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GORGEOUS Green Design Trends


The Frederick News-Post

2 YOUR DREAM HOME | October 2021

A special supplement to The Frederick News-Post

A special supplement to The Frederick News-Post

October 2021 | YOUR DREAM HOME 3

around the home

Green Home Design

Gorgeous Trends


n eco-friendly home offers many benefits. Besides reducing your carbon footprint and being better for the environment, you can save lots of money on your energy bills in the long run. Plus, many of the latest trends are simply beautiful. Here are some to consider for your next home or remodel: Bamboo materials Bamboo is a renewable resource that can be harvested gently, without disturbing the surrounding environment. It’s also a great alternative to hardwood, since it can regenerate faster than trees. The timeless material is very popular for flooring and can also be used for bathroom and kitchen cabinets. When buying this

4 YOUR DREAM HOME | October 2021

material for your home, look for a high-quality, sustainable producer since cheaper versions can be less sturdy. Passive house Go beyond efficient appliances with an entire house that uses little-to-no energy. Derived from the German Passivhaus, passive house is a movement that refers to a design process that creates buildings that have a small ecological footprint and require little heating or cooling. Use the philosophy to guide decisions for your home — from adding solar panels on your roof to boosting your insulation. Reclaimed pieces: One of the quickest and easiest ways to have a positive environmental impact is buying as little new as possible.


flow showerheads, toilets and sink fixtures.

The next time you need a piece of furniture, create something rustic by recycling or upcycling an old or vintage item with a new coat of paint or a fresh wood stain. If you’re planning a demolition, try deconstruction instead — “un-build” the structure and find elements you can salvage or reclaim, like exposed brick and wood beams. Water conservation With more parts of the world experiencing drought, saving water is one of the top concerns for environmentalists. Wasting water is also expensive and leads to higher utility bills. Upgrading your home with water conservation features can go a long way, and most are designed to look sleek and minimalist. Opt for low-

Insulated concrete forms Many homeowners now prefer to build with insulated concrete forms (ICFs) because the material offers better energy efficiency and performance than traditional wood. Homes built with Nudura ICFs also provide better fire protection and can help you save as much as 60 percent on heating and cooling costs. Your home is less likely to contain cold areas as the insulation is continuous around the entire house. Find more information about the benefits of building with ecofriendly ICFS at ­­—Metro

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about the market


Before You Buy

ike many first-time home buyers, Arthee Jahangir and her partner Alex Merchant knew what they wanted: big windows with plenty of light for their plants and a walkable neighborhood. The couple, in their early 30s, both work at New York University and recently purchased a home in Brooklyn Heights. “We saw lots of listings on different websites, but we wanted to know more about everything from safety ratings to subway lines to whether there was a park with a basketball court,” says Jahangir. With the help of a new site called Localize, currently available in New York and Chicago, Jahangir and Merchant developed a longer list of items that could impact their happiness in a new home, such as the number of complaints about a building, whether the subway line was about to close for renovations and how often the elevator broke down. The couple purchased a 500-square-foot studio with a loft and floor-to-ceiling windows within their $450,000 to $500,000 price range. While buyers often get enticed by quartz counters, wood floors or a pretty backsplash, there are more serious factors that consumers should consider before investing in a home, says Lynn Ikle, a real estate agent with Redfin in Howard County. “Buyers always need to think about resale and not get sucked in by pretty photos,” Ikle says. “Maybe there’s a nice empty space next door, but you need to know if that’s zoned for a Walmart. Or you love the yard but need a fence for your dog, but the homeowner’s association won’t allow it. You may not care about a busy road, but busy roads usually get busier and that could make it tough to find a buyer. These are all things buyers should pay attention to before they make an offer.” Here’s how you can find out about everything from noise levels, to future development plans for the neighborhood to the home’s infrastructure before you buy: Will my new place be noisy? While it may be obvious that you’ll hear noise if you buy a home next to a highway used by trucks, what you’ll hear and when is not always clear.

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listings and directly from First Street Foundation, which produced the score. Consumers can check Free Home Risk for an assessment of both natural and man-made property risks or a free Home Disclosure Report to check for environmental issues such as whether the area was used as a landfill, there was an oil spill nearby or if the property was used for a meth lab, says Teta. “The point of these reports is to know whether you’ll have long-term maintenance issues, whether the property is insurable and whether the home value will be impacted by these issues before you make an offer,” says Teta.


8 Important and Overlooked Questions to Ask “When you visit a home in the daytime, you may not be aware what it’s like at night, particularly in a city environment,” says Omer Granot, president and chief operating officer of Localize in New York. Localize mapped all the subway routes in New York to see which buildings have a subway traveling underneath. “We can tell you where you’re likely to feel the vibration of the train and how many times a day that will happen,” Granot says. Roads, rail schedules and flight paths are publicly mapped and can be included on some property reports, says Todd Teta, chief product and technology officer for ATTOM Data Solutions, a property data analytics supplier in Irvine, Calif., that provides free home disclosure reports for individual properties. You may also want to check community rules if you’re concerned about noise from your neighbors, such as limits on how late parties can be held, whether hard surface floors need to be covered in a high-rise and whether contractors or landscapers must abide by specific working hours.

Am I at risk for floods and fires or from previous uses of this property? Mortgage lenders typically check FEMA maps to determine whether flood insurance is required for a property, but you can find out far more about risks from natural hazards and climate change from several sites. For example, ClimateCheck provides ratings for counties, cities, neighborhoods and Zip codes that show their risk for fire, heat, drought and storms now and in the future. Consumers can go directly to ClimateCheck and enter an address. In addition, some real estate brokerages include a ClimateCheck rating on their listings. “Climate change can have an impact on your lifestyle, your insurance and utility costs and your quality of life,” says Cal Inman, CEO of ClimateCheck. “Access to this information and a risk assessment is the first step for buyers. We also provide a page of information about risk mitigation and a full report for people who want to dive more deeply into the science.” A Flood Factor score, which assesses the likelihood of a flood on a scale of one to 10, is available on Redfin

Is this a safe neighborhood with good schools? The U.S. Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits real estate agents from sharing information about crime and schools or making statements about a neighborhood or a school being “good” or “bad.” In the past, such information was used to steer white buyers from Black neighborhoods and vice versa. Agents can direct buyers to sources for that information, such as school system websites or ratings sites such as “I always suggest people review county websites for potential school redistricting plans because school assignment boundaries can change,” says Ikle. Consumers can also buy an iHomeReport from Kukun, which costs $39.95 per report and contains a variety of information, including community safety information and maps with the nearest schools and their ratings. “We created iHomeReport to help buyers get the information they need in one consumable bite,” says Raf Howery, CEO and founder of Kukun. “We’re like CarFax for a home in that we provide information about permits for past renovations so you can follow up with contractors who worked on your home before, but we also include everything about the community, including how far it is to walk to a grocery store and a hardware store and where the nearest hospital is. We want people to get a feeling for what it’s like to live somewhere.” See QUESTIONS 22

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A special supplement to The Frederick News-Post

October 2021 | YOUR DREAM HOME 7




Ditching the Dining Room

hen Missy and Lou Heinzer planned the renovation of their Arlington, Va., kitchen, they knew what they needed: something big enough and sturdy enough to stand up to the needs of three growing boys and their friends. They didn’t dream it would all come together in the midst of a pandemic. “We talked about remodeling our kitchen for a few years but finally decided to do it in 2019,” Missy says. “We had our plans in place and the demolition got started in March 2020, just as the pandemic began. All the walls were down when everything was shutting down, but we decided to just keep going with the project, and the contractors worked out a safety plan.” The Heinzers purchased their Craftsman-style home in 2005

8 YOUR DREAM HOME | October 2021

Build Your Colossal Kitchen when the house was three years old. Remodeling the first floor was their first major renovation on the property, although they previously did a small basement remodel for Missy’s father to move in with the family. “I love the charm of the older style of the home, and my husband was thrilled to buy a new home,” says Missy, 46, a stay-at-home mother who is active on nonprofit boards. Lou, 45, is a principal with a consulting firm. Their sons are 14, 11 and 7. The couple opted to split their first-floor remodel into two projects, which turned out to be a prescient move once family members ended up spending more time at home during the pandemic. Missy wanted a new mudroom, the first phase of the project, to be available during the renovation for storage. “The Heinzers are a busy family

built in a corner desk, which really helped them when covid-19 hit.” The mudroom has a coat closet, with lots of friends around all the time,” three cubbies for the boys and one for their friends. says Elle Hunter, director of project “Missy told us that when their development with Case Architects friends would leave, someone was and Remodelers in Bethesda. “Their formal dining room was rarely used for always missing a sock or a glove or a scarf, so this way, all of the anything other than overflow storage guest items can be stored together,” for preschoolers’ artwork and sports Hunter says. equipment, so we planned to tear A barn door makes it easy for down the wall to enlarge the kitchen.” the space to be closed off when The first part of the project, entertaining adults. completed in June 2019, converted “We knew we wanted a colorful Lou’s first-floor office into a mudroom. Luckily, there was another office kitchen and wanted the spaces available upstairs when the pandemic to tie together, so we went with forced people to work from home. a deep blue color scheme in the “The Heinzers’ kids do travel sports mudroom,” Missy says. and one plays the cello, so it was While increasing the important to create more space for functionality and efficient use of their equipment and for their friends’ the first-floor space was a prime equipment,” says Allie Mann, a senior goal for the Heinzers, the couple interior design specialist with Case also wanted to create a kid-friendly Architects and Remodelers. “We space that would increase their designed custom-built cabinets and sons’ independence. A special supplement to The Frederick News-Post



“We brought the kids into the planning process from the very beginning, which they really enjoyed,” Missy says. “The new design makes them feel good because they can take care of some of their needs themselves now that everything is in reach.” Hunter and Mann reconfigured the kitchen with two islands and room for a dining table and a banquette window seat with storage drawers underneath. “One of the islands is designated as the ‘kids’ island,’ “ Missy says. “It has a second sink where they can wash their hands, snack storage, a trash receptacle and a microwave they can reach on their own. We also have two undercounter refrigerators, one just for the kids’ drinks and snacks.” The “kids’ island” is located next to the gaming room, Mann says, which makes it easy for the children to grab things without walking across the kitchen. The “adult island” has a sink, a dishwasher and another trash receptacle. “The counters around the perimeter of the kitchen are polished quartz, but the islands have honed quartz, which is slightly more industrial-looking,” Mann says. “There’s less concern about marring them.” Both islands have white bar stools. “The bar stools are actually kid-friendly, too, because they just wipe clean,” Missy says. Both islands include strips of outlets and USB ports underneath the counter edge, which make it easy for the children and parents to work at the island on a laptop and charge other devices.

Deciding to remove the wall of the formal dining room to enlarge the kitchen was the first step toward a family-friendly kitchen. Next, Mann, Hunter and the Heinzers began to choose the color scheme for the space. “The Heinzers and Elle and I all like bright blue, so when we found the bright blue-and-white tiles for the backsplash, we all fell in love with it,” Mann says. “The previous kitchen had been dark and crowded, so this was the start of transforming it.” The 13-by-13-inch tiles have smaller tile pieces within them so that the entire wall looks like it is a mosaic, Mann says. “The tiles were the first thing to be installed and without the cabinets or anything else I thought it might be too much,” Missy says. “Allie told me to wait for the rest of the kitchen to be done, and then of course it came together beautifully. It makes a statement without being too in-your-face.” While the design started with the blue-and-white tile, Missy also knew she wanted a 48-inch range with two ovens and more refrigerator space. In addition to the two undercounter refrigerators, the kitchen includes a 36-inch-wide builtin column refrigerator and an 18-inch-wide built-in column freezer, both from Thermador. “We wondered if that might be too big, but it’s actually great to have the space,” Missy says. The focal point for the kitchen is a bright red Bertazzoni range, which drove the decision to paint a nearby new Dutch door bright red to match. — The Washington Post

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in the home


The Many Benefits of Houseplants


he lines between the outdoors and indoors are being blurred. Homeowners build extensive outdoor living spaces so they can relax on weatherresistant furniture and even cook in lavish kitchens in their backyards. In addition, indoor three-season rooms full of bright, open windows that showcase outdoor vistas challenge the boundaries between outside and inside. For those working with limited budgets, there are some easy, inexpensive ways to enjoy the majesty of natural landscapes indoors. Houseplants can be used to improve indoor spaces, and they also provide various health benefits. Help with allergies According to WebMD, rooms with houseplants tend to have less dust and mold in them than those without any foliage. Leaves and other parts of the plants serve as natural filters, catching airborne particles and allergens. Plants with textured leaves might be especially effective at trapping particles. Put more oxygen into the air The human respiratory system

10 YOUR DREAM HOME | October 2021

VOCs like benzene, acetone and formaldehyde, which can enter indoor air via cleaning supplies, drycleaned clothes, furniture, printers, and paints. Improve interior atmosphere Prevention magazine says plants can be used to screen unattractive areas, moderate room temperature by shading spots from the sun and even reduce noise. Plants also can improve ambiance and create a pleasing atmosphere in a room.


works by bringing in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. Plants do the opposite during photosynthesis. They absorb carbon dioxide and then release oxygen. Plants can put much more oxygen into the air, improving indoor conditions. Increase indoor humidity and reduce illness Studies from the Agricultural University of Norway found that indoor plants can increase humidity in indoor spaces, which decreases

the incidences of sore throats, dry coughs, dry skin, and the common cold. Higher absolute humidity can decrease the chances of survival and transmission of the flu virus. Filter the air Researchers who presented their work at the 252nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society found certain houseplants can combat the potentially harmful effects of volatile organic compounds. Plants may help filter out

Can improve mood Growing and caring for plants can alleviate everyday stress. A nationwide study from UK Magazine Gardeners World found 80 percent of gardeners declared themselves satisfied with life compared to 67 percent among non-gardeners. Gardeners were more positive mentally. Greenery can help people feel more at home and improve mental health. A rehab center in Norway found patients reported a greater increase in well-being four weeks after having greenery added to their surroundings. Houseplants can improve indoor areas and positively affect personal health.

A special supplement to The Frederick News-Post

A special supplement to The Frederick News-Post

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fall décor

‘Your House Becomes Your


s fall nesting season returns, home décor retailers are presenting collections that reflect the idea that home is where our hearts and heads are. Our long housebound stretch may have made us restless for the outside world, but it has helped us appreciate our homes more. Even if you didn’t redo a basement playroom, rehab a bathroom or create a workspace in an apartment closet, you probably rediscovered what you like about your home. “Our living spaces moved from sanctuary to command central,” says Elaine Griffin, a designer in Sea Island, Georgia, “and our relationship with them forever changed.” “Our love affair with our homes is at its zenith,” she says. Months of working from home has many people transforming their abodes into multitasking marvels of purpose, practicality and personality. “Of the three, the latter reigns,” says Griffin. So how do you give your rooms that personal stamp as we snuggle in for fall and winter? Maine-based designer Erin Flett has a mantra: “Collect things you love, that are authentic to you, and your house becomes your story.” Rather than a basic chair, generic carpeting or ordinary wallcovering, designers are favoring items that have a little “soul,” from the cozy nap of a plush textile to the tool marks of an artisan-made bowl, all the way to the over-the-top gorgeousness of a sleek lacquered cabinet. There’s something for everyone. Pieces that give off a homespun, handmade vibe. Polished pieces that get the heart beating, with exciting prints or bold shapes. Freeform, elegant mirrors. Patterns that span centuries of artistry. Colors that reflect our need for nature’s restorative qualities. And at the other end of the spectrum, colors that rev up our imaginations. The most interesting new home décor has the look and feel not of a factory assembly line but of a studio. An atelier. A small production house. A few examples of what’s in store for fall:

12 YOUR DREAM HOME | October 2021

Color Look for saturated hues — cobalt, cinnamon, charcoal, ruby, green and mustard among them. It’s the depth of these colors that’s new, and also how they’re used. They’re enveloping entire rooms, from walls to moldings to fireplace mantels and even the ceiling. The kitchen too. “In North America, red is our warm-color best-seller,” says Valentina Bertazzoni, head of style and design at high-end Italian kitchen appliance maker Bertazzoni. “By incorporating colors like red, the kitchen space can feel livelier and more inviting. And more homeowners are catching on to the idea that a colorful range can serve as an anchor or protagonist for a design concept.” You’ll see red in small pieces, like

Barber Osgerby’s playful Bellhop lamp, but also in larger furniture like Arteriors’ Turner sofa. For the backyard, Brown Jordan’s outdoor kitchen cabinetry comes in a hot chili hue, as well as fresh mint, Tardis blue and cotton candy pink. Charcoal and black have gone from being goth teen shades to go-to colors for chic, dramatic rooms. Even nurseries are getting these inky hues, which help make furnishings, artwork and other colors pop. In childrens’ rooms, they speak to the gender neutrality that many modern families are going for. Another style direction, “Japandi,” blends the organic, low-key modernism of both Scandinavian and Japanese aesthetics. Hues are mossy, foggy, smoky — and calming. Amy Donato of PPG Paints says, “We’re seeing strong interest in Japandi-

inspired colors. In fact, our best sellers are those that align with the serene, neutral essence of the trend.” Pattern “I love that maximalism is taking over as minimalism phases out,” says New York designer Courtney Sempliner. “The pattern play that I’m seeing with upholstery, the layering of patterns of varying scales and the bold use of color is exciting and much more interesting.” It also allows more of a homeowners’ personality to come through. Regional and global tribal patterns continue to get attention; textiles for living and sleeping spaces feature these eye-catching and often storydriven designs.

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r Story’

Associated Press

Two hot textural materials, rattan and jute, have moved from the porch and storage closet to just about every room in the home in the form of furniture and accessories. Crate & Barrel channels the 1930s with the curved-edge Anaise bedroom set. “The Navajo are among the finest rug makers in the world, featuring loom work and design on par with the best Persian rugs,” says Atlantabased design writer Leanne Potts, a contributor to HGTV, Gardenista and other outlets. “These Southwestern masterpieces feature designs and colors that work with many decor styles.” See DECORATE 22

Associated Press

Carnival and Retro Brights wallpaper patterns bring modernist graphics into living spaces, and serve as wall art of their own. The company has a collection of exuberant floral patterns as well that reflect the trend toward bolder wallcoverings.

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14 YOUR DREAM HOME | October 2021

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around the home


Renovation Project Timelines

Home renovation projects are significant undertakings. Working with skilled and experienced contractors can ensure projects go smoothly and are completed promptly. Timing is a big consideration for homeowners as they begin renovating their homes, and the home improvement experts at HomeAdvisor note that the following are some general timelines for popular renovation projects. Metro

Turn Your New House Into a Home


istorically low mortgage interest rates are helping to drive a new wave of home sales. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates roughly 14 percent of the population, or around 40 million people, move every year for various reasons. Statistics Canada’s Canadian Housing Survey found about half of Canadian households have either moved within the past five years or intend to do so within the next five. While people may be inclined to move far from their current residences, the moving resource notes that some U.S. states are seeing an influx in people leaving while others are absorbing new residents. Illinois, Alaska, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia are the top five states Americans are leaving,

16 YOUR DREAM HOME | October 2021

while Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and Montana are gaining residents. People relocate for various reasons. After moving into a new house, it can take some effort to turn that house into a true home and feel comfortable in your new environs. These steps can help that process along. • Create at least one complete and serene space. Focus on setting up the bedroom so you can retreat at the end of the day. Invest in new furniture or get new bedding to give the room this comforting feeling. • Create an organizational plan. It can be tempting to want to throw everything in closets and unpack quickly, but give yourself time to fully analyze where you want to store items, where you may need to paint or reconfigure spaces, as well as any home improvements you want to make before taking

out all of your stuff. When you fully unpack, you can immediately enjoy your hard work. • Hang artwork. Hang a few select pieces of artwork or family photos shortly after moving in. Surround yourself with things that make you feel good. • Bring mementos. Your first home may bring about warm feelings. While you can’t recreate it entirely, you can use a piece of furniture or a few family heirlooms to make your new space feel homey. • Rely on familiar scents. Break in the new space with familiar aromas, whether it’s preferential air fresheners, scented candles or baking your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Moving into a new home can be exciting. Certain touches can help make the new space feel more like home.­­ — Metro

• Home addition: Short of a fullscale demolition and rebuild, home additions are the most time-consuming projects homeowners can undertake. HomeAdvisor notes that its survey of customers who recently completed home addition projects reported that the average time from start to finish was between three and four months. • Kitchen remodel: Scale is a big factor to consider when estimating the time it takes to complete various home improvement projects, and kitchen remodels are no exception. Some HomeAdvisor users reported projects taking as long as four months, though the average time reported was roughly six weeks. Projects that require major overhauls like rearranging the plumbing and moving walls will likely take longer than more cosmetic projects that are limited to replacing cabinets and countertops. • Bathroom remodel: More than

1,000 homeowners surveyed by HomeAdvisor reported that bathroom remodels took about 4.5 weeks from start to finish. Small-scale remodels that focus on painting the walls a fresh color and replacing existing tiles can be completed in less than two weeks. But like with kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels that involve replacing plumbing fixtures and removing walls figure to take much longer than that.

— Home Advisor

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18 YOUR DREAM HOME | October 2021

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in the home

Your Spa Awaits


eteran homeowners recognize the value of remodeling their kitchens and bathrooms. Kitchens and baths tend to appear dated more quickly than other spaces, such as living rooms and bedrooms, which can always be revamped with some fresh paint and new furnishings. The home improvement pricing resource Home Guide indicates an average bathroom remodel costs anywhere from $5,500 to $15,000 depending on the size and scope of the renovation. However, a bath redo can increase a home’s resale value and can return as much as 68 percent of homeowners’ investments. As homeowners plan their bathroom renovations, it’s a good time to consider improvements. • Floating vanity: Add an airy feeling to the room by creating space between the vanity and the floor. A floating vanity can be a counter with a vessel sink or even have cabinets, as long as the vanity doesn’t extend to the floor. • Freestanding traditional sink or tub: There’s something elegant about a freestanding tub or pedestal sink. Such features can lend a classic vibe to a space. However, freestanding fixtures also come in modern or eclectic forms, so there are options for any design style. • Frameless showers: Switch to a walk-in shower option, which improves aesthetics and makes it easier to “age in place” in a home. Pair that frameless shower with clear glass shower doors so sightline in the space remains unencumbered. • Natural textures: Create a calm and serene sanctuary in the bathroom with light, natural hues and materials. Nature-inspired colors on tiles, walls and vanities can add to the spa vibe. • Dual sinks and vanities: With a double vanity, two people can share the space and easily use the bathroom without getting in each other’s way. One vanity with two sinks works, but homeowners can create even more personal space by dividing vanities and mirrors. • Small textured tile on shower floors: Small textures are appealing and add safety. The added texture and grouting will keep feet from slipping on wet floors. Also, opt for mold-resistant grout to make cleanup even easier. • Special shower heads: Invest in shower heads that can run the gamut from creating steam showers to rainfall effects. Some showers will have multiple shower jets to offer an invigorating experience. — Metro


20 YOUR DREAM HOME | October 2021

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DECORATE, continued from 6

need any fancy furniture to make a statement.

Joanna Mahserdjian, founder of Upstate Rug Supply in Hudson, New York, agrees. “Hang one on the wall as art, place one on the floor in a midcenturymodern home, or layer them with Persian rugs, as Ralph Lauren does,” she suggests. “They work equally well anchoring a pair of Danish modern chairs as they do placed in a study under a rich, camel-leather Chesterfield sofa.” You’ll find Native American and African tribal motifs on upholstered pieces, as well: Anthropologie’s Ulla chair has a mudcloth-inspired print. Sundance’s kilim-covered mangowood sofa marries the handwoven with the tailored, and there are vibrant woven baskets here too, made by a Ghanaian women’s collective. Albany Park’s founder Darryl Sharpton drew on his Nigerian heritage to create his Ekaabo seating collection. The name means “welcome home,” and the velvet upholstery’s blue, orange and burgundy graphics echo West African design. Florals remain rooted in the favorite-pattern category. But instead of tidy, well-behaved traditional ones, these florals are rebellious. Graham & Brown’s Azure paper puts a tumble of blowsy blooms on a matte black background, for instance. In a collaboration with graphic artist Marcello Vielho, Anthropologie’s fall furniture collection includes the Bloom petite side chair with a graphic botanical rendered in bold citron, grape, cherry and basil hues. There are some fun retro wallpapers too, like Hovia’s Memphis-era abstracts, and Graham & Brown’s large-scale, midmod, ‘70s and ‘80s abstracts. Look for trompe l’oeil designs like origami, crocodile, faux bois, and crystal or mineral patterns. With one of these artsy, impactful papers on your wall, you don’t

Texture You’ve probably noticed it in the aisles of big box and neighborhood décor stores: Rattan and jute have moved from the porch and storage closet to just about every room in the home. Dressers, side tables, headboards, lighting, seating and even kitchen/bath cabinet fronts are featuring the tight weaves of these materials. Anthropologie has a cane and brass chandelier, or check out Pottery Barn’s Sausalito bedroom collection, with driftwood-inspired finishes and birdseye caning. Crate & Barrel channels the 1930s with the curved-edge Anaise bedroom set, the Griere cane and wood bench, and the circular West bar cabinet, the latter in collaboration with designer Leanne Ford. Geometric textures and shapes are also attracting designers looking to create a modernist vibe, but with a geologic look that appeals to nature lovers too. RH’s new bar cart designed by Robert Forwood is clad in faceted chunks of grainy oak. West Elm has Brutalist-print throw pillows, and marble and wood octahedron objets d’art.

QUESTIONS, continued from 13

the view and light in a condo might be impacted by new development. The iHomeReport also includes research about a neighborhood that can be used to evaluate future price appreciation, including economic and physical changes in the community.

Will my view change? Newly built communities typically have a map outlining plans for retail sites, schools and amenities, but for an established community or a regional perspective, buyers can ask their real estate agents for insight. Buyers may also want to check county websites for planning updates and to see whether open land is publicly or privately owned, says Ikle. “You don’t want to buy a house because of the wooded view and discover two years later that the site is being developed into a shopping center,” she says. Construction permits and zoning information are part of Localize’s reports that can indicate whether 22 YOUR DREAM HOME | October 2021

Style Design and shelter magazines’ Instagram feeds are getting likes galore for posts featuring floating vanities; mixed-color kitchen cupboards; shapely, soft seating; Brutalist objets d’art; and matte-black window frames, cabinet knobs and faucets. In furniture, there are chunky, framed wood pieces, like Pottery Barn’s Westbrook Parson’s-style side table with a cement top, or the Jack table, with a marble top perched on an architectural bleachedwood base. But there are equally interesting pieces with sensuous,

How soon will my appliances and systems need maintenance? While some buyers waive their right to a home inspection in order to make a more competitive offer, real estate agents recommend having at least an informational inspection even if you don’t plan to ask the sellers to make repairs. “The best way to find out about the condition of big-ticket items such as the age of the roof and the heating and air conditioning system


This photo provided by Upstate Rug Supply shows a selection of Navajo rugs. “The Navajo are among the finest rug makers in the world, featuring loom work and design on par with the best Persian rugs,” says Atlanta-based design editor Leanne Potts. “These Southwestern masterpieces feature designs and colors that work with many decor styles.” rounded corners, like the Runwell dresser and side table in Shinola’s fall collaboration with Crate & Barrel; buttery, aniline leather-covered drawers nestle in a soft-edged cocoon of walnut-veneered mahogany. Wood and wood-look floors add another homey dimension to eclectic rooms, and soften the austerity of minimalist ones. Beyond real wood, there are great-looking laminates and hardy, beautiful porcelain tiles whose realistic looks exemplify how far digital printing technology has come. Italian maker La Fabbrica’s Il Cerreto tile collection reflects the rich grain and hues of wooden wine barrels. Cerdomus’ Opera collection was inspired by the woods in historic Italian theaters. And Rondine’s Timeless tile resembles textured parquet.

is to ask an inspector to estimate maintenance costs and when you might need to replace things,” says Ikle. “If everything has recently been replaced, that can mean you won’t have any of these major expenses in the next 15 years or so.” You can also request information from the sellers and their real estate agent about the age of their appliances and the home’s condition. Depending on state laws, sellers are required to disclose known defects or sign a waiver that they don’t have any knowledge of issues with the property. How much do utilities cost? Whether you’re moving from a home where utilities are included or significantly increasing your living space, you need to consider utility


Rich, saturated hues are moving from accent walls and small accessories to whole rooms, and even appliances.

costs in your housing budget. Some jurisdictions require sellers to provide information to buyers about their utility bills, says Ikle. In other areas, buyers can call the utility company to ask for the 12-month average of electric, water and gas bills. “But you need to think about different levels of usage,” says Ikle. “For example, if a home is heated with propane oil, you can ask how often the tank is refilled and how much that costs. But the sellers may keep their heat at 68 degrees all winter and you may prefer to keep your home at 72 degrees. Still, an estimate is helpful.” If you’re buying a home with solar panels, ask the sellers whether the panels are leased or owned, says Ikle. You may be taking over a lease that will incur monthly costs. — The Washington Post

A special supplement to The Frederick News-Post

A special supplement to The Frederick News-Post

October 2021 | YOUR DREAM HOME 23

24 YOUR DREAM HOME | October 2021

A special supplement to The Frederick News-Post