Fashion & Home

Cool Updates, Hot Home Trends

Whether it’s new home construction, updating your current residence or building an addition, these five do-able do-overs can increase your property’s value while making it the home of your dreams.

By Julie Taylor | Contributor

Trend 1: Hardwood Floors throughout the House

Wood-FlooringWhen you decide to re-do the flooring in your home, you want a company you can trust to install quality material and do the job right. That’s where Star Floors comes in, a family-owned and operated 4th generation business. With headquarters in Dallas, Star Floors operates in 40 states on a daily basis. Hardwood is an excellent material for flooring, and it’s even made its way into the kitchen. “Hardwood makes a great design statement.  It is durable, easy to clean and often increases the value of the home,” says Steven D. Pidgeon, Star Floors Chief Executive Officer.

According to Pidgeon, hardwood, as well as other hard surface flooring like luxury vinyl plank and tile, is gaining on carpet for a variety of reasons, including a significant reduction in prices.  Pidgeon says Star Floors offerings include carpet, natural stone, ceramic and porcelain tile, hardwood (pre-finished and/or finished on-site), luxury vinyl plank and tile, and artificial turf.

Since Star Floors operates nationwide, they can help on both ends of a move. They service residential as well as commercial customers, such as senior living centers and country clubs. Star Floors works closely with real estate agents, and you can shop at home with a trained professional. The best testament to Star Floors’ quality products and services are happy customers like Doris Bonvino of Virginia Cook Realty. “I have known Steven for 15 years, and I recommend Star Floors 100% of the time.” Bonvino says she is always called after job completion to ensure she and her clients are satisfied, and Star Floors goes above and beyond in their service, from the initial consultation to installation to clean-up. “It’s not often you find a company that will call to check to make sure everything went well,” she says.

Visit Star Floors at www.starfloors.com for more information.

Trend 2: Home Gyms Promote Healthy Living

"One-third of new and potential home buyers list a home gym as essential or desirable." - National Association of Home Builders
“One-third of new and potential home buyers list a home gym as essential or desirable.” – National Association of Home Builders

The home-improvement industry recognizes that its fiscal fitness may be based on its clients’ physical fitness, and a workout room could also mean the difference in the value of your home. According to the National Association of Home Builders, one-third of new and potential home buyers list a home gym as essential or desirable. With that trend, more and more people are adding fitness equipment or dedicating rooms for fitness in their homes.

Don’t know where to start? Look no further than Craig Lewin, vice president of Fitcorp USA, which owns 12 Busy Body and Fitness HQ stores throughout the DFW Metroplex. Lewin says customers are turning to home gyms so they can work out as a family and for the convenience of not having to leave home to get in a workout.

The experts at Busy Body and Fitness HQ will work with you to custom tailor a home gym to fit your fitness goals and budget and that will fit within the space available in your home.  Lewin says one of his most popular pieces of equipment is The Hoist MI7, a corner unit multi-functional training system that doesn’t take up much space. It can help with all levels of strengthening muscles, such as chest presses, working on the back/biceps/triceps, pull-ups, squats and more. “It’s great, because you can even put it in a 10-by-10 room,” says Lewin.  Lewin is a huge fan of the Power Plate, a 3-by-3 foot vibration trainer. The vibration trainer works on the lymphatic system including muscle strengthening, pulse, and blood circulation.

For cardio, Lewin recommends an elliptical trainer. He says the elliptical trainer provides the benefits of running or walking on a treadmill without the impact. For those hoping to streamline their costs, Lewin points to a bench or stability ball with PowerBlocks, which are adjustable dumbbells. “These take up no space at all,” he says. “They’re literally 1.5-by-1.5 feet and replace 16 pairs of dumbbells or 825 pounds of your old free weights.

To find a Busy Body or Fitness HQ store near you, go to www.busybodytx.com or www.fitnessheadquarters.com.

Trend 3: Multi-generational Living Arrangements Offer Peace of Mind

Ann O'Blenes with children, Chris and Katie, and her mom, Joan Scowcroft, in the room addition she and husband, Scott, built for her.
Ann O’Blenes with children, Chris and Katie, and her mom, Joan Scowcroft, in the room addition she and husband, Scott, built for her.

Do you have an aging parent who may need to move into your home in the near future? If so, you may want to add on to your home or remodel your home to meet ADA standards. Scott and Ann O’Blenes recently added onto their home to accommodate Ann’s mother. Even if you have a big enough lot, Ann strongly discourages adding a separate guest house to a property. “Typically, the price per square foot of a separate free-standing structure will be less than the price per square foot of the main home,” she says. “It can really be an asset to your home if you do it right.”

If you are ready to take that next step in designing an addition, Ann suggests making the space a multi-purpose room instead of solely a guest room. “When we added on, my mother wasn’t ready to move in yet, so we used it as a game room,” she says. “It worked great for that. It also functions well as a room for my mother now.”

The addition at the O’Blenes’ home includes a spacious room, a bathroom and a closet. It has space for a bed, as well as an area for relaxing in front of the television. They purposely did not include a kitchenette as part of the design to encourage her mother to join them at meals. To meet ADA standards, Ann says the addition includes widened doorways and a larger bathroom with extra grab bars. The bathroom also has accommodations to turn on the faucet from a seated or standing position, and the floors are flush throughout. The addition also includes an exterior door in case of a fire emergency.

Trend 4: Upscale Outdoor Environments

Outdoor-KitchenJust like the Texas weather, outdoor living is hotter than ever.  Homeowners look for ways to increase their exterior ambiance, and Dallas-based Starpower, a leader in high-end, custom installations of home theater, audio, video, security, custom leather and automation, makes it easy.   “It looks like the formal living room is out and the outdoor living is in”, says Starpower CEO David Pidgeon.

“Outdoor living is synonymous with the healthy and relaxed lifestyle we are all seeking, and the backyard has become an extension of the home.”

Many of these spaces are not only beautifully designed, they are functional as well.  Most have at least a built-in grill if not a built-in refrigerator, wine cooler and other amenities. Video and sound are also making their way to the backyard, Pidgeon says. Kids can listen to music on a sound system as they swim while adults can catch the game on an outdoor television while cooking on a grill or pizza oven. “The possibilities are endless,” he says.

Starpower’s systems include weather-resistant flat screen TVs for outdoor mounting on patio walls or above outdoor brick fireplace mantles and complete audio systems, including custom outdoor speakers. Starpower also offers lawn-side theater screens and projectors for memorable movie nights with the kids. In addition to media solutions, Starpower’s sister company, Ed Kellum Appliances, has all your outdoor kitchen needs covered. Choose from customized appliances including refrigerators, pizza ovens, wine cellars, kegorators and more.

Visit www.star-power.com or www.edkellum.com to turn your backyard into the outdoor living area of your dreams.

Trend 5: Media Rooms Bring Entertainment to the Home

The-Ultimate-Theater-media-roomWhy go to the theater when you can watch a movie in the comfort of your own home, without the sticky floors! Commonplace in new construction, the dedicated media room is the latest choice in lieu of an extra bedroom, says David Pidgeon, CEO of Starpower. “Families are spending more time at home and the media room is a great gathering place whether for family movie night or a big sports game,” he explains.

Whether transforming an old game room, under-utilized bedroom, garage or den, Starpower can create the perfect media room according to your specifications. “We have the home theater experts that can take any small or large project and personally guide you through each and every choice.” Pidgeon takes pride in Starpower’s commitment to excellent customer service, which “includes a fully integrated consultation from conception, drawing, design and completion, to follow-up and maintenance care.” A Starpower expert will demonstrate and explain every small detail and how every tiny button works. “The on-staff team of skilled craftsmen will personally and professionally transform your vision into a multi-media work of art, helping you to select the precise equipment for your space and your budget.”

In addition to electronic components and furniture, Starpower can help decorate the room, from a bar area to movie posters on the walls. “We can take the room from bare wall to the finished product.”

The Starpower website (www.star-power.com) even has a room planner feature to help you get started.

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