Tag Archives: Home Improvements

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.

 

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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.

 

 

The All Important Flooring Question

It’s bound to come up….

“I’m selling my home and I know I need to refinish these floors. What stain color should I pick?”

“I am updating my home and want to get rid of these honey oak floors, what color is in?”

“I’m replacing all my flooring and upgrading to hardwood, what color should I be looking at?”

I get that question many times a week and what I tell you today, wasn’t what I would have told you two years ago and it more than likely won’t be what I will tell you two years from now.

That’s just the thing…..trends change but the good news is there are some things that have not changed in the last decade. That lasting componet is that the floor should be in contrast with your wood work and kitchen cabinets.

 

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A few years ago very dark espresso floors were all the rage. They were stunning and still are but people quickly realized  how tough it was to keep them looking clean. You saw every little spec of dust.

Flooring then became lighter, first to a medium walnut, and now to the current floor trend which is very light. These photos are of a luxury home I staged for the Parade of Homes Fall of 2019.

 

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How long will this current trend last? Who knows!

If you are refinishing your floors for selling purposes, go with what is on trend.

If you are refinishing your floors and plan to live in your home many years, go with what you like but still contrasts with the wood elsewhere in the home. You can enjoy the beauty of the color and down the road at resell time, refinish them in the color that is current at the time.

Refinishing hardward floors is not cheap and it is a messy process. If you are unsure about stain colors be sure to hire a professional home stager to assist you.