Beautiful updated home with spectacular pool, pergola with gas grill plus zoned for top rated schools. From the moment you drive up, you will fall in love! Greeted by a grand staircase with both formals on the side. Kitchen has recent appliances including 5-burner gas cook-top with stainless hood and granite counters. Wait until you see the master suite with updated sumptuous bath and awesome custom closet! Study is private and could be second bedroom down. Walk to Buckalew Elementary, neighborhood park with pool, courts and path to Bear Branch Reservoir.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
The mega consumer electronic showcase, CES, lands in Las Vegas this week. It may not be the place you typically go to for décor trends, but technology is having an undeniable influence in home design, like see-through refrigerators and smart lighting.
Consumers look to you for expertise too. Forty-two percent of Americans say they would look to their sales agent to provide suggestions about how staging their home with smart home products could impact the sale of their home, according to a newly released Coldwell Banker Real Estate survey of more than 3,000 Americans.
So what do we see that has potential this year to spice up some designs? Here are a few picks from CES 2018.
Accent Wall Light Show
Nanoleaf’s color-changing Aurora light panels would make for an attention-getting accent wall in small or big doses. Connect them in any configuration you like. They just stick to the walls. The panels change colors, and you can sync the lights to music and also with one of your AI’s, Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. The panels are touch-sensitive so with a tap you can turn them on and off, dim them, or change the color.
Refrigerators just keep getting smarter. LG’s new InstaView ThinQ smart refrigerator features a 29-inch touchscreen that becomes transparent if you knock on it twice. You can also use the touchscreen to manage your food and get automatic reminders when items are running low.
Samsung has a similar model in appearance with its 2018 version of its Family Hub smart refrigerator. This year’s model offers support for Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant to handle voice commands. It can connect to other third-party devices for the smart home too. So you can actually view what’s happening outside your front door from your refrigerator door.
Notice both the Samsung and LG models are both featured in black stainless, which we still believe will be a growing competitor to traditional stainless steel.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall …
Check out this smart mirror. Kohler is introducing a new Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror, which is a bathroom mirror that has Amazon’s Alexa built-in. It features a dual-microphone solution for accuracy in voice-control and speakers are housed in the casings. There is also a motion-activated wayfinding nightlight for safety, and LED lights for makeup application or other grooming needs. It can also communicate with other connected products in your Wi-Fi network.
Is that an AI in your ceiling?
Talk with your ceiling lights. You’ll be able to with GE’s Smart Ceiling Fixture. It is a large disk that boasts a speaker in the middle. You can give it voice-driven tasks on anything, like adding an item to your grocery list or telling it to play music. You can also tell it to adjust the warmness or coolness of the lights. It responds to your commands. Flush mount or recessed can lighting options will be available.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Are homeowners growing tired of the all-white kitchen? Some design experts believe so. White kitchens have been popular over the past few years, but Houzz editor and writer Mitchell Parker predicts that the number of homeowners who will get “white-kitchen fatigue” will grow in the new year.
Some homeowners may experiment with adding more colors back in to the kitchen.
“While white kitchens aren’t going anywhere, expect to see a rise in color, especially other neutrals like gray and blue,” Parker notes in reporting on 2018 home trends. “Plus, warm wood tones are becoming a popular replacement for painted cabinets, leading to sophisticated, rich palettes.”
The two-tone look started catching on in 2017, in which cabinet colors were mixed and matched in the kitchen. For example, the bottom cabinets might be a darker color, such as gray, and the upper cabinets then all in white. Or, homeowners were making a bigger statement with their kitchen islands by painting it a bolder color that contrasted with the rest of its kitchen cabinets.
By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource
Outdoor patio spaces have sure changed in the last few years with the onset of new outdoor materials, furnishings, fixtures, Cantina doors, and the home owner’s desire for more outdoor living and entertaining space. In fact, according to the 2017 National Association of REALTORS’ Profile of Home Staging report, the desire to see outdoor spaces staged when selling a home was at 63 percent. It was not even mentioned in the previous survey.
This outdoor space total transformation is a great example of the kinds of living trends you can expect to see for 2018 and beyond.
Trend #1 – Capitalizing on Available and Unusable Yard Space by Creating Multi-Functional Entertaining Areas
This side yard off the kitchen and dining area was an unusable space used only for barbecuing and the occasional outdoor eating. The patio was too small. Today’s yards are multi-functional and serve to entertain, lounge, and maximize lot square footage.
The side yard appears to be much bigger than before and now serves as an extension of the kitchen and living room area. The wasted and unused yard is now a highlight of the home adding nearly 1,000 square feet of living space.
Trend #2 – Bring the Outside In with La Cantina/Folding Doors
Removing the kitchen wall and adding La Cantina folding doors allows for seamless movement between the inside and out. Almost every new home being built in San Diego County has one of these doors inside, so expect to see a lot more of these in the coming years.
Trend #3– Home Bars and Wine Rooms for Entertaining
The casual setting of a home bar is on the rise with a large selection of finishing materials and resources available online to home owners. More people are entertaining larger crowds in a “help yourself” type of atmosphere. The Houzz category of “Home Bar” is one of the fastest growing and searched type of photos. So it’s no wonder people are adding them to their outdoor space.
Trend #4 – Textured Walls/Tongue and Groove Siding
Part of making an outside addition appear to be seamless to the inside is to not have the walls look like the outside of a house. An easy way to create the “indoor look” is to banish stucco entirely and use tongue and groove, as well as wood cabinets (treated and painted) to add character.
Trend #5 – Seamless Outdoor Heating that Works and is Energy Efficient
It wasn’t that long ago home owners were relegated to the indoors for most of the year due to cold and hot weather issues. Sophisticated and low energy heating units embedded into the ceiling make this a year round space for watching TV and entertaining!
Trend #6 – Matching Flooring as an “Extension” of the Indoor Space
Keeping in line with the home owner’s desire for a seamless movement between inside and outside, flooring options have widened allowing owner’s to use tile that looks like wood but is hardy and easy to wash in their outside space.
From a resale standpoint, these outdoor spaces cost much less than additions and add buyer lifestyle value. Light fixtures, finishes, and furnishings that can withstand the outdoor elements are easier to source than ever before, so it can be fun for the designer/stager to get creative with their clients.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Audra Slinkey is president of the Home Staging Resource, a RESA Accredited home staging training and certification company. Slinkey has personally trained over 3,000 stagers worldwide and is a bestselling author and international speaker. She also serves as president of the American Society of Home Stagers and Redesigners. Connect with her on Facebook!
By Mary Purcell, MoneyGeek.com
Home staging has gone mainstream and is now widely used to make a home more attractive to potential buyers. According to a 2017 survey by the National Association of REALTORS®, a majority of real estate professionals believe staging increases the sale price of the home anywhere from 1 to 15 percent.
But even if it doesn’t increase the value, most agents agree that staging reduces the amount of time the home sits on the market, which is music to any seller’s ears.
Not all homes need a dramatic makeover, but most homes will benefit from at least a thorough cleaning and culling.
“Staging and preparation can include as little as some fresh paint, but in most cases we also landscape, replace dated light fixtures and hardware, and in many cases refinish hardwood floors, replace countertops, bathroom fixtures, etc.,” says Nicole Kennedy, a home staging expert in Piedmont, Calif.
Read on to learn what industry and design trends we can expect in 2018.
More real estate agents get on board
Lori Matzke, founder of HomeStagingExpert.com, provides home staging workshops around the country in addition to running her own staging business in Minnesota. She’s noticed an increased interest and involvement of real estate agents in the staging process.
“Back when I started staging (in 1999), agents were not interested; they didn’t want to have one more thing on their plate,” Matzke says. “My classes are now 90 to 95 percent agents. I think you’re going to see a lot more agents learning about staging and how to advise their clients, because more and more homeowners are demanding that.”
That doesn’t mean agents will be doing the staging themselves, but they will have an eye for what is needed, and will facilitate the interaction between the seller and the stager. “It really helps the homeowner to have an educated real estate agent,” says Matzke. If the agent has prepped the seller about what needs to be removed and cleaned out, it makes the stager’s job faster and cheaper.
Complete vs. partial staging
Staging can range from small efforts like decluttering to a complete move out and refurnishing. Complete staging of vacant homes is a growing trend, according to Matzke. Whether it’s new or model homes, or the seller has moved out, many stagers today only work with vacant homes.
In the booming Bay Area housing market, Kennedy says buyers are accustomed to short sales cycles, so having the home primed and ready is expected.
“Fewer than 10 percent of homes I stage are partial–where we keep some of the furniture and belongings, edit out and add in where needed,” notes Kennedy. “This can be challenging because the staging has to fit in with existing styles and pieces, but it can make more sense to sellers who are staying in the house through the sale.”
Matzke says the complete staging trend isn’t limited to hot real estate markets.
“It’s been trickling down into smaller markets, not just in the larger metropolitan areas,” she notes. The ubiquity of staging on HGTV shows has probably made the idea more palatable to sellers and agents across the county.
Embracing a personal touch
One of the golden rules of staging has long been to keep things neutral to appeal to the widest range of potential buyers. But stagers are increasingly adding a little more design, style, and color to the home.
“Staging is becoming a bit more personal and less stale than it has been in the past,” Kennedy says. “It used to be standard to remove all family photos and personal items from the house, but today’s buyers prefer to see a house with a little personality. They want to see a ‘real’ house that they can imagine themselves in and small, personal details that create an aspirational image can help reach buyers on an emotional level.”
Matzke agrees. “It’s becoming trendy for stagers to do a little mixing with vintage pieces to give it a designer look. I think it gives the place more depth and I’m seeing more chatter about it on blogs.”
Following the design trends
While most of the staging do’s and don’ts will remain the same in 2018, our experts expect some new design trends to emerge in many staged homes next year:
- Color: After a few years in which just about every design magazine is covered in gray, Matzke has a bold prediction: Gray is dead. “People are embracing beige and creamy white again,” she says. “I think that’s good because not everybody’s furniture fits with gray.”
Stagers are also increasingly adding a pop of color or an upscale design element to appeal to design-conscious buyers.
“Adding a pop of color in a room through accessories or artwork is common,” says Matzke. “The two big colors I think you’ll see a lot of in 2018 are dark teal and millennial pink … especially if you’re marketing to first-time homebuyers or a younger crowd, you might want to add those colors.”
- Floors: It used to be that preparing a home for sale meant replacing old, stained carpet with new carpet, but Matzke says that, too, is changing. “A lot of people are replacing carpeting with wood and faux wood flooring–at least on the main floor,” she adds.
- Countertops: While quartz is the latest countertop trend among high-end homes for 2018, Matzke thinks most of America will stick with granite next year because of cost. “Design magazines are pushing quartz, saying it’s going to be the hot trend for 2018,” Matzke says. “And for the really high-end homes they’re probably right, but for a majority of America, I think it’s still going to be granite.”
- Glam: Although it sounds counter to the rule of keeping things neutral, HGTV and design magazines have popularized a bit of glam. “For a long time you’ve seen people adding a little bit of rustic, heavy metal designs, but now you’re seeing a lot more shiny metallics,” Matzke says. “Even gold–it adds a bit of bling to the house.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Purcell is a freelance writer and health and finance researcher. She covers homebuying, savings and other personal finance-related topics for MoneyGeek.com.