By Alvie Albrecht. Home Decoration. Published at Monday, April 15th, 2019 - 10:40:24 AM.
Chicago designer Rebecca Pogonitz, founder of GOGO Design Group, credits the Scandinavian appreciation for a simpler, more soul-nourishing lifestyle—often known by the Danish term ”hygge” (pronounced hue-guh)—for this move toward coziness and comfort. “My clients crave time for self-care and family,” Pogonitz says. “Many had this growing up but now find their family members arent together at home even for dinner. They want to recreate that human connection.” Now, this desire is finding its way into home design by way of spaces that are sometimes called “pajama lounges,” a cutesy name that suggests a room in which to gather before bedroom, literally in PJs or sweats. This space is usually closer to bedrooms, often upstairs, as an intermediate area for intimate evening hours after dinner and before heading off to sleep. “Its a place that has a totally different identity from a downstairs living or family room,” says Stephan Burke, a real estate salesperson with Cassis Burke Collection at Brown Harris Stevens in Miami.
Healing Landscapes is a site that lists landscape designers who can help create the right kind of home therapy garden for specific needs. Jack Carman, a landscape architect whose Design for Generations is based in Medford, N.J., suggests simply searching the web for “therapeutic” or “meditation” gardens and your local area to find designers who can help. The American Horticultural Society lists master gardeners and other information such as how to plant pollinator gardens. More and more botanic centers offer therapy garden education. The Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Ill., was among the first to do so and offers two certificate programs—one on horticultural therapy and another for health care garden design.
Decide to switch out or credit. Sellers—understandably—want to limit the amount of money they spend on toning down an ultra-personalized kitchen before selling. There are some affordable options for expanding the buyer pool, though of course, this is highly subjective based on the clients budget and homes listing price. Big Chill Appliances, which is becoming well known for its 200 color options, charges $525 for a new panel on its $1,995 dishwashers. Homeowners looking to make a splash but also resell in the near future might want to consider appliances that offer this kind of flexibility. New countertops and backsplashes can be pricier—sometimes several thousand dollars, depending on the material and installation charges. Repainting cabinet fronts runs a wide range, depending on what the color was and will be, the finish selected, number of cabinets, and who does the work. Contractors at George Apap Painting Inc. quoted $5,000 to remove fronts and spray paint them in its factory for a small kitchen in upstate New York. Sellers willing to repaint themselves can save a lot on materials and achieve great results if they take the time to prime and paint properly. Switches like simpler hardware or faucets may be easier and less costly—a few hundred dollars, says Peter Albanese, vice president of Bellari Design in Branchburg, N.J. Designer Erica Islas of EMI Interior Design in Los Angeles suggests offering a credit to buyers in the negotiation process, so they can make their own choices. “Interior design shouldnt be a quick fix to sell, but a very personal, thought-out process,” she says. Biggs agrees. “The seller will never get their money back on most big changes. The truth is the next person probably will renovate and blow off the back of the house anyway,” she says.
Because the pajama lounge is often used by children, more whimsical touches might be considered, as Chicago-based architectural firm Morgante Wilson Architects did in recent construction of a suburban house. Taking advantage of the 20-foot-high ceilings on the second level, the design team built a loft into one end of an extra bedroom, reached by a ladder, where the three children in the home can play. “Its a place where the family can crash together,” says K. Tyler, the principal in charge of interior design at the firm. Having the option of food close at hand rather than having to traipse downstairs is another worthwhile addition, says Santiago Arana, a real estate salesperson with The Agency in Los Angeles and owner of Cutting Edge Development Inc. A few features he recommends in this space are a minifridge, microwave, sink, and espresso or coffee machine.
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