Meet the Design Psychologist Who Put a Native Stone Bathtub in Her Bedroom

Note from Homework Remodels:  We loved reading this blog from Native Trails!  As you learn more about this designer, she also shares the psychology of design and how a good design in a remodel can create the space that makes you feel good.  We think this information is essential for the pandemic culture we live in today.   If you are thinking of remodeling, let us know how Homework Remodel’s professional designer, Sheila Lanier, can help you create the perfect space!

With a background that spans set styling, home staging, interior design, and visual merchandising, including several years as Nordstrom’s environmental designer, Amber brings to the table not only her impeccable taste but a master’s degree in psychology.

What does psychology have to do with design? More than you might think. “I believe spaces are deeply linked to our emotions and contribute to our wellbeing,” says Amber, who has taught design psychology at Salt Lake Community College since 2010.

Here, she shares some of her tips and tricks for creating spaces that look and feel great.

Let’s start by talking about the renovations to your bedroom—and that bathtub!

Psychology of Design

AD: We moved into the place a year and a half ago when I was seven months pregnant. And after a year of living in our bedroom, we started calling it the torture chamber—and not lovingly. Approaching the remodel, the first thing we decided on was having a bathtub in the bedroom. At first we picked out a more traditional ceramic tub, but when we sat with that for a minute, we knew something wasn’t feeling right. When we started looking into it, we found the Native Trails tub, which looks awesome with the floors. We wanted to keep it simple so we did a limestone wash on the walls and concrete slab flooring, and we have a little garden area just outside the window for when we’re in the tub.

On that note, what’s your take on the bathtub-in-the-bedroom trend? Apparently, you’re a fan.

AD: We had one in our old house, but it didn’t feel cool or on purpose. It just felt like they couldn’t fit the tub in the bathroom. But we loved it and knew we wanted to incorporate that vibe in this house, but in more of a modern way. I love the idea of baths being a ritual and part of self-care that is separate from the bathroom. You know, you get ready in the bathroom. It gets messy.

Yes, it feels more serene to have the tub in the bedroom. Especially because sleep doctors will tell you that the bedroom should only be used for two things: Sleep and sex.

AD: To have a bath is such a sensual thing, so it goes with both of those things.

You studied psychology in college and ultimately bridged that with your creative side. How did those two interests come together?

AD: I got my bachelor’s in psychology and then wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so I went back to school for interior design. Then I stumbled on a single article about design psychology and was hooked. I stalked the author of the article, and she was super nice and said, “You probably need to get higher education in one area or another if you want to do this for a living.” At the time, they didn’t offer anything beyond an associate’s for interior design so I went on to get my master’s in psychology. I did private practice therapy and trauma work with kids for years. That was not happiness for me; it was breaking my heart. I loved what I knew, but I didn’t love being a therapist. So I went back to the college where I went for interior design and asked the director if she had any interest in infusing psychology principles into their courses. She called me back a week later and said, “I love the idea. I want you to teach a class about it in two weeks. It will need to be a 16-week course.”

Generally speaking, what do design and psychology have to do with one another?

AD: When you walk into a space, you immediately have a feeling, whether you recognize the feeling or not. Spaces have power over our psyche and our emotional wellbeing. They can make you feel at ease, they can make you feel anxious. My class basically teaches people how to tap into that—whether it’s their own attachments to space or their history with spaces in their childhood. From zero to five are your really formative years for attaching to another person; that is the blueprint for how you operate, and it colors how you attach to people in your adult life. But you can attach to space in the same way. Some people like to recreate chaotic spaces because they’re familiar with them, even though they know they’re not healthy. Or they want to recreate the smell of something or the way something felt or the view or the layout of a place—all of those things can evoke nostalgic memories that can feel really calming if you recreate them in your adult life. Then we open it up and explore some universal reactions to space and texture and color and materials, and how people respond. Like, I just read an article about how just being around woodgrain can reduce your stress levels.

What are some of the universal design truths that make people feel good?

AD: We tend to feel more calm in monochromatic spaces, especially if they’re neutrals. All-white spaces make us tense; we feel more rigid and like we have to act more formal in them. But when I say monochromatic, I mean ranges of neutrals, maybe woodgrain and taupes and that family of off-whites, whites and creams. We feel really relaxed in those spaces. So even if you pick a single color—let’s say green—and you incorporate a really deep, vegetal green all the way to a chalky, watery green in the same room, we really like being in that versus in super high-contrast colors.

Psychology of Design

So color is probably the most important factor?

AD: Yes, and lighting. One of the biggest things with lighting is we like to be under dappled lighting, like the light that would hit through the trees on a sunny day. We like being around that fractured light, which is why a lot of people are doing those basketweave pendants. That’s a really good way to artificially replicate what you would find in nature. We have all kinds of  baked-in preferences from our survival instincts; so if it was a sunny day, you knew that it was safe and you didn’t have to find shelter. We also don’t love being around too much print because it’s harder to spot danger. We scan it in the same way we would scan something on the savanna to see if danger’s approaching. That’s also why too much clutter makes us tense.

Are there certain principles you adhere to when creating kitchens?

AD: With kitchens it’s about reducing the amount of clutter that you see, just because it is anxiety provoking to see a lot of things out. And I always think it’s nice to keep something like fresh and alive, whether that’s a basil plant or some other herbs. It’s also helpful to design kitchens with food colors. Blue is an appetite suppressant, so if you want to promote that in your kitchen, probably design with blue. There are just not a lot of blue foods in nature, but greens and warm tones are all nice to work with because they’re found in food.

How about for bathroom?

AD: In the bathroom I think it’s nice to think about textures. You start your day there and you end your day there usually. So it’s good to keep in mind things like plush towels or cozy rugs, things that hug you know and make you feel cozy.

So do you have any go to bathroom paint colors?

AD: Personally, I like neutrals and colors found in rocks and plants. I feel better around earth tones and materials that feel derived from Earth, like concrete. Especially if you want your bathroom to feel like an escape or spa, I will definitely lean into nature. There’s a theory called shibui that says that nature never makes a mistake. With that, you would look around you to know not only the colors to use, but the distribution. For instance on a hillside, you would normally see browns and different ranges of oatmeals, and then you would maybe see just a little pop of a flower. So you know, smaller doses of color.

What do you put in every space that you design?

AD: Plants. I’m personally drawn to them, and it feels good to have something alive around you. They’re also just super good for creating oxygen in a space. And when we’re around plants we’re more creative, more open to conversation and tend to settle disputes faster.

See more photos and read the remaining blog from Native Trails HERE

All photography courtesy of Amber Dunford.

Looking For an Award-Winning Team for Your Remodel?

Looking for an award-winning team for your remodel? We know trusting your home and your remodel to us is a huge decision! You deserve the best!  Homework Remodels use only the most qualified experts and are led by an award-winning team backed by many years of experience in the field.  When it comes to interior design and remodels in the valley, we collaborate with you to bring your vision to reality.  We bring unparalleled attention to detail, skill, and experience to your remodel.

We Bring Your Vision to Life

As expert designers, we enjoy helping you bring to life your vision and completely transform your bathroom into your own European-style spa or an outdated kitchen into an upscale and functional dream kitchen that matches your personal style. Whether you are remodeling a single room, or completely renovating the entire home, we make the process as effortless and seamless as possible.

We Guarantee Outstanding Results

Through meticulous attention to detail, we’ll design and remodel your space creating stunning results. We’ll take the time to collaborate with you about your lifestyle, tastes, and project goals so that you get the remodel that you want.

You Can Trust Our Expertise and Depend on Our Experience!

Homework Remodels specializes in premier, upscale home renovations in Phoenix and the Greater Phoenix Area. Our team members include Nationally Certified Kitchen and Bath Designers and Universal Design Certified Professionals who can plan a brand-new kitchen, bathroom, master suite, or addition for your house – down to the last detail. Then our NARI Certified Remodelers bring that design to life so you and your loved ones can enjoy the new space for years to come.  You can count on Homework Remodels to bring expertise, quality, efficiency, and exceptional craftsmanship to every project.

For exceptional home remodeling, turn to the innovative renovation experts at Homework Remodels!

  • Concept to Completion Renovation
  • Home Design Consulting
  • Home Remodeling
  • Complete Kitchen Remodels and Bathroom Remodeling
  • Universal Design Bathrooms for accessibility and beauty
  • Master Suite Upgrades and Renovations
  • Room Additions, Garages, and Casitas
  • Historic Home Renovation Specialists

Ready to get started? We offer free consultations safely in-home or virtually.  Give us a call!

Click these links to learn more about us and view our portfolio?

Sheila Lanier, CKBR UDCP

Sheila Lanier, CKBR UDCP

Steve Shinn, CR, CKBR, UDCP, GCP

Steve Shinn, CR, CKBR, UDCP, GCP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a lot of initials behind our names which really just means that we bring to you a lot of experience and knowledge with us. We want to give you our BEST!

What Those Initials Mean

CR        Certified Remodeler

CKBR  Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler

UDCP  Universal Design Certified Professional

GCP     Green Certified Professional

 

 

 

6 BATHROOM UPGRADES FOR YOUR REMODELING PROJECT

Bathrooms are one of our most used spaces but can be a tricky space to upgrade or update. With unmovable fixtures and often tight footprints, options can seem limited at first glance. With a little creativity, though, you can add style and bring your bathroom up to date. We’ve put together a list of 6 bathroom upgrades and ideas that will transform your bathroom and make your bathroom remodeling project a success!

6 Bathroom Upgrades and Ideas

Hide the Toilet

If you’re working with a larger, master bathroom, a half wall can provide a new look and add style while creating a discreet nook for the toilet. A piece of furniture like an armoire or dresser can also create a functional and stylish barrier without the need for framing.

Update Your Surfaces

Bathroom surfaces contribute to your overall look while also taking a lot of wear and tear. Changing out your tile can drastically change the look of your bathroom. Look for larger tiles to minimize grout lines, which will make cleaning and upkeep easier.

Modernize Your Shower

Many people don’t make use of their bathtubs. Why not remove the tub altogether and create a large, luxurious shower? Body sprays, overhead rain showerheads, and even steam generators can upgrade your shower experience.

Create Space on Your Vanity

Bathrooms with double ‘his and hers’ sinks can be updated to create storage space. Getting a new countertop with a single sink can drastically change the look of the room while maximizing counter space for storage and décor.

Light it Up

Utilizing different types of fixtures in your bathroom can do a lot to brighten and update the space. In addition to overhead lights, sconces or other vertical fixtures on either side of the sink or vanity will provide even lighting for beauty routines or shaving.

Think Outside the Box

Replace mirrors and hardware with vintage brass for a chic, homey look, or with chrome to make your more bathroom modern. When shopping for tile and fixtures, look for something that suits your style and personality – even if it comes from outside the bathroom section of the store. Break the rules.

Bonus Tip:  Remember when you’re upgrading and updating your bathroom to draw in design and style elements from the rest of your home. Having a functional bathroom doesn’t have to mean having a boring one!

Give us a call at Tri-Lite Builders at (480) 895-3442 if you’re in the greater Phoenix area and planning to remodel your bathroom in the near future. We’ll schedule a virtual or in-home consultation to help you design the perfect bathroom with amazing upgrades and style.  Explore our portfolio of bathroom remodels for ideas here!

3D Imaging and Printing in Construction

Conception architecture

Technology and construction don’t always feel like they go hand-in-hand. One of the many changes that you may not know about is the use of 3D imaging and printing in construction. Some have even called this a revolutionary development that will change the face of the design build process. This is a fascinating push forward, and could very well change the way that you see construction for the future. The impressive thing about this is that it’s far less expensive than you may think.

3D Design and Imaging: We use computers to aid in the design of the homes we build and the rooms we remodel. They offer us the ability to print a picture perfect image of the final project so you can better see what your home will look like or what your new kitchen will look like before construction begins. These images are designed to allow you to make changes to the overall appearance of the home or room before we even draw up the blueprints. This ensures that we are all on the same page and we know what to expect.

A Full House Built: The ability to print the home in full detail is a pretty impressive idea when you consider the cost of custom home building. The way 3D printing is used, it allows builders to print individual pieces one by one and build a miniature model of the home. Once the pieces are put together, they have the structural strength that will be present in the full size home.

Saving the Planet: 3D printing offers an efficient process for construction. The construction process allows for less waste overall. The reduction of waste is just part of the overall premise. Faster production rates, less wasted raw materials, and efficiency creates a much “greener” building process.

Time Will Tell: All of this sounds fascinating, especially when it comes to cost and efficiency. However, it’s not here on a viable level just yet because 3D printers are relatively new and the materials used can get quite expensive for the average homeowner. One thing is for sure, though, it’s fascinating and definitely worth keeping an eye on for the future.

The Power of 3D Images

A 3D image of the completed remodeling or building project is priceless. It provides a way for you to compare the before (existing) and after before any work has been done. It allows you to make changes that affect the functionality and the appearance of the project before we even move past the design phase. Take a look at our design build process in more detail.

Tri-Lite Builders is located in Phoenix and we provide personalized design, building, and remodeling services to greater Phoenix area homeowners. We enjoy the looks on homeowners’ faces when we reveal the completed project and we’ve met every challenge with grace and beauty. Give us a call at 480-895-3442 if you would like to schedule an appointment for a consultation for your upcoming custom home build or remodeling project.

35 Years of Designing Value & Building Trust

Future, Present and Past words on a red speedometer to predict what's coming next and looking forward to a successful tomorrowDesigning Value & Building Trust.

There is something about ringing in the new year makes all of us a little sentimental and nostalgic. We’re in our 34th year of service this year, and in only 8 short months, we’ll be looking at 35 Years of Designing Value & Building Trust. We’ve designed, built, and remodeled a lot of homes in those 34 years. We’re looking forward to continuing our business for an undetermined length of time to come. Today we want to take a quick look at how things have changed in the design and build industry in the last 30 years.

 

National and Local Codes

Building codes differ from area to area because structural needs differ. All building codes are in place to protect the homeowner and builder from injuries, and the insurance agency against fraudulent claims. A home that passes all required inspections along the way is considered safe and legal for the inhabitants. Codes do change from time to time as new technologies come into play, so always make sure you’re building or remodeling your home with someone who has experience in your area.

Design Tools

This is one of the biggest changes we’ve seen thus far. We’ve always worked with printed blueprints, pencils, pens, and paper, among other design tools. Today we still use paper, pencils, and other tools to design and sketch, but we also use computers. The computers and software we use allow us to create amazing 3D renderings of your project so we can provide picture-perfect images before work begins. We are sure to be on the same page when we can see an actual representation of the finished project.

More Precise Quotes and Time Frames

The computerized system allows us to see precisely what we need for each project so we can provide a better time frame and more precise quotes. We still recommend that you budget at least 15% more in case of incidentals or if you decide to splurge on that amazing steam shower you’ve had your eye on instead of the tub-shower combo unit. Yes, we see these incredible trends, too.

Highest Quality Standards 

Our entire business has been built on quality workmanship and a professional demeanor. We’ve recognized as the Local Contractor of the Year many times over the years , in 2015 we’ve been awarded Best of Show and Contractor of the Year once again for the Phoenix area by the Greater Phoenix National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
In 2015 Ranking Arizona also recognized us as Arizona’s top remodeler after compiling their public vote.
After 35 Years of Designing Value & Building Trust, we are grateful for everyone’s continued support.
You can contact us by emailing us at linda@trilitebuilders.com, using the Contact form on our website, calling us at 480-895-3442, or visiting our Facebook page to let us know what you would like to do to your home. We would love to hear your ideas and schedule an appointment for a consultation to get things underway.

New Website, Blog Feature, and Resolutions

new webWe have a lot of exciting things going on this year here at Tri-Lite Builders. We’ve recently revamped the website; it seems as if everything needs to be remodeled occasionally. We’ve introduced the blog feature, and now we’re face to face with January 2016 and the multitude of ideas for New Year’s resolutions. We could stick with the usual popular resolutions such as eating healthier and exercising more, but we decided to include a few home improvement projects into the mix of resolutions as well.

 

Let’s Talk New Year’s Resolutions!

Home improvement projects crop up all year round, so there’s no way you can resolve to complete them all on a certain date. We completely understand that when something messes up, it has to be repaired as quickly as possible. So we aren’t saying that you need to create a plan of action this month and stick to it regardless. We’re simply saying instead of renewing the gym membership and only visiting a couple of days a week, remodel some part of your home to include a home gym. Instead of avoiding a certain area of your home or using it only as storage, remodel it to enhance the living spaces in your home and include organized hidden storage.

New Website – Our Whole New Design is Cleaner and Neater

We love our new website. The overall design is much neater and cleaner than it was before, and it’s easier to navigate. Our goal was to make it easy for you to find the answers to your questions before you call us because quality information is the key to a successful project from beginning to end. Our new website provides information like:

• Kitchen Remodeling FAQ – This area is pretty self-explanatory, it answers the most frequently asked questions about kitchen remodeling.
• Bathroom Remodeling FAQ – This area is also self-explanatory, it answers the most frequently asked questions about bathroom remodeling.
• Our Certifications – This area covers our current certifications and gives you information about each.
• Our Design Process – We always like for our clients to become familiar with our design-build process because it does take time to create perfection.
• Our Gallery of Previous Projects – We’ve built our reputation on our ability to provide quality work in a timely manner, excellent craftsmanship, and a professional atmosphere from beginning to end. We take pride in the projects we’ve finished and would like to encourage you to look at our previous work to determine whether or not you would like to work with us.
New Blog – What Would You Like to See?

We want your input. We want to know what you would like to see on the blog so we can tailor our content to fit into the categories you want to read. We can go on for hours about building, remodeling, trends, and the like, but if we aren’t providing content you want to read, you won’t visit us that often. So email us, call us at 480-895-3442, or visit our Facebook page to let us know what you would like to see next.

Welcome To Tri-Lite Builders New Blog Feature

Linds-Steve-New
Turns out websites are like our homes, eventually, they too need to be remodeled. We are gearing up for a great 2016 with our newly remodeled website with its new blog feature. Tri-Lite Builders’ previous website served us well for many years. Unfortunately, it didn’t adjust well to being viewed on a phone or tablet, plus it had limitations that prevented us from being able to offer this blog.

Now that our updated website is launched, we will be publishing regular blog posts on all aspects of home remodeling, improvements, and maintenance.  We plan to start new features such as, “Our Favorite New Products” and “Hot New Trends”. Linda and I hope you will find our posts informative and interesting.

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