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What's Hot and What's Not in Home Design


From dark hardwood flooring to home offices hidden away in closets, we're taking a look at what's hot and what's hot in-home design trends in 2022.


Not hot: The Cloffice

Early on in the pandemic, people started turning their closets into a home office. Coined the "cloffice," these makeshift offices served their purpose at a time when we all needed a quiet place to work. Homeowners are no longer looking for temporary workspaces, and if they are still working remotely, they're now looking for a more permanent, clearly defined home office (with windows!).


Hot: Light-colored flooring

After years of preferring dark hardwood flooring, we're seeing a resurgence in lighter wood plank flooring. One of the hottest trends is a color known as greige, a blend of gray and beige. It can offer a fresh look to bedrooms, living rooms and entryways. Darker colors can overpower a room at times. Lighter tones can make a room look brighter and larger, plus they camouflage dirt and dust much better than hardwood.


Hot: Wallpaper

Wallpaper has been rising in popularity in recent years, but it's made a full comeback for 2022—just not in ways you might expect. You can use wallpaper to create a statement wall, provide a colorful backing for cabinets or line your shelving. Another outside-the-box idea is to use wallpaper on a ceiling to add dimension and excitement to your room.


Hot: Murphy beds
Creative furniture solutions, such as Murphy beds are coming back in a big way. These items are functional, allow us to do more in a small area, and have greater flexibility when designing a space.


Not hot: Minimalism

An uncluttered, sparsely decorated home can feel sad with a lack of personality. As we spend more time at home, they're seeking more meaningful interiors and placing more personal accents on display.


Hot: Plants

If you've always wanted to turn your home into a plant paradise, now's the time to do it. Rather than going the faux plants route, which may have been convenient in the past, this year you should go for the real deal. After all, plants add a little joy to your surroundings.

When it comes down to it, trust your own personal style. The design elements that make you happy are the best ones to choose!

JJ Elek Realty -Trusted for over 50 years! Call Today 732-634-9100.


Tips to Downsize Your Home

Whether you're a recent empty-nester, eager for a change, want to simplify your life, need to move closer to family, there are plenty of reasons to downsize your home. There are also plenty of ways to do it wrong!

Have no fear. We've seen it all when it comes to the downsizing, and we've created a short checklist to make it a little easier.

Your Downsizing Checklist

  • Start as soon as possible and pace yourself. A general rule of thumb is to start at least three months before you plan to move.

  • Once you start decluttering and combing through items, stick to a strong set of ground rules and options for sorting your items, such as keep, donate, sell, trash, or recycle, and pass it down or memorialize (take a photo).


  • Get rid of things. Our favorite tactic is the one-a-day method. Let go of one item per day or let go of the number of items that corresponds with the date (i.e., giving away 12 items on the 12th of a given month).


  • Focus on one room at a time. Try creating a plan or schedule broken down by room or smaller projects within a room to make sure that you stay on track but don't get overwhelmed.


  • Organize as you go. Leave each space more organized than you found it. This will improve your current day-to-day list, and make packing much easier.


  • Solicit help if needed. Downsizing can be time consuming and overwhelming. If you feel like any step is above your ability or you don't have the time, bring in some help. Put the feelers out for family or friends, or looking for a paid service.


The best tip for downsizing is to know your strengths and weaknesses. If you're a super organizer, maybe you'll just need help moving boxes on moving day. If you have a hard time letting go of items, a professional organizer could be well worth your money.

Whatever your situation, once you've completed the process, you're likely to find it was a great decision financially and mentally.



Home Improvement Concept

First-Time Homeowner? Tackle These Improvements First.

Recent low mortgage rates continue to motivate first-time home buyers, but competitive inventory means many will end up purchasing a house that requires repairs.

Where do you start when figuring out your financial planning? Which problems are the most pressing? 

A thorough home inspection is a good start, but many people skip it to make their offer more appealing to sellers in today's competitive market. Fortunately, real estate professionals at JJ Elek can help you look past the shiny new home you just bought and see problematic signs, such as energy inefficiencies, a leaky roof, or cracked pipes.

Home Improvement Checklist for FIrst-Time Buyers

  • Check for leaks. More and more heavy rains and storms are plaguing the East Coast, making stable gutters and downspouts more important than ever. To avoid problems with interior leaks and standing water in the yard, clear your gutters annually or semi-annually. Also consider regradeding your yard if it slants downward toward the house.

  • Make sure the house is well sealed. If you want to avoid warm air from escaping in the winter and cool air in the summer, be sure your home is well sealed. Openings make it easier for bugs and rodents to find their way inside. Use caulk to seal air ducts, around windows, and areas where the walls meet the foundation.

  • Stabilize the foundation. Noticing cracks in the foundation, stains on walls, or bad odors? Without immediate attention, they can spread and cause even more severe problems. An expert can help you waterproof down to the footings or install a sump pump and battery backup system to remove future water.

  • Inspect the roof. Unless your roof is missing some shingles, this topmost layer can become an expensive repair if it's badly damaged or aging. Be sure to ask sellers how old the roof is and how it was constructed.

  • Upgrade lighting. Energy costs tend to increase when you use old incandescent light bulbs. Using LEDs is an easy, affordable lighting update that increases energy efficiency. Also avoid compact fluorescent lights, which take time to warm up and be as bright as a floodlight.

  • Prepare for outages. Electricity outages continue to be a problem, which makes investing in a solar-battery backup system a wise decision. Plus, you get the added benefit of a federal solar tax credit.

  • Maintain wood. Wood flooring, siding, decking, and railings require regular maintenance. Even new boards can rot due to weather and insects. Maintain its integrity by sealing wood well with quality paint and pressure-washing wooden areas to remove mold if present.

  • Care for your trees. Trees are a beautiful addition to a property, but they come with some risks. Larger limbs can come down during storms, insects can feast on wood, and rotting roots can even clog sewers. New homeowners should hire an arborist to examine their property's trees.


It's common for new homeowners to focus on the aesthetics of the property rather than what's invisible or behind the scenes. But if you care for your home from both a lifestyle and economic perspective, you can enjoy a long, happy life in your new home.



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