Design Tips

Green Living at Free Expo in Manhattan Beach

Blog, Community News, Design Tips, Manhattan Beach News   |   Dunham Stewart
People interested in a greener lifestyle can find everything they need at the Sage (Sustainable And Green Environments) Expo to be held Saturday April 20 and 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. , at the National Guard Armory in Manhattan Beach. The free two-day event is focused on serving the South Bay communities with a one -stop tour of local business offering their brand of green. Vendors, Exhibitors, Speakers, and Workshops representing the full spectrum of green goods and services drawing from local businesses and community leaders and non-profits. Attendees can learn practical information on how to lower their utility costs and generally lead a healthier lifestyle. Sage Expo offers goods and products to help make our lives greener so we can enjoy a healthy life while also sustaining our beautiful beach communities and its environment. The Manhattan Beach National Guard Armory is located at 3601 Bell Ave., Manhattan Beach. For more information, go to

Home Renovations Up in 2013

Blog, Design Tips, Market Updates, Real Estate News   |   Dunham Stewart
This is the year renovations make a come back according to the second annual Houzz & Home survey, which gathered more than 100,000 responses from Houzz’s 14 million monthly unique visitors. Moving forward with decorating and redecorating projects has increased by 12 percent compared to this time last year. While improving the look and feel of a space is still the key driver for recently completed home design projects (83 percent said so), the number of homeowners who have or will make improvements to increase their home’s value rose 7 percent, to 54 percent, up from 47 percent.  Most homeowners don’t plan to tackle home design projects alone. Among those planning projects in the next two years, 58 percent are planning to hire professional help. And where will the money go? The most popular areas where homeowners undertake projects year after year are bathrooms and kitchens. During the past five years, homeowners spent an average of $28,030 on kitchen remodels. Meanwhile, they spent $10,422 on average on bathroom renovations.

Now This is a Green House

Blog, Community News, Design Tips, Hermosa Beach News   |   Dunham Stewart
The Green Idea House in Hermosa Beach is the Fortuna family’s project to affordably retrofit their house into a net zero energy, zero carbon case study. With its aim to be environmentally friendly, the building has reduced its energy load by more than 75 percent, harvesting more renewable energy than it uses and using the extra energy to help reduce the carbon footprint even more by charging electric vehicles. The home, which features solar panels and recycled glass bathroom tiles, even has a laundry machine that recycles water directly to the garden hose. The home makes so much more energy than it uses it is able to power the families electric car.  During building, the project kept more than 97% of construction waste out of landfills. The home has won numerous environmental honors, including the 2012 Green Leadership Award for Los Angeles County.  Southern California Edison is using the home as a model for its residential energy initiatives. Learn more at

Home Owners Solar Power Planning Tools

Blog, Design Tips, Manhattan Beach News   |   Dunham Stewart
Are you considering solar energy for your home, but don’t know where to start? Adding solar panels to your house can be a great way to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint. You just have to be sure you’re ready to shell out up to of $20,000 at the outset. Solar panels won’t typically start saving you money for 10-15 years, so it should be viewed as a long-term investment. Visit the California Energy Commission’s go solar California clean power estimator for a snapshot of potential costs. The estimator will show you how much you can expect to spend after applying thousands of dollars in state and federal incentives. The county also offers a very useful solar map and green planning tool to gather information about your property and see how viable an option solar power is. The solar map uses more than 250 million calculations in measuring 3,000 square miles of satellite imagery to measure the landscape for solar potential.

Landscape With Warm Season Grasses

Blog, Design Tips, Real Estate Tips   |   Dunham Stewart
These are the darlings of garden designers and are easy to grow and maintain. Warm-season grasses wake up in the second half of spring, when temperatures start to rise and the soil begins to warm. They grow and bloom through summer’s heat and often peak in fall. Many remain attractive through dormancy into winter, and all require little more than an early spring haircut before growth begins for maintenance. This post is about the ornamental grasses that bring great richness of texture, variety, and beauty to set off your finest flowers.  Grasses add interest to a garden by changing with the seasons. They don’t disappear; instead, they evolve throughout the year. One season brings the striking foliage, then perhaps the elegant plume of bloom, and in the fall, another look as the plant prepares for the winter. All make wonderful accents in the garden. Here is a great post with photos and tips: Click Here

Good Landscape Design Has Rythm

Blog, Design Tips, Real Estate Tips   |   Dunham Stewart
Landscape  design is a process of developing practical and pleasing outdoor living  space. Bring energy and movement to your landscape by applying these universal principles to your plant and paver designs. Even though these rules are universal, the principles of landscape design include the elements of unity,  scale, balance, simplicity, variety, emphasis, and rythm. Unity attracts and holds  attention.  Scale evokes emotional connection. Balance is equilibruim on the left and right sides. Simplicity is the degrees of  repetition rather than constant change, creating unity. Variety is diversity and contrast in  form, texture, and color preventing monotony. Emphasis is the dominance and subordination of elements. Rythm is the change or flow in form, color, texture and size giving movement.  This article explains and shows some cool ways to infuse your landscape with a dynamic rhythm.  Check out: Click Here

Remodeling Bang For The Buck

Blog, Design Tips, Real Estate Tips   |   Dunham Stewart
Homeowners are ready to make 2012 a banner year for remodeling and the latest cost-for-value research suggests that getting the most bang for every buck is more important than ever. Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report for 2011-2012 found that the trend right now is replacement over remodeling-swapping out the old for the new rather than doing a total gut job, which can be much more costly. Living space and the way it’s utilized also continues to be top of mind. The trend  not to invest in the bigger, but instead investing in what’s better. The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) hit a five-year high at the end of 2011, indicating that residential remodeling should continue to grow in 2012. Here are some of the projects that offer the best return on investment, allowing home owners to recoup close to 70 percent or more of the costs of the project at times of resale. Check out the report: Click Here

Space Saving Floating Desk

Blog, Design Tips   |   Dunham Stewart
Living on the coast has many advantages, location, lifestyle, lovely views. There are some draw backs as well and one of them is space, most coastal homes aren’t super-sized. So how can solve some of these space saving dilemas, to make your small space seem bigger, yet not over-powered by decorating? Floating-style furniture can be found in many rooms of the house to create the illusion of more space or keep everyday items nearby. Use this small-space decorating tip to maximize your home with savvy decorating. It’s still a desk, but it doesn’t feel so desk-like. Plus, you can tuck it in anywhere (under the stairs, in a closet, by the kitchen, etc.). And when you’re not using it, it disguises as a floating shelf. Genius! Check out full story and step-by-step instructions: Click Here

Mid Century Modern In Manhattan Beach Hills

Blog, Design Tips, Manhattan Beach News   |   Dunham Stewart
An incredible award winning residense in the hill section of Manahattan Beach, floating elegantly over its sloping, corner lot, the Greco residence masterfully combines Modernist design with quintessential California cool. Glass, steel and concrete team with teak and mahogany to create a breathtaking frame for the home’s light-soaked interiors and sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. The vast expanses of glass, set into the home’s steel and concrete frame, reinforce its interconnectedness with nature and lend it a certain airy feeling. Chicago-based architect Gerald Horn designed the residence, built in 1996. Read more and check out the incredible photos Click Here

Styling Smaller Bedrooms

Blog, Design Tips   |   Dunham Stewart
The Corner Bed Floor Plan can put a whole new angle on your furniture arrangement. Does a bedroom in your home feature window placements, architectural detail or size limitations that are making the floor plan difficult? Whether it’s getting the most out of floor space, increasing functionality in a room or just balancing an overall look, the corner bed may the answer you’re looking for.  This concept can maximize the use of smaller spaces and create new opportunities for design elements and decorateve accents. Take a look at some great photos that make this idea work Click Here
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