11 Things to Expect During a Remodel

S Interior Design has been working with clients on a lot of remodel projects lately. Folks are investing in their homes, or moving into new homes that need a bit of updating. Below we share a well written article that high lights some of things to expect when you under take a remodeling project.

11 Things to Expect With Your Remodel
Prepare yourself. Knowing what lies ahead during renovations can save your nerves and smooth the process
By: Anne Higuera CGR, CAPS

If you’ve never remodeled before or are taking on a big project, you may feel a little nervous. How much will it cost? How long will it take? Between the large expense and the excitement of anticipating your finished remodel, it’s hard not to feel a little apprehensive. Knowing what to expect can help allay your fears and make you better prepared for what’s to come.

1. Dust.   Even with elaborate ZipWalls, a fine layer of dust can gather in parts of your home far from construction. There are a few ways to control it. If you can, close off the construction area from the rest of your house with a compression-fit temporary wall. Running air filtering systems called air handlers can also pull the dust from the air on the non-construction side of the house. Heat the house without your furnace if possible, or completely block the warm-air and cold-air returns in the construction area. If you don’t, you’ll just be pulling dust from that section of the house into the part where you’re living. Consult an HVAC company before blocking ducts to make sure your furnace will still work effectively.

2. Noise.  It will be incessant. Whining saws, scratching Sheetrock sanders and thumping nail guns followed by bellowing compressors: in short, little peace or quiet. Find another place to nap and don’t count on working from home unless your home office is far away from the construction zone. If you’re sure it couldn’t possibly be that bad, visit someone else’s home under construction and you’ll see.

3. Triumphant highs. For you it may be the demolition of the ugly vinyl floors in your kitchen. For others it may be the installation of the carefully selected back splash tile. Others still may feel elated only when they see Sheetrock go in or get to relax when their project is completely done.

4. Multiple sighs. It may be that you just want to be done, or that you’re tired of answering so many questions and writing so many checks. Or you may just be tired of having so many people in your house. Hang in there — remodeling fatigue will be short lived when you get to move back into your newly remodeled space.

5. The unexpected. If you expect anything, expect this. Asbestos, irregular framing, jerry-rigged wiring, funny plumbing and more unexpected surprises are bound to arise. No, you won’t be laughing, and neither will your contractor. Count on finding something no one could have anticipated in your budget and your time frame, and you will be well prepared when it happens.

6. Change orders. The unexpected’s cousin is the change order, by which any new and changed work is documented, along with added or reduced cost. Change orders can also be used to resolve allowances, which are placeholders in the budget for particular items. But most often change orders occur because of things that clients decide to add or change. When you absolutely positively have to have that Italian tile, you can bet a change order is on the way.

7. Cash concerns.  Even if your project is right on budget, the sheer amount of money you are spending may cause a bit of a freakout. If you’re used to writing four-digit checks, you can easily be writing checks with one or two more zeros during a large remodel. If costs are increasing, along with change orders, it could increase your anxiety. Having cash on hand that’s a bare minimum of 10 percent above contract for contingencies will help alleviate that stress. Have 20 percent if you want to worry less.

8. Delays. Snow falls, people get sick, cars break down and sometimes faucets ordered from the factory take 10 weeks instead of six. You and your contractor will likely be working from a schedule that assumes the world is a perfect place. It’s not, and knowing that will allow you to be resilient when your schedule shifts a bit.

9. Decisions. Where should that outlet be? How high do you want the shower head? Where do you want the cabinet hardware mounted? Oil-rubbed bronze or chrome or brushed nickel or satin nickel? Is your head spinning yet? Count on hundreds of questions that you’ll need to answer as your project proceeds, or select your architect (OR DESIGNER!) as your proxy. Just know that your selection of a contractor is the first of many you will make.

10. Outliers. At the end of your project, expect one or two punch-list items that will take longer to resolve than anything else. It may be a light fixture that arrives broken or the very last two pieces of tile. The important thing is to get the final details right, even if they take a little longer.

11. A party! Expect that you will want to show off your newly remodeled kitchen, living room or addition. We have had clients throw parties and invite friends, along with us and our trade partners. It’s gratifying for everyone to see a beautifully finished home filled with people enjoying themselves.

Tell us: What have you learned from your latest remodel?

Inspiring Offices – 5 Creative Green Workspaces

Great guest post that speaks to the benefits of Green Design in the work space.  Many of these principles and practices are scalable to the residential environment too.

S Interior Design encourages eco-friendly design elements where ever feasible for their projects residential and commercial.

 

Inspiring Offices – 5 Creative Green Workspaces

Protecting the environment has become a vital issue for many people. As the need for environmentally conscious ways of living increases, businesses are now doing their part to introduce green initiatives into their workspaces.
Listed here are 5 examples of the most interesting and creative green work environments that have been developed by companies in recent years. Each example goes out to prove the various tactics that industry leaders are tackling in order to accomplish, essentially, their most important job: preserving the environment!

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Seattle’s Bullitt Center
Considered the greenest business building in the world, the Bullitt Center in Seattle has over 50,000 square feet of space and uses a small percentage of the energy normally required for commercial buildings.  It has been designed to create its own energy source by using solar panel technology. But because Seattle has relatively little sunshine throughout the year, the Bullitt Center also utilizes the grid when needed.  The building contains showers on each of its floors and has no automobile parking on its premises. It does provide covered parking for bicycles, encouraging occupants to use bikes in place of cars.

Skanska, Väla Gård 120925Foto: Klas Andersson
Skanska’s Green Building
Skanska’s office building is located on a former farm in Sweeden. It’s the nation’s first Deep Green building and has a net-zero energy consumption level. No hazardous materials were used for its construction, and none of the waste produced during the process ended up in landfills.

Similar to the Bullitt Center, Skanska’s green workspace uses a solar power system for its energy. The building uses heat recovery units that help reuse a large percentage of heat that would otherwise be lost in outgoing air. The building cost $5 million and used locally sourced materials in its construction.

The Jones Lang LaSalle building prioritized non-hazardous materials in its construction and recycled approximately 75 percent of the waste produced. The building uses sensors to monitor daylight and occupancy as a means of controlling its energy requirements. This creative green workspace was able to reduce its water use by 40 percent along with an overall energy reduction of 13 percent. But perhaps more significant was the result it had on the building’s occupants.  When looking at the number of sick days of its employees, the company discovered that absenteeism was lowered by over 30 percent. The green technology led to fewer sick days among workers, pushing the notion that going green isn’t just beneficial for the environment, but for the people as well!
Lohre and Associates
Cincinnati saw the green workplace revolution appear in the workspace of Lohre and Associates. It saved considerable costs both in its construction and in its operation. Scraps from carpet and wood were recycled and composted in the building process, while old window blinds were reused. The building features creative green bathroom technology that uses hand-washing adapters that funnel sink water into toilets, which in turn, reduces massive amounts of water usage.

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Energy Systems Design

Energy Systems Design utilized environmentally-friendly energy controls, plumbing and lighting systems within their green workspace. Although limited in their ability to renovate the existing structure, they found creative ways to design a greener workspace.   Throughout the building, recycled materials such as used glass and wood were utilized in a remarkable act of turning junk into something new. Also, rubber cork tiles were used for the building’s flooring, which helped to further the project’s resourcefulness and aesthetic appeal. The result of is a set of high-efficiency units that save energy and reduce costs.
The possibilities are endless…

Plenty of other companies now, too, are joining the green workspace revolution, by initializing smarter design tactics that consist of recycled and eco-friendly materials. To some it may mean resorting to more heavily involved projects such as harvesting solar power and implementing smart water systems to cut down wasteful consumption, but to others, it may be something as simple as installing glass balustrades, such as those offered by Aqua Vista Glass. A solution like this allows for the use of more natural light to indoor spaces and less dependency on timber resources. This saves energy and costs for business owners, while creating a more naturally lit open space that promotes a smarter, eco-friendly standard.

As more people become conscious of the need to reduce waste and energy consumption, eco-friendly workspaces will become the norm. Employees will reap the benefits of a greener work environment, and will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are part of the solution, and not the problem.

Image credit: wikipedia.org and http://www. group.skanska.com/
Mary Ann Keeling is a freelance writer and business consultant who travels frequently. She is interested in all forms of green design, particularly those modern, clever ideas that can help in protecting the environment.

 

Using Natural Light in Your Design

One of the greatest gifts a designer can leverage is natural light sources.  Understanding the natural light opportunities in a room can guide material selections and what types of artificial lighting is added.  Here in Arizona, S Interior Design likes to incorporate SolaTubes and strategically placed clerestory windows in homes and offices so our clients can enjoy the abundant natural sun shine without loosing heat and privacy controls.    Below is  a guest post about windows, natural light and window covering options to consider.

Using your window space to the best effect

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While the structural architecture and design of a room can have an effect on its atmosphere and mood, it is the lighting that truly brings it to life, enhancing the room’s design and décor, as well as creating the mood. Lighting patterns, colors and targeted illumination can create a variety of moods, from cool, restful and relaxing, to warm, active and cheerful. Both artificial and natural lighting can be used creatively to bring out the best features of a room and distract attention away from more negative areas.

 

Artificial lighting is an part of interior design, but natural lighting, courtesy of windows, is often overlooked or seen as something to work around. Natural lighting, however, is not only better for the eyes; it is also the best light to see accurately, see colors and tones and is a natural mood-enhancer. Choosing the right window coverings and treatments to allow natural light in to the best effect is an important step in truly finishing a room.

Window decorating and natural lighting

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There are a variety of different types of window coverings and treatments to choose from. Selecting exactly which to use depends on the room that the windows are in and the lighting effect required.

 

Window treatments in the bedroom need to be functional in some way, whether it is blinds that can be adjusted or shades that can be easily raised or lowered. Drapes and curtains are also frequently used in bedrooms; many being made from the same fabrics and trims as the bed linens. Room darkening and heat and sound insulating, these types of window coverings have the added benefit of creating a romantic and relaxing mood, particularly when made from luxurious fabrics and materials, such as sheers, brocades or velvet.

 

In the main living areas of the home, letting in natural light while maintaining a measure of privacy is the key. Covering only a portion of the window is an ideal way of admitting natural sunlight while maintaining privacy. Plantation shutters, along with other styles of window shutter, are a great way to accomplish this lighting effect. Covering only the lower pane or portion of the window, plantation shutters may be opened as desired to let in even more light. Even when closed they allow plenty to come through while keeping the room’s occupants screened from the outside world. Shutters fit in with almost any interior design, in particular country styles and Victorian design, as well as modern and eclectic looks.

Kitchens frequently do not have large windows or have windows with unusual shapes, so finding suitable coverings and treatments that are stylish, yet functional, may prove difficult. In addition to shutters, which also work well here, café curtains are a very popular window covering. Functioning in a similar way to the shutters, café curtains leave the upper part of the window nearly bare, allowing plenty of natural light to come through, while also ensuring a degree of privacy. Café curtains are available in a variety of styles and fabrics.

LED Lighting– Good to Know

An article from HOUZZ describing the benefits of LED lights and showing some of the most common applications.  As  designer, I am specifying LED lighting for all of my remodel projects.

5 Home Office-Small Office Design Ideas

More and more of us are spending time at WORK in our home offices (or away from home).  The lines are blurred between work and play and our office spaces need to support functionality AND comfort and even a bit of fun.  The guest post below highlights 5 uniquely designed office spaces.  One is sure to hit your personal ‘sweet spot’ of what you would want your office space to look and feel like.  Of particular interest to S Interior Design is The Pod, and the Rooftop Office.

Modern and Contemporary

Office Design

If you prefer the minimal look and would like a crisp white office with a difference then add a splash of green and enjoy the twist!

All draws come with reversible fronts in a choice of colours and effects including striking lime green and traditional beech. Plus you can design your cube bookcases using the same interchangeable door fronts.

View the full range of office furniture and accessories at Viking from £49.99.

Comfy Cozy

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If you like your home comforts and prefer to feel at home in your office then this traditional office décor may suit your style. Everything about this space says “comfort” from the dim lighting to quality wooden furniture.

The office looks busy yet homely and is perfect for those homeowners put-off by minimal and new-age designs. Avoid the clinical look and opt for a more cosy office look for the winter months.

Designed by Willman Interiors.

Warm and light

warm office 3

This room is bright, light and great for both desktop working and chilling in your break.

The plentiful storage space guarantees to keep your desk free from clutter and makes you want to work from home! Add quirky pieces and wall fixtures like inspiring pictures or quotes for encouragement too.

Keep bang on trend with designer pieces such as Verner Panton’s S Chair and add a touch of modern glamour to your warm interior design.

Designed by O’Hara Interiors.

The Pod

pod office 4

When your home is overcrowded with your partner, room-mates, kids and pets it’s sometimes nice to get away from it all to concentrate on work.

Thankfully, the Office Pod is here to help and advertises itself as a great way to “separate your office from the home; an easy to construct shelter that provides both style and functionality”. Although quite a tight fit, you will comfortably squeeze everything you need to work from home in one compact booth.

Read the full story.

Rooftop space

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Although the English weather doesn’t usually permit it, the Royal Horticultural Society made a rooftop workplace perfect for the summer months.

Sponsored by RBS, the modern design from Patricia Fox was inspired by the abundance of underused roof space in London’s most popular business districts.

The ‘office garden’ has various sections depending on staff needs; hanging chairs for making calls and browsing the net, a “pick your own herbal tea bar” for thirsty office workers and a canopy complete with projection screen for conference calls and presentations.

Read more about Patricia’s designs here.

Paint Color 2013

color wheel

Are you considering doing some painting around your house or office in the coming year?  Here are ideas to consider based on  2013 Color ‘discussions’ by some of the leading paint companies.
In a sentence–“Look for a lot of variety and contrast to be popular in 2013.”

Sherwin Williams, Dunn Edwards, Benjamin Moore, Behr and Pantone all have published their predictions for what the popular paint colors and combinations of colors will be in the coming year. 

color links

 

dunn edwards color

benj moore colors

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Moore: IntersectionFlow, Cycle, Animate, Connect 

Sherwin Williams: Opposites AttractMidnight mystery, Honed Vitality, Vintage Moxie, High Voltage

Dunn Edwards: A New Renaissance Influences Palette and TexturesSimply Re-invented, Simply Re-newal, Simply Re-imagined and Simply Re-vival.

Behr:  Watch this short video!

pantone 2013 blues

 

 

Pantone   According to the PANTONE VIEW home + interiors 2013 book, there are nine color palettes predicted to dominate interior design and furniture trends in 2013. A mix of muted palettes serve as the new classics while rainbow-inspired colors provoke bolder style statements.     Note:  From the Casa Sugar Blog

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Before you begin your  painting, it is always a good idea to try your color choices on several walls in the room.  Different walls have different levels of light reflection and the colors will look a bit different in different spaces due to the levels and types of light they will have.  We recommend at least a 3′-0″ x 3′-0″ square on the wall.  If the wall already has paint color on it, we also recommend priming before putting the new paint color up.

Of course S Interior Design is always available to help in the Phoenix metro area!

Sinks And Color Get Married

Color is back!  Kohler one of the most widely known names in bath and kitchen  fixtures  including sinks, tubs, toilets, faucets, showers  and more has partnered with renowned designer Jonathan Adler to launch a new line of kitchen and bathroom sinks in an unexpected color palette.

Johnathan Adler Limited Edition Colors

Sample Tiles

 

As stated by Adler in the Kohler Idea book : ” Your home should be happy.  You should feel like you’re walking into your favorite song on the radio.  Color sets the mood; it’s the first thing you notice when you walk into a room.”

S Interior Design is looking forward to designing a kitchen or bath with beautiful white quartz counter tops and one of these colorful sinks .
In addition to the 4 Jonathan Adler special edition colors, Kohler has 29 other color options to choose from.

Kohler DemiLav Sink

 

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Big with Graphics In Your Home

Below is a guest post about over sized wall murals and how they can be used to make a statement in your home.  I recently used a wonderful full size (10′ high x 7′ wide) wall mural graphic in a client’s guest house casita.  They wanted a tropical feeling so the mural depicted a beach scene.  So a plain wall became reminiscent of the Caribbean beach in no time at all.   These murals are quite a bit less expensive than having  an artist paint a custom mural on a wall.  Many companies will be able to use your own photography to create a customized graphic for you.  Imagine a life-size picture from your last vacation spot, or your wedding photo……..

Giant Graphics are Ideal for the Home

Creating a certain ambiance in your home can be achieved in many ways, but a very trendy, very artsy way to do this is to utilize full wall graphics with custom printed wallpaper. There are particular things to keep in mind as you decide what photo or art piece to use and where it will go. Keep in mind that you want this wall to be a focal point in the room, not the entire room being the wall.

Pick your Shot

Even amateur photographers can have fun with this decorating tool as long as there is one favorite shot to be chosen from a collection. If you had gone on vacation to tour the castles in Europe or just captured the perfect beam of light on your favorite lake in the mountains, you are able to transform that masterpiece into a sizeable work of art. Be sure to carefully measure the wall you are working with to get the correct dimensions. Nothing is worse than having to improvise after receiving the wrong measurements back (and it is your fault).

Where to put it?

Now, you may be wondering, what wall is the best wall to use? Well, it is pretty simple. You want people to notice this amazing piece of art, correct? So if you walk into the room you are dressing up, what wall do you see first? If that one has a window, is there another that might work better? Perhaps you have a short wall, like a wide column that has no function at all. Make that one the statue you snapped a picture of in Cancun, just on a much more impressive, more pleasing to the eye version. Scan that award-winning painting you have stored away and upload it. Avoid using areas that people will naturally turn their back on or never see, unless it is done for your pleasure only. And a real window can ruin the effect a mural has on a wall. Unless it will incorporate your window into the picture, choose a different area. It will cut into the graphic and make it look incomplete. Imagine looking at the sunset on the beach and missing one-third of it. No, just pick a wall that is free and clear of obstacles like doors and windows.

Color…

Color or black and white? That is completely up to your preferences. Personally, I prefer black and whites for personal photos, family shots, if the original colors were rich enough to make the shades vary enough for some depth. Scenery, I prefer to leave in color. They are very pleasing to the eye when they host an array of colors and can provoke emotions when they feel tangible. One of the main reasons people will put a mural up is to make a vacation or favorite place immortal to them…unchanging.

Décor

Now, when incorporating a large graphic such as this, don’t forget that it is a part of your home and decorate the room as such. Unless it is a useless wall that you are coating for effect, place furniture in front of it. I’m not saying to stack bookshelves right through the middle, but a nice ensemble of couch, loveseat and tables that complement the theme of the photo will do wonders for y our sanctuary. It then makes it a part of what is going on and less like a museum artifact. Many put graphics up on staircases because they are so difficult to decorate unless you just do a “gallery” of family photos that no one can see unless they go up your stairs. Something like this can be seen, even in a semi-open concept plan, from the main level and will be the conversation starter for the night.

Be bold when it comes to the bones of your home. If you set the bar with your walls in bright, lively, or serene fashions, the rest of your décor will follow.  Your guests will love the atmosphere you have created because they will feel how much you love being there.

Chris Garrett is a large format printing expert and online publisher for the customized wallpaper expert http://www.megaprint.com/wallpaper.php.  He frequently blogs on the topics of design, printing, and photography.

Design A Room Around This

Does anyone recall the television commercial where a successful looking couple is being led upstairs in an architectural firm while the principle goes on and on about their accolades?  They get to the office to discuss detail he asks them  “And what can I do for you?”  and the wife pulls out a faucet from Moen (?) and says
“Design A House Around This”

As an interior designer I am often faced with a similar challenge–there is often existing  furniture, artwork, flooring that needs to be a focal part of a room design.   I am here to tell you, that challenge is addressable.  A different design challenge is when there is NOTHING to start with, literally a blank slate.  That is when S Interior Design
begins a process to uncover what the individual client’s functional needs and aesthetic desires and style preferences are.   Some clients are eager to dive in and uncover their design preferences, others need a bit of prodding.   We do our best to make it fun, not painful……sometimes there is a reluctant spouse that needs extra convincing.

We have repeatedly said a good design will come from a good design plan.   Interior Design is not random shopping trips to stumble upon the right furnishings.  It must start with a        solid design plan

Here is a design challenge for you–Design a Room Around This (Pillow).  Do you get inspiration from the colors?  The geometry?  The style ?