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With an estimated 40 million active users per month enjoying Pinterest, odds are that you’re familiar with it. The image-based site categorizes it’s more than 30 billion “Pins” with home décor ranking as the third most popular category (food and recipes take first place, followed by DIY projects and crafts in second).
 
For 2016, they compiled a Board of the 100 trends that will dominate their top categories for the year. According to that list, here’s what you can expect to see in homes for 2016:
 
Metallics

Metallic touches have always been present in home décor, they’re really making their presence known right now, particularly in rose gold, brass, brushed copper and oil-rubbed bronze finishes. We’re even seeing them appearing in wallpapers, but this is a fairly expensive way to incorporate the trend into your home.
Metalics
 
A less costly yet effective way to embrace this trend is by incorporating less long-term pieces into your space in the metals of your choosing. Look to pillows, artwork, and even rugs with the warm-toned metals in them. Some fun furnishings that look fabulous in these finishes include bar carts, ottomans and side tables. We’re also swooning over the chic gilded tchotchkes we’re seeing, like faux antlers and other natured-themed pieces.
This trend is really making a place for itself in the kitchen, with items such as tea kettles and hood ranges being released in these new finishes as well.
 
Clean Spaces & Smart Uses
2016 is the year of uncluttered living. Ingenious storage solutions for busy rooms like the kitchen are appearing to keep utensils, spices and appliances off of the countertops. Microwaves are being hidden in specially designed cupboards and shelves, spices are being stored in built-in racks, and lazy susans and specialized cabinets are being designed with function and utility in mind.
 
Decor items are being relegated to specific shelves where they appear in chic vignettes, or used sparingly on coffee and side tables, but the time of clutter, both decorative and functional, is out. It's now about simplicity and calming spaces where you can focus on the purpose in front of you without distractions in your way (i.e. Preparing a nice meal without having to first move your wooden rooster collection).
 
Electronic cables are being hidden now by all designers and you will love the result. There are special tubes and baseboards now available that help you camouflage those pesky cords. This makes a huge difference in the ambiance of a room.
 
Geometric Tiles
In keeping with the move towards clean lines, geometric tiles will be big for bathrooms. Neutral walls are given some panache with the patterned tiles, but they stick to the more subtle colour palette (think calming blues, crisp whites and punches of black). If a floor is too daunting, look to incorporating this intriguing style into your bathroom backsplash or even countertop. With a nod to the roaring 20s, this design has been given a refresher that is both timeless and modern.
 
GEometric tile
 
Colour Palettes Designed for R&R
Because our lives are becoming increasingly busy and we're inundated more and more with things demanding our attention thanks to the myriad of social media networks, homes are moving back to a sort of reprieve; an escape from outside noise. It's about calm, rejuvenating rooms that help you unwind and escape the white noise.
 
The myth that neutral walls have to be boring and beige has been dispelled. They're appearing in warm browns, soft, fresh whites, rich khakis, and similar dimensional shades. One of my personal favourites is black walls, yes black! Instead of darkening a space as you might think, black actually gives you a stylish canvas to design your room against. Available in a wide range of finishes from high-gloss to matte, black walls are the new neutral.
 
We're seeing wood being integrated into designs a lot more, and it's being presented in fairly natural-looking finishes, through flooring, furnishings, exposed beams, mantles, and artwork. This adds a sense of old time charm to your home, and creates a very cool juxtaposition with all our modern gadgets.
 
Textiles
There is an increasing appreciation in our culture for handmade and traditionally-manufactured pieces (another reason wood is making such a case for itself in 2016 home design). Unique textiles in jacquards and more rustic weaves are appearing in pillows, rugs, throws, and even woven wall decor. This appreciation for well-made artisan pieces is another exciting shift away from the endless "assembly-line-made-in-China" accessories that have hitherto been most prominent. We're investing in quality, both in our home decor and in how we spend our time, and the result is the perfect antidote to our hectic and stressful days.
 
 

Originally Published by The Chronicle Herald

 

Alexandra Kelter

 
Alexandra Kelter is a social media specialist with Central Home Improvements. Her column covers many aspects of home improvement, both indoor and outdoor, and will combine trending styles with practical applications all within realistic budgets. Kelter is also passionate about fashion, travel, living by the ocean and her bulldog.
 

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Renovations are always on the radar of a homeowner. Aside from adding to the comfort and enjoyment of your property, they should also increase its market value if you’re considering selling. It can sometimes be easy to forget that from a purely financial standpoint, houses are an investment. Whether you plan on growing old in your home or will be living in it for a shorter period of time, odds are that at some point, you will put it up for sale. When you do, this can be an excellent chance to recoup some (or even all) of the cost of any renovations which means you should keep this factor in mind when it comes to deciding how you will improve or alter your home.
 
Choosing what areas of your home you want to renovate should be based on your personal wants, needs and preferences, but you also need to weigh the cost of the work against how it will affect the re-sale value of your home—will there be a solid return on the funds you invest in these improvements? The Appraisal Institute of Canada, an association dedicated to providing trust-worthy and comprehensive property advisory services, recommends choosing improvements with a lengthy life-expectancy.
 
This means considering projects like a new roof, updating all of the windows, and changing your heating/cooling system(s) to energy-efficient options that benefit from modern advances. The warranty on these changes means that any issues that arise
 
Windows in usually the first ten to fifteen years or so (depending on the warranty and the problem) will be covered by the manufacturer, and ideally you won’t have any, as is usually the case when you choose quality products and installers for projects of this nature (which is always a worthwhile upfront cost, as it will save you much more money in the long-run).
 
Even if you don’t plan to stay in your home for that length of time, listing that these significant improvements have recently been completed and are even still under warranty adds major appeal to buyers. This will greatly affect your asking price and the speed at which your property sells—a definite win-win.
 
If you do plan to keep your house for years to come, these improvements will save you major operating costs, and will still be attractive features should you choose to sell down the road.
 
When you’re still in the planning stages of your home improvement, it is wise to appraise your neighbourhood and the average cost per listing near you. While updates and projects will add value to your home, there’s a point where you are spending more than you can recoup from the property, based on its location, the houses surrounding it, and the type of buyer that the area and style of house will attract. If you’re planning to sell in the near future, you also need to be cognisant of popular styles and tastes.
 
Most people will not have the furniture to suit a bright orange living room, so hold-off on painting it that colour if your house is going on the market soon. You want to prep the house to be as move-in ready for its next owner as possible if you’re selling. Moving is a lot of work, and most of us aren’t keen to have to tackle any urgent projects as soon as we get into our new home, ergo houses that we can immediately start living in will sell faster and we’ll pay more for that convenience.
 
There are two rooms in the house that almost everyone will be in on a daily basis—the kitchen and the bathroom. These high-traffic spaces are definitely worth investing in. Depending on the age of the rooms and when they were last revamped, a full makeover may even be your best bet. When people walk into a kitchen or bathroom that has updated appliances and finishes, the entire house immediately has more appeal. A trick to selling your home is creating a space that potential buyers will
 
Bathroom sink counter towels water glass bluehappily envision themselves living in. If you present them with a fresh, welcoming, appetizing kitchen, they’ll see themselves prepping for dinner parties to show off their new house; if you have a relaxing, inviting, spa-at-home kind of bathroom, they’ll imagine themselves soaking away the stress of the day there. You also use these spaces a lot, so giving them an overhaul is also beneficial to you.
 
The options and materials available in flooring have grown exponentially in the past few years. Laminate flooring now comes in such a wide array of finishes and styles that you would never know it was laminate, save for the hardiness of it and the ease with which it is installed and maintained.
 
Kitchens and bathrooms no longer have to sport tile or vinyl unless you want them to (whereas before it was almost a household rule)—a lot of people are putting hardwood or laminate into these rooms to add a more sophisticated feel. Dated flooring makes an entire home feel a bit shabby and in need of more work than just replacing a shag carpet or wearing vinyl, so updating any tired flooring is going to help you sell faster and have a higher asking price.
 
When it comes to refreshing your home, don’t underestimate the value of smaller, inexpensive projects. A new coat of paint can do wonders for a room or hallway. Painting your baseboards, window and door frames can instantly transform a space, making it feel bright and new. Replacing worn or cheap-looking interior door and cabinet handles also transform a room. Buyers look at tell-tale details of a house, like these, to help them determine the overall quality of a property and the work the previous owner has put in.
 
Interior doors and closet doors should definitely be updated if they’re low-quality or old-fashioned (and not in the charming way that is very in-demand). You’d be shocked at how a well-planned closet organization system can appeal to a potential home-buyer; again, it comes back to things that will make their lives easier. The laundry room is a space we easily overlook, but if you really want to up the wow factor of your home, paint it something airy and appealing, install some inexpensive organization systems and shelving, and add some stylish little touches. Small details and updates like this can have the biggest impact on people’s overall impression of a house.
 
A house is the single biggest purchase many of us will ever make. Whether it’s the home you want to spend the rest of your life in or it’s the backdrop for only a chapter or two in your life, it’s an investment you need to maintain and take care of and in return it will give you a return on your time, care, and money.
 
 

Originally Published by The Chronicle Herald

 

Alexandra Kelter

 
Alexandra Kelter is a social media specialist with Central Home Improvements. Her column covers many aspects of home improvement, both indoor and outdoor, and will combine trending styles with practical applications all within realistic budgets. Kelter is also passionate about fashion, travel, living by the ocean and her bulldog.