Tag Archives: trends

Big Things in Small Packages Are Taking Over the Real Estate Market

Big Things in Small Packages Are Taking Over the Real Estate Market

by Amy Lignor


What began as a “tiny” trend – which some called a “passing fad” at first – has become one of the largest growing industries in the U.S.A. in the 21st century; with records being broken in 2017.


Despite what you would call having a niche appeal, in the real estate market tiny homes are selling the BIGGEST. In fact, their all-time low in sales was still over 100% (Coming in at 110%, per realtor.com). Not only are they popular with environmentalists who wish to save energy and natural resources, they are also becoming the desire of those out there who wish to save money by living in an easy-to-take-care-of house that, although compact, is highly stylish and gives them everything they’re looking for.

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Just take a peek at a few of the lists out there on the Internet in regards to these ‘unique’ and ‘sophisticated’ homes. In Seabeck, Washington, ‘Little House’ (designed by MW Works), may only clock in at 20 square feet, but the exterior is stunning and far outranks most of the “standard” houses in is vicinity. Made from oxidized black cedar with blackened cement décor on the outside, the interior offers pine plywood and glass walls that truly give the homeowner peace and serenity. And that’s just one of many.


The full realm of real estate workers – including architects, agents and developers – are now showing everyone that ‘tiny houses’ can be perfect for one and all, stating that in 20 square feet to 400, an architect can do everything a client wants; all that needs to be done is to design the structure right.


A Phoenix-based architect, Jason Boyer, said that includes condominiums, “which can be the best small home option for many people and provide more amenities.” He further stated that in 2017: “What we’re seeing at every scale is people that were in 6-to-10,000 square feet are now moving to 3-to-4,000 square feet, and people that were in 3-to-4,000 square feet are now willing to go to 2,000.” The magic comes from the fact that these people who are shaving the feet and the costs off, rarely miss the extra space.


Not to mention, in 2017 these tiny homes are being placed in bigger cities. They still save the owner major cash while also allowing them to be in the exact area they want to be. Take, for example, a man who wished to live in the pricey suburbs of Long Island yet did not want to have to struggle to make ends meet by paying off an extraordinary mortgage. So, what he did was purchase a tiny home ‘shell’ from a builder for under $30,000, spent around $6,000 for upgrades, and then placed his 200-square-foot residence in a friend’s backyard, paying only $250 a month to lease the land and utilities. He lives in the locale he wants to and has the ability to explore new career opportunities.


As always, TV shows and social media have also aided these tiny houses by making them glamorous and showing them to potential buyers on shows like, “Tiny House, Big Living,” “Tiny House Nation” and “Tiny House Hunters.” The American desire to go smaller is growing bigger, which can be seen quite clearly when looking at how high the ratings have climbed for these particular shows.


From the agent perspective, demand is also rising quickly for small, more manageable spaces. It is a fact that homes less than 500 square feet are appreciating twice as fast as the overall market (realtor.com). In December, the median list price of tiny homes was $119,000, up 19 percent from last year, while the overall market median list price was up just 9 percent.


So what other unusual types of tiny homes have made the news that you should definitely look into if wanting to build in that direction? Here are a few to sink your teeth into:


In Leadville, Colorado (located in a stunning forest 10,000 feet above sea level), the college of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado constructed micro-cabins. These 21 little homes are beautiful to look at. With exteriors of hot-rolled steel rain screens that actually help to camouflage the homes against the trees, the interiors are beyond cozy – made from a prefabricated birch plywood. The best part just happens to be the many windows that look out upon some of the most magical wildlife and nature America has to offer.


One other that will blow the minds of many is “Lightbox” built in Point Roberts, Washington. Created for a photographer and his young family, this home and studio is a two-story glass ‘tiny’ house with exposed wood beams. In other words, when it comes to tiny houses, you can let your imagination run wild when you wish to build from the ground up.


As small lots continue to get bought up, more and more tiny homes are being built to save families money while also giving them a chance to live in a ‘free’ world that’s not ruled by having to pay big bills. If things continue as they have been, it looks like one day tiny homes may just put mansions completely out of business



Source:  Baret News


In the World of Fiction: The Oldies but Goodies Are Back


In the World of Fiction: The Oldies but Goodies Are Back

by Amy Lignor


Readers, 2017 has arrived. And the one thing that rises above all the other so-called ‘trends’ that publishers and book lovers are looking forward to seeing this year is one, undeniable and exciting fact: Beloved authors will step back into the limelight.

Trends are odd. There are those of us who never assumed that the whole utopian word as well as dystopian world would hang on for this long. “The Hunger Games” brought about author after author (a lot of first-

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Image: Erin Kelly

time/debut novelists) writing about odd worlds where reality has been most definitely altered. Heroes and heroines came to the forefront who were much younger, and a lot of females cropped up with everything from blades to crossbows to fight the bad guys with. They also had high moral compasses – the need for authors, perhaps, to teach the world that battling is just fine…if done for the right reasons and in a totally different world.

That trend will continue, but the most exciting news is the fact that two authors are taking back center stage – one beginning a series that is sure to have the populace raving; and one who has begun a series by renewing a character she’s been obsessed with since 1976.

We begin with one of the masters of fiction; Dean Koontz. His series featuring the much loved “Odd Thomas” ended, and readers everywhere were highly upset. Those millions who received the Dean Koontz monthly newsletter were practically in tears when they learned that old Odd was heading out, never to return again. But now, for 2017, Dean Koontz has created a character he is so excited about that a series has already been born. What will begin with “The Silent Corner” is already being followed up with a sequel that he’s written called “The Whispering Room” – both to be published in 2017.

Even Koontz is head-over-heels about this one. Interviews have commenced and he stated (in various articles and even the amazing year end Suspense Magazine issue put out last week) that “Once in a while, a character comes so alive so quickly and with such an edge that I almost feel as if I’ve actually met this person. It often follows that if the character has such an edge, the story moves like an express train, because a character with an edge has surprises up his or her sleeve that I can’t foresee but that I’m delighted to discover in one twist after another.”

He is speaking of Jane Hawk, an FBI agent who’s on leave, but one that quickly becomes an FBI agent gone rogue. This is no child with a crossbow. Late twenties, Jane is incredibly tough and highly smart. And, unlike Odd Thomas, her stories involve no supernatural elements whatsoever. Instead, we’re talking about science and fact. Yet, of course, Koontz is still Koontz and has made sure to write a frightening tale. He will even have a third Hawk book complete before the first two are even published in 2017. Readers’ message to Koontz? Keep going! We want as many as we can get!

The other author who everyone is talking about is Anne Rice. Coming back at the end of 2016 with her well-known bloodsucker that took the world by storm decades ago (and played horribly by Tom Cruise on the screen), “Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis” was published in October. Yes, this begins a new series of books – a trilogy that will continue in 2017 that will focus on Lestat and give readers a real thrill. The old vamp will even cross over to the small screen in 2017, coming to your television very soon.

So although there will be debut authors and books that will come out of nowhere to score high in the world of fiction, it is these two authors – the oldies but goodies – who are being talked about above all else. It is a breath of fresh air to see these two names once again up on the publishing marquee…right where they belong.

Source:  Baret News

Home Design Goes “Green” in 2017


Home Design Goes “Green” in 2017

by Amy Lignor


The term “going green” usually refers to environmental/ecological subjects. However, green has actually been chosen as the color for 2017; the various tones and hues of green will be the color of the majority of products trends, emerald green, man-caves, Pantone, popular, products, homeowners, appliances, carpetingfor the world of home design. We will say ‘so long’ to the white world that everyone with children, by the way, thought was as dumb a trend as possible. After all, there’s not a child in this world who can’t stain a white room in less than five seconds.

It was Pantone (a company that bills itself as “the world-renowned authority on color”) that proclaimed green was ‘it’ for 2017. And in the world of home design, this means furniture, fabric, paint – both indoor and outdoor – as well as wallpaper manufacturers delved into the world of green and have produced as much as possible for the homeowner to decorate in style. Carpeting will go back to green. Now, I know you’re thinking of that hideous green carpeting from the 1970’s, but don’t think that. Any designer or manufacturer will immediately tell you that particular carpeting will never be seen again. That was one of those mistakes that will end up staying only on the walls of Graceland’s recording room where Elvis liked to make music.


But designers and manufacturers are also looking at things to go with all this green…such as technology. The “smart” world will still be going strong. From door locks that are easy-to-use (for the homeowner, not the burglar) to light bulbs that are all about “smart lighting” and saving the homeowner money, manufacturers are even creating bulbs that the owner can adjust through their smart phone while at work or on the road. Everyone can be a programmer quite easily now, changing the lighting in the rooms as well as turning up the heat, turning on the air conditioning and more, so when they arrive home everything will be just perfect.


Countertops are always high on the list of homeowners because the kitchen is still the most popular room when it comes to remodeling. Granite and quartz countertops will be put on the backburner this year as the rich, natural tones of marble come back around. Marble is timeless, and even though granite and quartz are not as vulnerable to chipping and fading, marble brings that roman god feel to the room. Manufacturers understand this so much that they are now creating a number of quartz countertops that are faux marble – you still get that timeless look but don’t have to worry about the chipping.


When it comes to appliances, stainless steel was the tough look that almost brought about a sci-fi feel to the kitchen. Now, however, appliance companies are rolling out alternatives. Black stainless steel instead of the slate gray/silver look is a big seller. And to go with that new “green” house, European companies are offering appliances in bright, bold shades. Top seller? Emerald green.


When looking down at the floors of your house, wood still reigns supreme; yet big, bold tile is rising in 2017. Jewel tones (emerald being a big choice) are being placed in various rooms – from kitchens to living areas to the bath.


The most fun trend last year was the want and need of the “man-cave” for homeowners. Although, to be truthful, a great many wives decided the man-cave was to be set up in the garage or unattached shed. This year the fun home design trend is all about the bar. The bar will no longer be found in the man-cave or the basement rec room. The first-floor bar will be right there to greet you, allowing the home to scream “entertainment” to visitors, friends and family. Before you ask, the accents – whether it be the seat covers on the bar stools or the fancy wine glasses behind you on the shelf – are being made by one and all in beautiful shades of green.


So what are you waiting for? It’s time to have some remodeling fun!

Source:  Baret News