Top Kitchen Remodeling Trends

Your kitchen is the one place where you want to be really careful about trendy choices. The last thing you want is a kitchen that’s out of sync in just a few years simply because you followed a trend. Instead, look at the trends in terms of the value they bring to your life and your home.

Here are nine trends that are popular now, but have staying power because they address lifestyle needs, convenience, and savings — ensuring you’ll enjoy your kitchen for many years.

#1 Love White? You Won’t Go Wrong

It’s hard to believe that white kitchens could get any more popular. But the preference for white cabinets continues to soar. Sixty-seven percent of National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) members said that white is their top choice for cabinets, a 20% climb from two years ago. And layering white on white — white backsplashes beneath white cabinets on white countertops — was spotlighted in the 2014 Best in American Living Awards presented by the National Association of Home Builders.

Whirlpool’s White Ice collection, with its glass-like glossy sheen, is being hailed as the first appliance exterior to rival stainless steel.

White appliances are so much easier to keep clean than stainless, which smudges if you as much as look at it. Plus, the new icy look is simple, cool, and able to blend into transitional and contemporary styles.

And since stainless has filtered down to the masses, it no longer has that expensive and exclusive cache it once had. But white will always have staying power.

#2 Want Color? Go for Neutral Gray

The popularity of sleek, sophisticated gray color schemes is soaring. Seventy-one percent of NKBA designers said gray is the fastest-growing color scheme for kitchens in 2014.

But gray can be tricky. In cold, cloudy climates, gray can appear frozen unless you use it on warm materials like wood cabinets, or pair it with hot colors likes reds and yellows. On the other hand, gray can appear pleasantly cool in sunny, hot climates — a breath of fresh air in heat and humidity. So while white kitchens are a safe bet, gray is neutral enough — and close enough to white — to have staying power if you use it well.

#3 Embrace Smaller Appliances

Small is big these days. Micro-living is taking off for millennials and retirees. Owners of multigenerational homes are installing tiny, secondary kitchens for returning adult children and elderly parents.

Typically, these micro-kitchens feature a two-burner cooktop, combo microwave/convection oven, 18-inch dishwasher, and 60-inch fridge or refrigerator drawer.

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written by: Lisa Kaplan Gordon – HouseLogic.com


 

The High Cost of the Low Price

Most licensed contractors are competent, honest, hardworking, and financially responsible. And yet almost everyone knows someone who has a nightmare story to tell about a remodeling job: the length of time it took; the inconvenience of the noise and dust; or the cost overruns associated with even the smallest project. Choosing the lowest bid comes with a high cost.

Adding a room or updating a kitchen can cost more than a new car, and consumers should take time and care in planning a home improvement project. Unfortunately, most consumers spend less time choosing a contractor than they do choosing a car.

Here are a few tips for choosing the right contractor:

  • Determine the type of Contractor you need for your project
  • Be sure they have a VA Contractors license
  • Check their references
  • Get bids (remember the lowest price isn’t always the best price)

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Light up Your Life – Tips about Lighting your next Remodel

Lighting your new space so you can comfortably see and work, is a important aspect of your remodeling project.

Lighting greatly affects the mood, aesthetics and functionality of your living spaces. Your lighting layout should never be an afterthought or haphazard decision. This is true whether you are remodeling your current home or building a new one. Lighting design is all about creating a plan.

To look its best and function well, a space must be properly lit — and that involves more than just specifying stylish fixtures. A good plan blends lighting into the architectural and decorative details of the room.

Plan for a Layered Look
No single light source can provide all the necessary light for a kitchen. A well-lit kitchen layers and blends four different types of light. Every kitchen remodel should include the following:
• Task Lighting. It is the workhorse of illumination and provides adequate light for tasks like chopping vegetables and reading recipes. Optimum placement of task lighting comes between a person’s head and the work surface, which makes lighting located below the upper cabinets so effective. If a kitchen remodel includes a pantry, make sure to specify task lighting there as well.
• Ambient lighting. It creates a warm glow that fills a room, softens shadows and helps to make people feel instantly welcome in a kitchen. If cabinets do not reach all the way to the ceiling, that space is a great spot for ambient light. Of the four types of lighting, ambient is most often overlooked.
• Accent lighting. It gives depth and dimension to a kitchen. Examples of accent lighting include fixtures placed inside glass-front cabinets to illuminate China, glassware, and other collections as well as recessed, adjustable low-voltage fixtures used to spotlight art.
• Decorative lighting. Whitehead likes to refer to this type of lighting as architectural jewelry. It adds sparkle to a space.

Consider these steps when developing the perfect home lighting plan:
1. Supply light where you need it. Consider the purpose of the room and place lights in areas that you will be using regularly.
2. Light your space in the right quantity and the right quality. The height of the ceilings, size of the room and tasks performed all affect the amount of lumens needed in a particular room.
3. Confirm that the lighting design meets the needs of the client. If this is not your own home, be sure to consider the age and special needs of the home’s inhabitants.
4. Select lights that define the form of the space. Your lighting should help further the design and style of your space, not hinder it. Lighting can serve as a beautiful focal point or aesthetic piece in residential applications.
5. Identify what each area will be used for, and how lighting will affect those activities.

 

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Smart Strategies for Bathroom Remodeling

You dream about a bathroom that’s high on comfort and personal style, but you also want materials, fixtures, and amenities with lasting value. You can have both.

Stick to a Plan

A bathroom remodel is no place for improvisation. Before ripping out the first tile, think hard about how you will use the space, what materials and fixtures you want, and how much you’re willing to spend.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends spending up to six months evaluating and planning before beginning work. That way, you have a roadmap that will guide decisions, even the ones made under remodeling stress. Once work has begun — a process that averages two to three months — resist changing your mind. Work stoppages and alterations add costs. Some contractors include clauses in their contracts that specify premium prices for changing original plans.

If planning isn’t your strong suit, hire a designer. In addition to adding style and efficiency, a professional designer makes sure contractors and installers are scheduled in an orderly fashion. A pro charges $100 to $200 per hour, and spends 10 to 30 hours on a bathroom project.

Keep the Same Footprint

You can afford that Italian tile you love if you can live with the total square footage you already have.

Keeping the same footprint, and locating new plumbing fixtures near existing plumbing pipes, saves demolition and reconstruction dollars. You’ll also cut down on the dust and debris that make remodeling so hard to live with.

Make the most of the space you have. Glass doors on showers and tubs open up the area. A pedestal sink takes up less room than a vanity. If you miss the storage, replace a mirror with a deep medicine cabinet.

Make Lighting a Priority

Multiple shower heads and radiant heat floors are fabulous adds to a bathroom remodel. But few items make a bathroom more satisfying than lighting designed for everyday grooming. You can install lighting for a fraction of the cost of pricier amenities.

Well-designed bathroom task lighting surrounds vanity mirrors and eliminates shadows on faces: You look better already. The scheme includes two ceiling- or soffit-mounted fixtures, and side fixtures or sconces distributed vertically across 24 inches (to account for people of various heights). Four-bulb lighting fixtures work well for side lighting.

Today, shopping for bulbs means paying attention to lumens, the amount of light you get from a bulb — i.e., brightness. For these bathroom task areas, the Lighting Research Center recommends:

  • Toilet: 45 lumens
  • Sink: 450 lumens
  • Vanity: 1,680 lumens

Clear the Air

Bathroom ventilation systems may be out of sight, but they shouldn’t be out of mind during a bathroom remodel.

Bathroom ventilation is essential for removing excess humidity that fogs mirrors, makes bathroom floors slippery, and contributes to the growth of mildew and mold. Controlling mold and humidity is especially important for maintaining healthy indoor air quality and protecting the value of your home — mold remediation is expensive, and excess humidity can damage cabinets and painted finishes.

A bathroom vent and water closet fan should exhaust air to the outside — not simply to the space between ceiling joists. Better models have whisper-quiet exhaust fans and humidity-controlled switches that activate when a sensor detects excess moisture in the air.

Think Storage

Bathroom storage is a challenge: By the time you’ve installed the toilet, shower, and sink, there’s often little space left to store towels, toilet paper, and hair and body products. Here are some ways to find storage in hidden places.

  • Think vertically: Upper wall space in a bathroom is often underused. Freestanding, multi-tiered shelf units designed to fit over toilet tanks turn unused wall area into found storage. Spaces between wall studs create attractive and useful niches for holding soaps and toiletries. Install shelves over towel bars to use blank wall space.
  • Think moveable: Inexpensive woven baskets set on the floor are stylish towel holders. A floor-stand coat rack holds wet towels, bath robes, and clothes.
  • Think utility: Adding a slide-out tray to vanity cabinet compartments provides full access to stored items and prevents lesser-used items from being lost or forgotten.

Choose Low-Cost Design for High Visual Impact

A “soft scheme” adds visual zest to your bathroom, but doesn’t create a one-of-a-kind look that might scare away future buyers.

Soft schemes employ neutral colors for permanent fixtures and surfaces, then add pizzazz with items that are easily changed, such as shower curtains, window treatments, towels, throw rugs, and wall colors. These relatively low-cost decorative touches provide tons of personality but are easy to redo whenever you want.

Written by: John Riha – House Logic – https://www.houselogic.com/by-room/bathroom-laundry/strategy-for-bathroom-remodeling/


 

Make-Over Inspirations for your Home

At Foster Remodeling Solutions we want to help you build the space of your dreams. We have a Solution for every project. All kinds of solutions. Check out some of our latest “before” and “after” projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are feeling like it’s time for a change, maybe it’s time to Remodel! Give us a call today at 703.550.1371 and we will help you make that change. Or request an appointment online at http://www.fosterremodeling.com/contact-us/ .


 

8 Ways to Convert Empty Spaces

You’ve done it. You’ve raised your kids and they’re ready to be on their own. Maybe they’re leaving for college or maybe moving out for good (fingers crossed), and you’ll be left with an empty nest. What should you do with all the extra empty rooms? Here are a few ideas…

0206_craftRoomCraft Space
Space means everything to the craftily inclined. With the right light, organization and style, your indoor craft space can be just as inspiring as nature outdoors. We can help you with cabinets, shelving units, fun and practical seating, and cool pendants to create the perfect creative space.

 

0206_recRoomREC Room
Pingpong, pool and foosball — what’s not to love? Games offer screen-free entertainment, bring the whole family together and make parties more fun. If you have a lot of space, you can knock yourself out with a full-fledged rec room, but if you need more of a rec corner, consider adding a pingpong net to a seldom-used dining table or hanging a dart board on a basement wall. There are lots of reasons to create a place for more fun in the house.

 

Mom Cave
For years, men have had the luxury of escaping to the comfortable — and usually sports-themed — domain that is known as a man cave. It’s often located in the basement or garage of their homes, and usually consists of a TV, refrigerator, sports memorabilia — and peace and quiet from the rest of the world. But what about Mom? In recent years, moms, too, have been seeking out their own private area, or mom cave, in hopes of a little R&R away from the rest of the family, or just the struggles of day-to-day life.

 

0206_homeOfficeOffice Space
Home offices are becoming increasingly popular among commuters in Northern Virginia, who would rather spend less time on transit and more time on being creative. They’ve made new use of their living rooms, spare rooms and lofts — and even built additions to their homes. The common thread seems to be that they love having more control over their time, and most seem to integrate work with life and combine business with pleasure.

 

0206_wineRoomWine room
Who wouldn’t want to visit your own personal wine room after a long day at work? Especially if you like to stock up on your favorite varietal when it goes on sale. Having a designated room to store, display and enjoy a glass of wine on your own, or with friends, is a unique experience. If your budget allows, install tile or hardwood flooring for easy cleanup of the inevitable spilled merlot. Our plumber can add a sink or small dishwasher. And if you want cheese with your wine (who doesn’t?), install a mini-fridge for snacking convenience.

 

 

 

0206_homeGymHome gym
It might be cliché to automatically turn one of the extra rooms into a home gym, but it can be a practical move. By having some free weights, yoga mats, and workout DVDs just down the hall, you won’t have any more excuses to avoid a quick workout. People are converting a spare bedroom into exercise space, finally taking the treadmill and exercise bike out of the garage and locating them in a designated exercise room in the house.

 

Walk-in Closet
Have you always dreamed of a luxurious, spacious closet? If you have a spare bedroom that you’re not sure how to use, stop fretting over bedroom design ideas. Instead, convert that extra space into the walk-in closet of your dreams. Call us and we will help you create a completely custom design with all the bells and whistles.

 

Attic Bedroom0206_atticRoom
No longer mere storage space for broken dolls and old clothes, attics are being turned into the most stylish of bedrooms. When homeowners start to feel cramped, they don’t immediately think of upgrading to a bigger home. Instead, many are looking for ways to maximize the space they have. One area that can provide major square footage without adding on to a home is the attic. If you have an unfinished attic, consider the possibility of turning your unused space into a bedroom.


 

Adding In Law Suite to Existing Home

In law suites will serve as lovely places for your old parents, in laws, or family members who will stay over to visit you and your family. Preparing a place in your home just for them will make them feel important and loved.

Here are the things you should consider if you plan adding an in law suite for your next home improvement project.

Go for comfort – Think about what makes your guest feel at ease. Don’t remind them that they are staying in someone else’s house. Allow them to feel like they are in the comforts of their own home as well.

Curtains and awnings – windows are lovely, especially during the summer time when you just want to let all the breeze in. However, when the room is too bright, your guests might find it difficult to settle down.

Tall potted plants – having a little spot of green on the corner or beside an accent furniture will make the room feel alive. Plants have their own way of adding design and comfort.

Fireplace – heating systems are effective and smart, but fireplaces feel more real. Your in laws will definitely love to watch the flame dance along the chopped wooden blocks. They can be relaxed just by being close to the source of heat.

Picture frames – a room without a memorable and happy picture hanging around in it looks cold. So even if it’s only one frame, add it up to the decor. Your aged-up parents and in laws will surely love it.

Open shelves – whether you put a collection of books or vases in them, shelves are great pieces of furniture. They hide large blank walls that will rather only look empty if left bare.

Scented candles – scented candles drive away foul odors and they are good at helping people relax. Have a jar or two of them in your in law suite.

Keep it simple – Don’t even think about impressing in laws or your guests in general. Sometimes, it feels great to be praised on something you work really hard on, but it’s not advisable to go overboard on the interior as well. It’s best to keep it homey, cozy and simple.

Use one or two colors only – well if you are artistic, there’s nothing wrong with painting the walls with many colors. As long as you can make it work, there’s no limit to how much paint you should use. However, the safest thing to do is to stick to one attractive shade and then use another complimentary color to add detail. It will be easier to bring the room altogether that way.

Keep the furniture to a minimum – you might like to add a coffee table, an L-shaped sofa, an entertainment center, another dresser, etc. But keep in mind that if you pile a lot into a room, the space will feel smaller. Your guests might find it difficult to navigate their way across the room.

Avoid too much lighting – when you’re using harsh lighting and the room suddenly appears too bright, it will start to discomfort and inconvenience your guests. For the daytime, use natural lighting and let the sunrays in. For the evening, use fluorescent lights that are not too harsh on the eyes.

Working with the right home building team can help you make your dream home into a reality. If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!

Sunrooms…Enjoy the seasons all year long

blog_dobsonIn the dog days of summer, spending time outdoors is often best left to the brave and hearty. Northern Virginia summers combine oppressive heat with high humidity and routine thunderstorms. One way to continue to enjoy the beautiful scenery of your home and have a safer outdoor experience this summer is with a sunroom. A sunroom affords the extra protection from high temperatures, gnats, mosquitoes and pouring rain. It is usually a straightforward addition that can be a single concept or combined with a garage or other rooms. What’s more, it is equally enjoyable in the cooler weather, a cozy place to watch the snow fall or the leaves changing colors.

Through our design build process, Foster Remodeling can help you create the ideal sunroom addition for your home. It can be essentially encased in glass or have a traditional ceiling instead. We can help you choose the right location, size and purpose for your sunroom. We specialize in architectural design and building construction as a team project. We handle the concept from beginning to end so that you meet your budget and we meet your time table.

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Creating a sunroom has a number of advantages for you as a homeowner beyond being a respite from summer heat and cold winter temperatures. For those with a beautiful yard, the sunroom can enhance the enjoyment. The sunroom, when placed thoughtfully, can have the best view in the house. Walls of glass afford an uninterrupted view of the waterfront, woods or well-decorated landscape.

Keep an eye on your children at play outside when you enjoy the comfort of the indoors without sacrificing supervision or safety. At night, a clear glass ceiling features spectacular stargazing or a rare opportunity to see storms forming above the house as it begins to rain. Add a table or some comfortable furniture for a quiet haven from the rest of the busy household. In the quiet of morning, watch rabbits or deer foraging for food outdoors while you enjoy a cup of coffee.

blog_senaOne key reason for adding a sunroom is to create more space in the home. Sunrooms make a nice place for entertaining where friends and family can gather for a meal or to watch a sunset. For the artistic and creative mind that works at home, a sunroom is the ideal environment to find solitude and a peaceful, productive environment. It can also be a place to add wireless Internet for laptop users or a nice speaker system for musical entertainment buffs.

Let Foster Remodeling Solutions help get you the sunroom of your dreams. Call us today for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION. 703.550.1371

Read what our customers are saying about us at www.GuildQuality.com/FosterRemodeling.

Check out our website at FosterRemodeling.com.