Search This Blog

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Big D: Detail in Design

Sure big moves, like paint color, floor coverings and furniture selection are the heavy hitters in the design/build process. But don't let the smaller details get lost in the big picture. By paying a little extra attention to these small touches during the design process, your newly constructed or remodeled space will truly embody your own personal style, down to the very last detail.

Fabricator: S&S Custom Wood Moldings;  Design: The Ratcliff Company

1. Molding & Trim

Crown molding is a great way of adding both aesthetic as well as monetary value to your home. With many types and styles readily available, this is a quick and inexpensive detail that adds visual interest to any space. What's more, with innovation in design and fabricators specializing in custom details, you're no longer married to what's in stock at your local hardware store. Whether your style is large traditional grandeur, sleek, modern and simple or something somewhere in between, there are options out there to express exactly how you want to feel in and about your space. 

2. Stair Rails & Balusters 
Square top octagonal baluster and post newel; Turned spindles and hand carved newel

Balusters and Stair Rails are a general safety & basic construction requirement in any staircase.  You just have to have them. And though there are requirements for overall height and spacing, you have a great amount of design flexibility in materiality, shape and color/finish. Your balusters can match your stair material or provide striking contrast, with innovations in wood tooling, metal works and glass offering unique alternatives to traditional wood. The shape can range from a modern square geometry to spirals intricately turned and hand carved. And with color and finish, the sky is the limit!

3. Cabinet Hardware 
Hardware Selection: The Ratcliff Co.; Cabinets: Douglas Cabinets

Choosing a cabinet material & finish can have just as big of an impact on a room as the paint color or flooring. Do you go with a dark walnut or paint grade? Classic white or a fun color? Once these decisions are made, selecting hardware is the finishing touch. The style and shape of handles is often determined by use and preference. However the material, finish & color can range from timeless brushed nickel to vintage turquoise glass. Consider the impact of your hardware choices on your cabinets and  entire space, and don't be afraid to try something unique.

A final word of warning when selecting the all important DETAILS- Make these decisions earlier rather than later. What may seem like a minor element can delay your project significantly if not finalized early on or changed at the last minute.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Work In Progress: North Dallas Bathroom Remodel

How do you gain usable space without adding any SF?

Existing Master Bath: 165 sf, double vanity with adjacent bath/shower area, built-in linen storage, small walk-in closet
Proposed Master Bath Remodel: 165 sf, bath area with double vanity, built-in jetted tub/shower combo, freestanding storage and walk-in closet

1. Equitable division of assets based on frequency of use. 

Floor space is a hot commodity if you're not adding on and in this case it was unevenly allotted before, with a large open vanity leading to a small and cramped bath/shower area. By removing the maze of interior walls and combining the frequently used vanity and bath areas, the plan is opened up to increase both functionality and flow, especially in areas dedicated to daily activities. When considering a remodel, remember to evaluate how and where you spend the  majority of your time, which varies wildly between households if we actually take a critical look. Don't give up precious floorspace to an area or task that you don't actually want or need.

2. Nooks and Crannies- great for breakfast foods, not holding belongings.

While creative design often utilizes niches for storage, by replacing the small built-in linen closet with a freestanding piece, the internal capacity is maximized without increasing the footprint. The "master" closet also left something to be desired, as it provided limited storage opportunities because of the space required for adjacent plumbing, resulting in tiny built-in shelves hidden behind the open door and short runs of hanging rods. The new closet will provide more hanging and shelf storage and greater ease of access with a pocket door that does not encroach on any floor space.

3. Natural light is your friend 

If there is insufficient light within a space, it tends to feel smaller, even if it's physically not. And while choices of material finish and color will have a huge impact on the light quality within a space, you still have to get the light in there somehow.  By removing the existing undersized window and replacing it with a 2' x 5' Sliding Window over the new tub area, the amount of natural light is easily doubled within the space. The placement of the window is also moved directly across from a reflective mirror surface which will help increase the dispersion of light throughout the space. 

The success of this finished project will be impacted by many additional factors, including amenity upgrades, high-end material selections, finish and color. However, the remodeled spatial layout is perhaps the biggest move to increase the functionality and homeowners' enjoyment of this master bath (and without adding a square inch). 

Check back as we have updated photos of the finished project in coming months!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Addition In Progress: Dallas Outdoor Living

As warmer weather is swiftly approaching, the outdoors are beckoning with promises of family fellowship and friendly entertaining poolside in your humble (or grand) abode. However, to brave the Texas summer heat without some sort of protection is sheer madness. This is where outdoor living areas come in. Whether covered and open-air, partially enclosed or fully glazed, these areas make it possible to enjoy  the outdoors without baking to a crisp or losing a swatting match to a swarm of vicious insects. 

One of our current projects includes the extension of an outdoor living area to provide more functional space for grilling and cooking, add substantial protection from the elements when necessary and create more usable space for entertaining family and friends. 

As it begins to take shape, we can already see the gains in usable and protected area that will shade larger family gatherings on even the hottest of summer afternoons. In addition to the obvious gains in usable space, the area is being reworked to include a truly functional outdoor kitchen area, featuring a built-in stone pizza oven, gas grill, undercounter refrigeration and clean-up station. 
Check back as we document our progress. Soon the finished product will be ready to show off!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Vendor Spotlight | SubZero and Wolf Appliances

Key Residential's 2012 projects highlighting Sub Zero & Wolf Products

With the opening of the newest Dallas Sub Zero & Wolf Showroom on Lemmon Avenue, Dallasites now have a fantastic space to visit, learn about the newest product developments & techniques and of course SHOP. When considering a new home build or renovation, it is always best to meet with your designer and/or builder at the showroom location. The staff are very knowledgeable about the latest in industry standards and nothing beats the hands-on experience. You get to compare models side by side and in various vignette settings of all styles. 

Granted this takes slightly more effort than a few mouse clicks while surfing the web, but you'll be living with your new appliances for some time. Explore the features. Touch the finishes. And play with all the buttons! This experience is vital to ensure you're making the most informed consumer decision. Check out some of our recent Dallas Area projects, showcasing SubZero and Wolf products below.

Dallas Sub Zero & Wolf Showroom

3707 Lemmon Ave

Dallas, TX 75219