Posts made in February 2019

2019 Design Trends



There are so many exciting new trends emerging in the design world right now.  As plumbing, tile, and cabinet companies look at what is popular in other industries, fun and beautiful new finishes come out each year, ready to go in your new home!

Plumbing Fixtures

The faucet styles in our homes are heavily influenced by the automotive and appliance industries. We are seeing the warmer metals expanding to more and more lines, as well as matte black and chrome. Moen has released their brushed gold finish on the modern Align series, the vintage Weymouth series, and the transitional Voss series for the bath. Matte black is found on the modern faucet series like Align and Genta, but also on the farmhouse-inspired Waterhill collection.

The brushed gold blends beautifully with saturated cabinet colors like a deep blue or black as well as stark white. For a bold look, choose a dark wall color to showcase the gold faucets, or for a feminine boutique look, white cabinets with a blush pink wall are gorgeous.   Matte black brings more of an industrial feel and works well with painted or stained cabinets. The combination of black with stained cabinets softens the look from contemporary to modern and is a great way to bring a unique touch to a farmhouse style or mid-century modern kitchen.  Mixing white, black, and stained woods will never go out of style.


Warm metallics, as well as matte black finishes, are very popular in kitchen appliances. Whirlpool has their sunset bronze finish which is not only beautiful but fingerprint resistant. This finish blends nicely with warm, rich stain colors and makes a bold statement when paired with black or blue painted cabinets. Matte black and black stainless finishes lend a sleek, modern touch to any kitchen, and look great with the new black faucets and cabinet hardware available.

Besides exciting new finishes, new cooking technology is also available that turns your ordinary kitchen into a chef’s kitchen.  Steam ovens use the power of steam combined with convection to create restaurant-quality dishes that retain the nutritional value of the food.  Modular appliances are also becoming popular as they allow you to have fryers, induction or gas cooktops, steamers and more in a 15” space instead of having to purchase larger appliances. Drawer microwaves are fantastic for allowing you to have a full-size appliance without taking up counter space.  They are also safer for food preparation as you are lifting the hot items up to the counter instead of down from over your head.

Paint Colors

Deep, full-bodied colors are trending up in home décor as well as cabinetry.  Dark navy and ocean blues are becoming ever more popular for kitchen islands and base cabinets as well as pops of color in fabrics. Jewel tones of garnet, emerald, and sapphire make beautiful backdrops to the warm metals. Gray and white are still the most popular cabinet colors, and as a result, we are seeing new gray washes mixed into stain colors which result in some gorgeous driftwood toned cabinets. Pastel colors in blush and sea glass are also popular and create a very restful space when paired with whites and creams.

We have many of these new finishes on display in our design center and can’t wait to help you incorporate the ones you like into your new home!

The Myths of Credit Scores

Does having my credit check hurt my score?

If your [FICO Scores] change, they probably won’t drop much. If you apply for several credit cards within a short period of time, multiple inquiries will appear on your report. Looking for new credit can equate with higher risk, but most credit scores are not affected by multiple inquiries from auto, mortgage or student loan lenders within a short period of time. Typically, these are treated as a single inquiry and will have little impact on your credit scores.

Does having my credit checked by more than one lender hurt my score?

Looking for a mortgage, auto or student loan may cause multiple lenders to request your credit report, even though you are only looking for one loan. To compensate for this, FICO Scores ignore mortgage, auto, and student loan inquiries made in the 30 days prior to scoring. So, if you find a loan within 30 days, the inquiries won’t affect your scores while you’re rate shopping. In addition, FICO Scores look on your credit report for mortgage, auto, and student loan inquiries older than 30 days. If your FICO Scores find some, your scores will consider inquiries that fall in a typical shopping period as just one inquiry. For FICO Scores calculated from older versions of the scoring formula, this shopping period is any 14-day span. For FICO Scores calculated from the newest versions of the scoring formula, this shopping period is any 45-day span. Each lender chooses which version of the FICO scoring formula it wants the credit reporting agency to use to calculate your FICO Scores.

After my credit is checked, why is the lender telling me that the score is different than what I see from my credit card company, bank, or credit karma

These companies are showing scores that are calculated for short term lending purposes like credit cards and auto loans. The credit bureaus use a different scoring model to provide credit scores for a mortgage. Although it gives you an idea of your score, most of the times your credit score used for mortgage approval is going to be different.

How do I increase my credit score?

• Pay bills on time.
• Keep balances low on credit cards and other revolving credit products.
• Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.

5 options that will change your life

When building a new home, everyone focuses on the big things like how many bedrooms and baths they need, two car versus 3 car garage, etc. And these items are of course, the most important. However, once you have the layout done, did you know there are many small things you can add to your home that will make living that much easier?

Air Switch

Since almost every new home design has moved the kitchen sink to the island and almost every island is flat now, there’s no wall or raised bar top to put the disposal switch on. That means it must go inside the sink cabinet under the sink. Now for those families who don’t use the disposal often, this is not a problem. But for those that do, having to open your cabinet door with wet hands and bend down to hit the switch each night is not the best arrangement. That’s where the air switch comes in. It’s a small button that matches the finish of your faucet and is installed on the countertop that you push to turn the disposal on and off. Not only is this much more convenient, but it also saves your cabinet finish from constant water drips.

Induction Cooktops

Up until recently, your only two choices in cooking were gas or electric. Electric cooktops allow you to have a nice, sleek glass top and some even have eliminated the knobs, but they aren’t always efficient in heating consistently or quickly. Gas, on the other hand, is known for the precision heat control it provides, but you do have grates to clean and the heat that escapes into your kitchen as a downside. Enter the induction cooktop. Induction causes the pot itself to heat up, not the cooktop which means that if you were to boil your pot over there’s no burnt-on residue to clean up, and no hot eyes to keep little fingers away from. Most induction cooktops can boil water within 90 seconds – a huge improvement over electric – yet they still provide the sleek glass top that many people like in their homes. Some of the higher end cooktops even allow for a flush installation with the countertop, so you can make them almost disappear.

Hand Showers

Hand showers are small shower heads that are attached on a metal hose. They can stand alone or be attached to a bar at the main shower head. While they are one of the more expensive items on this list, they give you quite a bit of functionality. Hand showers make cleaning the shower or tub much easier, as you can reach all the corners and walls that a normal shower head can’t. They are also great for washing pets, rinsing off feet, and are a quick way to clean a squirmy toddler. When you install them on their own valve, they also function as a second shower head for the shower.

Switched Outlets

Switched outlets allow you to turn on an item that is plugged into the outlet by flipping a switch on the wall. In a bedroom or living room, these are nice to have where a lamp will go so that you can turn them on as you enter a room. However, if you like to decorate with lights or put a Christmas tree in a room, then having a switched outlet can make turning the tree on and off much simpler. You can also put switched outlets on the exterior as well! Placing them in the eaves of the roof are great for Christmas lights, one on the back porch allows for string lights, and also consider putting one or two on the front of the house for other holiday decorations that need to be plugged in. Not having to go out in the cold to plug in several extension cords or deal with setting up multiple timers makes life much easier. Simply flip a switch and you’re done.

Additional Bath Cabinets

You can never have too much storage space, and adding a few well-placed cabinets in the bath can really expand your options. If your vanity is large enough, a wall cabinet that sits on the countertop makes finding medicine, makeup, and hair products so much easier. No more bending down and hunting for what you need. Another great place for a cabinet is over a toilet, especially in a master toilet room or powder bath. These areas are perfect for holding extra toilet paper and towels, acting as a linen closet without taking up any extra space.
These small additions can really improve how your home functions and make day to day tasks so much easier. During your design appointment, we can go over these in greater detail and see how we can make your dream home a dream to live in!