A Look at 3 Popular Colorado Architectural Home Styles

When making major renovations to your home, your architect or interior designer will likely consider the architectural style of your home. Typically, the goal is to infuse a fresh, modern look into the home also to convert existing square footage into more useable space.

Here we explore 3 of the most popular architectural styles in Colorado and a few ideas for a modern home renovation.

Mountain Rustic Homes

This is a native Colorado residential style that incorporates a timber frame and stone to simulate an early Americana home. These homes typically have an idyllic landscape, large open interior spaces, cozy fireplaces, floor to ceiling windows, and wrap-around decks. Also included in this type is a log home.

To update these homes for a more modern look, consider adding a mix of materials and textures like smooth glass space dividers, stainless steel appliances, and modern light fixtures to offset the homespun interiors. This can be done in all but log homes. It is TAB’s philosophy that modernizing a log home is not appropriate.

Mid-Century Modern

This home style gained notoriety from American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and feature an open floor plan and sharp, clean lines. These minimalist interiors include many conveniences such as window seating, built-in seating and wall spaces, along with a modern kitchen.

An interior remodel that is organic will inject nature into the home and soften the crisp lines and hard surfaces. Consider an interior remodel that promotes natural shapes and materials like wood, stone, and brick. Then, contrast with bright color palettes and cozy furnishings, plenty of open views, along with water features and greenery.

Raised Ranch

Built for families and space efficiency, raised ranch homes with a lower story that is slightly below grade are found all across Colorado. These homes feature a low-pitched roofline, an open concept floor plan, and are typically rectangular, “U”, or “L”-shaped.

Update these boxy and sometimes small interiors by adding charm and detail. Interior crown molding, a re-worked front entry, wood flooring, lighting coves, and a full kitchen and bath update can bring these 1950s and 1960s into the new millennium.

For more ideas on updating your Colorado architectural home, contact TAB Associates to discover how our architecture, planning and interior design services can create modern spaces within traditional homes.

Tips for Buying and Managing Your First Investment Property

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by Katie Conroy kc@advicemine.com

Investing in real estate can be a great way to ensure your long-term financial security. However, it’s not as simple as signing on the dotted line. You’ll need to make sure that you make a sound investment, maximize your return, and find (and keep) the best tenants possible.

TAB Associates invite you to read on for tips to buy and manage your first investment property successfully.

Assess your liability

Though the potential rewards are high, buying a rental property also involves potential risks – such as delinquent tenants, expensive maintenance, or a declining market. However, you can protect yourself and your assets from these and other risks. One way to do this is by establishing a limited liability company (LLC) for your new business in real estate investment. While lawyers can help you with this, it’s often easier and less expensive to work with an online formation service.

Choose your location wisely

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a location for a profitable rental property. Look for signs that a neighborhood is stable, growing, and not in decline. Talk to local residents to get their impression and check to see if there are any revitalization projects in the works. This could indicate that the area has potential.

You’ll also need to determine whether a property is safe from natural disasters. One way to do this is to request a geotechnical report, which analyzes a property’s risk of landslide, flooding, or earthquake damage. Fire risk is another factor on many people’s minds, so be sure to research the level of fire danger in the summer months.

If the property is low-risk, next determine whether the neighborhood is a desirable place to live. Look for whether your property is close to amenities (such as parks, gyms, restaurants, shops, and cinemas). Access to hiking trails, public transportation, and a good school district are also great signs.

Market your property like a pro

Once you’ve purchased your first investment property, the next step is to market it to potential tenants. Some ways to do this are through websites with direct listings, on-site signage, working with local realtors, and advertising in local publications. Be sure to emphasize your property’s most attractive features, such as a stunning view, easy access to amenities, or great indoor-outdoor flow.

Another way to ensure that you attract potential tenants is to improve your property’s curb appeal – its ability to make a positive first impression from the sidewalk. You can easily do this with quality landscaping, general tidiness, a fresh coat of paint, and fun touches like flowers or attractive outdoor seating. Next, consider hiring a professional photographer to take a stunning curbside photo.

Embrace your role as a landlord

Once you own a rental property, you are your tenants’ main point of contact if any issues arise with the property. Although you can always hire a property manager, this could eat into your profits early on. It may be time to familiarize yourself with the tools of the landlord trade and brush up on your DIY home repair skills. Once you’re more established, you can always put together a team of reliable handypeople, cleaners, and contractors.

Although real estate investment is often referred to as passive income, initially you will need to be anything but passive. You’ll be in charge of managing the tenants, the property itself, and the finances. Once you have good systems in place and things are running smoothly, you can take a step back and enjoy the extra income that the property provides.

Are you unsure about the next steps for your investment property? For information about architecture, planning, construction, and professional interior design, contact TAB Associates today.

3 Interior Upgrades That Make a Big Impression

Now that you’re spending more time at home, it makes sense to make your home as beautiful as possible. It’s also just nice to make areas of your home “pop” with freshness. No matter what the reason, here are some interior upgrade ideas from your friends at TAB Associates that will make the rooms in your home feel special and new.

1. Create an Accent Wall

An accent wall is just one wall in a room that is unique from the other three walls. You make an accent wall by decorating it in a different style. You can accomplish this by painting it a different color, applying wallpaper or by doing things like hanging a collection of wall art or an assortment of small, decorative shelving. Just a small touch like this is easy to accomplish in one day but makes a big impression.

2. Frame a Fireplace

Your fireplace is probably a central location for your family, where everyone gathers for conversation and entertainment. Why not make it a hub for fun by framing it with matching shelving on each side? Your shelves could reach from the floor to the mantle or all the way to the ceiling. To hide clutter, consider installing shelving that has cupboards on the bottom half. This is where you could store board games and other toys for youngsters. Display attractive books and framed pictures on upper shelves.

3. Install Custom Cabinetry

At TAB Associates, we’re always excited to help with your interior design projects. Whether it’s designing and installing custom cabinetry or revamping the cabinetry you already have. Custom cabinetry ensures that you are able to get the most storage space out of every inch of your home. Custom cabinetry can fit any area of your home where you need it, including beneath stairs, over washer and dryer units, etc.

When you’re ready to add interior upgrades or incorporate new ideas into your home, contact TAB Associates for inspiration and help.

What Is Architectural Balance?

The architecture of a building shows a lot about both its planning as well as its construction. When a building is architecturally balanced, it is not only pleasing to the eye but also structurally solid. If you plan on having a home or Commercial building built, you will want to choose an architecture firm that has a reputation for designing buildings that are properly balanced in many different ways.

What Is Architectural Balance?

Architectural balance means that a building was designed so that all of its components are equally balanced. In most cases, that may mean its mass, it can also include other factors such as lighting, windows, and other important aspects. Symmetry can be essential when planning a building. Whether it has a mirrored look or an the mass is adjusted to maintain balance on either side, balance is a necessity. Sometimes asymmetry is the desired look, but even that should have balance.

Why Is Balance so Important?

As humans, we thrive on balance. We require balance to stand upright and function in various capacities. Because of our need for physical balance, we look for balance in the world around us as well. When architects plan a building and start the design process, one of the first things they do is strive to achieve the perfect balance. When it comes to construction, balance is often a stabilizer making the house or building more structurally sound.

Choosing the Right Architectural Firm in Vail Valley, Colorado or western North Carolina

We provide

– Balance in design,

– Balance between design and program,

– Balance between design and construction,

– Balance between construction cost and budget.

If you are looking for a reputable Vail Valley or western North Carolina architect, TAB Associates are well-known throughout the Vail Valley Colorado area. If you want a firm that prides itself on architectural balance, the staff of TAB Associates have the skills you are looking for. Take a few minutes and get the answers you need to make an informed decision. When you want balance, go to the professionals who are available to make it happen!

Custom Built-Ins Make the Most of Your Space

No matter what size your home is, storage space is always at a premium. As your family grows, storage becomes even more important. At TAB Associates, we leverage the functionality of built-ins to optimize the storage potential of every part of your home.

Seating Area Built-ins

Imagine an inviting built-in seating area in front of one of the coziest places in your home; the picture window. A lounging and seating area on top of a bench-style built-in that not only opens up on top with a piano hinge, but also has two or three shallow drawers to hold your favorite blanket. And how about flanking the window with a set of shelves to hold your favorite reading materials.

Bedding Built-ins

Platform beds can be improved with deep drawers built in beneath the platform to hold blankets and extra sheets and pillows.

Dividing Wall Built-ins

Dividing walls can do more than define living areas. They are also full of storage potential. Consider a dividing wall with two columns on either side of a cabinet-level divider. The columns themselves could consist of three or four drawers on the bottom half, with lighted, glass door-encased shelving on the top half to showcase family heirlooms or rare collectibles. The middle divider can act as a buffet, with drawers and cabinets on one side, such as facing into the dining room. You could even customize the drawers with dividers and felt lining to nestle your family’s best silverware.

Awkward Space Built-ins

Even the best homes have awkward spaces where you’re not sure what to do with them. These are ideal for custom built-ins. Do you have a small nook with a slanted ceiling in the bathroom? A custom built-in converts it into the perfect spot to store bath towels. Is there unused space on one side of your fireplace? Why not design for a built-in bookcase to house a book collection or to display family photos?

Hallway Built-ins

Does your entry way lack a coat closet? Instead of placing a piece of furniture such as a coat tree and bench, you can easily remedy the situation by installing a custom built-in deep enough to accommodate coat hooks, umbrellas and boots.

Custom built-ins ensure that every square inch of your home is put to good use. To get more built-in inspiration, please contact TAB Associates today.

How Architectural Floor Plans Can Reinforce Feng Shui Principles

You may not realize it, but your Colorado home may already embody some key principles of Feng Shui that are found in architecture. Feng Shui is a Chinese concept that translates into “wind-water” in English. This ancient belief system is built on the foundation that harmony between spiritual forces can be attained by the positioning of structures or objects in our environment.

And these principles of Chi are not so far off from how architects build environments that have positive effects on its occupants. This is done by architectural design and can be as simple as the placement of a door, the positioning of windows, or the square footage allotted for areas of work versus areas of rest and contemplation.

Feng Shui Principles of Architecture

Physical Symmetry

Architectural balance is highly stressed in Feng shui architecture. A natural symmetry is found when the left side is a mirror image of the right side, with the entrance closely set at a center point. But sometimes that symmetry can be found in the interior spaces where the rooms on one side of the home are a mirror image of those on the other side. Of course, some homes are purposely designed to be asymmetrical. That is, the house will have different visual images on either side of the design.

Natural Ventilation and Daylighting

Comfort is key in a Feng Shui styled home. Large windows or window collections supply an abundance of natural lighting and the option for outdoor air to flow freely throughout the home. Less emphasis is placed on using air conditioning, and more emphasis is placed on designing the home to catch a maximum breeze throughout the day.

Orderly Spaces Without Clutter

The best foundation for a home that embodies Feng Shui principles is one with lots of storage space. Neat and orderly spaces add to the positive vibrations of the home. This can be accomplished with large closets and plenty of hidden storage space or by using secondary storage solutions such as baskets, shelving, and under-the-bed bins. The goal is to have a place for everything so the home can appear clutter free.

South-east Facing Beds

To harmonize the process of sleeping and waking, your bed should be faced in the right direction. Facing southward as much as possible is said to attract opposite poles while you sleep. This principle is thought to be mostly anecdotal because in China the climate enjoys warm winds from the south. Better principles from Feng Shui for sleeping include not sleeping near a door or with your head near a window.

For the best in architectural and interior design services, contact TAB Associates Vail Valley and Western North Carolina Architects to learn how great design leads to good living.

Is a Retrofit Right for You?

A retrofit can be a great way to improve an older home, adding amenities and custom features that increase everything from its resale value to its functionality. However, in some cases, it might actually be better to choose the new construction avenue, especially if the structure is energy deficient. We’ll look at the major factors to consider and how to approach the problem should you decide a retrofit is right for you.

Why Retrofits Are Popular

For the most part, you’re usually better off choosing a retrofit. Retrofits tend to give renovators more options because they can work within the existing infrastructure. It’s also the more cost-efficient option because it doesn’t require extensive replacement of the available systems.

Costs and Maintenance

Before you decide whether a retrofit is right for you though, you need to consider what it would take to bring the property up to code. Single-family homes are typically straightforward, but if you owned a duplex or larger property, the cost comparison might be closer than you think. If the structure needs a lot of work to meet modern-day standards, the process of retrofitting is potentially more expensive than starting from scratch. In addition, keep in mind that if you retrofit one area, such as the kitchen, it might make maintenance more expensive for the rest of the home.

Vail Valley and Western North Carolina Architects

If you’re searching for an architectural firm in Vail Valley or western North Carolina, it’s likely because you have a relatively big project to take on. Experts recommend approaching it one step at a time to get a sense of how each retrofit is benefitting the entire property. It helps to find someone who can take a closer look at the building and devise a plan for it. If you need help deciding where and how to retrofit your home, call TAB Associates today. Whether you need a more modern kitchen or a total redo, we’re here to find the best path forward.

Eco-Friendly Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Your bathroom is one of the main areas of your home that boosts its value overall, so it’s good to make updates to it from time to time. If you’ve been thinking of doing a bathroom remodel, making a few eco-friendly changes could improve your home’s value even more. Keep the following bathroom remodeling ideas in mind for a more eco-friendly home.

Eco-Friendly Fixtures

If you’re planning on replacing the plumbing fixtures in your bathroom, such as your toilet, choose ones that are environmentally friendly. Consider getting a toilet that uses a much lower amount of water for flushing, which helps cut down on your household’s water usage. You can also look into getting a dual flush toilet that gives you the option to choose a lower or heavier setting for water flow. For sinks, consider getting low-flow faucets. These fixtures use considerably less water than standard faucets. We do not suggest using low flow shower heads because you will not enjoy your showering experience.

Energy-Efficient Lighting

If your bathroom remodeling plans include upgrading your lighting, make the switch to energy-efficient lights. LED lighting fixtures for bathrooms provide plenty of light while also reducing the amount of energy you use. Another option is to have motion-sensor bathroom lights installed that turn on when you enter the room and shut off when you leave. Proper placement of these motion-sensor switches is imperative or you will have the lighting going off while you are still using the bathroom. Energy-efficient bathroom lights are available in a wide range of styles, including overhead lights and wall sconce lights.

Sustainable Flooring

If you’re thinking of having a new floor put into your bathroom, consider sustainable materials rather than traditional ones. Bamboo and hardwood that are responsibly sourced are a couple of options to consider. If you prefer something other than wood for your bathroom due to moisture concerns, look into other sustainable options, such as ceramic tiles.

If you’re interested in making changes or upgrades to your bathroom, please contact our Vail Valley and western North Carolina architects for more information. We can help you get started on your bathroom remodeling project.

Quick Curb Appeal Tips for Sellers

Getting your house up on the market can be a stressful process. Moving into your newly built TAB Associates home is exciting, but the uncertainty of selling your old property can drive you crazy. Fortunately, you can give yourself an advantage by making sure your home has a ton of curb appeal. Here’s a look at why it matters, and how to catch buyers’ eyes:

What is Curb Appeal?

And how much of a difference can a first impression make?

  • Simply put, curb appeal is how attractive your property is from the sidewalk.
  • Since most online listings start with a curbside photo, it can make or break your buyer interest.
  • Moreover, higher curb appeal can raise your property value significantly.

Lawnscaping

Curb appeal often comes down to great landscaping:

Facade DIYs

These projects are easy to tackle and make a big difference:

As a seller, you want buyers enamored with your property from the very first look. Curb appeal gives buyers the first impression you want. Keep these resources on hand so you can make sure you nail it.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

By Emma Croft

emma.croft@getgardening.info