

Don’t we all want to turn a cluttered space into a fun design novelty? Another trending term at the show this year was “the messy kitchen,” which is a hidden space away from the gleaming center island where homeowners can prep food and stow Mr. Coffee far from guests.

Wayne Visbeen, president of Visbeen Architects, told attendees he also uses this technique to hide away the “home management space.”

“I put hidden rooms in offices a lot,” he said. “I think it’s a great place to hide the junk, and people think its sexy.” He notes that hidden space doesn’t have to be huge to work well, suggesting a four-by-eight foot space would be sufficient. Also, with all the easy-to-install sliding barn and pocket doors in the consumer market now, this is a project some homeowners can undertake themselves.

Fewer Bathroom Barriers

One trend that was heavily featured in Orlando last week was the idea of an open shower, or “wet room.” Some even contained both a shower and bath in one, which designers reported saves space in master baths where homeowners don’t want to skimp on a stall shower to fit in a pretty tub.

This is a good option to consider for anyone looking to add the element of zero-barrier entry to bathing, which is an important consideration for those with limited mobility. However, Mary Jo Peterson, a kitchen, bath, and universal design consultant in Brookfield, Conn., noted there are drawbacks.

“If I really want a hot, steamy shower, it’s hard to do in these open spaces,” she said. She also noted that it’s difficult to calculate ahead of time if the water will escape the intended area and make the whole bathroom into a “wet room.” She cautioned builders to avoid the temptation to put rain-style showers up too high, to minimize the spray’s radius.

Auto-Smart Homes

We’ve all heard the talk about how smart home devices are going to change our lives forever, but Dave Pedigo doesn’t think we’re quite there yet. Pedigo, vice president of emerging technologies at the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association, told attendees that until we can move “away from using a mobile phone as remote control,” we won’t really have smart homes.

He said natural user interfaces, such as the voice commands consumers can use to control Amazon’s Alexa and other smart home devices, are only the first step toward creating a truly smart home that can anticipate residents’ needs ahead of time. For example, there are already sensors out there that “see” when a sleeper has gotten up at night and can automatically illuminate night lights to lead them safely to the bathroom.

“Ultimately, we are moving toward not having to deal with technology,” Pedigo said. “You shouldn’t have to tell the lights to turn off or tell the shades to go up.”

Meg White, REALTOR® Magazine

YouTube Stats, Facts & Video Marketing Cheat Sheet


Tricks to Hide Light Switches, Outlets and Toilet Roll Holders

switchesEmbrace camouflage and other design moves to make these eyesores virtually disappear

Electrical outlets, light switches and toilet paper roll holders are hard to avoid. Often building codes dictate where these can be placed, which can sully otherwise beautiful backsplashes and other features in kitchens and bathrooms. But all hope isn’t lost. If you prefer to preserve the clean lines of a beautiful backsplash, try some of these methods for keeping these eyesores from sticking out.

How to read music [video]

music-notationLike an actor’s script, a sheet of music instructs a musician on what to play (the pitch) and when to play it (the rhythm). Sheet music may look complicated, but once you’ve gotten the hang of a few simple elements like notes, bars and clefs, you’re ready to rock. Tim Hansen hits the instrumental basics you need to read music.

8 Design Ideas to Borrow From Japanese Homes

japanA former Tokyo resident shares tips on boosting your home’s space, appeal and livability

Functionality, innovation and simplicity arguably are the cornerstones of Japanese design. In a country renowned for its interiors, careful management of these elements achieves designs that work in both function and form. More than that, design influences daily life in Japan, and creates customs for the home and how people live in it. How can we adopt the best elements of Japanese design without losing our own style? Here are eight simple rules that just might help.

Street Ballet: Mix of Dance and Digital Art

balletStreet Ballet is an innovative video collaboration piece, conceptualized by directing team Josh Crews (Director/Motion Graphics Artist) and Sabrina Hill (Director/ Photographer).This project evokes the concept of collaboration, juxtaposition and strength. It’s an buy levitra legal you homage to the principle that anything is possible, and that boundaries are meant to be broken. In the modern genre-mixing culture we exist in, labels and stereotypes no longer limit creative pursuits, and artistries of all formats are being redefined on a daily basis. It’s a fun, modern interpretation of classical ballet music that’s levitra uk boots sure to turn heads.

Prices Rose 7.1% Year-Over-Year


  • CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index shows that prices rose by 7.1% across the United States year-over-year.
  • With mortgage interest rates rising in the short term, CoreLogic believes price appreciation will slow to 4.7% by this time next year.
  • 49 out of 50 states, and the District of Columbia, all had positive appreciation over the last 12 months, with the only exception being the state of Connecticut, which experienced a -0.5% appreciation.

How to Create a Calm and Relaxing Bedroom

relax-bedA designer show us how to set the scene

for a good night’s sleep

There are endless ways to decorate a bedroom, but the room should above all encourage relaxation and sleep. A good night’s sleep is an essential element of a healthy lifestyle. In working with my clients over the years and listening to their feedback,I’ve found that following these 10 tips is the most effective way to create a calm and relaxing environment in the bedroom.

10 Statement-Making Mirror Styles for the Bath

vanity-styleFramed in carved wood, warm brass or Venetian detailing,

these bathroom mirrors are lovely to wake up to

Why settle for a standard-issue mirror when the alternatives are so beautiful? Swapping out a plain wall mirror or medicine cabinet in favor of something with more presence is a budget-friendly way to make over hoe kom ik aan cialis the bathroom or powder room without investing in a full remodel. From chunky and rustic to intricate and refined, these 10 mirrors can make your bathroom the fairest of all.

How to Choose the Right Pet Door

pet-doorGet a handle on the types of pet portals for a door or a wall that will enable your dog or cat to come and go unassisted

There’s nothing quite as safe and comforting for household pets as our cozy homes. When nature calls, however, dogs rely on us to get outside. And even the laziest couch potato (animal or human) needs a daily dose of the great outdoors. Having a pet door makes getting out easier for everyone.

A pet passageway can be a simple frame with a flap or a high-tech electronic opening. It can be installed in a door, inserted in a slider track or built into a wall. Some are easy to install yourself, while others are best left for professionals. We’ll sort through the possibilities here — and reveal some design-forward options.