5 Home Decorating Trends for 2015

Wondering what color to paint your walls this spring? Thinking about buying new furniture but just don’t know where to start? Whether you’re updating a room or starting a total make-over of your new house, it’s important to make decisions that you’ll love and you’ll be proud to show off to home visitors.

Keeping your design up to date can be difficult to pin down—not to mention pricey—in the ever changing world of home décor. To keep up to date, make sure to follow these 5 tips and make your house the envy of the neighborhood.

Saturated Colors

A far cry from the light and the whimsical, saturated colors are serious, but draw the eye by making a bold statement. Think dark blue and rich purple, forest green or deep grey. When using dark colors on walls make sure to pair them with lighter accents so that they don’t overwhelm a room. The point of saturation is to add depth and nuance—not to make a room dark and depressing. Used carefully and deliberately, deep, saturated hues can add lasting appeal to your home.

Painted Ceilings

What color to paint is hard to decide, but sometimes where to paint can be equally as difficult of a decision! A new design trend is painted ceilings. The color you choose for the ceiling will depend on the effect you want for the room. Choose a lighter color if you want the room to feel bigger, deeper if you want it cozier. If you really want to switch it up consider a pattern on the ceiling—like stripes.

Throwbacks

Continuing the contemporary obsession with all things vintage, old heirlooms can really add a sense of history to your home. But “history” and “charm” isn’t the same as “old.” Old furniture and heirlooms can be repainted, repurposed, or reupholstered. Vintage bathtubs paired with new fixtures can give the perfect balance between new and old that satisfies your sensibility to create a lasting impression and a comfortable atmosphere.

Mismatch

Though you want your decorating choices to have themes, mismatched pieces are very much in vogue now. Consider pairing an antique table with newer, contemporary dining chairs. Or, what about a newer, simple kitchen table with mismatched chairs surrounding it? When I say mismatched here I’m thinking color, size, or even pattern. Speaking of mismatched patterns, this could go for other areas of the home as well. Gone are the days of perfectly matched throw pillows. To add a little life to your sofa, pick pillows with similar color schemes but wildly different prints—or the other way around—similar prints and different colors. Instead of a perfect match, you’re going for complimentary pillows to add a fun feeling to an otherwise drab couch. Mismatching is the new matching!

Nontraditional Furnishings

A coffee table with wagon wheels, a bookshelf headboard, chairs of unusual designs and shapes. These are just a few nontraditional furniture items you might use to make a statement. One or two unusual items per room can draw the eye, and give character to your home. Nontraditional artwork might fit into this category as well. Rather than a framed photo or painting, perhaps a multimedia piece with different textures and colors, or a mobile to add an artistic element to a room would be a contemporary choice.

Basic Architectural Styles Everyone Should Know

When you put together your wish list for your new home, your REALTOR will likely want to know what architectural style you’re looking for. Though you might not have your heart set on a certain type, knowing a few basic architectural designs will help you build a vocabulary to properly express what it is you really want. It’ll most likely impress your REALTOR too!

Realizing that this is far from a complete list, each one of these home types has its own unique bit of history and charm. When you’re looking for your next home, don’t spend all of your time touring the inside—make sure to take a look at the outside as well, admiring the design and layout. [Read more…]

The Diverse World of Countertops

What do concrete, granite, and recycled glass have in common? They can all be used to make countertops, of course—along with a host of other well known (and sometimes not so well known) materials. Whether you are looking at buying a new home or want to renovate your kitchen and/or bathrooms, a sizeable portion of your budget will probably go into the countertops.

So have you ever really thought about what kind of counters are best for your family, or do you just tend to follow the latest fad? Here are some great countertop options for you to consider—and a few might just surprise you!

  • Granite: no question about it, granite is the most popular choice today for countertops. It’s important to seal granite countertops and continue maintaining the seal so that nothing seeps into the sometimes porous surface. As long as it’s properly taken care of, granite is durable, and makes any home’s kitchen and bathrooms seem very appealing. You can choose between honed granite and polished—though polished is the more common choice.
  • Quartz: This diverse stone closely follows granite in its popularity for countertops. Engineered quartz doesn’t scratch, discolor from heat, and is a super low-maintenance but high end option. The variety of colors makes quartz very desirable.
  • Laminate: Laminate is a low-cost option for any homebuyer/renovator on a budget. Laminate can come in virtually any color/pattern and so can match even the craziest (or restrained) of tastes, and laminate counters can be quite long-lasting as long as they are well taken care of.
  • Tile: Another inexpensive option, tile, is also very customizable and it might even be something you can install yourself using a trusty online tutorial. Furthermore, tile countertops are easy to uphold and can come in a variety of different colors and designs.
  • Concrete: Highly durable and incredibly variable, concrete countertops are eye-catching and can be poured into all sorts of shapes and thicknesses, as well as combined with all kinds of design options. If you’re not into stone, but still want to give your home a modern feel, concrete might be a good choice for you.
  • Glass: A rather costly option, tempered glass countertops look very contemporary and can be cut to any size/shape you might imagine in your kitchen. They are also easy to clean and are therefore quite hygienic!
  • Butcher-block: A cozy choice in counters is wood. Wood is warm, inviting, and can add an old-style charm to the right home. Not only is it great looking, it’s wonderful for the chefs in your life as it works wonders for food prep including chopping and dicing. Well-sealed wood can also withstand high temperatures and won’t discolor from heat.
  • Marble: A trendy choice because of its sleek look, marble can be comparable to quartz or granite, though it needs a little extra care to avoid staining. As long as it’s sealed and well-kept, it is a durable, high-end option for your home and can look beautiful with just about any home design.
  • Stainless Steel: easy to clean and maintain, stainless steel countertops can lend a sleek and modern look to you kitchen design—and hey, it might just match that new stainless steel fridge, dishwasher, and oven you’ve been wanting!
  • Repurposed and Eco-Friendly: concrete, glass, paper, plastic—you name it. If it can be recycled you can probably also make it into a counter. This is an attractive option for those looking to save the planet and add a unique and personal touch to their home.

Resin, lava, soapstone, and travertine are just a few other lesser known materials you might consider for your counters. There are ups and downs to any material you buy in terms of price, resale value, and durability. Your local home improvement store can always help you out with the details, and don’t forget to talk to friends and family about their counters and why they like—or dislike—the ones in their home!