3 Things You Need to Know About Fireplace Installation

Fireplace in HomeIf you’re like most people, you associate fireplaces with cozy evenings that involve enjoying a hot beverage with friends and family while a blazing fire lights up the room. Now that chilly weather has arrived, you may be thinking about contacting an architectural firm in Vail Valley about adding a fire feature to your home. The following are three things you need to think about before deciding to have a fireplace installed.

Decide What Type of Fuel You Want to Use

Although there’s nothing quite like the woodsy aroma and crackling sound made by wood-burning fireplaces or stoves, this option comes with a certain amount of effort. You’ll have to chop and carry wood, and you’ll also need an outdoor area where wood can be properly stored. Gas fireplaces, on the other hand, only require a flip of a switch to have a full-fledged fire within a matter of seconds. However, some people enjoy the exercise they get from chopping and carrying wood.

Determine Your Energy Saving Goals

Unlike wood stoves, which are combined with an overhead fan to distribute the heat throughout the room, wood-burning fireplaces don’t produce enough heat to be reliably used as a primary heat source. Their value is mostly aesthetic, so go for gas if you want your fireplace to help keep your monthly heating bills down. Gas fireplaces have a greater heat output and use less fuel overall than their wood-burning counterparts.

Check Your Safety and Building Codes

Building and safety codes are specific to individual jurisdictions, so be sure to check with yours before moving forward with plans to have a fireplace installed. If you live within the city limits, check with your municipality. Rural residents will be subject to safety and building codes set by their county.

At TAB Associates, we have over 30 years of experience helping residents of the Vail Valley and beyond achieve the home interiors of their dreams. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today to find out more.

How to Create a More Peaceful Environment in Your Living Room

Interior photo of living room architecture and design at Red Sky Ranch

Outside of the kitchen, your living room is likely where you and your family spend most of your quality time together. It’s a place for entertaining, watching movies, reading a good book, playing with the dog — or just hanging out.

As such, it’s important to make this space especially peaceful. By cultivating a calming quality in your living room, it’s much more likely that you’ll genuinely enjoy spending time there.

How to Achieve Peace in Your Living Room

#1 – Get cozy.

Make the space plush and comfortable to be in. You should opt for throws and throw pillows that you’d actually like to cuddle up with. Invest in a wood fireplace. Choose furniture that you can truly sink into. All of this creates the peaceful and inviting environment you want.

#2 – Don’t overdo the knickknacks.

It’s fun to have photos, paperweights, vases, coffee table books, and other knickknacks as a part of your design aesthetic, but the overall effect can often feel claustrophobic. It’s much better to go with a simple look and avoid cluttering your walls, shelves, bookcases, and other surfaces with too much.

#3 – Pick a few colors and stop. 

Lastly, you want two to three colors maximum to dominate the space. When it comes to palettes, go with soft, muted colors or dark neutrals. Right now, white, beige, and everything in between (off-white, eggshell, etc.) are extremely popular and offer a peaceful “Zen” feeling. Of course, a trio of black, dark mahogany, and navy can offer a similar effect in a different way.

As you can see, much of realizing a more peaceful environment in your living room is about architectural balance — designs and settings that are either plainly symmetrical or pleasingly offset and balanced by a keen and seasoned designer.

Achieve the architectural balance you’re looking for by partnering with TAB Associates on your next home remodel project. Our Vail Valley architectural firm has been helping residents achieve the homes of their dreams since 1997. Contact us today to begin planning.

Creating an Exterior Focal Point for Your Home

Your home’s exterior focal point is the first place your guests’ eyes will land when they approach your home. It is a fundamental design principle that the right focal point can create a positive first impression and even change a person’s mood. Many contemporary homes lack the impressive architectural features that are common with Victorian, Tudor, or Colonial styles. But, there are ways to add architectural balance and a dramatic focal point to ranch, split-level, or cottage-style homes.

Deciding on a Focal Point for Curb Appeal

To choose the best focal point that will tie together your home’s landscape, your home’s architectural style, and your family’s personality, start by noting your home’s best features or what you like best about the exterior of your home. It could be a large bay window, porch columns, a blooming tree, or your lovely wooden double-entry doors.

Work with what you have! There are many ways to increase the drama and beauty of any part of your home’s exterior.

10 Ideas for an Exterior Focal Point

  1. Add a landscape feature like ornamental grass or decorative tree.
  2. Replace exterior door with double-entry doors or add a decorative element to the door.
  3. Install an architectural window – bay, bow, or arched
  4. Paint exterior trim or structural elements with a contrasting color.
  5. Add up-lighting at a tree or bushes.
  6. Create architectural balance with matching wall lanterns or potted plants.
  7. Change door numbers to a decorative font.
  8. Plant a flower bed that blooms three seasons.
  9. Replace walkway with paver stones or bring the Interior flooring out.
  10. Consider an ornamental fence or railing.

Creating a focal point at your home’s entry can be a budget-friendly project. Painting your front door, adding two large potted plants on each side, and attaching wall sconces or installing a post lantern at the stairs can add pizzazz and charm to a lackluster front entry.

For a more striking makeover, partner with TAB Associates, a Vail Valley architectural firm that specializes in “architectural balance.” TAB Associates can help you create an exterior symmetry with permanent architectural features that fit both classic and modern home styles.

What Is Architectural Balance?

Home located in Red Sky Ranch

In all different forms of design, having balance is key. In regards to architectural balance, this essentially means the balance of design from an architectural standpoint. From the color choices to the shapes and sizes of roofs and pillars, these all help to determine the level of balance between architectural pieces.

How Balance is Used

While there are many factors about architectural design that are different from other pieces of design, balance is a common goal that many designers set out to achieve. It’s important to note that balance isn’t required when designing something. Works of art are very subjective, and they can have multiple meanings. However, studies prove that balanced design is more pleasing to the eye — and that couldn’t be more true than it is in architecture. If you notice a building that isn’t balanced, it probably isn’t too appealing.

Characteristics to Consider

Every building that you see, whether it’s two months old or 200 years old, was probably built with architectural balance in mind. And a key thing to remember about this type of balance is that these architectural elements more than likely serve a functional purpose too. For instance, a roof might be slanted a certain way for water control, or a window may be placed in a certain location to bring in more light. That being said, these architectural designers not only have to think about what’s balanced from a design standpoint, but how the building keeps that balance while still being functional.  Being functional is of utmost importance.

TAB Associates Can Help

When it comes to sustaining architectural balance, TAB Associates does not disappoint. Our architectural firm in Vail Valley, Colorado and in Apple Valley in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, specializes in the design of cozy cabins, functional educational buildings, contemporary homes, large residential properties, and much more. Our Vail Valley and Apple Valley architects have decades of experience creating pieces of art that make dreams come true. Contact our team today so we can help bring your architectural visions to life!

And remember, we pride ourselves in bringing

  • Balance within design,
  • Balance between design & program,
  • Balance between design & construction,
  • Balance between construction cost and budget.

How to Add Character to the Exterior of Your Home

How to Add Character to the Exterior of Your Home

Many people tend to focus on interior features when thinking about their Vail Valley, Colorado renovation project, but the exterior of your home shouldn’t be neglected! If you want a home that stands out, personalizing the exterior can be a great way to differentiate it from other homes in the area. Here are a few of the ways you can add style and your own unique touch to the outside of your home.

Create a Patio or Courtyard

One of the ways that you can add character to the exterior of your home is by creating a patio or courtyard in front of your home. Not only will this give your home a unique look, but it will provide you with an area to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Dress Up or Change Out Your Garage Door

If your garage sits in front of your home, your garage door is something that you and those passing by will notice. While many people have plain white garage doors, there is no reason you cannot make changes to your garage door or replace it to make it more appealing and eye-catching. Consider using a faux wood door, painting your door, or adding carriage garage door hardware to really make your door stand out and positively accent the rest of your home.

Add Dormer Windows

Adding dormer windows can alter the exterior appearance of your home. Dormer windows can be added to help break up the appearance of a large and plain roof, as part of a build-out addition on your home or to help add more natural light to your home.

Are you looking for a Vail Valley, Colorado, architectural firm to help add character and style to the exterior of your home? Then turn to us here at Tab and Associates. We provide planning services, architecture services, and interior design services. Call us now to get started.

Increasing Your Home’s Value Through a Budget Bathroom Renovation

One of the most worthwhile DIY projects to take on in your home is a bathroom remodel. They can increase your own satisfaction, turning your ordinary bathroom into a luxurious spa, but also can add a great deal of value to your home if you are planning on selling it in the future. However, bathrooms also happen to be one of the most expensive home remodeling projects.  By carefully planning your budget, focusing on a good return on investment, and knowing the difference between subprojects you can take on yourself and projects that require a professional, you can take on the bathroom remodeling project of your dreams and drastically increase the value of your home, all while staying on or under budget.

Plan a Budget

The first thing you should do is plan out your budget. In order to do this, you’ll have to strike a balance between the amount of money you’ll spend on the project and the amount you’ll gain from it, whether in personal satisfaction or return on investment. To this end, you should focus on the projects that will add the most value to your home. Keep in mind that a good bathroom renovation will potentially increase your home’s value by up to 60 percent.

Once you have selected your projects, narrow them down even further by listing each individual component. For instance, if you want to add a new source of lighting, you’ll first need an electrician to wire the location. Next, you’ll have to pick the type of light source, keeping in mind that it should be protected from warm steam from the shower, as well as the bulbs and switches.  Remember to include the cost of hiring a professional if the project will require more specialized services. You can research the average cost to hire professional electricians, plumbers, and other knowledgeable handymen online to get a ballpark estimate.

Finally, be sure to also account for the cost of tools and materials, like screws and washers.  You can reduce the cost of materials by checking online for savings and coupons for big-box retailers. Add the numbers up to find the total estimated cost of the project, then compare that with the amount of money you were hoping to spend. You may find that you’ll have to reduce the scope of the overall project — in that case, you will need to narrow down the list of subprojects to only the ones that add the most value.

What Projects Add Value?

Many years of research have shown that there are certain projects to be taken on in the bathroom that add a great deal of value in the eyes of potential buyers. Particularly for master bathrooms, installing multiple sinks makes it easier for couples to get ready in the morning.  Many people will pay more for added convenience.

Along the same lines, it can never hurt to add more storage for towels, toiletries, and other paraphernalia. Certain aesthetic touches also are worth taking on; good lighting, for instance, will make your bathroom seem cleaner and more inviting, while glass showers and floating vanities will give it a sleek, modern look. Also, you can save a lot of money by choosing to refinish your tub, shower, sink, and tile instead of completely replacing it.

Know When to Hire an Expert

Finally, even if you are a skilled DIYer, it’s important to know when you should call in an expert.  In general, you should hire a professional for anything that requires skilled, technical knowledge, like electrical or plumbing work. Never try to rewire a room yourself — electricity is extremely dangerous, particularly when water is nearby. Remember to always shop around for the best deal when hiring an expert; you can often find great deals through sites like Groupon.

Doing a bathroom remodel yourself is ambitious, but well within your capabilities. Save money on the project by looking for savings on supplies, choosing less expensive projects that add value, and shopping around for the best deal when hiring a professional.

 

Blog Written By: diyguys.net

Photo Credit: pixabay.com

3 Wellness Trends in Architecture

3 Wellness Trends in Architecture

While architectural “sustainability” continues to be a driving force in protecting the planet, emerging trends have refocused on the occupants’ “wellness.” This is not to say these ideas are mutually exclusive. Sustainability and wellness are two sides of a well-balanced home or commercial building. Our Vail Valley and Hendersonville, NC architectural firm delivers architectural balance that enhances wellness.

1: Life-Enhancing Rooms

Consider the trends of the 1950s when modern conveniences were all the rage. Although that may strike you as materialism, those trends had a certain wellness lining. Wellness was not as popular a catch-phrase in those days. However, advancements in stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and others reduced the workload of full- and part-time homemakers. That reality credited everyday people with more time for their wellness.

Living in today’s technology era, architecture has increasingly included smart technology, built-in coffee stations, and other lifestyle enhancements. Simply put, improved wellness is a byproduct of reduced in-home labor.

2: Rethinking Building Materials

The average consumer enjoys a heightened awareness of risky and toxic materials. From traces of asbestos to unsavory chemicals used in paints, waxes, and cleaners, homeowners are avoiding even the inkling of a health hazard. That’s an excellent wellness philosophy and one trending in architectural circles.

Today’s designs lean more toward natural materials such as hardwoods, stone, and bamboo among others. Crafting buildings that are more connected with the natural world has become increasingly popular for health reasons.

3: Embracing Nature

Another trend that has been embraced is designing rooms that connect directly with nature. Open-air spaces are popular among parents that want their children to get more fresh air. And, plant life is increasingly being incorporated into architectural designs. It’s no longer uncommon to see indoor gardens, a live tree, or a home that strategically employs skylights and full-wall windows for the purposes of growing plants and bringing the outside in.

If you are considering a design that favors architectural balance and wellness, contact our Vail Valley, Colorado and Hendersonville, NC firm and schedule a consultation.

Interior Features to Add Architectural Flair to a Rustic Home

Interior features that add architectural flair to a rustic home

 

When working with Vail Valley and Smoky Mountain architects to design your dream home, picking out the interior elements that will eventually make your home stand out is part of the fun. If you’re going with a rustic-style home, the interior features you should consider may be a little more traditional, but they are sure to give your home-in-progress true personality.

Architectural Features to Consider for Your Rustic Home

Designing a rustic home is a lot of fun. You want the modern functionality and conveniences of a home built today — as well as the comforting attitude of a more crudely designed space from the past. Take a look at some interior design features that will add architectural flair to your rustic home design.

Vaulted Ceilings

Ceilings, as we know them (made mostly of drywall), were not common in older homes. Instead, you would oftentimes only see the unfinished underside of the roof. Vaulted ceilings open up a room and give it that country-style feel. You can go with drywall vaulted ceilings, of course. But it is really rustic to cover the vaulted ceiling with wood planks or board-and-batten siding.

Exposed Wood Beams

Exposed wood beams are something even modern and contemporary spaces have, which add a touch of overhead style. In a rustic home, these beams fit in so flawlessly, and they bring rustic style to any space. Whether you are adding the beams to a vaulted or flat ceiling, this architectural feature adds a touch of rustic charm to any room. Plus, it is a great way to draw the eyes up from the floor.

Stone Build-Ins

Imagine the pop of personality that comes with a built-in breakfast bar made with old weathered bricks or a stone fireplace that creates a focal point in your family room. Combining stone and wood is something that has been done in homes for centuries, and implementing stone in some built-in fashion is a surefire way to make your wooden features really stand out.

With a little creative thinking and a good architect on your side, your dream of a rustic-style home will come to life. Reach out to us at TAB Associates for help designing the home of your dreams.

What Flooring Material Is Most Practical for Your Home?

wood accents

Great flooring can be the highlight of a space. The wrong flooring can be a pain in the side and require an unplanned remodel. When your architectural firm is considering flooring for your Vail Valley home, you will want to have experts who can help you find the ideal flooring for each room.

Tile Flooring

Porcelain or ceramic tile can be ideal for bathrooms or kitchens that may deal with a lot of water. Quality tile is easy to clean, durable under traffic, and comes in a large variety of colors, textures, finishes, sizes and patterns.

Carpeting

Some spaces, like bedrooms, are more plush and comfortable with a cozy carpet. Fewer allergens float in the air in rooms where carpet is placed. A high pile in the right color can be incredibly comfortable and feel luxurious. A shorter pile that is designed to resist stains can be very durable in a space that may be more frequently used.

Hardwood

Wood flooring is often considered high end and offers a natural beauty to a living space. Hardwood in historical homes is often a favorite because it feels more period accurate. However, it isn’t always the most practical flooring option, since it can scuff and stain easily.

Vinyl Flooring

Although we would not normally specify this flooring in one of our homes unless the Owner was adamant, we have specified it for use in offices and schools.  In fact, we installed it in our North Carolina office reception area.  The newest luxury vinyl flooring options are becoming popular with homeowners who are looking for relatively low cost, comfort, resiliency and quality design. Vinyl is surprisingly versatile, replicating the look and texture of other materials with fewer drawbacks. Vinyl that looks like wood isn’t as easily damaged, and vinyl that looks like tile can have more of a cushion to it. Waterproof vinyl can be ideal in spaces that may deal with dirt and water exposure, like an entryway.

If you are looking for design assistance, we would be happy to help! Contact us today and let’s talk about which flooring is ideal for your space.

NRA Whittingto Center – Raton, NM

Of the various building typologies that come through TAB, museums are some of the most rewarding. The design and construction of museum type spaces is fascinating because we have the ability to set the stage for the sharing of knowledge through history, for several generations to come.

Located in the outskirts of Raton, NM, TAB is working on the design of an addition and expansion for the NRA Whittington Center. The NRA Whittington Center is currently home to decade’s worth of firearms, ammunition and other American war memorabilia. Not only is the NRA Whittington Center a collection of relics, it is also a premier facility for hunting, shooting and outdoor recreation with 17 gun ranges dispersed over 30,000 acres. This facility offers ranges and training for several shooting disciplines and for all age groups. With the original facility founded in 1973, the time has come for preparation for the future. In our collaboration with the NRA Whittington Center, we will be adding roughly 6,800 SF of new museum floor space to the current building, which houses the existing museum, library, administration and office spaces, as well as a pro shop. The new Whittington center design will allow for a bigger museum space that will house more historical collections, allow for an expansion of the current pro shop store, as well as giving the Whittington Center staff more space for their current staffing and storage needs. Currently, we are moving through conceptual and schematic design steps and are looking to complete the design in spring of 2019. Once completed, the new NRA Whittington Center will be better armed (no pun intended) to educate and inform the public, and will continue to be a resource for common citizens as well as members of law enforcement and the military.