Puppy-fy Your Yard

Spaces by Durham Interior Designers & Decorators Heather Garrett Design

Every fall NorthPark Center partners with the Greater Dallas Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) to build luxury dog houses. The dog houses are then raffled off; tickets are $5 each. All the proceeds go to giving abused and neglected animals a second chance for a home through the SPCA of Texas.

Head over to NorthPark Center to get your raffle ticket today! And in the process, prep your yard for your newest luxury dog house.

-Research your dog’s breed. Each breed has a difference personality with different favorite activities. When tailoring your yard for your puppy’s favorite activity, just remember that the happier the dog, the less they’ll destroy the landscaping.

-Ask your contractor to keep the landscape gentle with smooth pebbles for puppies to run on and cedar chips that are soft on the paws. Plus, neither material sticks to silky coats when they are playing in the yard.

-Line your flowerbeds or off-limit places with pieces of driftwood. The wood usually dissuades dogs from snooping around.

-Develop long winding paths around the yard for your dogs to run on. This will give them a designated spot to run and exercise without destroying the plant beds. If they already have worn down paths through the flower beds, build your path on those–it’s difficult to redirect your dogs. 3-foot-wide clearances should be plenty of room for your dogs to run and patrol your property lines.

-Gentle streams and small ponds are always fun for your dogs to splash around in, especially in the hot summer. Water surrounded by stones also give the dogs a space to dry off without getting muddy.

-As the final touch to puppy-fying your yard, add a bench perch or rocky perch. That way your dog can property watch out over your yard.

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NARI Dog House

Eclectic Patio by Dallas General Contractors Remodel Dallas

This year, like last year, NARI in order to help raise money for the SPCA has asked its members to built dog houses. These dog houses will be on display at Northpark Mall from the middle of November until the middle of December. Shoppers will be encouraged to purchase raffle tickets for their favorite dog house. This is my entry for this year’s doghouse.


New Project: Elmhurst Kitchen

Transitional Kitchen by Dallas General Contractors Remodel Dallas
Our latest project focuses on making a small gallery kitchen look and feel larger.
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It’s a Blue Season

Beach Style Bedroom by Dallas Interior Designers & Decorators Kim Armstrong

Every season brings a fresh palette of colors from the design world. This fall brings a variety of denim and cobalt blues.

Blue is one of the most versatile colors, as the color can go dark and brooding or refreshing and light. Every theme from nautical to lush incorporates this color.

Another positive of using the color is that matching is unnecessary and actually often hinders the color’s effects. Layer multiple types of blues for a design that gives interest and depth.

If you feel like branching outside the blues, we suggest layering deep blues with warm grays for a sophisticated yet rustic approach.

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New Project: Marquette Street

Traditional Bathroom by Dallas General Contractors Remodel Dallas
Our latest project is a bath remodel in Dallas. The project entailed new cabinets, a double shower, and a stylish design. Click here for more pictures.

Planning for a New Baby

Contemporary Kids by Elkhorn Interior Designers & Decorators Brand Hero

The baby is on his or her way, so it’s time to think about a baby’s room! When adding a baby room, remember that safety is the primary concern. That means all paint must be  low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and that all flooring must be allergen-resistant.

Planning should start around your first trimester, saving the remodeling for second trimester. When you begin, divide the space into four sections: sleeping, feeding, changing, and playing. This will guarantee that anything you need will be within arms reach. You won’t have to stop changing the baby to get diapers on the other side of the room.

Adding built-ins is another helpful way of keeping everything within arms’ reach. The storage can be built at whatever level is needed, including on the ground where the baby can easily reach for his or her favorite soft toy. Choosing built-ins over standing furniture also improves the safety. There is no way that a shelf could tip when it’s secured to the wall.

Choosing your flooring is the next crucial step when planning your remodel. The material must balance durability with softness; soft enough to cushion a baby’s tumble, yet durable enough to withstand messes. Materials like vinyl, linoleum, cork, carpet squares, or rubber usually work best.

Carpeting often makes cleaning a chore and stirs up allergies, while with wood, there’s always a chance of a splinter. As an alternative, try sealed cork. The material is bouncy, yet durable enough to withstand a baby’s play. Whatever you choose, remember safety first!

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Room to Keep the Chaos at Bay

Eclectic Entry by Philadelphia Media and Bloggers Colleen Steixner

Kids are back in school with all their sports, activities, and outdoor adventures with friends. The school-induced chaos often brings dirt and mud into your home. A solution to this is a mudroom-laundry room combination. A mudroom with plenty of built-in storage gives you a place to store the dirty layers.

A mudroom can be an addition or a bump-out, which is a simple construction that can solves lots of cleaning and organizational problems. An informal entrance may be just the lifesaver for your home. Here are some tips for this home addition:

-Go with something durable for your flooring like tile, concrete, slate, or linoleum. Slate is especially fitting for wet environment. If you do choose tiling or slate, go with dark colors and dark grout to hide the dirt.

-While not always common, adding a sink and durable countertop can help limit messy washing up to a confined, hidden place. Granite countertops is usually the best option for a mudroom as it’s difficult to scratch and is highly versatile.

-Built-ins are the key to a successful mudroom. Add built-in benches, cubbies, and closets for maximum organization. You can even tailor these spaces according to your kids’ sports. Hooks within the closet are also essential.

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Kid-Friendly Kitchens

Contemporary Kitchen by Pensacola Photographers Greg Riegler Photography

Your next kitchen remodel should last at least 10 years, which is why it is important to incorporate potential family growth into the plans. Children require special elements in a kitchen remodel like durability and easy cleaning. Whether you’re preparing the kitchen for a growing child or a potential addition, here are some tips to make your kitchen kid-friendly:

-Update your appliances and make sure they come with a child lock. Dated appliances are often dangerous for young children and are missing key safety features. Also remember that kids tend to dirty up trendy stainless steel appliances. It’s best to go with black or faux stainless steel for your appliances’ material.

-Round all your countertop corners and go for a semi-gloss. Glossier finishes on your countertops and cabinets are prone to smudges and extra cleaning. A muted look hides the fingerprints.

-Expand the walkways in the kitchen. Usually paths in the cooking zone should be at least 42” wide. However, family kitchens are best when open. We suggest that cooking zone walkways be at least 44” wide.

-Avoid smooth surfaces on the floor and counter. Smooth tiles, granite, and other materials may be beautiful, but are slippery when wet. Soft materials like cork have plenty of texture while cushioning dropped items.

-Create a small cooking counter for your kids. Try lowering the counter space to 30 inches high instead of the traditional 36 inches high.

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Remodeling, New Constructions, & Renovations

When someone says they want to remodel their bath, it can mean absolutely anything from a full construction or small touch-ups. Before jumping into a project, it’s best to know what you want and to define the scope of your project. Here are some definitions to help you understand your project.

A new construction is build completely from the ground up. The bath is added on to the house or within the house. This option gives you the most flexibility as the options are only limited by your ideas, lot size, and budget. When doing a complete new construction, locating the current plumbing helps. Knowing where it is feasibly possible to add plumbing gives you a guideline as to what will be easiest.

Remodeling a current bath includes major changes, builds, and replacements. These projects entail changing entire configurations and size, though the plumbing is usually left alone. Remodeling is dictated by the home’s current size and style. It is also best to do this project along with other bath projects, allowing you to treat the two as one and giving you less headaches.

Renovations are a step down from remodeling. This type of project stays true to what’s already going on in the room or home. Many choose this level when the foundation of the bath is solid or a part of a historic home. Renovations include upgrades like replacing fixtures and faucets.


Boost Your Home With an Entryway

Traditional Entry by Sausalito Architects & Designers Urrutia Design

Right now entryways are one of the most popular remodeling projects. The simple addition gives you more living space, additional organizational space, and a boost in curb appeal. You really can’t beat that combo.

Entryways or custom foyers is the first thing a guest sees, so this is just the place to indulge in intricate architecture and rich design. Design experts also note that the entryway doesn’t have to match the exact style of the home. You can think of it as an accent.

Within the design of the entryway, many build in other functions such as a sunroom or a sitting area. Architectural components often dictate what the additional function is. Converting part of your porch into an entryway leads into a sunroom-style foyer. However, a grand staircase provides a perfect place to nestle a reading or writing nook.

Your contractor will have additional ideas of what can and can’t be done according to the architectural drawings and remodeling plans.

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