Latest articles

Staging and Style

How I Staged it: The Fireplace

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

The fireplace is a hot home accessory to accent when a home is for sale, and a little staging can go a long way in giving it the attention it deserves. Staging and real estate professionals submitted some of their favorite staging photos and tips for our new slideshow, How I Staged It: Give the Fireplace Top Billing. Check out these stunningly staged fireplaces for ideas to inspire your own staging.

Want to have your photos featured? We’re looking for staging insights and photos for making over the entryway and dining room. Submit your pictures to mtracey@realtors.org.

Staging and Style

7 Hot Home Design Trends to Watch in 2019

What is trending in home design in the new year? The designers at Houzz chimed in with their top picks. Here are a few of their choices for top home decor trends:

Tile backsplash feature wall.

More kitchens are using tile for an accent wall, taking the tile from countertop to ceiling. The tile is even behind floating shelves and range hoods to create an eye-catching feature wall.

Glass and steel room dividers.

In recent years, we’ve seen increased popularity in glass and steel for front doors and shower enclosures on Houzz. But good ideas spread quickly. We’re seeing more glass and steel dividers between interior rooms and expect that to continue in 2019. They give an open feeling while still providing some privacy and noise control, along with a stylish graphic element or contrasting color to otherwise white walls.

The centerpiece tub.

Homeowners are spending more to increase the size of their bathroom and carve out a spa-like space. And they’re devoting a lot of attention to making the tub the all-star of their space.

Black is back.

Black is entering kitchens in a bigger way. Black range hoods, island accent colors, and all-black cabinets are popping up in more designs. Houzz predicts more kitchens featuring black cabinets paired with white walls, backsplash and countertops for a dynamic and sophisticated contrast.

Furniture benches in the dining area.

In the kitchen, built-in bench seating in a dining nook is not only trendy but also offers extra storage as an added bonus. Designers are bringing in bench furniture pieces, which offer an affordable and convenient alternative. “It turns almost any dining spot into more of a lounge area, and you can tuck a few storage baskets underneath for blankets, games, place settings and more, giving you the feeling of a banquette without the commitment,” Houzz notes.

Board and batten exterior.

The modern farmhouse look is still going strong throughout the home, but exteriors are also reflecting it now too. “The board and batten method of construction delivers that homey look and adds texture and interest to what might otherwise be a flat facade,” Houzz notes.

Wood vanities.

Wood vanities can help bring a large dose of warmth to the bathroom. Wooden vanities have long been popular on Houzz, but the latest designs are turning toward reclaimed wood or light wood with clear stains that draw out grain pattern details and knots.

Community Restaurants

The Butler House

Image Source: https://www.facebook.com/TheButlerHouseSpring/

The Butler House is a beautiful restaurant just south of The Woodlands on Gosling that is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  Whether you are in the mood for a dress up dinner on Saturday night, Sunday brunch, or sitting outside on the patio watching football or the Wednesday night family movie, it works for your mood.  Yes, this is the restaurant with the ginormous TV/movie/football screen in the parking lot.  The restaurant is an old historic home that has been lovingly restored into a restaurant.  Rooms have beautiful fireplaces and are cozy and romantic. The outside patio is large and perfect for casual dining.  The food is really the star here.  The steaks are amazing and can hold their own with any fine steak house. The filet is especially perfect.  The lamb is amazing and pairs perfectly with the sweet potato puree.  The caprese salad is one of the best I’ve had. It has beautiful fresh creamy mozzarella with greens, tomatoes, and avocado drizzled with a balsamic reduction.  The beet salad with blood orange vinaigrette is beautiful and tasty.  The short rib dinner with creamy cheesy polenta is also a stand-out.  I also loved the chicken friend steak with bacon cream gravy.   They have a fantastic bar and a creative wine list with some outstanding bargains.  One night they had Silver Oak by the glass which was amazing. The deserts are also not to be missed. They have a flourless chocolate cake that is rich and decadent and perfectly sweet. I order it every time. My first experience at The Butler House was Sunday brunch and it was perfect.  The biscuits were some of the best I’ve ever had.  The mimosas were flowing and the service was perfect too.  The crab cake benedict was amazing with its creole hollandaise.  The Butler House is a great addition to The Woodlands dining scene.

Staging and Style

Can a Shipping Container Home Be Stylish? Check This One Out!

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

A shipping container for hauling heavy freight in trains, trucks, and ships isn’t often associated with anything glamorous. But the housing industry wants to prove otherwise.

Photos by: Rocket Lister, rocketlister.com

This 3,000-square-foot home in Phoenix is made up of stacked shipping containers, but you’d never know it once you walked inside. It’s modern, open designed interiors matches the style and spaciousness of any other single-family home today.

Homes constructed of shipping containers are drawing more attention in the building industry. These homes are flood and fire-proof, eco-friendly, energy efficient, and there’s certainly no shortage of them to transform. Worldwide, an estimated 24 million empty shipping containers are retired, just waiting to find a new purpose. Could real estate be it?

Some housing experts predict shipping containers to make up a bigger footprint of homes and buildings in the future. One shipping container can be transformed into a tiny home, several molded together could form a standard-sized single-family home, and hundreds stacked together in a Lego-like way could make for an apartment complex. Shipping containers can also be transformed as add-ons to existing homes, such as a garage.

But can a shipping container be stylish? Shara Terry, a real estate pro with Berkshire Hathway HomeServices Arizona Properties in Phoenix, certainly thinks so. She’s listing a three-bedroom, four-bath single-family, shipping container home for $610,000. The home, which is a hybrid of two stacked containers on its east side and two stacked on its west side, is designed by engineer Jorge Salcedo and Colombian architect Gregorio Baquero.

“A lot of people who’ve visited it have been curious, and they can’t believe it used to be a shipping container once they step inside and they see how open and seamless it is inside,” Terry says. “There really are only two subtle reminders in the interior that show a portion of the red container,” but even those have been blended into the overall decor. The exterior includes some writing on the containers that were preserved for character, including a stamp in Vietnamese showing its former location.

Overall, the home’s industrial exterior blends to a more modern interior. Take a look at the staging by Kelly Hester with KH Staging and Redesign in Phoenix.

Photos by: Rocket Lister, rocketlister.com

Photos by: Rocket Lister, rocketlister.com

Photos by: Rocket Lister, rocketlister.com

Photos by: Rocket Lister, rocketlister.com

Photos by: Rocket Lister, rocketlister.com

Photos by: Rocket Lister, rocketlister.com

Photos by: Rocket Lister, rocketlister.com

Community Real Estate

The Woodlands 51 Rhapsody Bend

51_Rhapsody_Bend_In The Woodlands

The Woodlands. Looking for a slice of heaven? This custom leisure home on the Player Golf Course, tucked away on a cul-de-sac for privacy is it! Step inside to discover travertine floors flowing effortlessly throughout most of the home, windows to the backyard haven with outstanding outdoor living! Huge kitchen is perfect for any chef, and great for entertaining. The study and master are located at the back of the home, each offering views of the pool and back gardens. 2 secondary bedrooms, each with their own ensuite bath. The dining room ceiling is finished with tile for a beautiful feature. The infinity edge pool is the focal point in the backyard, flanked with fire bowls, and outdoor living space is complete with kitchen, and space for various seating options. The garage can be air conditioned for the hobbyist. Walk to the Player clubhouse and course, and just a short bike ride to YMCA, library, shopping, dining, and minutes to the Park and Ride! This is time for you to enjoy what you have waited for in life!

Visit Michele Flory for more information, photos, and floorplan.