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Posts Tagged Interior design

Are Closed Kitchens Making a Comeback?

9868f680e65e1e9d3e0fa39f5867841d (1)by Courtney Soinski

For a while now, there has been high demand for open floor plans, in which the kitchen and dining room are not bound by any walls or doors.  I wouldn’t get too comfortable, though – We may now be faced with a turning point in buyers’ home design preferences.

Recently, builders and architects are featuring separate kitchens in new homes due to higher demand.  According to a New York Times article regarding floor plans with formal dining rooms and closed kitchens, a broker explains “They offer charm and they’re better for entertaining. For a certain demographic, they’re a definite selling point.”

f23de27328f42abd197feb26285f355cThere is also increasing popularity of what architects are referring to as “hybrid kitchens,” which have pocket doors so home owners can have either an open or closed kitchen.  Having this option is a huge benefit.

A closed kitchen does not mean it’s shut off from the rest of the house, but it does mean that home owners can have some privacy when they need a little break from noisy kids or need to concentrate on cooking dinner.  Closed kitchens are also great at hiding dirty dishes or a messy kitchen when guests are visiting, which means less stress for home owners.

2e5b21e679a20e9e6e6b00a43930b1abCompromise is the key to achieving the perfect kitchen.  Home owners can get the best of both worlds with a kitchen that closes off smells and food prep mess, while also not isolating the cook.  Ways to achieve this dream kitchen are simple, and can range from adding a pass-through window or a raised bar and eating counter to installing pocket doors or a peninsula with upper cabinets.

 

Source: RealtorMag, HouseLogic

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Easy Home Renovations for Romance All Year Long.

2013-Valentines-Day-decor-ArchitectureArtDesigns-4by Courtney Soinski

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, who says you have to celebrate love just one day out of the year?  Why not every other day, too?  It’s now a perfect time to add some romance to your home with some new decorating techniques.

We’ll show you how to transform your home into a romantic paradise where love never fades.   Here are some easy renovations for romance all year long:

  1. Romantic Furnishings.  Add luxury to a room with a chaise lounge or a four-poster bed.  With a bed with soft and silky sheets as the focal point of the room, it will radiate with elegance and romance.
  2. Soft Lighting.  When you want romance in your home, be sure to stay away from bright lights.  Lighting should be soft to give off the right vibe.  Try installing dimmer switches on lamps and chandeliers so you can easily adjust the brightness to match the room’s mood.
  3. Fireplaces & Candles.  The flickering flames from a fire bring out the romance in a room.  Fireplaces and candles create subtle light to both invigorate and relax the occupants.
  4. Sense of Touch.  Take advantage of your sense of touch through soft fabrics, bath curtains and the use of velvet or similar materials for upholstered chairs.  On lamps, opaque shades will give your skin a beautiful glow and soft, plush towels are a nice touch for a romantic atmosphere.
  5. Sense of Smell.  Enhance the overall mood in the room with the power of scent.  In every room of the house, use scented oils and candles while keeping a subtle smell that is not overpowering.   Add lovely aromas by placing fresh cut flowers around your home.
  6. Sense of Sight.  Captivate the sense of sight with lovely artwork of landscapes, sculptures, or still-life paintings.  Place delicate vases on dressers or a stack a poetry collection on a piece of furniture to enhance the romantic aura.
  7. Sense of Sound.  You can filter sound and keep noise levels down in your home’s romantic space by using curtains and soft, plush rugs.  Keep the television off or in another room to minimize noise.

Using these home decorating tips, you can create a romantic and elegant aura throughout your home this Valentine’s Day and all year long.  As you decorate your home, concentrate on captivating all the senses.  Sight, sound, touch, and smell should be used in soft and subtle ways to provide both luxury and tranquility.

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Is Your Home Staged for Every Season?

the_four_seasons___vivaldi_by_irvinggfm-d4tj3vcBy Courtney Soinski

If you’re preparing your house to sell and don’t know where to start, you’re not alone.  Even the experts understand that it can be overwhelming.  Thankfully, there are many tips, guidelines, and resources to help you along the way.  As you venture out into the housing market, you’ll find that home staging is an integral part of the selling process.  Updating your home in different seasons throughout the year can improve your chances of sparking a buyer’s interest.

Some home staging techniques have the same impact no matter what time of the year, but there are also many season-specific ways you can stage your home that are more effective in buyer persuasion and attraction, without them even realizing it.

Here are some seasonal home staging tips to take advantage of:

  1. Summer:  In the summer, your house may get cluttered with trees, plants, and the seasonal humidity makes your yard look out of control.  To calm down the summer chaos, trim plants to reach the bottom of the window.  Do not use any hanging plants on your patio because you want their eye to go to the house, not the plants.  You should also stage the backyard as an outdoor living area in the warmer months.  Don’t be afraid to spend the extra money on A/C – Make sure the inside of your house is cool, or else buyers won’t stick around very long, which means they won’t buy.
  2. Fall:  The season of Fall brings us many things, including lots of leaves.  Make sure you keep the house exterior nice and neat by raking up all those extra leaves in the front yard and trim greenery as needed. Halloween and Thanksgiving come around during Fall, but don’t go overboard with the decorations.  Remember that less is more when it comes to staging your home to sell.
  3. Winter:  Now we come to our current season, Winter.  The rule mentioned above in Summer for your house’s interior temperature also applies here, but in the opposite sense.  You’ll want to spend the extra money on your heating bill if you want home shoppers to stay and look around, feel comfortable, and potentially buy.  It also gets dark earlier in the Winter, so make sure you keep lighting in mind – putting timers around the inside and outside is a great solution.  Keep the holiday decoration down to a minimum so it doesn’t distract buyers from the actual house.
  4. Spring:  Spring means bright colors, and that’s what buyers will be attracted to, especially once it brightens up the rainy weather that usually comes with Spring.  Place seasonal flowers in pots on your front porch and make sure all of your holiday lights and decorations are down and put away.  Also, keep up with trimming the weeds and make sure there are no cracks in your driveway so people don’t trip, especially if women are wearing heels.  Lastly, keeping light coming into every room of your house is a sure way to appeal to buyers’ senses.

Apply these small alterations throughout your home to fit the seasons of Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring to make a huge difference on how you attract buyers.  It’s time to cut the strings of attachment by turning your home into a house and your house into a product.  Only then will you see results.

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