"The Great Closet Debate"

by Paul Foresman 18. February 2014 13:14
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A debate rages over Owner's suite closet position and access. Some buyers prefer the convenience of entering the closet(s) directly from the owner's bath area, as shown in plan #50023. This approach minimizes noise and disruption in the bedroom when, say, one spouse is getting ready while the other is trying to sleep. It also allows the combined bathroom + closet areas to double as dressing areas. Yet, many buyers fear excess bathroom humidity will damage clothing in the closet(s). Seemingly the same layout in reverse, in Scholz Design's plan 55177 the homeowners walk through the closet area en route to the adjoining bathroom.

 

 
50023
50023
55177
55177

 

Homes That Flow design 29802 provides abundant separation between the closets and the bathroom. Concern over excess humidity is eliminated, but there is the aforementioned disruption in using a part of the bedroom as a traffic way. Carmichael and Dame plan 9210 presents a short hallway that keeps the doors to both the bathroom and the closet out of the bedroom itself, yet they are just a couple steps apart.

 

 
29802
29802
9210
9210

 

From These examples, which do you prefer?

 

Home Design Links

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50023
29802
9210

 

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Design Trends | Organization | Storage

It's all about the view!

by Paul Foresman 3. December 2013 10:49

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A man and woman walk in the front door to a model home.


What do they see?


Most men will focus on a singular, long focal point (such as a wall of windows at the back of the great room.)  Most women will see much more, with women's heightened peripheral vision.  From the flooring to the ceiling details, colors, textures and other amenities, she takes it all in.

As a general rule, for men think "spotlight".  For women, think "floodlight".

The view from the front entry foyer sets expectations for the entire home.  That's why so much emphasis is placed upon creating interesting entry views.

Take, for example, Design Basics' Kenneth plan.  Though just 2351 square feet in size, the home presents a spacious entry foyer leading to a stunning see-thru stone fireplace and great room with cathedral ceiling and dramatic windows!  

Upon entry, your home can visually say it is something truly special!

View Kenneth home plan.  

The Many Great Benefits of Rear-Entry Foyers

by Paul Foresman 23. October 2013 10:39

 

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MORE ABOUT REAR-ENTRY FOYERS

 

 


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Decade of Change | Design Trends | infographic | Organization | Rear entry foyer

What do the Colors on your Walls Say about You?

by Paul Foresman 13. August 2013 07:19
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The color you choose to put on the walls of your new custom home can speak volumes about your personality. Certain colors can portray different feelings, and visitors and residents can quickly pick up on these clues when they step into the room. If you are going to repaint or are moving to a new home, give the new colors some extra thought and decide what they say about you.

 

The color you choose to put on the walls of your new custom home can speak volumes about your personality.

Your favorite color may speak to your personality, but it can also help you create a specific feeling or atmosphere. Here is a guide to help you pick your color scheme and create the feeling and mood you desire for your home.


 

Yellow and Orange

 

If yellow is your first choice, it shows that you enjoy learning and sharing knowledge. You tend to live on the happier side of the spectrum, and have a lot of sunshine to share. If you choose a warm color in the yellow and orange family, you will create a welcoming feeling. These are the colors of sunshine. They are bright and happy. The brightness is inviting and makes people feel welcome in the space.


 

Cool Blues

 

Blue tones are for people how are reliable, sensitive, and strive for harmony. You tend to think of others and prefer things neat and tidy. It is easy to make the comparison of a cool blue with the blue sky. The colors you use are often associated with where they can be found in nature, which is why the comparison of a cool blue paint to the blue sky easily creates a calm, tranquil feeling. The space feels open and often larger.


 

Brown

 

Brown is the color of earth, and it shows that you are a good friend and work hard to be reliable and dependable. You’re not terribly interested in glittering, glowing things in life, and prefer the simple, direct route. Browns are also a warm tone which can provide a calming effect on you and your visitors.


 

Black

 

Black can be a bold and stark color and can instantly add drama and elegance to a room. A lot of people are scared to paint black because of its’ boldness, but when done right, it creates an elegant and formal look. People who choose black are also very artistic and sensitive. They are commonly a little more closed off than others, but will share personal details when they’re asked.


Red

 

This is the color we most associate with passion and other intense feelings. People who choose red tend to be very active and like to live for the moment. They can be very determined or very stubborn, depending on how you look at it. This is also not an easy color to use in a room, but with care it can be very attractive.


 

White

 

White is a difficult color. It can say a couple things about you. First, it might say that you are very organized and logical. You don’t care for clutter in your life and prefer a clean appearance. On the other hand, it may just say that you haven’t gotten around to personalizing you home yet and are fine with the stock color. Be careful with this one and make sure you are sending the right message.

 

It doesn’t matter if you are building a small home or luxury home.  The right color of paint can really set the mood of your home.

 

 

 

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Design Trends

5 Best Places to Find Free Moving Boxes

by Paul Foresman 30. May 2013 14:46

Moving can be exciting. You get to start a new life in your new custom home, but it can also be stressful and sometimes even dreadful because you know what’s coming – packing. It’s inevitable. Packing up all your things before a move is a huge task, and what’s worse is that buying moving boxes can be an unwanted expense. Why pay for a box when you know it will just get thrown away?

 

 

Of course, you still need something to make sure all your possessions make it to the new location safe and sound. There are a few simple tricks when it comes to rounding up boxes that you can use to make sure your stuff is protected. There are many places you can go to score free moving boxes so you can save your money for that new couch you want for your family room. If you are facing a move in the near future, here are the best places to find free boxes.

 

Grocery Stores

Local grocery stores have many extra boxes from food coming in every day. They will gladly let you take them off their hands for free. You can either check at the customer service desk for boxes or you can call ahead and ask them to save any large boxes they use that day. Of course, if you end up with the ones that carried the bananas and apples, you might introduce some interesting aromas to your wardrobe. It’s okay to be a little picky about the boxes you get from here.

 

Craigslist

Online classifieds, like Craigslist, often have moving boxes people are giving away for free. Sure, you will have to drive and pick them up, but you’d have to do that anyway if you were purchasing new ones. If your local city has their own online classifieds be sure to check there, too. Many people would rather see someone else use their boxes than just throw them in the recycling bin.

 

U-Haul Box Exchange

U-Haul is concerned with all things moving. As a favor to what they hope will be potential customers, they have created an online message board to help you find moving boxes. You can search this message board for free boxes in your area. Although U-Haul is hoping you will use one of their trucks to move all your packed boxes, this message board is open to the public whether you are renting one of their trucks or not.

 

Retail Stores

In addition to grocery stores, there are a lot of other retail stores you can check for free moving boxes. Their inventory is shipped to them in nice, sturdy boxes which would normally just get thrown away. They are usually more than happy to give them to you if you just ask. Stores that have especially good free moving boxes include computer, office supply, book, shoe and liquor stores. These are the places where you'll find the strongest and cleanest moving boxes.

 

Freecycle

Freecycle is another great place to check online for free boxes. This is a website where people post a wide range of items they are giving away for free. The whole mission of this website is to help reuse as many items as possible. It helps the environment by eliminating waste because we can start consuming less. What a perfect place for moving boxes! Save a tree or two by using your own, new recycled boxes.

 

Happy packing!

 

Tags: , ,

Destressing | Organization | Storage

Preparing Your Patio or Backyard for Summer

by Paul Foresman 15. May 2013 10:42

Getting your patio and backyard ready for the warm summer months is about a lot more than restocking your Tiki torches and cleaning the grill (although that may very well be part of it). It’s about making your yard, patio, or deck ready for lots of summertime activities. It may take a little work to get everything in shape, but as you enjoy the beautiful yard and patio throughout the summer, you’ll realize that it was worth it.

 

Wash the Patio

First things first: get out the hose and start washing off the patio. A pressure washer is the most effective way to clear out the residue that builds up over the winter months, but just keep the pressure below 1,000 psi on wood surfaces to avoid causing any damage.

 

Check and Repair Patio Damage

If you have a cement or brick patio, check for cracks or crumbling areas. Cracks can be fixed with various patching compounds, and any broken bricks or tiles should be replaced. If you have a wood deck, you may notice splintering or rotting in some places which you can sand down. Be sure to hammer in any nails that have started to stick up and repair any beams or planks that have st

arted to split.

This may also be a good time to reseal the surface of your patio to prevent further weathering, abrasions, or moisture problems. Spring means a lot of rainfall in some areas, and this will help you extend the life of the patio.

 

Check and Wash the Furniture

All the snow and rain of the past few months has probably left a lot of unwanted dirt and residue on your patio furniture. Wipe everything down with warm, soapy water to clear away that dirt and clean any cushions or other coverings. Your furniture will see a lot more use if it doesn’t look like you have to dust everything off before taking a seat. You should also check for any rust buildup and make sure all the bolts and screws are still solidly in place and make any necessary repairs.


Treat the Yard for Weeds and Pests

Wh

en the weather turns warm, a lot of things start waking up and moving into your yard. Spring may be the time for flowers to bloom, but there are a lot of weeds and pests that want to stretch out and take advantage of the weather, too. Treat your yard for the local weeds and pests to make sure they don’t get the upper hand throughout the season.


Refresh the Lawn

Rake the lawn to remove excess thatch (decaying plant material) and let water and light reach the ground, and put down some fertilizer to give it a head start on the summer. You can also aerate the lawn for better oxygen and nutrient exchange. Now would also be a good time to reseed bare areas and make sure the sprinkler system is working correctly.


Trim the Trees and Bushes

Overgrown trees and bushes can crowd your patio and give everything a shabby appearance. Get out the trimmer/clippers/saw and cut back the overhanging branches and start shaping those bushes. Clear any pathways and find and remove any dead branches. Be careful how you cut, though, because you don’t want to lose the shade around your patio.


Take All Safety Precautions

Now that it’s warm and family and friends are running around your yard and enjoying the patio, make sure you’ve taken all the necessary precautions. Protect your children and guests by clearing out any poisonous or thorny plants and always put away any dangerous tools and landscaping implements. Check your fences to make sure they’re still secure so kids and pets can’t run out into the street, and keep toys and play equipment where no one will accidently trip on them.


Enjoy your summer and be safe!


Tags:

Backyard | Destressing | Patio

You can control unwanted noise in your new home

by Paul Foresman 26. March 2013 07:04

Not too long ago we discussed controlling unwanted noise in the home.  Your feedback confirmed this is a hot topic so we'll look deeper at reducing noise from within the home, starting with sounds that originate within an area.  

 

Ever walk into an empty house for sale?  Sounds echo as sound waves bounce back and forth against hard surfaces (flooring, walls, windows, ceilings).  Materials such as rugs, carpet and carpet pad, upholstered, padded furniture and soft, lined window coverings help absorb sound.

 

Noise also echoes in tall ceilings.  Design Basics lead designer Carl Cuozzo notes that even in big custom homes he's designing today, buyers are opting for 11-foot high ceilings rather than 2-story high spaces.  According to Cuozzo, "You still get the drama and taller doors and windows without so much echo and energy loss."

 

Soft close hinges for cabinet doors and drawers virtually eliminates the sound of these closing.  Similarly, soft-close toilet seats eliminate that "bang".  Having a dishwasher in a kitchen island introduces more noise than if the dishwasher backs up to a wall.  And of course quieter dishwashers, refrigerators, laundry pairs, exhaust fans, food waste disposers, and furnaces will reduce noise at its source.


Another source of unwanted noise in homes comes from sound traveling into one area from other areas.  Solid core doors block significantly more sound than hollow core doors.  For walls themselves, Quiet Rock® and SoundBreak® are special drywall products which absorb considerably more sound than standard drywall.   

 

QuietZone® Acoustic Sealant

QuietZone® Acoustic Sealant

George Auen at Fougner Engineered Sales suggests, "If you want the best sound isolation, use the acoustic drywall over sound isolation clips. The resulting sound transmission is so good you could swear you were deaf!  Auen also recommends using an acoustic caulk (like Owens Corning® Acoustic Sealant) around the perimeter of the walls, lid, and any gaps need to be addressed (like electrical boxes, pipes, etc.).  Thanks, George!

 

From the perspective of a home's layout, having a separate entertaining place for the kids when entertaining other adults is golden.  That way their Xbox games or even loud conversations don't have to disrupt the adults.


Acoustiblok®

Acoustiblok®

Finally, you can enjoy a more serene environment by minimizing sounds transmitted through the structure of the home by vibration.  Certain sound waves cause vibration which is amplified as it passes through walls.  When possible, locating items which create noise and vibration (i.e., big screen TV, clothes washer, dish washer) to exterior walls rather than adjoining interior walls will help.  


Here again, product choices can go a long way in minimizing noise and vibration.  An excellent example is your choice of garage door opener, especially if there is a room over the garage!  Then there's Acoustiblok®, an 1/8"-thick, flexible sound proofing mat that can be glued, stapled, nailed or screwed to floors and walls.  According to the manufacturer, Acoustiblok® actually transforms sound and vibration into inaudible friction energy.  So if your son's is a drummer...

 

 

RESOURCES

 

National Gypsum - Gold Bond® SoundBreak® XP® 5/8" Gypsum Board

Owens Corning - QuietZone® Acoustic Sealant

Acoustiblok® - Residential Soundproofing

 

 

Tags:

Destressing | Noise Reduction