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The Commonwealth Blog

Monday, February 12, 2018

5 Romantic Weekend Getaways Outside of Boston

Maybe you’re planning a getaway for the weekend after Valentine’s Day, or maybe you’re already thinking about traveling somewhere to celebrate your anniversary or partner’s birthday later in the year. Fortunately for Massachusetts residents, there are plenty of romantic New England vacation spots within easy driving distance. We’ve got five recommendations for great couples’ trips that you can fit into a weekend (although you’ll probably want to stay longer).

Lexington and Concord, MA

Couples who want to soak up some history without going far from Boston should head to the towns of Lexington and Concord. A trip to Lexington and Concord isn’t just about checking out the historic sites along Battle Road Trail; couples will be spoiled for choices when it comes to upscale restaurants and hotels in the area. Standout hotels include the 4-star Inn at Hastings Park, Hawthorne Inn, a boutique bed and breakfast, and Element Lexington, which has eco-friendly amenities and its own bike sharing program. Meanwhile, fine dining spots like 80 Thoreau and Wood Hills Table prove that Boston doesn’t have a monopoly on great restaurants in Massachusetts.

Chatham, MA

Located on the “elbow” of the Cape, Chatham is an ideal central point to explore all that Cape Cod has to offer. It’s also home to the Chatham Bars Inn, which was ranked one of the best resorts in the world by Travel and Leisure magazine. With the resort’s ocean views, private beach, full spa, and other luxury amenities, it’s not hard to see how it earned that distinction.

Of course, there’s still plenty to do in the area even if you and your better half don’t stay at the Chatham Bars Inn. The Chatham Lighthouse is a must if you’re looking for spectacular views of the coastline, and restaurants like Impudent Oyster and Del Mar Bar & Bistro will help you get your fill of fresh seafood. And if you’re looking for an intimate dinner spot with an extensive wine menu, Chatham Wine Bar has you covered.

Portland, ME

Just a two-hour drive north of Boston, Portland is a playground for couples who know that trying new foods and drinks is the best part of any vacation. Popular Portland restaurants include Chaval, which serves up French- and Spanish-inspired dishes, Central Provisions, which is known for its small plates and wide selection of drinks, and waterfront seafood spot Scales. Beer lovers will have more than a dozen breweries to choose from, including the can’t-miss Rising Tide Brewing Company and Liquid Riot.

If you and your significant other want to work up an appetite before checking out Portland’s restaurants and breweries, you can rent bikes and take a self-paced tour of the city’s historic homes.

North Adams, MA

Some might say that North Adams is easy to miss, given its location in the northwest corner of Massachusetts. However, those who fail to visit this unassuming town are missing out on an impressive arts community. North Adams is home to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) as well as many downtown galleries and studios, making it the perfect spot for art-loving couples. And after a day of taking in art across a wide range of mediums, couples won’t have to travel far for good food. The Grammercy Bistro is inside Mass MoCA, while Italian restaurant Grazie is just across the street.

The White Mountains, NH

Couples who love the outdoors should make weekend plans in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. There’s no shortage of activities to try, no matter what time of year you visit the White Mountains. In the winter, you’ll find slopes for skiing and snowboarding, as well as teams of horses ready to take you and your partner on a romantic sleigh ride. During the warmer months, you’ll stay busy with hiking, kayaking, zip lining, and more. You’ll also find a wide range of accommodations, from full-service resorts to quaint B&Bs.

There are vacation spots in New England that cover every definition of “romantic,” whether you and your partner prefer candlelit dinners or mountain bike rides. Take advantage of living in such a vibrant area and plan a weekend getaway with your sweetheart.

Monday, February 5, 2018

4 Ways to Become an Expert on a New Neighborhood

If you’ve been a Realtor for several years, you may have already established a stronghold in your region or developed a reputation for selling a specific kind of property. If you’re moving to a new place or trying to increase your sales, becoming a neighborhood expert is a way to kick-start new business.

It’s not easy to become an authority on any local region. You’ll need to do research, build a rapport with community members, and establish yourself as a real estate presence in the neighborhood. Here are some ways you can become a neighborhood expert:

Take a Neighborhood Walk-Through

Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood by walking around, learning what types of homes are common, and getting comfortable with the street layout. You should research the different architectural styles, home varieties (condos, multi-family, single-family), and the average sales prices for transactions. Get to know local schools, homeowners’ associations, restaurants, and other amenities buyers are looking for when purchasing a home. You’ll be more attractive to sellers because you understand their neighborhood.

Meet Community Leaders and Business Owners

Networking is an integral part of any Realtor’s job. Start by meeting members of the school board, HOA board, local fire and police chiefs, and other movers and shakers. These connections can be invaluable in earning referrals and showing you’re active in the local community.

Meeting business owners is another part of educating yourself about a neighborhood. Anyone can Google a neighborhood’s amenities, but knowing details about the local movie theater, hair salon, coffee shop, and corner market can help you create a niche within the neighborhood.

Stay Updated on Future Growth

What’s happening in the neighborhood--are there new homes being built? How about restaurant openings or a new shopping center? Staying on the pulse of the neighborhood will help acclimate new clients to the area. You’ll be able to tout upcoming features and use them as a selling point for buyers. Neighborhood growth and development can lead to increased property values in the future, improving your commission and homeowners’ home values.

Start a Direct Mail Campaign

If you’re starting off in a new area, you need to make yourself known. Market your Realtor services through a direct mail campaign in your new target neighborhood. This can be a simple and inexpensive way to get listings and grow your business. As your signs start popping up and you close successful sales, you’ll soon be well-known throughout the community. You can also target “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) properties and offer those home sellers your services. Explain the benefits of working with a Realtor and how sellers can save time and money by listing with you.

Starting your real estate business in a new neighborhood can be challenging, but you can become an expert by doing your research, meeting community members, and marketing yourself. Start slow, learn about the community, and begin building connections. You’ll have multiple listings and connections with clients in no time.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Should You Replace Your Kitchen and Bathroom Countertops?

Replacing or repairing an old laminate or damaged stone countertop can transform a kitchen or bathroom. Whether you’re thinking of selling your home or want to refresh your most used rooms, a countertop renovation can add value and functionality. If your countertop no longer fits your vision for the space, it’s time to get something new.

Make sure you do research before going to a home improvement store and choosing your favorite countertop material. Decide what surfaces work best for your workflow, and what kind of maintenance requirements are suitable for you. You’ll need to think about your upfront costs and return on investment, as well. Repairing your surfaces can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the size of your kitchen or bathrooms.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for countertops:

Replace or Repair?

If you’re dealing with nicks and scratches or major chips in a stone countertop, they may be repairable. Saving the broken pieces and reattaching them with epoxy glue is an easy and quick fix. You can revive laminate countertops by polishing and erasing imperfections. You can even re-laminate existing surfaces or tile over them for a less expensive alternative. You can find DIY countertop repair kits available at local hardware stores and online. Repairing is often possible and may be the right choice if you’re low on cash or still enjoy using your existing countertops and layout.

Replacing makes the most sense if you can’t stand your current surface. Maybe you have old tile that needs to be removed or a laminate that’s had too many years of use. It might be time to move on and find a new countertop replacement. Make sure to precisely measure any countertop you need to replace or repair before heading to the hardware or home design store, so you understand the cost differential between different materials.

The Best Countertop Materials

There are so many choices for countertops on the market today; it’s difficult to choose what’s right for your bathroom or kitchen. Some of the most popular options are:

  • Granite- Each slab of granite is a unique stone with different colors and interesting veins. Granite is resistant to most damage, including heat and scratches, but you need to seal it periodically to retain its protection.
  • Quartz- Trendy quartz needs less maintenance than many other solid countertops. This material is a combination of mineral, different colors, and resin, and can be designed to look like granite, marble, or solid colors.
  • Laminate- Once the go-to for countertops, laminate is inexpensive, and much higher quality than it used to be. New laminate is resistant to heat but can be damaged by knife cuts.
  • Natural Stone- Marble, limestone, and other natural stones are less resistant to damage than granite or quartz, and they can stain easily. Marble can be a great statement piece, but it’s not necessarily practical, especially for a kitchen.
  • Butcher Block- Wood is a great choice for a kitchen countertop, and different finishes can help prevent stains. You will get nicks and scratches on the surface, but it’s easy to refinish and sand out imperfections.

Check out these surface options and more for your replacement countertops. You’ll find a fitting design choice for your kitchen or bathroom.

Improving Home Value

Repairing or replacing countertops in these high-use areas of your home can add value. Whether you’re thinking of selling your home soon or years in the future, these improvements can add thousands to the listing price of your home. Choose countertops you’ll love now that will also make your home appeal to future buyers. If you’re getting ready to list your property, discuss what renovations can help sell your home with your Realtor.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How to Make Your Small Yard Look Bigger

Realtors often say that kitchens and bathrooms are what sell homes, but what about yards? A home’s backyard may not be the first thing prospective buyers think about, but it can make a big impression. Home buyers, especially those with young children and pets, often enjoy picturing themselves spending time in their new backyard. A scenic yard can also appeal to home buyers who want a space for outdoor entertaining.

If you’re selling a home with a small yard, you may be worried that the limited space will be a downside for buyers. However, with some creative staging, you can show buyers just how much you can do with the available space.

Here are five landscaping tips for small yards to get you started:

Define Spaces in Your Yard By Their Use

Visually defining separate areas in your yard can make the space look larger than it is. For example, laying out a stone patio will define a space for dining outside and gathering with friends, while placing a bench and a partial border of container plants by a shady tree could define a peaceful reading nook. Different materials (such as a wooden deck, gravel border, and stone path) can help you visually segment your yard.

Connect Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Making your house and your yard feel like one cohesive space is another great way to create the illusion of a larger yard. Try adding a flower bed, brightly colored potted plants, or shrubs close to the yard’s entryway so that visitors are drawn to the space while they’re inside your home. When choosing patio furniture and outdoor decor, try to tie everything together with the aesthetic of your home.

Make Your Side Yard Part of Your Landscape Plan

You may see your side yard as nothing more than empty space between your home and your neighbor’s, but when you make an effort to stage it and connect it with your backyard, buyers will take note. A narrow side yard is an excellent space for a raised herb garden, a vertical garden, or even a cafe table and set of chairs that could become part of an intimate breakfast nook.

Add a Curved Pathway

Curved pathways are an especially good option for backyards that are long but narrow, as they make the most of the space and invite visitors to meander. By adding a curved stone path that cuts diagonally across your yard, you’ll draw visitors’ eyes along that diagonal and make your outdoor space look bigger than it is. You can also brighten the space by choosing light-colored stones for your path.

Choose Features That Draw Eyes Up

Use features such as tall but narrow shrubs, vertical gardens, and archways or trellises wrapped in vines to bring visitors’ eyes upwards and make your space feel limitless. If you’re not planning to sell your home for several years but want to start improving the appearance of the yard now, you may also want to plant several trees that grow up more than out, such as upright witch hazels, serviceberry trees, or conifers.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

6 Tips for Buying a Home in a Competitive Market

Hot housing markets across the country mean that buyers have to act fast. Nationally, the average home is selling within three weeks of going on the market. The turnaround time on home sales is even shorter in the greater Boston area, where the available housing inventory is at a historical low. According to the Boston Globe, Boston area houses spent eight fewer days on the market in November 2017 than they did in November 2016.

So, what’s a home buyer to do when it feels like they’re in a race to purchase one of a limited number of houses?

Keep Calm and Work with Professionals

It’s important to stay calm when buying a home in a competitive housing market, and the best way to keep calm is to surround yourself with real estate professionals. Do your research and find a mortgage lender, home inspector, and Realtor who can help streamline your home buying process.

It’s especially essential to find a Realtor you trust to guide you through the buying process and negotiate on your behalf. Your Realtor should educate you on comparable home prices in the neighborhoods that interest you so that you’ll know a good deal when it goes on the market. Your Realtor should also know about listings as soon as they hit the MLS--or even before then.

Get Pre-Approved by a Mortgage Lender

Understand the difference between getting pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage. Getting pre-qualified just means that a lender estimated how much house you could afford based on your current income. Being pre-approved means a lender looked at your credit and other financial factors to determine how much of a mortgage you could afford. A letter of pre-approval will show sellers that you’re a serious buyer and that you’ll be ready to move quickly after making an offer.

Set Limits for Yourself

Just because a mortgage lender pre-approves you for a certain amount doesn’t mean you must--or even should--spend that much on your new home. You need to make sure you have enough money saved up to handle both planned and unexpected housing expenses after closing. You also need to know you’ll be able to manage your monthly mortgage payments even if your financial situation changes (if you or your spouse leaves your job, for example).

Determine how much house you can comfortably afford and set a hard limit. If you get into a bidding war and another buyer offers more than your limit, be ready to walk away.

Make the Best Offer You Can, From the Start

After you’ve established your limit and found a house you’re serious about, be prepared to make your best possible offer right away. Don’t plan on making a lower offer with the idea that you’ll be able to raise it when the seller presents you with a counteroffer. In a hot housing market, another buyer is likely to make a higher offer upfront, and the seller is likely to accept it.

If possible, you should also be prepared to put down a larger down payment than the minimum required by your loan program. This is another sign of a serious buyer and can boost a seller’s confidence in your financial readiness to take on a mortgage.

Don’t Get Bogged Down in Contingencies

If a seller receives several comparable offers, they’re most likely to go with the one that has the fewest contingencies. Including a contingency that your house must sell before you close on a new one, or that you must be in your new house by a certain move-in date, may cause sellers to balk and put your offer at the bottom of the pile.

However, just because you should limit your contingencies doesn’t mean you should waive your home inspection. There are limited issues that sellers have to disclose in Massachusetts, which means the home inspection is your one chance to uncover potentially costly repair issues before making an offer. If the home inspection uncovers something big, like foundation issues, you may want to either include repair contingencies in your offer or simply walk away.

Be Prepared to Act Quickly

With houses spending so little time on the market, buyers don’t have the luxury of hesitating. When you begin your home search, you should establish your must-have criteria and the items you’re willing to compromise on. Once you and your Realtor find a home that meets your criteria and budget, be ready to make an offer.

Monday, January 22, 2018

5 Harmful Home Selling Myths

When you’re getting ready to sell your home, you may think you know everything about the process. It seems simple, right? Choose a Realtor, list your home, and the buyers will pour in. But it’s not that straightforward. There are many harmful home selling myths we’ve taken as the truth for decades. Don’t buy into these misconceptions: learn the truth and sell your home for top dollar.

Myth #1: You Don’t Need a Realtor

Some home sellers believe they’ll be best served by taking the ‘For Sale by Owner’ route. However, home selling is a lot more complicated than listing on Craigslist and putting up a “for sale” sign. You need a marketing plan, a good negotiator, and someone to hustle for you. Even if you manage to sell your home yourself, you’ll likely end up getting far less money for it-- 15-20% less, according to the National Association of Realtors. Find a Realtor you trust, and they’ll help you get the best price for your house.

Myth #2: You Can Sell Your Home As-Is

You might love living in your home, but that doesn’t mean buyers want to walk in and see pictures of grandma and pop-pop. A good Realtor will advise you on what personal touches to remove and improvements you can make that will give you a solid return on investment. While a full-scale remodel isn’t necessary, new floors and updates to kitchens and bathrooms can help sell your home.

Myth #3: There’s a Right Time of Year to Sell

Summer has often been the “it” season to put your home on the market—families are moving, school is out, and it’s hot in many markets. Meanwhile, winter is often viewed as a dead season for real estate. In reality, the best time of year is more dependent on local inventory and trends. Spring and summer often see more traffic, but fall and winter can make your home more desirable as there are fewer homes available. There isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, so talk to your Realtor about what’s best for your situation.

Myth #4: You Should Price According to Online Estimates

Real estate sites like Zillow, Trulia, and employ algorithms to determine what your home is “worth.” While these can be useful, they can vary wildly from your home’s true market value in many cases. Your Realtor should perform a comparative marketing analysis (CMA) and research what homes in the area have sold for in the past and recently. Then you’ll be able to come up with a price.

Myth #5: You Should Start with a High Listing Price

Many sellers think they should start by listing high, and that they can always accept a lower offer. Unfortunately, this can lead to several problems. You may not get any offers at all, and you might price yourself out of many buyers’ range. The longer your home sits on the market without selling, the harder it is to sell. Price your home competitively to start, and you’ll more likely attract offers.

Be wary of these myths and enter the market as an informed seller, ready to list your home with a top Realtor.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Why You Need an Emergency Fund When Buying Your First Home

You’re getting ready to buy your first home. After saving up for the past several years, you feel ready to plunge into home ownership. But it’s important not to spend all your money on your down payment. Having an emergency fund is a necessity, especially after buying a new home. Whether your AC breaks down or you need to repair your roof, having the cash ready for an unexpected expense can reduce stress.

The Importance of an Emergency Fund

Not having an emergency fund is an endemic problem in the United States, and many people live paycheck to paycheck, unable to save up a substantial amount of money. 38% of Americans don’t think they can handle an emergency that costs $500 or less. No matter what stage you’re at in life, an emergency fund is vital. You never know if you will lose your job, be hit with an expensive medical bill, or need to repair your car or home.

How Do You Begin Building This Fund?

It’s important to understand what an emergency fund isn’t. It’s not a little extra money in your checking account, or some leftover money in your savings account for your home, or even available credit on your credit cards. An emergency fund should be a separate savings account dedicated to real emergencies. You shouldn’t be using it for vacations; it’s meant for sickness, home repairs, and other unforeseen expenditures.

You can begin by building it up slowly, direct depositing a small amount from each paycheck into this separate account. If you have money to spare from your down payment account, this can be a great way to start your emergency fund.

How Much Money Should My Emergency Fund Have?

Ideally, according to experts, your emergency fund should have enough cash to get you by for 6-9 months of basic expenses. This includes the mortgage, car payments, insurance, groceries, utilities, etc. If your all-in mortgage and bills come out to $1200, you’d need to save $7200-$10,800. However, saving this much can be difficult, especially for first-time homebuyers. You can begin by building up an emergency fund of $1000 and continue saving from there. This buffer can still help take care of many unexpected expenses and give you peace of mind.

Remember that buying your first home comes with many additional responsibilities over renting. An emergency fund can help mitigate incidentals, like new windows, or plumbing and electrical repairs. Save now and be ready for any eventuality.

Monday, January 15, 2018

How to Wow Sellers During Your Listing Presentation

A listing presentation is an opportunity for you to show home sellers that you’re the best person to represent them in their real estate transaction. Think of it as a job interview. That may sound like a high-pressure situation, but it doesn’t have to be something to sweat if you prepare for it. Start by checking out our tips for impressing home sellers with your presentation.

Ask Questions

Before you dive into your presentation, ask your seller some questions about themselves and their goals. You might ask questions like:

  • How quickly are you hoping to sell?
  • Where are you moving?
  • Is it more important for you to sell quickly or get the best possible price?
  • What are you looking for in a listing agent?

Taking the time to ask these questions and listen attentively to the answers will make home sellers feel heard and show that you’re invested in their success. It will also help you get information about their home selling motivations and expectations, which you can use to shape your presentation’s tone.

Let the Seller Ask Questions

Your listing presentation should be a two-way street. You’ll be doing most of the talking, but you should let the home seller know that they’re welcome to ask questions during and after the presentation. Leaving openings for questions will make the presentation more engaging and give you the chance to alleviate concerns the seller may have.

Tailor Your Presentation to the Seller

Pay attention to the seller’s personality type when you first meet with them. If they seem highly analytical, be ready to dive into the market data with them. If they’re more emotionally driven (for example, if they’ve stated their top priority is finding someone they’re comfortable working with), spend less time on the data and more time explaining how you can help them. You may want to tell them about similar listings you’ve handled and how addressed your previous clients’ home selling challenges.

Put the Seller’s Needs First

One popular adage in marketing says that you should focus on explaining how your product or service can help your customer or client, rather than just presenting a laundry list of features. This rule holds true for listing presentations. You should make it clear that your skills and experience make you the best Realtor for the job, but the main emphasis should be on how those skills will help the home seller.

Research and Practice

Treat your listing presentation the same way you would have treated a test that was worth 70% of your grade in a college class: study and practice. Even if you don’t consider yourself a natural public speaker, you’ll project confidence if you know your material well and have rehearsed the presentation. If you can, ask a co-worker to listen as you run through the presentation. This will give you a good chance to troubleshoot before the real thing. For example, you may discover that you’re losing your audience’s attention at a specific point, or that something you thought would work well sounds odd when you say it aloud.

Building your presentation skills is essential for getting more listings. No matter how long you’ve been in the real estate industry, you can always benefit from working on your listing presentation strategy.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Boston Housing Market Remains Hot in 2018

In July 2017, the median Boston home price topped $400,000 for the first time. Although that summertime record is far behind us, the Boston housing market remains hot.

Statewide, the average home price was $410,000 at the beginning of 2018, up by $30,000 from this time last year. And in Boston, limited inventory is keeping the market competitive. We haven’t seen the end of houses flying off the market almost as soon as they’re listed.

Even though the Boston housing market is competitive, it’s still a good time to buy. Interest rates remain relatively low, and if you can afford to buy, it’s a much better investment than paying more than $2,100 a month in rent. And experts are predicting that inventory levels will begin to increase in fall 2018, making it easier for first-time buyers to enter the market.

If you want to buy a home this year but Boston prices just aren’t feasible, you’ll be happy to know that there are many close-in suburbs with strong housing markets and more affordable properties. Here are four hot suburbs to check out:


Medford’s median home prices are comparable to Boston’s, but you’ll get a lot more space for your money. You’ll also get to enjoy more than two dozen parks and other recreational spaces. Because it offers room to spread out while still being relatively close to Boston, Medford has become popular with families and young professionals who commute to the city.


Somerville has been an up-and-coming Boston suburb for a while now, and we’re at the point where other up-and-coming areas (including Medford) are being referred to as “the new Somerville.” But even with Somerville’s rapidly increasing popularity, it’s still relatively affordable, with home prices predicted to increase marginally this year. This suburb offers easy access to the Red Line, and residents can bike to work by hopping on the Somerville Community Path.


You’ll find everything from renovated, early twentieth-century Victorians to modern condos in Malden, a suburb that’s just north of Boston. With condos starting around $250,000 and single-family homes still available for under a half million, Malden is becoming a popular choice for home buyers priced out of the Hub. Residents can still get to the city easily via the Orange Line or commuter rail, and there’s also plenty to enjoy in Malden itself, including the nearby Middlesex Fells Reservation.


Head north from Malden and you’ll soon hit Melrose, another hot Boston suburb. Residents here have plenty of transportation choices: there are three commuter rail stops, plus a T stop in nearby Oak Grove. And while the market has been getting more competitive, Melrose still has a family-friendly feel, with a close-knit community and lots of local shops lining its small downtown.

If you’re planning to start your housing search in Boston or beyond this year, contact a CENTURY 21 Commonwealth Realtor. With offices across the greater Boston area, our Realtors have plenty of experience in the markets where you want to buy.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Make Your Home Appeal to Buyers in 2018

2018 marks a fresh start for home design. This year, design predictions are bolder than ever, doing away with what’s been popular for years in favor of brand new trends. If you’re thinking about refreshing your home as a New Year’s resolution, check out these exciting home décor ideas. Always remember to choose what you love though, regardless of what’s popular—after all, you’re the one who lives there.


Depending on who you ask, floral prints are always in, but this year but this year, the staid old designs on your grandma’s couch have been refreshed and transformed. Consider floral print on a chair, a bedspread, and for throw pillows. Expect floral designs with contrasting and psychedelic colors, overscale patterns, and a fresh new take on the traditional.


In the past several years, home design has cycled through various iterations of popular metals, including stainless steel, copper, gold, and more. Apple even made rose gold a trend that reverberated throughout both the tech and home design worlds. But for 2018, brass is making a comeback. You’ll find this classic, aged finish in everything from kitchen cabinet hardware to living room furniture, and even as serving ware.

Smart Lighting Controls

Technology is increasingly making its way into aspects of the home with thermostats, smart speakers, and more. With the prices of smart lighting (like Philips Hue) coming down, these automated systems can save money on electricity bills. They’re also customizable, meaning you can match them to your home and lifestyle. We predict these will surge in popularity in 2018.

Rich, Warm Tones

While decorating has long focused on calm neutrals, like stark whites and washed grays, earthy tones are in for the new year. Rich burgundy, burnt orange, rusty terracotta, and even muted greens will be making an appearance throughout new designs. While neutrals won’t go out of style, these rich tones can add notes of coziness and warmth to your home.


Though it sounds like a spicy sushi condiment, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection. What this means for home design is using objects that are handmade, organic, and not perfectly matching. Embrace the inherent imperfections in life by using raw wood and being authentic with your décor. Perfection is no longer the goal with wabi-sabi.

A New Kind of Sink Style

Stainless steel sinks are finally out, as are white ceramic ones. As sinks become more of a kitchen statement piece, homeowners are choosing materials like granite and concrete, even copper or stone to truly showcase their large sinks. Look for these new materials in the latest kitchen remodels, but be prepared for a bigger price tag.

With the start of new year, it’s time to try out of one of these exciting new design trends in your home. Whether you want to paint a room in terracotta, add a pop of floral print to your living room, or incorporate the art of wabi-sabi into your life, 2018 is the time to do it. Bring what you love into your home, like a gorgeous copper sink, brass fixtures, or even smart lighting for the whole house. You won’t regret trying out these home décor ideas.

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