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DreamMaker Remodeling Tips

Transitional Style is Top Trend for 2016 Kitchen Remodels

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The National Kitchen & Bath Association announced at its annual conference last week that transitional kitchens are currently the top kitchen design. Trends that the NKBA expects to see in kitchens in 2016 include:

  • Transitional style

  • Gray, white and off-white cabinets

  • Pull-outs, tilt-outs and tilt-ins for storage space

  • Wood flooring

  • Quartz and granite countertops

  • Outdoor kitchens

  • Built-in coffee stations and wet bars

  • Pocket doors

  • Special pet spaces

  • Docking and charging stations

Along with the three most popular kitchen styles -- transitional, traditional and contemporary -- industrial and farmhouse kitchens are becoming favorable. The kitchen designs hold a different charm, but have all proved to be functional.

The NKBA discovered neutral colors are still preferred in kitchens, but using two or more colors has increased since 2015. This includes using multiple colored cabinets or choosing a separate material for the countertop rather than matching the surrounding counter space. By following this trend, people are adding multiple textures and colors that attract attention in the kitchen.

Outdoor kitchens continue to be a growing trend, specifically in the Southeast United States. The outdoor entertainment areas have caught on with those seeking to integrate nature and cooking together.

Not only are homeowners spoiling themselves with their kitchens, but pets are benefitting as well. Special storage space for pet food and toys, feeding stations or under-counter crate areas are often preferred in the pet lovers’ home.

As trends change over time, we are seeing one thing in particular: homeowners are being met with more options to make their kitchens efficient and attractive at the same time. We look forward to seeing the kitchen designs of 2016.

Learn more about Transitional Kitchen styles

Bringing Downton Abbey Home

Bringing Downton Abbey Home

Downton Abbey started its sixth season recently, and its American viewers are decorating “Downton” style more than ever. Downton Abbey, Season 5” by Masterpiece™

The popular BBC television show, Downton Abbey, recently began its sixth season. It first aired in 2010 and after the phenomenon swept across the Atlantic Ocean, Americans soon began to decorate their homes in “Downton fashion.” In this period drama, the audience becomes a voyeur into the life of the Crawley family during the early 1900s.

The setting is a large Jacobethan country home that sits on a 5,000-acre estate. Filmed at Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England, the furnishings reflect a period of grandeur full of sweeping staircases, rich pigment paints, grand dining rooms, ornate furnishings and heritage paintings.

Rather than breaking the bank to achieve the Edwardian style of the aristocracy, here are a few ways to bring Downton (a.k.a. Highclere Castle) home.

Brocade, Jacquard & Damask:

Rugs, ceiling medallions and brocade, and damask wallpaper and fabric patterns relect the "Downton Abbey" style.

Rugs, ceiling medallions and brocade, and damask wallpaper and fabric patterns relect the “Downton Abbey” style.

The brocade, jacquard and damask patterns can be found on wallpapers and fabrics. When using these ornate fabrics, you can make curtains, reupholster furniture or just apply them to home décor accessories such as: table lamps or wall art. They come in numerous patterns, mainly flowers, fruit and other designs, and many different colors. There should be one that works with your color scheme or style.

Molding and Ceiling Medallions:

Don’t leave out your ceilings! A lot can be done to them for a low price. Molding comes in many different styles. They range from simple molding with corner curves to deep, boxy, angular ceilings with rosettes and other carved motifs. To get this same look for a budget, use embossed wallpaper on ceilings installed within an inset formed by a small molding applied to the ceiling 12- 18” from the perimeter walls. Paint the textured wallpaper in a semi-gloss or gloss paint, giving it the effect of formed plaster. Add ceiling medallions to your chandeliers and other surface mount fixtures to create a beautiful effect to an otherwise plain ceiling. By adding creative and artistic patterns to your ceilings, it creates depth and acts as a “rug” for the ceiling. We will get to floor rugs in a bit.

Petite Chandeliers:

Chandeliers come in many different shapes and sizes and will add a grand aesthetic with very little effort. A small one is economical when it comes to creating an Edwardian style within a budget. These miniature chandeliers are perfect for entry ways, on tables and in bathrooms; adding a little sparkle wherever they are placed. They can be found for a decent price in thrift stores, antique malls and other home improvement stores. If your budget allows, go for the big chandeliers. They are breathtaking.

Gold (or any other metallic) Acrylic Paint:

This stuff works miracles when dealing with a budget. Go for an antiqued gold rather than a bright gold because most of the furnishings in Downton are antiques and gilded with gold. Add this to wall sconces, lamp bases, ornate frames and just about anything else to add a little luxury into the décor for pennies on the dollar.

Richly Pigmented Paint:

Choosing colors from the color scheme of Downton is now easier than ever because Kelly Moore has created a line of paint that specifically resembles the colors of Highclere Castle. They range from jewel tones to pastels. If you choose not to buy from that line, choose a paint with a rich pigmented color. Pigment rich color’s characteristics are highly concentrated, bright and rich.

Tassels:

Tassels are an easy way to give a sense of luxury to a room. Use them to wrap up your new brocade, jacquard or damask curtains and hold them back to allow light into your home. They can also be added to pillows, blankets and lamps. Tassels come in a range of sizes and colors that can easily be incorporated into your Edwardian facelift.

Antiques:

When searching for antiques to fit the “Downton” style, go for either French or English ones. Look for paintings that show hunting scenes or a pair of ornately carved, mirrored sconces. Keep an eye out for large mirrors in gilded or dark-stained frames. There are many different pieces that are unique to the Edwardian time period and can be found in antique malls across the nation and world. Who knows what great deals you may stumble upon with a little searching.

Oriental & Persian Rugs:

Oriental and Persian Rugs add wonderful texture and color to any room. They come in a plethora of colors and patterns with patterns of flora and fauna. The rugs come in a multitude of sizes ranging from pillow to very large. The price range varies, and there are lots of places that offer them for a discount. Pick up a runner or average-shaped rugs and place them in a hall or in the living room. The options are limitless.

If you really get in a bind or need creative inspiration, the creators of Downton Abbey just launched their home furnishing line. The prices are reasonable and are perfect to incorporate into your rooms.

Then when you settle in to watch the latest season of Downton Abbey, you can do so in Downton luxury.

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Softer Colors Selected for 2016 Trends

As we prepare to ring in the New Year, Pantone is ringing in new color trends. They will be incorporated into graphic design, fashion, interior design and so much more.

Rose Quartz and Serenity are Pantone's Color of the Year for 2016.

Rose Quartz and Serenity are Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2016.

The two colors chosen were a pastel blue named “Serenity” and a light pink named “Rose Quartz.” You can see them in the image to the left. This is the first time in history that Pantone has released two colors for Color of the Year.

These colors were chosen because “joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness, as well as a soothing sense of order and peace,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute said in the statement.

This is Benjamin Moore's color palette for 2016 .

This is Benjamin Moore’s color palette for 2016 featuring “Simply White” as its top color for the new year.

They perfectly accent Benjamin Moore’s 2016 Color of the Year, “Simply White.” In the color palette (right ) that they chose to go with their “Simply White” paint color, they have included a soft pink that resembles “Rose Quartz” (Cream Puff) and “Serenity” (Morning Sky Blue).

“People are ready for softer colors. They are moving away from the strong bold colors and geometric patterns that have been popular over the past few years. There is a return to comfort and innocence,” Los Angeles interior designer Timothy Corrigan told the L.A. Times.

In fact, these two colors already were popular together on the runway at shows such as Chanel, Fendi, Prada, Thom Browne, Richard James and Roberto Cavalli in their 2016 collections shown earlier this year.

Make sure to include these colors or shades of them in your house as you are thinking about renovating and updating your spaces and closet!

Make a Room Smile

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Lighting plays an important part in making this kitchen remodel a bright and cheery place.

Personality is what lights up a room, a conversation and a situation. In the same way, light fixtures have a way of adding personality to a room. My grandmother once told me the more lights I can turn on in a room, the merrier it will become. We all contribute our own energies in particular situations but allowing more physical light to shine in a room has a special way of lifting the mood. Today’s homeowners have even more options when it comes to lighting. If you’re searching for a new light fixture, consider the qualities that might suit your home:

  • Color — If the shade of the fixture has a bright color, the piece will stand out from the rest of the room. The same goes for colorless shades; adding a shade that doesn’t make a loud statement will create an effortless appearance.
  • Shape — The shape of the fixture says something different ranging from simple to complex.
  • Size –A light fixture is a vital part of any room, rather it is built in (like can lights in the ceiling) or added as part of the room décor. The light will fill up the room but the amount of space the fixture will take must be considered. For example, choose a hanging fixture as a great way to avoid adding clutter.

The type of fixtures obviously make a difference in the setting the scene of your home. For example, recessed (or can) lighting will light up your room evenly from above and out of sight. Floor lamps project light from only one location. Hanging chandeliers on the other hand project light from one location as well but add character to a space. A small lamp in the bathroom casts a warm glow over the small room and doubles as a night light. Table lamps are great options for living rooms, office desks or even front entryways. Lighting under cabinets certainly add personality with a way to showcase items in your kitchen.

Make your own statement with lighting. Ask yourself how you would like to feel when you come home and how the lighting will affect the overall ambiance of your home.

Faith, Family and Food: A Kitchen’s Rise from the Ashes

Sunday represents three things for me: faith, family and food. After church, we trek back to my grandparents’ home to dine on southern fried chicken and hold conversations ranging from politics to family anecdotes to the latest gossip in the entertainment world. This simple tradition holds a very special place in my heart and is sacred to me.

Remodeled kitchen

Author’s grandfather begins preparations for a family gathering. in his newly remodeled kitchen.

My grandparents’ kitchen is a place of gathering and fellowship. The six (and sometimes 10) of us do our specific jobs in preparing the food and the 8-foot dining room table. After we gather around the island for prayer and have served ourselves enough food to last for weeks, we make a mad dash to our self-assigned seats to begin eating and enjoying each other’s company.

Ten years before this, the story was very different and the tradition nearly died off. My grandparents’ home caught fire when lightning struck a nearby oak tree, and the flames jumped to the roof. They were displaced from their home, our place of fellowship. After the remodel, the kitchen reached its full potential and embraced a universal design.

Yes, the fire was heartbreaking and the rebuild was tiring, but the effort and attention to detail was well worth it.

They opened up the kitchen and dining space and added counter space to create more space for cooking. They knocked down walls that separated the breakfast nook from the kitchen and installed a 10-foot granite island that had rounded edges so the grandkids would not hurt themselves if they bumped their heads. Power strips line the underside of the island bar so the kitchen would become a place of gathering for those who are working on projects. The cabinetry is built into the wall and is tucked away to optimize the space for gathering and entertaining. The light switches are 3.5 feet off the ground so grandchildren can reach them. The lower height also will help someone in a wheelchair, making the kitchen truly universal.

In essence, the beautiful, open French-style kitchen that is at the heart of my family’s tradition would not be here if it were not for a tragedy and a wonderful remodel. My grandparents were able to create their dream kitchen from scratch, bringing their family and friends joy and fellowship beyond measure.

Editor’s Note: Hannah Pittman wrote the article above about her grandparents' old kitchen and newly remodeled one.

Mission Possible: Paperless Kitchens

Paperless-Kitchens-iloyal-newsletterDo you find yourself constantly adding “paper towels” to your grocery list? Didn’t you just buy a 12-pack at your local warehouse retail store? Growing up, it would drive my mother insane when we kids would use paper towels. When drying our hands, we’d tear off two or three paper towels from the roll. A spill on the floor? You don’t want to know! She thought buying the smaller cut paper towels would incline us to use fewer; they didn’t. With little hands and big messes, paper towels and napkins are always the first things to go.

Maybe it’s time to ditch the paper products in the kitchen all together! Here are four reasons to go paperless in the kitchen:

  1. Less Cost – Look at your receipts and see just how much you’re spending on paper towels every time you run to the store.
  2. Less Waste – no more using half a roll to clean up a kitchen spill, especially when cloths can be rinsed and reused on the same mess.
  3. Space Saver – stop cramming all those rolls into pantry and cabinet spaces.
  4. Be Green – make yourself, and your family feel better about cutting back on paper products. When cloths get crummy, they make great car wash/outdoor/cleaning rags.

Going Paperless:

First thing first, get the whole house on board. Stop buying paper towels and paper napkins, take the paper towel holder off the counter and make sure the family knows what’s going on. Realistically, you should keep a few rolls of paper towels around for emergencies, but don’t store them in the kitchen. Using cloth napkins with the kids is a simple way to teach dinner etiquette by placing napkins in their laps, instead of crumpling a paper towel on the table. Additionally, add “fold kitchen cloths” to the chore chart.

Gathering Cloths:

  • Cloth napkins – Now you don’t need to break out the five-star restaurant napkins when it’s sloppy joe night. However, cloth napkins come in a variety of sizes and materials for everyday use. Plenty of stores have them on sale, or clearance, especially after a major holiday or in between season. Collect different colors and patterns, mix and match for different color schemes to go with events or your kitchen color pallet. Get creative!
  • Make your own reusable paper towels – Diaper cloth, or Birdseye cloth, can be purchased at any fabric store, and at a reasonable price! Cut the cloth into equal sized pieces, and store in a basket by the kitchen sink to use as hand-drying towels. If you have a seamstress in the family, serge the edges with colorful thread.
  • Separate towels for dish-drying and hand-drying purposes.

Storing Your Cloths:

  • In plain sight – Store clean towels in a decorative kitchen jar: a glass cookie jar, a flour canister Roll them pretty. Not only will they be decorative, but they will spark interest and conversation about your paperless movement.
  • Designate a cloth drawer to store all your cloths. For seasonal decorations, use a plastic storage bin to keep cloths sealed off from dust (and to save space).
  • Used cloth bin – keep a hamper or basket in your pantry or under the sink for used cloths. This will be easy to transport it to the laundry room, and it will be in convenient location.

Speaking of laundry, the idea of doing additional loads may deter you from going paperless. Consider washing all your used cloths together, in one load once a week, or even every two? Developing a process with help with the laundry as well.

Going paperless doesn’t happen overnight, but taking small steps will help the transition. Once you’ve created a system that works for you and your family, it will be a convenient and cost-efficient change that you (and your wallet) will appreciate. And while you may not go completely paperless, every little bit helps!

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May: National Home Improvement Month

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Spring has sprung! Hopefully you’ve completed all that dreaded, but necessary, spring cleaning. Now, it’s time to have some fun! In addition to being National Barbeque Month (which we should all participate), May is also National Home Improvement Month. The sunshine and pleasant weather create the perfect time of year to work on both those interior and exterior projects you’ve been meaning to cross off your checklist.

planning remodel

This year, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) ranks bathrooms and kitchens as the top two remodeling projects of 2015. Everything from refacing cabinets and resurfacing countertops to reconfiguring a space altogether make many homeowners’ wish lists. If your wish list is all in your head, grab a pen and paper and start writing them out. It may be overwhelming at first, but mapping out your projects is a great way to visualize all that you want to do. Take care of the DIY nuisances, like changing the lightbulbs and touching up the marks on the walls. Knock out the small projects – they will add up and make you feel significantly better about your home!

Next, take a look at the bigger projects you may have been avoiding, maybe the ones you promised you’d tackle in the new year, but haven’t quite gotten around to? There’s no time like the present, especially when it’s National Home Improvement Month!

If you’re remodeling, repairing, constructing or landscaping, remember to prioritize your tasks according to safety. If the projects you’ve been putting off pose a risk to your family, visitors or pets, consider completing those first. The best way to ensure safe improvements is to seek assistance from a professional. If you are planning on any large-scale renovations, always consult an expert before attempting to do it yourself.

new house

National Home Improvement Month is about improving the quality of you home. In addition to safety, look to make economically and ecologically sound upgrades. Energy-saving fixtures and appliances reduce your energy use and reduce your monthly bills. Discuss with a remodeler about ways to invest now to save yourself from costly repairs down the road.

Spend some time thinking about the functionality of your kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom and decide where you can make a difference, small or large, to better your home for the upcoming summer. Again, experts like DreamMaker remodelers and designers can help by asking the right questions about what you want and need in your kitchen or bathroom.

Whether it’s something from your “honey-do” list or your must-do list, follow the trend and celebrate National Home Improvement Month this year!

Kitchens Designed with Nature in Mind

Four bedrooms, attached garage, home office…. the list goes on. When creating the perfect home, we begin the list of “must haves.” A staple with many homeowners is the ‘open concept’ kitchen. Open layouts seamlessly connect the kitchen with living and dining areas. They create the illusion of a bigger space, and are practical for families and frequent entertainers alike. The open concept serves as a central activity location, as the kitchen expands into other areas of the home. What’s more, the expansion continues.

couple outsideJust when you thought the open concept couldn’t be any more open, the kitchen has embraced yet another aspect of the home: the backyard. No longer confined to the four walls of the home, “inside-outside” kitchens have created a new opportunity to change the open illusion to an open reality.

Whether your home opens to a field, farm, forest, or fenced-in yard, indoor-outdoor kitchens are functional anywhere. With the use of windows, doors and patios, the kitchen has been redesigned with nature in mind.

Windows and doors are powerful metaphors about access to new opportunities. The opportunity to experience the exterior beauty of your home is even more impressive. Filling walls with glass windows and doors provide a panoramic view of the outdoors, city and country alike. These windows and doors come in many shapes and sizes. Large bay windows optically and physically expand living spaces to the surround yard. When opened, they welcome the beautiful weather and when closed, they provide a picturesque experience to the falling rain or snow. For more interactive kitchens, wall-length accordion glass doors allow customizable exposure to the yard. Doors can be opened, partially or completely, to let sun rays in and let family members come and go as they please.

family outside

When weather conditions are good, but not great, patios are more equipped to accommodate guests. With coverings, outdoor heat lamps, ceiling fans and water misters, outdoor kitchens are proving more useful in months other than May. In some homes, kitchen counters extend from the interior to the exterior without a change in style or countertop. These extended countertops project onto the patio and provide seating and serving space for gatherings and camaraderie.

The open plan layout is accessible, hospitable and practical for many. As homeowners look to remodel older homes into more communal living spaces, keep in mind the additional access that an inside-outside kitchen can provide.

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Creating a Fabulous & Functional Mudroom

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As the adage goes, April showers bring May flowers. They also bring mud, and lots of it. The kids, the dog, and even you can’t help tracking in the muck. If only you had a nifty space to shed the muddy boots and keep your newly spring-cleaned home tidy. Luckily for you, mudrooms are making a comeback. These adorable nooks are a Pinterest staple, but they also serve a very practical purpose.

Some homes have laundry rooms or washrooms as intermediates between the inside and outside of the home. For the home that doesn’t have this convenient feature, a mudroom is a simple and space-conscious solution with many great features.

cubby 2

One perk of the mudroom is it doesn’t have to be a physical ‘room.’ Mudrooms can be crafted from hall closets, crevices and cabinets. They conform to the space you allow, whether it is a floor-to-ceiling wall space or an entire walk-in closet. The size and scope of your mudroom is up to you!

If you’re just looking for a small space, several hooks along the wall will hang a few coats and backpacks with ease.

For more spacious spaces, include benches, bins, cubbies and sinks. A sturdy bench serves as a seat for taking off shoes, and also works as a place to set grocery bags while removing shoes. Benches are available in many materials that match with the interior of your home.

family

Bins can be stowed beneath benches or on added shelves above. Bins can store extra coats, sports equipment, shoes, umbrellas, gloves and mittens, just to name a few.

Be as creative as you like, but don’t forget the functionality. Tile your mudroom with sturdy tile that is also an easy clean – what’s a mudroom without a little mud? Take a look at your entryways, the extra wall space or underused hall closet, and imagine a stylish yet practical space for a mudroom.

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Live Where You Love Long After You Thought

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen Remodeling Allows for “Aging in Place”

Staying independent

This chair lift helps one maintain independence in their own home.

You have heard the pitter-patter of little feet upstairs after bed time. It’s the place you raised your beautiful children. Within these four walls, your boys became men, your girls became women, and your dreams became realities. Now that your children are moving out and starting families of their own, you’ve thought about downsizing, but you just can’t. This is where you want to live the rest of your lives. The place where your grandchildren will come and visit, the place that will continue to host holidays, celebrations, and everyday triumphs. It’s more than just a house. It’s a home. It’s your home.

It’s not time to move. It’s time to remodel!

Aging in Place, or AIP, is an increasing trend among retired adults. It is a style of living that allows for individuals to remain in the same homes with consideration to changing circumstances such as accessibility and mobility. Remodeling living spaces with the addition of products that allow for assisted maneuverability can maintain a comfortable and independent lifestyle for years to come.

The National Association of Home Builders Remodelers partnered with AARP to establish the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) program. These professionals have earned certification through training in construction and design of accessible, yet aesthetic, homes. CAPS professionals vow an ethics code and are required to further their knowledge periodically through educational programs.

With the assistance of CAPS professionals, preparing for the future is easier and more attainable than ever. Many of our DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen franchisees are certified Aging-In-Place Specialists. Our franchisees offer remodeling services to do just that.

In addition to standard full-service home remodeling, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen specializes in an AIP service, which they have named “Independence by Design.” DreamMaker says, “allowing you to perform everyday tasks independently and safely, our home improvements also are adaptable as your needs change, delivering value that truly exceeds the investment.”

Some common Safety and Mobility remodeling projects include:

Entrances and doorways:

  • Minimal steps and inclines.
  • Wider door frames.
  • Keypad locks.

Stairs:

  • Wide steps.
  • Durable hand rails.
  • Chair lifts.

Bathrooms:

  • Grab bars.
  • Zero-barrier walk-in showers.
  • Easily accessible counter tops and cabinets.

For more information on DreamMaker’s aging in place products and services, visit the Safety and Mobility website here.

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