Three Signs of a Qualified Sustainable Community

Words such as “sustainable” and “community” can get thrown around a lot, and it can be difficult to see past the cloud of developers touting green living features with nothing to back it up. When it comes down to it, though, there are several important indicators you can look for when you are seeking out a truly reliable living option. If an eco-friendly lifestyle is important to you, check for the following features when looking for a place to live.

Effective Features

Many builders talk about the green building methods and reduced carbon footprint they boast, but when you look at their development, it’s identical to every other one. What gives? Don’t trust developers who put all of their eco-friendly efforts into the building process alone. Instead, trust homes that integrate and embrace sustainable features such as: • Solar panels • Energy-efficient amenities • Walkability

Whole Community Approach

A sustainable community is one that emphasizes the importance of community. Just practicing a green development method isn’t enough to make a marked and lasting difference. Instead, strategic designs that encourage an active lifestyle and reduce common sources of waste make the community-wide difference. Creating access to alternative transportation options, designing walking trails and providing recreation options all build a community based on sustainable living.

Sustainable Recognition

Good design gets noticed, and there are many awards for reliable development. Look for communities that have been thoroughly considered and awarded for their sustainability. This is typically a good indication of accomplishment, genuine commitment to sustainable living and quality craftsmanship. Pay attention to the nature of the recognition, however. Trust awards for reliable community-building and living rather than simply green building. These are the best ways to identify developers who are truly committed to building maintainable communities. Elgin Place Exterior, sustainable community

2022 Garden Trends

The trend to plant in Salt Lake City is just about upon us. Pending one or two more freezing nights, your garden is just about ready to be replanted, fertilized, and maintained. Like many seasonal gardens, bulbs from last season are starting to make an appearance. Dandelions and tulips have been sprouting up all over the county, and more flowers will soon join them. But there’s always room for some new plants and outdoor colors to spice up your yard. This year’s trends offer inspiration to make your garden more sustainable and low maintenance, while still keeping style and beauty at the forefront of your garden display.

Indoor Veggie Gardens

Windowsill gardening is the latest in gardening, and it works especially well in Utah’s unpredictable climate. Plants like tiny cherry tomatoes and basil work great for indoor growing because they don’t take a lot of space, are feasible in a variety of pot sizes, and require basic upkeep for growth. Helen Battersby of Gardenfix told Garden Design Magazine that the trend of indoor vegetable growing is not going away anytime soon. “I think both trends are related to demographic shifts — whether younger people who can’t afford to buy that first home so they need to garden indoors or older people downsizing to condos and terrace gardens, or people just having less space and time.” says Battersby. indoor herb garden garden trends

Aesthetic Sustainability

Sustainable garden design has been around for a while now. But often, it lacks any kind of design or aesthetic appeal. Sustainable garden trends are now combing function and style. From recycled concrete and tiling to rain gutters with watering purposes, many new sustainable garden features are now appeasing to the eye and serve a valuable purpose.

Neon Pops of Color

Neon flowers shout garden vibrancy, and these flowers are coming up big this year. To make your garden pop with vivid color, plant flowers with neon shades. The Bright Rose Light Eye Gerbera is a simple flower that makes a big statement. The neon star flower in maiden pink is another great choice because of it’s amazing color and floral fragrance. This flower will stay blooming and beautiful all growing season long, and looks great in a variety of garden settings. bright neon flower garden trends

Heat Tolerant Plants

Salt Lake City is known to have a few weeks of humidity and heat. Planting with the heat in mind is a great way to save money on replanting and watering, and you’ll be up on the latest gardening trend. The Celosia Spicata plant is a great option because of its heat and drought resistance. It comes in vibrant reds, pinks, and purples, and can grow up to 4 feet. This flower is perfect for leaving in the garden, or cutting as a fresh flower centerpiece for your home. There are many varieties of perennials that are heat and drought tolerant that can add great visual interest to your garden, and are also native to Utah. These include the Raspberry Hyssop, McKanna Giant Mix, and the Wood’s Purple Daisy, among many others. celosia spicata plant

Native Plants

Native plants may forever be on the garden trends list, because of their many benefits. Utilizing native plants in your garden will require little maintenance and water, and will help the wildlife in the area thrive. Utah native plants include bulbs, annuals, perennials, ferns and grasses, evergreen shrubs, deciduous and evergreen trees, and drought tolerant plants. Here’s a comprehensive list of native Utah plants that will work great in any garden. The United States Department of Agriculture and Forest Service recommends the planting of native wildflowers in every state. “These important plant species provide nectar, pollen, and seeds that serve as food for native butterflies, insects, birds and other animals,” the USDAFA notes on their website. “Unlike natives, common horticultural plants do not provide energetic rewards for their visitors and often require insect pest control to survive.” utah native perennials

Succulents Galore

Succulents are trendy, modern, and best of all, so easy to take care of. Originally desert dwelling plants, succulents have moved into urban neighborhoods, cities, and suburbs all over the country. The options for displaying your succulent garden are virtually endless. Create a vertical garden in the backyard using pallets, or place them throughout your existing garden. They work great indoors or out, just be sure they have lots of sun to soak in. These beautiful plants come in every size, shape, and pattern, and they take very little water to thrive all year long. succulents garden trends Do you have any questions or comments about the latest gardening trends of the year? Tweet us your thoughts!

5 Ways to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Living Space

Though the weather has been less than ideal for patio parties the last few days, you can be sure that the warm weather will soon be in Salt Lake City for good. When the rains disappear and the sun arrives, you’ll want to make sure your patio and other outdoor spaces are in tip top shape. They may just need a little sprucing touches to make them more inviting and beautiful. These five inexpensive and easy tips will have your backyard space host-ready for any spring and summer party.

Creative greenery

You don’t have to stick with a standard planter with flowers on your patio. You can get creative with your greenery choices that will bring more interest to your outdoor space. Hanging planters are a great way to fill empty spaces in your yard, and wall planters help take up unused wall space. There are quite a few easy and inexpensive DIY ways to create planters that are chic and use upcycled materials. If you live in a complex or housing division, strategically placed greenery can also give your outdoor space the feeling of more privacy. outdoor greenery outdoor living spaceshanging planter in outdoor living space

New fabrics and colors

Reupholstering your chair cushions is an easy and fun way to brighten up your patio area. Minimal sewing skills are required, and you can transform your outdoor furniture quickly and inexpensively. You can also do this with throw pillows that are on your outdoor chairs. Depending on what material your furniture is, you can recolor that too. There are multitudes of furniture paints and stains you can choose from to revamp your outdoor living space.

Outdoor rugs

Having a soft place to rest your feet while outside is a vastly underappreciated element of patio living. Rugs are designed to stand up against the elements, and can take more wear and tear than a typical indoor rug. These come in a variety of colors, sizes, and patterns. You can place a rug underneath your outdoor dining table, or maybe at the foot of your seating area. Wherever you choose to put it, a rug will add a little something extra to your outdoor living space. outdoor rug area

More seating

Sometimes the best way to revitalize a space is to put more people in it. Getting additional seating for your outdoor space will allow you to invite more guests over comfortably, and it will add visual interest to your area. You don’t have to go to the Home Depot to buy the latest and greatest in lawn furniture either. You can achieve a fun and eclectic look by shopping at your local thrift stores and yard sales. Choose different styles and colors to create a mismatched and intriguing backyard look. You can tie all of the pieces together by matching your pillow, chair cushion, and outdoor rug colors or patterns.

Perfect outdoor lighting

Lighting in your backyard will create a pleasant and inviting ambiance for you and your guests. Globe lights are particularly chic and are inexpensive to buy and install. These little lights create more of an accent, but don’t offer a great deal of light. For a more illuminating option, choose pathway lighting or lights that reflect off the sides of your home. Another inexpensive and stylish option is paper lantern lighting. These are available in a variety of colors, so you can get creative and fun with this option. The lanterns don’t have an incredibly long life span however, but at the price, repurchasing every spring is feasible. outdoor lighting outdoor living space No matter what improvements you make to your outdoor living space, the most important thing is to fill it with friends and family while spring and summer are here. If you have any additional outdoor living improvements you’d like to share, tweet us or share it on our Facebook page.

6 Paint Color Ideas for Every Room

Every room should convey a certain message to those who enter. The kitchen offers vibes of family, function, and fun, while the living room says relaxation, rest, and comfort. Your colors can help express the most-fitting emotions and feelings from every room in your home. Whether you a love dramatic paint color with big splashes of color, or more neutral and warm colors, these ideas will help you choose the best colors for each room in your home.

Kitchen Paint

Light neutrals work best in kitchen spaces because these kinds of colors let other elements of the area pop. Light grey, pale blue-green, and creamy grey are three neutral choices that give your kitchen a clean and polished look with an inviting feel. These paint colors will let all of your kitchen countertops and fixtures shine bright. If you prefer more vibrant colors, choose a bright accent color on your walls. You can choose one accent wall, or install a colorful backsplash to add touches of visual interest to your own kitchen. kitchen paint color

Dining Room Paint

Dining rooms are typically more formal, but not always. To keep your dining room inviting with formal touches, take advantage of paint colors with deep hues like rich browns, deep blues, and blue tinged reds. These colors offer a warm and welcoming ambiance while still keeping the space interesting and stylish. These colors also allow for endless possibilities in mixing and matching décor and fabrics. dining room paint color

Living Room Paint

Your living room is the ultimate space of contentment. This is where you come to unwind and rejuvenate after a busy day. Pearl white and wooly beige make for excellent paint color choices in a living room because of their softness and warmth. These neutral colors will give you the freedom to choose any kind of décor, because every piece will shine with these paint colors as the backdrop. living room paint color

Bedroom Paint

Did you know there’s a direct connection between quality of sleep and bedroom color? Research says this is in fact true, and those that sleep in rooms with blue walls slept longer than those with other colored walls. The great thing about blue is there are so many variations. Pale light blue is soft and soothing, while deep ocean blue is reminiscent of the evening night sky. Whichever hue you choose; blue bedroom walls may help coax you into better sleeping habits. bedroom paint color

Kid’s Room Paint

You don’t have to go over the top with a child’s bedroom wall color. You can choose a fun color that is still in line with the rest of your home’s style. Light apple green and sky blue are both great choices for a kid’s room, because they offer great color payoff without overwhelming the rest of the space. They also pair nicely with a variety of accent colors and are perfect for boys or girls. A simple white is another choice that’s not immediately obvious for a child’s room. The white will let you and your child choose fun and lively comforters, rugs, drapes, and other décor items. kids bedroom paint color

Bathroom Paint

The bathroom is another place in your home that can offer tranquility and peace in the midst of a chaotic life. Soft pastels with lots of white in the color will give off this feeling in an effortless way. Colors like soft yellows or blues will give your bathroom a beachy coastal feeling that will mimic a relaxing day by the water. Alternatively, if you want to highlight the fixtures, rugs, towels, and countertops in your bathroom space, choose a grayish-taupe paint color so these elements look polished and refined. bathroom paint color  

7 Space Saving Organizational Ideas

We all organize and accumulate clutter. From the moment you move into a new home, new items will start to gather in every corner and flat surface of your home, until one day you scratch you head and wonder when all this stuff arrived. Though sometimes clutter needs to be thrown out, most of the time these items aren’t actually clutter; they’re things we use daily or monthly, but just don’t have a great space to put them. Well thought organizational ideas throughout your home will keep your living space looking cleaner and fresher, and will often make finding specific various items much easier.

Peg board for hanging supplies

Peg boards work great for any kind of arts and craft supplies, scrapbooking accessories, garage tools, and the like. You can use pegboards, available at most local hardware stores, to hang up jars, cans, or buckets of items that need a new place to live. You can also easily install small shelves on the peg board for additional storage surface area. peg board organization (Image by Flickr)

Entry way shelving

The entryway is the first reflection of any home, so if you can make yours beautiful and useful at the same time, it’s a win-win. A floating shelf in your entryway will allow coats to be hung, keys to be dropped, mail to be piled, and other knick-knacks a place to stay. Because this kind of shelving won’t take up any floor space, the entryway will look clean and organized to anyone who walks into your home. entryway space organization (Image by Flickr)

Storage under seats

Taking advantage of organizing the space beneath your seats is the perfect way to maximize spaces in homes. If you have a mudroom or a space right off of your garage where a lot of foot traffic flows, try including a small bench with some under-seat storage. This will be perfect for storing shoes, rain boots, mittens, hats, and the like, all in a convenient and effective location.   under seat bench organization (Image by Flickr)

Floating shelves

Floating shelves add life and interest to empty walls, and they’re major space savers too. You can display coffee table books, photos, vases, figurines, you name it! These kind of shelves are often easy to install and inexpensive to purchase, and they leave your countertops and flat surfaces looking uncluttered and clean. floating shelf organizational ideas (Image by Flickr)

Hanging kitchenware

The kitchen is often the most cluttered space in a home because we typically spend the most time here daily. To save precious counter and cupboard space, try hanging kitchenware like utensils and pots and pans from a hanging fixture. This will add visual interest to your kitchen, and free up storage space throughout the rest of your kitchen area. hanging kitchenware organizational idea (Image by Flickr)

Spice up your spice rack

Some spice cabinets look like a bomb went off inside. It can be hard to see every spice you have, which could mean buying duplicate spices, and a vicious cycle of spice clutter begins. If you have a spare drawer with some depth, try and display them in a staircase fashion, so they can lay on top of one another, and so you can see every spice at once. There are also great wall racks and even refrigerator magnet spice containers available to organize your spices further. spice rack organizational idea (Image by Flickr)

Organize in vertical spaces

Any space that’s not being taken advantage of on a wall is considered unused vertical space. Install some extra shelves in the closet or along your living room walls to make the most of this space. Kitchens are also notorious for leaving vertical spaces untouched. Floating shelves or hooks underneath kitchen cabinets can be installed to utilize these areas. vertical spaces organizational ideas (Image by Flickr) Do you have any organizational tips you’d like to share? Tweet us or tell us about it on Facebook!

Key Design Elements for Every Style of Home

Every home has its own unique feel to it, and the variety of home designs available today means the sky’s the limit for potential home-buyers. Whether you’re looking for rustic, contemporary, traditional, or ultra-modern, there’s a home out there just for you. If you’re choosing the design elements for your new home, you have some big decisions to make. Once you know the style of design you want to model your home after, you can stick to a specific list of elements that will turn your home design vision into a reality.

Contemporary Elements

Contemporary homes can be described as a balanced mixture of comfort and sophistication, through select décor, colors, lighting, and textures. You’ll want to stick with neutral wall colors paired with pops of accent colors throughout the rest of the home. You can implement these accents through paintings, furniture colors, decorative pillows or rugs, and other décor items. Be sure to choose these accessories sparingly, as contemporary design focuses on simplicity. You can add texture through metal accents like stainless steel or chrome, which offers the sleek sophistication that contemporary design is known for. To keep your home comfortable and cozy, use lush fabrics like wool, linens, or even silk on accessories like window treatments, pillows, rugs, and so forth. Lighting is another key aspect of any contemporary home. Your lighting will show off your creative design aesthetic around your house, so choose something equally as contemporary, like track lighting, floor lamps, or unique hanging pendant lights.   contemporary home design elements

Rustic Elements

Utah homes are known for their rustic touches, because of the many mountain ranges across our fair state. The warmth and embracing charm of a rustic space can be incorporated into your own new home with the inclusion of a few design elements. Raw and natural elements are the cornerstones of today’s rustic homes. Exposed beams and stone walls can act as dramatic focal points that feel warm and comforting. You can use reclaimed wood or stone when designing your new home, and don’t forget about the signature A-frame ceiling to tie it all together. Simple and natural looking fabrics mesh well with all of the raw elements in rustic homes, and don’t think you have to put cowhides on every couch. Stay with neutral colors and linen fabrics to keep your comfort and design level high.

Traditional  Elements

When you hear the word traditional, you may see images of heavy fabrics and matchy-matchy furnishings. Today’s version of traditional home design takes all of the great elements of tradition and combines them with the comforts of today’s world. ‘New traditional’ consists of formal furnishings with touches of your own personality. Spread out any matching chairs and lamps into several rooms, and think about mixing pieces from different periods to make each room in your new home truly modern-traditional. Your paint colors should be pale hues. Instead of rich burgundies and dark greens, try for sky blues and light sage greens on the walls. Your furnishings can be boldly colored. Include monochromatic rugs and decorative pieces with different finishes like dark wood stains and metals. traditional home design elements Photo Use By TNS Sofres

Modern Elements

Modern home design is all about architectural angles and dramatic windows. Much of modern design centers on simplicity and is stripped down to the bare bones of the architecture to showcase the space itself. Natural materials are put on display and structural elements are typically the main focal points. Modern design loves lines, so you can highlight bold vertical and horizontal lines through your beams, windows, staircases, rooflines, staircases, and any other structural components of your new home. The windows themselves act as another design focal point, with many floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors, which allows as much light and nature in as possible. Modern homes also allow for the most creative of floor plans, so you’ll have more liberties in designing rooms with open concepts and lots of natural light.

3 Great Neighborhoods to Buy a New Home in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is becoming the new New York neighborhood, but without the hefty price tag and the mass amounts of residents. According to a survey by, Salt Lake City is the No. 1 “Trendiest U.S. City Where You Can Still Afford to Buy a Home”. The survey focused on a few criteria, including number of food hot spots, bike shops, yoga studios, cultural outlets, and populations of 25- to 34-year olds. Along with the numerous trendy spots in the city, the affordability of new homes in Salt Lake City is staggering compared to home prices in other parts of the nation. Median home prices in Salt Lake County are around $248,000, and job opportunities abound in this area. A 2016 economic report found that Utah had the strongest job growth in the nation from 2014 to 2015, luring everyone from young millennials branching out to tech companies looking to make their mark in this trendy city. There are several neighborhoods in the valley that combine trendiness, family values, and affordability to create the perfect areas to buy a new home in Salt Lake City.

Draper Neighborhood

If you’re part of a growing family, Draper is the ideal neighborhood for you. Between all of the community centers, youth programs and public parks in the area, your family will never be bored in Draper. Located in the Southeast Corner of Salt Lake City, it’s the perfect central location in the valley. Draper is halfway between Salt Lake City and Provo, 21 miles from the Salt Lake International Airport, and only 20 minutes from skiing at Alta, Snowbird, and other resorts in the Cottonwood canyons. Draper utah to buy a new home in salt lake city Photo Use By Michael Whiffen The city of Draper also boasts over 90 miles of cycling, hiking, and equestrian trails, perfect for weekend adventures with family and friends along the Wasatch Front. If you’re an adventure seeker, Draper’s Point of the Mountain offers world class hang gliding and paragliding too. If any of this sounds like an ideal match for you and your family, Draper City may be the perfect place to hang your hat.

Sugarhouse Neighborhood

As one of Salt Lake City’s oldest neighborhoods, Sugarhouse is the definition of hip and trendy in the valley. The area is home to a huge number of locally-owned shops, ranging from clothing and books to furniture and art galleries. This neighborhood is also known for its smattering of fine eateries for all palates. And while Sugarhouse is famous for its old home charm, there are plenty of new homes arising that are worth checking out too. sugarhouse neighborhood to buy a new home in salt lake city The area is a quick 15-minute drive to the Salt Lake International Airport, and a short jaunt away from Westminster and the University of Utah. You’ll also be close to Millcreek Canyon, perfect for a great bike ride or hike, and downtown Salt Lake City is within easy driving distance. Photo Use By Christie Parker

Cottonwood Heights Neighborhood

Do you sometimes wish you had more time to spend in the outdoors? Do you want to feel more connected with nature and the mountains of Utah? If you answered yes to these questions, the neighborhood of Cottonwood Heights may be calling your name. This ‘City between two canyons’ is the gateway to some of the best skiing in the United States. Cottonwood Heights, resting at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon, is the perfect place for those who can’t get enough of the winter sports Utah offers, or the summer hiking and biking that the area is known for. cottonwood canyon to buy a new home in salt lake city Photo Use by Emily Allen There’s also a multitude of county parks and recreation centers that offer aquatic center programs, tennis courts, skate parks, basketball, and fitness classes for every age and interest. While most who visit our fair state come for the winter, many end up staying for the summer, and eventually move here for good. Summer in Cottonwood Heights is no exception, consisting of farmers markets, picnics, horseback riding, and everything in between. Do you have any other neighborhoods in the area you’d recommend new home buyers look in Salt Lake City? Tweet us or tell us about it on Facebook.

Pre-Built vs. Custom Design: Which Home is Right for You?

customWhether you’re a first-time homebuyer or moving into a larger space, you have probably thought about designing your own house. Before you break out the blueprints, though, you should weigh the pros and cons of custom design against purchasing a pre-built home.

Custom Time Factor

Building a custom home is time-consuming and requires you to stay in your current home or find another living arrangement during construction. This is great if you can do this, but sometimes you have to sell your current home to afford the new one. A pre-built home is move-in ready so you won’t have to rent an apartment or stay with friends or family for the duration of construction.

Building Costs

If you custom design your own home, you get to create it to your exact specifications. However, you also pay individually for materials, including the ones needed to ensure the house is up to current environmental and building codes. It could get more expensive if you factor in any changes you make during the process. Companies who design and build new homes “in bulk” usually get a discount on materials, meaning you could see cost savings in the purchase price.

A Sense of Community

If you like the feeling of moving into a well-established community where your kids can ride their bikes with friends or walk to school, a pre-built home will likely have been built in exactly this type of neighborhood. On the other hand, if you like space and want a larger yard or a bit of distance between you and the city, a custom home allows you to purchase as much or as little land as you want and be as far away from city traffic as you’d like. Whether you choose to design a home to your specifications or to purchase one that is already built but never lived in, each offers its own pros and cons. Either way, be sure to contact a reputable company such as Hamlet Homes to avoid costly mistakes. buckhaven home, which home is right for you?

5 Questions to Finding Your Perfect Home Builder

Buying a brand new home is an exciting endeavor. When working with a home builder, you have the power of design and style right at your fingertips. You’ll want to make sure your home builder is a good match for all of your new home wants and needs. Knowing which questions to ask yourself before committing to a home builder is a great idea because you’ll find out what you want, and what you want out of your new home builder. Read through our list of questions to help you get started in finding the perfect new home builder for you.

Do your needs match their offerings?

This question will help put together your own list of wants and needs from your home. Gather up all of your must-have list items like budget, building materials, neighborhoods, timelines, building processes, and so forth. Once you have all of this information laid out, you can compare and contrast your list with the home builders in your area. You can quickly cross off some and highlight others based on how well your needs match their offerings.

Does your design aesthetic mesh with theirs?

While there may be some leeway in terms of design, most home builders typically have a specific style and aesthetic design that they stick to from house to house. If your dream home looks like a contemporary modern work of art, then you may need to cross off any home builders who create rustic or traditional homes. Make sure your home builder has work in his or her building portfolio that includes elements of your dream design. That way, there’ll be no surprises down the line when you have a specific design in mind. kitchen hamlet homes

Are past home-buyers happy?

The Internet has allowed for easier information finding, and that definitely includes reviews. Search through online directory listings for home builders in your area to see what past customers have to say about the home building process and their experience. Home builder websites also highlight specific testimonials as well, so you can get a feel for what their past customers thought. Many home-builders also offer past home buyer referrals, so you can ask them your own questions. We recommend focusing on past home-buyer’s overall experiences when doing your research.

Are they licensed and insured?

This standard question may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many builders claim to be licensed and insured. Better to be safe than sorry and ask prospective builders about the insurance they carry and any licenses they have. This will ensure that you’re covered from day one of home construction.

Can you tour model homes?

This is the deciding vote for most when searching a home builder. Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few builders, make sure you can tour past homes that they’ve built. Seeing them in person will enable you to more closely inspect the quality of craftsmanship that goes into the build, as well as the elements of design that you’re after. Hopefully this list of questions will get you started on the right foot in your search for your new home builder. Every builder will have some pros and cons, so be sure to carefully weigh what matters most to you before making your final decision. model home finding the perfect home builder


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