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Fire, Renovations

Goodbye, monochromatic kitchens; hello, Ultra Violet.

kitchen trends
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1 Blue And Green Cabinetry

kitchen trends
MasterBrand Cabinets
Expect kitchens to take on moody ocean-inspired shades. “Blues and greens emerged as ‘go-to’ color choices for cabinetry in 2017. They are being mixed with other colors, complementing wood stains or even being used as the dominant color alone,” according to Stephanie Pierce, director of design & trends at MasterBrand Cabinets.
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2 All-Violet Everything

kitchen trends
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Pantone announced Ultra Violet as the color of the year, and it’s already shaping up to be a major trend in every aspect of home design. Shannon Zapala, co-founder of glassware brand GOVERRE explains, “One of the popular kitchen trends for 2018 is using bold, unexpected colors […] such as Ultra Violet, Pantone’s color of the year! This dramatic color exudes a feeling of luxury and elegance.”
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3 Dark Countertops

kitchen trends
Formica Corporation
Dark, deep countertops are the order of the day, according to Renee Hytry Derrington, global design lead at Formica Group. “Homeowners were intrigued with slate tiles that came in black, dark green and multi-colored rust tones. We wanted to design a slate option for countertops that had the same natural cleft detail— but combined with the growing interest in dramatic black stones. Basalt Slate is the result, and one of our most popular designs this year.”
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4 Mix-And-Match Finishes

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The days of monochromatic kitchens are far behind us, according to Sue Wadden, the director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. She explains that, this year, it’s all about mixing and matching color, no need to keep it all the same: “Using multiple colors in kitchens has become a popular trend this year. For example, painting base walls or cabinets in a dark charcoal tone and upper cabinets and walls in creamy off-white tones is something we’re seeing more and more of.”
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5 High-Contrast Marble

kitchen trends
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“Step aside Carrara,” says interior designer Donna Mondi. She explains that the newest ‘it’ look for the kitchen is dramatic marble that makes a statement, noting, “Marble countertops with high contrast bold veining are making quite a statement. It’s perfect for book-matching to create intense drama, or doing as a waterfall down the sides of the island. Either way this new trend is one to watch as I think it’ll be going strong for years to come
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Preventative, Renovations

Once you figure out where the leaking water is coming from, put a stop to it with one of these do-it-yourself fixes!

First, some of the washers between the bowl and tank may have failed. Shut off the supply valve, empty the tank with a flush, then remove the nuts, bolts, and washers from the underside of the tank. Lift the tank, position it on its side, and see if the washers need replacing. Another culprit may be faulty fasteners securing the fill valve and ballcock to the bottom of the tank. Before you replace those parts, however, first try simply tightening the nuts and bolts holding them in place—that often solves the problem. On the other hand, if the leak seems to be coming from the base of the tank, chances are the wax ring that seals the toilet to the floor has failed. Replacing the wax ring is a much bigger job, since it involves removing the entire toilet from its base. If you decide to replace the wax ring yourself—preferably with a friend to help with the lifting—take the extra step of also replacing any bolts that show signs of corrosion. And, once you have the toilet back in place, don’t forget to add a bead of caulk around the base.
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Renovations
The process of selling a home can feel like navigating the unknown, especially for those who have never been through it before. There are so many questions to consider: How is your home perceived by others? What can you do to get the highest sale price? Which upgrades were worth the cost? With these concerns in mind, we decided to call in the experts. We asked real estate agents to share some of their buyers’ biggest turn-offs. Read on to learn what these issues are — and how to fix them. With this advice, you can rest assured your home will show at its very best.
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Neutral interiors

Try to keep interiors neutral when selling.

Shop a similar look: Coffee Table | Accent Table | Side Chairs

1. Unconventional or outdated design

“In an ideal world, buyers would be able to see past outdated home decor, or bold paint colors, however, many times that’s not the case. I have shown properties that seem to be a perfect fit for a buyer’s needs but they can’t see past the dark green paint in the living room.” — Chris Taylor, with Advantage Real Estate in Boston, MA. One of the hardest realizations sellers have to come to terms with is that, once their home hits the market, its interior design is no longer about reflecting personal style. It’s about helping your home appeal to the largest possible pool of buyers. If getting an offer is your goal, your best bet is keep your interiors neutral and modern. This isn’t as big of an undertaking as you’d think. A fresh coat of paint — in a neutral shade — can totally transform your interiors with relatively little effort on your part. That, coupled with the addition of a few modern accessories, will liven up your interiors.
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Natural light.

Natural light is a big plus.

Shop a similar look: Bar Stools | Sunflowers | Coffee Maker

2. Not enough natural light

“Lately, I’ve found that the lack of natural light is particularly unappealing to buyers. Sellers should be careful with overhangs, overgrown trees and outdoor features like shaded loggias because they block a lot of sunlight to the interior rooms.” — Joy Bender, of Aumann Bender & Associates with Pacific Sotheby’s in San Diego, CA. In this case, you need to work around the confines of the natural light your home receives. There are still a few tricks you can use to highlight the light available to you. As mentioned above, you want to take stock of your home’s exterior before accepting any showings. Take care of any necessary home maintenance tasks and, if possible, hire a landscaper to spruce up outdoor areas. Additionally, make a point to open all your draperies before buyers come through the house. This will ensure your home feels light, bright and airy.
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Stair storage

Make sure there’s plenty of storage.

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3. Lack of storage solutions

“Some buyers will open every closet door and every drawer. Most are looking for more space, and if your home’s storage spaces are full to bursting, it can be a big turn-off. Our professional stager encourages buyers to make sure there’s empty space in every storage option.” — John Totin, of The Totin Group with Keller Williams Legacy in San Antonio, Texas. The first step to maximizing storage is to declutter. (If you need an incentive, taking care of this chore now may make your move easier down the road.) Once you’ve pared down to the essentials, it’s all about how they’re stored. If your current storage solutions are a little too full, invest in a few more — aesthetically pleasing — storage options. Then, when it’s time for a showing, use that storage to make sure all of your day-to-day clutter gets hidden away.
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Remodels

Remodels should be left to the pros.

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4. Hastily done upgrades

“I have worked with hundred of buyers, and I can tell you that bad remodels are a major turn off. Buyers would rather have it be original and redesign it themselves or have a pro do it. Cheap cabinets and flooring, plus low-end appliances and finishes are just something they are going to have to remove and that cost more than starting from scratch.” — Paul G. Lykins, with True Floridian Realty in Delray Beach, FL. This one is a hard one. Yes, it’s true that when remodels are done right they can bring you a return on your investment — and then some. However, this tip proves that sometimes they can be more trouble than they’re worth. The only way to tell which camp your remodel will fall into is to be really honest with yourself about your abilities. Do you have the skills and/or resources needed to do a remodel the right way? If not, it may be better to leave the project untouched.
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design tips

Keep these tips in mind when selling.

Shop a similar look: Wall Light | Dining Chairs | Throw Pillows Those about to sell their homes often come to the table with a lot of questions — and rightly so. The idea of trying to anticipate what buyers want can be daunting. In an effort to take away some of the guesswork, we had real estate agents get real about some of their buyers’ biggest turn-offs. Use our suggestions to fix any issues your home may have before your home hits the market and you’ll know you’re putting your best foot forward.    
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Renovations
 

Out-of-the-Box Icebox

Reinforced with scrap pallet wood and laid horizontally with its doors facing up, a dead fridge gets a new life in the yard as a rustic-looking cooler. With the addition of rope catches to help keep its lid open, the old freezer compartment becomes a prime spot to stash cold beverages, while the other section can be filled with condiments and snacks or used as a prep or serving station. Heavy-duty metal handles on both compartments, along with casters affixed to the base, make this hefty warm-weather essential more portable
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Renovations

Kitchen Renovation Tips

Tips from  Studio Snaidero Bay Area owner, Michael Glasser. We wanted to find out what we should know before heading into a showroom and making decisions. What is the best way to see if the cabinets, countertops and hardware work well together? I always recommend that clients bring samples home to see how they interact visually in the ambient light of the actual kitchen space. When coming into a kitchen showroom, what is something that we should have prepared and ready to go? Plans or even a rough dimensioned sketch of the kitchen space are always helpful to put my answers to a client’s questions in context.  Photos of the existing space on a phone or iPad are similarly useful.  Also an open mind: over the years I’ve found that people’s preconceived ideas of what style or finish of cabinets they want are often discarded once they see the remarkable variety of our designs and finishes. How do we know when a material or finish is right or not for us? We can provide recommendations based on our experience for preferring certain materials and finishes in a given setting, but ultimately this choice is highly subjective.  I tell my clients that if they need to convince themselves that finishes harmonize together, then they probably don’t. If the combination of finishes is right, the choice is spontaneous. If we have to be budget friendly with one type of kitchen item, which one would it be? Cabinet finish. Some of our most interesting finishes are also our least expensive and most durable.  Other decisions and costs such as countertop material or appliances are often fixed based on functionality – the range in the cost of cabinet finishes is much greater. Is there something to always keep in mind when deciding cabinet, home appliance configuration? At least in the Bay Area, kitchen spaces are typically not very generous, even in large expensive homes.  So it is important to scale the appliances appropriately to insure that other functional considerations such as adequate storage and counter work space are not compromised. How should we budget out a kitchen renovation project? My clientele is not too concerned with a budget, they know they will gain quality product and design. On other items for a kitchen renovation, I am almost never asked to give estimates for non-Snaidero items such as: counters, appliances. The contractors I recommend handle the overall project budget estimates. Is there a new feature in kitchen design that will be changing how we live and think about kitchens?  Not that I know of.  Progress in this field is usually evolutionary.  With brilliant cabinet systems like Snaidero and the truly advanced appliances available from domestic and European manufacturers, kitchens have attained a remarkable level of utility and aesthetic sophistication. Inevitably more and more electronic and web based features will be added, but in my view they are superfluous.  I see the kitchen and time spent there as a refuge from the ubiquity of the connected world. Read More Here: Kitchen Renovation Tips from Snaidero
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Renovations, Uncategorized
CAMBRIDGE, MA – Over the coming year, homeowner remodeling activity is projected to accelerate, keeping the rate of growth above its long-term trend, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA anticipates growth in home improvement and repair expenditures will reach 8.0 percent by the start of 2017, well in excess of its 4.9 percent historical average. “A healthier housing market, with rising house prices and increased sales activity, should translate into bigger gains for remodeling this year and next,” says Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center. “As more homeowners are enticed to list their properties, we can expect increased remodeling and repair in preparation for sales, coupled with spending by the new owners who are looking to customize their homes to fit their needs.” “By the middle of next year, the national remodeling market should be very close to a full recovery from its worst downturn on record,” says Abbe Will, Research Analyst in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center. “Annual spending is set to reach $321 billion by then, which after adjusting for inflation is just shy of the previous peak set in 2006 before the housing crash.”
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Renovations
 

Beyond DIY: Tips from ‘This Old House’ to save on a home remodel

We can’t emphasize enough how critical a budget is to a successful remodeling project. Too many remodeling regrets are related to the budget. Some come in the form of “we should have gone ahead and done X at that time” as well as “we’re halfway through the project, but we have used up the entire budget already.” Getting budget and project aligned is a step that must be addressed in the planning stage to avoid those regrets. With that said, we all want to save money anytime we can, and this article offers just that. While much of the information is directed at the do-it-yourself individual, there are tips that apply to any type of remodeler. Saving money with manual labor is a given. However, not everyone has the time or skill set to save money with manual labor. Instead, we would like to point out a few of their more general tips.

Increase Efficiency

• The first way the article suggests to save money on a remodel is to increase efficiency not size. That saying is practically a mantra around our office. Less square footage will always save money on the overall budget. We always tell our clients that the basic remodeling formula is Size x Finish = Cost. If you can reconfigure existing space without building an addition, you can save a lot of money. Plus, using space differently within your home can change your life. Moving walls within your home — even structural bearing walls — is more cost-effective than adding on. Just having more space is not the answer to a home that doesn’t have a functional floor plan. When clients come to us asking for a new room out back or over the garage, we step back and discuss how they use their current space and how they intend to use the new space. Often their goals can be reached within the confines of their existing walls or with an addition that is considerably smaller than they originally imagined.

Consult an Architect

• Another suggestion from “This Old House” is to consult an architect. We love it when an outside source sees value in what we do. We can endlessly preach that consulting an architect will save money in the long run, but it will always sound self-serving. Glave writes that not every remodeling project requires the full participation of an architect. However, a homeowner can certainly benefit by at least consulting with one at the beginning of the project. An architect can help them get on the right path, and he or she can consult with them throughout the project as needed.

Make Decisions Beforehand

• Another great “This Old House” tip: Make decisions early. How often have we heard, “But we don’t have to decide that (choose that) yet, do we? Can’t we wait until we get closer to that?” One of the benefits of working with an architect is that we are great nags; we will always urge a homeowner to plan everything possible as soon as possible. This not only helps keep the budget in line, it will make for a smoother, more successful end result. If a homeowner creates accurate and thorough specifications for the project, then he or she will be able to balance the budget and schedule the project successfully. This includes listing all finishes (such as flooring, countertops, etc.) and fixtures (such as appliances, plumbing fixtures, etc.), as well as selecting all building materials (windows, doors, siding, etc.) up front.  This is a great reality check that should not wait until the project is underway
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Renovations, Uncategorized

Use These Tips to Make Living Through a Remodel Easier

Allergies will most likely be triggered when construction dust is everywhere in your home during a remodel. Demolition and drywall sanding can cause airborne dust that can be hard to keep under control. If you are planning on living in your home during a remodel, you must be prepared for due diligence and what you are willing to tolerate if you are planning on living in your home during a remodel.
Unless you are tearing your home down to the studs, most people who choose to live in their house during construction can survive the process with careful planning. Don’t wait until the job starts to assign your designated living space and get situated within your home. You also have to be prepared to get ahead of the dust before the remodel begins. Here are some of the ways I help contain the dust and keep my clients’ homes clean. Use these tips and pass them onto your general contractor.
  1. Pack Like You’re Moving
  2. Create a Zone
  3. Zip Up The Walls
  4. Set Up a Temporary Kitchen
  5. Broom Sweep Clean
  6. Spray Down The Dust
For Even More Details, Click Here: Surviving a Remodel
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Design, Renovations

Waterfall Edge – Your Kitchen Inspiration

Once considered an ultra-modern decor choice, waterfall counters are popping up in a variety of kitchen styles these days. They add a sleek, minimal look to any kitchen design while helping to hide appliances and protect wood cabinets. They’re often easier to clean. And’ if you really love your counter material, you can you can show it off more of it when you pick waterfall style. Read More About It Here: 6 Kitchens
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Renovations, Uncategorized

Get Inspired with this Kitchen Transformation

When they bought their home, Kelly Goldman and her husband Jonathan knew that every single element within its kitchen needed updating. The Goldman’s wasted absolutely no time getting to work. In fact, they started the DIY demo the very day they closed escrow! Then they found that various portions of the project took considerable time — and they also paced everything in order to pay for it. So it wasn’t until a year and a half later that the family would be able to enjoy the fruits of their fully DIY labor. In the end, they created a spectacular transformation on a fraction of a traditional remodel budget that was so worth the wait. Read More Here: Kitchen DIY Transformation
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