Home Decorating Trends for 2014

Think Color in 2014

Gray is the new black; reclaimed wood and porcelain floors are made for walkin’; and wireless is controlling sound, window shades, TV, and more. This is a look at the 10 hottest home design trends anticipated for the new year.

December 2013 | By Barbara Ballinger




Whether it’s based on fashion, the economy, new technologies, or the overall mood of the country, home design trends come and go — sometimes slowly and sometimes lickety-split. But as with apparel, some trends become classics and remain strong — a Barcelona chair, for instance — while others go out the window (think avocado and harvest gold kitchen appliances).

The best advice you can give recent buyers or soon-to-be sellers is not to copy any trend blindly, especially if it doesn’t work with their budget, decor, personal preference, or lifestyle. It’s smart for your clients to be more cautious with expensive, permanent parts of their home environment, but more daring with easy-to-switch dishes, wall paint, and pillows.

Here are 10 trends that are coming on big in 2014:

1. Wider, reclaimed wood and wood-like porcelain floors. Wood floorboards are getting wider—often up to 5 and 6 inches, stained warm gray, and cut from several tree species, says designer Jennifer Adams, principal of Jennifer Adams Design Group in Portland, Ore. Adams is also seeing less of the hand-scraped look, which was costly to produce. Yet, boards can be personalized in other ways. Bole Floor uses a technique that gives floorboards a natural-looking curve, which also allows for more boards from each tree. Other companies like Maine Heritage Timber recycle logs from older trees, which adds warm patina. Architect Elissa Morgante of Morgante-Wilson Architects in Chicago, has found that these reclaimed boards can look smashing whether in traditional or contemporary settings. Porcelain flooring has become more popular, too, because it’s indestructible and available in unlimited styles, sizes, and colors, says designer Steven Gurowitz of Interiors by Steven G.

2. Simpler cabinets, bigger drawers. A major shift is occurring in kitchen cabinets: Warmer gray tones are replacing oranges and browns for a more authentic look, says Andy Wells, vice president of product design at MasterBrand Cabinets. Styles also have shifted from traditional and detailed to more transitional and mid-century modern, since cleaner designs tend to give a kitchen a more timeless look. To fit these styles, hardware is less visible, more modern, and sometimes integrated into the doors. Instead of lower cabinets, big drawers are favored because they’re easier to access and can be fitted with removable storage receptacles.

3. Paint palettes. After years of beiges and whites grabbing all the attention as a way to appeal to potential buyers, many home owners now opting for more varied colors. Color forecasters agree that gray, especially a warmer hue, is the “it” gal in home design for 2014. Mary Lawlor, manager of color marketing for Kelly-Moore Paints, says overall look is lighter, fresher soft corals, shell colors, sea greens, lavenders, and misty blues — sometimes mixed with more potent purples and metallics. She also sees a decrease in Tuscan palettes. Sara McClean, who works with Dunn-Edwards, projects neon brights fading or being mellowed, and expects blues to be everywhere. Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, says four color palettes are emerging: black, white, and gray layered with textures and warm woods; soft flesh tones, beiges, grays, and off-whites; deeper romantic hues, like purple, teal, red, and some oxided golds and coppers; and globally inspired, ethnic brights balanced by neutrals.

4. Indoor-outdoor living. The trend for indoor and outdoor spaces to blend seamlessly continues with more rooms having multiple sets of French doors that open to the outside, as well as big windows that bring in the outdoors visually. Solariums with screens for fresh air in summer, and screened or covered porches that link a house with patio and pool are also coveted home features, says Jeffrey Colle, whose firm designs and builds homes throughout the Hamptons. Even freestanding outdoor structures are being spiffed up. Pool houses may feature more than changing rooms and bathrooms; some owners are adding cooking equipment, fireplaces, and terraces with living room-style seating, wireless sound systems, and weather-protected TVs. Also expect more pizza ovens, fireplaces, fire pits, and propane heaters to extend use.

5. Kitchen color, energy efficiency, and new materials. Several trends are changing up the look of the kitchen, the room where everyone still wants to hang out:

  • After years of playing it safe in color in appliances, some home owners are willing to go bold. Bertazzoni is manufacturing its professional-style ranges in “vitamin” colors of red, yellow, and an orange it calls Arancio.
  • Bertazzoni, Thermador, and other companies are making their ranges eco-friendly, energy efficient, and more about healthy cooking with new steam oven models.
  • Smaller is in when home owners downsize. Bertazzoni’s range is available in a 30-inch version.
  • Instead of giving up valuable space for a desk, home owners are shifting more toward smaller work areas that allow them to recharge phones, tablets, and other portable devices, as well as a place to leave their mail and keys, says designer Jennifer Gilmer.
  • New materials are replacing standard-bearers. One example: After years of seeing granite top so many counters, metals are coming on strong, such as hot rolled steel, says Gilmer.
  • The mismatched, unfitted look is disappearing, replaced by cabinets that fit together more like a jigsaw puzzle and reflect a cleaner, tidier look, says Morgante.

6. Bathroom kudos. Bathrooms continue to become more luxurious, says Deb Dumel, showroom manager of the Frank Webb Bath Center in Boston. She sees several trends coming on stronger in 2014:

  • TVs integrated into medicine cabinets to avoid having a separate TV visible all the time, such as a sleek one from Robern.
  • Bigger steam showers—sometimes 7 feet by 4 feet—equipped with built-in speakers, an iPad docking station, Bluetooth connectivity, and aromatherapy. Gone are the panoply of jets and sprays that made some showers resemble a human car wash, Dumel says. In their place may be dual controls for two to shower at once with different temperatures. Also popular are rain heads that provide a softer, but still drenching, spray rather than the sharp needle effect. Infinity drains that run the length of a shower floor eliminate curb designs.
  • For men who don’t want to worry about fogging up a mirror when shaving, there are more antifogging devices available.
  • Washlets can now introduce greater comfort and cleanliness with an integrated, self-cleaning nozzle that releases a warm, soothing stream of aerated water; many also have a heating device and deodorizer.
  • Though many do without a tub or a whirlpool, others want the option if there’s room and funds in the budget. Freestanding models are favored.


7. Technology wow. As you can see with all aspects of home design, technology systems are being integrated more and more, at all price ranges and complexities. From heat to lighting, security to sound and entertainment, and windows and window treatments to doors, technology is a home owner’s friend whether they are home or away. Spurring this trend is less costly wireless technology, sometimes one-and-a-half times less than hard wiring, says Eric Thies, founder and director of marketing for VIA International. At the high end, he sees home owners adding digital backsplashes with displays to watch TV or cycle through digital files of kids’ artwork or family photos. Many home owners are beefing up their networks to business-grade levels. To be extra safe, Morgante says those who have wireless may want hard wiring to ensure sure they don’t lose connections.

8. Global style. The shrinking world means more ethnic fabrics and handcrafted artworks mixed into traditional, transitional, and modern spaces. African and Asian pieces will be particularly popular, along with more embroidered fabrics, says designer Heidi Rawson, based in Scottsdale, Ariz. Kimba Hills, owner of Rumba Style in Santa Monica, Calif., is using Turkish rugs overdyed with bright and subdued tones. “The rugs bring great color and warmth. They’re more contemporary and edgier than their traditional counterparts,” Hills says.

9. Personalized quality. After years of tight budgets, there’s a return to quality as consumers spend more on choice pieces. Designer Claudia Juestel of Adeeni Design Group in San Francisco searches for artisans who fashion bespoke pieces to create one-of-a-kind interiors. The designs she and others favor incorporate craftsmanship and time-honored materials while utilizing modern technology, too. Some examples of her favorite artisans: Paul Benson for metal furnishings and accessories; Kyle Bunting for decorative hide rugs; Michael Coffey for sculptural furnishings; and The Alpha Workshops for a wide variety of unique products.

10. Accent chairs. While big comfortable sofas are always the go-to seating in most rooms, accent chairs for an extra perch and pop of color are coming on strong, says Kristen Pawlak, with Decorating Den in Louisville, Ky. “They’re small, affordable, and a way to add an accent for little cost. They also can introduce a new style to a room. Just be sure to keep it in the same scale as other furnishings,” Pawlak says.

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Pointsettia Care


Buy with care

Inspect poinsettias carefully before you buy a plant. A healthy plant looks like this:

  • Dark green foliage before color develops.
  • Bracts (colored leaves) completely colored without green perimeters.
  • Lush and filled with leaves, not yellow and sparsely covered.
  • Balanced from all sides.
  • Displayed naked without plastic sleeves that can cause plants to droop. Cover the plant only when transporting in temperatures below 50 degrees.
  • 2.5 times taller than its diameter.

Home growing

Poinsettias originated in Mexico and don’t like the cold, even for a few minutes. So make sure you wrap the plant before driving it home, and then keep it away from hot and cold drafts, such as heating registers and drafty windows, which can make leaves drop.

More poinsettia care tips

  • Display your poinsettia in indirect light for about 6 hours per day.
  • High temperatures will shorten the poinsettia’s life. Keep room temperatures at 60 to 70 degrees during the day; around 55 degrees in the evening. You might have to move the plant around to expose it to optimal temperatures, like keeping it in the kitchen by day and in the mudroom by night.
  • Water when the soil is dry to the touch. If you keep the plant in foil, puncture the bottom to allow water to drain and prevent root rot. Empty drip trays after watering. Be careful not to over-water, which can cause wilting and leaf loss.
  • Feed blooming poinsettias every 2 to 3 weeks with a water-soluble plant food; water monthly after blooming.

Should you rebloom?

Coaxing a poinsettia to re-bloom each year is an exhausting process. Each month from January to December you have to snip or repot; move to the dark or move to the light; water or not water — you’ll get a migraine just thinking about it.

Since a new 6-inch poinsettia costs a ten-spot, you’re better off buying a new crop each year and spending your time and energy on other gardening delights.

But if you’re a waste-not person, here’s a look at what you can do to coax your poinsettia to bloom again next year.

January-May: Give your plant plenty of sun and enough water to stay moist, but not soggy. Fertilize every 2 weeks. In early April, prune to 6-8 inches tall.

Repot with fresh soil and move your poinsettia outdoors where it can get 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. Fertilize weekly until early fall. If you put the plant on a patio, give it shade during the hottest part of the day. If you place the pot in a flower garden, lift and turn it weekly so roots don’t grow into the ground and become shocked when you return the plant indoors in September.

Late July: Pinch off the top of the plant and 2-3 leaves on each stem to prevent the poinsettia from getting leggy.

September: Bring the poinsettia indoors when nighttime temperatures fall into the 50s. Place in a sunny window, and water when dry to the touch. Fertilize weekly.

October 1 to Thanksgiving:
To force the bracts to color, the plant must be kept in uninterrupted darkness from 5 p.m. to about 8 a.m., and then returned to bright sun for the rest of the day. There should be a 7-10-degree difference between the dark and light environments: optimally, 65-70 degrees at night, and 70-80 degrees in the day. Fertilize weekly.

Thanksgiving: When the bracts begin to color, suspend the dark-light routine, and keep the plant moist and in a sunny spot for 6-8 hours daily. After full color has been achieved (congratulations!), stop fertilizing and move the poinsettia to wherever it will be admired most.


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Foreclosure or Short Sale and When Can I Buy again?


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Scottsdale and Gilbert, Arizona on Top 5 Safest Cities List

Scottsdale and Gilbert rank among the top five safest cities in America according to a recent survey by Law Street Media.

Law Street Media, a web site focused on legal and public policy issues, compiled data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report Statistics.

It found Gilbert has the second lowest violent crime rate among cities with a population greater than 200,000.Law Street Media attributed the East Valley town’s low crime rate to “efficient policing system.”

There is only one officer for every 965 people in Gilbert, according to Law Street Media. But their police force does “a lot with a little,” said Dana Berchman, Chief Digital Officer of Gilbert.

“We have less, but then we have less crime so it’s a great source of pride. When people are looking to move or create new businesses, safety is definitely a factor so this is an honor,” she said.

Scottsdale came in at number five on the list. Law Street Media credited Scottsdale’s high police-to-population ratio and its “vibrant economy” for the city’s safety.

However, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane saw a flaw in the latter sentiment.

“The economy was in trouble the past five years but we actually got safer during that time,” he said. “It’s because Scottsdale is a tight community that sees themselves as allies with the police.”

Lane said Scottsdale police have continuously shown an eagerness to work with the community as opposed to simply being overseers. He said that relationship is why Scottsdale has, for many years, been a safe community.

Officials with the town of Gilbert did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Irvine, Calif., was ranked number one on the list. Other cities in the top 10 were Henderson, Nev., Garland, Texas, and Virginia Beach, Va.

The cities were ranked using a standard measure of violent crimes per 100,000 people, according to Law Street Media. The FBI’s four major violent crime categories were used which include murder, robberies, aggravated assault, and forcible rape.

Law Street Media is a website founded this year by New York Times Magazine writer, John Jenkins. The site works to inform readers about law and public policy.

Jenkins said the site will continue collecting and publishing city crime data so that readers can “dig into the rankings and see not only how safe their city is, but how the resources devoted to policing compare to other cities.”

A complete list of the top ten safest cities can be found at: http://lawstreetmedia.com/crime-in-america-top-10-safest-cities-over-200000/.

Courtesy of AZ Republic Nov 26th, 2013

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Scottdale & Phoenix home remodeling ROI (return on investment)

Scottdale & Phoenix home remodeling ROI (return on investment)

If you are considering an update to your Arizona home have a look at the attached statistics. If you remodel key parts of your home the ROI is pretty good. Of course if you plan to live in the home long term making it fit your needs is most important.
1- Kitchen Remodel (Minor) 94%
2- Kitchen Remodel (Major) 81%
3- Bathroom remodel (Major) 81%

If you are interested in the return on investment regarding a remodel project give us a call at the Scottsdale Coldwell Banker Office 602-761-7814

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Arizona Real Estate Statistics for November 2013


Tracking metro Phoenix’s housing market is a fun hobby for many homeowners again.

Here’s a rundown of new numbers from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service’s latest STAT report for October, plus a forecast for November.

6,041: Number of home sales.

13.9 percent: The drop in home sales through October compared with 2012’s pace.

10,695: New properties listed for sale.

14.1 percent: The percentage increase in the number of homes for sale compared with October 2012.

$213,000: Median price of homes listed for sale.

21.8 percent: Increase in median listing price from October 2012.

6,199: Number of all pending foreclosures.

53.9 percent: The drop in pending foreclosures during the past year.

65 days: The average time it takes to sell a home.

5 days: How much faster a home sold a year ago.

“Looking ahead to November, the pending price index predicts the median sales price will remain flat,” said Tom Ruff, analysts for ARMLS and author of the report.

“As the holiday season begins, the combination of fewer properties under contract and fewer business days in November means sales volume will fall again this month.”

(Courtesy of AZ Republic-By Catherine Reagor The Republic | azcentral.com Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:17 PM)

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Arizona NE Valley High Schools and College Grads

High schools and their college grads

Many of the high schools that produce the most college graduates are in the Northeast Valley, according to data from the state Board of Regents. Here are the top high schools, the number of graduates in the Class of 2006 and the percentage of those who graduated from a four-year college within six years:

1. University High School, Tucson Unified District: 154, 72 percent.

2. Tempe Prep charter: 45, 71 percent.

3. Catalina Foothills High School, Catalina Foothills School District: 417, 58 percent.

4. Chaparral High School, Scottsdale Unified School District: 411, 55 percent.

5. Basis Tucson charter: 13, 54 percent.

6. Desert Mountain High School, Scottsdale Unified School District: 524, 54 percent.

7. Arizona School for the Arts charter, Phoenix: 34, 53 percent.

8. Foothills Academy charter, Scottsdale: 28, 50 percent.

9. Arizona Academy of Science and Technology charter, Phoenix: 6, 50 percent.

10. Saguaro High School, Scottsdale Unified School District: 342, 46 percent.

11. Northland Prep charter, Flagstaff: 26, 46 percent.

12. Desert Vista High School, Tempe Union High School District: 652, 45 percent.

13. Fountain Hills High School, Fountain Hills Unified School District: 174, 44 percent.

14. Horizon High School, Paradise Valley Unified School District: 523, 44 percent.

15. Corona del Sol, Tempe Union High School District: 665, 44 percent.

16. James Madison Prep charter, Tempe: 14, 43 percent.

17. Cactus Shadows High School, Cave Creek Unified School District: 286, 40 percent.

18. Arcadia High School, Scottsdale Unified School District: 236, 39 percent.

19. Ironwood Ridge, Amphitheater School District: 379, 38 percent.

20. Pinnacle High School, Paradise Valley Unified School District: 383, 38 percent.

This list doesn’t include White Cone High School in the Cedar Unified School District, which had two graduates in 2006, one of whom graduated from a four-year institution. The school is now closed.

(thanks to AZ Republic Nov 2013)

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