Ten Home Design Trends Expected in 2018


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The home remodelling and design platform Houzz recently released its top 10 home-design-trend predictions for the new year. The site’s forecast, derived from conversations with industry experts as well as trends noticed among its 40 million monthly users, gives a glimpse of what we might soon see in our homes – and on our social media feeds.

Houzz editor and writer Mitchell Parker spoke about Houzz’s conclusions, and why these particular trends are gaining traction.

1. More colour in kitchens

Although white will always be a classic colour for kitchen design, homeowners are shying away from bland hues and injecting rich colours, such as warm wood tones (eg, mahogany) and neutrals (eg, greys and blues), into the space to give it a warm, fresh and unique feel.

Social sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz have exposed homeowners to “what’s possible, what looks fun and what they can personalise themselves,” Parker said, and have encouraged them to be bigger risk-takers when it comes to colour.

2. Rich colours throughout the home

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Warm greys paired with “camel, rust, tobacco [and] brown-blacks,” as well as earthy reds and yellows, are expected to edge out cooler neutrals in the coming year.

“These rich colours are not like the avocado green and mustard colours from the 1970s. They won’t date quickly,” Parker said. “They are rich, moody and work well in home environments where you want a soothing and diverse mix of colours and textures.”

3. No more white or stainless steel sinks

The modern Farmhouse style will continue to flourish in 2018 and spread to the bathroom. Parker predicts that there will be “more concrete, stone, copper and granite composite sinks in darker hues of grey, bronze or black”.

“As people set out to personalise their spaces, they are kind of bored with seeing a white sink all of the time,” Parker said. The rustic home decor trend is “waking people up to trying something new and different”.

It “harkens back to simpler times,” he said, “and that feeling of simplicity can be very calming in a home environment”.

4. Florals

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The tropical palm print may have flooded your Instagram feeds over the past 12 months, but people aren’t yet tired of eye-catching, oversized graphic florals. Houzz expects even more interpretations of overscaled floral patterns, in high-contrast colours, in 2018.

5. Concrete accents

Step aside, white marble – it’s concrete’s time to steal the spotlight. “It’s a really affordable, high-impact design element,” Parker said.

Already used for floors and countertops, the versatile, accessible material is now being utilised in more interesting and unexpected ways, including in home accessories, such as pendant lighting and furniture.

“We’re seeing new uses [of it] on all kinds of hardscaping surfaces,” Parker added. “On anything you can think of, people are casting it.”

6. Vintage lighting

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Vintage light fixtures, including sconces, lanterns, pendants and chandeliers, are making a comeback as crafty home do-it-yourselfers outfit retro fixtures with new technology.

“I find that vintage fixtures are often better-made than new fixtures, I prefer their patina, and I appreciate the distinctive, one-of-a-kind quality they add to rooms,” designer and NBC’s Today show style expert Elizabeth Mayhew wrote in The Washington Post. “Online shopping platforms such as 1stDibs, Etsy and One Kings Lane have made it easy to find everything from an early 20th-century French crystal chandelier to a Sixties Sputnik.”

7. Millwork feature walls and detailing

The ease and availability of millwork has helped increase its demand and popularity in the design world. “Before, if you wanted to find millwork or reclaimed wood, you really had to know where to go and find somebody who was good at working with it,” Parker said. “Now, you can DIY it, and put it right against the drywall behind your bed to create a feature wall.”

8. Trough or bucket sinks

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Another sign the modern Farmhouse trend isn’t going anywhere soon: Houzz predicts that deep, wide and durable trough and bucket sinks will continue to be popular in 2018. Used commonly in busy laundry rooms and kids’ bathrooms, these long, narrow and low-maintenance sinks can help create a rustic aesthetic and maximise minimal space.

9. Wallpaper-like backsplash

Looking to refresh your kitchen or bathroom? Stay away from subway or hexagon tiles and instead consider contemporary tiles that look like wood, concrete, resin, fabric or even wallpaper.

10. Casual and calm modern bedrooms

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Homeowners are running with the “less is more” notion in the master bedroom and opting for more modern and minimalist furnishings. Instead of bold and busy colours, soothing, neutral colour palettes are expected to reign supreme, along with soft fabrics and simple furniture pieces.

© The Washington Post


Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/design/ten-home-design-trends-to-expect-in-2018-a8138011.html


If you are interested in getting a mortgage and would like to speak to us at MyMortgages.ie please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@mymortgages.ie in Cork +353 21 4277037 or 353 86 8060601

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John Hearne looks at why the right mortgage switch can deliver you up to €3,600 in annual savings

Mortgage brokers MyMortgages.ie reveals that switching mortgage providers can save homeowners anywhere between €1,200 an €3,600 per year.

Joey Sheahan is head of credit with MyMortgages.ie. He says that despite the fact that the mortgage payment is the most people’s biggest expenditure, it’s something that people don’t pay enough attention to when it comes to getting the best value on the market.

He says, “Many people assume that once they’ve taken out a mortgage with a lender for 20, 25 or 30 years, then that’s the end of the decision process. But mortgages are just like any other financial product – they should be reviewed every three years to ensure you are not paying over the odds.”

Mr Sheahan says he has no sympathy for borrowers who complain that they are paying high rates.

“There are lots of homeowners needlessly paying more than 3.6% in interest, but a large portion of people can easily switch lenders once they have 10% equity in their property.”

“Lots of people are struggling financially under the weight of these rates. We deal with clients daily who are unaware that switching could even be an option for them – many believe that they are simply locked in to the contract with their current lender. And those who have heard of switching, most think it’s too much hassle.”

Research two years ago from the Central Bank found that half a million mortgage holders – that’s 21% of the market – could save money by switching. The reason it’s not more is explained by the presence of tracker mortgages in the Irish market. These are mortgages that track the rate offered by the European Central Bank rate, which, remains below zero.

Tracker mortgages are perhaps the only positive legacy of the boom-era banking. The ongoing tracker mortgage scandal, in which a number of banks illegally forced customers off trackers, is ample evidence of the fact that offering them in the first place has been a source of deep regret for bankers.

If you have a tracker, do not be tempted to give it up.

In a 2015 Central Bank study, 33% of the sample total could make savings by switching, but were ineligible because of small loan values, the existence of an arrears balance on the account in the previous 12 months, and /or loan-to-value ratios of over 90%.

Joey Sheahan says that the Central Bank recently drew attention to the value to mortgage holders of switching by proposing the introduction of statutory requirements to support consumers considering switching their mortgage.

“If we go by the Central Bank’s estimates, then many more people, maybe as many as two in five mortgage holders throughout the country should be switching to another lender, yet switching made up just 3.3% of the mortgage market in 2014 and while this figure has certainly increased since then, it is nowhere near it should be.”

As competition continues to heat up, most lenders are now offering a range of cash incentives to new mortgage customers.

Bank of Ireland will hand back 2% of the value of the mortgage after draw down. In addition, if a customer has a current account with the bank when they apply for a new mortgage, they can qualify for a further 1% cash back after 5 years.

Permanent TSB and EBS are also offering 2% cash back to all new mortgage customers, while PTSB recently added a further incentive. They will hand back 2% of the monthly mortgage repayment, so long as the customer open a Permanent TSB Explore Account.

KBC is offering €3,600 towards legal and other fees if you draw down a mortgage with the bank before the end of next month. There are also preferential rates for the current account holders, together with a 50% reduction in the cost of home insurance for the first year.

AIB will give you €2,000 within two months while Mortgage Store, Pepper Money and Ulster Bank will give you €1,500 towards your expenses.

Don’t get carried away by these offers. They will allow you to take care of the legal fees that are inevitable when you change your mortgage provider, but when it comes to you assessing the financial benefits of switching, the impact of introductory offers is negligible.

Look instead at the rates and the payback timeline.

Figures from MyMortgages.ie illustrate this point neatly. Suppose you’ve got a 30-year mortgage on €250,000, which carried a rate of 4.20%. Your monthly payments will be €1,222, while over the life of the mortgage you will pay the bank the principal you borrowed, along with 76% of that figure over the life of the loan.

Switching mortgage provider and securing a new rate of 2.75% will reduce your monthly repayments to €1,020, while the total interest bill over the life of the mortgage will fall to €117, 417, a saving of €72,698.

Fixed and variable.

“If you are a fixed or variable rate mortgage customer you are of interest to other mortgage lenders,” says Joey Sheahan. “This means you could potentially save thousands of Euro over the remaining term of you mortgage by switching mortgage provider. Due to the current low costs of funds available for banks, in many cases there is no early breakage fee for exiting a fixed rate. You just have to call you back and check this.”

To begin the switching process, the first step is to contact your existing lender and confirm your rate of interest, balance outstanding and term remaining on the mortgage. Ask them if the variable rate you are on is the best available, and what fixed rate option are available to you as an existing customer.  You can then go comparison shopping, or you could get an independent broker to compare what’s out there.

“The more equity you have in your home,” says Sheahan, “the better the new terms likely to be available to you but you can switch even if your loan is 90 of your value.”

And when you are comparison shopping, make sure to investigate fixed as well as variable rates. While the latter have always been the default option in the Irish Market, fixed rate have become increasingly popular in recent years. They offer the key advantage of giving you certainly in monthly repayments.

Source: The Irish Examiner 08/12/2017

If you are interested in getting a mortgage and would like to speak to us at MyMortgages.ie please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@mymortgages.ie in Cork +353 21 4277037 or 353 86 8060601

MyMortgages Ltd t/a MyMortgages.ie is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland

Property purchasers struggling to save more than a 10% deposit should remember that there are ways to get exempted from the rule.

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Some 14 months on from the introduction of the oft-discussed and much-maligned mortgage lending rules, they certainly seem to be having an impact.

Mortgage approvals have slumped 15 per cent in the three months to the end of February, compared with the same period a year earlier. However, industry players say this is not down to the rules alone. Approvals rocketed ahead of their introduction, so looking year-on-year may not be a fair comparison.

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