5 Stylish New Living Rooms with Personality

A well-designed living room often reflects the people who use it. And design and remodeling pros are good at teasing out homeowner preferences to create a special mix of color, pattern, decor, and architecture that feels full of personality. Here, pros share details about how they did just that in five stylish new living rooms with personality.

living rooms with personality

Amy Pigliacampo Interiors

Midcentury Mood

Designer: Amy Pigliacampo
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Size: 450 square feet (42 square meters); 18 by 25 feet

Homeowners’ request. “The architecture of the space was so special,” designer Amy Pigliacampo says. “It’s a midcentury home designed by Thomas Nixon and Lincoln Jones that incorporates indoor-outdoor spaces with large windows and design elements that continue past the glass. But the homeowners had dark, heavy furniture from their old home that didn’t do the room justice. So the goal was to highlight the beauty of the space by utilizing elements that felt complementary and like a natural extension of the design.”

Main feature. “Every space should tell the story of the people that live there — what’s important to them, how they live their lives, and how they come together to celebrate moments big and small,” Pigliacampo says. “So my aim is always to highlight the key features of the home while optimizing the space based on the realities of their day-to-day.

“This home has so many unique architectural elements, and while we wanted the room to have a curated look, we didn’t want to compete with those strong details,” Pigliacampo says. “The use of indigenous flagstone throughout the home also served as a major inspiration for the palette and design.

“By layering creamy whites with the grays, terra cottas, and pink tones found in the rock, we created a cohesive concept that complemented the original structure. We chose contemporary furniture with clean lines and brought in warmth with soft texture by using natural materials like jute, wool, and clay and a vintage Acrosonic walnut piano.”

Other special features. “The accent chairs are pretty special,” Pigliacampo says. “They were much bolder than anything we initially discussed, but when I showed the client, she loved them immediately — and they really tied everything together in an amazing way.”

Designer tip. “Floating furniture,” Pigliacampo says. “There’s a tendency to want to push furniture up against walls and oftentimes it creates awkward proportions. But you can actually create a much more intimate setting when large pieces ‘float’ in the room. This is also a great way to delineate spaces within a large room, using rugs to anchor the various zones.”

living room with personality

Mark D. Williams Custom Homes

Coastal Character

Designer: Kate Regan of The Sitting Room
Construction: Mark D. Williams Custom Homes
Location: Excelsior, Minnesota
Size: 399 square feet (37 square meters); 19 by 21 feet

Homeowners’ request. “The clients wanted an approachable yet classic-inspired great room that overlooks the lake,” builder Mark D. Williams says. “The intent of this room was to be used and yet also be dressed up and inviting for guests. They also wanted to hide the screen porch and grilling area from the main views.”

Main feature. “The coffered ceiling beams really accent the great room from the rest of the main level,” Williams says. “We also designed the south-facing windows with a hidden remote blind in the bottom of the beam to be used for privacy and to help on sunny summer days. For the flooring, we went with classic 5-inch white oak with an almost clear stain that was really light and played on the natural beauty of the wood.”

Other special features. “The clients wanted to feel very sunny and joyful in their home, so we made sure to incorporate a lot of colors into the furniture selections to play off the neutral tones,” designer Kate Regan says.

CMC Designs Charleston

Pattern Persona

Designer: Catherine Carabello of CMC Designs Charleston
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Size: 270 square feet (25 square meters); 15 by 18 feet

Homeowners’ request. “The homeowners purchased the home in September and needed a small renovation and a complete face-lift,” designer Catherine Carabello says. “They are a young family and needed a home that they could entertain in but also allow their 2-year-old son the freedom to play and feel comfortable.”

Main feature. “The jumping-off point was definitely the wallpaper,” Carabello says. “We felt it was fun but also classic enough that they would not get tired of looking at it.”

Other special features. Brown Tuxedo-style sofa. Boucle accent chairs. White beadboard wainscoting (Cloud White by Benjamin Moore). “It’s a wonderful color for both traditional and contemporary spaces,” Carabello says. “The natural shades added the softness and texture needed to balance the white wainscoting and the wallpaper.”

Designer tip. “Texture and layering are always needed to complete a design,” Carabello says.

Wallpaper: Thibaut

10 Living Room Features Pros Always Recommend

living rooms with personality

Alison Kandler Interior Design

Cottage Collection

Designer: Alison Kandler Interior Design
Location: Los Angeles
Size: 255 square feet (24 square meters); 15 by 17 feet
Homeowners’ request. Play down the home’s Spanish Colonial Revival architecture with a colorful cottage style. “It’s a fun mesh of styles,” says designer Alison Kandler, who used photos of colorful rooms found on Houzz as inspiration.

Main feature. “The fireplace is symmetrical in the room so everything is designed around that existing, very large fireplace,” Kandler says. “Also, the ceilings are tall — 10 feet — and they had dark-stained beams. To play down the Spanish Colonial Revival style, I painted the beams white and added wallpaper between the beams to make the room feel more playful and cottage-like.”

Other special features. “The white sofas, covered in outdoor fabric, and black furniture pieces are great neutral backdrops to all of the colorful accessories,” Kandler says. “The window coverings are sheer, allowing for privacy and softness but still maximizing the natural light. The colorful vintage rug helps tie the room’s colors together. I always mix in one-of-a-kind vintage pieces so each room feels unique.”

Designer tip. “Adding built-in bookcases at the end of a long room helps shorten the overall look, which makes the room feel cozier,” Kandler says.

“Uh-oh” moment. “My client really wanted a large TV in the living room over the mantel, since there is no separate den in this house, but also wanted the room to feel elegant,” Kandler says. “We agreed on a TV with fine art screen savers so the room would never sit empty with a big black TV on the wall.”

Wallpaper: Quadrille; blue sofa fabric: Jaali in Iznik Blue, Peter Dunham Textiles & Wallpaper

living room with personality

 Moore House Design

Barn Beauty

Designers: Blair Moore and Bromley Moore of Moore House Design
Location: Cutler, Maine

Homeowners’ request. “This was a relatively unconventional and labor-intensive barn overhaul,” designer and homeowner Blair Moore says. “It’s the original barn of an old stick-and-shingle Colonial cottage by the name of Coasters’ Chance that’s been in our family for a few generations. The goal was to extend the livable space of the cottage to turn it into an entertaining paradise. What is now the great room was originally the cottage’s barn and was filled with horse stalls. If you look closely, you’ll see the wide planks on the floor and hints of hydrated lime. We wanted to highlight these hints of the structure’s history throughout the design. Making this space functional, inviting, comfortable and of course beautiful were our top priorities.”

Main feature. “The barn used to be totally limewashed and filled with horses and hay, so we really didn’t want to lose that rustic character,” Moore says. “There was a fair amount of old limewash still covering some of the walls and flooring, so adding plaster walls was a sensible material choice for us that we felt would help blend the old with new.

“After much deliberation with the family and our design team, we made the decision to only bring the plaster halfway up the walls. The original vaulted barn ceiling and beams were simply too wonderful to cover up. They’re the real McCoy that everyone always tries to replicate in new builds — covering them up was a no-go for the family. We also enlarged and rebuilt the windows using traditional techniques and old ripple glass to add more light. The final product is a barn that feels modern but still has ties to its traditional Colonial heritage.”

Other special features. “Since this space was so large, we knew that filling it would be a big undertaking,” Moore says. “Step one was adding a massive, cozy sofa that would almost wrap around the room. We also layered in some of our favorite pieces, like the 1970s Hunter easy chair by Norwegian designer Torbjørn Afdal, a vintage rug and our newly designed Passerine daybed.

“We found this wide-planked table with the most incredible patina and we immediately knew it needed to live in Coasters’ Chance. Obviously, we wanted an equally massive coffee table to go with the sectional, so we added two modern-feeling legs with perfectly placed cutouts so that the table actually slides into them on either end. This gave way to a sleek design without any exposed screws or weird joint plate supports.”

Moore House Design

“Uh-oh” moment. “Our team began by pulling up the gorgeous old wide-plank flooring only to reveal a foundation in worse shape than we had expected,” Moore says. “The foundation was cracked to bits and most of the beams under the floorboards had a significant amount of rot due to a large amount of water. This meant we were going to have to put the barn up on jacks.

“When a structure this old has to be put up on jacks, there is always a possibility that it will collapse on itself. This was super stressful for our team, as we were being filmed and needed this to work in order to renovate the space. After the foundation was dug out and the chimney base repaired, we began the delicate process of replacing the beams. Then, much to our relief, we took the barn off the jacks and relaid all those old floorboards. This was a little more than our design team had bargained for amid a three-month, 3,500-square-foot turnaround, but we love learning on the job and were lucky to have some solid, highly experienced contractors to help us through the process.”

Custom furniture and lighting: Moore House Coasters sectional, Passerine daybed, The Sabi coffee table and Steampunk sconce, Moore House Design; plaster: Dillon Construction

By Mitchell Parker, Houzz Editorial Staff. Home design journalist writing about cool spaces, innovative trends, breaking news, industry analysis, and humor.

Premier Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or email steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

Find more informative blogs and articles on HOUZZ and on our website www.trilitebuilders.com

5 Stylish New Bathrooms with a Low-Curb Shower

There are many benefits to a low-curb shower. The low barrier creates a safe entry point, helps visually expand a space, and keeps water from draining out. Plus, a low-curb detail is often much easier to construct than a true curbless design. Here, five design pros share how they handled this popular bathroom feature.

Low-Curb Shower

Haven Design and Construction

Geometric Gem

Designer: Jana Valdez of Haven Design and Construction

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Size: About 60 square feet (5.6 square meters); about 6 by 10 feet

Homeowners’ request. “This bathroom is on the basement level of a new-construction home and belongs to the clients’ teenage son,” says designer Jana Valdez, whose clients found her through Houzz. “His parents requested a modern masculine design that could later be used as a guest bath once he goes away to college.”

Low-curb details. “The clients hired us to design the bathroom after the foundation was already poured for their new home,” Valdez says. “The floor was not initially sloped for a curbless shower when the foundation was poured, so incorporating a low curb versus a curbless shower was much more budget-conscious at that point in the project. Many clients don’t realize that on a new-construction home with a concrete foundation, the decision to go with a curbless shower should be made prior to the foundation being poured.”

Other special features. “Patterned geometric shower tile (Nolita matte porcelain tile, 24 by 24 inches, from Tile Bar) adds personality and a modern vibe to the space,” Valdez says. “The geometric tile is set against a simple white subway tile for contrast. A frameless sliding glass door with matte black hardware is the perfect finishing touch.”

The custom vanity is painted in Onyx by Benjamin Moore. The wood-look tile flooring conceals a radiant heat system.

Designer tip. “We tiled the whole wall next to the vanity to give a more cohesive look and to visually expand the size of the shower,” Valdez says.

Wall and ceiling paint: Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore; trim paint: Snowbound, Sherwin-Williams; countertop: London Grey, Caesarstone

Low-Curb Shower

SGDI Sarah Gallop Design Inc.

Aqua Attraction

Designers: Angela Neyman and Joty Randhawa of Sarah Gallop Design

Location: Burnaby, British Columbia

Size: About 50 square feet (4.7 square meters); about 5 by 10 feet

Homeowners’ request. “This was the main-floor bathroom in this home, so it would be frequented by guests,” says designer Angela Neyman, whose clients used Houzz idea books to share inspiring ideas. “It was also partially used by a teenager for the next couple of years before moving out to go to university. With these things in mind, the space had to have good storage, be functional and easy to maintain, but also be aesthetically pleasing and fun for guests.”

Low-curb details. “Wanting to downplay the break in the floor, the curb was wrapped in a coordinating tile to match the shower side walls and shower floor,” Neyman says. “This allowed the curb to blend into the shower flooring, allowing your eye to continue to the feature tile on the back wall.”

The back wall is 5-by-5-inch ceramic zellige-style tile in a glossy aqua finish.

Other special features. Patterned white-and-gray ceramic floor tile in a matte finish. Shaker-style alder vanity with marble-look quartz countertop.

Designer tip. “Easy to maintain was a primary goal, so sticking with man-made products is a great way to achieve this,” Neyman says.

“Uh-oh” moment. “Getting the correct layout and variation for the shower feature wall was a challenge to ensure it didn’t end up splotchy or too dark in some areas and too light in others,” Neyman says. “To ensure the client was happy with the blend, we did a dry lay of the tile prior to installation. After a couple of adjustments, we got the blend just right and the client was quite pleased with the end result.”

Shower accent tile: Tencer Mestizaje zellige wall tile in aqua, 5 by 5 inches, Tierra Sol; lighting: Casoria single sconce in antique brass, 14 inches, Visual Comfort; paint: Intense White (walls) and Distant Gray (ceiling and trim), Benjamin Moore

Low-Curb Shower

Betty Balian Design

Palm Punch

Designer: Betty Balian Design

Location: Glendale, California

Size: 250 square feet (23 square meters)

Homeowners’ request. “The entire layout of the room was reconfigured to include a two-sink vanity, separate washroom area, and a wet room,” designer Betty Balian says. “The garden window was also added to allow in natural light along with a touch of nature.”

Low-curb details. “I used a graphic tile pattern to run the course of the floor and curb to make the transition, dimension and perspective of the space more interesting,” Balian says. “The advantage to having a low-curb shower is that it allows for the water to remain in the wet-room area. While a curbless shower has its own appeal with regards to a seamless transition, it can and tends to have water seep outside the shower door, especially when there are drainage issues.”

Other special features. Natural oak vanity with marble countertop. Ceramic shower wall tiles. Palm print wallpaper (Palm Leaves in gold on charcoal, Cole & Son). “The color palette of this space is black, white and yellow,” Balian says. “It creates a sense of fun and whimsy while feeling like you are exported to a nature-inspired oasis. All these colors have been incorporated into plumbing fixtures, sinks, washroom and cabinetry. The lighting fixtures also add a natural geometric glow that complements the space. The wallpaper ties it all together with its color story and nature-inspired organic pattern.”

Designer tip. “When working with a smaller bathroom, a great way to maximize function and space is to incorporate the tub into the shower area,” Balian says. “I also like to use darker colors in smaller spaces, as they tend to recede in the space, making it feel and look larger.”

10 Bathroom Design Features Pros Always Recommend

Low-Curb Shower Details

Archetype Architecture

Marble Marvel

Designer: Kylie K. Bass of KKB Interiors

Architect: Archetype Architecture

Location: New York City

Homeowner’s request. “Create a timeless oasis with maximum storage capabilities and a makeup counter, as the client is a TV reporter and spends a lot of time in her bathroom getting ready” for on-air appearances, designer Kylie K. Bass says.

Low-curb details. A border of Arabescato Corchia marble frames the low-curb shower entrance and complements the vanity countertop. “A low curb allows for a bath mat to comfortably remain in front of the shower as opposed to a curbless design, where it’s easier for water to get onto the bathroom floor,” Bass says. “And we wanted to be able to fully outline and accent the shower by using the Arabescato Corchia slab as the trim.”

Other special features. “We chose black-paneled shower doors because they have a strong yet elegant presence in this small primary shower,” Bass says. “We also loved the combination of pairing them with the clean Bianco Dolomiti marble tiles, broken joint tiles on the shower floor, unlacquered brass Waterworks fixtures and lime-washed walls to create a timeless yet old-world aesthetic.”

Designer tip. “If you’d like to achieve the look of plaster walls without committing to plaster, I highly recommend exploring a limewash wall finish,” Bass says. “It gives the appearance of textured walls for a fraction of the cost.”

“Uh-oh” moment. “Being that this was a prewar renovation, most of the challenges we faced didn’t reveal themselves until demolition,” Bass says. “For instance, we were anticipating somewhat of a narrow space and, sure enough, when we opened up the walls, there were unmovable pipes in strange places. This forced us to close in on the room and drop parts of the ceiling to conceal them.”

Builder: PMN Contracting; custom vanity: GS Woodworking

Low-Curb Shower Details

Lorla Studio

Terrazzo Treasure

Designer: Laura Hur of Lorla Studio

Location: San Francisco

Size: 54 square feet (5 square meters); 6 by 9 feet

Homeowners’ request. “The homeowners asked us for a bathroom that was highly functional and also really unique and playful,” designer Laura Hur says. “They needed more storage and they wanted the bathroom to feel brighter and bigger. At first it seemed like a nearly impossible task to marry the clients’ vastly different sources of inspiration, which included images of colorful, playful and bold, almost retro-like design elements, as well as modern, minimal and very neutral spaces. But we found a way to harmoniously marry the thoughtful, minimal details often seen in Scandinavian design with the clients’ penchant for bold colors and dramatic spaces.”

Low-curb details. The floors, curb, 18-inch baseboard, shower bench and floating shelves are all terrazzo, creating a visually seamless design that helps the space feel larger than it is. Stacked glass shower tiles virtually expand the height of the room. “We primarily achieved the marriage of styles by using bold materials (terrazzo) in a minimal and modern way (clean lines, exaggerated baseboard, floating shelves, etc.),” Hur says. “We drew material and color inspiration from the city of San Francisco, with all of its funky architecture, bold colors, interesting materials and abundance of nature. At the same time, our material application was inspired by the clean lines and minimalist aesthetic found in Scandinavian design.”

Other special features. Brass fixtures and a light wood floating vanity add warmth.

Designer tip. “Streamline your material palette to make a small space feel large,” Hur says.

By Mitchell Parker, Houzz Editorial Staff. Home design journalist writing about cool spaces, innovative trends, breaking news, industry analysis, and humor.

Premier Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or email steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

Find more informative blogs and articles on HOUZZ and on our website www.trilitebuilders.com.

Pros Share 6 Must-Have Kitchen Design Features

Design and remodeling pros recommend focusing on these must-have kitchen design features to create a functional and stylish kitchen

Countless decisions go into designing a beautiful and functional kitchen — so many that it’s hard to know what to focus on. We asked several design and remodeling professionals what they consider the must-have kitchen design features, and the following elements came up again and again. Give these areas adequate attention when planning a kitchen and you’re almost guaranteed to end up with a space that makes you happy.

must-have kitchen design features

Stonington Cabinetry and Designs

1. The Right Storage

Your kitchen cabinets make up the bulk of what you see in your kitchen, so your choice of cabinet color and style is a major, consequential decision. But the components inside your cabinets are equally important, if not more.

Your storage solutions determine how functional your kitchen is. When you’re at the peak of cooking a large meal, you care less about the look of your cabinets and more about the ease of grabbing the right tools, spices, pots, and other supplies.

A kitchen designer will often take an inventory of all the utensils, dishes, small appliances, and pantry items in your kitchen to figure out the right storage components for you. Pullouts, rollouts, and swing-outs will efficiently organize your stuff and make things easier to find and grab.

“When budget allows, we always, always recommend drawers or pullout shelves on the lower cabinet level,” designer Lisa Janzen of KC Interior Design says. “There is nothing worse than having to get on your hands and knees to see what is shoved to the back on your bottom shelves. Drawers make it so much easier to access and more efficient use of space.”

The New York kitchen shown here by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs is a good example of how hard your kitchen cabinets can work for you.

must-have kitchen design features

Yancy Interiors + Home, LLC

“I always recommend custom cabinetry with pullouts, built-in cutting boards, etc. to keep the jumble of everyday life to a minimum,” designer Yancy Dearinger Bonner of Yancy Interiors + Home says. She included a pullout cutting board next to the range in the kitchen shown here.

must-have kitchen design features

Innovative Construction, Inc.

must-have kitchen design features

BSW Design

2.  Hardworking Sink

Designers often recommend giving extra consideration to elements that you interact with the most. In a kitchen, that can be a lot of things, but the kitchen sink is one area that always sees a lot of action. So it makes sense to put a little more effort into designing the sink area and choosing components. These days, many sink manufacturers offer designs called workstations, which feature add-ons such as cutting boards, strainers, and prep bowls. “I always recommend a sink with gadgets,” designer Brittany Steptoe-Wright of BSW Design says. “For example, the sink in this project [shown here] is a single, large under-mount sink, but it has a colander, cutting board, and drying rack that sit inside on a small lip and provide so much function. It’s a game changer.”

must-have kitchen design features

Kitchen Design Gallery

The Galley Workstation shown here is a popular hardworking sink that includes several inserts for prepping and cleaning.

must-have kitchen design features

KE Interior Solutions

3.  Layered Lighting

Different tasks in a kitchen call for different kinds of lighting. Cooking at the stove, chopping vegetables, washing dishes, chatting with friends, doing homework, displaying collectibles — these all require a specific light source. “I recommend layers of lighting and multiple fixtures to cover every area,” designer Debbie Turner of Debbie Cahill Turner Design says. This might include recessed ceiling lights for ambient light, spotlights to illuminate important work areas like the sink and range, pendant lights to light an island or peninsula, and windows to let in natural light during the day. Designer Donna McMahon of KE Interior Solutions used a layered lighting approach in her own kitchen in Denver, shown here. Several recessed ceiling lights provide overall lighting, while undercabinet lights help with cooking tasks. McMahon even installed light strips below the base cabinets to create ambient lighting at night.

must-have kitchen design features

Ourso Designs

This New Orleans kitchen by Ourso Designs is another example of good lighting design. There are recessed ceiling cans, a pendant over the sink, pendants over the island, under cabinet lighting, and sconces over the floating shelves flanking the range hood.

must-have kitchen design features

Stonington Cabinetry & Designs

Of course, you shouldn’t forget to factor in natural lighting whenever possible. Architect Chris Dorman of Dorman Associates recommends that homeowners consider reducing the number of upper cabinets if needed to allow room for more windows to bring in natural light. “The kitchen is a place where people can spend hours, so maximizing natural light is key,” he says.

must-have kitchen design features

Wills Design Associates

4.  Island   

Perhaps no design feature in recent memory has changed kitchen design more than the island. Indeed, it’s hard to deny the benefit of a kitchen island. It adds an extra countertop surface and storage and creates a spot for conversation, homework, and meals. It can be a location for a cooktop, a dishwasher, or a prep sink, and it often provides that crucial touch point that completes an efficient work triangle. An island is a must-have kitchen feature for builder Kenneth Keating of Camlin Custom Homes. “A large kitchen island is a fantastic gathering place in any open-plan kitchen and gives the homeowner a flexible space to use for dining, entertaining, or cooking,” he says.

must-have kitchen design features

SV Design

An island is also a favorite feature for designer Tina Rodda of Eyder Curated Kitchens. “My must-have amenity is a workstation on the island for food prep and serving and a large butcher block at the end for carving and serving fabulous roasts,” she says.

This Boston kitchen by SV Design shows an example.

must-have kitchen design features

BASCO Builder’s Appliance Supply Company

5. Quality Cooking Appliances 

A kitchen is meant for cooking. And your range — or cooktop and oven — will be the most important component for cooking meals. Think about how often you interact with a range and how its function affects the quality of your meals and the ease with which you create them. That’s why many pros suggest you don’t skimp on quality when it comes to selecting a range and other cooking appliances. Designer Karen Parks of Associate Interiors puts a lot of focus on selecting high-quality ovens and cooktops. Shown here is the GE Cafe series.

must-have kitchen design features

Dorman Associates, Inc.

“I think that having a good stove is critical,” architect Dorman says. He used a Monogram Pro range in this Northern California kitchen.

must-have kitchen design features

Julia Chasman Design

Designer Julia Chasman makes vintage stoves a key component in her kitchen designs. For her own kitchen, shown here, she used a vintage O’Keefe & Merritt stove built in 1952 that provides function and style. “I have often used vintage stoves in homes of different eras,” she says. “They require some extra love and care. This one needed to be converted for use with propane gas as well, but the amount of charm and warmth they provide is incalculable. I also find them to be excellent stoves to cook on — perfect for cooking meat. It’s become one of my signature looks, and when I’m asked to source a vintage stove I know exactly what to look for to find one that will continue to serve its owners well for another 25 or 30 years.”

must-have kitchen design features

Julie Rootes Interiors

6.  Custom Vent Hood 

A ventilation hood removes cooking odors, steam, and grease from the air in your kitchen. But because the appliance sits at or just above eye level, it’s also an important visual element in the space. Many designers take it as an opportunity to create a stylish focal point, and going custom is often the way to go.“I am a big fan of a custom metal hood,” says designer Julie Rootes of Julie Rootes Interiors, who used a custom hood in the San Francisco kitchen shown here. “There are so many details you can pull in. It is one of the most important features of an elevated kitchen design. It’s like the jewelry of the kitchen.”

must-have kitchen design features

Heritage Homes of Jacksonville

Designer Jason Ulm of Heritage Homes of Jacksonville created the custom maple hood shown here in a kitchen in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Arched molding coordinates with the arched mullions on the cabinet doors to create an alluring focal point.

Written by Mitchell Parker, Houzz Editorial Staff. Home design journalist writing about cool spaces, innovative trends, breaking news, industry analysis, and humor.

 

Premier Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or email steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

Find more informative blogs and articles on HOUZZ and on our website www.trilitebuilders.com

Where Should You Put the Kitchen Sink?

Where should you put the kitchen sink in your remodel?  Do you put it facing a window or your guests? In a corner or near the dishwasher? Here’s how to find the best place for the kitchen sink.

To find your dream kitchen sink, you will likely spend a good amount of time browsing sink photos and kitchen sinks in the Houzz Shop. But don’t forget to think about where your sink will be located in your kitchen. If you’re remodeling an existing kitchen on a tight budget, you may need to leave it where it is. But if you can, consider where you’ll want to be standing while working at your kitchen sink, as well as what other appliances or elements should be nearby.

Here are 10 considerations to help you figure out the best place for the kitchen sink.

the best place for the kitchen sink

Northland Design and Build

Use Existing Plumbing

If you are undertaking a low-cost renovation or simply looking for areas where you can cut costs so you can splurge on your countertops or backsplash tile, consider reusing your existing plumbing as much as possible. If your kitchen layout is truly dysfunctional, this may not be an option. But I always consider leaving the plumbing alone to save money.

the best place for the kitchen sink

Jenny Martin Design

Give Yourself a View

If your kitchen is part of a new construction project, or you are either unable or disinclined to keep the sink where it is, then do yourself a favor and give yourself a nice view. I am not a fan of washing dishes by hand but would gladly take on the chore if I had this fabulous view to take in.

the best place for the kitchen sink

Bria Hammel Interiors

Think About Lighting

You need plenty of light when working in the kitchen, and that’s especially true while at the sink. Natural light from a big window or skylight above the sink is fantastic during the day, but be sure you also have adequate task lighting above and around the sink at night to safely illuminate the work area.

How to Properly Light Your Kitchen Counters

the best place for the kitchen sink

Design Interiors Ltd.

Center on the Window – or Not

Speaking of windows, if you can place your kitchen sink under a window, try to center the sink on the center line of the window. Sometimes, however, this is just not feasible. For example, in this kitchen there isn’t enough room to center the sink under the window and also squeeze in the dishwasher. I find you can make it work if you center the sink or faucet with a component of the window. Here the sink is centered under one of the windowpanes, a good solution that brings a semblance of symmetry.

the best place for the kitchen sink

BR Nelson Designs LLC

Partner With the Dishwasher

This one is a no-brainer. You want your dishwasher and sink to be next to one another. This will make loading the dishwasher easier and more efficient; you can just scrape or rinse off your plates in the sink before setting them in the dishwasher. It’s also useful when you are emptying the dishwasher and need to dump out any water that has pooled on your dishes.

the best place for the kitchen sink

Jackson Design & Remodeling

This classic setup with the dishwasher on one side of the sink and a pullout cabinet for compost, trash and recycling on the other side makes kitchen cleanup easier. I highly recommend this layout if you can swing it. It does require a pretty long bank of cabinets to make it fit, because you need 24 inches for a standard-size dishwasher and at least 12 inches for the trash pullout. It’s also nice to have a buffer cabinet on the outside edges of the dishwasher and trash cabinet so the doors can open without running into a perpendicular cabinet or wall.

the best place for the kitchen sink

Sunstone Interiors

A Word About Corner Sinks

I generally don’t recommend corner sinks in a kitchen. They can cause traffic jams and make it difficult to access a nearby dishwasher. But if you are forced to work with existing plumbing or the location of the only window in the kitchen, consult with a design professional who can help you figure out the correct size and placement of the sink, and the dishwasher if you install one, to ease the squeeze around the sink area as much as possible.

the best place for the kitchen sink

Huntsmore

Give Yourself Work Zones

If your kitchen layout includes an island, you might find it nice to put either the cooktop or sink in it to create an efficient workspace. I’m personally not a fan of having a hulking vent hood smack dab in the middle of the kitchen, so I prefer seeing the sink there instead.

the best place for the kitchen sink

Jay Reinert Architect, LLC

Keep a Connection

Don’t turn your back on your guests if you don’t have to. If you plan to entertain often and have an open kitchen, this is an ideal layout. It allows the cook to prep in the kitchen while still conversing with guests or keeping an eye on kids.

the best place for the kitchen sink

swa.studio//Sebastian Wiedemann Architektur

For those who want to see their family and friends while cooking and cleaning but don’t necessarily want kitchen messes to be on full display, there are many ways to design the sink area to get the best of both worlds.

the best place for the kitchen sink

Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.

A cased opening or raised countertop above the sink can act as a visual barrier to disguise any messes in or around the sink. It provides a nice buffer to the area beyond where kids might be doing homework or guests will be hanging out having a drink and chatting with you while you finish dinner prep.

the best place for the kitchen sink

Studio Steinbomer

Be Social and Enjoy a View

If you are fortunate to have a large open kitchen that looks out onto a nice vista, think about orienting your sink toward the dining area and the pleasing view. Yes, everything is on full display, but this would be a fun kitchen to work in when you’re able to entertain large crowds of friends and family.

the best place for the kitchen sink

Soorikian Architecture

Work With Multiple Sinks

For those with large households or who entertain often, multiple sinks are definitely an ideal setup. Of course, you’ll need the space and budget to accommodate such a design.

Typically, there is one larger main sink placed under a window or facing an adjacent dining room or great room, and the dishwasher is placed next to it for easy cleaning and loading. The second sink may be a smaller prep sink in the island or a peninsula, and it is used more for hand washing and food prep. This configuration allows several people to use the kitchen at once without getting in one another’s way.

 

Jennifer Ott, Blog contributor for Houzz 

San Francisco-based architectural color specialist and design writer. Jennifer’s work has been featured in many print and online publications. Her recently-published book, “1000 Ideas for Color Schemes,” is a beautifully illustrated and easy-to-navigate guide that takes the guesswork out of selecting the perfect color palette for your home or special event. For more information on Jennifer Ott Design, visit http://jenottdesign.com/.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or email steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

Find more informative blogs and articles on HOUZZ and on our website www.trilitebuilders.com

 

 

 

A Letter to Your Clients: 10 Ways to be a World-Class Client

By Mark Richardson, Pro-Remodelers (June 16, 2022)

While I have spent most of my last 10 years as an author and advisor to remodeling business owners, I spent the prior 30 years creating joy in the life of homeowners through remodeling homes.  This column is a letter to your clients (and a guide to you) on how they can be a world-class client and, as a result, smile when their project is complete.

After all, what homeowner doesn’t want to be perceived as a great client? Who would not like to be the poster child client? Who would not like to have a remodeler for life because the experience of working together was wonderful?

Here are 10 ways to be a world-class client:

  1. Communicate

Nine times out of 10, issues in the remodeling experience come from miscommunication. Remodeling can be very confusing and counterintuitive. Ask a lot of questions (there are no stupid ones).

  1. Try to get aligned with your partner or spouse on the priorities

The remodeler should be the remodeling expert and authority, not the marriage counselor.

  1. If you are high-tech, then try to communicate/interact with technologies

Most remodelers like technology and appreciate that. If you are more high touch, ensure the remodeler understands that and finds a way to accommodate your wishes.

  1. Allow the remodeler to control the process

You would not go to a doctor’s visit and dictate the steps of the examination. Weekly meetings are a must (not optional). Make these meetings a priority (like going to church). There needs to be an agenda. Let the remodeler facilitate, but make sure you are proactive and engaged.

  1. Do your homework

Homework is not punitive—it is essential to keep the project on track. Make it a priority. Excuses don’t help the project be successful.

  1. Pay on time and when asked

Your remodeler needs to focus on the project and the experience, not cash flow or being a collection agency. The net profit margins in remodeling businesses are generally between 5 and 10%, so try not to nickel-and-dime them.

  1. Try to be mutually transparent

When asked how much you would like to invest in something, you must answer honestly so the remodeler can be a better house doctor for you.

  1. Say thank you

A personal handwritten note or a simple gift is very much appreciated and savored (but not expected). Feedback is also welcome (but don’t overdo it). It is your job to be a great client, not a business advisor to the remodeler. Ask the remodeler how they would like to get feedback and try to be respectful to their wishes.

  1. Focus on the memories, not just the sticks and bricks

Many think remodeling is about the project, but it is really more about the experience. The remodeler is there to be your tour guide in this experience, not just the craftsman or project provider.

  1. Don’t become strangers

Remodeling can be an exhausting process, and in the end, you may want some space from the interaction and relationship. It’s understandable, however, don’t become strangers. The dinner party you promised? Do it. The referrals you said you were going to make? Do it. And most importantly, just keep in touch. Put the remodeler on the Christmas card list too.

In closing, I have never met a client that went into the relationship dishonestly or did not want a good relationship. However, more than 50% of the BBB complaints are from remodeling experiences.

This is in large part based on everyone corrupting the above advice. In the homeowner’s defense, they are not remodeling experts. It is the remodeler’s job to guide and counsel them on how to have a world-class experience and be a great client.

From Pro-Remodeler, author Mark Richardson flips the script, offering insights into what makes a good client and ways remodelers can help.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or email steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

How to Build a Color Palette in 5 Simple Steps

Color palettes are the secret to giving every makeover that tied together look, but how do you build one? We’re sharing some simple steps to help you build a color palette of your own for your next project.

STEP 1: START WITH THE SPACE

Unless you’re doing a floor-to-ceiling overhaul, the first place to start when building a color palette is figuring out what’s staying. You can easily switch up blankets and throw pillows to match your new look, but fixed pieces like floors and countertops need to be worked into your palette if they’re not going anywhere. Paying attention to existing colors and tones in your room will help you create a coordinating color scheme that all flows together.

STEP 2: FIND INSPIRATION TO BUILD YOUR COLOR PALETTE

Inspiration is everywhere, so where do you start? Sometimes you might have a style you already gravitate toward – if that’s the case, the colors and patterns you love are probably already in your home. If you’re starting with a blank slate, you can find inspiration anywhere from artwork and magazines to Pinterest and Instagram. No matter where you look, these sources are the perfect way to get an idea of the colors and styles that speak to you.

Build a Color Palette

A laptop and mobile device showing inspiration images

TIP: Want to pull colors from a picture you love? Our ColorSnap® Visualizer app matches the colors in any photo with a coordinating paint color.

STEP 3: PICK A COLOR SCHEME

You can always lean on classic schemes like monochromatic or complementary, but did you know an emotional side comes into play too? Color is a powerful way to infuse a space with personality, so it’s just as important to think about the mood you want to create. If you love a space that feels dramatic, you can explore a color scheme that’s bold and saturated, but if you’re looking to create a natural color scheme, soft and earthy hues can help you get the look. This simple trick helps narrow down the color families and tones you want to stick with for your palette.

Build a Color Palette

 Colors include Woven Wicker, Urbane Bronze, Shoji White, and Evergreen Fog.

TIP: Check out our guide on Color Theory to learn more about tones and each color family.

STEP 4: CHOOSE YOUR BASE COLOR

The foundation of every palette starts with your base or primary color – aka the color you’ll use the most. Since your base makes up the biggest part of your palette, it’s important to choose something relaxing to the eye. Neutrals offer the most versatility because they go with anything and are easy to build off, but that doesn’t mean you have to go white or gray either. Shades like Evergreen Fog, Urbane Bronze, and Naval all have neutral undertones.

Featured Color: Evergreen Fog SW 9130

Featured Product: Emerald® Interior Acrylic Latex Paint

STEP 5: BUILD YOUR COLOR PALETTE

You’ve planned, prepped, and picked your base color – now it’s time to layer in some more hues. While there’s no hard-and-fast rule on how many colors to use, a great place to start is choosing a secondary and accent color. If you stick with a palette of three colors, keep the 60-30-10 rule in mind – 60% of the space should be your primary color, 30% should be the secondary color and 10% should be your accent color. If you want to add more than three colors, you can build a bigger palette with varying shades of complementary colors to give yourself a few more hues to work with.

Once you have an idea of how many colors you want, the key is to mix and match until you’ve found a combination you love. Color chips are our favorite way to mix and match when you’re building a palette, and you can order them online for FREE!

TIP: A color palette goes beyond the walls by helping you find decor and furniture in similar shades to create a seamlessly styled space.

Ready to try building a color palette? Drop a comment below to share which room you’re making over, and if you need a little extra guidance along the way, you can also request a FREE Virtual Color Consultation to work with one of our Color Experts.

From Tinted: a blog by Sherwin Williams

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or email steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

 

Insulation Basics: What to Know About Spray Foam

Learn what exactly spray foam insulation is, the pros and cons of using it, and why you shouldn’t mess around with installation.

While we all wish there were a single answer for any given problem, oftentimes that’s just not the case. This is true for material options for home spray foam insulation. Despite what the market says is the most popular insulation material or method at any given moment, the truth is that each individual project has its own set of circumstances that call for a recommended set of options. And within those options, the specifications and installation can have a massive impact on the result.

It’s important to understand each material and how it works within your home’s construction and the environment in which you live. In this blog, we’ll take a look at various thermal insulation types and materials to help you figure out which is the best one for your project. We’ll begin with spray polyurethane foam (SPF), which, at least in North America, is fast becoming one of the most popular options.

spray foam insulation

EcoTech Spray Foam

What is SPF? Spray polyurethane foam is a heat-activated polymer that is just what it sounds like, foam insulation that is sprayed into place. It is made by mixing two ingredients on-site using special equipment. The mixture is then sprayed through a heated hose onto the surface that needs to be insulated. As the chemical reaction between the two ingredients takes place and the substance heats up in the hose, the liquid turns foamy, expands, and then eventually hardens in place.

Closed-cell and open-cell spray foam. These are the two kinds of spray-foam insulation. Open-cell SPF is the lighter, less dense option; it is the cheaper of the two but has less insulating power (or a lower R-value). Closed-cell SPF is denser and more expensive, can provide a bit more rigid support to certain structures, and can act as a water vapor barrier, because it is less permeable.

spray foam insulation

WJM Architect

 

Why is SPF so popular in the United States? Spray foam has the potential to tackle air leakages better than many other insulation options. Because it is sprayed into place, the foam can fill up cavities and block any small holes that could compromise your building envelope. It can be applied to vertical or horizontal surfaces to act not only as thermal insulation but also as an air barrier. It’s synthetic and does not attract rodents or insects. When applied properly, spray foam can contribute to a successful energy-efficiency strategy.

As with many aspects of the building market, there are variations in what is considered common around the world. Here in Italy, for example, spray-foam insulation has not taken hold of the market as it has in the U.S., for a variety of reasons outside the scope of this idea book. As a result, it is more difficult to find installers here, although there are versions of SPF available on the European market.

spray foam insulation

Before Photo

GreenEdge Spray Foam Insulation

The relative ease of installation. This makes it a popular choice for contractors (although see my notes on installation difficulties below). Plus, even though it can be expensive, its relatively high R-value per inch makes it a competitive option. It’s particularly interesting for renovation projects where traditional batt or board insulation may be difficult to insert. With spray foam (as with blown-in insulation), it’s possible to inject the insulation into a wall cavity, for example, or apply it to a sloped surface.

spray foam insulation

Apex Building Company

spray foam insulation

Spray Foam Systems LLC

Challenges of installation. As with many building technology solutions, the increasing popularity of a product or method means an increase in misuse and misunderstandings. Unfortunately, nowadays it is quite common to find examples of spray-foam insulation that have been specified or installed incorrectly.

The most common problems with spray-foam applications are:

  • The chemicals were not mixed correctly, and the foam starts to pull away from the neighboring surface
  • The chemicals were not mixed correctly, causing lingering odors and health problems for the occupants
  • The installers rush through the installation, leaving gaps and holes that reduce the efficiency of the product
  • A sufficient thickness either was not specified or was not executed as specified during installation
  • The local climate was not taken into consideration, and the temperatures or humidity levels were outside of the manufacturer’s specifications
  • In cold climates, a vapor barrier was not installed over the spray foam, sometimes causing roof rot

Remember, installation is a key factor with any kind of insulation you chose and can be the difference between insulation that works or causes problems.

spray foam insulation

Wedge Roofing

Be aware of greenwash! Closed-cell spray foam in particular, which uses HFCs with high carbon dioxide content, has a very negative impact on global warming. Some manufacturers are claiming that their spray foam is ecologically friendly because it is based on soy or castor. Don’t be fooled by this marketing gimmick. The percentage of soy legally required for them to be able to make this claim is very low. SPF is still very much a fossil-fuel-based material (as are many other insulation options).

 

spray foam insulation

MJW DryWall & foam Insulation LLC

Consider your climate. There are too many climate-specific considerations for insulation to include in this idea book. With SPF, for example, a vapor retarder layer over drywall may be required when using open-cell spray foam (seen here) in cold climates.

spray foam insulation

Before Photo

Cutting Edge Spray Foam Services, Inc

Potential health risks. Some people have reported health reactions to the lingering odor that can occur with certain mixes of chemicals, and the Environmental Protection Agency has issued information to make consumers aware of potential health risks, particularly during installation. There is still very little known about the off-gassing potential of this relatively new product, but a standard has been developed to start monitoring it.

It is absolutely essential that anyone working on the construction or renovation of a home using SPF follow the recommended health guidelines. Please don’t think that you can install this in your shorts and T-shirt on the weekend. Consult a professional or do your research.

 

spray foam insulation

EcoTech Spray Foam

The good news. Learning the pitfalls is just part of being more aware of the consequences of a certain decision. Each and every insulation material has advantages and disadvantages. SPF is a viable solution for certain homes and can offer substantial energy savings if installed correctly. You just need to be aware that, relative to other materials, the installation can be easier to execute but also easier to rush through. Knowing what questions to ask your installer can go a long way toward obtaining optimal results.

Tips for working with an installer:

  • Hire someone reputable with verified recommendations.
  • Make sure the work is monitored by someone other than the installer.
  • Do a quality control check before issuing the final payment.

Article found on Houzz and written by Mariana Pickering, Houzz Contributor

Visit our site on HOUZZ here to learn more about what we offer and all the information you can find on their site

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or email steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

5 Remodels That Make Good Resale Value Sense – and 5 That Don’t

We are sharing this Houzz blog by Matt Clawson because we know you value your home remodel investment.  This blog has some great information about which home renovation projects can increase your remodel resale value. Houzz is a great resource where you can design your home, and browse 20 million interior design photos, home decor, decorating ideas, and home professionals online.  We are a member of Houzz and have won consecutive Best of Houzz awards!  With our design phase and remodeling processes, we can confidently help you set your goals within your budget adding a great resale value to your home. 

 

Repeat after me: I am the master of my remodel. Perhaps you should say it again because sadly, it’s not always so. Remodels sometimes have a tendency to develop their own inertia, as decisions lead to new dilemmas, unintended consequences, and surprising outcomes. In some cases, these flights of fancy are perfectly acceptable, provided the design and completed execution truly align with the vision and budget.

But if your budget is a concern and the wise investment of limited home improvement dollars matters, then there are a few basic guidelines you should familiarize yourself with before planning your remodel. Today we review five remodels that typically make good financial sense, providing a nice return on the investment at the time of resale — and five that don’t.

 

Remodel Resale Value

27 Diamonds Interior Design, Transitional Kitchen

 

Remodeling Projects That Offer Good Resale Value

1. Kitchens. 
Updating a tired old kitchen is one of the wisest methods, and a tried-and-true one, of increasing the value of your home. When planning a kitchen remodel, and making design decisions and selections for plumbing fixtures, appliances, cabinets, and countertop materials, you should determine whether you are prioritizing your own design aesthetic or the return on your investment.

Either priority is perfectly acceptable, but you should understand which is your priority, or strike a balance between the two that you can feel good about.

For example, using the existing kitchen layout and affordable cosmetic materials is a sure way to keep the cost of your kitchen remodel manageable. When you start tearing out walls, bumping out the exterior home footprint to gain a few feet, and moving plumbing fixtures and appliances, the cost of the remodel will jump and your dollars will be less efficiently spent.

Remodel Resale Value

FineCraft Contractors, Inc., Transitional Family Room

2. Adding living space. A straightforward addition of a new living room space is typically a very good investment.

Newly added square footage generally increases your home’s value. There are certain costs that will be associated with your addition regardless of the size. New square footage will require the demolition of existing exterior walls, a new foundation, a new roof, new exterior siding, and probably new windows. If you are going to incur these expenses, it’s important to get some bang for your buck. It’s important that the added room is sized so that the space can be efficiently produced.

Remodel Resale Value

Tree 2 Key Builders, Traditional Exterior

3. Curb appeal. You have heard not to judge a book by its cover, but smart money recognizes the cover’s value. Your front elevation is more than just a first impression. It’s the only impression available to just about all of your home’s potential buyers.

The good news is that there are a number of very affordable projects that can improve curb appeal and some more extensive improvements that can likely pay off as well. Simply cleaning out overgrown brush and making a few new planting additions to your landscape can go a long way toward improving curb appeal at a very low cost.

Repainting is another low-cost, high-impact improvement. Costlier changes such as changing out old windows or an aged entry door are things that potential buyers will notice and value. Even more extensive front-elevation remodels, such as added dormers and front porches, can prove wise from an investment standpoint.

Remodel Resale Value

Jameson Design Group, Contemporary Bedroom

4. Primary suites. Sorry, kids. Homebuying decisions are in the hands of adults, and adults care about the environment where they sleep. Updating a primary bedroom or remodeling and adding a new primary suite is money well spent. The buyers will picture themselves living in their private space, and it’s of quantitative value when they like what they see.

Remodel Resale Value

Denman Construction, Farmhouse Bathroom

5. Bathrooms. Homebuyers notice bathrooms, and although all the bathrooms are important, a priority should be placed on the powder room and master bath, followed by a guest bathroom and any other secondary baths (the kids don’t need to know).

The same rules apply to a bathroom remodel as to the kitchen. Cosmetic changes are safer from an investment standpoint than modifications involving changed layouts or minor additions, which can result in inefficient expenses.

Remodeling Projects That Typically Offer Poor Resale Value

1. Kids’ spaces. 
If your kids have a climbing wall, for example, the fantastic addition will probably lead to hours of fun, increased strength, and perhaps even a sense of accomplishment. But there is no assurance your homebuyer will feel the same way. A rock-climbing wall might actually represent a negative value to a buyer who sees this space as his man cave.

2. Pools. The National Swimming Pool Foundation estimates that there are more than 10 million swimming pools in the United States. Can 10 million pool owners possibly be wrong? Backyard pools are loved by millions, and while this appreciation is well-founded, they should be constructed for their many virtues that are not investment-related. A pool might increase the value of your home but is unlikely to pay for itself, as some buyers will perceive the pool as a negative maintenance expense.

3. Wine rooms. Some of the coolest remodels are the least savvy from an investment perspective. A wine room wouldn’t appeal to someone who does not love wine, for example. Original designs rarely appeal to everyone, so when adding spaces to a home you know you will sell, consider how personal it is and if others will feel as strongly as you do.

4. Removing features. Do not remove features for investment reasons. If you never use the fireplace in your basement, removing it might make perfect sense to you and your family. Just make sure you understand that the next homeowner might wish it were still there, and the money you spent demolishing the fireplace and reworking the space will not be reclaimed.

5. Minor additions. Adding a few square feet — say, to expand a bathroom or secondary bedroom — is rarely money well spent. The reason is simple. If you bump out a bedroom wall by a few feet, you might make that bedroom much more comfortable. That benefit alone might make it worthwhile in your circumstance. But the cost of the added elements, including foundation, roof, framing and drywall, will result in only a small gain in square footage. Say your 2,400-square-foot, three-bedroom home becomes a three-bedroom home with 2,440 square feet. It’s unlikely that you’ll recover the cost of the addition.

Remodel Resale Value

Michele Johnson Design, Traditional Kitchen

 

The Bottom Line

This exercise is not intended to dissuade you from pursuing a specific remodeling idea. The enjoyment and functionality get from a new space may make the project worthwhile even if it doesn’t provide good resale value. The decision is yours to make. Just be sure you make it with a full understanding of the investment value for every dollar you spend.

Written by Matt Clawson, a Houzz contributor. Realtor. Homebuilder, project consultant, and writer/March 15, 2022.

You can read the blog with its additional links on Houzz here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or email steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

What Style Is Your House? Popular House Styles Explained

CREDIT Edward Gohlich

Do You Know the Style of Your House?

Whether you’re remodeling, adding a second level, or just giving your home some extra curb appeal, knowing the style of your house can help you develop a successful plan. You’ll also gain a greater appreciation of the way your house was designed and built.

This guide to different styles of houses will help you understand the many variations within the variety of designs. You can also find architecture guides at your local library or in larger bookstores that will help you identify a particular style or design. Using the original style of your house as a starting point for an exterior makeover is usually the best technique, but, in some cases, mixing styles can energize a design.

We’ve included the most popular house styles in Arizona.  You can read the entire Better Homes & Garden article that includes the 10 most popular house styles here.

Craftsman Houses

The Craftsman bungalow (also known as Arts and Crafts-style houses) was a popular house style between 1905 and the 1930s, and it’s making a comeback today. If you’re wondering what a Craftsman-style house interior looks like, pay attention to the woodwork. One distinguishing feature of the style is a large amount of interior woodwork, such as built-in shelving and seating.

As for the exterior, Craftsman-style houses often have low-pitched roofs with wide eave overhangs, exposed roof rafters, decorative beams or braces under gables, and porches framed by tapered square columns. Craftsman bungalows often have unfinished but usable space in the attic that can offer great renovation opportunities.

Mediterranean Style

Mediterranean styles of architecture, such as Spanish colonial revival (also known as Spanish farmhouse or Spanish eclectic) flourished in Southern California during the 1920s and 1930s following a noteworthy appearance at the Panama-California Exposition of 1915.

Mediterranean-style homes often feature a low-pitched red tile roof, arches, grillwork, and a stucco or adobe exterior. The typical U-shape Mediterranean floor plan is oriented around a central courtyard and fountain, making the garden an extension of the living space. The rooms in Spanish-style houses often open to the courtyard, promoting cooling cross-ventilation and the flow of fresh air.

Traditional Ranch Homes

Traditional ranch-style homes usually have simple floor plans, attached garages, and efficient living spaces. The style dates back to 1932 and is still being built today. It was one of the most popular styles in the suburban home-building boom of the 1950s and 1960s.

Although they might appear plain or cookie-cutter on the outside, ranch-style houses offer great potential for additions. Bilevel and trilevel homes evolved from the ranch-style and were built during the same era. Because of their simplicity, ranch-style house plans are easy to upgrade with additions.

Contemporary-Style Houses

Referring specifically to architect-designed homes built from about 1950 to 1970, the term “contemporary” has come to describe a wide range of modern house styles built in recent decades that concentrate on simple forms and geometric lines. Contemporary-style homes reflect the experimentation and dynamism of the postwar modern period in which many modernist ideas were integrated into the American aesthetic.

Many contemporary homes feature lots of glass, open floor plans, and inventive designs. Without elaborate ornamentation and unnecessary detail, the exteriors of contemporary homes often feature a dynamic mix of contrasting materials and textures, exposed roof beams, and flat or low-pitched roofs.

New Home Additions

Not every home abides by a single house style. You will often see elements of different house styles combined in one home. It’s a product of one era moving into another while retaining some features of the previous period, and it can easily be adapted to your design scheme. Although you should avoid a hodgepodge of house styles, you can alter a particular style for your addition. Once you understand the style of your existing home, you can thoughtfully move forward with the design of your addition.

For example, juxtaposing building materials and mixing window shapes create architectural intrigue between this home and its addition. Although they were built at different times and feature contrasting materials and elements, they are connected by the use of angles and strong geometry.

Original article by Caitlin Sole, bhg.com (September 16, 2021)

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (602) 478-5102 or emailing steve@homeworkremodels.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

Remodeling Trends for Updating Your Home in 2022

Trends are a great way to determine what is going on around us and how it affects the way we live.  With the pandemic, we have found our homes stretched to meet new needs…it has become a place to work, go to virtual class, and entertain guests safely all while remaining a cozy home with spaces to retreat.  Below are the trends from a blog, Remodeling Trends for 2022 by Shannon Lee who writes for bobvilla.com.   

Here’s what we predict will matter most to homeowners about updating their homes in 2022.

  1. Sustainability Everywhere

Environmental issues have taken hold in the collective American consciousness as more intense weather patterns and changes in nature’s cycles begin to affect our day-to-day lives. As a result, it’s no wonder so many are looking for more sustainable, eco-friendly products and techniques for their homes.

Expect to see landscaping that beautifies yet protects, especially in areas prone to wildfire or flood, as well as exterior walls of brick or stone. Inside the house, repurposed flooring is predicted to become more popular. In addition, there is an increasing amount of attention being paid to sustainable options like bamboo or cork. Look to the roof for solar panels that take eco-friendliness even further.

  1. Safety Features Inside and Out

Pandemic woes meant staying at home quite a bit, and that often led to realizations about safety in the home. HVAC units with “whole house” air filtration systems or anti-microbial tile may become more common.

Many households now have several generations under one roof, and that means accommodating the difficulties the elderly might have with their day-to-day lives. To that end, expect to see many people renovating their homes for aging in place, complete with roll-in showers, grab bars, and nonslip flooring.

Outside the home, there’s been an increase in demand for those things that keep us safe inside, such as backup generators. The demand for installation of generators is expected to grow by almost 6 percent by 2026.

  1. Multifunctional Rooms

Adults working from home and kids learning in virtual school often meant many people battling for the same work or study space in a home. As a result, multifunctional rooms are a trend to watch in 2022. These are rooms that do double-duty as study halls and work zones, complete with Zoom setups and comfortable seating with central charging stations as a must-have feature.

Kitchen islands served both as breakfast bars and classrooms, so expect the trend to move toward carving out dedicated nooks for each function. If you choose to sell the property later, the return on investment for a minor kitchen remodel can be quite attractive. The trend might extend to furniture as well, with convertible desks and gym equipment that allows for work and exercise at the same time.

  1. Bathrooms That Feel Like Spas

Spending more time at home with other family members can mean a lack of privacy, and that can lead to frustrations. Those seeking privacy in a crowded home might look to increase their bathroom space even further.

Look for luxurious changes as well as practical ones, such as built-in storage units in the bathroom cabinets, deep vessel sinks, and better bathroom lighting ideas (including those with a twist—think bathroom chandeliers). And of course, sturdy locks to keep that well-earned bubble bath all to yourself.

  1. Outdoor Spaces

Those who wanted to entertain during the pandemic often found the only way to make it happen was outdoors. Social distancing helped increase the demand for outdoor space in 2021, and that trend shows no signs of slowing down.

Homeowners are focusing on their patios, decks, and outdoor kitchens as places to relax outside of the walls of the home. Plus, staying home during the pandemic led to a significant uptick in gardening, both growing produce for cooking as well as decorative plants for beautifying the home.

  1. Mudrooms or Transitional Rooms

If you’re going to have a lot of outdoor space to play in, there needs to be an area that transitions back into the home. That’s where a mudroom becomes a handy space. The trend includes mudrooms or “drop zones” with copious amounts of storage for shoes and coats, deep sinks or washing stations for those overzealous pets, or even showers for the humans.

Depending upon the location of the mudroom, it could also include a landing spot for deliveries of packages or groceries if it’s at the side of the house or part of a newly remodeled garage.

  1. Going Retro

Supply shortages were an unfortunate reality for a wide variety of industries in 2021, and the world of home improvement was no exception. From shortages of certain paint colors to an inability to get new furniture delivered in a timely manner, many homeowners have turned to other options for sprucing up their home. The result is a newfound love of retro style.

Local flea markets, yard sales, and antique stores are all great places to land that perfect vintage feel. One-of-a-kind pieces or those that have been upcycled with new upholstery or paint are ideal for a lived-in look at a fraction of the price of something new. Vintage items in a home also support the all-important themes of sustainability and eco-friendliness.

  1. Unique Kitchen Configurations

 While the open-concept layout of a home might be vanishing, turning the kitchen into a multipurpose room is definitely a trend that isn’t likely to stop anytime soon. To that end, many homeowners are going with two kitchen islands: one for entertaining and food preparation and the other for school, work, and everything else.

While any sort of kitchen remodel can offer up great return on investment, having two kitchen islands in a carefully balanced aesthetic catapults a simple, mid-range kitchen into high-end territory.

  1. More Attention to Storage

Minimalism has been around for many decades, and the advantages of decluttering have become legend. As Marie Kondo asks, does it spark joy? If not, perhaps you shouldn’t have it around. For many, the solution to this is better storage for the things they don’t want to see every day, but can’t bear to part with.

Kitchen cabinets with pull-out shelves, appliance garages, bathroom cabinetry configured to handle all the small tools of hair care and hygiene, cubbies and hooks throughout entry areas, and under-bed storage with smooth-sliding drawers are all options to hide things away and streamline the look of a room.

  1. The Home Office

Home offices have grown in popularity over the years, but the importance of them truly hit home during the pandemic. As unprecedented numbers of workers log into work from their couch, a more ideal scenario of a proper home office with a door that locks and a dedicated phone line has become a serious home renovation goal. This trend will surely result in many spare bedrooms or even empty spaces above the garage being transformed into a dedicated space for work.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Remodeling on your mind? Tri-Lite Builders is an award-winning remodeler with years of experience.  We focus primarily on amazing kitchens, luxurious bathrooms, and large whole-home remodeling projects that include outdoor living spaces. You can learn more about us here. Ready to start? Give us a call at (480) 895-3442 for a free consultation.  We look forward to making your dreams a reality!

This blog was shared from https://www.bobvilla.com/articles/remodeling-trends-2022/

 

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