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.

How Balance Ties Into Architecture

What is great architecture? Several designers in Colorado believe that it is a rich interaction between various critical elements. However, there are so many elements that make up a building that it can often create confusion regarding which elements are the most crucial.

Typically, all architecture is aimed at achieving some kind of balance with respect to the design, whether symmetrical or asymmetrical. While designing, certain theories and laws need to be taken into consideration.

If architecture has to have some balance, designers need to think about synchronizing elements so that each of them relates to the other. Ultimately, the aim is to build some sort of system. Balance is not just about the physical building being structurally and aesthetically sound. Architectural balance is achieved when a designer manages to design for all human senses.

Importance of Symmetry and Asymmetry in Architectural Design

Symmetry is one way to achieve architectural balance. This means having a mirror image around a pivotal or primary axis. This is quite common in architecture, especially classical architecture. The symmetry could be radial as well.

Designers can also aim for approximate symmetry. This does not involve a mirror image. However, the elements built on one of the sides of the central axis get roughly imitated on the other.

Lastly, balance in architecture could be asymmetrical as well. Designers might find this more challenging to achieve. This could present a more intriguing view but if not done correctly, it can make all the individual parts look fine, the system as a whole could appear awkward. Asymmetrical architectural balance is usually considered as casual while symmetrical balance seems more formal.

In either case, form should follow function so manipulating the function to achieve symmetry is sometimes not true to the architecture.

10 Tips to Effectively Communicate with your Architect

Your new home will be an important part of your family’s life, so you chose to hire a reputed Architect to design a beautiful home for you. Yet, if you and your Architect are not able to communicate properly, you may end up with a product that is not built to your liking. The following tips will point out how you can effectively communicate with your Architect.

  • Do a bit of research- Before you begin to design your home, it is best to look around and expose yourself to interior design and existing architectural trends to decide what you want.
  • Preferred mode of communication- Once you hire your Architect, establish the most efficient form of communication between you both. The frequency and speed of response will be based upon whether you choose emails, text messages, voice calls and so on.
  • Make a schedule- Once the preferred mode of communication is established, make a weekly schedule so that you and your Architect can plan the meetings accordingly.
  • Take it one step at a time- It is not conducive to go into the details of what you need from a home right at the beginning. Start with a solid idea and then build up from there.
  • Ask for 3D views- Architects are experts at seeing 3D even when they are looking at 2D images. Ask for a 3D version so that your visions are aligned.
  • Make sure that you understand everything- Although architects will try their best to make themselves understood, they may use some terminology that you’re unfamiliar with. Get clarity on any confusion, no matter how small.
  • Get cost estimates for each design- A design may look great but before you set your heart to it, check how much money it will take to build it.  this may require a builder being involved in the early stages to acquire solid budgets.
  • Show your architect a lot of pictures- Most of the time, your ideas cannot be communicated through words as you do not know the terminology. Show your Architect plenty of pictures of designs so that he or she knows exactly what you want.  It is important to also show your Architect pictures of what you do not like.  In this way, they can get in your head and understand your desires.
  • Write everything down- Taking notes at the end of a meeting will ensure that you and your architect are on the same page at all times.
  • Collaborate with your Architect and builder- At every design stage, try to collaborate between the builder and the Architect so that the designs can be feasible and beautiful at the same time.

With a little bit of effort from your side, you should be able to use the talent of your Architect to build your dream home!

The Zen and Balance of Architectural Design

BridgingAn architect’s job is truly unique in that he or she is expected to design something that is not only functional, but also attractive. In many cases, a design’s beauty actually lies within its ability to suit its purpose.

Architecture should be beautiful, but that beauty should come from the remarkable feelings of balance one experiences when looking at or walking through a space. That is not to say there is not room for personalization. Once balance is achieved with the larger elements, the little details of the architectural design are often used to give it some character. These details can be used to evoke the architect’s personal tastes or the preferences of the client.

Often, the zen-like balance of notable architectural designs comes from their simplicity. There are so many different forms of simplicity. From flowing, natural-looking structures to ones made from rigid geometric forms, each achieves balance in its own way. Often, it’s about experiencing that piece in its context, not as a solo work of art.

To learn more about zen and balance in architecture, contact TAB Associates. We aim to create designs that capture their function and the client’s essence.

Contemporary American Home Design Across the Years

Painted Ladies Victorian Houses In San FranciscoIt’s no secret that American home design has changed and evolved over the years. A recent article on Houzz presented a timeline of American home styles, showcasing these changes.

  • American house styles grew from a blend of British, French, and Spanish styles that were brought over by settlers. Homes started off small, and as the nation grew, home sizes increased. Regional differences also developed, with Northeastern homes being great forts to block out winter weather and Southern homes featuring tall windows to capture cooler breeze.
  • In the 18th century, the Greek Revival style brought pillars to the American home design, and in the later 19th century, the Shingle style introduced banded, horizontal elements and larger openings between rooms. Frank Lloyd Wright brought the Craftsman style to the forefront of American architecture, paving the way for the use of natural materials.
  • Now, modern American homes are becoming more geometrical and minimalist in design. However, many homeowners still built on the classic designs of the 18th, 19th, and 20th century to create their own, updated versions of these truly American homes.

If you’re ready to start designing your American home, contact TAB Associates to discuss your project today.

What You Should Know Before Embarking on a Remodeling Journey

Construction Engineer's DeskAt TAB Associates, we love remodeling homes to transform them into the homes of the owners’ dreams. However, there are a few remodeling and interior design tips we always recommend owners keep in mind before they start their remodeling journeys.

  • Know your budget going in. This makes it easier to choose materials that you can reasonably afford throughout the project, rather than leaving you on a tight budget and forcing you to skimp at the end.
  • Pay attention to measurements. Sometimes, it’s not possible to fit everything in a space without it feeling overly cluttered, so prioritize and know what you’re willing to do without.
  • Think about the lighting scheme. With the wrong lighting, an otherwise beautiful place can look dull.

TAB Associates recently partook in a remodeling project at a huge log home in Bachelor Gulch. We added extra bathrooms, a workout space, and a theater to the space, and we also completely remodeled the master bathroom. In the process, we and the building’s owners payed close attention to the tips above, which ensured that everything came out beautifully and the home flowed well upon completion.

Contact us to learn more about this and our other projects.

Authenticity in Architecture

modern designer kitchenWhat does authenticity mean when it comes to architectural design? This can be a complex question, but the simplest explanation of authenticity is that it occurs when all of the pieces and elements of a design coordinate together perfectly, rather than feeling thrown together in a haphazard manner.

Consider, for instance, a home with a very minimalist exterior — clean lines, only two materials, and parallel geometry. You would expect the interior of the home to have the same elements, and if it does, the building would be said to feel authentic. On the other hand, if the home’s interior were cluttered with complex patterns and the use of multiple materials, the space would not feel authentic.

Another good example would be a children’s room that is decorated with bright colors and geometric patterns. If the window frames were painted bright red or blue, this would feel authentic. On the other hand, carefully hewn wooden, rustic window frames would not have an authentic feel. Authenticity in architecture is similar to the concept of unity — everything should have the same “character.”

If you’re thinking of building a home with architectural authenticity, then contact TAB Associates to learn more about our design services.