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“More than ever, homeowners are seeking open, spacious bedrooms with cathedral ceilings, large his-and-hers walk-in closets and bigger master bathrooms, complete with double sinks, vanity televisions (for him) and televisions near the bathtub (for her),” says Collé.

“I’ve also noticed that people want easy access to things like mini refrigerators and pop-up television cabinets at the end of the bed, which have become an increasingly popular request. Homeowners are also looking to make their bedrooms more of a living space, complete with a separate sitting area, which can also double as a gym or office, and decks or screened-in porches that are connected to the bedroom. And of course, fireplaces and built-in blackout shades are as popular as ever.”

Elizabeth Noack, an interior designer from Faulkner Design Group, agrees: “Sitting rooms and meditation rooms are becoming more popular as a dedicated space in your master bedroom. Multiple textures on the wall, furniture and bedding add interest to these spaces.”

“Lighting is key in bedrooms,” explains Noack. “Life is so busy for everyone now and even at home the chaos ensues. The bedroom has become a retreat for people to come home to. It’s a place to feel quiet, serene and peaceful. Of all the rooms in your home, the bedroom is usually the biggest reflection of yourself. It’s where you want to feel the most safe and peaceful.”

Color – When it comes to color, we know that Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year is emerald, but will we see it in bedrooms?

“All in all, we are in Seattle and still use a ton of gray in all shades, but I see the rest of the world has embraced it as well,” says Dixie Stark of Dixie Stark Interiors. “In paint, wall covering, furniture and textiles — gray is the perfect neutral! However, 2013 is supposed to be the year of ‘green.’ We have always used green in the Pacific Northwest as a complement to our beautiful landscape, and I am sure we will see it pop up more!”

Erika Woelfel, director of color at Behr Paints, agrees about the green, but she says there’s another new color to look out for this year as well.

“There are two new colors entering the scene for decor in 2013: jewel tone green and vampy rose red. These rich colors are riding in on a wave of renewed interest in luxury and opulence. They will feel especially appropriate for updates in the bedroom,” says Woelfel.

“Clear, cool greens will replace yellow-based lime, pear and granny apple greens that we have seen for so long. Emerald and forest will dominate the darker side of the new green spectrum, while mint and jade will fall to the lighter side of the range. Sophisticated reds are the future of the warm color story in the bedroom. Rose red combined with burgundy and smoky amethyst creates a dramatic look for your space.

“Bedrooms remain a place of refuge for most with a soothing and calm color palette, however the use of wallpaper, whether it is patterned or simply textural, is in high demand. This added layer on the wall makes the spaces more intimate and personalized. Luxurious textiles and a hint of glamour in the bedroom are often requested, which we can accomplish with lovely velvet, mohair or even cashmere… and maybe a mirror or two.”

Hotel inspiration – All the experts agree, bedrooms aren’t just for sleeping anymore. One of the hottest trends in bedrooms for 2013 is turning your bedroom into a relaxing, spa-like oasis.

Emmy-winning lifestyle host and best-selling author Christopher Lowell gives us the rundown on how to turn your bedroom into a spa-inspired suite, duplicating what you may see in a chic boutique hotel.

  1. A non-gender-specific attitude in the master suite now dominates as these “chill” spaces become far more self-contained than ever before. Gone are the frills, doodads and patterns in favor of layered texture (white linen, raw silk… ) that both he and she can live with.
  2. High, upholstered headboards (often fixed directly to the wall) now replace traditional wood bed frames while footboards are now being eliminated altogether for better viewing of the TV or media center.
  3. Old wall-to-wall carpeting is becoming a thing of the past as dark hardwood floors offer more durability, drama, flexibility and perceived home value. Over the hardwood floors investment texture-driven area rugs now provide comfort underfoot. They can be sent out and cleaned without disrupting the entire room.
  4. Also typical of hotel suites, coffee stations, mini-bars and music components become vital additions to these spaces so that parents can stay self-contained as long as possible before having to get up or deal with the rest of the family. So the idea that these space should only be used for “sleep” is a thing of the past.
  5. Modern, matching bedside tables, tall lamps with table dimmers that put everything at arm’s length while sitting up in bed become the pampering new focus.
  6. Traditional bedspreads (with hidden pillows) are out in favor of the turned down bed look, putting more focus on the sheets and sleeping pillows which are now stacked. Throw pillows are out in favor on a long accent body pillow that spans the width of the bed.

About 90% of people want to stay in their homes as they grow old, according to AARP surveys, and “as boomers go, so goes the remodeling industry,” says a recent Bloomberg article. Since October 2008, the number of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) members with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designation has more than doubled to 4,751.

While some older couples are proactive in renovating their homes to make them user-friendly and safe for them as they age, says the article, they’re in the minority, as only about 30% of remodelors fall into this category.

“Most calls I get are for an emergency situation where someone needs an immediate remodel to accommodate an injury or illness,” Louis Tenenbaum, an aging-in-place expert, told Bloomberg. “You can’t design, get permits and finish the construction in a short timeline so the person can get home fast.”

When people put off those necessary renovations, the article says, the senior homeowner may end up spending time in a rehabilitation facility or moving into an assisted living community, rather than being able to return home right away following an incident.

While these sorts of projects may carry a hefty price tag, spending those dollars could potentially save money over time by preventing or delaying a move into an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. In fact, a $10,000 aging-in-place project could essentially be “paid off” in about 3 months by avoiding average monthly assisted living community costs, according to Tenenbaum in a MetLife Mature Market Institute report on aging in place.

Suggested renovations and remodeling projects include replacing cabinet and drawer-pulls with easy-to-grip handles rather than knobs; raising key electrical outlets while lowering light switches to a wheel-chair accessible level; upgrade lighting in high-traffic areas such as hallways, bathrooms, and kitchens; and installing grab bars in bathrooms.

Read more at Bloomberg.

2013As you write up your list of New Year’s resolutions this week, consider adding one that can make your home more comfortable all year long: Wrap up all of those unfinished projects you started last year —or the year before or the one before that —and vow to make all of those little home repairs you’ve been putting off for so long.

Your best bet: Hire us to do it for you.

Seriously, if you were really going to finish painting your guest bathroom or converting the space above the garage into a man cave, you would have put it on your list of resolutions last year.

The fact is, the price you pay to hire a professional remodeling firm to help you design and finish the project that you started but never finished won’t be nearly as painful as the nagging guilt you feel (or perhaps hear from your significant other) every time you walk by the mess you created by starting a job you never found time to finish.

Perhaps your good intentions led you to start tearing up a bathroom so you could replace an worn-out old floor, upgrade the countertop and upgrade the shower with some extra side sprays and new tile. But the job turned out to be a bit trickier than you expected, especially once you realized that you needed to upgrade the plumbing and perhaps the subfloor before you could start putting the room back together.

There’s no shame in asking for help —even if you’re the handiest of homeowners —if it means your family will finally have access to that bathroom again, or if it means you can cross one more worry off of your overstuffed list of things to get around to on your already-overbooked weekends.

Similarly, resolve to repair. It’s so easy to let a drip keep dripping or a crack crawl across a floor or wall until it’s a bigger problem than it ever had to be.

A tip: Fix what’s broken as soon as it comes to your attention. No time to work on the house? Hire help. Spending a few dollars on simple repairs will save you a bundle on prematurely replacing household devices that died from neglect.

Still, if you have let those tiny troubles go for so long that they’ve escalated into bigger headaches, why not enlist the help of a professional who can take care of all of your jobs at once and take them off of your plate?

It’s easy to let little jobs pile up over the year if you don’t make them a priority.

A few examples: How long has it been since you have painted your wood front door or the home’s wood exterior trim? If you can’t even remember, you’re running the risk of rot. Likewise, cracked window- panes, missing stakes in posts and fences, a stained patio floor and loose roof shingles might not cause problems right away, but left untended, they can lead to expensive repairs down the road.

While you’ve got a us in your home, talk to him or her about how you can add some permanent storage space.

Post-holidays —while you’re trying to find a place for all of the gifts you received —is a great time to reorganize your home so you can assign a neat, safe place for all of your expensive electronics, cherished keepsakes and collections of books and memorabilia.

Think about building in shelving, cabinets and hiding places for the things your family wants to keep but doesn’t have room for.

On average, Americans use over 70 gallons of water a day per person, and government officials and green building advocates say this rate of water use is a cause for concern.

Much of that usage stems from bathroom activities. For example, water flows from a standard showerhead at 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm), so a 10-minute shower (with the water running continuously) nets 25 gallons. Count the running water used while people are brushing their teeth or shaving and you get an idea of the magnitude of the problem. Fortunately, manufacturers are on the case, providing easy ways to save water.

“As water conservation has become more of a widespread concern, an increasing number of water-efficient shower-heads have appeared on the market,” says Brian Baratka, director of product marketing for faucets at Kohler in Kohler, Wis. “Now customers using these showerheads can feel good about not only doing something to preserve our most precious resource, but also something to contribute to their overall showering experience.”

Manufacturers who are serious about conservation are participating in EPA’s voluntary WaterSense program. WaterSense-certified products must meet minimum water efficiency standards and are then given a label to make it easy for consumers to identify those products.

“The goal of EPA’s WaterSense program is to help Americans save water and money by offering simple ways to reduce water use through water-efficient product choices,” says Sheila Frace, director of the EPA Office of Water’s Municipal Support division.

Kohler, a leader in water conservation and the EPA’s 2008 Manufacturer Partner of the Year, offers a variety of water-conserving plumbing products in lines such as Forté and Purist; Piscataway, N.J.–based American Standard offers bathroom lavatory faucets with a maximum flow rate of 1.5 gpm; and Olmsted, Ohio–based Moen offers showerheads that flow at 1.75 gpm.

“Our new low-flow showerhead,” says Moen’s wholesale brand manager Beth Allison, “makes it possible to relax and unwind with a long, hot shower and still have peace of mind.”

Read more: http://www.ecohomemagazine.com/faucets/a-new-generation-of-water-saving-faucets-makes-conservation-painless.aspx?rssLink=Less+is+More

When designing a bathroom, many homeowners opt for the elegance and functionality of a shower door over the traditional, inexpensive shower curtain. However, choosing the right shower door for your bathroom takes both practical knowledge and a keen aesthetic sense.image

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