Author Archive

Turn the Page: A Place for Reading in Your Whole Home Remodel

October 5th, 2015
Posted in Art and Decorating, Design, Design and Build, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

murphyreadingWith all the screen time competing for our attention, reading a good book still beckons with its unique ability to transport us to a different time and place with nothing but good writing and the power of our imaginations. Dedicated space for books in your whole home remodel inspires long afternoons and quiet evenings indulging in the endurable pleasure of a good story. Here are some ideas to embrace reading in your whole home remodel:

palmareadingComfortable Seating
Choose seating that you find comfortable for long periods of time, whether it’s a roomy and cozy armchair, a sleek and modern chaise, or a loveseat with lots of cushions.

Good Lighting
A room designed with ample natural light is essential for comfortable reading. A spot right next to a window is ideal. Over the shoulder lighting projected directly at your favorite reading spot makes reading at any time of day or night more comfortable and easier on your eyes.

gregreadingCreative Storage
Bookshelves and cases can be custom designed in a vast array of styles and configurations. For a client with an impressive art book collection, we designed a uniquely shaped spot built into the staircase. Remember that shelves can be styled to incorporate other elements that add beauty to your environment, such as art objects, photographs and mementos.

A professional designer can help you explore the many possibilities for stylishly integrating space for books and reading into your whole home remodel. Take a break from the screen and relax in a comfortable, well-lit place for books!

Stainless Steel in Your Kitchen Design: Classic Luxury Shines On

September 25th, 2015
Posted in Design, Design and Build, Kitchens, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

birdrock_ssStainless steel has been the most popular choice in kitchen appliances for several decades. Is it right for you? When you’re selecting appliances for your kitchen remodeling project, a professional design team can help you consider the following features of stainless steel:

Stainless steel is long lasting and resistant to damage. While it may sometimes pick up smudges, it’s very easy to clean and great for resisting germs.

Whatever the design of your kitchen, including traditional, transitional, contemporary or modern, stainless steel will be at home. It’s a neutral material that blends visually and enhances surrounding cabinetry and other elements.

Custom Choices
Since all major manufacturers have embraced stainless steel, it’s easier to find exactly the right size and style for your kitchen. When you’re looking for an unusual size or model, the ubiquity of stainless steel is an advantage.

coastal_ssStainless steel communicates luxury and works with many different types of wood and finishes. Exploring options with your own personal designer, you can find appliances that bring modern function and classic shine to your kitchen!

Mad About Mod: Mid-Century Modern Design in Your Whole Home Remodel

September 21st, 2015
Posted in Art and Decorating, Design, Design and Build, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

pldiningIf you swooned over the sets in Mad Men or simply respect the enduring style of design from the 1940s-1960s, you may want to explore Mid-Century Modern aesthetics for your whole home remodel. The guidance of an experienced team of architects, designers and construction professionals can help you achieve a design that works for your lifestyle today. Here are some tips for integrating Mid-Century Modern into your whole home remodel:

Open Floor Plan
A Mid-Century Modern aesthetic begins with an open and airy floor plan. Lines are kept clean and simple.

williamsdiningWood Elements
Iconic mid-century masterpieces of furniture typically feature clean lines composed of teak, walnut, oak or rosewood. Wood elements help to add warmth within the expanse of an open space.

Neutral Colors
In keeping with the airiness of the Mid-Century Modern aesthetic, walls are usually painted in white or pale neutrals. This keeps the focus on statement furniture and art.

Indoor/Outdoor Connection
Many Mid-Century Modern homes were built with a guiding principle of achieving visual harmony by connecting the interior to its natural surroundings.

pruettkitchenWhether you’re remodeling a home built during the Mid-Century Modern period or bringing the aesthetic into a home built during another time, it’s important to mix design elements to keep the look interesting and fresh. A professional design team can help you plan your whole home remodel to express your personal vision and appreciation of Mid-Century Modern style.

Custom Cabinetry for Your Whole Home Remodel: Timeless Style in Your Kitchen

September 4th, 2015
Posted in Design, Design and Build, Kitchens, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

bwkitchenChoosing the right cabinetry for your kitchen is no “open and shut” case. Cabinetry is a significant percentage of your remodeling budget and dramatically influences the overall look and feel of a finished kitchen design. This is an area where the expertise and guidance of a professional design team is crucial. An experienced designer can help you understand the details of cabinetry design and how to select the ideal style, quality and value for your needs. There are many factors in choosing the right cabinetry but the starting point is choosing a style. Here is an overview of the most popular cabinetry styles in kitchen remodels today:

Classic and simple, Shaker-style cabinetry has a timeless appeal that works with almost any décor. The Shaker style has characteristically clean lines and communicates a sophisticated elegance.

Slab cabinets have a solid, flat door and are most often chosen for contemporary and modern designs. Classic simplicity gives slab cabinetry enduring style.

Simple Raised Panel
Popular and versatile, raised panel cabinetry can compliment the architectural details in an older home or bring whitekitchena sense of tradition to a modern design.

White Cabinetry
Bright, clean and adaptable, white cabinetry enhances virtually every type of kitchen design from traditional to transitional, contemporary or modern.

Most importantly, consider the existing architecture of your whole home remodel and how the cabinetry will work visually within its environment. There are no set rules for choosing cabinetry – one of the joys of working with a professional designer is exploring your options for creatively mixing different looks for a timeless appeal!

Back to School Season! Space for Homework in Your Whole Home Remodel

August 31st, 2015
Posted in Design, Design and Build, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

hinrichbreakfastWith the school season now underway, the nightly ritual of homework has returned. Having a space where you can communicate with your kids while they do their studying and you take care of other tasks promotes a stress-free experience throughout the school year. Our professional designers often work with families who want their space to enhance the dinner and homework hour. Here are some ideas for Grade A study spaces in your whole home remodel:

Custom Built Space
The built-in nook in the breakfast room shown above keeps the family computer convenient without distracting from the overall aesthetics of the room. A piece of art hanging above the monitor lends simple sophistication. French doors painted black let light flow into the space, which is open to the kitchen and dining room. Kids can work at the computer or spread bigger projects out on the table under a stunning geometric pendant.

pecsarislandKitchens and Islands
The unusual island in this California Coastal home was created with a trapezoid shape rather than with a more traditional bar seating style so that the clients and their children can interact while eating or engaged in homework and cooking. An open floor plan makes homework time easier, especially when children are younger and need more help with their ABC’s.

brownstudyDedicated Space
This expansive study provides ample light and privacy with traditional elegance. If you have the space in your home, a private study/office is a wonderful way to retreat and concentrate on school work or work work!

Working with a unified team of architects, designers and construction professionals, you can explore a variety of options for home offices, libraries, or custom space for studying and quiet time in your whole home remodel. Having the right place to study can make the school year more efficient, rewarding and fun for the whole family!

True Blue Surroundings: Celebrating the Color Blue in Your Whole Home Remodel

August 14th, 2015
Posted in Art and Decorating, Bathrooms, Design, Design and Build, Kitchens, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

raynesbathColor is a powerful element of design that can subtly or boldly influence the feeling of your whole home remodel. Blue is the most universally loved color and one of the most popular colors for home design. Next to neutrals, blue is one of the easiest colors to use in your home because of its myriad of appealing variations and a good place to start if you want to experiment with color. Here are some ideas for using blue in your whole home remodel:

waltonColor and Mood
Color changes the mood of a space like almost nothing else. Warm blues, such as ocean or slate, have hints of red and work best in social spaces where you want a feeling of coziness. Cool blues, such as turquoise or sky, have hints of yellow and
make rooms seem larger and more serene.

Space and Light
The first step in deciding how to use blue in a room is thinking about how and when you will most often use the space. For a bedroom, calming shades of blue inspired by nature make sense. For the bathroom, crisp hues of blue contrasted with white convey a clean feeling. In a dining area, a rich shade of navy establishes classic intimacy. The time of day you’ll most williambacksplashoften be spending in a space is important, too, as color is dramatically affected by natural light. A professional designer can help you explore your many options to find what’s right for your home.

How and Where
When experimenting with color a good rule of thumb is to start small. Try a bold accent wall in your favorite shade of blue, a striking backsplash in the kitchen, or explore blue by using interesting accent pieces. The bathroom is often a fun place to explore color, too, especially shades of blue!

Working with a team of professional designers, your imagination will be inspired by the many possibilities for your home. When you’re interested in learning more about color or any other topic for your whole home remodel, a unified team of architects, designers and construction professionals guides you through the process with expertise and enthusiasm.

Warm up Summer Evenings: Add a Fire Pit to Your Outdoor Living Space

August 10th, 2015
Posted in Design, Design and Build, Outdoor Living, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

meyerfireNo matter how hot the day, evenings in California usually get a little cool. A fire pit in your outdoor living space extends the time you can enjoy relaxing and entertaining after the sun goes down. Fire pits bring the time-honored ritual of gathering around the fire together to the modern home environment. Here are some ideas when you’re considering a fire pit for your backyard:

Permanent fire pits are typically made of stone, clay, or brick and burn wood, gas or propane. Your design can be as individual as any other part of your home with a style to complement décor from traditional to ultra modern.

Fire pits designed with a stylish cover can do double duty as a table when the fire is not burning. Wonderful centerpieces for outdoor entertaining, fire pits are also cozy additions to your space for simple relaxation time. You can also cook on a firepit, anything from toasted marshmallows to full meals, depending on the fire pit type and design.williamsfire

You’ll want to check any regulations in your community about the use of a fire pit and restrictions about the type. Since safety is essential in the design of your fire pit, working with a professional team for planning, design and installation is ideal.

Gathering around a fire pit has a captivating appeal and adds practical functionality to your outdoor living space. Working with a unified team of architects, designers and construction professionals, you can explore the many possibilities and find the perfect fire pit to heat up your backyard design!

Mix it Up: Combining Design Concepts Creates Timeless Style in Your Whole Home Remodel

July 31st, 2015
Posted in Design, Design and Build, Kitchens, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

williamsliving2Whether you’re inspired by Mid-Century Modern, Traditional, Contemporary, or Transitional design, exploring ways to mix elements of style will establish a timeless appeal in your whole home remodel. Mixing design styles is a skill that takes knowledge and practice. Your home should have a central focus and it’s important not to add so many different styles that the cohesiveness of the design is lost. Professional designers are invaluable during the process. Here are some helpful strategies for combining design styles:

Mix Old and New
Choose pieces of modern furniture for a traditional interior or antique pieces for an ultra-modern space to create a compelling and unique visual energy in your home. Mid-Century Modern furniture in traditional rooms and vintage lighting in modern spaces are two popular examples of this strategy. ahernkitchenRestraint is essential when mixing old and new to avoid a jumbled look; start slowly and see how each piece changes the feeling of your space.

Contrast Colors and Textures
Exploring colors and materials is a safe way to see effects without a major investment. Mix rustic and shiny surfaces, bright and muted tones, soft and hard materials for visual interest. Stick with an overall neutral tone in your home to make it easier to experiment with mixing styles and techniques in the accent pieces.

Use and 80/20 Rule
One style should be primary or the overall visual effect will be confusing. Use to 80/20 rule: 80% of the room in one style, and 20% a mix of others.

millerkitchenWhen planning the design of your whole home remodel, our professional designers reject a standard approach in favor of finding imaginative ways to express your personal vision. Mixing styles is a creative process that’s less intimidating and more fun with the help of a unified team of architects, designers and construction professionals who offer extensive knowledge and resources. Mix it up with confidence to achieve a whole home remodel that will be a truly unique expression of your personal taste!

Big Ideas in Small Spaces: 3 Ways to Make Your Powder Room or Small Bath Memorable

July 24th, 2015
Posted in Art and Decorating, Bathrooms, Design, Design and Build, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

16_7906415_63319_bpo-63319-116Is your powder room ready for company? As the room most often seen by guests, our powder rooms and small bathrooms deserve the 54_4294484_33591-154same design attention we give the rest of our homes during a whole home remodel. Because of their limited space, it’s exciting to experiment with unusual materials and colors in your small bathroom. Here are three ways your powder room or small bathroom can make an impression:

Maximize Materials
A dramatic and luxurious material that might not be practical in a larger bathroom can make perfect sense for your small space. The details of materials are more closely appreciated in a small room. The amazing tile wall and floor in this bath shown above was meticulously custom designed with an intricate gradient of colors to evoke a sunlit ocean wave washing into the room.

Go Bold with Color
A small space gives you the freedom to experiment with colors you may be cautious about in other areas of your home. The rich chocolate brown and mocha in the sleek powder room above right are memorably luxurious in both tone and texture.

Light and Decorate for Drama
This is a room where the main goal is to make an impression! Mirrors with unusual shapes work perfectly in the powder room. Lighting chosen for 3_5457834_42255_03effect rather than function finds its proper home here, too. The gold leaf lighting in this glittering bath is designed on a cable system with weights to adjust the height, a functional solution with Asian roots.

Working with a professional design team you can discover your most exciting options for design in your small bath or powder room. Take your imagination to the limits and you’ll be inspired to invite guests over to see your new space!


Bright Ideas for Kitchen Lighting in Your Whole Home Remodel

July 17th, 2015
Posted in Art and Decorating, Design, Design and Build, Kitchens, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

hermosaThe lighting in your kitchen design is essential to how your space functions and feels. A professional designer approaches lighting in layers, from task-oriented lighting to accent, decorative and ambient lighting. Subtle variations in these layers make a dramatic overall impression. Consider the following as you explore the possibilities for kitchen lighting in your whole home remodel:

Which areas of your kitchen will you use the most and how will you spend time there? If you plan to entertain around your kitchen island, glowing pendants in artistic shapes provide a flattering light that attracts people and encourages lingering. When prepping meals in a countertop space, you’ll want directed task lighting with the priority on clarity and reach. If you have collectibles to showcase, cabinetry lighting performs that task in a variety of ways. Giving thoughtful consideration to how you will use and enjoy your kitchen is the most important aspect of the planning stage.

Particularly in open floor plans, think about how the kitchen lighting reflects the style in the rest of your home. Kitchen lights don’t have to be limited to what we think of as “kitchen-like.” It’s exciting to mix styles, colors and materials. Lighting should both make a statement and work within the overall style of your home.

Decorative lighting in particular is a place to explore creativity with exaggerated scale. An extra large glamorous chandelier or a series of prominent pendants in an unusual shape brings exciting visual interest to the room. Balancing statement pieces with smaller ones will bring an engaging sense of hinrichdepth to your kitchen.

Lighting is a complex design decision made easier with the help of a professional design team. Whether your home is historic, Mid-Century Modern, Spanish, Contemporary or some combination of styles, the right lighting emphasizes the beauty and functionality of your whole home remodel.