6 Kitchen Trends that Have Serious Staying Power

Kitchen trends come and go, and what is popular one year is way down on the list one or two years later. That reason alone is why it is so difficult to determine if a trend is worth embracing or if it is better to choose something that has been around forever. Truly timeless kitchen trends include kitchen design ideas that add to the aesthetic appeal or the functionality of the kitchen. Here are 6 kitchen trends that have serious staying power:

  • Quartz Countertops: For years, people chose granite for their kitchen countertops, but we recommend that you choose quartz when it is time to make a change. Quartz is just as durable as granite, yet it does not require as much maintenance and care.
  • Open Layouts: Open layouts are here to stay, because spending time with family and friends is on the top of everyone’s list. After all, no one wants to be banished to the kitchen to prepare a meal and miss out on all the fun everyone is having in the other room!
  • Unique Ceilings: You will not need to have boring ceilings in your kitchen anymore, because there are plenty of options available that involve more than a coat of paint. Beams, shallow coffers, and molding can add design and visual appeal to any space.
  • Conceal Appliances: Appliances can be concealed in more than an appliance garage. It is now possible to place a refrigerator, dishwasher, and other appliances behind paneling that looks the same as your cabinets. This will keep the flow of your kitchen seamless, while adding visual appeal.
  • White: A white kitchen will never go out of style, so if you are having a difficult time choosing a color, we recommend that you choose white. It matches everything and over time, you can change the look with additional pops of color.
  • Deep Drawers: Deep drawers are replacing cabinets in many kitchens nowadays and they are wonderful for dishes, pots, pans, and more. They add an element of accessibility to your kitchen and can be customized to fit your needs.

These kitchen trends will never go out of style and they are guaranteed to work well for your needs far into the future. As always, weigh the functionality against the style. Never choose style over functionality simply for the sake of style. Functionality can always be made to be stylish. Call us at 602-478-5102 if you’re in Phoenix or the surrounding areas and would like to discuss remodeling your kitchen with us.

5 Features Every Elegant Bathroom Needs

An elegant bathroom is much more than a marble shower, fancy toilet, and floating vanity. Many other features have the ability to add to your bathroom so that it looks and feels elegant and luxurious. All you have to do is dream it, show us what you want, and we’ll help make it a reality.

Here are 5 features that every elegant bathroom needs:

  1. Curbless Shower: A curbless shower does not take away any of the space inside your bathroom and will instead keep the space looking and feeling large and open. These showers can be surrounded by glass or you can create them to be completely open with the floors flowing seamlessly from the shower to the rest of the room.
  2. Soaking Tub: If you are the type of person who loves to soak in a tub at the end of a long day, then consider installing a fabulous soaking tub in your bathroom. This tub can become a focal point of the room if you wish, especially if you install a sculptured freestanding one.
  3. Multiple Showerheads: Multiple showerheads offer the ultimate in both water flow and relaxation. A beautiful fast flowing rain shower head can be accompanied with a handheld showerhead and will turn your bathroom into a magnificent spa.
  4. Steam Showers and Aromatherapy: Steam showers are becoming more popular, because they provide the luxurious feel of having an amazing spa or steam room in your home. Adding aromatherapy to the steam will only enhance this experience and you can choose which scents will work best for you, whether you are trying to wake up or calm down.
  5. Chromotherapy: Therapeutic features are more than steam, water, and aromatherapy. Chromotherapy is the latest feature that many people are enjoying. This feature floods the room with light and color to help you relax, wake up, or calm down, depending on your specific needs.

Chromotherapy adjusts our body’s vibrations to frequencies using colors to promote health and inner harmony. Most people are familiar with the winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD sufferers often find relief with light therapy; this is the very basic idea behind chromotherapy.

These features will make your bathroom look and feel more like a spa and we guarantee that you will want to spend quite a bit more time in the space. This is a wonderful thing, because it will allow you to utilize the me time that you normally do not take advantage of. Call us at 602-478-5102 if you’re in Phoenix or the surrounding areas and would like to discuss remodeling your bathroom with us.

Choose the Best Flooring for Your Remodeled Bathroom

If you are in the process of planning your bathroom remodel, you know that there are many decisions that you have to make. You need to decide where everything will be going in the space. What material will you be using on the shower walls and bathroom walls? You’ll need to choose a vanity, lighting, and so much more. Many homeowners tell us that the options are overwhelming. It’s okay to feel that way; we understand. We’ll help you make those difficult decisions, including the flooring.

Here are 4 of the best flooring options for your remodeled bathroom:

  1. Porcelain Tiles – There are many different types of ceramic tiles available and porcelain is the best one for bathrooms, because it has a water absorption rate of less than half of a percent. These tiles can give your bathroom floor a textured look, yet they will not be ruined by the continuous flow of water that makes its way to your floor. The tiles are available is almost every color imaginable and you can even find ones that look like wood or stone.
  2. Engineered Wood – Wood floors are normally not a good option for bathrooms, because of the water and moisture that is always present. However, engineered wood has a plywood base that holds up to all that moisture. The added bonus is that the top layer of the engineered wood is real wood and that will make your bathroom look amazing.
  3. Vinyl – This is not a high-end choice for flooring, but it is durable and easy to install. Vinyl is also available in sheets, planks, and tiles, so you can create a unique look in this space. There are thousands of options available when it comes to colors and designs, which makes it perfect for matching anything else that you choose.
  4. Natural Stone – A natural stone floor is going to cost a little more money, but the finished result is fabulous. We do recommend that if you choose stone, that you purchase textured stone or have it sandblasted, because it gets very slippery when it is wet.

You will remodel your bathroom according to your individual style, so you will need to choose the flooring that will match not only your style, but everything else that you have chosen. You will also need to work within your budget, so that you do not spend all your money on the floor and have nothing left for the finishing touches in the space. Call us at 602-478-5102 if you’re in Phoenix or the surrounding areas and would like to discuss remodeling your bathroom with us.

4 Appliances Every Newly Remodeled Kitchen Needs

You are finally remodeling your kitchen. How exciting! It is probably long overdue and we bet that you cannot wait until you can get in there and start using all of your new appliances. You will, of course, have to take every appliance on a test drive so to speak as quickly as possible.

Appliances are a critically important feature of your new kitchen and we recommend that you choose them well before the work begins so that they can be incorporated into the space. Today we want to talk about four appliances that are making a serious splash in today’s new kitchens.

Here are 4 appliances every newly remodeled kitchen needs:

  1. French Door Ovens – This type of oven can save you a lot of space in your kitchen, because you do not need to worry if you have enough room to pull the door down to open it all the way. Instead, the doors open just like a side by side refrigerator, which saves space and looks elegant and luxurious. One of the models even allows you to access the oven remotely, so that you can preheat your oven as you are leaving work and headed home.
  2. Microbrewery – Every beer lover will want one of the new countertop microbreweries that is now available. You can choose what type of beer that you want, which means that you can have a light beer one day and a fuller bodied one a couple of days later. You will never need to worry about having to run to the store, because you are out of the beer that you want.
  3. Specialized Refrigerator – There are too many refrigerator choices available nowadays and it can be difficult to choose which one is best for you and your family. Some models have sections that can be used as either a fridge or a freezer, while others have computer screens in the door that allows you to keep track of what you have, play music, leave notes, and much more. One thing is definite with these new refrigerators though – you should have plenty of space for everything that you need and use.
  4. Dual Dishwashers – You may have found yourself wishing that you had more than one dishwasher after that last huge family dinner or when you had friends over for a get together a couple of weeks ago. If you did or you think that it would be a good idea to have more than one, we recommend that you add that second one as you are remodeling. You do not need two of the same dishwashers. You can choose a standard dishwasher like you have always had and then choose a dishwasher drawer for the second one. The dishwasher drawer is a little smaller, easier to load, and is quite energy efficient, which makes it perfect for those little extras.

It can be difficult to choose which appliances you want in your new kitchen, but with a little research and planning, we know that you will make the best decision for your household’s needs. Call us at 602-478-5102 if you’re in Phoenix or the surrounding areas and would like to discuss remodeling your kitchen with us.

Where Should You Splurge when Remodeling Your Kitchen?

 

A kitchen remodeling project can get expensive and it is easy for you to blow your entire budget before you really even get started. However, there are certain things that you should splurge on and others that are not worth the extra expense. We always believe that you should splurge on the cabinets, countertops, lighting, and flooring as the primary four. We will explain why later.

Lists are a wonderful way to choose where to splurge and where to save. Your first list should consist of everything you would like to have in your kitchen. The second list should be a truncated version of that list. This is where you narrow your lists down to must-haves and would-like-to-haves. We will help you find a way to get one or two of the must-haves as long as the price is right.

Here are 5 items that are worth splurging on when you are completing a kitchen remodel:

Cabinets

Your new kitchen cabinets need to be functional and it helps if they last a long time. These are one of the items that you should definitely splurge on. Proper kitchen cabinets will allow you to have the amount of storage that you need while maximizing space. You can choose to work with a cabinet maker and create custom cabinetry or semi-customize the cabinets at your local hardware store.

Countertops

Countertops are one of the top visual elements in a kitchen and you will want to choose yours wisely as it will quickly become a focal point. You will need to choose a material that will work best for you and your family and the most popular choices are granite and quartz.

Lighting

If you have an island or eat in space in your new kitchen, you will want to splurge on the lighting fixtures that go above those places. You want those fixtures to look appealing while creating a focal point.

Flooring

Your kitchen floor will see a lot of traffic as well as some spills, so you need to choose a material that will hold up to all that and clean up easily. A stone tile or concrete floor may be more expensive, but will last longer than vinyl and laminate.

Beverage Cooler

Normally, we don’t recommend splurging on appliances because they are generally replaced every 5 to 7 years anyway. But if you drink wine, beer, soda, and juice boxes, you can free up a lot of space in your refrigerator when you purchase a beverage cooler.

What are Your Thoughts?

We are not saying that you shouldn’t splurge on other items in your new kitchen, but if you are looking at a strict budget, then you should consider splurging on these items. If you still have money left over, then you can decide whether or not that super expensive refrigerator is going to keep your food any colder than a cheaper one or if you will really use all six or eight burners on the stove that you want.

Call Homework Remodels at 602-478-5102 to schedule a consultation with us. We are happy to discuss your remodeling needs and talk about areas to splurge, save, and things that can be cut out of the project from the start. Our goal is to design and build the kitchen you deserve within the budget you can afford.

Take the Confusion out of Kitchen Remodeling Material Choices

 

The materials that are available for your kitchen remodel are magnificent, beautiful, durable, and mostly practical. Those four reasons and what makes it so difficult to choose what materials will work best in your new kitchen.

Countertops

There are almost too many kitchen countertop materials to count and each one is unique and functional in its own way. Granite is the most popular choice amongst many homeowners, but you may decide that you want something different like quartz, concrete, tile, wood, or laminate. Granite and quartz are durable and do not stain easily, plus they are easy to clean.

Tile countertops can crack if something is dropped on them and wood and laminate can get nicked with a knife or other sharp object. Concrete is quite durable and these countertops are not as porous as they used to be.

Lighting

There are lots of lighting options for your kitchen and you will want to choose many of them, because of everything you do in this space. Pendant lights work well over islands, because this is where people eat, do homework, and sometimes even do the prep work for meals. Under the cabinet lighting is perfect for the times when you are prepping meals on the counter. Inside cabinet lighting, floor lighting, and sconces all offer ambient lighting to your kitchen space.

Cabinets

If you do not really love your cabinets, but they are in excellent shape, you can change them to make them more appealing without tearing them all down. You can either repaint or stain your existing cabinets, or you can change out the cabinet doors and hardware for a new look. Glass doors or glazed cabinet doors will highlight the lighting inside and allow the entire room to glow.

Flooring

A lighter color floor will make your remodeled kitchen look much bigger, so if your kitchen is on the smaller side, you may want to take this into consideration. Vinyl is one of the most popular kitchen floor choices, because it is easy to install and even easier to keep clean and maintain. Laminate floors are nice, because they are easy to clean and you do not need to worry about things getting spilled on them like you would real hardwood.

Tile is available in many colors and designs and look fabulous in kitchens, but it can chip and crack over time. Tile is also not too forgiving to anything that is dropped on it, so you may find that you have more broken dishes and glasses if you install tile flooring.

These are the main items that you will find yourself choosing the perfect material for, but depending on how large your remodel is and how much you are changing in the space, you may find yourself making even more decisions. We recommend that you make your decisions before you begin your remodeling project, so that you do not have any delays or spend money that you were not planning on.

Call Homework Remodels at 602-478-5102 to schedule a consultation with us. We are happy to discuss your remodeling needs and talk about the variety of materials available to you. Our goal is to design and build the kitchen you deserve within the budget you can afford.

Splurge on These 4 Items in Your Remodeled Kitchen

You are finally taking the time to remodel your kitchen, which is great news, but did you know that there are certain items that you should splurge on? These items can make the time you spend in your kitchen easier, plus add additional value to your new space.

Here are 4 items that you should splurge on in your newly remodeled kitchen:

Spectacular Kitchen Cabinets

We are not saying that you need to spend the money on custom cabinets for your entire kitchen, but there are things that you can splurge on when it comes to your new cabinets. A Lazy Susan is a great addition to any kitchen and it will make it easier for you to access items that are inside that cabinet. Another great option for your cabinets is to install crown molding along the top to add architectural style to the space.

Beverage cooler

If you are a beer or wine lover, then you may want to consider installing a wine cooler or beverage cooler in your new kitchen. This cooler will free up space in your refrigerator or if you store these items in another space in your home, you will no longer need to leave your kitchen to grab a drink. These coolers can also hold soda, juice boxes, and more, which is perfect for when you are entertaining.

Countertops

Countertops can be made from many different materials, but your best option is granite. Granite is durable and it is easy to keep clean. Since most people look for granite in homes they are considering purchasing, you will be able to recoup your money if you decide to sell in the future.

Floor

Your kitchen floor will see a lot of traffic, so you will want to splurge on a material that will last. Stained concrete or stone tiles will add a luxurious look and feel to your remodeled kitchen and is worth the additional cost.

Spending the money on some items in your new kitchen will be well worth it. However, you will want to choose what you are spending your money on wisely, because it is not necessary to spend thousands of dollars on every single part of your new space. There are certain items that you can spend a lot less money on and still get the results that you want.

The kitchen design crew here at Homework Remodels has a lot of experience helping homeowners design and build award winning custom kitchens. Our work has been featured in a variety of magazines both in print and online. Give us a call at 602-478-5102 to discuss your upcoming kitchen remodeling project.

5 Things Your Luxurious Bathroom Needs

Bathrooms have served their purpose for many years, but in this day and age, we all expect more from this underutilized space. Maybe we have spent too much time in spas, but we believe that everyone needs to have those luxurious spaces inside their own home.

Here are 5 things that your luxurious bathroom needs:

  1. Heated Floors: Heated floors are fabulous, because you will never need to walk on a cold bathroom floor in the middle of the night. You will also be able to stay warm as you are stepping out of the shower or the bathtub.
  2. Dimmer Switches: We know that taking a long hot bath is something that you love to do, but do you really want the bright lights on when you are soaking in your tub? We recommend installing dimmer switches on your lights, so that you can lower the brightness of the lights and turn the room into a calming oasis.
  3. Heated Toilet Seat: There are many new toilets on the market, but the best ones have heated seats. Imagine going into the bathroom in the middle of the night and not freezing as you sit down. This can be a new reality for you and your family if you install a toilet with a heated seat.
  4. Handheld Showerhead: Rain shower showerheads are fabulous, but you may want to install a handheld showerhead as well. This will give you more water flowing over you as you are showering and the handheld will make it easier to rinse off.
  5. Humidistat Fan: Moisture can build up quickly in your bathroom and we can almost guarantee that there have been times when you have forgotten to turn on the fan before you stepped into the shower. A humidistat fan will go on automatically as soon as the humidity or moisture in the room reaches a certain level. This fan will ensure that you will not have moisture or mold issues inside your luxurious bathroom space.

It can be easy to turn your bathroom into a luxurious space and it may not mean a complete renovation either. Call us to talk and learn about all your options for turning your bathroom into a room of luxury.

The bathroom design crew here at Homework Remodels has a lot of experience helping homeowners design and build award winning custom bathrooms. Take a look at some of our remodeled bathrooms and let us know what you think. Our work has been featured in a variety of magazines both in print and online. Give us a call at 602-478-5102 to discuss your upcoming bathroom remodeling project.

Using Reclaimed Wood in Your Remodel

Using reclaimed wood

 

The use of reclaimed wood is an idea that has appealed to a lot of people, and it’s not always related to being conscious about the environment. One major benefit is that it adds warmth, texture and character to the look of your home. It can instantly “age” a brand new kitchen. Reclaimed wood has a natural rawness to it that will add balance to an Industrial or Modern style home.  It has an aged patina and each piece of wood is unique with its’ inherent qualities and the natural weathering of the boards. Sliding barn doors are especially popular and it looks as though they will remain so for quite a while. Interior designers are seeing an increase in the number of clients requesting the addition of reclaimed wood into their new remodel. Here are a few things you should know about using reclaimed wood to make your newly remodeled space even more visually interesting.

Old but Not Unusable

The idea of using wood from an old building or shipping crate might lead to some worry about rot or insect damage. Reclaimed wood should always be thoroughly examined for those issues prior to use.  Not all reclaimed wood is equal in its properties.  Old growth timber generally is denser than new wood harvested from younger trees. Therefore, it would be much better suited for a humid part of the home.  Teak, considered the most rot resistant wood, is highly resistant to weather. Along with old-growth cypress, teak is considered to be an exceptional wood for use in damp area, such as a master bath. Reclaimed wood may need refinishing and will require some amount of routine maintenance, but it can be well worth the extra effort and expense. One additional perk, by using reclaimed instead of new wood, you will not subject yourself and your family to the potentially dangerous off-gassing from a VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) which is found in new wood.

Other Notable Points

Even your own home can be a source of used wood if you are removing old cabinets or shelves. A big reason for the appeal of reclaimed wood is the fascinating details it contains. Odd knots, nail holes, and even the slight imperfections contribute to the character of the pieces. You may be lucky enough to find a rare species of reclaimed wood no longer being harvested. You will usually find reclaimed wood in different lengths and widths, but this is also considered a visual bonus.

Using reclaimed wood does come with a few challenges. Usually it is best to have a professional deal with this material, even if you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer. Since many of the pieces are very old, some more than a hundred years, they may be covered in lead paint. Many pieces of old wood may contain nails or screws that must be removed before the refinishing.

Using reclaimed wood

You can use reclaimed wood in any part of a home remodeling project that requires this material. Think about an interesting, one-of-a-kind table made from a vintage door. Sturdy and attractive shelves and cabinets can be constructed, as well. Repurposing wood to make your floors will significantly raise your costs, especially here in the southwest, where we have no 150 year old barns to salvage!  If you have your heart set on the look of reclaimed wood floors, you have two options. You may want to consider using new wood, stain it to achieve the same look and save yourself some money. The second option would be to use a porcelain plank flooring that resembles barn wood. Tile is more durable and less expensive. An accent wall of reclaimed wood would not be as expensive as doing all the flooring, and would add a lot of visual interest and a sense of history to your home.

Where to use reclaimed wood

In the kitchen we would caution you to be careful with where you place wood in relation to wet areas. Using wood for a small butcher block counter is one thing, having all of your counters constructed of wood will be a maintenance nightmare. These countertops would have to be refinished every few years, especially near the sink area. Spills would need to be wiped up immediately. This is definitely not a countertop material for everyone! Some of our clients have asked about using reclaimed wood as their backsplash material. Again, we would caution you about the extra up-keep. It can be done, however, you would need to have the backsplash sealed multiple times with a lacquer type sealant. In a sleek industrial style kitchen, for instance, as a nice contrast, you may want to add open shelving made from reclaimed wood. Pairing reclaimed wood with other salvaged items like a vintage sink, also adds drama and interest to your new space.

How about the Bedroom or Bathroom?

 

The master bedroom is a great place to add an accent wall of reclaimed wood, you may not even need to use a headboard. In addition, an entry or a dining room is also a perfect place to add an accent wall of barn wood.

The master bathroom is also a excellent place for reclaimed wood, as it will add a lot of warmth. It is a wonderful contrast to the cold finish materials we normally see in a bathroom like marble, granite, glass and tile.  Special considerations must be made in such a wet, humid area to protect the integrity of the wood. Proper ventilation is a must. All wood must be completely sealed, this usually takes more than one application. One other thing to be aware of when working with wood, it will swell and contract depending on the ambient temperature and the amount of humidity in the air. It is very important to use a flexible silicone caulking for installation purposes.

Call or email us for a free in-home estimate

If you would like to discuss more ideas using reclaimed wood or get some ideas rolling on how to remodel your home, we can be reached at 602-478-5102 or Steve@HomeworkRemodels.com.

The Absolute Worst Things You Might be Doing to Your Wood Floor

 

 

Anyone will agree that a well-maintained wood floor is a thing of beauty. If you take the time to learn about all the things you need to do for your floor, shouldn’t you also know what you should try to avoid? Hardwood floor care is more than just cleaning and occasionally sanding and refinishing. A lot of it involves knowing how these stylish surfaces can be so easily damaged.

  • Dragging heavy furniture. Furniture can leave scratches and gouges in floors as you move them. Get some help lifting heavy pieces, or use felt pads. Sweep thoroughly before you move heavy furniture. Dirt that gets trapped under the furniture will leave very deep scratches in your hardwood flooring.
  • Waiting too long to refinish. If your hardwood floor is beginning to look stale and worn, it is time for a refinish. Putting this off will only made the work harder, and force you to spend more time restoring the surface. Timely refinishing is especially important for high traffic areas.
  • Using chemicals. Cleaning a wood floor is easier than most people think. You don’t need soap, vinegar or strong cleaners to do a good job. In fact many cleaning products can damage the surface of hardwood floors.
  • Steam cleaning. Steam mops are more suited to use on tiles. Aside from the moisture which is not good for wood floors, the heat from steam mops can cause the top layer of the wood to deteriorate over time. On that note, avoid using too much water when mopping up your floors.
  • Poor pet management. Dogs and cats can do a lot of damage to this type of floor in a relatively short time. Keep their nails or claws trimmed to protect the wood.
  • Not using a welcome mat. Anything that gets tracked on your floors is slowly wearing away the surface. Make sure that you use a welcome mat to keep this to a minimum.
  • Tacking down rugs. Trying to keep rugs from shifting can be frustrating, but tacking them is not always the best answer. When you have to move the rug, some of the adhesive may be left behind. You can also strip off some of the finish as well.
  • Wearing high heeled shoes. Your amazing stilettos might look great, but they are not so great for wood surfaces. They can leave impressions and marks in the wood. This can be even worse if the heel is damaged.

Preventing any type of damage to your floors will actually make maintenance much easier. You can’t possibly protect your floors from everything, but you can help that beauty to last longer by taking several precautions and preliminary measures. Call us at 602-478-5102 if you’re interested in installing hardwood flooring or restoring your existing hardwood floor in Phoenix or the surrounding area.

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