How to Choose the Correct Size Furniture for Any Room

How to Choose the Correct Size Furniture for Any Room

If you’ve ever walked into someone’s home and felt that a room was either crowded or perhaps a tad too sparse, you’ve experienced poorly chosen furniture for a room. It’s surprisingly difficult to choose the right scale of furniture to any given room, considering you typically are standing in a showroom somewhere and can only picture how the piece will fit into a living room, bedroom, or other room of the house. To help the next time you go furniture shopping, we’ve pulled together a few ideas on how to choose the correct size furniture for any room.

Consider the function of each room first

This might seem like a silly suggestion, but it really isn’t! Some people eat in front of the TV, use part of their master bedroom for an office, or workout in front of the TV in the family room. Think about how you use each room to know how much room you’ll really need so you’re not dragging furniture around the next time you want to do yoga in the family room or dig into a pizza in the living room.

Find the focal point for each room

Most rooms have a focal point, whether that’s the bed in the master bedroom, or the TV in the family room. With focal points, the furniture positioning tends to work around it, so if, for example, you have stunning views of the Superstition Mountains from your living room and want guests to really take note of it, think about how you’ll be facing and positioning your furniture to take advantage the point of focus.

Think about the overall style of your rooms

Nowadays, people are leaning towards a more eclectic feel to their home, shabby chic or farmhouse formal… they don’t want to be locked into any one style like modern, Mediterranean, or whatever. However, you’ve likely leaned towards a certain style for past pieces. That may be streamlined, minimalist, oversized, or whatever. Keep that in mind, when you buy new pieces. If most of your existing furniture tends to be sleek and streamlined, bringing in a new, big, overstuffed couch might be overwhelming, even if it physically fits into the space. It’ll look like a monster compared to your other pieces. The same goes for the opposite: if you have substantial furniture pieces and bring in a sleek, modern piece, it might look measly in comparison. Choosing the correct size furniture makes a difference!

Consider basic room spacing rules

Though not written in stone, you want to keep some basic room spacing rules in mind. For example, the sofa should be placed about seven feet from the television. The coffee table should be positioned about a foot and a half away from the sofa, and other pieces of furniture should be placed no more than ten feet from the sofa—that way the conversation can flow freely between those on different pieces of furniture, all the while keeping the space cohesive. Side tables should be approximately the same height as the nearby chair arms (if that’s not possible, lower is better). For coffee tables, the height should be the same height as chair/sofa seats or lower.

Don’t push furniture against the walls

The size of the room will dictate how far you can pull your furniture away from the walls, but even in a small space, you’ll want to give furniture pieces room by allowing a few inches between the backs of furniture pieces and the walls. Believe it or not, this little bit of space can actually make rooms feel bigger. If you have a larger space, you can arrange furniture in such a way that conversation areas are created in the middle of the room, leaving several feet between the walls and the furniture.

Take some basic measurements of the room and measure your furniture

With the above tips in mind, the best way to plan is measure, measure, measure! Take basic measurements of the room, make a drawing, use an online planner, or get an interior design professional to help. When you go furniture shopping, you know what kind of size you need and how it’ll fit in the room to create the ideal space you want. Understanding how to choose the correct size furniture for any room will help you get the look you need to make any room in your house fashionable and functional!

2020 Kitchen Trends You Need to Know

2020 Kitchen Trends You Need to Know

The first task of any kitchen is functionality, but since we spend so much time in the kitchen, it doesn’t hurt to know what the latest trends are too! While some of these updates are more cosmetic, there are a few ideas that can make your kitchen more stylish AND function, and who wouldn’t want that? Check out the 2020 kitchen trends you need to know.

Marble countertops continue to grow in popularity

Nothing adds a touch of luxury to a kitchen like marble. More specifically, calacatta marble has a stronger more pronounced look because of its veining. It can go with any kitchen as it has warm and cool tones. Calacatta is usually much smoother than your typical Carrara marble, a popular marble in many kitchens. It’s generally bright white with thick, elegant veins that can come in a variety of colors from beige all the way to gold. Calacatta marble is a great transition material for homeowners looking to update the look of their outdated countertops.

Sleek and simple

Kitchen cabinet styles are moving away from the ornate look to a style that’s more sleek, simple and elegant. Flat-paneled millwork with minimal detailing is the preference for 2020; a welcome change for those that are tired of trying to clean every nook and cranny of their overly ornate kitchen cabinet doors.

Dog kitchens

OK, we’re not suggesting that you build a second kitchen for your dog, but there are some fun features that cater to your fur baby. Anyone with a dog or cat knows that they can make a mess of our kitchen, yet it seems to be their favorite place to hang out. Kitchens are now being modeled to include alcoves under kitchen cabinets to house water and food bowls, pullout storage for treats, and even hooks for leashes.  Check out other ideas for remodeling your home for pets to get inspired!

Stunning backsplashes

While sleek and simple are in, some people still crave a pop or area of interest in their kitchen. The best way is to put your artistic preferences into a bold backsplash. While not new for 2020, this trend continues to pick up speed and offers even more choices than before. Add unique statement lighting and texture, and you’ll have a gorgeous focal point in your kitchen.

Subway turns to brick

Are you a fan of the subway tile look but want something different from the crowd?  Brick is the latest trend for kitchens, and backsplashes with brick are unique and fun. It’s a good contract to an otherwise sleek and minimal kitchen look or can add a more rustic feel to a modern kitchen.

Kitchens as kitchens

Open concept kitchens continue to be popular since they usually double for entertaining space, but many homeowners are asking that their kitchens go back to just being kitchens. Depending on the flow of the house overall, this might mean adding a full wall that closes the kitchen off from the dining room or living room or simply adding elements like a half wall to create more of a separation. Not ready to completely shut in your kitchen, or still like the idea of the roominess open concept kitchens provide?  Not a problem! The movement is simply to take back the kitchen as a kitchen only, so even arranging seating, bookcases or other furniture to create the feel of delineation will put you on-trend.

As we’ve always said, trends are fun and sometimes help add functionality to a room you hadn’t thought of, but of course, your home is your home, on-trend or otherwise, so take these as ideas for inspiration and make them your own. Not sure how to start?  Work with one of our designers to help you update your kitchen!

How to Choose the Right Hardware for Your Cabinets

How to Choose the Right Hardware for Your Cabinets

People spend a lot of time choosing the ideal cabinets for their kitchens, bathrooms, and other rooms in the house to make sure the style of cabinets suits the overall interior design of the house. When it comes to choosing hardware, the choices can be overwhelming:  all pulls?  All knobs? A mixture of both?  What’s the correct way to use hardware on cabinets?  We’ve pulled together a few basic suggestions on how to choose the right hardware for your cabinets.

Mix and match or matchy-matchy?

The biggest question we get is about whether to use all knobs, all pulls, or mix it up. The answer is, there is no right answer! This is strictly a personal preference though there are some details to keep in mind when deciding, which we’ll go into more detail later in this article. However, there is no real “right way” when it comes to knobs over pulls, so rest assured that whatever you choose, you’ve made the right decision. It’s OK to mix and match, and it’s OK to use all knobs or all pulls.

Let your cabinet style help choose your hardware style

There are many different types of cabinet styles, from ornate to modern. Based on your cabinet design, you may want to choose a style of hardware that suits the cabinet. If your cabinets are heavy and ornate, a sleek, thin, modern pull or knob might look out of place. On the other hand, if your cabinet style is more modern and minimalist, bulky or ornate hardware may really stand out like a sore thumb. When choosing hardware, actually hold it up against your cabinets and envision a whole room with that hardware. Does it complement the cabinets, or does it look out of place? We love eclectic, but don’t allow your hardware to detract from your cabinets!

Look at your cabinet colors

Consider the color of your kitchen cabinets. The color of your cabinets is as important as the style when choosing hardware. With white and painted cabinets, almost any finish will work, but some shades of brown are not as flexible. Contrasting colors will make the new hardware stand out and give some visual breaks to a kitchen or bathroom full of cabinetry.

Look at your faucets and other appliances in the room

You don’t have to match your faucets or your refrigerator, though many people find this to be the easiest choice. Want to be different? You don’t need to match your faucet or other appliances as long as the finish complements other finishes in the design. There are finishes that go well with brushed nickel or brushed stainless faucet: antique pewter, bronze (light to dark), satin brass, oil-rubbed bronze, aluminum, black matte, and rust. Finishes that go well with a chrome faucet are more limited, such as white, black, dark bronze, pewter, or clear glass.

Keep your hardware finishes consistent

It’s generally a good idea to keep the finish of your hardware consistent. Brass knobs and brushed nickel pulls in the same room might really look odd. On the other hand, there are all kinds of fun, unique cabinet hardware options out there, including glass, ceramic and more, many that offer a variety of looks within a set. Go ahead and be creative as long as it doesn’t end up looking like a mishmash of choices! Not sure how to mix metal finishes? Check out these ideas.

Don’t cheap out

We get it. Installing a room full of cabinets is not an inexpensive endeavor so oftentimes by the time choosing hardware comes around, the less money spent the better but don’t sell the concept of quality hardware short! There’s a certain amount of comfort as well as wear and tear resistance that comes with quality hardware. While you don’t have to spend a fortune, take the time to test out what the hardware feels like when you grab it or pull it. Make sure the finish is quality and that your brushed nickel knobs don’t turn black over time (or come off on your hands). Not sure where to find quality hardware that goes with your cabinets?  Ask a design professional to help you!

Knowing how to choose the right hardware for your cabinets can make a big difference in the overall look and functionality of a room. Take the time to do your homework, shop around, and test out your choices before installing your hardware. You’ll love the results!

How to Choose the Best Lighting for Your Home

How to Choose the Best Lighting for Your Home

Lighting is often the most overlooked component in interior decorating. People often forget just how much the lighting can make or break the look and style of a room. Choosing the right lighting is more than just style; you need to consider brightness, placement, layering and much more. Here’s a quick overview on how to choose the best lighting for each room in your home.

Different types of lighting

In general, each room should have three different types of lighting:  ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Here’s a breakdown of what each of these lighting types means:

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting is the main source of lighting in any given room, typically coming from overhead fixtures or recessed lighting. Ambient light serves the most basic purpose of lighting a room. The amount of ambient lighting your room has is typically decided on by your home builder who installs these kinds of lights as part of basic home construction. However, these basic light installations don’t usually have much style, and as tastes change over the years, or if you do any major renovations, you have an opportunity to change your ambient lighting up a bit. You’ll want to ensure that ambient lighting in your high function areas such as kitchens and bathrooms is fairly bright while ambient lighting in, say, a bedroom can be less so. Of course, it’s all up to personal taste but in general, kitchen and bathroom ambient lighting is the brightest, dining rooms and family rooms are less bright, and bedrooms have the softest ambient lighting. Typically, ambient lighting is in every room, close to the center, and close to the ceiling.

Task lighting

Task lighting provide lights for specific activities or uses in a space. Examples would be hallway lights, under-cabinet lighting to illuminate countertops, or a vanity light above a mirror. You often see task lighting in dens and home offices too. Depending on your needs, you might choose task lighting to direct the light where you need it most when you need it. Not every room needs task lighting but it’s perfectly acceptable if you have task lighting in each and every room if it’s needed!

Accent lighting

Accent lighting is where you get to really show your style and can definitely make a difference in a room’s decor. It’s designed to draw attention to a decorative focal point in a room, like a work of art, inside a wall cutout or bookshelf, or it can be a focal point on its own if your style is chandeliers or other decorative lamps. You tend to see accent lighting in bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have it in any room, such as a bathroom!

Layering lighting

There’s actually a technique to introducing these three types of lighting into each room of your home; it’s called “layering”. You can work with an interior design professional to help choose any or all of these, but here are a few basics on how to layer lighting in your home.

First and foremost, don’t forget to consider natural light when you’re choosing how much lighting you need in each room. Darker rooms will need more lighting while rooms that get a light of sunlight might need less except for evenings. You also don’t want your lighting types to compete. Make sure that task lights don’t interfere with the ambiance of accent lighting. Don’t place accent lighting directly underneath ambient lighting or you’re lose the decorative impact. Placement makes a difference to ensure all three styles work together well.

There are at least two more elements to light layering to take into consideration: the proper light bulbs and lighting controls. Pay attention to the wattage of your bulbs you choose and if you want to control how bright or how dim lighting is, opt for dimmers and other lighting controls.

Lighting can be a fun way to upgrade the look of your home, whether you’re doing a minor change or a major renovation. Take the time to plan out your three lighting types to ensure you choose the best lighting for your home.

Update Your Laundry Room to Make It More Functional

Update Your Laundry Room to Make It More Functional

When people are considering home renovations, they often forget about the laundry room. Though usually out of sight, this room is a space that demands efficiency, and yet they tend to be afterthoughts where a washer and dryer reside, with perhaps a paltry cabinet or shelf to house the laundry essentials. This room can be so much more with just a little TLC! We’ve pulled together a few tips to update your laundry room to make it more functional…and beautiful!

Pick a color that inspires you

Unless you’re one of those unique people that absolutely loves doing laundry, most people disdain if not dread this necessary chore. Why not add a little oomph to the task by choosing a vibrant paint color that will inspire and delight?  Sure, only you will see it most likely but who cares?  Have some fun with color and create a space that is fun and functional. Some good paint color options are vibrant citrus tones like lime green, yellow or orange. A crisp, bright white is another good option that brightens the room and the mood.

Add built-in cabinets

A basic laundry room may already have a cabinet or two, but is that enough for everything you likely house in that room?  You can build cabinets around your washer and dryer if you have room and have drawers and pullout shelves to house those often-used items. While you’re add it, add some nicer knobs and pulls to give it a little extra style. You’ll be much more efficient if you have everything at your fingertips the next time you toss a load of dirty clothes in to wash.

Add counter space

Do you do all your laundry in one room, then haul everything to another room to fold?  If space permits, why not grab and fold right out of the dryer?  Counter space in a laundry room is a wonderful way to add efficiency. Don’t think you have the room for permanent counters?  Shop around for fold down or pull out counters for laundry rooms.

Add shelving

Maybe you have the room for cabinets but adding them would overcrowd a smaller laundry space. If that’s the case, or you simply don’t want full-on cabinets, try shelving instead. It offers all the convenience of cabinets with less expense and space.

Get creative to get more out of your room

Need to squeeze even more efficiency out of your space?  Try pullout clothes bars so you can hang clothes straight from the dryer (they’re also called “closet butlers” or “closet valet rods”). Add a dirty laundry sorting system. A good rule of thumb is to have a minimum of three dirty laundry bins for white, light and colors or dark clothing. Hooks are great for hanging bags and items that need attention later.

Good lighting is a must

Unless you’re one of the lucky few with a window view, chances are that your laundry room has one little light. Add a little flair and style with something more interesting. Try a pendant light or even a chandelier. Why not?! You’re going to spend a lot of time in that room!

Add a few hideaway features

Try adding a fold down ironing board or clothes drying rack that you can easily use when you need it and put away when you don’t.

Create a room that’s functional for everyone

If space permits, why not get more use out of your laundry room by having it double as a mud room, craft room, or even a cleaning supplies storage area? A few very smart people have even created a small office space in their laundry room; chances are no one will ever bother you there!

Look at your laundry room and see how you can upgrade yours to organize and add value to your home. Not sure how to pull it off?  Contact Interior Innovations to see how their professional designers can help you upgrade your laundry room to make it more functional!

Add Style to Your Kitchen with a Kitchen Backsplash

Add Style to Your Kitchen with a Kitchen Backsplash

Looking for a way to update your kitchen without committing to a full renovation?  Add a kitchen backsplash! There are so many fun and exciting backsplash styles out there, allowing you to really add a fun flair without breaking the bank.

How to Choose the Backsplash That’s Right for You

Choosing the right backsplash for your kitchen involves a few decisions. You need to decide what types of tiles you want. Then, you’ll need to find a design that fits your needs while also creating the perfect look for you. Here are some tips that will help.

Choose your tile

Tile options are amazing these days! You can now choose from ceramic, glass, porcelain, metal, marble or granite to create a fun and unique look. All work great for a kitchen backsplash, depending on what you are looking to spend. Ceramic and porcelain are more affordable, while more unusual materials like copper or glass might come at a premium. Decide what you want the look to be and how much you’re willing to spend. What’s nice is that there are some ceramic and porcelain tiles that look like metal, so shop around or engage a professional design service to help.

Pick your tile design

Aside from choosing tiles in different colors and patterns, consider how those tiles will be positioned. There are essentially three types of tile designs that most people choose from:

  • Diagonal tiles
  • Laser cut tiles
  • Subway tiles

Diagonal tiles offer a very unique look. Since it’s a more complex design, you’ll likely need more tiles to achieve the look, which will increase the cost a bit. Laser cut tiles are usually designed for more intricate patterns, but the outcome can be quite unique and stunning. Again, these are more expensive because of the number of tiles and installation needed to get the pattern right. Subway tiles are all the rage right now, giving the kitchen a clean, simple and sleek look. While these three are the most common types of designs, you most certainly can choose from a variety of patterns like mosaic or herringbone or find gorgeous hand painted tiles. You’re only limited by creativity!

Colors: mix or match

Backsplashes are a great way to breathe new life into existing kitchen colors or bring out new colors. If you have an existing countertop with, for example, greys and creams, maybe you want to add a fun new color like reds or blues. Or, you may want to highlight the grey for more warmth or bring out more creams to keep the look soft and neutral. There are so many ways a backsplash can make a countertop practically look brand new!

Choose your backsplash height

Choosing the height of your kitchen backsplashes is strictly a matter of taste and budget. Most homeowners opt for the counter to cabinet height but if you really want to add a stunning visual, you can go for a full height backsplash. This will create a substantial eye-catching focus to your kitchen so if you’re at all unsure, reach out to a kitchen design professional to help.

Professional installation vs. DIY

There are many qualified professionals that know how to install backsplashes. Once you know the materials and design you’re looking for, discuss your vision with a professional to ensure they know how to meet your expectations. Thinking about installing the backsplash yourself?  Here are a few tips:

  • Finalize your layout (subway, herringbone, etc.) and then measure the space overall. Measure twice! You know the old saying: “Measure twice, cut once”. You want to make sure you have more than enough material to get the job done.
  • Don’t forget to take into consideration the height of the backsplash when measuring and ordering tiles.
  • Invest in a good tile saw. Yes, you’ll have to do some cutting for those unusual corners and end pieces.
  • Watch a few “how to install” videos to get a feel for the process and check out a few “how to” articles from Lowes, Home Depot, and Family Handyman. They’ll really help!

When you’re ready to change up the look of your kitchen, you can really add style by adding a kitchen backsplash. You’ll be thrilled with the results for the fraction of the cost of a new kitchen.

Renovating Your Bathrooms Before the Holidays

Renovating Your Bathrooms Before the Holidays

When temperatures continue to be in the triple digits, many Arizonans start dreaming about cooler weather and the upcoming holidays. If holidays include out of town guests, homeowners start thinking about remodeling projects that can get done by the holidays. Next to remodeling your kitchen before the holidays arrive, the next big ticket item tends to be bathrooms. Here are a few helpful hints about renovating your bathrooms before the holidays.

Decide which bathroom(s) you want done by the holidays

Assuming you have more than one bathroom in your home that needs updating, take a moment to decide which bathroom(s) you want done. Master bathrooms will likely take the most amount of work, with guest bathrooms next in line, and powder rooms first. Look at all your bathrooms in need of remodeling and prioritize what “must” get done before the holidays, and which one(s) can wait until later. Next, do a quick “wish list” of what you want for each bathroom you’re remodeling. Items to consider may include:

  • Bathtub
  • Shower
  • Sinks
  • Faucets
  • Lighting
  • Mirrors
  • Flooring
  • Hardware
  • Cabinets

It might be a good idea to create a master list with what you need for any bathrooms you’re remodeling to see if you can get all the materials at once, which will help you decide what can be done within a realistic timeline before the holidays.

How long it takes to remodel a bathroom

Obviously, the timeline to renovate a bathroom depends on what you’re having done. A simple coat or two of paint and swapping out fixtures is a fairly quick upgrade, but assuming you’re going for the whole enchilada, that timeline can increase extensively. Let’s take remodeling a master bathroom as an example.  For the work alone, you can expect a bathroom to be fully remodeled in no less than 23 working days. Assuming that no work is done on weekends, this translates to 4½ weeks. Before you get too excited, let’s take a closer look at that. That’s assuming that work is being done in 23 consecutive working days (excluding weekends). Since you’re likely working with more than one resource to get work done (plumbers, electricians, flooring, etc.) the chances of a flawless, consecutive schedule are unlikely. Even with the best bathroom renovation company, it’s nearly impossible to line up all the workers’ schedules seamlessly. And that is just the work itself. You also need to consider permits, demolition, ordering of parts and materials, and other unseen delays. When it’s all said and done, you’re looking at closer to 8 weeks minimum realistically. Keep that in mind when considering renovating your bathrooms before the holidays.

Should you do more than one bathroom at once?

If you’ve ever lived through any kind of major renovation, you know they can be messy and inconvenient. Assuming you don’t have the luxury of moving out while demolition happens, you’ll need to plan on having at least one functional bathroom that has a toilet, sink and shower or tub.

The pros of doing more than one bathroom at a time include:

  • Only living through renovations once instead of twice
  • Cost savings for labor
  • Cost savings for dumpster and other demo-related costs
  • Potential cost savings on buying multiple items for bathrooms (sinks, hardware, etc.)

The cons of doing more than one bathroom at a time include:

  • More cost at once instead of spreading it out
  • Added inconvenience of multiple bathrooms out of commission
  • More time to get project done than if only one bathroom was being renovated

What to consider when preparing for a bathroom renovation before the holidays

Let’s go back to that timeline we discussed earlier. Many homeowners fail to plan on how long it takes for certain materials to come in, especially if they’re looking for upgrades that aren’t off the shelf. Want that cool soaker tub? It might be special order, which can take 2-6 weeks. How about that beautiful Italian tile you saw when you were on vacation? Also special order. Same with lighting, fixtures, etc. If you want to go unique and different, you’ll need to take that into consideration as well as how the arrival of your products impacts worker timelines.

Those special surprises no one plans for during a bathroom renovation

So far, we’ve described a bathroom renovation without any surprises. Ever done a remodeling job before?  There’s always at least one surprise delay in bathroom remodeling, including:

  • Delays in permits
  • Approvals from homeowner’s association
  • Backorder of products
  • Products coming in damaged or incomplete orders
  • Electrical issues, such as getting wiring up to code
  • Weather-related delays
  • Structural issues – slab leaks or mold found upon demo, necessity to move support beams, rerouting plumbing lines, etc.

End of summer is a good time to schedule your bathroom renovation for the holidays

By late August/early September, we’re already telling people that renovating your bathrooms before the holidays is tight. Aside from product ordering, worker schedules and surprises to take into consideration, interior design companies schedules for new projects fill up quickly for pre-holiday work.  If you’re looking to renovate your bathroom for the holidays, reach out to a renovation design specialist now and get the process started for a beautiful new bathroom by the holiday season.

How to Help the Environment When You Remodel Your Home

How to Help the Environment When You Remodel Your Home

Many homeowners don’t think about the environment or using sustainable materials or designs when renovating their home, yet most people when asked are open to the idea of helping the environment if possible. People recycle more nowadays, are moving away from plastic, and often forgo products encased in wasteful packing materials. The fact is, you can create a more environmentally friendly home when you renovate or remodel. Every little bit counts, so why not take a few ideas into consideration when you’re ready to remodel your home to help the environment.

Saving water

There are a few options to consider during renovation that can help save water. The most popular choice is opting for a low-flow toilet. Flushing is the biggest water hog in the house. Older, conventional toilets can use 5 to 7 gallons per flush, but low-flow toilets use as little as 1.6 gallons. Since the average person flushes five times a day, the gallons can really add up. You can also install low-flow faucet aerators in your sinks. Conventional faucets flow as high as 3 gallons per minute, but low-flow faucets flow at 1.5 gallons per minute. If you’re remodeling your bathroom shower, shower heads that are labeled as WaterSense are more water efficient than the average shower head. Keep an eye out for these types when shopping for a new shower head. And although they are considered a luxury, steam showers use the power of steam to keep clean, but they are also very water efficient. They use less water than a traditional shower and are very relaxing to use. Luxurious and environmentally friendly!

Saving materials

Oftentimes, a major remodeling project entails a lot of demolition, resulting in a lot of materials going straight into the dumpster. Sometimes that can’t be avoided, but with a critical eye, you might find a way to recycle or reuse some of those materials during renovation. Instead of coming in with a big hammer and demolishing the interior of your home, take it slow and steady. Give yourself and your contractor a chance to see what can be repurposed or refurbished. Old kitchen or bathroom cabinets could be reused in the garage or workroom. Same with certain lighting fixtures. The less you put in the dumpster, the less goes into landfills.

Reusing materials

When you think of reusing materials, think outside your own home for resources. One of the benefits of the farmhouse chic trend is the use of reclaimed wood for mantels, barn doors or decorative beams. If you’re thinking of adding these or similar features to your home, talk to your home designer about reclaimed wood options. Some of those most stunning home pieces used to be something else in a previous life!

Low-energy appliances

If you’re creating your dream kitchen, you’re likely replacing your appliances to go with your vision. Take the time to scout out appliances that are beautiful, functional, and low-energy. There are many options to choose from nowadays in a limitless number of colors and features. This applies to washers and dryers too, if your renovation includes adding or expanding a laundry room.

A change of view

If you’re doing a major remodeling project, you have the opportunity to change the orientation of your home, or at least how certain rooms are laid out. You could reconfigure your family room or home office, where you spend most of your daytime hours, so that it faces south. This will give you maximum sun and heat during the winter, reducing your home heating costs. If your master bedroom windows face west, causing your bedroom to stay too warm well into the evening, you have the opportunity to move windows are invest in window coverings to help keep your bedroom cool, reducing energy costs.

Remodeling or renovating your home can be exciting! Work with your professional home remodeler to help you look at eco-friendly options that will save you some money and help the environment. Win win for all!

Remodeling Your Aging Parent’s Home for Safety and Comfort

Remodeling Your Aging Parent’s Home for Safety and Comfort

Elderly parents are staying in their homes longer than ever before, which is creating new challenges for adult children who want to keep their parents safe and comfortable. If your parents want to stay in their home, it may be time for renovations to make sure they live comfortably. Below are tips for remodeling your aging parent’s home for safety and comfort.

Aging in place is becoming more popular

Aging in place is when a person lives and ages in their residence of choice, for as long as they can. It means a person being able to live in the place of their choice without losing their quality of life when they reach senior age. But ideally what aging in place should be addressing is not just to maintain the quality of life that the person is used to, but also to make it better whenever possible.

Remodeling bathrooms for older parents

One of the most common areas in a home where elderly parents fall is in the bathroom. With slick surfaces and sometimes tight spaces, it can be hazardous unless upgrades are made for safety and comfort. Here are a few ways to remodel a bathroom to make it more age-appropriate for elderly folks:

Shower seats

If your parents prefer taking a shower over using a bathtub, shower seats are a great way to safely shower.

Shower grab bars

Grab bars a fantastic way to provide stability in a shower.

Low or no shower curb

Nowadays, there are many low and no-curb showers to choose from. Ask a remodeling professional for recommendations.

Non-slip bathtubs

Non-slip bathtubs come in a variety of styles and help elderly people safely get in and out of a bathtub without the risk of slipping

Bathtub grab bar

Many people don’t know that grab bars are available for bathtubs too, but they’re a smart addition for any home looking to increase safety for aging parents.

Walk-in tubs

These tubs have been around for years and are getting more and more stylish. As a bathroom renovation professional about options.

Creating a safer kitchen for the elderly

For self-sufficient parents, cooking doesn’t go away with age, but safety becomes an even bigger concern for elderly cooks. Care.com put together a great list of ways to remodeling a kitchen for elderly parents:

  • Install a pull-out pantry
  • Round the edges
  • Keep the sink close to the stove
  • Opt for a shallow sink
  • Place the microwave at or below counter height
  • Choose standard counter-depth appliances and cabinets without any frills
  • Make corners accessible
  • Pick drawers, not doors for easier access
  • Focus on clearance space
  • Ensure that floors are slip-resistant

Other useful ideas for remodeling homes for aging parents

While the kitchen and bathroom are the two more challenging rooms for elderly parents, here are a few ideas for other rooms in the house, depending on their level of mobility:

  • Widen doorways to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers
  • Install lever-style door knobs that are easier to grip for arthritic hands
  • Replace flooring with slip-resistant material
  • Add a wheelchair ramp
  • Adjust kitchen countertops heights
  • Install a chair lift or elevator

Most expenses for home renovations will need to be paid out of pocket. However, Medicare or private insurance may cover the cost of medical equipment that’s installed in a home, but they generally don’t pay for home remodel projects. Do your homework to see what renovation costs may be covered. The answer is always “no” if you don’t ask! Some seniors may qualify for a limited number of home improvement grants, based on their income and where they live. The Department of Health and Human Services’ ElderCare.gov website has more details.

Staying at home as long as possible is usually the desire of most aging parents. To make sure they’re both safe and comfortable, try these ideas for remodeling your aging parent’s home.

How to Choose the Perfect Cabinets for Your Kitchen

How to Choose the Perfect Cabinets for Your Kitchen

Whether you’re doing a complete kitchen remodel, or simply looking to update the look of your current kitchen, cabinets are a great way to add style and personality to your kitchen. With so many choices, it’s difficult to know how to choose the perfect cabinets for your kitchen. We’ve pulled together a few tips to help make the process easier.

Choose a cabinet door style

Cabinet doors are the most visible design elements in your kitchen, so your door style is one of the most important decisions you will make. There are various styles of cabinet doors available, and since cabinetry doors are so prominent in kitchens, it’s a good idea to start by looking around your home in general. What is your style overall?  Modern?  Traditional? Do you prefer a more ornate style, or do you like basic, clean lines?  While your style doesn’t have to exactly match your overall décor style, it helps to make sure whatever style you pick doesn’t stand out for the wrong reason. Here are the basic cabinet door styles to choose from:

  • Mission
  • Raised panel
  • Beaded
  • Shaker
  • Arched cathedral (single arch)
  • Double arch
  • Flat panel
  • Mullioned

Take the time to not only look at the style, but what kind of maintenance each will require. The more ornate, the more nooks and crevices there is to clean, yet more decorative cabinets add a very distinct design style to a kitchen and can really make a statement!

Consider your budget

Kitchen cabinetry can vary widely when it comes to cost. Try to work with a cabinet company that offers a wide range of cabinet styles and budgets. Try to narrow down your 2-3 favorite styles, then look at the cost for each. You’ll be surprised how some of the most beautiful cabinet doors can actually be affordable. Work with a designer to help you determine style and budget if you’re unsure; this is a big choice to make!

Know what color you’re looking for

Are you looking for a deep, rich, elegant-looking kitchen, or something more bright, fresh and sleek?  Not every cabinet style may come in the wood finish you want, so having an idea ahead of time may help narrow the choices a bit.

Understand the flow and function of your kitchen

If you’re keeping the existing cabinetry footprint in your kitchen, this is an easy step to check off the list. If you’re doing a full kitchen renovation, you need to consider the overall flow of the kitchen and how that works with your family’s lifestyle. What kind of kitchen do you want?  Consider how you currently use your kitchen and what would make your life easier and more functional. Maybe it’s adding or expanding an island. Perhaps it’s additional storage. Where should these items be and what’s the overall flow of the kitchen area to best suit that? Do you need more drawers, less shelves, a pullout spice rack? These decisions will impact cabinet choices. This is one area that definitely requires a kitchen remodel specialist to help you with. Space planning when you’re doing this kind of remodel is critical to get just right. A functional, well-organized kitchen is the most important feature, so you want to choose your cabinetry wisely to accommodate this. You want to maximize your space as much as possible to talk with a professional cabinet designer about shelf, drawer and pullout options.

These tips will help you choose the perfect cabinets for kitchen and help you create the kitchen of your dreams!