Search This Blog

Friday, December 11, 2015

Shades of White Shine in 2016

It's hard to think that 2015 will soon be coming to an end and that a new year is waiting just around the corner. But before you know it, the calendar will be ticking forward another year, and with that change comes a whole host of new topics of what will be on trend during the upcoming year. In home design one of the more popular topics regarding what will be trending is color. This year several of the lead opinion makers are all leaning towards a similar color. And what is that color? It's white! Or a shade of off white, depending on where you look. Check out some ideas below on how to incorporate 2016's hot color into your own home.

The use of white in this living room allows the Dallas skyline through the
windows to shine.
Whether you plan to us it sparingly on just a few accent pieces or liberally throughout your house, white is a color that you can use without much fear of it overwhelming or overpowering, fro the walls to the furniture to built ins and so much more. Be warned though, white has a way of showing dirt easily, so up keep will be required. But no one ever said being trendy is always easy. If upkeep is a major concern of yours try going with more of an off white hue, it will hide dirt better than a pure white. And you probably don't want to use it everywhere or else you risk your house coming across as too sterile. But at the same time, don't be afraid to commit to liberal use of the color, just make sure you have some plans to break it up a little bit.

White cabinets, countertops, and backsplash combine together in this
classic white kitchen.
White kitchens are incredibly on trend right now, and the kitchen is probably one of the few rooms where you can get away with using white throughout mostly the entire room without it coming off as exceptionally sterile. White cabinets paired with a white countertop and/or white backsplash tile create a stunning, high end look. However, breaking it up with some stainless steel appliances or wood flooring would help add some depth design wise to the room.

The white walls allow the red accent wall and decorative pieces to
really stand out and be the room's focal point.
Using white for a wall color can be a very sharp and clean look, and it will help in allowing other aspects of the room to really pop, such as an accent wall or an interesting piece of furniture or artwork. It would also be a good color to use if a room has interesting architecture. A bolder color would be distracting, but by using white you will allow the architecture itself to be the focal point. Overall, white is a great color to use if you want something besides the wall color to shine.

With a white exterior, this house looks like the quintessential American
home. And the green grass pops against the white backdrop.
Landscaping is another great area to use white, after all, part of the American Dream is a home with a white picket fence. From fencing, to the house itself, to plant life, or to outdoor furniture, white can be a very classic look for the outside of a home. However, using white outside will require some extra upkeep to make sure things don't get too dirt from the elements.

The white trim stands out against the darker wall color and helps
create a sophisticated look in this master bedroom.
Not a fan of using a lot of white in your home design? Don't worry, there are plenty of smaller ways that you can incorporate the color that can be just as beautiful. Trim, for example, is a great area to use white if you prefer to use it more sparingly. White trim juxtaposed against a bolder colored wall can look very clean and sophisticated. Or you could settle for just a few accent pieces in the color, such as furniture or decorative pieces.

How do you incorporate white into your home design? Or what changes are you thinking about making in your home this next year to add in more white?

Friday, October 23, 2015

What is Your Kitchen Style? | Key Residential

The kitchen can be a tricky room to design. Most likely it is one of the rooms that sees the most use in your house, so function should be high on your list of requirements when remodeling your kitchen. From deciding where to locate the major appliances to finding cabinets that will fit all of your dishes and supplies to ensuring that you will have enough counterspace to work with you will probably have your hands full with creating a high functioning kitchen. But don't get so bogged down in designing the function that you forget about style. The best kitchens are both hardworking and stylish. And luckily, there are plenty of style options out there for you to put your personal stamp on. Not sure what your kitchen style should be? Take this Houzz quiz to find out, and then check oug how we've interpreted some of these styles for our clients below.

The classic look of a traditional inspired kitchen is probably one of the more recognizable design options. It features many natural materials (think wood cabinets and stone countertops) and elegant finishes. Cabinets tend to have raised or inset panels and are often natural wood color or painted in such a way that the grain of the wood is still visible. In general the colors that are used in traditional kitchens tend to be neutral which helps to allow some of the other details to shine.

Modern style can encompass quite an eclectic range of options. The style tends to be very minimalist and often works to highlight interesting architectural features. Features are sleek and have a sense of structure. Harder materials, such as steel, concrete, and glass, are the go to choices. Cabinets are structured and flat and countertops have hard-edges rather than rounded. In keeping with the minimalist design, smaller appliances are often concealed and countertops are kept mostly clear.

Don't get contemporary style confused with modern. They have similar features but are two distinct styles. Clean, sleek lines and solid colors are the mark of the contemporary design style. Features are minimalist and modern, and they often feature more manmade materials than natural materials. Contemporary kitchens tend to have an accent feature of some sort, be it in a fun tile backsplash, a pop of color on the walls or the island cabinets, or an interesting countertop material.

Farmhouse kitchens tend to give off a warm an welcoming feel and are constructed to accommodate large groups of people. One of, if not the, most important element of a farmhouse style kitchen is wood. Use it anywhere from cabinets to the floors to the ceiling. It gives the room a rustic and natural vibe that is inherent in a farmhouse or country style kitchen. A fireplace and farm table are some fun features to include that can help give the kitchen a farmhouse vibe.

See more from these projects and others on our Houzz page.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Key Residential Featured in Texas Builders Magazine

A Key Residential project was recently featured in an issue of Texas Builders Magazine. The featured project is one of our more popular projects: a whole house remodel that transformed the house into a rustic farmhouse oasis in the heart of Dallas. From antique furniture and accessories, to reclaimed barn wood floors and aged finishes, the home has a unique style all its own. To find out more about the project you can check out the article here.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Remodel in Progress: Master Bath Expansion in Plano

Key Residential recently started a remodel in Plano that includes an expansion of the upstairs master bathroom. The original bathroom was gutted and one wall has been pushed back to expand the room (and also create a nice shady patio for the homeowners below). The job has been going on for a few weeks now and is coming along nicely. Framing and roofing was completed this week so you can see where the new wall is now located. Check out some of the progress photos below and be sure to check back later for more updates.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Key Residential Goes International | Key Residential

It is often said that math is the universal language. But at Key Residential, we like to think that good design elements are also a universal language. Sure, different cultures and different people gravitate towards certain design styles, but if the website Houzz is anything to go by, then there are definitely some elements and designs that cross over regardless of overall design style. Check out some of the international Houzz articles that Key Residential has been featured in recently. And don't worry if you don't know the language the articles are written in, we got Google Translate to help us out in trying to figure out what each article features.


Decorating with strings or rope is an easy and unique idea that can be drawn into almost any design aesthetic. The Key Residential project shown in this article features a porch swing hung with rope that helps to complete the rustic aesthetic that the clients desired. Check out the full article here.


This article discusses having a feature color for a room. The article featured this Key Residential project that has a red accent wall. The color is further tied in to the room with the decorative accessories: pillows, bowl, and flowers. Check out the full article here.


Who doesn't enjoy the sounds of nature while relaxing at home? This French article focuses on how to develop an ecosystem around a pool or body of water. The Key Residential project featured includes a water basin surrounded by plant life to create a rustic look that most likely sees its fair share of birds and insect flying by. Check out the full article here.


This Russian article focuses on how to enjoy watching movies outside during the summer. As shown in the Key Residential project featured in the article, a covered terrace allows for a more permanent option for enjoying television or movies outside. It also has the added benefit of not having to move any furniture to set up for an outdoor movie showing. Check out the full article here.

See more from these projects and others on our Houzz page.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Adding Color to your Home | Key Residential

Neutral colors are currently on trend when it comes to home design and decorating, but that doesn't mean you should totally skimp out on adding a few colorful choices to your decorating plans. Check out these ideas to get some ideas on where and how to add color to your home.


One of the first things that comes to mind when wanting to add color to your home would probably be to paint the walls. While neutral colors are currently on trend, there are no shortage of rooms out there painted in blues, greens, or any other color you can think of. Walk into any paint store and you will be bombarded with options from which you should be able to find a hue that is appealing. If you are planning to paint an entire room consider using a muted tone so as to not overwhelm the room. Painting the walls will limit you more in your decorating options as you will need to make choices that match your wall color, but if your tastes change it is relatively easy and inexpensive to just paint the walls a different color.


If you don't want to commit to painting an entire room in a non-neutral color, then consider painting just one wall to make it an accent/focal wall. With just a few coats of paint you can add depth and design to a room. This would also be a great option if you want to go with a wilder color that would be too overwhelming if it was used throughout the entire room. Bright red on every wall would be too much, but if it is strategically used on just one wall then it will fit right in. An accent wall will typically be the focal point of the room, so choose a wall that would make sense in that role.


Most appliances are chosen in one of three colors: white, black, or stainless steel. But if you're feeling a little adventurous and/or brave then consider picking out an appliance in a color that is out of the norm. However, before you fully commit make sure it is something you are ready to live with for a long time. Appliances, especially the larger ones, can be expensive to replace so this is one area that would be best to commit to only if you are absolutely sure you will be satisfied with for years to come.


Most countertop materials come in a wide range of colors. From granite, solid surface, tile, limestone, laminate, marble, or any of the other many options, you will have your pick of various color and pattern options. Whether you want a more neutral stone with flecks of a different color, something with a more solid non-neutral color, or anything in between, you shouldn't have to look too hard to find something in a color that speaks to you. But don't let yourself get caught up completely with just finding the perfect color. Make sure the material that you go with will work well for your needs. If you're more of a low maintenance person then you may not want to pick a material that requires more care regardless of how much you love the color.


If you don't want to commit to anything too permanent, then try adding in some color with how you accessorize the room to decorate it. A colorful painting could add a splash of color and wouldn't be too difficult to swap out with a different painting when your mood changes. Some fresh flowers or house plants would also be a good choice and are easy to move around or swap out. Consider making some of your necessary home accessories do double duty, Towels, bedding, and dishware are good examples of objects found in every home that come in numerous colors.


As with countertop materials, tile comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. Depending on your level of commitment you can use all colorful tiles or just sub in a few colorful ones in place of a neutral tile to create a pattern dotted with occasional colored tiles. Tile also makes a good colorful backsplash to complement your colorful countertop if you go that route.

Friday, July 24, 2015

ARC Awards Finalist | Best Bathroom Remodel Over $75,000

Key Residential is excited to announce that we have been named as a finalist for the 2015 ARC Awards in the Best Bathroom Remodel Over $75,000 category. We are also entered for the Best CAPS Remodel for which finalists will be announced at the awards ceremony. Congratulations to all the other finalists! (You can see the full list here) Winners will be announced on August 15th at the annual ARC Awards Ceremony. We look forward to seeing the other finalists and DBA members there!

You can find out more about our nominated project in a previous blog post here.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Pools of Summer | Key Residential

The sweltering triple digit heat is here for those of us here in Dallas (or almost here if the weather reports are true). And even if you don't live in the area we're willing to bet that you're experiencing the warmer days of summer right now. And what better way to cool down and relax than in a pool? So to celebrate the summer heat, we wanted to take a look back at some of our favorite pool remodels and what makes them stand out.

Filled with rustic charm, it would be hard to imagine that this pool was located in the middle of a big city. Relaxing in this pool is like taking a vacation in your own backyard. And when you need a break from the sun you can relax in the covered cabana and grab a cold drink from the vintage fridge or grill up some burgers or hot dogs if you are hungry,

This pool has plenty of space for all the family and friends you may have over to help you celebrate the warm summer months. And while it may not seem quite so appealing in the heat of the day, once the sun goes down you can gather around the fire pit for smores before jumping back into the pool to cool down once again.

The extended wet deck in this pool provides a plethora of additional options for enjoying the summer heat. If you have younger kids it can be a safe place for them to play while still enjoying the water. It also offers a place to relax with a good book or to soak in the sun's rays by either sitting in the water or bringing over a lounge chair. The waterfall wall feature contributes to the relaxing atmosphere with the sound of falling water.

This pool would be perfect for a family with younger kids because it allows the adults the option of staying indoors with the air-conditioning while still having a great view of the kids playing outside. This pool also offers great poolside seating if you want to dip your legs in while reading a good book. The large size can also make it a great place to host a party or two.

This pool takes advantage of the surrounding trees and shade that they will provide, offering a respite from the overbearing sun. The basketball hoop at the far end offers the option of fun pool games and the rocky ledge could be a good place to sit with your legs dangling into the pool when you need a break from swimming.

This pool also offers an extended wet deck with all the benefits that come with it. While not as spacious as some of the other pools pictured here it will still offer a much needed respite from the summer heat. This pool also offers multicolored lighting, as seen in the photo, making its cool depths even more enjoyable.

See more from these projects and others on our Houzz page.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Maximizing Your Curb Appeal | Key Residential

What impression will people have when they first see your home? Is your house memorable to someone just passing by, or is it just another house on the street? Your home's curb appeal is the first real impression that someone will have of your home and often times it can be a long lasting impression. Check out these ideas on how to maximize your home's curb appeal and leave a good first impression for guests or those merely passing by.

The tall and narrow trees help to highlight this homes Tudor architecture and high arching
roof line.


Ensure that the exterior of your home is in good condition. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in freshening up your home's exterior. If anything is broken or falling apart then replace it as quickly as possible. Once your home exterior is in top condition you can focus on showing it off. Other features contributing to your curb appeal should work to compliment but not overshadow your house. And if you house has any interesting architectural features then you should make sure that they are prominently highlighted in your home's front facade.


Grass is a good starting point when planning the landscaping of your front yard. Pick a type of grass that will do well in your climate zone to reduce the amount of care required. Synthetic grass is a good alternative if you want something that will stay green all year round with little care. If you live in an area that often suffers from drought and don't want to care for a full yard of grass then you could opt for more varied plant life. A mixture of flowers, trees, and bushes can add a unique look to your front yard.
This home uses a variety of plant life for the front yard landscaping. From flowers, to bushes, to trees, to even pumpkins, this home proves that
landscaping for a front yard can be so much more than just grass.

A wide path to the front door and retaining walls compliment the softer landscaping touches
of this front yard.


When it comes to hardscaping, you will at the very least want a pathway leading to the front door so that guests have a clear area to walk. Beyond that you have virtual free reign of what hardscaping to include. If you've chosen some interesting landscaping features then you may want to include extra paths so that people have a safe place to walk to enjoy the view. Small barriers or short fences are useful to separate grass areas from other plant life. Of if plants aren't your thing you could devote some space to a rock garden.

This solid glass front door allows the front entry of the home to
become a part of the curb appeal.


As the barrier between your home and the outside world, don't be afraid to add some interest to your front door or entry area to really make it stand out. If your home is built with relatively neutral colors then a bold hue for your front door can add a unique statement. A solid wood door can make a statement if you're hesitant about using non-neutral colors. If if you're feeling adventurous then consider a full glass door that will allow you to also draw in the visible part of your entry into your curb appeal.


You add decorative accessories inside your home, such as artwork and photos, so why not add a few outside to the front of your house as well? A stylish birdbath can help attract more nature and surround your yard with the pleasant sound of running water. If you're in the patriotic mood then add a US flag by your front door. Or fly the flag of your favorite sports team. A unique and relatively easy way to add some decoration would be in your house numbers. Opt for something other than the standard fare to set your house apart.
A US flag and dual rocking chairs help to create a home-y facade for this home.

The appearance of this home differs greatly during the day and at
night, but regardless of the time of day it still looks great.


Lighting is easily overlooked after adding a light at the front door and any other entries into the home (which should be the first priority when lighting the exterior of your home), but the right lighting can make a large impact on your home's appearance. Homes can look completely different at night than they do during the day. The lack of natural lighting allows you to add accent lights to highlight certain features that may not stand out quite as much in the daytime. The combination of light and shadows allows you to create a unique front facade.

See more from these projects and others on our Houzz page.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Master Bath Remodel: Aging in Place Without Sacrificing Style | Key Residential

When you first look at this completed master bath remodel what words come to mind? Perhaps luxurious, spacious, spa-like, or stylish? Would it cross your mind that the bathroom was designed as a room that would be readably usable years in the future as the user's needs change over time?

Designing rooms to be functional both now and years in the future as needs evolve, or universal design, has become exceedingly popular as more people are planning to stay i their current homes for many years to come. If you are planning a remodel you may want to consider including items that will make your life easier both now and in the future, even if you don't think you need them yet. And including universal design elements does not mean you have to sacrifice style and current functionality, as this master bath remodel shows. Check out some of the useful and fun features included in this remodel to get some ideas for your own home.


One important feature of the bath is its openness, especially when compared to its pre-renovated state. No square footage was added during the remodel. Rather, through smart planning and minimalist features, the room was able to take advantage of the space it occupied while also meeting an important requirement that the user may have need of in the future: wheelchair accessibility. For a room to be considered wheelchair accessible it needs to have five foot diameters between all fixtures. But as you can see, the openness by no means detracts from the appearance and usability of the bathroom today.


The bathtub features jets with remote control access, a feature almost anyone would probably enjoy. The tub also has a handheld sprayer to make it even easier to use. Who wouldn't want to take a relaxing bath in this tub after a long and stressful day?


A curbless entry allows for easy access into and out of the shower, a convenience that most could enjoy no mater what their age, but will be especially important if the user is ever wheelchair bound. You may notice that a common universal design feature for bathrooms is missing in the shower: grab bars. While no grab bars are currently present in this area, blocking was added during the framing process to allow for their future addition.


It is impossible to see one of the toilet room's best features in a picture: a toilet seat cover that raises automatically when the doors to the room are opened. As with the shower, blocking was added to this area as well to allow for grab bars to be more easily installed in the future.


The vanities were designed to be easily adjusted for multiple options as the client's needs change over time. They currently feature partially recessed sinks with marble countertops held up by metal legs. Their minimalist and open design keeps with the general design aesthetic of the rest of the room.


The closet features beautiful custom built in cabinets. The doorway into the closet is wider than the standard door frame to allow for future wheelchair access, but the wider frame by no means detracts from the high end finished look of the bathroom.


It's an easy feature to miss, but an additional drain was added to the center of the room. The drain, combined with the fully tiled floors and walls, allows for significantly easier cleaning.

See more from this project and others on our Houzz page.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Designing a Stylish and Hard Working Home Office | Key Residential

When it comes to design, the home office can be an often overlooked room. But don't undervalue the importance of design for this room, especially when you consider just how much the room is used. It's the room where you take care of a lot of your household business. Perhaps you also get to use it to work from home. It is also probably home to a lot of your books and a computer or two. And if you have school age children it can be used as a quiet place for studying and homework. Here are a few things to think about when designing your home office to ensure that is is a well functioning and stylish room that works just as hard as you do.

This curved desk works perfectly for this office. There is plenty of space
for two monitors without having to sacrifice all of the desk. Drawers also
provide some much needed out or sight storage.


What is the most important piece of furniture in a home office? If the desk is not your first answer then it should at least be high up on your list. The desk is a hard working piece of furniture that can serve multiple purposes in an office. The most obvious is as a place where you get work done, whether that is working from home, household business, or homework. There is a good chance it is home to your family computer, or at least the place where a laptop or tablet is often set up. It could also be serving some storage functions as well. Make sure to pick a desk that will serve your needs, whether it is a small desk with no drawers, an L or U shaped desk with plenty of work space for multiple people, or something in between.

This office includes two arm chairs plus an ottoman for extra seating.
Who wouldn't want to curl up with a good book on one of these chairs?


A desk cannot be complete without a desk chair. Don't overlook comfort in favor of fashion when it comes to a desk chair. If you're designing for a more professional aesthetic then it shouldn't be too hard to find a chair that both matches your aesthetic and is comfortable (think office style chair with plush leather). If that is not your design aesthetic then there are still plenty of stylish ergonomic designs. But don't commit to something just because it looks good. Comfort should play an important factor in your choice. And don't forget about additional seating that you may need for the room. If you have several school age children then you will probably need multiple chairs for them. A plush, upholstered chair or even a full couch or loveseat would be the perfect addition if you are an avid reader and want a quiet and comfortable place to curl up with a good book.

This office combines bookcase storage and closet storage
by having a hidden closet behind one of the bookcases.


The home office is a prime location for various types of storage. You will more than likely want a bookcase or two to house your book collection. Plus, bookshelves an also be a good place to display photos, house plants, souvenirs, or other smaller design pieces. A good filing cabinet would also come in handy, and there are many options to choose from that don't look like the bulky metal cabinets found in business offices. Unless you are going for an industrial look, in which case metal cabinets may be exactly what you want. You may also want to consider some type of storage like cabinets or a closet where things can be kept out of sight. they will also make cleanup easier if you're in a hurry before guests arrive. The home office would also be a good location to put a safe for more important or sensitive items.

This office takes advantage of the large windows and the natural light they
will let in.But there is also a desk lamp for additional light if it is needed.


You will probably want multiple sources of light for your office. Overhead lighting, desk lamps, floor lamps, and track lighting are all good to consider. Figure out what you plan to use your office for and add lighting that will allow you to accomplish your tasks. And while you probably want to minimize distractions as much as possible in a home office to increase your productivity, don't use that as an excuse to shut the room off completely from the world. Natural light could help increase your productivity and having a view of nature will give you something fun and refreshing to look at when you need a quick break or have hit a mental road block. Poor lighting can make it harder to concentrate as you have to work harder to see what it is you are doing, so don't skimp in this area. 

See more from these projects and others on our Houzz page.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Six Steps to Creating Your Perfect Living Room | Key Residential

The living room is a place that can see a lot of use in your home. From being the place to relax after work, to watching your favorite TV show, to the area for guests to gather when you're entertaining, the living room has to work hard. How you design the room could easily make or break its effectiveness. Here are six steps to keep in mind when designing your living room.


When someone first enters your living room what do you want them to see? Perhaps it is a fireplace, or the view outside, or a nice piece of artwork. One of the first things you need to do when designing your living room is to figure out what the focal point is going to be so that all of your other design decisions work to enhance your selection. If you have a great view outside and low windows then you don't want tall furniture obstruction that view. If you have a colorful piece of artwork then you may want to consider using neutral colors throughout the rest of the room save for a few small color accents so that the artwork can really pop.


When centering your living room, you don't have to use the actual center of the room. In fact, depending on the size and shape of your living room it may be inadvisable to use the actual center of the room. This should be the point where you want to center people around. Typically the center point is where you will want to place a coffee table and then center seating around it. If you have a large living room then it may be beneficial to have multiple centers in the room. If you do this, try to design one area as the main center and any others that you include as smaller offshoots.


There is no rule for what the correct furniture is for your living room. Ultimately, your furniture should suit your family and your needs. If you have a large family or entertain often then you probably want a fair amount of seating. Also bear in mind how much space you have for furniture. You don't want to overfull the room with too much and leave yourself with no room to move around in. If there's not enough room for all the seating that you want then think about using some multifunctional furniture. When there aren't that many people in the room that ottoman can be used as a coffee table but when you're entertaining it can easily be converted into extra seating.


Almost as important as seating are flat surfaces. You need places for people to set drinks and other things down. They're also a great place for a few design pieces to add some character to the room. Just don't go too overboard on adding in decor pieces. A coffee table in front of your main couch is a good place to start. After that add in a few side tables, which will be especially important if you're an avid reader so that you can add in a lamp close to where you plan to read.


Consider the multitude of things that this room can be used for, it shouldn't be too surprising that you will need quite a few different light sources to keep up. The lighting you would need for reading would be far different from the lighting that you would need to watch TV. For the most effective lighting you'll want a combination that would include things like natural light, ceiling lights, table lamps, sconces, and floor lamps. If you're big on entertaining then you may also want to consider putting your light switches on a dimmer so that you can easily adjust to the most flattering light for your guests.


One of the prevailing design themes right
now is that less is more, but that doesn't mean you should skimp out on adding in at least a few pieces to give your room some character. Throw pillows are a good addition and can be more easily swapped out if you find your design tastes have changed.A piece of two of interesting artwork for the walls can be a good conversation starter when you're entertaining. Or you could create your own gallery wall with family photos. Coffee table trays can be very handy as not only a place to arrange stylish knick knacks but also when you're cleaning up in preparation for guests. Just put everything you need to get out of the room on the tray and then move it to another room for temporary storage.

See more from these projects and others on our Houzz page.