Blog Archive for February, 2017

Interior design trends for 2017

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: February 23, 2017

Spring is coming, and you might be thinking about some redecorating projects to refresh your home. Here are some interior design trends for 2017 to spark your creativity.

It’s trendy to be green. Pantone started the passion for green when it announced “Greenery” as its Color of the Year for 2017. Vibrant shades of green are showing up on walls, in carpets, bedding, linens, and accents.

In addition to the color green, the eco-friendly and natural materials are becoming even more popular. Look for more accessories made from bamboo—which is a highly sustainable plant—wood, cork, and recycled plastic accents. Jute, sisal, and hemp continue to be popular for rugs, for their durability, easy care, and natural look.

Marble is on the move. You can invest in the actual stone—for tabletops, backsplashes, and accessories—or simply go for the look of marble. Wallpaper, decorative boxes, placemats, and linens that are imprinted with the image of marbled veins brings a natural look to any room in your house.

Laundry room clean-up. The purely functional room is getting some decorating attention. Homeowners are adding custom cabinetry and replacing the old, old plastic utility sink with a more appealing stainless steel one and finishing with a vanity. Countertops, like granite and quartz, are also finding their way from the kitchen and bath into the laundry room.

Jewel tones shine. From the walls to the upholstery, the rich hues of jewel tones—amethyst purple, emerald green, sapphire blue, and garnet red—have become a popular design trend for 2017. If you don’t want to make a big change, add pillows, throws, candles, and decorative accents in these colors.

A cushy headrest. The upholstered headboard is the choice of many of today’s leading interior designers when it comes to bedroom décor. The shape, fabric, and color can be matched to any style—from sophisticated to kid-friendly.

In the raw. In keeping with the design trend toward a more natural look, interior décor will feature unfinished metals, like copper and unlacquered brass where the patina changes over time.

Above all, your home should be your personal signature. Your choices create a home that is your haven.

Are you ready to right-size your home and your life?

Categories: Blog | Posted: February 16, 2017

We’re hearing so much talk about “down-sizing” these days. People are finding ways to step back from quantity, and focus on quality. Simplify. Get rid of the excess. Live with less.

But is “down-sizing” really the right term? Maybe “right-sizing” is more accurate. Find the lifestyle that provides a better fit to your current priorities. Ten or twenty years ago, living in a suburb, for example, might have been the right choice, and the commute was worth it because your kids were in a great school district. Now, you might be yearning for a more walkable way of life. Conversely, your “right-size” lifestyle could include a stronger sense of community that comes with living in a non-urban neighborhood.

Are you ready to right-size your home and your life? Here are some clues that it’s time to consider that shift.

Your home feels cluttered.

Are you tired of navigating around the furnishings or spending too much time dusting all the items you’ve collected over the years? Is your closet overflowing with clothes you haven’t worn for a year or more? Has your attic or garage grown into a stash for things you really shouldn’t hold on to?

When the walls start closing in from the clutter, treat yourself to a good purge. Put sentiment aside. You don’t need all your kids’ homework papers and artwork. And just because that chair is comfortable, be honest—it’s an eyesore.

Donate usable items that have outlived their life in your home, but could be valuable to others. As you sort through what’s worth keeping, ask yourself, “Would I miss this?” When you’re truthful with yourself, you’ll discover you’ve been cluttering your life with things that have lost their meaning.

Your home feels larger than it used to.

Have you become tired of traipsing up and down the stairs? Do you have rooms that you’re not using regularly? Has it become more of a chore than a joy to maintain your yard?

It’s almost inevitable for a spacious home that was the right size for your life a few years ago to seem to grow as you reach a point when bigger isn’t better. Do you need extra bedrooms or that extra bathroom that is rarely used? You just might be ready to move to a right-sized home.

You want to lower your expenses.

When you’re in a home that doesn’t fit quite right, you’ll notice that certain household costs don’t feel right either. Your utility bill seems high for your current household. You might not feel that paying a monthly HOA is worthwhile now. Possibly, maintaining things like a pool aren’t delivering an appreciable return on investment. And you’re seeing the expense of costly replacements, like a new roof, furnace, air conditioning system, or other feature that is seeing the end of its life.

You’re more actively browsing home and interior designs.

You find yourself poking around HGTV, Pinterest, and home improvement shows, magazines, and websites for ideas to spark change—interior, exterior, or both. The fact that you’re straying this way shows you’re not satisfied with your home. Maybe you can make cosmetic changes, but ask yourself if that’s enough to fit your lifestyle in the years ahead.

Consider your needs today, not in the past. Determine what your right-size life and home would look like. Then take action to reshape it!

Revival of the rec room!

Categories: Blog | Posted: February 8, 2017

From the 1960s to the 1980s, one of the bonus features in a new home was a finished basement with a rec room. Back then, it was often called the “rumpus room”. This subterranean space had wood paneling and included a game area—with a pool table or ping pong table—and a small kitchen and bar. It was the play space, for kids and adults.

Lifestyles changed. The party atmosphere gave way to healthier choices. Family entertainment shifted to electronics. Wireless technology has enabled us to take our distractions with us anywhere in and out of the house. The finished basement evolved into more functional living space—an extra bedroom or suite, home office, media room, home theater, or fitness center, to name a few.

We’re now experiencing a revival of the rec room in new homes. Homeowners are looking for a throwback to the fun space of the 70s and 80s, but with a 21st century twist.

Today’s rec room isn’t merely a repository of tired furniture. Homeowners are investing in thoughtful design for a functional room that integrates into the style of the rest of the house. Built-in shelves and cabinets provide essential organization. Even the space under the stairs is being converted to more useful storage, play, or study area. The old bar has been replaced with a kitchen island. And furniture and flooring are designed to be as comfortable, durable, and attractive as home furnishings elsewhere in the home.

Any fun room will require a television, probably as large a screen as the room will allow. Whether the occupants are watching television or movies, working out to a video, or video gaming, the big screen is essential.

The rec room renaissance embraces different lifestyles. It might include a Man Cave, where the guys can enjoy a private escape to play poker, watch sports, and ignore the “Honey Do” list for just awhile.

Your recreation room could be a more active family room, with a balance of today’s electronics with some unplugged fun—like air hockey, foosball, ping pong, or billiards.

If you have young children, this space serves as a playroom where you can let the young ones explore their creativity in a fashion as unbridled as you can tolerate. It’s a great room for hosting birthday parties, too.

Another trend in the revival of the rec room is the placement. It’s not necessarily a basement location these days. Recreation rooms can blend seamlessly into the desirable open floor plan, fitting into the living space instead of relegated to the basement.

Whether you’re looking for a new home or planning a renovation, think about the uses for a rec room and the ways it can enhance your lifestyle.

The Five Best Things About Living in Hanover Oaks

Categories: Blog | Posted: February 3, 2017


To celebrate the Grand Opening of our new model home in Hanover Oaks, we’ve rounded up our five favorite things about living in this community and its perfect location on the border of Hanover Township.


1.  You’re in the center of everything…

With easy access to major roadways and highways, you are just minutes away from some of the best places the Lehigh Valley has to offer, from shopping to event centers and great restaurants to outdoor recreation.







2.  …but still far enough away from the action.

You won’t feel like you’re in the thick of things when you live in this quiet community. Hanover Oaks is the ideal location, with beautiful, tree-lined streets and sidewalks, offset from major roadways—meaning you get the best of both worlds: plenty to do when you want a night out, and a peaceful environment when you want to relax at home.






3.  Everything you need is nearby.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, schools, parks, walking trails, and even an international airport—you name it, it’s just a short drive away from this community.

You’ll likely do your grocery shopping at Wegmans, just a five-minute drive down the road. A CVS pharmacy and Turkey Hill gas station are conveniently located just two minutes away. Blue-ribbon Hanover Elementary School is three minutes away.

And if you want to go even further, take the less than ten-minute drive over to Lehigh Valley International Airport. They’ll take you anywhere you want to go! Although why would you want to get away from such a prime living spot?



4.  The yoga loft you always wanted.

Hanover Oaks is introducing a brand-new floorplan, the Meridian. You can see it now by scheduling a visit to our new model home, now taking appointments!

The model features an upgraded, partially-finished basement, complete with a half bath, kitchenette, living room with daylight window, and an open-space room with double doors and endless possibilities.

Make it a yoga/meditation loft, as we imagined it. Or something more practical: an office space, small guest room, kids’ playroom…. There is so much potential to customize your living space in this unique and accommodating floorplan.

And you won’t lose out on storage space, either. The back half of this basement is a utility room with plenty of room for storage. It truly is a win-win situation!


5. You’ll really like your neighbors.

Because we live here too! The Tuskes Homes team is with you every step of the way—from the moment you choose your perfect home site, to helping you pick the custom design options that make your home uniquely “you,” to guiding you through the building process, we’re here every step of the way to ensure you end up with the new home you’ve always dreamed of owning. It’s called the Tuskes Touch, and it’s what makes us the friendliest builders around. We care because we live in and love the Lehigh Valley, and we want to make sure our homeowners are just as happy living here as we are.



So why wait? Hanover Oaks is already selling fast, so don’t wait another minute to call and set up an appointment today.

Questions? Ask Martha by texting or calling 484-626-1616, or e-mailing

Clutter versus Keepers: How to get (and stay) organized

Categories: Blog | Posted: February 2, 2017

When you move into a new home, you usually start by getting organized. When you were packing up your belongings, you probably purged a lot of items, just to lighten your load.

Before long, you see signs that the clutter bug is back. Mail, magazines, and an assortment of papers are scattered on tables, counters, and other surfaces. Your once-tidy closets are in disarray. The kitchen cabinets are so crammed, it’s hard to find the one thing you need, when you need it.

It’s time to channel that new home mindset, the one where you put everything in a logical place and don’t cling to the unnecessary.

Here are some tips to get and stay organized by separated the clutter from the keepers.

Do you need it? Are you keeping things “just in case”? A half-empty bottle of lotion, cleaner, or other item that has been sitting on a shelf somewhere for ages is taking up space. If “just in case” hasn’t used up the remainder by now, throw it out.

Also, remember that “want” and “need” are two distinctly different categories. You need to have a first aid kit on hand. You want to have an overstuffed supply of extras. Distinguish between want and need so that you avoid keeping things where the clutter quotient outweighs its value.

Does it function properly? Do you have something you’ve been holding on to, until you can get around to repairing it? This could be a pair of pants, a small appliance, a piece of furniture, or maybe chipped pottery. If you haven’t fixed it by now, you’ve been living quite nicely without it. Diagnosis: Clutter.

How sentimental is it? Quite likely, a large percentage of possessions you’re clinging to have sentimental value. Ask yourself how much sentiment you need. Your child’s first tooth is a keeper. All the ones that followed are not. Your college diploma is a keeper. Your participation certificate from the intramural soccer club is not. You don’t have to be ruthless (well, maybe a little). Just be realistic. Something with true sentimental value is worth having close at hand—displayed on a shelf, hanging on the wall, or among your valuables. If it’s not worth looking at on a regular basis, the sentimental value has depreciated considerably.

Once you’ve gone through the task of purging, organize what remains by storing it in a logical location, in proper containers (not cardboard), and with clear labels, so it’s easy to find when needed.

Before you toss out some of your things, determine if it can be donated to local charities, churches, schools, libraries, senior centers, or other groups.

As a rule of thumb, schedule a purge annually. Make it a part of your spring cleaning routine so you keep the clutter bug out of your home.

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