Mini Blog- Paint Selection

The paint color is usually the last decision that is made during the design process, which is because it is one of the easiest things to change in the grand scheme of things. However, the fact that it can be changed easily does not make it any less important. The overall color of the space is what will help to anchor the design. This is probably why people tend to overthink the paint color. It is commonly the most difficult decision that homeowners make during any renovation or home improvement project. There is no need to stress! Here are some simple tips, tricks, and steps to picking the right paint color on the first try!

Picking out a paint color should be fairly easy, but that also does not mean that a homeowner should spend as little time and effort as possible. The options for paint colors are seemingly endless, but a choice can be made with some thought and no stress! The first step is to pick out all of the other materials and finishes that will be used in the space because this will help to define the overall color scheme. Next, go to a local paint store and pick up out some colors to bring home. It is important to bring the other materials along to give some guidance because it is nearly impossible to chose a paint color from memory. Place the swatches in the room that has yet to be painted to narrow down the choices and pick a few favorites. Once the selections are narrowed down, go back to the store and get a small sample of each color and some primer.

Before directly painting the wall with the sample, apply some primer. This will help because it will show the true color of the sample without any interference from the existing hue. When the primer is ready, paint some fairly large portions of the wall in the sample colors. This is a very important part of the process because colors will look differently online, on a swatch, and even when it is on the wall! After this step has been completed, be sure to live with the colors for a few days and look at them in the different lighting at different times of the day to be sure that the color will always look perfect!

Once the selection has been made put all of the samples together to see what the final product will look like and to ensure that they all coordinate and compliment each other nicely. These steps will help to make certain that the perfect paint color is found! Paint is a very important part of the overall design. It can really help to transform the space and create an impact, but it is not something that should be repeatedly second-guessed or stressed over. After all, it can just as easily be painted over.

July Home Inspiration- Simple Ways to Update the Home

Most homes today are in serious need of cosmetic updates. Whether you’ve had the home for a while and have put it off or you’ve just purchased your very own fixer upper, the list of home improvement projects always seems endless. There is so much work to be done and very little time, or money, to do it. A full scale renovation may not be possible at any given time. Just because a renovation isn’t plausible does not mean that the space has to remain the same. There are still some small things that can be done in the meantime to brighten up and bring the space in question up to date.

These quick fixes will not completely solve the problem, but they will make it easier to live in as long as need be. There are a handful of DIY projects that can be done to update any room in the house! The biggest lifesaver in DIY home improvement is paint! There are plenty of simple, easy projects that most home owners should be able to accomplish in order to freshen up their space.

Photo Credit: https://lingoistica.com/47-small-kitchen-remodel-and-amazing-storage-hacks-on-a-budget-you-can-try-in-home.html/47-small-kitchen-remodel-and-amazing-storage-hacks-on-a-budget-you-can-try-in-home-15#mainPhoto Credit:

Add Paint

Paint allows new life to be brought to old things; especially in a world where the objectives reduce, reuse, and recycle are more important than ever. The best part about paint is that it is so simple and easy. This small change can also make a very large difference and there are so many different places that it can be used!

One of the most common places that will need updating is the walls! The color of a room is such an easy way to change the tone of a space. There are certain steps to take to avoid picking the wrong color. Always bring samples of the actual paint to try before committing. It is so hard to pick a color from a swatch confidently so be sure to live with it on the wall for a few days. Also be very careful that the current color of your walls doesn’t distort the new options!

Other things that can be updated using the power of paint are cabinetry in the kitchen or bathroom, moldings, furniture, fixtures, and so much more. The possibilities are endless!

Photo Credit: http://www.designevolving.com/2017/07/02/jen-tylers-lincoln-park-condo-kitchen-makeover/

Replace Hardware

How can something so small and seemingly insignificant make such a huge impact? Whether it be cabinetry hardware, door hardware, curtain rods, or anything else, they all have a great affect on the style of a space. Once these things are updated the room can look and feel fresh and improved. If the hardware just needs a little TLC then they can always just be refinished and re-installed, or they can be replaced altogether for a drastic change in style.

The challenge with cabinet hardware is finding a pull that will fit within the existing drilled holes.If the cabinets currently have knobs then there is no issue! If the cabinets are painted or being painted then the existing holes can be filled in and painted over and new holes can be drilled. If they are stained then that poses more of a problem. Try to find pulls that are similar in size. The age of the hardware will often determine how difficult this task will be!

Photo Credit: http://nextluxury.com/home-design/kitchen-cabinet-hardware-ideas/

Replace Tile

This is one of the more time consuming and difficult tasks, but the reward is also one of the largest. Most of the time the kitchen is where most of the work is needed. There are also many things that can be changed in a kitchen; very few of those being simple. Tile work can be done by the homeowner, but to ensure it is done properly should be done by a professional because the scope of work might be more than any homeowner is willing to do.

Changing out the tile is a perfect way to make a small change without having to gut the whole room. This can have a huge impact and can really update the space by using a bright, neutral, and contemporary tile. Another popular thing to do with tile is to take it to the ceiling in order to make a statement. This can help bring any kitchen into the present!

Photo Credit: http://simplestylings.com/kitchen-renovation-reveal/

Add Storage

There is almost never such a thing as “too much” when it comes to storage. Another great way to add something new to your home without having to do much work or spend too much money is adding storage. This can be accomplished by adding shelving on open wall space that can be stylish or functional. Open shelving adds something to a space that was dull before. It is a simple update with a huge reward!

This can also be done by going through belongings and figuring out what it absolutely necessary and what is not. Go through every inch of storage space in the home and determine what can stay and what can go. It is surprising how much space this can open up. Then there is more storage space for other important things and the home feels fresher and cleaner.

Photo Credit: https://www.shopstyle.com/shop/Cassym2017/43130005?utm_content=stl

It does not take thousands of dollars and months of time to create a beautiful home. Not everyone is capable of such renovations. Sometimes its the simplest things that make the biggest impact.

Mini Blog- Countertops

The options for countertops have grown exponentially in recent years with the help of technology and creativity. There is so much more than the laminate and granite of years past, including quartz, concrete, wood, solid surface, stainless steel, or even a combination, as well as, many more. Each option has its own benefits, as well as, its own disadvantages. The trick is finding the right option to suit the needs of the client and the design style. One option may work for one space, while another may not. In some cases, the client may want multiple countertop materials and the challenge is combining them in a way that looks purposeful and cohesive.

As with many other things in the design world, the options seem endless. The key is to steadily narrow down the options that are available. The easiest way to start is by looking at the budget for the project. This could narrow down the possibilities fairly quickly if the countertop budget is low. If the budget is larger then maybe the lower end options are ruled out. The next thing to consider is durability. How much is the space used? Does the countertop need to be durable? Lastly, the look of the countertops and how they will relate to the overall design of the space.

Laminate countertops are one of the most cost effective options because they are made of layers of plastic that have been bonded to particle board. This allows them to be made in a variety of colors and patterns. They are also more easily installed. The downside is that they are less durable and will have to be replaced more frequently. Granite is a natural stone, which means that it is porous and requires sealing. Poor maintenance of this stone will lead to staining and bacteria growth. This material is more durable than laminate because it is scratch and heat resistant, however it could chip or crack over time.

Quartz is different from granite because it is an engineered stone. It is made of 93% quartz composite and 7% binder, which makes it scratch resistant, stain resistant, and extremely durable. There is also a great variety of colors and finishes thanks to today’s technology. The downside is that they aren’t as heat resistant as granite and some of the other options and they tend to be more expensive. Concrete countertops are often formed on site or in a shop and are custom. This makes them just about as strong and as expensive as quartz, but they require the same maintenance that granite does to keep them free of staining. However, they will not chip or scratch.

Wood, or butcher block has always been a very popular choice when it comes to countertops. They are ideal for those who love to prepare food and bake. They can be sanded and refinished after years of wear, which makes them very eco-friendly and require less replacement. They do need to be sealed to avoid bacteria, and water damage. Stainless steel countertops are one of the most durable, and easy to keep clean, but unfortunately they are also one of the most expensive. They also create a sterile feeling in a space that is normally supposed to feel warm and inviting.

Last, but not least, would be solid surface. These countertops are about mid-range on the price spectrum. They are a very strong material that is seamless and non-porous. They also require much less maintenance than granite and concrete. However, they are not scratch and heat resistant like the quartz is, which could lead to more wear and tear over time.

There are still more options for countertops out there than the ones mentioned here. These just happen to be the ones that are most commonly used. Some other examples are tile, resin, marble, recycled glass, and even lava countertops. Just like with these options each one has their own benefits and weaknesses, which is why it is important to know the differences when specifying a countertop for a kitchen or bathroom application.

June Home Inspiration- Finding Your Design Style

Finding Your Design Style

The start of each design is a bare room. The blank walls and empty floors are just begging to be brought to life. The different materials used and the accessories that are brought in will determine the function, personality, and overall style of the space. The possibilities for every space are limitless. The beauty in design can be found in the simple things. Each space, whether it be an office or a home, reflects the individual who uses it. You can often learn a great deal about someone based on what their personal spaces look like.

There are so many different design styles out there. It can be hard for some people to determine where they fit so we have compiled a list of some of the most popular styles. This post will touch on the most common interior design styles, such as, Traditional, Modern, Transitional, Farmhouse, Industrial, and Coastal. Each style has unique attributes that distinguish one from another, which will be explained in detail! Lets get started!

Photo Credit: http://www.beachstudios.co.uk/?property_id=117&s=17&np=37

Traditional

The traditional design style can be best described as classic. It often features ornate details, wood tones, rich color palettes, detailed moldings, and a variety of textures and patterns. The shape language is comprised of both straight and curved lines. All of these features create a beautiful depth to each space with layers upon layers of visual interest.

This style is also known for being very lavish, which is why there is normally an abundance of accessories and decor to fill the space. The furnishings are often very intricate and have rich, bold fabrics in a wide variety of textures and colors. This style is very consistent with what originally migrated from Europe. The features have held strong through the test of time and will always be timeless. It has been slightly adapted over time and toned down, but all in all it has many of the same aspects now as it did back then.

Photo Credit: http://zuhairah-homeinteriordesign.blogspot.com/2012/10/southern-traditional.html

Modern

This is often one of the most misused and misunderstood phrases in the world of design. It is often confused or used interchangeably with the Contemporary style even though they are different. Today’s modern style is based largely on a movement that occurred during the 20th century. In keeping with the philosophy of the design movement, modern style focuses on functionality over aesthetics. If a detail in the design does not serve a specific purpose then it is not necessary at all.

Generally there is an emphasis on the linear form, whether it be vertical or horizontal. This keeps the space basic and uncluttered. The color scheme is often very simple and monochromatic. Nature is often incorporated and celebrated in the design with the use of natural light, colors, and materials. Modern style can be considered the opposite of its Traditional counterpart in many ways.

Photo Credit: mymodernhouse.info/apartment-living-room-ideas/Photo Credit:

Industrial

With the increasingly popular idea of reusing abandoned industrial spaces it is no wonder why this style has grown in demand over the past few years. This style was born out of the combination of modern style with vintage, old world aspects. This style is normally found in more urban areas such as lofts that naturally possess many of the common features, such as ample natural lighting and raw, exposed materials. The highlight of this style is the emphasis on the unfinished. In any other style the ducts, brick, and structural beams would be buried behind drywall and forgotten, but in this style they are celebrated.

Industrial style is comprised of a mainly neutral color scheme with possible subtle hints of color. In place of color this style uses a variety of textures to add visual interest to the space. For example, exposed brick, timber, concrete, steel, leather, and other materials are used for dimension and to add some warmth to what can feel like a cold space. An open floor plan, high ceilings, and expansive windows are also trademarks of this style. With changes in how we are adapting and reusing old spaces it is clear that this style will not fade any time soon.

Photo Credit: ratihome.com/43-lovely-all-white-apartment-in-modern-style/

Transitional

The transitional design style is a combination of both the traditional and modern design styles. This has also become much more popular in recent years because the desire for classic architectural elements that give a home its character is increasing with the desire for more modern furniture and accessories. It is the perfect compromise for the person who loves both. The difficult task when designing a transitional space is finding the perfect balance between the two styles so they are not at war with one another.

Some aspects of this style include a neutral color palette, modern materials, added textures, fewer accessories, and a mix of modern and traditional furniture and accessories. The goal of a transitional design is to stay away from designing in one particular style or era. It adds a type of freedom that is lacking in other design styles. The options are limitless and are always evolving.

Photo Credit: https://www.decorpad.com/photo.htm?photoId=163525Photo Credit:

Coastal

Coastal design looks exactly like it sounds! The intention of this style is to create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere that is inspired by the beach and ocean. This is done in a very subtle and elegant manner. Coastal design is often confused with Nautical or Tropical, but while these style do have some common features they are different in many ways. Coastal design takes a less literal approach in the decor and design and opts for something that is a bit more understated in nature. The design may feature some beach motifs, but in very tasteful ways.

A key component to coastal design is a great deal of natural light! This is often accomplished with large windows, french doors, or skylights. To keep the room feeling open and bright, a light and airy color pallet is often used with subdued tones of blues and greens. The majority of the space will feature neutral and natural materials, such as wood floors, painted wood, and off-white furniture. Another common trademark of coastal design is large, plush pillows and furnishings that create an enjoyable environment.

Photo Credit: https://www.homestolove.com.au/cosy-coastal-home-interior-6692

Mini Blog- Subway Tile

Subway tile is something that has been around for quite some time. This “trend” first made its appearance over 100 years ago when designers George C. Heins and Christopher Grant La Farge placed the infamous 3 x 6 tile into a New York subway station. This simple, sleek tile quickly made its way into homes across the country and has been a staple in design ever since. Its versatility is the main reason it has remained so popular throughout the different eras. Its simplicity allows it to blend seamlessly in any design from modern to farmhouse. The most common subway tile is the standard white 3 x 6 that is laid in a brick pattern, but there are also countless ways to mix things up and be unique.

Subway tile has evolved a great deal since its first debut. There are now different styles, colors, sizes, and configurations that can be used to create a look that is perfect for every space. Instead of the basic brick pattern, tiles can now be arranged in the same pattern just vertically. They can also be arranged in a diagonal or straight herringbone patter. Those simple changes in the way a tile is laid can make a huge impact. There are many other ways to arrange tile that is different and unexpected. The options are endless. The style and size of the tile might lend itself better to a different pattern overall.

The way we install subway tile is not the only thing that has changed. The tile itself has taken on new forms. There are wider variety of sizing than there was back in the day. Subway tile can now be long and thin, it can be larger overall, or it can be the same 3 x 6 that we have come to know and love. This shift in sizing allows designers and homeowners a chance to be unique and different, while still sticking with a classic. The different textures of subway tile has also increased. There are so many more textures that make for an interesting backsplash! Hand-formed subway tile has taken over because of its authentic look and the way the light reflects off the ripples. Beveled subway tile is another popular one because of its traditional feel. There is also glass, metal, marble, and so much more! We have come a long way from the smooth, porcelain 3 x 6 tile.

Another way to dress up subway tile is the grout! Grout is so much more than a basic building material! It is an important part of the design because changing the color of the grout can have a huge impact on the space. A stark contrast between the tile and the grout is most common, but recently colored grout has taken off as a way to bring interest to the tile while still keeping it simple. The only problem with contrasting grout is that it must be done very well because any imperfections will be highly visible. This can give the space a much needed focal point or can enhance the intended style.

Subway tile has been around for over 100 years and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. This classic look has grown and evolved during that time period. There are so many options now in terms of color, sizes, material, texture, and pattern that every kitchen can be unique. Don’t be afraid to use subway for your projects because its so popular, instead make it your own!

May Home Inspiration- Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year again! The weather is finally getting nicer here in Western New York, which means it is time to do the cleaning and organizing that was put off during the winter months! Winter tends to be the time when everyone goes into a hibernation-like state. Things tend to pile up when your stuck inside. And often, when the weather is less than desirable it can affect our motivation. Spring is the time most people awaken from their slumber and are ready to accomplish anything!

Spring cleaning your home is the perfect thing to do that will kick start the warmer months ahead. This means steadily going room by room and clearing out everything that isn’t useful or is cluttering up the space. After the harsh, cold months of winter it can also be therapeutic to open the windows for the first time that year and let in that much needed fresh air. I know that this is not necessarily fun for everyone, but try not to cram all of this into one weekend. Go step by step and try to spread out the tasks over a few weeks. It is more important to be thorough than it is to be fast. Spring cleaning will give your home that necessary cleansing so that you can focus on the beautiful weather and enjoying everything that summer has to offer!

Photo Credit: http://www.foundrentals.com/blog/2015/11/30/found-home/

General Tasks

First, go through every room in the home and do a general cleaning. This will allow you to get the more basic tasks out of the way so that you can focus on the specific room tasks. This will help keep the job from feeling less daunting. Begin at the entry and clean the things that tend to get forgotten. Work your way through the house systematically by starting each room at the top and working your way down.

Start by washing the walls and removing those cobwebs that we all know collect in the corner then move on to the lights and ceiling fans. By doing this all the dust and dirt will fall to the floor. This keeps you from having to redo the floors later. Next, clean light switches, heating vents, and door knobs before moving on to the floors and baseboards. Dust all baseboards and then sweep and wash the floors, including any carpets or area rugs. Do not underestimate what this will do for each space! Everything will look and feel so much better. Now the focus can shift to individual areas and their unique tasks.

Photo Credit: https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/portland-project-the-entry-staircase-reveal

Living Room

Once those general cleaning tasks are complete the focus can move to more area specific tasks. In a home each room has a unique purpose, therefore it only makes sense that each room would require something different in terms of cleaning and organizing! The living room is a high traffic area in any home. It is where everyone congregates and spends time together, whether its playing games, watching movies, or just enjoying each others company. That is what this space tends to need a bit more TLC than others.

Furniture in this space can certainly take a beating. Kids, pets, and everyday messes build up and things can get pushed off. This is the perfect time to take care of all of those things. Start with spot cleaning the couches and chairs then follow with the vacuum. Be sure to dust any hard surface that can collect dust. Also, wash any linens or blankets that might need it! Go through any magazines and other things that could use a good purge!

Photo Credit: https://www.mcgeeandco.com/products/jensen-coffee-table

Kitchen

The kitchen is ground zero for all of those other messes that occur in the home. Those stains and crumbs all originate in the kitchen. The kitchen also tends to be a dumping ground for all of the miscellaneous things that have no home. Mail gets left out, things don’t get put away, leftovers never get thrown out, and the mess just piles up. The kitchen tends to have many different places that can become disorganized quickly. One of those places includes the black hole we all know as the refrigerator. One of the first things that needs to be done in the kitchen is cleaning out the refrigerator. Throw out anything that has expired or donate what will never get used and wipe everything down thoroughly. Don’t stop there. Clean the outside of the refrigerator and all other appliances. Then pull everything out and clean underneath.

The next step is cleaning and organizing the pantry. This can very easily get unorganized when cooking and preparing meals. Have a method to the madness. Try to keep all similar products together and maximize the space as best you can. If you are feeling really ambitious, then place everything in clear containers and label them for a pristine pantry. Be sure to wipe everything down; inside and out. This includes the cabinets, shelving, and the back splash.

Photo Credit: http://www.rusticpassionbyallieblog.com/farmhousekitchens/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes&utm_term=392074700_12917358_335567

Bedroom

The bedrooms are one of the easier rooms to clean. Most people are not in the bedroom unless they are sleeping or getting ready. Unless you tend to dump everything in the bedroom so it is “out of sight, out of mind”, then you shouldn’t have to do much to get this room feeling fresh and clean! The bed linens should be washed every few weeks so I would take the time to do that while you are doing the rest of your spring cleaning. While everything is being washed and dried, clean out the dresser, nightstand and under the bed.

Don’t be afraid to move things out of the way to get the nooks and hard to reach areas that you may miss when cleaning weekly/daily. Once that is complete it is time to tackle the most difficult part of the room; the closet. Go through everything that you own and if you do not wear it or it doesn’t fit then donate it! Take this time to complete other daunting tasks, such as flipping the mattress. Once that is complete the bed can be made and everything can be organized.

Photo Credit: http://jennysteffens.blogspot.com/2016/10/our-bedroom-tour-autumn-accents.html

Bathrooms

The room in the house that no one wants to clean, but has to. Between the moisture and everything else the bathroom is a breeding ground for soap scum, mold, water spots, and much more. The bathroom should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a week. The vanity top needs to be cleaned. The floor, shower, and toilet all have to be scrubbed. However, there are a few things that can be done less frequently.

A few of those things include wiping the inside and outside of the vanity cabinet with a wet cloth, cleaning the grout, clearing the shower and sink drains, and replacing the shower curtain (if you have a curtain). The bathroom closet or linen closet can also be organized. Try to get rid of anything that is just taking up space and is not being used. If you have any small samples or travel sized hotel toiletries that can be donated try to do that before you throw anything away, unless it has already been used (that’s just unsanitary).

Photo Credit: https://decorlogix.com/keep-your-bathroom-neat/

The best way to go about your spring cleaning is by making a list of the things that you wish to accomplish for each room or area of your home. Then make a general list of things that need to be done for most, if not every, room in the house. One of the things that usually needs to be done for the entire house is cleaning the windows inside and out. Or maybe some other things make it to your spring cleaning list, such as cleaning the garage or basement. No matter what is on your to do list, just take it slow and don’t rush. Good luck and happy cleaning!

Mini Blog- Island Ideas

We find that islands are now one of the most requested features in a kitchen. The functionality of the kitchen has changed. Modern kitchens are a gathering space for family and friends, as well as, a space to prepare and cook meals. Due to this change, the design of the kitchen had to be adjusted as well. There are so many options and possibilities when considering an island. What will its main function be? Will it have seating? Will it be a prep area? Will it house appliances? Those are important questions when designing for functionality.

However, kitchen islands are not only about usefulness, aesthetics are just as important. What style are you aiming for? Will it be a simple design or will it be more elaborate? There are endless design details that relate to this topic. Islands can have matching panels, detailed legs, intricate corbels, and many other options. The trick is to make sure that those details all match with the overall style of the space and how you plan on using it.

Those details are what make infinite possibilities for the design of any island. An island can be small, re-purposed, and easily moved, such as the island on the left, which was created using an antique dresser. It is smaller that the average cabinets and can be moved. With a slight design change, the top would be able to collapse so the seating could be moved. This would allow for more walking space around the island if needed. This island is perfect for the person who needs their space to transform on a day to day basis to best suit their needs at any given time. The photo in the middle is a larger and more permanent version of the first island. The seating is permanent, but because the space and the island itself is larger there is no need for it to transform. The photo to the right has another added component, which is a built-in appliance in the island. This is most often home to a microwave drawer, dishwasher, or under-counter oven. One thing all of these have in common is counter height seating.

In the photo above on the left there is also seating, but this is different than the previous ones. This island incorporates banquet seating, which allows normal table height and will often negate the need for a formal dining table. The island on the right has a unique feature; the counter tops cascade to the floor. This is referred to as a waterfall counter top. However, this one is unique in that the material changes from one end to the other, which is not common.

There are thousands of different combinations of design and functionality that will create the perfect island. It is only a matter of discovering what is most important to have. Function? Design? Most of the time it is a marriage of the two, which creates a happy balance.

February Home Inspiration- Taking Design Risks

Taking Risks

The White Shaker Kitchen, a popular and timeless design style, however, it has become so popular that it has become static. When going with a white shaker, people tend to make more subtle design choices. This is normally because they are worried that if they make a choice that is more unique or different that it will go out of style in a few years and make their new kitchen feel dated. However, I like to tell clients that as long as they love it, it will never go out of style to them.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a simple White Shaker Kitchen. It is classic, neutral, and will never go out of style. However, the design is all about the details. A design can be enhanced tremendously by making some minor, but bold design choices. For example, switching things up and doing some contrasting cabinetry can certainly spice up an otherwise monotonous kitchen. By thinking outside the box the world of kitchen design gets much more interesting. The possibilities are endless.

Photo Credit: https://thefreshexchange.com/a-simple-kitchen-update/

Contrasting Cabinets

By thinking outside the box, a homeowner can take an ordinary design and make it extraordinary! Contrasting cabinets is one of the easiest ways to add some flare to your kitchen. Some common ways to do this are to have a contrasting island or hood. Another way could be to have the wall cabinets and base cabinets different finishes.

This effect will bring some much needed diversity to any kitchen. This can also be done by simply changing the color of a painted door or by switching things up with a stained door to add some warmth and texture to the space. Either way, the space will pop with the added interest.

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/p/BkdoBMLlK6u/

Interesting Backsplash

Backsplash is another area that holds serious potential. The classic 3 x 6 subway tile is a classic choice, but it has also become the safe choice! Even in the world of subway tile there are hundreds of different options that create a different look. From beveled subway tile to hand formed subway tile, the options are endless.

There are also other options out there that can spice things up a bit. One of the things missing from the average white shaker kitchen is texture. Texture can add so much visual interest to a design and break up some of the more monotonous finishes. Faux brick, for example, is a great way to bring some texture and color to a bland white kitchen. There are endless options out there for backsplash, including tile, metal, wood, stone, and more! So get creative!

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/p/BeHViVWApEM/

Unconventional Countertops

Just like with back splash, there are many different options for countertops as well. Most commonly people tend to lean towards Granite and occasionally Formica, but thanks to the advances in technology there are so many different options. Quartz is now one of the most popular materials for countertops because of how durable and low-maintenance it is. Quartz has also advanced so much that it can now look similar to other less durable materials, such as marble.

In addition to the materials mentioned above, some other materials that can be used for a cooking surface include, concrete, butcher block, and stainless steel. Although these options are a bit unique that is exactly what will make a plain white kitchen stand out a bit. These options will add interest and further enhance the overall style that the homeowner is aiming for.

Photo Credit: https://onekindesign.com/2015/04/24/40-amazing-and-stylish-kitchens-with-concrete-countertops/

Ceiling Features

The ceiling is one of the most forgotten feature of any room. It is not often not even thought of as something that can be changed or designed. It is something that should always be thought of in terms of the design, but that does not necessarily mean that it always has to change. The best time to think about having a detail on the ceiling is when the space feels empty with out it. In a kitchen that has very little detail, it can turn it into something beautiful and interesting.

Ceiling details are also brilliant ways of adding texture to a space. The feature can be something that is simple and just enough to complete the look or it can be dramatic to make it a focal point of the room. For example, rustic beams on the ceiling is a rather simple look, but when paired with ship lap running perpendicular it makes a statement and adds more depth. These touches wrap up the look nicely and complete the design by adding a unique touch. Without adding some detail to the ceiling in a plain kitchen it looks somewhat unfinished.

Photo Credit: https://www.goodnewsarchitecture.com/2018/03/24/how-to-maximally-generate-kitchen-island-decoration-in-your-house/

Open Shelving

Last, but not least, is another way to add interest into an otherwise ordinary kitchen. Open shelving is a perfect way to break up wall cabinets or to get some storage into an otherwise difficult space. They can store dishes or can be a place to house a small kitchen garden. By placing shelving in the space means that you have thought more about the overall design and style of the space instead of just following the norms. Open shelving is both functional and beautiful.

There are different ways to incorporate open shelving into any space. Floating shelves are perfect for the person who wants a very polished, clean look. Shelves with brackets are ideal for a more organic, modern approach. As far as placement goes, they can be used in a corner where it is normally very difficult to reach or they can be used in place of a standard wall cabinet. To be very bold some people will even replace all of the wall cabinets with the open shelving. Either way, the kitchen will be far from boring.

Photo Credit: http://www.homebunch.com/florida-new-construction-family-home/

Lets face it, the White Shaker Kitchen is here to stay, but with these tips hopefully we can bring some fun twists to the tired classic! When designing your space, don’t be afraid to take some risks. They can be big or small, but as long as you love it you will never regret it; no matter how much time passes!

Mini Blog- Lighting Trends

Light fixtures are one of the most important parts of any good design, but they are often not thought of as so. Without lighting there would be no way to see when it is dark, but lighting is so much more than that. It can transform colors, style, and how a room is perceived. The lighting choices that a person makes can make or break a design.

There is so much more to lighting than just the fixture that most people focus on, although that is just as important. Designers consider more than just the overall look of the fixture, they also consider the light output, the color of the light being emitted, and the size of the fixture compared to the space. With that being said there are normally multiple different types of lights within a space. There are those that serve a functional purpose, as well as those that serve a decorative purpose. The decorative light fixtures are most prominent and the styles of these tend to fluctuate more frequently. The recent styles of lighting that are most popular are anything with a matte finish, such as the matte black sconces pictured above. Another trend is over-sized pendant lighting. This adds drama to the space and really makes a statement!

Other fixtures that have been popular for quite some time are industrial light fixtures, but they are starting to lean towards a more refined and simple industrial look than those of past years. This adds interest to any space, creating a stylish yet understated look that is timeless. The geometric light fixtures also stem from this style, but are more modern in nature. Globe fixtures, in the form of pendants, lamps, and more are also gaining popularity for their simplicity.

As with anything, most trends will find their way into every facet of design. The most common being using natural and raw materials in spaces, which comes from society’s desire to be more environmentally friendly. Therefore, expect to see a lot of wicker, wood, and glass used in light fixtures. Each creates different style, but all of them have a feeling of sustainability!

All of these fixtures will be very prominent in design in the coming year and possibly after. These trendy fixtures help enhance every room and adds to each individual style. Did something catch your eye? Let us know!

January Home Inspiration- Starting a Renovation

Starting a Renovation

It is officially a new year, the time for planning, goals, and resolutions. If you are thinking that you would like to start this year off with that home renovation that you have been putting off, then you are most certainly not alone! Most people decide to look into home renovations in the first few months of the year. This is all well and good, just have realistic expectations on when you would like to start the project and when you would like it to be complete. It is also best to have some idea of the scope of the project and what you would like to spend.

In the home improvement world, it is all too common for someone to get overwhelmed or not know where to start. Hopefully, this blog will help those who aren’t aware of where they should start.

Photo Credit: http://zakadecor.com/31-stunning-farmhouse-kitchen-design-ideas-to-bring-modern-look/

Gathering Inspiration

The first step is to gather ideas and inspiration for the space in question. This step is either taken too seriously or not serious enough. Some homeowners will have a thousand ideas with no real direction of where they would like to go. They might also have ideas that may not fit into their ideal budget. Tearing walls out and re-designing the entire floor plan might seem probable on HGTV, but it is going to cost more than what most people plan on spending.

On the other hand homeowners may have looked a bit, but when it comes to actual decision making are completely unsure of what it is that they want. The main goal when looking for ideas is to look for a general style that way no one gets bogged down in specific details they are trying to replicate!

Photo Credit: https://moodecor.co/672-110-beautiful-modern-farmhouse-living-room-decor-ideas/73-beautiful-modern-farmhouse-living-room-decor-ideas/#main

Research Professionals

This step is the most important because it will make or break your project. In today’s world, anyone says that they can do anything and in most instances this is not the case. If you want the job done right and in a timely manner then you should hire a professional that knows what they are doing. Don’t get me wrong I am all for a good DIY project, but know there are limits to what a person can do and do well. If you are following a YouTube video on plumbing or electrical work then chances are you should have called a professional.

Do this early on in the process because then you are not wasting anyone’s time, yours or the contractors. First, be sure to meet with more than one company to find the right fit. Second, always look at reviews, photos of past work, and ask to see that they are licensed and insured. Keep in mind that just because they worked for someone you know does not mean that they are right for this job. Also try to find a contractor that will take care of mostly everything because you do not want to be your own general contractor.

Photo Credit: https://cristincooper.com/one-room-challenge-master-bedroom-reveal/

Timeline

Once you have found the right professionals to work with you can more accurately set your timeline based on their schedule and product availability. Every contractor is different with how they work and schedule jobs. Some contractors like to focus on one job until it is complete before moving on, which means a shorter timeline for the homeowner. Others like to skip from job to job, which is what leads to a longer timeline.

If a contractor is scheduling you for a few months out, do not worry. This is because of a few things. The first one being that they are high in demand, which is a good sign because it means they do good work. The second is because they know it will take some time for you to make your selections and to get everything they need to the job in order to start.

Photo Credit: https://www.domino.com/content/converted-basement-redesign/

Material Selection

Now as if the first parts of this process weren’t difficult enough, the next step is to decide what your space is going to look like. You have to make concrete decisions that are going to make this space what it is for years to come! That can be a lot of pressure to handle for people if this is their first renovation project. If your contractor does not have an interior designer on their staff then I would highly suggest hiring one for this portion of the project. They will be able to guide you in the decision making process. This will help things go much more smoothly.

If there is no designer and you decide to make these calls without the help of a professional then I would suggest going with your gut. Make one concrete decision then all of the others will fall into place. Another problem that I see occur far too often is people changing their minds frequently before they settle on the first one. Trust in yourself and what you like, if you keep gravitating towards a specific color, tile, or countertop then there is a reason for it!

Photo Credit: http://www.homebunch.com/beautiful-homes-of-instagram-29/

After all of this is complete you are well on your way to completing the project. I won’t say it will be smooth sailing from here because things always tend to pop up in renovations and remodeling, but you have most of the work out of the way. Trust in the professionals that you have hired and yourself and your space will be beautiful! Are you starting a home improvement project? Was this helpful? If so, let us know!