5 Home Trends to follow in 2018

1 Dark Colors

You can never go wrong with an all-white interior, but experts say that 2018 will be a year of dark and bold colors. Sherwin-Williams color of the year is Oceanside and Pantone named its color of the year Ultra-violet. These along with other bold colors are going to be favorites to paint around the home.


2 Floral Prints

Interior Design Experts are expecting floral prints in bold and contrasting colors to have a strong year. Floral prints in throw pillows, chairs, and drapery are going to be a favored decor around the household.


3 Natural Materials

Hey, hey everyone!! Feast your eyes on this gorgeousness from Katie @asformyhouse who is this weeks pick for #mybotanicalbungalow 💚💚Katie’s home is gorgeous from every angle. I mean that rug (she is the rug queen), that chair, the amazing giant Bird of Paradise. What is not to love?! Her home is definitely one of my favorites on IG packed with lots of inspiration!! Everyone go show Katie some love! 💕 . . Thanks so much to Jack @jgrohmann80 for hosting with us this week! We loved having you!! 💚💚 . . Keep tagging your plant pics with #mybotanicalbungalow & be sure to follow all your hosts! 👉🏼 @mylittlebohome 👉🏼 @dreaming_of_decor 👉🏼 @through_the_orange_door 👉🏼 @la_sidhu 👉🏼 (cohost) @asformyhouse . . . #mybotanicalbungalow #myplantlovinghome #plantsmakepeoplehappy #putaplaneonit #earthinspiredhome #apartmenttherapy #sodomino #designspiration #designsponge #interiordesign #inspoforall #flashesofdelight #tuesday #bhghome #hgtvhome #livingroomdecor #livingroominspo #houseplants #houseplantclub #birdofparadise #simplystyle #hyggehome #modernboho #eclectichome #bohohome #greenyourfeed #homedecor #decorcrushing #livingroomideas

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2018 will have a strong interior design push towards eco-conscious items that are made from sustainable materials. Plants and other natural materials are part of the growing minimalist trend we can expect to see.


4 Wood Flooring

Hey friends! Happy Saturday! It is Saturday, right?! 🤔🙈 I have totally lost track of the days this Christmas break! 🤷🏼‍♀️ Lol! Last night, we got out of the house for the first time in days and hit up the after-Christmas sales at the mall and my kids used some gift cards they received. The mall was absolutely nuts…busier than before Christmas! 😳 Today, we are going to begin disassembling the Christmas decor. I’m ready to start off 2018 with a clean slate!🌿 Continuing the count down of my most popular (non-holiday) posts….you guys seem to love anytime my sweet puppy, Jessie, makes an appearance in my pics! 🐶💗 I’ll try to have her model in my pics even more in 2018. She’s pretty easy to photograph because she doesn’t move a lot! Lol! Hope you have a great day! (And check out my stories…I hit up Nordstrom’s Half Yearly sale yesterday! 🤗). . . Easily shop my posts by clicking the link in my profile and going to the “Shop My Instagram Posts” button! http://liketk.it/2u3Lj #liketkit @liketoknow.it #LTKhome @liketoknow.it.home . . #dogsofinstagram#puppy#entryway#entrywaydecor#homedecor#homeinspo#homedesign#foyer#stairs#woodfloors#engineeredhardwood#frenchcountrystyle#interiordesign#interiors#ighome#instahome#instadecor#ourdecorboard

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For years red-toned wood flooring has been the go-to choice but lately, its popularity has been fading. The new lighter-toned wood flooring is increasing in popularity and will be a favorite amongst consumers in the new year because the lighter-hued woods brighten spaces and hide imperfections.


5 Light Wood Cabinets

Like with wood flooring homeowners are also expected to opt for the lighter wood cabinets. The light simplistic feel of the cabinets according to design experts provide a warmth feel and make space feel more inviting.

6 Kitchen Trends That Will Get Your Home Sold Fast

The kitchen is the most important room in a home – sell the kitchen to the buyer and you’ll sell the home. Full kitchen renovations are not always necessary and don’t always result in the highest return. In most cases, your kitchen doesn’t need renovations, just a few updates. Buyers love trendy features that make the home look like a stylish place to live.


1. Subway Tile

If the only thing you update is the backsplash, you’ll transform your whole kitchen.  According to Zillow, homes that feature subway tiles sell for 13 percent more and about 60 days more quickly than homes without.


2. Try Two Tones

Two-tone cabinets are another trend that buyers love. Try gray and white or navy and blue – neutral tones mixed with wood finishes are also a great pairing.


3. Farm It Out

Stainless steel sinks are being replaced with apron-front farmhouse sinks are as they tend to create an immediate focal point and project an illusion of a higher priced kitchen. Zillow also reports that homes with farmhouse sinks can sell for eight percent more than those without.


4. Granite Countertops

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Zillow also found that listings touting the word “quartz” corresponded with a six percent sales premium. Granite countertops saw a boost too, though a lesser one at four percent. Still, homes with granite-topped counters sold 38 days sooner than those with less coveted surfaces, especially laminate.


5. Eat In

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almost 70 percent of homeowners surveyed by Houzz are planning or recently completed kitchen renovations that incorporate a place to eat, with 25 percent adding an actual dining table. Removing a non-load bearing wall to accommodate a table and chairs can be a cost-effective upgrade.

6. Open Floor Plans

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Last year’s Kitchen Trends Survey by Houzz found that homeowners prefer seamless transitions between living spaces and the kitchen. Almost half of renovating homeowners are opening up their kitchens to other interior spaces and 18 percent are opening them up to adjacent outdoor areas.






Outside Fire Pits For Any Backyard

A fire pit is a fun and simple way to create an outdoor space perfect for entrainment. Firepits are a great commodity that can be used year round by roasting marshmallows in the summer and huddling around it for warmth in the winter.  They can be purchased from home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes or built by yourself, but tailored to any yard.


(Photo credit: Littlethings.com)

These homeowners decided the focal point of their backyard would be their fire pit. Decorated with lights, this chic backyard pit is perfect for any summer festivity.


(Photo credit: Luxxu)

These homeowners decided their fire pit would make a great addition to their yard by creating a small area  for it. This is a great way to incorporate a fire pit without dedicating your whole yard to it.


(Photo credit: houzz.com)

This square pit is perfect for cocktails around the fire while the meat is barbaqued. These homeowners found the perfect spot in their yard without creating a home space for it.


(photo credit: decohoms.com)

This unique pit was built below ground level, using the edges for seating. This may take a bit more work, but it is a fun way to peek your guests’ interest.



(Photo credit: ciaonewportbeach.blogspot.com)

While fire pits are great for warm summer nights, backyard fireplaces add a level of luxury. While not all yards are built for these, getting creative in where to install them will prove to be beneficial. Perfect for day or night use, outdoor fireplaces are beautiful whether they are in use or not.




5 Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Boost the Value of Your Home

Now that Summer is here and interest rates are relatively low, there is no better time to buy or sell. Traditionally, the spring buying and selling season begins to pick up mid-January, but this year the market never slowed down.  If you want to get the most value for your home, there are a few improvements experts say you should invest in before you sell your home. Here are the top 5 ways to boost the value of your home:


1. Clean up and clear out


Nothing turns off prospective buyers more than a cluttered, disorganized home.

  • Depersonalize your home. This doesn’t mean you have to remove all your family photos, but limit them to a decent amount. Remove or put away any trophies, awards, or religious decor items, and strive for a clean, simple look.


2. Spruce up your kitchen


The kitchen is one of the main selling points of your home – it’s the heart of the home.

  • Don’t go and drop thousands on a brand new kitchen.  
  • Start with a fresh coat of paint, new cabinet hardware, and new curtains.
  • Fix any leaky faucets, loose light fixtures, and burn marks on the countertop.

Starting with these few fixes will greatly improve the overall look of the kitchen.


3. Freshen up the bath


Behind the kitchen, bathrooms are the second most important rooms in a home for sale.

  • Start with small improvements, such as new light fixtures, new faucets, and mirrors.
  • If it needs it, caulk the edges of the bathtub and regrout the tile.
  • Also, new toilets will not only improve the look of the bathroom but the functionality.

 A well-kept bathroom will show buyers that your home is clean and well-maintained.


4. Paint the rooms


The fastest and cheapest way to transform a room is to paint it.

  • This doesn’t mean you have to go through and paint every room in the house.
  • Common rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms are your best candidates.
  • Rooms that have unusual or bright colors should also be painted.
  • Stick to neutrals such as white or off-white, grays and beiges.

 Sticking to these colors will be less distracting, allowing prospective buyers to focus on other attributes.


5. Enhance curb appeal


Think of your open house as an interview. You wouldn’t go to an interview without brushing your hair or wearing a sharp outfit, you want to look the part. Now your home needs to look the part.

  •  Start by trimming the bushes and trees, mowing the lawn, and putting mulch in between the in-ground plants.
  • Make sure your porch and front door are looking its best as this area is the main focal point of your home. 

Mortgage Rates Fall to 2017 Low – Despite Earlier Predictions

Real Estate "sold" sign with red brick building and trees blurry in the background

Just as everyone returns back to work from the biggest summer holiday, mortgage rates are taking their own vacation. Last week, mortgage rates hit the lowest levels of 2017.  This comes at a time when homes are in high demand while supply is low.

Economists were predicting mortgage rates to rise by the end of the year, but as legislative agendas and tax reform has slowed, rates have remained low.

Low rates provoke refinance activity, but since rates have been at historical lows for so long, there are limited numbers of homeowners who can refinance to an even lower number.

The demand is expected to increase even though there is a lack of for-sale supply.

Economists believe there is very little chance of rates bouncing back in the near future. If you’ve been thinking of buying a home, now is the time to do so. Call us today: 562.424.0333

4 Important Things Home Sellers Often Forget To Do


Even if you haven’t sold a home before, you can guess there is a lot of work that goes into the process. From maintenance on the home to finding an agent, it’s no wonder so many things fall through the cracks. Here is a list of the most important to-dos that most sellers forget to do:

1. Google your address

Not all sellers search the internet to see what people are saying about their property or neighborhood, but they should. You should be aware of your online listing so you can further understand buyer’s concerns. Don’t forget to look at your home on Google Maps so you can see if there are any updates you may want to include in your description if they don’t show up.

2. Insist on social media marketing

After you’ve staged your home, picked competitive price, and listed it, it’s time you marketed on social media. Video tours, floor plans, and photos are a must do if you want to sell your home in 2017.

3. Clean everywhere inside

Potential buyers are going to be a bit nosey, as they should be. They will be looking inside closets, ovens, cabinets, even refrigerators. If they are not clean now, they should be by the time of the viewing. Even if you’ve cleaned every surface to a shine, you’re not done until you’ve cleaned every corner, small space, and inch of your home.

4. Account for improvements and issues

If you’ve lived in your home for a while, make a list of improvements and issues you have fixed. This includes flood damage, flooding in the basement, and chimney fires. Whether you solved the problem or not you should disclose the information to the buyers so you don’t wind up with a lawsuit post sale.

How To Choose Your Neighborhood

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They say the most the three most important factors in real estate are location, location, location. Although location is important, there is no need to stress. With new technology and old school strategy, finding your perfect location should not be an issue.

Don’t fly blind

Whether you’re moving to a new area or trying out unfamiliar territories, it’s best to learn as much as you can about the location. The best resource you can use to learn about a new neighborhood or city is your real estate agent.

Luckily we live in an age in which information is at your fingertips. Research demographics, schools, and crime rates. If you’re looking transportation you can look up the area’s walkability score, biking score, and transit score.

While new technology is great in helping you learn about a specific area, nothing compares to the old fashioned way. If you can, get in your car and drive or walk around your potentially new neighborhood. This way you can experience the neighborhood first-hand and check out the houses. You’ll be able to get a sense of your prospective neighbors.

It’s smart to visit a neighborhood you like at different times of day and evening, as well as on the weekend and during the week to get a feel for what it would be like to live there. Locate the nearest grocery store and coffee shop and dog park.

Try out your potential commute, and check out the schools if you have kids. Most important: don’t be shy about asking people on the street or in the local café what it’s like to live there, what they love and what they don’t love.

5 Home Improvements that Pay For Themselves


One of the biggest questions homeowners ask themselves when it comes to renovations is, should it be replaced or remodeled? To answer that question you first have to ask yourself how long you plan to live in your current home. If it’s over five years, then it should probably be replaced rather than remodeled. If you plan on staying less than five years, you will want to redo improvements that will pay for themselves. Take a look at the top five home improvements that will guarantee a return of investment.

1. Insulation

Adding insulation to the attic will keep your home energy efficient throughout the year. The savings from your monthly expenses will offset the costs.

2. Paint

Painting is the easiest and cheapest way to change things up. By picking new colors you can transform the mood of the room. Add a few new pillows and throw blankets and you’ll have a new living room. If you plan to sell soon keep the color neutral so potential buyers can picture themselves in your home.

3. Doors

Transform your homes curb appeal by replacing your garage door. Adding a new steel entry door can provide you with safety and security while also giving your home a facelift.

4. Landscaping

Homes need to make a great first impression. The attractiveness of your outdoors shows the potential your home holds. Installing patios or walkways, known as hardscaping, shouldn’t be the last thing you do, but rather one of the first steps on your home improvement list so you too can enjoy the upgrade.

5. Resurfacing

Remodeling bathrooms and kitchens can be tricky because trends are always changing. The return on investment tends to be lower since styles change every few years. Unless your bathroom or kitchen is severely out-of-date, we don’t recommend this. For resale purposes you may want to stick with refreshing the surfaces, having grout cleaned, caulk repaired, and wood floors refinished. Similarly, resurfacing worn porcelain, replacing countertops, and re-staining or painting old cabinets can give rooms a fresh look.

Fixing up the home shows that it is well maintained and gives the feeling of new. A well-maintained home also gives fewer reasons for the buyer to negotiate a lower price, creating more value for your home.

How to Match a Paint Color Without a Sample (Yes, It Is Possible)



How many times has this happened to you? After spending hours agonizing over the perfect shade of paint, you gleefully coat every wall in your home in that shade. Then, years later, when there’s a swath in your bedroom that needs retouching, you can’t remember if the color was Phantom Mist or Dinner Mint. Panic sets in!

What’s a forgetful homeowner—who can’t exactly carry a wall to the hardware store—to do? Not to worry, we tell you everything about how to match paint color without a sample.

Grab a spool of thread

A digital snapshot from your cellphone can never quite capture the exact shade (and you don’t want to end up with an ugly color). But an ingenious way to find the true depth of a tone is to match it to a spool of thread.

“Maybe you have the various spools in your house,” says Sandy Levin, home staging expert and owner of Beautiful Interiors Design Group in Freehold, NJ.

If you don’t routinely sew, buy several different shades that seem close at your neighborhood crafts store. Once you have a range of spools, place them against your paint color and see which is the best match. Bring that spool to the paint store, and ask staff to match the color.

Or a swatch of fabric

Another way to match color without a paint chip is to find the shade you need on a piece of fabric in your house.

“Maybe the color is one of several in a print pillow, or maybe the color matches a piece of clothing in your closet,” says Levin. Use that fabric to then find the corresponding paint chip in the hardware store.

There’s an app for that (naturally)

Almost every major brand of paint has a free app to help you nail a shade you’ve forgotten the name of. It usually works like this: Take a picture of your existing color and upload it for analysis. The app will then identify the hue and find the closest shade in the manufacturer’s palette.

A few popular choices for your smartphone are Behr ColorSmart, Benjamin Moore Color Capture, and  ColorSnap Visualizer from Sherwin-Williams. Just remember that each app provides matching paint colors only for their specific brands—so here’s to hoping you remember at least that much. If not, proceed to our next step.


11 Sanity-Saving Storage Hacks for Your Holiday Decorations


Christmas is barely over, and the new year is just around the corner. So we don’t mean to be a buzzkill while you still enjoy the last vestiges of your holiday stupor, but it’s probably time to think about putting away those holiday decorations you so painstakingly put up. (Unless, of course, you’re one of those people who keep your lights up all year ’round, in which case … keep doing you.)

We know it isn’t fun, no matter when you decide to undeck the halls. It’s a slog, an annoyance, or (if you went a wee bit overboard this year) a downright nightmare.

But if you’re smart about storing your holiday decorations, you can make the whole thing a little less painful next year. Try these easy hacks to keep things in order and crack open the eggnog a little earlier next time around.

1. Take a photo

OK, this first point isn’t strictly storage-related, but it promises to make next year’s decorating process 10 times easier. Before tearing down your holiday decor, take a photo of your favorite setups.

“That way, you can more easily replicate the look next year,” says professional organizer Jamie Novak. Less time spent fiddling with your staircase garland means more time with family and friends. And isn’t that what the holidays are really about? That and the eggnog.

2. Inventory everything

On a related note, you should keep an inventory of all of your holiday decorations. Not only will it make replacement much simpler in case of disaster, but it will also simplify next year’s setup. No more “Oh, I forgot Shira the Schnauzer ate the tinsel” last-minute shopping runs.

“Packing up items is the perfect time to make a note that you need to replace the tree topper, but you don’t need one more snow globe,” Novak says.

Store your inventory on your phone or computer. Consider keeping a paper backup in a safe place.

3. Invest in some real storage

Tucking away your miniature Christmas trees in old waffle boxes (true story, starring my mother) might seem like a good idea. But after the new year, they’re going into the attic, not to be seen again for 11 months. Why does it matter how you stow them?

Because attics and garages are full of nasty ornament enemies: Moisture, pests, the February freeze, all conspiring to destroy your expensive decor.

“If you are making an investment in decorations that you want to keep from year to year, you will want to find the right storage bins to contain them,” says interior designer Annie Draddy of Henry & Higby. Try clear, plastic boxes, which let you “see the goods inside without opening the box,” she says.

4. Designate an ‘open first’ box

Setting up everything at once can be overwhelming. Your kids will freak out without their Advent calendar, and you’re desperate for the scent of pine. And those holiday cookbooks have to be somewhere…

“Create a single box labeled ‘open this first,’ complete with the decorations you like to put up first,” Novak says. That way, you can save the major decorating for a free winter weekend without sacrificing some early season holiday cheer.

5. Pack in reverse

The other decorations should be packed according to your holiday timeline, too. What goes up next, after the Advent calendar and wreath? If your exterior string lighting is step No. 2, keep it neatly arranged in an easily accessible box.

“If you don’t put up a tree until a few weeks in, then make a box of tree stuff,” Novak says. “Group like with like, and label each box on every side and the top.”

That goes for any necessary accessories, too, such as outdoor extension cords or pumps for your inflatables. Make sure they’re all grouped together so they’re easy to find next year.

6. Reuse your gift packaging

Your kid received three Hatchimals, you got a dozen new necklaces, and that beer-brewing kit came with an apartment’s worth of packaging. Don’t throw away all the cardboard and clamshells yet—they might be useful.

“Before you recycle all those product boxes, check to see if any are just the right size for storage (for other items),” Novak says.

7. Use ribbon and hangers to keep string lights straight

Attempting to untangle your string lights is the holiday horror show you find yourself repeating year after year. Take away the pain! And stop struggling.

Save a piece of ribbon from this year’s gifts and tie it to the end of the string of lights to save yourself time spent searching for the plug amid a sea of small lightbulbs. Then, wrap the string of lights around a hanger to keep it from getting tangled.