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White is the New Orange

It’s Fall – and you’re not a huge fan of orange?!

We’ve seen a trending pattern in design to be more modern and neutral, but what happens as we are celebrating one of the great traditional American Holidays – Thanksgiving? Shouldn’t it be all about Orange Pumpkins, Indian Corn and Harvest Colored mums? As beautiful as these things are – if you are ready to change things up – there are lots of options.

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Design trends: Stone, Wood and Brick

Luxury Remodel Creative Contracting

Over the last few month we have seen an increasing number of clients who are looking for more rustic finishes and natural materials. Although colors still tend to remain in a soft neutral palette, there is a lot of interest in the texture found in stone, wood and brick. Fortunately, the possibilities of incorporating these materials are endless and manufacturers are helping by supplying some very good practical means of application.

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Bathroom Lighting

Bathroom Lighting Creative Contracting

Bathroom lighting is often put on the back burner when making home improvements, but it is one of the places that a good lighting plan is especially important. There are times when bright task lighting is essential and times when a glaringly bright light in the bathroom is not the best choice – consider a late night call of nature. Having options in lighting, depending on needs and moods, is essential in the design of a new bathroom.

Here are some of my favorite options:

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Fall Color Trend – Oxblood Red

It’s October – we’ve arrived at the time of year when we are ready for cozy sweaters, football and outdoor fire pits. I know we spend the winter months dreaming of warm summer days spent lounging by the pool or at the beach – but we’ve been there – done that. We are as ready for the change in weather as we will ever be – we are the natives of the North East – and we love our seasonal changes!
It is a good thing to carry those seasonal changes into the home. Changing accessories seasonally brings new life to your home and echoes the time of year. This year a new color trend accent is Oxblood Red.

Add a pop of color!
Add a pop of color!

bewitched-benjamin-moore Benjamin Moore Bewitched

oxblood-accent-chair
Oxblood is a deep shade of red with black undertones. It is a strong color, but works well with most neutrals. It is a great way to add some warmth to rooms that are painted gray or taupe. The “grieges,” super neutral and calming, can use a bit of spice for the fall!

red-accesories A pop of color in a small accessory can warm a room.

If you are working with a neutral base color in a room, don’t be afraid to reflect the outdoor color changes inside your home. Burnt-pumpkin orange, dark “Indian Corn” colors such as eggplant purple and deep reds, can warm up your home if your neutrals are creams or grays. Embrace the season and enhance your home with some autumn colors!
oxblood-red-bedroom

Bathroom Luxuries

Bathroom Luxuries

There’s no place in the home that has the same level of personal intimacy as the bathroom. Chances are, especially if you live in a busy household, the only time you may find yourself alone is in the bathroom. Because it is a sanctuary for private time, why not make it a place that you can enjoy aesthetically? Today, with our hectic lives, the bathroom is becoming for many an in- home spa.
Here are some extravagances you may wish to consider.

Heated Floors and Towel Bars:
Once you have had these luxuries they seem to become “must-haves” in a bathroom remodel. The ultimate luxury of grabbing a warm towel the second you step out of the shower is a true indulgence – as are those heated floors on cold bare feet!
Heated Towel Bar

Soaking Tub: Unwind, relax and take a time-out – with or without a book.DSC_8727
Shower sprays/ Rain head
If you do not live in a tropical island, imagine you are indulging in a tropical rain shower in the comfort and privacy of your own home. For those who long for the feel of a gentle rain – plan your escape.Body spray and rainhead
Sauna: Relax your tired muscles and rejuvenate. Many believe the sauna is a great way to release toxins and establish overall well-being.
FOLTZ_4

Soothing color palettes –
Everyone has their own colors that make them happy. Choose a color that will make you feel good when you step into your bathroom every morning.

Facts and Myths about Wine Storage

For the growing number of wine enthusiasts there are a number of questions about the proper way to store wine. There are also questions as to when wine is at its peak and when it is best to uncork it for the ultimate tasting experience. Only 1% of wines actually improve with age – the other 99% are meant to be consumed within 5 years. To maintain the quality of wine it is best to store it at a consistent temperature. It is generally considered that wine storage is best kept at 45-65° Fahrenheit with 55° being close to perfect.

Wine refrigerated coolers are a great option to maintain this consistent temperature and there are many styles and sizes available. Under- counter options are very popular and can easily be installed in a beverage center. Other benefits of a wine fridge include more storage left in your refrigerator when you are hosting parties!

Creative Contracting Design with wine fridge and beverage center
Creative Contracting Design with wine fridge and beverage center

If you are storing both red and white wine – no worries! Both should be stored at the same temperature – but they should not necessarily be served that way. Allow your red wine to decant to room temperature for the most flavor. White wine is best served opened directly from the wine fridge while it is still a bit cool.

Red and white wine

If you are a wine collector who has more wine than a refrigerator can handle, you may opt for a true wine cellar. Wine cellars are a beautiful way to showcase your wine as well as to store it. A wine cellar cooling unit, similar to an air conditioner, is installed in the cellar to provide the best temperature for wine. The biggest difference between the cooling unit and a home air conditioner is that an air conditioner usually includes a dehumidifying component which removes moisture from the air. This can be harmful to valuable bottles of wine because it can dry out the corks and damage the wine. To maintain the optimal environment for your wine, it is best to have a consistent temperature and humidity. For more information check out this article on Vine Pair. http://vinepair.com/wine-101/guide-to-aging-wine/

Creative Contracting designed Wine Cellar
Creative Contracting designed Wine Cellar

Why we Love Convection/Microwave Ovens

Everyone loves convection microwaves. They are a great option if you do not have room in your kitchen design for a second oven, because they can take the place of both microwave and oven. Microwave convection ovens have been around for a long time and used commercially. They cover every possible cooking need you have in the kitchen – baking, microwaving and even grilling. The functionality of it allows you to clear your counter space of toasters and toaster ovens. A convenient size, they can fit above an oven or tucked into an under counter space or shelf. I look forward to using mine when I’m just cooking for two – it’s much more efficient than heating up the oven and it is also great as an added cook source when I’m entertaining a crowd. Perhaps the best feature is being able to reheat leftovers without that soggy microwave consistency – reheated pizza can be crispy because of the convection feature. And speed!- the combination of quick cooking microwaves makes dinners heated quickly taste like they’ve been cooked in a traditional method – great for those nights when you run late at work. To learn more about cooking with convection/microwaves – check out this interesting you tube video.