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Menampilkan postingan dari 2013

Master on the Main

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In the 1970’s a group of architects, designers and engineers began to develop a series of guidelines meant to revolutionize the design of our cities, towns and homes.They sought an approach to design that would make the built environment more useful to more people for a greater period of time.They gave voice to the concept of Universal Design.
Now, here we are forty years later and you probably have never heard of Universal Design and you probably don’t care to now.So I’ll spare you the history lesson, but I will say that even if you haven’t heard of it, you are seeing the concepts of Universal Design infiltrate your home.
One of the most commonly requested additions onto a home is the addition of a master bedroom and bathroom located on the main level.Homeowners have begun to realize the benefits of such an arrangement.They see the value of having a bedroom space that is accessible without going up or down a flight of stairs or one that is removed from the other bedrooms to provide pr…

How to Prevent your "FLIP" from Becoming a "FLOP"

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“Flipping” a house or buying a home, fixing it up and reselling it right away is something almost everyone I talk to has thought about doing at one time or another.You may have even dreamed of making it rich this way.People watch TV shows like Flip This House, Property Ladder and Flipping Out and think to themselves, “Hey, I could do that!”Many people try, but few succeed.So, what determines if a project is a successful flip or an all-out flop?

The key to a successful flip is having the right team in place.You need to have a knowledgeable realtor with foreclosure and short sale experience, a reliable lender who can actually lend money for properties that are not considered fully habitable, a design professional who can guide you into making the least amount of modifications for the most impact and a series of contractors and sub-contractors who can get the work done in a timely manner without sacrificing quality.Of course, this is easier said than done.

The home we were buying was a for…

MAN CAVE MADNESS

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The term "man cave" either inspires nostalgic longing and thoughts of frat-like freedom or it brings to mind the image of grown men refusing to grow up.  Either way, the term has been around since printed in a newspaper article in 1992 and the desire for an all male retreat has been around since God plucked a rib from Adam and created Man 2.0 also know as woman.  The only difference is that corporate America discovered a new demographic of consumers that they had not tapped into.  Thus the rise of the Man Cave in our culture.

Regardless of what you call it, men have always sought a place of their own.  Today this space comes in many shapes and sizes and can be as unique as men themselves.  It can be located in a basement, an attic, a garage, a tree house or an out house.  The location is not as important as the fact that this space is typically all boy! 

I recently had the privilege of working on one such retreat and found it to be a fun and rewarding experience.  In this proj…

Design Strategies to help you "Age In Place"

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One of the most traumatic and easily avoidable events faced by seniors in our society occurs when able minded homeowners feel forced to leave their homes because it is no longer accessible or safe for them to stay.  This scenario looms in the minds of hundreds of thousands of Americans and it's reality is closing in faster and faster.

As of April 2010, 40.3 million Americans were over the age of 65.  They account for over 13% of the US population.  81% of these Americans own their own home and over 60% plan to remain in their homes for as long as they can.

The reality is; however, that most American homes are not designed to accommodate the unique needs of the elder population.  In fact, most homes cannot serve the needs of persons of any age who have temporary or long term disabilities.  Impairments due to the natural aging process begin as early as age 40 and gradually increase over the next few decades.  By the age of 75, 50% of people suffer from significant vision and hearing l…

Finding Online Design Inspiration

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There are things about our homes that drive us crazy.  No matter what makes us long for a change eventually we decide to do something about it.  And so we fire up our computers and we become ensnared in the endless array of images, ads and blogs.  We become overwhelmed at the possibilities.
Don't be discouraged.  There is an online resource designed for homeowners who want to find inspiration, images or a trusted local professional to lead them on their way.  This place is called Houzz.com.  Houzz features the largest residential design database in the world, articles written by design experts, product recommendations, a vibrant community powered by social tools, and information on more than 1.5 million remodeling and design professionals worldwide who can help turn ideas into reality.
I use houzz.com for inspiration.  I use it to share images with my clients, to provide visual examples of proposed design elements and to showcase my own professional designs.  In fact, I recently r…

Home Design Trends: The Transitional Design Style

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In the ebb and flow of home design trends, what was old becomes new and what was new becomes old.Gone are the days of 1960’s space-age designs, 1970’s shag carpet, 1980’s pastel color schemes and 1990’s shabby chic.Today residential design is headed into what has been dubbed the “transitional” style.This style integrates both traditional and modern design elements in an eclectic and sophisticated manner.This design trend is gaining immense popularity especially in the area of bathroom design where vintage hardware and lighting fixtures are intertwined with smooth linear tiles and sleek glass finishes.
 Take for example this master bathroom renovation completed in November of 2012.The bathroom remained mostly as it was originally designed in the 1960’s with some wall color, linen and lighting adaptations.The floor plan was a common 5’-0” wide galley style bathroom with a tub/shower unit at one end followed by a toilet and double vanity.The floors had ¾” square tumbled beige mosaic floor…

NEW YEAR'S RENOVATIONS...TOP 10 RENOVATION PROJECT TYPES

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Each year when families across the country retire their old scribbled and marked upon calendars with fresh new ones full of promise and empty spaces to be filled, they begin to dream of ways to improve the way they live and increase the pleasure they receive.One of the most obvious places they turn to is their own home, the place where they spend the majority of their time.
So it is that we look back at 2012 and ahead to 2013.Looking back, it is easy to see that remodeling trends continue to evolve and that homeowners are gaining renewed confidence and channeling that energy back into their homes.According to the National Association of Home Builders (NHAB) there were many projects homeowners chose to undertake, but there were a few common project types that were repeated time and again.Below is a ranking of the Top Ten Remodeling Projects in descending order:
#10SIDING
Improvements to or replacement of exterior siding was the 10th most common renovation project.
#9ROOFING
Replacement of a…