Whether we notice it or not, art will always have a seat at the table in every community. Art has been used as not only a form of self-expression but a form of communication that can convey more than words ever could. When speaking about art in the context of community it isn’t just paintings, drawings, or even photography – it can be found inthe design of our homes, the ingredients of our food, and even the fabric of our clothes. Art also brings us together, whether it be at a gallery or sitting at the kitchen table staring at doodles on the fridge, it always finds a way of drawing us in.
These elements are all similar to those in our community, but not exact – we are united yet we are individuals. We can find the same way of thinking in the way spaces are designed. Every home we create is unique, while there might be elements that are common for the surrounding area, each plan is designed for the specific family that will be living there. While homes are mostly stagnant we understand that the inhabitants definitely aren’t, we design with your future goals, hopes, and aspirations in mind so we can create a space that encourages your plans for the future.
An example of this is a home we designed (built byBeck Builders) for a family that understands the value of children playing and exploring. They requested to create spaces their kids could hide and open floor plans for plenty of family space, ultimately we were asked to create a home where their children could enjoy childhood to the fullest. This resulted in creating a unique hidden room behind a bookcase, along with plenty of other secret hiding spots and passages.
These custom creative details not only allow us to design beautiful homes, but allow us to create spaces that encourage playfulness, growth, and memories for families. A custom design is one that facilitates the life you want to live. Your priorities, beliefs, and focus all come into the design to shape space or place. A house is the most complicated machine you will ever own, so this customization is critical to living fully. A custom design is more than just selecting colors or finishes, it is a process to understand you and your family and reflecting that in design. We infuse fun, creativity, tranquility, comfort, energy efficiency, durability, function all into the design solution. If you are looking for a custom home solution, reach out to us for a conversation, we would love to help.
Whether you are trying to tackle a kitchen renovation or building your dream house, the selection process can be daunting. Our interior designer has provided a breakdown of the 7 most common kitchen countertop options available to help make that process a little less overwhelming.
Granite For some time, granite has not only been the leading choice in countertops but is also the first to mind for many with its natural beauty to define any space. Coming in nearly 3,000 different color variations, there is sure to be a style to appeal to everyone – but maybe not to everyone’s budget. While the cost for granite has come down in recent years as the demand increased and more engineered options became available, it is still considered a very expensive material due to the fact it is a natural material and its labor costs.
Soapstone Soapstone is sometimes put into the granite category because it is another natural stone, but it really should be seen as an alternative for all its other wonderful characteristics. Coming in a traditionally dark, even color that can vary from gray, green, blue, and black with a satin finish that accents both historic and modern homes beautifully. It has been growing in popularity because of its flexibility.
Marble This natural stone is considered more temperamental than its counterparts granite and soapstone due to its porousness and fragility. Once it is scratched or stained, the repairs are difficult. If used in the right locations, such as a baking island, marble can really elevate a kitchen’s luxurious feel.
Quartz The countertops are usually about 93% quartz particles mixed with resins to create the slabs we are familiar with. Due to this, it can mimic the dramatic veining and other natural occurrences that are loved in marble and granite while also being nonporous and scratch, stain, and heat resistant. The latest trends have included integrated quartz sinks and blending recycled glass particles into the resins.
Solid Surface Solid Surface is a completely manmade option made from a blend of acrylic particles and resins pressed together into sheets. The appearance can be a deterrent for some because of the lack of elegant veining the natural options provide, but for those that do not mind speckles, they can browse the wide array of colors and patterns solid surface has to offer. Now considered one of the mid-tier options for the countertop solutions expense-wise, solid surface can look great in all kitchens.
Also in the manmade category, we have laminates which are plastic-coated synthetics that are easy to clean laminated to a piece of particleboard (MDF). The great thing about the laminate option is that there are literally thousands of colors, patterns, and styles to pick from now that there is a resurgence in demand for the product. It can be found in pre-formed segments that are ready to use or can be custom fabricated.
Wood or Butcher Block
Coming in several different varieties that provide a warm and cozy connection back to nature, wood countertops can be fairly expensive and potentially problematic from bacteria build-up if not properly maintained. They are relatively easy to clean but must be oiled and sealed regularly. It is another great option as an accent counter such as on an island or used with rustic or farmhouse-themed kitchens.
Remodeling your home can be an overwhelming venture especially when you don’t have a solid vision. There are a million questions to answer once you decide to remodel your home – Should I add cabinets? What color should they be? Will the cabinet color match the floors or should I get new flooring? It is easy to drown in what-ifs, but hiring an interior designer can relieve most (if not all) of the stress that comes with this decision-making.
Interior designers have the ability to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, they break down this process step by step and make it easier for clients to maneuver. They can completely envision a room by just looking at paint swatches and floor tiles. This is what makes them such a crucial tool in the remodeling process- they act as a guide that listens and understands your own individual style and brings in complementing elements. No need to worry if your style is still undiscovered – that’s another part of their job, discovering it for you. Basically, they can see the future of your home before the construction process has even started.
Our in-house interior designer, discusses what she does and how she makes the design process easier, and cheaper for those looking to remodel their homes. This kitchen in Mt. Crawford is an excellent example of how to translate ideas into reality. This particular client was wanting to expand their kitchen and open it into the rest of the house, with one simple change of removing a wall we took a once closed-in overwhelming space and transformed it into an area the whole family could cook together. We also brought in details such as a chrome sink, tiled backsplash, and white countertops to make this space easy to clean for a growing family. Interior designers don’t just consider the now, they consider the future and the direction of your life.
If you are considering remodeling your own kitchen and have no idea what direction to go in you can rest easy knowing that interior designers do that for you. Our job is much more than selecting colors and finishes, we interview clients on their lifestyles, hopes, and goals and creates spaces for that unique individual. Aesthetics aren’t everything when it comes to her design process (although they are very important). Functionality takes the driver’s seat when it comes to details, from the way the sun reflects on paint and how rooms interact with one another through the home. Online house plans don’t listen to or understand your lifestyle and home needs, interior designers do.
When remodeling your kitchen it’s common to arrive at the dilemma of who to trust. The kitchen can be viewed as the “heart” of a home, it’s where most people spend a large portion of time whether cooking or helping their kids with homework. So it makes sense to be critical of who you are entrusting with helping you to create a more functional space. Hiring an interior designer or architect might not be your first thought for a kitchen renovation, but it is probably the correct solution. This is a crucial piece of your home and there is more to it than just replacing cabinets and putting in a new counter.
While a kitchen designer specializes in cabinetry and the function of the kitchen, an interior designer/architect is an individual trained to redesign every piece of the home. Interior designers and architects don’t just focus on the kitchen but evaluate how it will interact with the home as a whole. In fact, good interior designers and architects usually work with a kitchen designer to create the right cabinet solution for your space. Aside from looking at the bigger picture, interior designers and architects work as an advocate for clients to make sure the solution meets the need. The goal is to make the design process as stress-free as possible by listening to the challenges and wishes of the client and finding the best solution for the budget. The process could also include taking out a wall to allow for a more open concept, creating a more cohesive space, replacing flooring, and adding a pop of paint color or rather a holistic approach to the design solution. Renovating a kitchen could also include creating a lighting and electrical layout to optimize the space foraging-in-place, another design concept that should be considered. Interior designers and architects can do all of this and more while blending with the existing style of your home or updating the look to a new aesthetic.
To reference the before and after photos, that is exactly what we did here. The kitchen was secluded and outdated and after a conversation with our clients, we suggested taking out the wall dividing the dining room and kitchen while reorganizing the appliances to maximize their space and storage to best fit their lifestyle. We also brought in new flooring and reworked the lighting layout. All elements of the solution now work to complement each other while maximizing the functional space.
Interior design and architecture are more than just making a room look pretty. It’s about how you feel and function in the space you inhabit. There ispower in design, this is what an interior designer and architect can bring to the project. This creates something special – focusing on what you need by asking questions while hearing your answers and converting that into a holistic solution.
There are many options for your kitchen countertop, but all seem to have pros and cons making this a hard decision. So which one should you use in your new kitchen? Which one is right for you? Here are some pros and cons of commonly used kitchen countertops to help you make your decision.
Cost range: $75 – $150 psf
-versatile in design/colors, wide range of color from almost pure white with slight marbling to charcoal gray with nearly solid color, very non-porous, doesn’t require sealing, stain resistant, easy to clean with just soap and water, doesn’t harbor bacteria, chips/scratches can be easily sanded/buffed out
-soft/easy to scratch, high price
Cost range: $95 – $150 psf
-wide range of color/movement, scratch resistant, high quality, hard surface, heat-resistant,
-porous, needs to be resealed often, stains easily when not sealed properly/frequently enough, crack or chip when something heavy is dropped on it, high price
Cost range: $125 – $250 psf
-beauty, wide variety in color and movement, heat-resistant