Monday
April 27, 2015

Styled, Staged & Sold

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Bringing you the latest home and design trends.
Updated: 35 min 59 sec ago

Reimagine the Formal Living Room

11 hours 35 min ago

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

A living room likely isn’t topping many home shoppers’ must-have list these days. In fact, some architects say the formal living room – that upscale room welcoming guests at the front of a home – is becoming extinct.

Call it a casualty of the Great Recession, when home buyers started to get choosier when it came down to the bare essentials to a home. The formal living room started to lose favor to other preferences, like a home office or larger kitchen. After all, why have a room devoted to fancy chairs and sofas that rarely gets used?

As such, some buyers are walking through older homes today, questioning what to do with that formal living room space. Here are some ways to get your buyers to re-imagine those spaces.

The perfect home office?

Traditional Home Office by Huntersville Interior Designers & Decorators Ally Whalen Design

The perfect kids play room?

Farmhouse Kids by Austin Architects & Building Designers Tim Cuppett Architects Contemporary Living Room by Culver City Architects & Building Designers Natasha Barrault Design

The perfect library?

Modern Living Room by Evanston Building Designers and Drafters Benvenuti and Stein

The perfect hobby room for the craft, sewing or music lovers? Here’s a wine and music room:

Traditional Living Room by Cumming Interior Designers & Decorators Artisan Design Studio Contemporary Basement by Great Falls Interior Designers & Decorators NF interiors The perfect dining room? Traditional Spaces

 

 

Is That Home Healthy?

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 02:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

Surprisingly, one in five home owners consider their homes unhealthy, according to the Healthy Home Study of about 800 home owners conducted by Houzz.

So what makes a home healthy to home owners? The top indoor concerns of home owners in gauging a home’s health: Moisture, air quality, and cleanliness. The top outside concerns: Air quality, grounds safety, and soil quality.

The home owners surveyed perceived newer homes to be healthiest with having no allergens or mold and limited instances of insects and rodents.

“Healthy homes” are considered 20 percent to 60 percent less likely to have some indoor contaminates, like excessive dust, mold, or contaminates in the drinking water, the majority of home owners said. However, nearly a third of home owners confess their home has excessive dust or pet dander issues.

Home owners who rate their home as “non-healthy” are more likely to remodel (view chart to see most popular upgrades planned). For example, one-fifth or more of home owners plan to do major painting, flooring, HVAC, windows, lighting upgrades, and insulation over the next 12 months.

Indeed, more than 40 percent of home owners say that preventing health problems remains a motivation for their renovation projects.

2014 Healthy Home Study, Houzz

 

The Spa-Like Bathroom: 10 Top Trends for 2015

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 02:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Photo Credit: National Kitchen & Bath Association

Just like the kitchen, contemporary designs are growing in popularity in bathroom remodels. These contemporary touches in the bathroom equate to clean and open designs, with floating vanities and freestanding tubs.

Last week, at Styled Staged & Sold, we highlighted the top 10 trends for the kitchen this year. This week, we focus on the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s latest trend report on what’s driving bathroom design in 2015.

Here are the top 10 overall bathroom design trends NKBA designers expect to be hot this year:

1. Clean, white, contemporary designs
2. Floating vanities
3. Open-shelving
4. Electric heated floors
5. Purple color schemes
6. Trough sinks
7. User experience (ease of use and low maintenance) and accessibility features
8. Extra amenities (like steam showers, anti-fog mirrors, lighted showers, and shower seats)
9. Innovative storage (such as drawer pullouts and rollouts to hold hair styling equipment)
10. Showers and freestanding tubs

Most popular colors: White and gray are the dominant colors for bathrooms. Half of designers expect to see gray growing in 2015, and several designers also mentioned the growing popularity of purple, lavender, and lilac tones gaining steam in bathroom designs. For fixtures, white continues its dominance.

Traditional Bathroom by Saratoga Springs Design-Build Firms Witt Construction

 

Out of style: Jetted tubs, whether whirlpool or air, are decreasing in popularity, according to NKBA’s report. “People are moving away from jetted tubs to more classic soaking tubs,” says Bill Donohoe with Donohoe Design Works in the Los Angeles area. Also, beige fixture colors are increasingly dropping in popularity.

The Contemporary Kitchen: 10 Top Trends for 2015

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 02:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine 

Photo Credit: National Kitchen & Bath Association

Contemporary is the buzzword when it comes to kitchen designs this year, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association. Streamlined designs, eclectic touches, and multiples of appliances lead the trends, according to NKBA’s 2015 forecast.

Here are the top 10 overall kitchen design trends expected to be hot this year, according to NKBA’s report:

1. Clean with an overall contemporary feeling: A fusion of styles and multiple colors in one kitchen
2. European-styled cabinets
3. Multiples of appliances in one kitchen (most notably two dishwashers, like a dishwasher and a dishwasher drawer, or the addition of a refrigerator/freezer)
4. The rise of steam ovens
5. Furniture-like pieces (such as furniture-styled dry bars)
6. Outdoor kitchens
7. Fewer standard kitchen tables, replaced by counters or tall gathering tables
8. TVs and docking stations (many kitchens have desks or home office areas as well as flat-screen televisions and docking/charging stations)
9. Wine refrigerators
10. A focus on the user experience, from easy maintenance to accessible design

Contemporary Kitchen by Geneva Kitchen & Bath Designers Past Basket Design

Most Popular Colors: The most common color scheme for kitchens: White, followed by gray, according to NKBA. About a third of NKBA remodelers also said they did black or blue kitchens in 2014. Kitchens in green tones were also gaining in popularity. Designers are increasingly reporting an appetite for kitchens with multiple color schemes.

“I am seeing lots of white painted kitchen perimeters with espresso stained islands and dark stained kitchen perimeters with light colored painted islands,” says Christine Shorr with Morris Black Designs in Allentown, Pa. “Lots of painted white kitchens with light countertops and espresso islands and painted gray cabinets.”

Out of style: Country/rustic, Tuscan and Provincial looks with distressed finishes, as well as color schemes in reds, bronzes, and terra cottas are on their way “out” in the kitchen.

 

5 Golden Rules to Home Staging on a Budget

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 02:00

 

 Contributed by Moshells.com

How to Update a Kitchen to Attract Buyers

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 02:00

By Patti Stern, PJ & Co. Staging and Interior Decorating

Kitchens are more important than ever when it comes to influencing buyers’ perceptions of a home as well as the perceived value. Some home owners make it a priority to invest in remodeling key rooms to increase the value of their home for when they are ready to sell. However, sellers who are pressed for time and need to get their homes on the market fast can still achieve the look of a remodel by giving their outdated kitchen a modern face lift that will engage buyers without breaking the bank.

The kitchen featured below was designed for a couple that wanted their dream kitchen to enjoy but kept the look classic in the event they decide to sell down the road. The key to managing their budget was to follow the existing blue print and add some modern updates.

Kitchen Remodel: PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating
This kitchen style was reminiscent of the early 90’s. We transformed it into a modern, stylish space incorporating some of today’s top trends, including a neutral paint color, modern shaker style cabinets, clean subway tiles, industrial pendants, quartz countertops and complementary natural, organic stone tile.

When selling, there are many ways home owners can update key kitchen features while staying within a budget. Painting, new appliances, lighting, and updating cabinet hardware are just some examples of inexpensive fixes worth every penny to attract buyers.

The following are some examples of PJ & Company’s staging projects that feature simple improvements such as painting cabinets, upgrading appliances, and installing new light fixtures that give these kitchens a remodeled appearance like our dream kitchen above.

The kitchen cabinet transformation

Our favorite fix for dated cabinets is paint. Using bright white paint to cover outdated, dark wood cabinets gives this kitchen (pictured below) a modern facelift. Other cosmetic fixes to enhance the look include replacing cabinet hardware with sleek, brushed nickel knobs and handles. Adding a few modern accessories like the small sisal rug provides a relaxed and inviting Pottery Barn-look.

In this kitchen update, PJ & Company painted the cabinets white and the oak island a dark espresso, creating a fresh, modern kitchen attractive to buyers without a major investment.

This Pleasantville, NY kitchen was not only small but dated. PJ & Company painted the cabinets white, and added a countertop table with stools which gave the space a fresh look that buyers loved.

Update fixtures and appliances

The right lighting is a critical part of any space but is most important in the kitchen for functionality. These industrial style pendant lights are a perfect example of a simple update that adds a twist of contemporary style with sophisticated appeal.

As more people are tuning in to watch cooking programs on television these days, they are seeing sleek kitchen appliances and fixtures, which are growing in popularity particularly among young buyers. If your appliances are outdated or in disrepair, consider replacing or servicing them. If you decide to replace, keep in mind that retailers will often give a discount when buying multiple new appliances.

The single lever faucet, the stainless steel stove, and floating hood are another example of an upgrade that completes the state of the art look of the room. There is a range of options available to choose from that will give a high-end look that will appeal to buyers.

Kitchen Remodel: PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Invest in countertops

Repair or replace counters that are cracked, stained, or dated. If replacing, consider one of our favorite materials: Quartz (used for the island in our kitchen remodel). Quartz has become a growing alternative to granite and marble. It comes in a variety of colors and styles that provide both a custom appeal along with durability.

Kitchen Remodel: PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating
Kitchen island features quartz countertops

Update flooring

Nothing says dated more than worn carpeting, scuffed hardwood floors, and cracked tile. If your kitchen floor is dull and has lost its luster, first try to clean, use wax linoleum, re-grout, replace missing tiles, and polish hardwoods. If there are too many imperfections, there are a variety of low cost tiles that are both affordable and durable. There are also many synthetic options to choose from that mimic the look of hardwood floors in our kitchen remodel, as well as stone or marble finishes.

For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visit www.pjstagingdecorating.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern, principal, interior decorator and professional stager of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating, has been decorating and staging homes since 2005. She and her team provide turnkey, full service home-staging and interior decorating to clients across Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts. She also developed an award-winning staging program for luxury home builder, Toll Brothers. Stern has been featured in Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant, Danbury News-Times and on NBC Connecticut and FOX TV. She is a regular contributor to REALTOR Magazine’s Styled, Staged & Sold blog. To contact, e-mail Patti Stern at patti@pjstagingdecorating.com

The Room Millennials Say Is Essential – and Why You Should Stage It

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 02:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Millennials may be willing to sacrifice extra square footage in a home and even features like an outdoor kitchen or two-story foyer. But there’s one thing they say they aren’t willing to sacrifice in a new home: A separate laundry room.

A separate laundry room clearly topped the list when the National Association of Home Builders recently surveyed millennials to discover what their “most-wanted” item on their home shopping list was. Fifty-five percent said they wouldn’t buy a new home that didn’t have a separate laundry room. They also ranked storage as important, such as linen closets, a walk-in pantry, and garage storage.

With the laundry room weighing so much on millennials’ buying decisions, you may want to take a closer look at the way you’re presenting the laundry room in your listings. Could it use a freshen up? And if it’s such a selling point, you may want to add a photo of your staged laundry room to your MLS photos.

Take a look at some of these photos from the remodeling site Houzz to get ideas on freshening up your listings’ laundry rooms.

  •  Try a soft paint color — accented with white painted cabinets and trim — to make the space look larger and even cleaner. Enhance with some under-the-cabinet lights that shine on the countertops. (The paint featured in the picture below: Benjamin Moore, Comet)
Traditional Laundry Room by Minneapolis Kitchen & Bath Designers Crystal Kitchen Center
  • Fresh flowers, bright colored curtains, and even wallpaper behind the cabinets may make the space more inviting. 
Transitional Laundry Room by Dallas Interior Designers & Decorators Traci Connell Interiors
  • Wherever there are cubbies, add wicker baskets. Hang a few clothes on wooden hangers to show off the storage options. And if the storage options even include a place for the family’s pet, accent that in a lower cubby too with a stylish pillow cushion. 
Transitional Laundry Room by Atlanta Architects & Building Designers Harrison Design
  • If the laundry room is small, add a wooden block over the washer and dryer to squeeze in a folding station.
Transitional Laundry Room by Frisco General Contractors Andregg Contracting, Inc. – Remodeling Specialists
  • Stack a washer and dryer to maximize space in a small area and to make room for some cubbies and shelves. Keep the shelves neat and staged, such as by folding light-colored towels. Keep the laundry accessories displayed to a minimum.
Contemporary Laundry Room by Vancouver Interior Designers & Decorators i3 design group

Is a Larger Closet Worth More Than a Prime Location? Apparently Yes!

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 02:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Home buyers say they’re willing to make some sacrifices on the home’s location in order to get certain must-have amenities in their next home, according to the 2014 PulteGroup Home Index Survey of more than 1,000 adults ages 25 to 65. Indeed, 44 percent of adults surveyed said they’d give up a location near public transportation and 35 percent would give up better schools and proximity to entertainment and shopping for certain upgrades in their next home.

So what features are so important that they are willing to make such big sacrifices as the location of the home? Here are the top items that home owners said they’d be willing to make sacrifices on location in order to have:

Craftsman Kitchen by Bend Architects & Building Designers Christian Gladu Design

 

  • Move-in ready home: 64%
  • At least one bathtub in a home: 54%
  • More space than their current residence: 51%
  • His and her closets: 23%
  • Spa-like master bedroom: 23%
  • Large eat-in kitchen area: 23%
  • Kitchen island: 22%

“In addition to the more common home options, we’re starting to see regional trends emerging among homebuyer preferences,” says Ryan Marshall, executive vice president of homebuilding operations, marketing and sales for PulteGroup. “From outdoor kitchens in Florida, to spice kitchens in California, shoppers are increasingly discerning when it comes to home features that could be the deciding factor in their next move.”

Other popular regional trends the survey identified were accordion-style glass doors in the Southwest; multi-generation floor plans and screened-in porches in the Southeast; balconies off the kitchen and rooftop terraces in the Northeast; and “Jack n’ Jill” bedrooms and coffee bars in the Midwest.

Overall, the most important areas to home buyers when choosing a new home: kitchen (29%), bedroom (22%), and living room (18%).