As soon as the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, red hearts and cupid’s arrows overwhelm stores and advertising, reminding us that Valentine’s Day is approaching. Many of us contemplate our relationships, evoking myriad thoughts and feelings. For me, this is the time of year in which I am reminded that there is one bond that we all share. Whether single or in a relationship, we all have some sort of emotional connection to the place we begin and end each day.
As a real estate broker, I see all types of buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords. I often spend my days and nights hearing stories from the Realtors that I mentor, as well as family, friends, neighbors and clients, about the outlandish things that occur throughout the process of buying, selling or renting a home. There is usually one common thread … passion! Very few things in life evoke more passion than the place that we call home.
Maybe this year, as we think about gift giving to someone special, we might also want to treat ourselves to something that might make our dwelling a more fun, inviting or warm place to come home to. Here are 10 tips for things that are “trending” for 2016.
No. 1 Technology Package – What was once only seen in a science fiction movie, then became something for the exclusively wealthy, has now become almost commonplace. Everything from Web-controlled security cameras and home control centers, doorbell cameras that allow us to remotely offer or deny access as if we were on the other side of the door and keyless entry systems with biometric fingerprint door locks, we can now track and control almost everything in our homes from our phones anywhere in the world.
No. 2 Quartzite is the New Granite – The natural stone that is virtually indestructible, quartzite more closely resembles the luxe classic marble without the drawbacks of staining easily. Quartzite seems to be moving ahead of man-made quartz as a hot contender.
No. 3 Wood’nt You Love Porcelain? – Found in traditional small tiles or long, linear planks, numerous colors and textures, porcelain flooring that resembles wood is a new place for our shoes to call home. Especially practical for high-traffic rooms, hallways and areas exposed to moisture or water, this trend is more durable than imitation wood and less expensive than the real thing.
No. 4 Cool Copper – After pewter and brass became passé, silver made a comeback. Now, look for warmer metallics, like gold, copper and bronze to move-in and replace the more traditional silver, chrome and stainless metals in larger areas, as well as backsplashes, fixtures and accent pieces.
No. 5 Whiter Shade of Pale – Making a comeback, white has become anything but boring and bland, offering a backdrop to an array of textures and colors for countertops, backsplashes, flooring and decorative techniques. Variations from stark white to cream, even pale blue-gray or green add interest and appeal.
No. 6 Pattern for Success – Everything old is new again such as art decor, art nouveau, Native American or Moroccan inspired rich, vibrant and attention grabbing patterns are finding themselves as a foil to subdued, monochromatic color schemes.
No. 7 Second Time Around– Creative uses for old furniture subbing for bathroom vanities or kitchen cabinets, freestanding tubs that conjure images of Victorian- era opulence, wood stove fireplaces and retro-style appliances are all fun ways of converting trash to treasure without derailing your budget.
No. 8 Everything in Its Place – More specialized storage has gained popularity as a means of minimizing clutter and saving precious time through better organization. Larger or extra free-standing closets with more custom features, a super pantry, secondary appliances, grander garages and open decorative shelving or additional cabinets all contribute to a new sense of order.
No. 9 Catching the Right Zs – With more attention being paid to the importance of a good night’s sleep, quality rest has gone from being viewed as a luxury to a critical component of maintaining positive mood, peek productivity and even better health. Indulging in a new mattress, comfortable pillows, fresh linens and calming scents can be the prescription for a more cheerful morning.
No. 10 To Your Health – Addressing environmental and health concerns has become the focus of much attention by builders, designers and manufacturers. Items such as blue light A/C technology, energy efficient appliances, natural lighting systems, solar energy, salt based pool filtration, indoor edible gardens and natural cleaning products, just to name a few.
Home is where the heart is. As someone who spends much of my time helping others find a place that they can call home, I understand. Laurie Dubow