Home of the Week: Timeless Design in Hinsdale

Lush gardens, five fireplaces, imported fixtures, stunning natural stonework, a wine cellar and a Drury designed kitchen. These are just a "few of our favorite things" about this captivating masterpiece of a home.

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Home of the Week: Waterfront Living in Miami Beach

This extensively expanded and remodeled 1937 estate features the latest in smart home technology, 175' of direct waterfront access and views that will inspire and take your breath away. Join us for a look inside this $25 million dollar estate in Miami Beach.

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Home Decorating Trends for 2015 Sweeping North Texas

When my wife and I moved to Texas in 2002, the big home decorating trend was the Tuscan and Old World look mixed with crosses and touches of the Southwest. Some decorating trends remain intact for 2015, but this may be the year for sweeping changes in every room of the house, starting in the kitchen. What can you expect to see when you look for a new home or what should you do when updating your exiting home to sell? The answers might surprise you.

1. Watch for color explosion in the kitchen this year. Starting in the kitchen, bright and muted pastels are making a comeback with blue topping all the lists. Black and Grey will remain popular joined by more color across the spectrum particularly in cabinets. Pastels, primary colors, bright, bold, you name it. Color will splash into other rooms and new furniture offerings are showing this change with glass replacing stone in back splashes.

2. The less-is-more trend will likely grow, starting in the kitchen. Breakfast nooks are getting bigger and formal rooms for dining and living are going away as people move from single use rooms to more flexible multipurpose spaces. Homes will be centered around an open kitchen concept, which includes a family room with space for a big-screen Smart TV, in-kitchen seating for eating, and bigger breakfast nooks. To minimize the use of water, bigger showers will replace spa tubs. “Authenticity” is the new vibe. Use of natural materials, while keeping to clean lines and easy to maintain surfaces, will drive buying and remodel decisions for several years.

3. Natural light and eco-friendly design will drive the evolution of our living spaces well beyond 2015. Homes with more natural lighting and that use less water, while creating a smaller carbon footprint, will rule the day. Naked windows are out, but don’t look for the heavy drapery of the 1990s to return. In response to the use of natural light, brighter colors and simplicity will drive interior design and furniture. Many new designs will appear retro, with a growing emphasis on natural flooring and geodesic looks and fixtures. Home layouts will continue to maximize the use of light to reduce artificial lighting, and things will look more sleek — think the look on the set of Mad Men.

4. Outdoor living space will continue to be popular, taking on a more eco-friendly flair. Good news for Texas, the Texas Room remains in vogue, but becomes more modular and do-it-yourself. Like every other part of the home, the Texas Room of the future will be more sleek and eco-friendly. Modular components make creating the outdoor living space easier and less expensive. Rather than a destination place, the Texas Room will be an extension of the kitchen-based hub. Following the demise of single use spaces, outdoor living spaces will evolve beyond the simple Texas Room approach and embrace the outdoors as part of the whole.

5. Easy to maintain landscapes with native and drought tolerant plants. This is a growing trend that should play well in North Texas. According to the 2015 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey (ASLA), sustainable and low-maintenance design are the top trends for residential landscape projects. “Consumers care about designed landscapes that are attractive, easy to take care of and eco-friendly,” says Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. Builders and existing home buyers need to pay attention.

Diverse people are moving to North Texas and home decorating trends will change. It’s safe to say that they will become infused with our unique Texas spin. How does Texas chic sound?

Image Source: Flickr/James Joel

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Home Library Design in Any Space

Incorporating a home library design into your space can be extremely appealing to the eye and add a lot of warmth to any apartment or house. However, it can pose some challenges. For example, what do you do when you live in a small apartment or studio, or have no shelves to put the books on? That’s when you need to get creative because a home library design can involve anything from putting up shelves yourself to buying the correct piece for the space.

Fill the Space

Now, if you are living in a studio or apartment there is one thing each of these has in common, walls. There are always bare walls that need to be filled. A great way to help make a library blend into the room is by matching it to the same color as the walls. For example, take two stand alone bookcases and push them together to fill a bit of unused wall space. Pushing them together makes it look more like one piece of furniture verses two separate bookcases. Once pushed together, feel free to spread out books, artwork, small trinkets from traveling, and other items to make it your own. If you are crafty, go out and buy two cabinet doors and add them to the bottom of the bookcase. This will create the illusion of the bookcase being more of a focus piece and will also allow you to stash some items in it — great for storing items you don’t want people to see.

Going Up

Another creative idea is to go vertical and use the wall space in terms of height. A lot of people forget how much space they have if they were to add shelves or do something nontraditional, like adding shadow boxes. These can go anywhere, take up no room, and require very little installation. If you buy small shadow boxes, they can be installed in minutes with only two screws. It keeps the books organized, gives you more storage space, and doesn’t take up floor space. You can group the storage cubes or put them above a desk. Again, take advantage of their design and use them as a focal piece by painting them a different color or hide them by painting them the same color as the walls.

Finally, you might want to think about installing a floor to ceiling bookshelf. Although it will take up some space, it also provides limitless opportunities for you to show off your items. The bookshelves can be customized with some shelves being larger than others, making it look like it was made for your apartment. You can also take some cute baskets and add them throughout the bookcase. This allows you to still be able to hide stuff and makes your items look less cluttered. Consider adding a painting or some modern art to help it feel like an addition to your space.

For more ideas on home library design try visiting some creative websites like Architecture Art Design or Lus Home. Good luck!

Image Source: Flickr/brewbooks

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Home Tip of the Day: Valentine’s Day Home Decor Ideas

Decorating your home for Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be take a lot of time or cost a lot of money. Here are some simple ways to make your home feel more romantic this Valentine’s Day.

For other helpful home tips & tricks, subscribe to Coldwell Banker On Location to view the complete Home Tip of the Day video series.

*Header Image Courtesy of: Randy Heinitz

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Designer Homes: Wearable is the New Liveable

We wear designer labels, we eat in designer restaurants, we stay in designer hotels, so it’s only natural that we now can live in designer homes. Luxury fashion brands like Fendi, Versace, Armani, and Missoni are trying their hand at home design with beautiful results. In the September issue of Previews Inside Out®, we caught up with Women’s Wear Daily senior fashion features editor Marc Karimzadeh to get his take on this phenomenon.

Karimzadeh talks home decor, branded real estate trends and general wearable design. He even spills the beans on some of fall and winter fashion trends to watch for! Though, one of my favorite parts of the interview is when Karimzadeh talks about Fendi’s first branded real estate project in Miami and the one surprising thing missing from the designer home.

Check out this month’s issue of Previews Inside out to find out if Karimzadeh predicts that we’ll see more of these kinds of concepts in the future. For all of us fashionistas out there, I hope so!

You don’t have to buy a designer home to live in luxury. The exceptional awaits at coldwellbankerpreviews.com.

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10 Design Ideas to Help Freshen Up Your Bathroom

One of our favorite boards on our Pinterest page is our gorgeous bathrooms board. This collection of bathrooms from coldwellbanker.com listings includes an interesting variety of modern, traditional and unique decor styles that inspired us to create a round up of our favorites. Whether you are looking for ways to refresh your decor or seeking remodeling ideas, this compilation has a little something for everyone.

Medina, WA 

Issaquah, WA 

Chicago, IL

Bellevue, WA 

Westport, CT 

Bellevue, WA 

Portland, OR 

Bellevue, WA 

Portland, OR 

Lake Country, BC 

To see more lovely bathrooms check out our Pinterest page.

Follow Coldwell Banker’s board Gorgeous Bathrooms on Pinterest.

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Optimizing Your Small Kitchen to Reach Its Potential

Contribution by Andrea DavisHomeAdvisor

Small kitchens can be difficult to work in, especially when you need to cook meals for families or host parties. You need everything to be accessible, and you don’t want to be squeezing past others as you’re preparing meals. You’d like a bigger space, but the cost of a complete kitchen remodel might not be in your budget. So how do you compromise?

The answer: small kitchens can be bigger if you’re willing to make adjustments and downsize in a few areas. Here are some recommendations for optimizing your small kitchen space so everyone can cook without compromise:

Create more storage space

To make sure all of your spices, herbs and dinnerware are easily accessible in a small area, optimize your cabinets by installing lazy susans and pull-out shelves. That way you can easily roll them out without having to be right in front of the cabinet, and you’ll have more room for storage than just what you can reach in the cabinet with your hands. It’s quick, efficient and doesn’t require installing new cabinets.

Install built-in cabinets

image via Guthrie Kitchen and Bath Plus, LLC

To save on space around the kitchen and avoid hitting your head, built-in cabinets are an effective storage option. They are long and tall, but they’ll be a bit thinner. A cabinet specialist can also cut out a space in the wall itself for additional shelving. That will maximize space while still optimizing for storage. Other built-in cabinet options include underneath the countertops, sink or an island. They should open up space for more storage rather than eliminate room.

Add more by decreasing sink size

Sinks are good for washing vegetables, meat, fruits and sometimes dishes. However, they don’t need to be as large as they often are when installed in kitchens, especially small ones. Consider replacing your large sink with a smaller one to save counter space. You will still have room in the sink to wash vegetables and meat, and there’s an even better appliances for washing dishes: a dishwasher.

Consider a pull-out countertop extension

image via Kopke Home Enhancement, Inc

If you need more countertop space for preparing meats, pastries or other dishes for dinner, it’s always possible to have a pull-out countertop installed underneath the edge of the counter to use when needed. That way you optimize the kitchen space while having the added luxury of more prep space. It will take a countertop professional to install this, but it won’t take them long or require being out of the kitchen like a remodel would.

Replace some appliances with their smaller counterparts

Large appliances—stoves, ovens, ranges, dishwashers, refrigerators—take up a good amount of space and can take away from other items living in a small kitchen. It might serve you better to replace some with smaller alternatives. If you don’t need to do dishes very often, it might be better to have a smaller dishwasher. If you don’t need a lot of groceries at any one time, consider a smaller refrigerator. The same applies if you don’t cook very often with stoves, ovens and ranges. One of the best options for microwaves is to install a built-in one above your range, which will save on countertop space without compromising on kitchen necessities.

Photos courtesy of DesignMine

See more of the home featured in the cover photo here.

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