Blog Category - Design Tips

10 home design trends to watch out for in 2018

Categories: Design Tips | Posted: May 18, 2018

This week we wanted to share an article we found based on the Houzz predictions presented at the start of 2018.  So far, we would say that Houzz has gotten their predictions right! See below for the full article from the Washington Post titled “10 home design trends to watch out for in 2018, according to Houzz”:

We chatted with Houzz editor and writer Mitchell Parker about Houzz’s conclusions, and why these particular trends are gaining traction.

So whether you’re a first-time homeowner looking to revamp your current home or just want some new design inspiration, here are some home design trends to take note of in 2018.

1. More color in kitchens

Although white will always be a classic color for kitchen design, homeowners are shying away from bland hues and injecting rich colors, such as warm wood tones (example: mahogany) and neutrals (example: grays and blues), into the space to give it a warm, fresh and unique feel. Social sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz have exposed homeowners to “what’s possible, what looks fun and what they can personalize themselves,” Parker said, and have encouraged them to be bigger risk-takers when it comes to color.

2. Rich colors throughout the home

Warm grays paired with “camel, rust, tobacco [and] brown-blacks,” as well as earthy reds and yellows, are expected to edge out cooler neutrals in the coming year.

“These rich colors are not like the avocado green and mustard colors from the 1970s. They won’t date quickly,” Parker said. “They are rich, moody and work well in home environments where you want a soothing and diverse mix of colors and textures.”

3. No more white or stainless steel sinks

The modern Farmhouse style will continue to flourish in 2018 and spread to the bathroom. Parker predicts that there will be “more concrete, stone, copper and granite composite sinks in darker hues of gray, bronze or black.”

“As people set out to personalize their spaces, they are kind of bored with seeing a white sink all of the time,” Parker said. The rustic home decor trend is “waking people up to trying something new and different.”  It “harkens back to simpler times,” he said, “and that feeling of simplicity can be very calming in a home environment.”

4. Florals

The tropical palm print may have flooded your Instagram feeds this year, but people aren’t yet tired of eye-catching, oversized graphic florals. Houzz expects that we’ll see even more interpretations of over-scaled floral patterns, in high-contrast colors, in the new year.

5. Vintage lighting

Vintage light fixtures, including sconces, lanterns, pendants and chandeliers, are making a comeback as crafty home do-it-yourselfers outfit retro fixtures with new technology.

“I find that vintage fixtures are often better-made than new fixtures, I prefer their patina, and I appreciate the distinctive, one-of-a-kind quality they add to rooms,” designer and “Today” show style expert Elizabeth Mayhew wrote in The Washington Post. “Online shopping platforms such as 1stDibs, Etsy and One Kings Lane have made it easy to find everything from an early-20th-century French crystal chandelier to a ’60s Sputnik.”

6. Trough or bucket sinks

Another sign the modern Farmhouse trend isn’t dying in 2018: Houzz predicts that deep, wide and durable trough and bucket sinks will continue to be popular in the new year. Used commonly in busy laundry rooms and kids’ bathrooms, these long, narrow and low-maintenance sinks can help create a rustic aesthetic and maximize minimal space.

Read the full article by visiting the Washington Post page online here.

Article By: Megan McDonough

Helpful Hints from Barb, Design Studio Coordinator

Categories: Design Tips | Posted: January 31, 2018

When You’re Ready to Build Your Home:

  • A picture really is worth a thousand words. When I was building my house, I started a binder and filled it with pictures I had cut out from magazines and brochures. It had everything in it from paint colors and cabinet styles, to built-in’s and lighting choices. When I saw something I liked, even if I thought it would be out of my budget, I cut it out. Knowing where your inspiration comes from is a great starting point. We can always get creative with substitues to help meet budget expectations. Another key here is to reserve a page for those things you do NOT like. Believe it or not, your dislikes help me know what to steer you away from and help us stay on track.
  • Focus on those items that make a huge impact. Flooring is a great starting point. Having few breaks in flooring materials gives the impression that your space is larger. When your flooring breaks from one material to the other, this breaks the “visual flow” and ultimately makes the space feel smaller. Conversely, when your floor continues from room to room, your visual limitation stops at the wall furthest from you. Thus, giving you the impression that you have a more spacious floor plan.
  • Do a drive by. Have you ever been driving around a saw a house that you just absolutely loved? Maybe it had the color scheme you liked, or the garage doors were exactly what you envisioned you wanted for you own home. Or maybe you didn’t like the layout but you loved the stone color. Take notes, and if possible, take a picture and add this to your binder. The more ideas you “come-to-the-table” with, the easier it will be for me to help create the home of your dreams.
  • Keep an open mind when you visit the Design Center. You might be surprised at the various selections now offered. It’s our job to stay on top of the chaning trends and offer our clients the most current materials. We work hard to keep style a high priority while not sacrificing quality. Before you make up your mind, let’s explore your options together.
  • Finally, schedule your appointment. The Design Center is open every Tuesday & Thursday 8:30 – 4:30 pm or by appointment. If you find those hours do not suite your schedule, we aim to please! Appointments can be made to accomodate your schedule. Keep in mind that you will need more than one appointment however. Typically, your first meeting, the Selection Appointment will take 2-3 hours. A follow-up appointment or two allows you to review selections and make any necessary changes before signing off on your selections. Once you have signed off on your options and colors, plans are finalized, there is a blueprint meeiting and shortly after your home begins to come to life! From here, sit back and enjoy the journey!

Look forward to meeting you!

Barb Berkowich

Benefits to Entertaining Outdoors This Summer

Categories: Design Tips | Posted: July 18, 2017

An outdoor living space is the ultimate bonus room to your new Cedar Knoll Builders home. Not only do you have the power and flexibility to make your outdoor living space unique without the confines of a floorplan, but it’s also unlike any room in the house. Homeowners enjoy a cozy, yet functional outdoor space goes without saying, but did you know there are added benefits to cooking and entertaining outdoors too? With the prime grilling and cookout season upon us, learn the benefits of hosting an outdoor event.

Host without Cleaning Up: For most, the worst part about hosting friends and family is the need to clean the house only to dirty it up again. By entertaining outdoors all you need is a fresh tablecloth and paper plates and utensils. Your lovely patio and or pergola creates the perfect backdrop without requiring all the prep work for you!

Host a Larger Crowd: Graduation and birthday parties can be a theme during the summer months. Even with an open spacious concept, entertaining indoors can often be limiting to the number of people your house can accommodate. Entertaining outdoors can allow people to mingle and comfortably move without the confines of walls.

Eating Outside of the Box: Eating out of doors is more stimulating than the usual indoor routine. Oftentimes it is just nice to eat while enjoying a change of scenery. While preparing dinner can be a very fun and social activity, instead of being holed up in the hot stuffy kitchen, friends and family can chat and socialize as you grill something delicious and easy.

Keep Your House Cool: If you’re not subject to turning on the air conditioner unit, cooking indoors can be quite humid, hot and leave you feeling irritable throughout the cooking process. And if you are enjoying the cool air of an a.c. unit, save on energy bills by opting to grill outside. Enjoy the setting sun while you enjoy the cooler temperatures without having to turn on the oven. And the added bonus; no lingering odors either!

Health Benefits of Grilling: Belief it or not, studies suggest that eating outside actually makes the food taste better! The fresh air lowers your stress hormones and blood pressure, so you feel more relaxed and even focused on the food you set before you. When you are stressed, it is hard to pay attention to the food you are eating so you don’t enjoy it as much. Being outside is a natural mood booster. Everybody could use a little more Vitamin D, so get your dosage with 10-15 minutes grilling outside.

If you’re ready to check out your outdoor space options, stop by our newly remodeled Design Center complete with outdoor patio, morning sunroom, three-season room, pergola and grill. We’ve love to showcase our work and make your dream outdoor space a reality.

Housing in 2015: Four Reasons for Optimism (And One For Worry)

Categories: Design Tips | Posted: January 7, 2015

Article Posted on by Marilyn Geewax January 5th 2015

Six years ago, homebuilders were facing brutal business conditions: millions of Amercians were losing their jobs and homes. As 2015 begins, hiring is strong and economic indicators are pointing up. Could this be the year when the housing market finally breaks out of its tepid recovery and takes off? Economists see several reasons why 2015 might be a banner year for homebuying – and not just in San Francisco and Miami. They also see One Big Factor that potentially could block a buying binge. Before considering that possible downer, let’s first look at the upside:

Employers are hiring again.

When companies are hiring, would-be homeowners feel more confident about taking on mortgage debt. During the recession, companies kept slashing positions, sending the unemployment rate soaring to 10 percent and frightening potential homebuyers. But job growth has been strong lately, with employers adding 321,000 jobs in November. The unemployment rate has tumbled to 5.8 percent. As that good news sinks in, optimism is rising. The Conference Board’s latest Consumer Confidence Index shows confidence is running 19.5 percent higher than a year ago.

Home prices just took a breather, which helps.

From January to October, home prices rose 4.5 percent nationally, according to the latest S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index. That gain was subdued compared with October 2013, when home prices jumped 11 percent higher than the previous year. But slower price appreciation in 2014 may have set the stage for a buying surge in 2015. That’s because buyers need the right combination of steady income, decent savings, low interest rates and reasonable home prices to jump into the market. The Labor Department’s latest jobs report showed an uptick in wages, and the surging stock market has been boosting savings. Mortgages have been holding below 4 percent for 30-year fixed rates. And now the decelerating growth in home prices may be creating an affordability opportunity that will attract buyers in early 2015.

Rents are high.

When millions of Americans were losing their homes in the recession, many started moving into apartments. That shift caused rents to soar. “With rents now rising at a seven-year high, historically low [interest] rates and moderating [home] price growth are likely to entice more buyers to enter the market in upcoming months,” Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors’ chief economist, said in a release.

Millennials are sick of Mom’s basement.

The Census Bureau says just 36 percent of Americans under age 35 own a home. In 2007, that figure was 42 percent. Some young people enjoy renting, but a recent survey by Fannie Mae showed 9 in 10 would prefer to own. They have been held back by tight lending standards that have made it tough to get around their heavy student debts and light savings. But in December, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced programs that would allow first-time buyers to get homes with down payments of just 3 percent, instead of 5 percent. That lower amount would allow creditworthy but cash-strapped young buyers to qualify for mortgages. “If access to credit improves, we could see substantially larger numbers of young buyers in the market,” Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for, said in his 2015 outlook.

But there’s one reason for pessimism.

For years, many economists have been saying mortgage interest rates would rise. In 2015, they finally may be right. That’s because the Federal Reserve, which has held down both short- and long-term interest rates since 2008, has been signaling a coming change. The Fed is expected to allow rates to drift up, probably starting this summer. Industry economists generally expect mortgage rates to reach 5 percent by year’s end. That would still be quite low by historical standards, but after having such cheap mortgages for so long, even a modest rate increase could scare off buyers, according to Lindsey Piegza, chief economist for Sterne Agee. “A rising monthly payment – thanks to rising interest rates – could cause and unwelcome sticker shock for many potential homebuyers,” she said.

To read the article, follow this link.

2015 New Home Must Haves

Categories: Design Tips, New Home | Posted: December 30, 2014
  1. Quartz CountertopsDurable Products – At Cedar Knoll, we strive to offer the most up-to date, durable and functional new home products available, while keeping good design in the forefront of your selection process. When selecting flooring for example, consider what your space will be used for and what foot traffic levels will be. Purchase flooring based on durability levels and resistance to dirt and wear, and remember to consider how your usage of an area might change over the lifetime of the floor. With low maintenance, high durability and endless color choices, engineered quartz offers a tempting alternative to natural stone countertops. The new-engineered material is actually created through a manufacturing process that mixes approximately 95 percent ground natural quartz with 5 percent polymer resins. The result is a super-hard, low-maintenance, natural stone-look countertop available in a dazzling array of colors. And for many of the homeowner choosing quartz, those virtually unlimited color options are what sold them.
  2. Walk_In_ClosetSpaces that function for your family – Storage spaces are at a premium in most homes. Have you ever heard someone complain, “I just have too many closets?” At Cedar Knoll we understand that you need a “place for things” therefore, when designing your space, we make sure we understand how you live. Maybe you need a docking station because you have several electronics to plug in. Maybe your lifestyle requires more closet space, or a mudroom with a bench and hooks for bags and kids sporting equipment. If there were one rule of thumb for build a new home, it would be: “You can never have too much storage space.” It’s true. Most of us have a lot of “stuff” and we need a place to put it. This is one area where, if possible, you won’t want to skimp. Remember, you’ll never have too much space for your “stuff.”
  3. lightingLighting can make a huge difference – Filling your home with light can be accomplish in a variety of ways a like anything else, can be done well or poorly. If you’re ever been in a space with a poor lighting design you’ll understand the difference. Sticking a few lamps in a room might keep you from bumping into things but there’s a whole lot more that you can do with lighting. One of the keys is understanding the kinds of lighting sources that are available and how they’re put to best use. New technologies like LED lighting offer great ways to “go green” with your home by saving energy and saving you some money on utility bills. With every Cedar Knoll new home, we’ll help you understand the basic principles of lighting and how it’s used effectively to get you off on the right foot.
  4. kitchen spaceKitchens that function – A kitchen might have the most beautiful cabinets, technologically advanced appliances and high-end finishes, but if the layout doesn’t meet the needs of a homeowner’s lifestyle, it will not be the heart of the home like most kitchens today function. When planning a kitchen remodel, it’s important to give careful consideration to how the space will be used. During the design process, we’ll talk about a client’s cooking style and the appliances that they are going to want. We’ll talk about whether they want people in the kitchen with them, or do they want people sitting on the other side of the bar, talking while they cook. These and many more questions help us better understand how your kitchen should function, from there we can customize your kitchen space to best reflect your own individual and personal lifestyle needs.
  5. BasementPlanning for the future – Today more than ever people are building living space in their basements to increase the available living space and value of their home. Having a basement bathroom is a huge bonus for the long-term functionality of finished basements in today’s economy. We suggest to all of our customers that they rough in plumbing for a vanity, toilet and shower. This will certainly save you some money in the future. The last thing you want to do is jackhammer out concrete in the future to install the drain lines. While there are plenty of uses for a finished basement in your home, by adding a full bathroom installation, you add value to your home and make it a truly livable space. Once you’ve made the commitment to add plumbing for a bathroom, you can also consider a kitchenette or bar area. Roughing in the plumbing allows you the flexibility to plan for your families.

Provided by Cedar Knoll Design Coordinator, Barbara Berkowich