Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty Announces $25,000 Scholarship Fund in Memory in Frederick W. “Rick” Griffin

Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Maine (March 26,  2014)— Marking the one-year anniversary of Rick Griffin’s passing,  Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty announces the creation of a memorial scholarship fund totaling $25,000.  This scholarship will be offered for the first time this year to graduating college bound Kennebunk High School seniors.  The scholarship fund will be presented as a $2,500 scholarship to one deserving student each year for the next 10 years.

The scholarship will be awarded to a student who is recognized by teachers, school administration and peers as one who personifies and embodies all that is “special” about living in the Kennebunks.  They would exhibit their passion through academic, athletic, and community involvement while demonstrating a commitment to making the Kennebunks a better place to live and work.

“Rick Griffin was a great friend, a warm and generous colleague, and a true leader in the Kennebunk community for many years.  While I knew him as one of the top real estate agents in my company, he was a fantastic grandfather, father and husband” said Christopher Lynch, President of Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty.  “He had such a passion for the Kennebunks and his enthusiasm and community spirit was contagious.”

Frederick W. “Rick” Griffin left a proud legacy of community involvement, pride in his work, and love of his family.  He and Martha, his wife of 43-years, owned and operated the Kennebunkport Inn.  Changing careers more than a decade ago to join the real estate profession, he quickly made his mark as the consummate professional.  He wore many hats in his efforts to share his unbridled passion for the Kennebunks.  Rick was involved in several organizations including the Kennebunk Historical Society, The Parsons Way Committee, The Church Vestry at Saint Anne’s Episcopal Church, Graves Memorial Library, Kennebunk Rotary, and the Kennebunk River Club.  In addition to his role as the Tree Warden for Kennebunkport, he loved his work with the elderly at the Senior Center.

“We are so pleased and proud to offer this scholarship in Rick’s honor.  I feel so lucky to have known him and so profoundly saddened that he was taken from us much too soon” adds Lynch. “I am looking forward to sharing his story with the Kennebunk High School seniors  over the next decade.  I am hopeful that the recipients will return  after college to continue to have the same positive impact on the community that earned them the scholarship.”

Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty with offices in Kennebunk, Portland, Brunswick, Damariscotta, and Camden  is Maine’s leading luxury and lifestyle property company with more than 60 agents and 5 offices serving Maine communities from York County to Hancock County.

Offices Located at:

2 City Center, Portland, ME 04101 207-780-8900 (Greater Portland Real Estate)

141 Maine Street, Brunswick, ME 04011  207-729-2820 (Mid-Coast Maine Real Estate)

150 Port Road, Lower Village, Kennebunk, ME 04043 207-967-0934 (York, Ogunquit, the Kennebunks)

170 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543, 207-563-2775 (Bristol, Christmas Cove, Boothbay Harbor)

46 Bay View Street, Camden, ME 04843 207-230-1003 (Camden, Rockport, Mount Desert , Mid-Coast)

10 Landlord Responsibilities You May Have Overlooked

rental agreementIf you own real estate and decide to lease it out to someone else, then congratulations: you are now a landlord in the eyes of the law. Whether you lease out a single family home or apartments in a multiplex building, there are many landlord responsibilities that come with the territory.

Some duties seem clear, like collecting rent or finding tenants for a vacant unit. Others, however, may be less obvious. The more you learn, the more success you will have with your real estate investments. Let’s examine 10 landlord responsibilities you may have overlooked.

1. Knowing the Landlord-Tenant Laws for Your Jurisdiction

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. It’s your responsibility as a landlord to know and understand all tenant-landlord regulations for your city and state. Landlords can be (and often are) sued for not obeying their state’s laws, even if they weren’t aware they existed.

2. Preparing a Legal Lease Document

The lease agreement and any other legal paperwork is all part of a landlord’s duties. It’s your responsibility to ensure the rental contract is legally written and abides by all laws. Leasing periods, monthly rental rates and tenant names must be clearly indicated. In some jurisdictions, legal disclosures, such as security deposit details, must be included. The lease should also contain all appropriate clauses, such as advising tenants to purchase renters’ insurance. Many states have required language that must be included, such as the Megan’s Law clause in California lease agreements.

3. The Duty to Deliver Possession

Once a lease contract is signed, it is the landlord’s responsibility to deliver possession of the rental unit to the tenant on the agreed-upon date. The unit must be in move-in condition and any previous tenants must have vacated the premises.

4. Implied Warranty of Habitability

Another obligation is to make sure the rental unit is in a safe, habitable condition. The property must not have any serious deficiencies, and any supplied appliances, fixtures, plumbing and heating must be in good working order. The property must be free of insects and pests. Landlords are generally responsible for getting infestations under control, even if they occur after tenants have moved in, although in most states landlords can avoid this by specifying in the rental agreement that pest control is the renter’s responsibility.

5. Respect the Tenant’s Right to Quiet Enjoyment

According to most landlord-tenant acts, tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment – meaning to have the benefit of living in their home without being disturbed. Once a tenant has possession of a property, the landlord may not interfere with this right. It’s therefore the landlord’s responsibility to ensure he or she does not enter the rental unit without proper notice (usually 24 – 48 hours, except in emergencies). When a landlord enters the rental property, it must be at a reasonable time of day and for a valid reason.

6. Completing Repairs in a Reasonable Time Frame

Tenants have the responsibility of reporting any repairs that need to be done. Landlords’ responsibilities include responding to these reports and completing repairs in a timely manner. Urgent repairs should be done right away, while minor issues can be addressed more conveniently. But beware that unrepaired damage tends to cause more damage, and tends to encourage tenants to vacate the rental property.

7. Providing Safety Measures

It is your duty to protect your tenants, to a point. In some jurisdictions, landlords must provide specific safety measures. These may include fire and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, front door peepholes, deadbolt locks on exterior doors and window locks.

8. Reporting Crime

If a landlord becomes aware of any criminal activity taking place in one of their rental units, they must report it to authorities. For example, some landlord-tenant acts have specific laws that can find a landlord liable if their property is used for dealing or creating drugs.

9. On-Site Property Management

In some states, the law requires on-site property management of multiplex buildings of a certain size. In California, for example, landlords must provide on-site management of all residential rental buildings of 16 units or larger.

10. Responsible for Property Manager’s Acts

An often-overlooked concern is that you can be liable for your property manager’s acts, including illegal ones. If a property manager does not follow local landlord-tenant laws and a rental application is refused based on their religion or race, for example, the landlord can also be held responsible. Stay up-to-date on your rental property’s operations and keep a watchful eye on anyone who works for you.

Being a landlord involves a steep learning curve when starting out, and the laws aren’t always simple. Taking the time to learn about your responsibilities as a landlord can mean the difference between earning a nice profit and losing money – or worse. Protect yourself by learning the lawsthat apply to you and surrounding yourself with a team of professionals.

Do you know of any landlord responsibilities that many new landlords overlook? Which obligation surprised you when you first became a landlord? Share your comments below!

This post was contributed by Terri Engels

Original Article

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Enters Brazil

saopaulo

MADISON, N.J. (March 24, 2015) – Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that Imobiliaria Bossa Nova in Brazil has joined the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand and now will do business as Bossa Nova Sotheby’s International Realty.

The firm, led by owners Luciano Amado as president and Marcello Romero as vice president, is located at Alameda Gabriel Monteiro da Silva 2027, Pinheiros, São Paulo.

“São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are exciting markets that encompass extraordinary properties in a broadly diverse destination, and they provide a highly influential source of avid real estate buyers,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “We are pleased to welcome Luciano, Marcello and their team to our global network.”

According to Romero, the new affiliation with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand represents the opportunity for them to expand and grow. “The support of this brand will allow us to supply our team with new technologies, training and market intelligence, combined with an extraordinary inventory in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and top beach and countryside locations,” said Amado. “Thanks to this affiliation, we now have direct access to a global market through the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s 760 offices worldwide.” The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 16,500 sales associates located in approximately 760 offices in 60 countries and territories worldwide.

Bossa Nova Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and their clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.

Staging Curb Appeal for Web Appeal

curb web appeal

In today’s real estate market, curb appeal is about more than neighborhood drive-bys and official home showings. That’s because, if there’s one thing you can bet about today’s potential homebuyer, it’s that he or she is searching online. Thanks to a bevvy of easy-access real estate websites, it’s simpler than ever for anyone with a computer and an Internet connection to find details about homes for sale. And whether you’ve got a listing filled with photos or none at all, interested buyers can input your address and view the front of your home through Google’s Street View.

So how does your property look? When a potential buyer pulls up a picture of the front of your home, will it delight or disgust? To help you make sure you’re making the most of your online curb appeal, here are some specific tips for strategically staging the exterior of your home.

  1. Clean Up the Landscaping: Buyers like a fresh, manicured appearance, so if you have any overgrown bushes or trees, take care of them fast. Mow the lawn regularly. Rake the leaves. Cut down rotted trees. Sweep away debris on walkways or the front porch. Add colorful flowers. Not only can caring for your plants and lawn improve the way your home looks to buyers — it can showcase more of your house. Free from overgrown brush, your residence will be front and center, ready for buyers to fall in love.
  2. Declutter: Sure, you love the wacky, colorful lawn furniture your aunt made you — but to buyers, they just look cheap and junky. That’s why you need to get rid of all clutter and personal artifacts when selling. Toys, furniture, lawn ornaments, signs — anything that doesn’t make a home’s curb appeal look more beautiful and inviting should go. Make it as easy as possible for buyers to imagine themselves calling your property home.
  3. Make Any Needed Repairs: If the front of your home needs work, that will be the first thing buyers notice. Repair or remove the broken storm door. Replace the dingy home numbers. Switch the busted porch light. Get that broken window fixed. When buyers pull up your home’s photo you want them to notice how pretty it looks, not how much work they’d have to do to fix it.
  4. Update the Façade: Whether you replace all the siding completely or pay for a professional paint job, you want to find a way to update your home’s exterior. Make it look fresh and clean with a new look, one that modernizes your home’s style or simply shows that the property has been cared for.
  5. Power Wash the Deck: It won’t cost a bundle to power wash your front deck, but it will go a long way toward improving the look of your home. If you don’t own a power washer, rent one for the day from a local home-improvement store.
  6. Clean Up the Garage: It should go without saying that the garage needs to look its best when your home is on the market, particularly if it has front-facing doors. Repair any damages and, if the budget allows, consider replacing outdated doors with something a little more eye-catching like custom doors that feature windows at the tops. While you’re at it, declutter and clean out the inside of the garage — in order to make it a place to store cars and not all your out-of-season storage items.

Staging your home’s curb appeal for the Web does take time and money, but it’s an investment well worth the effort. In return for your updates, you’ll gain a home that’s worth more to potential buyers, as well as one that will draw in prospects the minute they see it on their computer screens. Use the tips above to get started!

Justin White is the Marketing Director for Mid Atlantic Door Group, the leading distributor for Overhead Door Corp. With his expertise, Justin has a wide knowledge on all things garage door-related, ranging from garage doors and openers to garage door operators.

Original Article

Maine Home Sales Increase Over 13% In February, Prices Up 4.6%

SOUTH PORTLAND (March 23, 2015)—Months of steady sales reports indicate stabilization in Maine’s single-family existing homes market. According to Maine Listings, Realtors sold 13.31 percent more homes in February 2015 than February 2014. The median sales price (MSP) for those homes increased 4.62 percent to $167,400 for that same time period. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

Nationally, single-family existing home sales rose 5.9 percent in February. The National Association of Realtors reported a nationwide price increase of 8.2 percent to a MSP of $204,200. The regional Northeast experienced a 3.6 percent rise in sales, while prices jumped 3.3 percent to $241,800.

Marie Flaherty, 2015 President of the Maine Association of Realtors, said, “The slight increase in pricing (less than two percent in the rolling quarter chart), is a reflection of market stability. It is important to note that this is an indication of how cautious buyers have been, compared to past recovering markets.”

Flaherty, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northeast Real Estate in Westbrook, added, “With warmer temperatures ahead, we should continue to see healthy market conditions. Additional inventory will reach the market, but buyers will increase as well. With pent-up demand, along with favorable-to-near-historic low interest rates, I’m confident that we’ll experience a strong spring market.”

Below are two charts showing statistics for Maine and its 16 counties. The first chart lists statistics for the month of February only, statewide. The second chart compares the number of existing, single-family homes sold (units) and volume (MSP) during the “rolling quarter” the months of December 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014 and December 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015.

MaineHousingReport-February2015

 

 

8 Home Renovations That Will Pay You Back

renovationWhen you own a home, it seems like there is almost always something you would like to do to make it more comfortable, attractive, or eco-friendly. But, home remodeling experts tell us, if you plan to sell your home at some point, put your time and effort into one of more of these renovations proven to pay you back because they increase the value of the property:

  • New garage doors – Nothing says curb appeal like attractive garage doors – and you can’t beat the bang for the buck. A mid-range replacement will likely return more than 80 percent on your investment.

  • A wood deck – Here’s a renovation you are likely to enjoy – and a $10,000 investment will also return about 80 percent of what you spent.

  • Exterior siding – New siding will not only give your home a major facelift. It will return a strong 87 percent on project costs of about $14,000.

  • Attic conversions – Adding another bedroom or playroom upstairs give a home more usable living space without increasing its footprint. The remodel investment will likely return 84 percent of a $50,000 project cost.

  • Kitchen updates – No need to overhaul the entire kitchen, experts say. Upgrading the counters, and replacing cabinets and appliances will likely cost about $18,000 – and will return some 97 percent of cost. Oddly, a big-ticket total kitchen remodel costing over $100,000 may only return 63 percent of the investment.

  • New windows – New, energy–efficient windows throughout your home will save you money on heating and cooling bills – and you will probably get a return of 79 percent on a $10,000 investment.

  • Basement remodel – Another great way to add living space to a home is with a basement remodel. Adding insulation and flooring, and upgrading the walls and ceiling may cost as much as $60,000. But return on investment is estimated at 77 percent.

  • Back-up power generator – The unpredictable weather of the past few years has led to a surge in the popularity of this relatively inexpensive home addition. An average cost of $11,000 could net you a 67 percent return on your investment.

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Expands Presence into Andorra

MADISON, N.J. and ANDORRA (March 17, 2015) – Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that Finques 3 Cases in Andorra has joined its luxury real estate network and now will do business as Andorra Sotheby’s International Realty.

Established in 2000, the firm is owned by Joan Rafel Socías Tomás, who serves as chief executive officer, and Narcís Socías Tomàs, the chief operating officer. Ralph Luenenschloss is responsible for international business. The firm will serve the high-end real estate market throughout the Principality of Andorra.

“Our expansion into Andorra continues our commitment to providing access to the Sotheby’s International Realty network’s exclusive real estate services in key countries within Europe and around the world,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “Andorra is a booming market that is garnering local as well as international investor interest. It offers the opportunity to enjoy a unique mountain lifestyle in the middle of the Pyrenees on the border between Spain and France. In the winter it is a beautiful ski resort area, and in the summer, other outdoor activities as well.”

According to Luenenschloss, the firm offers clients a full service experience. “Andorra is one of the safest countries in the world and it offers a new and modern legal framework that makes it very interesting for international investors, entrepreneurs and public figures,” he said. “We help our clients to not only find the ideal property but also help with anything else they may need including working through the Andorran residency process, and connecting them to local resources and services like banks, tax advisors and lawyers. We focus on providing solutions and developing ideas to serve the needs of our clients. Our professional team offers support in multiple languages including Catalán, Spanish, French, Portuguese, English, German and Russian.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 16,500 sales associates located in approximately 760 offices in 60 countries and territories worldwide. Andorra Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and their clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.

Realogy Named as a 2015 World’s Most Ethical Company for Fourth Year in a Row

Madison, N.J. 03-09-2015 — Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services, today announced that the company has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as a 2015 World’s Most Ethical Company®.

This is the fourth consecutive year in which Realogy has received this recognition. The World’s Most Ethical Companies designation recognizes those organizations that have had a material impact on the way business is conducted by fostering a culture of ethics and transparency at every level of the company. Realogy is one of just 132 companies in the world honored this year and is the only residential real estate company on the list.

“Once again, we are honored to be recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as being among an elite group of world-class companies focused on ethical leadership,” said Richard A. Smith, Realogy’s chairman, chief executive officer and president. “We take great pride in placing ethics and integrity at the core of our company culture. We believe that sustainable and trustworthy corporations can only be built upon a strong ethical foundation.”

“Behind every winning corporate culture are individuals with the highest ethical standards,” said Elisabeth Gehringer, Realogy’s chief ethics and compliance officer. “Ethics is not just a theory for us, it is our practice. Against an increasingly dynamic legal and regulatory landscape and with increasingly visible business conduct, it is more important than ever that each individual be empowered to do the right thing at every decision. Collectively, our employees share the mindset that our own personal integrity can infuse our business with ethical values.”

“The World’s Most Ethical Companies embrace the correlation between ethical business practice and improved company performance,” said Ethisphere’s Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Erblich. “These companies use ethics as a means to further define their industry leadership and understand that creating an ethical culture and earning the World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition involves more than just an outward facing message or a handful of senior executives saying the right thing. Earning this recognition involves the collective action of a global workforce from the top down. We congratulate everyone at Realogy for this extraordinary achievement.”

The World’s Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient™ (EQ) framework developed over years of research to provide a means to assess an organization’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. Ethisphere assesses companies based on their scores in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%), culture of ethics (20%), governance (15%) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10%).

The full list of the 2015 World’s Most Ethical Companies can be found at http://ethisphere.com/worlds-most-ethical/wme-honorees/.

About the Ethisphere Institute:
The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition program, provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) and showcases trends and best practices in ethics with the publication of Ethisphere Magazine and The World’s Most Ethical Companies Executive Briefing. Ethisphere is also the leading provider of independent verification of corporate ethics and compliance programs. More information about Ethisphere can be found at: http://ethisphere.com.
About Realogy Holdings Corp.
Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) is a global leader in residential real estate franchising and brokerage with many of the best-known industry brands including Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, The Corcoran Group®, ERA®, and Sotheby’s International Realty®, as well as ZipRealty®, its technology-focused brand. Collectively, Realogy’s franchise system members operate approximately 13,500 offices with more than 251,300 independent sales associates conducting business in 104 countries and territories around the world. NRT LLC, Realogy’s company-owned real estate brokerage, is the largest residential brokerage company in the United States, operates under several of Realogy’s brands and also provides related residential real estate services. The Company also owns Cartus, a prominent worldwide provider of relocation services to corporate and affinity clients, and Title Resource Group, a leading provider of title, settlement and underwriting services. Realogy is headquartered in Madison, New Jersey.

Realogy Media Contact:
Mark Panus
(973) 407-7215
mark.panus@realogy.com
Ethisphere Media Contact:
Clea Nabozny
480.397.2658
Clea.Nabozny@ethisphere.com

Home Staging on a Budget

Home Staging on a Budget

When you show your home’s best features by staging it effectively, you help increase your final selling price without breaking the bank; in fact, on average, sellers receive $2 in increased sale price for every $1 they put into staging a home. As our infographic below shows, the following five golden rules of home staging will help you show off its best assets:

Home Staging on a Budget

The five golden rules are:

  1. De-personalize: While your family photos are beautiful and your kids’ drawings on the fridge are adorable, buyers want to be able to picture themselves in the house- and that means putting away your photos, clearing your closets from unnecessary clutter, and using matching hangers to give your closet more visual impact.
  2. Maximize: Declutter and maximize the area in your home. Stuffed closets make your closet space look insufficient, so consider storing excess belongings offsite. You can also quickly improve your bedroom’s aesthetic by using gender neutral colors when accessorizing so that the color scheme appeals to more people. A headboard, a cohesive color scheme, and a few decorative items also improve the look of a bedroom, while removing extra clutter (office furniture, power strips, televisions, etc) will make the room feel more relaxing.
  3. Sanitize: No one wants to move into a dirty home, so clean your home to make it much more appealing to prospective buyers. Clear your countertops to make the space look larger, and enhance the open feel with white bath and hand towels on display. Clean dirty shower doors with a solution of one part muriatic acid and ten parts water. Bathrooms and kitchens are the two essential areas of the home, and they can make or break a deal.
  4. Modernize: A dated-looking home means a lower offer, so modernize your home wherever possible. Small changes, like replacing gold fixtures or brass and wooden cabinet hardware with nickel, chrome, brushed silver, or stainless steel, will go a long way towards updating your home. You can quickly update the look of flat appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators by using stainless steel stick-on coverings or specialty appliance paints. While you’re in the kitchen, go ahead and declutter your cabinets, drawers, and oven- buyers will look inside every nook and cranny. Also, you can make your kitchen space look larger by removing rugs.
  5. Neutralize: Keeping a neutral color scheme can help your buyers envision themselves in your home, especially in a statement-making area like the dining room. Set the table simply to create visual interest, and add a vase with fresh flowers for a beautiful focal point. Add lighting and emphasize any natural light your home gets using a mirror and subtle lamps. Don’t forget to adjust your window treatments to maximize your staging. Keep your curtains neutral or choose ones with subtle designs; sheer curtains also let in more light so that your home looks more appealing. Set the rods as high as possible and use thin rods to maximize the space.

A few simple tweaks can increase your home’s selling price by hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. Use these guidelines to stage your home effectively so that you get the best possible price on your house.

Original Article

2015 Home Design Trend Predictions

shutterstock_202651141

It’s a new year and that means new opportunities, particularly in the realm of home design trends. What will be the hot choices in 2015? What can we expect to see popping up in design magazines and blogs over the next 12 months? While only time will tell, here’s a look at some of the top predictions for 2015 home trends.

  1. Deeper, Darker Colors: Several experts are saying this year will be out with the light and bright and in with the dark and deep. “Almost every new textile collection and furniture debut seems to be awash in a much more saturated hue than we saw in the early 2010s,” says designer Scot Meacham Wood, in a Q&A at House Beautiful. Nancy Mitchell at Apartment Therapy agrees: “For a long time we’ve been seeing mostly bright, white interiors (white walls, white floors, white ceiling), but I’m feeling a shift towards darker, moodier hues.”
  1. Comfortable, Cozy Sectionals: As society continues to shift away from formality toward more casual living, it only makes sense that big, comfortable sectional sofas would become a popular trend. According to Houzz.com Editor Sheila Schmitz, “It is back in a big way. As living rooms have become more relaxed places for lounging, we have less need for formal sofas and more love for a versatile padded zone that lets us sprawl out however we like.”
  1. Cowhide: Using cowhides as rugs in living areas is expected to keep growing in popularity this year. Alexa Fiander at Zillow calls it the “ideal accent texture for 2015’s modern, yet approachable design aesthetic.” Expect cowhide to move beyond rugs, too — to pillows, throw blankets and even art.
  1. Open Floor Plans: An open layout is not a new trend, but it will likely remain a popular one this year. According to Barbara Ballinger at REALTOR Magazine, “It’s becoming a wish beyond the young hipster demographic, so you’ll increasingly see this layout in traditional condo buildings and single-family suburban homes.” Ballinger attributes this to the fact that after the kitchen became the hub of homes, the easy next step was to expand it into open-living areas for greater togetherness.
  1. Mid-Century Modern Elements: From furniture to lighting, mid-century modern should stay big in 2015. “Many are attracted to the simplicity and clean lines of mid-century modern furniture, accessories and décor,” says Karen Highland at the Frederick Real Estate Blog . “A few iconic pieces can work well in any room.” Whether found on Craigslist or West Elm, these slick pieces will remain popular this year.
  1. Gold Accents: 2015 will likely see an uptick in gold accents, from light fixtures to mirrors. Lauren McPhillips at Style at Home says “Gold and warm metallics have graced the homes of Canadians and the runways of the world for the past several seasons and they’re not going anywhere in 2015.“ What’s more, varying shades of gold and brass will be mixed together to create unique looks.
  1. Wallpaper: Wallpaper is making a comeback. “Wallpaper provides an easy way to add visual impact, even in small amounts,” designer Lee Hardcastle told Houzz. “Wallpaper gives you the control of complementing the architectural elements throughout the kitchen or adding a beautiful contrast to an otherwise simple color palette.”

Whether you’re ready to redecorate or the new trends are getting you inspired, consider working some of the hot 2015 decorating choices into the way you design. If the predictions are right, this is what we can expect to see a lot of in the coming year.

Vicki Clary is the Marketing Director of Curtis Homes, a semi-custom home builder. For over 50 years, Curtis Homes has provided premium homes and townhomes in the Southern Maryland Communities.

Original Article