If 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Metal adds shine and draws the eye, but it can also bring an earthy warmth, especially in rooms with a larger scale (high ceilings, large square footage) that you want to humanize and add depth to. Small or larger sculptures bring corners to life and can help you divide an open floor plan into sections. Few things bring Vail Valley architecture to life better than decorative touches and flourishes.
If you want to go big in your larger living area, display Roman, Grecian or Western sculptures in bronze, copper or warm alloys near furniture grouped in the center of the room. The sculpture draws the eye, which then flows to a welcoming seating area. Create other seating areas with two or three chairs paired with a small beverage or side table and echo smaller art in the same metal or sheen to add a cohesive look.
Metal Wall Art
The possibilities here are endless. Natural subjects such as trees and sun shapes bring a peaceful ambiance to any room, and large metal sculptures incorporating plant and animal designs look great on tall or long walls and enhance your home’s architectural balance. If you’re looking for something more modern, try photos or modern art transferred onto metallic bases. These multimedia pieces let you add pops of color and contrast with traditional furniture.
To add interest to your dining area, try large metal wall art with geometric patterns, such as triangles or rectangles. You can achieve a similar effect by grouping four pieces of the same size and shape into a square pattern. Whether you stick with burnished coppers or brushed nickel or go with a painted metal design, this standout material is sure to draw comments and compliments from friends and family.
Combining metal art and sculpture with other natural materials, such as wood, helps you craft an interior design in tune with nature and your personal style.
If you’re looking for an architectural firm in Vail Valley, schedule a consultation with TAB Associates to learn how we help you achieve an open floor plan in your existing home.
The new year means a new “Color of the Year” from the designers and color experts at Pantone. This year’s choice is Living Coral, which the brand refers to as a color that “embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.” Living Coral is vibrant and bold and works with a surprising number of color schemes. Our Vail Valley architects came up with a few ideas for incorporating this striking color into your own home; they are detailed below:
Paint an Accent Wall
While this bold color may be overwhelming for an entire room, painting a single accent wall in Living Coral is an easy way to reinvigorate your existing décor. One wall is fast and easy to paint, and the cost is minimal, particularly for the amount of impact involved.
Since Living Coral is inspired by the bold coral found along reefs, why not bring this naturally occurring color inside? This shade is naturally found in many flowers like peonies, dahlias, roses and more!
Living Coral is inspired by real coral reefs and the colorful animals that live there. Take your own version of Living Coral by adding durable outdoor accents to your patio or porch. Weatherproofed throw pillows, an all-season rug or even decorative painted metal pieces can all be used to add a punch of natural color to your patio or porch and incorporate this lively shade into your home.
When you incorporate a brilliant shade like Living Coral, a little goes a long way. Incorporate this lively and dynamic shade into your living spaces using throw pillows, tabletop accessories and artwork. You’ll love the energy it brings and won’t be overwhelmed by the brilliance of the color.
Incorporating a color like Living Coral into your home gives you a chance to freshen things up without making a huge investment or taking a lot of time. When you add some simple but elegant accessories and touches, your whole room will feel current and up to date. If you’re ready for a change just in time for spring, consider adding some of Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019 into your home.
Need help choosing colors and accessories or with an entire space? We can help you create a welcoming and comfortable space you’ll love coming home to. Get in touch today to learn more and to take the first steps toward a space that is truly yours.
Your mantel is not just a place to hang holiday stockings. In fact, your mantel can be the focal point of your room in any season once you understand a few tricks of the trade that transform your mantel into a stunning focal point for your room, like those listed below.
Decorate in Layers
Many people make the mistake of keeping their mantel decorations one dimensional. The rest of your room has multiple layers. Think about it. Your sofa probably has throw pillows and blankets to add layers of color and texture. Should your mantel offer anything less?
This means you can use multiple layers, front to back, to create depth and generate interest in what’s happening on your mantel. In other words, it draws the focus from your family and your guests.
Draw the Eye Up
One of the great things about creating a mantel focal point is the height that’s available to you. Take advantage of all the extra height by using it as an opportunity to draw the eye up.
Use a stunning piece of art, a larger-than-life family portrait, or even a massive clock to fill the space high above your mantel and take advantage of the visual space available to you.
Showcase Who You Are
Ultimately, you’re the person who lives in your home, day in and out. Let your mantel become a showplace for the things that appeal to you, whether it becomes a photo album sharing your memories or a collection of pretty objects that appeal to you.
It’s your mantel, and you’re the one who will spend more time than anyone else looking at it. Make it appealing to you. Let it tell your story to any and all who would listen.
Finding balance for your mantel and your home often requires a specialized touch. When the time comes to build your home, you need the services of the Vail Valley and western North Carolina architectural firm, which focuses on building with balance. Contact TAB Associates today to learn more about bringing balance to your mantel and your home.
Because the kitchen has become much more than just a place to cook and clean – it’s now regularly used as a secondary dining area as well as a social gathering spot – you may want to spruce up its design a bit. The following are a few ways that you can create a more upscale kitchen design:
Lighting – Don’t just make due with the plain old ceiling light fixture. Lighting is important in the kitchen in more than one way. Not only does it make the kitchen more functional, it makes it more stylish as well. Make a statement by using a pair of chandeliers or unique pendant fixtures above your kitchen island.
Cabinets – Go with custom kitchen cabinets that extend to your ceiling for additional storage space, and consider using glass-faced cupboards to show off your dinnerware as well as provide a more elegant feel to your design.
Tile Backsplash – The backsplash is an area where you can really let your personality shine. Choose a unique and luxurious tile to really elevate your kitchen’s look.
Even while others are still basking in the lingering glow of the summer, our trendsetters are already hard at work looking into the future to determine which colors will be hot for decorating in 2019. Trends today are much more global, with everything from Paris Fashion Week to the first lady’s dress informing the look and feel of the coming seasons. Interior design continues to move toward a more minimalistic look and feel, something that resonates well with architects and homeowners alike.
Soft, Sustainable Colors and Styles
Several designers have noted that a more sustainable look and feel has been creeping into design options over the past few months — a trend that is expected to accelerate going throughout the year in 2019. Interior products that are ethnically designed and produced top the charts, and with this shift comes a softer and more subtle style and color palette.
2019 Paint Colors
If 2018 was the year of smoky shades of gray, 2019 is prepping to be a paradise of strong, natural colors. From berries to sage and even dark charcoal, the essence of the color palette leans more toward matte than glossy, more toward neutral than bold. Earth tones are being adopted by all the major paint manufacturers, with deep, rich shades that mesh well with more traditional and natural building materials.
Back to Black
From your little black dress to your kitchen, black is making a comeback — especially in design that features matte black-on-black. The added dimension of the darker shades and bold statements provides an ongoing conversation piece and focal point for your living room or bedroom designs. Kitchens and bathrooms are also seen sporting shades of deep gray or black as an accent to beiges, pinks and golden tones.
Whether you’re prepping for a major home upgrade or building a new house, the 2019 trends are always in fashion at TAB Associates. Learn more about seasonal decor changes and other great options for your home on our blog.
Schedule a consultation today to gain insight on your next project by calling us at 970-766-1470 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.