There are so many options to consider when planning a kitchen remodel, that it is often overwhelming to think about beginning the process. To avoid getting mired in all of the details, it is best to use the services of an experienced kitchen remodel designer. But before you take that step, there is some research that you can do to help make the process as seamless as possible.
Find your Style
Do you know what you like? That is the first question to ask before beginning your kitchen remodel. In today’s market there are a wide variety of styles and selections. The best place to begin to learn of your individual preferences is the internet. Look at a lot of pictures and begin to save them to idea books. The sites www.Houzz.com and www.Pinterest.com are great places to archive your favorite kitchen pictures. Don’t get overwhelmed with labels. In today’s kitchen remodels, elements can be used from a variety of styles. And the best part of kitchen remodeling is choosing what you like compared to a standard builder kitchen where your options are limited. As you begin to save pictures, you may begin to see a gradual tendency to like elements that are the same, and if this isn’t something that is apparent to you, it is often something that an experienced designer can point out.
Elements are the nuts and bolts that you will use to begin to shape your kitchen remodel design selections.
Cabinet Door Style
Cabinet Door Color
Backsplash Design and Material
Sink and Fixtures
Although the actual floor plans and cabinetry design will be specified and drawn by your kitchen designer, it is always helpful to be prepared for specific questions on how you personally use your kitchen. In any kitchen remodel process is it extremely important that your kitchen functions appropriately for your unique needs. So spend some time thinking about how your dream kitchen remodel will work best for your family.
More of us are working from home than ever before. Thanks to the nasty virus COVID-19, our lives have been upended in a historically dramatic fashion. As we try to do what’s best for our society and loved ones, the phrase “Stay at Home” changes every aspect of our daily lives; from work and school to isolation and limited social interaction. Fortunately, many of us continue to be productive and to engage with family and friends through the technology of our time. Designing the best place to work and use our technology from our homes is not a new concept – but using work space from our homes for an extended time, including home schooling, is not something families have planned for. Click here for some guidelines to encourage you to think about spatial planning needs in this unprecedented time.
We are Here to Help YOU – are you ready to get started on your new home office? You can start today without having anyone visit your home or even leaving the house. With virtual consultation from Creative Contracting, you can design now, remodel later. Our powerful on line design tool lets us work you through the design process before we even meet face- to –face. Best of all, we can offer you our personalized approach and 30 years’ experience. We know what questions to ask and we can walk you through all phases of your design by asking you the right questions to inventory your needs and personal design style. Let’s get started!
1. Pick the right location
Working out of bed on a sick day, is a little different than working out of bed for weeks on end. Yes, the master bedroom, might have originally been the best place to catch a little privacy and a quiet space for those business phone calls, but in the long term it is not a comfortable option. Consider rearranging you bedroom and perhaps using a bureau as a makeshift desk. That might be an option if the kitchen table is where home schooling takes place.
Generally speaking, it is best to have a designated area for work. If you have a spare bedroom or a basement with unused space, think about how it could be converted. We are fortunate to have a detached studio. It is such a gift to separate the home environment from the work environment. A good designer can inventory your families’ needs and brainstorm what might work best for you.
2. Sitting comfortably
Once you’ve found the best option for location, make sure you have the office furniture and seating that allows you to sit comfortably. Choosing the right furniture for your new office space can make a world of difference in your productivity.
The right desk and chair choices are an essential part of a comfortable and efficient home office. Your desk should be wide enough to house a computer and anything else you’ll need for work.
Your desk should be at least four feet wide, if not five, and between 28 and 30 inches tall. Finally, look for a chair that is both adjustable and comfortable, just as you would if you were commuting to work each day.
3. Design to Inspire
Work is still work, and it’s important to plan your space with thought to what brings you joy. Natural light is optimal, but if you are working in a windowless space, consider art that you love and face your desk to the door. Plan to paint your home office a color that inspires your creativity and energizes you. That may be something bright and vivid, like a black and white scheme with splashes of orange, or it may be a calming blue, or a soft pastel. A thoughtfully planned home office can reflect your personality in a way that a corporate space cannot. So hang those family pictures, bring in a vase of fresh flowers (or an air plant if you don’t have a green thumb) and make your space inviting to you!
4. Conference Space (someday)
If you need to meet with clients there are many options. In small group settings (the foreseeable future) it just might mean having some extra chairs that can be pulled up to a large desk or requisitioning the dining room table for a few hours. For a more professional conference, there are often short term rental options available in most communities. We have used our local library as a space for corporate training for our small business.
5. Storage Space and Organization
Having the correct storage space for home office supplies makes life so much easier. If you are like me – you might have 3 different junk drawers to hunt through before you find the scissors and tape. But, in my office, I always know where they are. Designating a space for everything and organizing supplies in an accessible way is time well spent. Think of closet organizers for reams of paper, or your home printer, your server.
Before you worked from home, storage may have been something you took for granted. Chances are your workplace had plenty of shelves, cabinets and closets to keep supplies.
Your home office should be the same way. Make sure the design accounts for space for shelving, file cabinets or cupboards. Keep your current projects close at hand and filing system nearby, along with reference materials, catalogues or manuals you need for your job.
Space in your home office might be limited, so remember to organize vertically as well as horizontally, with things such as floating shelves and vertical file folders.
6. Cords, cords, everywhere!
Fewer things can make your home office feel unmaniangle as working in a jungle of wires. Keep your cords under control by going wireless. Using a wireless router, printer and mouse will greatly reduce the number of cords in play.
Organize any leftover wires with a grommet that leads wires from your desk to the floor. A cord tamer can also help you manage your wire situation.
Are you ready to get started on your new home office? You can start today, without having anyone visit your home or even leaving the house.
7. Therapy Dogs Welcome
One of the best advantages of a home office is that pets are always welcome (at your own discretion)
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.
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.
Stacked stone has been gaining popularity for a while. It has a sleek contemporary look and adds a rustic edge to this dining area.
River rock is especially popular as an accent in bathrooms. It lends a natural outdoor element creating a spa- like feel. This bathroom combined the natural elements of stone and wood with a porcelain “wood” tile – extremely practical.
Stained cabinetry and barn wood accents are evolving trends. This mix of contemporary and rustic is a far cry from the Brady Bunch.
Although painted finishes for cabinetry are still our top seller, there is a new interest in wood varieties. Walnut is beautiful and for those who love the feel of warm, natural wood, it delivers a subtle vibrancy that works well as an updated alternative to cherry or oak.
Brick is making a resurgence with its subtle texture and timeless appeal. It works great in a traditional setting and is a hardy, practical surface for a kitchen floor.
Exposed brick on an interior wall is a great way to play up an urban renewal look. If you don’t have brick to expose, no worries, it can be applied and set, adding rustic restoration charm.
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:
If you have room on each side of your mirror, sconce lighting is both a beautiful design and a good way to light up your face. The bathroom bar across the top of the mirror does not have the same level of design options, but it is a good practical choice. Recessed lights above the mirror are not optimal, because they create shadow, however if there is another good source of light in the room it may be a choice from an aesthetic perspective – some people really are not fans of the bars. Task lighting is important because those tasks that you perform in the bathroom – applying makeup and shaving – are much easier when you can see!
Recessed lighting is nice to have over the shower – and often over the toilet, which tends to be placed in a more private niche if possible, sometimes creating a closet like feel. Good lighting always makes a space more inviting.
Ambient lighting, such as chandeliers and semi-flushed mount fixtures are perfect in bathrooms as practical and lovely design features. Under cabinet baseboard lighting makes a perfect night light.
Make sure that all of your lights are on dimmers, that way you can easily just for tasks or atmosphere.
Below are some examples of bathrooms designed by Creative Contracting.
Designing a nursery for a new baby is a very exiting process. Planning an environment for your new little one to experience the world, is an act of love. Safety, security, comfort and happiness should all be taken into account when planning this space for your bundle of joy!
Crib: make sure that your crib meets today’s safety standards. Many family heirlooms have been recalled or do not have today’s safety features.
Changing table: Honestly, babies can be changed anywhere! If you have room for a baby changing station, it is great to have everything all in one place. Changing tables are a comfortable height and offer storage solutions for all of your baby care products.
Clothing storage: If you have a chest of drawers in your baby’s room, please make sure it is anchored to the wall. Toddler’s love to climb and there is nothing more tragic than a death caused by falling furniture. It is a simple fix and it’s a life-saver!
Rocking Chair: A rocking chair in a nursery is a sweet reminder of the wonderful bonding time between a parent and child. Although those times may take place with a colicky baby in the middle of the night, there is also hope that they are magical moments of love and lullabies.
The décor in the nursery is as personal as every family. This is the fun part – be creative and express your love and care through your own sense of style. Consider what your baby will see and determine the placement of art and mirrors with a crib-view in mind. Color and pattern can be soothing or entertaining. Here are some pictures to inspire.
Over the years, we’ve had occasions to work with people who have special needs. Remodeling to make their life more comfortable and their living space more functional is probably the most rewarding type of work we do. We have built ramps for people who were wheel chair bound. In one such case we constructed an entrance with a ramp for a victim of gun violence who was permanently paralyzed. Working with state and federal agencies, we were able to help the family get the funding they needed to stay in their home and make it accessible. We have also installed elevators for people with MS and created threshold free showers for people who have limited mobility. It is always gratifying to see the real effect these projects have on the lives of our clients. One of our favorite projects over the years was the home addition we did for Gretchen Stoffel. Born with a rare genetic defect, Gretchen is legally blind and deaf, has limited mobility of her arms and sleeps in a special oxygen chamber. She is also brilliant (in our opinion!)and an extraordinarily charming woman. She has a rewarding job and was able to finance, on her own, an apartment addition over the garage of her parents’ home. It gave her the independence she desired as an adult living at home. With easy access between the original home and her new apartment, the care she needs is only feet away, yet she is in a truly independent living area. Please take the time to view this video of how Gretchen and her wonderful family worked with us to create the home of her dreams.
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.
Benjamin Moore Bewitched
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!
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!