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Using Colors, Patterns, and Textures to Make your Room Pop!

What makes a room pop? Is it the color on the walls or the patterns of the fabrics? Or is it a perceived texture in the space? If your room has all of the essentials and yet you still feel like it lacks interest, incorporating one or more of these options can add definition to a room. Utilizing colors and textures helps define parameters in a room and sets the overall tone for an individual space. 

Planning Flow with Color Schemes

Color schemes can be used throughout your home to tie rooms together, especially adjoining rooms like a kitchen and dining room. Varying color schemes can be used to separate specific spaces without walls, like a living room and office space. Some people find that choosing a color scheme can be overwhelming, but there is one simple method you can use to start the process: First, use the darker color values along the flooring, then graduate to medium colors for the walls, shifting to lighter color values for everything at eye-level and above. This is a basic formula for replicating the natural world inside your home, as we typically walk on darker colors, live in the middle to medium tones, and look up at the lighter sky! 

You can merge one space with another by carrying over a single coordinating color as an accent color that is used more dominantly in the first space, tying the two rooms together. You can also continue the same color scheme from one space into the next, but switch patterns, giving the rooms a subtle differentiation. You can use the classic color wheel as inspiration to find complimentary corresponding colors. Whether you lean more toward a warm or cool color palette, a color wheel is a great tool for selecting a color scheme for both casual and formal spaces. 

Modern Mix and Match

Patterns can bring a room alive! In the past, rooms usually consisted of one pattern. Living room curtain patterns matched the lampshades, which matched the couch, which matched the pillows, which matched whatever else had a pattern in the room. But now the goal of using a pattern is to complement and coordinate with the mood you want in your space. So take some time to consider what type of feeling you want your space to convey. Do you want a floral French countryside feeling? Or more of an earthy feel with rich jewel tones? Do you want a modern, cool aesthetic? Or are you picturing a preppy, Nantucket type of atmosphere? The options are endless when choosing what overall style is best for a room, and that gives you the choice of using multiple patterns in your room. Dissimilar patterns can complement one another if they consist of the same hues; just make sure to add an occasional solid piece to give your eyes a break from the continuity of patterns. 

Textures for Interest

Textures are also a great way to add depth and feeling into your home. Options range from architectural elements such as crown molding or chair rails, to furniture, décor items, or various floor and wall coverings. You may find an imperfection in your room that you want to mask, and by adding texture to that area you can conceal flaws, and no one will be the wiser. Textured walls in the kitchen, such as a backsplash, can give either a large or subtle pop to your space. While a patterned wall tapestry can draw attention as the focal point in your living room. 

So whether you want to add visual weight to your room, or provide a balance between your color palettes by adding a bit of texture or a pop of color, you can instantly transform an area, ultimately transforming a well-designed house into the perfect home. 

Best Bathroom Flooring Options

If it’s time to freshen up your bathroom with a remodel there are many decisions to be made. A great place to start the process is with your flooring choice. Bathroom flooring is different from choosing the other flooring throughout your house as you have to account for one key element, water. Bathrooms see a lot of foot traffic throughout the day and are prone to lengthy exposure of wet and humid conditions, so you should consider what options will be the most sustainable for your space. Depending on what type of theme you’ve decided on for your bathroom, there are many options and designs to create the ideas you’ve envisioned. 

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Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles

If you are looking for a material that’s timeless but will meet all of your needs, then porcelain tiles should be the top pick. Porcelain is stylish, which gives your bathroom a rich and textured feel that looks great, but is also cost-effective. More importantly, porcelain tiles are waterproof with a 0.5% (or less) water absorption rate, according to the Porcelain Tile Certification Agency. And if you’re worried about cold tiles on bare feet, radiant heating can be installed underneath to keep those toes toasty. No matter what look you want for your floor, you can create the exact tone and texture you want with tiles that replicate wood, stone, and more!

Natural Stone

If you are wanting a classically luxurious feel to your floors, natural stone is great material for this! It’s aesthetically pleasing to the overall look of the bathroom, and the hard surface is durable which makes for an excellent perk in resale value. Although stone is relatable to ceramic tile in a cooler temperature, this can still be addressed using radiant heating underneath. Slippery surfaces can be alleviated with sandblasting or textured stone. And if you want something totally different, you can use pebble tile flooring that will give your bathroom a spa-type feel with a gentle foot massage. Your options can range from marble to granite, travertine or limestone. 

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Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Something fairly new to the residential market is Luxury Vinyl Flooring. This is a premium vinyl product that can mimic the look and texture of hardwood, ceramic, or even stone. It’s perfect for the bathrooms because it is waterproof, won’t dent, scratch, or stain, and is extremely easy to clean. Another highly appreciated feature of this product is that it maintains a comfortable temperature year-round, so you don’t have to dread stepping onto a cold tile floor every morning.  Luxury Vinyl Flooring comes in planks or tiles, has a huge variety or colors and styles to choose from, and it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals that could affect the air-quality in your home.

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Cork or Bamboo Flooring

If you are wanting something environmentally friendly and made from highly sustainable resources, look no further! Both of these options can resemble hardwood flooring, but are better suited for a bathroom as they are durable and ideal for wet environments. Cork flooring is made from bark that has a polyurethane topcoat and is resistant to mold, mildew, and potential water damage. Cork flooring is soft underfoot and gives a warm, cozy aesthetic to a bathroom. Bamboo flooring gives you the hardwood feel without the fear of water or termite damage. People with allergies will appreciate this type of flooring as it’s inhospitable to dust mites and tends to repel dust and pollen as well. Overall, bamboo flooring has a clean edge to it that gives the area a more contemporary feel.

We hope this article provided some food for thought. There are so many different options available today that you no longer have to choose between tile and tile for your bathroom floor. Let’s get together to discuss your bathroom remodel and the team at ELM Construction will be happy to help you with all of your decisions, including the best flooring choice.

The Secret to Properly Lighting Your Kitchen

In most homes, your kitchen is the Central Station of your day to day life. This is the space where you gather the troops and plan out your day, week, or month. A place where grocery lists are made, food is prepared, and meals are served. And let’s not forget about entertaining. No matter where the party begins, your guests always seem to gravitate to the kitchen.

Your kitchen is where your busy lives intersect, and as a central hub, lighting will be essential in making the most out of your space. It’s a versatile area, and for that you’ll want the kind of versatile lighting to match.  For optimal coverage, your kitchen will benefit from three different layers of lighting: ambient, task, and accent.

Ambient Lighting:

This type of lighting would be considered your “cover-all” or main source of light throughout the room. Some kitchens benefit from a large amount of natural lighting, but when evening falls, you’ll want your kitchen to thrive under a soft blanket of light. Strategic ambient lighting will you give you enough light to function in your space, without having to worry about a harsh glare. When considering how to light your kitchen, keep in mind that the higher and brighter you set your fixtures along the ceiling, the more optimal your coverage will be. Great sources of ambient lighting range from recessed lighting, hanging chandeliers, or strategically placed pendant lights.

Task Lighting:

Task lighting is a must have for a space as multi-functional and task-oriented as your kitchen. Certain areas will need a more direct, contrasting light to bring your actions into better focus, such as an island, countertops, or a stovetop. Most countertops are set underneath your cabinet space, which allows for shadows to creep in throughout the day as ambient lighting takes over for natural lighting. Adding task lighting to the underside of cabinets will help you eliminate the shadows around your kitchen, and brighten up your workspaces! You can also add task lighting under your floor cabinets or island to highlight pathways throughout your kitchen. The most common task lighting options center on strip lights or evenly spaced puck lights for cabinets, and track lights for an island.

Accent Lighting:

Accent lighting is great for highlighting key elements in your kitchen by adding your own style or using a bit of dramatic flair. Whether you want to spotlight an art piece, showcase an elegant china cabinet, or add a few wall sconces for a dramatic emphasis, this is an attractive way to feature your favorite things. Lighting a kitchen correctly will require layers, and layering accent lighting into your ambient and task lighting will only add to the welcome and appeal of your kitchen. Accent lighting around the insides of cabinets or drawers is beneficial in brightening dark corners of storage spaces, while toe kick lights are prime for emphasizing the base of floor cabinets or a outlining a center island. Accents lights will ultimately allow you to establish the perfect mood lighting for any and every occasion, no matter if that’s based on a house full of dinner guests or just a cozy night in with the family.

If you have a kitchen that is dark and difficult to to use, it might be time to consider a redesign. The team at ELM Construction LLC are exceptional at designing kitchens that are beautiful, functional, and perfectly suited to your needs. If you are ready to see your dream become a reality, contact us today for a consultation.

The Importance of Hiring a Certified Remodeler

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When you entrust your home remodeling project to ELM Construction, we want to provide you with the best value and the best experience possible. To make that happen, I've committed to subject our company to rigorous professional standards and to spend time in the classroom learning the latest industry information. The initials "CGR and CAPS" that follow my name on our company literature are evidence of that commitment.

CGR and CAPS are “designations” awarded by the University of Housing, the educational branch of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). These designations certify that the remodeler has successfully completed a particular program of study. On graduation, the remodeler is entitled to use the designation for a period of 3 years. To keep it beyond that, the contractor must provide evidence of Continuing Education in the specialty area.

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CGR, Certified Graduate Remodeler

To earn the CGR I had to first provide evidence that ELM Construction satisfies professional standards of business practice. I then completed a comprehensive education curriculum, culminating with the demonstration of my ability to manage a project competently. Required courses for this designation emphasize business and project management skills that are key to a successful remodeling operation. During the program I studied job cost procedures, accounting principles and basic contract law, as well as design, estimating and scheduling—to name a few. In addition to the course work, I had to demonstrate at least five years of experience in the industry, provide letters of recommendation, submit proof of licensing and insurance, and pledge adherence to a strict Code of Ethics (see below).

For your project to satisfy your dreams and meet the needs of your family into the future, a thousand decisions need to be made. Decisions about which products to buy, how and when they are best installed, what are the best methods of installation, and how to keep the project flowing. The training for this designation has provided me with information and a structure that helps me make good decisions on behalf of your project. The training also better positions me to advise you in the decisions you will need to make. The training has helped us develop systems that will help your project run smoothly with as little disruption as possible for you and your family. And, even years down the road, you'll still benefit from the quality built into the job and wise choices made about products and workmanship.

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CAPS, Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist

The National Association of Home Builders, in partnership with the AARP and NAHB Research Center, created the CAPS program. In three days of coursework, the CAPS curriculum incorporates market demographics, communication techniques, marketing, common barriers and solutions, building codes and standards, product ideas and resources, and business management. Upon graduation, CAPS program designees are required to maintain their designation by attending continuing education programs and/or participating in community service projects.

Whether you are young or older, if you have the desire to stay in your home for many years into the future, the application of knowledge gained through the CAPS curriculum can greatly influence and be of benefit in your home remodel. You never know if while playing sports, you might break a leg and need crutches, or a relative who uses a wheelchair would want to come and visit, or a grandparent whose vision is dimming would want to play with your kids. Wouldn't it be great to have accommodations to those, and many other needs, built right into the design of your home? If it's done right, people won't even realize how accessible your home is—until it is needed. Then it will be appreciated!

As you look at our ELM Construction literature, when you see the designations CGR and CAPS following my name, be sure to realize that those initials represent a significant difference in approach that we will use on your project from most other remodelers. Even though learning through experience is valuable (and we do that), we have also invested in preparing ourselves through these formal programs that tap into the knowledge and experience of the best in the industry nationwide—all to provide you with an exceptional experience and a home that you can truly live in and be happy.

Code of Ethics (Certified Graduate Remodeler)

I Pledge:

TO CONDUCT my business affairs with professionalism and skill.

TO PROVIDE the best remodeling value possible.

TO PROTECT the consumer through the use of high quality materials and remodeling practices backed by integrity and service.

TO MEET all of my financial obligations in a responsible manner.

TO COMPLY with the spirit and letter of my business contracts, and manage all of my employees, subcontractors and suppliers with fairness and honor.

TO KEEP informed regarding public policies and other essential information, which affect my business interests and those of the building industry as a whole.

TO COMPLY with the rules and regulations prescribed by law and government agencies for the health, safety and welfare of the community.

TO PROVIDE timely response to items covered under warranty.

TO SEEK TO RESOLVE any controversy which I may become involved in through non-litigation dispute resolution mechanism.

TO NOT ATTEMPT to injure, with malicious intent, either directly or indirectly, the professional reputation, prospects, practice, or employment of another remodeler

TO SUPPORT and abide by the decisions of the CGR Board of Governors in promoting and enforcing the CGR designation program.

All work will meet the requirements as set forth in the “Residential Construction Performance Guidelines for Professional Builders and Remodelers.”