Tuesday, November 25, 2014

100 Years of Kitchens

This Thanksgiving, let's be thankful for the evolution of kitchen designs.  Here's a look back at the past 100 years.

The Early 1900s

I tapped into my mother's memory bank for this one.  Although a child of the 1950s, she grew up in a home that dated back to beginning of the 20th century.  Her recollection of her childhood kitchen was spot on with the images I came across.  Kitchens at the turn of the century typically consisted of a hardwood floor, an oven, sink, and a centrally located table to prepare food (much like the islands we're used to today).  Built-in cabinets were hard to come by at this point, so free standing pantries and exposed shelving were used for the storage of food, dishes, pots and pans, etc.  Also exposed were heat pipes, yet to be built on the inside of the walls, along with their cast iron radiator counterparts. Functional kitchens, but lacking in style.

The 1920s

Enter style.  And enter the modernized kitchen that we're more used to seeing these days.  The 1920s brought a more accessible and sanitary kitchen with easy to clean linoleum floors, built-in cabinets, and counterspace.  Although it might have shrunk a bit in square footage, it still managed to accomodate all that the modern housewife required, while packing a punch of style with it.

The 1950s

Ugh, I love this time period.  Who doesn't want their kitchen to replicate a diner atmosphere?  Ok, maybe it's just me.  Or maybe it's because the picture below features the the exact table, color and all, that my grandparents had in their kitchen, and it conjours up many happy childhood memories.  Functionality with bright pops of color was most common.  Also notice how the laundry has made its way into the kitchen?  Now the modern housewife can conveniently take care of all her chores in one place.

The 1970s

Ok, when I saw this picture I had a flashback, because this was my childhood kitchen.  Complete with the harvest gold floor, refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and even telephone.  Dark cabinets accompanied those earthy tones, which were most commonly offered in gold, avocado green or burnt orange.  Simplicity was the feature here.  The basic straight lines of the cabinets, the simplistic cabinet pulls.  I guess we needed that to compliment the paisley curtains and wallpaper!

The 1990s

And after all of that color, we needed a change, and boy did we.  The 1990s, followed by the overindulgence of the 80s, brought little style and color at all.  Although it did bring the return of hardwood floors, which unfortunately matched perfectly to the cabinets.  Plain almond or white colored appliances went along with plain formica countertops.  But it wouldn't be that way for long...

The New Millenium and Beyond...

Granite.  Stainless Steel.  Islands.  Lighting.  Color.  Texture.  Today's kitchen is known as the central gathering place in the home.  So it must look its best.  Buyers have almost come to expect a kitchen with all of the features mentioned above.

A modern kitchen has almost everything from each time period.  We'll take the idea of the island from the early 1900s, the idea of style from the 1920s, the idea of convenience from the 1950s, the idea of color from the 1970s, and the idea of texture from the 1990s.  And after 100 years of progression, the kitchen doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Article by Kim Fromentin
for Compass Real Estate Group, LLC

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Dress Code

Be inspired by our favorite table settings for the holiday...

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You've just found out you're hosting Thanksgiving.  This is one of the most enjoyable holidays because the main focus is on food, so the table setting should be secondary.
Here are a few inspired designs...


Elegant, chic, formal; however you may refer to it, this design is not just about the china or stemware, it's about lighting, textures and overall mood.  This option not only features candles and floral arrangements, but your creative side as well.  Preparing individual menus, place cards, color schemes and festive accessories go hand in hand with the fancy Thanksgiving table.  These table settings display an attractive sophistication and can add a serious amount of style to your feast.
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Cozy, casual, informal; this style is what most of us are used to.  But don't let "simple" be confused with "uninterested".  The simplest tables can also be the most chic.  And remember, these beautiful tables will soon be full of color and life when the food is added.
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If you have kids, then you already know keeping them seated at the table for a long period of time can be a challenge.  Rather than sitting on pins and needles, hoping they don't break your great grandmother's fine china; exchange the elegant white tablecloth and expensive flatware for butcher paper and crayons and let them go to town.  When they're happy, you're happy.  And you can enjoy your meal while they're entertaining themselves.
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The decision to go elegant, festive, casual or kid-friendly is up to you.  Your table should reflect your own personal style and traditions.   Putting too much emphasis on being perfect is bound to raise the stress levels.  So take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the holiday!

Compass Real Estate Group, LLC
354 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890



Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Have you recently invested in or acquired a piece of property that might take a little more time and energy to maintain than you originally thought?  Owning an additional property can be a great investment, especially with the real estate market back on the rise, but the property won't take care of itself.  It needs renters, contractors, landscapers; the list goes on and on.  Perhaps the work that's involved is better left to a management firm specializing in real estate properties.  Taking the plunge and investing in someone to manage your property can initially be a difficult decision; so a better understanding of what a property management firm offers can help guide you to your solution.

Are you considering taking on the duties of a Landlord?  Be aware that becoming a property manager yourself is a full-time job.  Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you prepared to show, screen and negotiate with potential tenants?
Are you equipped to regularly perform property inspections?
Would you be willing to coordinate, administrate and negotiate all improvements and repairs while also being on-call 24 hours, including weekends and holidays?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions, but you would still like to enjoy all of the benefits of rental property ownership without all of the headaches, then a property management company is the way to go.

The relocation process is stressful enough; imagine having to care for a property when you’re in a completely different state.  Having a professional team dealing directly with tenant issues, coordinating maintenance and repairs, and surveying your property before, during and after tenant occupancy is extremely beneficial in this situation.  A property management company monitors current market conditions to ensure that you are receiving competitive rates, while also providing you with a lower vacancy rate, as tenants won’t have to wait for you to travel in order to view the property.

It’s possible that you may have recently become what the real estate market refers to as an “accidental landlord”.  This means that you either invested in a new property or relocated and are still holding onto an existing property that just won’t sell.  In either situation, you are now responsible for two mortgage payments, which can be financially unimaginable.  In this case, a property management company can help with providing tenants to ease your financial burden, along with presenting skilled professionals to handle the responsibilities of a landlord.

Investors and Associations turn to property management companies for many reasons. A large number lack the skill, information, experience, or background to allow them to make sound decisions. If the real estate function is neglected or improperly performed, the investor will soon realize that the problems created demand a disproportionate share of their time. Property owners must therefore assess the services and benefits of hiring a professional property management firm.

Contact Compass Real Estate Group for more information.

(203) 255-7410

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Entertain Like A Pro This Thanksgiving

Click on the pic below to see how HGTV gets in the holiday spirit...

Compass Real Estate Group, LLC
354 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890