Tag Archives: remodeling

Talking Portland Home Trends and Styles With Lance Marrs of Living Room Realty

Incredible Basement Remodel

Are you planning to buy your Portland dream home? Or maybe you’re thinking about a remodel to update the style of your house and keep up with the hottest trends?

When it comes to planning a Portland home remodel, there’s a lot to think about! Lifestyle, budget, layout, and style all come into play.

Here at Mosaik Design & Remodeling, we thought it would be interesting to speak with a local expert who sees hundreds of homes a year and talks to homebuyers on a daily basis. So we tapped veteran real estate broker, developer, and boutique hotel owner Lance Marrs to get his take on home improvement and the latest design trends in Portland.

What features are on the wish list for home buyers in Portland?

Today’s Portland buyer is sophisticated and more often than not, they know what they want! Open floor plans with good light and basements that have potential to be finished are important. Flow is everything! 

Freshome Home Remodel

Freshome

Are there any new amenities you see becoming more popular with your clients?

Portland’s creative class works hard and plays hard!

Their home life needs to be simple, easy, and stress-free. White walls, modern appliances, quality lighting, smart thermostats, and low voltage wiring are what everybody’s looking for in their new Portland home!

Amazing Kitchen Design

Elizabeth Lawson Design

What Portland home remodel projects pay off and add value down the road?

The best dollar-for-dollar value comes in a beautifully considered kitchen or bath remodel. Finishing the basement for additional square footage or as a space to rent is a smart place to invest hard-earned dollars, too.

Incredible Basement Remodel

One of our favorite basement remodels!

What popular trends in surfaces, fixtures, paint, and lighting do you think will stand the test of time?

Wide plank wood floors, deco bath hardware, minimalist lighting – these are consistently passing the test for both in-style and long-lasting value. 

A smooth wall with commercial-style detailing at the bottom is an interesting trend. It’s especially notable due to the minimal style of the trim. Simple can be expensive!

Reclaimed wood, tongue, and groove – used sparingly these features can add great depth and warmth to a home remodel.

Hallway!

22 Pages

Do you have a favorite Portland home style? What tips would you share for someone remodeling one?

Portland has so many distinct neighborhoods and diverse home styles.

The 100-year rule is something I have always taken to heart. Leave the house better than when you found it.

Do You Know: The 100 Years Rule

Your home should be built with high-quality materials and using construction methods that will stand the test of time.
More importantly, your home should still look current 100 years from now.

The key really is to choose finishes wisely and make sure to ask yourself,

“Will this look great many years from now?”

Paint and lighting can be swapped out easily but hard surfaces not so much.

Buying in one of Portland’s historic districts like Irvington or Ladd’s Addition will limit some of your options. These areas have strict guidelines and regulations designed to maintain the architectural integrity of home, particularly the exterior.

Personally, I’m into the reimagining of split-levels. I’m actually in the early stages of a project right now!

Irvington Home Tour

Irvington Home Tour

As a realtor, you’ve seen thousands of homes. To you, what makes a great home?

Homes have souls. I truly believe this.

You can tell upon entry whether or not the owner gets it. The details, both seen and unseen, are what make for a great home.

Lincoln Barbour

Finally, what are some of your favorite local resources for homeowners?

For online resources and inspiration, your blog at Mosaik Design of course!

But there are so many other wonderful resources in the Portland area, too:

Such great places to explore on a rainy afternoon!

Schoolhouse Electric in Portland

Schoolhouse Electric

A big thank-you to Lance for taking the time to talk with us today and share his thoughts on what makes Portland homes and real estate so special and unique.

You can learn more about Lance on the Living Room Realty website and read some of his writing on their amazing blog!


Lance Marrs, Portland RealtorAbout Lance Marrs

Lance Marrs has more than 20 years local real estate experience. He specializes in residential real estate found in close-in Portland neighborhoods.

To get in touch with Lance, call (503) 701-5323 or email lance@livingroomre.com.

 

Mosaik Design Featured in Pratt & Larson Newsletter Series

mosaik portland kitchen remodel

Erin Davis is August’s Designer Spotlight.

At Mosaik Design & Remodeling, we use tiles and stone for everything from countertops to backsplashes to bathroom walls. That’s why we’re thrilled to be featured in Pratt & Larson Tile and Stone’s newsletter!

This spotlight is part of their Portland showroom newsletter series, which will feature a new local remodeling industry leader each month.

See the Newsletter

About Pratt & Larson Tile and Stone

If you ever frequent Portland’s East Side near the Willamette river, you might recognize their giant showroom on 3rd Street.

We used Pratt & Larson’s 3×6 subway tile above the range in this Portland bungalow:

mosaik portland kitchen remodel

Thanks to HomeAdvisor!

innovative home remodeling ideas

innovative home remodeling ideas

I love HomeAdvisor’s blog! It’s full of awesome home improvement and design tips.

This month, HomeAdvisor is featuring my article about some of the most innovative home remodeling ideas I’ve seen.

In my experience, some of the most unique ideas ideas come about when people find creative solutions for small spaces, weirdly shaped rooms, and other tricky problems.

You can check out the whole article on HomeAdvisor. Let me know if I missed anything!

 

Make Your Home a Happier Place with These Design Tricks

blue color living room design

how to make your home a happier place

Can the state of your home make you feel happy, calm, and improve your mood?

We’ve written blog posts about how different paint colors make you feel. We’ve even written about the psychology of interior design. What we haven’t done yet is talk specifically about happiness.

Let’s look at a few design tricks you can use to make your home a place where you and your family love spending time!

We’ll dive into color theory, feng shui, the role of lighting, and easy fixes that have been scientifically proven to increase people’s happiness at home.

Let’s get started.

Colors

Does color affect how you feel? Absolutely! It might not have a huge affect on any given day, but it can over time, and you spend a lot of time in your home.

Do you find yourself feeling bored, depressed, or lethargic around the house? If so, warm, lively colors can lift your mood. If you tend to be anxious or frustrated, cool, peaceful colors might bring some much needed calmness to your home life.

At the end of the day, you should choose colors that make you happy, regardless of color theory, but let’s look at a few commonly used colors and the effect they may have on your emotions.

Calming Colors

Blue

  • Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
  • Helps you sleep when it’s a bedroom color

blue color living room design

Photo: Eoin Lyons Interiors

Green

  • Soothing and refreshing
  • Helps your brain avoid distractions, making it a great office color if you work from home
  • Makes you feel more rested and recuperated

Energizing Colors

Red

  • An exciting color that raises your heart rate
  • Stimulates conversation
  • Not great for the bathroom or bedroom, but perfect in any room where you need a pick-me-up

Yellow

  • A sunny, cheerful color
  • Great to wake up to in the morning

Purple

  • Stimulates your brain and increases creativity

White

  • Brightens rooms by reflecting light
  • Makes rooms feel bigger and more open, helping you feel more energized and less stressed

white open living space home design

Photo: Bonnie Forkner

Keep these colors in mind, but also know that it’s more about shade than the color itself. A color like green can be relaxing or invigorating depending on whether it’s warm or cool.

If it’s warm (has more yellow than blue) it can be cheerful and energizing. It’ll have a more calming effect if it’s cooler (has more blue than yellow).

Lighting

living room natural light

Photo: Melanie Coddington

According to the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui, the act of arranging your home so that environmental elements are in balance, lighting is very important.

Our brains know how much sunlight we’re getting. Too much or too little can affect your mood and disrupt your natural sleep rhythms, and it’s hard to feel happy when you’re not well-rested.

Try to let plenty of natural light into your home. Big windows and skylights will help keep your energy levels up. Good lighting can increase your concentration during the day and stop you from tossing and turning at night. If natural light isn’t an option, try halogen bulbs. They mimic natural light and can help keep your internal clock on schedule.

Other times, you don’t want natural light. When you’re taking a nap, suffering through a headache, or going to bed before sunset, darkness is preferred. Be prepared for those situations with heavy curtains in the bedroom.

Also consider light switches with a dimmer option. They’re great for the environment, too!

Plants

indoor plants

Photo: Matthew Millman

Not only have plants been proven to make people happier, they can also improve your health by purifying the air. Scientists recently identified English Ivy as one of the best air-filtering houseplants of all time. It’s extremely easy to care for. Plus it looks great in a pot, growing up an indoor trellis, or hanging in a basket.

Studies have also shown that flowers can boost creativity and productivity. That makes them perfect for a home office, living room, or kitchen.

Cleanliness

Some people thrive in chaos, but for most people, mess causes stress and guilt. A disorganized living space can make us feel overwhelmed, disorganized, and out of control. It’s a cycle that’s hard to get out of, but don’t give up.

Feng shui offers plenty of wisdom on this subject too. It’s all about eliminating clutter and keeping things that bring you joy. What could be happier than that?

Sometimes it’s not really the mess that’s stressing us out. We actually just have too much stuff and not enough space. Consider donating some of the things you don’t use if clutter is a problem for you.

Going through everything can feel like an impossible task. But it’s really not that hard! Get the entire family together and spend a weekend getting the house into shape. Save time with these 10 cleaning tips.

beautiful spotless home clean

Photo: Jennifer Pacca Interiors

Then create a plan for maintaining your newly clean home — whether it’s weekly chores or a big monthly clean-up, do whatever works for you. Here are some ideas:

Daily rules: Minimize huge, time-consuming clean-up efforts by setting simple rules, like “no food in the bedroom,” “empty the dishwasher every morning,” or “wipe down countertops every night.”

Weekly chores: It can help to take turns tackling weekly duties, like taking out the trash, cleaning the bathroom, and vacuuming rugs or carpets.

Monthly clean-up: The more the whole family keeps up with daily and weekly duties, the less you’ll need big clean-up efforts. Still, getting help can take a lot off your shoulders when it comes time to clean the microwave or make a Goodwill run.

Electronic Devices at Night

Here’s something you might find surprising. Using your smartphone too close to your bedtime can actually interfere with your sleep.

bedroom dog

Photo: Helen Norman

Looking at a phone screen, computer, iPad, or TV increases electrical activity in your brain. That’s the opposite of what you want when you’re winding down and getting ready for bed.

For a better night’s sleep, keep electronic devices out of the bedroom if you can. If that’s not an option for you, at least try to stop using them about half an hour before bedtime.

Listen to Your Instincts

I hope these tips help make your house — and most importantly YOU — happier! Just remember that everyone’s different. The things that make your neighbor happy might not work quite as well for you.

Even a home that’s technically “perfect” won’t make you happy if it doesn’t reflect your lifestyle, personality, and the things you love.

The happiest home is one that you love spending time in!

If your home needs more than a few quick fixes, we’re happy to help! Get in touch today and we’ll set up a time to chat about your options!

More Resources

5 Kitchen Upgrades with the Most Bang for Your Buck

kitchen upgrades measuring cabinets roi

kitchen upgrades best roi

“Show me the kitchen!”

Ever burst into an open house and shouted this?

OK, you were probably a bit more restrained, but most of us feel this way.

After all, kitchens and bathrooms are two of the most important rooms to home buyers. If a house looks great but has an outdated kitchen, buyers won’t bite.

So if you’re thinking of selling your home sometime in the next few years, a minor kitchen remodel is one of your best investments. According to This Old House, “A kitchen ‘face-lift’ — painting, refinishing surfaces, and upgrading appliances — will return more than a full redesign.” This is especially true here on the West Coast.

West Coast Kitchen Remodeling ROI

Last year, minor kitchen remodels in Oregon, Washington, and California had an ROI of 104%! That’s right, they more than paid for themselves. West Coast kitchen remodels that cost $21,554 had a resale value of $22,336 on average. That’s much higher than the national average of an 83% ROI. (A major kitchen remodel of $120,000 on the West Coast fetched an ROI of about 79%, or $94,400, in 2014.)

kitchen upgrades measuring cabinets roi

In general, spend 5-10% but no more than 20% of your home’s value on a kitchen remodel. Focus on kitchen upgrades that are energy-efficient, reasonably priced, and low-maintenance. For the best ROI, resist luxury options. I’ll tell you what your best bets are below.

Kitchen Upgrades with the Best ROI

Here are the 5 kitchen upgrades that will give you the best ROI:

Appliances: Home buyers can’t get enough of stainless steel appliances. So if you have an old white refrigerator and dishwasher, it’s time to swap them out! Your refrigerator doesn’t need all the trimmings, like an in-door ice and water dispenser, which can be problematic anyway. Stainless steel is excellent to highlight in your house listing and thankfully there are  many options out there you will like that fits your price point.

stainless steel kitchen upgrades

Source: Houzz

One complaint people sometimes have about stainless steel refrigerators is that they show fingerprints easily, so if this is a sticking point, look for the brushed stainless or “print free” options. Manufacturers also make magnetic stainless steel if you like to post things on your fridge.

Countertops: Natural stone and solid quartz countertops sell! You don’t need the priciest one, either. Almost any solid stone or quartz countertop will be a vast improvement over peeling laminate. Pick a classic neutral that will appeal to a wide range of design sensibilities. Costs range widely, but you may pay $40 to $75 per square foot, depending on thickness. Granite tiles are a cheaper option, but preparing food on a surface with so many seams can be frustrating.

granite countertops kitchen upgrades roi

Source: Houzz

Cabinets: If your cabinets are sturdy but look outdated, consider cabinet refacing. Upgrade to wood cabinet doors and leave the boxes be. Or for the most affordable fix, simply paint the cabinets a bright, fresh white.  If you have oak cabinetry, I recommend a dark grey or black instead of white which shows all of the grain patterning.  You can pay to fill the grain, but it is more costly. Don’t be tempted to splurge on fancy, quirky drawer pulls. You don’t want to waste money and possibly turn off someone who doesn’t share your style. Again, go with something classic.

Cabinets make up a big chunk of the total cost for kitchen upgrades, sometimes one-third of your total budget. It really depends on how big your kitchen is. Replacing cabinets in a 10×12 kitchen will be much cheaper than one twice that size. If budget is your top concern, use standard cabinets instead of custom.

cream kitchen cabinets kitchen upgrades ROI

Source: Houzz

Flooring: Hardwood floors are ideal. People are consistently wowed by them! They make your kitchen look bigger, and plus, they’re easy to clean. If your kitchen already has hardwood floors but they’re dinged up, have them sanded and refinished. It costs less than you’d think. If you have vinyl flooring, replace it with hardwood if you can afford it. Tile is another top choice for flooring. Laminate, vinyl, and linoleum are among the least popular kitchen floor choices.

open kitchen upgrades wood floor

Source: Houzz

Walls: Open floor plans have been highly desirable for years now. If your kitchen is shut off from your living space, consider having a wall knocked down or replaced with a waist-high partition. Of course, you or your remodeler will need to talk to an engineer and electrician. They can tell you if it’s a load-bearing wall and reroute outlets.

Knocking down a wall can also help bring more light into your space and create a breezy, expansive vibe — two things home buyers love. Even a small space benefits from a nice and open look.

Conclusion

If you’re putting your house on the market soon, a minor kitchen remodel can really boost your home’s value. We at Mosaik Design & Remodeling can help you prioritize, recommend updates, select a modern color palette, and more. Give us a call today to talk about the best kitchen upgrades for your home!

Top photo: Dru Bloomfield