Hot Home Trend: Edison Bulbs

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Does your listing’s lighting need a contemporary makeover? Edison bulbs may be the answer. These clear glass light bulbs, in which the center is exposed, have a nostalgic-like appearance and let out a nice warm glow. They stand out, instead of allowing your lighting to blend in.

Edison bulbs may best fit in an industrial décor style, but we’re seeing them weaved more and more into other design styles too.

Table lamps, chandeliers, and pendant lights are getting an Edison-bulb upgrade. Not to mention, they’re popular outside at the moment too with stringed Edison-style bulbs to entertain your outdoor spaces. (Read: Add a Party Vibe to Your Outdoor Staging)

Check out some stylish ways Edison bulbs are being used in different home styles.

from Styled, Staged & Sold

Houzzer Profile: Kia Salehi, Full Stack Engineer


You may have spotted Kia in our April Fools’ Day spoof, but she isn’t really creating our cryptocurrency. As a full stack engineer on our growth team, Kia builds features that help new users engage with Houzz. When she’s not at work, Kia can be found at her improv comedy class, rock climbing or filling out the latest New York Times crossword puzzle.

What project are you most proud of at Houzz?
I’m most proud of my contributions to the new room-centered landing experience for our community. It helps our users to find all of the resources Houzz offers by room, from inspirational photos to home professionals to editorial ideabooks, in one place. I worked on the front-end code, which impacts what the user sees. It’s been very successful helping people to discover new home pros in their area and Houzz Shop products.

Do you typically work on front-end code?
As a full stack engineer, my work touches both front-end and back-end code. In some instances, I’ll handle the whole project from the data sets to the UI, but sometimes I’ll work with the team and focus on the front-end. I like that I get to mix it up.

Did you always want to become an engineer?
Actually, I originally went to school to become a neuroscientist. Working as a lab manager, I learned how to write code in MatLab to help with analyzing data. I realized I enjoyed that part of the job more than other aspects of my research and decided to make a change. I enrolled in a coding bootcamp and the rest is history.

What attracted you to a career in STEM?
My parents were very supportive of my interests in math and science. I went to a women’s college, so it was both powerful and inspiring for me to see every position, across subjects and at every level of prominence, occupied by female leaders.

Do you have any advice for young women considering the STEM field?
You don’t have to see something to know that it can be possible. Just because young women may not see as many females in STEM positions, doesn’t mean they can’t be in that role.

What was your first impression of Houzz?
When I first visited the office to interview, I was completely taken in by the feel of it. You can tell a company is “all in” on home design when you sit in a conference room decorated like rooms in a home. That level of dedication was really appealing. I was also struck by the fact that most of the people interviewing me had been with Houzz for years. I hadn’t seen that at other companies and I was really impressed.

What do you like most about working here?
I work with many teams in my role; it’s very interdisciplinary in that way. For example, I’ll work solo writing code, then I’ll run it through an AB test with a colleague to see how the new feature performs and then meet with the front-end engineers to build a pop-up into the flow. I also like that the work environment is transparent and educational. I’ve benefited from our weekly deep dive into what’s under the hood of our front-end framework.

What is your most productive time of day to write code? Do you have any productivity tips?
I’m most productive right before dinner. When I sit on the couch in the lobby, I can really get in the zone. If I ever get in a slump, I remind myself to think about how cool it’ll look when the feature is done.

How do you use Houzz at home?
I recently changed rooms in my home and the new space has a different vibe, so I purchased a camomile and lavender wreath from the Houzz Shop. It’s the perfect addition.

Meet the Designer: Travis Morelock, MIDMODERNdesign


In the latest episode of “My Houzz,” Olivia Munn enlists the help of Travis Morelock from MIDMODERNdesign, who she found on Houzz, to create a space uniquely personalized to her mom – from custom cabinets to match her mom’s height to a built-in rice cooker. Learn more about how Travis got started in design, some of his best tips, and insights from the My Houzz surprise renovation below.

What got you started in your career?
I grew up in a construction family. My dad built every house that we lived in (21 houses before I left home at 18), and my mom made selections for each house with a different style. My grandpa built schools, my uncle builds commercial buildings, my aunt is a successful real estate broker, so I was destined to be involved in the industry that consumed my childhood! I read houseplan books like they were comics and This Old House was my equivalent of cartoons. I love every aspect of design and construction and it is all that I’ve known.

What is your design philosophy?
To me design is all about collaboration. Some designers have a vision and fulfill it, but I would be bored to tears if I was only trying to please myself. Instead I love the challenge of incorporating different opinions, viewpoints and preferences to make the final design so much stronger than I could have made it alone.

Where’s the most unexpected place you’ve found design inspiration?
I find design inspiration every day and in everything that I see. I am especially inspired by hotels and restaurants and love to translate that inspiration into residential living. The most unexpected place I look for design inspiration is restaurant restrooms. Just like powder rooms in a home, restrooms in a restaurant are your small blank canvas to get creative and make a statement!

What are clients asking you for?
My clients are asking for light and bright spaces with big open floor plans. We love that look too but the challenge is to also bring in warmth and a feeling of comfort into these spaces. We already are seeing the transition into warmer and deeper colors as accents and so I am really excited about what is happening next in design.

What do you geek out on when it comes to design?
I am a total geek for all of it. Tile, fabrics and wallpapers with texture are bound to turn my head. The technology that has come to our industry in the past five years has been incredible and we are seeing more and more man-made materials that capture the beauty of nature.

What excites you the most about going to work every day?
My clients and my team. I have the best clients in the world and our team is second to none. Taylor and Brooke work with me everyday to create incredible spaces for incredible people and they make coming to work fun. We don’t get too serious and we have a good laugh often.

What is your favorite part of the design process?
I love the demo. It never ceases to amaze me what a good demo crew and a few dumpsters can do! It is one of the biggest transformations for my clients because for the first time they are seeing the space just the way I have seen it since I walked in – a blank slate!

What is your favorite element in the space from this project?
I love tons of elements in this space, but my favorite is the newly framed needlepoints that Olivia’s mom had done while she was growing up. The detail is incredible, and I can’t imagine how much time was spent on completing those. We loved the opportunity to show them off for what they are – beautiful art!

What was the biggest challenge during this project and how did you solve it?
The biggest challenge on this project was creating a kitchen that could really function for Olivia’s mom. I was told that cooking is her love language and she does it in mass. Given her height and what needed to be easily accessible without assistance, we executed several pull downs, focused storage in lower cabinets, and even installed a remote control for the range hood to give Kim full access to the kitchen features and hopefully an easy and enjoyable space to cook in.

When you’re not designing, where can you be found?
My husband Jason and I can be found in Yountville, CA near the Napa Valley at a wine tasting if we are not working. Taking time off is rare, but we have fallen in love with that corner of the world. We are foodies and wine lovers so there’s no better place to relax.

Staged to Sell: View Inside This Rosedale, Md. Home

Have a home you recently staged that you’d like to show off here at Styled Staged & Sold? Submit your staging photos for consideration, along with three to five of your best spruce-up tips. Contact Melissa Dittmann Tracey at 


Home stager: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

About the property: A 3-bedroom, 3-full bath single-family home with a 5-car garage and open floor plan in Rosedale, Md. The property was completely restored by Yanni LLC.

Photo credit: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

Photo credit: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

Photo credit: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

Photo credit: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

Photo credit: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

Cyndi’s staging tips from this property:

1. Clean is serene! A fresh, bright decor brings a feeling of peace and tranquility. Whites and beiges paired with a darker wood is a great way to really extenuate a crisp, clean palette. Keep counters clear. Tuck toasters, can openers, and other handheld appliances away to maintain an open non-cluttered prep area.

2. Art does not have to be store bought pictures and paintings. Be creative. Clocks have so much personality now. Choose one that really demonstrates the style of the house and because of their popularity they are also easy to find for an inexpensive price. Create colorful abstract canvases with acrylic paint. Mount an old piece of driftwood or an old farm tool over a sofa for a dramatic textured focal point.

3. Stage the open house. Your refreshments may be store bought but your presentation shouldn’t show it. Break out those gallon pitchers with the cute spout at the bottom and invest in a few really awesome serving plates and racks. Add fresh cut fruit to your drink cups. You want buyers to feel they just walked into the next home where they will entertain friends. Add a little soft jazz playing in the background or music that is gentle and peaceful.

Photo credit: Cyndi Ryan with Staging Gracefully, Middle River, Md.

4. Unclutter. Declutter. Disclutter. Keep your staging simple. Whether for selling that property or even in your own home, no more clutter. The era of knick knacks and curios full of figurines left us some time ago. Minimize to a few staple pieces atop cabinets and dressers. Bring in fresh flowers (or even realistic artificial) and greenery. Let nature help create a space that is welcoming and spacious.

5. Dress the house for the occasion. Ever gone to a party and found that you were overdressed or under-dressed? Know your audience. Designing decor that is the most trendy, cutting edge in the world of interior design isn’t what will speak to most buyers. Buyers are looking for a relateable atmosphere where they can picture themselves. Design your staging to meet the price of the home and neighborhood it’s in. Also, be sure to invest more in homes that will bring a clientele that is looking for a bit more drama. Don’t be afraid of jewel tones or rich textures. Just know what style speaks to your potential buyers for that home.



A Mother’s Day Surprise: Watch Olivia Munn’s Surprise Renovation on the Latest “My Houzz”

In time for Mother’s Day, the latest “My Houzz” episode follows Olivia Munn as she surprises her mom with the ultimate Mother’s Day gift: a renovation of her home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. With fond memories of cooking with her mom when she was young, Munn wanted to transform the kitchen, living and dining room into an open, bright and functional space her mom would enjoy cooking and entertaining in.

To bring her vision to life, Munn enlisted the help of Travis Morelock from MIDMODERNdesign who she found on Houzz, to create a space uniquely personalized to her mom, from custom cabinets to match her mom’s height to a built-in rice cooker. Munn used Houzz to collaborate with ideabooks throughout the project, and to purchase all the products and materials for the new space. You can shop the look here.

To watch the full episode, click here. You can also check out the inspiration for the project on Olivia’s Houzz profile and learn more about the space in our ideabook.

Network and Get Advice on the Houzz Pro-to-Pro Forum


While Houzz has always been a vibrant community of homeowners and home professionals, since our earliest days we also have had a place on our platform just for pros. Pro-to-Pro is a free discussion forum designed exclusively for our professional members. Pros support one another, offer advice and engage on topics important to their businesses, such as choosing the right contract, sourcing products and navigating client relationships.

The forum also is a great tool for learning about Houzz best practices. Pros who excel at making Houzz work for their businesses frequently share tips and experiences with their peers around the country. Discussion topics include:

  • Client reviews. How to approach clients about leaving reviews before and after a project, and how to respond to reviews.
  • Best practices for the Houzz site. How to get the most out of your profile and presence on Houzz, how to get the best photography for your projects and how to use Houzz tools with your clients.
  • New business inquiries and growth. How to approach and handle prospective clients, the best screening processes and how to accelerate growth.

The Houzz team also posts information about new Houzz site and app features, registration details and recaps of events and educational webinars. In the future, you will see even more of this content here to keep you up-to-date on the latest from Houzz.

Pro-to-Pro is a great place to engage with the Houzz team and share feedback with us as well. Feedback from professionals in our Pro-to-Pro discussions often guides the educational content we develop for pros on Houzz.


The forum is accessible through the Stories & Advice tab on the Houzz homepage. Under Houzz Discussions, choose Pro-to-Pro.

What’s the Buzz Behind the Lagom Home Style?

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine 

Just when everyone was getting their hygge on—a new staging style has taken hold. Instead of it being all about cozying up your home décor, now it’s all about stripping it down and being minimal.

The Scandinavian concept of lagom began taking hold last year and is catching on more in 2018. Case in point, Pinners on Pinterest are searching for “lagom” decorating ideas 905 percent more this year than they were in 2017, according to the 2018 Pinterest Home Report.

Lagom is usually described as “not too much, not too little, just right.” For home staging, lagom fits right in. It’s all about decluttering a space. You decorate with only the essentials.

The Danish concept of hygge—all the rage in recent years—was all about taking your décor to the cozy side. Think lush blankets and fireside interiors.

With lagom, focus on functional furnishing pieces—like those that double up as storage–and that have a minimalistic look. Only a few colors are typically used in the home, such as complementary neutrals (e.g. white, grey, and beige). Pair down accessories from bookshelves and tabletops. Create just one focal point per room, such as a wall art piece or a statement sofa or modern rug. And, add in some indoor plants as a nod to nature and sustainability, which also goes along with the lagom mindset.

Such principles like these from lagom are certainly starting to sound a lot like some of the guidebooks on good home staging!

from Styled, Staged & Sold

Hot Home Trend: Stylish Cowhide

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

From rustic to modern to even the most luxurious interiors, homeowners are sprucing up their spaces with cowhide. Cowhide rugs have seen one of the biggest jumps in Google searches on home design trends over the last decade, according to Digital Third Coast’s latest design trends study, based on search engine results.

There are many types of cowhide to choose from, such as solid colored, cuvy shaped ones to black and white cowhide to ones with brown accents. The brown accent cowhides can be more subtle when used up against hardwoods or brown leather furnishings. The black and white cowhides, meanwhile, are for the wishing to make a bigger statement.

Where should you add a cowhide? Here are a few ideas to show how the trend is being used in home design.

FURNISHINGS: A cowhide accent chair or ottoman can create a focal point in a space.

Photo by Andrea Schumacher Interiors – Search home office pictures
Photo by Rocky Mountain Log Homes – Browse bedroom ideas

RUGS: A curvy cowhide rug under a coffee table in the living room can help anchor a space. Designers say the cowhide even helps “loosen up” an otherwise perfectly symmetrical balanced space.

Photo by cityhomeCOLLECTIVE – Discover family room design ideas
Photo by Van Wicklen Design – Look for living room design inspiration
Photo by Noha Hassan Designs – More bedroom ideas
ACCESSORIES: Cowhide accessories can also make an impact, such as cowhide patterned throw pillows or cowhide print blanket to dress up a brown or black sofa.
Photo by – Discover living room design inspiration

One thing to add with this trend: Don’t overdo it. You don’t need a lot of cowhide to make a statement.


Hot Home Trend: Vertical Gardens

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Want to add some greenery or a garden to a backyard but tight on space? Try a vertical garden. By going up with your plants instead of spreading them out, you’ll be able to squeeze a garden in even the smallest of spots.

Vertical gardens are considered a hot landscaping trend. Use trellises, planting walls, and other structures to attach plants too. The vertical gardens can also double as a way to add privacy to a small deck or patio.

Create a vertical wall of planters, such as by using mason jars of ornamental grasses. Or, plant a variety of vegetables or flowers. Attach multiple containers to a frame or wall and then fill them up with plants.

But a vertical garden still requires a lot of upkeep. Be sure to prune plants appropriately. Also, you’ll want to make sure the upper levels of the plants don’t overshadow the lower areas and the garden stays vibrant and green.

Read tips on getting started with a vertical garden from the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

Photo Credit: Photos by Linda Oyama Bryan for Mariani Landscape, Lake Bluff, Ill., a member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals

Photo courtesy: Dennis Hammett, Ebby Halliday REALTORS(R)

Photo by Carolina Katz + Paula Nuñez – Browse landscaping ideas
Photo by Living Gardens Landscape Design – More landscaping photos