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.

Making Your Mantel a Stunning Focal Point for Your Room

decorate mantle

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.

Tips on Finishing Wood With Stain

wood headboardVail Valley architects love to include natural wood in their designs. Whether you’re finishing a new project or bringing life to an old piece, wood stain is the perfect way to get a smooth finish that enhances the natural character of the wood.

Prepare the Surface

Start by sanding the entire piece with 100-grit sandpaper, paying close attention to blemishes and rough spots to achieve a smooth surface. If you have large, flat areas to sand, a random orbital sander can speed up the task. Then, make sure all floors and nearby surfaces are cleaned as stirred up dust will land on your finish and stick. Once the area is clean, wipe down the wood with a tack cloth to be sure it’s spotless.

Apply Stain

Stir the stain well, but avoid shaking as that may cause bubbles. Use a natural-bristle brush to apply stain with the grain, making sure to use plenty of product so it can soak into the wood for a few seconds. Then, using a cotton rag, wipe off excess stain in the order you applied it. Use plenty of rags for even removal.

Seal and Finish

Once the stain is dry, apply a sanding sealer with a natural-bristle brush in the direction of the grain. When you reach an edge, quickly brush back lightly across the piece to eliminate brush marks. Once dry, lightly sand with a 280-grit sanding pad until all surfaces are smooth. Lastly, apply an oil-based varnish using the same technique.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you’re new to staining wood, try a practice run on a scrap piece to get a feel for the products and brushes. That way, you’ll be more confident and get better results when you do the final piece.

Want to incorporate wood into the look and feel of your home? Call TAB Associates to learn how we can integrate plenty of natural wood into your next home design.

How a Fireplace Benefits Your Home

The thought of sitting in front of a warm, crackling fireplace in your own home is something many buyers take into consideration when searching for the perfect place. TAB Associates, an architectural firm in Vail Valley, Colorado, understands how a fireplace brings structural integrity and value to any home. More than just a creature comfort, having a fireplace can bring many other benefits. Here is just a small sampling:

Cozy Environment

There’s just something about having a warm fire going, any time of the year, that brings a sense of comfort throughout the house. Gathering around an open hearth brings its own unique sense of ambiance and coziness, which is even better when it’s shared with friends and loved ones in your home.

Atmosphere

Dimming the lights and sitting in front of a bright, warm fire is a dream setting. Enjoying dinners and movie nights by firelight is truly second to none. As the sun sets, fire up your own fireplace to ensure you have a comfortable, relaxed evening at home.

Eco-Friendly Heating

Today’s wood-burning appliances have become incredibly efficient, and leave a zero-carbon footprint. Some of the higher-end wood-burning units qualify as smokeless heat sources because they produce such a small amount of emissions.

Cut Energy Costs

Electricity costs can become a source of stress as they continue to grow. Because of this, fireplaces are becoming a popular source of prime heating within the home. Some of the newer models have the possibility of distributing heat from the appliance through the existing ductwork to warm the entire home.

With the many benefits they offer, having a fireplace that is a sound and safe structure is also very important. Call the office today and learn how TAB Associates can design a fireplace for any home that is both safe and stylish!

5 Benefits of Designing With Wood

The Vail Valley architects at TAB Associates have been at the helm of many incredible wood designs. If you are thinking of designing or upgrading your next property with wood elements, take a look at 5 of the top benefits of designing with wood, here:

Infrastructure

Materials that are supposedly stronger than wood actually have a disadvantageous effect to heat. Wood actually dries when heated (not to a burning temperature, of course) and strengthens the infrastructure of your home.

Insulation

If you are building with glass, marble, aluminum or steel, you are working with materials that conduct heat exponentially faster than wood. Conducting heat means more energy leakage and more money spent on heating your home. Wood actually helps you save money in this regard—quite a lot of money over the life of a home.

A Quicker Build

Using wood is cheaper than alternative materials, and the job gets done more quickly as well. Master home manufacturers can erect a 1,000 square foot wooden home in 7 days. If you are looking to save money on labor costs while maintaining the quality of the building, use wood wherever you can.

Wood is Green

For every cubic meter of wood that you use in your construction, you save 0.8 tons of carbon emissions to the environment. Basically, every piece of wood that you are using in your home is helping to save the environment, no matter how small the construction.  Also, it is a renewable resource.  Just plant more forest.

Easily Modified

The different types of wood allow for a great deal of variety in design decisions—you currently have around 5,000 different types to choose from. Wood is also one of the easiest materials to modify once it has been set as the infrastructure of a piece of real estate.

For an architectural firm in Vail Valley that can help perfect your wood designs, call the dedicated experts at TAB Associates. We look forward to helping you create the residence of your dreams!

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.

Why Choosing A Log Home Is The Way To Go

Picture this: A log cabin nestled in a secluded, wooded area with a fire burning area and a breathtaking view just outside the window. Log homes, in recent years, have become less of a dream and more of a reality. More and more people are taking to the idea of building and purchasing log homes. Other than their visual appeal, there are a lot of really beneficial reasons to invest in a log home.

  1. Go Green- There’s no denying that a log home will take the carbon footprint weight right off of your shoulders. Using solid logs to build a home consequently removes the carbon stored inside these trees from the environment and improves air quality. Best of all, wood is a renewable and recyclable resource that can be used time and time again.
  1. Energy Efficient- Wood has a natural component called “thermal mass” as well as the capability to breathe. As a part of the environment, years and years of adaptation have enabled trees to develop these qualities and live as long as possible regardless of the terrain and weather. In the colder months, log homes naturally delay heat transfer through their thermal mass. During the warmer months, the logs are able to breathe and therefore maintain better air quality and circulation.
  1. Durability- Trees have the ability to withstand wind, rain, lightning, freezing temperatures, and dry climates. As they’ve developed sustainable and durable qualities over centuries, log homes will stand longer and stronger over the years. There are even some historical, log homes that are still standing and can be dated back to almost 700 years ago.
  1. Health Conscious- The breathability of log homes create much better air quality within the home, therefore containing less humidity. Less humidity inside the home makes it harder for elements like mold and allergens to grow and multiply. For the people whose allergies tend to get the best of them, a log home can be a great choice as they’ll be less reactive. Plus, less mold growth will decrease the chances of getting sick.

Log homes are growing in both popularity and value as word spreads about their long-lasting benefits. No matter which area of the country you reside, investing in a log home can greatly improve your health, the health of the environment, and the future of both.