Tag Archives: home design

Make Your House YOUR HOUSE in 2018

In order to afford their home dream, clients are working 60 hours a week, and often raising kids and helping elderly parents, too. When escrow ends, they’ve just endured an exhaustive search for the right house and they have run the harrowing race to closing.

Which is when they (often) look at me and say, “Now what? How do we furnish and decorate our home?”

You can start with the internet, where you’ll find an endless assortment of ideas: General inspiration, room planners, places to comparison shop, decorating blogs, you name it. But it can be quite overwhelming and confusing.

My online search today for color trends wasn’t helpful in the least, except as entertainment. As 2018 Color of the Year, Benjamin Moore is touting AF-290 Caliente. Kelly-Moore has chosen KM4782 Baja Grass. Pantone’s pick is 18-3838 Ultra Violet. And Dunn-Edwards’ selection is DET544 The Green Hour, which “draws inspiration from turn-of-the-century Paris, when 5 o’clock became known as ‘The Green Hour’ due to the popularity of absinthe. A darker shade of gray blue-green, this color embodies the timeless sense of mystery and creative revelry of the era.”

Or check out this advice I found on home decor trends for 2018: “We are seeing square and boxy edges remain in inspiration, but being executed with more flowy curves and a softness to them. Even classic mid-century pieces are having a hint of softness to them.”

What does that even mean?

When it comes to design, home decorating, and color choices, my advice is to make a little room in your budget for professional counsel. It’s money well spent, since home is your sanctuary and you’ll be spending a lot of time there. Meanwhile…

My Style Prediction for 2018 and beyond: The sun has set on the oh-so-popular big white box with nano windows, glass/steel staircase, matte wide-plank flooring and lab-style kitchen featuring Quartz waterfall island. If you’re contemplating a remodel in the Bay Area, don’t look around you, look ahead.

My 2018 Top Secret Tip: Hire a stager to help you. They are the designers/interior decorators who can work with almost any budget, and are quick studies who mix pragmatism with artistry. (If you need recommendations or referrals, ask me.)

The main thing is to make your house your house, and be true to yourself. As the preeminent interior designer Bunny Williams famously said, “If you love something it will work. That’s the only real rule.”

Instant art, using Benjamin Moore “Century” paint brochure.

Cynthia Cummins is a Top Producer and Partner at McGuire. For info on SF real estate visit http://CynthiaCummins.com.

Heart and Home: Quietly In Your Room

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Armchair real-estate-shopping can be immensely pleasurable. Like traveling to Paris via the pages of Travel + Leisure, it’s fun to tour a la internet through a $15 million Pacific Heights mansion.

When fantasy moves closer to reality things get trickier.

As a friend and client lamented about her partner who spends several hours each week trolling Trulia: “She’s always looking at places just a little more expensive than the house we bought. Like she’s just wishing we could have spent a tiny bit more. And meanwhile, I’m like, ‘Hey, honey, we still have boxes to unpack! Help me!’ ”

In Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton writes, “Wealth is not an absolute. It is relative to desire. Every time we yearn for something we cannot afford, we grow poorer, whatever our resources. And every time we feel satisfied with what we have, we can be counted as rich, however little we may actually possess.”

This is one reason my kitchen is extremely non-updated and likely to remain so. I’d rather focus on being content with its “as-is” funkiness than on planning, executing and paying for a remodel I hope will make me happier. (Besides, my depression-era Blue Ridge Pottery dishes match the vintage chartreuse cabinets and I adore the 1940s O’Keeffe and Merritt range.)

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for renovation and decorating. I believe the aesthetics of our environment have a profound impact on our health and well being. We just need to be mindful of why we’re visiting and revisiting the photo of that $5,000 Art Deco sofa on Houzz.com.

Desire – for more, for different, for better – is essential to all human commerce. If we didn’t buy and sell real estate, the world would keep on spinning. But it’s unlikely I’ll be out of work anytime soon. Buyers will be buying and sellers will be selling and brokers will be brokering so long as people keep on switching jobs, getting married, having children, divorcing, dying, remarrying, downsizing, retiring or moving.

What matters – before, during and after these transitions – is the presence and acceptance we bring to every moment of our lives, regardless of where we sleep, where we hang our flat-screen TV, and whether or not we have parking or low HOA dues or directly-accessible outdoor space.

To quote Alain de Botton again, this time in The Art of Travel, “The sole cause of a man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.”

Cynthia Cummins is a Top Producer and Partner at McGuire. For info on SF real estate visit http://CynthiaCummins.com.