By Adaliz Lorenz. Kitchen Room. Published at Sunday, April 07th, 2019 - 10:07:14 AM.
Home layouts can also be optimized so animals can comfortably hang out with their human owners. Spring Creek Designs Smutko found that she and her husband were constantly needing to walk around their 60-pound German shepherd, Tess, in the kitchen. When the firm redesigned the room, she requested a larger aisle between the work island and sink. “We wanted Tess to be with us, but without being stepped on,” she says. She selected a hard quarter-sawn floor that would withstand Tesss claws. Technology and internet-enabled products can also help. Smart cameras and lights allow homeowners to keep tabs on pets and ensure theyre comfortable when alone in the house. New electronic collars can activate pet doors so that homes remain secure. Winter Park, Fla., architect, builder, and licensed interior designer Phil Kean incorporated that technology when he designed the New American Home in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders. He also used an artificial turf called K9Grass that is designed specifically for dogs and eliminates the challenge of muddy paws and dead spots on the lawn.
Most design professionals agree that wallpaper can be an exciting alternative to spice up a few rooms—in moderation. “Too much wallpaper makes a house dizzying just as painting each room a very different, dramatic hue can,” Segal says. Most often, wallpaper is used best in entryways, powder rooms, dining rooms, and master bedrooms, says Rebecca Pogonitz of GOGO Design Group outside Chicago. New York–based designer Jody Sokol prefers to limit paper to two rooms on the main floor of a two-story home. In a one-story house or apartment, she thinks it fine to paper a few more areas as long as adjoining rooms flow together with the same paint color, eliminating choppiness.
Plants and herbs. In most gardens, its best to seek out a variety of heights, textures, and colors. If privacy and quiet are desired, evergreens like spruces or a “wall” of noninvasive bamboo may be a good choice. Landscape designer Donna Christensen of Christensen Landscape Services in Northford, Conn., uses lilacs not just for their fragrance but because she can also group them to create a privacy hedge. But be aware that too many plant walls can create a dark, claustrophobic space. Color may contribute to healing, too. Blue is a good universal choice because most find it calming, Langrall says. Those with cataracts find it easier to see bolder rather than pastel hues. Butterfly bushes do double duty by displaying colorful flowers and attracting butterflies to add vibrancy, but be sure to choose a seedless or low-fertility variety, as the plants are considered invasive in some areas. Other plants that attract pollinators include cosmos, foxgloves, and cone varieties. Certain herbs have a symbolic connection and can offer freshness in favorite recipes and a medicinal effect. Chamomile is one standout example of this archetype as its equated with comforting, but is also thought to work as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent, and tissue regenerator. Tomatoes and leafy greens also help fight inflammation, and herbs can be seeped in water to flavor what can be a healthy alternative to soda, says Lisa Schwartz, a physical therapist and coordinator at the Marianjoy Center. “Planting in raised beds or along walls also is smart, so people dont have to bend and reach as much,” Schwartz says. And for those wanting something tactile, many therapy gardens, especially those designed for children, feature fuzzy, soft lambs ear, which has the additional benefit of bearing a cute name, Sachs says.
Know your markets tastes. Understand what appeals to buyers by learning which kitchen features have helped area listings sell. And if theyre present in your listing, make sure you play them up in marketing and photographs. “Youre helping to sell a lifestyle,” says Nashville-based stager and designer Kristie Barnett. Differences exist, between cities and even within them. Chicago designer Alisa Bloom, who used to flip houses, says that while the stainless steel and brass range she purchased for her home might scare off some heartland buyers, it could be a major selling point in New York or Paris. Yet for Pogonitzs on-trend Chicago clients, wild backsplashes have become a status symbol. In hipster-centric Hoboken and Brooklyn, a large cohort were drawn to the bright green kitchen countertops in a recent Jill Biggs Group listing. In New York, theres wide variation. What appeals about a downtown Manhattan loft, such as its openness and industrial vibe from edgy, rough materials, may be very different from whats considered chic in a proper, polished, and conservatively furnished uptown Park Avenue apartment, says broker Ian Katz, founder of the Ian K. Katz Group in New York.
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