Category Archives

renovation

Mid Century Modern Makeover

Living Room

Living Room

I recently finished a fabulously fun renovation project on an original Bertram King mid century modern home in North Asheville. The homeowners love the mid century period and wanted to restore the original look of the home and bring authenticity with the furniture selections. They even asked me to decorate for Christmas with an 8 foot tinsel tree, true to the 50’s.

 

Lake Room

Lake Room

Saarinen Tulip Table and chairs make for a great breakfast spot. Upholstered chairs from Mobilia reflect the natural elements surrounding this idyllic space.

Dining Room

Dining Room

The open concept with glass walls allows nature and lake views to play a major role in daily life.

Will be posting images of the fully renovated kitchen as soon as it is totally finished.

Keep posted.

 

 

2013 – A Good Time To Renovate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good news for the home building industry. Last week (March 2013) the Commerce Department report showed the rate of single-family home construction at its highest level in four and a half years, the results of this study point to a strengthening economy, housing and renovation market. Yeah!

A survey done  by the popular Houzz site showed that 54% of those polled are planning to do a renovation project on their home this year. All that “pent-up” energy is about to be released into newly designed bathrooms, kitchens and more. In fact, 28% are sprucing up their bathrooms, while 23% are planning to tackle their kitchen or an addition.

Here in Asheville, I have definitely seen an increase in activity. The projects on our schedule this year include a mix of kitchen and bath remodels with several additions, as well as some new construction.

We’re happy to see people investing in their homes.

 

 

Kitchen Countertop Comparisons

Clients often ask me what kind of kitchen countertop is the best?

That depends upon 3 main factors. I call these the holy trinity of design.

  • how you use the space
  • the overall style
  • the budget

How you use your kitchen? Are you an avid chef who needs workhorse surfaces? Do you like to entertain and have guest gather as you make the final preparations for your feast? Or are you happy with popping something into the microwave?

What’s the overall style of your kitchen? Traditional? Contemporary? Country or mid century modern?

What’s your budget? Whether your are building a new home or renovating an existing kitchen, it’s important to determine your budget and what part of that you are willing to put toward your countertops.

Once you have answered the questions above, you’ll have a much clearer understanding of your needs as you read through the following descriptions of available countertop materials. Narrow your choice down and be sure to let your design professional know which you prefer. They can show you samples, which will help you make a final decision.

The good news is there are countertops that can fit every budget, need and style.

Found at Consumer Reports, here are comparisons of the several types, listing the pros and cons and price range of each.

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Quartz

Quartz

Best for busy kitchens and baths. It’s stain- and heat-resistant and low-maintenance. It doesn’t need sealing and is available in vibrant colors and in styles that mimic natural stone.

But edges and corners can chip. Rounded edges help. Stone finishes can appear more uniform than natural.

Price $50 to $100 per sq. ft.

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Granite

Granite

Best for a natural stone look. It can withstand heavy use in a kitchen or bath. It resists stains when it’s properly sealed and it also resists heat and scratches.

But it needs resealing to protect it from stains. Color and grain can differ from samples, so it’s best to choose at the stone yard.

Price $45 to $200 per sq. ft.

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Tile

Tile

Best for use near stoves because it’s heat-resistant. It comes in many colors, patterns, and prices.

But it chips. Grout between tiles stains and is prone to mildew, even when sealed. Poor installation can increase those problems. Thinner grout lines and darker grout might help.

Price $10 to $30 per sq. ft.

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Laminate

Laminate

Best for a wide variety of colors and patterns at a budget-friendly price. It’s excellent at resisting stains and heat damage and is simple to install.

But it’s easily scratched by kitchen knives and isn’t repairable. Most have visible seams, though post-formed (seamless) options are available.

Price $10 to $30 per sq. ft.

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Solid Surface

Solid surfacing

Best for seamless installations, especially in baths. Many colors and styles are available, including those that mimic concrete, stone, and quartz. It’s stain-resistant, and small nicks and scratches can be repaired.

But it’s easily scratched. Stone finishes can look more uniform than natural.

Price $35 to $100 per sq. ft.

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Stainless Steel

Stainless steel

Best for a modern kitchen. It repels stains and heat and doesn’t rust or discolor. The countertop can be made with an integral sink for a seamless look.

But it can look cold in a bath. It shows fingerprints and dents and scratches easily. Matte or grain finishes hide damage better.

Price $100 to $150 per sq. ft.

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Concrete

Concrete

Best for customizing. It can be dyed or textured.

But it can develop cracks. Its durability depends on the fabricator’s skill and the sealers used. Topical sealers, which resist stains but not heat, are best for bathrooms. Penetrating sealers resist heat but stain and must be reapplied.

Price $80 to $120 per sq. ft.

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Limestone

Limestone

Best for a natural stone look without heavy veining or graining in a guest bath, powder room, or low-traffic kitchen. It withstands heat very well.

But it’s a very soft stone that is easily sliced, nicked, and scratched. It’s also porous, so it stains easily even when properly sealed.

Price $60 to $100 per sq. ft.

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Butcher Block

Butcher block

Best for a country kitchen and for cutting produce. It’s easy to install and repair.

But it might need periodic sealing or refinishing to remove cuts, dings, and scratches. Its finish affects performance. Varnish improves stain resistance and penetrating oils decrease it.

Price $30 to $65 per sq. ft.

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Marble

Marble

Best for a classic stone look in low-traffic areas, like a baking zone or guest bath. It’s available in a wide range of natural colors.

But it’s more porous than granite, so it’s not as stain-resistant. It also scratches easily, isn’t very heat-resistant, and needs periodic sealing.

Price $50 to $140 per sq. ft.

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Paperstone

Paperstone 100% post-consumer recycled paper that has been saturated with PetroFree™ phenolic resins and selected natural pigments.

Best for its warm look and feel. If scratched it can be lightly sanded like wood. Can be sealed and refreshed with a light application of natural sealer. Great eco-friendly choice.

But it can scratch and get rings. And it is expensive.

Price $85 to $95 per sq. ft.

5 Reasons for Hiring an Interior Designer To Help with Your Renovation

Interior Design Plans

Number 1:

A professional Interior Designer is experienced and will save you time and money by avoiding costly mistakes.

Number 2:

They know what to expect during the renovation and design process so they can help you organize and plan the process.

Number 3:

They will coach you along the way and help guide you through the many decisions you will be making.

Number 4:

An Interior Designer will keep you on schedule which keeps cost down.

Number 5:

And finally they have contacts and references that can help you get the job done by responsible, trained pros.

inspiring design + renovation

If you are just joining us, welcome to inspiring design + renovation.

Within these blogs, I hope you will find inspiration for your home and office. The subjects are varied and random, however the intention focuses on helping you create a home that is both beautiful and supportive to you and your family. Please let me know if you are in search of any particular design solutions as this is also meant to develop into a dialog. Happy designing.

Surviving A Kitchen Remodel

With economic times as they are, many of my clients have decided to fore go the expense of moving or building a new home. Instead they have decided to renovate their existing homes.

One of the best ways to get good return on your renovation investment is to update your kitchen. This can be an overwhelming project but with a few preparations and a good design strategy, you can withstand the ups and downs of having your kitchen torn apart and put back together again. Here are a few tips for surviving a kitchen remodel. Hope they help. Perhaps you have some you would like to post to this list. (Source: Kitchens.com)

  • Keep essential items handy: microwave meals and non-perishables like soup; condiments; cereal; microwave-safe dishes and utensils; dishcloths; dishwasher soap; paper plates and cups; coffee; coffee pot and sugar/creamer; paper towels; napkins; and garbage bags.
  • You’ll be without water in the kitchen for a time, so plan to do the dishes in another sink or the bathtub. Or stock up on eco friendly disposable plates and cups, paper towels. Be sure to have some disinfectant cleanse handy.
  • Move your old refrigerator or a small mini-fridge to a convenient space close to a water source. Add a table with a microwave above and a trash can below.

Obviously, small appliances such as microwaves, toasters or toaster ovens, hot plates, and small electric grills will be immensely helpful in preparing home-cooked meals. Just remember, the area where you set up your temporary kitchen might not be able to support multiple appliances running at the same time, not to mention any other electronic items typically used in that room. You might need to have only one thing plugged in at a time to prevent blown fuses.

For Interior Design services check out www.LouStewart.com