Archive for January, 2010

2010 Trends in Design: What’s on the Horizon?

January 31st, 2010
Posted in Design, Design and Build | Comments Off

TrendsYour own instincts for comfort and style at home are best to use when remodeling … but design trends are fun to follow! This year, the emphasis is on eclectic individual expression. There are no “rules” – pick and choose your favorites and make them your own. Here’s what our professional designers see on the horizon:

Colors: Purple and turquoise are brightening spaces as accents and decorative elements. Pantone, the world’s color authority for 45 years, named turquoise 2010′s “Color of the Year.” Another trend is the emergence of gray as the new neutral. Gray replaces beige in this role, appearing in both warm and cool tones, sometimes paired with bold oranges, yellows or greens.

Fixtures: When it comes to fixtures for the bath, warm antique gold eclipses shiny chrome for 2010.

Countertops: Natural stone, polished and/or honed, is a popular new choice. Quartz is also a standout, as are “green” materials such as Vetrazzo, made from recycled glass. The use of tile has faded.

Cabinetry: Highly organized cabinetry with easy access to necessities is a trend in clean contemporary or transitional designs. White finishes are in vogue, as are mixed finishes with a variety of woods, including raw and textured.

Flooring: Natural stone and porcelain tile will be the flooring of choice for many homes in 2010.

Bathrooms: The trend for spa-like bathrooms deepens, with elements such as jetted, air bubble, or soaking tubs, multiple body spray showers and chromatherapy, all powered by smart technology that allows a change of atmosphere with the touch of a button.

Adapting trends to your own personality is what makes a home feel both fresh and timeless. When you’re considering a remodel, it’s always a good idea to do some research about the latest directions in design to see which feel right for you.

Feel Like Going to the Spa without Leaving Home? Remodel Your Bath.

January 25th, 2010
Posted in Bathrooms, Design, Home Electronics | Comments Off

SpaBathThe days when the bathroom was just a functional space, almost an afterthought in home design, are long gone. Today’s baths compete with the finest luxury spas for atmosphere and amenities. San Diego bathroom designs are becoming increasingly more sophisticated as homeowners discover the many attractive benefits of visiting the local spa right down the hall.

So, what makes a bathroom a spa? Here are some aspects of bathroom design to consider:

1. Size and scale: In general, today’s baths are substantially larger per sq. foot than their predecessors. They’re designed to accommodate a more generous scale for bathtubs and showers and to provide ample room for expansive double sink vanities and organized storage. A feeling of uncluttered open space is essential to creating a spa-like atmosphere.

2. Multi-tasking Tubs and Showers: The tubs and showers being created today perform well beyond basic functionality. Bold, freestanding tubs are often the focal point of a bathroom, welcoming the homeowner with the promise of a lengthy retreat. Tubs outfitted with air bubbles or jets, or those inspired by Japanese soaking tubs, are a current trend in creating spa-like ambiance in the bathroom. Showers are smart sanctuaries, offering either relaxation or invigoration depending on mood. Luxurious body spray jets, multiple shower heads (some designed to mimic the effects of falling rain or waterfalls) and comfortable seating combine to create an individual, easily controlled experience for each shower.

3. Customized Ambiance: Technology plays a significant role in creating a spa-like atmosphere in the modern bath. At the touch of a button, lighting and music can be set to the desired mood to create a personal experience each time the bath is used. In the shower, electronic controls for volume, flow, temperature, body sprays and even a favorite song can be preset to make each shower efficient and satisfying. Chromatherapy, which emphasizes color and light for well being, adds an alternative dimension to customization. The lucky homeowner can bathe in a spectrum of color from soothing to energizing, all touch-controlled, while listening to music and relaxing in the lighting mode of choice.

4. The Right Lights: When it comes to lighting, the modern bath emphasizes diversity. Lighting is designed to support every need in the room, from bright lights for makeup application to dim lighting for a soothing bath. Controls can be programmed for instant adjustment.

5. Innovative Storage: Nothing ruins a spa-like mood more than clutter. Current storage options are highly organized to keep necessities hidden from view yet easily accessible. Built-in cabinets behind mirrors or slide out storage under the vanity make the bathroom functional yet streamlined.

The possibilities for creativity in bath design have expanded quite a bit in recent years. A spa-like retreat in the home is a welcome respite from the hectic pace and constant connectedness of modern life.

What’s Your Home’s IQ? Technology Makes Living Spaces Smarter.

January 14th, 2010
Posted in Custom Homes, Design, Home Electronics | Comments Off

HomeTechnologyMany of us have come to rely on smart technology to stay connected and make our lives easier, more fun and more productive when we’re on the go. We can make calls, answer emails, search the internet, play music, watch movies, get directions, pay bills and much more … all from our laptops, mobile phones or other hand-held devices. Yet, we don’t always give this same attention to technology when it comes to thinking about how we live in our homes. Home automation can bring a lot of pleasure and convenience to everyday living. Here are some examples of how technology can increase your home’s IQ:

Music Sets a Mood
Feel like dancing? Or would you prefer meditating? An iPod docking station brings mood management to your home, making it easy to instantly select the music you’d like to hear, when you want to hear it. Add a custom-designed surround sound system and you can control the music in each room of your home for personal enjoyment, or while entertaining.

Home at the Movies
Home theaters are a wonderful way for families to spend quality time together and for movie lovers to share their passion for the cinema with groups of friends. Sure, you can watch movies on a giant flat screen, but there’s nothing like the experience of seeing your favorites in a luxurious setting with plush theater seating and all the lighting and sound that brings a film to life.

Safe and Sound
Adding cameras and an intercom to your entryway brings reassuring security to your family and can be convenient as well, making it easy to see who is at the front door when you’re on the third floor. For added peace of mind, you could also install lighting systems that automatically illuminate your garage, entryway, and all rooms leading to the center of your home as soon as you pull into the driveway, just by pressing a “hot button” on your visor.

Rooms that Recognize You
For instant ambiance, Lutron lighting controls set the desired mood in any area of your home at the touch of a button, with programmed settings for “entertaining mode” or “relaxation mode.” Some systems sense the presence of a person in the room and adjust the environment’s music, lighting and temperature according to programmed controls.

These are just a few ways that automation makes for smarter living spaces, bringing convenience, fun and safety to your home!