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AOL Real Estate - Blog

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    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    Tom Hanny/ZillowBrady Ryan and Leah Wymer's tiny home measures less than 100 square feet but they have room to roam on the island.

    By Catherine Sherman

    Our boots sloshed around in the mud. It was a dreary Pacific Northwest day filled with slate-colored clouds and the feeling it could downpour any minute.

    After several calls of "pardon me" and "coming through," we got the tripod inside and forgot about the looming storm. We settled into a world of nooks and crannies, warm blankets -- and the smell of chocolate.

    It's what you do when you live in a tiny home. You get cozy. And you make brownies on a rainy day.

    Leah Wymer and Brady Ryan's house-on-wheels wasn't some big, planned project. Wymer's dad, a carpenter, thought it would be fun, so they bought a used trailer off Craigslist for $500 and started building.

    Two years later, the tiny home named Tina developed into "this huge thing." Not a huge footprint -- she's only 98 square feet -- but a huge, move-to-the-island and start-your-own-business thing.

    Tiny Home Feature Final
    Video by Tom Hanny/Zillow

    Ryan insists they aren't "hardcore tiny homies" because his parents' house is nearby. But for many owners of tiny homes it isn't about escaping normal life or community, anyway.

    "We've had many times where we'll sleep upstairs and then our friends, usually a couple, will sleep down here on the pullout and it's like a sleepover," Ryan says. "I love sleepovers. I'm still a little kid at heart."

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    Tom Hanny/Zillow

    Wymer says it instantly brings you closer because your proximity is so close, but she's the first to admit living "tiny" isn't for everyone.

    "If you leave your laundry on the ground, it's in the kitchen," she says. "Everything kind of overlaps a little bit."

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    Tom Hanny/Zillow

    But if you don't mind things -- and people -- overlapping, making do with less can be life-changing.

    "Things don't bring you happiness," Wymer says. "Our lifestyle brings us happiness."

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    Tom Hanny/Zillow

    It's not easy making money on an island. Wymer has her own wedding-flower business, and Ryan keeps busy making honey and sea salt.

    "The tiny home is like the cog in the wheel that allows the whole thing to spin," Ryan says. Not only are the couple's living costs reduced significantly, but they're able to do what they love most right in their backyard.

    "There have been a lot of times where I wonder if I'm dreaming, really, because of the beauty that is all around us," Wymer says. "I love when it gets later in the season, and the grass comes up to your waist. ...There is nothing like walking out there and brushing your hands against it."

     

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    ZillowOriginally a Presbyterian church,the 13,000-square-foot building has been divided into a home and three apartments.

    By Melissa Allison

    Are the queen and king of hip-hop planning to spend more
    time in jazz territory? Beyoncé and Jay Z appear to have bought an old church in New Orleans' Garden District that has been transformed into living quarters, Curbed reports.

    2015 MET Museum Costume Institute Benefit Gala
    Charles Sykes/Invision/APBeyoncé and Jay Z arrive at a New York gala in early May.

    The 1925 home, built as a Presbyterian church, also has been a ballet school and now is a large home with 26-foot ceilings, plus three 1,000-square-foot apartments.

    A light-filled great room serves as a hub with lots of nooks and crannies, including a step-up dining room, a loft-style sitting room and a library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The master suite, which manages to be cozy while also exuding a royal vibe, adjoins a walk-in closet and a bathroom that's decked out with a massive, old-style wooden vanity, a large antique bathtub and a separate shower.

    Just one house off the main Mardi Gras parade route, the home has hosted weddings and major recording stars. According to the former listing, one Grammy winner said the "acoustics and vibes are great. I did my best writing ever, while watching the sunset from the rooftop garden."

    In January, a company with ties to Beyoncé took ownership of the home. It had been listed for $2.6 million. Her sister, Solange Knowles, co-owns a clothing boutique called Exodus Goods in the French Quarter.

    Beyoncé and Jay Z also have spent a lot of time in Los Angeles, renting a $150,000-a-month home and bidding unsuccessfully on another.

     

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    Trulia


    By Brie Dyas

    Even grilled cheese tastes better when made in a stylish kitchen.

    For those who love to cook, a gourmet kitchen is the dream. However, unlike a living room or bedroom, this space is much harder to remodel. Kitchens can't be rearranged at whim, cabinets can't be easily changed, and counters -- well, there's very little you can do to hide 1980s laminate countertops. (Their existence is proof that not everything comes back in fashion.)

    But don't shelve your dream just yet. It's possible to get a luxurious look for under $50,000, which is close to the average price spent on a budget kitchen remodel. We asked designers where they'd splurge, where they'd save, and other projects to consider for a space worthy of your culinary creations.

    Before you start, carefully consider the space and your lifestyle.

    "Design your kitchen for the way you live 90% of the time," says high-end kitchen designer Karen Williams. "Not the holidays or a visit from the in-laws."

    She ranks the overall layout as the most important element in a kitchen renovation. "Good design is good design. A proper prep center, cooking, and cleanup [space] is essential." So before you get carried away on Pinterest, think more about the layout that best suits your daily habits rather than, say, Gwyneth Paltrow's.

    Making a list of your main concerns will be invaluable for efficiently communicating with a designer. "Share your ideas and priorities by listing them top to bottom," says Sandra Brannock, principal at Expert Kitchen Designs. "Listen to the kitchen designer and ask for clarification if you are unsure about the design direction. If it is suggested something you want is not cost-worthy, listen and heed this advice."


    Where to Splurge on Your Kitchen Remodel?

    Trulia

    Cabinets: Estimated Cost of $20,000-$25,000*

    "The materials you choose for the kitchen cabinets will define the style," says designer Natalie Kraiem. "If you are going for a modern look, I love to use high-gloss or matte lacquer or frosted glass in a solid color. If you want to achieve a richer look, then go with wood veneers. You could use laminates for a similar but less expensive look."

    Lifestyle also plays an important role in selecting materials. "Cabinetry will endure the most abuse, so look for all-plywood construction along with a superior finish and top-notch door and drawer hardware," advises Brannock. "Your investment will require 20 percent to 30 percent more upfront, but the obvious return will be realized five or more years later when your cabinetry looks and feels as great as when it was first installed."

    Brannock has a few recommendations if you're looking to trim costs: "Opting for cabinets with MDF construction will save you approximately 12 percent. Oak, knotty alder, and hickory are no-upcharge wood species that will save you 6 percent to 22 percent. Consider high-pressure laminate for a contemporary look."

    Appliances: Estimated Cost of $10,000-$14,000

    Obvious as it may be, quality appliances are key to the gourmet kitchen. Kraiem likes side-by-side refrigerator and freezer models that offer custom panel options, which can blend in with your cabinets for a seamless look. A high-end dishwasher is also a luxury worth looking into, especially if it also offers the custom panel option. Hoods can be customized to suit the overall design.

    If you're currently using an electric range, don't worry about converting to gas for a pro-caliber kitchen. Instead, replace the old stove with an induction model. "There are many high-end professional kitchens using this marvelous method," Brannock says. "It is instantaneous, efficient, and also minimizes the extra heat generated in a hardworking kitchen."

    Luxe Details

    Accessories have a big impact in a kitchen. "I like to splurge on hardware," Williams says. "It should look good to the eye and feel good to the hand. You see it and touch it every day."

    Expanding Storage Options

    Clutter can cramp the style of even the fanciest kitchen. However, you'll want to go for storage options that suit your kitchen.

    "Extra deep drawers can be a blessing or a curse if not thought through for one's individual needs," Brannock says. "If incorporating them, consider a smaller hidden drawer above them or a narrow partition to house smaller items such as lids or food processor accoutrements so all the space is utilized. These drawers add $200-plus each but are totally worth it."

    She also says that shallow-depth base cabinetry (13 to 18 inches deep) is especially cost-effective and can fit most people's storage needs.


    Where to Save on Your Kitchen Remodel?

    Trulia

    Backsplash and Countertop: Estimated cost of $7,000

    Renewed interest in marble means other natural materials can be found for a bargain. "With the popularity of white marble right now, granite may be a good choice. The marble yards have an overstock of the material and are usually offering to make a good deal," Williams says. "Stay with the softer, neutral tones so your kitchen won't look outdated."

    Additionally, new designs in porcelain present another cost-effective yet stylish option for counters, floors, and other surfaces.

    Since a backsplash tends to cover a smaller space, it's easier to cut costs here. "I tend to like to use the same countertop and backsplash material for a modern look. In this case, quartz is great because it doesn't stain or get damaged easily," Kraiem says. "I also like to use frosted glass or stainless steel for a unique look that's not so expensive." For more traditional kitchens, a tile or mosaic backsplash is the most budget-friendly option.

    Flooring: Estimated Cost of $2,000

    Your flooring is a big element of your kitchen, so it can have a big impact on overall style. "For example, with floors, 24-by-24- or 24-by-48 porcelain tiles in a concrete or minimalist color will 'speak' to those who walk on them as highly sophisticated," Brannock says. "Another option is wide and random-width hardwood flooring such as fumed white oak for a rustic yet timeless elegance." But the square footage here is probably less than in other areas in your home, so it'll be less costly than, say, redoing the floors in the living room.

    Miscellaneous items (Faucets, Sink, and Garbage Disposal): estimated cost of $1,000-$1,500

    While these smaller elements play an important part in the function of your kitchen, they aren't as noticeable, meaning you can get away with budget-friendly options. "Focus on the look and quality without splurging," Kraiem says.

    *Costs for this report were estimated by designer Natalie Kraiem and are based on a 10-by-10 kitchen. Your costs may vary depending on individual design choices.

     

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    two abstract pictures of a...
    Shutterstock

    By Geoff Williams

    Even if you love where you live, if you own a home that you purchased from someone else, you've probably looked around your house before and wondered: "What was the builder thinking?"

    But not everyone goes that route. Plenty of people pay to have their home custom-built. In other words, some homeowners are the builder -- or at least, they're the ones pulling the strings and making the hard decisions on how small or big their residence should be and what features it should have.

    And if that's what you're doing, you don't want to look around your house someday and wonder: "What was the builder thinking?"

    So if you're spending money on a custom home, keep these eight things in mind.

    Have Details in Place Before You Start Building

    That means not just knowing how the floor plan will look but knowing how the rooms will be designed, says Jonathan Macias, a real estate broker and the president of the Macias Realty Group in El Segundo, California.

    "Designing a house seems easy, but the amount of choices out there can be overwhelming for many. What color tile, what size, what pattern, will it match with the walls, what cabinets will go with this, what about the faucet?" Macias says. "All of these questions could be just for one small bathroom."

    In other words, you don't want to be agonizing about how a bathroom should look and holding up your contractors. Speaking of which ...

    Hire the Right People

    It should go without saying, but let Macias say it: "Do make sure you get all licensed contractors and professionals. Make sure they are properly insured and get references from past work."

    Don't Build Too Big

    Sure, you may have a lot of stuff and you might look longingly at mansions and want the same thing, but if that's the route you want to take, then think long and hard about what you're about to do. What may be right for you now may not be right for you in 10 years, or even next year.

    "I meet potential clients in my office almost weekly who tell me, "We built a 6,000 square-foot home, but now we're dying to downsize to something smaller. Most families don't even need 5,000 square feet, and a home as small as 2,500 or 3,000 square feet won't feel small if it's designed properly, says Andy Stauffer, owner of Stauffer and Sons Construction, a homebuilder in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    "A larger house is just more expensive and harder to maintain and clean," Stauffer says. "According to the National Association of Home Builders, a custom home in the USA costs an average of $105 per square foot to build. That means by eliminating even 500 square feet in a home that you don't need, you'll save over $50,000."

    Think About the Resale Value Now

    Even if you never intend to sell your home and plan to pass it to descendants, assume that you might sell it someday, Stauffer says.

    "It's simply a fact of life. Most of us don't know for sure where we'll be in 10 or 15 years, as much as we'd like to think we do," he says. "I recently spoke to a real estate agent who had some clients that built a five-story custom home. They loved it but when it was time to sell, they had to drop the price by tens of thousands of dollars and sell at a significant loss because nobody wanted to buy a five-story home and walk up and down the stairs all day long."

    So build your dream home, but don't make it a nightmare for someone else, Stauffer advises: "Don't go crazy."

    Keep Your Mortgage Within Reason

    You can always add to your home later, creating the dream house when you can afford it, and build your realistic home now, suggests Joan Fradella, a family mediator in West Palm Beach, Florida.

    When she built her home in 1998, she wanted to stick to keeping the mortgage balance low, and so Fradella was careful not to go, as Stauffer says, "crazy." She was going to have a luxury kitchen and bathrooms built into her home, but she didn't, settling for more modest layouts, reasoning that she could later.

    "I also didn't get the crown molding and French doors because I knew we could do that ourselves," Fradella says. And, indeed, her mortgage remained reasonable.

    Don't Sacrifice All of Your Amenities

    Looking back, Fradella feels it might not have been a terrible idea to have included some of those "extras," provided her mortgage hadn't been too much higher. Because as it turned out, she says, "Life happens, your kid starts to play hockey; [goes] to private school, then college."

    She still hasn't added any upgrades, and she's been living in her home for 18 years.

    Yet, she stands by her advice. "You will be surprised how quickly a $200,000 home becomes $400,000 in upgrades," she says.

    Preventing your house from becoming an economical abyss means knowing what upgrades are "must haves," says Brian Brunhofer, president of Meritus Custom Builders, a Chicago-area builder that specializes in custom homes. "For example, carpet can always be switched out to hardwood floors later, but a full basement is something you should decide on now," he says.

    Brunhofer also points out that lending now is relatively inexpensive. As long as you don't go crazy, "it can be much more economic to stretch and plan for those features in your budget now," he says.

    Of course, it's in every builder's best interest if you do include those upgrades now, since that's more money for the builder, but it doesn't mean Brunhofer isn't right.

    Check In on the Work

    Keep the surprises for holiday gifts and birthday presents. Don't get sucked into the idea that it would be fun to have someone drive you up to your new house, while blindfolded, so you can have a surprise unveiling (as you may have seen on home improvement reality TV shows). Because you might wind up stuck with a big mortgage on a house you're not thrilled with.

    "Visit the site during construction," advises Nicole Cannon, a residential architect based in Los Angeles. "Make sure things are matching your expectations and ask questions if they don't. The worst option is to remain quiet and end up with something that you are unhappy with or have to pay to fix after the fact."

    Don't Let Your Dream Home Cloud Your Reality

    Let's end this on admittedly a bit of a downer -- to prevent you from having an unhappy ending when building your own home.

    Cannon warns that having a house custom built can be an amazing experience, but it can also be a stressful time, and no matter what you might be thinking, "it will not solve all of life's challenges," she says. "I've had more than one client who thought that building a new home would bring their significant other closer, and a new home would solve their marriage problems. It's tragic when a home is completed and goes on the market immediately due to divorce."

     

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    Image 1
    Courtesy of White Buffalo Styling Co.via Zillow

    By Lindsay Jackman

    For a renovation budget of $5,000, you can add some serious functional upgrades to your home. Kitchens and bathrooms are smart places to focus your dollars. They are hardworking rooms that you'll enjoy using, but also among the first rooms a future buyer will want to see.

    Another practical way to increase the function of your house is by adding living space. While you can't do an actual home addition for $5,000, you can create a functional outdoor living space that increases your usable square footage.

    Here's how to complete each of these three renovation projects on a $5,000 budget. (If you have a little more to spend, consider what you can do for $10,000.)

    Upgrading to Custom Kitchen Cabinets

    ​Creating a more functional and beautiful kitchen is a win-win, and one way to achieve that goal is by upgrading your cabinetry. For this price-point, you could design cabinets that work for you, the way you use your kitchen, and your kitchen layout. Custom cabinets allow you to maximize storage for the space that you have.

    Installing a Tile Shower

    Nothing says luxury in a master bath like a standing tiled shower with glass door. For $5,000, you could remove the standard bath insert and surround and put in a custom tiled shower. For additional function, tile in a corner bench and soap shelf. You'll feel like you're visiting a luxurious resort in the comfort of your own home.

    Image 3
    Courtesy of White Buffalo Styling Co.via Zillow

    Create an Outdoor Living Area

    Boosting square footage is a great idea for you and future buyers, but additions are expensive. Adding a fabulous outdoor patio can drastically increase your usable living space for a much smaller price tag.

    The options for patio material include chipped granite, pavers or flagstone. Adding mulch in beds surrounding the patio will really make a visual statement, and keep the patio from looking like it's floating in your backyard.


    Image 5
    Courtesy of White Buffalo Styling Co.via Zillow

    Build a pergola or covered seating area to create more visual appeal and boost the space's usability. You can hang lights or fans overhead in the structure -- and if it's covered, you'll have a spot to escape the weather.

    While this upgrade benefits you, it's also a big selling feature. Most homes don't have an attractive outdoor living area, and adding this amenity will make buyers flock to your listing.

    Any of these three updates will make you love your home in a whole new way. You can't go wrong with improving kitchen storage, upgrading your current bathroom, or increasing your potential living space by taking to the outdoors.

    See more home design inspiration.

     

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    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    By Kerrie Kelly

    Dining rooms are a wonderful place to express your style through furniture, lighting, art, and color. Here are five favorite dining room styles, and the elements that make them so appealing.

    Tailored and Traditional

    Traditional style is all about the details: intricate carving, unique upholstery, textured linens, and statement lighting contribute to this exquisite look. Take your style traditional by focusing on architectural details like embellished table legs or an ornate console serving as a bar.

    Paneling is also a classic element found in traditional dining rooms. A gray-toned wall with bright white trim creates a crisp and clean look. Top off the style with an eye-catching chandelier and a few sconces along the wall for ideal ambiance.

    Some other style-boosting elements? Mixed finishes, graceful decorations, and textured rugs balance the look.

    traditional
    Courtesy of Zillow Digs


    Modern and Modish

    The modern-style dining room takes many shapes and forms, but some themes are very prominent and consistent throughout. Abstract art serves as a must-have focal point in any contemporary setting, but especially in a dining room. Modern art and decor add just the right amount of movement to an otherwise structured style.

    Clean lines and crisp corners are another important detail in contemporary design. Whether your chairs' frames are perfectly rectangular, or your table's angles are prominent and precise, having perfectly formed 90-degree angles is key to a modern motif.

    Other favorite contemporary design elements include high-gloss finishes, metallic details, and sleek and simple tablescapes.

    modern

    Courtesy of Zillow Digs.


    Restful and Rustic

    Rustic design often conjures up images of old log cabins and less-than-lovely ski lodges. Because the rustic look is so heavily influenced by wood and organic textures, it's best to keep it as light and airy as possible, adding in elements of contemporary and traditional designs.

    Try creating fresh farmhouse style with exposed beams, a distressed dining room table with bench seating, and plenty of greenery. Details like barn-inspired doors, nailhead trim, and reclaimed wood offer up a refined version of the classic rustic style.
    rustic
    Courtesy of Zillow Digs


    Cool and Cottage

    If you're partial to the calm and collected vibe of the Nantucket shoreline, you might be a fan of cottage design. This cozy and unpretentious style offers a light and bright alternative to traditional design with distressed wood elements, tons of texture, and simple, elegant lighting. You can't go wrong pairing a seagrass rug with an ornate dining table.

    Keep colors soft and sinuous with tones of gray, beige and white, and lightly add pattern with an area rug, table linens, or upholstered chairs. Other cottage elements to consider: gentle patina on surfaces like tables, consoles, and shelves, slipcovered chairs, and curated tabletop decor.

    cottage
    Courtesy of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab via Zillow


    Trendy and Transitional

    Taking cues from modern and traditional design, the transitional style is a cultivation of contemporary elements and classic architecture. Minimal accents and culled accessories lend a clean touch to a timeless dining room setting, and the less-is-more-approach is alive and well throughout the space with statement lighting and just a few curated fittings detailing the space.

    If you'd like to mimic the transitional style further, consider these design elements: crisp window treatments, a calming color palette, and organic decor.

    trendy
    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    While these are only a handful of the possible design styles to outfit your dining room, they are great starting points.

     

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    Growing housing market. Uptrend arrow.
    Getty Images/iStockphotoSan Francisco, Denver and Portland led 20 U.S. cities as home prices moved upward at the fastest pace of 2015.

    By Christopher S. Rugaber
    AP Economics Writer


    WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home prices rose in September from a year earlier at the fastest pace in 13 months as a lack of houses for sale has forced buyers to bid up available properties.

    The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, increased 5.5 percent in September compared with a year ago, the largest annual gain since August 2014.

    Steady job gains and low mortgage rates have propelled a solid rebound in home sales, which are on track to reach the highest level since 2007. The unemployment rate fell to 5 percent in October as employers added the most jobs since December. Borrowing costs have ticked up but remain below 4 percent, a low level historically.

    San Francisco reported the largest annual home price increase, at 11.2 percent, followed by Denver at 10.9 percent. Portland had the third largest gain, at 10.1 percent. All 20 cities surveyed reported higher prices than a year earlier.

    On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.2 percent in September from August. Prices rose in seventeen of 20 cities from the previous month. They fell in Chicago, Cleveland and Washington, D.C.

    Sales of existing homes, while improving, have been volatile this year. They slipped in October after a healthy jump the previous month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

    Overall, home sales have increased 3.9 percent in the past 12 months. At the same time, the number of available homes has fallen 4.5 percent.

    That squeeze has pushed up prices. The typical home sold for $219,600 last month, up nearly 6 percent from a year ago, the Realtors group said Monday. That is the highest median price for the month of October since October 2005, at the height of the housing bubble.

    Home prices are rising at more than double the pace of inflation and much faster than wages, pricing many Americans out of the housing market. That has also pushed up rents as Americans increasingly stay in apartments.

    Still, home prices are rising at a much slower pace than the double-digit gains seen in most of 2013. David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P Dow Jones Index Committee, said that the higher prices aren't out of line with rising rents. That's a change from the housing bubble, when home prices soared much higher than rental costs.

    Several factors are likely holding back the supply of available homes. Many Americans still don't have much housing equity and as a result would profit little from a sale. That may be delaying them from listing their homes.

    In addition, the average rate for a 30-year mortgage has picked up in the past three years. It is currently almost 4 percent, which is still low. But millions of Americans have refinanced their mortgages at much lower rates and may be reluctant to trade up to a new home because doing so would require taking on a higher mortgage rate.

    Developers are also building homes at a historically modest pace. Construction of single-family homes dropped 2.4 percent in October compared to the previous month, the Commerce Department said last week.

    The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The September figures are the latest available.

     

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    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    By Kerrie Kelly

    There are few better workhorses than the kitchen island. It's beautiful, simple, and full of storage possibilities. Offering features from scratch-proof counters for chopping to hooks, rods, and bins for stowing, the kitchen island is an invaluable addition to any home.

    Best of all, there's an island option for every style and budget. Here are a few of the best.


    Sink Space

    If you're looking for a creative sink solution, consider installing it in the kitchen island. This setup provides a central spot to wash your hands, drain pasta, scrub dishes or rinse produce.


    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    Tucked Away

    Kitchen islands usually evoke visions of huge, solid, and largely immobile countertops reserved for spacious kitchens. However, tiny islands are slowly gaining momentum and becoming popular for their mobility, slim size, and ease of access.

    Take a look at islands on casters, which can be positioned where they're most needed, then tucked in a corner or underneath a counter when not in use.


    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    Sit and Stay

    Kitchen islands are great for creating an extra sitting area, especially if your kitchen or dining room lacks the space for an actual table.

    Choose an extra-long kitchen island with overhang to allow for a few bar stools or tall chairs. Add some festive placemats and a few dining accessories to create a unique tablescape -- and clear it all away when you need some extra workspace.


    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    Careful Cubbies

    One of the best ways kitchen islands add to a space is by providing unique storage options. In a room so full of doors and hardware, adding small baskets, hooks, and rods can be a fun way to stow your utensils, linens, or knickknacks. Even better, you can switch out the textures and finishes to match your favorite seasonal decor.


    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    While kitchen islands are most often used as giant cutting boards, they've come full circle in design and function, and have proven to be a great way to add substance and style to any kitchen design. Take a look at your space, define your personal style, and determine your needs to find your perfect island oasis.

    Get kitchen island inspiration.

     

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    Courtesy of Mosaic Architects & Interiors.

    By Zillow Team

    Zillow Digs has announced its top home design trends for 2016, along with the three soon-to-be forgotten fads of 2015. Results were based on a survey of leading interior design experts and trending photos on Zillow Digs.

    So what will be 2016's hottest trends? Check out the results below.

    2016's Top Home Design Trends


    1. Art Deco-Inspired Patterns and Shapes


    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    Art deco will make a bold new comeback in 2016. Look for the style's trademark geometric patterns and honeycomb shapes to weave their way into everything from wallpaper to artwork, adding elegance and dimension to any space. Experts also predict gold statement lighting fixtures will become more popular.


    2. Nubby Wool Rugs


    Courtesy of Mosaic Architects & Interiors

    Nubby wool or other natural fibers will be the go-to texture for 2016, especially for area rugs. Their neutral hues create the perfect indoor/outdoor vibe, while softening bolder colors and dramatic statement pieces.


    3. Encaustic Tiles


    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    These intricate patterned tiles get their coloring from different types of clay rather than glaze and can be used to create a beautiful, natural-looking focal point. Expect to see encaustic tiles pop up throughout the house in 2016, including on kitchen backsplashes, bathroom shower tiles, accent walls and even fireplace mantles.


    4. Artisan Accent Pieces


    Courtesy of David Scott Interior Design

    Travel souvenirs, unique artisan pieces and flea market finds will take center stage in home design as more homeowners gravitate toward decorating with unique art pieces that tell a story. Look for a rise in partnerships between big box stores and global artisans to accommodate the increased demand for one-of-a-kind or handmade items.

    3 Fads to Ditch From 2015


    1. Mason Jars


    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    The mason jar trend is exhausted, and will finally make its exit in 2016. After using them to invoke a rustic chic feeling everywhere from wedding decor to restaurants, experts and homeowners alike are finally ready to move on.


    2. Chalkboard Paint


    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    Chalkboards smudge easily, and unless decorated with perfect handwriting, are usually not the best way to label household items. This trend is not built to last in 2016.


    3. Burlap Details


    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    Burlap is too harsh for indoor use, and is far overplayed for another year in the spotlight. Instead, homeowners will gravitate toward softer natural fibers that are more suitable for throw blankets, pillows and rugs.

    Want to learn more about 2016's hottest home design trends? Check out more photos of the top trends on Zillow Digs.

     

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    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    By Kerrie Kelly

    November through January is a busy, busy time. With family dinners, office parties and Christmas shopping, lack of sleep inevitably follows and full-blown burnout becomes a very real possibility. Don't forget to think about yourself. A restful bedroom can be the key to combating fatigue.

    Clear the Clutter

    It's often said that a cluttered room is the sign of a cluttered mind. Having too much "stuff" obstructs from the flow of a serene space, and doesn't tie in well with any design concept.

    Take what you love and move it somewhere safe, and get rid of everything else. Having a clear and collected space will lead to a clear and collected life. Don't you feel better already?

    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    Soothe with a Calm Color Palette

    Nothing whispers "rest" quite like a soft and soothing color palette. From cozy cream to serene beige, color is key when creating a restful bedroom. Refrain from bold colors like red, green, or yellow, and instead use those shades to accent your calming paint choice instead.

    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    Total Texture

    Sink into a sound slumber quickly and easily with plush pillows, dreamy duvets, and cozy throw blankets. Layer different textures, prints, and soft colors to create a bed as irresistible as a 3 o'clock nap.

    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    Go Stress-Free with a Sitting Area

    Don't want to ruffle your restful bed sheets? Create a cozy corner instead with a chair, side table, and a great reading lamp. Grab a cozy blanket, sip a cup of tea, and get lost in a good book while relaxing the day away in your rest-inspiring oasis.

    Courtesy of Zillow Digs

    Finish with Lush Lighting

    When you're about to drift off to dream land, nothing's worse than switching from light and bright to dull and dark. Opt for lighting that is dimmable or masked by an opaque shade. Layer lighting with pendants, recessed cans, and tableside lamps for the perfect amount of sparkle.

    Courtesy of Zillow Digs


    The holidays don't have to mean all-nighters and dazed mornings. Create your restful bedroom using the above elements, your favorite sleep-inducing rituals, and personal touches that you find particularly restful. Sit back, relax, and lull yourself to sleep knowing that the New Year is just around the corner.

     

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