Corporate Housing for Tech Employees

The demand for well-qualified tech employees has grown by a large margin in recent years. However, with this demand at high levels, some employers struggle to fill their positions and make sure their new hires or temporary workers have housing. Short term furnished housing can help fill this gap very easily, at a lower cost.

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A Better Option

Short-term housing is often a better option than lodging in hotels or trying to find an apartment community that doesn’t require longer leases. When an employee has just taken on a new position, the last thing they want to have concerns about is finding economical housing. Having recourse to a short-term option gives employees the time they need to seek more permanent housing options.

All Necessary Conveniences Included

Because staying in short-term housing offers many of the comforts of home, you can feel more relaxed as you go about your business. Corporate housing has gated access, ensuring greater safety during your stay. You can park your car inside a garage, as well as have access to the staff in the management office whenever you have any need, and maid service helps keep everything neat.

A Good Business Environment

Corporate housing features business centers with conference rooms, giving you greater access to technology beyond your personal computer. There are clubhouses with kitchens that if perfect if you’re inviting people over to your apartment during your stay. Fitness centers and pools also help you feel right at home and have plenty to do.

Comfort for Groups, Too

Sometimes employees might share space in corporate housing to help keep the costs down. With a choice of options between one and three bedrooms, everyone will have enough space to feel comfortable. Expanded cable options and TVs with DVD players will help ensure you have a lot to watch. With furnished balconies, you can enjoy nice weather outside anytime you want.

Other Advantages

There are some other helpful advantages that come with staying in corporate housing. One of the benefits is having a washer and dryer to save you trips to an outside laundromat. You will also be able to prepare food in a full kitchen, making your stay much easier.

How to Regret Your Kitchen Remodeling Project

Open shelving in a kitchen

It’s the day you’ve been dreaming of: It’s time to plan your kitchen remodel. Dream big, but make sure you’re not making mistakes that’ll cause you to regret the money you spent and the inconvenience you went through.

What kitchen renovation decisions might you regret? Here are five.

1.  Creating a Crowded Kitchen

Crowded kitchen design plan

Your kitchen wish list might be long, but make sure you’re not trying to squeeze too much into the space you have. Installing an island? Make sure it’s surrounded by at least three feet of space on all sides. And make sure you can walk around your dishwasher, even when it’s fully open.

If you’re not sure what will push your kitchen over the line from “full” to “stuffed,” the National Kitchen and Bath Association offers detailed measurement guidelines for every imaginable situation, like ensuring 15 inches of landing area around your microwave and refrigerator. The fridge also requires four feet of floor space for the door.

2.  Going Overboard with Open Shelving

Yes, it’s popular. And it can look amazing, especially to show off a stunning collection of cookware, and to make your kitchen look unique. But give some serious thought to which shelves should be open. Open shelves for items you use often, such as plates and coffee cups, are a good idea because you use them often so they’ll stay clean. But if you use open shelves to store things you use infrequently, they’ll quickly become dust collectors. You’ll also want to avoid making your lowest cabinets open. They’re harder to clean and tend to fill with dust faster.

Still debating? Edie, the blogger behind “Life In Grace,” found the open shelves on her kitchen island impractical and dusty, but loved their look when installed above the countertops. “All the dust floating in the air will land on the lower open shelves and threaten to drive you to the brink of insanity,” she writes.

3.  Getting Overly Luxurious

Luxury range in a home kitchen

Major kitchen remodels recoup less than 70% of their value upon sale. (A minor kitchen remodel will receive slightly better returns.) Unless you’re planning on staying in your home for a very long time, and having an über-high-end stove is really important to you, don’t waste your time and money on a splurge. Top-of-the-line appliances and other luxury upgrades just lighten your pocketbook — without adding much value.

4.  Forgetting About the Garbage

Cheery blue trash can

When “Apartment Therapy” asked its readers for their biggest kitchen design mistakes, there was one unexpectedly common response: forgetting about the trash. There’s little worse — at least in terms of a kitchen remodel — than a gorgeous workspace with no place to discard your garbage.

Don’t forget to make room for either a can or compactor in your new kitchen. After all, now’s the time you can design a specific space to hide that ugly plastic box. Whether you stick it under a sink (maybe install a sliding system?) or even custom-cut a hole in your countertop for easy disposal, keep trash in mind when designing a beautiful room.

5.  Neglecting to Properly Vent

Range hood in a home kitchen

Cooking dinner for a family of four can release more than a pint of water into the air — and if you’re using a gas range that number doubles (and adds carbon monoxide). Improperly vented, that liquid seeps into your walls, ceiling, and appliances where it can cause problems with mold and mildew. Make sure your ventilation systems are properly installed and lead outdoors, which keeps your kitchen cleaner and helps protect your home’s structural integrity.

The opportunity to reshape your kitchen into the workspace you’ve always dreamt of can be so tempting: Finally, a bigger island with enough room for all your groceries. At last, an upgraded refrigerator. But in your haste to redecorate, don’t forget to think things through — otherwise your fantasy kitchen could turn into your biggest regret.

What’s Up Next on the Color Wheel of Popular Paints

color-wheel2

Homeowners today have a mind-boggling variety of color choices for their home, and the options just keep getting more and more colorful. Last week alone, “global color authority” Pantone, a company that develops and markets color solutions for corporations, introduced 210 new shades, bringing the total number in its portfolio to 2,310. The expanded selection includes several new tones of orange, blue, and pink—which, according to hue mavens, are the colors that will be trending most in coming months.

But let’s take a step back. The undisputed, all-time favorite color of interior house paint remains white—and the runners-up are shades of not-quite white.

“The top-selling colors are always going to be the neutrals: taupes, driftwood grays, and all variations of white,” says Erika Woelfel, Behr Paints’ vice president of color marketing. “There are also certain colors that people use as a kind of standard—certain red colors for the kitchen and historical, classic colors like stone blues.”

Sue Kim, color strategist at the paint supplier Valspar, agrees, but notes that the definition of “classic” has expanded.

“The tried-and-true beige colors are still popular, but homeowners are ready to make the transition to different but still versatile grays, especially with warm undertones,” Kim says.

Outside the more neutral palette, though, color preferences tend to come in three- to five-year cycles—influenced by fashion trends, the economy, and technology. In the 1920s, thanks to the influence of art deco and Coco Chanel, lacquered black, mauve, stainless steel, and dusty turquoise were all the rage. The Great Depression of the ’30s brought in pearly, light colors such as barely-there yellow and baby blue. In the 1940s, the wartime effort—and wartime shortages—meant that olives, khakis, and drab neutrals trumped brighter colors. A similar trend happened, Woelfel notes, in the years right after 9/11.

Right now, the range of popular colors includes warmer grays, golden yellows, hot pink, and indigo and baby blue.

“We’re seeing things happen with gray, where it’s becoming warmer, almost a bridge color between gray and brown,” Woelfel says.

Purple, blue-green, and turquoise are trending down, Woelfel adds, but the time may have come for long-overlooked orange. “It has a huge range, particularly as an accent color.”

Even with the flurry of new or refashioned shades, many homeowners are reluctant to incorporate bold colors into their homes, Kim says.

“The strong colors are always put to the side because of what we see as color anxiety,” she says. “But there are more bold shades that are easy to bring into the home—a denim-inspired color, say, or a rich copper can better bring out the details of a home.”

So what’s up next? Look to the more distant past—in addition to the shorter cycles of popularity, there are also 20-year cycles fueled by nostalgia. Just as there’s been a recent embrace of all things from the ’90s on television, in house painting, colors popular from 1990 to 1995 are on the rise.

“We’ve been seeing silver tones like chrome and stainless steel for years,” Woelfel says. “Now we’re seeing brushed golds.”

If the cycle holds true, look for the bright gel colors of the early 2000s to start gaining steam soon. Or you could always go with eggshell. That never goes out of style.

The Fanciest Bathtubs You’ve Ever Seen

Bathsphere

Ever since the first copper plumbing was installed in the Indus River Valley some 5,300 years ago, people have been looking for newer and more soothing ways to get clean. Yet from the yuya, the bathhouse in old Buddhist temples, to ancient Greek alabaster tubs, somehow we ended up with two classes of bathtub: the old-fashioned, porcelain claw foot, or the quick-fix, drop-in acrylic tub. So 20th century.

Luckily, today we live in the Golden Age of Soaking. You can get a bathtub made out of virtually anything that can hold water (ever wanted a tub chiseled from a gigantic chunk of amethyst?) and in virtually any size and shape your heart could desire.

All that’s required to find the tub of your dreams is your imagination—and lots of money.

Glass cube and an air massage

Hoesch

Clear glass and an air massage

Hoesch Water Lounge

Think of it as a wet Barcalounger, or the aquarian equivalent of the Eames lounge chair. The Water Lounge, by the German company Hoesch, not only cleans you, it also “breaks down borders, traditions and conventions.” It does so with a “transparent glass cube” and a “gentle air massage,” all of which should come in handy when it’s time to wash the dog.

Hand-carved sandstone

Signature hardware

Signature Hardware Nubian Sandstone Tub

Have you ever wondered how pharaohs in ancient Egypt bathed? (Who hasn’t?) Any self-respecting pharaoh would have loved a nice, long soak in a hand-carved tub made of Nubian sandstone with “soothing layers of ginger, tan, and gray hues.”

Infinity pool meets tub

Le Cob

Infinity pool meets tub

Le Cob Infinity Tub

Perhaps you want to lounge more than you want to bathe—but you still feel the need to be wet. Try this guy, which has a continuous water flow, à la infinity pool, and a bed of pebbles below. Your feet may get a little cold—or you may drown, depending on your height.

A carved, crystal affair

Baldi

A carved, crystal affair

Baldi Rock Crystal

If you want to bathe like a Bond villain, you’ll definitely want a tub carved out of a semiprecious crystal. Maybe amethyst? How about malachite? “The astonishing three-person bath was carved out of a single block of rock crystal found in the Amazonian rainforest, weighing approx. 10,000 kg,” the description says. Price: Around $1 million.

Just add water

WS Bath Collections

Just add water.

WS Bath Collections Madera M2

The idea of taking a bath in a gigantic wooden salad bowl sounds ridiculous until the moment you actually see one—then you realize that you can’t live without it. The Madera M2 is a freestanding carved marvel available in custom sizes in your choice of larch, beech, mahogany, cedar, walnut, cherry, wedge, or teak in a variety of finishes. Fifty-gallon drum of raspberry vinaigrette sold separately.

The future of bathing is here.

Alexander Zhukovsky

The future of bathing is here.

Bathsphere

You could take a soak in an everyday tub, or you could have something akin to a spiritual experience in a gigantic hanging glass hamster ball. The Bathsphere by designer Alexander Zhukovsky allows bathers to “simulate rain, change the temperature inside the ball, humidity, light, sounds and even smells” as they explore the “membrane between the bustle of the modern world and the calmness of a home” that is the modern bathroom. Price: Nobody yet knows.

A bathtub that turns into a shower

Rexa

A bathtub that turns into a shower

Rexa Unico

Can’t decide between a shower or a bathtub? Then you just might need a Shub the Rexa Unico collection. A bathtub is sunk into the floor and comes with wooden slats that slide over it to turn it into the floor of a shower. if that one’s too sleek and high-concept, there’s also the Unico Egg, which has “frontal open storages that you can use like bookshelf.” Price: Contact the company for details.

Is it a bath or a pool?

Teuco

Is it a bath or a pool?

You wouldn’t want to have to step over the ledge of your bathtub now, would you? And you wouldn’t want to take a bath alone. Luckily you can use Sorgente as “a traditional bath or always full and ready for use, just like a swimming pool.” Don’t worry, it has a filter. It comes with natural stone coverings in colors such as slate or cognac, and a shell of white or pearl gray. Price: Contact the company for details—you’ll most likely need to get one direct from Italy.

Why You Shouldn’t Paint Your Kitchen Your Favorite Color

Kitchen painted green

The kitchen is the heart of the household, a place where you prepare meals and make memories. So it only makes sense that your kitchen’s color scheme reflects your unique tastes and personality, right?

The answer to that is yes — and no.

Although there may be a special hue that gets your heart thumping, there are many reasons why it makes sense to opt for a neutral palette in your kitchen. Many design professionals agree that using shades like white, beige, or gray as the foundation for your kitchen not only open up a spectrum of colorful possibilities, but enhance the value of your home.

The Never-Regret Factor

“Timeless colors are perfect, whether for resale or for your dream home,” says Jackie Jordan, Dallas-based director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “Your kitchen won’t suffer from this-looks-like-it-was-done-in-the-90s comments if you opt for a neutral palette.”

“It’s a space where potential buyers envision themselves spending a lot of time,” agrees Sue Pelley, spokesperson for Decorating Den Interiors in Easton, Md. Thus, although you may believe your purple cabinets are divine, others may think they’re dreadful. And that, she says, can be a real barrier to a sale.

The Versatility of Neutrals

Grey kitchen with yellow bar stools

But does going soft and natural mean you have to stifle your inner Van Gogh? Not a chance.

“A neutral kitchen is the perfect canvas to personalize as your tastes change,” says Jordan. “It gives you the opportunity to accessorize with fun rugs, dinnerware — even just a fresh vase of flowers to liven things up.”

“I love being able to change moods with colors, often inspired by the changing seasons,” says Wendy F. Johnson, a certified kitchen and bath designer based in Manchester Village, Vt. “Neutrals can provide the base for a huge range of related or contrasting colors to be used with them, from bright and saturated to peaceful, muted hues.”

Texture also adds enormous impact to a neutral kitchen. A combination of materials from rough to smooth and matte to high gloss creates visual contrast and reflects light differently throughout the day, says Johnson. “For example, you can mix barn wood walls and satin painted drywall, white oak cabinetry with glass insets, lustrous concrete countertops with a stone tile backsplash. These might all be in the same tones, but there is nothing boring here.”

Using Color to Complement Your Kitchen’s Size

Grey eat-in galley kitchen
Your kitchen’s square footage is another important factor to consider when choosing a color palette. If the space is small, opt for paler hues for cabinets, walls, and countertops. Shades of white, bone, or cream reflect light and help a tiny kitchen feel brighter and more spacious.

Neutrals are also a great choice for kitchens that open up to other rooms, notes Pelley. “If your kitchen is part of a great room design, remember that any new paint will need to work with the color schemes in those rooms, too.”

Non-Permanent Ways to Add Pops of Color

Colorful Roman shade in a home kitchen

Rather than committing to a single color scheme, a neutral kitchen lets you sample the rainbow. One option is to choose coordinating window treatments and chair cushions to liven up the space, says Johnson. An eye-catching poster, multihued area rug, or a collection of pottery displayed on a shelf all add personality to your kitchen and are easy to change when you’re ready for something new.

Paint is another low-cost way to incorporate a pop or two of color into a neutral room. You can grab a brush and paint your kitchen chairs or counter stools, or add a bright hue to the interior of a glass cabinet. Ready for something bigger? Consider rolling a bold shade on a single wall to create lively contrast in an otherwise single-color space.

Top Neutral Color Schemes

Neutrals may be timeless, but there are some combinations that look especially fresh. “I love warm grays and whites — always have,” says Johnson. “There are so many natural materials available in these tones that mix together beautifully, and all colors look gorgeous against this type of palette.”

Sherwin-Williams’ Jordan also favors white and light grays in a kitchen. “It’s a sleek and modern combination that works perfectly with the ever-popular stainless steel appliances and subway tile.”

When it comes to a big-ticket item like a kitchen, it makes sense to choose a palette that will endure for the long term, says Johnson. “Those of us who thrive in colorful surroundings will groan at this, but even we need some soft, peaceful environments sometimes.”

Kitchen Remodeling Decisions You’ll Never Regret

Fiesta ware displayed on open shelves in kitchen

We see lots of kitchen trends at HouseLogic, so we know it’s easy to get swept along with what’s in vogue, only to get bummed out by your faddish design choices a few years later. Thank you — and damn you — Pinterest.

But chances are you’re only going to remodel your current kitchen once. After all, the annual “Cost vs. Value Report” from “Remodeling” magazine pegs the average price of a major kitchen remodel at $56,768. With that much on the line, you want to make all the right moves. If you do, you could recoup about 68% of your investment if you sell.

So we’re here to future-proof you from angst by naming the seven definitive kitchen features that will retain their beauty, marketability, and value — all while giving you lasting enjoyment.

Bottom line: White is the most marketable color. You’ll always find it atop the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual survey of most popular kitchen colors. It simply doesn’t go out of style.

White’s mojo:

  • Throughout history, it’s been associated with happiness, purity (think Snow White), and new beginnings.
  • It’s a bright color that reflects light and makes even small kitchens feel larger.
  • It’s a neatnik’s dream — dirt has no place to hide.

Even better, it’s uber-tolerant of both your budget and taste: A standard color for any manufacturer, you’ll find white cabinets, tile, counters, faucets, sinks, and appliances at any price point.

Vintage stove

  • White: The Savvy and Chic Kitchen Color Choice
  • Before and After Pictures of White Kitchens

And with a white backdrop, you can be as conservative or expressive as you want. After all, it’s about your enjoyment, not just dollars and cents. For example:

  • Add your personal touch with colored glass knobs and pulls.

Glass knobs

  • Show off antique Fiesta ware on open shelves or in upper cabinets with glass fronts.
  • Paint walls the color du jour — even off-white!

Paint walls

Heck, with a white palette, you can change your mind about paint color on a whim. Those all-white basics will make any hue you choose look fresh and contemporary.

 

Wood floor

It’s been our foot fetish for years. That’s especially true ever since hardwood flooring was mass-produced during the Industrial Revolution, making beautiful flooring readily available at a reasonable cost.

Today, more than half of home buyers who purchased a home without hardwood floors say they would have paid an extra $2,080 for them, according to the 2013 Home Features Survey from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. And among buyers of any age, upwards of 80% say hardwood floors are “somewhat” or “very important.”

“It’s the one feature men and women agree on,” says Debe Robinson, NKBA treasurer and owner of Kitchen Expressions Inc. in Sheffield, Ala., who’s also worked in the flooring industry.

Why? The love of wood is in our genes. Our nesting instincts know that hardwood has warmth, personality, and makes our homes cozy and inviting. That’s why this clever chameleon pairs well with any kitchen style — from casual cottage and sleek contemporary to the most chi-chi Park Avenue traditional.

More reasons why wood flooring is the goof-proof option:

  • Perfect for open floor plans. It flows beautifully from the kitchen into adjoining rooms.
  • It’s tough. Hardwoods such as oak, ash, and maple will shrug off your kitchen’s high-traffic punishment for years. Solid hardwood flooring can be refinished 10 to 12 times during it’s typical 100-year lifespan.
  • It’s eco-friendly. Hardwood is considered a green building material when it’s certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and comes from sustainably managed forests.

 

Shaker cabinets

Thank heaven for the Shakers. While they were busy reducing life to its essentials, they made cabinets with clean, simple lines that will forever be in style.

Shaker cabinets are an enduring legacy of American style and, like wood flooring, have the knack for looking good in any setting. Their simple frame-and-panel design helps reduce the amount of busyness in a kitchen, making it a soothing, friendly place to be.

“In a kitchen with a timeless look, you want the cabinets to be part of the backdrop,” says Alan Zielinski, a former president of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. “You don’t want to be overpowered. You’re looking for plain, simple, clean lines.”

Those plain, simple, clean lines are a perfect fit for transitional style — a beautiful combo of traditional and contemporary styles. In fact, the National Kitchen and Bath Association says that after creeping up on traditional for years, transitional is now the most popular kitchen style.

As our families grow more diverse, transitional style will only get more popular. It lets us personalize and blend cultural influences — Latin, Asian, Mideastern — into our homes; it’s the perfect balance of old and new, just like Shaker-style cabinets.

 

Carrara marble

Carrara marble is a timeless classic that’s been used in homes for thousands of years. (Michelangelo’s “David” was carved from Carrara.) It’ll look as good in the next millennium as it does now.

Here’s why:

  • Carrara’s lacy graining and subtle white colors look terrific in a white kitchen (or any kitchen, for that matter).
  • It has a whiteness you won’t find in other natural stones.
  • It’s readily available, making it less expensive than other high-end choices, such as quartz.
  • It’ll last for generations.

If you Google it, you’ll find a lot of debate about it (and marble in general) because it stains easily. But if you want something truly timeless, Carrara is the answer. And with today’s sealants, the problem of staining is almost moot if you reseal once or twice a year.

Still not sold? Or don’t have the budget? Laminate countertops are relatively inexpensive and can be upgraded to stone when you do have the budget.

Subway tile

Subway tile goes back to the early 1900s, when it was used to line New York’s first subway tunnels. Classic subway tiles are white, 3-inch-by-6-inch rectangles — a look that became popular in American kitchens and baths, and has stuck around ever since. Now it’s an iconic part of the American design vernacular, destined never to go out of style.

In the kitchen, ceramic tile excels as a backsplash, where it guards against moisture, is a snap to clean, lasts forever, and always looks classy.

Sure, a backsplash can be an opportunity for a blast of color and pattern, but neutrals will always be current and blend with any look. Plus, a subway tile backsplash and a marble countertop make a dashing couple that will stand the test of time.

To make it even more enduring, keep it achromatic and camouflage dirt with gray or beige grout.

Adaptability and universal design features mean easy living at any age. A recent survey on kitchens from the American Institute of Architects points to the growing popularity of smart ergonomic design, a sign that kitchen adaptability will stay in vogue.

Smart ergonomics simply mean convenience — for young or old, party people or homebodies — a key factor when remodeling a kitchen that will function well, retain its value, and always feel right.

No matter you or your buyer’s current or future needs, everyone wins with these approaches:

  • Create different countertop heights. Standard height is 36 inches, but you can raise or lower sections of cabinets by altering the height of the base. Add color-match shim strips to the bases of countertops that don’t include sinks or appliances. You (or a new owner) can easily remove them or add to them to adjust the height.
  • Swap a standard range for a wall oven and a cooktop. Ranges have fixed heights. There’s no getting around the fact you have to bend to access the oven. But a wall oven conveniently installs about waist-high.
  • Add pull-out shelves to base cabinets. Lower cabinets with doors mean having to twist like a pretzel to see what’s inside. Pull-out shelves put everything at your fingertips.

Smart storage

  • Keep wide clearances. Kitchens attract people, and with open floor plans, you’re apt to have folks hunting for snacks, helping you cook, or just hanging out while you prep meals. Keep traffic flowing with a minimum of 42 inches between counters and islands.

Related: Find Out How Stylish Ergonomic Design Can Be

#7: Smart Storage

Today’s families store about 47% of their kitchen stuff outside the kitchen — in laundry rooms, basements, even sheds — according to data released at the 2013 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.

We blame it on the fact that kitchens have evolved from a tucked-away place at the back of the house into a multiple-chef, multi-tasking space that’s the hub of family life. Plus, our love of open kitchens and stocking up at warehouse stores means less wall space and more stuff, kitchen design expert Robinson says.

The solution: smart storage. Cabinet manufacturers have you covered with nearly unlimited storage options — shelves and compartments that unfold, turn, extend, and slide.

But it’s not just about having storage, it’s about designing it smartly. Follow these guidelines to make your storage timeless:

Create a primary storage zone. This is an area 30 to 60 inches high and within two feet on either side of your body. Store your most-used items here — your favorite work knives, measuring cups, salt and pepper for cooking, your trusty pots and pans. With one easy motion, you can grab what you use all the time.

Plan for the unknown. A truly timeless kitchen anticipates and adapts to future needs, such as:

  • A space that can easily convert to an office, wine storage, or a closet.
  • Lower cabinet spaces that can accommodate a wine cooler, under-counter refrigerator, a second dishwasher, or new must-have kitchen appliances on the horizon. (Remember when microwaves didn’t exist?)
  • An open space that fits a freestanding desk or favorite antique that can personalize the kitchen — no matter who owns the home.