Home Design Trends for 2015

2015 Home Design Trends

Trends like black paint in the kitchen are a bold new take on design in 2015. Photo courtesy of Brunch at Saks.

A new year, a new design scheme for your home. Let’s see what hot in home design for 2015.

Kitchen

Many of this year’s design trends are happening in the kitchen. Colors are getting bolder, storage is becoming more open and tile styles are changing. According to Erin Davis, lead designer at Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland, Ore., some unexpected new kitchen favorites include subway tiles and black paint.

Additionally, countertops are getting a makeover and homeowners are becoming increasingly concerned about hygiene. The longstanding popularity of granite will finally fall to a new favorite — quartz — says Davis and “touchless faucets will become even more popular.”

However, not all trends are new; some trends are rolling over from last year. “One,” says Davis, “is our collective obsession with Morocco [tiles] in the kitchen and elsewhere.”

Another is open shelving. “It’s both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Open shelves visually enlarge your kitchen and show off your dinnerware.”

Paints

By now it’s no secret that Pantone’s 2015 color of the year is Marsala. A very bold color, it should be used sparingly, says Davis. “Try it in canisters, dish towels, accessories and artwork.” While it’s a very versatile color, Davis fears it may trend out sooner rather than later, advising, “I wouldn’t use it in anything that will be around for a while.”

While most people are aware of Pantone’s overall color of the year, what most people don’t know is that other top colors are named as well. This year, Mediterranean blues, olive and grey have been named alongside the aforementioned Marsala. Perhaps the most notorious, gray’s popularity shows no sign of slowing down. “It may be the new ‘it’ neutral, replacing the old beige of days past,” says Davis.

Fixtures and Features

Hardware is getting more popular and surprisingly, “brass is back,” says Jenelle Isaacson, owner of Living Room Realty in Portland, Ore. “But it’s not your 1980s shiny golds and lacquered brass” that are making a comeback, she says — it’s  a warmer,  more tarnished brass that comes un-lacquered with a natural finish and rose tones. And it’s popping up everywhere. “Everything from shelves, lighting, furniture and hardware” are now available in brass tones, says Isaacson.

Another trend showing up on 2015 showroom floors is the return of ornamentation in favor of the stark modernism that’s been so prevalent of late. Wall paper, textures and patterns are all slated to make a comeback in 2015.

Design

“2015 is all about mixing modern with historic styles,” says Isaacson. “The mid-century modern Jetsons-style has been big for the past five years,” but expect to see a return to the classic styles of the 1800s and the 1940s.

With the aging baby boomer population building homes, aging-in-place features are an increasingly important design element.  Known as universal design, “having a master on the main (floor) is something almost every client I work with wants, with the possibility of gaining parents living with them or for buyers considering aging in place,” says Isaacson.

Ashley Steel is staff writer/editor for NewHomeSource, where you can search for and get information on new homes and new construction communities. You can find her on Google+.

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The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, Day 1: What Will the Home of the Future Look Like?

Kitchen & Bath Industry Show 2015

The first day of the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show took shape on Tuesday in Las Vegas. Jason Tester, research director of The Institute of the Future, spoke at the Voices from the Industry presentation about the home of the future.

LAS VEGAS – In the 1960s, Saturday morning cartoon “The Jetsons” imagined what the 21st century would offer: flying cars, robot maid and other tech that help maintain the home.

Today, that’s not too far off. The smart home and the Internet of Things mean people can maintain their homes from afar with their apps on their smartphone or tablet. Even so, what does the home of the future look like? That’s the question tackled by Jason Tester, research director of The Institute of the Future, during his keynote address at the Voices from the Industry presentation at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas.

Tester spoke about the seven trends that will shape our lives and homes in 2030. The biggest takeaway? Tech is here to stay.

The Climate Will Be Volatile

Because of more extreme weather in the future, our homes will need to withstand harsh environments. The home of 2030 will need to allow for, perform in and shelter us in severe circumstances.

Our Connections Will Be Continuous

We will be connected to each other and we will be connected to our homes and bodies. Our homes, through apps, will track and incent us by including scales that will tweet your weight (there’s nothing that would get me off the couch faster!) or a couch that would heat to uncomfortable levels should you lay on it for too long.

The World Will Be Older

Because 1 in 5 Americans will be 65 or older in 2030, our homes will need to accommodate the needs of an aging population. Imagine if our homes could help take care of those who are aging – homes that could monitor us could keep us safe and allow us to age at home, rather than in a facility.

Jobs Will Be More Fluid

The move to working at home is becoming more common. Tester suggested that more work will be done at home. Traditional offices would morph into many part-time people in many countries who never actually meet in person, but still collaborate. Our homes will need to accommodate those types of work needs.

Cities Will Coordinate Needs and Resources

City will provide services such as Uber and Grub Hub to accommodate the needs of its citizens, but also to help alleviate unwanted growing pains such as traffic.

Our Living Space Will Adapt to New Features

Think about the cost of land in San Francisco – the rising costs means homes will get smaller. In the same way, homeowners around the country will adapt and change their living space to be more sustainable to their city and environment. Heard about the tiny house trend? This is folks adapting their living space to fit their needs.

Tech Will Permeate Our Lives

Already happening, so why expect that to change? We’re at just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Internet of Things, so home automation will only get more sophisticated and functional in our lives.

Tester suggests the home of the future will adapt to meet the needs of homeowners and will make maintaining a home easier for many homeowners. What do you think of his predictions? Would you add anything to the list?

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Super Bowl Seating: How to Stage Your Living Room for Maximum Viewing Potential

Fans celebrating at a Super Bowl party

Make sure your guests have a great time watching the Super Bowl with these thoughtful seating accommodations. Photo courtesy of BET.

By Ashley Steel

Patriots and Seahawks fans — as well as general football fans and even commercial fans — are all gearing up for Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.

As you’re getting the word out about the party that’s happening at your house this year, don’t forget to think about game-time seating. The chicken wings can wait, but if your guests can’t see the TV, there’s going to be hell to pay.

Here’s how to stage a room for maximum viewing potential:

Seating

For many people, traditional household seating is not ideal for large gatherings. When it comes to sofas, “people will tend to leave a space between themselves and the next person,” says Sara Chiarilli, interior designer and owner of interior design firm, Artful Conceptions. Thus, a three-person sofa only sits two people and this can be a huge waste of party space.

Instead, opt for a sectional sofa with a curved corner, as this affords the most seating, says Chiarilli, but avoid sectionals with a square corner because they seat even less than two sofas.

For those fringe viewers not on the sofa, making use of angles can help leverage the outer edges of a room that would otherwise go unused. Another sly tactic? “Add pouf ottomans for additional seating and foot rests,” says Chiarilli.

There are few among us who don’t enjoy a good recliner. And for those days when you just need to lazily flip through the channels, read a book or take a cat nap, a recliner is perfect. When it comes to parties, however, recliners are space-wasters. When reclined, “they take up as much room as a small sofa,” says Chiarilli. So if you’re looking to fit the most people into a room, you’ll want to ditch the recliner.

Sound

Turning the TV up loud enough to drown out the cheers, boos and side conversation won’t create the ultimate viewing experience. Instead you’ll get fuzzy sound quality and a lot of ringing ears.

The best way to create a good sound experience is to establish a surround sound experience. “Sound should come from all around the room, so make sure the speakers are evenly spaced and ideally in the walls and ceiling,” says Chiarilli.

Lighting

Don’t kill the viewing experience with glare. Chiarilli suggests window treatments that will best block the light in your house. Depending on window placement and which direction your home is facing, your window treatment needs may be different.

However, if you don’t have time to install glare-reducing shades, try covering windows in sheets or butcher paper to block out the light. In the case of the latter, you can even get festive and decorate with team colors and logos.

Convenience

As you’re trying to cram as many people into you’re living room as possible, don’t forget to include walkway space so that guests can grab snacks from the kitchen and also use the restroom. Chiarilli suggests that 36 inches is an ideal amount of space for walkways.

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that guests have plenty of surfaces on which to put food and drink. Folding side tables, coffee tables and even footrests can create lots of surface area in a small amount of space.

Here’s to an exciting Super Bowl! While the Patriots and Seahawks each vie for a win, you can be sure that you’ll win at home with these great party seating arrangements.

Ashley Steel is staff writer/editor for NewHomeSource, where you can search for and get information on new homes and new construction communities. You can find her on Google+.

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Tune In for the Coolest New Products & Design Trends for Your Home, Live From The International Builders’ Show and Kitchen & Bath Industry Show

International Builders' Show

The International Builders’ Show and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show showcase the latest industry products and technologies you’ll soon see in homes.

Do you love keeping up with the latest products and design trends that will be coming soon in new homes? You’re in luck!

The New Home Source team will be covering the 2015 International Builders’ Show and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas on January 20-22, 2015.

The International Builders’ Show, produced by The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), is the super bowl of home building. Leading product manufacturers, top homebuilders and some of the best designers from around the world gather each year to learn about the latest products and design trends.

The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, held at the same time, showcases the newest products and technology for your kitchen and bath. We’ll report live from each show to bring you the news as it happens. Tune in for real-time coverage on social media — plus a definitive wrap-up each day here on our blog.

We’ll bring you cool new kitchen and bath design trends, cutting-edge products that redefine home automation (The Internet of Things), and tons of other new products for your new home. We’ll share one expert’s opinion of what a new home will look like in the year 2030. A carport for that flying car at last?

Our team of veteran real estate and housing writers will cover the news as it breaks. You’ll hear it first from award-winning writers for New Home Source that include:

Our coverage begins Tuesday, Jan. 20, and continues through Thursday, Jan. 22. After these two blockbuster events for the home close, you’ll find the best wrap-up coverage — including the hits, highlights and big takeaways from this year’s shows — on the New Home Source New Home Guide.

Don’t forget to follow New Home Source on Facebook and Twitter for live coverage of both shows, #IBS2015 and #KBIS2015.

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Tips for Storing Holiday Decorations

holiday decor

Holiday lights still up? Develop a plan to store your holiday decorations so the task doesn’t feel like a chore.

By Patricia L. Garcia

Are your holiday decorations still greeting guests and neighbors? We know, it’s a drag to take that stuff down.

“People tend to put off putting their decorations away because it seems like an overwhelming process to them,” says Barry Izsak, owner of Arranging It All in Austin, Texas, and a past president of the National Association of Professional Organizers. “Why? One reason is that they don’t have an organized process or way to put them away.”

So, if you’re dreading the take down (trust us, your neighbors are ready for it!), arm yourself with a plan and get to storing holiday decorations in no time at all. Here’s how:

One Step At a Time

Here’s the deal: If you build up any project in your head, it can become overwhelming. So don’t! Take the process of taking down and storing items one step at a time.

“They try to do too much as once,” Izsak says. “If this is something you don’t like to do, then tackle it one room at a time or one aspect at a time: the tree, outside lights, the mantle, the kitchen, etc. In other words, break your task into more manageable pieces and do it a little at a time.”

To help make the task more manageable, don’t be afraid to enlist help from your family too, says Helene Segura, a certified professional organizer in San Antonio, Texas.

Store Like Items Together

“Store items that are displayed or used together in the same storage container,” says Christina Hidek, owner of Streamlined Living, a professional organization company based in Cleveland, Ohio. “The next time the items are brought out, they’ll all be together, ready to decorate your space.”

You can also store items by room or by themes and make sure you’re storing items so they’re ready for the next year, Segura says. “If you decorate by room, you might have a bin for the living room, a bin for the family room, etc.,” she says, adding to do the same for each theme, should you decorate in that manner. “Think about what would help you be ready the minute you pop off the lids next year.”

More Tips

Here are some specific ways to store items, from Izsak:

  • Wrap holiday tree lights and extension cords around wrapping paper and paper towel tubes to keep them free from tangles.
  • Organize holiday tree decorations in layers in big boxes in the order that you put them on the tree.
  • Store small, breakable tree ornaments in empty egg cartons.
  • Bows, ribbons and wrapping paper can be stored in a drawer, bin or in decorative boxes and canisters
    along with scissors and tape.
  • Rolled wrapping paper can be stored upright in a clean plastic wastebasket or tall round canister.
  • Gift bags can be stored in square or rectangular plastic boxes according to size.
  • Under-the-bed plastic boxes can be used to create a centralized one-stop gift wrapping station.
  • Store your already decorated artificial tree covered with large garbage bags after removing the most fragile ornaments.
  • Before putting away items to be stored in your garage or attic, be sure to label everything with a fuller description than “holiday” or “Xmas.”
  • If you use see-through storage containers or color-coded ones (red and green for Christmas, blue for Easter/Hanukah, orange for Halloween), then no labeling is even necessary!

Give Yourself Deadlines

There’s no hard and fast rule as to when you should take down your holiday decorations. If you live in an area where neighbors are encouraged to do their own thing, you could get away with keeping items up all year. However, if that’s not the sort of area you live in, it’s important to observe unsaid community “rules.” Regardless, giving yourself a deadline — say the first weekend after a holiday or 10 days after a holiday — will help you mentally prepare for the task.

Store Decorations in an Accessible Place

While you don’t want to store your decorations in a spot that would easily be cluttered, you do want to store decorations in a place that is not hard to access.

“People who store their decorations up in the attic or some other out-of-the-way place that is cumbersome to access are less likely to decorate and use them every year because it’s such a nuisance to get them down,” Izsak points out.

Whether you are storing decorations for Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day or the like, you can use these tips to help bring some holiday cheer into your home without letting that spirit linger on a little too long. Have fun each holiday — and don’t get bogged down by the thought of storing your holiday decorations.

Patricia L. Garcia is content manager for NewHomeSource, where you can search for and get information on new homes and new construction communities. You can find her on Google+.

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Consumer Electronic Show 2015: The Internet of Things Comes Home to Roost

Lowes Iris connected home system

Lowes Irisi connected home system is just one of the many smart home gadgets and systems that will help homeowners manager their homes and daily tasks. Photo Courtesy of Engaget.

By Patricia L. Garcia and Ashley Steel

Will 2015 be the year that the Internet of Things (IoT) pervades our homes and lives? By the look of things at the 2015 Consumer Electronic Show (CES), you’d expect everyone and their mom to be aware of IoT and the notion of connectivity.

Often enigmatically described as the “Internet of Things,” new technology is driving the movement toward home appliances and products that can communicate with smartphones, allowing you to manage your home from wherever you are.

However, when hit with an influx of technology, human efficiency can’t keep pace with production. It’s why we’re often plagued with too much of a good thing – think pre-universal remote; there was a remote for the TV, the DVD player, a separate remote for the stereo/surround sound system and one for the cable box. Juggling between these remotes was a challenge that often triggered adverse effects, like, say, restarting your movie instead of turning up the volume. But then the universal remote came along and the struggle met its end.

Now the home is entering a similar era with more and more products that can make your home smarter. With more home products being controlled by technology – like the Nest thermostat, keyless locks like the Kwikset Kevo or the August Smart Lock and the Whirlpool Smart Front Load Washer – there are more and more products to keep track of. Soon, so many apps becomes too many remotes and managing the household will become increasingly difficult.

Until … CES 2015!

This year’s big product push came in the form of universal platforms like Muzzley, which allows consumers to connect all their smart home devices onto one platform, regardless of manufacturer. Even Google, who now owns Nest, made a push at this year’s CES to show how its systems can be compatible with other smart devices, like the Whirlpool washer mentioned above and even with Phillips Hue lightbulbs.

Why is the IoT important?

Many of the smart home devices that have been created are pretty darned cool – some are simply just that, while others truly do help busy families manage their busy lives. Others still can help families save money on energy costs or prevent pricey home repairs.

The fact of the matter is that IoT is coming home to roost in 2015. New homes, more than ever, will likely be wired to accommodate these new technologies and will truly be smart homes that will allow folks to manage their homes in a practical way. Where there was once whimsy involved with IoT, now there is functionality. Think being able to throw some clothes in the washer before you leave home and then being able to start the wash as you head out of work – voila! By the time you’re home, all you have to do is drop those clean clothes in the dryer for 40 minutes. Or how about a battery that solves the problem of making sure your smoke alarm is working properly (Roost smart battery) or how about an integrated system that will shut off your home’s water supply if any leaks are detected (Lowes Iris connected-home system)? The smart home of 2015 and beyond will solve your home’s problems before they even happen (or at least will attempt to do so), making home maintenance less cumbersome.

Welcome to “The Jetsons,” because this year more folks will be aware of and embrace smart home tech for its ease of use, functionality and cost.

Patricia L. Garcia is content manager for NewHomeSource, where you can search for and get information on new homes and new construction communities. You can find her on Google+Ashley Steel is staff writer/editor for New Home Source. You can find her on Google+.

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Gadget of the Month: CES Edition

PetNet

Forget to feed Fido? That’s okay! The Petnet will take care of things for you. Photo Courtesy of Tech Crunch.

By Ashley Steel

January is an exciting time for gadgets. (And no, it’s not because you’re tinkering around with the toys you got over the holidays.) It’s time for the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES)!

The global marketplace for all things in consumer technology, it’s a place where products are introduced, ideas exchanged and kick-starter campaigns funded. This year, some really nifty home gadgets have hit the showroom floor. We couldn’t choose just one, so we’re bringing you six gadgets of the month.

Petnet (pictured above)

We now live in a world where even our pets can be doted on by their own personal robot. The Petnet, a robotic food dispenser, can be programmed with information such as your pet’s breed, weight and activity level in order to serve your pet their ideal caloric intake. Program the device to dispense food at specific times and that frees you up from feeding Fido on your lunch break.

Fuz Designs Noke

You’ll never lose your keys again with the Noke. A padlock that connects to your Android, iOS or Windows device, you can secure anything with the touch of an app. What’s more, you can share access to your locked items on a customized basis. Give your spouse and kids permanent access to the backyard shed and your neighbors one-time access while you’re away on vacation.

Fuz Designs Noke

Photo Courtesy of Fuz Designs.

Smarter Wi-Fi Coffee Machine

If you’re not a morning person, the new Wi-Fi Coffee Maker by Smarter will be your best friend. Able to grind and brew a pot of coffee when commanded by a smartphone app, you can literally wake up and smell the coffee.

Smarter Wi-Fi Coffee Maker

Photo Courtesy of Engadget.

Sengled Snap Lightbulb

More than your average lightbulb, this beauty will not only provide ample lighting, but it also contains a camera, microphone and speaker. Perfect for security purposes, you won’t have to sleep with the lights on to feel safe.

Sengled Snap Bulb

Photo Courtesy of CNET.

Parrot Pot

Got a knack for killing house plants? Not anymore. Parrot is introducing a new line of pots designed to let plants virtually take care of themselves. Water reservoirs and self-watering mechanisms allow the plants to be self-sustaining for weeks on end, while a connection to a smartphone will keep you updated if any maintenance is needed.

Parrot Pot

Photo Courtesy of IEEE Spectrum.

Dacor’s Oven

An oven designed with a built-in tablet and wi-fi features that allow you to operate it remotely, this oven hardly needed anything else. But this year, Dacor introduced a new feature to its oven: voice control. With multiple cooking modes, quality filters and air circulation, you can cook multiple dishes at a time. Sounds tasty!

Have you played around with any of these gadgets? Got a suggestion for the next Gadget of the Month? If so, tell us about it in the comments below.

Dacor Oven

Photo Courtesy of The Independent.

Ashley Steel is staff writer/editor for NewHomeSource, where you can search for and get information on new homes and new construction communities. You can find her on Google+.

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