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7 Design Trends for 2014 That Will Entice Homebuyers

The home design gurus have spoken and announced their top trends for 2014. From color palettes and room concepts to materials and technology, we have a new wave of trend predictions for the upcoming year. If you are thinking of selling your home soon and want to incorporate a bunch of these new design elements, be cautious. Preparing your home to sell is not the time to get personal and creative with these design trends. As we all know, trends have a nasty little habit of changing.

Selling a home is mostly a numbers game. Your objective is to attract the broadest range of potential homebuyers and make them fall in love with the home's features. I've scoured through the articles and found 7 home trends for 2014 that have long-lasting appeal and/or can be incorporated into your home this year with very little investment.

Contrasts (Black/White, Bold/Soft, Classic/Contemporary)

Black kitchen countertops made of quartz or black granite will be big in 2014. Combine them with white cabinetry to create a timeless look that makes food and accent colors pop. Pairing softer, paler wall colors with strong-colored furniture and upholstery will make your home feel clean and fresh. Add touches of contemporary design to seamless, classic backdrops for a little bit of modern edge.

Central Kitchens (Open and Integrated)

Lifestyle and community are trumping the desire for a perfect home. A recent survey from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate showed that most new home buyers are willing to sacrifice square footage in order to live in better neighborhood close to amenities such as schools and entertainment. With the high price of real estate in some areas, sometimes the sacrifice of space is unavoidable.

Either way, the shift to smaller quarters has placed an even greater emphasis on making kitchens more of a living space. Homebuyers are looking for big islands, open shelves or glass-front cabinets, and brighter, more-central lighting fixtures. To create a more livable-look to kitchens, appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves, and dishwashers are being integrated into cabinetry and drawers.

Outdoor Kitchens

In a move to extend the heart of the home, more homebuyers are demanding outdoor living areas with fully functional kitchens. The advantages are numerous, especially to owners of smaller homes and lots. Without having to spend hundreds of thousands on an addition, homeowners can expand their "livable" space and keep all of the available outdoor space on their lot.

The best outdoor living spaces are designed to be relaxing, comfy, and decorated to flow with the style of your home.

Colors (Indigo, Navy blue, Neutral-Grays)

I guess a post about home design trends wouldn't be complete without a little talk about colors. Unfortunately, Pantone's color of the year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid. I guarantee that if you decide to start painting your walls this color, most homebuyers will walk right out the door due to vision preservation. If you must stage your home with Radiant Orchid, better to use tiny pops of it. Better yet, stick with one of the other 2014 color favorites like Indigo, Navy Blue, and Neutral Gray. You can't go wrong with those colors.


I hear from some homebuyers that professionally staged homes can feel a little cold, almost like a hotel. Sellers can put in a lot of work preparing, cleaning, organizing, and staging in order to show off their home's best features. However, potential buyers may not write an offer because they have a hard time imagining themselves living there.

In order to get them feeling more at ease, try adding in some rich textured accessories to your staging. Area rugs, faux-fur pillows, rich velvet drapes, and other staples of comfort will soften the home. You want homebuyers to take their time, look around, and touch things. Show them how comfortable their life could be there.

Universal Design

Universal design is quickly becoming a hot trend in the housing industry. It involves products and spaces that are designed to be accessible by a wide range of people - young, old, short, tall, having a disability, etc. Some of the obvious characteristics of universal design are open, main-floor living plans with large doorways and hallways.

Even if a home buyer doesn't necessarily "need" universal design in their home, the concepts have broad appeal because of the increased ease and convenience of everyday living. Other "hot" features that are becoming more common include shower benches, curb-less walk-in showers, soft-close kitchen drawers, pullout storage units, pantries with swing-out shelving, and elevators.

Smart Home Technology

The term "smart home" refers to a house with technology and automated features for things like heating, lighting, security, and electronic devices. For example, touchless faucets save on water and free your hands during prep, cooking, and cleanup. Smart home thermostats optimize themselves for your system and actually learn your temperature changing habits. Of course, smart home apps for your phone or tablet let you remotely control all of your connective devices.

Buyers will love these features and drool over the opportunity to have them.


Home Design Software Comparison

The market for home design software has definitely grown over the past few years. The demand for do-it-yourself designer programs have increased and software developers have responded by coming out with loads of applications to choose from. Below are some of the more popular home design software in the market as well as a brief description for each.

Instant Architect

Instant Architect is a home design software designed and developed by IMSI Design. It is a CAD or computer-aided design program that caters to beginners. Although it may not have all the high tech features offered by most of its competitors, this program is still able to deliver useable outputs.

Creating floor plans, multi-perspective views, cost estimations, and the designing of gardens, bathrooms, kitchens, decks, and entire houses are all available on Instant Architect. Novice users will definitely have a ball using this program as inspiring elevation drawings can be completed I as little as an hour. It also happens to be very affordable; users can purchase the entire box kit for only around $30.

Home & Landscape Pro

Another CAD program developed by IMSI Design is Home & Landscape Pro. Compared to Instant Architect, this particular program is designed for the more advanced users. With a whole lot more features on board, users can come up with landscape designs, cost estimates, floor plans, as well as impressive 3D illustrations using Home & Landscape Pro.

While it does have its share of highly advanced and complicated features, this program can still be used by novice designers. The user manual included in the kit is very helpful and so long as it is reviewed thoroughly, users should be able to make use of a majority of the functionalities included in this program. However, interested parties will need to shell out a lot more money for Home & Landscape Pro as it retails for around $130 dollars online.

Home Designer Suite

Last, but definitely not least, on our list is a product of the team up between Better Homes & Gardens and Chief Architect Inc. The result is a masterful design program which is simply called Home Designer Suite. Basically, this program is an incorporated collection of cutting edge software tools that will help users design landscapes, bathrooms, kitchens, various rooms, and even entire households. Included in its expansive database is over 1,500 different sample plans, image galleries, design tips, as well as a myriad of simplified versions of CAD tools used by actual pros. The Home Designer Suite can be purchased for around $100 online.


Designer Kitchens: A Fusion of Functionality, Good Taste and Style

Designer kitchens are built not only for the sole purpose of having a meal preparation and cooking area. Most modern kitchens of today are equipped for entertaining friends and relatives and a place where family members can enjoy an informal chat.

More and more designer kitchens are built combining and mixing function, utility, beauty, good taste and style. It is a workspace where everything is balanced for both efficiency and comfort. Kitchen fittings and fixtures alone exudes a designer feel starting from the cabinetry design and positioning, the worktops' shape and color, the uniqueness of the sink, appliances and the exquisite looking taps as well.

Today we see many types and design of kitchens are featured and advertised in print, TV ads or on the Internet. Most people are considering having modular kitchens as the means to put a touch of luxurious style and show their exquisite tastes. Also, more and more futuristic furnishings are coming out in the market today making it so easy to purchase what you need to match well with your desired theme. The only way to ensure that you will succeed in building your very own designer kitchen is to acquire the services of professional kitchen builders.

It is very important that you know what you want and need in order for you to come up with a kitchen design and layout that will make you happy and satisfied. Once you have chosen a professional kitchen designer, discuss all the details that you want included as well as your family's requirements. You may also want to discuss the features you want to add in your new kitchen to make it more functional like cutlery holders, wall mounted cupboards, pull down racks, warming drawers, etc. These are often overlooked but if you build a well thought of kitchen, you will surely have that dream kitchen. Installing kitchen cabinets that's been properly designed to cater to your needs is a fantastic idea so as to keep the area clutter free and organized at all times. Be sure to take the correct dimensions so you can arrange all your kitchen stuff in a neat way.

Interior decoration today focuses on the minimalist look. Most kitchen builders are now into using subdued colors on walls, cabinets and appliances. Lighter or bright colors may be employed to make the kitchen look more spacious. Another important aspect that a kitchen owner should note is the proper lighting. Since the kitchen is considered as the busiest working area in every home, there should be adequate lighting not only to enhance the overall look of the kitchen but to provide good lighting. You must also choose the correct flooring materials for your kitchen especially if you have small kids at home. Ensure to use the non-slip types of tiles to avoid mishaps. Safety should always be of primary concern when planning to build a new kitchen. Seek advise from an excellent and reputable designer kitchens.

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