RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Outdoor Spaces: 5 Trends to Watch

June 24, 2015 2:09 am

According to a recent Garden Media Group report, homeowners desire low-maintenance, high-quality outdoor upgrades that create both a tranquil sanctuary and an entertainment-ready space. But you don’t have to break the bank to make your outdoor space perfect for you, says Joe Raboine of Belgard Design Studio.

"Even small updates to an outdoor living space can make a big difference, and this season's trends are versatile and adaptable for every style,” says Raboine.

If you’re not sure where to start, Raboine suggests seeking inspiration from these summer trends:

• Bringing the Indoors Out:
Outdoor space can be adapted as a comfortable and functional addition to the home's indoor rooms by varying paving stones to mimic a faux rug or creating the illusion of separate rooms by using different pavers for different areas.

• Lighting It Up: Get-togethers don't have to stop when the sun goes down; implementing lighting fixtures into hardscape designs can highlight gardens, pools, walkways and more.

• Cooking to Perfection: Warm weather means it's time to grill. No longer just for food enthusiasts, a plethora of options are available when it comes to creating an outdoor kitchen for all degrees of foodie with wood-fired brick ovens, matching woodboxes, grill islands and more.

• Stepping It Up (or Down): If it seems like nothing can add dimension to a large, expansive patio, consider staggering levels with paved retaining walls and steps or a sunken seating area, pool or fire pit.

• Letting It Flow: Water features are a great design piece for many spaces, and using permeable hardscapes to build a water display or fountain play area combines function and fun.

Source:
Belgard.com/Home

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to Rock Your Kitchen Remodel

June 24, 2015 2:09 am

(Family Features) Remodeling a kitchen is no easy task, but with a bit of designer expertise, homeowners can transform their kitchen into the kitchen of their dreams. According to MaryJo Camp, a designer certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), homeowners can successfully revamp their space with these tips.

1. Require References from Your Contractor (and Call Them)


As you begin to look for kitchen designers and contractors, ask for references from their last few jobs and call those references to ask about the experience. Ask specific questions like, How did they leave the jobsite? Are they loud? Did they show up too early? If sticking to a budget is critical, yet a reference says, "Well, he came in way over budget, but he did such an amazing job," this isn't the professional for you.

2. Remember: A Little Space Can Add A Lot


Remodeling because you're tight on space? You're not alone. "The top complaints I hear–no room for seating, too little counter area–all go back to a lack of space," says Camp. Referencing her own remodel, she says, "We borrowed space from a closet in our entryway, which only added about 20 square feet, but it made a big difference."

When working with a smaller kitchen, resist the urge to put cabinets everywhere. Less common design options, like running cabinets along only one wall, selecting mid-high cabinets, or implementing an art wall, can do wonders to break up the space.

3. Select Materials and Finishes That Work for You


When you're ready to choose materials and finishes, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Keep in mind that practicality is key, especially when it comes to countertops. Softer stones like marble are beautiful, but also very delicate and require special care. If you're looking for a material that gives the look of a natural stone, but can stand up to anything, consider an all-natural sintered compact surface.

4. Don't Forget about What You Love


"Everyone always wants to talk about what they hate about their kitchen, but people rarely consider what they love about the existing space," says Camp. "If it's liking how the light comes in or your kids' favorite homework spot, you don't want to take that away."

Source: Neolith.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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