Home Decorating Style

1 10 2006

Many homeowners do not know where to begin when decorating or redecorating their homes. What they may know is that they want to impart personalization and use a style that expresses their likes and interests. However, narrowing down a particular design style can be difficult if you’re not sure what components make up these styles. Here’s a look at a few popular considerations.

One trend is to bring European influences into the home by mimicking elements unique to these areas of the world.

French countryside: At home in the country or Victorian homes, this rustic style evokes feelings of bright sunshine and delicate mountainscapes. An important part of this style is to use natural materials – from exposed wood beams to a stone fireplace – to give the home a cozy yet simplistic look. Colors run the gamut from fiery reds to creamy yellows, balanced with blues and grays. And don’t overlook the use of toiles on upholstery and walls.

Swedish simplicity: If you’re one who appreciates a light and airy home, borrowing from Swedish style could be key. Swedes combat long dark winters by transforming their homes into bright showplaces. Furniture has straight or slightly curving lines; fabrics are composed mostly of whites and creams with touches of sunny colors like blues and yellows.

Tuscan retreat: For those who appreciate a home that is bathed in comfort, Tuscan style is perfect. Again, comprised of natural materials, like stone, marble and earthy clays, Tuscan style also intermixes wrought iron, hardwoods and shutters to add to the appeal. Exterior design is also important, where a patio or portico should also be part of the structure. Nothing should look shiny or new in a Tuscan home – it should blend with nature and have an overall warm tone.

Traditional styles never go out of fashion:

Contemporary: At the heart of this style is line and form. That’s why it’s a popular choice of architects and artists. Some say it seems stark, but with clean lines and a minimalist look of a neutral palette with a splash of bright color, it still remains popular.

Traditional: These styles are classic and comfortable, and for some, predictable. They can seem old fashioned and fussy, but for others they exude an unsurpassed comfort. Colors are muted and often include plaids, florals, and are accented by wooden furniture, typically with darker stains and carvings.

Casual: This style is all about what the name implies: a home that’s easy to live in and is comfortable and inviting. These homes have simple horizontal lines; textured, not shiny fabrics; and simple details. Furniture is typically oversized and comfortable.

Jacksonville Among Tops in Minority Lending

1 10 2006

Minorities made up the fastest-growing segment of new homebuyers in 2005, and Jacksonville was among the top 10 markets in the country for such growth.

A report issued by Genworth Mortgage Insurance and Compliance Technologies ranked Jacksonville 10th in the country. The rankings are based on the difference between the increase in home mortgage lending to minorities and the increase in lending to whites.

Jacksonville was 10th in the all-minorities category, with the 52 percent increase in minority lending more than three times the 16 percent increase for whites.

Jacksonville was seventh in the country for the increase in lending to African-Americans, with the 42 percent increase in lending to blacks about 2.5 times the increase in lending to whites.

“Despite the nationwide cooling in homebuying, minorities represented a significantly larger percentage of new purchases in 2005 than they did in 2004,” said Kevin Schneider, president of Genworth Financial’s U.S. mortgage insurance business. “We’re determined to close the homeownership gap, and it’s good to see that progress is being made.”

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal

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