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Remodeling? Why Not Pamper Deserving Pets?

Are you planning to remodel your home? Why not include modifications for your four-legged family members? Adding pet built-ins into a kitchen remodel or another area of the home is easier than you think. After all, pets do a lot for their human families; they give comic relief with silly antics, convince us to exercise when we are feeling sluggish, and they always seem to know when we need quiet companionship. They deserve to have spaces enhancing the comfort and quality of their lives just like we do. 

Nooks for Privacy

If space is an issue in your home, consider the double-duty of a window seat with a built-in crate tucked beneath it for your pet, or a litter box nook that prevents litter tracking and masks odors. Most pets prefer to have spaces in the home where they can have privacy, especially if there are small children or younger pets that pester them. A perfect—often-unutilized—space is the area underneath your home’s staircase; this space can be modified to include a kennel, nook, litter room, or even a cat staircase!  

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Hidden for Freshness: Feeding Stations

You can use custom cabinetry for food storage, which is classier than having a sack of pet food propped in a corner or stored in closet where it may be vulnerable to insects. Keep dog and cat food dishes in your pet’s customized nook, although not too close to your cat’s litter box! Food dishes can also be stowed away in custom designed drawers in a kitchen or laundry room or hidden in other parts of the home. 

Feeding stations are great options for pet owners who prepare their pet’s food fresh daily. The convenience of having food bowls tucked into a kitchen drawer makes choosing fresh feeding options far more appealing. It is also a perfect solution for owners of multiple pets who may exhibit aggression over food. Whether you have a dog that likes to eat the cat’s food, or dogs fighting over their food, separate feeding stations can be a wonderful option for keeping the peace. 

One detail to note is that fresh water should always be accessible for your pets!    

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A Cozy Out of the Way Spot

Since your pet may get underfoot in the kitchen anyway, why not build them an under counter bed? You can either have it lifted off of the ground on a platform or placed directly onto the floor. A plush bed to fit the nook can be custom sewn. If you are experienced at sewing it can be a fun DIY project to complete at home. Foams and water-resistant battings are available at fabric shops. It can be enjoyable selecting the fabric patterns and textures you prefer. Just make sure fabric is stain resistant and washable and that you measure the space beforehand. You also want to include a zipper so that the bedcover can be removed for washing. 

If you are considering any home remodeling projects, take the time to consider every member of the family’s usability and comfort level of the new space, even your furry family members!

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.