The great outdoors and cozy retreats were major sources of inspiration this year.
Amid a particularly turbulent year, many people took it upon themselves to create their own oases at home in 2020. At least, that appears to be the collective sentiment in Houzz’s most popular home design searches of the year. The home and interior design company gathered insights from U.S. homeowners and design professionals to determine the top design trends during the coronavirus pandemic. The results? The desire to take advantage of the great outdoors and recreate cozy getaways at home were both major themes, reflecting a stir-crazy year spent under quarantine.
Dave and Jenny Marrs of “Fixer to Fabulous” have done countless renovations over the years, but the pressure is on when they’re tasked with fixing up a home owned by none other than Jenny’s parents.
In the Season 2 episode “A Life-Changing Renovation,” Jenny and Dave help Jenny’s parents, Joan and Steve Smith, renovate their new house in Rodgers, AR, not too far from the Marrs’ farm. Dave and Jenny hope to give this property the cozy feel of a grandparents’ home along with a more modern vibe.
Read on to find out how they make this house feel both classic and contemporary, and get some ideas for how to make over any family home, even your own.
Not all bricks are created equal
Steve and Joan love their new house, but they agree that the style is a little dated. On the exterior, the home has some stone accents that may have been popular when the home was built in 1994, but just look tired now.
So Jenny and Dave decide to replace the stone with some brick, which they know will give the house a fresh, modern style without looking too stark.
However, Jenny tells Dave that they can’t use just any old bricks on the house.
“I don’t want just a red clay brick that is mass-produced,” Jenny says. “I want to use a vintage brick that’s come off of an old building.”
She ends up finding old, light-colored brick that looks kind of worn. This brick, when used on the porch steps and house skirt, gives the home a rustic look.
Watch: Fix Your Own Garbage Disposer—Without Calling the Plumber
In the end, it’s clear that Jenny’s careful selection pays off. She proves that getting just the right color and style is imperative.
Use an eyelid to add character to a doorway
Joan and Steve are excited to get rid of the dated stone on the home’s exterior, but they also want to make some structural changes to their front entrance. So Jenny and Dave take out the dated walkway and build out a porch, then they focus their attention on the doorway.
“We were able to get them this beautiful double door, and it has an arch top,” Jenny says, “so adding an eyebrow arch to the front of the house, it’ll mirror the door, and it’ll tie it together and look beautiful and welcoming.”
They use cedar, which matches the new siding, to create a curved structure that will go right above the porch steps. The extra detail matches the elegant front doors, just as Jenny expected, and it brings some character to the front of the house.
It’s a small feature, but it makes a big impact.
Simplify a stone fireplace for a more modern look
Unfortunately, the inside of Joan and Steve’s house is just as dated as the outside. The space is like a ’90s time capsule, and the dated stone fireplace doesn’t help.
“The stone followed us inside,” Steve says of the gray stonework.
Jenny and Dave know they’ll need to update this fireplace if they’re going to make the space feel more modern, so they remove the stone and simplify the feature. With a smooth white face, a wood mantel, and a small spot to store wood next to the firebox, the new, smaller fireplace looks much more modern.
Can’t knock down a kitchen wall? Create a coffee station
Joan and Steve’s kitchen is dated, so Jenny and Dave make a plan to completely redo the space, putting in new appliances, installing new cabinetry, and even knocking down a wall to open it up. However, once renovation begins, they realize that they can’t take down the wall.
Thinking fast, Jenny and Dave make the best of the situation by using this extra space to put in a coffee bar. Jenny says her parents always start the day with coffee, so a coffee bar is the perfect consolation for the slightly more closed-off floor plan, and one renovation they’ll appreciate every morning when they wake up!
“At first I was really upset ’cause we couldn’t take out this post,” Jenny tells her parents when the house is finished, “but I think it worked out for the best because we could give you the coffee bar.”
Turn a dining room wall into wine storage
With a beautiful coffee bar in the kitchen, Dave and Jenny are inspired to create a space for Steve and Joan’s other favorite beverage: wine.
They get to work installing some wine storage on one wall of the dining room, giving this otherwise empty space a fun feature while also providing storage for Joan and Steve’s wine collection. It a great blend of fun and function.
When Jenny and Dave are finally able to show off the wine rack, Dave admits that there’s one small problem: It’s much bigger than expected.
“When I built it I didn’t realize that it holds, like, 600 bottles,” Dave says. We guess his in-laws will have to work on building their collection!
When the renovation is complete, Dave and Jenny are able to present the Smiths with a one-of-a-kind house that’s made with love. It’s a great blend of modern and classic, making it the perfect spot for two fun grandparents to live out their retirement.
The post ‘Fixer to Fabulous’ Reveals One Simple Upgrade You’ll Love Every Morning appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.
We’re not going to lie: We miss going to the movies (or going anywhere, really). But if we’re being honest with ourselves, staying at home streaming a holiday movie on Netflix does have its benefits: your own sofa, cozy throw blankets, and the access to a pause button (so that you won’t miss a thing for a bathroom break).
But you don’t need a celebrity-style mansion with a basement to create your own private cinema. Instead, we propose turning your TV room into the ultimate home theater—full of experience-enhancing details, from a techy sound bar to the perfect popcorn bowl. These six setups should help inspire your next at-home movie night. Lights, camera, action!
For a Palette Wes Anderson Would Love
Start with a super-plush sofa (bonus points if it has a curved corner spot that makes you want to settle in and stay awhile) in a fun shade. Then layer on the textiles in lots of colors, patterns, and textures. A popcorn maker that doubles as a bowl plays a great supporting role to the decor.
For Settling Into a Mad Men Marathon
For a fresh take on the mid-century modern look, pair clean-lined pieces—like an indigo blue sofa—with elements that have a natural, hand-hewn vibe: pottery perfectly proportioned for potato chips; a high-tech speaker done in warm tones (bronze and taupe); and a shaggy faux fur stool, so you can put your feet up while you Netflix and chill.
For the Sophisticated Cinephile
Minimalism, but made interesting. The recipe: architectural furniture in neutral tones (say, a roomy sectional with sculptural brass legs), sunset-shade textiles (they can seriously liven up a neutral sofa), plus decor elements and accessories that feel special (a marbleized porcelain serving bowl and the chicest popcorn set we’ve ever seen).
For a Moody Thriller Vibe
An all-dark room might seem intimidating, but it actually creates a dramatic effect that’s super-intimate for watching films. Opt for matte finishes, like this velvet sofa, ceramic bowl, and a streamlined smart speaker that gives you movie-theater quality sound at home. Floor cushions in a floral print keep the space from feeling too one-note—and give you extra seating for your screening.
For a Lush Spot to Take in a Rom-Com
This look is all about contrast. Neutrals create a canvas where bright decor accents—like patterned pillows in sunny shades—can really pop. Then sheepskin throws amp up the comfy factor. And a tiny, easy-to-store projector means you have a screen only when you want one.
For Nancy Meyers–Style Neutrals
If you love a clean, airy vibe, this is the look for you. Mix tone-on-tone neutrals—from ivory to taupe and everything in between—with reckless abandon. Then add in touches of wood and metal for a bit of textural contrast. A shiny brass tray is a decorative catchall that becomes a functional tool for hauling snacks and drinks.
Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.
After formal graphic design training and a stint in fashion marketing and PR, Auckland native Beck Wadworth noticed a gap in the market and launched her stylish stationery business An Organised Life. “When I moved to Sydney a few years ago, I wanted a diary but couldn’t find one that was functional yet complemented my monochrome and minimalistic aesthetic,” says Beck who sells a range of diaries, journals and wall calendars through retailers and her own e-commerce site.
And while it’s worth mentioning her gorgeous product range, today we’re going to step inside an extension of her brand – her home in Auckland where she has been located since the Coronavirus pandemic began. “My team is all based in Sydney at our headquarters. Prior to COVID-19, I spent three weeks in Auckland and one week in Sydney per month,” says Beck who has been working out of her gorgeous Auckland rental ever since the pandemic kicked off.
Beck’s apartment is one half of a two-storey, traditional weatherboard house with water views that was built in 1900 before being separated in two. With dark timber floors and plenty of white, it’s filled with a stylish curation of furniture and homewares finds that are perfectly on-brand.
“My interior style is very minimal, relaxed and pared back. I love fresh white walls, wooden floors and I prefer to add texture and tones rather than lots of colours! Less is more for me,” says Beck who is also a big fan of investing in pieces that merge form and function. “I favour pieces that serve a functional purpose while fitting within my aesthetic.”
Perhaps the best example of form meeting function is Beck’s home office – a space that has been in heavy use courtesy of countless Zoom meetings with her Sydney team. “My home office is very functional yet motivating and I love that I can close the door at the end of the day and separate my personal and professional life,” says Beck.
The nearby lounge and dining room are another highlight of the home – a key piece in the space, the Minimalist Emilee daybed was designed by Beck in collaboration with furniture designer David Shaw.
“I’ve always loved being at home! Home is my safe haven, the place that I feel the most comfortable and relaxed.”
The post Stationery designer’s chic rented apartment is right on brand! appeared first on The Interiors Addict.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought about a new appreciation of backyards and other outdoor spaces. With many of us spending hours and hours at home, we’re all looking for places to relax other than the living room sofa and kitchen. If you have a yard with ample space for you and your family, consider yourself blessed.
But in 2021, outdoor space owners might want to consider taking it up a notch with one of the most sought-after features: an outdoor kitchen.
“I looked at this as an investment our family would enjoy for the next 20-plus years,” says lifestyle expert Evette Rios, who recently embarked on her own outdoor kitchen project.
For people who dream of spending even more time cooking outside and enjoying their backyard, an outdoor kitchen is a must. And now’s the time to get to work to ensure your kitchen is ready when the warm, sunny days arrive.
Take a look at the tips below from experts who have successfully completed outdoor kitchen projects of their own.
1. Set a budget
Outdoor kitchens are not a cheap investment, but the price range is really broad. The cost of an outdoor kitchen ranges from $5,406 to $21,699, according to HomeAdvisor.com. Therefore, there are many ways to tailor your kitchen to your budget.
That being said, you should always prioritize durable materials in an outdoor kitchen.
“Interior furnishings afford a bit more leeway on where you splurge and save,” says HGTV star Laurie March. “But for outdoor kitchens and living spaces, performance and durability—when it comes to cabinetry and appliances—will always be worth it.”
2. Seek out American-made products
Photo by Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens
March says COVID-19 has caused major global supply chain interruptions, which has made acquiring building materials and appliances difficult. But sourcing for your outdoor kitchen might be easier if you opt for American-made products.
“I selected Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens, which are manufactured in Connecticut. It made the process so much easier,” says March.
She says it wasn’t only about convenience, but also craftsmanship, quality, and the company’s established history.
3. Order appliances early in the planning process
Appliances are what will make your outdoor kitchen shine. But you’ll want to order them sooner rather than later because some companies have long lead times or back ordered items.
March advises finalizing appliance picks first and ordering as quickly as possible.
“It’s easier to store them until you’re ready to install rather than have to wait for them to arrive, which can add substantial time to your project,” she says.
4. Design with four seasons in mind
Photo by Chicago Green Design Inc.
Rios highly recommends designing your outdoor kitchen for year-round enjoyment. For example, in her outdoor kitchen, she knew she wanted durable, high-quality cabinets to keep contents dry even in rain or high humidity.
“Heating elements in different zones of the outdoor space are also crucial,” says Rios. “In the kitchen, our pizza oven helps keep us warm during food prep, and the fire pit is a cozy spot for guests to gather.”
If you have a covered outdoor space, she recommends planning and budgeting for ceiling-mounted heat lamps, or invest in one or two free-standing, mobile heating units.
5. Find the right people for the job
March says homeowners should do their homework and hire the right professionals to guide them through their vision, flag any potential pitfalls, and elevate the overall aesthetic.
“For me, bringing a landscape designer onboard brought the whole vision for our outdoor kitchen and yard together,” says March.
Rios says it’s also important to lock in a trusted contractor and installer to ensure the vision and layout for your outdoor kitchen is doable and within your budget.
6. Have fun with color
Photo by DeGoey Designs
Rios says an outdoor kitchen is the perfect space to have fun with color, whether taking cues from the surrounding landscape or going bright and bold.
“Blues and greens can so easily play off of surrounding elements outdoors. I’m over the all-white kitchen, and I think outdoor kitchens are the perfect opportunity to embrace brighter hues,” says Rios, who used a beautiful juniper-green, powder-coat finish on her outdoor kitchen cabinetry.
7. Design based on how you’ll use your space
“Asking yourself the right questions as you think through design options can provide a lot of helpful guidance,” says March. “How do you want to live outdoors? What’s not working with your current or past space, and how could it rise up to meet you a bit better?”
She says it’s also important to consider who’s going to use the outdoor kitchen space. Does it need to be wheelchair-accessible or suitable for pets and kids?
“These details will dictate so much of your design,” says March.
For her space, she envisioned how it could pivot from a space to cook to a space to entertain. The big, open shelf she installed, for example, serves as additional landing space for items she brings out from the indoor kitchen.
The post How to Dine Al Fresco Year-Round: 7 Outdoor Kitchen Design Tips for 2021 appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.
Celebrities have amazing homes that most of us can only dream of owning. But there actually is an affordable way to live like the rich and famous (at least a little bit): Just buy a piece or two from these celebs’ home decor lines.
It turns out, a certain subset of A-listers has taken nest feathering to the next level. These A-listers have come up with their own home decor lines for all to enjoy. Some of these collections are affordable, while others are downright spendy; but luckily, there’s a look for every homeowner’s budget.
So if you’re hoping to refresh your home for the holidays and herald in the new year star-style, check out the following celebrity decor lines, plus some excellent examples of their work.
Who doesn’t love Drew Barrymore and her bubbly personality? If you’re a big fan, you’ll be happy to know the same vibes can be had in your house with her sweet Flower Home line from Walmart.
Among the more than 130 items, you’ll swoon for her plush velvet pillows, retro table lamps, throws with pompoms, and far-out ombre glassware.
Add to cart: This ochre floral wallpaper ($35) has a vintage flair and would be ideal in a half-bath or guest room, or to brighten up the laundry area.
Singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson has style to spare, which she channeled this spring into her debut of more than 500 pieces in her Wayfair furniture line, Kelly Clarkson Home.
The songbird’s looks skew French country, using natural wood combined with regal lines that’ll keep you clicking and clicking. Oh, and there are loads of items for around $30, including winter wreaths, accent trays, decorative clocks, and wall hangings.
Add to cart: Your workspace needs an upgrade—fast—so consider this attractive desk ($336) with hutch topper. Store office supplies and your laptop in the drawers for a neat look when not in use.
When you think about rugs and pillows, the name Ellen DeGeneres might not be top of mind. But this queen of daytime programming also runs her own mini real estate empire, so a high-end home line makes perfect sense.
DeGeneres also has excellent taste, as witnessed by her collab with the carpet folks at Loloi called ED by Ellen—and the quality shows, including handwoven wool rugs and distinctive accent pillows in quiet, subtle shades.
Add to cart: The gray tones on this throw pillow ($89) can blend with nearly every other color in your room, while the fringe gives it sass.
In addition to being a supermodel, Chrissy Teigen has established her kitchen bona fides as a cookbook author. Her love of hearth and home led to a Target line called Cravings—and you’ll want to snap up nearly all of it for yourself and as holiday gifts.
Check out her cookware sets, wooden bowls and boards with gold accents, and an attractive enameled Dutch oven.
Add to cart: Fill this smart-looking basket ($20) with loose boughs leftover from tree trimming, and then use it the rest of the year with a napkin liner to hold dinner rolls.
The wellness and lifestyle brand Goop has inspired many a follower to dream of living like Gwyneth Paltrow. And while you may have steered clear of some of her more out-there overpriced potions and sprays, her furniture at CB2 x Goop is worth your time and small investment.
Curvy lines and metal accents signal midcentury glam, while the exquisite fabrics (boucle, velvet) up the luxe factor.
Add to cart: This sleek settee ($1,999) is destined for a grown-up living room or bedroom. Choose from soft pink velvet, thick ecru shearling, or an off-white linen.
Reality TV star Lauren Conrad‘s clothing line at Kohl’s may be better known than her home decor, but if you dig into this section you’ll be surprised by the (very pretty) results.
The LC Lauren Conrad collection is definitely soft and feminine, but not in a way that makes you roll your eyes. If you’re a fan of pastel rugs, tasseled duvet covers, florals and ruching, you’ve come to the right place.
Add to cart: Perk up your old bathroom with this sweet and fun shower curtain ($28). It’s made from machine-washable cotton and drapes along your tub beautifully for a happy look every time you scrub.
She’s the consummate party planner, a world-class home cook, and gardener extraordinaire. Martha Stewart is the doyenne of home decor with a massive line at Macy’s. She started with this big-box store in 2007 and has built up every category, including bedding, bath linens, kitchenware, and furniture. She also traffics in pet gear, organization supplies, and everything you need to throw a party, including napkins rings, bar tools, and tabletop decor. Phew!
Add to cart: This counter stool ($659) hits every Martha note, from the clean lines and nailhead trim to its fabulous fabric.
The post How to Live Like Gwyneth, Drew, and Ellen—by Buying Their Home Decor appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.
Mum of two and founder of Incy Interiors Kristy Withers, knows first-hand how quickly children can grow and their tastes can change. While growth spurts can result in overhauling children’s wardrobes year on year, the interiors enthusiast shares five considerations parents should make to ensure their child’s bedroom stands the test of time.
1. Splurge on a larger bed
“If there is one furniture item that you are going to invest in, make sure it’s the bed!” says Kristy. “Investing in a high-quality bed straight up can save you money in the long run. Of course, with a good quality bed you can hand it down to other children but if you really want to avoid having to upgrade your bed every few years and both your space and budget permit, consider purchasing a bigger bed from the beginning.”
Double beds are a great size for kids, not just because they give off the grown-up vibes that kids crave, but you are almost guaranteed an upgrade won’t be required until they hit their mid-teens.
2. Choose convertible pieces wherever possible
When you are creating a space for a newborn, it is difficult to consider the functionality beyond those first few years, but there are some items that you can purchase that will still serve a purpose for your child as they grow. Kristy recommends looking for a change table that also doubles as storage.
“All of our Incy change tables either convert to a dresser or a bookcase so you can continue to use the product for many years to come,” she explains.
3. Keep sheets and linen plain
“I always recommend that people keep their sheets simple and stick with plain linen. It is not only difficult to ‘outgrow’ plain linen but a neutral, unpatterned colourway means décor can be interchanged without needing to overhaul every part of the room. It is much easier and more cost-effective to update a bedroom with throws and cushions,” Kristy says.
Be sure to invest in quality bedding too – it’s essential for both comfort and assurance you’ll get to enjoy it (and not update it) for a while!
4. Think about smart storage solutions
Regardless of age, you’ll always need somewhere to clear the clutter! A neutral storage ottoman or trunk is perfect for this and can store anything from stuffed toys to books. Kristy loves ottomans in particular, as they double as a place to sit and always look great at the end of the bed.
5. Choose a plain, timeless colour for the walls
While it can be tempting to paint the walls in pastels for newborns, Kristy recommends keeping the walls in neutral tones that will stand the test of time. “Instead, add colour with removable wallpaper and decals,” she says. “There are so many great companies out there now that offer removable wallpaper and wall decals and they are a great way to set a theme or a room, but as they are removable, it’s only as permanent as you need it to be!”
A gender-neutral theme/colourway will ensure a bedroom’s longevity, but Kristy suggests complementing this with little personal touches, like artworks, drawings, mementoes and precious keepsakes, turning your child’s bedroom their own personal haven. “Additionally,” she says, “updating the artwork allows personality to be injected, but it can be easily updated as your child grows and changes.”
This is quite an ambitious DIY project but it shows what can be done given some time and vision!
Kitchen renovations are a pricy endeavor, especially when you factor in custom cabinetry. But clever DIYs can go a long way in reducing costs—and this DIY from Christina LeClaire of Gutsy Homemaker is about as clever as they come.
Christina saw this desk on Facebook Marketplace and envisioned something far greater for it. “I knew that I wanted a kitchen island to replace my dining room table,” Christina says. “I found a solid wood desk with the perfect dimensions and just knew that it would make the perfect base for a kitchen island.”
If you’re doubtful, Christina says she has friends who were, too. But a few adjustments made this desk totally unrecognizable.
Christina kept the same old drawers but used wood trim and new pulls to give them apothecary style. Then, she added a new wood top—which she extended long enough to fit two stools underneath—that’s propped up with turned legs.
A light green paint on the base of the island recalls Depression-era glass, which complements the vintage cottage-y vibes of the apothecary drawers.
“I love everything about the after!” she says. “Everyone around me thought I was crazy when I told them I was going to turn a desk into an apothecary-style kitchen island because they couldn’t see it, but now they love it, too!”
All of my adult life because of a combination of kids, cats, and poorly placed windows, I’ve been severely limited in my ability to grow plants indoors. First I had an apartment, with little room, and I didn’t know as much then as I do now. I had a patio garden and some hanging pots of pothos near my patio sliding door, but not much else.
Then I had a house, and I gardened the hell out of that house. Most of the pictures on my blog are from that house, but it was outdoor gardening. It did not have a single south-facing window, not a single one. No deep window sills for plants. We did an addition off the back and I had a deep window sill added there, but it was just one, and not big enough for a large potted plant, 8-inch pots tops. I lived there for 13 years.
Then we moved to Tennessee and lived in a rental for a couple of years while we built. I had a few more windows and more natural light but with a baby and the cats and the transient nature of the place, I didn’t do much.
But now, now I have my forever home, that I designed… and while in some sections of the house I intentionally do not have many windows, in others I do, huge windows, deep window sills, a greenhouse, and…. in the middle of the house…. over the stairs…. a skylight. And not just any skylight, a 22×11 skylight. This thing is a beast of natural light, it filters down to the first floor. 30 feet-ish below the skylight apex I have my amorphophallus titanum in a small pot, the cats and kids don’t bother it though I worry. More like 35-40 ish feet below the skylight and off to the side I have a ginger lily doing fine with just that filtered light. The potential for me to grow around this stairwell under the skylight is very high and stratified.
Shade plants do well on the bottom levels, but sun lovers can do well at the top because the third floor right under the skylight is super bright and gets a good quantity of direct sunlight. There is a spot or two where a large potted tropical tree would go nicely, but I need the pot, and the tree, and to be fully moved in and not unpacking and whatnot. It will take me a while to fully take advantage of all the great locations for me to grow in this house… and I haven’t even mentioned the greenhouse.
I love the idea of beautiful fragrant flowers growing indoors, having little experience with indoor plants thus far I know I have learning to do. I want to explore trying to grow Gardenias as I hear they are very fragrant, but finicky indoors, so I say trying. Right now though I am working on morning glories.[…]