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.

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.


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

The Benefits of Better Architectural Balance

Architectural balance refers to the features of a structure and how they relate to one another. For some buildings, that might mean creating total symmetry. For others, the balance is found in an asymmetry that still manages to achieve cohesion. We’ll look at the benefits of this approach and how it contributes to homes that people can’t wait to enter.

Highlights Your Attention

With better architectural balance, your eye is drawn toward the best parts of the home. While you might be taking in the whole of the building, especially in the case of one that’s symmetrical, your attention might be pulled toward the bright door or interesting design of the roof. These details are excellent for leaving a lasting impression. Instead of diminishing the rest of the building, the key details manage to elevate it.

Stirs Interest

Some homes are easy to pass us by, while others cause us to pause and look at the structure. These moments are brought upon by the lines, shapes, and harmony the property manages to strike. Even those without an eye for architecture will be fascinated by the rhythm of the building. From the sequences to continuity, talented architects are known to play with shapes in such a way that will give people a sight to absorb rather than avoid.

Adds Character

The character of a home has a lot to do with its curb appeal, which is why architectural balance can play such an important role in building; not just a single home but whole communities. The more personality a building has, the more likely it is to withstand the test of time.

If you’re looking for someone who will make architectural balance a priority, Vail Valley and Western North Carolina architects are available to help you get the look you want. TAB Associates provides a number of interior design and architectural services to residents of Vail Valley and Western North Carolina, so give us a call today!

3 Smart Ways To Make Your Bedroom Look Bigger

Homeowners leave no stone unturned when it comes to interior design that could make a space look bigger, especially a bedroom. If you, too, are on the hunt for some smart bedroom designs, then you have reached your destination! Here, we have revealed a few secrets that deftly fool the eyes and make a room appear spacious and splendid than it actually is. Read them below!

Continue reading 3 Smart Ways To Make Your Bedroom Look Bigger

Establishing the Perfect Indoor Lighting for Your Home

Architects in Vail Valley and Western North Carolina know that lighting should complement the interior of the home and its overall design. However, the task of providing adequate illumination for task fulfillment while maintaining ambient mood lighting is a task best left to the professionals. With a keen sense of scale and size, the experts offer these tips for establishing lighting that truly defines the space and brings balance to the setting.

Designing Each Room with Lighting in Mind

Your Vail Valley, Colorado and Western North Carolina architectural firm is likely to sit down with you for a discussion about your lifestyle and day-to-day needs. This helps them ideate each room with your vision in mind while making sure the lighting is adequate.

For relaxing zones like a living room one might choose adjustable lighting or multiple sources to suit any situation while opting for skylights that bring natural brilliance in during the daytime. Spreading the light around makes the difference, so make the light count!

Let the Focal Points Shine

Homeowners who want to draw guests’ eye to certain focal points in the home should talk to their home design team about establishing lighting to achieve the final goal. In a living room or hallway, picture display lights on walls, drop down pendants or angled recessed lighting can put just the right light on every situation. Special art lighting can illuminate the art and nothing else, visually popping it off the wall.

Customize Lighting Controls

Thanks to the innovations amid technology, we have more control than ever before over what is happening in our homes—even when we aren’t there. Dimmers, motion detectors and other settings for lights can be customized to activate when you want them to via an app if you invest in ‘smart’ lighting. These often connect to the home’s security system, so integration during construction is ideal, and that’s a task your Vail Valley and Western North Carolina architects will be happy to include in the design plans!

Let the Experts Ensure Lighting Success

When you have the professionals at Vail Valley and Western North Carolina architects at TAB Associates on your design team, you’ll always have a clear vision of where your construction project is headed. Reach out to us today for more information!

What to Look for in an Architectural Firm

Vail Valley and the Smokies are a great place for new construction. Whether you want the most beautiful new home imaginable or you’re investing in something commercial, these are regions where opportunity is vast. In order to make your project a success, you’re going to need help, and that means investigating architectural firms. There are several points you want to consider in your search. Great firms will have a focal point, such as an architectural balance, but all of those considerations come after the big three.

The Portfolio of Past Success

This is the obvious place to start. A firm’s portfolio allows you to look directly at the work they have already done. You can judge for yourself how you like the designs and decisions made. Are you a fan of the aesthetic? Is there anything that captures and holds your attention? Do the designs fulfill practical needs? When you ask these questions while browsing a firm’s portfolio, you can quickly decide if you want to work with them or not.

The Architects Doing the Designs

It might seem redundant, but you need to see that the architects who did the work you like are available for your project. A firm can commit to principles of architectural balance and provide consistency, but the work is ultimately done by an architect — not the whole firm. If there is someone you like, you have to fight to make sure they are running your project.

The Contractors Working With Your Architect

Ultimately, architects don’t build anything. That’s the work of contractors. Most architecture firms have preferred contractors, but it is smart for you to investigate them. You can get an idea of how often they are on schedule and within budget. If you really want to know how a build will go, this is the most important point to check.

Since you’re looking for Vail Valley and Smokies architects, contact TAB Associates Inc.! We’ll discuss your plans and help you design something amazing.

What You Should and Shouldn’t Do When Dealing with Major Home Repairs


Dealing with a major home issue is rarely fun. Whether it’s a leaky pipe or a broken window, emergency home repairs can put a real strain on your time, your energy, and your wallet. You can keep yourself from getting overwhelmed, however, by being prepared to ask yourself these crucial home repair questions.

Should You Invest in Repairs or Start Over?

If your house is in need of serious repairs, it may be better to think about looking for a home that will better fit your needs and lifestyle. Now, you could always hire home builders to create a custom house so that you get everything you want without also paying for anything you don’t really need. It may be worth speaking with local builders to determine if you should consider building a new home rather than investing any more time or money into major repairs.

As you talk with builders, it may also be worthwhile to ask about more involved remodeling projects that they may be able to help with, such as adding a room to your home. This is an extensive undertaking, but it could be a practical solution if your home is too small for your current or future needs, and if you have the budget to pay for such a major improvement. Working with a realtor to find a new home can also be a smart move if your current home is in poor condition. Just keep in mind that selling a home that needs extensive work can involve many more challenges, so take some time to research and weigh your options.

Should You Use Credit Cards to Cover Repairs? 

When you’re faced with a major home repair, your first priority is going to be getting the issue fixed, but that means coming up with a way to pay for unexpected expenses. If you currently have a credit card with low interest rates, then this could indeed be your best bet for taking care of emergency home repair expenses, and if you need to apply for a new card, looking for low interest rates is a wise move. Many cards even offer 0 percent interest grace periods to new customers, but only use these offers if you are certain you can pay off the balance before time is up. If you prefer not to use credit cards to finance your home repairs, you can also research your loan options. Loans for home repairs will likely fall into one of three categories: personal loans, home equity loans or home equity lines of credit. Understanding the differences between each is essential to finding interest rates, lending terms, and repayment plans that work for you.

Should You Hire Licensed Professionals or Try to DIY? 

When cost and time are an issue, you may be tempted to take care of major home repairs on your own. If you have the right tools and enough patience, triaging unexpected repairs can be a good way to prevent further damage until you can call a contractor, but most major repairs should be left up to licensed professionals. Aside from the risk for personal injury and property damage, attempting to take care of highly involved home repairs, such as replacing plumbing or working on electrical systems, could also result in homeowners’ insurance if you have future issues. You could also end up financially liable for any damages or injuries, so proceed with caution with any DIY home repairs or maintenance. In most cases, you are much better off using one of the financial tools above to help out with the costs of hiring reliable contractors. After dealing with your major home repair, you should also think seriously about ways to start an emergency fund, to help out with any future unexpected issues.

Knowing what to do and where to turn when an emergency home repair pops up can save you so much stress and time. Plus, understanding your funding options can help save you from putting out too much cash for unexpected repairs. So be proactive and plan for repairs and repair costs before they have a chance to happen!

5 Things to Consider When Designing a Small Kitchen

Everyone knows that the kitchen is the heart of every home, and in many ways, this is true. It’s not only where you create nourishing meals — it’s also where the family gathers to share food and stories. That can be quite the challenge for smaller homes, given the limited amount of space. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible as long as you keep these things in mind when designing a small kitchen:

Opt for a minimalist look

While design is very important to making a space feel completely your own, it’s best not to go overboard with ideas. Stick with a Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic with clean and simple lines to make the room look bigger than it actually is. The Spruce points out that you can also enlarge a room with the right paint, specifically those that come in lighter colors. But make sure to stick to one color to create an illusion of continuity. And to make a room even more spacious, place windows to let the natural light in. Another idea is to use mirrors for your splash back to add depth.

Think of the kitchen work triangle

Functional beats stylish given that you don’t have a lot of room to work with. Going back to the Scandinavian concept, everything in the kitchen should serve its purpose. Think of the kitchen work triangle, for instance, which refers to the sink, stove, and refrigerator. It’s best to keep these areas close together — which shouldn’t be hard for a smaller space — so you can create a more efficient workflow. Make sure that they are not disjointed. TAB Associates can help you layout your kitchen and show it to you in 3D, which you can later show your contractor. This kind of careful planning is crucial for smaller spaces so that you can really maximize what you’re given.

Work around appliances

Designing around your appliances, which you should already have an idea of at this point, is a great way to increase practicality. These are called integrated appliances, and they match the overall aesthetic while making sure that there’s no wasted space. The dimensions of your fridge and dishwasher, for instance, are important factors to consider. This is why rice cooker review platform We Know Rice highlights the value of multi-functional appliances, as these tools don’t just do the job of several different appliances, but they also save precious countertop space. It means you won’t have to sacrifice anything in your cooking as long as you select gadgets that serve more than one purpose.

Build adequate storage

Smart storage solutions can make your kitchen more organized and efficient. For limited spaces, House Beautiful recommends open shelving over closed cabinetry to really maximize the space. This is perfect for storing your pantry staples in clear jars, too, so you can easily see the supplies that need to be replenished. If you do have enclosed kitchen storage, consider installing pull-out cabinet shelves. These added storage solutions can be the key to a clutter-free kitchen.

Consult a professional

Your kitchen might be small, but designing it is not necessarily an easy task. Even a kitchen this size comes at a cost, especially if you want a sleek and functional design. That’s why it’s important to consult with professionals, and luckily for you, TAB Associates is in the business of creating expert designs that are well worth the investment.

Written exclusively for

by Paige Hudson

NRA Whittington 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 knowledge through history that will continue 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 decades 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 into 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. It will also allow for an expansion of the current pro shop store, as well as give 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.

Meet Our Team – Luis Vazquez

Hello, my name is Luis Vazquez. I was born in Mexico City however, my family and I immigrated to the U.S. when I was only two years old in 1997. I grew up in Denver, Colorado and would eventually leave to pursue a degree in architecture at the University of Arizona.

I was first really introduced to architecture through a high school internship program, in which I built models for a local Denver firm. Despite my limited involvement, I learned a lot and saw the kinds of things that happened on a day to day basis in an architecture firm. I was hooked and I knew this was the field that I would pursue.

During my time spent in Tucson studying I would find myself thinking not only about the people I left behind in Colorado but the state itself. I missed the mountains and experiencing all four seasons in one day. I would often go camping or hiking, and I missed the people that I had left behind. It became clear to me that I would return to live and work in Colorado.

Returning home from college I took some time off to reconnect with friends and family. The job search commenced and I was offered a position at TAB associates and it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up especially once I saw how beautiful the valley is. Outside of work I enjoy cooking, reading, video games, drawing, and jamming out on guitar with friends along with the usual outdoor activities that being in Colorado offers someone.

Now moving forward I’m working on my getting my architecture license and learning as much as I can. My hope is to one day redesign the house that I grew up in which my parents still own as well becoming a capable architect in my own right. I see myself in Colorado for the long run however, I’m always open to whatever the future holds.