New Models Now Open

Amira welcomed a lot of new neighbors to Amira. Bringing many of them in were Realtors! In fact, 191 families found their dream home in our Tomball community with their help.

Many Realtors sold multiple homes in Amira during 2022, but three rose to the top:

  • Livia Hernandez with Signature Homes Realty
  • Heba Zoul Ghani with District Properties
  • Shawn David Jones with Houston Home Pros

What made Amira a top choice for their clients? Exciting new home designs by Perry Homes and Beazer Homes for a start. Add in a great Tomball location that makes it convenient to commute to employers along the Energy Corridor and downtown Houston as well as excellent shopping and dining opportunities nearby. Then throw in some world-class amenities. It’s like having a resort in your backyard.

Homebuyers looked forward to hanging out at The Resort at Amira, lazing by the spectacular resort-style pool complex and romping with their canines at Derby Dog Park. Living an active lifestyle is easy here with a fitness studio, yoga classes and trails connecting them to nature and each other. Kids love the playgrounds and activities designed for them by a full-time lifestyle director.

We want to thank all the Realtors who visited and sold in Amira last year. We’re looking to see you all again in 2023.

A new home is a fresh start, an opportunity to showcase your interior design bona fides. That means keeping an eye on the latest trends and incorporating the ones you love. What’s new for 2023? We’ll break it down for you. If you are looking for more inspiration, visit the Beazer Homes and Perry Homes models in Amira.

More Enclosed Kitchens

The push-and-pull between open kitchens that allow chefs to interact with guests and closed kitchens that hide sinks full of dirty dishes has been constant over the past few years. 2023 may be the year they meet each other halfway with partially enclosed kitchens. Look for sliding barn doors and glass dividers that homeowners can open while entertaining and close after dinner. Alternatively, kitchens may be set back from dining or family rooms with archways or pillars delineating the space and high counters to hide dirty dishes.

Minimalism Gets the Boot

Shabby chic is giving way to “granny chic” as homeowners ditch minimalism for the comforts of past eras. Floral wallpaper, chintz curtains, wild stripes and cluttered end tables are replacing muted colors and sleek surfaces. Many homeowners will be adding a touch of sustainability to their décor by repurposing thrift store and attic finds.

Stripes and Plaids

Plaids have never really gone away, and stripes may be here to stay. Homeowners are leaning into making design statements with bold patterns on walls and furniture. Stripes add dimension to rooms and make them seem larger. Playful plaids add color and whimsy when used as accent pieces.

Flexible Floor Art

You’ve heard of statement walls? Say hello to statement rugs. Large or small, these rugs allow homeowners to personalize their homes without making a commitment to any one design style. Use bold colors and patterns to accent paint, wallpaper and furniture. Thinking about changing up your décor? Buy a different rug.

Dual Kitchen Islands

Today’s islands have become multi-purpose tools for entertaining, office space and homework centers. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for food preparation. Enter the second island. Tucked behind the main island, this space allows the chef to slice and dice without moving Junior’s science project.

The Beauty of Natural Stone

Designers are ditching tile backsplashes in favor of boldly colored stone slabs. Not only do you not have to replace the grout, but the same stone can also be used on countertops to create a waterfall effect. Marble is a classic choice, but quartzite is easier to clean while still providing a luxurious backdrop.

A Little Bit of Luxury

Gold accents are back, replacing nickel and stainless-steel cabinet hardware and fixtures. Opulence is also entering the laundry room with granite countertops, custom tile floors and backsplashes. Sterile white cabinets are getting splashes of color turning laundry rooms into showrooms.

Dark Wood

Far from making rooms feel closed in, dark wood adds a touch of luxury to any room. Contrast it with light-colored paint and furniture for a bold, classic look.

Hobby Rooms

Rooms that were once dedicated to children’s toys and office space are poised to become dedicated to adult hobbies as the population ages. Look for built-in storage cabinets, tables or desks and lots of shelving to display finished pieces.

What’s new in appliances for 2023? We’re glad you asked. The new year promises to offer even more convenience, more technology, and more options than ever before. Look at what’s trending:

Smart Technology

Your kitchen and utility room are about to get smarter. You will be able to monitor and control your appliances via an app on your phone or tablet. Some can be voice-activated. Range hoods will automatically turn on as steam, smoke, and cooking fumes increase. Dishwashers will automatically dispense the right amount of detergent from an integrated reserve. Refrigerators will have cameras inside so you can see if you need to buy milk. Your washer and dryer will notify you when they are finished.

Cooking with Steam

What is the must-have appliance for 2023? Experts say steam ovens. Steam ovens use a built-in tank to heat water to a boil. The resulting steam is pushed into the oven and circulates to cook your food. It’s a healthy way to cook without butter or oils. Steam also keeps your oven squeaky clean and sanitized.

Induction Ranges

Induction ranges are better for the environment than gas. They are electric but heat your pots and pans by creating an electro-magnetic current. This cooks food more evenly. These ranges are also easier to clean. Many of the newer ones can be controlled by your smart phone or tablet.

Refrigerators Are Having Their Day

Think there’s nothing new in refrigerators? Think again. The biggest thing in refrigerators is the “family hub.” These screens are like your tablet. Family members can leave messages for each other, you can create a grocery list, and even stream movies and Spotify playlists. Some refrigerators can heat and dispense water for the perfect cup of tea. Refrigerators can even alert your smart phone if there is a problem that needs your attention.

Going Touchless

Keep your kitchen cleaner and healthier with touchless appliances. You can control your range the same way you do your smart phone or tablet with just a touch and a swipe. If you have a gas range, you will be able to control the intensity of the flame. Many of your appliances such as dishwashers will open when you touch or knock on them. Faucets in kitchens and bathrooms will operate with just the wave of a hand.

What About the Washer and Dryer?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being incorporated in many washers and dryers. Some washers can analyze your wash load then add the recommended amount of detergent and automatically adjust your wash settings. Others can talk to your dryer. When your wash cycle is done, the washer tells your dryer to pre-heat and even delivers information about your wash load.

Advanced Wine Cellars

Wine cellars are not new to kitchens, but 2023 cellars offer more than ever before. Some will be larger — taking up an entire wall or your kitchen island. Wine cellars use smart technology to automatically control the temperature. Some will even be divided by the needs of your vintages. One section can be set for wines you want to age and another for wines you want to serve in the future.

Built-in Vacuum Sealer

Vacuum sealers are popular for preserving food. While you can buy a small handheld device, built-in models are set to take 2023 by storm. You can have these built into your cabinetry or appliance space. This negates the need to find cupboard space and reminds you that it is easy to keep your food fresh for longer periods of time.

The holidays have arrived, and with them come holiday guests. Some will join you for dinner. Others may be spending most of the season. How do you prepare for holiday houseguests? Here are some tips:

Clean Out the Guest Room

Your guests won’t want to share a room with your weight machine, old children’s toys, or summer wardrobe. They need space to hang their clothes, places to put their luggage, and to be able to move around. Clear out closets, dressers, and shelves. If the room has a full bath, go through the medicine chest and cabinets, and remove personal items.

Add Some Holiday Cheer

Welcome your guests with tasteful holiday decorations. Place fresh, festive flowers on the nightstand. Holiday pillows on the bed are a charming touch. If you are hosting children, string lights around the windows.

Extra Pillows and Blankets

Ensure a good night’s sleep by placing a basket full of warm blankets in the room. That way, if they get cold, they can add the amount they need. Add a variety of pillows if you can. That way, guests can choose their comfort level.

Stock the Bathroom

Treat guests to a boutique hotel experience—stock the bathroom with travel-sized bottles of upscale soaps, shower gels, shampoos, and more. Build a welcome basket full of things they might have forgotten, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, combs, or whatever else you think they will need. Fresh holiday-themed towels add a festive touch. Be sure supplies such as toilet paper are within easy reach.

Provide Information

Hotels always provide guests with essential information, such as a Wi-Fi password. Consider giving them a house key so they can come and go as they please. Create a cute card with everything they need to know, including your alarm code, house rules, information about your pets, and anything else they may need to know. A nice touch is leaving a list of local holiday activities they can choose from on the bedside table.

Prepare the Rest of Your Home

You are probably already planning a cleaning frenzy before guests arrive, but you should consider your guests’ particular needs. Find out if guests have allergies to food, fabric, and scents. Put childproof locks on cabinets if young children will be joining you. Furry house guests will need a place for dishes and beds. Provide directions to the dog park and pet-friendly trails.

Set Up a Coffee Station

Set up a coffee station in the guest room if there is room. Provide a French press or an inexpensive coffee maker. Add an electric kettle for guests who prefer tea or hot cocoa. Make sure you put out sugar, creamer, mugs, filters, and stirrers. If you don’t have room, set up a station in the kitchen or dining area. That way, early risers can help themselves.

Plan Your Meals

Guests must be fed. Find out their favorite snacks and be sure to have some on hand. Plan simple meals such as casseroles, soups, and stews for the days leading up to the big feast. Consider setting up a serve-yourself breakfast bar with pastries, fruit, yogurt, and cereal. Lunches can be handled the same way. If you can afford it, plan to eat out occasionally. Keep food allergies and preferences in mind.

Plan Some Activities

Make plans in advance to show your guests around. Keep the schedule flexible, so no one feels obligated to go. If you live in Amira, show off our outstanding amenities. Check the local paper for theatrical performances, movies, neighborhoods with the best holiday lights, and anything else you think they might enjoy. If you think they might want a night out without you, give them a gift card for dinner and a show.

Take a Breather

No matter how much you love your house guests, having other people in your home for an extended period can be difficult. Don’t be afraid of asking for some “me” time. Have a glass of wine, bury yourself in your favorite book or go holiday shopping by yourself. You need to enjoy the holidays, too.

When it comes to holiday shopping, Amira residents are spoiled for choice. They can shop for one-of-a-kind gifts at boutiques in Old Town Tomball or head to the Houston Premium Outlets to gift fashion-conscious friends with designer goodies. Choosing the perfect gift once they get there? That can be a little more difficult. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself as you browse the shops.

Do They Have a Hobby?

Giving a gift related to a person’s hobby is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they are sure to appreciate it. On the other hand, they might get 20 of the same thing. Get them talking about their hobby (pretty easy). If they mention something they wish they had, write it down. Gift cards to hobby stores or a class where they can learn more about their hobby are sure to be a hit.

Could They Use a Cash Infusion?

Everyday expenses are, well, expensive. Groceries, gas, home goods. Young people, in particular, appreciate gift cards to grocery stores, Amazon, Target and Exxon. You can also give cash, of course, but that can feel impersonal.

Could They Use a Hand?

From painting the house to cleaning out the garage, everyone can use a hand. Purchase the services of a house cleaner or closet organizer for the day. Offer to pay to have the lawn mowed or a faucet fixed. You can also offer your services to help with whatever task they have been putting off.

What Would They Buy for Themselves?

Take your prospective gift recipient shopping. As they browse for others, they will see things they like. They may even mention buying it once the holidays are over. Beat them to it.

Are They Perpetual Students?

Everyone has something they would like to know more about. Find books, videos or classes on their favorite topic. The Great Courses and  Masterclass offers a variety of classes on all sorts of topics. A friend that enjoys cooking might appreciate a meal subscription service such as  Blue Apron.

Would They Prefer an Experience?

Experiences can be tailored to the recipient and are consumable so won’t end up on the white elephant gift table next year. Give tickets to plays and musicals. Offer to attend a lecture with them. If they love the outdoors, sign them up for an evening hike at the nature center or camping out at the zoo. Stressed parents would probably love a spa day.

Do They Have a Favorite Charity?

We all have that friend who truly doesn’t want anything. Rather than give them more household clutter, donate to their favorite charity. Most charities will send the recipient a gift card letting them know what you did. Alternatively, purchase something from which a portion of the proceeds benefits their favorite cause.

Do They Want to Spend Time with You?

Sometimes the only thing a person wants is to spend time with you. If that’s the case, create a homemade gift card promising to do an activity together. It could be something you both enjoy or something you’ve always talked about doing together. You could also treat them to lunch or meet up for coffee.

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