Mini Blog- Flooring

There are many things that go into the making of a good design, including functionality, aesthetics, and style. Flooring is one of the many material components that go into achieving this. With any material there are some that are more commonly used than others. The main three that homeowners will choose include hardwood, tile, and carpet. However, although most people would like to choose hardwood, it is not always that easy and more often than not they go with something that has a similar look. The floor that is chosen is very important because that is generally what is going to get the most abuse in any room. Be aware of how much use the space gets and how durable the flooring should be.

Carpet is definitely one of the most cost effective options, but in high traffic areas it can also require the most maintenance. It is one of those materials that is better suited in some rooms than others. The best place to use carpeting is in bedrooms because generally it will be more comfortable and used less. On the other hand, everyone wants the look of hardwood, but not the price or the maintenance. There are so many other option out there now. Luxury vinyl, laminate, and even tile all come in wood looks! These all offer the look without all of the problems! Tile is perfect for kitchens and bathrooms because it is water resistant. However, the other materials have come a long way because luxury vinyl is also a water resistant option.

When looking for something outside the box, there are some other interesting options that can also be used. Brick pavers can be found in areas that will get a lot of abuse, such as entryways and mudrooms. They have even been used in the occasional kitchen! Concrete is another option that is available. It is durable, but they can be quite cold, hard, and prone to cracking. These would be best in a warmer climate.

Can’t choose? Why not do both? Transitions have become much more fluent in today’s design world. Floors can have insets that differ from the rest of the space or they can meld together to create an interesting pattern. This is perfect for those areas that need a bit more durability than others. For example, if area surrounding an entryway is hardwood and consistency is desired, then insetting tile into the hardwood to help with dirt, mud, and water is the perfect solution. This will keep the hardwood looking great and it is a great addition to the overall design. The options for what to do on the floor is limited only by the imagination.

October Monthly Home Inspiration- Kitchen Layouts

Kitchen Layouts

The layout of the kitchen is important because it will determine how functional the space can be and how it can be best utilized. The layout should create what is called a “work triangle”, which is where the stove/cook top, refrigerator, and sink create a triangle within the kitchen. This concept is used to determine efficient layouts for the kitchen that are both aesthetic and functional.

This idea obviously works better with some layouts than others. For example, this can be very difficult to achieve in a single wall kitchen because all of the appliances are located along that one wall. Also, some homes may be better suited for some layouts better than others.

Photo Credit: https://jane-athome.com/

Single Wall Kitchen

The single wall kitchen layout is most commonly used in apartments and in smaller homes. In larger spaces, an island will usually accompany the single run of cabinets. This type of layout is also commonly seen in a more contemporary style.

This design is best used in a combined kitchen and dining area where wall space is limited. The table can also double as an additional prep space. One of the flaws with this option is that unless the appliances are streamlined and integrated, it can look rather cluttered. Other than that it is by far the most simplistic.

Photo Credit: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/one-wall-kitchen-storage-and-decor-ideas

Galley Kitchen

Galley kitchens are commonly found in older homes and apartments. The open concept trend has made the galley kitchen a less desirable option. However, they are still perfect for more narrow and awkward kitchens because it makes the most out of the available space.

This layout is all about the cooking and prepping aspect of the kitchen and less about socializing and dining. They are one of the most functional options, unfortunately they also tend to be dark and can feel slightly claustrophobic without any natural light. It is important to take this into consideration in order to have a successful design.

Photo Credit: https://www.easydiyguide.com/choosing-new-kitchen-cabinets/

U-Shape Kitchen

This layout allows for a lot of flexibility within the design. Things can be moved and rearranged to allow for better functionality overall. This works well in both large and small spaces. If the space permits then a table or island can be included in the center for more work space or dining needs.

U-shaped kitchens can be easily placed adjacent to other living areas, such as dining and living rooms. This allows for a distinct separation while still allowing a connection and a site line to those spaces. On the other hand, if not done well then this kitchen can seem rather bulky.

Photo Credit: https://thefoxandshe.com/butcher-block-counters/

L-Shape Kitchen

With the open concept idea becoming more popular, this layout has naturally followed. It lends itself very well to most size kitchens. By positioning all of the taller units together, such as the refrigerator, pantry, and oven cabinets, then it will allow the space to feel more open.

This layout is very easily adaptable. It is very open, accessible, stylish, and social. It allows room for either a table or an island in the center. Unfortunately, fitting everything in while maintaining functionality can sometimes be a challenge.

Photo Credit: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/before-and-after-white-and-gray-kitchen-renovation

Kitchen with Peninsula

The peninsula is the perfect way to add some extra storage, seating, or prep area without needing more wall space to place cabinetry. The short span mimics all the benefits of an island, but takes up less floor space.

The peninsula tends to be an addition or an extension of one of the main layouts that is described above. It is most commonly added to L-shaped, galley, or single wall kitchens.

Photo Credit: https://www.runtoradiance.com/begins-kitchen-remodel/?epik=dj0yJnU9b2JPeXBWaWFZN0pib3Jad0ZZbUpZM0k2OWlQeXIya2Mmbj1TWENBWG1rcUtXMDBOcWppUm5qMjRRJm09MyZ0PUFBQUFBRnhrUjBN

Kitchen with Island

A kitchen with an island has quickly become the most desired layout for a kitchen. It tends to be the most open of all of the layouts, which means there is very little separation between rooms.

Islands can also house sinks, appliances, and other things that would not fit in the main part of the kitchen. A design that includes the use on an island will be very social. It is the perfect kitchen to entertain because it allows the person preparing the food to socialize.

Photo Credit: https://www.lovelyluckylife.com/white-and-navy-quartz-kitchen/

Mini Blog- Cabinet Hardware

Today there are so many different ways to customize a kitchen to a specific individuals taste. There is an infinite number of combinations and possible designs. Cabinet hardware has come a long way in recent years. There is a knob or pull for just about every different design style there is. The choices for hardware are endless because there are so many new shapes, sizes, materials, and finishes.

No standard exists for how hardware is to be installed on cabinetry. There is no right or wrong configuration, only the limit of the imagination. Back before there were so many different options, usually a knob was meant for a door and a pull was meant for a drawer. This configuration is still very common today, but many people are beginning to branch out from what was once considered the norm. Some people prefer to use all knobs, all pulls, or a variety.

With kitchens having higher ceilings than before a second row of smaller upper cabinets is frequently seen. In this instance it is the perfect place to choose something different for hardware than the rest of the kitchen. One example could be a small latch instead of a knob or maybe it switches to glass for an accent.

Mixing metals has also become quite common. For example, every metal in the kitchen does not necessarily have to match! A faucet can be a brushed stainless and all of the hardware can be a brushed gold. They may be different, but the kitchen and design still look perfectly cohesive.

The world of cabinet hardware is a daunting one because the choices seem to be endless. What may seem like a small and insignificant detail can actually make a huge impact on a space and a design. The shape, color, and size of the hardware must speak to the overall style or the design could not be as successful.

September Monthly Home Inspiration- Mudrooms

Mudroom Inspiration

The mudroom is a room in the home that acts as a transition space into the rest of the house. It will normally be a space that is used to store shoes, jackets, bags, and sports equipment. This room used to consist of a bench and some hooks mounted on the wall for coats and other hang-able items.

The room has now become so much more. It is still a room meant for functionality, but now that has expanded to include the overall aesthetics. The mudroom is now a sought after feature in most homes. People crave clean, organized, and beautiful spaces, which is everything this space should be.

Photo Credit: https://misdiyblog.com/

The Evolution

Times change, and the spaces we live in have to change right along with them. People today lead much more hectic, busy lives than in years past. It makes sense that functionality and organization would become a priority for anyone leading this lifestyle.

The days of a simple bench and some hooks are over. Beautiful built-in cabinetry resides in many mudroom designs. This allows for things to be hidden from sight and properly put away. There are normally cubbies or drawers for shoes and shelving for other miscellaneous items. A built-in bench is present as well, which makes the whole space feel more permanent and grounded.

Photo Credit: https://ladydecluttered.com/10-smart-beautiful-home-entryway-storage-ideas/

Pet Friendly

No home is truly complete without the companionship of a four-legged, furry friend. Unfortunately, those furry friends will often bring some unwanted messes along with them. The mudroom is the perfect place for a solution to this problem.

If the room is large enough then a mudroom can become the perfect multi-use space! It is becoming more and more popular to place a dog wash area in the mudroom. This makes cleaning up after your pets so much easier. No more muddy paw prints through the house!

Photo Credit: https://heydjangles.com/12-genius-mudroom-dog-wash-station-ideas-for-pet-lovers/

Office Combination

Another great way to make the most out of this space is to incorporate another function! Most people have the need for some type of office space, but they may not need an entirely separate room for that purpose. A mudroom and an office are the perfect combination.

This creates a small space out of the way to house computers, printers, office supplies, and important family paperwork. Every house has these and this solution keeps the stuff from cluttering up other areas of the home. Because the mudroom is a transition space into the home it will also be semi-private, unless people are coming and going.

Photo Credit: https://www.decorpad.com/photo.htm?photoId=156295

Laundry Room

Another way to maximize the space in a mudroom would be to incorporate the laundry in that same space or an adjacent space. This has become the most popular option because many homes do not have the space for an expansive laundry area. It also allows the area to be accessible and located in a convenient area of the home.

Laundry rooms were not always glorified and Pinterest worthy spaces. Most commonly “laundry rooms” were located in the basement of the home, which is not a place where people want to spend a lot of time. This configuration allows the best of both worlds.

Photo Credit: https://home.evdenevenakliyat-platformu.com/breathtaking-25-beautiful-and-efficient-laundry-room-designs-decorisme-co-yo/

Mini Blog- Kitchen Storage & Organization Continued

Functionality is so important when it comes to designing a kitchen. It helps to create a space that is stress-free, easy-to-use, and organized. Cabinets have come a long way with the addition of new inserts that help to increase the functionality in any kitchen.

One of the most common things that can be found in kitchens today are roll-outs! These can be found in the form of trays and so much more! They help to make the most out of the space by allowing for easy access to the entire cabinet, therefore nothing is out of reach. Roll-outs are also designed specifically to house spices, utensils, and other items that are often stored ineffectively. This creates a more organized atmosphere and makes it easier to locate specific items without the need to search extensively.

Small appliances have become very common in kitchens today. There seems to be an infinite number of them and some can be used multiple times daily, which makes it crucial that they are easily accessible. However, no one has infinite space on their counter tops and many people prefer to have their appliances out of sight. There are a few different ways to address this dilemma. If counter space is no issue then an appliance garage would keep them out of sight while still in arms reach. A solution that is unique to the large Kitchen Aid mixer that everyone seems to have on the counter top is a mixer pull-up. This allows the mixer, its accessories, and other miscellaneous things to be stored out of sight.

Lastly, it is always the small things that make the biggest difference. For example, a built-in organizer for baking sheets, pans, and trays keeps everything organized and easy to find. This helps to make the most use out of the space. Another small modification can be done to the area on the side of the cabinet, which can then be used for a message center, keys, and other small objects. The one that will make the most difference is the drawer organizer. This will keep all like silverware and utensils in the proper place. It will ensure that everything is neat and easy to locate.

With today’s advancements and technology there are so many different ways to make a more functional kitchen. This blog focuses on only a few of the various mechanisms that bring order to the chaos. It is important to pay attention to how you use your kitchen because what might work for someone else will not work for you and while the new gadgets can be alluring, they are also not always necessary. Keep in mind what is most important to you when you’re designing your dream kitchen.

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 different materials used and the accessories that are brought in will determine the function, personality, and overall style of the space. 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. 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.

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. 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. The features have held strong through the test of time and will always be timeless, yet it has been slightly adapted over time and toned down.

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.

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 is normally found in more urban areas 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.

Industrial style is comprised of a mainly neutral color scheme with 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.

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 because the desire for classic architectural elements is increasing with the desire for more modern furniture and accessories. 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

The intention of this style is to create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere that is inspired by the beach and ocean. 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.

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.

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

Mini Blog- Kitchen Storage & Organization

Everyone wants their kitchen to be beautiful. After all, you don’t want to spend your hard earned money to create an ugly kitchen! However, in the journey to create this aesthetically pleasing space some homeowners forget about or sacrifice the functionality of their space.

A prime example of storage and organization in a kitchen would be the pantry. The pantry has many different forms now, including the freestanding pantry, built-in pantry, walk-in pantry, cabinet pantry, and the butler’s pantry, which is still called that even though the majority of us no longer have a butler in this day and age. Unfortunately, not all of us have the space for the gorgeous pantries above and some do not have room for a pantry at all! This is when we have to get creative with our storage solutions elsewhere!

In a kitchen with a limited amount of space for storage it is important to make the most of the space that you do have. This can be done by being creative with space that isn’t normally used, such as the wasted space underneath the cabinet. Or by making better use of one of the most difficult storage spaces in the kitchen; the corner. By using a corner drawer base you make the most out of that awkward corned by making it so much easier to access.

With all the advancements that we have today it is no wonder that our kitchen’s would follow suit. There are so many different things that have been added to kitchen design in order to help make things more user friendly and functional. Fillers and dead space can now be turned into spice pullouts in order to make that space usable. There are now inserts for drawers to better organize china and flatware, to get electronic devices off of the counter, to organize plastic containers, and to organize pots and pans.  

In terms of kitchen storage and organization we have come a long way. What are some of your favorite ideas? Let us know!

Mini Blog- Patterned Tile

Patterned tile seems to be gaining popularity recently in the kitchen and bath industry. It is frequently used to make a dramatic statement in a space, but a more subtle pattern can be chosen to create the opposite effect. 

These tiles can be used on the walls, floors, in shower niches, or even shower benches to add some character and contrast to the space. The possibilities are endless with this new trend. It adds something new and interesting to what would normally be bland and boring. Above are some examples of where this is most commonly used. Because this tile is dramatic it is normally used in smaller spaces so that it does not become too overpowering in a room of a larger scale.

This is becoming more popular in the Industrial and Farmhouse design styles, but could be used in more Transitional spaces as well. The only thing to consider is if this will be a timeless look or if it will fade out of popularity inevitably.

What an idea! What do you think of this new trend? Let us know!

October Home Inspiration- Kitchen

Kitchen Inspiration

In the world today trends and styles are constantly changing right before our eyes. This sometimes leads to homeowners feeling confused and overwhelmed with the many possibilities of how their space can look and feel! These monthly posts will help people find inspiration for some of the most current trends and help to make them their own.

The goal for everyone is to eventually turn this inspiration into reality by using the ideas in their own spaces. In this months post we will focus on some of the more re-occurring trends that we see as the professionals.

Photo Credit: https://onekindesign.com/2015/08/29/cozy-cottage-farmhouse-style-dwelling-in-the-california-foothills/

Contrasting Cabinetry/Countertops

This is a great choice for people who are torn between multiple colors that they want to incorporate.

In some kitchens, people will chose to do countertops and cabinetry different in both the perimeter and island. Most people choose to do one or the other, but this can be done successfully if the colors are similar. For example, in this kitchen they chose a gray cabinet with a white countertop for the perimeter and a white cabinet with a gray countertop for the island. It also helps if the countertops have a similar pattern that can bring in some consistency.

This can be a very dramatic design choice or it can be something that is a bit more subtle. The style and look that you are trying to achieve will normally determine which end of the spectrum you will be at!

Photo Credit: https://onekindesign.com/2015/08/29/cozy-cottage-farmhouse-style-dwelling-in-the-california-foothills/

Wood Accents

A second trend that has appeared lately is a kitchen with wood accents. It brings in a more subtle contrast than the previous idea. It is also a much more natural look that easily lends itself to a wide array of styles.

This is most commonly done with the hood or open shelving, such as what is shown in the photo on the left. But can also be done with molding, paneling, and other decorative accents.

This is a much more calming, neutral look for the homeowner that wants a change and is worried about the trend losing popularity and becoming no better than the shag carpet and pastel color schemes. Although, we are starting to see a revival of some of the old trends so you never know what will happen in the future.

Photo Credit: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/home-bunch-an-interior-design-luxury-homes-3938330/interior-design-ideas-5571935385

Open Shelving

Lastly, the concept of open shelving has become popular, as well as, practical. They are most commonly used in areas of the kitchen that are normally challenging to place normal cabinets, or in areas that are considered wasted space. This can be seen in many of the photos in this post.

For example, in the photo on the left they are making use of a hard to reach corner by using the open shelving as display space. This makes it useful aesthetically instead of functionally.

This example shows the shelving continuing the all-white theme that seems to be predominate in this kitchen, but it is also common to have the shelving contrast for a pop of color in a very monochromatic space.

Photo Credit: https://www.decorpad.com/photo.htm?photoId=144980