March Madness Comes Home

March Madness is here and not a moment too soon for those wanting to stretch their spring legs. If you’re looking for some great ideas on how to watch the tournament, check out our Super Bowl post, but if you have the itch to shoot some hoops, maybe it’s time to put in a court of your own.

Outdoor courts and hoops have been staples of suburban America for decades: providing enough open space to shoot threes and play small-sided games. While a hoop hanging over the garage will suffice for many, there’s so much room for innovation, like building a patio court with a beautiful, wooded backdrop.

Exterior

Although we have had a pleasantly mild winter this year, that’s not always the case in New England.  As a general matter, an outdoor hoop around here would only be used for a part of the year. While for many an indoor hoop isn’t an obvious possibility,  it can be as attainable as a hoop in the garage.

Interior

The other quick fix is, of course, to incorporate a hoop into an existing bedroom without needing too many alterations.

Interior

Interior

If you’re willing to dedicate a bit more space, multipurpose rooms can be a great place to hang a hoop while not losing too much space when you aren’t playing. You’ll still be able to shoot free throws, without sacrificing the utility of the room for other activities.

Interior

Interior

Interior

Basketball fanatics will really want to make a fast break for hardwood flooring, though, as it provides the most authentic experience. You’ll be playing half-court and sinking threes from the comfort of your own house—not having to bear frigid temperatures outside during basketball season will be nice too.

Interior

Interior

Interior

Whichever option suits your fancy, incorporating basketball into your home is not only a healthy decision, but an accessible one. What could be better than having guests over for the game only to take a break and shoot hoops at halftime?

We can help make your dream come true: find a #professionalremodeler by visiting our website at #NARICT

Top 10 Trends for Residential Landscape Design

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Sustainable design is the big trend for residential landscapes, according to the 2016 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey

The popularity of outdoor living spaces among consumers continues to grow; that we know. And with water conservation and the future of water resources on the minds of many in the nation, there’s also growing awareness of and commitment to reducing water use among consumers in their homes and gardens. A recent survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) to discover the leading trends in residential outdoor design bears this out, finding that rainwater/graywater harvesting is a top trend among homeowners who increasingly seek residential landscapes that are both beautiful and minimize water use and stormwater runoff.

The survey, conducted from Feb. 4 through Feb. 18, 2016, gathered responses from 803 participants who were asked to rate the expected popularity in 2016 of various residential outdoor design elements. The results indicate that consumers seek outdoor living spaces that are environmentally sustainable, reduce water use/costs, and are easy to maintain. The top five project types that landscape architects anticipate will be most in demand by consumers in 2016 are:

1. Rainwater/graywater harvesting – 88 percent
2. Native plants – 86 percent
3. Native/adapted drought-tolerant plants – 85 percent
4. Low-maintenance landscapes – 85 percent
5. Permeable paving – 77 percent

Other project types in the top 10 list incude: fire pits/fireplaces, food/vegetable gardens, rain gardens, drip/water-efficient irrigation, and reduced lawn areas.

With sustainabiity leading the trends, the top 10 sustainable elements, ranked in order of popularity for 2016, are: rainwater/graywater harvesting (88 percent), native/adapted drought tolerant plants (85 percent), permeable paving (77 percent), drip/water-efficient irrigation (72 percent), reduced lawn area (72 percent), recycled materials (61 percent), solar-powered lights (56 percent), compost bins (45 percent)

Top five results for other survey categories:

Outdoor design elements: fire pits/fireplaces (75 percent), lighting (67 percent), wireless/Internet connectivity (66 percent), seating/dining areas (64 percent), outdoor furniture (63 percent).

Outdoor structures: pergolas (51 percent), decks (47 percent), arbors (44 percent), fencing (44 percent), porches (40 percent), ADA accessible structures—ramps, bars, shelving, etc. (38 percent).

Outdoor recreation amenities: sports courts—tennis, bocce, etc. (41 percent), spa features—hot tubs, Jacuzzis, whirlpools, indoor/outdoor saunas (40 percent), and swimming pools (36 percent).

Landscape and garden elements: native plants (86 percent), low-maintenance landscapes (85 percent), food/vegetable gardens—including orchards, vineyards, etc. (75 percent), rain gardens (73 percent), water-saving xeriscape or dry gardens (68 percent).

Find more landscape ideas at the ASLA website.

Then visit NariCt.org to find a experienced local #professional who can help make your #dreamscometrue.