There is always the safe way of doing things when decorating your home and there is nothing wrong with a classic or traditional look. Plenty of designers and home decor gurus who preach on tried and true classical pieces. But some of us like to think a little outside the box with our home environment.
Maybe we like to do things differently in general… maybe we like a little spark of the unusual… perhaps we dare to allow ourselves to be playful. Well, for those that lean toward a bit of creative whimsy, this article is for you. Take a look at some of these out-of-the-box design ideas and be inspired!
Unique Shaped Furniture
This is a real step in going against the norm and definitely for non-traditionalists. If you are really adventurous, you can put a strange piece of furniture anywhere in your house but you must be willing to live with the piece. Almost all one-of-a-kind designs and artisan made pieces are on the pricey side.
Tables are a great place to start. You can make a statement with a dining table crafted out of a tree stump or a coffee table made from an antique drum. Strange and unusual tables can be found from artists and specialty stores online or you may just get lucky at an antique dealer.
We have seen some marvelously fascinating tables in all shapes and colors, some that appear to be melting and others in the most bizarre shapes ( with “human” legs for example)! One completely off the wall idea is to have a “living” table with the top transformed into a plant bed with live grass. The concept behind this design was to replicate the feel of a picnic. How unique!
Another great place to exhibit your “wild” side is the bedroom. Why not go to sleep in a dream-worthy land each night and wake up to inspiration. We’re talking beds that resemble fairy-tale forests, with each post in the shape of a realistic tree! Or how about a hammock bed?
Certain designers have taken the hammock design to a new level with added comfort and on a larger scale. This is great for that soothing feeling of weightlessness and the comfort of gentle rocking. And to get even funkier, there are beds out there in a plethora of crazy shapes from coffins to canoes.
In this category, the sky is truly the limit. It really depends on how far you’re willing to push the design limits and what statement you are desiring to make. Some furniture out there is more a work of art or meant for shock value.
How about a chair made to look like it was fashioned out of raw meat, or a coat hanger made of plastic doll limbs? To each his own! If you want your house to be full of conversation, take a chance with one of these ideas!
This is a great way to go for the do-it-yourselfer or the bargain hunter with an eye for good bones. If you already own an older quality piece of furniture such as a chair or couch, you can have it reupholstered with unique or funky fabric and bring it back to life. Generally reupholstering will cost the same if not more than buying new furniture.
However, with a very high-quality piece that has stood the test of time, it can be worth it. The main benefit here is customizability. You can create a look entirely your own with fabric and colors that cannot be found in ready made furniture. If you want to make a statement piece out of an old chair, choose bright colors and unique patterns.
For non-fabric furniture such as dressers, tables and armoires, a good sanding and new paint job can do wonders. Here is where the smart, thrifty shopper can really save some bucks. There are many ways to acquire used furniture at extreme discount.
If you have the time, check out thrift stores, resale shops, and estate sales for some good finds. Then do a little bit of research or youtube surfing and enjoy your project. There are some fantastic whimsical paint ideas out there and many are quite easy to do.
Home design trends, like clothing fashion, change quite frequently. Many times there are simple updates you can make to keep your home looking fresh and modern. Here we will give you advice on current styles as well as common mistakes to avoid when updating your home. Use the following list as your guide and you are sure to impress friends and family with your latest updates.
Blue, blue and more blue! Not only is the color blue hot on the runways this year, it’s hugely popular in home decor and design. Using shades of blue is definitely one of the most noteworthy trends of 2014. We are seeing every color and pairing of blue from turquoise to azure and anything in between. You don’t even need to worry about mixing and matching different shades of blue within one room. In fact, the most exciting way to update with blue this year seems to be combining a myriad of different shades. This can be done with wall color, furniture, pillows, any number of accent pieces or all of the above. This is essentially the easiest and most foolproof way to add a fresh update to your home.
Overly matching furniture, accent pieces and patterns is out! We are way past the 1950’s, my friends. In our modern era, we know that perfection is not only unattainable, but the appearance of perfection is quite uninviting. A room with different yet complementary colors, patterns and textures has character and warmth. We are moving further and further away from the days of formal sitting rooms that shout “Don’t touch!” and “Keep out!” We want our family and guests to feel welcome in our homes and to also get a sense of who we are based on personal style.
We could label this a move toward a more eclectic design sense. But really, over-matching (more than one couch in the same color, two of everything, and repeated colors and fabrics) has been a thing of the past for a long time. Show your personal style in your home. Mix and match varying yet complementary tones, textures and patterns. The key is knowing the difference between “matching” and “coordinating.”
Ethnic prints and accent pieces are way in this year. Varying prints inspired by exotic locals and fair-trade decor items add character and conversation starters to any room. This is also a fantastic way to showcase your travel souvenirs. This trend was born through the ever-growing importance of travel for our younger generations and also the uniting fair trade movement to help third world indigenous people. Bright, bold prints especially on pillows and rugs give rooms a well-traveled, bohemian vibe. This is a fun way to bring plain colored couches to life and draw the eye away from boring vanilla walls. We encourage you to buy fair trade items as much as possible. Not only will you be adding a significant update to your home, but you will also be doing your part to help those in need.
Keeping furniture against walls may seem like the best way to arrange a room, but this is one of the most common mistakes you can make. A room needs to have a sense of intimacy and proper flow. This means that couches, chairs or tables (any main pieces of furniture) should be the central point of a room, inviting guests to sit or dine.
The space between furniture and walls should vary according to the size of the room. If the room is quite large, any furniture butted up against walls will be easily dwarfed by the space. You don’t want your guests to be sitting and staring out at a big empty space, you want them to feel like they are gathered together sharing in an intimate environment. You want your family and your guests to be the center of any room. So when you are arranging furniture in your house, think about what would inspire comfort and intimacy.
Natural and outdoor elements brought indoors. This is one of the bolder trends for 2014 but we are confident that it will continue into 2015 and possibly beyond. There are varying extremes of this concept from actually incorporating live plants, rocks, and branches into design elements to furniture and decor in nature inspired shapes. The idea is to create the serene feeling of being in a garden or forest.
Depending on your taste, this could be as simple as a few new plants or as extravagant and unique as a chandelier made of branches. This design element plays well with the ethnic prints and patterns that are also en vogue for 2014.
Too much is never in style, whether it be too much clutter, too much pattern, or too many contrasting colors. We want to emphasize this especially with some of the more eclectic looks that are coming into style. If you have lots of travel souvenirs you want to display, be careful not to crowd them all into one space.
Grouping everything together can be overwhelming on the eye and draw attention away from other elements in the room. Your collections can be displayed throughout the house without detracting from their conversational value. Similarly, accenting a room with exciting patterns can be executed beautifully, but you must not overdo it or you will have a dizzying effect and the room will lose its comfortable appeal.
This final section is dedicated to some of the less extravagant, yet still noteworthy trends of 2014. Corduroy is hot in fabric, especially for couches and chairs. The use of brass has become popular recently as well.
However, this must be done right or can appear quite tacky. Mainly we are seeing stately brass elements in upscale kitchens and bathrooms. Lighter colored woods are being seen throughout the design world. We are seeing a move away from the rich dark stained woods of the past to a lighter, fresh, even beachy look. Lighter woods give an open airy feel and can make a room look much larger.
Along these same lines, we see the use of sheer window dressing is big this year. Again, this gives a lighter, airy feel to the interior and allows for more light to enter a room. Overall, the general movement of 2014 design trends lean toward unique, personalized spaces with inviting atmospheres and elements of peaceful relaxation. Have fun making this your year for change!
Planning a home remodel can be a daunting task. Whether you are remodeling a bathroom or undertaking a complete home makeover, it’s important to be up to date on the latest styles and innovations.
Every year there are at least a few new and unexpected trends in home remodeling and interior design.
In this article we will break down the top ideas for 2014, some brand new and some which have been going strong for years but still bear mentioning due to relevance. Read on for some exciting ideas to keep your home fresh!
1. Going Green: Of course this is not exactly a new trend but with each year manufacturers and builders are going increasingly more green. Sustainability has become an assumption in the home remodeling industry instead of an option. This is definitely something to keep in mind when hiring companies to work on your home. It never hurts to ask about their policies and sourcing so you can rest assured you are doing the best you can to reduce your carbon footprint. Some examples of green thinking include the following:
Composite decking is made from a combination of wood waste and recycled plastic. This option makes for outdoor patios and decks that are green, durable and beautiful.
Paper-based countertops in kitchens and bathrooms are a great alternative to stone and plastic. They are made from tree pulp and are highly durable.
The use of lumber from certified sustainable forests. Do your homework and find plywood that is certified by the FSC ( the Forest Stewardship Council).
Bamboo plywood and soy concrete stain. Both bamboo and soy are easily grown and rapidly renewable resources.
These are just a few green concepts. You can easily find more ideas and companies that take a responsible environmental stance, by simply doing some research online.
2. Urban Downsizing is also a continued trend in 2014. People, especially the younger working generations, prefer smaller living spaces closer to downtowns rather than larger homes in the suburbs. People prefer avoiding long commutes and the younger generations spend less time at home. Many also prefer to spend their money on travel rather than investing in larger homes. Retiring adults are also hopping on board with this trend to conserve financially.
3. Aesthetically speaking, bright, bold colors are a hot trend for 2014. This was a big thing last year as well, however, this year’s colors are even more of a statement. Designers are showcasing extra vivid accent walls in colors such as tangerine, lime green, hot pink, and vibrant red. Accent walls are a relatively cheap and low commitment way to add some pizazz to a dull room or showcase certain favorite pieces of furniture. Designers are also continuing the bright color trend down to the flooring. Perhaps this goes hand-in-hand with urban downsizing? With smaller living spaces, a bright pop of color can add that touch of personality needed to make a small space your own.
4. On the opposite end of the extreme bright accent wall is a new trend toward black accent walls. That’s right! Something new for this year is the use of glamorous black or darkly hued walls to add depth, drama and glamour. Could this possibly be a result of recent years fascination with vampires and the macabre?
Wherever it started, this certainly must be done right for those bold enough to try it. Black walls generally works best with metallic wall decor or gleaming chandeliers. If you have a few bright, glittering pieces of decor and the right attitude, go for it.
5. Curbless showers and stand-alone tubs are both popular bathroom remodeling trends this year. The stand alone tub is visually appealing and space saving at the same time, while the curbless shower gives the illusion of a more open area. Both concepts lend an air of resort style luxury for those looking to improve upon the bathing experience.
However, make sure you do your homework and consult with a company who has experience with the curbless showers. If done incorrectly, you may end up with leaks. If you are currently in the market for a shower remodel, one of our shower remodeling contractors can assist you.
6. Tech-savvy U-sockets. This is one of the newest and hottest trends for 2014. The modern family, bachelor, single lady, and kiddo all have one thing in common: we need our gadgets and we need them to be charged up and ready to go. The U-socket is an outlet with the addition of two built in USB ports.
This says a lot about how much our technology has changed. While the U-socket is a brand new design concept for 2014, they are sure to one day be a common accoutrement in any home. Soon to be gone are the days of the old socket outlet.
We asked some of the busiest contractors and local business owners in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex about their favorite remodeling and home DIY trends for 2014-2015. We got some interesting answers from the owners of these websites:
"Minimalism in the kitchen, especially in lofts. Removal of walls." -www.valorseo.com
"Gutters that have a flair all their own - copper and other materials that aren't normally associated with our industry." -www.dfwgutterinstallation.com
"Metal and slate roofing is quickly becoming more popular in the wake of the recent hail storms here in North Texas." -www.360roofing.org
"Patterned concrete has never been hotter, especially in peak months like June and July. We've been receiving a steady stream of referrals from satisfied customers over the past year as the housing marketing continues to stay strong here in North Dallas." -www.stampedconcretedallas.net
Other ideas we kept hearing include infinity pools, shower conversions and granite countertops.
One of our main collaborators is Mike, who recently opened San Antonio Waterproofing, as well as a new divisions in Oklahoma City and Austin. Mike is currently offering a variety of specials in his major markets of Houston, SA, Austin and Tulsa. If you are interested, visit his San Antonio branch link above for more info. This includes a complimentary consultation with a member of his sales team.
Areas they specialize in include:
They are an established company that was originally founded in Dallas and has grown across the state. If you need help with a home project, look no further.
The basic steps in renovating any house, or commercial property, are very simple. To avoid disaster and unnecessary expenses, it’s best to follow these steps in the order listed:
Take care of all mechanical systems throughout the house. This means that every portion of the plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems must be upgraded to meet modern living needs. You may be able to use the existing systems, but they might be outdated and require some expansion or upgrading.
Electrical systems, particularly in any house built before 1960, may not be adequate to handle all of the modern appliances in your household.You can pretty much rely on your inspection report to point out most of the deficiencies in you mechanical systems, but it is probably worth a few extra dollars to call in several specialists, one to look at each system. They can also provide an estimate of what it will cost to have them make the necessary repairs or upgrades to the system. With that in hand you can evaluate, in terms of your own capabilities and pocketbook, whether or not you want to do the work yourself.
Make a complete floor plan of the room arrangements you want to alter. Complete. Don’t just sketch the kitchen and then start knocking down the walls. Measure and draw each of the areas to be affected. An extra couple hours spent at this stage may save you thousands of dollars and immeasurable headache and heartache later.
Locate and price all of the equipment you plan to install in the house: kitchen cabinets, stall showers, tubs, sinks, toilets, refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers -- anything made by an outside manufacturer that has a prescribed size and power or water requirements. You need to evaluate the make and model of each piece of equipment, and whether you have enough space for it in the room where you plan to put it. You must also make allowances for bringing power or water to your equipment, if that is what it needs to operate. Only after you’ve done careful planning should you go ahead and buy the equipment you need.
Now you can consider the decorating, the color paint you will need and how much of it, wallpaper, flooring, and so on, and what has to be done in each room.
How about the outside?
In most incidences, renovation of the outside of a house is not a primary consideration -- at least not in making the house functional and livable. It may be a personal concern. It may be a concern of the neighborhood, or the block where the house stands, particularly if the house hasn’t been painted in fifteen years and stands out as an eyesore. There may be some dangers involved -- if, for example, the facade has loose stonework or broken stoops steps. Most of all, there may be a personal pride lurking in your soul that drives you to repair the front of the building before you do anything else. That’s your privilege. It is usually not necessary, but you can certainly work from the outside in, if you wish.
Even if you are not attending to the facade first, make sure that the roof is watertight, and that the gutters and leaders are performing their function of carrying water away from the building. Water runoff has a considerable amount to do with wet basements, so if you have a problem with a flooding cellar after heavy rains, making the gutters and leaders work properly may provide the solution.
Even as these mechanical systems are being upgraded, it is important to develop a full plan for your entire renovation. One of the reasons you need a complete plan is economics, but it is just as important that you have a full knowledge of exactly what you have to work with. It is only through the development of a well-thought-out plan that you can be sure all of the space you need will be provided. You can run into some serious problems, for example, if you decide to create a bathroom and forget to allow enough space for the door to swing into the room, or if you forget to allow enough closets in a bedroom.
A special thanks to the following contractors for contributing to this article: DFW Appliance Repairs, and Sinclair Masonry of Houston.
Our friends at North Dallas Commercial Real Estate Co. recently weighed in with how commercial property remodels differ from deciding on how to renovate a home or garage area. Since these commercial real estate pros specialize in finding office spaces and fixing them up, we figured it wouldn't hurt to get their take. Their recommendations and advice is as follows:
Yes, the commercial property market is recovering, and in areas like Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte and Phoenix it has never been hotter. Despite this, it's not a situation to enter into lightly and your financing should be in place before attempting to acquire a fixer-upper.
In a recent blog post on the Best of North Dallas (BOND) directory, it was noted that the commercial renovation of the southeast corner of Beltline and the North Dallas Tollway was completed. And it looks much better than it did when the lot was occupied by a desolate Bed Bath and Beyond eyesore. Currently, the area is undergoing a major commercial renovation and has added several new clients, including:
Since our office is located near by, we plan to check out the renovations very soon. Whole Foods essentially moved from their long time location on Coit Road just south of Beltline to a more high-traffic area. Anyone who went in the Richardson store could tell it was on its last legs for several years and the Addison store is a much-welcomed addition. No plans have been set for the Richardson shell store.
We recently contacted Overall Concrete Contractors to settle an ongoing discussion about how to cure concrete. They were gracious enough to respond:
"Concrete begins to cure after just a few hours (slower in cold weather and faster in summer), after which it should not be disturbed. In fact, after reaching its initial curing stage, concrete will not chemically bond to newly poured concrete adjacent to it. After about eight hours, concrete reaches its "final set stage".
Because concrete is a quick-drying material, the actual pouring of concrete is a chaotic, frenetic and sloppy process no matter the foundation type in question. This is one thing all concrete contractors can agree on. It lasts perhaps an hour, and includes tamping and vibrating the wet concrete to fill an voids and even its content throughout the forms. Finishing chores, such as smoothing the slab, cutting control joints and setting anchor bolts, occurs for a few hours at most after the pour."
Contractor lingo used in this article:
tamping and vibrating - the manual and/or mechanical process of removing air pockets from poured concrete.
control joints - in the concrete slab, strategically placed grooves to which cracks in the surface will gravitate, maintaining structural integrity and appearance. Also called a contraction joint.
We contacted Advanced Paving Company and 911 Christmas Light Installation (both in the North Dallas area) to assist us with common questions and concerns about laying new foundations. Both companies were happy to share some unique insights into the process.
"Slab foundations are common in areas of expansive soil, where a high clay content causes problems with settling and inadequate sub-surface drainage; they also became popular once technology evolved away from coal-fired furnaces to smaller electric and natural gas equipment. This essentially eliminated the need for a basement. And with the three car garages and walk-in-closets of today's housing, a musty, damp basement seems inadequate for storage of anything. Slabs also are easier, faster, and cheaper to build than full basements, requiring a day or less to form and prepare for concrete paving once excavation has been completed. Most affordable or first-time buyer homes are on slabs to lessen construction costs and thus the price of the finished house. They require less excavation and formwork and are often poured at the same time as their footings to create a monolithic structure.
Slab foundations rest on a bed of washed gravel to facilitate drainage under the slab and occasionally contain pipes or conduits for various utilities that will be set within the concrete. Measuring between six and eight inches thick, slabs also are often reinforced with rebar along the perimeter and a thick wire mesh across the breadth. All slabs are finished with control joints. These are man-made grooves along the surface of the slab to attract and regulate cracking that will occur during the curing process."
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