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!

5 Interior Decor Options and Appliances that Save Energy

Today, more than ever, going green is important. Not only do many people want to help protect the earth, but choosing energy-efficient appliances and décor can help you save money on your utility bills too. In addition, there can sometimes be tax breaks available for choosing certain energy-efficient devices too (consult your accountant for more details on that matter)! We’ve put together a list of five appliance and décor options that can help you save energy—allowing you to feel good about your green contributions and your potential savings too!
Energy Efficient Windows

  • Choose the Right Windows – If you aren’t careful, your windows allow energy to seep out of your home. Not only do you have to worry about cracks around the windows, but the panes themselves enable the sun to beat down on your home (in summer) and make the temperature rise. If you are in the process of considering home renovations and upgrades, consider choosing high-quality windows with temperature control features. While these may cost more upfront, they will save you big in the long run.
  • Select Efficient (and Attractive) Lighting – When redecorating, consider light placement very carefully. You may be able to get by with fewer lamps and bulbs if you are smart with where the lights are installed. In addition, choose CFL bulbs instead of traditional incandescent for another simple way to save energy.

Energy Saving Ceiling Fan

  • Consider Ceiling Fans – Installing ceiling fans in your home can help you to rely on the air conditioning system less in the summer, especially during the evening hours. However, it can benefit you in winter too. A ceiling fan will help move warm air through the house and cut down on how long the heater runs.
  • Opt for Energy-Star Rated Appliances – Choosing to replace old appliances with newer, Energy-Star rated appliances can be a smart move in many cases. You may be amazed by the energy and cost savings. An 80’s era refrigerator, for example, uses 1400 kWH or energy per year while a modern model only uses around ’50.

Updating Old Fixtures

  • Replace Outdated Fixtures – Low-flow showerheads can save a lot of water. An aerator on your kitchen sink can too. Today’s low-flow heads are attractive as well as functional too. Changing out the faucets in a kitchen or bathroom can be a quick and easy way to update the entire look of the room. Also, if you are redoing countertops or cabinetry, you do not want to ignore the faucets and wind up with an outdated look.

If you are interested in more ways that you can save energy while improving how your home looks and feels, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Based in Lorton, Virginia, we have been serving the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area since 1983. We would love to help you bring your ideas to life!

Tips to Enhance the Curb Appeal of Your House

When you’re ready to put your home on the market, one of the most important things you can do is enhance the curb appeal. According to the National Association of Realtors, half of all homeowners choose their house based on its exterior appearance, and exterior projects — such as a steel entry door and replacement windows — recoup the most value on resale.

But why is curb appeal so important? After all, people spend most of their time living inside the home.

Most home buyers are looking at prospective houses as potential homes, not real estate investments. And what make a house a home is the perception of comfort, safety, and pride. A house that looks well-kept, secure, and visually pleasing from the outside invites buyers to look inside because they can already visualize this property as their home. Thus, curb appeal has a powerful psychological effect that you can use to your advantage if you follow some of these tips.

Freshen Your Landscaping

Enhanced Curb AppealJust as staging the inside of a house involves decluttering and removing eclectic design features, so does landscaping for resale mean creating a yard that is clean and appealing to the majority of buyers. There is probably a family out there who would be delighted to have vegetable gardens in the front, for instance, but to the majority of people, this will be visually unappealing and signify too much work.

The landscaping that has the best impact is clean, symmetrical, and stress free.

  • Choose native trees and shrubs when you can so that your Realtor can point out the lower cost of upkeep.
  • Make sure beds are freshly mulched (a dark color has more appeal), neatly edged, and free of weeds.
  • Make sure that your turf grass is getting the required one inch of water per week.
  • Repair any damage to the hardscaping and walkways.

Mass plantings of the same specimen create a harmonious effect, but you can also wow prospective buyers with a pop of color. Consider a bed of glowing narcissus, colorful azaleas, or hanging potted plants.

Create the Illusion of a Maintenance Free Home

Front Porch RenovationProspective home buyers want to visualize rest and relaxation, not an endless series of home improvement projects. Now is the time to repair sagging gutters, have your roof shingled or professionally cleaned to remove moss and debris, replace that broken screen door, freshen any peeling paint, and repair fencing.

Make sure that your windows are sparkling clean — you can remove the screens to make them pop — and that, at the very least, you’ve put a fresh coat of paint on the front door.

Consider remodeling your front porch, especially if its design is dated or not in keeping with the architectural style of the house. Although porches do not have the same resale value as front doors and replacement windows, the boost to the curb appeal of the house may result in a quicker sale or multiple offers. An experienced design consultant can let you know if such a project would be worthwhile.

Make Your Home Picture Perfect

Beautiful Home PhotoAlmost 90 percent of buyers are checking real estate inventory online before narrowing down their selection. That means a lot is riding on the photo you’ve selected to make your first impression with.

Cloudy days or late afternoon sun give your photo the best resolution, without any glare or halo effect. Walk around the front of the house and take photos from every angle so that you can choose the one that captures your place best.

Though it might seem strange to invest time and money in the exterior of your house right before you leave it, enhancing your curb appeal is one of the best ways to make sure your home gets the most attention from prospective buyers. Ultimately, great curb appeal can lead to a faster sale and higher asking price.

Home Bars that Will Impress Everyone

If you enjoy hosting parties or simply having friends over for a quiet evening in, you have likely invested in making your home a great place for entertaining. However, there is one investment that cannot be matched, when it comes to making your house the go-to place for parties big and small—a home bar! But, what makes a bar “entertainment central” and more than just an extra bit of counter space? We’ve put together a few tips to help you create a home bar that will impress everyone who visits!

Home Bar

  • Wet or Dry? – Is your home bar wet or dry? This means, are you running water to the area or not? A wet bar is convenient, that’s no doubt. However, a dry bar can be a nice touch too—and can often be more affordable or allow you to work in a space that may not be suitable for running water.
  • Lighting is Vital – A well-lit bar area is mandatory. Ideally, you want to be able to adjust the brightness up or down as appropriate. If you are sitting around and chatting with friends, low-light may be in order. However, if you want to enjoy game night or poker, you may need a bit more lighting. Can lights or track lighting can be a good choice—depending on the style of the room.
  • Make it Comfortable – You want to make the bar area relaxing. Barstools don’t have to be those hard, backless monstrosities of the olden days. Make sure you add comfortable seating, perhaps at different levels to make conversation easy and open.
  • Don’t Forget the Garnish – Have fun with the décor. Consider vintage jars, bottles and containers to store your bar necessities. They can be functional and attractive at the same time. Anything that offers a dual benefit is always a good thing.
  • A Backsplash is Important – You may think about the importance of your backsplash in the kitchen, but it is just as important on your home bar. This is a great place to get creative. Consider an “outside the box” idea. Maybe a mosaic design or utilize something artistic to create a backsplash that shows off your personal style.

No matter if you plan to host huge blowout parties or quiet, intimate gatherings, your home bar is sure to be a centerpiece of your home—if you make sure it is inviting, accessible and attractive. If you need any help with that process in the Washington DC or Northern Virginia area, your best bet is to call Foster Remodeling. Since 1983, our experts have provided top notch remodeling and renovating services. Our goal is to make your house feel like home. Call or contact us today for a free, no obligation estimate.

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!

Baking Stations Make Cooking More Fun

Get inspired to cook (and simplify holiday prep) with a dedicated space for baking

20_pickus2The weather cools and the aromas of sweet and savory treats fill the kitchen. But it can be a struggle to separate holiday baking from both day-to-day meal preparation and entertaining needs. Setting up a separate baking station is a great solution that can be surprisingly affordable and easy.

2. Decide how much space you need. Before deciding where you want to tuck a baking area into your kitchen, figure out exactly how much space you’ll need. Pull out all of your baking supplies and put them in one place. Odds are you have more than you think. If you don’t have enough room for everything in your baking area, divide your supplies into those you use frequently and those you only use occasionally. The latter can be stored elsewhere.

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!

Houzz Editorial Staff

7 Ways to Speed Up Spring Cleaning

springCleanWhen the flowers start to bloom and the birds begin to chirp, only one thing can be around the corner: spring cleaning. After months of in-home hibernation, sunlight finally peaks through your windows, highlighting the crammed corners and dusty shelves of your home. To tackle this sometimes intimidating task, we’ve broken down 7 easy spring cleaning tips and tricks that will pack the biggest punch. If reading our tips gets you inspired, print out our 7 Day Cleaning Checklist to maintain your “spring-cleaned” house all year long!

Tip 1: Neglected Nooks

Whether you are an “under the sink stuffer,” or an occasional “behind the TV tosser,” your home probably has some areas that feel neglected. Cheer them up by giving them a little elbow grease! Cleaning those areas can drastically change how clean your home looks and feels. Plus, you may even find that missing sock or your child’s favorite toy you’ve been hunting for.

Tip 2: Donation Pile

Clutter can come about in mysterious ways. One of the reasons we hold onto things, or scatter them out all around our home, is because throwing things away feels wasteful. Luckily for us, many things can be donated that we wouldn’t even think of! Books and magazines can be donated to your local library, old towels and bedding can be donated to animal shelters, clothes and even old dishware and toys can be donated to certain charities and community resource centers, while gently used furniture can be dropped off at second hand stores. To make this process easy and ongoing, put a bin in cluttered rooms of your house labeled “Donations”, and fill each bin continually during your spring cleaning. You will feel better about being able to give back, all while clearing out more room in your home!

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!

Read More…..Tips 3-7…


Custom Cabinetry

Everyone knows how beautiful custom cabinetry can look in the kitchen, but what about other rooms of your home? There are plenty of opportunities to enhance the decor and functionality of the rest of the house by incorporating gorgeous custom cabinets installed by a professional. Read on for a look at how you can go beyond the kitchen to incorporate custom cabinetry in other rooms of your abode.

Living Rooms

98_fosterCustom cabinetry in your living room not only maximizes storage potential, but it also creates a focal point within the room, says the Knoxville News Sentinel. This is the perfect place to put in sleek yet functional cabinet space because there is so much potential here, from entertainment and gaming systems to sound systems and book collections. Keeping everything in one place means you can easily reach what you need while putting forth an air of neat organization. By incorporating both customized cabinetry and shelving in high-quality wood, you can compliment your existing aesthetic, finishes and moldings.

Laundry and Mud Rooms

89_lucckese These critical areas of the house get a lot of traffic, from kids with muddy shoes to pets with dirty paws. Mud rooms often serve as the entryway to your home, where people take off their shoes, hang their coats and store mittens or hats. You can utilize all available space for the ultimate in storage with a custom bench that features a hinged lid. This is ideal for throwing scarves, sandals and hats in. Installing cabinetry in the mud room can also be useful for stowing equipment for extracurricular activities like sports or dance. Cabinets on the walls in your laundry room, for instance, can store and hide all the detergents and soaps you need to keep clothes clean so they’re easily reachable while you’re doing the wash.



Putting customized shelving and cabinetry into your bedroom and closet provides an exceptional organization system. Many closets have just enough space to hang some clothes and maybe place some shoes on the floor. By installing multiple layers of shelves, hooks and cubbies, you can increase the capacity of your storage space, perhaps complemented by a lighting system that lets you see what you’re choosing for the day!

Got a walk-in closet you no longer use? Create a craft room by adding shelves, bins and cubbies to store anything from fabric and sewing machines to stencils and stamps. Day beds that fold into the wall make great additions to small guest rooms or kids’ rooms where you want to maximize limited space. Instead of taking up half the floor space, a convertible bed that folds up into a cabinet against the wall allows you to open it up only when you need it.

Cabinets can serve so many purposes that limiting them to just one room in the house is almost wasteful. Think beyond the kitchen to see how custom cabinetry can boost function and cohesion in every room of your home.

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!

Family-Friendly Living Spaces

Children need the space and the freedom to make messes, create, exercise, and be kids. Does this mean you have to sacrifice the beautiful home you always wanted? No! And you don’t have to. A family-friendly home is perfect for children and parents. Here are a few simple yet powerful tricks you can use to achieve your dream family living space.

Freedom to Exercise and Create

Never underestimate the value of providing children with a space to romp, explore, create, and go a little crazy. It is vastly important for their quality of life and invaluable for your own freedom and sanity as a parent. If you are lucky enough to have an outdoor space, consider introducing a trampoline, a tire swing, a tree house, or a sandbox. You can also leave concrete surfaces to decorate with chalk or space to paint without the fear of mess. If you have enough space and are so inclined, a children’s garden is a great activity you can share.

If you don’t have a yard, you can bring the fun into the garage or home. Consider installing an indoor swing in your children’s bedroom, keeping gym mats for roughing and tumbling, putting an art easel on the porch, or including a bean bag in your living room.

Develop Habits

One of the best strategies for cultivating a living space that is perfect for children and adults is to help your children develop good cleanup habits. Set your expectations, whether they are to put away one set of toys before taking out another or cleaning up before going to bed or going outside. You can incorporate routines into children’s chore charts and include a small reward for a task done particularly well or without prompting.

Convenient Organization

Go the extra mile now to make keeping your home clean and organized easy for the entire family. If toys tend to migrate onto the living room floor and stay there, introduce a basket to easily put toys into at the end of playtime (under the condition that the basket’s contents need to be put all the way away when the basket gets full). If coats and shoes are accumulating where they shouldn’t, keep a coat and shoe rack at the doorway.

Strong, Stain-Resistant Materials

Consider boycotting the cheap furniture and linens. Kid-friendly furniture tends to be high-quality, strong, and made with easy-to-clean, heavy fabrics. Even if the kids use it as a trampoline, a well-made couch or sofa will hold up for years and years. Plus, it is attractive, comfortable, and straight out of your dream home plans.

 Shared Areas and Privacy

The ideal family-friendly home will have wonderful shared space where the family can come together, and space for adults and children to get some much-deserved time to themselves. The dining area should be inviting and the living room should be comfortable. As for achieving privacy, if individual children’s rooms aren’t an option, try including a secluded reading nook or a “secret” outdoor den.

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!

3 Ways to Upgrade Your Basement

After living in your home for a few years you may decide you want or need to re-claim that cluttered space in your basement for more useable family space. When deciding to have your basement remodeled or finished, consider going all out. Experts say that one of the best ways to increase the value of your home is to upgrade your home’s basement. The investment you make will not only add value to your home, it will allow you to create more space for enjoyment with family and friends. Here are just three ideas to consider when upgrading your basement.

Incorporate a Media Room


One of the most common additions to a high-end basement is a media room. These rooms allow for movie and television viewing in style. Consider working with a company that specializes in creating the best theater-style experience inside your own home. You will want to consider the important additions of media essentials such as audio and video equipment as well as seating and viewing options.

To go all out, consider the overall design of the media room. For many families, completing the basement media room includes the addition of the little extras such as isle lighting, a popcorn machine, and for some even a candy and soda bar. With the completion of a media room you and your family will find that movie night is even more fun!

Create an Open Space for Entertaining


If your home does not have the space to allow for a separate media room, consider a high-end multi-purpose room for entertaining that will allow you to create a place for family and friends to gather. These rooms incorporate many of the elements of a media room without being completely walled off from the rest of the house. Often the addition of a kitchen or wet bar makes the space more like a local pub or sports bar than a basement family room. With stylish finishes and activity-centric additions such as a pool table, foosball table, arcade machines or game tables, you’ll find many excuses to invite friends and family to your home for fun and relaxing gatherings.

 Make Upgrades to Bathrooms and Guest Spaces

In addition to making your basement welcoming for entertainment events, a basement upgrade can also create the perfect oasis for guests to stay. You can turn your basement into the perfect guest suite by adding luxury upgrades to bathrooms and remaking guest bedrooms to feel as warm, inviting and comfortable as a classy hotel suite. According to experts, you can take your basement accommodations from minimal to classy in no time at all. Going all out allows you to focus on every surface, use high end materials, and create a space that has guests feeling like they entered a five star hotel. Consider the details, such as creating a spa feeling in the bathroom, choosing comfortable and elegant furnishings for bedrooms, and finishing everything off with fine linens and brushed metal details.

Creating an ultimate living space in your basement will not only provide you with many new uses for what was once an underused part of the house, but with high-end additions you’ll also be adding tremendous value to your home. When you choose to use high end finishes and create welcoming entertaining spaces you will soon realize that you can create a vacation home right within your own basement.

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!

New Shades of Gray

Everyone wants to know what the new trends are in kitchen and bath design.  Although magazines are showing lots of white – white tile, white countertops, white furniture, and white accessories, the new colors in cabinetry are shades of gray.  I feel that this trend will be like most trends, it will last for more than a decade.  If you are looking for a stylish update for a kitchen or bathroom, it is okay to have gray cabinets.  If you are remodeling, there are ways to incorporate these newly trendy colors without going over the top.

We use Crystal cabinets for most of our kitchen, bath, basement and addition remodeling projects.  Crystal has recently introduced new colors in blues and grays.  Not only do the new colors come in a painted finish, they also have gray stain colors.  We are starting to incorporate these cabinet colors in our clients’ homes and they look fabulous.  Please check back to see some of these rooms on Sarah’s Style File and in our galleries on our website.

Gray comes in cool shades or warm shades.  The cool shades have an undertone of blue, whereas the warm tones have a yellow or brown undertone.  Be careful not to mix the cool gray tones with the warm gray tones when you have 2 gray objects or surfaces next to each other.  Most people usually gravitate to one or the other.  Look around your house – do you have cool colors such as blues, greens, whites or do you have yellows, reds, and browns, or the warm shades?   I don’t want to confuse you with too much color theory, but you can mix a cool grey with another complementary warm color such as pink.

Cool-grays-June-2014.JPG  Warm grays June 2014.JPG
Cool Grays                                                                                 Warm Grays

We are experts in remodeling, so this is easy for us. If you want to make sure your hard earned money is well spent on your kitchen or bath remodel, bring in the experts.  We can make sure that you do not make expensive mistakes. Foster Remodeling is a full service design/build firm.  We will guide you through the whole process, and make sure you know all of your design options so you can have the room that you’ve been dreaming about.

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!

Written by: Suzanne Glatz – Design Consultant – Foster Remodeling Solutions