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From Majestic to Intimate: Landscaping Design Matters

April 20th, 2010
Posted in Design, Landscaping, Outdoor Living, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

JDR_LandscapeA beautifully remodeled home with a neglected outdoor area is like a cake without frosting – still “good” but missing something essential. Beyond simply improving the appearance and value of a home, well-designed landscaping adds layers of pleasure to our lifestyles – particularly here in San Diego, where we are lucky enough to be able to enjoy the outdoors nearly year-round. So, how can you enhance the outdoor area of your home?

1. Consider working with a Landscape Architect. A Registered Landscape Architect helps you achieve visual and functional unity between your home and its natural surroundings. Trained to consider both the artistic and technical aspects of landscape design, landscape architects bring a depth of knowledge and experience to your project that ensures consistency in quality with the rest of your property. If you have invested in your home’s interior, you want to be sure that the exterior does it justice. The quality and aesthetics of your landscaping should preview what a visitor will find upon entering your front door. Working with a professional, you will be able to develop a vision that can then be executed with careful planning.

2. Design for Your Lifestyle: Do you want your outdoor area to be a peaceful oasis where you will spend the majority of time alone or with a few intimate friends? Would you like an environment that is ideally suited to entertaining large parties? Do you plan to do a lot of outdoor cooking and entertaining? Is the level of maintenance important to you? These are good questions to ask yourself as you begin to visualize how you would like your landscaping designed. While your outdoor area is a critical element of your home’s value and appeal, it is ultimately a space where you and your visitors should feel comfortable and relaxed, so think about what really matters to you as you consider the design.

3. Sense and Sensibility: Landscaping requires a delicate balance of the practical and the ideal. Greenery must survive and thrive in your climate and the overall design should be planned to accommodate a  practical level of maintenance. The landscaping design should complement the exterior and interior of your home in structure and aesthetics. Optimum results will capture the essence of the relationship between you, your home and your natural surroundings.

Well-designed landscapes are living works of art that improve with age as they adapt to their environment. Be sure to give as much attention to the outdoor area of your home as you do to the interior, and consider working with a San Diego Landscape Architect to achieve your ideal vision.

How to Elevate Your San Diego Condo Remodeling Project

March 30th, 2010
Posted in Condo Remodeling, Design, Design and Build, Modern/Contemporary | Comments Off

JDR_SDCondosWhen it’s time to remodel, urban luxury condo dwellers have a special set of circumstances to consider. The aspects of a city condo that make it so desirable, such as proximity to a bustling downtown environment, residence in a landmark building, or the views from living high above ground, require a remodeling company with specific expertise handling projects in an urban setting. If you are thinking about San Diego condo remodeling, keep the following in mind:

Does the interior of your condo inspire you as much as your surroundings?
If you have been living in your condo for several years, chances are a remodel of a kitchen or bath is in order to update your home to the way you live today. Whether you decide to remodel for functional improvements or visual enhancements, you want the design to make sense in the context of your lifestyle and your building.

Is your personal style expressed in your space?
The design of condos in landmark luxury buildings is usually quite tasteful, but does the design express your personal style? Customizing your space transforms a high-end condo into a space that feels like home and makes a statement about your values and personality.

How unique is your condo design?
When you choose a remodeling company for your home, you want to work with a team that has experience with projects in your building, or a comparable building in your city. At the same time, you want to arrive at a design that is truly individual. Nothing is more disappointing than investing time and money in a remodel, only to see a duplicate of your home design in another condo. Working with a remodeling company with professional designers on staff can help you achieve a beautiful space with your personal stamp.

Does your remodeler know how to work in a luxury building in an urban setting?
Special skills are required to successfully navigate the intricacies of working in downtown condo buildings. San Diego condo remodeling requires a depth of knowledge about building codes, dock delivery standards and working in a busy urban setting. Special attention must be paid to the privacy and comfort level of neighbors, respect for common areas and HOA guidelines.

As a San Diego condo owner, you live in one of the most attractive areas in the world, with access to both the beauty of nature and the vibrancy of downtown living. When you choose a remodeling company for your project, select a team with the know how and experience to create interiors as distinctive and awe-inspiring as your views.

How to Make the Right Moves for Your San Diego Relocation Remodeling Project

March 19th, 2010
Posted in Relocation | Comments Off

JDR_RelocationRelocating is stressful enough. When you need to remodel the new home you’ll be moving into, you face the extra challenges of living far away from your project. Homeowners often think they need to be close by to monitor every aspect of their remodel. But if you choose the right company to work with, you can achieve the results you want with a surprising absence of worry. Keep the following checklist in mind when choosing a company for your relocation remodeling project:

1. Professionalism: Since you won’t be working with a company in your current community – where you could more easily receive a “word of mouth” reference – it’s essential to research the remodeling firms you are considering. The internet is the most common place to start research from afar. Pay attention to the company’s website: is it up to date and informative? Does the website include a portfolio of work performed that features the level of quality you are after and has any of the work won awards? What can you learn about the company’s team? Any internet research should obviously be followed up with a phone call or email. Pay attention to how quickly you receive a response and to the professionalism of the people you talk to in the company, from the person who answers the phone or email to the person with whom you discuss your project details. Find more tips for selecting a contractor here.

2. Communication: Any remodeling firm that promotes relocation remodeling should have a well-structured and demonstrable system of communication in place. Communication will be critical to your satisfaction and peace of mind during the remodeling process, especially because you cannot be on-site. Ask questions about how the firm will communicate with you during the remodeling process, from the initial evaluation and estimate phase, through design, construction and completion. The more specific the answers to your questions about communication, the happier you are likely to be during your remodel.

3. Reputation: Credibility and reputation are particularly important when you are choosing a remodeling company from a distance. How long has the company been in business? What kind of awards have they won? Do they belong to any professional and/or industry organizations? Ask for references that include past and current clients, particularly those with projects similar in scope and size to yours. And take the time to speak with current clients. Past work is important, but today’s work is what you will be experiencing. This effort will give you a good sense of the company’s resilience, professionalism, quality and customer care.

Relocating and remodeling at the same time doesn’t have to be stressful. If you’re relocating to the San Diego area, you’re lucky enough to be moving to “America’s Finest City”! Take the time to do the research upfront, choose a company you can trust and let stress transform to peace of mind during your San Diego relocation remodeling project.

The Architect Advantage: How Working with an Architect Enhances Your Remodel

March 15th, 2010
Posted in Architects, Design, Design and Build, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

JDR_ArchitectsWhen you’re choosing the right team for your remodel, you might wonder how much of a difference it makes to have an architect on your project. How do architects contribute to a successful remodel? Here are some points to consider:

1. Expertise: Architects are licensed professionals who have undergone rigorous education, internships and exams. The role of an architect is not just to design buildings. Through the design, the architect must also protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public and the users of the buildings. Therefore, like medical doctors, one must have a license granted by a U.S. state or territory in order to refer to oneself as an “architect.” (source: AIA – American Institute of Architects)

2. Perspective: A home remodel is a complex fusion of planning, design and construction. Architects are able to see the many aspects of a remodel – the homeowner’s needs, space and materials requirements, budgets, timetables and permits – and develop the best possible solutions.

3. Vision: An architect can help you clearly define your project – its scope, features, purpose and functionality – and achieve your goals both functionally and aesthetically. The architectural design discipline includes organizational and technical expertise; it also requires the intangible aspects of emotion, psychology and artistry. Giving the responsibility of designing your new home to a draftsman or design consultant can often lead to inappropriate, inaccurate and uninspired design solutions. An architect helps you express your own very personal vision.

4. Value: Because an architect is able to forecast how new construction ties into your existing home’s structural and technical systems and ensures that construction documents are prepared efficiently and accurately, you avoid any costly mistakes during the transition from concept to reality. Architects are also trained to capture energy savings and improve the overall efficiency of your home. The enduring marketability of good design contributes to your home’s value.

When you work with a design build remodeling firm with architects on staff, you access a team of designers, architects and construction professionals that share the expertise to make your remodel more inspiring and less stressful during every phase. Working with an architect can make the difference between “new” space and “dream” space.

JDR 2010 Industry Blogger Awards – Voting is Now Closed

March 5th, 2010
Posted in Awards and Contests | Comments Off

2010JDR_BloggerVote for your favorite blog here! You can vote for one blog in each category: Interior Design, Construction Business and Remodeling. Winners will be announced on April 22, 2010. You can track the progress of voting anytime between now and April 15 here on our blog.

The nominees that receive the most votes in each category will be the winners. Winners will receive a $500 prize and a JDR Blogger Awards Winner badge for display on their blog.

JDR has been a pioneer in the design and build remodeling industry for over twenty years. We believe in embracing innovation and excellence. We’re hoping that the JDR Blogger Awards will bring additional recognition to the work of our favorite bloggers, while supporting our efforts to promote the professionalism of the remodeling industry and keep our clients informed about the latest trends in home design.

Place your vote in the JDR 2010 Industry Blogger Awards here!

Announcing the 2010 JDR Industry Blogger Awards

February 16th, 2010
Posted in Awards and Contests | Comments Off

2010JDR_BloggerWe are excited to announce the 2010 JDR Industry Blogger Awards. Jackson Design and Remodeling is recognizing the best bloggers in three categories: Remodeling, Interior Design and Construction Business. Winners receive a $500 cash prize and the JDR Industry Blogger Award badge to display on their site.

We developed the JDR Industry Blogger Awards to bring additional recognition to relevant and engaging blogs, which supports our efforts to promote the professionalism of the remodeling industry and inspire our clients with the latest trends in home design.

Invitations to participate have been sent to a select group of 100 bloggers, who must confirm their agreement to participate by emailing us back. Voting will take place on our blog beginning March 5, 2010. Whoever receives the most votes in each category will be the winner of that category.

Come back on March 5 to view the nominees and place your vote for the 2010 JDR Industry Blogger Awards!

The Great Outdoors: Five Ideas for Your Outdoor Kitchen

February 12th, 2010
Posted in Design, Design and Build, Outdoor Living | Comments Off

OutdoorLivingWith spring just around the corner, many homeowners start daydreaming about backyard barbecues and garden parties … at least here in Southern California! We’re lucky to live in a place that allows for virtually year-round enjoyment of outdoor living. Is your home maximized to take advantage of our enviable climate? An outdoor kitchen is one of the best ways to appreciate and share the pleasures of outdoor living.

The term “outdoor kitchen” used to mean Dad making hamburgers on the grill. Well, no more! Outdoor kitchens have become just as multi-functional and attractive as their indoor counterparts. Here are five ideas to consider when designing your outdoor kitchen:

1. The Hot Zone: A grill – gas, charcoal, wood, electric or a hybrid of these cooking methods – often remains central to an outdoor kitchen design. The current deluxe built-in or free-standing grills are remarkably versatile, with options for custom griddles, side burners, roasting spits and more, transforming the traditional concept of backyard barbecuing. Another option is a wood-fired pizza oven, a food-lover’s choice for baking bread or roasting meat in addition to making authentic gourmet pizzas. Of course, heat in the outdoor kitchen isn’t just for cooking. Fireplaces or fire pits keep the elements from sending you and guests indoors after the sun goes down.

2. Practical Considerations: Think about how your indoor kitchen and outdoor kitchen will work together when you plan your space. Do you want to keep some tasks indoors? If so, the placement of your outdoor kitchen in proximity to your home will make a big difference in how much you enjoy using it. If you plan for an outdoor kitchen that is completely self-sufficient, then placement matters less and the appliances you choose matter more. The materials for an outdoor kitchen are essential. They must be durable and safe and should be compatible with their surroundings. Natural stone is a popular choice. Also, keep in mind that outdoor kitchens are subject to specific city planning codes. Be sure your contractor researches and follows the codes for your area.

3. A Natural Fit: Your outdoor kitchen should seem like a natural extension of your home, with compatible scale, elements and design. When you plan an outdoor kitchen in harmony with your home’s natural surroundings – considering landscaping, views and privacy – the result will be considerably more appealing.

4. Details Matter: Despite the longer days of spring and summer, it will eventually get dark outside – remember to plan lighting to accommodate both tasks and mood. Consider a water feature, such as a fountain or waterfall, to add an element of cool serenity to your backyard space. A thoughtfully placed stone walkway or wall in the landscaping brings additional texture and harmony to your environment.

5. Pictures and Sound: Adding video and audio options to your outdoor living area can make the space more welcoming, flexible and livable. Watch the big game or a classic movie, or listen to your favorite songs from an iPod docking station – just remember that the design should be carefully planned so that cables and wires don’t detract from the natural aesthetics of your space. When deciding where to place a television, study where the sun hits during the day to make sure your screen will be visible.

However you choose to customize your space, adding an outdoor kitchen to your home expands your living space and inspires new ideas for entertaining and outdoor living.

Place Your Vote to Win!

February 9th, 2010
Posted in Awards and Contests, Uncategorized | Comments Off

VotetoWinExperience a thrilling adventure as you soar over San Diego in a hot air balloon or relish in the luxury of a limousine drive to Temecula Valley Wine Country. All you have to do is vote! JDR has a fun new television campaign airing and we want YOU to tell us which ad is your favorite.

Visit us here, view our three ads and place your vote to let us know which one you like best. You’ll automatically be entered into a drawing to win your choice of a Spectacular Balloon Ride over San Diego with you and a friend or a Luxurious Limousine Drive with five friends to Temecula Valley Wine Country ($500 Value).
 Place your vote to win today!

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.