Pet-Friendly Décor That’s Stylish

pet-friendly decor

Making your home comfy for you and your furry friend doesn’t have to mean tacky animal décor. Here’s how to use pet-friendly décor in your new home to get you and your pet’s tail wagging.

By Nova Hasley

When you live with pets (or kids), it’s easy to forget about style in the name of making your home comfortable and safe for your furry friends.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way! Style and comfort aren’t mutually exclusive. You can have a home that’s fashionable and safe for your pet. Here’s how to use pet-friendly décor to make your home the tasteful and chic abode you’ve always imagined it could be.

Pet Corner

Your pet deserves a space to call their own. Pets are just like humans in that they like a special place to retreat to. Dogs have their beds and cats have their perches. Find out what best works for you and your pet and implement it into your design.

“Dogs have a natural instinct to snuggle up in their own den. Cats need their alone time, too. Emotionally, dogs and cats will suffer if they don’t have any space they can call their own,” says Joe Chanda, president of DenHaus, a luxury dog bedding and furniture supplier.

Dog Bed End Table

Photo Courtesy of DIY Network

A dog bed doesn’t have to stick out like a sore thumb. Choose a color or design that matches your overall décor. You could even incorporate their bed under a table so it is out of sight.

For cats, make sure you’re meeting their needs. “If your cat is scratching, there are some things you can do to deter them. First of all, invest in or build your cat their very own scratching post. You will need to help your cat and redirect them from scratching the furniture to the new post,” says Anna O’Toole, marketing coordinator of Love that Pet, an online pet supply store.

As many cat owners know: cats are a curious breed. They seek adventure and love the idea of being independent. Having shelves along the walls can be placed in a decorative way that your cat will enjoy.

cat shelves for play

Photo Courtesy of Cats Play

Pet Gate

decorative pet gate

Photo Courtesy of Dog Expertise

As much as we would like a loving pet to be with us all the time, we too need a place to retreat. Whether you have work to get done or are hosting a party, pet gates can be a good way to keep your pets where they should be.

Don’t think of a gate as something that will contrast your décor. Gates such as the one pictured above can not only blend into your décor, but be their own statement pieces.

“My No. 1 suggestion to clients is a tall metal pass-thru gate, one with a small door at the bottom for smaller pets or cats to use when wanted. This helps create a larger dog-free zone or pet free totally,” says Janet Huey, owner of Pet Stuff Resale, a refurbished pet supply business in Houston.


pet furniture

Photo Courtesy of Decoist

When shopping for furniture, think big. Whether you have a big dog or a small one, it’s good to make sure your valuables are out of reach of tails and teething mouths.

“To protect furniture while you are training your new pet not to chew and scratch, household items like bubble wrap, tin foil and plastic can be great barriers for furniture legs or anywhere else that chewing or scratching can occur,” says Petryk.

Unless you like to clean a lot, think about getting furniture with legs that are easy to clean under. Chairs and sofas with skirts can attract all the lovely fur your pet has to offer.


pet friendly fabric

Photo Courtesy of Design Indulgences

“Pick fabrics that are easily washable or can be stain treated,” say Kinney. Choose stain-resistant fabrics for your furniture for easy clean-up. Materials such as synthetic fabric, leather or ultra-suede are easy to deal with when it comes to owning a pet.

Also when picking out your furniture, gravitate toward colors that are similar to your animal. Shedding happens on a regular basis and when it does, it will be less noticeable with like colors.

Patterned fabrics and darker colors are also something to consider when it comes to pets and their stains. Avoid white and light colors (unless it’s a stain-resistant fabric), as stains are more noticeable.

“Pale-colored furnishings are a no-go in any room that pets are allowed in. Muddy paws, surprise ‘presents’ and unexplained stains will ruin your cream couch before you’ve even had a chance to sit on it,” says Blake Connoy, co-founder of Helpling, an online booking company for cleaning services.


Carpets soak up odors and can be a hassle to clean. Durable floors help you to skip all the cleaning woes. There are plenty of stylish options to choose from, including hardwood flooring, ceramic tile, painted concrete or stone.

These materials aren’t only easy to clean up, but can be cooling for your furry friends during the summer heat.

pet friendly rug

Photo Courtesy of English Lakes

Rugs could also be a good option for you and your pet. A stylish rug can tie your room together while being a nice change from the surrounding hard floors.

Don’t let owning a pet limit you from the stylish person you are. Have any other pet-friendly décor ideas? Comment below.

Nova Hasley is a content intern for New Home Source.

Posted in Home Decor/Furniture | Leave a comment

How to Manage Multigenerational Living

Multigen Living

Multigenerational living isn’t for everyone, but it can work for more people than you’d expect. Here are some tips to help you figure it all out.

By Maria Galizia

Ah, multigenerational living.

This re-emerging trend can mean anything from an efficient and organized living arrangement with separate living areas to a recent college grad living in their parents’ basement and to even an aging parent who’s moving into the spare bedroom (check out our article on multigenerational living on our New home Guide). When done right, multiple generations living under one roof can become a resourceful super family. When done wrong, however, family members can become quickly annoyed with each other.

But no need to worry. The keys to successful multigen living means respecting each other’s needs and wants, so we’ve compiled some ideas and tips for getting along as one big, happy multigenerational family under one roof:

Say It Together: Privacy

Separate bathrooms may be essential to some, while two completely separate living areas may be essential to others. It’s important to discuss living arrangements before moving in and expectations as well. It also helps to be respectful of other people’s privacy, to not intrude on others and to not bring unwanted guests over. Set times and guidelines, or ask in advance when it comes to inviting friends over. No one wants to come home to a room full of people when they just want some peace and quite at home.

For long-term situations, “finish a basement or attic, convert the garage into a bedroom and try adding an extra bath somewhere,” suggests Tori Toth, a certified home stager. “All of these except converting the garage will actually be qualified renovations to get you a bigger return on your investment.”

Divide Tasks            

One way to make multigen living more manageable is to divide tasks and chores. That way, no one member of the household feels responsible or overwhelmed by cleaning and maintenance duties. Rotate weekly or monthly so no one gets tired of one thing.

“You have to be mindful not to fall into a routine of dependence since that might be the default way that your parents interact with you,” advises Cathy Habas, a 24-year-old managing editor who shares a home with her 58-year-old mother. “However, at the same time, doing things like laundry, dishes and grocery shopping solely for yourself in an effort to be independent can strain relationships. It can come across as brusque. It’s good to cooperate and pitch in however you can.”

That is especially true in situations with young adults and their parent, when both are trying to find a balance between dependence and independence. Adult children and aging parents don’t want to feel smothered by their parent or children. Certain household tasks can be made easier and more fun when done together.

“It’s way more fun to cook for two than to just cook for yourself,” adds Habas. “Not only is it more fun, but it’s less wasteful and more satisfying to cook for more than just yourself.”


Living with other generations of your family means a unique opportunity to spend quality time with parents or adult children. Take each moment as a moment to bond with one another.

Nikki Tate, an author who lives with her 79-year-old father as well as her 28-year-old daughter and her husband, says that “communication and connection is what makes our arrangement deeply satisfying. Whenever humanly possible, we sit down each evening to share a meal, [which gives us] a chance to talk, laugh and remember why we choose to live together as a family.”

Creating a network of trust and support is what makes multigen living worth it. Remember, you’re all in this together, so everyone will experience frustration. But if everyone trusts each other and works together, the household will become a well-oiled machine.

Save Money

Not only is there the emotional support and social benefit of living with a large group, but there is a “huge financial advantage,” says Habas. “The deal I’ve worked out with my mom is that I will focus on paying off my student loan debt and she will continue with house payments, utilities, etc.” It’s helpful to work out deals such as this, but have a deadline or goal in mind so no one feels as if they’re being taken advantage of.

Of course, this isn’t always the case — sometimes family members are not able to live rent free. However, even if lower-income family members did chip in for rent, it would cost far less than living on their own, so there is plenty of opportunity to save money. This money can go into a savings account, used to pay off debts or for vacations or to save up until the person is financially ready to purchase a new home.

Although many people in a single household can be hectic at times, it can relieve stress if you get organized. Thriving together in a household helps us remember what being a family is all about — supporting our family members and living with a primal sense of community. To manage multigen living, divide tasks, spend quality time together and give each person their privacy to keep everyone sane on a daily basis.

Posted in Buying a New Home, Opinion | Leave a comment

Best Time to Sell Your Home

By Nova Hasley

Are you thinking about selling your home? Believe it or not, the time when you sell your home matters. Read on for more on the best time to sell your home (so you can focus on moving into that newly built home of your dreams):

Friday Effect

When selling a home, you have to plan to the smallest detail. Even what day of the week you post your home can determine how long it will be on the market. Houses posted on Friday tend to spend the least amount of days on the market, as opposed to Sunday — homes posted on Sunday spent the longest amount of days on the market.

Fun fact: Homes listed on Friday sold for 99.1 percent of the original asking price. That means more money for you and your next home.

Changing with the Seasons

Seasons can also have an effect when selling your home. Winter and spring have proven to be good seasons to sell. “Right after the first of the year, there’s a burst of activity from people who have been waiting for the holiday to be over, which is when most people are listing for sale,” says Kevin Lisota, CEO of Seattle-based Findwell Real Estate.

“People who are buying a home in the fall or winter — those are serious buyers,” says Amanda Howard, owner of Amanda Howard Real Estate in Huntsville, Ala. Even though summer may give you a lot of traffic during your open house, you are more likely to get people who are just browsing. During the fall and winter months, you will get buyers who are more committed.

4 Tips and Tricks of the Trade

1. The average number of days a house is on the market is about 120.

2.The “Friday Effect” could mean selling your home for $5,000 more.

3. Don’t be afraid of holidays. Get more deals on holidays with less competition.

4. Don’t price your home with a zero at the end. People perceive a precise cost like $282,284 as lower than a rounded number such as $283,000.


Nova Hasley is a content intern for New Home Source.

Posted in Buying a New Home, Did You Know? | Comments Off on Best Time to Sell Your Home

Decorating with a Beachy Chic Interior Design Style

Beachy Chic style in the Herring Point Plan by Schell Brothers in Lewes, Del.

Not everyone can live on the coast or a private island, but you can sure make it feel like you do. Try decorating your home with beachy chic interior design style to bring the sea to you, like in the beachy chic Herring Point Plan by Schell Brothers in Lewes, Del.

By Drew Knight

You don’t have to live on the coast; you don’t have to own a million dollar vacation home; and it’s not just for bathrooms. We’re talking about a beachy chic interior design style!

If you’re a beach lover by heart and want to create that coastal, salty-air look in your new home, we’re here to help. We sat down with award-winning interior designer and author Jennifer Adams to find out how to design with a beachy chic interior design in mind.

Key Elements

“Depending on what you are going for, you could do a beach theme that captures the clean, airy, relaxing feelings of a beach vacation or go all-out with a full nautical theme,” says Adams.

Adams prefers using calming, cool colors opposed to designs with things like starfish and anchors.

“Start with rustic, wide plank wood flooring, distressed painted finishes, sandy-colored neutrals and off whites,” she suggests. “Accent with blues from navy to pale sky for a tranquil look.”

Then go with a variety of textures like woven baskets, jute or sisal area rugs and fabrics like sturdy canvas and soft linens for a casual, calm and welcoming décor. Aged metals, driftwood, weathered and painted wood and rounded stones and pebbles are other things to keep an eye out for.

Use “things people would find as they’re walking along a beach and will remind them of their last vacation,” Adams says.

Color Trends

When opting for colors, beachy chic color schemes usually stick to blues and greys, along with neutral colors.

“If you wanted to go bold, you can use tropical turquoise blues and greens with white,” Adams says. “A great way to coordinate using these colors is to use lighter neutral colors for the backdrop, including the walls and sofa, and colorful throw pillows, accessories, artwork, lamps and area rugs.”

And when it comes to patterns, Adams suggests going with stripes with deep colors like navy blues on off whites. Knotted netting or distressed rope patterns are also appropriate.

“It’s functional because the style is so casual and inviting,” says Adams. “Comfortable, worn finishes and soft fabrics in neutral colors help hide stains and dirt, so a sofa or chair will look the same for years.”

Furniture and Accessories

Now for the fun part: choosing furniture and design accessories!

Casual is key with a beachy chic design. Adams prefers natural finishes like wicker, raw woods, unbleached muslin or linen fabrics when picking out furniture items.

“A huge trend that’s been popular for a while is rustic, weathered-wood finishes or rubbed white, ivory, slate blue, deep red or gray paint,” says Adams. “These finishes are great because they are already distressed — your kids or pets won’t mess them up.”

For accessory design elements, the sea’s the limit. Just about anything you could find washed up on the beach might work.

Adams suggests decorating with big clam or conch shells, wrapping simple vases with rope or thick string, pieces of coral, artful driftwood pieces, old maps or beach photos, fishing gear, jars filled with glass pebbles, sand and seashells … the possibilities are as limitless as the ocean itself.

So, besides finding it on the beach itself, where does one find it all?

“You can make some of your own pieces or shop in secondhand shops for great older furniture and treasures,” Adams says. “Keep your eyes out for estate and garage sales especially in coastal towns.”

So go ahead and get to scavenging. Once you “sea” your beachy chic home, you’ll be in paradise.

Drew Knight is a Digital Content Associate for New Home Source.

Posted in Buying a New Home, Interior Design | 2 Comments

Summer Color Trends To Brighten Your New Home

By Nova Hasley

With the change in seasons comes a whole new color palette.

Pantone, a global color authority, came out with their color swatches for the summer, reminding one of a tropical sunset. “People love to mix and match colors that make them think of summer and spread the good feeling,” says Kristina Michniak, North America Apparel Manager for Spreadshirt, an online apparel company.

This summer, bring the beach to your living room with these summer colors:


Pantone Blue Swatches

Pantone Blue Swatches

There is something so calming about the color blue — especially in these gorgeous shades. Use these colors in the room you like to relax for a soothing effect. Why not paint the dining room blue? Aqua blue, that is. “If you want to suppress your appetite, blue may be a suitable kitchen color because it can have this effect on some people,” says home improvement writer Kathy Hatter.


Photo Courtesy of My Zesty Living


Pantone Yellow and Orange Swatches

Pantone Yellow and Orange Swatches

Don’t these colors make you think of a gorgeous sunset? Take a cue from nature by adding the warmth of the sun to your décor. Simply switch out your winter or spring décor pillows with fresh new ones for that pop of color.

Tangerine is an “energizing orange shade that can be mixed with a range of bright shades and put into super modern and beautiful combinations,” says fashion blogger Rima Kh. May we suggest color-blocking tangerine with other summer colors to create the extra edge you’re looking for.

Photo Courtesy of Decoholic

Photo Courtesy of Decoholic


Pantone Pink and Neutral Swatches

Pantone Pink and Neutral Swatches

Pinks are big this season with men and women alike. Softer tones like Blush Pink help add warmth without going all out. “Furniture follows fashion and blush pink is a major resort-wear color this season and will be found throughout homes next,” says Kelly Fallis, CEO of Remote Stylist.

Make the style your own by mixing the colors this season. The picture below shows this season’s color palette doesn’t have to be used in a tropical theme, but a classy one.

Photo Courtesy of Remote Stylist

Photo Courtesy of Remote Stylist




Pantone Green Swatches

For a more unique tone, go with Lucite Green. Get the best of both worlds with the calming effects of blue and the edge of a summer trend.

Want all the season’s colors in one place? Apartment Therapy put this modern room together with most of the colors without being over the top. What do you think of this year’s summer colors? Do they inspire you to redecorate? Or wait for fall?

Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Nova Hasley is a content intern for New Home Source.

Posted in Home Decor/Furniture, Interior Design | Comments Off on Summer Color Trends To Brighten Your New Home

Fourth of July Outdoor Décor That’ll Make You Beam with Pride

Fourth of July outdoor decor

Your décor can make or break your holiday celebration, so here are some tips to make your Fourth of July outdoor décor stand out and help you and your guests beam with pride. Photo Courtesy of Good Housekeeping.

By Nova Hasley

Planning to go all out for the Fourth of July? Of course you want bragging rights to the best outdoor décor in the neighborhood, but where do you begin?

Our founding fathers took care of the color scheme: red, white and blue. So, pretty much anything in these colors will take you in the right direction. But with such a simple color trio, how does one stand out?

Here are some ways you can turn your Fourth of July outdoor décor into an all-American extravaganza:


It’s all about first impressions. Let your guests know that this is going to be a great party as soon as they walk up to your front door. Making a Fourth of July wreath could be the edge you’re looking for.

“Did you know you can make a designer wreath with 3 ingredients? You can when you use high-quality products like wired ribbon, faux florals and a WOW focal point,” suggests holiday decorating experts at Show Me Decorating.

Take your DIY skills to the next level by adding your personal touch and, of course, America. Stick with the patriotic theme by including flags or stars and stripes. Leave your guests wondering, “Where did they get that?”

Table Décor

Fourth Picnic Tabe_Lowes

Photo Courtesy of Lowe’s

No question, the most important feature will be the U.S. flag. As your family gathers around to eat, wouldn’t a great conversation topic be your great taste in table décor?

“I love incorporating small and medium stick flags into my 4th of July decorating,” says Cary, N.C.-based professional interior decorator Amy Bell. “They’re affordable and can be clustered in a small vase for a simple outdoor centerpiece.” Great centerpieces paired with a patriotic tablecloth will help tie everything together without being too much.

Don’t forget to add your personal touch in your table décor! This is a day for you and your family, so having past Fourth of July photos at each table can be a great way to reminisce. Create a family hashtag so guests can share new pictures on social media.

Fun Station

Fourth of July Games_HGTV

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

Your whole family is gathering in your backyard, so let’s not forget to provide entertainment for all ages. Fireworks are the go-to holiday staple, but what shall you do before the sun goes down?

You could set up a colorful craft table with face painting or arts and craft to bring everyone together. A ‘Make Your Own Uncle Sam Hat’ booth could be a fun activity for the kids and make some memorable photos.

If you have a more active family, why not come together and play a game of good ol’ American football or baseball? Split into teams and make a reward to up the ante. Loser does dishes? Let the competition begin!



Fourth of July flag cake_Food Network

Photo Courtesy of Food Network

When done right, food is a decoration in itself. Why not start with some American classics? Try to stick with the day’s color palette the best you can, but just have fun with it! If you have any family food traditions, all the better.

“Bring out the colors with fun candies and desserts decorated in the flag’s colors, like red velvet cupcakes with blue frosting,” says celebrity designer

Doesn’t this cake look delicious? Get family and friends involved by adding it to the day’s activities. Gather around the kitchen and have a blast putting it together. It doesn’t have to be perfect — it’s all about laughing and enjoying the company.


Fourth of July Holiday lights_Lowes

Photo Courtesy of Lowe’s

Now that you’ve got the ground covered, let’s hang some decorations. Take your décor to the next level by adding some lights and lanterns to your trees to shine amongst the fireworks.

“Brighten up your backyard,” says Adams. “Hang lanterns, string lights, fill mason jars with candles or get a campfire tripod or an easy-to-install backyard fire pit to brighten up the yard and add a spark to any party!”

Just remember the most important part of this holiday is to be with your family and friends to celebrate our nation, so sit back and enjoy your great choice in décor with the fireworks. Happy Birthday, America!

Nova Hasley is a content intern for New Home Source.

Posted in Buying a New Home | 2 Comments

Moving Tips to Make Your New Home Move Quick and Simple

man walking out of home with moving bag in hand

Moving should be as simple as packing up and walking out the door. With our quick and easy moving tips, your new home move can be a breeze. Photo via Death To The Stock Photo.

By Maria Galizia

Moving into a new home can be an overwhelming experience: not only must you clean, organize and pack up everything you own in a way, but then there is the task of unpacking and finding a place for every item in your new home.

But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will wake up in your dream home will be a reality. To help make your new home move quick and simple, here are some moving tips to help ease the transition:

Packing Hacks

It’s easy to lose or break things when packing, so use these tricks to help prevent any messes or broken items without spending too much on specialty packing items.

Bonnie Dewkett, a professional organizer in Connecticut, suggests purchasing an expandable file folder for important documents such as birth certificates, passports, important mail or receipts. This will prevent those important items from being lost in the move.

Dewkett further suggests color coding boxes to correspond to each room, so you won’t have to rummage through them to know what’s inside.

When it comes to packing, don’t be afraid to improvise with things you already have. Trash bags, for example, can also be used for pillows, blankets and even as garment bags.

“When it comes to packing electronics, keep cables under control by threading them through the middle of toilet paper tubes and wrapping the cable around the cardboard,” says Blake Connoy, managing director of Helpling Canada, a Toronto-based cleaning service. “Be sure to keep cables, remotes and other accessories with their piece of equipment.”

Most important, don’t leave packing for the last day or even week! Starting a month before your move can help keep things stress free, while leaving time for you to organize and get rid of things you don’t need.

Moving Party

Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends for help! To make the suggestion more enticing, throw in some pizza and drinks (nobody likes to move large items on an empty stomach). Multiple people are better than one or two and with all of the help, it will take no time at all.

If you’re moving long distance or don’t want to bother with the heavy lifting, check out our article on what to look for in an interstate moving company.

Also, take note of how your furniture is arranged and assess whether or not that arrangement is what you want in your new home. Sarah Gray, of moving company You Move Me, finds it helpful to create a plan for where your furniture will go once it’s moved into your new house. “It’ll make moving in faster and will cause less stress once you arrive at your new place,” says Gray.

Preliminary Maintenance

About a week before you move into and start sleeping at your new place, you’ll want to set up utilities, such as gas, electricity and cable/Internet. Some people don’t consider this and will call the day of a move or just a few days before, without realizing that it can take a few days for the companies to send someone out. This means you’ll be living with no water, electricity and, worst of all, no Internet (horrifying, I know).

Also, there are a few things you may want to clean before setting up your stuff. Cabinets should be wiped out for dust or wood chips, so that your dishes stay clean. Have pest control come out as well if that has not already been done.

Feel at Home

Connoy suggests packing a “survival box” that will be easily accessible when you arrive at your new home. This box should include dishes, bedding, towels, toiletries, coffee, snacks, favorite toys for the kids and/or pets and anything else that will make you feel comfortable for that first night and morning. This will help reduce some of the stress of moving.

To keep things moving, plan for a housewarming party a month or two away, so you have a chance to settle in and share your new home with family and friends and without feeling too stressed about getting things in place in just a few days. And, to ensure that you’re not left with boxes of unpacked items months after you’ve moved in, set weekly goals of which rooms you want to complete so it’s not overwhelming.

And, last but not least, enjoy your new home!

Maria Galizia is a digital content intern for New Home Source, where you can search the largest collection of newly built homes and new home communities.

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