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Trend watch 2011: What’s In? What’s Out?

October 10th, 2010
Posted in Green Home, Kitchens | Comments Off

Green Home KitchensEvery homeowner has their own unique vision. Whether you’re planning to update your kitchen or bath space or create a more environmentally-friendly living space, home remodeling today is all about lifestyle. More than ever, consumers are looking for the right tips and trends for creating a design that is based on longevity. The days of the quick flip are long gone.

If you’re ready for a remodel and looking for inspiration, here are a few tips to help you create your perfect space:

1) Design to entertain: With value more important than ever, the goal here is to provide a relaxing and fun environment for your guests. Turn your kitchen remodel into the hottest new restaurant in town, create comfortable and functional living spaces, install some of the latest home automation/high-tech gadgets (think built-in iPod docking station, wine fridge, built-in espresso maker). The goal is to create a space that makes you want to stay home for dinner. On the downside, your guests may never want to leave.

2) Get in touch with your inner green: If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, opt for energy-efficient windows, lighting fixtures and tankless water heaters that are not only friendly to Mother Nature, but will offer big savings down the road. If you want to go the extra mile consider recycled countertops, radiant heat or water catch basins. Incorporating energy-efficient products and features will not only make your home look better, but will also make you feel better about giving back to the environment.

3) Bring the extended family together in a functional way. Long gone are the days of form over function. With more families expanding their homes to meet the needs of aging parents, homeowners want to seamlessly integrate these spaces to match the look and feel of the rest of the home. Universal Design is perhaps the newest and hottest trend in remodeling today. It allows you to design a space that is functional for all individuals in the home, including those who may be in wheelchairs or need special access, but marries these functional aspects with the overall design plan to create a simply beautiful result. Put simply, home is where the heart is, and creating a comfortable living space is a trend that will never go out of style.

Now on to the fun stuff. Want to show off your home design skills to the rest of the neighborhood? Here’s an insider look into what’s hot and what’s not for 2011:

Overall Design Style

What’s in:  Transitional/ contemporary (clean lines, minimalistic design accessories, big accents) and a style that is simplified, cozy and functional. Spanish style and Santa Barbara style remain popular choices.

What’s out:  Tuscan-style design


What’s in: Grey and white are strong color choices, along with accents of chocolates and dark brown; or any splash of color that expresses your own personality.

What’s out:  Beige/taupe.


What’s in: Glass, wood, polished stone, quartz, granite, green materials (vertrazzo and recycled paper countertops), including a mixture of honed and polished finishes. Leather finish on natural stone also creates a nice touch.

What’s out:  Tile

Backsplashes for the Kitchen or Bath

What’s in:  Mosaic and glass tiles, porcelain, natural stone mosaic, 3form acrylic

What’s out: Full granite backsplashes, monochromatic, single size tile

Window Treatments

What’s in: Motorized shades as part of smart system to create ambience

What’s out: Vertical blinds


What’s in: iPod docking stations built in, smart systems, media, home automation, remote control steam showers with aromatherapy and music.

What’s out: Wires

International Flair

What’s in:  Wrought Iron, European, Spanish, distressed furniture and nail heads.

What’s out: Over-the-top accessories or themes.

How to Solve Color Dilemmas and Select the Perfect Paint Color

September 16th, 2010
Posted in Art and Decorating, Design, Painting | Comments Off

PaintColorsChoosing the right paint colors for your home is both exciting and daunting. How do you know which colors to choose and which colors will look good together? Will you be happy with your choices once the project is done and your home is painted, or will you have regrets? A professional interior designer with an experienced painting company can help you navigate the world of color. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

Identify Goals
Before starting a paint project you should always identify what your goal is with the space. How do you use each room and what type of atmosphere do you want to convey in the space … Cozy? Relaxing? Exciting and Bold? Bigger?

Work With What You Love
With thousands of paint colors to choose from, picking the perfect color for your space can be overwhelming. One of the best ways to narrow down selections and hone in on the tone that will make your space sing is to look at your existing furniture. Think about the colors of your couch, rug, floors and cabinetry. The colors you’ve chosen to furnish your home are a good indicator of the palettes you like. You can also try to pull colors from a favorite painting or art piece that inspires you.

Find Your Light
There’s nothing worse than choosing a color in the store, then getting it home and seeing it completely change as the light hits it. When choosing a paint color, keep in mind how much light the room gets, noting that in very bright rooms, each wall may look different at different times of day. The best way to test paint colors is to tape chips horizontally to the walls. Once you select your color, get a paint sample and paint large patches on each wall in the room and spend some time with it (at least a few days) to see how the light affects the color throughout the day.

General Color Tips & Trends
Our designers at Jackson Design and Remodeling Painting offer the following tips:
• Small spaces are instantly brightened with a light colored paint.
• Painting a ceiling a dark color can make a large space feel cozier.
• Warm tones work well in kitchens (reds, yellows, oranges) – and these palettes have also been proven to stimulate appetites!
• Use bold colors as accents: purples and reds are the new “it” colors.

The Holiday Season Approaches: Is it Time for a Kitchen Remodel?

September 10th, 2010
Posted in Design, Kitchens | Comments Off

HolidayKitchensWith the holidays on the horizon, we start to make plans for opening our homes to friends and family to celebrate the season together. Looking around your kitchen, how ready do you feel? If you have been delaying a kitchen remodel until the time is “just right”, the holidays provide the perfect impetus for taking action. Imagine how much easier and more festive your holiday season could be with a beautiful new kitchen designed to be more efficient, energy-conscious and welcoming.

Here are some ideas for how the holidays can inspire your kitchen remodel:

Storage and Organization: An organized kitchen makes all the difference when it comes to preparing meals for the larger groups we tend to host during the holiday season. The wealth of new storage provided by ample cabinetry, innovative drawer systems, and slide out or stand alone pantries cuts down on the time it takes to find the right tool while you’re cooking and the right serving ware and dinnerware when you’re ready to set the holiday table.

State-of-the-Art Appliances: Today’s appliances offer a combination of sleek built-in design and innovative energy-efficiency. Both trends mean you can have that extra large refrigerator or stove you’ve been dreaming about without detracting from your overall room design or adding significantly to your energy bill. Beyond the fridge, stove and dishwasher, consider appliances that make entertaining a breeze and everyday life a little more luxurious, such as a built-in espresso machine or wine cooler.

A Gathering Place: Perhaps most important for a kitchen remodel design, especially during the holidays, is that the room provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere that encourages people to gather together. Space planning is essential when it comes to this aspect of designing your new kitchen. A professional designer can help you determine how best to reconfigure the space you have now for optimal efficiency and appeal.

If you’re inspired to open your home to guests this season and share the joy of your stunning new kitchen design, now is the time to get started!

Creating a Beautiful Entryway for an Apartment

August 23rd, 2010
Posted in Art and Decorating, Design | Comments Off

EntrywayYou may feel somewhat limited in your creativity and design capabilities when you begin to remodel or renovate your apartment. However, size is not always as big of a hindrance as you might initially imagine. Creating a beautiful entryway for an apartment can be simple and affordable, if you know what pieces to purchase and how to arrange things properly.

Before starting any major renovation project, it is important to seek the permission of the owner, in writing whenever possible. Although most are gracious about the opportunity to increase the value of the apartment, and some will even contribute to the work in some way, others would rather only minimal changes be done to the apartment. You will save time and money by learning before you begin what is acceptable, and what changes will have to wait until you own your own home.

To create a beautiful entryway, first decide whether you want the entry to feel like a part of the living room, or more like a separate space. If you want it to blend in with the living room, and simply want an entry area, adding a small table and rug to harmonize the entry with the room is sufficient in most cases. However, for creating the feel of a separate room, here are some helpful tips:

Change the color palette. This can mean a drastic change, like painting the walls around the entry an entirely different shade, or a more minor change, such as unique tree of life wall art and separate flooring. If you are going to paint, choose a color that complements the color in the living room, or choose a deeper tone of the same color. Use painter’s tape to mark the edge of the entryway and use a strip of molding to split the rooms if the wall is continuous. You can also differentiate the floor by using an area rug in the entry over the existing flooring or carpet.

Add unique touches. First impressions are hard to change, and the better your entryway looks, the more people will remember it. Add things that mean something to you, such as inviting phrases or words. From simple and elegant designs to modern and creative outdoor wall art decorations, the possibilities are endless.

Make the entryway functional. Finally, don’t forget to add the touches that make a beautiful entryway more functional. This includes a place to keep a visitor’s hat, umbrella, or coat, and a mat for wiping mud or water from your feet in bad weather. If it snows frequently, choose a more absorbent mat to avoid getting mud and water on the flooring beyond the entryway.

Creating a beautiful entryway for an apartment does not take a lot of space, money, or time. You can keep it simple and stylish with a few touches, or create something fabulous that feels almost like a room unto itself with just a few feet and some creative accessorizing. Above all, the area should be as personalized as the rest of your home, be bold and use whatever you feel appropriate – from wall crosses to fish wall art. Do not be afraid to do things your way, and let your imagination design something spectacular.

Details Make the Difference in Kitchen Remodeling

August 16th, 2010
Posted in Design, Kitchens | Comments Off

EspressoMakerWhen planning your kitchen remodeling project, you may look to the latest trends and innovations for inspiration, but you also want to be sure to create a space that expresses your unique vision. Well-considered details make the difference between a nice but ordinary kitchen and one that is truly spectacular and memorable. Here are some ideas for ways to make your personality shine through in your kitchen remodel:

Backsplashes: Once a purely functional feature, the kitchen backsplash has become a key focal point in kitchen design. The possibilities for self-expression are nearly endless. Backsplashes can be created from a variety of materials, each with its own distinct contribution to the aesthetics of a room: granite, marble, stainless steel and other metals, textured glass, ceramic tiles, mosaic and stone are just some of the choices today. Colorful hand-painted mosaic tiles, which add a one-of-a-kind artistic flair to the kitchen, are a trend we’ve recently seen growing in popularity.

Innovative Storage: One of the factors that will determine how much you enjoy your kitchen in the future is how easy it is to work in and use every day. The latest storage solutions embrace a sleek and practical functionality. Storage is being introduced everywhere in the kitchen, at levels that are more accessible for everyone. Pull-out pantries and cabinets create ease of use and a clean, seamless design at the same time. “Magic” corner cabinets slide and rotate to allow twice the customary space, while once ordinary cabinet drawers can be fitted with hyper-organized dividers to make finding the right cooking tool a breeze.

Cool Appliances: While energy-efficiency has become a leading concern for homeowners choosing new appliances, a focus on small luxuries has also taken a leading role. Appliances such as built-in wine refrigerators or espresso makers add that small touch of convenience and luxury to everyday living that makes you appreciate your kitchen remodel daily.

However you decide to plan your kitchen remodel, working with a professional designer you can find the ideal balance between personal expression and functionality so that your new kitchen is a room you treasure for many years to come!

Four Reasons Why Now is the Right Time for a Whole Home Remodel

August 10th, 2010
Posted in Design and Build, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

WholeHomeIf you’ve been waiting for just the right time to finally get started on the whole home remodel you’ve been dreaming about, your moment has arrived! For the prudent homeowner, the market is showing positive signs that make larger remodeling projects a smart value decision right now. If you decided 2-3 years ago to put off your remodel, or if you were thinking about moving instead of remodeling, you may want to take a look at current conditions and reevaluate. Here’s what we’re seeing as important factors when people make the decision to start their whole home remodel now:

1. Higher Value
Remodeling costs related to labor and materials are down 15%-20% from what they were a few years ago. You will get more for your money if you act now instead of waiting a little longer. One sign of lower costs is unprecedented value offers from manufacturers. For instance, JDR’s primary cabinet manufacturer – DeWils – is offering all wood species at the same price as oak, including mahogany, which is usually 40% more.

2. Flexible Schedules
Working with an A+ rated design build firm three years ago, it was customary to have to wait up to six months to get your project started. With today’s larger available labor force, scheduling is more open and flexible for most remodelers. You should be able to get your whole home remodel done more quickly and at just the right time of year that works for you.

3. Homeowner Attitudes
A renewed focus on value and quality has homeowners making different choices when it comes to a whole home remodel. They are reevaluating the relative value of working with an architect and a series of contractors vs. working with a “one-stop” design build firm. Many are also seeing the advantage in adding square footage to their homes now while costs are lower, instead of just upgrading a kitchen or living area.

4. Quality Survives
The downturn in the economy has weeded out most of the poor performing contractors. The good, strong ones have for the most part survived. Your chances of finding an excellent quality contractor to work with are higher now than they were a few years ago. Still, you should always do your homework. Make sure you thoroughly research a design build firm before you sign a contract. Look for companies that offer educational seminars where you can meet the team in person. Clear and compelling information on their website, along with a portfolio of work you find appealing, is also essential. Always get (and check!) references from past clients who had similar work done by the firm.

Do a little research and you will find that there is incredible value to be had right now when considering a whole home remodel!

Color Inspiration for Your Whole Home Remodel

July 28th, 2010
Posted in Art and Decorating, Custom Homes, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

Color_InspirationNothing determines the personality of a room more than the paint colors you choose during the design phase of your whole home remodel. Working with a professional designer, you will explore many options for expressing your unique personal style with color.

Before you meet with your designer to talk color, it’s a good idea to do some research on your own to find inspiration and ideas. Here are some places to start:

Benjamin Moore: Personal Color Viewer
This interactive tool is a fun way to experiment with color and visualize what different hues will look like in your home. Choose from an array of room photos and then instantly apply color from hundreds of swatch choices.

HGTV Designers’ Portfolio
There’s a lot of great content on the HGTV site when you are planning your whole home remodel. We love this particular function, which allows you to browse photos by the color of a room. You’ll find hundreds of inspiring photos in a variety of styles.

Frazee Paints: ColorLife
At the Frazee Paints color chooser page, you will find ColorLife, where you can explore an amazing amount of information about the world of color, including color analyses, trends, design ideas, the “color of the day,” and a virtual decorator (registration required.)

Pratt and Lambert Paints: Personality Quizzes
These simple quizzes (one for the interior and one for the exterior) ask you a series of questions about personal preferences. After you submit your answers, you are given a suggested color palette that “matches” your personality.

Choosing a color palette should be one of the most enjoyable phases of a whole home remodel, but there are so many options it may sometimes seem overwhelming. Take the time to assess your current home’s aesthetic – what do you love and what don’t you love? Do you want a subtle change or something dramatically different? What mood do you want to create in your home? How would you like visitors to describe your home? Do you have important pieces of art or home furnishings that you want to complement with color?

Explore all of the possibilities and open your imagination to the trends and products available today. With your ideas captured and the help of a professional designer, you will create a home where every room welcomes you, your family and guests with color that expresses your personal vision and lifestyle.

Where to Find the Best Inspiration for Wall Art

July 14th, 2010
Posted in Art and Decorating, Design | Comments Off

ChooseArtIt can be much easier to decide that a room needs to be remodeled than to pinpoint what should be on the walls. Finding the right inspiration is often a matter of perspective, and depends to a large degree on the decorative style of the rest of the room. After all, it would look odd to have one style of décor in the room, and then use wall art that is an entirely different style altogether.

The first step is choosing the basic décor of the room. This does not mean that everything in the room has to match identically. One very common misconception is that all of the pieces in the room must be one color, or a combination of colors that match very well. Although very common, there is no real rule that states that rooms must match perfectly to be stylish. As a matter of fact, combining patterns and styles that complement each other is a modern and sophisticated trend.

Make the décor work for the room, instead of trying to adapt the room to the décor. Finding the best inspiration for wall art depends on the wall. Obviously, the bigger the wall, the more that can be done with it, but smaller walls can be fun to decorate as well. Wall decor art can be a great way to express some individuality, and is a primary means of making the room feel more like a home.

Let the room inspire the wall art, unless something has already been purchased that will influence the rest of the décor. This can be tricky, but is definitely doable. Most professionals will agree that sometimes finding the perfect wall art piece is a matter of chance for most rooms. For example: finding a great mirror at a yard sale, or an awesome wine wall art. These are things that are very rarely planned in advance.

Allow even the most unlikely places to inspire wall art. Wall art is not confined to mirrors, pictures, and sconces. In our grandmothers’ time, there were only limited options to what was acceptable to hang in a specific room, even in a personal space such as the bedroom. These days, it is much more common to see shelves with all sorts of things standing on them – decorative wall grilles, tropical wall hangings, pictures that are much more creative and/or interesting, on any given wall.

Letting the wall art take the room by surprise can be fun, too. Choose a piece that may not necessarily blend with the style of the room, but says something about the personality of the person or people who live there. An illustration of this is a modern and stylish room that is decorated in neutral colors featuring wall art that is bright, colorful, and cheerful. Again, patterns and colors do not have to be identical, or even similar; they just need to add to the flow of the room itself.

Wall art is an interesting and creative means of expressing personality and individuality in every room of the house. Pieces should be tasteful, but style can be found in almost any color or size. It depends mostly on the rest of the room, and the inhabitants of the room itself. People are mostly limited only by a lack of imagination.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Your Whole Home Remodel

June 30th, 2010
Posted in Additions, Design, Design and Build, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

WholeHome_BlogRemodeling your entire home is a big decision. Careful preparation and planning help to make the process smooth and the end result satisfying. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you are considering a whole home remodel:

1. What is my current lifestyle like and how would I like to change my home to adapt to it?
Life transitions, such as children leaving home for college or new babies on the way are often the impetus for a whole home remodel. Empty nesters may want to consider simplifying their homes by streamlining space planning, or they may decide to add some small luxuries to their environment, such as wine coolers, beer dispensers, or other kitchen and dining upgrades to enhance a higher level of entertaining. Expanding families obviously need more room and may want to think about ways to transform their space to be more child-friendly.

2. What are my short and long term goals and needs for the space?
This is a consideration particularly for those who may be buying a home as an investment and do not plan to stay in the house for a long time. It’s important to plan for both the increase in retail value of your home’s eventual sale and for the enjoyment of the space while you live there.

3. What do I wish I had in my home?
A visit to a friend’s or neighbor’s home can sometimes set us to day dreaming about how our own environment could change. As you consider your own home remodel, think about visits to other people’s homes, especially those that were recently remodeled, and make notes about what you liked and didn’t like about those spaces.

4. What do I absolutely hate about my current home?
Well, “hate” is a strong word, but sometimes it needs to be said! Are you living with a decades-old kitchen that isn’t even ironically stylish? Is your closet space about half what it needs to be? Have you been tolerating a fluorescent recess from the seventies? Remember to catalog these annoyances as you plan for the new home you will love.

5. Do I need more space? If so, how much?
This is where a design professional can really be helpful. Space planning is an essential aspect of a successful whole home remodel. Maybe you need more space, but maybe you just need a better configuration of the space you already have. Working together with a professional designer, you can assess and plan accordingly.

6. How much do I plan to invest?
It is important to be realistic about how much a whole home remodel will cost. Have your checklist prepared from considering and answering the questions above and then talk to your contractor. Together, you can determine if your desires match up realistically with your budget.

A whole home remodel is an exciting project to undertake! Being prepared leads to the best end result.

Remodeling a Home Away from Home

June 18th, 2010
Posted in Custom Homes, Design, Design and Build, Second Homes | Comments Off

Second HomeIs your second home everything you want it to be? With summer just around the corner, chances are you will be spending more time at your second home than at any other time of the year. If your visits are spent thinking about ways your second home could be more satisfying, here are some ideas for ways to make a significant difference:

1. Make it Work for You. Some people revel in downtime, taking the opportunity to catch up on summer reading or take afternoon naps in the backyard. Some prefer to garden. Others enjoy inviting friends for a visit to cook gourmet meals and drink wine together. For some second home owners, total retreat from everyday distractions is a must – such as a no television rule. For others, a small home office in their second home is a necessity. Spend some time reflecting about how you use your home now and how you would ideally enjoy spending time there. This will inform the majority of your decisions about remodeling your second home.

2. Create a Relaxing Retreat. A second home represents a place to “get away from it all.” The design of your home should reflect that feeling of relaxation in a way that is very personal. A favorite vacation spot can be a wonderful design inspiration, using cultural influences from another locale to reflect on treasured memories. Another idea is to make your second home a sanctuary for a relaxing hobby such as reading or gardening with an expansive library or lush landscaping. A spa-like bathroom is a popular option in a second home, where there is more time to linger and luxuriate.

3. Choose an Easy Process. Homeowners sometimes think that they must be present during the remodel of their second home to monitor each step. This should not be necessary if you choose a design and build firm with the experience and systems in place to make your remodel an enjoyable experience. Be sure to choose a company that has demonstrated skills with project management and communication during a second home remodel. You don’t want the remodel of your vacation home to cause extra stress!

Your home away from home should be a place you can retreat to and leave behind the worries of the world. Choose the right remodeler to make that happen and your second home will always be hard to leave!