We reached out to a few local Home & Garden professionals for a thorough review of the industry to see what’s hot this season.
Multi-functioning: We do a lot of work with growing families. For them using every square-inch of a New York City apartment is critical. We look for opportunities to provide more storage and more uses for a space. A corridor is not just a passageway; it can be a room for a child’s work-space, a library, or an art gallery. Shelving can be used for more than just storage – it can be a sitting area or incorporate a child’s desk.
Décor Trends: Our clients are looking for authenticity and uniqueness. They want their home to reflect their experiences, not the sum of piecemeal choices gleaned from catalogs. Often, found objects from trips, family heirlooms, and art – specifically pieces that have a story to them – add texture that you cannot buy off-the-shelf.
What’s Popular: We’ve seen a lot of interest in prior design movements, such as Art Deco. Our clients aren’t just interested in copying the past however, they’re interested in decoding their attraction to a particular aesthetic. When they do, our clients suddenly have a framework with which to make decisions. The more confident our clients are about their choices, the happier they are about the design.
DIY Advice: With the advent of smart phones we’ve all become amateur photographers. Don’t be afraid to use your own photographs. They can be powerful conversation pieces that enliven a space. If you decide to do this, consider enlarging the image with one dimension no less than 18”. If you want to be really bold, create a wall covering out of it. Scale is important.
Juliet Hernandez-Eli is the founding partner of HE Architecture based in New York City. Juliet’s clientele – families, businesses, and institutions – are always expanding. Notable projects include a low-rise luxury residential tower for Aby Rosen, corporate interiors for Samsung, a townhouse in Chelsea, and a prefab modern vacation home in Cold Spring. Juliet has taught design at both Harvard and Pratt. She is a Princeton and Harvard trained architect who resides on Manhattan with her two children and husband.
Thinking Ahead: This is the time of the year (September through November) when you should be planting your spring bulbs like daffodils, crocus, and of course tulips. If you can’t decide what to plant, consider layering your bulbs. Tulips the deepest, then Daffodils, with crocus on top. This will allow for months of continuous color in your garden. You can even plant into December if the soil is not frozen yet.
Winter Prep: Don’t cut your grass too short, having your turf a bit longer can help protect its roots from the winter’s harsh temperatures. Also, consider not blowing the leaves and instead mowing the leaves/thatch into the grass. This will produce an organic fertilizer for your turf making it more lush come spring. While you’re outside, start your winter preparation by bringing in or protecting your fragile pottery. Also, remove any hoses and drip irrigation systems to make certain they function properly next year.
Fall Foliage: If you are looking to decorate your home for holidays with some fall décor, I would recommend crotons (yes, the tropical plant you see in Florida) for the inside and ornamental cabbage or kale for your outside pots. Crotons cannot tolerate freezing temperatures and the cabbage and kale will survive a relatively mild winter into next spring.
What’s Popular: Living Walls, both for interior and exterior. While we have been installing living walls for nearly a decade, they have become increasingly more popular. As the city grows taller and taller and floor space becomes smaller and more expensive, the trend will continue.
Evan Santi is a native New Yorker and the Co-Founder of URBN, a boutique landscape design and installation company servicing New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Evan graduated NC State with a degree in Ornamental Landscape Technology and Agribusiness. Since 2003, URBN has been featured on HGTV’s “Home Rules”, NBC’s “Open House NYC” and NBC’s “The Today Show”. Some of URBN’s notable previous clients include the Park Ave Malls (Upper East Side), New York Fashion Week and the Housing Works’ Alphabet City Rooftop Garden. Evan is well-respected in the industry for beautiful solutions to challenging urban spaces. In his spare time, he is also a NYNJ Home & Garden Contributor.
Buying: First time homebuyer price point, as always, is the most popular. Anywhere between 300–500K will always be in demand. When home searching for this price point, it is a must to stalk the market daily and be ready to see properties the day they come on live to MLS. In upstate New York, you will likely get more sq. footage and land for your price point, vs northern New Jersey which tends to have smaller sq. footage and plots. However, taxes are still considerably lower overall in most north New Jersey regions vs New York, so you will many times have the ability to spend more on the sale price in NJ.
Selling: One super important detail when prepping your house to sell is to “neutralize.” You always want to neutralize the interior to allow buyers to envision themselves creating their own life and memories in your home. Removing the majority of intimate photos, religious and political pieces around the home is an absolute must. It’s always easier to sell a home that has a neutral pallet, with a very clean and decluttered space. It’s nice, however, in the fall to add a few warm tones with accessories. A few warm colored decorative pillows with a beautiful throw on the couch is really inviting. A kitchen centerpiece filled with fresh fall produce, a wax melt lit with mild pumpkin spice, and a fireplace going during a showing always creates a warm and inviting energy to the home.
Shari Porter is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate – Rand Realty. She is consistently one of the top producers out of their New City office, just outside of New York City. Shari has more than 20 years’ experience collectively in real estate related industries. Her passion for real estate and home ownership lead her to becoming a Licensed Salesperson in both New York and New Jersey, an award-winning agent, as well as one of Rockland’s top agents year after year. Shari also founded the Rockland Women’s Society, a women’s business referral network helping women build each other’s businesses and mentoring those just beginning.
Would you like to be featured in our upcoming “Home & Garden Winter Trends” article?
Evan is a writer, producer, award-winning gardener & landscape designer from Ramapo, NY. In 2005, he co-founded Urban Plantscapes LLC, a boutique landscaping company in Hoboken, NJ. Their work has been featured on HGTV, NYC Open House, NBC's The Today Show & many others. His public plantings have been seen from Park Ave to Pittsburgh. Today, the company has grown to offering creative landscaping services in 6 states. In 2016, he also parlayed his experience in gardening on media into becoming the Chief Creative Officer at NYNJ.COM.