Categories: homeowner tips
Tags: designing a guest suite, guest room, homeowner tips, poweder room essentials
Categories: homeowner tips
Tags: homeowner tips, kitchen remodel, video
Great Video from Houzz on a Kitchen Remodel
Ever wonder what remodeling a kitchen looks like? So did this homeowner. Only he put his tech-savvy skills to work. For his new kitchen, designed by Main Line Kitchen Design, he recorded the entire three-month-long construction process, then edited the footage down into a three-and-a-half-minute time-lapse video that makes the whole thing look like an organized dance routine.
Workers tear down the old kitchen in a matter of seconds. Oak floors swiftly drop into place board by board like in a smooth game of Tetris. Contractors gracefully slide cabinets and appliances into place as if they were floating from their fingertips. If only the actual process were so flawless and quick.
Categories: homeowner tips
Switching your questions from thoughts like, “Is it already time to mow the lawn again?” to “How much is my curb appeal adding to the value of my home?” means you are probably thinking of selling your home and buying a new one. And as far as questions go, this is only the beginning.
Sure, you can ask your friends for advice, and your boss, your grandparents, and the guy running on the treadmill next to you – but do they really know, I mean REALLY know how to make sure you get the answers you need to properly move ahead?
Regardless of where you live, you need a proper advocate in your corner, someone who knows not only the market and the area, but also knows how to properly assess your needs to make sure you and your family get the right home at the right price. If you live in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, Ideal Real Estate Group should be your first call if you are even considering buying or selling a home.
Take a look at this resource page on the Ideal Real Estate Group website to find answers for questions like:
- What is the return on new versus previously owned homes?
- What is my house worth?
- What standards do appraisers use to estimate value?
- Can I find out the value of my home through the Internet?
- What is the difference between list price, sales price and appraised value?
- What are the standard ways of finding out how much a home is worth?
- How do you determine the value of a troubled property?
- What is the difference between market value and appraised value?
At the Ideal Real Estate Group, we are relocation and negotiation specialists, here to ensure you get everything you deserve. Contact us today!
Categories: homeowner tips
Tags: design tips for small spaces, loft living, loft renovation, small spaces
An empty, nondelineated loft is perhaps one of the more challenging projects a designer can take on. Creative loft designs require correlating colors, textures, and precise sizes—and, above all, the ability to make one expansive space perform many functions, and look good while doing it. In this 765-square-foot loft for a homeowner who regularly entertains large parties, designer Greg Wolfson put these small-space design principles to the test, incorporating clever space ingenuity and accents to tie it all together.
“The actual space is always the place to start before deciding what to do with it,” Wolfson says of the design process for this loft, located in the Old Bank District of Los Angeles. “Here we had a client with gallery artwork, a desire to entertain, and this fabulous New York feel….We wanted to use the drama inherent in the penthouse and make it a story worth remembering.”
Wolfson chose to preserve the integrity of the space, leaving the original exposed brick walls and adding new wood floors to provide another layer of texture. “The color and warmth of the wood helped save this from being too industrial,” he says. “The natural brick and the huge period windows overlooking old downtown Los Angeles… tell a huge story.”
Color was used in this loft to define areas for sleeping or eating, and bright tones were placed as an accent to keep the eye moving while providing an appearance of grand roominess. “I used primary colors on the walls in different rooms to delineate space,” Wolfson says. “I then mixed up those colors by almost going the opposite direction with the furniture and upholstery and rugs. These colors give such a contrast to one another that it was exciting to play with the balance.”
Wolfson chose two Ralph Lauren suede colors in tan—one is slightly warmer than the other to give shadow and depth—to neutralize the space between the bedroom and sitting room, allowing him the opportunity to play with color in the upholstery and decorative accents.
In addition to color, Wolfson put on his thinking cap when it came to selecting furniture. He designed a ten-foot-long sectional couch that he placed against the lengthy walls in the living space, and he created curves on the couch sides to serve as conversation areas. In the small space outside the kitchen, he created a formal dining area with a scaled-down booth, a chandelier, and additional matching chairs cleverly spaced throughout the loft that can be drawn up for additional guests.
To delineate the sleeping space, Wolfson created partitions on wheels that enclose the room; one side is walnut to blend with the loft surroundings, while the other is mirror to create the illusion of more space. “The mirrored rolling screens came from necessity,” he says. “We can scatter them through the loft when not in use instead of taking up a whole wall in the bedroom. They fit perfectly in different areas now to enlarge the space.”
While he sought warmth in other areas of the loft, Wolfson allowed the industrial look to shine through in the kitchen, starting with the brushed silver stainless steel countertops. The silver is subtly echoed throughout the rest of the home, from the mirrors, vases, and polished nickel cocktail table to the silver faux crocodile leather that he paired with blue suede in the dining nook. Keeping the color story alive from end to end, Wolfson connected tones and textures to separate areas yet harmonize the complete loft design.
While other designers may shy away from small-space renovations, Wolfson is busy taking on more loft projects in the Old Bank District. Clearly, he’s not intimidated by the challenge—it’s one he’s decidedly mastered.
Written By: Nicole Borgenicht
Photography by: David Blank
Categories: homeowner tips
A jewel box, even one artfully made, is meant to showcase the jewels rather than the box itself. This room, located in a show house in Westchester, Connecticut, is like that jewel box. The coffered ceiling and wall of windows make bold architectural statements but serve as unassuming backdrops for the brilliant tones of the art, accessories, and accent pieces.
For designer Rona Landman of Rona Landman Interior Design, the jumping-off point for this family room was the fireplace. When she first found it, it was an eyesore clad with wooden planks. “I thought it ruined the beauty of the room,” she says. Landman found a coppery wallpaper and covered the fireplace with it. That choice helped the design come together. “That started to transform the room with the color and feel that I wanted,” she says.
The fireplace wasn’t the only unusual place to get a wallpaper treatment. Landman also lined the edges of the ceiling with a metallic graphic print. The wainscoting on the ceiling center received its own dose of shine with metallic paint. Reflection is a recurrent theme in the room. The light from the windows allows the metallic surfaces to shimmer. Reflections are echoed in the mirrored sofa table and the glossy surfaces of other accent furniture in the room.
The neutral walls serve as a calming balance for the room’s glamour. Landman says, “I kept the off-white paint color. It worked well with everything in there, so I didn’t want to change that. I wanted to show how easy it is to use neutrals as a backdrop and then enhance it by putting in jewel-like pieces of furniture.” The nesting tables, benches, and bar cart are from Landman’s furniture line, Inspired. “I wanted to highlight the furniture in the room. The pieces are relatively small scale and I believe each speaks for itself. They make a nice statement and bring in a punch of color. ”
The brown tones of the chairs, sofa, and ottoman are neutral elements, but neutral need not be boring. The upholstered pieces have traditional lines, but with an updated twist. “Wing chairs are classics, but we overscaled them to make them more modern,” says Landman. Like the upholstery, the Greek key rug is another classic ingredient that helps anchor the modern elements.
Even more jewel tones are added to the palette via the window treatments. Landman notes the departure from her usual design sensibility. “Most of my work is neutral, but I always try to punch one color. So the curtains were a lot for me. They make a strong statement. I pulled in the red to complement the red nesting tables. And I love red and turquoise together.” The brown center fabric again provides the neutral ground to make the other colors pop. The artwork and accessories add in additional strokes of color.
“The room has a modern feel because of the mid-century modern pieces in it,” says Landman. Yet the balance of the room’s many elements make it warm and inviting, without the austerity that a modern sensibility sometimes evokes. There is a satisfying blend of classic and modern, neutral and bold, brilliant and understated. The room offers the perfect jewel box to showcase so many precious jewels.
WRITTEN BY RONDA SWANEY
Categories: homeowner tips
Written by Jeanine Matlow
It all began with a quest for more land. As Carolyn Duryea Smith, founder and partner of Hourglass Wine Company, in St. Helena, California, explains, “The wine we created from the original four-acre Hourglass Vineyard, which my husband’s family purchased in 1976, became very successful, but it limited us in how much wine we could make.” So, she and her husband, Jeff, searched for another vineyard where they could develop a second estate wine.
Their search led to a beautiful forty-one-acre piece of property now known as the Blueline Vineyard. The 1850s farmhouse on the property, however, left much to be desired. “It was very dark, with heavy window treatments and no real continuity between the rooms,” she explains. “The kitchen had been taken over by field mice, and the gardens were a bit overgrown. What it needed was a fresh start. We wanted to open it up to celebrate the amazing vineyard setting.”
The direction of the renovation was clear from the start. “We have great reverence for Napa Valley’s history, so tearing it down was not an option,” Smith says of the approximately 1,400-square-foot structure that now serves as a private guesthouse. “From that point, the guiding vision was to simplify and refresh.”
Because the guesthouse is part of the vineyard and winery, Smith says the aesthetic is driven largely by the forty-one acres that make up Hourglass and the style of wine they make. “Our plan was really a process of reduction more than anything,” she says. “The bones were there; they just needed to be uncovered. We removed much of the adornment that had been added over the years, creating a simpler, cleaner look.”
They removed an exterior wall in the newly renovated kitchen and replaced it with French doors that lead to an outdoor living and eating area. “We did this to encourage that wonderful California indoor-outdoor lifestyle,” Smith says. “But when it came to the original fireplace—the centerpiece of the living room—we simply reconditioned it [by painting the mantel white]. Beyond that, most of the changes were quite modest.”
A natural green paint was chosen for the façade to connect the structure to the gardens and the vineyard setting. “The indoor-outdoor nature of the house and garden is the soul of the property,” Smith says. “The changes we made make it a wonderful place to entertain on those long Napa Valley summer nights. Open the doors and windows, get the Green Egg barbecue fired up, and pour a glass of wine. Or two.”
Smith relied on her keen sense of style to make the place shine. “My mother was an interior designer, so I suppose I couldn’t help but be influenced by my surroundings growing up,” she says. “I then studied art history—a great way to train one’s eye—and I am constantly perusing magazines, art and design books, and rock-and-roll album covers. And, of course, the natural beauty surrounding us here in Napa Valley is always an inspiration.”
White is the driving force throughout the house. “The white painted floors provide a serene, airy feel that encourages the soul to relax, while the white environment offers a blank canvas that allows small elements of color to take on a sense of drama,” Smith says. She added a lively dose of colors and textures to pop against the white. “I love that juxtaposition. To me, contrast—and it can be very subtle—is what makes design interesting.”
She also prefers a laid-back lifestyle. “I love floor pillows and the casualness of stripes and wicker, but with a Big Sur in the ’70s twist,” Smith says. “This is the embodiment of California summers to me—laying on the floor, lounging, bare feet—a place where you can leave a wet towel and it’s not a heinous crime.”
Though the guest house is not open to the public, it serves as a place to entertain their distributors and host charity events. Almost everything inside was either a found item, such as the dining room table, which they discovered rotting on the property; given to them; or from a flea market or IKEA. “I’m a firm believer that a huge budget not only doesn’t equal great design, but it often stifles it because you don’t have to dig deeper,” Smith says. “Then again, it might be fun to test that theory!”