Seven Trends That Will Define the Home of the Future

As sophisticated as homes are today, experts predict they’ll be far more so in the not-too-distant future— especially when it comes to their use of technology. Included are seven evolutionary trends that many expect to define the home of the future.

 

#1: Faster home-construction

Today, it takes somewhere between 18 months and two years to design and build your custom dream home. In the foreseeable future, experts predict that timeline will be slashed to six to nine months.

Architects will use immersion technology to not only develop plans faster, but also enable you to “walk” through a three-dimensional representation of the house and experience what it will be like to live there. Changes to the layout could be incorporated with a few clicks of the keyboard and mouse.

And, instead of delivering raw materials to the construction site and having workers cut and assemble them to match the plans, about 70 percent of the cutting and assembling work will take place in a precision-controlled factory environment. Once the foundation is ready, the pre-constructed walls, floors and roof will be delivered in “folded” sections, complete with windows, doors, fixtures, and even appliances, already installed.

 

#2: Alternative building materials and techniques

One of the big breakthroughs in home construction coming in the near future will be the use of steel framing in place of lumber.

Steel is not only stronger (able to withstand a 100-pound snow load, 110 mile per hour winds and significant earthquakes), it’s also far more eco-friendly than most people think (manufactured from up to 77 percent recycled materials) and much less wasteful (typical lumber framing generates 20 percent waste, while steel framing generates just two percent).

Other innovative home-building materials moving towards the mainstream include:

  • Wall insulation made of mushroom roots (it grows inside the air cavity, forming an air-tight seal).
  • Panels made of hemp and lime.
  • Windows made from recycled wood fiber and glass.
  • Recycled-glass floor and counter tiles.
  • Reclaimed wood (beams and flooring re-milled and repurposed).

 

#3: Smaller homes with inventive layouts

The optimum home size for many Americans has been shrinking, and experts predict it will shrink more in the future. But it will feel bigger than it is because the layout will be so practical.

The driving forces behind the small-house movement (millennials purchasing their first home and baby boomers looking to downsize) aren’t interested in formal dining rooms, home offices, guest quarters and other spaces that have only one use and are only occasionally occupied. And they certainly aren’t interested in formal entries, high ceilings and three-car garages. They want an informal house layout, with flexible, adaptable spaces that can be used every day in one way or another.

Many of these homes will also feature a second master bedroom, so parents, children and grandparents can all comfortably live under one roof.

 

#4: Walkable neighborhoods

Even today, homebuyers are willing to give up some of their wants for a new house in order to get a location that’s within walking distance to stores, restaurants and other amenities. In the future, that trend is expected to only grow stronger.

 

#5: The net-zero house

For some time now, homeowners and homebuilders have both been striving to make the structures where we live more energy-efficient (green housing projects accounted for 20% of all newly built homes in 2012). But in the future, the new goal with be a net-zero home: A home that uses between 60 to 70 percent less energy than a conventional home, with the balance of its energy needs supplied by renewable technologies (solar, wind, etc.).

Essentially, these are homes that sustain themselves. While they do consume energy produced by the local utility, they also produce energy of their own, which can be sold back to the utility through a “net metering” program, offsetting the energy purchased.

 

#6 High-tech features

The technology revolution that’s transformed our phones, computers and TVs is going to push further into our homes in the not-too-distant future.

Examples include:

  • Compact robots (similar to the Roomba vacuum) that will clean windows and more.
  • Video feeds inside the oven that will allow you to use your phone to check on what’s cooking.
  • Faucet sensors that detect bacteria in food.
  • Blinds that will automatically open and close depending on the time of day, your habits and the amount of sun streaming through the windows.
  • Refrigerators that will monitor quantities, track expiration dates, provide recipes, display family photos, access the Web, play music, and more.
  • Washers and dryers that can be operated remotely.
  • Appliances that will recognize your spoken commands.
  • Heating and cooling systems that automatically adapt to your movements and can predict your wants.

 

#7: A higher level of security

In the future, home will continue to be a place where we want to feel safe and secure. To accomplish that, you can expect:

  • Sensors that can alert you to water and gas leaks.
  • Facial recognition technology that can automatically determine whether someone on your property is a friend or foe.
  • A smart recognition system that will open the garage door, turn off the security system, unlock the doors and turn on the interior lights when it senses your car approaching.
  • The capability to create the illusion that you’re home and moving about the property when you’re actually someplace else.

 

This is no pipe dream

Many of these products, processes and strategies are already in use. Some are still being tested. And others are only in the incubator stage. But in the not-too-distant future, experts believe they’ll all be available to homeowners across the country.

 

Originally posted on the Windermere Blag by Tara Sharp.

Why We Love Living in Seattle: Chihuly Garden and Glass

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. Chihuly Garden and Glass, a long-term exhibition, opened at Seattle Center in 2012.

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Chihuly Garden and Glass features eight galleries of his work, with the Glasshouse – a 40-foot tall glass and steel structure inspired by garden conservatories around the world taking center stage. In the garden, Chihuly’s sculptures are interspersed within a magnificent display of trees, plants, and flowers. Those who still do not know his work, or have never seen it in person, will be enchanted by Chihuly’s genius and ability to transform spaces and create true glass forests.

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The museum recreates some of the major works of Chihuly’s career, and invites us to explore, imagine, photograph and compose. A wonderful tour that will tinker with your creativity and leave you inspired.

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Windermere Hosts Third-Annual Washington Waterfront Home Tour

When you picture your best life, does it include entertaining shore-side? Launching a boat from your back steps? Or fishing in your pajamas? If you dream of a waterfront life then you’re in luck! That’s because  on June 24-25 we are hosting the third-annual Washington Waterfront Home Tour. More than 80 homes from the San Juan Islands to Lake Sammamish are available to tour by boat, bike, or car. Properties are priced from $595,000 to $20 million. While you might think a waterfront home is out of your budget, there are actually properties that fit a wide variety of needs, styles, and budgets.

Here are a few examples of what you can expect to see this weekend on the tour:

Oak Harbor Charmer:content_OakHarborhttps://www.windermere.com/listing/54079653

Spectacular in Seward Park:    

SewardParkhttps://www.windermere.com/listing/54556875

Enchanted Estate in Friday Harbor:content_Friday_Harborhttps://www.windermere.com/listing/54552772

A map of the homes and their open house hours can be found on the Washington Waterfront Home Tour website. Most will be held open from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. on June 24 and 25. The listing details will note the availability; for those listed as “by appointment only”, you can contact the agent for a private tour.

Follow the fun on the Windermere Real Estate Facebook page, and share your own photos while you tour these beautiful homes by tagging your pictures on Instagram and Twitter with #WAWaterfront.

In addition to Windermere, the Washington Waterfront Home Tour is being sponsored by Penrith Home Loans.

 

Originally posted on the Windermere Blog by Tara Sharp

 

At Home in the Outdoors

More than 80 percent of Americans say they want an outdoor living space where they can relax and entertain. And it’s no wonder why. Outdoor spaces extend your livable space, add visual interest, and increase not only your quality of life, but also the overall value of your home. (In some cases, the increase in your home’s value can cover most or all of the cost to create the new space.) Here are some options to consider:

Deck

DECK

Decks are still the most popular outdoor living spaces, not only because they work so well for entertaining and relaxing, but also because they have the highest return on investment (see the Tips column for data).

Surprisingly, wood decks (made of cedar or pine) are actually the better financial investment, because building with Trex or other popular composite products costs considerably more, yet doesn’t increase the home’s value by as much.

Expanding and reconfiguring your current deck is another option that’s popular today. The contractor will typically remove the old face boards, extend the underlying structure, and then put down the new decking. This is also an opportunity to add built-in furniture, privacy screens, even plumbing and electricity.

Patio

PATIO

Running a close second to decks – in both popularity and investment return – are patios. With a patio, you can relax and entertain at ground level, which can afford more privacy in urban areas, and allows you to be more engaged with the surrounding plants and landscaping.

Typically made of brick, concrete, or stone, a patio also comes with far fewer maintenance and repair issues than a deck. Plus, patios are generally easier and less disruptive to construct – which is why they’re often about 30 percent less expensive to have professionally built.

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GAZEBO

For those who want even more privacy, as well as shelter from the sun and protection from mosquitoes and other pests, there’s the gazebo. Available with walls or as an open-air design, with screening or not, these modestly sized, affordable backyard structures can be built from scratch or purchased as a kit (for assembly by a do-it-yourselfer or a professional).

Popular in the Midwest for decades, gazebos have made their way west as homeowners here have discovered how nice and easy they are for creating a shaded spot for reading, relaxing, and backyard gatherings.

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OUTDOOR KITCHEN

People tend to gather naturally in the kitchen. And when the kitchen is outdoors, it creates an ideal opportunity to mix, mingle and interact in the open air. Other reasons why cooking outdoors makes so much sense: less kitchen cleanup, the house stays cooler during the summer, and grilled food just tastes better.

Some may think an outdoor kitchen is only for cooks who host large parties, but homeowners who go this route say they’re more of an extension of the home, and great for daily use.

Designs for outdoor kitchens range from the simple (a grill, limited counter and cabinet space, and maybe a prep sink) to truly independent entities with a refrigerator, an elaborate grill, warming oven, freestanding island with storage space, rolling cart stations, and even a dishwasher. Depending on how elaborate your design, you may be able to list it as a second kitchen when selling your house.

 

SIX PLANNING SUGGESTIONS

  1. Before meeting with contractors, gather photos of designs and ideas that you like; this will make it much easier to communicate your ideas.
  2. Make sure the materials you plan to use, as well as the overall size of the structure, will be harmonious with your home’s current look and feel.
  3. Give serious consideration to a roof – which will likely add significantly to the cost, but will also provide much-needed shade on hot days and protection from rain and inclement weather. In fact, to ensure things are structurally sound and architecturally appealing, start with the design for the roof first, then set your sights on the roof supports and structure below.
  4. Incorporate lighting into your design, which will extend its usability into the evening and throughout the seasons.
  5. Consider convenience, comfort, and longevity when choosing materials. For example, a floor made of dirt or stepping stones may last forever, but one made of wood or concrete is much easier to clean and arrange furniture upon.

 

If you’re eager to live a healthier lifestyle and reconnect with family and friends, as most people are today, it’s time to consider an outdoor living space.

Originally posted in the Windermere Blog by Tara Sharp

Do Good While Dining Out During the Month of June

This month Windermere Real Estate Co. has teamed up with neighboring restaurants to Dine Well – Do Good.  Each Monday night in the month of June, Windermere Real Estate Co. is matching tips made to servers – up to $3,000 per night – and 100% of these funds will be donated to Food Lifeline, via the Windermere Foundation.

Food Lifeline is the food bank to food banks. They rescue millions of pounds of surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, grocery stores, and restaurants; then deliver this healthy and nutritious food to 275 food banks, shelters, and meal programs across Western Washington. Through their own ingenuity and clever practices, a single $1 donation can provide the equivalent of four complete meals.

Please join us in supporting local restaurant businesses while also supporting Food Lifeline and the crucial work they do. Browse through the list of participating restaurants and set your Monday night menu for the month of June!

The Beach House
1927 43rd AVE E, Seattle, WA 98112

Ballard Loft
5105 Ballard AVE NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Bramling Cross
5205 Ballard AVE NE, Seattle, WA 98107

Bryant Corner Café
3118 NE 65th Street, Seattle WA 98115

Cactus
4220 East Madison Seattle, WA 98112

Fiddler’s Inn
9219 35th AVE NE, Seattle, WA 98115

Kabul Afghan Cuisine
2301 N. 45th Street, Seattle, WA 98103

Kizuki
319 NE Thornton Place, Seattle, WA. 98125

Mioposto
3426 NE 55th Street, Seattle, WA 98105

Rock Creek
4300 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

Sand Point Grill
5214 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Serafina
2043 Eastlake AVE E, Seattle WA 98102

Sushi Kappo Tamura
2968 Eastlake AVE E, Seattle, WA 98102

Varlamos Pizzeria
3617 NE 45th St, Seattle, WA 98105

The Watershed Pub & Kitchen
10104 3rd AVE NE, Seattle, WA 98125

Why We Love Living in Seattle: Northwest Folklife Festival

Since 1972, the Northwest Folklife Festival has been Seattle’s official start to summer. The Folklife Festival is a 3-day weekend of music, dance, and storytelling, workshops, crafts, vendors, and fun for the whole family. All ages and musical interests are welcome with events and workshops that are open to anyone who wants to participate or just listen. Admission to everything is free, although donations made at the door are appreciated.

This Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-29, 2017, at Seattle Center, join your Northwest neighbors and 5,000 performers from all over the Pacific Northwest including Washington, Oregon, Western Montana, Idaho, Alaska, British Columbia, and Alberta for a celebration of our diverse communities.

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Unique Furniture Stores of Seattle

Buy local and find those one-of-a-kind pieces you’ll never see anywhere else.

Looking to add some pomp and flare to your dwelling? Yearning for a unique piece to tie the room together? Look no further. Each of the stores on this list are small, independently curated boutiques, perfect for finding one-of-a-kind furnishings, vintage pieces, and home goods with a distinctly Seattle flair.

Adorn

This is a store with a super-stylish perspective. Adorn is a great place to find something unique for your home. The staff is well known for its friendly attitude and the always charming Rocco, the shop dog.

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Unique Find: Temporary wallpaper in uber-stylish prints

Ballard Consignment

This is a store with a super-stylish perspective. You’ll find an impeccably curated inventory of eclectic vintage furnishings and art.

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Unique Find: Warthog Taxidermy Mounted Head

Camelion Design

In addition to an amazing array of furniture styles and a seemingly endless selection of fabrics, it’s also a boutique housewares store full of goodies. You’ll discover gifts for everyone in their offerings of serving ware, candles, furniture, art, accessories, and gifts for baby.

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Unique Find: Modern furniture that doesn’t compromise comfort for style

Capers

Let your Seattle pride shine at this West Seattle home and lifestyle shop. Featuring the work of local, independent, and eco-friendly artists and craftspeople, Capers is a great spot to pick up a beautiful new cookbook that also serves as a coffee table book.

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Unique Find: Coated outdoor linens that are chic and functional with really stylish textile patterns

Digs

This Market Street staple has an exuberant mix of art, furniture, and craft; boosting a healthy mix of mid-century and contemporary pieces with a generous dose of whimsy.

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Unique Find: Life size cow sculptures

Fremont Vintage Mall

A basement full of furniture, art, and accessories could be considered the mother of all vintage stores. Spending a couple of hours browsing here is like shopping an entire antique district. Each visit will reveal new things. From the roaring ’20s to midcentury, this gallery isn’t stuck in a particular decade.

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Unique Find: 1950’s metal carnival clown baseball toss game

Phase Two Interiors

Gigi Buchanan opened Phase Two as an art, décor and furniture shop for gently used home furnishings that are worthy of a second life span, in a new home. The showroom has a large and varied selection spanning many different design styles.

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Unique Find: Scooter the shop dog apparently has great taste and is happy to help you find the perfect throw pillow

Second Use

The ultimate store for a hardcore scavenger; going to Second Use feels like being at a 100 yard sales under one roof. From old lumber, vintage cabinet pulls, and fun retro lighting options to modern appliances, unused doors and large stock piles of unused wood flooring options; they literally have it all.

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Unique Find: Antique Pine Winnowing Table used to separate the wheat from the chaff – great for a side table

Windermere Welcomes China to 31st Windermere Cup This Saturday

For the past 31 years, Windermere Real Estate and the University of Washington have joined together to host the annual Windermere Cup rowing regatta, which brings the world’s best crews to Seattle to compete against the nationally acclaimed UW men’s and women’s teams. Held annually on the first Saturday in May, the Windermere Cup is both an international sporting event and opening day party, followed by the world’s largest boat parade.

This year’s event will see the Huskies take on the Shanghai men’s and women’s High-Performance Rowing teams from China on Saturday, May 6. This matchup will mark the third time that a team from China has travelled to Seattle to compete in the Windermere Cup. Their first appearance came 27 years ago when the People’s Republic of China took home the Windermere Cup ahead of Navy, Washington, and Cambridge. Twelve years later the Chinese men’s rowing team returned for the 2002 Windermere Cup.

In addition to the crew races, the family-friendly Windermere Cup event also includes food vendors, booths to purchase UW and Windermere Cup apparel and commemorative gear, as well as a bouncy house for the kids.

Windermere Cup App:

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The crew races start at 10am and end around noon. Following the final Windermere Cup race is the Seattle Yacht Club’s Opening Day Boat Parade. Download the Windermere Cup App to access schedule and team information, and for live race results: https://event.crowdcompass.com/windermerecup17


Windermere Cut Cinco de Mayo Party:

A new addition to this year’s event is the Windermere Cut Cinco de Mayo party down along the north shore of the Montlake Cut. Twenty dollars gets you into the beer/margarita garden where you can listen to Spike and the Impalers while munching on food from one of three Mexican food trucks. For more information and to buy tickets go to Brown Paper Tickets.

Windermere Cup Book:

This book is about the athletes, colorful characters, and brilliant people the Windermere Cup rowing regatta has featured every first Saturday in May since 1987. Through interviews, original documents and pages upon pages of breathtaking photographs, author Gregg Bell captures this event’s more than 30 remarkable years, its spirit and its soul.

The Windermere Cup is a touchstone for our company, our family of offices and agents, and the University of Washington. Not only is this an international sporting event, it’s a celebration of camaraderie, teamwork, and community – and truly great tradition that we are honored to be a part of.

For more information please visit windermerecup.com and follow us at Facebook.com/WindermereCup and @WindermereCup on Twitter.

Windermere Cut Party – Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo is nacho average holiday and this year the Windermere Cup has planned the biggest Cinco de Mayo party in Seattle in conjunction with one of the world’s premier rowing regattas. What do they have lined up? Let’s taco bout it!

The party will take place along the north shore of the Montlake Cut, west of the Montlake Bridge. Here you’ll have access to a Beer and Margarita Garden, while enjoying live music and a stunning waterfront view overlooking Portage Bay.

Brian DiJulio and The Lovejacks will kick off the event, playing from 6pm to 8 pm. Following them, the always entertaining Spike & the Impalers will take the stage and play out the evening till 10pm.

Food Trucks will be on hand with three of the most popular and sought after Mexican food vendors in the Seattle area; El Camion, Taqueria Tonita, and Tacos La Flaca.

Don’t lay there and siesta – It’s time for a fiesta! Purchase your tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets. And don’t forget, you can come back down to the Montlake Cut on May 6 for Seattle’s biggest free sporting event – The Windermere Cup. More info on WindermereCup.com.

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Home Decorating Trends Expected To Last Through 2018

Home décor and design trends are an ever-changing landscape by nature. Consumers grow weary of seeing the same colors and styles, and who doesn’t love to freshen up their home with a few new throw pillows? Some trends can be fleeting and you might feel resistant to jumping into them if you’re afraid that this year’s color of the year is next year’s Harvest Gold.

According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, there are several trends in home decorating right now that are so popular, she doesn’t see them going away any time soon.

Geometric Patterns

Geometrics are seemingly everywhere right now; from backsplash tile, throw pillows, and bedding to wallpaper – the biggest commitment of them all.

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Typography

The popularity of this trend is not exactly new and it doesn’t appear to be losing any steam. Whimsical pillows and framed art with sweet messages seem to be the new text message of the home, inviting guests and proclaiming love for our friends, families and home town. In a world where Instagram and Pinterest appear to have taken over our lives – it’s no wonder we are so fond of these visual and tactile messages of inspiration, love, and comedy.

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Wood treatments

The presence of technology, especially a year from now, will have us craving natural elements like wood more than ever. Expect to see wood in unexpected places like ceilings and as accent walls. But this won’t be your Grandparent’s wood-paneled basement from the 50’s. Think one accent wall of rustic, reclaimed wood with natural aging, or elegant box-beamed ceilings.

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Fringe

Already very popular in fashion, fringe edging in small doses adds texture, softness and evokes a home-spun feeling that is endearing and blends well with other trends right now, like wooden accent bowls and handmade ceramics. Expect to see it used in more areas like blankets and curtains, as well.

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Metallics

Metallic accent furniture continues to become so popular, it has been referred to being “the new neutral”. Along with larger pieces like coffee tables and dining room tables, iridescent fabrics and wall art are also becoming more readily available to add a little sparkle to a room. Don’t think that this means you’ll need gold-plated columns erected into your home. Vintage finds from thrift shops and DIY projects like painting old furniture are also a fun way to bring this trend home.

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Intense colors

Anyone who is active on Pinterest knows that dark wall colors in vivid tones are wildly popular right now. In stark contrast to the bright and lively Greenery, chosen as color of the year by Pantone, the Benjamin Moore Paint Company chose their color of the year to be Shadow 2117-30. They describe it as “Allusive and enigmatic — a master of ambiance.”

Clearly a bold statement like this isn’t for everyone but an accent wall in a room that is not too small or dark already could be an amazing feature. Paired with metallic and lots of white furnishings and the effect is dramatic and glamorous.

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