Purple Pinspiration: The New Millennial Pink

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Winter Blues & Moody Hues | Winter Home Decor Inspiration

Have you heard? Purple is the newest and greatest statement color, especially when it comes to apartment décor. There are a number of hues that we are loving, but the light lilacs and deep violets are our personal favorites. Add splashes of the various shades to your home through decorative pieces, accent walls, or artwork…the options are endless! Classic, royal, edgy, or boho…whichever look you are going for, incorporating various shades of this funky color will help you reach your decorating goals. These pin-worthy styles will show you that purple really is the new millennial pink and will leave you feeling inspired to do some re-decorating.

Purple: The New Millennial Pink

Winter Blues Decor | Design Inspiration | White and Blue Bedroom

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

Design Studio Tips for New Homes

Buying a home on concept involves the additional step of customizing its interior, inside out. Many major home developers have design studios where the different finishes and upgrades can be viewed. The design studio process can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. This also gives you the perfect opportunity to ensure that your home is up to date with the modern decor trends. Here’s what to consider when reviewing design options for your new pre-construction condo.

Structural Upgrades

Structural upgrades are extremely costly and inconvenient to do after closing. These include floor plan (architectural) options such as hardwood floor stairs. It’s recommended to keep this as a priority, because of the huge costs associated with these form of upgrades. In many cases, structural upgrades can improve the home resale value). For structural upgrades, focus on three major things: hardwood floor stairs, open concept floor plans, and nine-foot ceilings. These factors give any home more of an open, airy concept, giving the space a bigger feel.


The kitchen is the focal point of every home. It’s important to get this part right as this can make, or break the home. Houzz provides a great source of inspiration for kitchen ideas, with millions of pictures for your next kitchen. This would help give you an understanding of your taste, and the colour scheme you’re aiming for within the kitchen.

It can be hard to imagine what the kitchen will look like with the chosen colour scheme and sample pieces at the design studio. This is where Houzz comes handy, with the plenty of pictures available, it makes it much easier for you to visualize your future kitchen. Another advice is to place the countertop, cabinets, and flooring samples next to each other at the design studio – this method will help you visualize the kitchen, and help determine if it is the right match.


You’ll have a huge selection of flooring to choose from at the design studio. Again, I’d recommend looking at interior designing websites for inspiration, to get a taste of what type of flooring you like. Aside from the colour and material from the flooring, you’d also get the chance to customize the installation. I.e., hardwood floors can be installed at a 45-degree angle, to give the illusion of a larger space. This small change can also significantly increase the resale value of your home.

Paint Colour

This is something that can easily be done after closing – it’s not recommended to have this as one of your priority items at the design studio. The paint in new homes cracks as the house settles, so you would end up repainting within a few years, regardless. White paint, or cream paint is usually the standard paint colours for most home builders. Keeping the paint colour neutral would benefit the resale value of your home – since this gears towards most buyers in the market, thus making the house sell faster.


Similar to the kitchen, you can choose fancier finishes for your bathroom such as stone countertops, and upgraded flooring. Standard features are usually suitable enough for bathrooms. The most important part is to get the colouring right (i.e. making sure the colour of the countertops, cabinets, and tiles blend in together). If there is room in your budget, you can do some of the upgrades you desire. However, this shouldn’t be your main focus – as mentioned before, focus on the kitchen and structural upgrades.


This applies for detached homes only. For townhomes, semi-detached homes, and condos, the exterior is usually predetermined by the developer. If you do get the opportunity to choose the exterior of your home, stick to one colour theme. You will be choosing the eaves trough, brick colour, and door/garage colour. Use the developer’s rendering to help give you a vision of what your desired colour scheme would look like.

Don’t Rush Your Design Decision

If you can, visit the design studio once or twice, before your actual appointment. This will give you a better understanding of the different choices available to you. It’s typical to spend more than 2 – 3 hours at the design studio. The payment options at the design studio vary by the builder; some builders require you to pay a certain percentage of the money spent at the design studio. Keep in mind, a higher purchase price would increase your closing costs. My main piece of advice is to stick to one colour theme and design (i.e., contemporary, modern). Make sure the finishes are consistent throughout the house – this would certainly give the house more character.

Source: zoocasa.com

Want To Build Your Own House? The Pros, Cons, and Costs

Building a brand-new home may sound like a dream come true. You get to choose the ideal layout for your family’s needs, and have a say in each and every design element. However, the process may also be daunting if you’ve never done it before.

To help you through it, we’ve created this Guide To Building Your Own Home. It will provide all the detailed information you need at each stage of the home-building process so that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

In this first article, we’ll offer a glimpse into the pros and cons of building a house, including how much it costs, how long it takes, how it’s financed, and much more that will help you decide if this option is right for you.

Pro: You can get exactly what you want

Building a home is a popular option these days. Construction on single-family homes was up 10% in November 2020 compared with the previous year, according to the National Association of Home Builders. And, it makes sense: When you build your own home, you get exactly what you want: an in-law suite for when the grandparents visit, a decked-out office for working from home, midcentury modern style, and more. Anything is possible.

“You get a blank slate,” says Marc Rousso, CEO of JayMarc Homes in Seattle. “The fun part about building a custom home is that it can be whatever you want.”

That might sound overwhelming, so Rousso suggests starting with a vision board. Check out websites like Houzz or Pinterest, and drive around snapping photos of homes you like. Then think through how big you want the home to be, how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need, and the bonus spaces you want to live as comfortably as possible.

The best way to make sure you get what you want (and that it fits within your budget): Hire a great builder from the start. This crucial step sets the best possible foundation (in every sense of the word) for your new home. Builders help you select others on your team (such as an architect, interior designer, and landscaper) and serve as your point person throughout the process.

Not sure how find a homebuilder? NAHB offers an online directory, and its members are committed to ongoing education and ethical standards. Hiring builders who have been in business for several years is also a plus, as they’ve proven they can weather both the highs and lows of economic cycles.

Pro: You can build just about anywhere you want

Have you always dreamed of living by the water or having a mountain view? Or maybe you want no neighbors in sight? Building a home lets you set up your residence just about anywhere you want.

Talk to your builder before making a land purchase, though, Rousso urges. The builder will need to do a feasibility study on the land to make sure it’s a suitable place for the home you want to build.

“We’ve talked more people out of buying land than into buying land, because there are so many pitfalls,” he explains.

Builders help make sure the land is zoned for residential development and identify any issues with building on the site, such as connecting to utilities or developing the land before building can start.

Another thing to note: Land development can be costly. HomeAdvisor estimates it to be $1.30 to $2 per square foot of land, including surveying, drainage plans, utility and septic mapping, permits, soil testing, land clearing, excavation, and demolishing any existing structures.

Pro: New homes typically come with less maintenance

An obvious advantage of building a home is that everything is brand-new. That means maintenance and repairs will be minimal or even nonexistent for a while, saving you plenty of headaches and thousands of dollars a year. According to HomeAdvisor, in 2020, homeowners spent an average of about $3,200 on home maintenance.

Nonetheless, a new house isn’t entirely maintenance-free. You’ll probably still need to do yardwork to keep up your newly installed landscaping. And you may want to pay for some preventive upkeep, such as a maintenance contract on your HVAC system, costing $150 to $500 a year. But that could save you money in the long run.


Watch: How Much a Home Inspection Costs—and Why You Need One


Con: Building usually costs more than buying an existing home

Building a house is an expensive enterprise, and typically costs more than buying a preexisting home. As such, you’ll need to have some in-depth discussions with your builder on what you want, and whether it’s affordable for you.

“A builder can help guide the design process starting with schematic design to give the prospective client an idea of the budget,” says Tim Benkowski, senior project manager at Balsitis Contracting in Lake Geneva, WI. “That way, design revisions can be made early without the owner falling in love with a home design only to find out they need to cut out their favorite parts or reduce the project scope.”

Several factors determine how much your newly constructed home will cost: location, size, complexity, and design elements.

The NAHB estimates that the median price of constructing a single-family home is $289,415, or $103 per square foot. Labor typically constitutes about 40% of the cost, followed by permits, design fees, and materials. Here’s more on how much it costs to build a house.

Con: Getting a construction loan can be complicated

To finance building a home, you’ll need a construction loan, which is a little more involved than getting a traditional mortgage to buy a preexisting house, says Steve Kaminski, head of residential lending at TD Bank.

For starters, you’ll likely need a 20% down payment since construction loans are considered higher-risk. Along with the usual financial documents needed for your loan application, you need to provide project plans, costs, and land value. You also need a signed contract or purchase contract with the project’s plans, specs, and budget details, and a timeline for the construction.

“The lender is not only evaluating the borrower, but also the project plans and oftentimes the builder to ensure they will be financially solvent throughout construction,” Kaminski explains.

Construction loans are usually shorter-term, covering just the duration of the build, and may have higher interest rates, usually about 1% higher than conventional mortgages, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Once the home is completed, you can pay off the balance or convert the loan to a conventional mortgage. The interest rate and the type and terms of the mortgage will depend on your credit history and lender.

When shopping around for a mortgage for a new home build, Kaminski urges borrowers to go with a lender experienced in working with construction loans.

Con: Building a home takes a while

Generally, it takes a bare minimum of three months to build a simple house, and it can take much longer. But it’s a “sliding scale,” says Benkowski. “A 2,500-square-foot and under [home] can typically be completed in seven to nine months with proper planning. A 7,500-square-foot home and up would likely take 12 to 30 months.”

Planning as much as you can will keep the project on track. Still, delays do happen. Weather is the biggest one, with temperature shifts and rain or snow postponing work. Your own choices could also be to blame. If you’re taking too long to choose your favorite flooring or windows, it could make it all take a little longer.

Here’s more on how long it takes to build a house.

In the next installments, we’ll cover how to buy land, design tips, the ins and outs of mortgages for home construction, and lots more.

Source: realtor.com

8 Tips for Creating the Perfect Home Bar Setup  – Redfin

At home bars are becoming increasingly popular as we are all spending more time in our homes. In fact, over the last 90 days, there has been an 80% increase in Google searches for “at home bars.” Because bars and restaurants are currently closed, it seems that this may be the perfect time to start creating an entertaining bar area in your home. When creating and designing your home bar setup, homeowners are getting inventive, using previously wasted space or converting part of their basements into places of relaxation and enjoyment. Here are 8 tips to consider for your own home bar setup.

home bar setup

home bar setup

1. Turn wasted space into functional space

The empty wall you’ve been trying to find a use for, the little closet you don’t need or even use, or the nook you’re not sure what to do with, all can easily be transformed into a little home bar. Adding some shelves or cabinets allows for creative displays and small countertops, a console table, or bar cabinets will also give you a nice working space for a home bar setup. Use that wasted space in your home by creating a simple yet functional home bar. 

2. Show off your wine collection

Fantastic wine displays are growing in popularity, with the wine cellar coming to the forefront. Glass fronted wine coolers are a nice choice because they keep the wine storage space refrigerated and allow your wine to be admired by others. You can also invest in shelves and storage for wine that does not need to be refrigerated. This option shows off your wine collection in another tasteful and beautiful way. 

home bar setup with wine

home bar setup with wine

3. Make cabinetry beautiful

There are so many different cabinet options available for storing drinks, bar glasses, and any other bartending tools. You might want to opt for cabinets with glass doors, floating shelves, or a fun and interesting cabinet design. These cabinet options will allow you to show off your collection of wine and spirits or unique cocktail glasses while also being very practical. Choose a cabinet design that flows with the existing design of your home. You can also add a pop of color to make your area stand out. 

4. Be thoughtful about lighting

Putting a little extra thought and time into designing the perfect home bar setup goes a long way. The lighting can be just as important as the overall design. You can choose to install under cabinet lighting, unique pendants, rope lights tucked under shelves, or LEDs that change color. Any of these lighting options will certainly add some pop to your home bar. 

basement home bar setup

basement home bar setup

5. Head to the basement

It’s so handy to have a home bar in a finished basement, whether it’s used for keeping juice, sodas, waters, and popcorn for family movie nights, or for creating new cocktails while hosting your family and friends. If you live in Kansas City, MO, an area where basements are very popular, and you have the space available, start creating a home bar setup in your basement now. Start by building a countertop and installing some cabinets. Luxurious extras include a sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator so you don’t have to carry all your supplies up and down the stairs. This basement bar is the perfect place to have fun from the privacy of your own home. 

6. Stock up on bar essentials

If you are planning on creating your own home bar setup you will want to make sure you stock it with the essentials. You can choose to go the traditional route and mimic a professional bar by buying all the liqueurs and tools, or you can customize your bar for what you like to drink most. Grab your favorite drinks and mixers and stock up on them. 

You’ll also want to think about the essential bar tools you will need to help you create and mix your drinks. The most common tools you should stock your bar with include; a cocktail shaker, jiggers, mixing spoon, mixing cups, a muddler, beer and wine opener, and a variety of different drink glasses. If you are lucky enough to have a refrigerator and freezer in your bar then buying some unique ice cube trays can definitely add extra flair to your drinks. 

reclaimed wood home bar setup

7. Accent with reclaimed wood

People wanting to add an accent wall in reclaimed wood are finding a home bar is the perfect place to do it. Adding a reclaimed wood accent wall to your home bar setup is a quick and easy way to introduce an organic element into your home. Adding this accent wall is an inexpensive investment that can transform even the smallest spaces. 

8. Decorate with purpose

A home bar is a perfect place to get creative with your design. You can add a pop of color to draw attention or you can match the colors with the rest of your home. You can enhance the space with fun signs or unique art as well as trendy bar stools, a custom sofa, or fun backsplashes. Have a favorite sports team? Add some fan gear and maybe even a small TV to watch your favorite games. The options are endless. Make your home bar setup a place that makes you happy and somewhere you look forward to hanging out. 

Source: redfin.com