Friday, March 9, 2012

Make 2012 Your Home’s “Year of Style”

Feel like your home is in need of some freshness?  Take some tips in current home styles to help spruce yours up or in looking for a new home altogether!
  • Windows – FISHBOWL STYLE. New homes have windows in excess.  Not only are they numerous in number but in size. The upside is that these windows add more natural light and brighten rooms as well as give the exterior more visual appeal. However, it also means that you may have to go to extra lengths to maintain privacy and security. Custom blinds and a good alarm system are necessities, but it’s also important to be aware of the greater possibility that your furnishings can fade sooner and you may have less space for furniture and art.
  • Floors – ESPRESSO HARDWOOD. Hardwood has been the rage for years, but the color that is turning heads is espresso.  Even homes built five years ago featured more light colored wood, but brand new homes all have a dark stain on the floor. To freshen up an older home to sell or just to get a more contemporary feel, consider re-staining your floors in this color.
  • Ceiling – LAYERS AND BLING.  Contemporary houses have ceilings that are multi-layered. Whether it’s a square layer over the dining room table area or a series of squares made from crown molding and separate layers of drywall, tray ceilings add elegance, flash and sophistication.  Lighting beads can also be hidden within the layers to create a dim shade of color that enhances the effects of the ceiling. In addition, what’s hanging from the ceilings can be equally as stunning.  See through ball chandeliers and hanging multi-lit wired extensions can make for impressive updated twists to a home in need of spunk.
  • Furniture – BRIGHT STATEMENT PIECES. Just like clothing is going brighter, so is furniture selection.  A pop of color, like a bright yellow or red couch, fits unexpectedly in with all-white walls to give edge and contemporary polish.  If investing in a transitory style makes you nervous, consider a bright statement accessory, such as an all-white couch accompanied by a boldly colored ottoman.  
  • Staircases – SHARP EDGES. In prior years, stair cases had rounded edges with bullnose treads and matching wooden bannisters. Gone are the round edges; stairs these days have hard 90-degree angles with no room for a graceful fall.   Iron and wire bannisters with interesting architectural detail take the place of matching wood for a varietal feel that peaks the viewers’ interest.  Just protect your toes from stubbing and definitely don’t try to slide down like in your youth!
  • Sinks and bathtubs – VESSELS.  Seemingly free standing sinks are popping up all over, but this trend is actually a throw-back to Chinese washbasins.  This type of sink can be used with almost any kind of home decorating, and materials can be varied to suit your style. Examples are cast iron, glass and stainless steel. Most commonly seen in bathrooms, these sinks can be used in kitchens as well.
  • Walls – ALL WHITE IS AN OPTION.  Gone are the days of the 2008 “accent wall.” The anti-accent wall is now featured in the form of monochromatic rooms. But it’s not just all white; you could go all black with black trim to boot. The key is to add spice through brightly colored art or bright statement pieces (see “Furniture”).
  • Kitchen – INTEGRATION. Open floor plans are now all the rage and they extend into the kitchen through the idea of integration. Take an open wall and imagine a big rectangle that covers the length of the room. There you will find cabinets (white is the “in” color, by the way) with what appears to be built-in refrigerators, double-ovens, microwaves, wine cooler and maybe even an industrial espresso maker!
  • Television Placement – FLAT AND MOUNTED. This trend is not so new as it is necessary.  If you don’t have a flat and/or mounted television, you are like that friend that still has the boxy computer and still stores data on CD’s. 
  • Decks – OUTSIDE MAN CAVES. “Man cave” was voted one of the most overused terms of 2011, and men everywhere now seem to think themselves entitled to any available basement space your home may feature. But this desire now extends to deck space as well. Decks are new natural extensions of man caves; in fact, it is the outside man cave. Wood-burning fireplaces (or synthetic techno-savvy versions) and built-in grilling stations are on-order now for the upcoming summer.  Contemporary outdoor furniture has a darker wicker look with contrastingly light cushions that bodes well to withstand rain and wind. Top it all off with a canopy and hot tub and you are ready for a season-long party!                                                                                        
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