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How Does Bedroom Lighting Affect Your Sleep?

Lighting design is only one aspect of an overall design scheme, however, in the bedroom, it can have a profound impact on the ability to sleep. Light levels, type, and timing all make a difference in being able to get a full seven to nine hours of sleep. Light in the bedroom has to be considered more than illumination; it’s a key element of sleep support.

Light’s Impact on the Sleep-Wake Cycle

The human body controls the sleep-wake timing through a complex series of 24-hour cycles called circadian rhythms. One of the most powerful influences on the timing of the circadian rhythms is sunlight. Sunlight that filters through the Earth’s atmosphere falls on the blue spectrum. Special photoreceptors in the eyes, called ganglion cells, absorb blue light and directly send signals to the circadian region of the brain. Light exposure during the day suppresses sleep hormones, but once the sun starts to go down, the sleep hormones are prepped for release.

Light Design in the Bedroom and the Ability to Sleep

Because of lights’ heavy influence on the sleep-wake cycle, lighting design is of the utmost importance in the bedroom. The following will need to be taken into consideration:

  • Smart Control: Smart bulbs are the latest way to control light levels. Smart bulbs sync with a phone via an app and hub. Bedroom lights can be turned off remotely from the bed, in some cases, dimmed, or turned off while away from home (which doesn’t really aid sleep so much as reduce energy bills). They can be used in ambient, task, or accent lights.
  • Better Bulb Choices and Light Placement: If possible, avoid high-efficiency light bulbs as they give off a blue light that can suppress sleep hormones. Instead, opt for traditional incandescent bulbs or specially designed high-efficiency “sleep” bulbs that do not emit blue light. If the bedroom has track or recessed lighting, aim the bulbs away from the bed so that light is directed away from the bed. Any task light near the bed should not directly illuminate the bed to avoid too much light exposure no matter the bulb choice.
  • Window Coverings as Lighting Design: Window treatments have to be considered as part of lighting design because they control natural light exposure. A bedroom flooded with morning light is more than one person’s dream scenario of an open, airy sanctuary. However, it can cause premature waking, especially in the summer. Heavy drapes, blackout curtains, and blinds can all be used to block sunlight, street lamps, headlights, and light pollution at night. For those who still want an airy bedroom, a second layer of sheer curtains offers more versatility over natural light control.

A Note on Light and Bedroom Layout

The layout of bedroom furniture in relation to the lighting can also affect sleep. Think carefully about bed placement. Placement directly across from or underneath the windows may inadvertently expose you too much light first thing in the morning, causing premature waking. A bed placed on a side wall is less likely to get direct exposure at the wrong time of day.

Strategic lighting improves the chances of getting deep restful sleep. Sometimes small changes can make a big difference.

Contributed by https://www.sleephelp.org/

 

Halloween Pumpkins

Halloween has always been my favourite season! The beautiful fall colours, the spooky decorations, the amazing costumes, and of course inspirational pumpkin carvings! I started carving “cool” pumpkins years ago when the typical jack-o-lanterns didn’t quite satisfy my creative desire. I found carving pattern books, tool sets and great ideas online that fueled the passion for something a little more unique. Here are a few tricks and tips I have learned:

  1. It all starts with GREAT tools. Get yourself a proper pumpkin carving knife. These can be found almost anywhere from the grocery store, craft store and Halloween stores. The key is how wide the blade is that allows for more detailed carvings.
  2. Next step is selecting the right size pumpkin. Go for the big ones! Make sure it has a decent side to create your carving masterpiece. and it still has a stem attached
  3. Cutting the lid first: start by cutting into the top of the pumpkin (more on this option later) at and angle about 2-3″ away from the stem. The angle keeps the lid on top of the pumpkin instead of falling inside. Before your carve a complete circle offset a small notch from where you start to where you end. This gives you a clear idea of how the lid fits when you put it back on.
  4. Cleaning out your pumpkin. This is the slimy part. Scoop and scrape out all the pulp and seeds,. Once the inside is clean determine which side your design is going on and continue to scrape away the inside wall of the pumpkin making it thinner and easier to carve details. This is the critical secret to great pumpkin designs. The wall should be approximately 1/2″ or 1cm thick for best results.
  5. Selecting your pattern: the internet is filled with spectacular designs  Click here:  For your first attempt keep the pattern a basic without enormous detail. Before you place your pattern cut out the parts that will be cut out of your pumpkin. I find using an Exacto-knife on a cutting matte makes this easier than using scissors. Once your pattern is prepared use straight pins to hold the pattern in place on your pumpkin. Because paper is flat and pumpkins have a curve you may find some spots that need to be tucked or folded to ease the design onto the surface. Use as many pins to keep the paper flat to the side of your pumpkin. This will keep your design transfer more accurate and easier to follow once your remove the paper before carving.
  6. Trace out the design using a permanent marker. Make sure you indicate which parts are to be cut out and parts that are staying intact. Some designs can get confusing. (don’t worry about the marker being visible as it easily comes off with nail-polish remover or acetone when you are done). More intricate designs also have scraped parts (removing the outside skin of the pumpkin, this is where a thinner wall is important and this allows light to shine through the flesh)
  7. Start carving, depending on the level of detail I will often start on the small parts in the middle as the flesh of the pumpkin is more stable when there are less cuts. Beginning with the more detailed parts can prevent breakage when you get to the areas around. The key is to have a very narrow serrated carving knife as this allows a slow sawing motion to follow curves and changes of direction without compromising the flesh of your pumpkin. Take your time, plan your cuts
  8. Don’t worry about removing the cut out pieces right away. Again this can keep the pumpkin more stable with detailed designs and patterns. The pieces can be pushed inside and removed later or pulled out the front

 

As mentioned not all patterns need a lid on top; You can cut out the bottom (similar size hole) of a pumpkin too and place over your light source. With great pumpkins comes a decent amount of time commitment. This is not something you can pull off in 15-20 minutes. Because I enjoy have multiple “cool” pumpkins I will often carve a few days before Halloween or if you are hosting a party the weekend before you still want your creation to be in good shape for trick-or-treaters: TIP: small narrow cuts can dry out over a few days, I have been able to revive a carved pumpkin by soaking in room temperature water for a few hours. It will re-hydrate the flesh and look like it was freshly carved! Just make sure to not let a carving dry out too much that it can’t be revived. Most of all HAVE FUN! And one last thing, YES I have carved all the pictures included!

Happy Halloween

 

Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

Professionals Taking Responsibility to Make All Homes Accessible, Comfortable and Safe for Everyone! Class included top experts from the kitchen and bath design, renovation, home building, real estate, caregiving and medical industries.       Making all homes more accessible and safer that current industry practices

 

Ottawa (June 21, 2018) – The Living In Place Institute™ is pleased to announce the successful completion of another Certified Living In Place Professional™ (CLIPP™) class.  This class, approved for continuing education by National Kitchen & Bath Association, International Interior Design Association, American Occupational Therapy Association, American Society of Home Inspectors, and others, creates inter-professional networks of experts working to make all homes safer. 

 

Natalia Pierce is one of the recent graduates, Natalia is honored to now be a part of the solution to improving independence and dignity for all homeowners through sharing their skills to identify safety concerns and recommend solutions in any home, regardless of the homeowners age or needs. “I am looking forward to helping my community become a safer place to live, one home at a time. My clients will benefit from my new Certified Living In Place Professional™ designation and my passion for helping each client.”

 

“It was an honor and pleasure to welcome Pierce as one of the nationally respected professionals who participated in the recent CLIPP™ class,” says Erik Listou and Louie Delaware, Co-Founders of the Living In Place Institute.  “Like many other housing professionals across the nation, Pierce shares a concern for home accessibility and safety. Most homes were built with no attention to accessibility and safety risks that increase home accidents. Pierce is now one of the experts leading our communities, and the nation, taking responsibility to guide all homeowners to ensure the safest and most accessible homes. Only CLIPP trained professionals have access to an electronic checklist (Home Accessibility and Safety Assessment Checklist™) designed to thoroughly and quickly identify and make recommendations for home modifications and products that help everyone, regardless of their age or needs.”

Natalia Pierce is the owner/designer at Detail by Design. Pierce has been serving west Ottawa for 15 years. Our primary goal is to create spaces you will love to come home too, designed with the end user and budget in mind.

 

About The Living In Place Institute

The Living In Place Institute has set the standard for home accessibility, comfort and safety through education within the professional communities, development and use of a standardized home assessment checklist and consumer awareness.

More information is available at www.LivingInPlace.Institute 888-467-3220

 

Bathroom Design Trends

NKBA Finds Transitional Style Bathrooms Among Most Popular in North America According to Survey

Members of the National Kitchen & Bath Association specify modern design, built-in storage and hand showers among top bathroom trends of 2016

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. (JAN. 25, 2016) Clean, modern style and neutral colours dominate North American bathroom design, according to the 2016 Design Trends Survey conducted by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). Here are the top 10 overall bathroom trends NKBA expects for 2016:

  • Clean, modern, transitional designs.
  • Universal design features.IMG_1397web
  • Neutral colours.
  • Open shelving, floating vanities and wall-hung toilets.
  • Built-in storage.
  • Undermount sinks.
  • Freestanding tubs.
  • Shower amenities like hand showers and shower lighting.

NKBA Finds Transitional Style Bathrooms Among Most Popular in North America 

Polished chrome faucet finish.

Other popular bathroom amenities, specified by at least 25% of respondents in 2015 include:

  • Electric radiant floor heating
  • Easy maintenance features
  • One-piece toilet
  • Electric towel-warmer
  • Humidity-sensing fans
  • Steam showers
  • Smart toilet seats with integrated bidet features
  • WaterSense® listed toilets and faucets

Transitional is by far the most popular bathroom style, outpacing 2015’s top contemporary style trend by 10 percentage points. Nearly 70 percent of NKBA designers surveyed expect to specify transitional style bathrooms in 2016.

Neutral colors dominate the bathroom, with white being the most popular fixture color and whites and grays being the most popular overall color schemes. Seventy-nine percent of members surveyed indicated grays as the most popular color scheme, with whites/off-whites trailing close behind at 77 percent. Keeping with the popular neutral-tone theme, beiges/bones were specified by 65 percent of NKBA members surveyed.

Increasingly popular are bathroom amenities including electric heated floors, easy maintenance features, one-piece toilets, towel warmers, humidity-sensing fans, steam showers, smart toilets/bidets and WaterSense® toilets and faucets.

“More steam showers, more radiant heat in bathroom floors,” said Jeanette Coulter, AKBD, a kitchen and bath designer from New Jersey.

“Clients want easy-to-clean and use,” said Skyler Donaldson, a kitchen and bath designer from Alabama.

Other survey respondents mentioned roll-out shelves for storage, frameless glass enclosures for the shower, and an increased use of aging-in-place or universal design elements. Over half of respondents reported having installed accessible and/or universal design features, with

82 percent installing comfort-height toilets and 75 percent installing comfort-height vanities.

“More homeowners will allow us to install handrails in shower,” said Cynthia White, CKD, a remodeler from Ohio. “It’s an easier sell!”

NKBA Finds Transitional Style Bathrooms Among Most Popular in North America

Undermount sinks remain the most popular sink style, specified by 92 percent of respondents. Vessel sinks are the second most popular, with over half of NKBA designers installing the style. Wood vanities and wall-mount vanities are also trends to look for in 2016.


IMG_1740cropwebNKBA survey respondents report an increase in no-threshold showers and the elimination of tubs, especially in master baths. However, freestanding standard tubs and soaker tubs remain popular, with nearly 70 percent specifying each style.

Members specialize in full bathroom projects, both remodels and new construction. More than half do bathroom projects in the $10,000 – $29,000 price range while another 31 percent report that their average bathroom price is more than $30,000 for design, materials and labor.

“Our Design Trends Survey serves as the industry forecast when it comes to kitchen and bath design trends, giving us a comprehensive look at what to expect in the coming year,” said Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO. “Our members know first-hand what’s trending, because they create beautiful and functional bathrooms every day. It’s only natural we look to them for insight into the industry.”

The National Kitchen & Bath Association has tracked kitchen and bath design trends throughout its 53-year existence. A version of this NKBA Design Trends Survey has been in existence since the 1980s and this iteration has tracked trends since 2010. More than 450 designers from around the country participated in this study conducted online in late 2015.

More details, including product trends, are included in the full 2016 NKBA Kitchen & Bath Design Trends report, available free to NKBA members on NKBA.org.

To find NKBA members near you for kitchen and bathroom projects, please visit NKBA.org/PROsearch.

About the National Kitchen & Bath Association

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is the not-for-profit trade association that owns the KBIS®. With nearly 14,000 member companies representing tens of thousands of members in segments of the kitchen and bath industry, the NKBA has educated and led the industry since the association’s founding in 1963. The mission of the NKBA is to enhance member success and excellence, promote professionalism and ethical business practices, and provide leadership and direction for the kitchen and bath industry worldwide. For more information, visit NKBA.org or call 1-800-THE-NKBA (843-6522).

KBIS® and NKBA® are registered trademarks of the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association 687 Willow Grove Street Hackettstown, NJ 07840      800-THE-NKBA (843-6522) www.nkba.org

 

2016 Kitchen Design Trends

Transitional Style Kitchens Most Popular in North America According to Research Conducted by NKBA

The National Kitchen & Bath Association found outdoor kitchens, built-in coffee stations and pet-friendly amenities among most popular trends of 2016

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. (JAN. 25, 2016) —TransitionalIMG_1723web style remains the top trend when it comes to kitchen design, according to the 2016 Design Trends Survey from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). Here are the top 10 overall kitchen design trends NKBA expects for 2016:

  1. Transitional style, with contemporary emerging.
  2. Gray/white/off-white cabinets.
  3. Pull-outs, tilt-outs and tilt-ins for storage.
  4. Wood flooring.
  5. Quartz and granite countertops.
  6. Outdoor kitchens.
  7. Built-in coffee stations and wet bars.
  8. Pocket doors.
  9. Special pet spaces.
  10. Docking and charging stations.

 

Transitional, traditional and contemporary style kitchens are the most popular, with over half of NKBA survey respondents reporting having specified each. Two new kitchen styles seen on this year’s survey are industrial and farmhouse, being specified by 19 percent and 44 percent, respectively.

IMG_0909smallNeutral colors remain the dominate color scheme, with whites/off-whites, grays and beiges/bones being the most popular by far. Sixty percent of survey respondents report utilizing two or more colors within a kitchen space, a trend that has grown since 2015. This two-tone trend carries to cabinetry, where 42 percent of designers specified mixed color cabinets. Respondents also reported using a different countertop material for the island versus the perimeter of the counter space, creating a mixed color palette.

“Wood top combined with stone tops,” said Cathy Sage, a kitchen and bath designer from Illinois.

Outdoor kitchens continue to be a trend, specifically in the Southeast United States. About 45 percent of NKBA member respondents did outdoor kitchens in 2015, and roughly the same amount expect to do more in 2016.

“We design outdoor living entertainment areas, including an outdoor kitchen as an outdoor room,” said Jessica White, a kitchen and bath designer from Maryland.

Homeowners continue to look for easy prep, maintenance and clean-up features. More than half of respondents specified installing pull-outs/roll-outs for storage, under-sink garbage disposals, built-in coffee stations and wet bars. Under-counter wine refrigerators are another special amenity on the rise in kitchen design, with 74 percent of respondents installing one or more.

“Even people with small kitchens want a small wet bar area,” said Rachelle Kiklowicz, AKBD, CID, an interior designer from California.

Special pet spaces are a surprisingly popular trend, with fully half of respondents creating special pet spaces in kitchens last year. These pet amenities include designated feeding stations, under-counter crate areas and special pull-outs to store pet food and toys.

-more-

“To make a hidden dog food and water bowl, I had the cabinet maker design it into the side of the cabinet baseboard with a spring release door panel,” said Tonya Dean, a kitchen and bath designer from Michigan.

NKBA members specialize in full kitchen projects, both remodels and new construction. More than half do kitchen projects in the $20,000 – $49,000 price range while another 35 percent report that their average kitchen price is more than $50,000 for design, materials and labor.

“Our Design Trends Survey serves as the industry forecast when it comes to kitchen and bath design trends, giving us a comprehensive look at what to expect in the coming year,” said Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO. “Our members know first-hand what’s trending, because they create beautiful and functional kitchens every day. It’s only natural we look to them for insight into the industry.”

The National Kitchen & Bath Association has tracked kitchen and bath design trends throughout its 53-year existence. A version of this NKBA Design Trends Survey has been in existence since the 1980s and this iteration has tracked trends since 2010. More than 450 designers participated in this study conducted online in late 2015.

More details, including product trends, are included in the full 2016 NKBA Kitchen & Bath Design Trends report, available free to NKBA members on NKBA.org.

To find NKBA members near you for kitchen and bathroom projects, please visit NKBA.org/PROsearch.

About the National Kitchen & Bath Association

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is the not-for-profit trade association that owns the KBIS®. With nearly 14,000 member companies representing tens of thousands of members in segments of the kitchen and bath industry, the NKBA has educated and led the industry since the association’s founding in 1963. The mission of the NKBA is to enhance member success and excellence, promote professionalism and ethical business practices, and provide leadership and direction for the kitchen and bath industry worldwide. For more information, visit NKBA.org or call 1-800-THE-NKBA (843-6522).

KBIS® and NKBA® are registered trademarks of the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

For editorial assistance, including photography, contact John O’Reilly c/o O’Reilly DePalma: 815-469-9100 or john.oreilly@oreilly-depalma.com

 

3 Reasons Why to Hire a Designer

3 Reasons Why to Hire a Designer?

  1. If you are planning any type of renovation to your home consider this:Designers have the skill set to put together your WHOLE project. Example; for a bathroom renovation – selecting all the fixtures (tub, sinks, faucets,tile, cabinetry, showers, glass, mirrors….) the choices can become overwhelming with literally 1000’s of options. Working with a designer will help you choose the right products that fit your needs AND budget. We get discounts too!
  2. Keeping your project on time AND on budget. Renovations are extremely disruptive to your everyday life and being able to start and more importantly complete your renovation in a timely manner will restore balance and function to your home quickly. When working with a designer to assist in coordinating a renovation we make sure all fixtures/materials etc. are onsite when needed. This keeps trades (plumbers, electricians and carpenters) maximizing their time and not waiting around for decisions to be made or materials to arrive. Preventing delays saves money, keeps trades happy, and your renovation on time and on budget!
  3. large shower, bathroom renovation

    large shower, bathroom renovation

    An experienced designer will be able to anticipate potential challenges, provide timely solutions and avoid unexpected cost overruns. Each phase of your project from demolition to installation requires coordination of each expert trade.Planning and communication takes understanding and knowledge of the various mechanical systems in your home. Relying on a skilled and experienced designer to be your advocate when challenges arise can prevent unnecessary costs and decisions being made that may effect other elements of the project. Protecting your home and investment while keeping your renovation on time and on budget is your designers priority!

 

Best of Houzz 2015

Detail by Design of Ottawa Receives

Best Of Houzz 2015 Award

 

Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building,

Remodeling and Design Professionals in Canada and Around the World

 

Ottawa, Canada,  January 20, 2015Detail by Design of Ottawa has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. Detail by Design, creating spaces for living, was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

 

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Customer Satisfaction. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014. Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles, helping Houzz users around the world who discover and love a professional’s work to learn even more about that business’ popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community.

 

“We focus on creating spaces that reflect the needs and wants of the families that use them. It is critical that each project is designed to reflect function first then form!” said owner/designer Natalia Pierce.

“Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize Detail by Design among our “Best Of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Follow Detail by Design on Houzz.  Click Here

About Detail by Design

We take a common sense approach to all our projects working closely with the homeowners to ensure the space “fits’. Renovating or building can be stressful with a multitude of choices, decisions and timelines to work under. Our experienced team can walk you through each and every step from concept to completion making your experience a positive one.

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin and Sydney. For more information, visit www.houzz.com

4 reasons Why renovating your home is important!

1. Treat your home as you would your retirement portfolio or pension plan. If you didn’t continue to contribute to your investments they wouldn’t grow in value very quickly. By doing upgrades to your home you are increasing the value of your investment. There are three ways that increase the value of your home:
  • market value increases (although unpredictable and not always a positive increase, real estate values generally increase in value over time).
  • equity by paying down your mortgage, this value also increases over time.
  • Forced equity, achieved by doing renovations to the home that increase the market value and make your home more competitive by comparison.

 

2.  Keeping up general maintenance and repairs on your home is as important as going to your dentist. Owning a home requires constant upkeep along the way. Home owners should be prepared to invest approximately 2% of the homes value annually for maintenance. Depending on the age and location of your home maintenance is valuable to the structural and aesthetic integrity of the home. Regular maintenance can be seen as preventative to major or costly repairs if left neglected. Updating windows/doors have economic impact on heating/cooling efficiency which can save you money in the long run. Kitchens and bathrooms have significant effect on functionality of day to day activities. These two areas involve all the mechanical systems of a home, electrical, plumbing, venting and structural. Depending on the age of your home these systems may need to be upgraded, usually if a home is 25+years old these systems should be looked at, over 50 years it is certainly time to address plumbing, electrical upgrades not only for your homes value but safety concerns. Knob and tube wiring and lead pipes were common materials prior to the 1970’s. building code standards have also changed significantly over the decades, for example exterior walls used to only need to be 2×4 construction, not the required 2×6 they are today. Along with building code changes appliances and fixtures have also changed. Gone are the days of the massive 13 liter toilets now replaced with efficient dual flush (1.6L/3L) water saving models. The water savings alone pay for this upgrade! Many countertop kitchen appliances cause less overload if your kitchen receptacles are rated 20 amp vs the more typical 15 amp of recent years past. The desirable large kitchen islands clad with beautiful granite countertops may require structural support to accommodate the increase in dead load on the floor joist structure, just to name a few
3. The longer you stay in your home chances are you have made changes to your personal life along the way. Increased or decreased people in a home can have great impact on how you live and use your space. Maybe a second bathroom is needed or more preparation space in the kitchen. Storage needs have also changed. Generally today’s population buy common household items in bulk quantity therefore, requiring more storage. But the way we use our homes is affected by more than just our shopping habits. It’s not uncommon for extended family’s to share a home, the need for a space to host more than a single function (I.e. Kitchens are frequently considered the hub of a home and require desk space, homework areas, multiple media devices, seating areas, dual preparation areas and sinks, greater variety and sizes of appliances …… The list goes on! The convenience items, such as microwaves, dishwashers, built-in coffee makers and more are no longer uncommon luxuries but must-haves.
4.  The need to move or sell unexpectedly. Without an constant and consistent investment into keeping your home improvements ongoing you may find yourself unexpectedly needing to sell your home. Maybe it’s a job transfer, lifestyle change etc. but the home requires a lot of work and may become difficult to sell. Market compatibles puts your home at the bottom of the market value because everything else in a similar neighborhood has numerous upgrades and can fetch top dollar. Your home requires a price modification that reflects where it falls in the market. Without the upgrades you may not be able to maximize the market value of your home.
How you invest in your home is important. Consider how long you intend on staying in the home, where it is located, average home value in your neighborhood and similar surrounding areas, current value of your home, market climate, just to name a few. Any renovation you consider should be in proportion to the potential value of your home. For example, a $150k addition to a home where that average selling price is $275-300k may not be a wise choice especially if your plans to stay in the home are only 3-5 years. However, if you purchased the home 20 years ago or are planning to stay in the house for another 10+ years doing an extensive renovation/addition will give you multiple returns. First, your enjoyment of the home will be greater when function issues are addressed  and second your investment of a large renovation is easier to recover and increase the value over a longer period.
Seek the advice of professionals. Talk to your investment broker or bank consultant, real estate professional and a trusted renovation specialist to gather all the facts before you take on a major project. Working with knowledgeable people in the industry can guide you to maximize your investment and return.

Let’s make it simple

I recently attended a seminar while being hosted at an event by my cabinet manufacturer Decor Cabinets Ltd. in Morden Manitoba. The speaker was Mike Hetherman, CEO of Willis. I was completely blown away by his message of “The Confused Consumer”. The more I thought about his message the more I could understand how true this was.
Stepping out of my designer shoes (no pun intended) I looked through the eyes of the average home owner.
  • You’ve decided to renovate your home.
  • Your first trip is to a big box or home improvement store or local showroom.
  • Upon walking in the door within minutes you are completely blasted by 100’s if not 1000’s of choices.
  • You are faced with walls of faucets, flooring, cabinets, finishes, backsplashes, sinks, tiles, countertops, appliances….AUUHHHGGG!  
How could anyone make a decision!?If that’s not bad enough you have the entire internet to do more research and again the pages and pages and pages of choices are truly endless. In our information age the availability to see products, materials, methods procedures…. is mind blowingly overwhelming!
So where do you begin? In Mr. Hetherman’s presentation he explained that here in lies the biggest problem, home owners are on information overload. The HGTV world makes renovations look seamless, pain free, even simple but in reality we don’t have a crew to make our home look amazing in a half hour. Or do we?
Instead of feeling “maybe we’re not ready to renovate the kitchen” or “the bathroom isn’t that bad” or “perhaps next year“, there is a way to get through the seemingly endless choices by working with a professional (defining professional: kitchen and bath designer, interior designer, licensed contractor).
It’s OK, this isn’t meant to cause more heart palpitations! Let me explain: as a professional in the industry I am consistently focused on learning about new products, methods of installation, design techniques and more. I spend hours going through magazines, websites, trade shows, product brochures absorbing, learning and allowing the creativity to foster ideas. I know, it sounds like an addiction but I am the crazy person that gets really excited when I find a new product! My kids think I’m nuts but I love what I do! Let me walk you through how I begin working with a new client:
1. Initial meeting is always at the clients home where I spend some time with my clients, asking critical questions to understands their needs/wants/lifestyle/budget. See the space they are planning to renovate. This meeting is crucial to gather as much information about the scope of the project, specific desires of the individuals who will use the space and what the true goal is.
2. I then take all the information and begin creating a physical design for the space. If we are working on a kitchen then I begin to develop a cabinet layout using the desired appliances my client is planning (or we begin with general sizes and configurations: range vs cooktop/walloven). During this process I begin to include the specific elements that will improve the way my client functions in their new space.
Most renovations address a lack of function in a given space, the second most requested desire is storage.
3. The initial design is sent to my client for feedback. This allows me to judge if I am on the right track and gives complete control to my client. The initial design begins to simplify the process. The client now has a direction, focus and starting point. I have found that the majority of people I work with may not always know what it is they like but everyone knows what it is they don’t like! Listening to the dislikes is critical to put “function before form”. Feedback and ideas bounce back and forth and together we find the right layout, design that fits the end users.
4. Now is the time to discuss the “form” part of the renovation. We talk about door style, cabinet finishes, countertops etc. But here’s the difference, I have already determined the general style my client is looking for (classic, modern, transitional…). When I bring door style samples I usually have no more than 5. This keeps the choices to a more manageable quantity. Once a door style is selected we move on to choosing the finish. Each step with options that reflect what I have learned about the client.
Each choice to be made comes only at the time when a decision is needed. The steps of the process (and these are only the first 4) I have created for my clients keeps them engaged, focused and informed. After all, this is their home and most often their single largest asset. This is where HGTV drops the ball (in my opinion), it shows renovations being done to peoples homes without their involvement in choosing WHAT is going into their home. Although, this may not be the case the “reveal” indicates that often they had no idea. It makes for great TV but in reality my clients want to be involved and I couldn’t imagine having it any other way. I have developed my company around this process and strive to create personal spaces for my clients that reflect their need for function first. Design style and budget are always important and although, not the first order of business are no less important. 
Above I have only given the initial steps of how we work to give you a foundation of how a major or minor renovation to your home can benefit when you work with a skilled professional. For greater details please check out our website (www.detailbydesign.ca) or call today and schedule your personal consultation. Together, we can make the improvements to your home without the process becoming overwhelming.
Check out next months topic “Reasons why you should renovatehousecalculatorimage” – coming in November.

Why renovate your Kitchen?

Why Renovate your Kitchen?

Over the decades Kitchens have significantly changed in function. Kitchens are now the heart of the home and require greater planning. Not only do we need to accommodate many additional functions but the need for multiple cooks using the same space at the same time has become essential. The average kitchen sees more home cooked meals per week, a larger number of small appliances (average number is 8), and more than one primary cook. All of these factors contribute to the need for kitchens to have more storage, better layout, more preparation space, more efficient use of space and cabinets that have better accessibility.

Here is a list of frequently used features found in “new kitchens”:

Trash, recycling centres

Pantry units with pull-out shelves

Vertical shelves for trays/cutting boards/baking pans

Integrated appliances – refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens/double ovens/microwave, warming drawers, coffee machines

Desk area

Wine storage

Undercounter appliances: wine coolers, dishwasher drawers, beverage centres

Seating

Better space for entertaining

If you would like to investigate the option to improve your living space contact Detail by Design today!