Top remodel trends for the modern home
(BPT) - Thanks to foreclosures and short sales, home buyers are snatching up great houses at reduced prices and remodeling to create stylish modern homes. Lucky for those buyers, many of today’s top trends are relatively easy to recreate, and will add re-sale value to their homes.
“TV interior design shows are mostly about buying and remodeling a home, versus building from scratch or finding a new property that precisely fits a wish list with plenty of personal requirements,” says Dani Kohl, program coordinator for the bachelor of science in interior design program at The Art Institute of Indianapolis and a practicing architect and interior designer.
The top remodeling trends include:
* Uniting the kitchen and living space for an open-floor concept
* Culture dictating an increase square footage for entertainment, haven from a busy work schedule or modern luxuries
* Finding multi-functional uses for both spaces and furniture
On average, Kohl’s residential clients are spending about $40,000 to $60,000 to renovate and remodel their homes. Most of the money is spent in the kitchens, master bedrooms and bathrooms.
“Gone are the days of the formal dining room and living room,” says Kohl. “Walls are being knocked down to join the two rooms.”
Parents want to be able to cook while watching kids do homework or entertaining guests. Kitchen islands most often serve as the main division between kitchen and living space, and are the entertainment centers of a kitchen.
“Kitchen islands are looking more like free-standing furniture pieces with elaborate marble tops and wood work, and interior designers are often finding functional yet hidden places to store the trash can and keep the dish washer from view,” Kohl says.
Pedro Lima, an interior design instructor at The Art Institute of New York City and owner of Pedro Lima Interiors, says that temporary partitions between the living space and kitchen are also on the rise. These partitions can be of varying heights, whether it’s a two-way fireplace or modern book shelving. Partitions are a great option for homeowners who want that open-floor plan for the kitchen and living room, while still maintaining a defined space for each.
Lima says that our current culture and habits are driving the changes in modern, interior spaces.
“When it comes to the master bedroom, we are looking at a more pampering atmosphere,” he says. Both Kohl and Lima agree that clients want more of a spa-like feeling than ever before to create a bedroom that is a safe haven for over-worked homeowners.
“Master bedrooms now have their own seating areas and entertainment nooks, and have become personal spaces away from everything,” Lima says.
An increase in square footage for closet space is another popular request, according to Lima. “We, as designers, are now looking into proper modular systems of rods and shelving, in addition to our architectural and design duties.”
Closets are not just for storage anymore, either. “Now, we’re looking at closets to serve as a dressing space in addition to serving as a place to store an increased amount clothes and shoes.”-
How are clients gaining square footage for the needs of today’s residential space without making a complete renovation and creating add-ons to their homes?
Lima says that downsizing to accommodate upsizing is part of the remodel plans too.
“Designers are spending more time at looking for innovative ways to add versatile furniture that serve multifunctional purposes,” he says. “For instance, coffee tables also serve as storage spaces and additional seating, wall units have built-in desks, and couches open up to beds in home offices.”
Whichever remodeling trend homeowners choose to apply, all trends point toward integration, simplification and organization, as homeowners seek to enjoy their homes and share it with family and friends.
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Tips to navigate the real estate landscape and find the perfect home
Annette Lawrence, academic director of design programs, at The Art Institute of Ohio - Cincinnati, and Marissa Alexander, interior design program coordinator at The Art Institutes International Minnesota, offer these tips to navigate the real estate landscape.
Before you ever step out of your current home, make a list says Alexander. Your list should include one column for “must haves” and another for “wants.” “The wants you can compromise on,” advises Alexander. If you know what you are looking for and what you can’t live without, it’s a lot easier to find it.
Many people get caught up on the basic aesthetics of a home. “The paint is not a big deal,” says Lawrence. “Countertops are not a reason to choose a home or cross it off your list.” The shag carpeting can be ripped out and replaced. These are all easy fixes.
You should beware of the fixes that can break the bank. Will the roof need to be replaced? What about other big-ticket items like the heating and cooling system? Does the perimeter of the house slope toward it? That could mean flooding during a heavy rain. And what about the structural integrity of the foundation? A good inspector will spot the red flags and could keep you from making a costly mistake. That inspector will also check the chimney, the insulation in the attic and the gutters and spouts.
And there are things you can check on before you call in an inspector. “If you want to know whether a floor is warping, just take a ball and roll it across the room,” says Alexander. If it doesn’t roll straight across, it could signal issues with the foundation.
Figure out what kind of layout you want for your house. “Ask yourself what kind of floor plan you like,” says Lawrence. “Those are the kinds of things that are costly to change.” If the floor plan is right for you, the cosmetics will be a fairly easy and inexpensive fix.
While you may think that this home purchase will be one of many, you should consider the possibility that this could be your home for decades to come. That’s why Lawrence is a big proponent of finding a home that allows you to “age in place.” She suggests you find a home with a first floor master bedroom and laundry room. Also consider how many steps there are from the driveway into the home. Are the hallways and doorways wide enough for a wheelchair or a walker?
Even if you do not think you’ll need these accommodations, consider your home’s “visitability.” If you have elderly relatives or friends with disabilities, are they going to be able to come to your new home? “My grandmother was one of my most frequent guests,” explains Lawrence. “I had low lighting and had painted the walls dark colors. Consequently, she couldn’t see too well when visiting.”
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'Summer-ize' your home to look and smell wonderful in warmer weather
(BPT) - The three R’s aren’t just reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic. In the summer, they refer to “reorganizing,” “restyling” and “reviving” your home. It’s the perfect time to bring a summery, comfortable feeling to your home’s interior. Luckily, you don’t need to redo every room or throw out all your furniture to get a wonderful seasonal change. Spend a weekend giving your living spaces a lighter, fresher feel. At the end, you might even think you’re on a summer vacation.
Home and lifestyle expert Evette Rios has some simple suggestions that can make powerful impressions throughout your house.
Boost the excitement and va-va-voom in your rooms by moving just a few things around. You’ll be amazed at the new looks you can create. Something as simple as changing the angle of your couch and voila - new room! Try this scuff-proof method for moving heavy pieces: Fold two clean towels (dirty ones can scratch floors), place one under each end of the furniture piece, and then slide it across the floor. This might also be the time to incorporate a few white wicker pieces, which will add a summery touch.
Take some time to sort through your linen closet and remove unwanted items. Put old or unused linens into a “giveaway” bag. Store bed linen sets inside one of the pillowcases, and you’ll never have to hunt through piles looking for a match. All you’ll have to do is grab and go. Want a closet full of freshness? Place a few Gain dryer sheets in with your folded sheets to keep them smelling great.
Fresh new accessories can help to brighten up each room in your home. Turn plain lampshades into fabulous ones by adding bright or printed linings that come to life when you flip the switch. You might even want to swap out the art on your walls, adding more colorful pieces that are floral or botanical. If you’re feeling really ambitious, consider painting a few walls to add a clean, fresh look to your rooms. Try bold colors you’ve never had before to really change up the look.
Want to get the kids involved? Turn some drab kitchen aprons into fun “cleaning armor.” Give each child his or her own apron to decorate with markers or stickers to wear, and send the kids on their mission to dust, clean windows, organize, etc. They’ll love wearing something they decorated themselves. Don’t forget to ask their opinions on the changes you’re making - you might be surprised at their great suggestions.
If you’re packing away heavy clothes or quilts for the season, ensure they maintain a fresh scent by using new Gain Original Fireworks In-Wash Scent Booster in the wash before you store them. It’s safe for use on all colors and fabrics and the freshness lasts up to 12 weeks in storage (just in time to take them out for the fall).
Make your laundry room a place you’re not afraid to enter. De-clutter the room by installing a tension rod to hang spray bottles, cleaning supplies and more. You can also decorate the room with your kids’ artwork to make it a fun space.
Your summer home makeover doesn’t need to be expensive or time-consuming. Ambitious projects might take a little longer, but you’ll be pleased at how simple it is to transform some of your rooms from drab to wonderfully fresh. Just don’t wait too long - summer doesn’t last forever! For more inspiration, visit ILoveGain.com or facebook.com/gain.
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