Categories
News

Before and After: 3 Kitchens Ditch Upper Cabinets and Lighten Up

1. Marble Herringbone Walls and an Airy Vibe

Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: A young couple with a child
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Size: 300 square feet (28 square meters), including the walk-in pantry
Designer: Richard Ryder of Clearcut Construction

Before: This North Carolina couple wanted a bigger, airier, more functional kitchen suitable for raising a family and hosting large gatherings. And they disliked the 8-foot ceilings so much that they considered moving. Instead, they found Richard Ryder and his design-build firm, Clearcut Construction, on Houzz and hired them to design and carry out their renovation.

Ryder opened up the floor plan, relocated the dining room, raised the kitchen ceiling and created more storage and prep space with a large kitchen island. He also improved the family’s access to a redesigned backyard to ease the flow between indoors and out.

Find a local design-build firm on Houzz

After: Ryder removed the wall that separated the kitchen from the rest of the first floor. An attic over the kitchen enabled him to raise the ceiling height to 12 feet.

By sacrificing upper cabinets on this wall, the family gained a range wall that serves as a focal point. Instead of upper cabinets, there’s a beautiful herringbone marble backsplash and custom vent hood. Now that the kitchen is open to other first-floor spaces, creating a pretty view here was important.

Before: The existing eat-in area of the kitchen looked out to the backyard. But the homeowners weren’t fond of the view of the air-conditioning unit.

After: The family gained another beautiful tiled wall and enjoys the view of the backyard through the large window over the sink. Ryder sized this new window to eliminate the view of the air conditioner. He also added new glass doors that provide additional views and access to the yard. Both sets of sliding doors seen here open to a new deck.
They made up for the loss of cabinets in several ways. The kitchen’s new island measures 9¼-by-3¾ feet and contains a mix of cabinets and drawers for storage, including deep drawers for pots and pans. Just past the island, Ryder packed an interior wall with more storage.

Because refrigerators are tall, designers treat them in the same way they treat upper cabinets in these scenarios. Here, Ryder recessed the full-depth fridge to make it flush with the surrounding cabinetry. This concentrated approach to storage also made room for a coffee bar on the left, with another elegant tiled expanse behind it.

2. Celebrating Leafy Views

Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple and their dog
Location: Redmond, Washington
Size: 168square feet (16 square meters); 10½ by 16 feet
Designer: Tamar Kestenbaum of Sienna & Sage Interior Design

Before: “This home is nestled into the trees and was already gorgeous, except for the kitchen. It was this dark corner of the house,” interior designer Tamar Kestenbaum says. While the layout was functional and the size was adequate, extensive upper cabinets blocked any chance of maximizing the leafy views. Kestenbaum removed the cabinets to make room for expansive windows, which opened up the kitchen to beautiful views of the trees.

After: Now this kitchen is a tree hugger. This view from the front entry reveals the leafy backyard from the moment someone steps through the front door. The materials used are a wonderful complement to the vistas.

“These clients wanted to use as many natural elements and details as possible,” Kestenbaum says. This included wood details and solid wood cabinets. And the countertops are soapstone, one of the homeowners’ favorite materials.

With the upper cabinets gone, Kestenbaum had plenty of room to line up beautiful casement windows around the room. Casement windows are easy to crank open when reaching across a countertop. So in addition to the views and the natural light, the windows let in the cool Pacific Northwest breezes. The neutral color palette and wood accents the designer suggested for the remodel complement the colors of nature.
Kestenbaum already had a head start on the storage issue. “My clients are minimalists who didn’t need a ton of storage. Plus they already had a walk-in pantry,” she says. This left them plenty of storage space after she eliminated the upper cabinets to make room for the windows.

In the lower cabinets, she installed recycling, trash and compost pullouts near the sink. The dishwasher is to the right of the sink and its paneled front lends a seamless look. Kestenbaum also mixed in drawers for better and more ergonomic storage. And she used pullout inserts on arms to take full advantage of the space in the corner cabinets.

Before: This unused niche off the dining room presented an opportunity for more kitchen storage and function.

After: Because the kitchen was open to the dining room, Kestenbaum designed a bar for the unused niche. “He is very passionate about coffee and she wanted to keep the countertops clear of small appliances,” the designer says. “It was a really convenient spot for a coffee-wine bar, and he already had a beautiful espresso maker.”

The bar includes a wine fridge and storage space for glassware, and the cabinets hide the microwave. Because coffee grounds are great for composting, Kestenbaum added a second composting pullout as well as a trash pullout in the lower cabinetry of the bar. LED lighting under the upper cabinets illuminates the space. “The underlighting provides a beautiful glow at night,” Kestenbaum says.

3. Expansive Counter Space With Big Views

Kitchen at a Glance
Who uses it: A chef and a baker
Location: Woodacre, California
Size: 330 square feet (31 square meters), including the dining space
Architect: Craig O’Connell Architecture

Before: This Northern California kitchen had low ceilings, little natural light and limited counter space. This was an issue, as the owners both need a lot of room to spread out and work, and they like to work in the kitchen at the same time. Nick Giusto is a fourth-generation miller and baker and helps run the family business, which provides restaurants and bakeries with premium-quality flour and grains. “Nick needs a lot of room for rolling dough and flour and baking in general,” says the couple’s architect, Craig O’Connell. Nick’s wife, Arielle Giusto, is a talented chef who caters and has helped open several popular restaurant kitchens in the area.

After: O’Connell designed a light-filled, airy space that connects to the outdoors and the region, reflects the couple’s tastes and gives them all the room they need to prepare delicious food together and entertain.

To achieve this, the architect expanded the kitchen’s footprint by taking over an adjacent office space and removed the 8-foot drop ceiling to allow for a cathedral ceiling with reclaimed-wood beams. By expanding the space, he was able to add plenty of cabinet and countertop space. The couple also opted for floating shelves on the right to accommodate their everyday dishes and glassware.

It was important to the couple that the design be “of the place.” So the architect used meaningful local materials and expert craftspeople. For example, the ceiling beams were milled from old piers that had been buried in San Francisco Bay. The reclaimed piers, the cypress countertops and shelves and the sycamore live-edge peninsula counter and cabinet wood came from a local reclaimed-wood dealer. “This was definitely a site to visit with the clients. We looked at all kinds of wood, and the homeowners found the ones that spoke to them,” O’Connell says.

By forgoing upper cabinets on two sides of the kitchen, O’Connell was able to install three 6-foot-wide windows. They provide picture-perfect views. And the colors in the landscape seen through the windows inspired the kitchen’s material and color palettes. The concrete counters, copper faucet and wood cabinetry and trim complement the garden. San Francisco company [RE] Union Creative fabricated the custom stained concrete countertop and integrated sink.

Because the home is on a hill, the 6-foot-wide awning windows that flank the range provide views of the tree canopy. With the kitchen expanded, there was also room for a 48-inch red range from BlueStar.

Because they had expanded the kitchen’s footprint, the amount of lower cabinets in the room made up for the loss of upper cabinets. Petaluma craftsman Cemil Hope made the sycamore cabinetry. Also, O’Connell devoted this interior wall to cabinetry and the fridge. There’s an appliance garage for the coffeemaker and stand mixer next to the countertop.

One detail to note is how the fridge appears to float. O’Connell used 8-inch-high toe kicks (standard height is 4 inches) around the room to give everything a lighter, floating look. He warns that a high toe kick can cut into storage capacity, but he says that in this kitchen, the copious amount of storage accommodated the choice.

The floating shelves also serve as an upper cabinet substitute.

Reasons to forgo some upper cabinets:

  • To create a focal wall
  • To extend a beautiful backsplash up to the ceiling
  • To make room for windows
  • To provide a more open and airy feel

Ways to make up for lost storage space include:

  • Outfitting the kitchen with hardworking lower cabinet inserts
  • Concentrating storage and some larger appliances on one wall
  • Installing open shelves
  • Moving areas like a coffee or wine bar into an adjacent room
  • Working a pantry into the kitchen footprint
  • Doing a thorough kitchen cleanout and purge. Seldom-used or seasonal items can be moved to other storage areas in the house.

Read more kitchen stories
Browse kitchen photos
Hire a kitchen remodeler
Shop for kitchen products

A current kitchen trend that looks like it has staying power is replacing upper cabinets with a beautiful backsplash, display shelves or expansive windows. Kitchens gain a more open, airier feeling and opportunities to bring in views and natural light. Concentrated walls of storage, pantries and smartly outfitted lower cabinets make up for the lost storage. Here’s a look at three featured kitchens’ before-and-after renovations that reconsidered traditional cabinet layouts.

This content was originally published here.

Categories
News

Enhance Your Landscape This Fall With 8 Outdoor Projects

1. Light Things Up

Fewer daylight hours mean you, your family and your guests may be coming and going in the dark. Fall is a good time to make any outdoor lighting upgrades needed to ensure your walkways and entryways will be safely lit during the winter months. Places to check include paths, especially those leading to the front door; along steps and stairs; on decks and patios; and around any entries.

If your safety lighting is up to par, look for other ways lighting can brighten a winter garden. String lights across outdoor areas or set up lanterns and lamps to encouraging relaxing on decks, patios and porches if it’s not too cold — or you have space heaters, a fire feature or plenty of blankets.

Wildlife experts say landscape lighting, especially lights that are on throughout the night, adversely affect nocturnal animals and migratory birds. You can help prevent this by using recommended fixtures for wildlife friendliness and by carefully designing your lighting scheme.

Need a pro for your landscape design project?
Let Houzz find the best pros for you

2. Fine-Tune Your Firewood Storage

Sitting in front of a cheerful fire is a cozy way to spend a winter evening. Heading outside to collect wood from a haphazard pile isn’t as much fun. Make sure your firewood is readily accessible, dry and protected from the weather by adding a storage shed or alcove designed for that purpose that also adds a stylish element to your yard.

Consider exactly where you want the wood and your design options. You’ll want the storage area close enough to the house that it won’t be difficult to reach. At the same time, experts recommend not putting wood directly against the house, as it can become home to various small and not-that-small critters that will want to get inside.

You’ll also need to provide plenty of air circulation around and under the wood to keep out moisture and prevent mold. Finally, try to keep your stack no more than 4 feet tall. It makes it much easier to access.
There also may be local regulations about where you can store firewood, especially around homes. These can be fairly strict in areas where wildfires are common.

3. Corral Your Tools

If your garden equipment comes into your garage during the winter, consider reclaiming that space by adding a garden shed or storage area outside. Ready-to-install kits are easily available, and most don’t require too much work to put in place if you have a good base ready to go.

The obelisk seen here is a good choice for rakes, shovels and small tools, and it also fits well into the landscape. A shed that’s tall but not necessarily wide can hold pots, potting soils, tools and possibly a lawn mower. Nestle it into a corner of the yard or set it against a little-used side of the house or garage.

If you want something more personalized, check with local craftspeople and builders about creating a storage shed that fits the style of your yard or home. A large project will likely need to wait until spring, but a smaller project, even with added details, may be doable before it gets too cold or wet.
4. Add Double-Duty Furniture

Check out the possibilities for adding a bench with storage to your patio and deck. Make sure it’s waterproof, then use the storage space for outdoor cushions and pillows. The cushions won’t be taking up valuable garage space, and come spring, you’ll have another seating spot in your yard.

Another option is to turn an unused planter into storage for the winter. Clean out the dirt and line it, if you want, for an added layer of protection. Once you’ve placed what you plan to store, add a waterproof cover and secure it against any winds.
5. Install a Walkway or Two

Add easily navigated paths to bird feeders, winter planting beds and greenhouses that otherwise would be challenging to access in bad weather. A simple gravel or decomposed granite pathway can add much-needed stability yet can be altered or even removed fairly easily if you decide it isn’t working for you or your yard’s look.

Another option would be to add sections of premade wooden boardwalks. These can easily be laid down for winter and removed in the spring months.

If you’re ready to add something more permanent, from concrete and pavers to brick and flagstones, it still might be feasible. Be aware that these projects will require more time and will be dependent on the availability of pros and the possibility of early frosts or cold weather that will make it difficult to complete the project.

6. Fix Gates and Fences

Survey your fences and gates for signs of weakness or damage. You’ll want to make any repairs before inclement weather makes the problem worse. Some repairs may be fairly simple, such as replacing a lock or a single board or adding a fresh coat of stain or paint.

If you’re looking at more damage, check with local professionals about the recommended repairs, including a timeline and their availability. Even if it’s not possible to do more than patchwork repairs, you’ll be ready for any major repairs once the weather allows. In the meantime, you can decide what you want for a replacement, if needed.
7. Add a Fire Feature

Extend your time outdoors with a fire pit or fire table. Portable gas-fueled options rely on a propane take as a fuel source. Gas models will be smokeless, cleaner-burning and easier to start and turn off. The main requirement will be a stable surface, nearby seating and maybe an additional warm blanket or two for a cozy feel.

Another option is a permanent fire pit or table installation that is fueled by a gas line. If that’s on your wish list, you’ll need to consult with an expert about design, installation and timelines.

Any fire feature requires extra safety precautions. Start by checking local regulations and possible permit requirements. These may include restrictions on locations, types of fuel and days of use.

An open flame and wood or wood composites are a worrisome combination, so add a fire mat or take other precautions if using a fire pit on a deck.

8. Give Plants a Head Start on Spring

A classic greenhouse with a brick or stone base, glass panels and maybe some filigrees on top is a project that will take some time and might not be ready by winter. But if you’re looking for a more low-key spot to start seeds and overwinter delicate plants, check with a builder about adding a simple greenhouse that can get you started.

Another option is a more easily assembled greenhouse kit. These now come in a variety of styles and design options and can be easily assembled. And while you may need added heat sources if your winters are very cold, even without those they can be a useful spot for starting seeds and nurturing seedlings in early spring.

This content was originally published here.

Categories
Home Improvement

A Comprehensive Guide to Decluttering your Home and Getting Rid of Junk

What is the true meaning of decluttering and why should you include it as a priority in your life?

Decluttering is the intentional act of removing from your life those things that are not serving you. It means clearing out all those items that you no longer need, want, or love.

It is a process of editing and organizing your home and lifestyle to only include the things that make you happy and fulfilled. Decluttering is about getting rid of everything that adds stress to your life, starting with what is closest to you – your home – and then working outward from there.

Decluttering can be seen as a journey with three stages:

1) shopping mode where we buy more stuff than we need;

2) organizing mode where we organize what we have bought;

3) editing mode where we edit the items in our home until it contains only those things that make us happy and fulfilled

home decluttering tips: How do you know what to keep vs. what to toss?

It can be tricky to find the time and motivation to declutter. But it’s surprisingly easy with these tips below:

• Start with a small area of your home (e.g., your bedroom, living room, or kitchen).

• Write the acronym CHKP on a notepad or sticky note and place it somewhere visible like on your fridge door. It stands for: C: Clothes; H: Household items; K: Keepsakes; P: Paperwork.

• Begin by sorting through clothes and household items, keeping only items that are in good condition and match the CHKP criteria.

• For keepsakes, take a moment to consider whether an item is worth keeping because of its sentimental value such as old family photos or mementos from loved

Tools for decluttering your home

If you’ve been meaning to declutter your home, but haven’t yet started, you may be wondering where to start.  First off, if you feel you cannot do it yourself, consider hiring help.   I used a great professional organizer in Toronto last year to clean out my mom’s home when she downsized.

There are many ways to declutter your home, and this article discusses what not to do – and what to do – in order to declutter successfully.

Here are some tips for how to start:

– Start with a specific area of your house that you want or need more space in.

– Make a list of everything that needs removing from the area, and rank those things from least important on top of the list to most important on the bottom.

– Once you have found a way out of your current jam, take a step back and continue with other areas in your house until they too are done!

How does Decluttering Affect Mental Health and What Steps Should You Take Next?

Clutter-free homes have been proven to have a positive impact on mental health. Here are some steps you can take to declutter your home and help improve your mental state.

1. Purge the unnecessary – The first step is to purge any items you don’t need or use. As hard as it may be, if you’re not using it, pack it up to give away or donate it. This will help reduce the clutter in your home and make it seem less overwhelming when cleaning up.

2. Keep an organized space – The next step is to find a place for everything that needs a designated spot in your house, whether this be an office space or a room specifically for storing items like clothes, toys, dishes etc… Having a place for everything will make it easier for you and

Conclusion

In the end, it all comes down to your priorities. If you are willing to take the time to declutter, then congratulations! The rewards will be well worth it.

There are various tips for keeping your home decluttered. These include keeping items that are necessary or useful in designated spots; not keeping things that you don’t need any more; and considering whether something is functional before adding it to your home.

Categories
Health

The Benefits of Medical Spas Everyone Should Know About

Introduction: What is a Medical Spa?

Medical spas are facilities that provide specialized aesthetic treatments. These treatments focus on improving the appearance of wrinkles, scars, and skin texture. Medical aesthetics focus on improving your body’s natural beauty. This is done by looking for any signs of aging or skin damage and then restoring it to its natural state.

There are a few different treatment types that medical spas offer:

Facials: Facials work to clean your skin and remove any impurities from your pores while also exfoliating the skin. The facial will also include a mask which will help soothe and hydrate your skin from within.

In some cases, you may have a collagen booster shot which helps promote collagen production in your skin.

Why Should You Go to a Medical Spa?

Advantages of Medical Spa treatment.  I was hesitant to go to one but once I learned more I discovered it was very safe.  I searched online to find a great med spa that does lip fillers in St. Louis, they made me feel really comfortable and was a great experience.

We all know that there are many benefits to having a Medical Spa treatment such as relaxation, stress relief and physical rejuvenation. However, the most important benefit is that Medical Spa treatment can help you take control of your skin by getting rid of acne, wrinkles and other skin conditions.

Medical spas offer a variety of treatments for all sorts of skincare-related issues, which is why it is important to know what kind of spa you are visiting. Some medical spa treatments include dermaroller, laser treatment, microneedling, and fillers. There are many advantages to medical spa treatments that may not be immediately clear.

One advantage is that medical spas can provide you with an alternative to traditional medicine. This might be beneficial to people who cannot find relief in traditional medicine or who have adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals or other medications. Medical spas can also provide a less expensive option for people without health insurance coverage or those who do not want the hassle of going through a doctor’s appointment and waiting in long lines

How to Choose the Best Medical Spa for Your Needs?

It’s important to find a medical spa that provides the services you require. There are many different types of medical spas, so it’s important to be picky when choosing one.

On the surface, it may seem easy to find a medical spa that offers the services you require. However, there are many different types of medical spas. For instance, some of them cater to dermatology patients while others focus on weight loss or wellness services. It’s important not only to find a medical spa near you but also one that offers the type of service you need.

The type of service that you need will depend on what your personal needs are. A lot of people do not know the difference in services offered by medical spas, and end up finding one that doesn’t meet their needs.

Common Skin Conditions Treated at a Medical Spa

The use of medical spas is on the rise. More people are now aware of the various treatments that they offer that can help them in managing their skin care issues. One such condition that is treated at a medical spa is psoriasis. Psoriasis has a wide range of symptoms which include red patches on the skin, a silvery scaling and a white, raised area with a silvery appearance. It affects the scalp, elbows and knees most commonly.

Psoriasis is caused by an overproduction of skin cells or when they build up more quickly than normal under the surface so it becomes thicker and scales off easier. Psoriasis can be brought on by certain things like stress, harsh weather, injury to the skin or even an illness. The most common treatment for psoriasis

Medical Skin Treatments & Procedures That Can be Done At A Med Spa

We have come to a time where skin care is taken very seriously. We are always looking for new ways to improve our skin without having to spend tons of money at the dermatologist’s office. Thankfully, we live in a time where there are many medical spas and salons that offer these treatments and procedures for a fraction of the cost and we don’t have to pay the doctor’s visit fee.

Some of these treatments can be done while you wait, while others will require more than one session. Some other benefits include improvement in the texture, tone, and appearance of your skin.  Some treatments are: laser hair removal, skin tightening, Botox injections and other skin related treatments.

Categories
Home Improvement

A Complete Guide To Building A Custom Home, From Planning to Designing to Building

It is important to plan your design and build before you engage in the construction process. This is because the idea of building a custom house is an involved process that requires an in-depth understanding of all aspects of the project.

There are many pre-planning steps that need to be undertaken before you can even start designing your home. These include drawing up a floor plan, estimating budget, finding a suitable site for construction, deciding on structural considerations, deciding on materials, picking out paint colors and finishes for various rooms.

The Biggest Reasons Why You Should Consider Building Your Own Home

Choosing to build your own home is a very rewarding and interesting experience. It is not just about choosing the design of your house, but it is also about building the future you envision.

Some people are afraid of the complexity of building their own home, or that they will not be able to find everything they need to build their dream home.

But these are just myths. If you know what you want, there are plenty of materials and kits out there that will make this process much easier for you. And if you don’t know what kind of house you want, there are many websites where you can use the different features to help plan your dream house.

Construction Process For A New Custom Home

Construction process for a new custom home can vary depending on different aspects. For example, the type of building materials used to construct the home, types of construction methods, home design, etc.

The construction process for a new custom home typically starts with an architect drawing the blueprints based on the customer’s requirements and specifications. They will then hand them over to a contractor who will build it according to their blueprint.

How To Find The Right Builder For You And Your Custom Home Building Project

Back in the day when people wanted to build their own custom homes, they had to do all the work themselves. But nowadays, there are many builders and contractors who can do all of this work for them. These professionals will help you with every phase of the project and make sure that everything goes smoothly.

There might be a lot of choices when it comes to builders in your area, but not all of them will be the right fit for your needs and wants. We spent weeks searching online before we found a great custom home builder in Toronto that designed and built our current home. Here are a few ways that you can find the right builder for you:

– Ask referral from trusted friends or family members

– Search online reviews to see how other customers felt about their experience with different builders

– Look at construction websites such as Houzz or Homestars so you can see what others have said about

Finding the Right Property and Planning the Layout For Your Custom Home

When it comes to designing a custom home, many people find it difficult to find the right property and

plan the layout of their house. However, there are steps that can help you with this process. The first thing you should do is set your budget. This will help you figure out how much money you have for purchasing a property, as well as how much money you need for construction. Once this has been done, it’s time to think about what type of property you want and start looking for one that suits your needs and matches your budget.

After finding the perfect property, it’s time to choose an architect or designer who will work closely with you throughout the design process and help turn your ideas into reality. This step is very important because they’ll be able to guide you

The Cost Of Building a Custom Home

Custom homebuilding is a major investment. In the United States, the average cost of a new custom-built home in 2017 was $367,000. That’s a lot of money to spend on one house.

A custom home can be less expensive than a traditional new construction home because there are fewer contingencies and delays that come with building a new house from scratch.

You can also use your current property as your foundation for your custom build. This means that you will save on land costs, too.

Custom homes are not just more expensive upfront; they also cost more to maintain than other kinds of building projects. If you’re considering renovating an existing home instead of buying or building one, know that it will be less expensive both to purchase and maintain over time

Finishing Touches And Final Details To Finish Your Custom Built Dream Home

It is important to not overlook any of the details when building your dream home. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and miss something.

To make sure that you don’t forget anything, have a checklist of finishing touches and final details you need to take care of:

When you are ready to start your design, the first thing that you should do is to create a 3D model of your home. This will give you a good idea of what it will look like when it is finished.

Conclusion – Be sure to do your research when building a custom home

Be sure to do your research when building a custom home. This is because you will not want to get caught in the middle of the project and have to tear it down or find a new contractor.

It’s important to do your research before you build a custom home. You need to know what you want, how much it will cost, and where you can get the best advice/inspiration for your plan.

Categories
Home Improvement

Best Practices for Property Owner to Handle Water Damage

What to Do Immediately After a Flood or Water Damage

After a flood or water damage, you should turn off the power to the home. Do not use any electrical appliances because they may cause an electric shock. Call a qualified professional to clean up the mess and dry out your home.

The water can cause serious damage to your property if it isn’t dried up fast enough. It will also be difficult for you to do this yourself because of all the time and equipment it takes.

Who Can Help You with Ensuing Puddles and Sinks?

There are several professional services that can help you with the problem of puddles and sinks.

They offer a variety of services to suit your needs, from drain-cleaning to tile restoration. They will come to your home or business, assess the situation and provide you with a solution.  When our home flooded last summer during terrible Toronto rain storms, we found a really good water damage repair company in Toronto that was on the scene fast and did a great job.

Mold Prevention Tips for the Homeowner’s Family

Mold is a pesky and potentially toxic substance that can grow in places where it is not visible.

Mold thrives in moist, dark, and warm places. It grows quickly on wooden boards and on the ground. Mold spores are invisible to the eye and float through the air until they find a surface to cling to. Mold needs three basic things: moisture, food, and a dark place with temperatures between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit (16-29 degrees Celsius).

The most important thing that you can do to avoid any potential mold problems in your home is to make sure there aren’t any leaks or drips coming from any of the pipes in your house.

What You Need to Know about Water Restoration Services

A water restoration service can be hired to clean up your home and provide permanent repairs.

It is important not to attempt water and flood cleanup without the appropriate certifications or equipment. The company should be able to provide certification information, such as the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) for any work done.

Homeowners Insurance and the Necessity of Hiring a Water Restoration Company

When it comes to homeowners insurance, you need to make sure that you are aware of how much water coverage you have. If your insurance policy is not enough to cover the damage if something happens and you have a basement flooding or a pipe bursts, it’s time to call in experts. There are many water restoration companies out there who can help with those types of situations.

A flood can happen at any time and without warning, so knowing what steps to take is important. Let’s go through some of the steps that need to be taken when dealing with water damage:

When a water disaster strikes, the first thing to do is turn off the power and gas. Next, put on gloves and protective gear and assess the damage. Remove all furniture from contact with water by using a broom to brush it off. Once you’ve removed all of the furniture, use towels to soak up as much water as possible. Be sure to dry out any standing water before you move on to

Conclusion: Your Home Doesn’t Have to Suffer Flooding, Mold, or Damage any Longer

If you are worried about flooding or mold in the future, then buying a home with a basement is not your only option. There are many different types of buildings that can protect your home.

Homeowners should consider four things when it comes to protecting their home. These are the type of house construction, the type of foundation, what type of insulation they have in their attic and walls, and if they have a properly installed water supply line filter system.

Categories
News

Set Up a Paper Management System in 5 Easy Steps

Houzz Contributor. Jeanne Taylor is a professional home organizer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the co-owner of Tailorly with her business partner Patricia Lee. Together they create beautiful homes through decluttering, organizing, and styling. For more information visit .

Click “Embed” to display an article on your own website or blog.

Many of my clients struggle to eliminate paper clutter in their homes. Often, kitchen countertops become drop zones for mail, receipts, coupons, brochures, meeting notes, political ads, school forms and real estate flyers. As a professional home organizer, I recommend implementing a simple paper management system to organize incoming paper and help keep the flat surfaces in your home tidy.

When setting up a system to organize paper, I do not believe in a one-size-fits-all solution. I personally have tried several organizational methods over the years and found many complicated to set up and cumbersome to implement. Remember, the “best” method will fail if it is not easy for you to use.

Many of us need a simple approach. I spent a few hours setting up my system, and now I keep my countertops tidy with little effort. Keep in mind that everyone has their own style, and you may need to adjust my method to meet your unique needs. Some may prefer a more detailed system. Read on for a few tips that might help you control the mess on your kitchen, table, desk or countertops.

1. Create a Drop Zone for All Incoming Mail and Paper

Recommended supplies: A basket, magazine file, tray or another container.

Suggested use: I suggest teaching household members to place mail and other incoming paper into a storage container such as a basket, magazine file or attractive tray. Place your container on a countertop, entry table or another easily accessible surface. I personally do not attempt to organize my drop zone container in any way. Once a week, I take my basket to my workstation for processing.

2. Establish a Dedicated Workstation to Manage Household Paper

If you are responsible for managing bills, finances and other household business, I recommend creating a dedicated office zone not shared with other household members. Having your own workstation will help you stay organized.

If you do not have the luxury of a home office, place a small desk or table in an unused corner of the living room, dining room or kitchen. You might also repurpose an unused closet or nook in your home.

Consider reminding family members not to use your desk or supplies. Even if you don’t work outside the home, it is important to have some space that is your own personal domain.

  • A desk or work table with drawers for supplies.
  • One file drawer or stand-alone file cabinet.
  • Office supplies, such as a stapler, label-maker, pens, scissors, paper clips, envelopes, stamps and notepaper.
  • I recommend using drawer organizers to separate supplies into categories. Perhaps you can repurpose small boxes you already own. If you are purchasing new drawer organizers, I suggest measuring drawers before purchasing for the right fit.

Suggested use: Every week, I spend an hour or two reviewing the papers in my drop-zone basket and attend to them as needed. For example, I pay bills not already set up for automatic bill pay, file necessary receipts and tax records and respond to invitations. I scan any documents I want to store on my computer or in the cloud. I take action on all items in my basket and start the following week fresh.

I am mindful not to save unnecessary paper and refrain from having paper piles cluttering my house. I recycle any unneeded documents. I keep a small decorativebox under my desk where I stash papers for shredding.

3. Create a File Drawer for Frequently Accessed Files

Create a hanging folder for each file and label it with a label-maker or handwritten label. File alphabetically in your file drawer.

Recommended supplies: One file drawer, hanging files, plastic file tabs, paper labels and label-maker (optional).

Suggested use: Most of my bills are paid automatically, so I do not receive many in the mail. However, I still find it necessary to have one small file drawer for some documents. I could spend time scanning paper and filing on my computer, but for me it is easier to use paper files.

I have one letter-sized file drawer that is only about three-quarters full. I have customized it for my needs. I review files and purge unnecessary paper approximately once a year.

Here are a few examples of types of documents I save and the files I have set up:

  • Medical file: Test results, notes and records for medical situations that have not been resolved. Consider signing up for electronic delivery of explanation of benefits and claims information. This information can also be found on your medical insurance website.
  • Current tax year file: Paperwork necessary to complete taxes for this year.
  • Car records: Receipts from recent car repairs.
  • Receipts and warranties: Try to limit the number of receipts you keep and purge this file often.
  • Pet file: Records of vaccinations and other medical information.
  • Utility file: One paper bill from each of my utility companies with customer service number and account number. This information could also be stored in a computer file.
  • Capital gains receipts: Home improvement receipts for capital improvements made to my home. This will vary by state. I move these records into long-term storage at the end of the year.
4. Use a Separate File Box for Long-Term Document Storage

There are some files you seldom or never access. I recommend storing these files in another location and not in your active file drawer.

Recommended supplies: Bankers box or portable file box, fireproof box or safe.

Suggested use: Here are examples of files I recommend keeping in your nonactive storage file box. I store my long-term storage files on the top shelf of a closet.

  • Tax returns and receipts from the last seven years (or less, depending on your tax situation).
  • Car and bike records: It’s best to keep car loan documents until the loan is fully paid off and also title documents for the cars you currently own. You may want to save purchase receipts for bikes. Be sure to file all repair and service records. You will want to show these to a potential buyer when you sell your car or bike so that the buyer can be confident that your vehicle was properly serviced and that both your vehicle and bicycle come with an uncomplicated ownership history.
  • Official records: Birth and death certificates, adoption papers, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, estate plans, Social Security cards, passports, records of paid mortgages and military discharge papers. I suggest keeping these in a fire-safe box.
5. Use Magazine Files for Large, Ongoing Projects

Recommended supplies: Magazine files.

Suggested use: I recommend using magazine files to keep larger projects from cluttering your countertops. For example, during a home remodel, you may find yourself accumulating glossy brochures, paint chips, fabric swatches and receipts. Instead of letting these items create clutter, use a magazine file to store everything during the duration of the project.

Magazine files are also useful when managing a large event like a wedding, charity auction or other celebration. Keep the file in a handy location so you can easily add to it.

Other Suggestions for Controlling Paper Clutter

  • Review your mail before you take it from the mailbox into your home and toss all ads, flyers and junk mail into the recycling bin.
  • Sign up for automatic bill pay for utility bills, mortgage payments and other monthly bills.
  • Sign up for email delivery of statements from banks and other financial institutions.
  • Shred paper bills once they are paid or drop off documents to be shred at a shredding company twice a year.
  • Be mindful of the paper you bring into your home, such as glossy magazines, real estate flyers or campaign ads. All of this information can be found online.
  • Recycle unnecessary papers once you are finished with a large project.
  • Consider tossing manuals for small appliances like toasters or coffee makers. Most likely, you can find any information you need online.
  • Scan anything important and store it in the cloud.
  • Keep a record of jury duty in a file on your computer and toss the notice.
  • Be selective when saving your child’s artwork. Consider storing their art projects in a portfolio case and keep that in a handy location. At the end of the school year, cull your stash and place your favorites into a larger storage container and move to more permanent storage. To save space, think about taking photos of your favorite art and creating a digital photo book at the end of each school year.

This content was originally published here.

Categories
News

12 Easy-Care All-Foliage Container Gardens for Fall

1. Ruffled Up

A fountain of ‘First Knight’ fountain grass (Pennisetum ‘First Knight’) and a red cabbage anchor this handsome fall container, one of a pair of urns flanking the entrance of an elegant Chicago home. Designer Jennifer Hoxsie of Greenhaven Landscapes says she gravitates toward simplified and symmetrical arrangements like this one to complement formal homes. Layers of cold-hardy, extra-ruffled kales — ‘Red Russian’, ‘Red Chidori’ and ‘Redbor’ — fill the mid-layer with plenty of texture.

Although Hoxsie changes container plantings for her client seasonally, the plants used here, save for the fountain grass, could last until the holidays.

Water requirement: Moderate; irrigated two to three times a week in fall
Light requirement: Full sun

2. Foliage Medley

This trio of containers in Seattle offers multiple seasons of interest. The contrast of bright plum ‘Spellbound’ coral bells (Heuchera ‘Spellbound’) with variegated periwinkle (Vinca minor ‘Bowles’), bronze ‘Jack Spratt’ New Zealand flax (Phormium ‘Jack Spratt’) and gray-green spurge (Euphorbia characias ‘Humpty Dumpty’) make for a dynamic foliage-forward container display next to an entryway.

Tender plants, such as periwinkle and spurge, can overwinter in moderate climates and can be used as annuals elsewhere.

Water requirement:
Moderate
Light requirement: Mostly shade

3. Fall Embers

With a warm, fire-like glow, this eye-catching container design by Karen Chapman of Le Jardinet makes for a welcome addition to a fall deck or doorstep. Plants include red-bronze ‘Tequila Sunrise’ mirror plant (Coprosma ‘Tequila Sunrise’), fiery ‘Delta Dawn’ coral bells (Heuchera ‘Delta Dawn’), red-leafed mukdenia (Mukdenia rossii ‘Crimson Fans’), black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’), wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) and yew (Taxus sp.). All of the plants used are evergreen in the Pacific Northwest, where this garden is located, allowing this container to transition seamlessly into winter.

Water requirement:
Moderate
Light requirement: Partial shade

Need a pro for your landscape design project?
Let Houzz find the best pros for you

4. Classic Boxwood

You can’t go wrong with potting up evergreen boxwood (Buxus sp.) to grace a porch or entryway, as seen in this landscape by Boxleaf Design. These versatile shrubs look good year-round, standing alone or serving as a handsome green backdrop to seasonal color.

Despite common belief, not all boxwood thrive in containers. Choose a variety that stays small (such as B. Green Mound’ or B. microphylla ‘Compacta’) and is suited to your climate, and the plants will require little pruning or additional care.

Water requirement: Moderate
Light requirement: Full to partial sun

5. Butterscotch Beauty

Purple ‘Midnight Fire’ ornamental peppers and cool blue-purple ‘Peacock Red’ kale help set off the butterscotch-colored foliage of a ruffled coral bells (Heuchera sp.) in this fall container design by Stephanie Town of Garden Stories. For more textural interest, the designer added dried dogwood stems, clips of bittersweet berries and wispy Red Rooster sedge (Carex buchananii ‘Red Rooster’).

To transition the container from fall to winter, Town says: “I would transplant the Coral Bells and kale into the bed somewhere. This particular client loves red and a bit of ‘bling,’ so I’ll add spruce tips, red glitter lotus pods and bright red ‘Cardinal’ dogwood, with a skirting of white pine and pepperberry.”

Water requirement: Moderate (watered by hand two to three times a week)
Light requirement: Full sun

Note: Oriental bittersweet can be invasive; American bittersweet is a good substitute. Both species are toxic.

6. Dwarf Conifer

Keep it simple with a cold-hardy dwarf conifer potted in a handsome container for a garden accent that will last year-round. Here, designer Tish Treherne of Bliss Garden Design planted a dwarf Siberian pine (Pinus pumila ‘Blue Dwarf’) in a textured ceramic container, which she placed in a garden bed as a focal point. ‘Goldcrest’ Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest’) is another standout conifer for containers but is less cold-hardy than the dwarf Siberian pine.

Water requirement: Low
Light requirement: Full sun

7. Jewel Box

The brilliant foliage and rich textures of ‘Golden Mop’ sawara false cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Golden Mop’), red-tinged coastal doghobble (Leucothoe axillaris) and creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’) steal the show in this half-barrel container garden. “If you think about texture and form more than color, you are off to a good start,” says designer Amy Wilbur of Sweet Dirt Designs. “I like chartreuse-y plants, like the ‘Golden Mop’ in the photo, lemon-scented cypress and lime-y heuchera, with purple-leafed cabbages and kales.”

Water requirement: Moderate to low, depending on season; Wilbur reports that the plants received no water in winter in New York.
Light requirement: Full sun

8. Bronze Trio

A simple planting of ‘Sweet Tea’ heucherella (x Heucherella ‘Sweet Tea’) in matching bronze pots feels perfectly fall-like in this Pacific Northwest arrangement by Bliss Garden Design. Heucherella (a hybrid between Heuchera and Tiarella) comes in a wide variety of colors, all with showy foliage. The plants are evergreen in the Pacific Northwest and other moderate-winter climates, although leaf colors may fade in winter.

Water requirement: Moderate
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade

9. Ferns and Ivy

Gardeners in mild-winter climates can turn to this fresh combination by Amy Martin Landscape Design of fuzzy foxtail fern (Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myers’) and trailing variegated ivy for a low-maintenance combination that thrives in part-shade. Foxtail fern stays green year-round in mild climates, forming bright red jewel-like berries in fall in all climates.

Overwinter these plants indoors in cold-winter regions. Both the foxtail fern and the variegated ivy require little supplemental water in the cool season but will need more consistent water in spring and summer.

Water requirement: Low to moderate
Light requirement: Partial shade

10. Texture Feast

Ruffled red cabbages and kales combine with trailing and upright junipers, bronze ornamental grass, chartreuse ‘Ascot Rainbow’ spurge (Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’) and a small button-shaped mum (Chrysanthemum sp.) in this container by Joseph Basone Landscape Design & Garden Maint.

Although it was designed for a fall show, this container could easily transition into winter by removing all plants except for the junipers, filling in the gaps with mounds of preserved moss or clipped conifer branches and adding a few springs of decorative red berries.

Water requirement: Moderate
Light requirement: Full sun

11. Succulent Centerpiece

Cactus and succulents may not be the first plants that come to mind for fall color, but many varieties will be at their brightest after a summer of full sun, with washes of orange, yellow and red. In this container by Garden Studio, a crush of echeveria, ghost plants (Graptopetalum sp.) and stonecrop (Sedum sp.) looks as decorative as a pile of gourds and pumpkins on an outdoor table. While succulents can stay outside year-round in mild-winter regions, bring them indoors elsewhere once temperatures drop.

Water requirement: Low
Light requirement: Partial to full sun

12. Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses of all kinds make great container plants, but not all of them transition well between seasons — unless you don’t mind a tawny backdrop in winter when most go dormant. Some ornamental grasses, such as blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), have decorative seed heads that cling to the stems from fall into winter, adding interest with texture and movement. In this Phoenix garden designed by The Design Laboratory, ‘Blonde Ambition’ blue grama grass fills a Cor-Ten planter next to Golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) and angelita daisy (Hymenoxys Acaulis).

Water requirement: Moderate; low once established
Light requirement: Partial to full sun

It’s easy to jump to late-blooming flowers as a default for fall container gardens, but foliage plants can be just as beautiful and easier to maintain over the season. Take the jewel-toned leaves of coral bells, combined with texture-rich autumn ferns or a cascade of a weeping conifer, and you have a showstopper arrangement that will carry you through fall and even into winter, depending on your climate. The following 12 foliage-forward container designs offer ideas for gardens through fall and even into winter.

This content was originally published here.

Categories
News

Backyard Cottage Expands a Virginia Family’s Living Space

Photos by Kaan Ozturk

ADU at a Glance
Who lives here: A blended family of six
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Size: 513 square feet (48 square meters); 27 by 19 feet
Designers: Harrison Design (architecture) and Erica Peale Design (interior design)
Contractor: Dasha Cunningham of FineCraft Contractors

The homeowners, with their newly blended family, were looking for a way to add extra space to their home. After they decided refinishing the attic presented too many engineering challenges, they were inspired by some neighbors who recently had added an ADU to their backyard. The neighbors referred their architect, Mark Hughes, to them and Hughes recommended FineCraft Contractors to build it.

Interior designer Erica Peale was already helping the couple blend their styles inside the main house, so the scope of her work expanded to the ADU, where she helped them choose finishes, lighting and furniture. “We have small lots here in Arlington, but the trees around this spot make the ADU feel like a sanctuary in the garden,” Peale says.

While the main house is transitional in style, the couple wanted to do something different in the ADU. “They love Colorado and the Rocky Mountains and wanted mountain modern style out here,” Peale says. “I wanted to do that in a way that would not look out of place here in Virginia.” She and her clients used Houzz ideabooks to share ideas. Then the designer focused on elements such as rustic wood, leather upholstery, contemporary light fixtures and cowhide to achieve the look. Another element that brings in a more rugged feel and a range of colors is the slate floor, which continues from a small patio outside through the interior.

Originally the homeowners wanted the ADU to serve many purposes — entertainment space, guest house, kids’ hangout space and a little home-away-from-home. The bar makes a great serving spot during backyard gatherings, and there’s a TV mounted on the wall behind it. During construction, the couple decided they wanted to add a loft space, and after the pandemic hit, they realized a workspace would also be a great addition out here.

Wall paint: November Rain, Benjamin Moore

Peale found a sofa that pulls out into a king-size bed, which transforms the ADU into a guest house. She knew the walnut side tables and glass lamps from the couple’s existing belongings would work well with the mountain modern scheme. She chose a modern coffee table with a walnut base that matches the side tables.

Peale realized they’d need a hardworking rug in the high-traffic area. “I chose polyester because people will be moving from indoors to out a lot and because kids tend to have muddy feet sometimes,” she says. “Polyester is really durable and relatively inexpensive. I could not believe how luxe it looked, and it pulled all the colors out here together.”

The license plate artwork was the husband’s, and his wife was not at all excited about hanging it in the main house. “The style of this building was more his vision, so I had it framed and hung it out here,” Peale says. She also added a cowhide to the wall to reference Colorado’s ranches.

FineCraft Contractors installed a mini-split system for cooling and heating. The unit is located above the license plate artwork.

The bar includes a small sink and a beverage fridge. The countertop is Charcoal Soapstone quartz by Silestone.

Large sliding doors and a transom overhead compose a wall of glass that lets in the light. It also provides lovely garden views and a visual connection to a round patio with a fire pit. The siting of the ADU creates an easy flow back and forth from the bar area to the patio.
The mix of textures on the ceiling adds interest. V-groove paneling and cedar faux beams add to the rugged mountain modern look.

Ceiling paint: Iron Mountain, Benjamin Moore

During construction the pandemic hit, and the homeowners realized they needed as much work-from-home and homework space as possible. “They originally planned to have a chair and a floor lamp here so they could use it as a little reading area,” Peale says. With the leafy views outside the window and the cozy alcove feeling provided by the loft, Peale knew it was the perfect spot for a workspace.

She found a wooden desk and leather desk chair that worked well with the design scheme. She also selected a pendant light that adds a contemporary touch. The clean look of the desk is versatile. “I chose a console-style desk so that when they have people over they can move the desk chair and use it to serve food,” Peale says.

“The loft was something the couple came up with about halfway through the project,” project coordinator Dasha Cunningham says. A steel ladder offers access. It has flat rungs and comes out at an angle to make it easier to climb. The contemporary railing matches the ladder’s metal and has steel cable wires. And the cedar matches the wood of the ceiling beams.

The loft has a cozy treehouse feel that makes it a great reading spot and a fun fort for the kids. It also serves as extra sleeping space. A nook for books includes an outlet for charging devices.

The ADU has a full bathroom that’s a mix of rugged and elegant. It measures 5 feet, 6 inches by 9 feet, 2 inches.

A clear glass shower enclosure makes the compact bathroom feel more spacious. It also opens up the view of the pretty veining on the shower tiles.

Timing was everything for this newly blended family of six. FineCraft Contractors completed construction on an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, in its Arlington, Virginia, backyard just as the pandemic hit. With four children in the household, some extra getaway space improved life as the family members adjusted to working and schooling from home. The new building they call their casita includes a bar and entertainment lounge, a full bathroom, office space and a loft. The sofa in the lounge converts into a king-size bed, allowing the casita to serve as a guest house as well.

This content was originally published here.

Categories
News

Family Expands Its Living Space With a Backyard Cottage

Photos by Kaan Ozturk

ADU at a Glance
Who lives here: A blended family of six
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Size: 513 square feet (48 square meters); 27 by 19 feet
Designers: Harrison Design (architecture) and Erica Peale Design (interior design)
Contractor: Dasha Cunningham of FineCraft Contractors

The homeowners, with their newly blended family, were looking for a way to add extra space to their home. After they decided refinishing the attic presented too many engineering challenges, they were inspired by some neighbors who recently had added an ADU to their backyard. The neighbors referred their architect, Mark Hughes, to them and Hughes recommended FineCraft Contractors to build it.

Interior designer Erica Peale was already helping the couple blend their styles inside the main house, so the scope of her work expanded to the ADU, where she helped them choose finishes, lighting and furniture. “We have small lots here in Arlington, but the trees around this spot make the ADU feel like a sanctuary in the garden,” Peale says.

While the main house is transitional in style, the couple wanted to do something different in the ADU. “They love Colorado and the Rocky Mountains and wanted mountain modern style out here,” Peale says. “I wanted to do that in a way that would not look out of place here in Virginia.” She and her clients used Houzz ideabooks to share ideas. Then the designer focused on elements such as rustic wood, leather upholstery, contemporary light fixtures and cowhide to achieve the look. Another element that brings in a more rugged feel and a range of colors is the slate floor, which continues from a small patio outside through the interior.

Originally the homeowners wanted the ADU to serve many purposes — entertainment space, guest house, kids’ hangout space and a little home-away-from-home. The bar makes a great serving spot during backyard gatherings, and there’s a TV mounted on the wall behind it. During construction, the couple decided they wanted to add a loft space, and after the pandemic hit, they realized a workspace would also be a great addition out here.

Wall paint: November Rain, Benjamin Moore

Peale found a sofa that pulls out into a king-size bed, which transforms the ADU into a guest house. She knew the walnut side tables and glass lamps from the couple’s existing belongings would work well with the mountain modern scheme. She chose a modern coffee table with a walnut base that matches the side tables.

Peale realized they’d need a hardworking rug in the high-traffic area. “I chose polyester because people will be moving from indoors to out a lot and because kids tend to have muddy feet sometimes,” she says. “Polyester is really durable and relatively inexpensive. I could not believe how luxe it looked, and it pulled all the colors out here together.”

The license plate artwork was the husband’s, and his wife was not at all excited about hanging it in the main house. “The style of this building was more his vision, so I had it framed and hung it out here,” Peale says. She also added a cowhide to the wall to reference Colorado’s ranches.

FineCraft Contractors installed a mini-split system for cooling and heating. The unit is located above the license plate artwork.

The bar includes a small sink and a beverage fridge. The countertop is Charcoal Soapstone quartz by Silestone.

Large sliding doors and a transom overhead compose a wall of glass that lets in the light. It also provides lovely garden views and a visual connection to a round patio with a fire pit. The siting of the ADU creates an easy flow back and forth from the bar area to the patio.
The mix of textures on the ceiling adds interest. V-groove paneling and cedar faux beams add to the rugged mountain modern look.

Ceiling paint: Iron Mountain, Benjamin Moore

During construction the pandemic hit, and the homeowners realized they needed as much work-from-home and homework space as possible. “They originally planned to have a chair and a floor lamp here so they could use it as a little reading area,” Peale says. With the leafy views outside the window and the cozy alcove feeling provided by the loft, Peale knew it was the perfect spot for a workspace.

She found a wooden desk and leather desk chair that worked well with the design scheme. She also selected a pendant light that adds a contemporary touch. The clean look of the desk is versatile. “I chose a console-style desk so that when they have people over they can move the desk chair and use it to serve food,” Peale says.

“The loft was something the couple came up with about halfway through the project,” project coordinator Dasha Cunningham says. A steel ladder offers access. It has flat rungs and comes out at an angle to make it easier to climb. The contemporary railing matches the ladder’s metal and has steel cable wires. And the cedar matches the wood of the ceiling beams.

The loft has a cozy treehouse feel that makes it a great reading spot and a fun fort for the kids. It also serves as extra sleeping space. A nook for books includes an outlet for charging devices.

The ADU has a full bathroom that’s a mix of rugged and elegant. It measures 5 feet, 6 inches by 9 feet, 2 inches.

A clear glass shower enclosure makes the compact bathroom feel more spacious. It also opens up the view of the pretty veining on the shower tiles.

Timing was everything for this newly blended family of six. FineCraft Contractors completed construction on an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, in its Arlington, Virginia, backyard just as the pandemic hit. With four children in the household, some extra getaway space improved life as the family members adjusted to working and schooling from home. The new building they call their casita includes a bar and entertainment lounge, a full bathroom, office space and a loft. The sofa in the lounge converts into a king-size bed, allowing the casita to serve as a guest house as well.

This content was originally published here.