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Trend Alert: Going Global

Color, decoration, and functionality are all essential aspects of good home design. However lighting might be the most important factor when it comes to home interiors. Lighting can powerfully and immediately impact the way we perceive a space. It can draw attention toward one spot and away from another. It can go from dazzling to dark at the simple flick of a switch. Your lighting fixtures, therefore, are just as important as the light itself.

Lighting fixtures vary depending on their intended purpose. Pendant lights for bars and island tables. Vanity lights for bathrooms, closets and dressing rooms. Under-cabinet lights for kitchen counters and bedside lamps for, well, bedtime. One would expect that the design of these fixtures would vary according to their functions, and in most cases that’s true. However one design that we keep seeing used everywhere is the globe light.

(from one of our recent kitchen remodels)
It’s not hard to see why people love this design. It’s minimalist, somehow modern and retro at the same time. It’s familiar because we see this shape every day in the sun, moon and stars. Our number one favorite thing about this design? It’s versatile. 
Placed alone, the globe light acts as a statement. A single lightbulb. A timeless symbol for inspiration. In pairs and rows, they invoke feelings of harmony and order. In clusters, they resemble atoms or galaxies: chaotic, natural, and full of potential. 
Of course the classic glass orbs can get old, even after you start combining them in new and creative ways. If you want to add a little variety into the mix, add some color. Tinting the glass or bulb unlocks the potential to alter the ambiance or simply add a bit of diversity. 
Beyond that of course, people are always finding new ways to alter and enhance this classic design. Whether by using different materials, patterns or placements, designers are still finding ways to wow us. For that reason, we can expect to see these around for decades to come.

Kitchen Hoods: Make it a Venti

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Hoods. You gotta’ have it, so you must love it! The kitchen hood does an important job. They should supply the proper ventilation to remove steam, smoke, grease, and more from the air to make your kitchen comfortable and clean. And of course, it has to look good while doing it.

According to Vent-A-Hood, there are three major components to an effective kitchen ventilation system:

a. Hood Canopy

Your holding capacity, overlap, and projection must be considered when sizing your canopy.
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  • Hoods do not pull or draw, they only collect. Holding Capacity is needed to collect cooking vapors so the blower units can exhaust them to the outside.
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  • Whenever possible, the hood should overlap the cooking equipment by 3″ on each side.
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  • The hood should project out to the front edge of the front burners in order to properly capture cooking vapors.

b. Blower System

While the canopy captures the vapors, the blower system moves them out of the house. You must consider what kind of cooking area you have to figure out what kind of blower system you need and the appropriate amount of CFMs you will need. According to Today’s Homeowner, the basic rule of thumb when determining the fan size, is that it should move a minimum of 100 CFM of air for every 12″ of stove width. So if you have a 30″ wide stove, you need a fan that moves at least 250 CFM of air. But, you will need more if it is a gas stove.
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c. Ducting

Never restrict the duct size. A single blower unit requires at least 6″ round duct or equivalent, and a dual blower needs at least 8″ round duct or equivalent. And it is important to make the duct run as short and as straight as possible with as few turns as possible. 
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Now when it comes to the style and design of the hood, you can either have it blend in with the cabinetry or you make it stand out! Here is a great selection of hood styles that are trending today.

a. Blend It With the Cabinets

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b. Make It Stand Alone

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c. Box It In

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d. Put Some Wood On It

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e. Make It All Wood

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f. Just Keep It Simple – Match Your Stainless

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g. Get Custom With The Metal

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Trend Alert: Smart Lights

The “smart home” is a quick term to describe something that’s quite complex. Smart home systems allow you more control, comfort and security from your home appliances. You can see who rang your doorbell, dim your lights, or control the speakers in every room simultaneously.

This is overwhelming at first, and you might be reluctant to allow a phone app complete control over your home’s security functions. It’s a good idea to start small. Super small. Lightbulb small.

Smart lights are a great way to start upgrading your home into a smart home. Most products allow you complete control over the color and intensity of your light fixtures, while more advanced products allow you to sync your lights up with your music or video. 
Perhaps the most advanced smart lights available are from Nanoleaf, who manufacture highly customizable lighting panels, giving you creative freedom over your design. They can also sync up with your music. On the other hand, starter-level bulbs are great if you just want to dim or change colors. Just as an example, these bulbs can be installed in any compatible lamp or hanging light. 
While it may not seem like a big deal at first, control over your lighting is a simple and cheap way to improve your health and comfort significantly. Ketra manufactures lights that can replicate the natural progression of the sun indoors, better for sleep patterns and keeping track of time. 
So if you’re looking to make your home a little more smart, look to the lights. It’s a great first step into the world of smart home technology. Just by changing one lightbulb, you can change the way you live. 

Raising the Bar: Home Bars

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Home design is, firstly, all about how the user operates their space on a daily basis. Secondly, home design is all about how the user operates their space when they entertain. The home bar has steadily become a standard component found in homes today.

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Features often found in a home bar include: an under counter fridge for wine and beverages, an ice maker, a small sink, lockable liquor drawers, and visible shelving.

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Hospitality, especially in the south, is valuable as well as influential. And having a space that caters to this is imperative. Secondary spaces, like the home bar, keeps your kitchen reserved for cooking, while guests can mingle in other areas reserved for drinks and hors d’oeuvres. 

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Home bars don’t have to be very big, and have been known to be retrofitted from closets and even under the stairs. They can always be visible or close off when not in use. They also create more storage for glasses and dishes.

We are raising the bar on home standards everyday!

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Trend Alert: Waterfall Island Countertops

A traditional countertop design extends the lip of the countertop just a few inches beyond the edge of the actual counter. A waterfall countertop continues the past the edge of the counter, vertically down to the floor, extending the material to all sides of the island.

What seemed like a temporary trend at first is becoming a staple in modern kitchens. By far the most popular material used is stone, but we are also seeing wood and concrete countertops getting the waterfall treatment. 
As with most concept and trends, people are finding ways to challenge the classic method. We are seeing partial, offset and live edge waterfalls becoming more common as well.

New Year, New Colors

A new year means out with the old and in with the new color. With 2019’s announcement of these leading design companies color of the year reports, its time to get painting! Pantone’s “Living Coral”, Benjamin Moore’s “Metropolitan”, and Sherwin William’s “Cavern Clay” will bring warmth and vibrancy to any drab space.

1. Pantone

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Living Coral

“Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.
In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.
Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.”
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1. Benjamin Moore

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Metropolitan

“Calm, composed and effortlessly sophisticated, Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year 2019, Metropolitan AF-690, exudes glamour, beauty and balance.”
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3. Sherwin Williams

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Cavern Clay

“A warm terracotta color with ancient, elemental roots, Cavern Clay SW 7701, is our 2019 Color of the Year. Cavern Clay is a nod to midcentury modern style, but with the soul of the American Southwest, which together creates a desert modern aesthetic.
This warm, earthy hue is both casual and refined. It can be the backdrop of a playful, welcoming dining room or kitchen when paired with bright tiles, warm stone and sculptural greenery. Complementary materials include leather, simple woodgrains and indigenous cacti in contemporary, sleek gardening planters.
Cavern Clay is an easy way to bring the warmth of the outdoors in. Envision beaches, canyons and deserts, and sun-washed late summer afternoons—all of this embodied in one color.”
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Trend Alert: Monochrome

One of the first design concepts you learn is contrast. Complementary colors are located on opposing sides of the color wheel. Finding colors that go together but create contrast is a key step in designing a space. Therefore it may seem counterintuitive to do it with only one color. However, we are seeing more and more rooms that play on variations of a single color. These spaces are immersive, moody and shocking.

Monochromatic rooms set the mood immediately and without question. That mood, depending on the color, can range anywhere from bright and whimsical to sleek ultramodern. Monochrome also brings the added benefit of allowing your accents and fixtures to stand out where they might otherwise go unnoticed.

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Your Countertop Guide: Butcher Block

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Last month, it was stone. This month, we’re back, taking you through the ins and outs of butcher block countertops. These naturally beautiful wood countertops have a lot going for them: they are eco-friendly, anti-microbial, and even citrus resistant (unlike granite and some stone countertops). It’s easy to see why these countertops are so popular.

What are Butcher Block Countertops? 

Butcher block is one of the oldest materials used for countertops. Its use evolved very naturally; kitchen chefs would use thick slabs of wood as for cutting and chopping in their kitchens. Eventually, instead of just having a slab, kitchen designers thought to use long, thick planks of wood as countertop material.
Today’s butcher block countertops are made of long, thin pieces of wood fused together. This method gives you, the consumer, more control over the configuration of your countertop, as well as better quality material. You don’t have to follow the natural grain of the wood or include imperfections in your design. 

The four most popular types of butcher block countertops are made from maple, oak, bamboo, and antique pine. Each type of wood has its own pros and cons. Learning about each will help you make a more informed decision when you are thinking about adding butcher block countertops to your next new build, renovation, or remodeling project.

Maple Countertops

This most popular butcher block material today is maple. This hardwood is a natural choice for a couple of reasons. First, this wood has a simple, straight grain, which gives off an overall appearance of elegance. It also a beautiful blond to light-brown coloration, which goes well with many styles. Staining tends to bring out the spectrum of this wood’s coloration, making it an eye-catcher in any setting. 

These maple countertops from Lumber Liquidators would be perfect in our laundry room and the desk area we'll build in the kitchen.

Oak Countertops

My DIY kitchen oak cabinets painted Annie Sloan pure white chalk paint, ikea domsjo farm sink, butcherblock countertops sealed with waterlox, and white matte subway tile with oyster grey grout.

Oak countertops aren’t quite as durable as maple, but they do have their own perks. Oak gives you the greatest range of color variation, thanks to the numerous species of oak that can be used. You can have from rich dark honey tones of a red oak all the way to the subtle corn and hay tones in a white oak.

Bamboo Countertops

How to Create a Custom Bamboo Countertop in a Bathroom : How-To : DIY Network

You might have heard that wood countertops are impossible to sanitize. This is a myth. Most wood countertops naturally kill bacteria. Germs like salmonella and listeria need water to grow; wood binds up water, making it difficult for bacteria to grow. Wood consistently outperforms materials like plastic when it comes to controlling the spread of bacteria.And of the wood countertops, bamboo countertops are the most bacteria resistant.

 Eco-friendly Kitchen Countertops - Sunset.com endgrain bamboo counter

Bamboo is also a great choice if you’re looking for an eco-friendly wood option. Bamboo takes only a few years to reach full maturity, making it a sustainable resource.

Antique Pine Countertops

Last but not least are antique pine countertops. These countertops have a unique look, thanks to their 100+ years of maturation. This gives the wood a close-grained texture and a super hard, durable surface. It also makes the wood more stable than young woods. The color will not change over the years as dramatically as with  other woods.

Reclaimed White Pine Kitchen Island Counter - yes please! In love! Not super fond of the white though.

Antique pine countertops are easy to clean and maintain.

Goodbye, 2018. Hello, New Year!

With less than a month left in 2018, we thought this would be a great opportunity to look at all that made this year merry and bright. It is, after all, that time of year! Take a look at the best of 2018, and get a sneak peek at what we think will be big in the New Year.

Top Posts of 2018

What was trendy in 2018, you ask? Small pools and ombre interiors, among other things. Click the links to reread this year’s best blog posts.

Small Pools

You don’t need to go Olympic-sized to have a great escape from the summer heat. These tiny pools give you relief while working with the size of your yard.

Divide & Conquer: Partition Walls

Sometimes, you want lots of space. Sometimes, you want to feel cozy. Partition walls help you have the best of both worlds.

Let There Be Skylight

Let the light shine on you.

Trend Alert: Ombre Interiors

Love them, hate them, ombre interiors made a big splash this year.

2019 Predictions 

We’re already looking ahead to 2019. This is what we think will be hot in interior design in the year to come.

Colors

Last year was all about spice: fiery Caliente and bold Ultra Violet were the top colors. This year, though, major companies are going for a more subdued, sophisticated look in their paint choices.

Behr’s top pick for the year is Blueprint S470-5, an approachable cool blue color that compliments pretty much any other color. Benjamin Moore went with Metropolitan, a stylish off-white with rich grey tones, reminiscent of Eggshell. And among Pantone’s picks for the year are Soybean – a subtle, buttery white – and Brown Granite – an earthy grey-brown tone.

The Verdict: Stick to tried-and-true neutrals for walls, carpets, and ceilings. If you’re all about that pop of color, work it in with accessories or furniture. You want you home to feel clean, calm, and modern. 

Styles 

For the last several years, mid-century modern has been king. While the clean lines and natural influences of mid-century modern will continue to be important, we think that 2019 will be a little funkier. 
If you take a look at Boho style, you’ll notice a few familiar things: clean lines, natural materials, a blend of form and function. Yes, it is a lot like mid-century modern. Where the two styles differ is in boldness. Boho favors brighter colors, fun patterns, and rich textures. Also, you can’t go Boho without at least one sheepskin piece. 
Also on the fun side – this new trend of subtle 70s style. Hello, velvet and floral patterns! 
Lots of manufacturers are looking to make more sustainable products by making changes to their materials, sourcing, and manufacturing processes. We love this eco-friendly trend; what’s good for your design scheme can also be good for the earth. 
Last but not least, more and more people are looking for their rooms, and furniture, to do double duty. Manufacturers are welcoming these desires by creating pieces that are both beautiful and multifunctional. These pieces make the best use of your space; if you’re on the tiny house trend, or if you’re just into downsizing, this trend is for you!Your coffee table doesn’t just have to hold books and drinks; it can also convert to a desk for those nights when you have to take work home. 

The Verdict: We love mid-century modern, but maybe it is time to leave in the last century.  

Accessories 

2019’s biggest accessories will be a mixture of old and new. Old: terrazzo. Yes, that 30s staple is back. Advances in manufacturing have given buyers a wider selection of looks and finishes, from positively kitschy to on-par-with-granite elegance. Also, geometric patterns, which have been a staple in the design world for many years, continue to be popular. New: artisanal fixtures. Bold metal accents, blown glass features, and hand made accessories will elevate the look of light fixtures in 2019.

The Verdict: Your options may be unlimited, but it is never a bad thing to stick with what you know. 

What do you think is going to be big in 2019? Share your opinion on our Facebook page. Include the tag #2019forecast.

Trend Alert: Black Accents

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Someone recently told me “Every room needs something black in it;” a rule that, I realized, is an inherent practice that, as a designer, I most always tend to follow. Ultimately, every room needs a bit of contrast. When a palette is becoming too monochromatic, that’s when its time to pull in the black. “Something black” could mean tile, or paint; but it can also come in the form of furniture or decor or even artwork. The subtle, yet impressive black accents in these interiors really complete the spaces.

This black fireplace adds just the right amount of depth to an otherwise light-and-airy room. Source

The black elements in the central ibis painting play off the black toilet seat and floor tile. Source

Subtle black accents on art and furniture play off this room’s dark wood flooring. Source

Black pendant lights are a great compromise of the popular all-white kitchen. Source

In a room with a busy palette, black adds elegance and refinement. Source

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