No Comments

2023 Home and Design Trends to Watch

By: NAR  Barbara Ballinger
Sustainable design and warm, cozy spaces are on the rise in 2023.

Modern living room

© CreativaStudio / Getty

While homeowners compile their holiday wish lists, we’ve compiled a list of 12 home and design trends experts think will be next year’s stars.

Architecture and design experts weigh in on what’s emerging in 2023. As the new year emerges, lifestyle changes due to the pandemic continue to hold strong. Cutting home expenses and conserving resources are top of mind for many. Move over, granite: These new countertop materials are coming in strong, and cozy comfort is taking the place of stark, minimalist design.

Home Office Updates

For many, hybrid work is here to stay, so home offices make the list, though changes are in order. Many crave some interaction, says Priscilla Holloway, a salesperson with New York City–based Douglas Elliman.

Architect Liz Peabody of Boston-based The Architectural Team says that open, partially open and glass-walled spaces are seen in houses as well as multifamily buildings’ common spaces and individual apartment units. Another change is that some offices are larger and have a window for a nice view, according to designers at The Plan Collection(link is external).

Why now? The pandemic changed how and where we work, and people are still figuring out what works best at home.

Home Office

© Ropewalk, Charlestown

Home Office

© Camille Maren, Avalon Saugus

Induction Cooking

Though the change will be gradual, many homeowners are expected to switch to induction cooking from natural gas. Many are finding that their cookware is induction-safe, despite previously held beliefs, says Chicago kitchen expert Mick De Giulio of de Giulio Kitchen Design. Induction has many benefits: Water boils faster, food cooks quicker, and homeowners have more control of heat level calibration, he says. Additionally, the smooth surface is easier to clean.

Why now? Many cities are outlawing natural gas hookups in new homes and buildings to reduce fossil fuel emissions and better control environmental and climate challenges.

Kitchen Induction

© Dave Burk, Hedrich Blessing Photographers

Eco-friendly Design

More real estate sites list eco-friendly design as a priority, from solar panels to energy-efficient windows, stronger builds that better resist severe weather, more tech features like programmable thermostats, gardening apps(link is external) and smarter, more environmentally friendly, hygienic toilets like Toto USA’s Washlet and bidet toilets. TOTO also manufactures domestically, reducing its products’ carbon footprints, says Bill Strang, president of corporate strategy, e-commerce and customer care.

Why now? More homeowners know the importance of sustainable design due to climate change reports, how fossil fuels damage the environment and the importance of preserving resources.

Eco Design Toilet

© Toto U.S.A.

Cozier Comfort

Tough times call for an antidote, and many are seeking a dose of comfort within the walls of their homes. The ebb and flow of COVID-19 in conjunction with other stressors has people wanting to feel as though they’re wrapped in a warm hug, says Chicago-based designer Tom Segal of Kaufman Segal Design. He suggests doing so with patterned wallpaper on both walls and ceilings. A tactile touch also works, he says. Think big, upholstered headboards; ’50s and ’60s lounge-style sections to sprawl, watch TV or eat; and colorful tufted or handwoven area rugs that resemble art.

Why now? Collective stress levels are at an all-time high, and people are finding they need a respite from the constant barrage of information available because of the digital age.

Cozy comfortable bedroom

© Daniel Kelleghan Photography

Cozy comfortable living room

© vaninwegen digital arts

More Natural, Personalized Interiors

The biophilic, natural look prevails in appeal because of the benefit nature provides. Homeowners want organic furnishings, live plants and warmer colors in the clay palette, says Gena Kirk, vice president of Design Studio at Los Angeles–based homebuilder KB Home. The latest iteration reflects interest in embracing memories through personalized design aesthetics that display mementos and heirlooms, Kirk says.

Why now? During the pandemic, homeowners opted for cleaner, minimalist interiors to set a clear boundary between personal space and the outside world. They now want to return to a new form of nesting, through an accumulation of textiles, warmer colors, new hardware and fabrics for a welcoming, natural environment to live, work and play, Kirk says.

Natural-looking kitchen

© KBLA Westport

Dekton and Neolith Surfaces

Every few years, a new countertop surface takes center stage as the best in terms of durability, sustainability, color or novelty. The latest “it” surfaces are newer “sintered” stones, a combination of minerals that form a solid surface that can’t be etched, scratched, burned or stained. Dekton and Neolith appeal because they resemble marble and other high-end surfaces and are resistant to fading, says Boston designer Jodi Swartz of KitchenVisions. Milwaukee designer Suzan Wemlinger adds that because the slabs are large, there’s less need for seams, and they can be used in outdoor kitchens without cracking in extreme temperatures.

Why now? New technology processes have led to the development of these stain-resistant, strong surfaces, and kitchen counter durability is nearly always top of mind for homeowners.

Neolith Kitchen

© Michael Lefebvre Photography

Affordable Design Choices

Instead of tempting buyers with fancy cabinets, finishes and appliances, more homebuilders are turning to affordability as a feature. “Good design is not about spending the most money but offering well-designed homes, sometimes without bells and whistles,” says Mary Cook, founder of Mary Cook Associates, a Chicago-based commercial interior design firm. Builders are displaying predesigned packages of cabinets, countertops, appliances and flooring that keep costs down. They’re also cutting square footage to show that buyers can live well in smaller homes, Cook says.

Why now? Higher interest rates have put a pause on buyer frenzy. “We went from crazy busy to crazy slow,” one homebuilder says. Now is the time to see how affordability and quality design come together.

Zero Emissions

Master-planned developments are taking the guesswork out of emission-free living. Developer Marshall Gobuty of Sarasota, Fla.–based Pearl Homes shows how with his 18-acre Hunter’s Point development, the first LEED Zero–certified community in the world, he says. “There’s no energy cost associated with the 86 single-family houses except for a $35 monthly maintenance fee from Florida Power,” he says.

Why now? With the pandemic and overall inflation, energy costs continue to soar. Also, sustainable development helps communities adapt to challenges posed by climate change and protects natural resources.

Zero emissions home

© Pearl Homes, Allan Mestel

In Multifamily: More EV, Fewer Additional Amenities

Few multifamily buildings are constructed without an EV charging station, says architect Peabody. Developers are including a handful and leaving infrastructure available to expand the number. At the same time, they are devoting less square footage to amenities since younger generations are less inclined to pay for features they may not use, especially after seeing how the pandemic shut down facilities. What most still want are lounges, coworking spaces and outdoor areas to exercise and unwind, Peabody says. Pet parks and spas still make the list as well, says Cook.

Why now? EV stations are essential as more people switch to electric vehicles. Just over half of passenger cars sold in the U.S. will be electric vehicles by 2030, according to Bloomberg(link is external).

EV charging vehicle

© The Architectural Team, Christian Scully and Modera Marshfield

Eco-friendly Lounge

© Ed Wonsek

Walkable, Affordable Boomer Living

More efforts are underway to create more options for the enormous boomer cohort as they age(link is external). Many want to give up owning a car, live where their location has a high walkability score and cut living costs by living in smaller, energy-efficient homes. One example is developer David Fox’s Passive House building in Northampton, Mass., to be completed in 2024; it will eliminate 80% of typical energy needs to heat and cool and be built with sustainable mass timber construction, solar panels, a community garden and a bicycle shed. The building’s 70 apartments will average 1,200 square feet; share a gym, lounge and roof area to exercise; and limit rent increases.

Why now? Boomers are the largest aging community to date, and as the country ages, more emphasis on how elders live is needed now.

Fire-Resistant Modules

On the east coast, building structures to withstand Category 5 hurricanes and floods are in high demand. On the west coast, however, San Diego–based modular builder Dvele focuses on manufacturing fire-resistant steel modular houses. The company started with 500-square-foot homes constructed from a single module design and now offers 4,000-square-foot homes from seven module designs. All are also highly energy-efficient due to self-powered solar panels, says Kellan Hannah, the company’s director of growth.

Why now? The National Interagency Fire Center statistics show that as of last October, almost 60,000 fires burned 7 million acres, above the 10-year average of 48,000 fires and close to 6 million burned acres. Fires are only worsening, meaning construction must adapt.

Fire-resistant home

© Dvele


What’s NOT Hot?

Several once-popular design choices are losing appeal, primarily because they require high maintenance or aren’t functional for today’s busy routines, says Gena Kirk with homebuilder, KB Home. She suggests letting go of these four in the year ahead.

High Pile Carpet

While soft, shaggy carpet styles make a statement, they are difficult to keep clean and aren’t practical, especially in households with kids and/or pets.

Gray Cabinets

Gray cabinets have been popular but are cooling off as more homeowners shift to warmer hues to make their spaces more welcoming.

Standard Subway Tiles

Standard-size white, horizontal subway tiles are still popular, but many now prefer larger 4-by-10 inch or 4-by-16-inch tiles that run vertically to draw eyes up and give an age-old design a fresh look.

Open Shelves

Most struggle with clutter, so even though some love the open look above, others are opting for the traditional closed cabinets since they find it easier to keep stuff concealed. These days there are countless custom interior organization systems to arrange contents in a neat fashion.

No Comments

December 2022 Housing Report

Inventory is up, but high interest rates continue to dampen activity
MINNEAPOLIS (January 11, 2023)
 — In December, closed sales fell almost 39% across the state compared to a year ago, marking 12 straight months of declines. New listings were 17% fewer than last year with 3,031 new properties coming on the market in December. With buyer demand slipping, homes were staying on the market longer, up 24.3% to 46 days. Sellers were accepting offers that averaged about 96% of the home’s original asking price. The overall number of homes for sale was up 15.3% compared to last year rising to 9,204 properties and putting a month and half of inventory in the pipeline, which is a 50% increase over December 2021. Despite decreased buyer activity, the median sales price notched up 1.7% to $305,000.“The overall trend in 2022 was a return to normal market conditions,” said Chris Galler, CEO of Minnesota Realtors. “Every year-over-year decline in closed sales we measured on a monthly basis was compared to the extraordinary activity of 2021. As we head into 2023, we’ll hopefully see declines level off, setting the stage for a healthy resurgence of sales in the spring. Interest rates, of course, remain a critical factor. As December closed, the rate on a 30-year mortgage rose to nearly 7%. By early January, it slipped to just over 6.5%. Still, potential buyers and sellers are wary, cautiously waiting to see which way the housing trends will go. Big picture: All the indicators show a market that has slowed but is fundamentally healthy and ready to resurge when inflation eases.” 

May be an image of text that says '9,204 Homes forSale for +15.3% vs Dec. 2021 $305,000 Median Sales Price 密 Minnesota Realtors® 1.7% vS Dec. 2021 Dec. 2022 Housing Report 4,444 Closed Sales 38.7% vs Dec. 2021 46 Days on Market 个 +24.3% vs Dec. 2021'

December year-over-year summary of key market indicators: 

  • Closed sales decreased 38.7% to 4,444 
  • Median sales price increased 1.7% to $305,000 
  • Average sales price increased 2.6% to $361,159 
  • New listings decreased 17.1% to 3,031 
  • Pending sales decreased 27.6% to 3,344 
  • Days on the market increased 24.3% to 46 days  
  • Homes for sale increased 15.3% to 9,204

% Change YOY in 2022 Statewide Closed Sales 

Month  Closed Sales
January -9.9% 
February -12.9% 
March -8.4%
April -10.9%
May -6.5%
June -13.7% 
July -19.2% 
August -17.0%
September -18.2% 
October -30.7%
November -35.3%
December -38.7%

Closed Home Sales Across Minnesota by Region

In December, closed sales declined in 12 regions compared to a year ago, bringing Minnesota’s average number of closed home sales down 38.7% year over year. The exception was the Upper MN Valley, which saw a 21.1% increase in closed sales. Otherwise, the smallest declines were seen in Southwest at 22.8%, Southwest Central at 25.4%, and Northwest at 30%. The largest declines were reported in South Central and East Central, each at 46.6%, and North Central at 47.3%. See the chart below for more details comparing closed home sales for December 2022 to December 2021.

The seven-county Twin Cities region comprises Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties. The official Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan statistical area recognized by the Census Bureau consists of 16 counties, on
which MAR & SPAAR local associations report. 

View full regional and county reports here. 

View statewide report here. 

No Comments


Honey, I Shrunk the House. . .

 By MNR News
Ready to chuck the clutter, chaos, and big fat mortgage? It might be time to “tinysize” your life
For a growing number of Minnesotans, downsizing is becoming “tinysizing.” Drawn by the promise of a simple, uncluttered life where possessions are pared down to essentials, these homeowners are investing in dwellings that average 186-square feet or less. Models of minimalism, the typical tiny house has a compact galley kitchen, a living area with a small couch, a bath and shower that’s not much bigger than an airline lavatory, and a loft with a bed.In a state where the average suburban home is at least 2,300 square feet, the idea of living in a house the size a large bathroom can be claustrophobic and stifling. But for the hundreds of Minnesotans now inhabiting tiny-home communities around the Twin Cities and Duluth, abandoning space and stuff is more than a fair trade for the freedom from big mortgages and the chores, maintenance, and expensive upkeep of larger homes. Tiny-house owners typically have more disposable income to indulge their passions, and tend to give more time and energy to their friends and communities.

“Tiny living isn’t just about tiny houses. Tiny living is about life simplification; about doing what makes you happy,” said Jenna Spenser, a filmmaker who regularly posts videos about the tiny-house lifestyle on her website, Tiny House Giant Journey. “I don’t work for my house, it works for me. . . . It’s not going to be a burden on you, like a lot of houses are. It’s going change your life. It’s going to help you reach your dreams. . . . And that’s what the tiny house movement is to me.”

Save, Steward, Simplify

Although priced dramatically lower than conventional homes, tiny houses are not cheap—at least not by the square foot. Recently, a 176-square-foot tiny house on wheels in Moorhead sold for $53,000—or about $300 a square foot. By contrast, a 2,300-square-foot home selling for $350,000 is closer to $150 a square foot. A lot of the expense comes from the high degree of customization for things like cabinetry, stairs, bathroom, water heaters, kitchen appliances, and other features. Still, because the overall cost is so low, nearly 70% of tiny-home owners do not have a mortgage. And those that do are able to pay them off within a few years as opposed to decades.

Demographically, tiny-home owners skew older. Almost 40% of them are over 50, and more than half are women. They tend to be highly educated—twice as likely to have a master’s degree as the average homeowner. Many have owned conventional homes but downsized after raising children, divorcing, or the death of a spouse. Across all age groups, they are environmentally conscious and chose a tiny home in part to lower their carbon footprint and overall impact on the planet. And whether their homes are permanently anchored on concrete slabs or on wheels and ready to roll, tiny-home owners save enough on house-related expenses to travel more often than owners of conventional homes.

While saving money is a big plus, the urge to declutter and simplify is one of the driving forces behind the tiny-house movement. This is an especially big factor for women. In a study of married couples with children, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that the burden of housework tends to fall unequally on women. Their overall stress was higher than that of their spouses, as measured by raised levels of cortisol, a hormone released by adrenal glands. Clutter, and the cleaning projects associated with it, played a large role in anxiety and unhappiness.

Do Your Research

For Minnesotans who want to toss the clutter, ditch the big mortgage, and go tiny, there are several factors to consider. First, check out the building and zoning codes in the community you would like to live. Some cities do not allow tiny homes, and others impose tight restrictions on where the homes can be placed. Duluth and St. Paul recently changed zoning laws to allow tiny houses.

Minnesota law favors tiny houses that are built on site, attached to a foundation, and intended to be permanent. In official parlance, they are classified as accessory dwelling units (ADUs). By contrast, tiny homes mounted on wheels are designated as recreational vehicles. Strict laws in many Minnesota communities often make it illegal to park such dwellings, even if you own the land. One exception is The Sanctuary Minnesota Village, a privately owned parcel where owners of tiny houses on wheels can lease parking spaces.

ADUs must meet all the building codes for normal dwellings, plus additional requirements for safety and habitability. This includes minimum sizes for bathrooms, kitchens, and loft areas; openings for emergency escapes and rescues; and specific codes for electric, plumbing, and mechanicals. Learn more by visiting the Tiny House Guide to Minnesota.

If you’ve been thinking about going tiny but aren’t ready to make the big move, you can taste the minimalist lifestyle by renting a tiny vacation getaway in Minnesota. Ultimately, while small spaces and less stuff might not be for everyone, there are elements of tiny-house philosophy that can bring more order, less clutter, and greater happiness to even the most palatial homes. As decluttering guru Marie Kondo advises in her book, The Life Changing Method of Tidying Up, if something doesn’t “spark joy,” get rid of it. Whether this perspective helps you clean out a closet or empty an entire house, it could mark the beginning of a fulfilling journey, no matter how tiny or great.

No Comments

Happy Holidays!!


We wish you all of the happiness and joy of the holiday season, no matter how you celebrate!! May your holidays be filled with happiness, laughter, love, and many new memories to cherish for a lifetime!!


Season’s Greetings from all of us at Cushman Realty!!!

No Comments

November 2022 Housing Report

Higher interest rates create hesitancy in buyers and sellers
MINNEAPOLIS (December 12, 2022) 
The cooling trend in Minnesota’s housing market continued in November as closed sales fell 35.3% statewide compared to a year ago. New listings were down 17% below last year with 4,735 properties coming on the market. The median sales price was up nearly 2% to $310,000. As seen in recent months, sellers were receiving a little under their asking price, down 2.5% over November 2021. Homes sat on the market longer, an average of 40 days, marking a 21.2% increase. Because sales were moving slower, the total number of homes for sale across the state increased over 13% to 11,595. Overall, there was nearly two months’ supply of available housing inventory, a 38.5% increase over last November. 

“The declines in closed sales over the last few months indicate a return to more normal market conditions like those of 2020 and earlier,” said Chris Galler, CEO of Minnesota Realtors. “Still, with interest rates doubled from a year ago, and the median sales price ticking upward, housing affordability is a significant challenge for many buyers. They’re sidelined for now, hoping that rates and prices will come down. Potential sellers, on the other hand, are reluctant to enter a market with eroding buyer demand, and the prospect of higher interest rates when they purchase new homes. In December, however, there were signs that mortgage rates were beginning to cool. If the trend continues, it could have a stimulating effect as we move from winter to spring.” 

May be an image of text that says '11,595 Homes for Sale $310,000 Median Sales Price +13.3% vs Nov. 2021 Minnesota Realtors® 1.7% vs Nov. 2021 November 2022 Housing Report 5,128 Closed Sales -35.3% vS Nov. 2021 40 Days on Market +21.2% vs Nov. 2021'

November year-over-year summary of key market indicators:   

  • Closed sales decreased 35.3% to 5,128 
  • Median sales price increased 1.7% to $310,000 
  • Average sales price increased 4.5% to $367,886 
  • New listings decreased 17.1% to 4,735 
  • Pending sales decreased 38.7% to 4,117 
  • Days on the market increased 21.2% to 40 days  
  • Homes for sale increased 13.3% to 11,595 

Closed Home Sales Across Minnesota by Region

In November, closed sales declined in 12 regions compared to a year ago, bringing Minnesota’s average number of closed home sales down 35.3% year over year. Northwest, which saw a modest 2.3% gain in closed sales, was the only region to mark an increase. The smallest declines were seen in Headwaters at 15.8%, South Central at 20.9%, and Arrowhead at 22.7%. The largest declines were reported in Central at 39.9%, East Central at 42.9%, and Southwest at 48.3%. See the chart below for more details comparing closed home sales for November 2022 to November 2021.

The seven-county Twin Cities region comprises Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties. The official Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan statistical area recognized by the Census Bureau consists of 16 counties, on which MAR & SPAAR local associations report. 

View full regional and county reports here. 

View statewide report here. 

No Comments

How to Winterize Basement and Attic Areas

Like it or not, winter is coming in Minnesota. Home basements are particularly vulnerable to the freezing temperatures winter brings. But if you act now to protect the vulnerable parts of your home, you can prevent damage later, while preserving heat. Learn the best practices for winterizing your basement and attic here.

No Comments

Many Reasons to Be Thankful

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving together. May all of your Thanksgiving traditions bring great joy to all that celebrate together!! We are so grateful to all our clients, family, and friends!!

No Comments

Congratulations Tracy Otoka Cushman!!

2022 Seven Star – Top 100 Member in Market