Fresh Kitchen for the New Year

2014 calls for fresh beginnings for your kitchen. That means defeating the clutter and organizing the mess. The key to doing all this is understanding your cabinet options and making sure your cabinets are deep, giving ample room for storage and helpful appliances. Here are some suggestions on where to begin!

Utilize your kitchen island by adding custom open shelving along the two sides facing inside the kitchen. This allows you to store pots, pans, glassware and cookbooks within arms’ reach, while keeping the storage hidden from outside the kitchen.

Ask your contractor about custom cabinet drawers like a pullout pan organizer, angled spice racks, and produce drawers. Produce drawers save crucial counter space. When you do install produce drawers, make sure you use woven baskets to allow the produce to breath.

Add pullout cabinets to your kitchen. This allows for additional storage space, built-in cutting boards, and additional counter space when it’s needed.


A Tech Savvy Home

Home trends are starting to emphasize technology more and more–everything can be automated. Following this trend will not only simplify your life, but will also increase the resale value of your home.

The 2013 Better Homes and Gardens real estate survey found that 77% of Millennials want a home with technology capabilities. While the Millennials are the ones after technology, it is important to remember that in ten years, they will represent 75% of the work force. That’s a lot of buying power!

You can get a jump on technology by contacting your remodeling contractor to discuss the best options for your home and lifestyle. Here are some of the available features:

Smart Thermostat

This feature learns your usage patterns and your weekly schedule. The program will automatically adjust your thermostat accordingly, which can cut down energy usage by about 20%.


This feature is particularly helpful with a family. The program will monitor your home alarm system and your doors. This means you will receive texts if an alarm goes off and also when your kids come home from school.


When purchasing automated systems for your home, ask about their compatibility. Many will integrate with popular applications like ITunes and Windows Media Center to help you create an ambiance throughout your home.



Color of 2014

Contemporary Kitchen by Other Metro Kitchen & Bath Designers Mal Corboy Design and Cabinets

Designers and homeowners alike wait for Pantone’s Color of the Year to set trends for the upcoming year. This year that color is the Radiant Orchid!

The color is perfect for lighting up a room or for a dramatic statement piece. Try painting an entire built-in bookshelf with the color or simply recover a couch in the color.

Click here for more examples.


Holiday Colors

Contemporary Living Room by Cambridge Architects & Designers LDa Architecture & Interiors

The holidays bring a certain jingle to your home, especially when it comes to striking colors. While silver and gold are usually the colors of the season, this year designers are focusing on something fresh. They are heralding copper as the color of the season!

The color is versatile, maintaining a warm feel that is often lost in the glitz of gold or silver. Copper still brings shine and light, but doesn’t loose its depth.

To incorporate copper, try adding copper plated pieces in your kitchen or use the color to warm up a chilly room. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Click here to see more examples.


Picking Colors for your Home

A key element of your home is your wall color. It can make your home dull or vibrant. When choosing a color, always remember that a color is always more intense on the wall then in the color. Try a shade lighter to make it a perfect match.

To make sure the shade is just right, be sure to paint a healthy sample on your wall, viewing it throughout the day under various lighting. Also, remember that cool colors recede with time and warm colors advance.

When choosing your color to test, ask yourself the following questions:

When do you plan on using this room? If you use your room in the morning, try neutrals and whites. If you use the space during the evening, try something cozy.

Where is your room, and where are the windows? If your windows open to the sun, choose cool colors to soothe the intense rays. If your windows let in a muted light, pick some warm colors to brighten things up.

Why are you painting the room? Think about your plans for the room. Trying to make it bigger? Go for light colors, or widen the room by painting the walls a similar color as the furniture.


Add Some Decor with an Interior Door

Traditional Kitchen by Hilton Head Island Architects & Designers Group 3

An interior door doesn’t just have to be a barrier between rooms. An interior door can be a elegant entryway or a stately addition to your home. Some of the best designed homes feature highly unique transition ways that give each room a wonderful first impression. Here are some of the options for your home.

French Doors provide a classic look to any room. The doors consist of a door with glass panels that extend the full length of the door. This allows light to stream through, making the room feel lighter and still giving some separation between spaces. These are especially good for transitions between breakfast rooms and custom closets.

Louvered (or Plantation) look like the often sought after windows, that are used for their casual look and ventilation. The horizontal slats allow for air and sound to flow through.

Pocket Doors are doors without hinges, knob, or a frame. It slides along tracks and is perfect for covering up a laundry room, a mud room, or any room that occasionally needs to be covered up.

Solid Wood Doors are most often seen in homes as they provide great sound insulation with a warm and natural look. The style is easy to coordinate with any interior design.

Double Doors are two doors hung side by side that meet in the middle. This design is best for grand entry ways or large storage spaces.

See more examples here.


A Fireplace for the Holidays

Mediterranean Landscape by Phoenix Landscape Architects & Designers Straight Line Landscape

With winter and the holidays quickly approaching, it may be a good time to consider a fireplace. A fireplace is a worthwhile investment, while being an additional aid to reducing yearly heating costs.

While adding a fireplace doesn’t add to your official home value assessment, most real estate agents consider it a hot selling point. In fact, the National Association of Realtors found that 46% of homebuyers would pay extra for a home with at least one fireplace. For an addition that costs an average of $2,000-$5,000, adding a fireplace can have an excellent return on investment.

When considering a fireplace, there are two main options to consider: wall-mounted and free-standing.

Wall-mounted is best in cold climates and is most common in homes. It is usually constructed with a mantel and can be built in a dividing wall between two rooms. Putting the fireplace in a dividing wall allows two different rooms to enjoy the fireplace.

A free-standing fireplace provides the pluses of a built-in fireplace without additional construction to your home. The free-standing nature makes the installation much easier and less expensive than wall-mounted fireplaces.

Either option provides warmth to your home and a perfect family gathering place for the holidays.


A Few Favorites…

We done a lot of projects in our decades of Dallas home remodeling. Here are a few favorites:

Remodel bathroom


Keys to a Strong Foundation

Texas weather keeps everyone on their toes. Whether it’s the constant switching back and forth from hot to cold or sporadic droughts, Texas weather is unpredictable.

This unpredictable nature can wreck havoc on your foundation, creating air pockets beneath or shifting the soil around. Problems are particularly prevalent during times of drought.

But no matter the season, it’s best to keep an eye on your foundation and walls. Here are the tell tale signs you may have foundation problems.

-Uneven floors that have sunk in or separated from the walls.

-Cracks in inside or outside bricks. The cracks can be in the mortar, the brick, or a cosmetic repair.

-Moldings that have been displaced, cracked, or separated at the corner.

-Split or cracked paneling.

-Cracks that run through or around the floor tiles, hardwood, or any flooring material.

-Doors and windows that don’t close easily, are separated from the frame, or have a horizontal drop across the frame.

-Windows and garage doors that are separated from the wall.

-Brick or paneled facades that have pulled away from the house.



Picking a Remodeler

It’s time for you to remodel. You’ve gathered your ideas and written down what you want  in your new room. Now it’s time to implement.

At this point, most people decide whether or not to hire a contract remodeler. If you are new to remodeling or redoing a kitchen or bath, this may be the best choice. Messing up  electrical wiring around water or violating building codes can be costly or even deadly.

When looking for a remodeling contractor, make sure they are certified with either the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) or with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). These two reputable organizations make sure the industry certifications are give only to those who are knowledgable, reputable, and trustworthy.

Here are a few of the certifications to look for:

Certified Remodeler (CR) 

This certification is through NARI and requires the holder to have worked in the industry for at least 5 consecutive years. The contractor then must apply and pass certification exams.

Master Certified Remodeler (MCR)

This certification is also through NARI and is a step above CR. The contractor must have held his or her CR title for at least 10 consecutive years while also holding another specialized NARI certification.

Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR)

CGR is managed by the NAHB and requires 5 consecutive years in the remodeling business. This certification places an emphasis on business management skills and related courses and tests.

Graduate Master Remodeler (GMR)

This is a step above the CGR and is also managed by the NAHB. It requires 15 consecutive years in remodeling with an active CGR certification for at least 9 years and the completion of additional courses and tests.


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