When it comes to home décor, get ready to see a lot of upcycled items this fall! The home and living experts at Etsy have released their take on fall 2018 décor trends, and they say the hot items will be sustainable, eco-friendly décor, as well as a return of 70’s home décor. Etsy predicts trends by looking at historical data on the site, like search trends and changes in the home and living categories.

If you’re looking for a fall refresh, here’s a list of the biggest trends!

Upcycled and recycled

People are more interested in sustainable and eco-conscious products than ever before. Designers are taking this into account and giving unique items a second life by repurposing them into pieces that are one-of-a-kind. Example: this upcycled rug, repurposed as a wall hanging!

Bird décor

Birds were big about a decade ago, but designs are coming back in more elevated ways, incorporating trending materials like brass, gold and glass.

Iridescent décor

This rainbow and pastel throw-back to the 90’s hue is a subtle way to add shine to a space. You can spot this trend in anything from vintage glassware to handmade crafts!

Creating a personalized entryway

These days, consumers are more interested in making their entryway stand out. Things like personalized door mats, front door decals and unique house numbers are on the rise.

What’s old is new again

We’re moving toward the laidback, bohemian textures popular in the 70’s, like macramé, wicker and rattan, as opposed to the clean, midcentury modern styles that have been prominent, in home décor the last few years.

Stripes and brush strokes

Stripes and imperfect brush strokes are starting to trend, particularly in ceramics. Etsy predicts to see the look in textiles soon as well.

Need some inspiration? Check out our Pinterest board for more ideas!


Creating your own home office is immensely helpful when it comes to knocking out your to-do list — and if you don’t think you have room, think again! Use these tips to maximize your space.

  1. No spare room for an office? No problem. If you have an open corner, you can squeeze in a small corner desk and chair. Same goes for a long hallway. If you have a closet to spare, you can even remove the doors from the closet and place a desk in there.
  2. Work vertically to add more space. Install floating shelves or invest in a tall shelving unit to store supplies, stash paperwork and showcase books.
  3. To keep your small home office functioning, you have to stay hyper-organized. Buy baskets, boxes and other storage items to keep everything in its proper place.
  4. On that note, don’t accumulate paperwork. To prevent piles on piles, use the system of three — toss/recycle it, file it away or take action.
  5. Purchase a desk with multiple built-in storage options to maximize your storage capacity, like a file drawer or hutch.
  6. If you have the extra room to spare, buy a couple small side tables to place next to your desk.
  7. Use a cord controller to wrangle your various electrical cords.

Need help executing your home office? We can help. Contact yourReeceNichols agent today.


Take a drive down any streets in our region, and you’re guaranteed to see dozens of different types of homes with a variety of landscaping and decorative elements. How many of these common types have you seen?

Cape Cod

Typically built after World War II, Cape Cod-style homes were the first style to be used in moderately-priced subdivisions that popped up during the post-war baby boom. A symmetrical exterior with a steep roof and gable dormers define this style.


You can find Craftsman bungalows, with their wood siding, low-gabled roofs and large front dormers, all through Kansas City’s Waldo and Brookside neighborhoods.


The features of contemporary homes can vary wildly from one design to the next, but they typically incorporate large windows, natural light, an open floor plan and geometric shapes.


Not to be confused with contemporary, modern homes are inspired by the modernism art movement and embrace simplicity and open spaces.


Colonial home styles include the three most popular types: Dutch, Georgian and Federal. All use evenly-spaced shuttered windows and symmetry, while Dutch Colonials bear a resemblance to barns, Georgian Colonials feature strict symmetry and Federal Colonialsdisplay more decorative elements.


The steep-pitched gable roofs of Tudorhomes are ubiquitous in our region, and for good reason: they’re perfect for snow and rain. They typically feature exposed wood frameworks and a brown and beige color palette. 


Similar to modern homes, ranch homes also emphasize open floor plans and functionality, but the exterior designs vary. The popular split-level floor plan is categorized as a ranch home.

Want to see examples of these popular architectural styles? Check out our Pinterest board!


From simple renovations to complete overhauls, it’s easy to spend way more on home improvement projects than you had budgeted. Use this advice to keep your project on track and budget-friendly!

Know what you can and cannot do.

Don’t skimp on hiring the professionals because you think you can figure it out on your own — you could create a larger (and more expensive) mess than you started with. Similarly, a good way to keep prices down from the outset is to do some of the heavy lifting yourself, if you’re confident in your abilities.

Be realistic with your budget.

Don’t lowball your budget with the intention of cutting corners — but don’t over-estimate, either. Leave a small buffer for unexpected expenses.

Know exactly what you want and communicate that to your contractor from the get-go.

Ensuring you’re both on the same page from the start will save you time and money.

Focus on the project at hand.

While you’re completing one renovation, it’s easy to get carried away with ideas for more. Take it one project at a time!

When hiring contractors, don’t be afraid to shop around.

You’re the one who has to live with the renovation — and the bill.

Ready to take the next step with the renovation you’ve been dreaming about for years? We can help.Contact us today!


Fall is the perfect time to tackle home projects, but it’s also one of the busiest times of year for service providers. You’ll want to book these services soon!

Window Replacement

Efficient windows can save a lot on energy bills throughout the year. If you’ve noticed a chill near specific windows or if you’ve noticed condensation or frost, it’s probably time to have your window replaced. A window pro will talk to you about all the options you have when it comes to windows. They’ll also be able to make sure you have the most efficient solutions for decreasing heating bills and increasing comfort.

Exterior Home Painting

Fall is the perfect time to change the paint color of the outside of your home. The lighting is ideal, and the temperature is helpful for professional painters. A fresh coat of paint not only can give your home a whole new look, but it will protect your home during the winter months. Ideally, you want to schedule painters sooner rather than later – many paints aren’t recommended for application when the temperature drops below 50 degrees.

Clean or Replace Floors and Carpets

With the hot, humid days of summer behind us and the colder temps around the corner, the ideal time to start thinking about replacing your floors and carpets is now. It’s the best time of year to open windows for proper ventilation, which is recommended during floor and carpet work. If you aren’t sure if you are ready to replace flooring or carpeting, consider having your flooring thoroughly cleaned. A flooring expert can go over all your options if you decide it’s time for a full upgrade.


You don’t have to shell out the big bucks at a luxury spa to Zen out. Use these tips to create your own personal spa — right at home!


Ditch your threadbare linens and invest in fluffy towels and bathrobes to really get that luxury spa feel.


Invoke your scent sense with candles, diffusers and incense. Lavender and chamomile are great options to look for.


Don’t forget your ears! Create a calming playlist with songs or nature sounds. A white noise machine will also do the trick.


That spa shower feel doesn’t have to be expensive. Purchase a new shower head, like with a rain shower faucet or with adjustable settings, to make showers more peaceful.


You can’t forget the spa treatments! Make your own scrubs and exfoliants — a quick Google search will yield thousands of simple at-home recipes.


Quench your thirst with infused water, which tastes luxurious but is easy and inexpensive to whip up.


Check out ourPinterest board for bathroom decorating tips to help you design your at-home spa.


Before the temperature starts dropping, you’ll want to make sure you do these four things to get your house ready for fall!

Have Your Gutters Checked and Cleaned

Over the summer your gutters collect a lot of debris. Schedule your gutters to be cleaned now, so you don’t have to worry about things like ice dams and dangerous icicles forming over the winter.

Have Your Windows Professionally Cleaned

Having your windows cleaned by a pro is a good way to make sure there are no potential issues when the temperature starts to drop. Plus, your windows will be clear to let in all of that fall sunshine!

Pressure Wash & Seal Your Deck

Summer grime can build up on your deck. To keep your deck protected through the cold seasons, you’ll want to have it pressure washed and then sealed. While you’re at it, do a visual inspection of all your deck boards and joints. If you see any potential problems, contact a handyman to fix and secure any problem areas.

Replace Weather Stripping on Exterior Doors

The weather stripping around your doors typically comes apart throughout the year, leaving gaps that can make your heating bills higher in the fall and winter. Consider replacing the weather stripping to keep costs under control.


Let’s face it: spending time outdoors year-round is nearly impossible in the Midwest, with our hot, humid summers and brutally-cold winters. However, it’s still possible to construct a backyard paradise that will endure throughout all four seasons!


Even with these tips, you’ll probably still need to bundle up a bit, but your backyard can still be your haven in the dead of winter.

    • Install a fire pit and/or restaurant-style heaters. Arrange your chairs or sofas around these heat sources so you’ll never be too far from warmth, whether you’re huddling around the heater or roasting marshmallows.
    • Winter means more dark hours than any other time of year, so include well-placed lighting throughout your backyard to help you navigate in the pitch dark.
    • The wind can be the most brutal staple of a Midwest winter, so construct a pavilion or pergola to shield you from killer breezes.
    • For protection from snow and hail, cover your grills, appliances and patio furniture, and store any fragile potted plants inside during the winter months.


Summer is the best time for your backyard, with barbecues, pool parties and cookouts galore! But summer heat can be just as taxing as winter cold.

    • The best way to cool off on a 100-degree summer day? If you have the space, beat the heat and humidity with a pool!
    • That same pavilion or pergola that protects you from winter wind will also shield you from blinding summer sun. Install a fan to keep things cool.
    • Carve out spaces for relaxation with tables, comfy chairs, lounge areas or a hammock.
    • A full outdoor kitchen helps you extend your outdoor time.
    • Don’t forget to keep sunscreen and buy spray on hand to protect against the unrelenting sun and mosquitos. You can purchase bug-repellent candles or tiki torches to keep pests even further at bay.


These transitional seasons offer beautiful and not-so-beautiful weather. Luckily, by implementing these ways to warm up during the winter and cool off during the summer, you’ll be able to enjoy all sorts of weather. Unseasonably cold spring day? Fire up the heaters and curl up around the fire pit. Unseasonably warm fall day? Turn on the fan and jump in the pool. And for those rare, perfect-weather days? Just relax outside — nothing extra required.


Keeping people safe is Chris Halvorson’s passion. He studied criminal justice and then, on a whim, went to locksmithing school. After working with a locksmith, he eventually decided to branch out on his own to do more than locksmithing. Now he’s become a top home security expert in Kansas City!


There are a lot of misconceptions about home security. Chris helps sort through what is a myth, what you could be missing, and ultimately, what will keep your home and family safe.


There are 3 break-ins every minute–that’s 4800 per day. Chris says that “Optimism bias is what puts most people in danger–the thought that it won’t happen to them and that you are safer than you are. People think you don’t have to do it right now and it gets pushed to the back burner. It should be something scheduled when you move into your new home.”


Chris recommends taking a few simple steps in making your home safe:


1. Get your home re-keyed, once a year. With advancements in things like 3D printing, you want to rekey your home more often than in the past. If you are moving into a new home, it’s imperative that you get your home re-keyed immediately. On average, there are 10 copies of your house key in circulation while your home is on the market.


Chris also says that a true locksmith should be able to change the pins in the core of the key – you shouldn’t have to replace the hardware unless there has been damage to it. “Scammers who aren’t in the trade will change out all of the hardware, but the majority of the time, you don’t need to replace the entire lock” warns Chris.


2. Make sure the exterior light bulbs are all working. Have a few motion sensor lights on the outside of your home.


3. Put a chain lock on your basement door – this adds an extra layer of security.


4. Common sense basics – don’t post pics of your new home with your address on social media. Don’t broadcast when you’ll be away from home and be careful of doing things like video tours of your home that show the layout of your home and where your valuables are.


5. Stay away from DIY security. “People like that they are getting something they perceive as being high dollar for a lower amount, and as the old adage says ‘you get what you pay for.’” Out-of-the-box security sets are often easy for hackers to override and get into your home.


Home security is an essential part of owning a home. Get started and schedule your home to be re-keyed today!


Water damage can be absolutely devastating, especially if the damage isn’t detected right away. It’s important to act quickly if your dishwasher hose leaks or the sump pump fails during a thunderstorm, but if you’re sleeping or out of town, you may not know about the leak for hours, or even days. When undetected, a simple leak can quickly escalate into moldy walls, warped floorboards, ruined carpet and damaged belongings. On top of that, repairs can be expensive, stressful and time-consuming.

To protect your home though, A.B. May offers two kinds of water protection systems: Instant Smartphone Alerts and Automatic Shut Off Protection. Both systems work with Honeywell’s water sensor, called Lyric WiFi Water Leak and Freeze Detector. The sensor sends an alert to your phone at the first sign of a water leak, and it can also send notifications if the temperature and humidity levels change in your home.

A.B. May also offers automatic shut off protection with the Wet Switch Flood Detector by Diversitech. As soon as it detects a leak, the Wet Switch automatically powers off your furnace, air conditioner and humidifier. This is a great option if your system has trouble with clogged condensate lines, or if you travel frequently.

Ready to get started? Contact our partners atA.B. May today.