Looking Ahead: Kitchen Design Trends for 2020

kitchen-design-trends-for-2020-Preston Retreat

In this series of articles, we will look at projected trends for new homes being built in 2020. Each article will be based on the educated forecast of some of the most respected publications in home design and real estate. Likewise, we will dedicate each post to a different room in the house and its projected trends. In this our first piece in the series, we will look at Kitchen Design Trends for 2020. 

The importance of the sink in kitchen designs has been on the upswing for years.

In addition to listing each of the most popular trends expected in each room for the upcoming year, we will give a brief description of each. Due to this room having so many wildly popular trends, our initial two posts will be a two-part look at popular new ideas for the kitchen While the experts at homesandgardens.com listed nine total trends, we will look at five of these today. Thus, our next article will feature the remaining four Kitchen Design Trends in 2020.

  • Gold Hardware and Sinks
  • Walnut Cabinets
  • Larder/Pantry Cupboards
  • Handleless Cabinets
  • Double Kitchen Islands
  • Unexpected Paint Combinations
  • Black Walls, Cabinets, and Surfaces
  • Ash Backsplashes
  • The Return of Marble

Going for the Gold!

The feeling of “warmth” added to a kitchen by the useage of walnut is a trend on the rise.

With the popularity already on the rise regarding different finishes and colors of sinks, the Homes and Gardens experts feel this will continue to see an increase in interest. These Kitchen Design Trends for 2020 visit the upswing in the importance of the sink and an increase in seeing the gold sink as opposed to the more conventional finish.

In the article detailing these trends at homesandgardens.com, they speak with the Product Development and Training Manager from Home Appliance innovator, SMEG, Joan Fraser.

“Sinks have moved up on the scale of importance in kitchen design.” Fraser added, “Models are introduced to meet customers’ demands for a sink which, in addition to being purely functional, also makes a definitive style statement.”

The addition and rise in popularity of larder or pantry cupboards leave more space with less need for other cupboards.

Walnut for More Warmth

Another of our Kitchen Trends for 2020 includes “warming up” the look of the room. While there are many ways this could be achieved, in this case, we are talking about the use of walnut around the kitchen.

Homes and Gardens columnist, Jennifer Ebert gave the following take on the “wonder of walnut.” Ebert begins, “We have recently seen a rise in walnut cabinetry.” She adds, “It’s rich, dark color, fine grain and natural warmth are prized by makers for its feeling of instant luxury. “

Lots of Love for Larders

A somewhat consistent feature is the focal point of our next entry among Kitchen Design Trends for 2020. That trend is larder or pantry cupboards.

“Having a larder makes perfect sense. All the food goods are in one place and not scattered around in numerous wall cupboards. Ebert goes on to explain, “Meaning people can be more organized when doing their food shopping.”

In addition to making ones shopping less of a task, this also makes for less of a need for wall cupboards. Consequently, with more wall space, as a result, the choice is yours as to how to cover that open space.

Double kitchen islands popularity has stemmed from the want and needs to host and accommodate in the kitchen.

Handleless is Handy…If You Can Handle It!

“‘Handleless kitchen cabinets are one of the biggest trends for 2020, ” exclaims Busola Evans of Homes and Gardens. “… “For a more pared-back, streamlined look. It’s all about simplicity and a focus on cabinetry details.’ “

Doubling Up…on Islands???

The fifth and final of our Kitchen Design Trends of 2020 stays consistent with the kitchen becoming larger and more accommodating. This trend is having double kitchen islands.

Ebert echoes this in her article on Kitchen Design Trends. “With the move towards larger kitchens, in open-plan spaces, the kitchen island has become an essential kitchen feature.” She adds, “A pair of island units has become the last work in luxury, an expansive addition for when space is no object.”

Four More Kitchen Design Trends for 2020…To Go!!!

In our next article, we will cover the remaining Four Kitchen Home Design Trends for 2020. Any of these ideas can be implemented by explaining to any of the incredible custom luxury home builders at the Preston Retreat luxury home neighborhood exactly which you prefer.

To view the awesome builder teams at Preston Retreat , visit prestonretreatcary.com. To see more on the Homes and Gardens predictions and more, visit homesandgardens.com.

Cary NC Greenways: Nearly 40 paths, Over 80 Miles, and for 40 years.

It is no secret to residents and those in the surrounding that the outdoor living options in Cary are plentiful. The town does boast numerous parks and green spaces across town. Likewise, with over 80 miles and nearly 40 separate “paths,” we will look at the Cary NC Greenways.

The Black Creek Greenway trail is one of the many beautiful paths you can enjoy in Cary.

(This post is the first in a series on Cary NC Greenways. We will detail the specific Carey NC Greenways in the articles to follow and in this piece give an overview of exactly what a greenway is and their benefits.)

What is a Greenway?

Before we get into the Cary NC Greenways, we first must address an obvious, but important question. What is a greenway?

According to the official Town of Cary website, a greenway is defined as follows. “A greenway is a linear parcel of land set aside to preserve open space.” The town website goes further to explain where and why greenways are located. 

“Greenways are generally located in floodplain areas, along wooded stream corridors unsuitable for development.” It continues, “Often these corridors that harbor Cary’s greenway trails provide access to these pristine areas that otherwise would have been lost.” The explanation concludes, “Greenways are an environmental, economic, and recreational resource for all to enjoy. “

Shown is Cary’s Batchelor Branch Greenway Trail. This is one of almost 40 greenway trails in town.

Cary NC Greenways: A Historic Look Back

What began as a safety issue over a local school sports team in the mid-1970s, would prove to be the initial “seeds” planted in the formation of the Cary NC Greenways. Cary resident, Linda Setliff voiced her concern to town officials, about the safety of the Cary High Cross country team. 

Ms. Setlif, at the time, believed that the two-lane, no shoulder, country road section of Kildaire Farm Road was unsafe for the runners. Long story short the Town Council agreed with the concerned citizen.

Thus, in 1976, the Cary Town Council created a new committee, the Greenway Commission. After much research and planning over a three to four year period, the town was ready to implement a greenway system. Actually, since 1980, the Town of Cary has been building greenways to bring open spaces within easy walking distance of our homes. Currently, the Cary NC Greenways system runs for more than 80 miles.

Celebrating 40 Years of Cary NC Greenways

2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the greenway trails in the town of Cary.
2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the greenway trails in the town of Cary.

Whether on foot, bicycle, or just out walking the dog, more than 80 miles of greenways are available to enjoy in Cary. 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the Cary NC Greenways connecting residents to their to schools, shops, parks, and more. The town has planned numerous events to commemorate forty years of Cary NC Greenways throughout the year.

According to the official Town of Cary website, there are many ways that the Cary NC Greenways enhance one’s way of living. They listed these out as follows.

  • Providing a recreational amenity for walking, jogging, and bicycling in a natural setting remote from traffic
  • Preserving pristine open space to enhance Cary’s quality of life
  • Linking our neighborhoods with parks, schools, community centers, and other neighborhoods
  • Helping control stormwater runoff, curb erosion, and minimize flooding which can damage our property
  • Improving Cary’s water quality by buffering streams, filtering pollutants, and recharging our groundwater
  • Adding value to our property by merit of proximity

This is the first in a multiple article series on the greenway trails in Cary. In upcoming posts, we will look at individual trails. For more information on these and upcoming events celebrating the 40th anniversary, visit townofcary.org

New Home Design Trends: The Top 3 of 2019

New-Home-Design-Trends- Preston Retreat

In this our third installment of New Home Design Trends, we will look at the “top of the list.” Again, we refer to the real estate experts at Houzz for the top three trends on our list. This last post of the series will take us in and out of three separate rooms that could be a part of your new home.

New-Home-Design-Trends-Dining Room

Dining rooms with a personality is the number three trend on Houzz’s list.

New Home Design Trends with a Little “Personality”

It was not too long ago that not only were homeowners not focusing on the dining room, but the room was near extinction. This is obviously no longer the case based on number three of our New Home Design Trends.

“Dining rooms with a personality” is the way Houzz blogger, Mitchell Parker names this trend. Going on to explain the number three entry among his New Home Design Trends, he says the following.

“While many family meals are had at informal spots near or in the kitchen, dining rooms are thriving for special occasions.” Parker goes on to say, “That specialness opens up opportunities to inject lots of personality through color, pattern, lighting and more that might not fit within the context of the style found elsewhere in the home.”

A “Ledge” Instead of a “Niche” in the Shower

Number two on our list of New Home Design Trends is the inclusion of shower ledges in place of niches. First, this makes for less work in the construction phase. To explain, with a niche, there must be a recession between wall studs for its placemen. Likewise, extra planning and preparation must go into what is used to tile the niche’s interior.

On the contrary, the Houzz post discussing the New Home Design Trends explains how a ledge is easier. “A shower ledge is much more straightforward,” the article states. “It requires a build-out of only a few inches into the shower space.” The piece concludes, “Run it along the length of your shower stall and you’ve got tons of space. Cap it with a piece of your bathroom vanity countertop material and call it a day.”


The shower ledge as opposed to a niche has become an increasing request.

A Mix of Wood and Painted Keep Cabinets Atop the List

According to Houzz’s research, more than 40 percent of renovating homeowners choose white cabinets in their kitchen. Thus, it is no surprise that cabinets would be on top our list of New Home Design Trends.

Wood cabinets amongst painted cabinets is number one among the Top 10 trends. Parker details this rising trend thoroughy at houzz.com. “One way designers are keeping white kitchens interesting is by introducing other finishes to help break up the expanse of white cabinetry.” He goes on to say that ” A great way to do that is by adding just a few beautiful wood drawers.” This simple switch can add warmth, texture and interest to the kitchen.

New Home Design Trends or Your Home Design Trends at Preston Retreat

The incredible builder teams at Preston Retreat in Cary are waiting to work with you on your dream home. Any of these trends, or one’s you’ve thought of your own can be implemented into the building process.

For more on Houzz’s list of New Home Design Trends on the rise, see their website here. To see the limited home lots still available at the Preston Retreat new luxury home neighborhood in Cary, visit prestonretreatcary.com.

Cary NC International Events: NC Chinese Lantern Festival “Lights Up the Town”

One of the most popular Cary NC International Events will be running through January 12. Given the town’s rich culture and diversity, the popular Chinese Lantern Festival has become a Koka Booth Amphitheatre favorite among residents annually.

The Only of Its Kind Across the Entire Southeast

In addition to the impressive lights on display, you also see incredible feats and some very talented performers at the Festival

This annual favorite among Cary NC International Events is the only festival of its kind across the entire Southeastern United States. In actuality, the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival hosted at Koka Booth is just one of three of its kind in the whole country. The other cities hosting similar events are Columbus, OH, Little Rock, AK, and Indianapolis, IN. 

The length of time for each Chinese Lantern Festival varies depending on location. The Cary NC International Events actually began the weekend of November 22. However, there are plenty chances to enjoy the NC Chinese Lantern Festival. It will continue running every Tuesday-Sunday at Koka Booth Amphitheatre starting at 6:00 p.m. In addition, these Cary NC International Events will take place on two Mondays as well in its last month of operation. These will be December 23 and 30. 

New Displays and Facts on the NC Chinese Lantern Festival

Cary-NC-International-Festival-Preston Retreat

Cary is the only town in North Carolina and just one of four nationally to host this type of event.

The Cary NC International Events at Koka Booth Amphitheatre feature over 20 displays that are new to the festival this year. Additionally, over 25 Chinese artisans and performers will be displaying their spectacular hand-made lanterns at the Festival.

Cary NC International Events: Fun Facts About the NC Chinese Lantern Festival

  • The spectacular Chinese Dragon lantern is longer than three school buses and weighs 18,000 pounds. Standing 200 feet long and 21 feet high, the dragon floats on Symphony Lake in Cary. Fun fact: its head was installed by crane with a 15-person crew!
  • Visitors enter the festival through huge scarlet lantern gates, in the form of a four-story pagoda with spinning upper floors.
  • Creators of the lantern craft them by hand on silk fabric. They stretch the fabric over steel frames. 
  • Lanterns will be exclusively made for this event. Once ready, they ship into the North Carolina Ports all the way from China.
  • It took 19 tractor-trailers to deliver this year’s lanterns. That’s up from 13 in the first year, and 15 last year.
  •  Zigong, the third largest city in Sichuan, China is the “lantern capital of China.”
  • Celebrations for traditional Chinese lantern festivals take place on the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar. This marks the last day of the lunar New Year. This tradition dates back 2000 years!
  • In ancient times, lanterns were fairly simple and only the emperor and noblemen had large, ornate ones. In modern times,  complex designs such as the ones on display in Cary are more common.
  • The prominence of red in the designs symbolizes good fortune

For more information on this year’s North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival, visit Koka Booth Amphitheatre’s official site at boothamphitheatre.com.

First Annual Cary Holiday Market


Taking place at 135 West Chatham Street at the usual site of the Downtown Farmers Market will be the first annual Cary Holiday Market. This festive and fun event will take place on Saturday, December 14 from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

Cary Holiday Market: Something for Everyone

In addition to holiday gifts and much more, the always fresh produce and goods you know from the Downtown Farmers Market will also be available.

Much like the popular weekly Downtown Farmers Market, the Cary Holiday Market will showcase an array of great local vendors. You will find something for everyone on your list, as expected to be present are vendors with holiday gifts, Artisian goods, handmade crafts, and of course the freshest local produce and goods.

Activities for All Ages at the Cary Holiday Market

The Cookie Decorating at the Cary Holiday Market is sure to be fun for the whole family.

In addition to the vendors, there will also be a variety of fun activities for those in attendance on December 14. One activity the whole family can enjoy at the Cary Holiday Market is the Cookie Decorating.

The Cary Holiday Market event page urges you to join in the decorating fun saying the following. “Roll up your sleeves and get into the Holiday Spirit with Joyful Cookie Decorating. Use your sweet skills to decorate delicious sugar cookies with your family. This activity is sponsored by the Once in a Blue Moon Cafe of Cary, who certainly know a thing or two about delicious cookies.

Getting Creative with Cookies

Each vendor on hand will have five minutes to decorate their cookie and vie for the Most Creative Cookie. The attendees will do the voting to decide who wins, and all proceeds go to the children’s nutrition program, “Eat a Rainbow”

Another feature attraction at the Cary Holiday Market is the “Creative Cookie Contest.” This event commences at 9:15 a.m. and will see all vendors on hand compete. Each will have five minutes to create the most flashy and unique cookie. The “Creative Cookie Contest” is in support of the children’s nutrition program, “Eat a Rainbow.”

There will be open voting by you…the public from 9:30 until 11:30 a.m. at the Cary Holiday Market. Once the market ends, all vendors will turn in their tickets and a winner of the contest will be announced. (To vote for a particular vendor’s cookie, you will give your “entry” ticket to them. Whichever vendor receives the most tickets wins.)

Details on How to Vote in “Creative Cookie Contest”

There are basically three steps to getting in on the voting. They are detailed below.

  • Purchase ticket(s) from the Information Table for $1. You can buy as many tickets as you’d like and vote for different vendors or the same vendor multiple times. All proceeds benefit our children’s nutrition program – Eat A Rainbow!
  • Give your ticket(s) to the vendor(s) whose cookie really made a great impression! Open Voting from 930-1130.
  • Vendors will turn in their tickets after Market and we will announce the winner online.

Holiday Food Drive at Cary Holiday Market

Both non-perishable items or fresh produce from the market can be donated at the the Holiday Donation Station .

Much like shopping local at the Cary Holiday Market “gives” back to the community, the Holiday Food Drive makes sure that many will enjoy a nice holiday meal. At the Holiday Market event page, they explain how to chip in and help those in need during the holidays.

“Participate in our Holiday Food Drive,” it says. Spread a little cheer and help those in need within our community. The post continues, “Donate non-perishable food or fresh produce purchased at Market to support Dorcas Ministries Food Pantry. Drop the items off at our Holiday Donation Station which will be located in the center of the Market.

For more information on the upcoming holiday market and any other events related to the Downtown Farmers Market, visit caryfarmersmarket.com.

The Improv Raleigh: A Classic Name Comes to Town with Cary NC Comedy Club


There is no bigger name in the world of comedy than the famous “Improv.” Starting with humble beginnings in 1963 (then called the “Improvisation”) the original Improv was founded in New York City by Broadway producer, Budd Freidman. Starting its expansion in 1975, the popular club opened a Hollywood location and has continued to expand to new locations ever since. Bringing its legendary name and world-class talent along with it, The “Improv Raleigh” opened late last year. Thus, it has become the first Cary NC Comedy Club,and the laughs haven’t stopped.

Bringing the World Class Laughs to the Cary NC Comedy Club

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A look from the outside of the Improv Raleigh location.

With locations added over the years in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and other great cities around the U.S., the Raleigh market seemed a natural for a Cary NC Comedy Club for the comedy franchise. Finding their spot to locate, the Improv Raleigh initially opened its doors in late December 2018.

Since opening, the Improv Raleigh, located in Parkside Commons at 1224 Parkside Main Street, has seen nothing but support. Improv General Manager, Andrew Lofaro commented on the choice of making the Improv Raleigh’s  location in the town of Cary.

“We’ve been doing research in Raleigh for years, looking for a place to grow in this market,” he said just prior to opening. “The town of Cary is a huge reason why we’re here now instead of two years down the road. Obviously, Cary is a great town with the statistics everybody wants.”

Cary NC Comedy Club Carries on Tradition of the Best in Comedy


Tom Green (pictured), who hosted self-titled hit show on MTV from 1994-2000, will perform 5 shows at the Impov Raleigh between Dec. 6-8.

The original New York and Hollywood Improv locations played host to a literal “whos-who” in the comedy industry. Richard Pryor, Billy Crystal, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Eddie Murphy, Andy Kaufman, Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Dave Chappelle, and so many more legends were synonymous with the Improv comedy brand.

The Improv Raleigh is no different. Since opening in the past year, numerous stars of TV and film have graced its stage. Names like Ken Jeong, Arsenio Hall, Andrew Dice Clay, and Craig Robinson have already sold the venue out with multiple performances and many famous names are currently on the schedule to appear too.

Upcoming Schedule at “Improv Raleigh”

  • December 6-8– Tom Green
  • December 12-15– Pete Lee
  • January 8– Mick Foley
  • January 9-12– Taylor Tomlinson

To see more about the Cary NC Comedy Club including ticket information, visit improv.com

The Heart of the Holidays Awaits at Christmas Events in Cary


Holidays in the Town of Cary are a tradition that brings together members of the community like no other. Each year, at differing points on the calendar, a holiday arrives and each of these individual traditions comes to the resident’s mind. No holiday tradition though is more anticipated that the annual Heart of the Holiday Christmas Events in Cary.

While the majority of the Christmas Events in Cary are scheduled on or around Saturday, December 7, the “Heart of the Holidays actually starts on Dec. 1. With a little touch of “history” added to that first event, there are four separate events scheduled for the Cary tradition that is the “Heart of the Holidays.”

Victorian Christmas at the Page-Walker

  • Saturday, December 1
  • 3:00- 6:00 pm
  • Page-Walker Arts & History Center

The first of many Christmas Events in Cary is at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center. The old-fashioned Christmas fun is offered on three separate floors at this event and is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

1st Floor Activities

  • Carriage Rides
  • Victorian Carolers
  • Warm Cider and Cookies provided by the Garden Club of Cary

2nd Floor Activities

  • Triangle Folk Ensemble

3rd Floor Activities

  • Children’s Craft
  • Cary Heritage Museum

On All 3 Floors

  • Room-by- room tour in the historic, beautifully decorated 1868 hotel

9th Annual Gingerbread House Competition

  • Saturday, December 7, 2019
  • All Day Long
  • Historic Downtown Cary

For the ninth straight year, this is sure to be a favorite among the Christmas Events in Cary. Come see as historic downtown Cary becomes a walking gallery of gingerbread houses. Finished houses will be on display at the downtown business’ and visitors can cast a vote for their favorite entry.

Once votes are tallied and judges polled, one entry will be named “People’s Choice Winner.” Consequently, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place houses will be selected and all winners will be displayed throughout December at the Cary Arts Center.

Christmas Events in Cary: Santa’s Workshop

  • Saturday, December 7
  • 10:00 am -12:30 pm
  • Herbert C. Young Community Center

Children can enjoy making a variety of crafts at stations throughout the community center and visit directly with Santa while enjoying these activities.  

While at Santa’s Workshop, you can support the Cary Teen Council food drive by sending each child with two non-perishable food items or a cash donation for admission. All proceeds are donated to charity. 

Christmas Events in Cary: Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

  • Saturday, December 7, 2019
  • 6:00- 8:00 pm
  • Town Hall Campus

Of all the traditions, this is the most traditional of any Christmas Events in Cary! Come elcome in the holiday season with the official tree lighting for the Town of Cary.

The Tree Lighting ceremony will showcase the talents of local actors, singers, and musicians. Likewise, the “Cary Community Christmas Tree” makes its debut with over 125 community groups providing hand made ornaments for the tree.

Schedule of Christmas Events in Cary for Tree Lighting Ceremony

  • 6:00 pm- Variety Show on the south lawn of Town Hall Campus
  • 6:45 pm- Introduction of the 2019 Tree Lighter and words from Town Council
  • 7:00 pm- Reception at Town Hall

The Heart of the Holidays is for sure upon us once the Christmas Events in Cary have begun. For further information on these fun events and activities, visit townofcary.org.

“‘Tis the Season” at the Cary Arts Center throughout December

Getting into the holiday spirit is a common thread across the Town of Cary. With great events featuring a number of themes “ringing in the holiday cheer,” it would only be natural that the rich cultural roots of Cary share in the spirit. Thus, both at the beginning and end of December at the Cary Arts Center there will be special holiday shows taking center stage.

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever will run five shows in four days in early December.

Cary Players to Present The “Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

Adapted from the best-selling, hilarious, Christmas classic, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” comes to Cary Arts Center on December 6. This “yule-tide” favorite will be presented by the talented Cary Players and will grace the stage for five performances.

The official Cary Players website (caryplayers.org) describes the play, by Barbara Robinson as follows. “In this hilarious Christmas classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids.” It continues, “Probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won’t believe the mayhem, and the fun, when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on!”

Schedule for “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at Cary Arts Center

  • Friday, December 6 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 7- 3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 7- 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 8- 3:00 p.m.
  • Monday, December 9- 7:30 p.m.

“A Mowtown Christmas” Returns

On the heels of a fun-filled sold-out run in December of 2018, the final weekend of December will see the return of “A Mowtown Christmas.”

After three completely sold out shows last year, Pure Life Theatre and the Town of Cary bring this hit production back for 2019. Running once each day over the weekend of December 27-29, the show’s return will no doubt be a hot ticket.

“Fueled by an exceptional cast, this musical revue celebrates the holiday songs of Motown,” townofcary.org proclaims. “Enjoy a unique holiday experience full of soul and joy, wrapped up with a message of love.”

Cary-Arts-Center- Motown Christmas

A Motown Christmas sold out for three nights in 2018 and returns for another 3 this year.

Schedule for “A Mowtown Christmas” at Cary Arts Center

  • Friday, December 27- 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 28- 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 29- 3:00 p.m.

The Cary Arts Center features the best in the arts and theatre from across the area both during the holidays and beyond. For more information on these shows and more great upcoming shows, visit their site here.

Photo Credit : Town of Cary

Cary Ranks Top Five Among “Best Cities to Buy a Home in the U.S.”


Businessinsider.com has released a poll listing the top 15 Best Cities to Buy a Home in the U.S.” The top-ranked municipality from the “Tar Heel State,” landing securely in the Top 5 was Cary, NC.

Best-Cities-to-Buy-a-Home-in-the-U.S.- Preston Retreat Cary

The town of Cary’s thriving housing market places it in the Top 5 cities to buy a home nationally.

Consistency and Strong Scoring Across all Categories for Cary

The rankings for Best Cities to Buy a Home in the U.S. show two major areas of analysis. From this research, a “total score” is then compiled. In comparing 300 cities across America, the personal finance experts from Business Insider looked to said two areas. These were, local real estate market and affordability and economic environment.

Looking at nearly 25 metrics within those two subject areas ranging from job growth to home price appreciation, each municipality scores of scale of 1-100. (100 being a “perfect” score) This score determined the final rankings of places to Buy a Home in the U.S.

A Booming Market can be Misleading

The experts at Business Insider explain that currently, “the real estate market is soaring.” While this sounds wonderful, the article featuring the Best Cities to Buy a Home in the U.S. tells a different tale. 

“Falling unemployment rates and rising housing prices have led to a thriving market,” it reads. “However, rising mortgage rates mean less affordable homes.”

Using the website Wallethub to help accumulate their final tally, Business Insider blogger, Hillary Hoffower further explains where the Best Cities to Buy a House in the U.S. are and why.

Best-Cities-to-Buy-a-New-Home-in-the-U.S.-Cary NC

A plentiful job market and a strong median household income in Cary all play into its lofty ranking.

Where and Why are these the Best Places to Buy a Home???

“So, where are the best places to buy a house?” Hoffower continues, “the answer is about more than square footage and architectural style. It’s also about how healthy the local housing market is and whether people living there can actually afford to buy homes.”

Cary was listed in the top ten of both areas used for the rankings among all 300 U.S. cities analyzed. The town had a final overall score just two points behind the number one city on the poll.

Cary, NC Rankings for Best Cities to Buy a Home in the U.S. Poll

  • Real Estate Market: 7 (out of 300)
  • Affordabilty and Economic Environment: 3 (out of 300)
  • Total Score: 71.07 (Top Score was 73.68)

For more information on the Best Cities to Buy a Home in the U.S., visit businessinsider.com

Photo Credit: Town of Cary

2019 Home Design Trends: Popular Kitchen and Bathroom Ideas

2019-Home-Design-Trends-Preston Retreat Cary

Moving along with our series, in this installment we will look at the next three 2019 Home Design Trends on the rise. In our first post (see here), we saw two of the four trends listed relating to the bathroom. This proves to be a continuing “trend” in the second of this three-part series which starts us “softly” in the kitchen before taking us “around the tub.

2019-Home-Design-Trends-Soft Kitchen

The softer colors like grays and light blues in the kitchen have become popular with new home owners.

The “Softer” Side of the Kitchen Seeing a Rise in Popularity in 2019 Home Design Trends

The next entry on the list of 2019 Home Design Trends is more soft colors in the kitchen. Whether a soft gray on the cabinets with a soft satin-brass for the fixtures. Or a two-toned lighter blue and light gray, the possibilities seem endless with the softness of color.

Houzz editorial staff member, Mitchell Parker echoes that sentiment, explaining in his article on 2019 Home Design Trends. “If there’s one word that describes the palette of many popular kitchens lately,” Parker declares,  “it’s “soft.”

Tile Around the Tub, an Affordable Way to Add Texture with 2018 Home Design Trends

Our remaining two 2018 Home Design Trends are both features that have found their way into many new bathrooms. First, number five on the list of 2019 Home Design Trends don’t take us “in the tub,” but rather to the area around it.

This trend that is seeing more and more popularity throughout the current year is Tiled Bathtub Aprons. The reasonable pricing and adding a bit of shine to the room combined are making this trend see a fast climb up the list.

Parker discusses reasons playing into this trend making the top five. “Tile is a great, affordable material that adds design points to a bathroom, and ordering a few extra square feet of tile likely won’t sink the budget.” He added, “The amount of tile needed to cover this minimal surface area isn’t much, but the payoff is big.” The Houzz blogger concludes, “That’s why many homeowners and designers are choosing to wrap the tub apron in tile or another material.

2019-Home-Design- Trends Tub Tile

Tile in the bathroom, especially around the tub has been an increasing trend also.

An Extra Seat is “Neat” for Extra Relaxation in the Bathroom

In the Houzz.com article on 2019 Home Design Trends, Parker refers to the recollection of designer Kristine Tyler when discussing the number four trend on the list. The trend is the addition of some type of seating in the bathroom that is not the toilet.

In referring to Ms. Tyler’s opinion on this upward trend, she felt strongly enough about this that she designed an option for extra bathroom seating. This would be a “bench, that runs from an armoire into the shower stall in the bathroom,” as pictured. Adding his own two cents on this inclusion to the 2019 Home Design Trends, Parkers explains the allure of the “extra seat.”

“Whether for brushing teeth, taking off house slippers or just idling away on the internet before work,” he says. “Almost every homeowner could benefit from having a place to relax in the bathroom.”

In the final post of this series, we will look at the Top 3 trends making this list. Any of these trends can be incorporated by any of the builder teams at Preston Retreat. For more details on the Preston Retreat community, visit prestonretreatcary.com.