More time at home means more opportunity for you to design your personal kitchen, bath ::

Every year we consider the colors and styles homeowners are gravitating towards when personalizing their new home kitchen and baths. The 2020 season, more so than ever, has given us the most poignant glimpse into how everyday living can affect our design choices. 

The global pandemic we continue to experience has resulted in families spending more time at home, altering both their needs and wants with regards to aesthetics, technology, innovative design options and energy-saving features.  

Buyers may have also found a little extra time to spend on Pinterest or watching HGTV to get inspired on the design of their new home.

“I have buyers that come in after months of being stuck at home with social distancing/COVID restrictions and they have learned what they don’t like,” said Rachel Anne Phelps, design consultant for Drees Homes.  “Through staying home, COVID has helped buyers learn how they truly function at home and that carries over to their choices they make with me.”

So, in the spirit of how form and function merge to create a space that your family desires to spend a lot of time in, let’s take a look at what homeowners are currently asking for in their kitchen and bath design!


As evenings may include more home-based activities like menu planning, reading, board games or puzzles, proper lighting is of the utmost importance. Undercabinet lighting and stacked cabinetry lighting remain popular in the kitchen as well as the classic look of clear glass options in the bathroom.

Other lighting must-haves include exposed bulbs, sconces everywhere, and drop-down pendants, especially in the ever-popular black and chrome.

“We are also seeing larger pendants and linear lights over the islands in the kitchen,” said Phelps. “A lot of homebuyers

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Excerpt: DTR on Knowing the Playbook, Personal Improvements

Excerpt: DTR on Knowing the Playbook, Personal Improvements –

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What should you use a personal loan for?

From an emergency to a big-ticket purchase, personal loans can provide the funding you need.

Credit card offers pop up in your mailbox all the time — but while they can be an easy way to get quick cash, a personal loan may be a better option if you’re in need of a large amount (after all, there is such thing as a credit limit).

Personal loans can provide lower interest rates, quicker financing, shorter repayment options, and access to higher loan amounts than credit cards and other types of loans. Plus, personal loans offer lots of flexibility by putting borrowers in charge of how to use the lump sum.

To keep your personal finance in good shape, find out loan rates you qualify for using Credible. Credible can help you find an online lender with the best deals so you can save money.

5 things you should use a personal loan for

While a personal loan can be used for virtually any reason, there are some top reasons people leverage this specific form of financing. Here are five things you should use a personal loan for.

  1. CREDIBLE CONTENT ONLY From an emergency to a big-ticket purchase, personal loans can provide the funding you need. iStock

Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering a personal loan for one of these reasons.

1. Large purchases

A recent survey of personal loan borrowers by the credit bureau Experian found that 28% used the money to make a large purchase. While the reasons weren’t disclosed, a large purchase could be an appliance (like a washer and dryer or refrigerator), car, boat, computer, engagement ring, or honeymoon. 

According to the Federal Reserve, the average personal loan interest rate is 9.5%, which is a lower interest rate than the average credit card

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Should I get a personal loan for home improvements?

A homeowner’s first instinct may be to get a home equity loan or line of credit when they need money for a home improvement project. But in some cases, a personal loan could be a better choice.

a wooden bench in front of a building: House deck under renovation

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House deck under renovation

With a personal loan, you know your total borrowing costs at the time you take out the loan, and you’re borrowing a fixed amount for a certain number of years with a fixed interest rate. To determine whether or not you should get a personal loan for home improvements, consider your priorities when it comes to interest rates, secured versus unsecured borrowing and tax benefits.

Should I get a personal loan for home improvements?

A personal loan can be a great way to finance a small to mid-sized home improvement project, like new windows or a room makeover. Whether or not a personal loan is the right fit for your next project really comes down to one thing: your financial health and history.

Before applying for a personal loan to finance your next project, it’s important to know both the benefits and the potential downsides. Here are a few examples to be aware of.


  • You won’t risk losing your home. If you can’t repay your home equity loan or HELOC, your lender can eventually foreclose, since these loans are secured by your home. While unsecured creditors can place a lien against your home if you don’t pay them – something many consumers are unaware of – the lien usually just makes selling or refinancing more difficult. It won’t get you kicked to the curb like a foreclosure will unless the creditor gets a writ of execution from a judge to force the sale of your property, which isn’t likely.
  • It’s easier to keep borrowing in check.
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Condo Life: Remodeling adds personal touch for condo living


Remodeling your home can either be a smooth transition or a rocky one, but knowing the specifics of remodeling a condominium is incredibly important, as homeowners have different hurdles to face.

In the 2018 report by, 10 Things You Absolutely Need to Know Before Renovating a Condo, the top item on the list is to consult your condo board well in advance. The reason for this is every condo building is different regarding rules and regulations about construction in the building. The condo HOA or board will then inform you of the basic guidelines for what can and can’t be done for renovations, it stated.

Addressed in the report as well are things to be aware of, such as newly constructed buildings may not yet have rules in place for renovations, and you have to be ready to find a contractor who is actually willing to work in a condo, as this is a different setting.

In addition, you may need to offer up your parking space or be willing to pay. Lastly, it stated to expect the worst and hope for the best.

Amy Bernstein with Bernstein Realty purchased a condominium in a building she loved with breathtaking views in April 2020, but though the basic floor plan worked, she still wanted to put her personal touches on it.

The property will not be complete and ready for move-in until next spring.

“After hiring an architect and designer, there were so many opportunities to enhance the floor plan and design, that I decided to start from new and tore almost everything out to the walls,” Bernstein said.

The next was getting approval for the remodel.

“Because of the extent of the project, and the raising

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