If you entertain frequently, consider having a designated space for a bar in your home. It makes hosting company convenient as it keeps the guests refreshed and it might even help by keeping them from getting in the way of the cook.

If you decide to install a bar in your home, you have the choice between a wet or dry bar. The main difference between the two is that a wet bar, at the bare minimum, includes a sink with running water and a drain and a dry bar does not. Often a wet bar, if it is separate from the kitchen, includes a small refrigerator/freezer and a dishwasher. For a wet bar, the drink preparation area should be designed to both prepare cocktails and contain spills. And, it must have a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) installed in the electrical outlet to protect against dangerous electrical faults that could occur in drink mixers and other electrical devices. A wet bar allows for drink preparation and clean-up to be completely separate from the cooking area, however, it is more costly than a dry bar due to plumbing and electrical requirements.

A dry bar can be set-up for a party on a buffet, counter, or a table with glasses, ice, wine, beer, spirits, mixers, and garnishes, or it can be configured in your current kitchen space. If you are planning a kitchen remodel, even if you don’t have room for a sink, a dry bar can be incorporated as part of your cabinetry and electrical plans should you want a built-in refrigerator and/or dishwasher. When you plan the interior cabinets, consider slide-out drawers instead of stationary shelves or drawers. As for the cabinet doors, clear glass or frosted glass make a very attractive covering to the cabinets.

If you don’t have the cabinet space in the kitchen, alternative spaces can be used in nearby rooms. Consider converting a closet to a dry bar as pictured below.

Sutro Architects

A dry bar can also be a piece of furniture that can hold the bottles, glasses, and accessories and it can be portable which is very convenient. Visit Create and Barrel for a wide variety and styles that would complement any space.

 

Resources

A guide from Front + Main will help you to build your bar, from a list of must have beginner bottles to the perfect glasses and tools to help you create killer cocktails.

Looking for Tips, Tricks and Recipes for your holiday party? Check out Lou Bustamante’s book. He is the Spirits, Bar, Cocktail, and Food Writer for SF Chronicle.

 

Visit 1stdibs for Antique, Vintage, Art-Deco and Mid-Century Modern Dry Bars.

 

Visit Pottery Barn for a wonderful selection of home bar furniture. They offer bars and portable bar carts that look as good in a den or home office as in the dining area of your home. It includes options for small space and decorating pieces that look great alongside a bar, such as tall and narrow bar towers or decorative mirrors.

Need more ideas of Dry Bars? Get hooked on Pinterest!

From Sunsets blog Westphoria – Learn 3 drinks To Make the Holiday Season More Merry

 

When designing the perfect house, there is one area that is often overlooked –the entry/foyer of a home. The entry experience is important for a few reasons: It is a transition from the public domain of the street to your private domain of your home. It’s the “middle place” to let one adjust and ease into other rooms that may be more private. It’s the first thing you and your guests see as you enter your home. You want it to be warm and welcoming, to reflect your personal style and make you feel happy and comfortable as you walk through the door. This space sets the tone for the rest of your home.

Just as you would evaluate and design for every other room in your house, the entryway deserves just as much attention. Here are some ideas to consider.

Personalize the space. Decorative accessories, such as artwork or family portraits etc. will help to reflect your personal taste. Display a collection of mementos from your travels. Even if your space is small, you can make a large impact. Experiment with eye-catching wallpaper and bright patterns. If you’d rather keep your walls neutral, opt for a colorful hallway runner. Just make sure it is hard-wearing to accommodate this high traffic area.

Lighting here is just as important as any other room. Make the most of natural light by selecting a front door with sidelights or a transom. Installing a skylight can also make a world of difference to small spaces. Depending on the height of your ceilings a large hanging pendant or chandelier adds drama and can set the tone and style of the adjoining rooms. For larger hallways, scones and uplights are both practical and stylish and perfect for giving hallways that welcoming feel.

Storage and “drop zone” features are critical in preventing the entry from becoming a dumping ground for shoes, backpacks, coats, and all that is needed to get out the door in the morning. With a few decorative pieces, such as a side table, coat rack, or storage unit, clutter can be kept to a minimum and keep you organized. A bench is useful for putting on and taking off shoes and may offer hidden storage for out of season items.

One of our favorite entries is this beautiful one we built for this Craftsman whole house remodel in 2014. From the moment you enter, you feel welcomed and have a sense of the entire home.

Beginning with the elegant, handcrafted front door, the natural light shines through the door lights and architectural side light panels.

A hanging pendant complements the stained glass door panels and adds color and artistic interest.

Because this is the clients’ “forever” home, the hallways are extra wide creating an open, spacious feeling while allowing for “aging-in-place” in the future.

The wood floors are embellished with a simple yet pronounced design.

Placing the hutch, close to the front door provides a convenient and organized place for keys, and other items necessary for arrivals and departures for the day.

Midway down the hall, a darker trim is used to break up the space and add interest.

And finally, aside table indicates the entry into of the rest of the home and provides the perfect place to display seasonal items or personal treasures.

More photos of this project can be found on our website under Projects/Whole House Remodels/Craftsman, Campbell CA.

Resources

Stay organized as soon as you step inside, with modern entryway storage furniture at CB2. Hang up your jacket on one of their unique coat racks and keep shoes and bags tucked away in a stylish storage bench or sleek credenza. Perfect for foyers, mudrooms, and hallways, their entryway furniture and accessories will stop clutter right at the front door.

Stanford Electric Works has a great new showroom at 126 San Antonio Circle in Mountain View, just a few short minutes off the Bayshore Freeway.  They have a large selection of quality and stylish products that’s perfect for all homeowners. Find out more on their website.

Make a statement with FLOR Carpet Tiles. A modular and sustainable design process.  Customize to your heart’s content. You can get exactly what you want – the right size, the right style, one square at a time.

By Liza Riguerra

When it comes to old or unused fireplaces, there are a variety of options that will transform the space from an eyesore to a treasured focal point.

In this traditional Noe Valley home in San Francisco, we transformed the living room by dressing the inside of the fireplace with birch logs and replacing the mantel with a more distinctive one. This low-profile fireplace now makes a statement as a beautiful central feature of the room. More photos of this timeless and elegant home can be found on www.riguerradesign.com.

From the easiest to the most labor intensive, here are four ways you can give your fireplace, and thus the entire room, a brand new look.

  1. Dress the inside. The easiest way to give your fireplace a facelift is to simply liven-up the empty inside space. If you don’t use your fireplace for heating or ambiance, adding a pile of logs, a plant, or a piece of art such as a sculpture can immediately make the space look more finished.
  2. Paint it. It sounds so simple, yet the effects can be astonishing. A coat of paint can freshen up the whole area, breathing new life into a room. Whether you choose a subtle, neutral tone or a vibrant hue to make the area stand out, this effective method will immediately make the fireplace come to life.
  3. Replace the mantel and/or the surrounding tile. While adding an inside feature or a coat of paint may be the easiest methods of updating an old fireplace, replacing the mantel or tile are two of the most effective ways to create a standout look. John Hammerschmidt agrees that re-facing a tired fireplace can make the whole room feel fresh and current. “Try a new mantle, a tile surround or even tile all the way to the ceiling,” he says. Look for a ready-made mantel or have one custom made to suit your unique taste. Either way, a new mantel or tile surround can create a dramatic, lasting change.
  4. Remodel. Maybe you bought a house with a fireplace in the corner, but would prefer to have your entertainment center occupy that space. Or, perhaps you didn’t want a fireplace at all. If this is the case, you can move the fireplace to another area in the room or another room in the house, or remove the fireplace entirely. According to John, “Some people remove the existing wood-burning fireplace altogether because they want to reclaim the space that a brick and mortar fireplace takes up, or they want features that a standard fireplace can’t provide; energy efficiency, lower maintenance, air cleanliness, linearity, remote control, or a see-through option that shares the fireplace between two rooms. While removing a fireplace can be a big job and one that requires the services of a professional, it may be worth the investment to create the look you want for your home.”

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Riguerra Design is an innovative, award-winning design firm that has helped many clients create their dream homes. If you have questions about interior design, our services, or our process, please give us a call at 415.662.8882 or email us at info@riguerradesign.com.

The fodder of cocktail party conversations, everyone has had, or knows someone who has had, a horrible experience with a contractor and is happy to share it. What homeowners often don’t realize is that the traditional Design – Bid – Build process is inherently flawed and that they may have inadvertently contributed to creating their own horror story. When Lynn Hammerschmidt moved from the corporate world 18 years ago to join John in his booming remodeling company she set out to learn more about construction and before the end of the first week, she said it became clear that something was terribly wrong. Read more of Lynn’s account and find out how to download a PDF Guide on how to avoid your own remodeling horror story.

“Shocked at how poorly we were treated, we found that many customers and potential customers assumed that they were smarter than we were and gave no value to our experience in remodeling. They assumed we were trying to rip them off and that they could decide, even after they had agreed on a price, that they did not have to pay the amount to which we agreed, and that we did not need to make a profit to stay in business.

While most of our relationships with customers were not stressful, there were enough to warrant a review of how these came to be and in so doing it became clear that the whole process of remodeling was broken. Continually presented with beautifully-drawn sets of plans and asked to estimate them, we spent countless (unpaid) hours creating accurate estimates only to see the look of shock on the homeowners’ faces as we presented the estimate. They told us that they discussed their budget with the design or architecture firm who drew the plans. They asked why we were “so expensive.” When we explained that our estimate was a reflection of the cost of constructing the plans as drawn and it was not what they wanted to hear, one of three things happened:

  1. the customer tried to find a contractor to do the work within their budget
  2. the plans were redrawn (with a smaller scope) at additional cost and rebid or
  3. the project was abandoned.

We even found statistics that showed 75% of plans are not built as drawn or never built.

We often lost projects to companies that we knew were underbidding to get the jobs – knowing they would try to make it up throughout the job with change orders, or who had bid jobs lower than we could because they did not carry appropriate liability or workers’ compensation insurances. As the “Bearer of Bad News” we were in a no-win situation. More than a few times, we got a call from a homeowner, after the fact, who said: “We wish we had chosen you, you told us the truth.” While it felt good to hear that someone realized we had been straightforward with our quotation, it didn’t change the paradigm. And, it just didn’t make sense for everyone concerned.

Download a free PDF copy of the entire article by clicking on this link 10 Lessons Learned.

If you would like to learn more about our design-build process, visit our website.

Resources

For a step-by-step consumer guide to remodeling visit NARI 

Be Inspired and collect design ideas at these home tours in August & Sept

Saturday, August 6th

Open to the public, this self-guided tour showcases the finest residential architecture in Silicon Valley. Each house on the tour is designed by a local area architect and was completed within the last five years. Houses are chosen to showcase a variety of design styles demonstrating that excellence in design is not limited by size or dollars. The dwellings feature cutting edge, modern environmentally sensitive residential design, with a focus on sustainable features that demonstrate the wealth of talent possessed by our area’s best architects.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Back by popular demand, the always-popular Dwell Home Tours makes its way back to Silicon Valley this year. This home tour provides an opportunity for design seekers to immerse themselves in “Dwell-like” domestic spaces found along the peninsula. These unique homes are specially selected by Dwell to reflect the rich diversity of livable, innovative modern architecture and design in the Silicon Valley area.

02 Jul / 2016

Wallpaper Wonders

Mention the word wallpaper, and homeowners conjure up the vision of their grandmother’s flocked velvet prints and old-fashioned busy designs and remember the miserable task of having to scrape it off years later.  However, today’s wallpaper is back and better than ever and new technologies are making them easier apply and adhere better. If you’re planning on redecorating your home and not sure what to do with the walls, consider wallpaper as an option instead of or in addition to paint. With all of the new styles, graphic patterns, and gorgeous prints to choose from, one can transform an ordinary room into one with serious style.

Are you “brave” enough to try wallpaper in your home?

  • If you’re not ready to commit to wallpapering an entire room, a popular way to incorporate wallpaper is to create an accent wall that infuses style and interest in your space. And in some cases, a single sheet of wallpaper can be used as an art element. In this Austin, Texas Midcentury-style home, take a look at how a bold geometric wallpaper as an accent wall transformed a formal dining room into a casual TV room.
  • Affordable? Prices today run from as little as $15 to as high as $600 per roll, dependent on the paper’s material, designer, and uniqueness.
  • Skill required? Although putting up wallpaper takes far more patience than skill. It definitely requires equal measures of artistic and engineering talent to assure it is assuring it is hung straight and edges are aligned. For novice wallpaper hangers, having an easy-to-match pattern will certainly reduce the complexity. If it is still more than you want to do yourself, visit Wallcovering Installers Association to find an experienced wallpaper hanger.
  • As with most other elements of remodeling, the key to a flawless outcome is good preparation. Like form fitting clothes, wallpaper reveals every bump and flaw underneath, so good wall preparation is essential.

Coldwell Banker Concierge summarizes 5 Great Reasons Why New Wallpaper Beats Paint

  1. More Options
  2. Conceals Blemishes
  3. Durability
  4. Easy to Change
  5. Adds an Accent

See the full article here.

Wall Paper Revival … What’s available these days?

When it comes to wallpaper styles, your options are limitless. From contemporary to traditional, a myriad of textures, metallic and animal prints, there is something for every taste. As a start, instead of wading through a mountain of wallpaper books, start by viewing manufacturer’s websites for an overview of the types of material, styles, scales and prices. Some allow you to order free or low-cost samples online. Log on and check out: abnormalsanonymous.com, kremelife.com, clarencehouse.com, brewsterwallcovering.com, seabrookwallcoverings.com, rlhome.polo.com, and waverly.com. A few more are listed in our Resource Section below.

At Anthropologie, you will find a wide range of “papers with personality.” From this simple yet elegant Golden Trellis Wallpaper ($118 Roll 27’L, 27”W Covers 60 Sq. Feet) to this Great Meadow Mural  ($548 Roll 9.75L 12.25 W Covers 119.5 Sq. Ft.) there are many artists and price point from which to choose.

 

 

For Kids or Kitchens- Chalkboard Wallpaper

Imagine letting your kids write on their walls! These Chalkboard wallpaper panels from Chasing Paper are decorative decal tiles that are simple to hang and easy to remove. These fully functional chalkboard tiles let you write, draw and erase right on them. They’re also handy in the kitchen for grocery lists- just snap a photo with your phone and you’re good to go.

Photo: Redtri.com

Other Wall Décor

Searching for something chic, functional and eco-friendly? Take a peek at these modern textured wallpapers from Inhabit Living. These 3D wall panels are lightweight and when placed together create an automatic repeat pattern to create a textured wall of any size.
Wall Flats, sold by the box, contain 10 tiles that cover 22.5 sq. ft. and run approximately $62.They can also be painted! For a quick demonstration watch their  DIY 3D Wall Panel How to Install Video.

Resources 

Budget Conscious

Yes! Even Target Online has a fun collection for the budget conscious.

 

 

Mid-Range Options

 

Hygge & West is a boutique wallpaper company in S.F. that has teamed-up with tableware and architectural tile master Heath Ceramics.

Flavor Paper is known worldwide for its mastery of the fine art of large format hand silk screening.

Luxury Wallcovering

Schumacher is one of the premier sources for luxury wallcoverings, fabric, and trim for custom residential projects.

02 Jun / 2016

Pantries

Kitchen by Hammerschmidt Construction /Photo by Dave Edwards

Want to take your kitchen from great to spectacular? Consider adding a walk-in pantry. While adding a pantry may feel as if you are taking up valuable cabinet space, if it is carefully tailored to your household’s storage needs, it can add functionality and increase organization. Corner pantries are perfect for small kitchens with unused corner space. Stocking a pantry with staples can save time, money and stress in the kitchen. Tap the pantry for unexpected meals and reduce trips to the supermarket. Stocking it with frugal finds can also lower grocery costs.

Photo: Onekindesign

Storage Goals
It is recommended that you choose the style of shelving early in the design process so that shelf heights and depths for oversize goods can be incorporated into the design. The first step in the process is to make a list of the items you currently store so that your pantry can be customized to allow for oversize items and bulk storage. For example, if you need space for super-sized bags of dog food, incorporating movable bins or low drawers in the shelving designs assure everything has a place and can be accessed easily. If you buy bulk quantities of baking supplies and grains you might incorporate a shelf where you can both store and measure smaller quantities as needed.

Light and Air

Plan appropriate lighting for your pantry, just as you would any other room. Additionally, keep in mind that installation of electrical outlets is much easier in the building phase than after the fact. Having outlets in the pantry allows for of installing specialized appliances, a portable wine cooler or even for charging mini-vacs etc. If possible, planning for passive ventilation will help keep the air fresh and minimize odors.

Shelving Details

While we tend to keep this simple, the majority of the shelving that we have installed are uniform in size and are stationary. However, some might suggest that you resist the urge to use deep shelves to maximize space as it tends to promote contents being stacked and items not being used. This diagram from Everything Pantry suggests using shelves of mixed depths for maximum efficiency and adjustable shelving for flexibility.

Pantry Doors

Depending on the location of your pantry, there are a variety of style options for pantry doors. If your pantry is located in a hallway or away from the kitchen, a pocket door may be an ideal, as it eliminates the space required for a swinging door and it can be left open without blocking traffic. A popular option of late, is the barn style door with a sliding track. These can be found in a variety of styles from contemporary to industrial. If your pantry is part of a smaller kitchen, a traditional panel door can be used to blend in with the rest of the cabinetry or painted an accent color which can add personality to the room. Other options that add flair and interest are doors with frosted or patterned glass panels doors with a window pane frame and clear glass panels and doors painted with chalkboard paint for grocery lists and creative drawings.

 

Amanda Hesser’s Best Tips for a Clean, Organized Pantry

From the perspective of a chef, Amada Hesser, an American food writer, editor, cookbook author, and entrepreneur, “Your pantry shouldn’t be a storage unit – it should be a toolkit. It’s not where you put things to keep them off your counter. It’s where you have all of your best culinary weapons at the ready to help you in the kitchen” How you design your pantry and arrange your tools should be focused on making your cooking more efficient and inspiring.”

Amanda Hesser is notably the co-founder and CEO of Food52, previously the food editor of the New York Times Magazine and winner of a James Beard award. In her March blog she offers a few tips, rules and designs from the Food52Shop.

  • The ideal pantry has adjustable shelves. Add the shelves as you stock your pantry, not the other way around. This way you maximize your space.
  • Buy lots of tins, containers, jars, and a set of wet-erase markers.
  • Arrange by frequency of use.
  • On each shelf, apply a similar level-to-us-system.
  • Try to avoid stacking where possible.
  • Keep dwindling supplies towards the front.

The full article can be found here.

Resources for Pantry Organization

11 Organization Tricks That Make a Pantry Feel Twice as Big

Hint #2 Add Lazy Susans!

Pantry Makeovers on Pinterest

Wallpaper your pantry

Chalkboard labels:

  • Stick on many smooth surfaces K
  • Removable adhesive leaves no residue
  • Erasable surface for labeling with chalk

Kitchen labels:

  • Stick to many kitchen containers
  • Freezer and microwave oven safe
  • Remove cleanly after one dishwasher cycle

Designer: John & Lynn Hammerschmidt/Photo by Charlie Gibson
Even if you don’t have room for an office, a small dedicated space in your kitchen can serve as your family’s “Command Center.” It can serve as a writing desk, high-tech hub, homework zone and first aid station. It creates the ultimate multi-tasking space!  Pay bills, sort mail, schedule appointments, and shop online all while your dinner in simmering.  Here are a few options if you are considering incorporating an office area into your kitchen:

Stand-Up Station Designer: David Raymond/Photo: Laura Moss

stand-upFor folks on the run, a stand-up message center, armoire-like may be the answer. No space required for sitting and the extra bookshelves makes good use of space. With a corkboard backsplash and open bookshelves recessed on all three sides, provides immediate access to binders, calendars, and everything one might need to get out door in the morning.

 

 

convertible

 

The Convertible Photo: Shenandoah Cabinetry

Requiring a little more space, is this desk situated at the end of a long countertop. Close to the action but out of the working triangle, the beauty of this layout is that it can also be used as a buffet, or to prep food or roll out a pie crust, by just stowing the office supplies in the drawers. The counter top is high enough to function as a standard kitchen counter, or a counter-height stool can be used for seated tasks.

mighty-movableMighty Movable Desk

To add an office area to an existing kitchen, a mobile desk is a good way to experiment. It can also transform into an impromptu bar or buffet for entertaining!

Looking for more kitchen office ideas? Homedit Interior Design & Architecture’s article, 20 Clever Ideas To Design A Functional Office In Your Kitchen, will convince you that an empty wall, small table, and a comfortable chair are all you need to incorporate an office into your kitchen.

 

Design Tips

* To coordinate the style, you can use the same table legs used at the nearby island.

* Designers generally recommend a desk height of 28 to 30 inches and a     knee-hole depth of 25 inches.

* A desk “backsplash” made of custom corkboard, chalkboard or dry-erase board keep communication organized. Visit Pinterest for unique bulletin boards creations.

design-tips1design-tips2

RESOURCES

Kitchen Office Organization

the-container-store

 

 

Specializing in storage and organization solutions

the-container-store2The Container Store features elfa storage and organization systems which function beautifully in the kitchen!

twenty-command-centers

 

 

 

 

 

From Meredith@unOriginalMom Creating a Command Center that Works for Your Family

Talk about an explosion for the senses… With over 1.5 million square feet of exhibit space to cover and over 500 vendor displays, Suzette attended the Kitchen and Bath Industry show to compare new products, get answers straight from the manufacturers, and hear about advances in technology and sustainability in the kitchen and bath industry.

Below you will find just a few of the products our designer wants to share with you.

shower-doors-1The Gridscape from Coastal Shower Doors is a multifunctional door that is on the forefront of bathroom trends. This sleek window pane configuration can be ordered as a stand-alone panel, room divider or as a bypass shower door.

shower-doors-2All Gridscape divided-light shower doors are available with a choice of three glass types: clear, satin, and smoke grey. The clear glass option combined with the black anodized finish is perfect for those wanting an industrial-modern factory windowpane look; alternatively, the satin frosted glass provides the feel of a Japanese shoji door, and the smoke grey glass contrasted with a chrome metal finish is ideal for those seeking sleek and modern vibe. One key to the success of the design is the versatility. It can be intermixed with an endless number of tastes and styles ranging from industrial modern/steampunk to rustic shabby chic.

grand-view-1shower-doors-3Grand View Entries
www.gventries.com Grand View Entries products are unique. GVE is the first patio door manufacturer in the USA to offer both, “custom-sized” shades between the glass and blinds between the glass as a viable option to traditional patio door blinds or shade systems.

Here is a quick summary of the benefits of one of GVE premier products, Café Shades Between the Glass

grand-view-2

  1. A better view! GVE Café Shades are engineered to “raise”from the “bottom-up” and not “lowered” from the “top-down” as most all blinds between the glass systems are designed. GVE Café Shades when lowered will not obstruct view, and allow you to fully take advantage.
  2. Control. Whether it’s your office, your classroom, your business, you should have control of your domain. With GVE, you control the amount of light, vista, privacy and security to each room.
  3. Ambiance. GVE Café Shades provide for a softer, warmer, more elegant “feel”. GVE patented Café Shades are made of a pleated fabric and are not your typical aluminum louvers.
  4. Affordability. When compared to average quality window/door coverings, your cost will be lower.
  5. >Better Functionality for all types of door systems. Are you thinking about opening up that wall and putting in a large accordion type folding or bi-folding door system? Perhaps a multi-slide pocket door? A new set of French Doors? These multi-panel door systems are large and typically are designed to go floor to ceiling. But what to do about door coverings? GVE has the solution.
  6. Safety. it is a well known fact that child safety and cords from blind systems has been at the fore-front of consumer safety for years. There is no need to take chances. GVE Café Shades between the glass system is a child-proof system, in the sense that there is no danger of entanglement. If you are a pet lover, the same can be said about protecting your fury friend.
  7. The Health of your family So lets see, the shades are “in between the glass”? YES! That means they never need cleaning. No dust. No Allergens.

grand-view-3GVE also offers Blinds Between the Glass as well. These have the same benefits as the Café Blinds but they tilt, raise & lower blind operators provide you the maximum ability completely control your light, your view and you privacy by allowing “Tilting” of the louvers while the blinds are in full or partially suspended position.

Smart Technology

While KBIS was full of such functional items as hardware, cabinets and sinks, there were also some grownup toys.

Warning: if you are trying to “disconnect” skip this section!

“Mirror, Mirror on the wall…”

smaert-tech-1Now your mirror can actually talk back to you! Take a look-see at MirrorVue – A mirror with a built-in TV. MirrorVue is a fully waterproof LED TV. Made to order in almost every size and shape with a large selection of beautiful frames to match any décor. Can you image the TV completely vanishes when the TV is turned off. No need to have bulky TV’s hanging and taking up space.

mieleAn extraordinary showpiece from Miele
The DA 7000 D Aura island Rangehood combines sleek, stylish elliptical design suspended by four virtually invisible wires, with the ultimate in recirculation technology, ideal for kitchens where ducting is challenging.

smaert-tech-2

 

 

 

 

 

Smart Surfaces

smart-surfaces-1peratitle-logo offers innovative products, a relentless commitment to quality and a broad range of exquisite surface coverings at an affordable price. At Pera Tile, they “believe in spaces with a soul and a story”. With over 600 SKU’s in their product line, from classical to ultra-modern, it will be pretty easy to find a Pera Tile product that will tell your story. Click here to view Pera Tile Inspiration Gallery. The local rep for this product is Tile Fantastic www.tilefantastic.com 2910 S. Bascom Avenue, San Jose, CA.
modenus-1 is now the European leader in reconstituted decorative stones. MODULO offers a comprehensive range of manufactured stone veneer products and accessories for historical and modern walls, in line with the main decorative trends. MODULO offers a wide range of products that are easy to use and suits all budgets. The result is sure to add value to your home.

moduloWith consumers wanting easier and faster solutions, Modulo’s Easy Fix is the answer: a stone veneer that can be installed without grout or glue.

Check out Modulo’s online catalog and you will be amazed at the indoor and outdoor applications available.

Resources

design-milkDesign Milk’s Best of KBIS 2016

design-milk-2Design Milk rounds up editor favorites from the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) 2016: includes Wilsonart (antimicrobial & durable laminate surfaces), Bosch (new small space appliances), Brizo( gorgeous new bath hardware) Wellborn Cabinet (cabinetry that is adjustable!) and Ann Sacks tile(serious eye candy.

modenus-1Modenus BlogTour KBIS 2016
(KBIS on Pinterest)
If you’re looking to see the most cutting edge design techniques from Design & Construction Week in a real-world application, our friends at @IBSVegas have the ticket: The New American Home® is back for 2016! You can tour the 33rd home in the TNAH series, a 5,050 sq. ft. design wonder.

kbis-logo2016 KBIS Bath Trends
Go behind the scenes with The Editor at Large TV as they spoke with experts at this year’s show about how durable, innovative new technologies and products are emerging for bath design. Check out the footage here:

kbis-logo2016 KBIS Kitchen Trends
Walking through this year’s show, certain trends for the future of kitchen design in 2016 were clear. The Editor at Large TV spoke to some of our industry’s leading designers to find out how kitchen design will shape how we live going forward. Watch here:

 

The term “Aging in place” refers to the preference of most adults that they remain in their home of choice as long as possible. In fact, 90 percent of adults over the age of 65 report that they would prefer to stay in their current residence as they age. Many considerations regarding aging in place, such as health and wellness, general assistance, and transportation are outside the realm of remodeling. This article focuses on home improvements and remodeling that facilitate the ability to stay in one’s home and provide resources.

As we age, our bodies and capabilities change. Examples of changes you might experience are:

  • Reduced vision and hearing
  • Decreased muscle strength or endurance
  • Reduced mental processing capabilities
  • Increased risk of falls due to balance
  • Increased risk of illness
  • Decreased mobility

Some or all of these changes happen to most everyone. Knowing that this is the case and choosing to have a plan to allow you to stay in your home means you will have a greater chance to control your quality of life and independence. Planning also presents you with an opportunity to lessen the burden on your family by outlining how and where your needs are met as well as, lessening the need for emergency assistance from community resources.
When we’re vibrant and independent, we rarely give consideration to aging-in-place concerns. However, it’s best to make changes in advance rather than when there is a crisis. Many of these ideas could benefit everyone, not just the elderly, but they become increasingly important, as we age. Here are three areas to consider as a starting point for aging in place changes to your home: Decluttering, Accessibility and Safety.

Decluttering

The first step in facilitating aging in place improvements in your home is decluttering. Decluttering will allow you to assess how much space you really need if you are considering downsizing to a smaller home or retirement community.

AARP’s HomeFit Guide offers advice on how to prepare a home for aging in place and reminds us that decluttering and organizing your belongings while you are young enough to tackle the job allows you to:

  • Access what you want easily.
  • Enjoy memories stored in mementos, photos, letters, videos and other treasures.
  • Reorganize possessions for safe reach.
  • Maneuver more easily through the home in case you become disabled.

Accessibility

Once you have tackled decluttering your home, look for ways to organize your items to make them accessible. To make things easy to reach, you’ll want storage that’s not too high and not too close to the floor. If you’re able to remodel your kitchen, the AARP suggests that you hang your upper cabinets 12 to 15 inches above the countertop instead of the normal 18 inches and place your lower cabinets six inches above the floor.

shelvingYou could also install Pull Down Shelving in existing upper cabinets. For lower cabinets, adding rollout shelves (or replacing the cabinets with drawers) can make things much more accessible. Anne-Marie Brunet at Next Avenue provides numerous examples of how lower cabinets can be replaced or redesigned.

clothesWhen it comes to the clothes closets, storage solutions that get the shoes off the floor are generally a good idea since bending becomes harder with age. Pull-down closet rods can make clothes easier to reach in closets where the rods are fairly high. Most people will be satisfied with far simpler solutions, but it’s still interesting to see the innovative storage products that are available to keep things within easy reach.

Safety and Lighting

lighting1There are many risks for injury to older adults in the household that impact their ability to successfully age in place. Among the greatest threats is falling. According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injuries leading to death among older adults. Common features in an everyday household, such as a lack of support in the shower or bathroom, inadequate railings on the stairs, loose throw rugs, and obstructed pathways, and poor lighting are all possible dangers to an older person.

Additional railings, grab bars, a hand-held shower head, walk-in bathtubs, curb-less showers with seats, nonskid flooring, removal of throw rugs and clutter, and increased lighting with accessible 3-way switches are all improvements that will create a safer environment.

Seniors need two to three times as much light to see as well as younger people. Low lighting may contribute to slips, trips and falls by lowering visibility of hazards such as unexpected steps or sudden changes in floor surfaces. Ways to increase light in the home include:

  • Consider toe-kick lighting in the bathroom or kitchen to provide visual cuing and an additional reference point for judging distance or depth when entering a space or approaching objects.
  • Add a skylights or solar tubes in dim hallways or dark rooms.
  • For nightlights, SnapPower makes an outlet cover with a built- in night light.

lighting2

For more lighting recommendations, check out Lamps Plus 25 Lighting Tips for Seniors.

RESOURCES

Decluttering and Organizing

moving-onA Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

storagemotion

StorageMotion Inc. is a company that is dedicated to creating all types of products that improve closet and home design and dramatically increase the amount of useable space. Their products are automatic and power-assisted so that anyone can use them.

never-to-busy-to-cure-clutterNever Too Busy to Cure Clutter by Erin Rooney Doland

Whether you have thirty seconds, one minute, five minutes, or fifteen minutes, this organizing daily devotional offers tips, checklists, weekend projects, quizzes, and encouragement that will help you find the time, motivation, and permission to let go of sentimental clutter, set up storage solutions, and establish routines that make sense for your life.

 

 

Remodeling

nahb

National Association of Home Builders

Aging in Place Remodeling Checklist

next-ave

Next Avenue
8 Things to Consider Before Remodeling to Age in Place

Community Programs

avenidasWe are fortunate to have several quality senior programs in the Bay Area, including Avenidas Village.

Avenidas supports seniors in various aspects of senior living. Last year, as an approved contractor, Hammerschmidt Construction was invited to participate at their vendor fair. It was at this fair that we found a comprehensive check-list of Home Safety Recommendations for Aging-in-Place, complements of Nancy Goldcamp from Coldwell Banker.

rsvpDid you know that seniors and the homebound residing on the Peninsula and in the South Bay may request free assistance with household tasks through REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program (RSVP)?

2016 RSVP week will be in May. (Look for more info in the Los Altos Town Crier next month)

RSVP 2015 sample BROCHURE

 

senior-helpersSenior Helpers is an in-home care-giving franchise that recently moved to Los Altos. They offer personal care and companion services.

It’s twins!
For the first time, Pantone the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems for the selection and communication of color across industries, has chosen a pair of baby-hued pastels as the Color of the Year — Rose Quartz (a kind of mineral pink) and Serenity (a light blue).

clouds

Photo: Seattle Sky by Jason Rubin

The team at Pantone see this as “A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude. Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”

 

We need all the help we can get. It’s a good thing that Leatrice Eiseman is looking out for all of us. Who is Ms. Eiseman? For the last 30 years, she has been the Executive Director at the Pantone Color Institute. Lee is widely quoted and is recognized by Fortune Magazine and the Wall Street Journal as one of the most influential people in the world of color.

livingroom“We wanted compassion, which today a lot of people are looking for,” Ms. Eiseman says. Pantone’s news release describes the colors as “inducing feelings of stability, constancy, comfort and relaxation,” and argues that they “create balance in a chaotic world.”

 

Rose Quartz and Serenity Color Pairings

livingroom-roseWhether in soft or hard surface materials, the pairing of Rose Quartz and Serenity brings calm and relaxation. Appealing in all finishes, matte, metallic, and glossy, the engaging combo joins easily with other mid-tones including greens and purples, rich browns, and all shades of yellow and pink. Add in silver or hot brights for more splash and sparkle. View Pantone’s website to learn more.

 

 

 

 

Below are 10 home furnishings to match Patone’s latest selections. Do they invoke a sense of tranquility and inner peace?

items

  1. Ambit Pendant Lamp by TAF Architects for Muuto
  2. Aalto Vase by Alvar Aalto from Iittala
  3. Denim Cushion from BoConcept
  4. Askew Vase from CB2
  5. Nairutya – Citron Pillow from Eskayel
  6. SMEG Toaster
  7. Ruché Chair by Inga Sempé for Ligne Roset
  8. Tallow Candle by Ontwerpduo
  9. Pivot No 1 Shelf from Hay
  10. Hai Chair Razzle Dazzle by Luca Nichetto for Hem

Resources

Leatrice Eiseman is the author of several books. Below are 2 of her 9 books on color.

the-color-answer-bookThe Color Answer Book (100+ Frequently Asked Color Questions for Home, Health and Happiness)

 

 

 

 

 

colorsColors for Your Every Mood: Discover Your True Decorating Colors

 

 

 

 

 

kitchen aidKitchenAid’s stand mixer in Guava Glaze.

 

 

 

 

 

artdotcomartcom2

www.art.com

Check out this Diebenkorn piece that incorporates flashes of both colors. At ART.com you will find how to accent with these colors and to find art that incorporates both shades.


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