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.




In-Law Suite: The Perfect Present For Your Aging Parents

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One of the latest trends today for remodeling is an in-law suite. This is an area transformed into a living space for your parents or your in-laws. The feature can be anything as an apartment over a garage, a basement suite, a detached room, or a stand-alone apartment. This remodeling can be just a simple amenity like a bedroom or a full-scale project.

People will say that it is hard living with an aging parent. You will be faced with a unique challenge on your part. This is true when it concerns one who is sickly. Members of this age group are the most vulnerable when it comes to accidents in and around the house.

But with in-law suites,major changes will be made into your household. As it is not a part of the house’s original design. These changes are added to prevent accidents from happening and as mentioned give accessibility. In-law suites commonly feature various alterations to improved your aging parents’ living standards.

  • Replacing bathtubs with walk-in showers
  • Installation of safety rails
  • Expansion of doorways and passageways
  • Installation of a stair lift
  • Adjusting the height of door handles, light switches, and doorbells at a fitting level

A good design team will also help you predict the needs of your loved ones. This goes more than just the usual bed and shower. You will be given other ideas to think about too. Like the space in your house where your parents will spend their mornings and evenings. You will also need to consider their hobbies. You will need to give them that space for sewing, knitting, and reading. A space for these pastimes can be a great feature on your in-law suite design.

You will be amazed to know that a lot of professionals are giving this new trend a positive reply. Because they all agree on the idea. That they should give space in their homes for an elderly relative. If you haven’t considered living with your in-laws, then these benefits will persuade you to remodel your house. Benefits that will give good memories for your family through the years to come.

  • A bond will be built between your children and their grandparents. Promoting closer family ties
  • As working professionals, you will now have the benefit of having a warm cooked meal. Most parents are good cooks and you now have something deliciously prepared ready on the table before you arrived.

Retrofitting your home for a loved one is no small task. You will need space requirements and specific design elements.Take note, that in-law suites need not be big in size. All it needs is to have the necessary features and amenities. Besides these, you will be dealing with a lot of emotional issues. For some, this is a life-changing event. You should have your eyes wide open and be realistic in your expectations. Know the limitations at hand so that the transition for both of you will be a smooth process.

For over 30 years, Foster Remodeling Solutions, Inc. has been offering kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodelingin-law suites and home additions improvement services. Our service area extends to Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA. Request for a FREE CONSULTATION at 703-550-1371 or visit us at 7211 Telegraph Square Dr, Lorton, VA 22079 today!

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 –


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!

Bathroom Remodeling – Splurge or Save?

0914_landryFunction is the No. 1 priority in a bathroom—if it doesn’t “work” for you, who cares whether the tile is patterned in period-perfect Arts and Crafts style? Ultimately, you must be able to easily, conveniently use the space and the features within it.


“In the end, you need a good quality toilet that works well, a good valve body for the faucets that gives you the type of water flow you want,” says Ken Perrin, president, Artistic Renovations, Cleveland, Ohio.


That said, the bathroom should be an appealing place to go. Especially in a master suite where the bathroom becomes more of a spa/resting space than a utilitarian room, some of the bells and whistles (heated floors) are certainly worth the splurge. And, in fact, some of the luxuries that seem like they would blow your budget are actually within reach (again, heated floors).


Here is some general advice on where to spend and splurge:


Tile. Save money on the background tile and spend on some decorative eye candy. Or, choose targeted spaces for beautiful tile treatment—such as a vanity backsplash or a wall in the shower—and fill in the rest with economical but effective, basic porcelain. “You can do one wall of mosaic that will cost $20 to $50 per square foot, but the space is only 40 x 10 inches, and do the rest in plain field tile that is $5 per square foot,” says Cassia Wyner, designer/owner, CW Design, Brookline, Mass. “It’s worth spending an extra $500 for some ‘wow’ factor.”
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! 
Next Topics: Flooring, Cabinetry, Countertops, Plumbing Fixtures….READ MORE….

Courtesy of HGTV

7 Mistakes NOT to make in your Bathroom Remodel

Whether you are just replacing an outdated vanity or renovating the entire space, bathroom remodeling can be an expensive proposition. Read on to find out the 7 most common mistakes made during a bathroom renovation and how you can avoid them in your own home.

screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-1-00-57-pm1. Don’t Ignore the Bathroom Fan

Don’t forget about this often-overlooked feature: an appropriately sized bathroom exhaust fan. Without proper ventilation, humidity gets trapped in the enclosed space. Over time, this moist environment becomes the perfect home for mold and mildew, and allows paint, grout, and metal to deteriorate. Whether you already have a fan or add one in your renovation, make sure to vacuum the vent clean of construction dust and debris before switching the fan on in your updated space.


screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-1-01-04-pm2.  Lacking a Clear Plan

Planning is everything! Instead of discovering your bathroom’s specific needs after you’ve already ripped out the toilet, make a plan that takes into account precise measurements, anticipated cost, all materials, and your own personal taste. Map out your plan for any family members or contractors who will be helping you with the remodel.


screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-1-01-14-pm3. Improper Spacing
If your plan for your bathroom renovation focuses on looks rather than function, that’s a big problem. Leave the decorating for later and think about the layout and spacing first. If you’re breaking down walls and moving plumbing fixtures, you’ll not only want to make sure the new layout satisfies building codes for minimal spacing guidelines, but also be certain that the placement of fixtures and furnishings allows for comfortable    everyday use.


screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-1-07-03-pm4.  Choosing the wrong Materials

Bathrooms undergo some serious stress—from high moisture levels to quick temperature shifts. To prevent warped or mildewed floors, walls, or vanities, you’ll want to choose materials designed specifically for the bathroom. When you’re spending lots of money to redo your space, it’s important to know that your wallpaper can survive high humidity and your wood vanity will stand the test of time.


Written by: Sarah Littleton –

Doorway to a Smart, Stylish Remodeling Project

Picture1Pocket doors add a level of sophistication to a remodeling project. When space is limited, a pocket door tucked neatly into the wall can be the difference between an awkward transition and a smart, stylish solution.  When opened it provides the seamless transition of a doorway. The visual clutter of a swinging door in a tight space is eliminated. Closing the door is like revealing a hidden surprise that is as elegant as it is clever. This understated element is the sign of a well-designed space with careful attention to detail and functionality.

Swap out a basic door for a glass panel or specialty door, and increasePicture2 the wow factor of your practical solution. Like the perfect accessory to an outfit, a pocket door is a way to showcase your unique style and personality. It makes a statement that says “this is my home.” Whether your style is classic, transitional or modern, there’s a pocket door with you written all over it.

Picture3If you really want to step up the wow factor, consider a sliding barn door. Like it’s cousin the pocket door, when opened it rolls neatly out of the way. But instead of hiding inside the wall, it makes a bold statement that is bound to spark conversation. The two bathrooms shown express the versatility of this style door. Above is a fusion of traditional farmhouse comfort and urban industrial chic. The barn door, with its time weathered wood and exposed industrial pulley wheels, is an ideal focal point to pull the two styles together perfectly. On the right, is a transitional bath in a colonial home. This barn door, with its crisp white bead board and traditional hardware is the perfect transition between the classic and contemporary styles.

Picture4Barn doors and pocket doors can add character, elegance, and that pop of the unexpected in a remodeling project that translates to wow factor.

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: Dory Clemens – Design Consultant – Foster Remodeling Solutions


10 Amenities to Make Your Bathroom Extraordinary

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Convert Your Tub Space to a Shower

ordonezThere are so many examples of large bathrooms, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that most of us have bathrooms that are about 50 square feet (5 by 10 feet). A dream shower can often become a reality only if it fits into the footprint of a dated tub. But what’s the best way to go about this conversion?

The first step is to put everything down on paper. Before you start ripping out tile, bringing home sale items or searching for the perfect grout color, make sure you measure, plan and research.

JW – Houzz Contributor