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Friday, August 23, 2013

Getting your home market ready | Storage & Organization

According to real estate broker and Trulia blogger, Tara Nelson, many home sellers are guilty of "undermarketing" their homes by, surprisingly enough, not mentioning features that could very well entice a potential buyer to bite. Killer views and upgraded appliances always make the cut, but often times amenities such as storage and organizing systems don't make it on the list of 'oohs and ahs'.
 “undermarketing”: to list a home and fail to mention features the homes have, which buyers would have been attracted to, had they seen them in the home’s listing description, flyer or online marketing. - See the full article here

Though you might not think it particularly fantastic, there are plenty of features about your home that you may have tired of, but that could be a real draw for a first time home buyer or someone with a changing lifestyle situation. So consider highlighting these features if you're currently getting your home ready for the market, or keep them in mind as a potential renovation investment for greater return down the line.

#1. Walk In Closets

As any long time renter will tell you, there's nothing more exciting than having your own walk-in closet. Most renters don't have the luxury of a walk-in closet, because to be honest their apartments are small enough to fit in some. So to a first time home buyer, a well planned or customized walk-in closet would be a welcomed change and therefore a key element to showcase when marketing a home.

#2. Built-In Shelving

Even in our increasingly digital age, people still manage to amass books, papers, photos, collectibles and more that require some sort of shelving to store and display them. And while there are many upgrades from the good old college Ikea shelf (which incidentally probably cost less than a quad shot trenta hazelnut soy latte these days), nothing says you've reached the big times like a built-in bookshelf. Whether in a study, home office or multi-purpose room, built-ins provide much needed storage to stash your wares, and if designed correctly, can help maximize your floor area and improve the flow of your space. 

#3. Kid Friendly Storage

Depending on your neighborhood and buyer trends, you may find yourself marketing a home to an expanding family or even empty-nesters whose grandkids come back to roost for extended periods of time. In addition to highlighting the coveted school district or neighborhood park, consider emphasizing storage geared towards children. We all know these tiny people come with an unbelievable amount of stuff, which needs to be put somewhere other than the middle of the floor. Built in workstations that can be dedicated to children's homework and projects could be a unique selling point for younger families as well as a renovation to maximize awkward or under utilized common areas. 

#4. Organization and Specialty Details

A final key aspect of storage to consider when remodeling and to market for re-sale are organizational systems. Any built-in or drawer system that helps keep your mess in a manageable state is something worth showing off. Home offices can boast anything from expansive hanging file drawers to concealed storage for printers and electronics. And utility rooms can be transformed from a general mess into a well organized daily drop-off station with the integration of a few hooks, baskets and shoe cubbies. Anything that could make someone's life easier, cleaner or more efficient will appeal to a wide variety of homebuyers, whether new or seasoned. 

So if you've taken the time to customize your home's storage, remember to point this out when trying to attract the perfect buyer. And if selling is farther down the line, consider updating what you have right now, adding customized and specialty storage to make life flow a little easier each day until you reach the point that you are the one looking for something new

Friday, August 16, 2013

Innovations in the Design of Classic Bathroom Staples

There are a few things that you may not consider stylish, but at least admit are a necessity in your bathroom- a medicine cabinet, radiator or the toilet. They don't have to be pretty, they just have to be in there. Well, many product designers are taking on the challenge of rethinking some classics into objects that do both.

Below are some examples of traditionally overlooked items (in terms of aesthetics anyway) that can not only bring necessary functionality but a touch of class to your next bathroom renovation.  


Medicine Cabinet

Orig- 30"H x 24"W x 5"D
XL- 31.5"H x 73.5"W x 5"D

American Walnut
Mirrored Glass
Laminated Insert (XL)

Though not the most aesthetically pleasing, tried and true metal-and-mirror medicine cabinets have provided households with functional storage for cotton swabs, cleansers, creams and of course, medicine for generations. Updated asymmetrical mirrored cabinets with walnut accents are a unique take on the classic wall-mounted medicine cabinet that we all remember, if not love. The narrower side door is cleverly designed to provide a quick-access compartment to stash frequently used items. 

Rebel Radiator/Towel Warmer          by Caleido

Vertical- 460 mm W x 1865 mm H x  270 mm D (~18" x 73.5" x 11")                           Material:
Horizontal1210 mm W x 545 mm H x  270 mm D (~48" x 21.5" x 11")                   Carbon Steel

A far cry from the clunky radiators of yore, Caleido boasts the elevation of radiators from a "simple source of heat to a point of reference in design and lifestyle". The Rebel Towel Warmer does not disappoint. With a sleek silhouette that is at home in any modern interior, either the Vertical or Horizontal orientation can compliment or substitute traditional heating products in the bath while providing storage for linens with the added bonus of built-in warmth.


(Washbasin + Water Closet)

Manuf by Roca

Entire Unit: 
860 mm L x 500 mm W x 760 mm H 
~34"L x 20"W x 30"H

Wash Basin Only:
260 mm L x 325 mm W x 280 mm H (sink 90 mm D)
~10"L x 13"W x 30"H (sink 3.5" D)

Material: Vitreous China

Most of the loos on the market today have been designed to meet specific standards in size, shape and efficiency. But the W+W takes it one step further, combining the wash basin and WC in the ultimate in sustainable efficiency with an extremely modern edge. Grey water from the sink is filtered then redirected to the toilet tank, reducing water waste by as much as 25%. The 4 L reservoir holds the treated water until needed for flushing, disposing of any additional overflow through the traditional water main outlet. And if the reservoir runs dry from too much flushing and not enough brushing, the toilet tank can fill from the main source as well.  

So when considering your next remodel or design project, don't forget the easily overlooked, the medicine cabinets, radiators and toilets of the world. Because even these staple furnishings and fixtures can be re-imagined into something both functional and beautiful.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

ARC Awards Finalist | Best Master Suite (Dallas, TX)

Architect: Fred Roberts, Interior Designer: Joanie Wyll
The Dallas Builders Association has announced finalists in the running for the 2013 ARC Awards and Key Residential is excited to be included on the list for Best Master Suite for the Brookridge Custom Home. While we'll still have to wait for the winners to be announced at the ARC Awards ceremony at the Westin Galleria on August 17th, below are a few details of this project that we think make this master retreat a true oasis. Check out the full list of finalists here. 

Upon entering the  Master Retreat, you are  greeted by a lower, more intimate curved wood ceiling with recessed cove lighting and flanked on either side by high gloss piano finish cabinetry with storage and display shelving for sculptural art. The master bedroom features a custom bed with integrated night stands and a freestanding media storage cabinet. The curved South wall offers access to the patio and features storefront windows with spectacular view into the backyard. Arranged into a stylish seating area, cowhide LeCorbusier LC4 Chaise and LC1 Sling Chair are perfect for basking in the natural light. But never fear, privacy and light levels can easily be adjusted with the touch of a button thanks to programmable Lutron Shades.  

One unique challenge in the construction of the  master retreat was how to install carpeting in the bedroom to be flush with the radiant tile flooring in the bath and the polished concrete in the remainder of the home. To achieve this without the use of any flooring transition strips, the bedroom and bath slab was poured at 5/8" variance from the adjacent areas and the finished flooring materials were installed with expert precision. 

The Master Bath boasts the same attention to detail and luxury with Lutron lighting controls and A/V integration, radiant heated floors, separate vanities and closets, and an adjacent Glass Block enclosed exercise room that is rotated in plan and cantilevers off of the slab. Siena Silver Travertine tiles by Walker Zanger are installed with continuous linear veining throughout the master bath floor and walls.  His and Hers vanities provide necessary storage with style, sporting circular etched perimeter mirrors with LED back-lighting, Starphire laminated cracked glass counters  and pewter vessel sinks.

But even amid such well designed and luxurious features, there are two clear front-runners vying for the star spotlight of this bath- the circular shower and the jetted tub. The rear portion of the shower  houses plumbing for 6 body jets, one rain head, and two towers with a bent glass wall partially enclosing the front, creating an open walk-in shower without a splashy mess. The walls are enveloped in iridescent blue glass mosaic tile from Oceanside with a niche for toiletries and a built-in seat with travertine top.  Across from the shower sits a freestanding jetted tub and a sleek floor mounted filler with hand sprayer. When relaxing in this choice spot, bathers are perfectly situated for a view of the corner mounted television, or better yet a glimpse outside. The tub is adjacent to a window wall that displays the cast concrete water feature and goldfish pond beyond, of course with strategically placed opaque panels that provide privacy where needed while still allowing lots of natural light in.

Check back after August 17th to see if the judges liked this project as much as we do!