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Shari Sagan McGuirk

Home Trends for Family Rooms

The family room is the place in the house where people can relax and gather together. This is the space where people spend their downtime together, whether it is for a movie night, a lazy Saturday morning reading a book, or gathering for a family holiday. Outside the kitchen, this is the space where the living and connecting really happen in a home. The family room is the place where you relax, where you entertain, and where you do fun activities together. If you are looking to update your family room, here are six things to consider for maximizing your space and making the room feel especially like home. 

1. Use Your Interests As Inspiration

"Geometric Metal Wall Decorations" by Gamze Genc Celik

When you are planning out your family room, it is a great idea to consider how your family will use the space. Figure out if there is anything that is unique to your family activities that might inform the design of the space. Your family's interests might be in music, sports, art, books, or games.

You can use these as family interests to tie the decor to what is meaningful to your family and make it really feel like home. You can use your interests as a decorative focal point in the room, or even as color inspiration for the space. The key to making this effective is to not theme it too heavily, but rather to give meaningful hints as to what is important to your family.

2. Design For Your Favorite Activities

"Modern Geo Living" by Maruf Madiyarov 

When it comes to family rooms, you might first think of a big tv and a large enough seating area to fit everyone plus a few guests. This is a great start to a space, especially for lounging together and entertaining. Consider maximizing your use of the space by creating multiple areas for activities and enjoyment.

If your family enjoys music, you might have a corner of the room dedicated to musical instruments or your musical collection. Maybe your family loves puzzles or board games, consider putting in a table for those nights where everyone is up late playing a game of cards together.

3. Add Versatile Seating

"Living room" by Blizarde

A family room is often more than a space for your family, it is where you entertain guests, throw a party, and have a friend or two over. You might consider adding in versatile seating to accommodate a wide range of guests. You can use your main seating area of a sectional or a couple of sofas as the focal point for seating, but consider adding in a reading nook or built-in bench for a small conversation area, adding an ottoman that can double as seating or a few smaller side chairs that are an inviting alternative.

These added seating areas allow you to accommodate for various crowds, and it also makes your guests comfortable to find a seat that works for them. Some people might prefer to be a part of the crowd in the main seating area, while others might prefer a spot off to the side. 

4. Get Creative With Storage

The family room is where living really happens, and with that comes the need for storage. If you have young children, this might be the spot where toys are front and center, it might be where a gaming console or two hangs out, or it might be where a collection of throw blankets reside. Nearly every family room needs some form of storage in order to reduce clutter and make the space feel inviting.

You can get creative with storage by adding doors to bookshelves for toys or board games, using a built-in bench as a toy chest, or putting a throw blanket collection into a storage ottoman. If the family room feels overwhelmed with clutter from a specific activity, you could pare down some of the items, move the majority of the activity or toys to another room in the house, or add more dedicated storage to your family room. It all depends on what works best for you.

5. Plan For Food and Drinks


There is nothing like grabbing a snack and settling down with the people you love for a movie night in the family room. As you design your space, consider how food and drink might be handled in that space. For example, if you have a large sectional sofa, plan out where hard surfaces will be within reaching distance to each seat.

Some ideas include adding a sofa table behind your sectional or adding a coffee table that is in proportion to the size of your sofa. You might also want to think about adding a specific side table for snacks and drinks. This a small bar cart or drink cabinet for adult beverages, or simply a dedicated surface for food and drinks. 

6. Design The Space To Grow With Your Family

"Eclectic kids room" by Eleni Psyllaki

The way a family uses a space often changes as the family grows and ages. If your family room is also the playroom for small children, know that the way your family uses this room will change with every age. As you plan your family room, consider night just how you use it now, but also how you might use it in two, five, or even ten years. What do you expect to stay the same? What do you expect to change? You can map out how you might shift the floor plan, the storage solutions, the type of furniture you invest in, and the activities that you make space for by considering how your room with grow with you.

Overall, a family room is where you make memories with the people that you love. More often than not it is either the kitchen or the family room that serves as the heart of the home. Because of that, it is important to make your family room represent who your family is and how you spend your time together. Build a space that feels like home, and fill it with the activities that you love to do together. 

Our Commitment to You in These Unprecedented Times


To Our Valued Clients, Agents, Partners and the Communities We Serve,

In these unprecedented times, we understand that people will continue to buy and sell real estate for many reasons.  The health and well -being of our clients, agents, employees and community is of paramount importance. We continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and are taking the necessary steps regarding our work environment and business practices so that we can continue to provide extraordinary support and unparalleled service. 

Our commitment to you:

We respect your space and your concerns, therefore we have implemented the following precautions to address the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus: 

  • Adhering to all CDC protocols and guidelines, at a minimum. We are balancing the needs of our clients who have housing needs, while eliminating open houses, avoiding large gatherings and encouraging creative, efficient ways of exposing or showing homes during this crisis. 
  • We have closed our offices in both locations. If one of our agents needs to drop by, they have been instructed to keep their visits brief and to make sure to clean any surfaces or equipment that they touch.
  • Encouraging the use of booties, soap, wipes and hand sanitizers during private showings. 
  • Advising our employees and agents to work from home 
  • Conducting fewer face to face meetings and leveraging technology to reduce the opportunities to spread the virus further.

For our clients: 

We are fully prepared to move our business online, from virtual meetings, video tours, FaceTime/Skype showings, digital signatures, and online transaction management systems. We understand that there are many concerns around COVID-19 and we want to assure you that we are working hard to protect our clients, agents, staff, tenants, and landlords to prevent the spread of disease, while doing our best to continue helping you buy, sell or rent homes.

For those who may need to visit our office:

Our offices are closed. Packages can be dropped through the mail slot at either office.  We advise you to call the agent receiving the package to let them know it is there. We will support our agents and help them effectively service your needs while ensuring their comfort and yours with how best to deal with this challenging situation.  Please visit our website for office and agent contact information. 

Open Houses:

We are refraining from open houses at this time and will show properties by appointment only. Prior to entering, we will ask visitors to clean their hands and remain aware of social distancing at all times while touring the home. 

If you have recently traveled outside the US, are not feeling well, or have run a fever in the past forty-eight hours, please make us aware and we can schedule a virtual showing or alternate plan. We ask that you not come to our office or any of our properties if you are feeling unwell to help mitigate the potential spread of any illness. 

Thank you for your understanding.  We are still seeing strong demand, low-interest rates and an early spring season that necessitates the careful balancing of needs in such unprecedented times. We hope that you all stay well and healthy, and appreciate your patience and good spirits as we navigate this event. Please do not hesitate to contact any one of us, our associates or our office if you have any concerns. 

We are here to listen, be a trusted resource and to help with any of your concerns. Together, we will get through this stronger than ever.


Phyllis, Mike, Shari, and Julie

Sagan Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty Partners



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Home Trends: Kids Rooms

When it comes to decorating for a kid's room, it can be hard to find a balance between what is practical and what is beautiful and bring about solutions for those two things to marry in a single space. Current trends in decor for a kid's room vary greatly,  and this is simply because the ages of kids and their interests are so different. There are some trends that are universal, and some ways to develop design solutions in any bedroom for the youngest members of your household. Here are a few ideas for you to use in your home.

1. Storage is Key

"Custom Closet Designs" by George Chowanec  

Regardless of whether you are decorating a room for a newborn or a teenager, you are going to need innovative ways to store clothing, toys, and books. You can take traditional storage like bookshelves, dressers, toy chests, and closet space to find ways to bring in a lot of style and still serve as a functional storage piece.

As you fill a bookshelf, add in a little visual breathing room, with small stuffed animals or kid-safe trinkets nestled in with the books. When setting up a closet for your child, consider getting storage solutions that can change and grow with your kids. Baskets and bins that hold wooden blocks might one day hold tiny Lego pieces; any closet system might hold tiny shirts or pants and one day be needed for teenaged-sized outfits. It is important to let the storage grow and change with your kids. 

One of the biggest trends in kid room design is allowing things to hide in plain sight. If your child has a growing collection of stuffed animals, consider getting a bean bag chair cover made for storing them, You can fill it up, reduce clutter, and add comfortable seating to the room. Any furniture pieces that can serve multiple functions such as cribs that transform into a full-size bed, or an ottoman that also serves as toy storage, is a great way to bring in style and save on space.

2. Scandinavian and Holistic Educational Design Influences

"Posters for Kenay Home" by Laia Arriols | Apanona 

Many current design trends for children's rooms have a few clear influences that lead to a room with soft colors, warm woods, and natural materials. The first of this is Scandinavian design, ever since the introduction of this style into the greater aesthetic in the mid-century, it has had a subset dedicated to designing children's furniture. But with the advent of affordable stores like IKEA, it has had a more mainstream appeal. When you pair this with the more recent influence of early educational styles, such as Waldorf and Montessori, that celebrate a similar aesthetic, it is now a very popular design direction in bedrooms for the preschool age. Because of the neutral tones and white backdrop of this style, it is easy to age it up with bright pops of color and more personalized design elements for older kids. 

3. Metallics

"Owen's Bedroom" by Jennifer Ward 

With the trends in rose gold and sequined pillows, metallics are a favorite in a kid's room. Consider anchoring any metallic designs with furniture pieces that can transition between a variety of styles, chrome-based furniture is a great way to go with this. For a more subtle look, graphite is a great metallic that is not overpowering and can be used in a variety of ways throughout a space. You can use metallics in an abundance or simply bring in a few elements as visual interest. You can also play with different textures across a single metallic color, such as using rose gold in glittered, brushed, chrome, or some other texture like suede or fur. It will bring a common visual thread across multiple textures.

4. Patterns and Textures

"KidsROOMS" by alan kravchenko, scratched cube

Another big trend is something that has already shown up in fashion trends and is starting to filter into home design, and that is the upswing in influences from the 1980s and 1990s. Geometric patterns, neon colors, and layered organic shapes are popping up in bedding and accessories. If you grew up in that era, the trends in your child's room will be a nostalgic but new take on patterns and textures from when you were younger. Consider using these patterns in areas that are easily changeable such as window treatments, throw rugs, linens, artwork or posters, and throw pillows. That way as this trend continues to shift, your bedroom design can easily shift with it.

5. Motifs

"bedroom for 3 boys - Lisbon 2008" by Lu Barradas 

When it comes to decorating a kid's room, it is important to choose designs that match their interests. To make it feel like home, they will want to take some ownership of their space. Whether they are interested in a specific character, a certain game or sport, a favorite color, or a type of animal you can celebrate their interest by building a design around that motif. Some popular motifs right now are video games (like Minecraft), magical animals (unicorns, llamacorns, and mermaids), as well as any favorite Disney character.

To bring these into a kid's room,  incorporate them in with things that are easily changeable, but you can also incorporate some temporary big picture pieces that feel like a great transformation. One example of this would be to use removable wallpaper. There are a lot of options out there for removable wallpaper, many of which can either look like traditional wallpaper or more of a wall mural. By adding this to create a feature wall, it will have a big impact on the feel of the room and still allow for changes to the space in the future.

Overall, there are many trends to choose from in designing a kid's room. Whichever direction you go in, staying versatile is key to making the space grow with your child. The added bonus to this method is the ability for you as a homeowner to transform it into a different space altogether when your children become adults or when you are ready to sell your home. Growing and adjusting the space to what your kids and your home needs is a great solution for any home. 




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    Home Trends 2020: Home Automation

    Experts are estimating nearly one-half of all U.S. homes will become “smart” through home automation by the end of 2020. While becoming more mainstream, home automation is still an evolving technology with new platforms, products, and features being released to market continuously. This can make the idea of inviting smart automation into your life a bit daunting and overwhelming.  Here, we give you the scoop on the basics and the exciting trends in home automation for 2020 to get you up to speed and embracing the smart living in no time.  

    What is Home Automation?

    Comprised of a central controller networked with “smart” devices, home automation technology allows you to control household systems, including lighting, climate (thermostats), security, lawn care, and more. It involves everything from setting a time for your lights to turn on or off automatically to locking a forgotten door from across the country. There are not many areas of our lives where electrical devices are not going to be controlled from a central controller.

    It is advised you get familiar with the ins and outs of automation before venturing into installing it in your own home. offers an FAQ on Home Automation to get you there.

    Smart Devices Get Smarter

    The technology continues to improve in user-friendliness, speed, and power, with 2020 standing to see artificial intelligence used domestically in exciting new ways. Smart home controllers and networks from Apple, Google, and Amazon lead the pack in making connectivity within the home easier and more accessible.

    Smart Controls


    Three of the biggest tech giants, Apple, Google, and Amazon, announced in December 2019 that they would be banding together to create one open-source platform that will allow for cross-connectivity and control of competing devices. As it stands now, not every device works with another type of device, whether Apple or Android. The companies said, “customers can be confident that their device of choice will work in their home and that they will be able to set up and control it with their preferred system. Choose between Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, or other platforms.”

    Smart Lighting


    Whether you hate coming home to a dark house or struggle for the light switch in the middle of the night when heading in the bathroom, smart lighting can be automated to fit your needs for safety and efficiency. Imagine if you could set a timer from your phone that turns on all the lamps and lighting you need automatically. Or one that adjusts the blinds to allow natural light to stream into the room or closes them to block harsh sunlight. Smart lighting can do all this and more.

    Smart Safety


    If you are familiar with the self-install smart doorbells such as Ring, then you know the possibilities for keeping you safe are becoming increasingly more intuitive. You can now increase safety through networked cameras with voice capabilities and window and door sensors, all controlled through your phone or tablet. You get real-time alerts when you are away, and someone comes to your front door or tries to break in.  

    Smart Sensors

    All home automation is controlled using sensors in your systems from HVAC systems to smoke detectors to water heaters. With improved sensors coming online in 2020, you can monitor conditions with these units and get alerts when there is maintenance required. These smarter sensors can save in costly repairs after the fact.

    Other Smart Trends for 2020

    • Smart home technology is predicted to become a more popular selling point for buyers, much like updated kitchens and baths were in the past.
    • Smart furniture is increasingly getting networked into homes with beds adjusting automatically to your sleep, smart sofas adjusting to the comfort of each user, and smart shelving in the pantry that keeps track of what’s there and what needed for the next shopping trip.
    • Smart climate control and thermostats become even more eco-friendly by supporting energy efficiency and lower energy bills.
    • Receive alerts for items such as when the mail is delivered, when your plants need watering, when your pet runs away, the kids coming in and out of the house, and more.




    How To Use Pantone's 2020 Color of the Year in Your Home

    For nearly 20 years, Pantone has released a Color of The Year and this color is often a barometer for what is happening in design trends as well as a reflection of society. The 2020 Color of the Year is no exception to this, as they have announced this year's color to be Classic Blue, Pantone 19-4052.

    Explained as, “instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era”.  With a new decade underway, this color is both relaxing and hopeful, and a great color to consider for any home that might need a refreshing look. 

    Pantone Color Palettes

    Along with the color of the year, Pantone released a series of five color palettes that incorporate Classic Blue in each of them. These are dynamic and appealing to a variety of aesthetics and design styles. By taking a closer look at these palettes you can start the new year with some inspiring new color schemes for your home. The key to using each of these color schemes is playing with the proportion of color, this is most effective by choosing one or two as the basis for your design, and utilizing the others as accent colors.

    1. Ponder

    The colors from this palette are an equal mix of warm and cool colors and are perfect for a bedroom or a whole house color scheme. This combination of colors welcomes you to play up either the warm browns and gold, the bright pinks or the soft blues depending on the room or personal preference. The palette can be used across an entire home, changing from room to room the color proportions and choices while still creating a cohesive look for a home’s interior.

    2. Snorkel

    This is a palette with blues, neutrals, and bright pops of greens and a hint of pink. This color scheme is ideal for a classic cool look, playing up the neutrals and blue and then using the greens and pink for accent colors. If you have a home that has a coastal or seaside feel to it, the Coralessence, Lime Punch, Jasmine Green, and Cashmere Blue are great colors for ocean-inspired accessories in any room. The energy of the colors in this palette would be particularly suited for a guest room or breakfast nook.

    3. Desert Twilight

    This year, Pantone's palettes are featuring a wide range of shimmery colors, and Desert Twilight is no exception. As they explain, this palette, “creates an elegant backdrop for a glittery grouping of sophisticated shades painted across the sky, adding illuminating sparkle to a Desert Twilight.” The two standouts in this palette are the inclusion of Inky Black and Red Violet, these two colors alone can create dramatic contrast in any room but would be especially effective in a formal dining room or powder room. Pair these with the shimmery jeweled tones for accents and your space will be boldly unexpected.

    4. Exotic Tastes

    This palette embraces and celebrates nature-inspired hues and subdued jewel tones, it has rich colors that have a muted quality to it almost like the colors of spices in a far-flung outdoor market. These earthy colors would play well in both a large space as well as an intimate space like your library or study. With a striking gray in Quicksilver utilized as a neutral, you will have a wide range of options when using the other colors as accents. Exotic Tastes appeals to the need for the ever-popular jewel tones, but in an understated twist.

    5. Untraditional

    With current color trends incorporating bright and bold hues, this palette is the answer. These colors are perfect for those who love a great design risk and can be paired boldly with the shimmer of Faded Jade, Water Nymph, Space Cherry, Brass Knuckles, and Glistening Grape for beautiful contrasts. Untraditional answers the call for color palettes that are bright and cheerful, balanced by Classic Blue, Opal Gray, and Cannoli Cream. If you are looking for something more traditional, using these three colors as your main scheme is a beautiful blend of traditional and modern, and the colorful twist of the glittering colors is a great way to turn your space untraditional and delightfully unexpected.

    Designer Tips For Finding Your Colors

    When choosing a primary or accent color from any of these palettes, consider choosing three colors from any one of these palettes and work around them. You can bring in lighter and darker versions, but using a triad of colors is a good way to establish a guide to follow that is not too overwhelming. Many of these palettes offer many colors at the same time. You can minimize the number of colors and use only your favorite colors to be consistent throughout. If any of these color palettes or simply the Color of The Year, Classic Blue is inspiring, you will have a wide array of options when it comes to incorporating it in your home.

    The first step is choosing the colors, and the second step lies in playing with the proportions of color. Consider which one will be your main wall color and then your one or two accent colors for trim or furniture pieces. If you want to bring in more pieces from a certain palette, use those in small hints of color such as throw pillows and decorative accessories. As you play with these palettes you will be surprised at how the proportions affect how the colors look and how your room will look as well. You might be surprised to find a great color combination that works for you in unexpected ways, and sometimes that is the best way to find a palette that fits who you are and the home you live in. 


    5 Ways To Make Your Room Cozy for Valentine's Day

    When it comes to decorating for Valentine's Day, it can be hard to come up with a sophisticated and cozy feeling for your bedroom or master bath. This is especially true if much of the holiday decor in stores is more geared towards hosting a Valentine's Day party rather than accessorizing your home. If you are looking to make your space feel cozy, intimate, and a celebration of your relationship, here are five ways to decorate your space.

    1. A Wintery Mix of Love

    When January comes around, much of our holiday decor gets packed away until next year, but consider keeping a few key pieces out and restaging them with a Valentine's Day look. February is a wintery month, and it can be a great way to embrace the season, by using it as a theme for your Valentine's Day bedroom. Evergreen boughs or trees, snowflake motifs, and anything that sparkles with Valentine's Day color (think reds, pinks, whites, or golds), can be repurposed for this holiday.

    Once you have chosen a wintery theme, then add in some personalized layers of love. These personalized things could be photos of you throughout your relationship, little love notes to be opened each day leading up to February 14th, or something significant to you. Using these items, you can create small tableaus of decor on side tables, dressers, or the bathroom counter. Add in a couple of throw pillows that fit your theme, and your bedroom will be ready to embrace the winter and the cozy feeling of love throughout February.

    2. I Really Heart You

    Everyone knows that hearts are at the core of all Valentine's Day celebrations. You can take that theme and bring a level of sophistication to your bedroom and bathroom by layering heart-shaped accessories throughout your space. If you want a subtle look, consider finding heart-shaped pieces in natural materials: wood, stone, clay, rattan, or wool are great choices. By playing up the heart shape and playing down the color, this decor idea emphasizes repetition to bring the whole room together.

    Alternatively, if you are the type to embrace color, you can use this heart-theme as a way to brighten up your space with a single color in multiple tones. This can certainly be done with classic Valentine's Day colors such as shades of pink or red. However, you could bring in an element of surprise with an unexpected color theme, such as greens or purples. It all depends on your taste and what feels right to you. 

    3. Layering Textures with Valentine Colors

    One tried and true way of adding interest to any design theme is to layer textures throughout a room. For a subtle but cozy Valentine space, consider using textures in quintessential colors for this holiday throughout your space. This will give a feel of the holiday without being a literal translation, this theme doesn't need hearts or flowers to be effective. 

    For example, you might choose rose gold and white as your colors, and add in blankets, pillows, throw rugs, towels, or accessories in various textures. You could add glass, metallic, or sparkle in these colors alongside knits, faux fur, or silk. You can also do this with golds, reds, or silver depending on what works for your taste.

    4. Words of Love

    One unexpected but effective way to change up your decor for Valentine's Day is to temporarily bring in new wall decor. With the popularity of quotes and sayings as wall art, you could pull in a theme of words, phrases, and quotes about love into your bedroom or bathroom. By switching up the art and family photos in your bedroom it will give the whole room a different feel with a fairly easy change.

    You can pick new pieces that are a similar size and shape to your original artwork, and simply replace them for the month of February. To not overwhelm your space, make sure to pick pieces that vary in font types, lengths of the quotes, and color. One great way to play with this is to have single words on larger pieces and longer quotes on smaller pieces. You can add throw pillows to your bed or armchair with words of love on it.

    This decor idea could be especially personal if you and your significant other have written love letters to one another or have a certain poem or song that is meaningful to you. By making or ordering customized pieces with personal quotes on it, the entire room can become a symbol of your relationship. This is a very heartfelt way to decorate for Valentine's Day.

    5. A Flowering Display of Spring

    As an alternative to embracing the winter is embracing the coming spring. You can celebrate this holiday by emphasizing the giving of flowers and using it throughout your room. You can make this a lush and vibrant space with pops of color with bouquets, and lots of greenery.

    This room can be a transformative space, that feels warmer and brighter than the snowy landscape outside. One easy change is switching up the bedding to something that feels lush and bright in color. To give this a real Valentine's Day feel, you can keep the colors of your flowers and bedding to pinks and whites, or alternatively choose deep reds and purples depending on how it might work for your personal style.

    Overall, you can create a space that is a representation of your love and feels both cozy and sophisticated without compromising on your style. Each of these ideas is versatile enough to fit within the style of any home, and be customized to what works for your space. Pick a theme or decor idea that speaks to you and personalize it to make your space feel like a celebration of love.

    This simple change in your bedroom and bathroom can end up bringing deeper meaning to how you celebrate with your loved one, and make this holiday about so much more than a night out together. 

    Master Bath Trends in 2020

    Whether you're building a new home or buying a home to renovate, the master bath is an important feature. New home construction and renovated master bathrooms have an updated look, but they may not have the very latest bath designs. It takes a few years for new products to become widely available. To stay up to date on master bath trends, visit home shows and high-end bath design showrooms to see trending colors and finishes in person. Here’s our take on what's trending in master bathrooms for 2020, and beyond:

    Technology For The Master Bath

    Upscale features like Smart Home integration are adding luxury and convenience to the master suite. Programmable showers, toilets with bidet functions, and integrated music and lighting controls create a master suite that’s a spa-like experience. Custom touches include a mini-refrigerator for organic beauty products, or a coffee bar and cold drinks for a long soak. Smart mirrors have integrated TV screens so you can watch the news, or even soak in the tub and watch a movie. Features like USB ports for charging and anti-fog technology allow for seamless movement from living areas to the master suite.


    TV Mirror by Loft


    Rustic Wood Bathrooms

    While gray has been a master suite favorite for several years, warm colors like gold and olive green are trending. Subway tile is giving way to vertical shapes. Brass is popular, along with rose gold and other warm metal finishes.


    Source: Fireclay Tile


    Sparked by consumers’ desire to connect with nature, cabinetry features rustic wood finishes in lighter, natural tones. Textured finishes like limed grains, hand scraping, and wire-brushing add rich dimension. Wood-look tile, real wood walls, and vanity finishes celebrate wood’s natural grain variation.


    Source: Fireclay Tile


    Dark tile is having a moment, adding the dramatic contrast of deep green, blue, or black against white or gray. Neutral tones are trending away from gray, so expect to see cream colors, brown and gold warming up master bathrooms.


    Source: Property Listing, Lynnfield


    Freestanding Tubs

    Sculptural, stand-alone bathtubs are increasingly popular. Not only do they provide a deep, relaxing soak, but they create a spacious, open feeling.


    Source: Property Listing, Beverly


    Even in a smaller master bath, a petite freestanding tub creates a focal point.


    Source: Property Listing, Swampscott


    Open-Plan Master Bathrooms

    An open-plan makes a master bathroom feel very spacious. Instead of separating the tub and shower, open plans create a large “wet room” for both shower and tub. Glass walls separate the wet area from the rest of the space, keeping water in. The open plan bath is ideal for a tiled feature wall, or dramatic floor design.


    Image courtesy of Westbuilt


    Tile With Dimension and Color

    Tile is taking part in the textural trend as well. Look for historic patterns, modern geometrics or bold colors to add color and dimension to your master bath.


    Source: Ceramics of Italy


    Use the latest tile patterns to bring nature indoors. 2020’s tile collections feature vines, palm fronds, and flowers rendered in stunning detail.  


    Source: Ceramics of Italy


    Geometric Tile and Matte Finishes

    Patterned tile is still going strong. Global-inspired patterns are still going strong, but 2020’s patterns feature modern geometric designs. Look for warm shades of gray, brown and gold; combine them with matte brass and gold metals for a touch of glamour.


    Source: Mandarin Stone


    Matte surface finishes are also trending, as tastes move away from the glossy lacquers of recent years. Practical matte finishes on stone and tile are easy-care and more slip-resistant. 

    Hexagon and chevron tile patterns are hotter than ever – but the colors are heating up, moving away from gray to brown and gold.


    Source: Marble Systems


    Stone-Look Porcelain Tile and Slabs

    New printing techniques create realistic faux marble patterns on porcelain tile. Large format tile is more popular, with new sizes up to 24×48 inches. Full-size slabs of porcelain tile can replace real stone. At 5 x 10 feet, these wall-sized faux stone tiles create incredible master bathrooms.


    Source: Property Listing, Manchester


    Master bathrooms are the perfect place for a dramatic stone pattern. Large-format porcelain tiles make it easy. Center them on the wall of a walk-in shower like a work of art. Install a beautiful backdrop for vanity mirrors, or create an amazing floor design.

    Terrazzo In The Master Bath

    Terrazzo is an ancient material with timeless appeal, and 2020 is terrazzo’s comeback year. Made from a mix of stones, recycled glass, cement, and marble, terrazzo is easy to customize for your project. In a bathroom, terrazzo can be used for sinks, counters, walls and floors.


    Source: Terrazco


    Here at Sagan Harborside Realty, we understand luxury. If you’re planning a move to Marblehead, Salem, Swampscott, or Lynn, our professional Realtors have the expertise to find you the perfect home. Just give us a call at 781-593-6111.


    12 Tips for Creating the Ultimate Guest Suite

    When building your dream home, remodeling or simply redecorating, one of the most satisfying projects and most appreciated spaces you can create is an ultimate guest suite. Through the years, you will surely come to appreciate this well-planned space as your family grows and your needs change. As we see more and more multi-generational homes, mother-in-law suites also become exceptionally important. Here are twelve tips to help you achieve a wonderfully welcoming guest suite.

    1. Design for Simplicity

    Though it may sound counter-intuitive to suggest simplicity is key when creating the ultimate guest suite or mother-in-law suite, the most successful of these projects are indeed designed for simplicity in room layout, furnishings, and decor. Separate the space into well-defined areas for sleeping, lounging, entertaining, meal prep, and a private bath, of course. Allowing for lots of room to move about freely will make any space seem more spacious and comfortable. Think of that incredible hotel suite you’ve stayed in and how you seemed to have all the amenities of home.


    Calming Colors in the Guest Suite

    2. Use Calming Color

    With so many gorgeous neutral hues to choose from, calming color palettes are anything but boring. Soft grays, taupes, blues, and beiges in both solid colors and a mix of patterns can be interesting and soothing at the same time. Blue is a serene color while adding a bit of flair to an otherwise neutral room. Accent with vivid pops of color with fresh flowers, toss pillows, and artwork for a bit of freshness.

    3. Add a Kitchenette

    Creating a luxury kitchen on a small scale doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. You will find many of your favorite high-end appliance brands offer slimline refrigerators, wall ovens and ranges, plus dishwasher drawers and lots of other space-saving options—the same high-end features you expect, just smaller in size. If space does not allow for a kitchenette, consider adding a microwave, minifridge, and small freestanding cabinet.



    4. Furnish a Well-Stocked Bar Cart with Coffee, Water & Libation

    One of the most thoughtful additions to your ultimate guest suite is a beautifully appointed and well-stocked cart offering water, juice and the ability to make hot beverages. Guests often hesitate to ask for refreshments because they don’t want to be a bother. Thirst can strike at inconvenient times like the middle of the night, so having easy access to cold and hot drinks will be appreciated. A carafe filled with water and a glass by the bedside are also nice touches.

    5. Soothe with Scents

    Natural, barely-there scents can help create that relaxing atmosphere you’re going for in your new guest space. Choose light, not overpowering, scents, and be sure to ask those who will be staying in the suite if they have any allergies so you can avoid those ingredients in your choice of scents.



    6. Comfort with Luxurious Bedding 

    Nothing pampers like luxury bedding, so add high thread count sheets and the most beautiful and comfortable bedding you can find. Remember to keep the look simple but sumptuous. Be sure to fit the mattress with a feather or thick cotton fill mattress pad for ultimate in plush sleeping. Lots of plump pillows with crisp cases are a must.

    7.  Create a Beautiful Bath

    When it comes to creating the bath for your mother-in-law suite, consider both form and function. Choose beautiful fixtures and finishes, at the same time remembering the needs of those who will be using the room. For instance, it might be wise to add a large walk-in shower in addition to that gorgeous tub you’re dreaming of. Add plenty of gorgeous thick, soft towels and bathmats.

    8. Let There Be Light

    Lighting is an essential element in any space. In your guest suite, lighting can make the difference between having a beautiful room and an extraordinary one. Beautiful light fixtures such as an appropriately sized chandelier or hanging pendant in the center of the room provide a warm glow, while bedside lamps or wall lights work well for reading in bed. Of course, table lamps should be added to the sitting area and perhaps on the chest of drawers or dresser.

    9. Plan for Easy Connectivity

    Guests of all ages require a spot to charge phones, tablets, or laptops. Access to the internet is also a must-have for most folks these today, so consider how you will make your wireless network available or even add a separate wireless router for your guest suite. Digital devices are not just a convenience anymore; they’re often considered a necessity, so a charging station and wireless access will be appreciated and will perhaps eliminate undue stress for your guests.


    10. Provide Luxurious Touches

    We’ve already talked about luxury bedding, but you’ll want to provide other luxe touches like cozy throws, beautiful wall art and a thoughtfully arranged basket of personal items like hand creams and lotions for the bedside and soaps or body washes for the shower and travel-size versions of other personal care items. Think of all those special touches you would receive in an upscale boutique hotel and how they make your stay feel a bit decadent.

    11. Lavish with Lounge Furniture

    Create an ultra-comfortable and inviting sitting area with a loveseat, lounge chairs and stylish, but functional coffee and accent tables. If space is an issue, consider placing a small loveseat at the foot of the bed with a small table set atop a decorative rug in front to offer the illusion of a separate sitting area.


    12. Access to the Outdoors 

    Creating a lush plant-filled patio, deck, or balcony outside your guest suite will add extra space and a place for relaxation. Guests can enjoy the view from inside or with easy access, go outside to read or enjoy a cup of coffee or a tall refreshing drink.

    An Insider's Guide to Holiday Shopping in Marblehead and Swampscott

    View of Old Town, Marblehead



    During this festive yet busy holiday season, we suggest stopping by some of our wonderful local shops for last-minute gifts, décor, clothing, and foodstuffs. Besides infusing money into our local economy, shopping around the Swampscott and Marblehead area will save you time and get you in the spirit of the season meandering from shop to shop with a hot coffee or cider in hand.


    Below are a few of our favorite shops and a few we ran across during our recent Holiday Fair. We hope you enjoy each local shop and getting to know your neighborhood businesses.

    Botticelli Cuff

    Botticelli Cuff, Jambu Jewelry

    1. Jambu Jewelry

    38 Atlantic Ave, Marblehead, MA 01945

    Jambu’s curated collection of handcrafted artisan jewelry is a must-see! Created by talented artists from NYC to LA, each piece is made to dazzle in sterling silver and 14 karat gold, with precious and semi-precious stones to suit your style from classic to edgy.



    No photo description available.

    2. Shoe Galley

    46 Atlantic Ave, Marblehead, MA
    Facebook: @theshoegalley

    We love Shoe Galley’s wide selection of stylish footwear for men, women, and children. Their boot selection offers a myriad of choices for keeping your feet warm this holiday season and through the rest of winter.



    3. O’rama’s Boutique Store

    148 Washington St, Marblehead, MA
    Shop Instore Only

    A local treasure, O’rama’s Boutique, is touted as one of the best places in Marblehead to find gifts for others and oneself. You’ll find a treasure trove of magical possibilities to get lost amongst including jewelry, pajamas, candles, home décor, beauty products, and so much more.



    Burgundy sweater dress, Bobbles and Lace

    4. Bobbles & Lace

    139 Washington Street, Marblehead, MA

    Right down the street from O’rama’s, Bobbles & Lace is the place to find that last-minute outfit for your holiday party. You’ll find a glamorous collection of classic and trendy women’s clothing from which to choose. You’re sure to be the best-dressed hostess or guest at the party!



    5. Gold Bug Co.

    43 Atlantic Ave, Marblehead, MA
    Shop Instore Only

    A mainstay in Marblehead since 1979, Gold Bug offers a range of sophisticated, budget-friendly fine jewelry. This little local shop is a gem of a find for last-minute gifts for family, friends, or a significant other.



    Italian Herringbone Blanket, The Preppy Stitch

    6. Preppy Stitch

    44 Crestwood Road, Marblehead, MA

    Wonderful handstitched monogram gifts await at Preppy Stitch in Marblehead. Gabrielle Roberts, the owner of Preppy Stitch, designs embroidered items to make your own with a monogram or any other motif you may want to have in your preferred colors. These unique designs are terrific for gifting and include items such as a set of towels, sheets, dish towels, napkins, tablecloths, or bags as a closing gift, anniversary gift, or holiday present.

    Big Dipper Waxworks Pillar Candle at The Farmacie Shop

    7. The Farmacie Shop

    218 Humphrey Street. Swampscott, MA

    This newcomer to Swampstock commerce opened in mid-November, and we are so excited they did. Founded by Paulina, a pharmacist with a passion for beauty, health, and wellness, the Farmacie Shop sells natural and holistic products and services. From skincare to supplements, you’ll find a plethora of pleasant products and advice to keep you and your loved ones cared for and healthy.




    Little Pink Houses Cards, Kat’s Boutique

    8. Kats Boutique

    212 Humphrey Street, Swampscott, MA

    Just steps away from The Farmacie Shop, Kat’s Boutique is a local favorite for women's clothing, jewelry, and accessories from local designers, artists, and international brands. The boutique also offers one-of-kind vintage finds that are handpicked for their beauty and brilliance. They specialize in genuine pearl jewelry and accessories.



    Marblehead Harbor

    9. Artist -- Lynn Mercer Michaud

    PH: 781-631-8283

    This local artist creates breathtaking watercolor paintings of homes, landscapes, and portraits. Her works of art make endearing gifts for house closings, anniversaries, or holiday presents. She has various sizes, and the paintings can be duplicated easily if you need multiple copies for family members. She is also developing a line of note cards that can bear the same resemblance to the painting or can be scenes from Marblehead, which are great gifts as well for clients or friends.


    10. Handcrafted Jewelry by Debra Goldberg

    Phone: 781-771-8189

    Debra Goldberg, a realtor at Raveis in Marblehead, designs her own line of jewelry which can be customized to your specific requests. She uses a huge variety of gems and acrylics as well as gold and silver and copper and can design anything you need to complete a certain outfit or a great signature everyday piece. You’ll find a quick turn-around time to make the jewelry at very reasonable prices. Perfect for holiday gifts!

    Whether shopping Swampscott’s historic Olmsted district or charming downtown Marblehead, we hope you find that perfect item or gift you’ve been searching for.

    Happy holiday and joyful shopping from our team to you!




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    Our Favorite Holiday Events For 2019

    Marblehead, Salem, Lynn, and the entire North Shore are steeped in tradition, and locals love to celebrate the holidays. From holiday markets, to theatre, to community-wide celebrations, we cherish our old-fashioned festivities. Here are some of our favorite holiday events for 2019 – enjoy!

    Zoo Lights at the Stone Zoo

    November 22 – January 4

    Stone Zoo for Northshore children and families


    Zoo Lights turns Stone Zoo into a winter wonderland, attracting thousands of visitors to stroll tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights. Visit the zoo animals and our reindeer! Spot over 40 life-size animal sculptures made from millions of LEGO® bricks. Warm up by an open fire and make s’mores.

    Appleton Farms Holiday Market

    November 22, 5-8PM

    Kick off the holidays with a trip to Appleton Farms family-friendly Holiday Market. Enjoy 20+ artisanal foods, handcrafted gifts, local craft beer, wine and a signature cocktail. Plus, kids activities and barnyard animals. Support local farmers – admission is free!


    Holiday Live Shows At Lynn Auditorium

    November 29: A Charlie Brown Christmas

    A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage Brings Holiday Cheer to The Lynn Auditorium on November 29th at 1:30 PM. This Stage Musical Celebrates Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” Comic Strip and 1965 Television Special; Showcasing the Music of Vince Guaraldi.

    December 5: The Elf on The Shelf Christmas Musical

    This all-new musical and premiere stage production includes an exclusive invitation to Santa’s North Pole. Features an original story and score, dazzling sets and costumes, and wondrous moments that make even the most cynical believe.

    December 7: The Nutcracker

    This beautiful holiday classic is filled with magnificent scenery, stunning costumes and the amazing music by Tchaikovsky.

    December 8: A Christmas Carol

    Charles Dickens’ timeless tale is brought to life on the stage.

    Marblehead Christmas Walk

    December 5-8


    Marblehead’s historic charm and the festive spirit of the holidays create an enchanting experience throughout the entire town. For full details including a map and trolley routes, Click Here. Here’s the fun-filled schedule:

    Thursday, December 5


    Sensational shopping and good cheer, raffles and more! From 5 to 8 PM, throughout Town.


    5 to 7 PM; King Hooper Mansion, 8 Hooper Street


    5 to 6:30 PM, Jeremiah Lee Mansion, 161 Washington Street


    6 PM Festivities Begin, Lighting at 7PM. St. Michael’s Church, 26 Pleasant Street

    December 6


    4 to 6 PM, Shubie’s Marketplace, 16 Atlantic Avenue


    4 to 6 PM, Jeremiah Lee Mansion, 161 Washington Street


    6 PM, Entertainment & Festivities Begin; 7 PM Tree Lighting. At National Grand Bank (across from 91 Pleasant Street)


    7:15 PM Tree Lighting with historical re-enactors. Mud Puddle Toys, 1 Pleasant Street

    Saturday, December 7


    9 AM performance: “A Dancer’s Dream”. At 9:30 AM, Santa & Mrs. Claus step ashore! State Street Landing.



    10 AM to 5 PM, Marblehead Festival of Arts, Artisans Market; at King Hooper Mansion, 8 Hooper Street


    11:45 AM along State Street Landing, Washington Street, Atlantic Avenue, and Pleasant Street


    10 AM to 4 PM, Jeremiah Lee Mansion, 161 Washington Street


    10 AM to 5 PM, along Atlantic Avenue


    4:30 PM, at the Old Town House


    8 PM, Old North Church, 35 Washington Street

    Sunday, December 8


    Noon to 2 PM, Jeremiah Lee Mansion, 161 Washington Street


    10 AM to 4 PM, King Hooper Mansion, 8 Hooper Street


    Noon to 4 PM, along Atlantic Avenue


    7:30 PM, Old North Church, 35 Washington Street

    Christmas in Salem Holiday House Tour 2019

    December 6-8

    2019 is the 40th anniversary of Historic Salem, Inc.’s largest fundraiser. Homes are beautifully decorated for the holidays and open for three days of tours. Christmas in Salem encourages visitors to enjoy Salem’s distinctive restaurants and shops. Ride the trolley from downtown parking to the tour; enjoy local history and a festive ride. For tickets, Click Here.

    Christmas at Castle Hill, Ipswich

    December 6-8

    It’s worth the drive to Castle Hill for “An Old-Fashioned Christmas”. This 1920’s mansion is festively decorated by garden clubs, florists, and designers. Visit the Castle Hill gift shop and Harbor Sweets pop up cafe. Enjoy live holiday entertainment. Shop the Christmas Greens Courtyard for beautiful wreaths, kissing balls, and fresh cut greenery. It’s three days of holiday fun:


    Make Friday a date night with evening tour hours, a cash bar, light appetizers, and festive music.


    Tour on Saturday for holiday decorating ideas. Enjoy live music, fresh baked cookies and cider, and a family treasure hunt.


    Visit with Santa Claus from 12pm-2pm, take photos, and do the holiday treasure hunt. Enjoy live music, fresh baked cookies and cider. For full details and tickets, Click Here.

    2019 Holiday Classics Benefit Concert, Salem

    December 13

    In this holiday performance to benefit Project OUT, singer Nicole Lashomb takes us down memory lane with Holiday Favorites & Seasonal Classics. For details and tickets, Click Here

    Pop-Up Holiday Market at GALA in Lynn

    December 14-15

    Shop local at the Downtown Lynn Holiday Sale at GALA in the LynnArts building. This two day event features local art, greeting cards, jewelry, sculpture, pottery, Lynn merchandise and much more… and it’s Free!


    Experience the North Shore Lifestyle

    If you’d like to learn more about the North Shore lifestyle, we recommend Our Favorite Summer Events and Life On The Water In Marblehead. The professional Realtors here at Sagan Harborside Realty have the expertise to find you the perfect home. Just give us a call at 781-593-6111.


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    Explore The North Shore

    bench facing harbor with moored boats

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