nico crecco

Top Design Trends You Will See in 2019

While 2019 is in full swing, let’s talk about the hot trends that we will be seeing lots of this year. It’s easy to tell that 2019 is going to be a beautiful year with lots of new ideas based on what we saw in 2018. I love so many of the design ideas that are trending this year, but I decided to narrow down my favorites to five core concepts that can really transform/define a space. Let’s break down the trends.

1. Exposed Shower Plumbing

Making bathrooms a fun and inviting place to get ready has been a trend for a while now (which I’m so thankful for). However, having some exposed plumbing really gives the shower some texture and dimension. Whether it’s trying to tone down a modern space, or give life to a more traditional design, this is a simple way to bring some character into your bathroom.

Photo Source Stephen Busken

2. Bold Marble

Marble is a great way to add a statement to a room. If done correctly, a piece of veiny marble can be a a perfect addition to a simple/modern space. Whether it be a kitchen backsplash, a countertop, or even your bathroom vanity, quirky/unique marble will bring timeless style to a space (and will have your guests talking about it just as long!)

Photo Source Cup of Joe
Photo Source habitually chic

3. Statement Appliances

Although a kitchen with white cabinets, white countertops, white subway tile and stainless steel appliances can be clean & safe, they can also be boring. Color is back and boy am I excited about it! Using a pop of color for an appliance is the perfect touch to richen up and add some personality to the space. We recently decided to install a 36 inch ILVE range in a midnight blue with antique brass hardware in our Northgate project (pictured below) and boy are we glad we did. We received wonderful feedback on this design choice. Are you ready for a statement appliance in your kitchen?!

Photo Source Elizabeth Roberts

4. Bathroom Pendant Lighting

Sometimes vanity lighting doesn’t spice up a bathroom vanity area enough. Often in the bathroom, the focus tends to be on the tile and the countertops (which are very important). However, bathroom lighting can a fun focus area, even though it usually takes the back seat to other design components. Hanging some pendant lights in your powder room is a great way to add some flare to a small space. We definitely saw some of this in 2018 and expect to see even more of it in 2019.

5. Black is Back

Black kitchens, black tile, even black exteriors are very popular right now! Dark colors always have a bad reputation for “making a space feel too dark” or “making a room feel small”. I’m here to change your mind on this matter. I recently finished a bathroom in our Northgate project that was a small bathroom and trust me, the black tile actually made the space feel warm and inviting (and a lot less sterile)!

Photo Source Decus


Let’s Gossip About Wall Mounted Faucets and Backsplashes

Since installing the vanity design in the downstairs bathroom raised eyebrows to some of our contractors and followers, I thought it would be a great topic for one of my first posts. It was a heated debate I wasn’t willing to lose and in the end everyone was thankful for it.

When it comes to design, it’s extremely important to keep functionality in mind at all times. Some prefer more functionality than others, but I think we can agree that functionality doesn’t always look “beautiful “. When I was designing the downstairs bathroom, I had a lot of ideas going through my head. First, I wanted the bathroom to kind of set the tone and be the statement for the first floor since it was the only bath on the main floor (the last thing you want when hosting a dinner party is for your guest to use a bland bathroom). Next, I wanted to make sure the bathroom was as functional, yet as minimalist as possible due to the limited space we were working with.

The house was built in 1939, and back then “grand” bathrooms just weren’t a thing. I looked into expanding the bathroom in any direction possible. We had bedrooms on either side of the walls and plumbing running through the floor and ceiling just outside the bathroom door. With a heavy heart, we had to accept that the bathroom just wasn’t getting any bigger. We were stuck with the footprint we had. To paint a better picture, when I say small, I really mean an average-size second bathroom with a shower/tub, but more in a square shape rather than your typical rectangular shape full bath off the hallway.

In the beginning design phases of the space, the first item for everyone to agree on was the vanity. It was pretty obvious that the space would benefit from a floating vanity. However, when it came to having a wall mounted faucet and no counter backsplash or tile backsplash, everyone thought I was nuts. This took a lot of convincing on my end. For those who don’t know, the point of any type of backsplash around the sink area is to protect the drywall from moisture/water. Bathrooms have to have moisture resistant drywall, but that usually doesn’t satisfy most people in itself. Most people immediately start envisioning what type of backsplash to add. However, I wasn’t giving into the contractors that easily. So I turned to some serious research.

Of course, some of the feedback wasn’t in my favor. Wall mounted faucets with a under mounted sink typically cause the most splash. I told myself I was going to find a way around this and wasn’t going to be sold on the idea of having a backsplash installed, especially after seeing some content like the vanity below (sexy, right?!).

Some of you are probably asking why we didn’t install tile to avoid the chunky counter top backsplash. Remember, with a small bathroom, I wanted the space to be minimalistic yet sophisticated. Tile would add another texture/dimension to the space (which I normally am all for), however, this space just really spoke to me as a “less is more” type of vibe.

After FINALLY selling the team on the idea, I had to make sure that this idea was bulletproof. Just a small design idea ended up having so many people involved to make sure our clients were going to be getting the best product we could deliver. Whether it was product selection or the height of the vanity and faucet, we were going to make this perfect. Turns out we did just that! After lots of doubt (and a few setbacks), we were able to pull together a product that checked both of my boxes from day one: sophisticated & minimalistic. I could not have a been any happier with how the vanity area turned out.

Is this is a risk you would be willing to take in your own home- weighing that option of design vs. functionality? How much functionality would you be willing to compromise on in order to have the design be at the forefront? I’d love to hear from you regarding what design idea you like better. I really can’t say I love one idea over the other, but I can say that each space can benefit in it’s own way from one of the design decisions. Deciding on the wall mounted faucet and having a small space coupled with the black tile, I personally think the right decision was to go minimalist! Before you comment below, check out some of these beautiful bathrooms with similar design ideas!


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Unlocking a new door…

For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Nico. I currently reside in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina along side my boyfriend John and our Jack Russel-Chihuahua mix, Parker. Disclaimer about the pet, the vet warned me Parker would never calm down until he’s at least 10 years of age. Being the mature and responsible 22 year old college graduate ready to take on the world, I simply ignored the doctors remarks. To put it kindly, I do love my dog, but I do not love my 22 year old self.

Now that I got that off my chest, lets talk about my passion: design.

While growing up, my family and extended family somehow, some way had their hands in real estate. Most of the holdings were in upstate New York in a small city called Rochester (Fairport to be specific), along with a few in and around central Florida. The family business owned all types of real estate. Commercial, industrial, residential, flex (warehouse and office combined) and even local retail plazas with anchor tenants like Tops (a local grocery store), McDonalds, coffee shop, and the list goes on. Most of the real estate the family owned and managed was built by the family business as well. Construction was our bread and butter.

Fast-forward to the early 2000s. A few years before the crash of 2009, parts of the country that were already starting to experience any kind of growth, started to slow down. At this time, the family business decided to shift gears. At this time the local market started to show a high vacancy rate and therefore the creation of new construction just didn’t sound like a good business move. As a business, we shifted our focus over to our property management portfolio. Over the past handful of years, my sisters (Jenna & Stephanie) and I have assisted in managing a lot of our commercial properties in both New York and Florida. About four years ago or so, we decided that we all wanted to manage property in the same location. Operating the family business in two different states was just putting too much stress on everyone involved. Both Jenna and I had gone south for college and were dying to be in a climate warmer than upstate New York. After lots of research and collaboration, the business decided to move our holdings into Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Now that was a scary transition; A whole new market, a whole new portfolio, and all new tenants. As soon as we touched down in North Carolina, we had a lot of work to do and we got right to it. Now remember, this was the first time we were all working together in the same state. As a family business, I’m sure you can imagine we had some adjusting to do! About a year or so into settling in, we all (Dad, Jenna, Stephanie and I) agreed that we felt like we weren’t satisfied enough.

You see, in property management we just never got an overwhelming feeling of “joy” or “satisfaction”. We wanted our work to be rewarding. That being said, everyone is motivated by different factors. For us, we were always motivated by wanting to be the best management team we could possibly be in order to make our tenants feel like more than just “customers”. We love(d) all previous, present and future tenants (I just want to make that VERY clear). However, the industry is just more of a traditional business mentality and in return, the communication in the industry reflects that. Long story short, we didn’t feel like we were satisfying ourselves on a daily basis and we decided to change that.

A lot of brainstorming led to the creation of our sister company. As fate would have it, we decided to go back to our roots: construction. Whether it be my sister who always had a passion for building/construction, or me who always enjoyed anything revolving around interior design, we knew right away we were really going to enjoy this journey. It all happened in the blink of an eye. What’s that saying, “The only person that can stop you from your dream is yourself”? Well, within a week, we came up with a unique company name (future blog topic), our attorney was setting up the corporation and we were meeting with brokers to start looking at property. Now if you haven’t been to Raleigh or Durham and are into southern charm, I suggest you hop on a plane and come check it out for yourself. That being said, taking advantage of all of the charm was our main objective. We wanted to renovate classic, charming homes but add a modern twist. You know the ones; beautiful pillars, big porches you can sip your sweet tea on, and those fireplaces that still have original moldings and mantels. Well guess what? We found one that let me show off my love for design and brought out a creative side some may not have known existed otherwise.

Whether it be personal design projects or discussing the latest trends, follow me here for updates on my design journey.