7 Things to Look for When Buying a New House

Shopping for a new house means looking past that fresh coat of paint and doing a little digging to see if any big repairs or deal breakers are lurking beneath the surface. 

Sure, it’s likely a few issues will surface during your inspection, but it’s smart to check things out before you put in an offer. Finding a problem doesn’t mean you can’t buy the house. It just helps you get a better idea of what to offer, and what you can live with. A new house is a big investment, and you want to make sure that your dream home doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

Age of your roof

Knowing the age and condition of your new home’s roof is key to understanding upcoming, potential home maintenance costs. Source: Peter Zimmerman Architects

1. Damaged roof

The first thing you need to know about your potential new home is the age and condition of the roof. The realtor should be able to tell you. Do a visual check of the roof by walking around the house. Look for damaged or missing shingles, rusted flashing, moss or dirt and any other spots that worry you. A damaged roof could seriously impact the interior and exterior of your home. If you have concerns, let your realtor know so they can discuss them with the homeowner when they negotiate your offer.

When you have a home inspection, be sure to have your air Ccnditioner and Furnace are thoroughly evaluated. Source: Superior Living by Design

2. Heating and cooling performance

Few things are worse than needing A/C or heat, and not having it. So make sure you check the heating and cooling system to see if it’s in good working order. Ask the age of the system, turn it on and off, take a look at the ductwork if possible and see if the filters fit snugly. Don’t forget to look outside, too. Listen to how your air conditioning and heating units sound when they’re running. Look for rust and dirt on the equipment. If you’re satisfied with your initial look, pay close attention to the inspection report. Your inspector will test the system and can give you more thorough details.

If you think the system might need replacing, your local HVAC dealer can give you a quote for installation, labor and equipment. If you need to replace any equipment, you may be able to get the homeowner to reduce the selling price by amount of the replacement cost.

Checking for leaking faucets, shower heads or signs of leaks like stains on the ceiling can also be good clues when evaluating the home you are interested in purchasing. Source: Kitchens By Clay

3. Water damage

Inside the house, look for water stains on the ceiling. Check under sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms and test all of the faucets and showers. You’ll also want to check out the basement, garage or crawl space to see if there’s a sump pump. These could all indicate past or future problems with poor water drainage which could lead to flooding. Outside, look for sloping areas in the yard, standing water, french drains, water marks on the foundation. Even if the water issues aren’t active anymore, it’s good to know past problems and what could pop up in the future.

Foundation, or lack there of can really be a good indicator of structural issues you may encounter later down the road. Source: Keuka Studios

4. Foundation faults

If you’re serious about buying a house, be sure to check out the foundation. Walk around the exterior, go into the crawlspace or basement and look for cracks and other red flags. Your inspector will also give you a thorough report on these issues. 

Look beyond the cosmetics of an updated kitchen to make sure your appliances and outlets are updated as well. Source: SOD Builders

5. Working appliances and electrical outlets

Don’t let cosmetic repairs distract you from potential problems, especially in a freshly painted kitchen. Look at all appliances to make sure they’re in good shape. Turn on the stove, run the dishwasher and peek into the refrigerator. Look for grounded GFCI outlets in your kitchen and baths — the ones with the red and black reset buttons. Also, give the circuit breaker a look and flip a few of the breakers. If this is going to be your new home, you want to make sure everything works as it should.

Beyond the beauty windows reflect, be sure that they are all operational in case of an emergency. Source: The Sitting Room Studio

6. Working windows

It’s a simple thing, but check all the windows in the new house to make sure they open properly. This is important for fire safety, as well as for comfort on a warm day. Asking the homeowner to get a handyman to fix the windows is easy.

7. Bugs and pests

You may not see any critters during the day, but look in corners and cabinets for mouse and roach droppings. Again, this is another easy fix. You can ask the homeowner for a pest control treatment as part of your contract.

Understanding potential problems will make you more confident during the home buying experience – and allow you to enjoy your new house rather than worrying about what’s wrong. It’s up to you to decide if any faults you find are deal breakers or an opportunity to get a better deal on your new home.

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7 Celebrity Haunted Mansions Where It Feels Like Halloween Every Day

Celebrities are just like us, except they have more money, more fame and bigger haunted houses. Just in time for Halloween, we present you with seven celebrity haunted mansions that vary from unsettling to downright horrifying. At these houses, Halloween is an everyday event.

1. Amy Winehouse’s Camden Flat In London

celebrity haunted homes

Amy Winehouse’s haunted flat. Image: House Network

Amy moved out of her house because she was scared to death of a little boy that haunted her. In an interview, Amy said that the ghost, named Henry, would scratch her. The night before her death, several witnesses heard screams, drums and animal howls coming from her flat. Since her death, her parents have listed her home.

2. The Benedict Canyon House Where Sharon Tate Was Murdered

The home where Sharon Tate was murdered by Charles Manson’s followers had a long, disturbing history. Image: Pinterest

We all know the horrific story of how Roman Polanski’s pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by Charles Manson and his followers while at a party in this home. But this house was disturbing long before this event. It was originally owned in the 1920s by an MGM producer, Paul Bern, who gifted it to his wife, actress Jean Harlow, when they married.

Jean was so disturbed by the home she begged Paul to sell it. He unfortunately shot himself in the home four months later. According to House Crazy, Harlow moved out after her husband’s death but later died, at just 26 years old, from kidney disease.

In the years that followed (and before the horrible Manson massacre), two other people committed suicide in the house and one person drowned in the pool. Several sightings of male ghosts were reported throughout the years, including Paul Bern’s.

3. The New York City Apartment Building Where John Lennon Was Shot And Rosemary’s Baby Was Filmed

celebrity haunted houses

The building is surrounded by large, modern high rises and looks rather ominous. Image: NY Post

John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived at the exclusive Dakota on the Upper West Side when he was shot to death outside his door. According to the NY Post, Yoko Ono saw his ghost sitting at his white piano years after his death. She claims John turned to her and said, “Don’t be afraid. I am still with you.”

But it’s not just Lennon’s ghost that haunts the building. Lennon himself claimed there was a “crying lady ghost” wandering the halls. Other residents claim there’s a little girl that roams around.

The Dakota’s original owner had an interest in the paranormal and would often hold seances in the building, perhaps ushering in an array of ghosts that have moved in with the living.

4. Nicolas Cage’s Serial Killer Mansion in New Orleans

celebrity haunted mansions

The LaLaurie mansion, where slaves were often abused and murdered by Madame LaLaurie. Image: Wikimedia

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Nicholas Cage said, “I once lived in the most haunted house in America. The LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans used to belong to Madame LaLaurie, a well-known 19th-century socialite and serial killer. I bought it in 2007, figuring it would be a good place in which to write the great American horror novel. I didn’t get too far with the novel.”

Nick sold the mansion less than two years later. Passersby still report hearing screams coming from the house.

5. Jayne Mansfield’s “Pink Palace” In Beverly Hills

celebrity haunted mansions

Jayne in her pink shag bathroom. Every room, as well as the exterior, was pink. Image: Curbed LA

According to American Hauntings, Jayne Mansfield was cursed. She died in a horrible car accident where reports say she was decapitated. Soon after her death, endless tragic incidents occurred in her beloved Pink Palace:

  • Ringo Starr had the home painted white when he moved in but claimed that the pink shade would seep through the new paint.
  • Jayne’s friends refused to go back in the house because they felt like they were being watched.
  • The son of the next owner of the Pink Palace found Jayne’s pink Honda and took it for a drive. He was killed in an accident the moment he exited the estate. His family moved out the same day.

The house was demolished in 2002.

6. Adele’s Haunted English Mansion

Adele refused to stay a single night alone in her sprawling mansion. Image: Daily Mail

Adele was so creeped out by the noises in her former rental that she hired a female bodyguard to stay with her. She vowed to never spend a night alone in the house and eventually moved out.

In an interview with Anderson Cooper for 60 Minutes, she said, “This bit is quite scary, really,” as they walked through a dark hall.  The 25-acre West Sussex property was a convent before, complete with a chapel.

7. Marylin Monroe Is Still Busy Making Appearances

celebrity haunted mansions

The home where Marylin Monroe lived and died. Eyewitnesses claim she still makes appearances. Image: Variety

According to several eyewitnesses, Marylin Monroe seems to be busy haunting places. She’s regularly seen in her former home where she died, and in the Roosevelt Hotel.

The Roosevelt Hotel was where she was staying in Hollywood when her modeling career took off. There have been sightings of her in her old suite 1200, her favorite Cabana Room Suite #246 overlooking the pool and in mirrors around the hotel.

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Here’s The Fab New French Connection Homeware Line You Need To Add Textured Accents To Your Space

French Connection – the affordable Brit fashion brand known best for its basic t-shirts sporting their provocative initials, FCUK – has a new home line. Move over, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Zara Home. FCUK may have your wallet captive for now.

Check out the best from the French Connection Homeware collection, priced between $50 and $300.

Fall Bedding Look

The secret to a fashionable and luxurious bed (like the one below by French Connection Homeware) is layering several elements like sheets, pillows, blankets and throws. Choose a cohesive color theme of two or three shades and mix and match patterns or textures. Here are more secrets on how to put together a luxurious bed.

french connection homeware

A zen bedroom space featuring bedding and textiles designed with understated texture and patterns. All images: French Connection Homeware

Shop this look:

french connection homeware
french connection homeware
french connection homeware
french connection homeware
french connection homeware
french connection homeware
french connection homeware

Decorating An Ordinary Living Room With Pillows And Textiles

Adding a rug, throw pillows and a blanket adds personality and depth to a room. Fall is all about layers and texture, much like the FCUK setting below.

french connection homeware

The line features bedding, pillows, throw blankets and rugs that add interesting layers to your rooms.

Shop this look:

french connection homeware
french connection homeware
french connection homeware

The retailer will be adding more to the collection throughout the fall season. You can shop the line here and sign up for arrival updates on coordinating pieces.

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6 Ways to Get Amazing Pumpkin Menageries This Fall

Pumpkins are a powerful element in autumn decorating. They pack a colorful punch. Since they’re harvested in the fall, they make everyone think of the autumnal season. They’re also extremely versatile. It’s easy to paint pumpkins, add jeweled accents or buy different types with wild textures. And one way to make the most of pumpkins in your autumn decorating is to go for a whole menagerie of them. That way, you can work with different colors, textures and styles. And a grouping of pumpkins can serve as a whole large focal point in your fall decor. Below, you’ll find several ways to work with pumpkin menageries.

Pumpkin Menageries Porch Display

Separate your pumpkin menagerie to create balance. Image: Kirkendall Design

Add Balance to the Doorway

Pumpkin menageries work well on the porch. They add a splash of color to what tends to be a fairly neutral space. And having them on the porch sets an instant fall harvest vibe for any guests coming to your door.

The photo above shows how placing a pumpkin menagerie on either side of the door is a great way to add balance to the space. The style also does a great job of using different pumpkins with multiple sizes, colors and textures. Groups of pumpkins also pair well with other fall colors, like the bold yellow flowers and deep red and orange door wreaths.

Pumpkin Menageries Metallic Paint

Painted pumpkins add style and layers to the design. Image: Sarah Greenman

Use Multiple Colors and Textures

You can also go bolder in your colors and textures. The photo above shows how some white pumpkins combine well with bold metallic painted pumpkins. Little accents like polka dots update the traditional harvest pumpkin, making this style a good choice for chic home designs.

You can even paint one of the pumpkins a less common pumpkin color, like sage green, to add a bit of an accent. You can also use more conceptual pieces, like the twig pumpkins, for added texture. The photo also shows how easy it is to place pumpkins on shelves and in planters to get different heights for each piece.

Pumpkin Menageries Jewel Design

Add jewel accents for a chic take on the design. Image: Kirkendall Design

Go for Textured Designs

Another idea is to add jeweled designs to natural pumpkins. This is a good way to get a more updated, chic take on the look, too. These pair well with other natural elements, like the yellow flowers and twig pumpkin.

The photo above highlights another good idea for displaying pumpkin menageries. A retro produce cart is a natural choice. You can also prop up some of the elements of the design using classic wooden crates. Overall, it makes you feel like the fall harvest has just come to sell at the fair. It’s a classic country look that goes well with the fall harvest theme.

Pumpkin Menageries Stair Display

You can get creative on where you place your pumpkin menagerie. Image: Hunt Laudi Studio

Put Pumpkins in Unexpected Places

Feel free to place pumpkin menageries in creative places around the home. An example from the photo above shows how well a line of pumpkins can go under some stairs. Some accent lighting behind them can draw the eye to your harvest accent.

The photo also shows how a pumpkin menagerie can work in the most modern of spaces. The orange of the pumpkins acts as an attractive accent color in this otherwise clean, white space. The lighting behind the pumpkins keeps the display looking more modern. Yellow flowers on the table also add a complementing fall color accent.

Pumpkin Menageries Small Display

A smaller menagerie makes a great accent in a room. Image: Kirkendall Design

Go for Small Accents

Your pumpkin menagerie doesn’t have to be a giant spectacle. The photo above shows how a few pumpkins and some fall foliage on a counter can add a nice harvest accent to a room. This is an easy, attractive idea that can work on end tables, on a mantel, on a shelf or in the middle of a kitchen island, as a few examples. It’s an easy idea that you can place anywhere.

As in the photo, try to go for pumpkins with different colors and textures. That will add visual interest and help the element pop in the room. It is on the smaller side, so different colors and textures will help draw attention to the display.

Pumpkin Menageries Texture Display

Find different pumpkins and gourds for a full-textured display. Image: Julie Ranee

Use Unique Textures in Pumpkin Menageries

Have you ever looked at those weird, misshapen pumpkins in the store and wondered why anyone would ever want them? The photo above shows why. If you’re creating a pumpkin menagerie, the name of the game is texture and color. And the photo above shows how different textures, colors and shapes of pumpkins can make an eye-grabbing display. Unique pumpkins are a good idea if you’re going for a natural display that is not accented with paint or jeweled additions.

The photo above also shows how well pumpkin menageries can work on and around classic items, like the old distressed toolbox. Pumpkins also work well placed on distressed wooden furniture, as you can see in the background. It all combines for a delightfully rustic look.

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Check Out The Inside’s New Katherine Carter for Homepolish Collection

The Inside is a great source for affordable home accents as well as textiles, similar to what you’d find if you work with a top interior designer. And now you can buy affordable, Mid-Century modern style pieces from one of the busiest interior designers around with the Katherine Carter for Homepolish collection.

Her top clients include Lauren Conrad and Marianna Hewitt. Her first home collection, in collaboration with The Inside, is offered in three custom prints she says were inspired by “natural textures and organic shapes in a reduced, modern palette.”

The Katherine Carter for Homepolish collection at The Inside is perfect for renters as well as apartment dwellers. The collection’s pieces are small-scale and also include removable wallpapers that are perfect for dressing up a wall and taking it down when moving out.

Here’s a look at The Inside’s new Katherine Carter for Homepolish collection:

modern platform beds

The  Modern Platform Bed, shown in Black Sybil is $799 & up (depending on size), features brass legs. It’s also available in other Katherine Carter textiles. All images: The Inside

The Katherine Carter for Homepolish at The Inside

Katherine Carter’s Marble print is available as a 20″ throw pillow with down insert for $49.

The Katherine Carter for Homepolish at The Inside Mid-Century furniture

Turned legs and tufted buttons give this 48″ Mid-Century Bench in Black Fracture fabric, $345, a vintage modern look.

The Katherine Carter for Homepolish at The Inside

A perfectly tailored Square Pouf in Marble, $249, would be perfect as an occasional table, extra seat or footstool.

Katherine Carter for Homepolish at The Inside bench

The Modern Bench, shown in White Sybil, $399, features the same 70s-style brass legs as the Modern Platform bed.

removable wallpapers for apartment

The Marble Removable Wallpaper, $129 and Cocktail Chair, $399 make a great pairing in a small sitting area.

What’s your favorite piece and pattern from Katherine Carter’s new collection? Let us know in the comments.

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15 Awesome Foodie Gift Ideas for Your Friends

KitchenAid Mixter

The ultimate gift for your favorite foodie. KitchenAid’s Limited Edition stand mixer with ceramic hobnail bowl is a dream gift. Image: Williams Sonoma

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Finding the perfect foodie gift is a matter of taste. Though your foodie friends may share a love of all things food, their gift needs go way beyond picking up a tray of something at the grocery store on the way to their party. If you truly want to be the best gift-giver, then you’ll need a strategy to find just the right gift. Though foodies do love food, your gift list should also include a several non-food options. If you’re bringing a food gift to a party, your recipient may feel obligated to share it with you and the other guests. We love the idea of a non-food gift, with a delicious treat tucked inside your foodie friend can enjoy once the party is over. Here’s a list of our favorite foodie-friendly gifts:

Practical gifts for foodies

A practical gift for your favorite foodie doesn’t have to be all work and no play. You can choose a gift that serves a useful purpose with a twist on color or design. Look for gifts that make cooking or entertaining easier, but are also fun to open, too. The best practical gifts are the “why didn’t I think of that?”  items that delight the recipient.

A butter bell

Butter bell

The butter bell is the unsung hero of the dining table. Image: Williams Sonoma

A butter bell is one of those kitchen items that you don’t know you need, until you get one. The butter bell keeps butter soft and easy to serve, which is great for entertaining. Today’s butter bells are stylish and perfect for tabletop use. 

The perfect combo cutting boards

Stone Wood Cutting Board

Versatile and stylish, these wood and stone boards do double duty. Image: Williams Sonoma

This clever and beautiful board is a must-have at a party. Slice and serve bread on the wood half, then arrange an assortment of cheeses on the cool marble. Give two or three of these boards with cheese knives for a beautiful gift.

Grilled Cheese Kitchen: Bread + Cheese + Everything in Between cookbook

Cookbook Foodie Gift

Indulge your love of grilled cheese with a Grilled Cheese Kitchen Cookbook. Image: Barnes & Noble

A cookbook is a great gift idea for any foodie. This simple and delicious cookbook, Grilled Cheese Kitchen: Bread + Cheese + Everything In Between, has a simple goal: to make the most basic sandwich into something special. We say they succeeded.

Gifts for adventurous foodie friends

We know that many foodies are also adventurous. The love of food can bring out the explorer in our friends as they discover new flavors and cultures. The best gifts for adventurous food-lovers celebrate the diverse food around the world. 

Kitchen linens foodies will love

Los Muertos Towels

Spice up a foodie kitchen with these colorful towels. Image: World Market

Whimsical and worldly, the Los Muertos kitchen linens add color and fun to any kitchen. Plus, let’s face it, we all could use more kitchen linens. A set of kitchen towels or pot holders is always a welcome gift and are also easily personalized with your recipient’s interests.

Delight your foodie friend with small plate inspiration

Cookbook Foodie Gift

Find small plate inspiration in Graze. Image: Barnes & Noble

Serving “small plate” dishes is at the center of most international dining styles. There’s more to this trend than just smaller portions, however. This foodie gift can inspire countless dinners with Graze: Inspiration for Small Plates and Meandering Meals by Suzanne Lenzer.

Let’s make crêpes!

Crepe Set Gift

All the tools a foodie needs to create the perfect crêpe. Image: Sur la Table

We love everything about Crêpes, both savory and sweet. Your foodie friends have probably thought  about trying to make crêpes, but without the right tools it won’t be successful. Enter the Staub Cast Iron Crêpe Set with all the tools they’ll need to create crêperie magic.

Food gifts for foodie friends

It’s understandable when you can’t resist gifting food for your foodie friend — after all, that is their passion. Be sure your food gift is special enough to express the care you took in choosing it. These food gifts will not be found in your local grocery store (which makes them even more fun to shop for).

Spanish saffron is the ultimate indulgence for foodies

Spanish Saffron Gift

Spanish saffron is an exotic treat for foodies. Image: Sur la Table

Known as the most-expensive spice in the world, saffron probably isn’t on your foodie friend’s shopping list. This Spanish saffron is a small indulgence that makes a big impact as a gift. Consider pairing it with other exotic spices as a gift. 

Sustainable, beautiful, Bitterman’s craft salt

Salt Foodie Gift

Specialty salts and spices make excellent gifts. Image: Sur la Table

Craft salt is a culinary star right now. Gift your foodie friend with the Bitterman’s Foundation Salt Set to open up a world of taste. If you’re gifting salt or spices, look for sets to give your foodie friend more options for experimentation.

Specialty vinegar and oil make simple and delicious foodie gifts

Flavored Vinegar Gift

Raspberry vinegar is a versatile accent for more than just salads. Image: Crate & Barrel

A gift of specialty vinegar or cooking oil is a favorite for foodies. They can combine the two to create a simple salad dressing, or use either for marinating or roasting vegetables.

Stylish foodie gift ideas

Stylish designs make any gift more special. A unique shape or finish gives your foodie gifts that “wow” factor when opened. Though your stylish foodie gift is meant to be used, strive for gifts that looking amazing on display, too.

A showpiece pitcher that is meant to be displayed

Gift Ideas for Entertaining

Stylish and practical, the Ona pitcher makes a tabletop statement. Image: Crate & Barrel

The Ona’s signature off-center handle makes it the center of attention. Handmade in crystal-clear glass with a thick, cut and polished rim. This is one pitcher that is meant to be left out every day. 

Stylish cutting board gift ideas

Cutting Board Gift Idea

This stylish cutting board brings the popular herringbone pattern home. Image: Crate & Barrel

Herringbone pattern is everything right now. This beautifully-crafted cutting board makes a stunning gift. Pair your foodie gift with specialty cheese and crackers for a party-ready combo.

Shake it up with a gorgeous cocktail shaker

Foodie Gift Ideas

Shake it up with the champagne gold Neil cocktail shaker. Image: CB2

The Neil champagne gold cocktail shaker is a sophisticated take on an already-swanky gift — this is a gift with impact. If your foodie friend enjoys serving cocktails at home, a shaker makes the perfect gift.

Luxury gift ideas for foodies

The best part about giving a luxurious gift is knowing that it is something your foodie friend would not buy for themselves. Your gift doesn’t have to be expensive, just special. Look for cooking and serving tools in unusual finishes, colors, and shapes.

Fondue pots are always in style

Modern Fondue Pot

Copper fondue pot with gold accents makes a statement. Image: Williams Sonoma

Fondue pots are still wildly popular, and it’s not surprising. One or two fondue pots can liven up any party, and they definitely make excellent gifts for a foodie that loves to entertain. Pair your fondue pot gift with rich chocolate and specialty marshmallows to get the party started.

Metallic serving pieces work with any decorating style

metallic serving dish

Melt Reactive Gunmetal Grey server is an inexpensive gift that looks luxurious. Image: CB2

Exotic finishes can elevate even the simplest of foodie gifts. Look for serving pieces in unusual colors or textures — they really make a statement on any table. Organic shapes also keep metallic service pieces from looking too modern.

Chargers for the dinner table are back

Gold Plate Charger

Brighten a dinner table with the gold Verona Charger. Image: Perigold

Have you heard about chargers? Using a charger under a dinner plate adds color as well as style to a sit-down dinner. Look for chargers with updated textures and metallics for a trendy style that your foodie friends will love.

What is your favorite foodie gift? Let us know in the comments.

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Micro Apartments are the Next Big Thing

For fans of tiny houses, there’s a new way to live small and affordably – even in the biggest, most expensive cities. Micro apartments are hot in many cities with developers busy building entire buildings of them in places like New York City and San Francisco. Read on to learn more about micro apartments and where they’re located.

The difference between a studio apartment and a micro apartment

Studios and micro apartments have many things in common. They’re often a single-area open floor plan and they’re both usually less than 600 square feet. The difference comes down to function and ease.

Micro apartments are designed to be space-efficient as well as LEED certified or energy efficient. They are designed so that they feel bigger and more open than their actual square footage. They typically feature a community feel with plenty of common areas and high-end amenities including gyms, recreation areas, spas and bike valets.

Best micro apartment developments across the U.S.

Here’s a roundup of some of the best micro apartment developments in the U.S. Even if you live in a larger space, the design and lay out of these tiny spaces can still provide inspiration. All images courtesy of the developer.

1715 Micro Apartments, Seattle

micro apartment living

Contemporary and crisp white decor, high ceilings and plenty of windows ensure a bright and airy 150 square foot space.

micro apartments

A small designated office workspace next to the bathroom.

Seattle may have the largest selection of micro apartments in the country. This development offers small and relatively affordable units (as little as $800 per month) and also makes renting a snap. All units are pet friendly, have flexible lease lengths, come furnished and also include all utilities and wifi in the monthly rental price.

Stream Belmont, Seattle

best micro apartments and small studio apartments

The tall ceilings create space for large windows and a floating bed loft.

The large rooftop deck features views of downtown Seattle.

This 70-unit development in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood is a combo of 460 square foot micro apartments and 1-2 bedroom apartments. The property offers a central location and earned a walkability score of 98 according to Walk Score. Built with a net-zero carbon footprint, it is LEED gold certified with:

  • reflective roofing
  • passive cooling
  • reverse cycle air-to-water chillers for hot water
  • LED lighting
  • no-VOC paints and finishes
  • bike parking

Turntable Studios, Denver

The cheerful and colorful interior matches the exterior’s warm hues.

The community club house next to the large outdoor pool is the social center of the development.

Developers refurbished an old cylindrical hotel in order to offer Denver’s first micro-apartments in Colorado. One of the coolest communities for rent in Denver, in includes amenities like:

  • Central lobby/reception
  • 24-hour gym
  • 24-hour laundry
  • Common outdoor grill area
  • Car-charging ports
  • Pet-friendly units
  • Clubhouse with adjacent swimming pool
  • High-floor game room featuring pool tables and stunning city views
  • Key fob access

77 Bluxome, SoMa, San Francisco

micro apartment and micro studio

Generously appointed features, such as a pantry, dishwasher and gas range, offset the small size of the kitchen.

The development includes plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy.

San Francisco may arguably be the most expensive city to rent in the U.S. This 240-square-foot micro apartment located in the highly desired SoMa district rents for $2,247 per month. The available amenities add real value to the monthly price tag. They include valet dry cleaning service, an arcade, a rooftop deck with 360-degree views as well as a gourmet community kitchen.

Shattuck Studios, Berkeley, CA

All units are furnished and have a murphy bed that converts the sitting area into a sleeping area.

A small but functional kitchen in a contemporary white washed wood finish.

Shattuck Studios is a four-story building for Berkeley students with 21 units. This project is exceptional due to the fact that the building went up in just 4 days. This is the first building to use MicroPADS, tiny modular apartments modeled on shipping containers. Each prebuilt apartment follows a shipping container model and then gets connected on site.

Carmel Place, New York City, NY

small studio living

Minimalist yet cozy living. The sofa quickly converts into a drop-down murphy bed.

The smart design of the sofa/bed ensures both are large and generous enough for 2 people.

Part of the large outdoor terrace space.

This development of micro apartments in Manhattan consists of 55 units that vary from 260 to 360 square feet in size. It includes a ground floor gym and lobby as well as a top floor communal commercial kitchen, dining area and large terrace with grills.

The Flats, Chicago

This breathtaking lobby offers micro apartment dwellers the perfect place to lounge if they need a little space.

CB2 furnishes these 300 square foot ready-to-go micro apartments.

The developers of The Flats have several properties throughout Chicago, including three locations with micro apartments for rent:

  • Lawrence House in Uptown Chicago (shown in images), a formal 1925-built hotel, renting for $1018 per month
  • The Bachelor, a 1922-built industrial-style building Uptown
  • Bush Temple on River North, the most upscale of the three, starting at $1700 per month

The Wharf, Washington D.C.

The studios feature 9-foot ceilings in order to avoid an enclosed feeling. The well-appointed kitchen offers a washer/dryer as well as stainless-steel appliances including a dishwasher.

Renters can access amenities like a rooftop 40-foot-long infinity pool which overlooks the river in addition to the surrounding restaurants, nightlife and marina.

This high-end community set on the Potomac River combines luxury housing, restaurants, boutiques and more. A third are micro-units which average 350 square feet and are designated as affordable housing. According to the developers, the market rate for the micro apartments will be, “in the range of $1,500-$2,000 per month.”

Micro Apartments Around The World

Here are some stylish and very innovative micro apartments from around the world, proving you don’t have to have a big house to enjoy good design.

Vienna, Austria

Rotenturmstrasse 5-9, located in the heart of Vienna. These eight fully furnished and nicely designed micro apartments range from 320 to 400 square feet with high-end finishes as well as smart technology like adaptive ambient lighting, keyless entry, high speed internet and satellite TV.

Budapest, Hungary

This 322 square foot space includes plenty of practical and modular storage. The pegboard wall along the kitchen and bed area can hold shelves anywhere. The stairs also feature cubbies and large concealed pullout drawers.

Beirut, Lebanon

Aptly named the Shoebox apartment by Eliemetni Architects, this rooftop micro studio is just 150 square feet. The bathroom is located behind the glass door while all the furniture is arranged against the walls for easier movement and flow.

Hong Kong

These are perhaps the most unusual of the world’s micro apartments. James Law Cybertecture refitted these tubular pipes as homes and stacked them as shown to create a micro apartment community.

Sao Paolo, Brazil

Casa 100 designed this 258 square foot studio to function like a modern hotel room.

Madrid, Spain

This micro apartment in Madrid takes advantage of its 13 foot ceilings with a vertical space that goes beyond the 226 square foot floor plan. Design firm MYCC created a stacked design in order to provide levels for a living area, work space and sleeping, all accessed by a wall-mounted ladder.

Would you live in a micro apartment? Which design is your favorite?

The post Micro Apartments are the Next Big Thing appeared first on Freshome.com.

30 Modern Radiator Covers and Cabinet Ideas That Hide Your Old-School Pipes

Is your home or apartment heated by old-school radiators? They’re a good heating option, especially if they’re heat-conducting cast iron. But these radiator units take up considerable wall space and, in many cases, they’re unsightly. Fortunately, you can cover them up using modern radiator covers or radiator cabinets without affecting their heating capabilities.

modern radiator covers and best radiator cabinets - freshome.com

The modern radiator covers in this open floor plan home creates extra surface area while hiding the old unattractive units. Image: Susan Fisher

First off, consider the material you’re using. Wood or metal are good heat conductors but be mindful about how close you place the material. A shelf over your radiator may damage the wood or block the air from circulating properly if too close. Aim to place it at least four to six inches over the radiator.

Also, allow for as much air circulation as possible. Why? The heated water inside the radiator convects, or transfers heat, into the surrounding air. If air can flow, your room will heat up. Check out these modern radiator covers and ideas to hide your tired old heating unit.

Small radiator covers

If you have a small unit or space, here are some ideas to not only hide your radiator but also reclaim the space. Consider adding shelving or some form of storage if you’re working with a small area. Create a vignette around your small radiator covers by accessorizing and adding a mirror or wall art to beautify a normally overlooked spot.

small radiator covers - freshome.com

These furniture-style small radiator covers are then accessorized by adding small objects and wall art. Images: Town House Interiors and Turner Pocock

small radiator covers and radiator cabinets - freshome.com

Two custom radiator cabinets were built tall enough to allow for air circulation and also include storage drawers. Image: Divine Design

small radiator covers and radiator cabinets - freshome.com

When you accessorize around small radiator covers, you further conceal the heating unit. In this case, the radiator cabinet looks more like a piece of furniture. Image: Mia Karlsson

small radiator covers

Radiator cabinets should include cutouts and lattice that allow for air circulation. Choose sturdy, heat-resistant decor, like metal lamps, glass and stoneware to sit over the small radiator cover. Image: Lisette Voute

small radiator covers

The best small radiator covers are shallow enough to not interrupt traffic flow in tighter spots. The added counter space is the perfect spot for keys or other small objects. Image: Modern Radiator Covers UK

Modern radiator covers

If you’re covering up an old radiator unit, don’t just stop at hiding it – enhance it by adding a graphic pattern or modern lattice design. Here are a few ideas:

modern radiator covers

Adding a decorative lattice-style pattern (like this one) to the front of your radiator cabinet or cover is a great way to allow for airflow, hide the radiator and add a design element to your space. Image: Susan Fisher

modern radiator covers

This mod front-panel pattern may be the most stylish of the modern radiator covers we’ve seen. Image: Veronica Rodriguez

small radiator covers

This elegant gold metal sheeting can be found in many home improvement stores and is easy to add to your radiator cabinets. Image: London Alcove

small radiator covers

This everyday sheet metal makes a great panel for your modern radiator box. You can also paint it in your favorite color. Image: Episcopo Builders

modern radiator covers

This cool front panel covers the old-fashioned radiator but not the heat flow – if you look carefully, the sides are left open for better air flow. Image: Think Contemporary

Radiator cabinets

If you have access to a good carpenter, radiator cabinets that look and function more like a furniture piece (and less like you’re trying to cover something up) is the way to go.

modern radiator cabinets

A modern walnut built in serves four purposes: it adds a beautiful design element to this bedroom; the drawers offer more storage; the counter top adds a spot to sit or place items; and the radiator cover hides an old painted cast iron unit. Image: Raad Studio

small radiator cabinets

A smartly-designed cabinet and small radiator cover fits in this small entry. Image: aimo+

modern radiator cabinets

For a minimalist-style radiator cabinet, doors hiding shelving and sliding panels hiding the heating unit were built. The heat flows from the top of the unit. Image: AMAN Architecture

Wood and mid-century modern radiator covers

If wood is a main design feature in your home or apartment, a radiator cover featuring coordinating wood elements will help your space flow better. Check these options out:

modern radiator covers

This modern wood radiator cover can be easily added to or moved over the existing old radiator. Image: InCreation

modern radiator cabinets

This cool, Mid-Century Modern cabinet hides the radiator unit behind it. The cabinet is set several inches away from the radiator behind it so it may circulate heat and air efficiently. Image: Rodriguez Studio

modern radiator covers

A custom oak radiator cover was fitted over the original unit to flow better with this transitional craftsman home. Image: Spaceworks Joinery 

Radiator covers that double as a bench or window seat

If your radiator sits under a window, why not box it in so you can sit and enjoy the heat inside and the view outside? Here are some ideas on how you create a radiator cover that also doubles as a bench or window seat.

modern radiator covers

This radiator cover looks more like a built-in piece of furniture with enough ledge area for sitting. Image: Ohara Interiors

modern radiator covers

In this kitchen, you can pull up a small breakfast table to sit and enjoy coffee or a snack by the window. Image: Berlin Rodeo

modern radiator covers

The radiator cover was built deeper and larger than the actual unit so that the area can serve as extra counter space or a daybed (with just a few pillows). Image: Think Contemporary

This built-in banquette cleverly hides an old, functioning radiator . Image: Sadro Design Studio

Here’s how you can create a wall bench around a radiator. Don’t leave pillows over the heating openings when in use so that your unit doesn’t overheat. Image: Blanchard Design Studio

White radiator covers

For a crisp and modern look, choose simple white radiator covers that freshen and modernize the space.

white radiator covers

A zen-inspired living room features a white radiator cover that also serves as a small shelf for objects. Image: Chris A. Dorsey

white radiator covers

The white radiator covers in this room are part of built ins around the desk area in a Moroccan-style living room space. Image: Laura U Interior Design

white radiator covers

White radiator covers are a great way to modernize a baby nursery – and also create a little more distance between the hot unit and a baby or small child’s fingers. Image: NS Photography

white radiator covers

This custom white radiator cover mimics the modern architectural lines of the stair railing. Image: Granit

white radiator covers

Furniture-style white radiator covers feature legs and flush-mounted countertops for a polished living room look. Image: SLK Interior Decoration

Modern radiator covers with a recessed look

If you’re prone to running into your radiator or other furniture pieces, consider flush-mounting yours (or building out the surrounding area) for a recessed look.

The radiator recessed into the wall allows enough space for the kitchen cabinet drawers to open and close easily. Image: Pearl Interiors

white radiator covers

Designers of this elegant small bedroom inset the radiator under the window to make the most of the floor space. Image: Taylor Howes

Do you have old-fashioned radiators in your home? If so, which of these radiator cover ideas appeal to you?

The post 30 Modern Radiator Covers and Cabinet Ideas That Hide Your Old-School Pipes appeared first on Freshome.com.

Everything You Need to Know About Using Textiles in Interior Design

Too often in interior design, textiles are seen as an afterthought. People view them as a finishing touch rather than a crucial component of the design as a whole. In reality, however, you can’t design a room without them.

That’s why we’ve dedicated this piece to textiles. Read on to learn how they contribute to a room and how to use them in the right way. We hope you gain a new appreciation for your home’s fabrics.


The term “textile” refers to anything in the room woven or made of fabric. Image: DHD Architecture and Interior Design

What are textiles?

In interior design, the term “textile” refers to any product that’s woven or made of fabric. It may sound simple, but these pieces are used in a variety of applications throughout any room. You can see them in design elements, such as:


Textiles help set the mood for the space. Image: Relativity Textiles

Why textiles matter

Textiles go a long way toward helping set the mood of a space. Imagine how different it would feel to stand in a bedroom that’s draped in silk and velvet than a living area that’s mainly made up of bamboo and cotton. When buying your textiles, you should consider the type of mood that you want to portray in each space and choose your fabrics accordingly.

Textiles also work to unify the room and help bring the space together. This is where your color palette comes into play. Once you have one in mind, you can take one or two of the colors – usually your secondary and accent shades – and use them in various textiles throughout the room.

Take the photo above as an example. Here, the faux-fur gives the room a glamorous and feminine feel. Since it’s white, it ties in with the walls, the bedding, and the furniture to help the room feel cohesive. Meanwhile, the patterned throw pillow in the center of the bed adds a pop of contrast to keep the space from feeling too boring and repetitive. Notice that the pattern on the pillow has a little dark gray in it. This ensures that the pillow still ties in with the rest of the room.


Follow these tips on using textiles in your interior design. Image: Laura U, Inc.

How to use textiles

Now that you know what textiles are and why they’re so important to your design, the next step is to learn how to use them correctly. Below is a list of tips to help get you started.

Use them as inspiration

Textiles may seem like accessories or the last design elements to purchase but they’re actually the opposite. They can serve as the inspiration for the space, providing a color palette upon which to build the room. When you’re not sure where to start with a room, turn to a rug, accent chair or even a throw pillow to give you a sense of direction.

Mix patterns, not colors

Once you have your color palette in place, stick to it. Using too many colors in a room can make it feel hectic and confusing. That said, it doesn’t mean your room has to be boring. You can still add plenty of visual interest to the space by mixing patterns. Make an effort to use multiple patterns  — and solids — that fall within the same palette.

Layer textures

Another way to add visual interest to the space is by using textiles that come in a variety of textures. Remember, in this case, texture refers to the way in which the fabric looks like it feels. Try mixing and matching different textures throughout the room or even layering them together in order to create a sense of contrast.

Let us know what textiles inspire you and how you incorporate them into your designs.

The post Everything You Need to Know About Using Textiles in Interior Design appeared first on Freshome.com.

Fall Wreaths Your Front Door Can’t Live Without

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There’s a quick and easy way to infuse instant seasonal curb appeal to your door and entrance: fall wreaths. If you choose wisely, you can get a lot of mileage out of fall wreaths. Add some spiders or spooky elements to yours for Halloween, swap out the bugs for pumpkins or wheat for Thanksgiving and add red and/or sparkle for Christmas.

Do something different and innovative for your fall wreath look, like this Craft Patch blog accordion fold paper wreath.

Consider a wreath the perfect set of earrings. No outfit (or door) is complete without one. We’ve scoured the web to bring you fall wreaths to add to your front porch and inspire you to dress up your front door this season.

Square Wreaths

fall wreaths

Add a modern twist to your holiday decor with a square wreath. Image: Ask Wet & Forget

fall wreaths
fall wreaths
fall wreaths
fall wreaths

Monogram Wreaths

fall wreath ideas

The team at Martha Stewart dressed up a simple vine wreath with some fall foliage, ribbon and the letter M.

fall wreath ideas
fall wreath ideas
fall wreath ideas

Feather Wreaths

fall wreaths

Peacock feathers are paired with vivid teal feathers for a unique fall wreath look. Image: Elle Decor UK

Foliage Wreaths

Nothing says fall more than a leaf-themed wreath. Image: Christine Throckmorton

Succulent Wreaths

fall wreaths

Give fall a twist by featuring a succulent wreath on your front door. Image: Cals Farms

fall wreaths
fall wreaths
fall wreaths
fall wreaths

Pinecone Wreaths

For an updated fall wreath, paint the pinecones on your wreath in the latest fall colors like olive, pink and terracotta. Image: Sunset Magazine

Wreaths With White Pumpkins

fall wreaths

White pumpkins are a fresh alternative to the traditional orange pumpkins, and they look great with green foliage like eucalyptus leaves. Image: Dovie Scott

fall wreaths
fall wreaths
fall wreaths

Buffalo Check Black and White Wreaths

fall wreath ideas

Plaid is a fall staple. This year, try a black and white buffalo plaid pattern. Image: How To Nest For Less

fall wreath ideas
fall wreath ideas

Floral Wreaths

fall wreaths

Florals have been fashionable in the last couple of years. They’re on wallpaper, upholstery fabric and dinnerware. And a floral wreath, like this one featuring rich peonies, makes a stunning fall wreath display. Image: Country Living

fall wreaths
fall wreaths
fall wreaths

Choose a fall wreath that stands out against your front door. High contrast blacks and whites or brightly colored wreaths look great against a darker door. And earthier tones featuring off-whites, pinecones and white pumpkins flow beautifully with a wood door. Which is your favorite of these fall wreaths?

The post Fall Wreaths Your Front Door Can’t Live Without appeared first on Freshome.com.