Brought to you via HOUZZ–great article about kitchen design for today’s home owner.
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?
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!
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’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.
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.
Finally the weather is turning a bit more pleasant. Spring has sprung in much of the country (or will soon……). S Interior Design is based in Arizona and it is definitely time to enjoy the outdoors before the triple digit temperature arrives. Below is a guest post about a home renovation in Australia that fully recognizes the opportunity to meld the outdoors with the interior spaces. Quite beautiful!
Clayfield renovation (Bayview) – Bringing the outdoors in
Brisbane is blessed with a gorgeous sub-tropical climate that lends itself to an outdoor lifestyle, and the suburb of Clayfield is a perfect example of this desire to spend time connected to nature. So it’s not surprising that the owners of this pre-1946 Californian Bungalow requested that Dion Seminara Architecture create for them a home that would fully take advantage of the predominantly fine weather.
The renovation involved an addition to the rear of the existing home which consisted of a dining space and a stunning new kitchen. A deck and courtyard were built at the rear of the home with sliding doors from the kitchen/dining room opening the home up onto this area. The result of this is immediately noticeable as the transition from inside to outside is seamless, resulting in a feeling of freedom and a connection when entertain in the courtyard area.
On those days that are less than ideal due to rain or the occasional cold change, the interior of the home can be closed off creating an intimate space that is warm and comforting.
At the front of the property a new double car port blends into the existing home, with a remote-controlled gate sealing off this area from the street. A new gate and gatehouse added to what already was an appealing streetscape and the re-landscaped front yard now takes on the appearance of a pleasant little courtyard itself.
Inside the little used main bedroom and hallway were originally the main beneficiaries of the prevailing north-east breezes that cross the property. Given that not much time was spent in these spaces they were renovated to create a gorgeous, naturally ventilated new living area that features an abundance of natural light. Creating a truly inviting space that thanks to the air-flow and natural illumination, further enhances the feeling of connection with the great Australian outdoors.
For more information on this property visit:
Here is an interesting article about the top kitchen design trends coming in 2014. It caught my eye because S Interior Design is currently designing a kitchen for one of their clients and we are using black quartz counter tops, a deep red glass back splash tile, and lighter wood toned cabinetry. We are on-trend and didn’t even know it!
The top kitchen trends for 2014 include:
Black kitchen counters: Homeowners who want to add sophistication to their kitchen can achieve this look by specifying black granite and quartz. Expect to see black-countered kitchens paired with lighter colors for contrast.
Open shelves and glass-front cabinets: Displaying kitchen wares is a growing trend among all kitchen types, not just contemporary and traditional farmhouse kitchens. “As the kitchen has become a central meeting place for family and friends, presentation has become a priority for many homeowners,” said Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab and Zillow Digs Board of Designers member. “It is now fashionable to display almost everything in the kitchen from dishes to pots and pans to gourmet oils and vinegars.”
Darker paint tones: Homeowners identified black, deep brown, dark red and copper tones as some of the most popular paint colors. Since dark colors may make a space feel smaller, designers recommend painting just one wall a deep shade or consider painting the ceiling or floor. –
See more at:
AND FROM HOUZZ.COM
Houzz has released the results of its first “Kitchen Trends Study,” which is based on responses from more than 7,500 homeowners who are currently undergoing a renovation or are planning a remodel.
Some of the main trends gleaned from the survey are that the open-concept kitchen is still widely popular, granite and quartz are the materials of choice when it comes to countertops, mixing appliance materials is considered, and conservative colors schemes dominate the market. The study also found that 49 percent of the responders believe in completely gutting the existing kitchen, while 42 percent prefer to update their existing space.
In terms of finishes and colors, 65 percent of responders are incorporating stainless steel appliances into their kitchen design, while many are also combining stainless with white or color appliances or integrating appliances into the cabinetry. Soft and neutral tones were most popular with responders, and topping the list of must-have appliances are a chef’s stove, double ovens and induction cook tops.
Half of the responders chose stone as the preferred material for counter tops, with quartz coming in as a close second with 36 percent. Top back splash choices include tile and glass, and top flooring choices include hardwood and tile.
The study also found that homeowners under the age of 45 prefer a contemporary design in their kitchens, while the traditional look is most popular with those over the age of 45. Seventy-nine percent of the responders said they chose to or are choosing to renovate their kitchens to improve the look and feel of the space, and 59 percent want to improve the kitchen’s function. Other motivators include appliance upgrades, improved storage and increasing the home’s value. Only half of the responders were concerned with creating an eco-friendly kitchen in terms of appliance and material selection.
Out of the 7,812 homeowners who were surveyed, 32 percent have already begun construction on their kitchens, and 68 percent have yet to start, although it seems likely they know where they want to go once they get there.
Choosing a shower screen in a bathroom renovation
You might think that choosing a shower screen is not the most enjoyable part of your home renovation, but if that’s the case you just haven’t been looking at the right shower screens. When I did my recent renovation, the most beautiful ones I found were from Frameless Impressions. Frameless shower screens have a very understated and modern look, they’re elegant and they give the impression of enlarging the space of your bathroom rather than cutting it off and compartmentalising it. This is a display image of the screen I ended up having installed.
I loved the idea of it as well as the look of it, because frameless screens are very easy to clean to clean and maintain. Unlike curtains, they don’t mould or rust, and the outward swinging door protects the rest of the bathroom from splashing. I love the way the glass lets the light from the window in and illuminates the white bathroom and tiles. It gives a real feeling of calm and luxury even though in reality the bathroom is a very small space. Here is another image.
Choose a screen that is the right size and shape for your bathroom. Not all screens have to have doors. Take the one above for example. You want your screen to fit perfectly in with the feel of your bathroom, it doesn’t have to be fancy, just functional and elegant. I was surprised also to find that they don’t have to be expensive. Choose one that you’ll be able to live with for years to come.
The guest post below is written by an author who lives in London. So often, design trends begin in Europe and then filter over to the United States. With more and more downtown revitalization projects happening across the U.S. metro areas, urban living is once again becoming more popular for younger adults as well as active retirees who want to be close to the ‘vibe’ of downtown living. Take a read of some of the kitchen design trends that fit the urban living profile.
TOP 5 URBAN KITCHEN DESIGN TRENDS
While some homemakers have transformed their kitchen into bistro-style hangouts, others have made them look like art galleries. And even more people have redesigned their kitchens into culinary studios. Whatever style you choose for your kitchen, popular design trends can help you make a bold statement. With the selection of different textiles these days, everyone is going for a ‘transitional’ design rather than a traditional one. So here are my top five urban kitchen design palettes that will help you create a functional and entertaining hangout.
A stark white kitchen with bold hues of emerald is a striking choice this year. You can play with white, shades of grey and incorporate emerald into your seat cushions, a set of vertical drawers or cabinetry, or an accent wall. As a vibrant backdrop, the emerald trend will look refreshing against white walls but also add invigorating warmth to your kitchen.
If you’re inspired by waterfront bars or cafés, you’ll enjoy turning your kitchen into a coastal retreat. This year the colour blue is on everyone’s renovation radar and never fails to impress.
Pastel shades like powder blue can feel smart and sophisticated against a crisp white canvas. Modern details like recessed spotlights, stainless steel fridge freezer, contemporary bar stools and a painted pantry door keep the overall look fresh. Have a look at Wickes doors online for a variety of styles to add doors and dress your windows.
Wooden floors with a woven blue Persian rug, sanded furniture and minimal décor helps you achieve a tranquil atmosphere.
A fluorescent touch is all the hype this year, so if you’re high-tech kitchen could use a splash of colour, don’t be shy to accessorize with neon placemats or even include yellow, pink and green bar stools on a grey backdrop.
This trend complements kitchen technology enthusiasts so you can turn your kitchen into an internet café. A deep stainless steel basin with tall faucets built-in to your marble island counter is a contemporary and practical design. Mirrored sliding doors for your food pantry and suspended single-track lighting like built-in LEDs will enhance the neon theme.
Neutrals like shale, flannel grey and pewter also take dominance this year. So if you can find nice suede wallpaper and layer your kitchen with chrome hardware. You can sharpen the overall design of your kitchen with stained, painted or frosted glass cabinetry.
Incorporate wood and copper elements such as tables, stools, frames or décor pieces.
ENERGIZE WITH BOLD GRAPHICS
High energy colour palettes including bright yellow, red chilli and electric blue add character to your kitchen. Install stainless steel cabinetry and a unique countertop like marble, basalt, glass, steel or limestone instead of the typical granite.
Whether its bold geometric patterns or botanical prints, you can create a fun retro space and further experiment with contrasting wallpaper, cushions or backsplashes.
With inspiration from India’s roadside kitchens or Lebanon’s bustling street counters, you can use bold colors like tango orange, purple or green along with printed backgrounds for a lively look. A popular design element is the accent cabinet so you can add a vertical accent column by painting a set of drawers or selecting colo
Author bio: Amna Alam is a London-based freelance writer who enjoys film, fashion and interior design.