5 Trends for Luxury Home Kitchens


Kitchen Islands

Islands have long been a staple in all different styles of kitchens, but in 2018 you’ll see islands used in different ways than before. Kitchens are increasingly becoming a gathering space and one island is not enough for many homes these days. Kitchens are featuring double or even triple islands. The additional islands have a variety of uses, including preparation, serving, and even in place of a traditional kitchen table.

Authentic Wood Looks

Wood flooring in the kitchen never goes out of style, but this year authentic edge woods are all the rage for countertops as well. These countertops add an elegant, yet rustic accent that feels warm and comfortable. A wood slab brings the outdoors into your kitchen and reclaimed woods tell a story and adds history to your home.

Larger Windows and Fewer Cabinets

In 2018, if you have to choose between more storage space and more natural light, choose more natural light and install larger windows! Natural lighting can add warmth and comfort to the kitchen, not to mention increased visibility. Natural light is great and the larger windows create a bigger space with more style.

The Fitted Kitchen

Another way of creating space in kitchens that has become popular is the fitted concealed kitchen trend. Walk into the kitchen and see no appliances, they’re neatly hidden away behind custom fitted cabinets and metallic screens. The walls and space under the island feature retractable metallic hooks that are there when you need them and hidden when you do not. All these accents create a chic, modern, spacious feeling where all your needs are taken care of.

Open Shelving

Sometimes people think of the open shelving concept as cluttered, but when done correctly this concept actually makes organization much easier. With open shelving, it is easier to come up with a system because everything is in plain view. This allows you to find items quickly and group items together easily. Not only that but it adds to the open, spacious style that is so popular right now. Make sure to leave space between objects, and have fun with an accent color on the wall behind the open shelves for a curated look that is all your own.

5 Tips to make your bathroom space grow

Bathrooms are the hardest rooms to decorate and often end up feeling much tighter in space than they actually are. A bathroom is meant to be spacious or at least give the impression that you can move around freely in it. Most people will spend a lot of time in the bathroom doing their hair, makeup, or other hygienic routines. Don’t make one of the most used rooms in the house feel like a small and cluttered space. Take a look at five tips that will help you create an open and spacious feeling in your bathroom whether it’s big or small.


Say Hello to this master bath!! . 📐 @kishaniperera 📸 @bethanynauert

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There is only one rule that you should have in mind when thinking about what mirror you should put in the bathroom. The bigger the better. Mirrors can make a room feel like it has twice the space and adds more light to the room in the process. Make sure that you don’t use mirrors side by side though as it will have an opposite effect and make the room feel once again crammed.

Natural Light

Amazing bathroom design by @lustliving !!

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The more light you have come into the bathroom the greater visual effect it will have on the space. Just as I have mentioned above semi-gloss paint and big mirrors will attract a lot of light in the room. If you decide to want to go further with the natural light or feel that it’s not enough to your liking a solatube-skylight should do the trick.

Towel racks

Most people have towel racks attached to a wall near the shower. This rack is taking up wall space and creates a mood that feels cluttered. Instead, try moving those racks and attaching them to the bathroom door. For those that have a smaller space to work with this is especially helpful because it opens up wall space, condenses it, and visually makes the room feel wider.


Research shows that bathrooms are usually small and dark. Paint can go a long way in a bathroom if you tend to stay with lighter colors. If you choose a unified lighter color throughout, it will visually expand the height of the room and at the same time mask the transitions and planes intersecting. As an extra tip when painting, if you use semi-gloss paint it will reflect the light coming in.


What a fun kids bathroom idea! . 📸 @coastalinteriors @jordannicoledesign

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Finally, it is time to add your personal touch to the room. The only advice that can be given here is to try and keep things simple. The last thing you want is to add too much stuff and be back to where you started with a cramped bathroom feeling. Preferably, to keep with creating an illusion of a spacious bathroom try and keep things white if possible.

Home Decor Trends to Look Out For in 2018


Millennial pink has dominated color schemes for the past couple of years, but now a new color is taking its place – lavender. Looking for a new style for your home? Try some of these home decor trends that will dominate in 2018



Don’t worry millennial pink isn’t going anywhere – but for those who are looking for a new color, lavender is their best choice. These colors are similar in that they help bring out soft tones with accents that are deeper.


High Contrast Palettes

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Having trouble picking out a bold color? Try pairing it with less intense color like white to mellow it out. Saturated colors with a white contrast is going to be big in 2018.


Tone on Tone

A unique and interesting look that has been around, but is expected to take off in the new year is tone on tone. Make sure its a color you really like or it may be a bit overwhelming. If purple is not your color, try and more subtle tone.  


Moody Palettes

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It’s ok to go for moodier color palettes, black walls are actually going to be big in 2018. While black walls may be a hard concept for some people to grasp, with the right accents it can really make a room pop.


Olive Green

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For those who are uncertain about these new 2018 trends, here is a more traditional color palette that actually pulls inspiration from the 1970s.


Low-Calorie Recipe Alternatives Perfect For This Holiday Season

Mash potatoes, stuffing, yams, ham, turkey, and don’t forget the apple, pumpkin, olallieberry, and pecan pie! Just the mere reading of these foods make us salivate. We stuff ourselves until we hate ourselves, we pile our plate up with food, appetizers, drinks and desserts. This is the time of the year where our healthy food habits go right out the window! Not only are we overeating, but we are overeating high-calorie food.

To ease the guilt this year (and the those holiday pounds) here are a few low-calorie recipes you can create for a delicious and nutrious Thanksgiving feast. 


Salads and Starters


California Spinach Salad


For a delicious and nutrient defense salad, try this spinach salad. You can add any additional favorites of your liking to this mix. 


8 cups fresh spinach leaves

2 avocados

3 handfuls of alfalfa sprouts

2 bell peppers

For the dressing:

1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1 medium lime, juiced

1/4 cup chopped chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce (about 1/3 of a medium pepper)

1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Pepper, to taste

What to do:

  1. Pile on the desired amount of spinach leaves in a salad bowl or plate.
  2. Slice up the avocado and the bell pepper, and add to salad.
  3. Sprinkle a handful of alfalfa sprouts on top.
  4. Make dressing. There are two ways to do this: If you have a small food processor or blender, throw all of the ingredients in it and pulse until well-combined. If doing things by hand, chop all ingredients very finely and stir until well-combined.
  5. Drizzle over the salad and toss to combine.


“Vegan” Creamed Corn

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For those who may be lactose intolerant or the vegans in your family, this is the perfect spin on a classic Thanksgiving favorite.

7 Ingredients

2 cups frozen corn kernels

1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon chopped scallions


  1. Combine corn and coconut milk in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until coconut milk has evaporated a bit and thickened, about 15 minutes.
  2. Once the mixture has reached the desired consistency, mix in parsley, red pepper flakes, and scallions.


Quinoa and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Mushrooms


Try adding a new dish to this year’s Thanksgiving feast that both vegetarians and meat eaters will love!


4 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling



3 cups greens (spinach or kale work well)

2 cups cooked quinoa

6 portobello mushroom caps, wiped clean


  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes with oil and salt and pepper to taste on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping halfway through, until pieces are golden brown and cooked through.
  3. Just before the sweet potatoes are done cooking, remove sheet from oven and add spinach on top. Place back in oven for the last 2 to 3 minutes. Once spinach has wilted, remove pan from oven and cool until veggies are cool enough to handle. Lower oven to 400 degrees.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix quinoa, sweet potatoes, and greens. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Brush both sides of mushrooms with olive oil, and place gills up on the baking sheet. Spoon quinoa and sweet potato mixture into caps, mounding slightly in the center. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked through.


Quinoa Apple Cake


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Made with whole quinoa, this hearty cake is both naturally sweet and filling.



1 cup quinoa

8 tablespoons salted butter, melted

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup raisins

2 apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

1 teaspoon ginger (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine quinoa with 2 cups water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 10 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Drain well and set aside.
  3. Dip a pastry brush in melted butter and use it to grease inside of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  4. Put remaining melted butter in a large bowl, and mix with brown sugar and raisins until evenly distributed. Add apples and cooked quinoa, and stir to combine.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger and nutmeg, if using. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir to evenly combine.
  6. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and top of cake is golden brown.
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely before cutting to help cake maintain its shape.


5 Only-in-Los Angeles Things to Do this Fall


Fall is a favorite amongst most people – the leaves turn a beautiful orange and red color, we get to decorate for Fall, and layered clothing. Sadly, here in Southern California, we don’t get to experience much of this fall fun like the rest of the country, but there are a few activities in which can only be done here in Los Angeles.


1. Theme Park’s During Halloween

Next to Orlando, the Los Angeles/Orange County area has some of the most world-famous amusement parks and each have their own Halloween themed scarefest. From Disney’s Mickey’s Halloween Party to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, the amount of events for thrill seekers are endless. Don’t forget to check out the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor in Long Beach, Knott’s Scary Farm in Buena Park, Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest, and Legoland’s Brick-or-Treat.  


2. Oktoberfest

Outside of Germany, the LA area has tons of Oktoberfest celebrations filled with Bavarian food and German beer. While many Oktoberfests are already underway, you can still check out Alpine Village in Torrance for one of the oldest and largest festivals. Here you will think you’re in Munich with German sausage, Oom Pah Pah bands, costumes and Warsteiner beer.

For more information click here.


3. Dia de los Muertos

Here in Los Angeles, we embrace Mexican heritage by celebrating Dia de los Muertos, the colorful ancient tradition that honors the loved ones that have passed with decorating altars using sugar skulls and marigolds. From November 1-2 in downtown Los Angeles, Olvera St. holds an exhibit with entertainment, food, and drinks. HARD Day of the Dead music festival featured past headliners like Calvin Harris, Zedd, and Diplo.


4. Hiking

While the rest of the country is cooling down, the Southern California sun is shining just as bright as it did in the summer. Joshua Tree is a treasure in late fall and even offers two free entrance days on November 11 and 12, Veterans Day weekend.


5. TV Tapings

The Television industry ends its summer hiatus and studios are back to work. This is the best time of the year to attend a live taping of some of your favorite shows. Check out 1iota.com for tickets to Television’s hottest shows.

5 South Bay Restaurants You Must Try

One thing that definitely goes under the radar in South Bay is the restaurant scene. Food bloggers, celebrities chefs, and out-of-towners flock to West LA to get their Southern California foodie fix. Downtown Los Angeles has had a rebirth of culinary transcendence in recent years, but South Bay has the second largest population of Japanese-Americans, along with a high population of Koreans, Indians, and Latinos. This diversity has made way for a vibrant culinary landscape that the rest of Los Angeles, honestly, is missing out on.

One thing that is for certain, South Bay’s restaurant scene will never be low-brow and here are five restaurants to prove it:


Al Noor

Probably some of the best Indian and Pakistani in all of LA! Al Noor has been raved about by food experts such as Jonathan Gold and Eric Greenspan. Greenspan has been raving about their garlic naan on Food Network for years. Reviewers and Yelpers have also gone crazy over this place.



There is nothing quite like the perfect breakfast burrito to get your day started. This Redondo Beach eatery is the perfect hangover remedy. Grab a burrito and walk a few blocks to the beach and enjoy your breakfast with a view.


Little Sister

This is a long time favorite of Manhattan Beach. The ambiance alone is a reason to come, let alone the food. The fusion dishes are not forceful, but rather skillfully pulled from Asian flavors all across the continent.


Painter’s Tape

In a town that is already so saturated with Japanese and Korean food, Painter’s Tape brings a new electric flare to Gardena. Perfect for breakfast and lunch, this clean and modern restaurant has an interesting and unique concept. This place is great for groups of friends and it’s best to share to maximize the opportunity to try different things.


Barans 2239

This gem is a hole in the wall in the most unassuming place, a strip mall. Don’t let that deter you from eating here though. The food is a grown-up take on Californian cuisine, mixing Mexican and Asian influences. According to Yelp, a favorite amongst reviewers is the Indian egg.

Home Improvements For Any Budget

White Kitchen Interior with Island, Sink, Cabinets, and Hardwood Floors in New Luxury Home


Do you have the desire to update, improve, or renovate your home, but feel as if it’s not in your budget? HGTV shows lead us to believe that home improvements cost tens of thousands of dollars and usually go over budget. You’ll be surprised how updating a few minor details will give your home a fresh look equal to a total renovation. Here are some home improvements that can be done on any budget.



If you want to boost the value of your home, start with curb appeal. This doesn’t have to be an expensive repaint job. Start with small landscaping projects, from planting a bed of flowers to adding mulch around trees and other plants. Add fresh accessories like a new front door, mailbox, and planters. With $100 you can also refinish floors and cabinets, giving the whole kitchen an updated look.





Before you list your home it would be wise to have a home inspection so you know what needs to be repaired before your buyers walk through. If your home is perfect and doesn’t need any repairs, you can spend your $500 painting your home’s exterior, shutters, and trim. Also, you can erect a simple fence around your backyard. You can even hire a pro to power wash your patio, deck or walkways.




If your budget is a thousand, give your home’s interior a new paint job. Keep in mind that you should stick to neutral colors for the widest appeal. If your home doesn’t need a new paint job, consider investing in new furniture pieces that will modernize your home. If you don’t need new furniture either, invest in a new front porch. This will add curb appeal and make your home visually luring.




This money will best be used updating your half-bath or main bathroom. Making these spaces unique and charming can increase your home’s value by more than $7,500, yielding a greater return. Also, consider transforming unused space such as an attic as an additional bedroom. Return can be anywhere from 70 to 80 percent.




If you’re willing to spend this much on home renovation we suggest you do so on the most important room in the whole house, the kitchen. Replace cabinet doors, repaint or stain cabinets, or add a new countertop. If your kitchen is already in pristine condition, focus your attention to the flooring. Replace the flooring in your home’s common areas. Opt for Bamboo, a beautiful and less expensive choice.


6 Ways to Take Your Outdoor Space to the Next Level


It’s unbelievable that we are already half way through the summer! These last couple weeks have been hot and humid, but now that it is cooling off to a more enjoyable summer breeze, it’s time we step up our outdoor entertainment space. Luckily here in Southern California, we can entertain outside year-round, meaning a quality outdoor space is an amenity.

Here are 6 ways to make your patio look like it’s straight out of a magazine:

Mirrored Fences

This one you can easily do yourself! Take old window frames, place a fitted mirror in the openings and hang them on a fence. They make for an interesting and chic addition to the yard. Click the link for a full how to.




One of 2017’s biggest home decor trends was adding texture to a room. Now we’re taking this trend outside and applying it to the flooring. A combination of pavers (or concrete slabs) and pebbles makes for a beautiful, modern take on the patio. It’s also a much more natural look than a big old slab of concrete, and provides spaces for runoff to seep into the ground.



Painted Patio

If you already have a concrete patio, dress it up with a new paint job. This family took their hackneyed patio space and amplified it to a statement piece.




Private Patio

Do you live in a more tight-knit space? Create your own privacy on your patio by installing a simple yet cute wall. Dress it up a bit with plants, lights, and other decor pieces to make a more tranquil scenery.

The Fresh Exchange


Small, but quaint

Even if you don’t have the biggest outdoor space, you can still create an inviting and cozy patio. It’s about choosing the right furniture that fits well in that space.

Marie Claire Maison


Backyard fire pit

If you’re backyard is simply a grassy field, try adding a fire pit. Whether you use it or not, a fire pit instantly takes your backyard from a 5 to a 10. Add some cozy seating and fun pillows for a pop of color and your backyard is magazine ready.

a beautiful mess



6 Home Staging Mistakes that Turn Off Potential Buyers


Home staging can be a tricky task. You want your buyers to visualize their new life in your happy home. You need to make this visualization possible by depersonalizing your home while also being careful not to depersonalize it so much so that it looks like a generic, model house. If you stage your home right, you’ll win over buyers, but do it poorly and you’ll alienate them.  Here are some simple mistakes that can turn off your potential buyers.

Forgo the cleaning

Before you open your home to guests, make sure all dust, cobwebs, and soap scum is scrubbed and cleared. One thing is your own dirt, but nothing will turn off buyers like someone else’s.

Forgetting to de-clutter

Nothing can be more stressful and unrelaxing than clutter. Your magnet filled fridge and stack of unpaid bills is distracting. You want your buyers to feel relaxed and calm in your bright, clean home.

Painting everything beige

It is important to keep your wall’s color scheme neutral, but not brown and boring. Choose a color that is simple and that compliments the decor well.

Overlooking minor repairs

Small holes in the wall and rusty faucets are easy fixes. Make sure to take care of all small repairs and upgrades before you begin showing your home. The last thing you want on your buyer’s mind is a to-do list.

Ignoring odd smells

Smoke and pet odors are some of the biggest turns off that can be hard to get rid of, but always make sure your home is aired out before buyers view it. Do your best to banish the smells, but don’t try to cover it with odd aromas or heavy fragrances – you’ll just look like you’re trying to mask the odors.

Overstuffing the closets

When cleaning up and decluttering the house, we often turn to stuffing everything into our closets. Remember, buyers are looking at storage space and will likely look through your closets. Crammed closet space is unattractive and makes storage space appear smaller. If you’re planning to move, it is time to start sorting through your things.