Archives For Trends

Who needs artwork when you can draw on the walls?

The “Frames” wallpaper by artists Taylor and Brown has been offering just that for more than a decade. Now, they’ve released three new colorways, for even more customizable looks in pink, black, and gold.

Images: Graham & Brown

Source: Trendir

Bigger does not always mean better in todays luxury home market as many high-end homeowners are skimping on size to make room for expensive amenities.

In the past, the luxury real estate has been defined by the size of homes, but today many are scaling down on the size. Real estate brokers say more and more clients are shaving off square footage to give priority to sustainability and smart design––including solar power and becoming LEED platinum certified.

For example, last year mortgage banker Heidi Brunet built a 2,085 square foot home in Dallas with extra additives like soy-based, energy-efficient insulation, stained concrete floors, and $48,000 LED lighting system.

Instead of splurging on space in the house, she chose to have a large yard with a 1,000 square foot deck, and a pool because she spends most of her time outside. To Brunet she “wanted the house to be everything I needed it to be and nothing more”.

Architects design  size-conscious homes by removing unnecessary space like formal living rooms, dining rooms, and large hallways. Some regions are also attempting to regulate home size with new ordinances; For example, city planners in Austin, Texas created the 2006 “McMansion ordinance’” which limits floor area to 40% of a lot size. Also, in 2010, Marin County, California required any plans to double homes size more than 3,000 square feet to undergo a design review.

The lesson? A home can still be a dream home no matter the size.

This article can be found in its original form on WSJ.

Photo: Wall Street Journal

From a 37-story apartment tower on Market Street to a 6-story condominium building in Dogpatch, it is clear that black is becoming one of the latest trends in San Francisco architecture.

“When a single black structure pops out from a corner or in the middle of a block, the contrast can give an energetic jolt to a familiar scene,” writes John King of the San Francisco Chronicle. “But as more owners and architects use dark cloaks to look sharp, there’s a very real danger that the eye-catching exception could spread across some districts like an oil spill.”

For many San Francisco residents, maintaining the aesthetics of a city “renowned for crisp light and soft fog” has long been a priority. In 1971, the Urban Design Plan stated that new buildings should “avoid extreme contrasts in color;” and the Downtown Plan of 1985 maintained that “disharmonious colors or building materials should be avoided. Buildings should be light in color.” But despite their best efforts, shades of onyx and charcoal are popping up on everything from downtown office buildings to single family homes in residential neighborhoods.

Even architects who have used the trend in their own designs are unsure of the long-term effects on the city’s over-all look.

“Old San Francisco is a white Mediterranean city,” said Stanley Saitowitz, the architect responsible for a new 6-story condominium on 20th St. painted a rich charcoal. “Black’s definitely the new color, but my feeling now is that it really doesn’t fit too well with the light.”

Like most trends, the feeling seems to be: “less is more.” In context, black paint can highlight a building’s structure or provide necessary visual balance to a bold neighboring edifice; however, if black continues to be in vogue, many people fear that the trend is in danger of changing the face of San Francisco as we know it.

This article can be found in its original form at SFGate.

Images: San Francisco Chronicle

medium_e5334f5e-cc6a-409e-bf04-0d845d7f0021Remodeling spending is expected to jump in 2014 as the housing market steadies and homeowners begin to look at adding value to their homes. The following five areas are where homeowners are expected to spend the most remodeling dollars this year:

Bathrooms: An updated bathroom can be a huge advantage when selling a home. Furthermore, remodeling a bathroom is often one of the less expensive rooms to make over. Homeowners are likely to recoup 72.5% of the cost at resale according to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report.

Kitchens: Even a minor kitchen remodel (replacement of cabinet fronts, oven and cooktop, countertops, sink and faucet, and flooring) is shown to recoup 82.7% at resale.

Exterior Updates: After kitchens and baths, landscaping projects are high on the remodeling list for homeowners, said Liza Hausman, Houzz’s Vice President of Community. Many people choose to create outdoor entertainment spaces to add more usable square footage to their existing home.

Age-in-place improvements: Remodeling the first floor to create a master bedroom and bath is a common way for retirees to reconfiguring their space to prepare for the years ahead.

Additions: Adding on a family room, expanding the kitchen, or building a master suite are all more expensive projects and will be lucrative for contractors and designers in 2014. Large additions were shown to recoup 68.8% of their cost at resale.

This article can be found in its original form on MarketWatch.



View from a home for sale in Oakland, CA; via Househappy.

These ten major metro areas are expected to see the biggest increase in home prices this year according to CoreLogic Case-Shiller’s latest home price forecast:

1. Oakland, California
Median home price: $545,000
Forecast gain through Sept. 2014: 9.3%

2. Fort Worth, Texas
Median home price: $181,300
Forecast gain through Sept. 2014: 8.9%

3. New Orleans, Louisiana
Median home price: $163,000
Forecast gain through Sept. 2014: 8.7%

4. Richmond, Virginia
Median home price: $220,600
Forecast gain through Sept. 2014: 8.5%

5. Hartford, Connecticut
Median home price: $234,000
Forecast gain through Sept. 2014: 8.3%

6. Tampa, Florida
Median home price: $177,000
Forecast gain through Sept. 2014: 8%

7. Baltimore, Maryland
Median home price: $299,000
Forecast gain through Sept. 2014: 8%

8. Birmingham, Alabama
Median home price: $174,000
Forecast gain through Sept. 2014: 7.8%

9. New York
Median home price: $440,000
Forecast gain through Sept. 2014: 7.4%

10. Memphis, Tennessee
Median home price: $122,000
Forecast gain through Sept. 2014: 7.3%

This article can be found in its original form on CNN Money.



When it comes to bathroom remodels, older and younger generations have very different viewpoints. In a recent survey conducted by Houzz, they asked homeowners planning a bathroom remodel or already in the process of one about the needs and desires they have for their bathroom. Of the 7,645 who responded, two distinct groups were found. Here are a few highlights from the results:

  • Homeowners 65 and older are more likely to skip adding a bathtub than those under 35.
  • 31% of the respondents said the bathtub was the driving factor for their bathroom remodel.
  • For those adding tubs, freestanding models top the list, with 33% of respondents preferring them over drop-ins, undermounts and other styles.
  • Young and old are also split on how they like their showers. If you’re under 45, you’re more likely to choose a rain shower and multiple showerheads. If you’re over 55, you likely prefer hand showers and sliding bars.
  • The survey found an even split when it comes to toilet exposure: 52% of people want an open toilet versus one behind a closed door. Younger homeowners (25 to 34 years old) prefer tankless or wall-mounted models over the traditional two-piece ones.
  • 49% cited upgrading features and fixtures as the main reason for remodeling a bathroom.
  • About 79% of people will choose all-glass enclosures for their main shower, and 54% will chose frameless glass.
  • 48% of respondents say they plan on adding a window and 41 percent a lighted vanity mirror. And if that’s not enough, 7% say they’ll add a showerhead with LED lights.
  • Also, 42% of all respondents are planning to add a shower seat.
  • White cabinets are the preferred color choice, with 32%.
  • Brushed nickel (26%) and polished chrome (24%) are the front-runners for faucet finishes.

This article can be found in its original form on Houzz.


Among Americans who moved to a new state in 2013, the largest percentage moved to Oregon. According to their annual migration study, United Van Lines tracked 129,000 total moves in the U.S., while more than 61% of all interstate moves made in Oregon were inbound.

Washington D.C.––which held the top spot for the past 5 years––fell to fourth place, tying with South Dakota.

South Carolina came in second with 60% inbound, then North Carolina at 58%, and Nevada at 56%.

“Business incentives, industrial growth and relatively lower costs of living are attracting jobs and people to the Southeastern and Western states, such as South Dakota, Colorado, and Texas,” said UCLA economist Michael Stoll.

The lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest is also very attractive, Stoll points out. Public transportation, green spaces, and the local arts scene are among many reasons young professionals and retirees choose to move to this area of the country. Another reason, according to Stoll, is that Oregon is similar to California but with significantly lower home prices.

Source: CNN Money

Photo: Smarter Travel