Making the Most of Indoor Natural Light

Most interior environments look better during the daytime if abundant natural light is part of the picture. No one likes to spend time in dreary, gloomy places. Following are strategies used by an architectural firm in Vail Valley, CO, designed to optimize natural lighting in the home.

Let the Sunshine In

The most obvious way to ensure large amounts of daylight is to use lots of glass. However, it’s not quite as simple as just placing as many windows as possible in the structure. Aesthetics such as architectural balance has to come into play as well as the home’s energy needs.

For instance, filling up a wall with large, north-facing windows probably isn’t a good strategy in locations that receive significantly cold winters, and the same principle exists with southern exposures in hot climate areas. A skilled designer will take local atmospheric conditions into consideration to ensure that the interior of the home has proper balance.

Advances in window-glass technology also offers options not available in the past. For example, southern facing windows in hot desert regions can be tinted to ensure that they don’t cause annoying glare.

The Importance of Balance

One of the most important aspects about designing for the optimal use of natural light is to pay attention to balance. Homes where the majority of sunlight is coming in through windows situated on the same wall experience uneven light, and even worse, shadows. Windows, as well as skylights, must be properly located to avoid glaring conditions on the side of the home where the windows are located, and gloom and shadows on the side with no windows.

Another important strategy used by architectural design firms is to place windows as high up as possible because the higher the light source, the deeper the light penetrates, which help keeps interior spaces bright.

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about maximizing natural light in the home.

Tips For Mixing Different Wood Finishes In Your Home

You may be under the impression that mixing a variety of wood furniture in a single room will clash. On the contrary, if all your wood surfaces match, nothing stands out and your room can look flat and boring. While you don’t want to go overboard mixing different wood finishes, there are various techniques to help them blend nicely for a layered, more eclectic look that feels natural and balanced.

Contrast Different Tones

Mixing individual pieces of wood furniture in a room with a similarly toned wood floor causes your furnishings to blend with the floor and not stand out. You’ll make a stronger impact when you purposely contrast and break up these tones. Do this by pairing dark stained floors with lighter toned furniture or light stained floors with darker cherry or mahogany furnishings. If your still in the process of building your home and using an architectural firm in Vail Valley, ask them which wood flooring complements your furniture best.

Use a Buffer

When contrasting isn’t an option, place a buffer between the floor and your furniture by using an area rug. This option also works when the contrast is too different and incongruous to complement each other. Rugs can create a nice transition and soften the overall effect.

Tie the Room Together

Mismatched wood finishes can quickly get out of hand. You can create continuity by tying all the pieces together with matching accent colors. Curtains, lamp shades and throw pillows in the same color work well to make individual pieces blend harmoniously and flow together.

The more you understand your wood’s unique characteristics, the better you can achieve a complementary blend in your décor. Some of the most interesting rooms include varied wood tones that add character to your home and Vail Valley architects understand the importance of balancing various wood finishes. We can help you find  your balance. Call us at 970-766-1470 to start designing the home of your dreams.

Is An Open Floor Plan Right For You?

Open floor plans are one of the biggest trends being requested at Vail Valley architects today. Just as the name would imply, an open floor plan is one that makes several small rooms into one large one. Most commonly, people request that their architects create an open floor plan with the kitchen, dining room and family room all being combined into a single large area. There is no doubt that open floor plans are all the rage today — but is this type of floor plan right for your next home? Ask yourself these questions to find out.

Does Much of the Socializing Happens in the Kitchen?

Many families say that the majority of their family time and general socialization time is done in the kitchen.  This often happens because the people who do the cooking want to be involved in the conversations, and everyone tends to gravitate towards wherever the cook in preparing a meal.  If this happens in your family, an open floor plan may be perfect for you. You can wash the dishes, cook dinner and clean the kitchen all while chatting with the family and keeping an eye on the kids.  The kitchen is considered the heart of the home.

Do You Enjoy Entertaining?

If you love to entertain, there is no better option than an open floor plan. Rather than having small segments of people scattered all over the home, in an open floor plan people can mill around freely. As a host, you can keep up with all the guests every easily this way, too. Everybody is within your view at all times, and nobody will feel isolated.

Looking to create a new home with an architectural balance unique to your needs? Whether you want an open floor plan or an entirely different concept, TAB Associates can help. Give us a call to start planning your next home today!

Why Is Contemporary Design So Fascinating? Vail Valley Architects Offer Some Insights

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It seems that just about every architecture magazine cover you see these days is highlighting contemporary architecture styles. There’s a prevailing fascination with contemporary architectural design, and with good reason. Vail Valley architects gravitate toward this style due to some key stylistic factors. The following may offer some insights as to why contemporary design continues to be so fascinating:

Sleek Lines and Edges

The smooth transitions in contemporary design are pleasing to the eye and soothing to the soul. Inside and out, sleek lines and smooth edges make this style extremely inviting.

Symmetry and Balance

Contemporary architectural design is also harmonious in terms of color and design elements. Even if the structure isn’t literally symmetrical, there is an implied symmetry and balance in all of the elements used in contemporary architectural designs.

A Homage to Technology

The world around us keeps evolving and advancing in terms of technology. It isn’t surprising that modern architecture designs are now reflecting this. The use of high-sheen materials, brushed metals and high-tech accents reflect the world around us as it continues to expand and evolve.

Appealing Hybrids Are Emerging

Contemporary design also isn’t limited to just high-tech styles. Many new designs in effect offer a hybrid of new designs, as well as what has worked in past decades. The result is a compelling balance of classic and contemporary elements that can take architecture to new places.

TAB Associates is an architectural firm in Vail Valley that prides itself on finding balance in all areas of architectural design. The structure, program, construction, and cost of every project are all orchestrated to be in harmony.

Just like the rest of the modern world, architecture keeps evolving in highly compelling ways. Consult TAB Associates when you’re ready to make your design visions a reality. Your Vail Valley architects bring contemporary design and architectural balance together for you.

3 Timeless Architectural Designs

What is ‘timeless architecture’? There are many homes and buildings in Vail Valley that exhibit architectural balance, certainly one of the requirements of a design being considered timeless. But there’s more to it than that. Many architects and admirers would say a structure is timeless if it fits well with its environment, melds function and form gracefully and effortlessly, and above all, speaks to people over long periods of time, that has the ability to enrich lives across ages, in  defiance of fashion and fads.

Here are three amazing and influential designs that can truly be called timeless.

Timeless Buildings

Fallingwater – Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece in the rural loveliness of southwestern Pennsylvania was built in 1935. It was named the “best all-time work of American architecture” by the American Institute of Architects and one of the 28 places a person should visit before they die by Smithsonian Magazine. It’s integration of the natural and the manmade, inspired by Japanese design, is its strength.

The Salk Institute – Architect Louis Kahn was commissioned to create the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in 1959 by Dr. Jonas Salk, who gifted the world with the vaccine for polio. Kahn studied the ascetic and austere designs of ancient monasteries to develop his vision of a space for intellectual pursuits. He used sparse concrete walls, glass, and natural lighting to create one of the world’s most unique building complexes.

St. Paul’s Cathedral – Designed in two stages during the 17th century by legendary English architect Christopher Wren as part of the massive rebuilding project after the Great Fire of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the world’s great buildings, and has been inspiring architects for many generations.

But when it comes to timeless residential design, I believe that the Old World style is truly timeless.  Because if you cannot tell if it was built 100 years ago or yesterday, then it can be deemed timeless.  I also believe many log homes fall into this same category for the same reasons.

If you’re in need of a Vail Valley architectural firm to add the element of timelessness into your home, contact TAB Associates for a consultation.

Architectural Designs That Bring the Outside In

Modern design strategies make it possible for high-quality home improvements to act as points of value for homes. For example, across the nation, the integration of home living and outdoor living is being utilized as a design element that adds value to homes and helps increase the use of the entire property space. In this indoor-outdoor blog post, we discuss how the Vail Valley architects of TAB Associates make merging the indoors and outdoors easy.

Movable Walls: Not New but Still Valuable

Folding walls can be used to divide a large room, such as a spacious living area. A folding or moveable wall can also be used as an outer wall that leads to the outside, to create a larger living and entertainment area. A glass wall is a thing of beauty. It allows you to have an expanded view of the outside without losing the energy efficiency of your home.  Here’s why.

At 8,150 feet above sea level, Vail Valley, Colorado, offers expansive views of nature. A Vail Valley architect can add a sunroom onto your home’s exterior. In addition, they can install a movable glass wall.

In winter, the wall can be opened to create more space and to take advantage of the warmth provided by the sunroom (or the sun in general). In summer, when the weather gets warmer, the glass wall can be closed to insulate your living room. That is just one way that an architect in Vail Valley can help design the perfect mix of indoor and outdoor space.

Kitchen Expansion Made Simple

Another good example of how to use a movable wall to increase your home’s space is to place moveable glass walls in the kitchen. By building an outdoor kitchen, you can open the wall and expand your kitchen area for parties, holidays and other events. Such a wall allows you to take full advantage of all of your living space, even those spaces outdoors.

To explore how an architect can add value and help improve the space in your home, visit TAB Associates online.

Industrial Decor for the Industrious Soul

In an interior ‘world’ full of shabby-chic trends, an industrial based style core can stand out using the simple concept of ‘less is more’. Seated in an era known for progress and breaking boundaries in science and engineering, it’s no wonder that less frill is the ‘go-to’ theme for this interior style. Who has time for crocheted lamp shades and hand-sewn toilet seat covers when you’re trying to improve upon society’s mechanical shortcomings?
As striking and bold as this design can be, it can easily swallow a small space in a gloomy mood not intended by the designer. This can be prevented by providing a light, neutral base for background such as whitewashed walls. This can be done on top of a wooden ‘planked’ wall, a brick wall, or even stucco. If a lighter color is not to be desired, keep the background neutral. Earthy colors always pair better with this type of design. Think grays, light browns, beige. To be sure, the important elements in this type of décor are the accents.
To accent with industrial type features, re-purposing is the name of the game. Galvanized pipe can be used along with additional wooden planks to create shelving systems, either high or low to the ground. Creative lighting fixtures can be made from items that never would have been used for that purpose, such as early twentieth century birdcages or colanders.
An underlying presence of mixed metals is traditionally incorporated into this type of décor and they can vary from corrugated tin to iron fixtures. Aluminum, steel, pewter… all of these finishes offer unique qualities in their design to be used in anything such as wall fixtures, accent pieces, and fans or clocks.
Another important quality in which this style is known for is its attention to functionality and the ever present fascination of ‘how does it work’? This certainly must have been a burning question in many an innovator/ inventor’s mind as they pieced together or pulled apart the object(s) of their obsession. A good example of this would be the intricate gears you can see in many industrial design themes.
Do all these hard edge materials mean the space can’t be comfortable or inviting? Certainly not! I would suggest, however, any soft materials such as rugs, pillows, or throws be kept neutral as well. If color is incorporated, I would definitely research color palettes from the early twentieth century. This can keep the space authentic and continuous.
When it comes to creative interior design, hopefully, these helpful tips will bring out the innovator in you!

2016 Interior Design Trends

Change the Look

Fads come and go, but the classic principles of interior design never really change. The year 2016 has brought with it some interesting ideas for the home that blends together with contemporary technology, definition and schematics. Let us look at some new trends that can quickly implement new trends with promising effects.

Mix the Match

The same look in every room getting you down? – Not to fear. Add some ethnic flavor with accents that show decorative promise.

Optical illusions can never be old school and this year, the cluster of small mirrors intermingled with the larger ones transform a room dramatically to create a spacious look.

If you want to jazz things up with a mix of colors, bright color is in the news and can change the look and the ambiance of any room quick. What you need to look out for is to make sure that the lighting complements the schematics.

The old theme of the same old ceiling color has changed in design and temperament. Add a highlighted space on the ceiling with strategically positioned LED lighting.

Go for minimal and urban design in the kitchen by implementing an open kitchen. Use placement of tables and islands to change the dynamic to instill a sense of privacy, while still maintaining the open look.

The latest design that creates an aura of something different is the change in the bathroom tiles. Forget about the same old tiles, and fuse in some geometric shapes, ceramic tiles, or or stone murals.

Go the Distance

If you want to change the theme of the home, you have to be open to suggestions. However, be as open and descriptive as possible with a designer if you have a certain idea in mind. Blending two – contemporary and classic chic does change the dynamic. Add extra greenery and you have yourself a winner.

New Interior Renovation Trends for the New Year

As we welcome the New Year, a home renovation plan could be a great way to start off on a fresh note. The coming year will turn out to be even more exciting when you decide to try out new things, especially with respect to the interior design of your home.

Bathroom Interiors

Let’s begin with the bathroom interiors. It can be difficult and expensive to design bathrooms, especially master bathrooms. It means dealing with plumbing, ventilation and electrical systems and adhering to energy and water-saving codes according to your location.

In the New Year, independent toilet rooms will be the buzzword. These toilet rooms have the benefit of adding a touch of privacy to shared baths. Also, if you’re planning to renovate your bathroom in the coming year, go frameless for your shower enclosures. This is a crisper and cleaner look and allows the shower tiles to shine through!

Kitchen Designs

In 2016, as far as the interior design of kitchens is concerned, you will still have to ensure efficient storage facilities, and you can get back the tiles into your kitchen. In the New Year, kitchen renovations will be high on textured and colored tiles. You don’t necessarily need to install a very bright or strong color; neutrals will work well too. Take inspiration from European designs to renovate your home’s kitchen in 2016!

Darker Color Palettes

For the longest time, we have been observing mostly white home interiors including white floors, white walls, white ceilings, white upholstery and so on. This year, however, interior designers are predicting that there might be a transition towards darker and moodier hues. This means that homeowners planning a renovation can think about incorporating colors such as charcoal, navy, aubergine and hunter green into their home interiors. Use the colors on walls, ceilings or upholstery to add a touch of glamor to your home décor.

Combining Vintage and Contemporary

A key home renovation trend in the New Year will be the mixing of contemporary and vintage design elements while styling your home. When you combine furniture and other interior elements from various eras, it lends a more dynamic look to your space. In order to shop for good quality old furniture, visit antique stores, and add a touch of history to your home décor. It will also make your home look warmer and more welcoming.

It is a good idea to consult a professional before deciding on a particular home renovation idea for the New Year.