10 Important Questions to Ask an Architect in Vail Valley

Holzworth ResidenceSelecting an architectural firm in Vail Valley will impact your life not only during the construction of your dream project but for many additional years to come. Preparing a list of important questions can help you determine which firm will best meet your needs. Since every person is unique, it is important to rank the following questions in order of importance to you and compare the answers you receive accordingly.

Ten Questions to Ask an Architect

  1. What is unique about your philosophy of design that sets you apart from your competitors?
  2. Who will be designing my project and will this be the same person I will be communicating with throughout the project?
  3. What type of timeframe will you need to complete this project? Will your firm be able to prioritize the work or are you highly occupied at this time?
  4. Do you foresee any particular challenges and if so, are your architects experienced in dealing with similar situations?
  5. Will you utilize computer animation, drawings or other materials as visual aids while answering any questions I have?
  6. Will I need to directly communicate with the general contractor who oversees construction of my project?
  7. Is your firm well versed in sustainable or “green” building designs which will save significant amounts of money and energy?
  8. What are the estimated costs of your services for this project and how are your fees determined?
  9. What types of situations typically generate additional expenses?
  10. What percentage of your projects are completed within the initial budget or estimate you provide?

Choose Your Firm With Care

Regardless of whether you are planning construction for a single family home or a multi-million dollar retreat facility, working with the architectural firm which best meets your needs will significantly affect your overall satisfaction. Give our Vail Valley architects at TAB Associates a call when you are ready to discuss the details of your plan with qualified professionals.

Architecture Trends for 2017

Tab Associates Living RoomArchitecture is a constantly evolving art, changing each year to meet the desires of society and to match the technology that is ever-changing as well. In 2017, there are a number of architecture trends for us to look forward to. Outlined below are a few of the ones we’re most excited about:

Mixing Metal and Plaster

The industrial look of stainless steel has become incredibly popular in recent years, and it’s a trend we can expect to see continue. In 2017, though, look for the industrial, metal look to be softened slightly with the addition of plaster. Coating metal fixtures in white plaster is a great way to lighten them up and add some elegance to the design while keeping the modern appeal that metal brings.

Black is the New Black

Kitchens used to be gleaming white in their design. Now, in 2017, matte black is the hottest color for a kitchen design. Black walls and counters combined with chrome fixtures and appliances makes for striking look, and thanks to LED light fixtures and large windows letting in sunlight, there is still plenty of soft, white light to keep the room balanced.

Natural Elements Remain Popular

Stone, wood and greenery will remain as incredibly popular design elements in 2017–the more exotic the better. Look for materials such as bamboo, stripped hardwoods and natural stone to be used with increasing frequency this year, especially in bathrooms where the organic, natural feel of these materials makes for a very relaxing space.

Designing the Future: Keeping up With the Architecture Trends of Coming Years

If you are looking for an architecture firm in Vail Valley  that is committed to designing homes and rooms that incorporate both architectural classics and modern trends, feel free to contact us today. At TAB Associates, our industry-leading architects would love to help you design the home of your dreams.

How To Prepare For A Remodeling Project

BlueprintThere are many reasons to remodel a home. You may want to remodel your home to add value to it, because you want to rearrange the space due to family changes or because you want to grab a higher market price if you are selling. Architects in Vail Valley, such as TAB Associates, will help you plan your remodeling project. However, you still need to do some pre-planning for yourself.

Scheduling

Pick a time that will be the least “destructive” to your lifestyle. For example, if you have children, you might want to schedule the remodel while the kids are in school and not on summer vacation. And, if you have family events or a vacation scheduled, you will most likely want to be nearby without interruptions – so schedule the remodel around your family time.

Lifestyle

Your lifestyle is going to have to change during the remodel, especially if you are remodeling a kitchen. Prepare for the following:

  • You won’t be able to use the stove; and the fridge will be moved to another room if you are remodeling the kitchen. Choose a time where it’s convenient to use an outside grill to cook, or you’ll be relegated to using the microwave or eating out.
  • Make sure pets are safe. Either crate them or relocate them while the team is at your house to reduce chances of escape. Remember that tools will make the pets curious and they could get hurt. Smaller pets are harder to see and may be stepped on if they get under foot.
  • Remodeling is a dusty job. Although crews sheet off the areas they are working, dust will still get in other rooms. Cover furniture with sheets and remove pictures from the walls. Clean out any cabinets that are not part of the remodel. And, make sure you have a clear path to other parts of the house including the bathroom and basement.

Contact TAB Associates

Once you have picked the best time to have a remodel completed, contact a Vail Valley architect such as TAB Associates to discuss your design ideas.

5 Simple Ways To Bring Nature Indoors

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Bringing the outdoors into your home design is an ideal way to show off your love for nature. Outdoor-themed home elements are particularly appealing during those long winter months when you’re stuck indoors. Here are five simple ways to work alongside your Vail Valley architects on using nature as design inspiration.

Go Overboard with the Greenery

Keep it real with live plants and trees found within your home. There is not a single room within a home that can’t benefit from a potted plant or fresh flowers in a vase. If you have enough open space, take this idea to the next level and use oversized planters to grow a tree or two within your home.

Get Inspired with Natural Materials

Shop organic when it comes to choosing textiles for your furniture and décor pieces. Think wicker baskets, linen couches, hemp area rugs and flax lampshades. For a bolder natural look, choose a talking piece like a stone basin in the bathroom.

Use Light to Your Advantage

Adding plenty of natural light to your home can make you feel as if you’re outdoors even when you’re in the comfort of your own home. When designing your rooms select floor to ceiling windows, bay windows and skylights for the most natural light.

Natural Flooring

Natural materials are becoming increasingly popular when outfitting homes. Choices include wood, bamboo and cork. Many of the materials are minimally treated to maintain their natural beauty.

White and Ivory Décor for the Beach side home

Whites are often found in nature-inspired décor items. Ivory cabinetry and furniture are popular choices for those looking to have a beach-themed space. White décor items such as shells, starfish and coral can be added to enhance the aesthetic. Green and blue splashes of color create a contrast with the decor.

Schedule a consultation today to find out more about how Vail Valley architects are able to help you reach your design goals.

What’s Trending In Residential Architecture?

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When developing ideas and models that embrace new concepts in residential architecture, there are a number of things to consider. Trends make a tremendous impact when attempting to achieve architectural balance. Following these trends, while being true to timeless design is key. Here are a few that make a difference in design, following what the modern homebuyer may look for.

New Trends to Achieve Architectural Balance

  • Kitchens

While kitchens have always been a centerpiece of the home, today’s kitchens are more expansive and offer many more amenities that cater to making this a place of cooking, gathering and comfort. Smart appliances and spaces that offer high-tech convenience, such as hidden charging stations and alerts when refrigerated items are low, are becoming everyday staples.  Also, adding a sitting area just off the Kitchen is advisable if it is not already part of the Living Room creating a Great Room.  We typically put a fireplace in this ancillary room to the Kitchen creating a “Hearth” room.

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  • Open concept

Having one big space that serves as a canvas is truly a designer’s delight. These spaces allow the removal of walls, blending multiple living spaces together. This helps create functionality on how the homeowner envisions their place to be. This also helps with modern and minimalistic designs.

  • Sustainable design

Building your home with green products or implementing a standard where the building’s functions and fixtures all give back to the environment continues to be a growing trend.

  • Spa facilities

Today’s bathroom is nothing like the past. They are equipped to be fully functional spa retreats, complete with outside showers (in certain environments, although we have done one here in Colorado), steam rooms, whirlpools and more. Heated flooring, soak tubs and sustainable materials that bring the outside in for a more relaxed appeal are all high on the priority list in trendy modern design.

Modern Vail Valley architects will take these trends into account while designing a home, implementing timeless features that accommodate any interior design needs. Utilizing the expertise of full-service architects can make all the difference in look, feel and functionality.

For more information on great design in Vail Valley, contact TAB Associates for a consultation on designing the home of your dreams today!

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.