Wood, Wood and More Wood. But Should They Match?

In the 80’s and 90’s the trend was for all woods to match. Your floors matched your trim, which matched your doors which matched your kitchen cabinets and even went as far as having all the wood pieces in your furniture being the same color.

 

Kitchen Before edited.jeg

 

At that time Honey Oak or Golden Oak was the big deal and there really was a sea of oak when you walked into homes from that era. You still see a lot of these oak stains in cabinetry and trim but many people are tired of it and it is considered very dated.

What you want to see in a home now is contrast. So if you have two wood pieces next to each other one would be darker than another.

For example:

If you want a dark stained island, make sure your floors are lighter.

 

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If you want wood cabinets, make sure your floors are lighter or darker than your cabinets.

 

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It’s okay to mix in painted pieces as well. A white kitchen, gray island, and dark floors.

 

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The same rule applies to your furniture. If things don’t match they add character, interest and bring depth to a home. It makes it feel like it has been acquired over time rather than purchased all in the same section of a furniture store. Note the dining table above contrasts with the floor.

 

Below, the cabinets don’t match the island, which doesn’t match the floor, which doesn’t match the kitchen table, which doesn’t match the locker system way in the back and so on.

 

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It is difficult for some to get past the rule that all the woods should match. I get that. But start slow and practice. Perhaps it is as simple as adding an end table that is different in stain color or is painted. If a couple things match that’s okay. Just try to have the larger pieces show a contrast, each piece standing out instead of blending in.

 

Whether selling or dwelling, if you need assistance in making new wood selections call in a professional designer or home stager to walk  you through the process.

 

What Today’s Home Buyers Want

Better Homes & Gardens did a Home Buyer Study to see what millennials are looking for in their first home. The ‘next-gen’ buyers may give you some insight on what to do to assist in the sale of your  home.

#1 ) Purchase With A Plan to Stay

36% of these potential buyers see themselves living in that home at least 10 years. I remember when that statistic was 4-5 years. What does that mean? It means that the view of a starter home has changed. These buyers are now investing in more expensive homes with more square footage and areas with good school districts. These sets of wants were typically on the lists for ‘move-up’ buyers so now there is more competition at that level. Now empty nesters are looking to the smaller start-up homes.

 

calendar-1255953_1280       #2) Home Buying Process Takes Longer

Not only is the loan process taking longer, making it even more important to get preapproved, but buyers are taking more time in looking. In 2012 first time home buyers took an average of 3 months from research to closing and repeat buyers took 2 1/2 months. Those same buyers are taking 5 months and 4 months respectively. One reason for this may be because everyone starts their home search online and there are more resources than ever now to do that. The buyers are educating themselves by researching builders, reading articles and doing more research.

 

#3) Buyers are Looking for Move In Ready

Ten years ago buyers would seek out fixer-uppers. Outdated kitchens and baths didn’t scare them, nasty old carpet covering up wood floors wasn’t a big deal. Now 52% of buyers want a newly built home or one that doesn’t require any renovations or repairs before moving in. They are willing to do cosmetic changes or upgrades, they just don’t want to deal with extensive work.

 

#4) The Kitchen Being the Most Important Room is Stronger Than Ever

The kitchen motivates the buyer more than ever and I know it did me! Islands are really big right now, both in wish lists and the ability to seat people. High end appliances with custom cabinets, double ovens for entertaining are all on the list. 66% of buyers selected  a state-of-the-art kitchen as their most desired luxury.

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#5) It Has To Be A Good Investment

Today’s buyer is looking to make good choices and 65% see buying a home as a good investment for their future. To maximize their investment they need to look at such things as the area (up and coming and growing) and the size of other houses in the neighborhood.

If you are in the market to buy a new home, or selling your home, these trends can help you to determine what your competition looks like.

 

Read full Better Homes & Garden article here.

 

 

A Fun Meal for these ‘Stay At Home’ Times

I am an introvert by nature but I am already going a little stir crazy with having to ‘shelter in place’. If the weather was a bit nicer here in Minnesota I at least could be sitting outside on our patio or doing yard work. But until then I am staying busy with projects in the home and getting creative in the kitchen.

I was looking for something different to make for dinner to help make some of this solitude more fun and I decided on Fondue! I know fondue isn’t totally new and different but for me I normally think of fondue for Christmas or New Years. Maybe it’s because that is a time of relaxing over a long meal rather than hurrying off to school activities or finishing errands.fondue sticks

We have more time right now so it’s a perfect time to lounge over a long meal.

I hunted down some recipes and my husband and I had a two person fondue party!! We didn’t do the hot oil thing but made a meal out of the cheese and then went right for the dessert! What a blast and so yummy. I wanted to share the recipes I used and of course you can get creative. A link to the website for the full recipe notes are within the title of the recipe with an easy recipe print option.

cheese fondue

Classic Cheese Fondue

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
A classic recipe for cheese fondue that is easy to make and sure to impress your guests.

Ingredients

For the fondue:

  • 1/3 pound firm alpine-style cheese — such as gruyere
  • 1/3 pound fontina
  • 1/3 pound gouda
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup dry white wine — such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 clove garlic — minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Triple-Cheese-Fondue-35120Assorted fondue dippers:

    • Boiled baby new potatoes in their skins — quartered if large
    • Lightly steamed broccoli florets
    • Lightly steamed cauliflower florets
    • Lightly steamed asparagus
    • Button mushrooms — wiped clean and stems removed
    • Cherry tomatoes
    • Sliced firm apples — such as Granny Smith
    • Cooked sliced hot sausage
    • Cubed French, sourdough, and/or pumpernickel bread

Instructions

  1. Grate all of the cheeses. In a medium bowl, combine the cheeses with the cornstarch, tossing thoroughly to coat all pieces.
  2. In a stove-safe fondue pot or large heavy saucepan, bring the wine, garlic, and lemon juice to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the cheeses to the simmering liquid a little at a time, stirring well between each addition to ensure a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in the brandy, mustard, and nutmeg.

  3. Arrange an assortment of bite-size dipping foods on a platter. If necessary, carefully pour the fondue into a fondue pot. Serve with fondue forks or wooden skewers. Dip and enjoy!

Now for the really good stuff……

 

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Perfect Chocolate Fondue

Yield: 6-8 servings        Prep Time: 10 minutes
 

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (see note)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see note for other variations)
  • Lots of dipping options (strawberries, bananas, small rice krispie squares, vanilla cookies, etc.)

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, combine the chocolate, milk and cream and heat on low, stirring often, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Don’t let it come to a boil; keep it on low heat.
  2. Once melted, stir in the vanilla extract. If needed, stir in heavy cream or milk a tablespoon at a time to adjust for a thinner consistency. Pour the mixture into a fondue pot or small slow cooker to keep warm while serving.
  3. Serve with dippers of your choice. We love: marshmallows, vanilla cookies, strawberries, rice krispie treats cut in little squares, bananas.
  4. Any extra chocolate leftovers (??) will keep well in the refrigerator – just reheat on low to have yourself another chocolate fondue experience.    chocolate fondue

 

So on your next trip to the grocery store for essentials…..grab these ingredients and have a party!