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325-C Arlington Avenue

Charlotte, NC 28203
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Charlotte, NC 28217

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Category: Interiors

What’s the Best Kitchen Design for a Growing Family?

A great kitchen design isn’t just about the traditional work triangle. Particularly for a growing family, kitchen design should also be inclusive of the myriad ways your kitchen will be used –for which activities, when and by whom. The traffic flow in, out and through a family-friendly kitchen should be a critical factor in space planning, not just during meal times, but throughout the entire day. This young family tasked us with the challenge of opening up the previously remodeled kitchen of their 1950’s Myers Park home, after hearing from other contractors that what they wanted to accomplish couldn’t be done.

Kitchen Design Goals

While not the original kitchen to the home, the remodel by the previous owners had addressed aesthetic concerns, but not the space planning. With two young children at home, our clients’ most important goal for the remodel was an open kitchen design for increased visibility and traffic flow. Their secondary goals included maintaining a formal dining room and foyer to stay in keeping with the age and style of the home; transitional style with modern amenities such as professional-grade appliances; more functional storage and additional pantry space; a large island with seating for four and to repair the faulty hardwood floors from the previous renovation.

Cream kitchen with brass pendants over the island and a large window over the sink

The angled walls with bar height pass through helped the kitchen to feel somewhat connected to the den, but it was still impossible for our clients to keep an eye on their kids while preparing meals. The tiny vestibule at the back door was tight and included two-floor transitions since the tile and den floor was higher than the kitchen and foyer, creating a tripping hazard. The light from the kitchen window couldn’t filter into the hallway or living space, creating a dark atmosphere. The plan was to remove the walls between the den and kitchen to open the space, but the challenge was ensuring enough wall space for cabinetry and appliances without sacrificing valuable storage.

A Family-Friendly Kitchen Design that Works

Ultimately, after reviewing three different kitchen designs, our clients elected to close the doorway between the formal dining room and the kitchen. This allowed the kitchen to take on a functional L-shape and kept all the major appliances out of the island, increasing usable counter space. Because the formal dining room was right next to the kitchen, losing the extra doorway didn’t impede traffic. Opening the backdoor to the kitchen made it easier to haul toddlers and groceries to and from the car.

The new kitchen design features an open plan from the den and kitchen, making it easier to drift between the two spaces seamlessly. Reframing a portion of the existing floor system to bring the whole area down to the same level eliminated tripping hazards and made floor clean-up a breeze. We left the original window in the same location, but with the removal of the walls, light pours deeper into space, making it feel more spacious. Ultimately, there was extra space to fit an even larger island than what was in the original kitchen design, providing ample seating for the whole family.

kitchen-design-ideas

BEFORE – The awkward, angled counter with dropped soffit kept the kitchen and den separate, preventing an easy flow for daily childcare or entertaining. The barstools blocked traffic to and from the back door—the main point of entry for this family.

kitchen-design-ideas

AFTER – Working extra storage into this kitchen design was simple thanks to the large island. Hidden base cabinets under the seating area provide adjustable shelving for less frequently used items.

Maximizing Space

Simplifying the bar design made it visually recede and increased functionality. Removing the bar sink in favor of a dry bar allowed versatile counter space to act as an everyday drop zone or a serving space for entertaining. To delineate the bar from the kitchen while keeping some visual continuity, we repeated the same cream cabinets and used the quartzite slab material as a solid backsplash. Now guests (and kids) can easily mingle between the formal living room, the den, the bar, and the kitchen during gatherings.

The cased opening and original glass transom that were formerly separating the kitchen and foyer hallway were relocated approximately 6′ to incorporate some of the former halls into the new family-friendly kitchen design. As requested, a proper foyer was maintained in keeping with the formal architecture of the home.

An HVAC return and a tiny coat closet were relocated to create space for a custom pantry cabinet under the stairs. Increasing dry goods storage was an important goal for this growing family. Tall pantry cabinets with easily adjustable roll-out shelves are a great solution for maximizing the space available within a small footprint.

kitchen-design-ideas

BEFORE – The stepped design of the bar cabinetry made it feel heavy and intrusive and the sink and ice-maker were never used.

kitchen-design-ideas

AFTER –  A built-in beverage center provides space for wine, beer, and mixers outside of the main refrigerator.

kitchen-design-ideas

DETAILS – The built-in maple spice rack keeps herbs and spices organized and accessible. The fully integrated refrigerator with custom panel blends into the surrounding inset cabinetry for a traditional look.

Finishing Touches

A critical part of making the kitchen design feasible was incorporating two large steel beams —welded on-site—to support the second story floor above. Our engineering team created a structural design to ensure the integrity of the proposed kitchen design, resulting in the family-friendly entertaining space they desired.

In the den (now visible from the foyer) the colonial fireplace surround was replaced with a transitional cast stone design. Using the same material for the hearth, surround and mantel created a soothing contrast in textures as opposed to color, allowing the artwork to be the true focal point.

Custom cabinets, hidden storage accessories, matching appliance panels, and one-of-a-kind quartzite counters elevate this family-friendly kitchen design while maintaining a classic, transitional style.

kitchen-design-ideas

BEFORE – The hood overpowered the range top and the soffit and pass-through to the den dated space. Angled walls are an inefficient use of space.

kitchen-design-ideas

AFTER – Open site lines and clear traffic patterns are all part of this redesigned kitchen. Shades of cream, taupe, and sage green offer a soothing, timeless look.

kitchen-design-ideas

DETAILS – Wide island drawers with built-in drawer organizers keep knives and flatware neatly sorted, right where they’re needed most.

If your current kitchen design has you frustrated and disorganized, we’d be happy to talk through the possibilities with you. Schedule a call and our team will reach out shortly.

Tour Our South End Home Design Studio

Whether a simple powder room facelift or a whole home redesign, remodeling your home is an investment in both your time and resources. While curating and presenting material samples with your functional, budgetary and aesthetic needs in mind has always been part of our design process, we wanted to elevate our client experience. With the completion of our South End design studio, we’re now able to provide our clients a more hands-on approach so you can experience the features of your home well before installation day.

Experience Before Deciding

After the initial consultation, your project developer will present a proposal at the home design studio outlining your remodeling project with appropriate budget ranges for each area. This first visit will give you an opportunity to see examples of the level of finish we’re assuming in our budget ranges, so you don’t have to worry about the quality of what you’ll be getting. You may even see something you’d love to incorporate into your redesign!

Save Time During the Design Phase

Your time is valuable. Our easily accessible and conveniently located home design studio means no more running all over town to various showrooms with your designer. From space planning to material selections, all of our design meetings will take place in one location. When you arrive, we’ll have curated materials selections pulled just for you, saving you time and the headache of decision overwhelm. You’ll be able to see dozens of examples of various cabinetry, tile and installation features without ever having to leave the building. While we will still make occasional field trips to choose natural stone slabs for your countertops, or kitchen appliances, overall, the design process will be more efficient, so you can come home to your new space that much sooner.

Miniature kitchen cabinet display with various door styles and finishes.

Our wall of “mini’s” packs a lot of options in a small space. With seven stations, we were able to show many different door styles, finishes, moldings, tile backsplashes, cabinet hardware and countertops.

Contemporary bathroom with quarter sawn white oak floating vanity, rose gold pendants and smokey green wallpaper

For our contemporary bathroom we opted for visual texture and unusual finishes: Quarter sawn white oak for the vanity paired with the smokey green wallpaper accent give it some drama, while the rose gold faucet and pendants provide an unexpected feminine touch.

Imagine the Possibilities for Your Home

With eight kitchen vignettes, five bathroom vignettes, dozens of material combinations and a large and ever-evolving materials library, our 2700 square foot studio was designed for versatility. While it’s impossible to show every option available, we combined some of the most popular and on-trend elements across traditional, transitional and contemporary displays so there’s something for everyone. We are never limited to what’s shown on the floor, so if there’s something specific you want to include in your project, let your designer know and they’ll order samples.

Traditional, transitional and contemporary kitchen vignettes provide options

Traditional, transitional, and contemporary kitchen vignettes combine various finishes, patterns and storage features so you can get an idea of what’s possible for your kitchen remodel.

A porcelain slab shower enclosure on the left and a contemporary alcove shower on the right.

Our shower displays include some of the most popular features our clients consistently expect (read about them here). On the left we used porcelain slabs on the walls and included a mitred bench, recessed niche and separate handheld shower. On the right we went for a more modern look with textured wall tiles, a curbless shower pan with linear drain and a chrome shower column.

OPEN BY APPOINTMENT

Because we aren’t a traditional remodeling showroom, we are not open to the public, but we invite you to take a virtual tour here! If you’re interested in discussing your remodeling project with one of our project developers and touring the space in-person, give us a call at 704-759-3920 or schedule a call online and we’ll be in touch shortly. As soon as it’s safe to host in-person events, we’ll be resuming our Kitchen and Bath Remodeling Seminars and will host them at the design studio.

Home Bars: Why They’re on Charlotte Wish Lists

In evaluating the ebb and flow of ongoing trends the other day, we were discussing the evolution of today’s home bar. Home bars are still incredibly popular, usually as part of a greater kitchen remodel, but they are far from what they once were. From simple, compact dry bars to complete entertaining spaces in their own right, home bars still feature prominently on our clients’ wish lists.

Say Goodbye to the Tiny Wet Bar

Home bars of the late 90’s and early 2000’s almost always featured a tiny, impractical sink, smack in the middle of the countertop, rendering what was left of the counters unusable for much of anything. They were usually hidden in an alcove near the kitchen, or off the living room in an awkward hallway. The bowl sized sinks were deal breakers for most of our clients, and they wanted them gone in favor of more flexible counter space.

BEFORE: This wet bar was added during a previous remodel, but the tiny sink only served as a dust collector.

Dry bar with inset cabinetry, full slab backsplash and beverage center

AFTER: Electing for a dry bar with a beverage center gave this couple more flexibility, extra counter space and improved cabinet storage with the addition of a wide drawer for bar accessories.

Multi-Functional Dry Bar

Fast forward to today, and home bars are still requested in at least half of the kitchen remodels we design. Nowadays, we take a multi-functional approach to the design to best utilize the space available. Most home bars err on the simpler side, and most do not feature sinks unless they have a significant amount of extra space.

Dry bar with kegerator and beverage center

This multifunctional space in the hallway between the kitchen and formal dining room acts as a dry bar and drop zone for the kids’ activity schedules. The left side features a built-in kegerator, a beverage center, and extra wine and stemware storage. The right side features open shelving for books and family photos, a pin board for schedules and Panthers tickets, and wide drawers for the kids’ craft supplies.

Dry bars often include an appliance for wine, beer or other beverages and act as a landing zone for entertaining. Whether you’re having friends over for a casual dinner or you’re celebrating your child’s birthday, a dry bar gives you space separate from the kitchen to stage beverages, appetizers or dessert.

Where to Place Your Home Bar

Whether wet or dry, ideally your home bar would be located in close proximity to the kitchen, between it and another space like a formal dining room or living room. Locating the bar in the transition space between two rooms creates a natural flow for traffic and conversation, and allows guests to help themselves easily without entering the kitchen while you’re cooking.

Dry bar in hallway between kitchen and dining room

Located in a nook off the hallway between the kitchen and the formal dining room, this dry bar serves as a morning station for coffee most days, but quickly converts to the beverage station for holiday gatherings.

Home Bars Aren’t Just for Cocktails

While most home bars do feature stemware and bottle storage of some sort, they aren’t limited to alcohol. Many of the families we work with prefer beverage centers—small built-in refrigerators with multiple zones that can properly store a few bottles of wine and a case or two of La Croix or Kombucha. Beverages tend to take over the main refrigerator if left unchecked, so having a smaller space just for your daily drink of choice leaves room for more fresh produce and leftovers. Having a flexible space to store the special occasion china that also acts as a snack station for the kids is still a worthy feature of any modern kitchen design.

Home bar with open shelves, wine storage and white cabinets

This dry bar features a beverage center and drawer for snacks. The towers on the left and right are perfect for housing small appliances, vases and stemware.

Take Your Home Bar Up a Notch

If regular movie nights and football parties are your jam, you may want to consider a more elaborate casual entertaining space. With enough room and the right design, a dry bar can easily become a full-fledged kitchenette, preventing repeated trips to the actual kitchen. A beverage center and a small (but usable) sink are must-haves in this case. Ice makers and refrigerator drawers for mixers and snacks are also a nice touch. An 18” dishwasher wouldn’t be a bad idea either, especially if your hang out zone is in the basement or a detached garage.

Modern wet bar with black cabinets and ice maker

Located right inside the back door and conveniently separating the kitchen and the living room, this wet bar features a wine chiller, an ice-maker and a prep sink. It’s right off the back door, making it easy to run inside and grab a cold beverage before heading back to the lake.

Whether you’d like to incorporate a multi-functional dry bar as part of your kitchen remodel, or you’re interested in creating a completely separate entertaining space, we’d be happy to help you design the space that’s perfect for your needs. Schedule a consultation with us today!

A Home Office Design that Works For You

At the time of publishing, we, as a nation, will have been in self-quarantine for over a month. There is not a person or business that has gone untouched by this pandemic in some way. Now more than ever, the importance of a well-designed home has become increasingly clear as we are working, schooling, eating, playing, and digitally socializing from home.

As families temporarily adjust to the new demands on – and divisions of – their spaces, we suspect there will be a permanent reevaluation of the perceived value of open floor plans just as there will be permanent shifts to the ways we work. Whether or not you enjoy working from home or had been doing so already in some capacity pre-pandemic, as companies realize their employees can be productive off-site, it’ll be interesting to see what happens in commercial real estate.

Regardless of how our society pivots in response over the coming months or even years, we can all agree that designating specific areas of our homes for certain tasks makes life run smoother, quarantine or not.

Black walnut custom standing desk with hidden printer drawer; home office design ideas

Open Floor Plans – Gone for Good?

For over a decade, open floor plans have seen a steady rise in popularity as our lifestyles and homes have become more casual. They are great for socializing, entertaining, and keeping an eye on the kiddos while you’re preparing meals. But when it comes to productivity, open floor plans leave much to be desired. After weeks of constant togetherness and noise, a few more walls may sound like absolute heaven, especially if you plan to continue working from home or homeschooling.

Kitchen and breakfast room open to living room

5 Ways to Create a Work-From-Home Space

Creating a workspace for you and/or your children doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are five ways our clients have remodeled their homes to suit their work needs, regardless of their budget.

1.  Create a Flexible Workspace Near the Kitchen

Before laptops, smartphones, and tablets changed our routines, it was common to find a small desk or workspace in the kitchen where families would plan meals, sort the mail, organize the calendar, etc. Once these tasks converted to digital platforms those desk spaces became smaller and smaller in favor of more cabinetry storage and fewer walls. Since all of that could be done on a laptop or tablet from anywhere, there was less of a need for a centralized space.

Fast forward a few years, and now that nearly every member of an average household has 1-3 digital devices, the clutter of them is all coming back to the kitchen desk. Families are once again starting to prefer centralized workspaces for homework, charging stations, and organizing family paperwork.

Navy kitchen desk space

2.  Convert the Formal Living Room or Dining Room to Study

Formal living and dining rooms are still common in Charlotte area homes, but they don’t see regular use. For homes with large breakfast areas and an eat-in kitchen, a formal dining room may serve you better as a study. Converting large cased openings to doorways with a pair of elegant French doors or pocket doors is a minimal investment as far as remodeling goes. Add some soft textures in the form of an area rug and floor-length drapes to absorb sound and you’ve got yourself a proper home office that still looks attractive from the foyer.

3.  Close in Your Two-Story Foyer

Two-story foyers were all the rage in the late ’90s and early 2000s, but as priorities have shifted toward energy efficiency and functionally designed spaces, two-story foyers have lost much of their appeal. Depending on the configuration of the stairs and the roofline, it’s relatively simple to add a floor structure above a two-story foyer. These spaces are perfect for designing a home office or bonus room where the kids can do homework and crafts. Best of all, adding square footage to your home within the existing footprint increases resale value, without the expense and disruption of an addition. Say good-bye to that impossible-to-clean plant shelf over the front door and hello to your new home office.

4.  Design a Home Office in a Spare Bedroom, Closet or Other Small Space

Do you have a small sunroom or guest bedroom that’s seldom used? Have your kids left the nest? Converting a bedroom to a home office is another inexpensive way to maximize your space. Rearranging the furniture, repainting, and perhaps updating the flooring and window treatments may be all that’s required, saving time and money. Hiding a desk and built-in shelving in a guest room closet is another way to create a workspace while still maintaining a guest room. When guests spend the night, you can close the closet doors to hide your desk. We’ve also had clients convert nooks under the stairs to work or study spaces. This idea is especially useful if you’re short on space elsewhere.

Contemporary home office design near Lake Norman

We designed a home office as part of a larger kitchen remodel in this Lake Norman home. The space was once a laundry room off the garage that acted mainly as a mudroom and catch-all for clutter. By repurposing the space within the existing footprint, this couple gained valuable workspace while maintaining ample pantry storage.

5.  Build an Addition

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to rethink your existing home, the space to design your dream home office or bonus room just isn’t available. In those cases, a home addition as part of a larger remodeling project may be the best option. Whether you are adding square footage to act as a home office specifically, or perhaps building out a master suite so you can convert your existing bedroom to a study, a home addition is a great way to get the space you need, where you need it.

Other Considerations to Optimize your Work-From-Home Space

We have a feeling video conferences are sticking around even after the Stay-at-Home Orders are lifted. To make sure you still appear professional, keep clutter, and personal photographs out of the background. If you can, avoid having a bed behind you – that’s just awkward. Use rugs and drapery to muffle the noise and reduce echoes. Install shutters, shades, or blinds to direct light and prevent a glare on your computer screen. Use color and décor that inspires you, so you actually enjoy being in your workspace. And lastly, as tempting as it is to position your desk so you’re facing a window or the wall because you can’t see who’s behind you, this position can actually increase stress in your body without you even realizing it. Position your desk so you can see the door (while looking out the window) and you’ll never be caught off guard. Your body and your productivity will thank you.

If you’re interested in creating a better workspace in your home, schedule a virtual call to discuss your home office design ideas with us today!

Before & After: How to Makeover Your Master Suite

The importance of a well-functioning master suite cannot be understated. After the kitchen, the master suite is the second most important space in your home. And just like the kitchen, the master suite is critical to a homeowner’s overall health and well-being.

To be at our best in a world that demands more from us than ever before, it’s imperative that we have a private, quiet space to rest, to nourish our bodies, and to begin and end our days in a way that promotes optimal health.

The demolition plan illustrates the inefficient and segmented closets and tight traffic patterns.

A Unique Master Suite Update

This couple wanted to create a unique master suite that not only reflected the style of the rest of the home but incorporated an international flare. While the design elements of a home’s more public spaces should flow to create a sense of continuity, private spaces like master bedrooms and bathrooms are a great opportunity to try something a little unexpected – like the graphic white and gold wallpaper they selected for the bathroom.

master-suite

The bedroom remodel features the combination of multiple small closets, providing necessary (but separate) storage space, separate vanities, a larger shower, and a freestanding tub as the focal point while maintaining a private water closet.

By redesigning the two spaces we were able to maximize storage and natural light within the existing footprint, expand the shower, and simplify the traffic flow. Plantation shutters were replaced with motorized roman blackout shades for optimal sleep. Two windows in the bedroom were replaced with French doors to provide access to the outdoors and allow more light into the bedroom during the day.

The solid bi-hinged bathroom doors were exchanged with frosted glass French doors to maintain privacy while allowing light from the large bathroom window to spill into the rest of the master suite.

master-suite

BEFORE – Solid French doors did not allow light to pass into the bedroom from the bathroom and the large HVAC return was unsightly. The dark walls made the bedroom feel heavy and dreary and the wall-to-wall carpeting felt dated.

master bedroom makeover after

AFTER – New 5-lite frosted French doors separating the bedroom and bathroom repeat the 5-lite design of the custom, matte black framed shower doors. We reused the original solid french bathroom doors for the new closet entrance to save money and cut down on unnecessary waste.

this dark master bathroom got a bright and modern makeover

BEFORE – Heavy and dated fixtures made this bathroom underwhelming. The wall placement of the water closet and shower made the bathroom feel small and the unnecessary shutters and dark paint contributed to the cave-like atmosphere.

master-suite

AFTER – The relocation of the water closet and removal of the shutters creates a spacious and bright experience. Soft textured, geometric wallpaper adds an unexpected and playful element to the white and black color palette. Wall-mounted faucets and oversized backsplashes offer a sleek solution to protect the wallpaper from water.

master-suite

BEFORE – The existing floor plan contained a choppy layout, with many nooks and dark corners, including this sequestered shower. The heavily embellished vanities weren’t scaled for the room so they overwhelmed the space.

Modern, yet classic master bathroom makeover with black framed shower glass

AFTER – By relocating the water closet beside the shower, our clients gained a larger shower, and a smoother traffic pattern where it’s less likely they’ll be in each other’s way. The shower features a custom sliding door system, fixed shower head, separate hand shower, and an oversized bench. The marble-inspired porcelain floor and shower tile lend a classic vibe without competing with the more modern geometric wallpaper.

master-suite

AFTER – The bright wall color makes this master bedroom feel more spacious, while the black painted window sashes add a pop of contrast. The new gold wall sconces are much more stylish than their previous pair and give off a soft romantic light.

the office separated the bedroom from the rest of the home, so we created a better flow for the homeowners

BEFORE – Multiple doorways separated the office from the bedroom, creating an awkward vestibule that was more of a pinch point than an asset. The light carpet in the bedroom made the two spaces feel even more disconnected and with two dogs, maintenance was a nightmare.

master-suite

AFTER – A priority of this master bedroom makeover was creating better flow from the master bedroom to the office. The smaller closets were combined for more functional storage. Two new French doors provide direct access from the bedroom to the outdoor living room, while motorized roman blackout shades ensure darkness for optimal sleep. Continuing the walnut floors throughout the bedroom unifies the remodeled bedroom space with the office, and makes wiping muddy paw prints much easier.

By optimizing for storage and natural light, and incorporating a balanced design throughout the entire master suite, our clients now have a unique,  award-winning space that offers a relaxing retreat to start and end each day.

When you’re ready to makeover your master bedroom, give us a call at 704-759-3920. Schedule a call with one of our project developers to discuss next steps.

Basement Finishing: Is it Right For You?

You need more square footage in your home, but you’re not sure the best way to get it. There are so many options, including a home addition or remodeling an existing basement, or even adding a basement addition. How do you decide which option is right for you?  Here are some things to consider:

 

Additions for Expanding Living Space

There are a lot of pluses to a home addition. By expanding the footprint of your house into the yard, you can add space to a room or add an entire room (or more) to your house. Many such additions are on the ground level because they involve changes to the first floor of the house: a bigger kitchen, a larger dining room, a sunroom, or a family room, etc. But you can also build a two-story addition that adds a bedroom or bathroom to your second floor.  Some homeowners opt to go up and add square footage on top of a garage—or a whole floor on top of the existing house.

These additions can be a great option for some homeowners. However, you do need to consider the zoning restrictions in your city. Sometimes zoning regulations or setbacks can severely restrict where you can build. Also, many homeowners don’t have enough land to allow for a significant addition.

basement-finishing

Remodeling a Basement: Transform the Space for Your Needs

Remodeling or finishing an existing basement can be a great way to increase living space without breaking the bank. You can turn that existing, unused space into a productive and enjoyable living area.  In most cases an unfinished basement can be transformed into almost anything you need:  a rec or family room, a home theater, home gym, wet bar, bedroom, bathroom or even an entire au pair or in-law suite.

Since basements are below the rest of the house, a basement remodeling project is less likely to be disruptive to your lifestyle than other kinds of renovations.

However, you do need to ensure that the basement is leak proof and won’t become too humid; you don’t want water or mold to damage your newly finished space, so address any potential moisture problems right from the start.  Basements can also be dark. Be sure to maximize the natural light—perhaps by putting knee walls around existing windows—and plan to add lots of artificial lighting to keep the space from being too dark. You will also need to be careful about which products you use in your basement remodel; a wood floor wouldn’t be suitable on a slab foundation.

basement-finishing

Basement Additions: Great If You Can’t Build Up or Out

But what if you don’t have an existing unfinished basement? Yes, it is actually possible to excavate and build a basement under an existing house.  There are many advantages to this kind of basement addition. It’s a great alternative if you’re facing restrictions on how big or how high an addition can be.  Also, basement additions don’t eat up yard space, and you don’t have to worry about local requirements for setbacks or esthetics.

Construction of a basement addition can involve the excavation of a portion or all of the crawlspace or digging under the slab to create an entirely new area. Depending on how your house is situated, the cost may be more affordable than you expect.

However, basement additions aren’t feasible for every home, and construction does require a working with structural and mechanical elements of the home. You may need to replace older foundations and install a new drainage system.  Plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems may need to be relocated.  And it’s important to find a way to provide windows for the living spaces (bathrooms, laundry rooms, media rooms, and storage space don’t require windows).
No matter your situation there is a way to add space to your home—and value to your property. You simply need to find the best fit for your situation and your family’s lifestyle.

basement-finishing
Considering an addition or remodeling existing space?  Consult with the experts at Revision Charlotte!

Remodeling 101: Flooring Trends and Tips

There are a lot of considerations when choosing flooring. In addition to aesthetics, homeowners must contend with competing considerations of cost, durability, what’s most sensible for their lifestyle, and current flooring trends. Once installed, flooring can be difficult and expensive to change, so you want to get it right. Below, we take a look at some of the latest trends in flooring across the Charlotte Metro area.

Wood and Wood-Look Floors

Hardwood is still at the top of the wish list for most of Charlotte’s homeowners. We are almost always refinishing at least a portion of existing hardwood, but when we’re not, today’s hardwood preferences still lean to darker colors and satin finishes. Wider planks are appealing to many homeowners, but they often don’t justify the increased cost. Hardwood floors vary significantly in price depending on the material. They can be difficult to maintain with kids and large dogs, and they’re subject to water stains, but that doesn’t typically deter people away from them, especially because they can be refinished.

According to Floor Critics, 2018 is the second year in a row that wood-look flooring is the most popular flooring trend in the U.S. Choices in faux wood floors including laminate, vinyl, and even ceramic or porcelain tile, however, in the Charlotte market, real hardwood is still number one. Sometimes hardwood alternatives are less expensive, but often they’re not once you factor in labor. Wood look-alike materials are a smart choice for bathrooms, basements, and mudrooms because of their water-resistant nature.

Hand hewn hardwood floors give this kitchen a casual, rustic feel in keeping with the modern farmhouse aesthetic.

Environmentally Friendly Floors

Increasingly, homeowners are aware of the environmental impact of their flooring choices. Consumers want to know where their hardwood floors come from and if the wood is sustainably harvested. It is more sustainable to refinish existing wood than to tear it out and replace it, which is why red and white oak still dominate our Charlotte area remodeling projects. If we are using alternative materials, our clients may prefer ones that are renewable and/or recyclable. Cork is an increasingly popular floor choice for those with a contemporary aesthetic; it’s sustainably harvested, naturally allergy-resistant, and easy on the feet, but we don’t see much of it in our area.

Carpet and Area Rugs

Carpet is an inexpensive choice for bedrooms and basements where you want warmth underfoot. Nothing says “welcome to our home” better than a stunning carpet runner on the front stairs in a foyer. Runners provide traction for pets and kids and reduce noise. Beautiful area rugs have always been popular on hardwood floors. They help to define spaces in the increasingly popular open floor plan. If you need a specific size or shape outside of the standard offerings, many people have custom rugs made from carpet. Area rugs offer flexibility in your decor since they’re simple to change out when styles change, and there’s something for every price point. Custom carpets and rugs are often treatable to prevent stains, and they can be easily rolled up and brought to a cleaner if disaster strikes.

Genuine reclaimed barnwood replaced an entire first floor of tile in this Lake Norman kitchen remodel.

Vintage Flooring

This trend takes two forms: Black and white tiles reminiscent of the art deco era lend a retro feeling to a small space. We see this look repeated in bathrooms over and over because of the classic appeal. Many of today’s homeowners like this trend with a twist, using tiles with patterns or sizes outside the traditional ones. The second trend harkens back to the farmhouse and the distressed, rustic look of reclaimed barn wood. Real reclaimed wood can be hard to come by and incredibly expensive, but many manufacturers are imitating that textured look.

 

There are many options when it comes to choosing flooring. A skilled designer can help you sort through the options and figure out which one is perfect for your budget and lifestyle. Ready to start? Sit down for a no-obligation consultation with us.

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Five Questions to Ask Before You Remodel

The first question any homeowner should ask him/herself is: Should I remodel? Figuring out the answer can be more difficult than you might expect. You might be dying to update your house, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense in terms of your family’s lifestyle or budget. And many other considerations come into play. Below are five questions to ask yourself to help you figure out if you need to embark on a remodeling project.

1. Does Your Home Meet Your Needs?

If you’re frustrated with your house, it’s important to consider why. Maybe you want to entertain, but the house doesn’t have good spaces for people to gather. Or maybe you really need a home office. Or perhaps adding a bathroom will add harmony to your family life. Maybe it’s a combination of outdated features: a too small kitchen, a too pink bathroom, and inadequate storage options. Perhaps you simply might need to bring an older house in line with the needs of a contemporary family. If there are many different ways in which the house doesn’t meet your needs, then a remodeling project might be the way to address the problems. 

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2. What are Your Remodeling Objectives?

Make a list of everything you would like to change, from the size of the kitchen to the color of the walls and the style of the light fixtures. Then prioritize the list. Which things are must-haves and which things can you do without? Before you embark on any planning, you need to have clear goals in mind. Whether you need a more up-to-date kitchen, bigger closets, or a more attractive entryway, you should have specific ideas of what you want to accomplish. If you’re not sure what you want, you’re more likely to end up with a result that’s less than satisfactory. 

3. Have You Experienced Any Life Changes?

The answer to this question influences your remodeling decisions in a couple different ways. You might have a new addition to the family—a baby, adult child, or elderly relative. Or you might be anticipating such an addition and need to plan with that contingency in mind. Multi-generational homes are more and more common, making homes more crowded, but remodeling can give everyone more breathing room. Similarly, if you’re retired or planning to retire in this home, you should consider remodeling with the principles of universal design in mind. Universal design can make your home safer and more accessible if you ever experience limited mobility.

4. What’s the Return on Investment?

This is a particularly important question if you’re planning to sell the house in the next five years. You don’t want to invest a lot of money on remodeling projects that don’t increase the value of your house. Do some research to understand the average return for the kind of remodeling project you’re considering. Some projects recoup 75-100% of their costs, depending on the area, while others have a lower return on investment. But don’t get fooled by the size of the project; sometimes small projects can pay off handsomely. Cost vs. value considerations can also impact the choices you make as you plan your remodeling project. You might love the idea of making your home theater hot pink or adding cherry red counters to the kitchen but consider whether those choices might make the house harder to sell. 

5. What is Your Budget?

This is a delicate subject. Nobody likes to talk about money but figuring out a budget is an essential part of the process. You need to know what you can realistically afford and what can be achieved on that budget. Research your options—from hardware to appliances to flooring—so you know what you can expect to spend on each item and which things you can afford to splurge on. Remember that a lot of remodeling projects run over budget, so don’t stretch it the max when signing the contract; you’ll probably need a contingency fund. And, when devising a budget, don’t forget the costs of dislocating your family. If you will need to move out of the house, take rent into consideration. If you will lose access to your kitchen for a month or more, remember that it will have an impact on your food budget.

Considering a remodeling project? Schedule a call with one of our Project Developers.

Telltale Signs of a Quality Remodeling Job

The internet is full of checklists of potential mistakes you can make when remodeling and articles about what to avoid. But what are the things homeowners should be striving for? What are the characteristics of a well-thought-out and high-quality remodel? Here are some signs to look for, whether you’re evaluating someone else’s remodeling project or planning your own:

1. Harmonizing with the home’s style

Whatever the style of your existing home, the remodeling project should fit into it. If your home’s design is traditional, you don’t want to do an ultra-modern remodel. If you chose a craftsman-style house, you probably like that architectural style so a good remodeling project will have the same craftsman elements. It’s particularly important to keep the style in mind if you’re doing exterior remodeling. Whether you’re adding a portico or a two-story addition, the project’s style needs to work with the rest of the house—in addition to fitting into the architecture in the neighborhood.

2. Up-to-date but not too trendy

One of the major reasons homeowners remodel is to make their home’s design more up-to-date and functional for today’s lifestyles. For example, homeowners might be replacing dark paneling, shag rugs, and pink bathrooms with light-colored walls, hardwood floors, and neutral tiles. Design choices in line with contemporary tastes ensure that the project will add to your home’s value. However, you don’t want to the design to become too trendy. That bright blue countertop might look great in the kitchen showroom, but will it look outdated in five or ten years when you’re trying to sell the house?

3. High-quality materials

One of the hallmarks of a good remodeling job is the use of high-quality materials—which impact both the appearance and the functioning of the house. Cheap cabinets look…well, cheap. And they won’t stand the test of time as well as ones that are well made. They are also less likely to come with pull-out shelves, lazy susans, and other conveniences that a lot of today’s homeowner’s treasure. Similarly, you might be tempted to save money on windows, which can be a big remodeling expense. But investing in high-quality windows can save you money on energy costs and can really improve the appearance of your home—from the inside and the outside. Invest your money wisely. Good designs prioritize high-value design elements like hardwood floors rather than putting a lot of the budget into a fancy chandelier.

4. Spaciousness.

Many homeowners want to remodel to add space to their home—whether by reconfiguring the existing floorplan or by adding an addition. Your designer should be considering how to remodel your home without making any part of it feel cramped or overly cozy. Even when doing a relatively modest remodeling project, you should consider how roomy the newly designed space will feel. This is particularly true in high-traffic areas: wide doorways and halls can make your home feel more comfortable. A good design will consider how to open up the existing space: taking down walls, raising ceilings, enlarging windows, and using many other tricks to create a sense of spaciousness.

5. Letting in the Light.

Lighting can completely change the feeling and ambiance of your home, so a good remodeling project will take light into careful consideration. Designs should consider the house’s position vis a vis the sun and place windows accordingly. More natural light makes a space feel roomier and more pleasant, and so you may want a design that maximizes windows and skylights—at least in the public areas. But don’t neglect artificial lighting. Too often remodeling projects place electric lights as an afterthought, but they should be an integral part of the plan. If you’re remodeling a kitchen, for example, you will probably want overhead, task, and under cabinet lighting in different locations. Considering a remodeling project and want to know you’re getting unparalleled quality and craftsmanship in the Charlotte area? Get in touch with us today.

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