Thinking of buying some new lighting for your home in 2016? Excellent! It’s a great upgrade to any home whether you are thinking of selling soon or not. Changing your lighting can enhance the whole look of your room. In particular, in the kitchen it can modernize and bring a kitchen up to date with the latest trends giving it a much younger feel. Here’s a look at what’s hot right now:
The ‘sputnik’ design as it is best known is everywhere! It’s hugely popular with millennials and brings a cool, modern, architectural element to any room. You can find it in brass which is also a trend right now, as well as a shinier chrome finish, bronze etc. I recommend it for a dining room pop! Also above are the chrome and glass look sconces for bathrooms. This is a big trend for baths right now: chrome- or believe it or not: gold is back! But not the gold from 10 years ago – a more modern brushed finish. Take a look at any pottery barn or home goods and you’ll see what I mean!
Metallics are also on trend. Copper, brass, silver, with the industrial edge.
Speaking of industrial- you’ll see a mix of industrial styles in all major retailers! Think Mid Century Modern. Reclaimed wood and greys in every room mixed with these old timey funky fixtures.
Spherical chandeliers have been popular for a few years now so fore warning it’s a trend that may be on the way out soon. However, they look gorgeous and still incorporate some of that more architectural look. If traditional style is more your thing you might look into finding a sphere for your space!
Buying your first home can be a little daunting. ‘Where do I begin?’ ‘What can I afford?’ ‘How do I do all the math?!’
The best thing to do first is gather your team together to help you. Find a real estate broker and a mortgage broker you like and trust to get you through the beginning steps. Here’s what they look like:
Step 1- Get pre-approved! Browsing late at night on housing websites looking through pictures for hours is lots of fun but you run the risk of falling in ‘love at first sight’ with something that isn’t in your budget. The pre-approval that you get from a licensed mortgage broker gives you an idea of exactly what you can afford while taking into account mortgage payment, taxes, insurance and assessments if any.
Step 2- Armed and Dangerous / Make a list- You’ve been supplied with your pre-approval. You’re armed with the letter and ready to pull the trigger on the first house you see. STOP! You still have to decide what you want!!! Take the time to write out your wish list. Order it according to priority of your ‘must-haves’ first, and keep in mind how long you plan to own your first home and what will fit your lifestyle during that period. I.E. Will you have pets during that time? Adding a spouse? Adding a roommate? Adding a child? You want to be sure your house has room to grow with you if your life might be growing in that time that you live there. Ask yourself questions like – “Am I willing to remodel or do I want new?” These types of questions help you narrow your focus from the start and have a more productive search.
Step 3- Virtual Showings- Ok now you are ready to browse to your hearts content online. Use whatever site you like best to search homes in the areas you like. However, be sure you like the site before you give your email address because you will end up on the e-mailing list until the end of time! In addition, reach out to your Realtor with your list and have them be looking for pocket listings and homes not yet on the mls or online. This is especially helpful in competitive markets to be ‘in the know’ and the first through the door.
These are just a few of the steps to home buying. I want to invite anyone who might be considering their first purchase to my first time home buying seminar. Details below. And if you are not able to attend, don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally and ask any questions you like. I am always here as a resource to help you get started!
Looking for some ideas for New Year’s Resolutions that don’t have to do with dieting? Making some resolutions for your home improve your health, wealth, and lifestyle all in one!
Here are some examples:
Resolution #1 – Reduce Clutter
The most common thing I see when touring homes is clutter. We all have it, even if it’s just the ‘junk drawer’ or the unorganized shoe shelf. Every time you look at it, it can stress you out! Take a day for yourself to go to the Container Store or Hobby Lobby and pick up some great baskets for organizing the closets and shelves. Target also sells some wonderful drawer dividers so you can see your tools and items more easily and make sure that everything has a place.
Resolution #2 – Spot Checks
It’s easy to put off that furnace service and fireplace cleaning. They’re those not fun expenditures that no one wants to make. But they’re so important to keeping the home functioning well and avoiding more costly problems later on!
Resolution #3 Re-fresh 1 room
Tackling a whole house remodel can be daunting. Make a budget (even if it’s tiny), do some browsing on sites like Houzz and Pinterest to get some ideas for your room, and go ‘smart shopping.’ Look on Craigslist, at resale shops, or your favorite stores, if you have the budget for it, and give one room a makeover. It will improve the value of your house and give your Winter blues a kick in the pants!
Educational, fun, and inside! Described on the park district site as follows “Named Chicagoland’s “Best Rainy Day Activity Site” by Chicago Magazine, theExploritorium is much more than an indoor playground. The Exploritorium is a place where children and adults can come and explore together through interactive play. Make-believe in our costumed dress-up area; run your fingers through our water play area; make music, climb a wall, play with trains, experience new heights in our two-and-a half-story tubes and tunnels, and much more.”
Indoor activities galore at Gather. Drop in , play, and create! Must be wearing socks!
Gather – Evanston, IL daily drop in rate $12 (1 child and 2 caregivers)
The Chicago Botanical Gardens offers all kinds of fun activities for kids. Including the butterflies and blooms exhibit and the model trains! And it’s not a bad stroll around for Mom and Dad too! Drop in activities for kids listed on their website- link below.
One of the stark differences between Chicago urban lifestyle and New York that I hear people talk about is food on demand. For decades New Yorkers have enjoyed the ability to get quick delivery from almost any of their favorite restaurants. This has not been the case in Chicago. In fact, unless you work in a building with a pedway, for years you may not have found a restaurant for blocks in downtown. But many have noticed over the last several years new pop up restaurants, the evolution of food trucks, and of course the ever expanding Mariano’s grocery store have permeated the Downtown Chicago hemisphere.
Ever the innovators- Uber is now offering Ubereats- a restaurant delivery service that promises your order in 10 minutes! Which begs the question- are we soon to be morphing into a lifestyle more like New York? While the service will be rolled out in a limited fashion for now- just one restaurant a day from 11am-2pm in only the Loop and River North one can only hope it will be extremely popular and make it’s way up the Chicago shore very soon.