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New Home Trends You Should Know About in 2015

by Courtney Soinski

Is your home ready for the New Year, inside and out? As we get closer to the end of December, many of us begin to crave some sort of change or daydream about making a fresh start.

You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel after transforming your surroundings into a fresh new look. If you’re planning on selling your home, it’s especially important that you keep it in tip-top shape and stay up to speed with new, popular home trends. You may even attract new home buyers!

Here are some of the top home remodeling trends in 2015, according to remodeling experts – Andy Lindus of Lindus Construction, Mike Blank of MBC Remodeling, and Jason Hampel of Moss Building & Design.

1. Bye-bye ceramic flooring…Hello luxury vinyl tile.

Increasingly in 2015, home owners will be using luxury vinyl tiles on their kitchen or bathroom floors instead of ceramic. This type of flooring gives a higher end look at a cheaper price.

homerenovations.about.com

homerenovations.about.com

2. More painted kitchen cabinets and less stainless steel.

You’ll begin to see painted cabinets in new kitchens along with white trim as we enter the New Year. People are also starting to move away from stainless steel appliances because they show fingerprints very easily.

navybeanlane.blogspot.com

3. Maintenance-free countertops.

It may be hard to believe, but granite countertops are on their way out. Although not gone completely, we will start seeing a much greater demand for high-end kitchen countertops that require little maintenance, such as soapstone, engineered stone, or zinc.

 

fortheloveofahouse.blogspot.com

fortheloveofahouse.blogspot.com

4. Cooler bathroom colors.

In the bathrooms of new trending homes, buyers are leaning more and more toward cooler colors on the wall and décor. Specifically, cool grays, green, blues and white will be popping up in remodeled bathrooms.

countryliving.com

countryliving.com

5. Adding “keeping room” off the kitchen.

An increasing number of residents are adding “keeping rooms” to their home’s layout. A somewhat small room located near the kitchen, it’s a great place where kids can play with their toys, or the room can even be a study or media room.

houzz.com

houzz.com

6. Bigger closets and bathrooms.

Another home design trend that you’ll see in 2015 is in the bedroom. Less money is being put into bedroom space. Rather, there is a higher demand for larger closets and bathrooms because people want to make better use of their space.

frontgate.com

frontgate.com

 

Now is the perfect time to think about redecorating your house to attract new home buyers in 2015. Just follow these top home design trends for the New Year. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Source: http://www.angieslist.com/articles/contractors-talk-home-remodeling-trends-2015.htm

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How Smart Are Your Appliances?

 by Courtney Soinski

What if your dishwasher knew how dirty your dishes are?  What if your oven actually made you a better cook?  Can your refrigerator help you surf the web, play music, or make a phone call for you?  What if your cooktop regulated the heat under your pan for even cooking?

Whether you’re selling a home as a consumer or real estate professional, kitchen appliances are a big deal.  According to ratings collected by CNET, here are the top five kitchen appliances in high demand right now:

1. Dishwasher:

dishwasherWhirlpool WDL785SAAM – Want a dishwasher that knows how dirty your dishes are?  This unit is included in Whirlpool’s line of 6th Sense Live smart appliances and includes a “sensor wash cycle” which uses Whirlpool’s Auto Soil sensor and the water clarity to determine how dirty the dishes are. Depending on the reading, it may automatically add more water and adjust the temperature accordingly.  The WDL785SAAM is a tall tub, built-in dishwasher with two removable racks and a stainless steel tub, which holds heat better and is more energy efficient when compared to other dishwashers.

 

 

microwave2. Microwave:

Panasonic NN-SD997S – For a solid, good looking microwave, this high wattage, mid-price range stainless steel unit with blue LED display gets good reviews and has a large capacity.  The sensor functions are reported to do their job well and best of all, it’s a good deal.

Looking for more in a microwave? Check this Microwave Buying Guide. Newer options include a microwave in a drawer, super convection types for browning and new inverter technology so you can finally poach salmon and make fluffy omelets in your microwave.

3. Oven:

ovenDacor Renaissance 30″ Double Wall Oven – Can your oven make your a better cook?  CNET’s taste testers unanimously preferred the food cooked this oven over all other ovens they tested!  On the high end price-wise, this double oven is a critic’s fave.  They say you’ll have a hard time finding one with a better and more powerful cooking performance.

 

4. Refrigerator:

Samsung 4-Door Refrigerator with 8″ Wi-Fi Enabled LCD – This refrigerator syncs with the Galaxy S5 and Note 3, your television or your wifi connection so you can browse morning headlines, search recipe sites, stream music, or watch TV.  It will also keep your milk cold and your ice frozen with a 28 cu. ft. capacity, adjustable shelving, Twin Cooling

SamsungPlus” system, FlexZone” drawer with variable temperature control settings, along with the 8-inch LCD touchscreen.

 

5. Cooktops:

Bosch Benchmark induction and gas cooktops.  The newest innovation to stovetop cooking, induction stovetops from Bosch feature “FlexInduction” cooking with two separate cooking zones that can be combined to fit larger pots and pans.  The AutoChef temperature control supposedly holds a steady cooking temperature without fluctuating so food cooks more evenly.  Plus, it’s a pretty good looking cooktop.

Whether  you’re a master chef – or need all the help you can get, these hot appliances will add value to your kitchen and your home.

 

 

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Spruce Up Your Home with Recycled Wooden Pallets

by Courtney Soinski

As you know, we’re always looking for new ways to reuse items to decorate homes on a budget. Today we’ll be highlighting recycled wooden pallets. These are often just thrown out with the trash, but they can be used in so many innovative, creative and functional ways throughout your home! Wooden pallets can be manipulated to create things ranging from storage items, beds or coffee tables to window boxes, shoe cabinets or rockers.

Here are our top 10 favorite DIY home design ideas using recycled wooden pallets:

1. Front Porch Swing.

This is a very low cost and creative solution. All you need is strong ropes and 2 sturdy wooden pallets.

swing

2. Coat Rack.

Paint this pallet however you want then just add some hooks for an adorable coat rack!

coat rack

3. Coffee Table.  

Cute and functional coffee table on wheels made from recycled wooden pallets.

coffee table

4. Indoor Flower Display.

Bring the outdoors in! A great way to have bursts of color and a pretty garden on the wall.

flowers

5. Chairs.

Outdoor seating area made with recycled wooden pallets. Great for entertaining!

chairs

6. Hanging Pot Rack.

Keep your pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils organized in this wooden pallet hanging pot rack.

pot rack

7. Pet Bed.

Whether you have a dog or cat, this is a great DIY idea for your furry friend, made from reused wooden pallets.

dogcat

8. Shoe Rack.

Innovation way to store and organize your shoes at home.

shoes

9. Kitchen Shelf.

Use recycled wooden pallets serve as a shelf that stores items in the kitchen. Looks cool, too!

shelf

10. Bed Frame.

Very inexpensive and fashionable way to use wooden pallets as a durable bed frame.

 bed

Step-by-step instructions for each wooden pallet project:

            Front Porch Swing
            Coat Rack
            Coffee Table
            Indoor Flower Display
            Chairs
            Hanging Pot Rack
            Pet Bed
            Shoe Rack
            Kitchen Shelf
            Bed Frame

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