Thursday, February 25, 2016

8 Popular Home Design Trends to Look for in 2016!

Home design trends are more than just individual details and fads. They represent changes in lifestyle and the desire to create a home that better fits your needs. In 2016, many home builders have noticed home design trends are being driven by three main themes - functionality, personalizaton, and entertaining. In this article, we will explore how these three themes manifest themselves in the design choices made by 2016 new home buyers.


Home buyers who are building a new home in 2016 want to maximize their space by using every square inch and making the home as functional as possible. This desire for functionality has produced the following trends:

- 100% functional design: This means we are seeing fewer hallways and tiny rooms, single staircases because having two takes up too much space, and a decrease in requests for separate, closed off foyers or entrances.

- Smart home technology: Home builders can pre-wire the space with cables so Wi-Fi can be extended throughout the house. This allows the homeowner to conveniently control things like security systems, lights, and thermostats from their smartphone.

- Double islands in the kitchen: Since the kitchen is a key area for entertaining, having two islands allows the homeowner to have one dedicated space for cooking and prep work and a separate space for eating and socializing.

- Landscaping with native plants: Many areas of the country are experiencing drought. By landscaping with native plants, home owners will use less water because these plants are accustomed to the environment but still create an impressive display that adds curb appeal.


The main reason why people choose to buy a new home over purchasing a resale home is that it allows them to customize and personalize the space to their needs. This means you can choose your own layout, materials, colors, decorations and more to show off your unique personality. 

Of course personalization is different for everyone, but some of the key personalization trends that home builders are seeing in 2016 include:

- Get away rooms: Homeowners are choosing the open concept layout (which we will discuss in the next section), but they still want a place where they can get away to a more private space. Get away rooms can take the form of wine rooms, libraries, family rooms, recreation rooms, media rooms and more.

- Master suite: Another area where home builders see personalization come to the forefront is in the master suite. Homeowners want to design their perfect bedroom and connected bathroom that let them escape from the hectic world outside. Once again, personalization depends on the homeowner, but spa-like bathrooms that include either a walk-in shower or a stand-alone tub (or both) are particularly popular.


A final theme that is driving 2016 home trends is the desire to create a home that is ideal for at-home entertaining. Some more specific trends that fall into this category include:

- Open concept layout: Home buyers are taking down the walls on the main level of their home to create a space where the kitchen, dining, and living areas can all flow together. This provides a larger area where people have room to mix and mingle yet remain in the same space.

- Indoor-outdoor space: With a main floor that is perfectly set up for entertaining, 2016 new home buyers are going a step further to ensure their outdoor space is set up for entertaining too and that these indoor and outdoor areas flow well together. Many are choosing double or even triple pane sliding glass doors to connect the inside with the outside. They are also making the outdoors an entertaining hotspot by adding features like patios, pools, outdoor kitchens, outdoor living rooms, fire pits, fireplaces, pizza ovens and more.

This article has featured 8 of the most popular home design trends for 2016, and you hopefully now have a deeper-level view of what to expect in 2016.  These trends are becoming popular because they serve the greater needs of homebuyers in 2016 – needs for functionality, personalization, and entertaining. 

As you plan out your ideas for your own new home, take some time to think about your lifestyle and your needs. A good local home builder will then be able to work with you to design a home that perfectly meets those needs.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Guest post- Kitchen Remodeling Trends for 2016!

Kitchen trends to watch in 2016 encompass simplicity, convenience, and color. Though some design trends come and go, these unite classic elements with an innovative approach.

If you are looking for top design trends for kitchen remodels in 2016, we have gathered the most popular updates and upgrades for a fresh new year of kitchen designs. From built-in technology to kitchen and living room integration, you are sure to find ideas you will love.

Kitchens Become High-Tech Spaces

Innovation is everywhere. Now technology is helping make your life easier in the kitchen.

Access your music or recipes with ease on your iPad or tablet with designated docking stations and chargers for phones or tablets. Watch for appliances to take a whole new level of accessibility and innovation with built-in wine coolers, smart coffee makers, or ovens you can control remotely by your smartphone. Clever storage options will make organizing and storing kitchen supplies easier and more convenient than ever.

Classy Metal Accents

Natural, classy metals are making a comeback and expanding beyond last year’s trend of metallic faucets, knobs, and lights to range hoods in metallic finishes. Wood range hoods will likely decline as industrial metal hoods or a combination of both elements reach their peak. With neutral tones increasing in popularity, classic metal touches introduce an elegant contrast to your kitchen.

Commercial Appliances for Residential Uses

You may not be the next Iron Chef, but if you enjoy whipping up restaurant quality fare then commercial kitchen appliances could be for you. A commercial range and extra large refrigerator—along with immense counter space will give you the feel of a professional working kitchen in the comfort of your home. 

Muted Color Palettes and Contrasting Textures

This year, color schemes are seeing a big change. Though white remains popular, the new color scheme for backsplashes and cabinets includes grays, charcoal, tinted white tones, or even neutral pastels such as light blue or green.

Watch for variations in texture to be popular in kitchens. Not necessarily mixing and matching of textures, but also varying patterns of texture. For example, stone can be finished in multiple ways and installed to add slight texture differences in the same space.

Less Is More- A Minimalist Approach

Simplicity is the new definition of luxury. Minimalism will remain popular in 2016 designs with predominately white color palettes, wood textures, and counters without clutter. Furniture and designs mimic ‘60s modern or Nordic styles. These styles focus on simplicity while offering functional options for your kitchen.

Maximize Storage Space

Kitchen storage space seems to be an issue for any size room! But it is especially an issue for apartment dwellers and condo or townhome owners. Because of this space issue, manufacturers and renovation contractors are focusing on increasing storage in areas that also do not take up additional square footage.

Multi-tiered drawers and pull outs that fit in the spaces found in corners or next to appliances are a hot trend to add much needed storage in kitchens.

Integration of Kitchen and Living Spaces
Where do most family or friends congregate in the house? The kitchen. That is why many homeowners are foregoing the traditional dining space and outfitting space near the kitchen with comfortable sofas, chairs, lamps, and rugs.

This trend streamlines kitchen designs while uniting this space with a home’s primary living area. Nothing says “stay awhile” than a kitchen and living space that invites friends and family to rest and relax.

Are you interested in remodeling your kitchen in 2016? Check out some of these trendy ideas for inspiration. A great thing about these 2016 ideas is that they should all stay in style well beyond this year!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Guest post- Bathroom Makeover Dilemmas - Radiator or Heated Towel Rail?

Whether you are installing a brand new bathroom or giving your existing one a much needed makeover, there are plenty of decisions to be made. What color scheme should I go for? What kind of shower would look best? Do I need a new toilet and sink? What kind of tiles should I choose?

Another key decision when honing in on your desired look is what kind of heating you are going to go for. Is a standard radiator, designer radiator or a stylish heated towel rail going to best suit the new room? Luckily, there are a great deal of options available, with companies like CNM Online offering a range of styles and finishes in all three.

One thing you should know is that towel rails and radiators basically function in the same way, with water entering from one side and leaving from another, heating the pipes up to give a nice warm output. Even electric radiators and towel rails basically work like this, however, one consideration is that towel rails often would not give off quite as much heat as a radiator, so if it is a bigger bathroom they may not be powerful enough to heat it throughout. 

Both radiators and towel rails can be run from the central heating, and optimized for key points in the day like early mornings and evenings. Similarly can be said for electric options via the use of a timer. Essentially it comes down to personal preference and the size of the room. A towel rail should provide sufficient heat for a smaller room, and the quicker the towel dries, the more hygienic it is.

A radiator will give a bigger output and potentially heat the bathroom a lot quicker, but they often require more wall space and take up more room. Designer radiators are another great option, as they offer the same output as a normal radiator, but have more of a focus on aesthetics and design. They can also go upright in the same way a towel rail does, allowing for a better use of smaller spaces.

There are both pros and cons to all of the different models, so the decision is entirely a matter of room size and personal preference.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

What to do if your toilet is blocked?

If your toilet is flushing really slowly, is not clearing properly, or even worse, is not clearing at all, you obviously need to solve the problem quickly. If you do not take action as soon as the problem starts then it is only going to get worse. Find out what is causing the problem, and make sure your toilet is back in full working order as soon as possible.

On many occasions you will be able to resolve the problem yourself. If this does not happen then you will need to contact experienced professionals for help; learn more here

Here is what to look for and what action to take if you want to try and return your toilet to full function yourself before calling in the experts.

Is your toilet definitely blocked?

First, you need to be sure that the problem is a blockage. If your toilet is flushing slowly it may be because there is not enough water in the toilet tank. You will need to lift the lid on the tank to check this. There may be an indicator on the side of the inside of the tank to show you where the water level should be. If there isn’t, you need to check the water is approximately half an inch below the vertical pipe in the center of the tank. If the water is too low you simply need to adjust either the ballcock or fill valve.

If the water level is fine, and you discover that there is a blockage in your toilet there are actions you can take to resolve the situation.

How to resolve a blockage?

The easiest way of attempting to clear a blockage in your toilet is by using a plunger. One useful tip, if you do not have a plunger is to grab a mop, a coat hanger or a similar object, and securely tie a plastic bag over the end. This homemade device has the same effect as a plunger.

If you are not able to clear the blockage then it may be that a toilet auger is required. This usually happens when something has been accidentally flushed down the toilet, and is stuck. An auger has a flexible cable which you are able to send down the drain. This sturdy cable can dislodge any items that are stuck, and leave you with a clear toilet.

If you do not have this tool, you may want to call a plumber to take a look at the problem. One thing you should never do is just ignore the problem. If it is not flushing as it normally does then something is causing the issue. If you do not take steps to remedy the situation then it is only going to get worse, and you could be left with an overflowing toilet.