9 Ways to Rework Your Kitchen for the Holidays


Expecting family over for the holidays? According to a recent survey by WalletHub, D-FW ranks No. 9 on the list of top warm-weather destinations during the holidays.

 

Whether your family books a room at your place or pops in throughout the length of their trip, you want to make sure your kitchen is spot-on, and now is the perfect time to get started. Following are nine fixes for an impressive refresh.

 

1. Cabinetry

1477060873_485156-1925-fairmount-ave-fort-worth-tx-High-Res-16.jpg
1925 Fairmount Avenue | Fort Worth | $530,000

Dated cabinetry can serve as the biggest eyesore. Liven yours up by sanding them down, adding fresh paint and then installing snazzy hardware.

 

2. Countertops and Sink

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2255 Forest Hollow Park | Dallas – Stonegate at Forest Hills | $559,000

Newer countertops provide a stunning look. Consider changing your sink as well. And, if there’s still wiggle room in the budget, look at updating your faucet – it can really complete the new look.

 

3. Appliances

1476981733_485106-13.jpg
6735 Kingsbury Drive | Dallas – Merriman Park | $470,000

If appliances aren’t working properly, it’s obvious they need to be replaced or fixed before family visits. It’s best to change out the refrigerator first – an appliance that is used daily. Then, match the replacement to existing equipment.

 

4. Backsplash

listing_36
7229 Yamini Drive | Dallas – Jan Mar | $939,000

Subway-tile backsplash adds an updated yet classic look. Going for neutral colors adds brightness and leaves room for more versatility.

 

5. Lighting

listing_27
4642 Edmondson Avenue | Highland Park | $1,395,000

Who wants a dark kitchen? Not your family. Consider purchasing and installing recessed ceiling cans. Although small, they highlight, brighten and add a modern touch.

 

6. Paint

1466801430_478097-1750-trace-bella-ct-westlake-tx-High-Res-9.jpg
1750 Trace Bella Court | Westlake | $5,798,880

Probably one of the easiest and least expensive ways to spruce up a room. Neutral shades allow for brightness and more versatility, but soft greens and blues add a nice twist.

 

7. Flooring

listing_24
5007 Purdue Avenue | Dallas – Briarwood | $849,000

Dated linoleum or vinyl isn’t the most attractive. Opt for real-wood planks, which add a classic addition to any kitchen.

 

8. Statement Piece

listing_35 (1)
2260 Hermitage Drive | Allen – Shaddock Park | $699,999

Similar to what it does for fashion, a statement piece serves as an interesting, attractive and relatively eye-catching item that reflects your style. A pot rack or a unique light fixture can easily be installed by homeowners, adding a big impact for a small price.

 

9. Openness

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3207 Parkrise Court | Garland – Spring Park | $360,000

With good reason, the open floor plan trend continues to grow. Overcrowding in the kitchen is the last thing you want. Opt for knocking down a wall, allowing the central hub of your home to be a part of your living and dining areas.

Greater Outdoors: Space Insight with Robert Hopson


In today’s market, homeowners want to maximize their living space, which often includes the outdoors. Creating an ideal outdoor living area is an art that makes lounging by the pool, hosting friends and family or dining alfresco more of a treat than a chore. But designing an exquisite outdoor space is best left to the professionals, which is why we sat down with Robert Hopson, general contractor and owner of Robert Hopson Construction Group, to learn about outdoor living trends and designing a comfortable, relaxing space.

Greater Outdoors: Space Insight with Robert Hopson

What trends are the hottest in outdoor living?

RH: We’re doing a lot of outdoor kitchens where clients want the full-on kitchen — refrigerator, range, dishwasher, the whole thing. These are people who want to cook, serve and eat outside. We’re even seeing some outdoor kitchens that have glassware and serving utensils dedicated to the outdoors. Another trend we’re seeing are pools with a sun shelf, an approximately 10-by-10 area of the pool with 3 to 4 inches of water. A sun shelf is perfect for enjoying with babies, putting folding chairs in to sit at water level, or just lying down since it’s so shallow.

 

 

Greater Outdoors: Space Insight with Robert Hopson

When planning an outdoor living space, what are best practices?

RH: Determining how the space will be used is the most important factor. We do custom homes, so the client is coming to us with plans or bringing us in on the process with their architect, and the first thing we do is establish what’s important to them for their outdoor space. Do they have kids, is there a pool, are they using the space to entertain large groups? We ask questions that help us understand how the space will be utilized.

 

Greater Outdoors: Space Insight with Robert Hopson

Are there any ‘impossible’ outdoor amenities?

RH: When someone says they want their space to be 60 degrees in 100-degree weather, that’s pretty much impossible. But we can close off the space with screens or retractable coverings and install an A/C system that takes it from 80 degrees to 70. We can pretty much get anything a client wants now for their outdoor space, so if they tell us how they plan to use it, we can adapt it to meet their needs.

 

What changes are you seeing in the realm of outdoor living spaces?

RH: Custom outdoor features are a huge segment of the market. For example, 10 years ago home shows had a couple of outdoor displays and a few hot tubs. Now, the outdoor section is a good portion of the show, where they have windows that fold into themselves and $50,000 grill stations that are just unbelievable. There’s more and more growth in the customized segment.

Greater Outdoors: Space Insight with Robert Hopson

What is the most unique request you’ve had for an outdoor space?

RH: For one house we made a pit so they could lie on the grass and watch movies projected on the side of their casita. We constructed a sloped hill that sort of cut into the yard, where one side was level and the other side was 4 or 5 feet deep, then we added a fireplace at the bottom. They wanted it to be like lying in the park, so we put down some great zoysia grass, which is soft and super comfortable.

 

How does a professionally designed outdoor living space add value to a home?


RH: I’m not a REALTOR®, so I can’t give it a dollar value. But I can tell you that most of the houses I’m doing are upscale, and at that price point, not having an outdoor space would almost be like not having a garage. People enter million-dollar homes and expect some sort of outdoor space, even if it’s just a covered portion of the patio with a grill station. I know there’s an intrinsic value and it would certainly be a negative for buyers if a home didn’t have any kind of outdoor living area.

 

Greater Outdoors: Space Insight with Robert Hopson

What is your favorite thing to see in outdoor living?


RH: I really think it looks good when you have a relatively flat area to walkout onto, so you can walk out from your floor level onto the patio then onto the grass; it’s a seamless transition from inside to outside, almost like walking into another room. Or when the grass runs right up to the edge of the pool, almost like a zero edge, so it’s a more natural feel, not as contrived. We see more modern, clean lines in architecture and I like to see those same clean-line features outdoors with a really simplistic palette, so grass and maybe your solid surface is concrete or a decomposed granite — not four or five different materials like we used to see.

 

This article appeared in the Summer 2016 edition of Grand Vie: Luxury in Living magazine. To view the magazine, click here.

 

For a personal consultation with Robert Hopson, call 214-327-0600 or visit roberthopsongroup.com.

 

 

 

 

How-To: Interior Lighting


Did you know that lighting is one of the most important elements in your home? When natural light isn’t available, due to lack of windows or time of day, the mood and brightness of your home is dictated by interior lighting. Additionally, light fixtures are a large part of design and personal style.

 

Following are a few tips to get the most out of your interior lighting:

 

Diversify

Use multiple sources for light so that the ambience is just right. Think about a mix of recessed ceiling lights, chandeliers, sconces, floor lamps, table lamps, and under mounted lighting solutions. A combination will throw light in different directions and create a more generalized glow.

 

listing_37
5730 County Road 471 | McKinney | $648,000

 

Focal Points

Use task lighting and directed light to highlight desks, plants, art, and unique decor.

 

listing_23
4428 Greenbrier Drive | Dallas | $1,750,000

 

Dimmers

Consider installing dimmers in entertaining spaces like dining areas, media rooms, and living areas. Being able to set the mood for a meal, movie or cozy night by the fire makes all the difference.

 

1457372482_470161-18media
6436 Sudbury Road | Plano – Kings Gate | $2,399,900

 

Read the Room

Different rooms call for different light fixture heights, sizes, and illuminations. For example, overhead lighting makes more sense in a kitchen than it does in a bedroom. Smaller lamps, sconces and delicate chandeliers are better suited in bedrooms than large living spaces.

 

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5330 Pebblebrook Drive | Dallas – Russwood Acres | $1,569,000

 

Wattage

Always follow the instructions on your light fixture for maximum wattage, but don’t be afraid to take it down a notch. If the light fixture is more for decor than actual illumination, consider using low-wattage bulbs, which use less energy. Typical wattages range from 40 (for reading) to 80 (for putting on make up). However, utilizing multiple fixtures will allow for something in between.

 

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4340 Shenandoah Street | University Park | $1,450,000

 

Decor

The fixtures you choose have a visual impact on your space. Make sure to keep the overall look and feel of the room in mind when selecting fixtures, but don’t be afraid to go bold. Statement floor lamps or chandeliers are the perfect way to add a punch of style with just one or two pieces.

 

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3804 Villanova Street | University Park | $2,675,000

9 Ways to Rework Your Kitchen for the Holidays


Expecting family over for the holidays? According to a recent survey by Orbitz, 71 percent of Americans are expected to travel this holiday season, with Dallas ranking No. 9 on the list of top Thanksgiving destinations.

 

Whether your family books a room at your place or pops in throughout the length of their trip, you want to make sure your kitchen is spot-on, and now is the perfect time to get started. Following are nine fixes for an impressive refresh.

 

1. New Cabinets

listing_29
Dated cabinets can serve as the biggest eyesore. Liven yours up by sanding them down, adding fresh paint and then installing snazzy hardware.

3513 Springhouse Way | Celina – Light Farms | $599,999

 

2. Change Countertops and Sink

listing_29-1
Newer countertops prove a stunning look. If those change, consider changing your sink as well. And, if there’s still wiggle room in the budget, look at changing your faucet – it can really complete the new look.

4403 Rawlins Street | Dallas – Perry Heights | $959,500

 

3. Replace Equipment

listing_26
If appliances aren’t working properly, it’s obvious they need to be replaced or fixed before family visits. However, if upgrades are on the mind, it’s best to change out the refrigerator first – an appliance that is used daily. Then, match the replacement to existing equipment.

201 Sir Brine Drive | Lewisville – Castle Hills | $408,000

 

4. Update Backsplash

15.jpg
Subway tile backsplash adds an updated yet classic look. Going for neutral colors adds brightness and leaves room for more versatility.

7306 Mimosa Lane | Dallas – The Meadows | $679,500

 

5. Improve Lighting

listing_31
Who wants a dark kitchen? Not your family. Consider purchasing and installing recessed ceiling cans. Although small, they highlight, brighten and add a modern touch.

18007 Old Preston Court | Dallas | $599,000

 

6. Paint

listing_26
Probably one of the easiest and least expensive ways to spruce up a room. Neutral shades allow for brightness and more versatility, but soft greens and blues add a nice twist.

520 Laredo Circle | Allen – Twin Creeks | $510,000

 

7. Flooring

1444921507_462955-4312-hyer-st-dallas-tx-High-Res-14.jpg
Dated linoleum or vinyl isn’t the most attractive. Opt for real-wood planks, which add a classic addition to any kitchen.

4312 Hyer Street | University Park | $1,195,000

 

8. Statement Piece

listing_28
Similar to what it does for fashion, a statement piece serves as an interesting, attractive and relatively eye-catching item that reflects your style. A pot rack can easily be installed by homeowners, adding a big impact for a small price.

 

5833 Portsmouth Lane | Dallas – Cambridge Place at Preston Trail | $1,095,000

 

9. Openness

listing_28-1
With good reason, the open floor plan trend continues to grow. Overcrowding in the kitchen is the last thing you want. Opt for knocking down a wall, allowing the central hub of your home to be a part of your living and dining areas.

1037 Brigham Drive | Forney – Devonshire | $310,000

13 Ways to Add Value to Your Home


Whether you’re selling now, planning to sell in the future or just want peace of mind, there are always steps you can take to increase the value of your home.

 

Following is a list of items that will attract buyers and make the place you call home even more special.

 

1. Home Office

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The growth of technology has made it possible for people to work from their homes more often. By updating your current home office or designating a space to create one, you show your home’s full potential.

4428 Greenbriar Drive | Dallas | $1,798,000

 

2. Master Suite

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A master bedroom with its own bathroom is an expected amenity. If you don’t have one, try to find the budget (and space) to create one, focusing on amplifying storage space.

2630 Misty Meadow Drive | Propser – Gentle Creek | $829,000

 

3. Family Room

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Everyone needs a comfortable, open space to fill with family and friends. Make sure your room looks and feels inviting, and filled with plenty of natural light. Also, a fireplace is always a plus.

1095 Arches Park Drive | Allen – Waterford Parks | $464,900

 

4. Kitchen

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The kitchen can either make or break your home. Staying reasonable with materials and design will almost always guarantee your money back on a remodel.

7337 Blairview Drive | Dallas | $529,500

 

5. Bathroom

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Have you ever heard of a home having too many bathrooms? How about too few? If your home has fewer bathrooms than bedrooms, it’s time to think about adding another full or half-bath. Additionally, if your current bathroom has seen better days, consider an update that’s simple and clean.

829 Melba Street | Dallas | $389,900

 

6. Windows

19gmroom.jpg
Did you know, on average, 30 percent of your home’s energy is lost through its windows? If your windows are in bad shape or you’re looking to impress buyers, upgrading to energy-efficient windows will not only save time and money for you, but also for your buyer.

3804 Villanova Street | University Park | $2,675,000

 

7. Basement/Subterranean Level

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Though it’s not the most common feature in D-FW, a subterranean level can add major value to your home. If the ceilings aren’t too low, a subterranean level is an ideal space for an office, playroom or media room.

4626 Dorset Road | Dallas – Strait Lane Estates | $6,500,000

 

8. Deck

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These days, outdoor space is a premium. On average, the edition of a deck provides a 76 percent return on investment. Typically, they’re not too expensive to build and create an entirely new living space.

4600 Stanford Avenue | Dallas – Briarwood | $850,000

 

9. Landscaping

6739-lupton-dr-dallas-tx-High-Res-1
An overgrown and poorly maintained yard isn’t appealing to anyone. Liven it up with some color, height and possibly a designated seating and/or entertaining area.

6739 Lupton Drive | Dallas – Preston Hollow | $2,575,000

 

10. Paint

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A few coats of paint is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to update your home. If you’re selling, keep things light and neutral so that buyers can easily imagine their things in your space.

4415 Woodfin Drive | Dallas – Rockbrook Estates | $1,625,000

 

11. Flexibility

1443540144_462037-5192-havasu-dr-frisco-tx-1-High-Res-9.jpg
Your house is yours to make your own. If you think you may sell in the future, try not to over customize. Buyers need to be able to see themselves and their things working in your home, so try not to pigeonhole your spaces.

5192 Havasu Drive | Frisco | $469,000

 

13. Exterior

1443555734_454078-5009-spanish-oaks-dr-frisco-tx-High-Res-2.jpgThough we’ve been told to do otherwise, people do judge homes based on curb appeal and first impressions. Put the best foot forward by sprucing up your home’s landscaping, exterior paint, siding, and garage doors.

5009 Spanish Oaks | Frisco – Starwood | $2,798,000

 

 

 

 

Feature We Love: Front Porches


Feature We Love: Front Porches

It’s safe to say most people grew up with a front porch. Traditionally, they’re associated with a simpler time — when neighbors brought over baked goods, waved to each other from across the way or just hung out and conversed while the sun went down. Regardless, there’s always some emotion brewing when it comes to that classic front space.

The front porch also provides a great opportunity to improve your curb appeal. Because, whether you’re selling or not, it’s always a good idea to make sure your home is giving off the best impression.

Below are a few front porches that have us wishing for a breezy morning (or evening), a hot cup of coffee and a fresh newspaper.

Feature We Love: Front Porches
3441 University Boulevard | Dallas — University Park | $1,450,000

Feature We Love: Front Porches
11481 County Road 132 | Celina | $1,150,000

Feature We Love: Front Porches
1113 N Canterbury Court | Dallas — Kessler Park (North Oak Cliff) | $799,000

Feature We Love: Front Porches
505 W Hunt Street | McKinney | $569,900

Feature We Love: Front Porches
5610 Richard Avenue | Dallas — Vickery Place Conservation District | $419,500

Feature We Love: Front Porches
1220 E Seeton Road | Grand Prairie | $350,000

Feature We Love: Front Porches
11 Admiral Way | Pottsboro — Harbor Village | $315,000

Feature We Love: Front Porches
917 King George Lane | Savannah — Continental Congress Village | $215,000

 

Feature We Love: Beautiful, Bold Beds


From traditional to contemporary, we’re big fans of beds with personality. Your bedroom, like the rest of your home, is an expression of you, so why be boring? Add some color, fun pillows, and/or plush comforters to make your bed a special place to lay your head at the end of each day.

 

Need some inspiration? We’ve got you covered! Check out the beautiful, bold beds we found in our DFW listings.

Feature We Love: Beautiful, Bold Beds

^7205 Vanguard Court, ColleyvilleFeature We Love: Beautiful, Bold Beds

^2714 Wolf Creek Drive, LucasFeature We Love: Beautiful, Bold Beds

^8408 Burgundy Court, McKinneyFeature We Love: Beautiful, Bold Beds

^1817 Broken Bend Drive, WestlakeFeature We Love: Beautiful, Bold Beds

^1817 Broken Bend Drive, WestlakeFeature We Love: Beautiful, Bold Beds

^1817 Broken Bend Drive, WestlakeFeature We Love: Beautiful, Bold Beds

^7301 Trianon Court, ColleyvilleFeature We Love: Beautiful, Bold Beds

^7301 Trianon Court, ColleyvilleFeature We Love: Beautiful, Bold Beds

^6738 Avalon Ave., DallasFeature We Love: Beautiful, Bold Beds

^1800 Van Landingham Drive, McKinneyFeature We Love: Beautiful, Bold Beds^4624 Firestone Drive, Frisco

Spruce Up Your Home for Spring


CM Spruce Up Spring lg

After spring cleaning is done, many people get the itch to change things up. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing and the time is right to implement a fresh, new look in your home. There are a lot of ways to go about this, but we have found that the simplest changes can make the biggest impact without costing a fortune. Here are our favorite ideas for breathing new life into your home this season.

 

Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

1. Pillows: Decorative pillows on couches, chairs, or beds add pops of color, texture, and layered interest. Try purchasing pillows that allow you to change their covers throughout the year. (Featured property: 4005 Rosa Road, Dallas)

 

Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

2. Accessories: If you’re someone who likes decorative details, change them out. Spray paint some ordinary bookends for a pop of color, pick up some fun new coasters, or switch up the books you have on display. Simply exchanging items between rooms can have a big impact visually. (Featured property: 2615 Brookside Court, McKinney)

 

 Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

3. Art and photos: Switch out old photos, paint or buy new pictures frames, rearrange art from one room to the other- all of this will enliven your home. (Featured property: 10106 Caribou Trail, Dallas)

 

Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

4. Plants: Bring new plants into the house and change up the ones outside. A small pot of basil in the kitchen or new planters on the front porch add color and interest. (Featured Property: 4708 Crooked Lane, Dallas)

 

Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

5. Outdoor: Freshen up your front door mat, address numbers, patio cushions, or add a floral wreath to the front door. All of these will brighten your curb appeal and make coming home feel like a new experience. (Featured property: 211 Rio Grande Drive, Irving)

 

Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

6. Paint: If you want to stick to a budget, keep it simple. Paint the front door a bright color, put some chalkboard paint on a small section of one wall, spray paint a lamp or a few bar stools. Paint is a moderately cheap way to update that can be changed with your mood. (Featured property: 4161 Shady Valley Drive, Arlington)

How to Appeal to Millennial House Hunters


How to Appeal to Millennial House Hunters

Trying to get into the mind of Millennial home buyers? Curious what the latest wave of house hunters is looking for in a home? The National Association of Home Builders recently released a report with telling statistics about this generation. It reveals interesting information about what members of Generation Y really want.

 

What they’re willing to accept to make a home affordable (From most acceptable to less so):

1. Unfinished space

2. Farther away from shopping, entertainment

3. Longer commute to work

4. Smaller lot

5. Fewer amenities

6. Smaller house

7. Less expensive materials

 

What else do Gen. Y’ers want?:

-75% want a single-family home

-66% want to live in the suburbs, with only 10% preferring a central city location

-78% want a kitchen that is completely open to the family room or only separated by a half wall

-52% want a two-story home

-35% want 3 bedrooms, 46% want 4 bedrooms

-64% want either 2 or 2 1/2 bathrooms

-55% want a separate laundry room, with a total of 90% saying it was essential or desirable

-An elevator is unwanted by 64% of respondents

-84% said they would pay more for a highly energy-efficient home with lower utility bills over the home’s life

 

Major influencers for moving to a certain community:

-58% said park area

-55% said walking/jogging trails

-54% said playgrounds

-51% said outdoor swimming pool

 

NAHB Assistant VP of Research Rose Quint predicted that the growing numbers of first-time buyers will drive down home size in 2015. Three million new jobs were created in 2014, 700,000 more than the previous year “and the most since 1999,” Quint said. At the same time, regulators have reduced downpayment requirements for first-time buyers from 5% to 3% and home prices have seen only moderate growth.

 

“All these events lead me to believe that more people will come into the market, and as younger, first-time buyers, they will demand smaller, more affordable homes,” Quint said. “Builders will build whatever demand calls out for.” (Source)

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry


One of the best parts about getting to look at pictures of houses all day is picking up on new trends. One of the hottest trends we’ve noticed over the last few months is contrasting cabinet colors. Islands have stepped into the spotlight and are being treated like their own element. No longer are they beholden to the color choices made for outer kitchen cabinetry.

 

This mix-matching shows up most often in brown and white, but we’re loving this new design trend no matter what color scheme it comes in. It adds a dynamic interest to a kitchen and allows homeowners and designers to step out of the box with cabinetry, an area in which most tend to play it safe.

 

Check out a few of the kitchens in which we’ve found this trend popping up around DFW, they may just inspire a weekend DIY in your home!

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^1066 Woodford Drive, Keller

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^6940 Hickory Hill Circle, Argyle

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^7204 Ripley St., McKinney

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^10715 Dixon Branch Drive, Dallas

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^9427 Monteleon Court, Dallas

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^1315 Sunset Ridge Circle, Cedar Hill

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^7022 Pasadena Ave., Dallas

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^4060 Chimney Rock Drive, Prosper

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^6838 Stefani Drive, Dallas

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^1122 Amy Drive, Allen