Prefab Homes: Pros and Cons

The tiny house movement has had a positive effect on another type of residence: prefabricated homes. As millennials and empty nesters alike look for smaller scale, more affordable housing, prefab homes are getting their time in the sun. Once perceived as low quality and hard to sell, today’s prefab homes are nothing like their shoddy predecessors. In fact, you might be surprised at the stylish and well-built newest generation of prefabricated homes.

If you’re considering a no muss, no fuss prefab home as your next abode, it’s important to suss out the pros and cons. Skipping the complicated construction process and buying a pre-built or modular home on your lot can save time. Still, there are a few drawbacks to consider before you purchase prefab.

Prefabricated modern home

Prefab could give you more house for the money. Image: Usawicka/Shutterstock

Prefab Pros

A lengthy, personalized building process definitely isn’t for everyone. Prefab homes offer one of the quickest, most affordable paths to homeownership. Check out some of the best benefits of going prefab.

Lower Costs 

Unlike traditional homebuilders, prefab homebuilders are able to buy materials in bulk and better predict building costs. These cost savings are then passed to you, the homeowner. Prefab homes are usually priced per square foot, so you can get a great idea of how much your home will cost based on its size. While a traditional home typically costs around $125 to $150 a square foot, it’s not uncommon to find a prefab builder offering prices closer to $75 per square foot. If you want a home without the huge mortgage, prefab might be the way to go.

Quick Build

On a tight build schedule? Prefab homes can definitely help with that. Prefab builders know how to quickly place all the parts and pieces for a tight schedule, which means you’ll get to move in much faster. The home is brought to your lot and the shell will be complete in as little as one day. Some prefab homes can be delivered with many of the main components installed (think cabinets and flooring). When compared to the 3- to 12-month timelines of traditional builds, you could be enjoying your home way faster if you choose prefab.

Better Sustainability

Let’s face it: a traditionally built home isn’t exactly kind to the environment. Materials are brought to your site each day, resulting in emissions. At the same time, materials go to waste and end up in landfills. If sustainability and being environmentally friendly are important to you, consider a prefab home instead. A prefab builder knows exactly how much material to use and, what’s more, extra materials can simply be used on another project. The home is shipped once, saving on gas and reducing emissions. Some prefab manufacturers also create homes that are more energy efficient, using solar panels and more efficient windows. This helps you save on utilities in the long run, which could seriously increase your enjoyment of the home.

Prefabricated cement homes

Not every neighborhood is open to prefab homes. Image: Thanate Rooprasert/Shutterstock

Prefab Cons

It’s not all sunshine and sustainability when it comes to premanufactured homes. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you can live with these drawbacks.

More Logistics 

Prefab homes can mean more work for you, the homeowner. Unlike traditional construction where the builder or contractor takes care of logistics, you might be in charge of more than you anticipated. Finding a lot, checking zoning, organizing utility hookups and other details are the homeowner’s responsibility. The prefab builder simply manufactures the home and has it delivered and installed. If you’re not comfortable overseeing the details, this could be difficult.

Land and Zoning 

Not all cities are kind to prefabricated homes. Land covenants and zoning issues could limit where you place your home. Some cities have codes for the size of homes, while others might have codes that limit your building materials and finishes. If your city only allows homes over 2,000 square feet and built with 80 percent natural materials, you might be out of luck. Thoroughly research all city codes before you purchase a lot for a prefab home.

Less Customization

If you’ve been dreaming of a custom-built home for your family, you should know that going prefab limits your choices. Sure, you might be able to pick out your favorite tile and flooring, but some materials and the general layout and size of the home are limited. Prefab builders keep costs low by building the same few homes over and over again. Cosmetic customization is usually okay, but structural and size choices are pretty much made for you. You’ll choose your home from the builder’s catalog and add your cosmetic stamp – but that’s it. If you’d rather start from scratch or require a lot of customization, it’s best to choose a traditional builder.

Thinking outside of the usual is helping more and more people attain homeownership. But before you opt for a less-common method like prefab homes, make sure you consider every angle. Once you decide you can live with the few drawbacks, you could be on your way to an affordable home you love.

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Your Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

spring home maintenance

Get your house into top shape for the warmer months with this spring home maintenance checklist. Image: Robert Daly/Getty Images

The newness and freshness of spring are inspiring and can be just what we need to tackle our home’s biggest, most daunting to-dos. And that’s why in addition to spring cleaning this is also the perfect time of year to make sure everything around your home is in working order. Use this spring home maintenance checklist to undo any damage from winter. This will let you relax during the warmer months, knowing your house is in top shape.

Overall inspection

Grab your binoculars and check your roof. Look for signs of wear and tear, like shifted shingles or nails poking up. These could create pathways for moisture to get under your roof. Look at your siding, exterior window and door seals and any other part of your home’s exterior that could have been exposed to damage over the winter. Giving your home a once-over can help you catch issues while they’re small and still easy (and cheap) to repair.

Now head indoors. Check all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Again, look at the seals around windows and doors. Even as the temperature gets more moderate, you don’t want to go months without spotting issues.

spring home maintenance - windows (1)

Sparkling windows can help you enjoy the spring season, both indoors and out. Image: Perry Mastrovito/Getty Images


Let the sunshine in! After the winter weather, your windows probably need a little TLC. You can hire a professional, but if your home is single-story or you feel comfortable on a ladder, this is an easy one to tackle yourself. Grab a squeegee, a soft cloth and a bucket that’s equal parts hot water and white vinegar. Use the cloth dipped in that solution to gently wipe away grime, then squeegee your windows clean and sparkling.

Don’t forget to clean your screens, too. Use a mild detergent to get them completely clean, then let them dry before putting them back on your windows. While you’re at it, check them for holes. Since you’ll probably be opening your windows during the warmer months, you don’t want to leave any openings for insects.


Winter takes its toll on the plant life around your house, and that’s bad news for your gutters. Use the spring season as a reminder to clear fallen leaves and other debris from your gutters. You’ll be thanking yourself when the spring showers turn to downpours and all that water can safely and effectively drain away from your home!

To knock this task off your spring home maintenance checklist, climb safely up a ladder and remove anything you find in the gutter. Then, run a hose up to your roof so you can ensure proper drainage all the way through the downspout. When the water pours out, make sure it runs away from your home’s foundation. Also, check that all downspouts are still securely attached to your home and fix any that have pulled away.

spring home maintenance - hardscaping

Assess your hardscaping to pinpoint any damage winter may have caused. Image: ShutterWorx/Getty Images


Winter temps aren’t easy on hardscaping. Check your driveway and walkways for any signs of damage. Smaller concrete cracks can probably be easily filled if you’re a DIYer, but larger damage to concrete or asphalt generally requires a pro.


Again, winter’s cold and moisture can be hard on exterior woodwork like decks and railings. This is the perfect time of year to power wash and reseal all of your home’s wood fixtures so you can enjoy clean, beautiful wood when you’re dining al fresco or relaxing in the yard once the temperatures warm up. While you’re at it, look for any signs of wood damage so you can repair them before they become a safety hazard.

spring home maintenance - grill

Get your grill ready for a summer of fun by giving it a once-over now. Image: Eirasophie/Getty Images


No spring home maintenance checklist would be complete without a little grill prep for the summer. If you have a charcoal grill, clean out any ash and grease. If you have a gas grill, check the lines for any leaks by coating them with soapy water. When turned on, gas will cause soap bubbles to form at any leak points.

No matter what type of grill you have, make sure it’s at least 10 feet from your house and five feet from anything combustible, including surrounding foliage. No sense in creating a fire hazard when you fire up the grill!

Air circulation

Your HVAC system has been pulling its weight all winter. Schedule a service visit from a qualified technician to ensure your AC unit can keep you cool all summer without any issues. You don’t want to wait until the heat sets in to find out you have a problem.

Similarly, put replacing all of your air filters on your spring home maintenance checklist. The average home needs this done every three months, so get in the habit of doing it seasonally. If you don’t, you’re wasting energy. Think about how much harder it is to blow through a handkerchief. A clogged air filter inhibits your HVAC system, making it work overtime.

spring home maintenance - lawn

Keep your yard looking lush without wasting water by checking that all of your sprinkler heads are facing the right direction. Image: Caiaimage/Martin Barraud/Getty Images


Before you start watering this spring, turn on your irrigation system and walk your property. Look for any signs of malfunctions and correct any sprinkler heads that might be watering your walkways or house. It will take you all of a few minutes, but it can save you from significant water waste or, worse, moisture damage to your foundation.

Happy spring cleaning and maintaining! We hope this spring home maintenance checklist makes it a breeze to keep your home in top shape. And, to help you continue doing exactly that as the seasons change, don’t forget to keep our summer maintenance guide at the ready.

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How to Paint Over Bold Colors Using Fewer Coats

Painting is one of the quickest and easiest ways to update your home. However, depending on the color you’re trying to cover, painting might not be quick or easy. Keeping up with the latest color trends can lead to pastels, jewel tones and everything in between. But when you’re ready to make a change, some colors are notoriously difficult to conceal under fresh paint. How can you paint over bold colors to make sure that new colors take and don’t bleed through?

Prep work

 Ben Akiba/Getty Images

Black is a sleek, stylish and stubborn color. Image: Ben Akiba/Getty Images

It’s less a matter of what colors are hardest to paint over but more about the transition, according to Jimmy Slattery, senior product manager at Valspar. “The more drastic the transition (light to dark, dark to light) the more difficult it can be to get the job done in less coats.”

If your paint job entails a drastic transition, Slattery recommends that you use a high hiding primer. If you can, get the primer in a tone close to the new color. “Also, vibrant reds, yellows and oranges can struggle to hide no matter what color they’re going over,” he explains. Slattery recommends applying a light or medium gray tinted primer tinted as this will reduce the number of coats that you’ll need.

 Peter Zvonar/Getty Images

Red and orange hues are notoriously hard to cover. Image: Peter Zvonar/Getty Images

The importance of primers

Brian Osterried, PPG Paints product marketing manager, agrees that priming is the key to success. This is true when you’re trying to cover dark colors with light colors – and he says when trying to cover light colors with dark colors. “When going from black to a light or medium color, a grey or deep base primer is recommended, such as PPG Paints SEALGRIP® tinted to grey,” he says. “Darker primers allow the lighter hue to cover in less coats and reduce the chance that the dark color will bleed through.”

Like the sun, this color wants to shine through. Image: Gladiathor/Getty Images

Tina Nokes, co-owner of Five Star Painting in Loudoun County, VA, adds that “Many people try to skip the primer step thinking that 2 topcoats will do the job.” However, she says you can prime now or prime later.  “A primer will ensure that you don’t have to go back and prime after two top coats, or you may end up applying a third and fourth coat of paint for adequate coverage when the finished result is not what you hoped.”

Nokes recommends using a high-quality stain-blocking primer. “This will keep dark paint colors from seeping through the fresh topcoat,” she explains. “Applying paint primer will also allow for no more than two coats of coverage, enhance the paint’s adhesion, and minimize the chance of the finish appearing streaky and uneven.” However, even with a primer, Nokes says that one coat of paint is rarely enough – especially to cover the most stylish color of the year. “Two coats are almost always required after using primer to assure even coverage and no flashing of the old color.”

She agrees that the primer should be tinted a grey color – or similar to the topcoat that you plan to use.

Quality products matter

Wachirawut Priamphimai/EyeEm/Getty Images

This vibrant color won’t be easy to tame with a paint brush. Image: Wachirawut Priamphimai/EyeEm/Getty Images

While it’s important to use a high-quality primer, this doesn’t mean that you can skimp on the other materials. “Aside from the surface you’re painting and the previous coating underneath it, the biggest factor when it comes to repainting over a colored surface is the product you choose to use when repainting, “ says Osterried.

That might sound like just a sales pitch, but Nokes agrees. She says that a higher quality paint does a better job of covering dark walls because it contains greater levels of binders and pigments. “And these binders and pigments are necessary for hiding difficult colors and boosting coverage.” If you use lower cost paints, Nokes warns that they may not provide the coverage you need. This could result in your walls needing more than two coats after the primer has been applied.

Using top-tier tools is also important. “Use high-quality rollers and paint bushes to make your painting project easier and more efficient,” Nokes says. “These tools deliver the paint in a smoother, thicker coat, which works to conceal the dark color.”

Finals Tips

Paint Over Image: Paolo De Santis/EyeEm/Getty Images

Purple is a royal color, but it can also be a royal pain to paint over. Image: Paolo De Santis/EyeEm/Getty Images

Before you apply the primer, be sure to prep your walls. “Fill in nail holes and sand through rough spots to make sure the surface is smooth and free of structural problems,” Nokes advises.  “To ensure a perfect surface, wash the walls with a solution comprised of mild dish detergent and warm water to remove dirt.” She also recommends using a drywall pole sander. “This will break down the paint color, and increase adhesion,” Nokes explains.

In addition, she recommends that you cut and roll while keeping a wet edge. “This keeps the new color coverage consistent and assures that the cut lines won’t show up on the wall.”

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8 Ways to Design Multigenerational Homes

According to Pew Research, a whopping 64 million Americans live in multigenerational homes. Grandparents, parents, and kids all living under the same room has gained traction over the past few years, thanks to rising housing and healthcare costs. While packing more people into one house might seem less than ideal, it does have its perks. Whether it’s saving money or offering care, there’s something to be said for living with family.

Of course, that’s not to say there won’t be any discomfort along the way. The trick to multigenerational homes is designing spaces that make sense. When a home is geared toward comfort, privacy and accessibility, living with family can be comfortable and convenient. Homes that are designed with more than one generation in mind means you can live with multiple generations without losing your mind. Here’s how.

Think accessibility

Open concept home with patio

Open concept layouts make the most sense. Image: JR-stock/Shutterstock

Multigenerational homes require an eye for accessibility. Even if Grandma and Grandpa can get around easily now, thinking ahead can save growing pains in the future. Creating spaces that are wheelchair accessible mean older residents will always feel welcome. Open concept layouts are great for getting around. And, configuring bedrooms so that everyone can reach their private living spaces easily (think putting older residents on the main floor) means everyone can remain as independent as possible.

Choose main floor bedrooms

When given the choice between main and second floor bedrooms in multigenerational homes, choose the main floor. Not only will they remain the most accessible as your family ages, but having one or two bedrooms on the main floor can create a natural separation between generations. While it might feel natural to put all of the bedrooms on the second floor level, putting a few on the main floor offers extra privacy and some breathing room to keep everyone sane.

Design for dual purposes

Guest bedroom with desk

Create rooms that pull double duty. Image:

Remember this rule of thumb: it’s easy to convert a bedroom into another space, but it’s not always possible to convert a space into a bedroom. Bedrooms usually require windows and a closet, so design your multigenerational home with this factor in mind. If you think of all your spaces as dual purpose, you’ll have more flexibility along the way. Instead of having activity-specific rooms like an office or an exercise room, it’s best to design as many bedrooms as possible and convert them when necessary. That way, you always have plenty of bedrooms that can double as other rooms.

Give enough space

When there’s more than one generation living under the same roof, you’ll need to offer enough space and privacy for everyone. How do you ensure that no one feels totally suffocated? Make sure that for each generation in a home, there is at least one dedicated living space. So, say your parents live with you and your children. Multigenerational homes that include a family room, a den and a playroom means everyone has a little breathing room and a place to relax.

Utilize every inch

Bedroom in attic

Every space can be utilized for family. Image: alexandre zveiger/Shutterstock

With several families living in the same home, every square foot comes at a premium. Get creative with all the spaces in the home and you’ll be a lot more comfortable. Think about converting some of the less-utilized areas of the home, such as the attic, the basement, or over the garage. Rethink each room’s purpose and convert storage spaces into comfy living spaces instead. You can always find other places to store your things and everyone will be happier when they can spread out.

Enjoy the suite life

If you’re lucky enough to get to design your home from scratch, ask your architect to help you configure suites for each generation. Sharing bathrooms can be a major pain point in multigenerational homes and you can easily reduce those quibbles before they even begin. A private bedroom and bathroom suite for grandparents and parents, and a jack-and-jill bathroom for kids can reduce some of the pressure on the busiest rooms in the home.

Offer separate entrances

Modern home with stone accents multigenerational homes

Separate entrances offer additional privacy. Image: ppa/Shutterstock

Another design consideration to make in multigenerational homes is how each generation will actually enter the home. If there’s not a lot of overlap in schedules (early risers leaving for school versus night owls coming in late), it might be best to design separate entrances. Not only will this reduce traffic and chaos throughout the day, but it can provide your family with a sense of autonomy. Sure, living together ensures plenty of quality time. But being able to separate some of the coming and going can help each generation feel more independent.

Customize and adapt

Whether you’re designing a home, renovating one or looking to buy, know that there’s no such thing as a perfect solution. Living in a multigenerational home means customizing as much as possible and remembering to adapt when necessary. What works for other families might not work for you and you might even find that something you designed doesn’t actually translate to real life. The trick to living with more than one family is to keep communication open and stay open to change so that everyone feels welcome and comfortable.

Multigenerational homes are a reality for more and more American families each year. Living with family can definitely come with challenges. Still, if you plan ahead for issues and design your home accordingly, you can head off conflict before it starts. By considering needs, privacy and accessibility, your multigenerational home will be one full of love.

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Entryway Design Tips: 6 Ways to Make an Entrance in Your Home

While often overlooked, the entryway might be one of the most important spaces in your home. After all, it’s the place that welcomes people into your home and, in some cases, might be the only part that visitors see. So why treat your entryway like a total afterthought? You can use clever design features to get organized, brighten the space and make the best first impression possible. Go beyond the welcome mat and make sure your entryway says exactly what you want. Follow these design tips to really make an entrance with your front entryway.

Everything in its place

Front entrance with bench

Cut the clutter with smart storage solutions. Image:

If you’re like most homeowners, your entryway can get a little cluttered. As the landing place for kids, guests and even pets, it’s all too easy to let piles stack up. The best design tip for your entry is to make sure that everything has a place. Be realistic when planning out your foyer: if you tend to drop your mail when you walk in the door, make sure it has a place to go. Sure, in a perfect world your kids would hang their backpacks in their room, but a couple of hooks in the entry can keep them off of the floor. Even a place to stash shoes out of the way means you’re not tripping over boots and flip flops–and a shoe bin doesn’t need to be perfectly organized. Think about how you and your family uses the entryway and get organized.

Offer a seat

Front foyer with bench and table

A bench makes a comfortable place to take off shoes. Image: Svet_Feo/Shutterstock

One thing that most entryways tend to miss is a place to sit. Naturally, you’re not going to invite people to pull up a chair in your front foyer. Still, a place to sit gives a convenient place to slip on shoes or sort through the mail when coming and going. What’s more, a bench can double as a clever storage solution for shoes and jackets to help cut down on clutter. Look for a bench with shelving or one that hinges open to make your entryway comfortable and convenient.

Look up

Wood accent front entrance

Use wall space to set the tone for your house. Image: Vadym Andrushchenko/Shutterstock

Your entryway is the perfect place to define your style. While it might be a tighter area, you can capitalize on wall and ceiling space to bring in some extra style. A statement chandelier, for example, can give guests an idea of your home’s style. Or, a grouping of picture frames can add some interest to the walls. Travel much? Your foyer walls are the perfect place to display shadow boxes, mementos, and souvenirs so visitors get an idea of what’s important to you.

Define the space

Front entrance with rug and furniture

Use a rug to define the space. Image: Ambient Ideas/Shutterstock

If you live in an open concept home, a front entryway can be tricky. Without a clear definition between the foyer area and the rest of the home, you could be left scratching your head. Defining the space with color and furniture lets visitors know where the entry ends and the home begins. Stage your entry with furniture so there’s a clear delineation between it and the rest of your home. A well-placed bookcase or table gives a place to set keys or a bench and locker set shows guests where to stash their stuff. Entryway too small for furniture? Utilize a bold color or even wallpaper to bring attention to the foyer without clutter.

Reflect light

Front entrance with large mirror

Use mirrors to open up a tight space. Image:

Entryways are notoriously tight in some homes and others can suffer from a lack of light. Bounce some brightness into the entry by utilizing mirrors to reflect light. This works especially well if your front door features windows. By angling a mirror directly across the source of light, you can essentially double down on whatever natural brightness you have to make your entry feel larger and airier.

Invite guests

Front entry with bench and storage entryway

Give visitors a place to stash their stuff. Image:
Michael Higginson/Shutterstock

Remember that your entryway should serve as a way to welcome guests into your home. Make sure that it gives the right impression and help your guests always feel comfortable. Offer a defined place to put things so that guests aren’t left holding coats and shoes. Diffusing essential oils or lighting a candle ensures your home smells as great as it looks. Keeping necessities like phone chargers, ice scrapers and umbrellas at the ready means you always have what visitors need on hand.

Take a look around your entryway and ask yourself: does this foyer say what I want it to? When you start thinking of your entryway as a personal space (and not just a place to drop your stuff) you can start to see how visitors feel when they walk through your front door. Focus on comfort and style to make sure your entryway really makes an entrance.

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Take a Look at the Latest Faucet Trends from Industry Leaders

Perhaps nowhere is the marriage between form and function more apparent than in faucets. In your kitchen and bathrooms, and even in your laundry room or at your bar, faucets are not only practical, but can also be pieces of art. You may still be in the valley of decision regarding hardwood floors in kitchens and bathrooms, and whether farmhouse sinks are still trendy or if the kitchen work triangle is an outdated design rule. However, after you read what the industry experts at several of the top companies told Freshome about the latest faucet trends and designs, your only faucet decision will be which one to choose.



The Vintage collection. Image: GRAFF

“From coast to coast, we are seeing a rapid shift in faucet style preferences, with the market moving away from traditional styles and toward contemporary silhouettes and finishes,” according to Celine Marcotte, business development manager at GRAFF.  “What we call living finishes, which age over time, are immensely popular, with Brushed Brass being particularly popular, along with Gunmetal and Rose Gold,” she adds.

Vintage Collection

The Vintage Collection, photo 2. Image: GRAFF

GRAFF’s Vintage collection pays homage to the historic Chicago Fire Department Illinois Fire Safety Alliance. It draws inspiration from the design of fire hose nozzles, with a modern spout and bold handles.

Incanto Collection

Incanto collection. Image: GRAFF

GRAFF’s Incanto collection also fits into its maximalist design style. “Maximalism is an evolving term and in today’s context, it has become a product that evokes glamour and opulence. It can be minimal in shape, but made maximalist by its hue or finish. A product can be minimal in one respect, such as its shape, but made maximalist by its finish or hue,” she says. “For example,” she continues, “GRAFF’s Incanto faucet in Rose Gold is maximalist in style and minimalist in form.”



Ombré Faucet collection. Image: Kohler

Eric Moore, interior designer at the Kohler Design Center, describes some of their recent faucet trends. “At Kohler, we pride ourselves on developing products at the forefront of design and technology to create highly durable, unique products that marry form and function,” says Moore.  “Our latest finish innovation—and the first of its kind in the industry—is a new Ombré faucet finish for the bath, which is available in two sets of color pairings: rose gold to polished nickel, and titanium to rose gold,” he says. “The new finish uses an innovative technique that melds two vibrant metal finishes together to render a subtle but striking transition from light to dark.” Moore adds that Ombré also uses Kohler’s proprietary physical vapor deposition process (PVD) to create a scratch- and tarnish-resistant surface.


The Components collection. Image: Kohler

Moore says another major trend is mixing and matching finishes and products. “Sometimes it can be tricky to achieve the perfect complement of products, so we’ve made it easy with our new KOHLER Components faucet collection,” he says. “Homeowners can mix and match spouts, handles and finishes for a tailor-made environment, marrying modern designs with timeless shapes.”



Voice activated pull-down faucet. Image: Delta

Other faucet trends include technological innovations. “Some of the latest trends are in increased technology and new relevant finishes,” says Peggy Gallagher, senior product manager at Delta. She says there’s a trend for increased functionality and innovative ways to incorporate technology. “We are always exploring better ways to live with water, and we also understand that consumers are looking for a faucet to be part kitchen faucet, part ‘kitchen assistant.’” She also explains that “In addition to innovations in finishes, consumers want advanced functionality, unique spray patterns and either touch or hands-free activation.”

Delta 2

ShieldSpray Technology faucet. Image: Delta

“One of our newest innovations for the kitchen that I am excited about is our new spray technology, Delta® ShieldSpray™ Technology,” Gallagher says. “A concentrated jet powers away stubborn messes while an innovative shield of water contains splatter and clears off the mess, so you can spend less time soaking, scrubbing and shirt swapping.” The new spray technology is currently available across several popular Delta kitchen collections.



Pescara faucet. Image: Franke

One of the most common faucet trends is increased functionality. “Today’s consumer also thrives on products with multi-functionality,” says Heather Jach, retail marketing manager of Franke Kitchen Systems. “Faucets with the ability to swivel 360 degrees, toggle between full and needle spray and dock easily with magnetic docking, like the Franke Pescara faucet, have become increasingly popular,” she says.


3-in-1 faucet. Image: Franke

Another trend is point of use faucets. “Consumers continue to show interest in eco-friendly design and technology – like the Franke StillPure system, which tracks water usage and filter lifespan through an app that pairs with consumers’ phones,” says Jach. The Franke 3-in-1 faucet delivers hot water, cold water and distilled water to ensure that you have pure water when you need it for cooking, prepping or rinsing.



Perrin and Rowe Holborn bar prep faucet in unlacquered finish. Image: ROHL

Offering a wide selection of finishes continues to be one of the significant faucet trends.”One of the biggest trends we are seeing for both kitchen and bath faucets is the variety of finishes now available,” says Greg Rohl, vice president and design leader, House of ROHL. “Over this last year, we’ve seen an increased interest in matte metallic, as well as living finishes, which are untreated and therefore will patina over time as it’s exposed to various elements.”

Another new finish is the Satin English matte gold finish from Perrin & Rowe. “Because of this popularity in both of these finish styles, we introduced a new Satin Unlacquered Brass,” he says. “Similar to unlacquered brass, this new finish will patina, but has a matte finish, instead of a polished shine.”


Italian Campo Bridge Kitchen Sink. Image: ROHL

Rohl says another trend is darker sink and faucet finishes. He explains that consumers aren’t afraid to introduce color anymore. “Having witnessed the growing popularity of black stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, you are now seeing this same trend in both sinks and faucets throughout the home.”

ROHL now offers a Black Matte finish in a variety of faucet styles. “These join our Black Matte Fireclay Sinks which have been a popular finish for our Allia Sink Collection for years, as well as our new black stainless steel sinks.”



Explore Three Hole Bridge Faucet with Pull Down Spray and Level Handles. Image: Elkay

Other industry professionals are also seeing faucet trends that introduce darker colors into the kitchen.”We’re seeing a fashion forward blend of dark and metallic colors,” says Dan Worst, product manager at Elkay. “This faucet [in the photo above] brings a more classic style to the kitchen while providing beautiful function with convenient features like the pull-down spray head.” Worst says this design is one of the most popular in the Elkay line. It’s currently available in Antique Steel, Chrome and Lustrous Steel, but he says more option are scheduled to launch this year.

Elkay2 faucet trends

Elkay Avado Single Hole Bar Faucet with Pull-out Spray in Lustrous Steel. Image: Elkay

Worst describes this faucet as a “long-standing favorite for kitchens and bars” that “combines clean modern lines with commercial designs that look as great as they function.” He adds that this “popular faucet currently comes in Chrome and Lustrous Steel, with plans of releasing a matte black and brushed gold this year as well.”

What are your favorite faucet trends? Let us know in the comments!

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Trends in Window Treatments

Window treatments provide privacy, let the sun in (or not) and help to keep the cold weather out. And they do all of this while dressing up your windows and making your rooms look formal and elegant, modern or romantic – or while making a whimsical or bold design statement. So, what’s popular in the world of window treatments? Freshome asked several interior designers and window treatment experts to share some of the trends in this area.

Roman and Roller Shades

Roman shades add color

These stylish Roman shades add texture to the space. Image: KhongkitWiriyachan/Getty Images

“Clean and simple is one of the biggest trends in window treatments, like pairing treatments for coverage with simple side panels just to give that pop of color and texture to make a statement in the room,” says Shane Aidala, Marketing Director at Gotcha Covered. “Traditional items such as shutters and Roman shades are popular in many areas.” Aidala says that roller and solar shades are some of the fastest-growing products because they are now available in a variety of colors and transparencies.

Regarding colors, Aidala says brown remains a staple color for treatments. “Blues, soft greens, lavenders, berries and grays are popular, as well as jewel tones in orange and gold,” he adds.

roman curtains

Tailor-made Roman shades. Image courtesy of Pulp Design Studios.

“Roman shades are classic and have the clean lines for modern interiors,” explains Carol Marcotte, Lead Designer at Form & Function in Raleigh, NC. And that’s why they’re also recommended by Carolina V. Gentry of Pulp Design Studios in Dallas, TX. “For letting in the light, top up, bottom down Roman shades are great because they create privacy but let light in.” Gentry also likes the look of tailored window treatments. “For a simple and clean look, use decorative trim on the edge of drapery panels or Roman shades,” Gentry advises.

roller shades2

Roller shades on the windows and Roman shades on the doors. Image courtesy of Form and Function.

“Roller shades are seeing a huge increase in popularity in our region,” says Jeff King, Shutters and Blinds Specialist at The Blind King in Fort Worth, TX. This sentiment is shared by Lyndsey Dianne, Owner and Operator of in Houston, TX. “The choice to use shades in lieu of blinds as your primary window treatment is really popular right now, especially shades made from natural woven fibers, such as bamboo,” Dianne says. “The natural, neutral color of the shades paired with a white curtain is a lovely combination, especially if you like the modern farmhouse decorating style.”

Shutters and Blinds

Window Treatments - Plantaiton Shutters

Shutters can increase your home’s energy efficiency. Image: Robert Daly/Getty Images

Plantation shutters add character and elegance – and they’re super easy to operate. In addition to wood and faux wood plantation shutters, you can choose moisture resistant, light control, and even insulated options. However, wood shutters are not recommended for use in high-moisture areas, whereas composite shutters can resist moisture damage, warping and staining.

Blinds are also available in a variety of materials and styles, such as the wood, faux wood with embossed colors that look like real wood, and vinyl. Blinds can also be horizontal or vertical and either corded, cordless, or motorized.

Window Treatments -wood and faux wood blinds

Faux wood blinds may be a better option in the bathroom. Image: Pinopic/Getty Images



The right hardware can bring the entire look together. Image: phototropic/Getty Images

While the window treatments themselves are important, the hardware can add another level of style to the design. “Acrylic accents on finials, tie backs and rods are huge right now,” says Gentry. Metal hardware is another popular trend, according to Aidala. “It adds a simpler and more streamlined look to the treatments,” he explains.



Motorized window treatments are convenient. Image: Automated XiXinXing/Getty Images

Imagine being able to open and close your blinds while you’re sitting on the sofa, in another room or before you even enter the house. “Technology is now something to consider with your window treatments,” says Aidala. “High-tech touches with home automation and motorization are on the rise because of their convenience and safety.”

Window treatments safe

Motorized window treatments are also safer than cords. Image: Onzon/Shutterstock

And that’s why King says smart home automation and motorization aren’t the future – they’re happening now. “Cordless blinds and shades are quickly becoming standard because cords are not safe for kids and pets,” he explains. In fact, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 1990 and 2015, there were 16,827 window blind-related injuries among children under six years old.

Dos and Don’ts When Choosing Window Treatments

Window treatments functionality

Functionality is an important consideration. Image: Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock

Aidala recommends choosing something that you love, instead of selecting something that is trending at the moment. “You will be the one to look at it every day, so make sure that it is something that you will enjoy,” he says. “Also, consider not only how the treatment looks, but how it is going to function and meet your needs for the room.” Aidala says this means you should consider factors including privacy, light control and insulation.

Window treatments combined

Combine window treatments to achieve the perfect look. Image: Irena Misevic/Shutterstock

“When choosing blinds, go for a wider slat. No mini-blinds. Look for 2.5″ slats on your blinds to maximize view, light and ease of cleaning,” recommends King. “Stay away from heavy draperies. They’re not as in right now, and are also hard to automate and motorize.”

Window Treatments - crisp and clean

This room is crisp and clean. Image: scovad/Getty Images

Marcotte advises consumers to consider organic and textural elements like a woven or matchstick blind. “These are lovely alone with or without lining (depending on privacy needs), but you could also have a layer of drapes over the top, as well.” She adds that neutral linen drapes are timeless. “They’re classic and can be decorated around over the years and have a more calming effect.” Another option is sheers. “They come in a variety of subtle patterns now and are not your ‘grandma’s sheers.’ They can be stylish and still allow light in, where privacy and blackout are not necessary,” Marcotte says.

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12 Pretty Reasons Plaid Decor is Exactly What You Need


Plaid Decor Chair

Buffalo check is a non-fussy way to add plaid decor to your living room. The unique lines of the Louna Armchair give it a contemporary look. Image courtesy of Wayfair.

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There are some decorating trends that never fade away. Instead, they reinvent themselves over and over. We love plaid decor, and it’s a perennial favorite with interior designers. Just like floral prints, plaid has many different patterns that can weather interior design trends every season. The historically traditional plaid patterns have been adapted by decor designers for decades. That brought us the iconic patterns and colors of the upholstered furniture of the 1970s. Today’s trendy plaids return to their roots as tartan and buffalo patterns.

You won’t see as many plaid sofas or carpets as we did decades ago. Instead, the plaid trend is used primarily as accent furniture or decorative accessories. If your first thought of plaid is a cabin or lodge, you’ll be happy to see that plaid looks wonderful in most decorating styles when you choose the right one. Here are our favorite plaid accents right now:

Why We’re in Love With Tartan Plaid Decor

Tartan plaid is a timeless pattern that has always been welcome in traditional home decor. The colors of tartan plaid are familiar in navy blue, emerald green and red (usually with black accent lines in the pattern). Today’s tartan includes pretty neutrals like gray and beige – and even white. The new plaid color palettes make it easy to add them to your existing decor when you’re looking for a comfortable accent piece. 

Red Plaid Pillows

Sometimes all you need is a quick decor update. Adding the Ellery Tartan Plaid Print Cotton Lumbar Pillow to your sofa can change the look of your living room in a hurry. Image courtesy of Wayfair.

Neutral Plaid Decor

Love plaid but really prefer neutral colors? This soothing gray and white Eulalia Plaid Cotton Lumbar Pillow is perfect. Image courtesy of Birch Lane.

Plaid Wall Decor

Plaid on your walls? If you’re not ready to try plaid wallpaper, artists are incorporating plaid into their work with fun results like the whimsical ‘Tartan – Fox Duo’ Graphic Art Print. Image courtesy of Wayfair.

Magnolia Plaid Decor

Tartan plaid gets graphic with this clever pouf, featuring a close-up of the pattern. The simplicity of navy blue and white gives the Plaid Pouf Midnight Blue versatility for a variety of decorating styles. Image courtesy of Target.

Plaid Throw Pillow

Aqua and turquoise are still on-trend colors for home decor. DV Kap’s Penn Throw Pillow features a fresh color palette. Image courtesy of Perigold.

Plaid Chair Decor

The Skyline Furniture Ancient Stewart Red Chair is a stunning way to makeover your dining room. Adding a few stylish side chairs can refresh your existing table and chairs inexpensively. Image courtesy of Overstock.

Plaid Shower Curtain Wayfair

Black and white is an unexpected combo for the Elmwood British Tartan Shower Curtain. The crisp lines of this plaid shower curtain are an easy way to update a small bathroom. Image courtesy of Wayfair.

Decorating With Versatile Buffalo Check Plaid Decor

Buffalo check plaid never goes out of style. The simplicity of this comfortable pattern allows it to coordinate with a variety of decorating styles. Buffalo plaid decor is made up of only two colors intersecting to create a neutral third color that gives it more presence without looking fussy. Gingham plaid can look a lot like buffalo plaid, but the key is the oversized checks that give buffalo plaid its unique look.

Green Plaid Decor

Plaid doesn’t have to be a fall or winter thing. The spring colors of the Chas Collection Green Plaid Chair are a fresh way to bring plaid decor into your home. Image courtesy of Pier1.

Pottery Barn Ottoman

So elegant! The Fionah Blue Check Ottoman dresses up any living room. Image courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Plaid Bedroom Decor

The green and neutral Shad Fresh Plaid Cotton Duvet Cover Set is perfect for a guest room. Image courtesy of Birch Lane.

Plaid Decor Ideas

The Rosenblum Plaid Blackout Curtain Panels can add texture to a neutral living room without impacting your color scheme. Image courtesy of Birch Lane.


Plaid Home Decor Lamp

The Creative Co-Op White & Gold Ceramic Lamp‘s plaid shade is an unexpected accent for your living room lamps. Image courtesy of Amazon.

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Now You can Buy Scalamandré, Jackie Kennedy’s Favorite Textile Line

The eternally stylish Jacqueline Kennedy loved to use Scalamandré, an American luxury textile manufacturer. She featured it in her home and the Kennedy White House. The line was only available to the trade for years and a yard of fabric could set you back $100 — until now.

In a collaboration with The Inside, they now offer accents, furniture and textiles featuring several of the most famous patterns at affordable prices.


The new collection features classic and affordable home staples like beds, ottomans and occasional chairs in seven patterns. All images courtesy of The Inside.

The team went through the nearly 100 year old Scalamandré archive to choose six of the luxury textile house’s most iconic fabrics. They included the famous Zebra print from The Royal Tenenbaums, as well as one never-before-seen print, Leaping Cheetahs. The graphic Baldwin Bamboo lattice pattern is also perfect for today’s interiors.

They also tweaked each of the seven prints to look fresh and modern for today’s homes. Chad Stark, President of Scalamandré, says, “By rescaling and recoloring a selection of iconic patterns, we’ve crafted an assortment that complements our trade-only offering and showcases our 90 year-old heritage brand.”

Here are some of our favorite pieces from the new line. You can explore the entire line here.

the inside and scalamandré

Each of the furniture pieces and accessories can be purchased in any of the Scalamandré prints.

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the inside and scalamandré
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the inside and scalamandré
the inside and scalamandré
the inside and scalamandré
the inside and scalamandré
the inside and scalamandré
the inside and scalamandré
the inside and scalamandré

What’s your favorite piece from of the Scalamandré + The Inside collaboration? How would you work it into your space? Let us know in the comments!

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