Best in American Living Awards Highlight Design Trends for 2015 and Beyond

January 22, 2015 – The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) honored single-family homes, apartments and condos, remodeling projects and subdivisions as part of the 2014 Best in American Living Awards (BALA) last night at a gala celebration during the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. The winning projects demonstrate innovate design and give a preview of design trends home buyers will see over the next several years.

“While each award winner was unique, there’s certainly a number of common themes among these honorees,” 2014 BALA Chairman Stephen C. Moore, senior partner – marketing with BSB Design Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa. “Homes are being designed with relaxation in mind, as this year we saw an overall simplification in the designs with cleaner lines and more natural elements.”

Some of the trends seen in the winning projects include:

White on White Kitchens: Many kitchen designs featured white cabinets, topped with white counter tops finished off with white back splashes and white trim. Industrial textures are being introduced, but they are muted or white.

Doubled Island Kitchens: The popularity of open living/cooking/dining spaces are lending themselves to more creative and casual spaces. Back-to-back islands and side-by-side islands are showing up in all styles of homes—one island for cooking and preparing food and the other for serving food and dining. Sometimes the second island takes the place of a more formal dining room table.

Centered Bathtubs: Bathrooms are continuing to becoming more spa-like. As a result large, well-designed tubs are becoming the center of attention. They are being pulled away from the wall and treated like sculptures.

Natural Elements Mixed with Contemporary Materials: A softer side of modern design is evolving as contemporary and industrial materials are beginning to mix with natural materials. Wood, steel and glass are a popular combination, allowing the best from both worlds. Modern textures are being combined with old-world or classical elements.

Increased Quality of Details: Across the board, the details, such as how a hand rail meets a stair, are getting better. Light, classic details that are clean and well thought-out are amplified when pulling together major pieces of a simple, clean-lined space.

Get Away Rooms: Whether it is a room with a view or a game room, creating spaces that allow you to get away from everyday life are becoming popular. These spaces are designed to encourage relaxation, family-time or allow one to practice their hobbies.

Wine Rooms and Bars: Wine is finding its home everywhere and anywhere. Wine displays under the stairs are beautifully filling spaces that could otherwise go to waste. Full rooms dedicated to wine or liquors are no longer just for the avid collector. Wet-bar nooks are adding to the overall encouragement of relaxing and enjoying time at home.

Indoor-Outdoor Living: Roof decks, California rooms and nano-walls are creating ways to make accessing nature easier during day-to-day life. No matter if in the middle of the city, in the suburbs or out in the country, people are utilizing the extra space on the roof to give them a great view while soaking in the surroundings. Indoor-outdoor transitional spaces are showing up where weather permits by utilizing removable walls, screens and foldable walls.

Grand Entries Are Not the Focus: Entries are still very well designed, but the amount of space allocated to the entrance is shrinking. Large pivoting doors are making grand statements, but open immediately into main living space of the home.

Non-Car Centric Design: While cars, driveways and garages are a part of American life, it seems that the car is no longer a major part of the design conversation, but when they are incorporated they are done well. Design features that seem to be taking their place are sidewalks, bike paths and community gathering spaces.




The holidays are long gone and spring won’t be here for ages, so it’s finally time to get some stuff done around the house. Here are a handful of apps to help you chip away at that ever-growing honey do list of yours.


Make sure Houzz Interior Design (Android, iOS) has a spot in your collection. For starters, there’s absolutely no manual labor involved. The app merely features ideas by way of some four million photos of rooms in houses that are far nicer than yours, along with products to buy, ideabooks to flip through and project articles to read. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to finally re-tile your bathroom. At the very least, you can procrastinate for a few weeks while you make your way through this gargantuan app.


Take Paint Harmony (Android, iOS) for a spin. You take a photo of the room you’re looking to recolor and the app lets you slap a virtual coat of paint on the walls. You can choose from built-in color swatches or the app will grab the colors from a favorite image of yours, should you want to paint your bedroom the exact color of those mountains you saw in Switzerland. Paint Harmony’s technology is able to “paint around” mirrors and shelving you have on your walls and automatically adjusts how your paint job will look based on the lighting conditions in the room.


Load up PlanGrid (Android, iOS). The app stores all your blueprints, letting you create punchlists and track issues room by room. You can attach photos to each room, along with accompanying descriptions of what needs to be done (or fixed). Your notes sync to the PlanGrid site and any other devices running the app, so everyone working on your project is on the same page. You can upload up to 50 PDF-based blueprint sheets for free to the site, which should be plenty for most projects.


Multi Measures (AmazonAndroid) might do the trick. The app sports 12measurement tools, including a compass, a sound meter, a stopwatch, and even a vibration-sensing seismometer. But we’re most interested in the plumb bob, surface level, bubble level, ruler, and protractor tools for putzing around the house. The rest are just icing on the cake. Whatever the case, it sure beats downloading 12 different apps. Note that there is an iOS version, but it costs 99 cents, and this is Free App Friday. So this is awkward.


Use Smith (Android, iOS) to hire someone who knows what the hell they’re doing. You snap a few photos or shoot some quick video of the work you need done, and the service collects bids from pre-screened contractors. Within 24 hours, you get the three best bids to choose from, at which point you can schedule the job. The service is available in 24 major U.S. cities, and you can read reviews of potential contractors or have a staffer guide you through the process if you’re on the fence.

[Photo: Flickr user Sonny Abesamis]

How to get that darn paper off the wall

By Allen Norwood

It’s the home chore that everybody hates most. I see that on the TV how-to shows, read it on umpteen do-it-yourself sites. Nobody likes removing wallpaper.

A friend shared a horror story on a hike. That proves (a) that we need better stuff to talk about on hikes and (b) he really, really hated removing wallpaper.

I certainly don’t have any advice that makes it a pleasant chore. But if you’ve resolved to tackle the job this year, I can offer a few tips that will help things turn out well.

The most important: Always prime the stripped, cleaned wall with oil-based primer. Because even if it looks as if you’ve removed every tiny trace of old adhesive, you haven’t.

Every wallpaper removal job is different, depending on the paper, the wall, the adhesive and how long the paper has been up. Some comes down pretty easily. On the other hand … Years ago, a co-worker and I spent an entire day – a full day! – removing paper from a single kitchen ceiling.

Don’t automatically reach for a tool to score the paper, or a wallpaper steamer. You might not need either. And they can damage the wall if you’re not careful.

To get started, grab a loose corner and tug. If the vinyl face peels off the paper backing, terrific!

That paper backing is absorbent, which means hot water can penetrate quickly to the adhesive. Add wallpaper remover or a little fabric softener, but hot water is the key. If you’re very, very lucky, that paper backing might peel off in big swatches after you wet it.

Apply the water with a sponge mop or spray bottle. For larger jobs, try a low-pressure garden sprayer.

Wet an area, let it soak, work at it before dries out.

Scrape with a flexible, wide-blade putty knife. To prevent nicks in the wall, choose one with worn, rounded corners, or just file the sharp corners down.

If you can’t pull the face off the paper, try wetting the surface. If the water just won’t penetrate, it’s time to reach for a scoring tool.

Score the paper, following directions, then wet an area and let it soak. Scoring allows the water to penetrate the paper’s outer coating and soften the adhesive. Wet, soak and scrape a manageable area.

If you’re removing wallpaper from drywall, especially if it wasn’t primed properly, you’ll probably ding the surface up. Be careful – and be prepared to patch.

Zinsser makes a scoring tool called PaperTiger, as well as gel wallpaper remover. On the company’s website,, you’ll also find a downloadable brochure with instructions for removing wallpaper.

Allen Norwood writes on Home design, do-it-yourself and real estate for The Charlotte Observer. His column appears each Saturday.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email to send us your tip – or – consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

The top 2015 healthcare trend revealed: Do It Yourself

Medical diagnosis displayed on the tablet

BY • 21 JANUARY 2015

Did you know that “Do It Yourself” healthcare is set to be the top healthcare trend for 2015?

But what is DIY healthcare…

Do It Yourself healthcare refers to a trend of intuitive mobile medical devices and apps that monitor vital medical signs analyse blood and urine, track medication adherence and more.

Basically these high tech medical kits could help diagnose illness, flag early signs of trouble, allow recovery and rehabilitation to occur closer to home and create virtual workforce capacity.

They could enable consumers to take charge of more of their own care, even becoming co-creators of their personal health plans. They could also allow clinicians to monitor patients in lower-cost settings – and even from a distance.

This is PricewaterhouseCoopers’s (PwC) top healthcare prediction for this year’s mHealth trends.

Ceci Connolly, Leader of PwC’s Health Research Institute, was quoted in an article published in MobiHealthNews: “For the first time really we’re discovering physicians are expressing much more openness and willingness to consider information about their patients coming from DIY devices.”

PwC conducted a study and found that a third of people are willing to use a home urine analysis device.

The survey further revealed that more than 50% of doctors would use data from the devices to prescribe medication or decide whether a patient needs an appointment.

There may be an uptake of DIY healthcare in Africa in the future. Healthcare systems in Africa, however, still have a way to go before doctors and other health workers are equipped to work with DIY healthcare data.

Other PwC trends included:

PwC’s second, related trend was that medical app and device members would have to continue to grapple with whether or not they should secure 510(k) clearance from the FDA.

Third, PwC had some interesting predictions about patients’ concerns about privacy. They asked consumers which was more important to them, privacy or convenience and found that the answer (unsurprisingly) differed for different types of data: 73% rated the privacy of their medical records as more important than convenience of access, but for data about diet and exercise, about 60% said convenience of access was more important than privacy.

PwC also asked consumers what they based their healthcare provider decisions on, and found that cost was still the number one driver, named by 82%. A high quality rating from other consumers came in second, with ratings by government agencies in a distant third.

Source: eHealth News Africa

MAY Management is Pleased to Welcome Home Cascades at World Golf Village Community

MAY Management is awarded the property management contract with Cascades at World Golf Village Community. MAY Management Services’ CEO, Annie Marks, is pleased to announce the Cascades at World Golf Village Homeowners Association has awarded its property management contract to MAY Management Services. Cascades at WGV is a 55+ premier community located in World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida.

Saint Augustine, FL, January 22, 2015 –(– The Cascades Community encompasses over 450 lovely patio homes and a spectacular Amenities Center. Developed in 2004, the community center is a full amenities club featuring ballroom, lap pool, art center, tennis, and bocci courts.

MAY Management opened an office in the World Golf Village in 2000. Annie Marks, MAY’s CEO and President, believes that proximity to their clients enhances their ability to provide the exceptional service they deserve. MAY Management Services boasts clientele in Florida’s First Coast cities of Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra, Orange Park, Mandarin, Julington Creek, World Golf Village, Saint Augustine and Palm Coast.

MAY Management is celebrating it’s 26th anniversary this year serving associations in NE Florida. Founded in 1988 by Annie Marks and her partners, the firm has steadily grown by satisfying client needs with localized full service resources and dedicated teams of experienced personnel. To learn more information about MAY Management Services, go to their website at

Juice it Up in 2015

Dana JuiceHere’s one of my favorite recipes from Juice Generation. It tastes great and is also an important part of a healthy green lifestyle. Nutrient packed kale and spinach are sweetened with apple and pineapple and brightened by mint. 

Get Your Green On!
1 cup kale
1 cup spinach
½ cup pineapple
1 sprig of mint
2 medium green apples
You can blend in ½ cup fresh coconut meat to make it a smoothie.

Explore nature’s bounty with another of my favorite juice recipes from Juice Generation. In one juice you have two power greens: watercress and parsley. Peppery watercress contains iron, iodine, vitamins A, C, and E, antioxidants and folate. Parsley is so much more than a mere garnish, bursting with vitamins plus iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

1 cup spinach
1 cup kale
½ cup parsley
½ cup watercress
3 medium apples

Switch it up from Juice to this great energizing smoothie from Juice Generation. Don’t over look the furry brown kiwi. This little fruit is jammed with nourishment, offering 16 percent of the RDA for fiber as well as folate, vitamins C and E, and minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
1 cup spinach
½ cup pineapple
½ cup mango
1 medium kiwi, peeled
1 cup almond milk
½ ice

SupaDupa Greens Juice generation’s #1 selling drink and I love it! Get ready for graduate level greens. This fortifying brew is big on green veggies and light on fruit, making it satisfyingly savory. Cucumber refreshes and lemon harmonizes, creating an uplifting, energizing drink.
2 cups kale
1 cup spinach 1 cup parsley
2 leaves romaine
3 stalks celery
1 medium green apple
¾ medium cucumber
¼ medium lemon, peeled

From Living Walls to Copper Accents and Vintage Motifs: The Top 15 Interior Design Trends for 2015

Jackson Design and Remodeling’s Award Winning Designers Dish on “What’s out?” (Bye, Bye Nickel) and “What’s in?” (Hello Gold)

SAN DIEGO, CA, January 19, 2015 /24-7PressRelease/ — Jackson Design and Remodeling (JDR), an award-winning San Diego-based design and remodeling firm, released its list of the Top 15 Interior Design Trends for 2015. The firm’s highly acclaimed design team, which has been featured in major national print and online publications including Dwell, HGTV, Architectural Digest and Beautiful Kitchens & Baths, handpicked the top trends in home and interior design in the coming year.

– Living walls: These low-maintenance, indoor vertical plant gardens create a bold statement while positively impacting the environment, and letting you breathe a little easier!

– Textured natural woods: Rustic woods made a splash in 2014, but now homeowners are looking to incorporate natural woods in more rooms of their homes. Reclaimed woods are hot trends, giving a more organic look to kitchens, accent walls and home furnishings.

– Vintage Motifs: Vintage motifs are making a comeback this year. Pairing motifs with bold patterns, graphics and bright colors is a great way to refresh your space.

– Open Shelving: This year homeowners are opting to show off their plates and glasses by choosing open shelving units over traditional cabinets. Keeping items neatly stacked and dust-free is a must for this revealing new trend.

– Organic Elements: Organic elements make interiors feel fresh and full of life. “Shapes inspired by nature,” “living walls,” and “bringing the outside in” are some of the top buzz phrases for 2015.

– Black as a Statement Color: Black is often used as an accent color in home design but this year black is taking center stage. Prepare to see black used as a statement color in kitchen cabinets and tiles, creating a dramatic look.

– Copper and Gold Accents: Say goodbye to silver and nickel, these bright metallic elements are taking over. Whether used in sinks, plumbing fixtures, hardware, light fixtures or home accessories, these pops of metal bring a glamorous touch to a space and are perfect for pairing with neutral palettes.

– Modern Touches on Hand Painted Tiles: Hand painted tiles are moving away from the traditional terracotta styles that have been popular in the past. Look for hand painted tiles with bold patterns and subtle colors such as whites, creams, greys or vibrant teals to give a modern and fresh spin on backslashes and accents in both kitchens and bathrooms.

– Bold Wallpaper and Fabric Patterns: Yes, wallpaper continues from 2014. Unlike decades ago, the new wallpapers have improved dramatically and are designed for both easy application and removal. Floral motifs, geometric prints and photographic images will be hot trends in 2015.

– Water saving fixtures: With much of the country still in a major drought, many homeowners are opting for water-smart, user-friendly fixtures such as thermostatic mixers, and touch screen-operated showers that control water flow, mix and temperature.

– Matte Finishes: An alternative to the high gloss finishes of recent years, matte paints and finishes are a hot trend now, complementing the evolution toward a more natural, organic look. A matte finish brings a raw edge of authenticity to a texture, revealing its natural imperfections.

– Mosaic Wood Tiles: Mosaic wood tiles are eco-friendly, made from reclaimed wood, unique and easy to install. We expect to see a lot of variations in patterns, colors and textures of wood tiles used this year. It’s a great alternative to wallpaper and will add texture and depth to any accent wall.

– Mirrored Glass Tiles: Look for mirrored tiles strategically used in small bathrooms and accent walls to give the allusion of a bigger space. They also give off an interesting lighting affect that can be sophisticated and glamorous or rustic and casual depending on the space’s overall style.

– Handmade Items: Handmade items are a big trend for 2015. From hand painted tiles to crocheted throw rugs and hand woven baskets, handmade accessories add a personalized touch to any space.

“2015 will be the year of rustic woods, textures, bold colors and vintage motifs — used in cabinetry, flooring and furnishings,” said Tatiana Machado-Rosas, design department manager and senior interior designer at JDR. “Living walls will be a buzzword this year and we expect to see more and more designs that include these organic elements. We’re also going to see warmer metallic colors like copper and gold used in plumbing fixtures and lighting elements. And another big trend is homeowners seeking out environmentally friendly and sustainable items more than ever before. We expect to see a lot more smart technologies and eco-friendly solutions become standard this year.”

To view images of all the design trends, visit Jackson Design and Remodeling onPinterest.

About Jackson Design and Remodeling – Celebrating 25 Years Serving San Diego

Jackson Design and Remodeling has served the San Diego community for 25 years, providing clients with whole home remodeling, kitchen remodeling, room additions, high end bathroom remodeling, and other home redesign projects. Todd Jackson, President and CEO, has established an enduring tradition of quality and service in the remodeling industry. Jackson and his team have won numerous awards for their work, including dozens of CotY, Chrysalis, ASID, NKBA and Master Design Awards as well as four consecutive Better Business Bureau Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics. For more information, visit, call (619) 442-6125 or follow us on Pinterest, Houzz, Facebook and Twitter.

Read more: