How to Use Color in Your Home

How and where to use color in the home can be a tricky subject. Some people are natural lovers of all things color and are happy to bring it in everywhere that they can in their home. Other people prefer more muted designs and would balk at anything that was too much mustard yellow or sage green. Neutrals have tended to reign supreme, at least when it comes to the larger, more difficult to replace items in the home (think appliances, cabinets, flooring). But sometimes throwing in some color, even in small amounts, can add some unexpected drama and character to a room. When done right, color can set a room apart. Keep reading to get some ideas from a few of our previous projects on how to do color well in your home design.


This bedroom uses a bold, rich hue of purple on the walls to create a striking look. The use of color in this room gives it unique personality and a sense of fun. Combined with the decor, this room is truly one of a kind. Without the bold wall color this room would be just another bedroom with nothing super special or noteworthy (although the bust that hangs over the bed deserves its own accolades). Best of all for those who are more color wary is that paint isn’t too incredibly difficult or expensive to swap out when you’re ready for something different.

At first glance this modern styled kitchen doesn’t seem to feature any exciting colors and would seem the epitome of how to use neutral colors without it feeling stale and safe. But don’t let that fool you. With just the flick of a light switch this kitchen is transformed! When the purple lights are turned on this kitchen has a completely different look and feel. The shiny finishes throughout the room help to reflect the purple light and spread the color throughout.

This kitchen does not shy away from color. It incorporates various shades of blue throughout in the cabinets, countertops, and backsplash tile. Mixing the blue with white features helps the bolder color choice to not be too overwhelming. But interestingly, blue cabinets are currently newly trending as a hot item in design, so we like to think that these homeowners must’ve had a hint about the future when they designed their remodeled kitchen.

The only truly non neutral colored item in this bathroom is actually just the wallpaper. But its prevalent use throughout the room, the lack of any other non neutral colored items to compete with (save for the bright orange stool), and the shiny bathroom fixtures that reflect the color make this bathroom seem like it is just popping with color. The wallpaper features a more muted tone of green which helps contribute to a relaxing feel for the room, exactly what you would want in a master bathroom retreat.


The neutral brown tones from the wood and brick in this outdoor kitchen border the line of becoming too overwhelming. Luckily the homeowners choose a fun and colorful mosaic tile backsplash to help break things up. Green is the dominant color of the tile but it also features a mix of blue, yellow, tan, and brown tones. Most importantly though, the tile pairs well with the other source of non neutral color in the kitchen, the Big Green Egg.

When it comes to home design, most conventional advice will tell you there are certain items where non neutral colors should not be used. These are typically the big ticket items that will either cost you a lot of money to change out or decrease the resale value of your home because future owners will have to pay to change it. Large appliances are an item that fall into this category. But sometimes the risk is worth it if you find a truly remarkable piece. Take this retro refrigerator in avocado green. It feels right at home in this country rustic styled outdoor kitchen and is a worthy exception to the rule of always getting appliances in neutral colors.


This living room does not shy away from its use of the dark, saturated blue that is seen throughout. From the walls to the furniture to the decor, blue is very prevalent. While some homeowners might mix in non neutral colors in smaller ways, this living room shows that large doses can work as well when you’re willing to truly commit to it. The blue helps contribute to the high end and luxurious feel of the room without being too heavy handed.

2019 Spring Home Maintenance Guide

Have you felt a change in the air as the winter cold moves away and warmer weather of spring begins to take its place? If not then hopefully you will soon be able to enjoy the more temperate temperatures that are coming. Because yesterday marked the first official day of spring and that means it’s a great time to add some around the house tasks to your to do list. Keep reading for some ideas on what to include.


Prep Outdoor Living

It’s time to get the outdoor living areas of your home ready for use. Pick an upcoming weekend when the weather will be nice and spend some time outdoors getting things ready. Give your outdoor furniture and cooking equipment a good washing and visual inspection. Look into replacing any items showing signs of wear and tear now before the stores get picked over later in the season or something breaks when you’re in the middle of using it. Dewinterize outdoor plumbing once the temperatures stay above freezing. Another good idea to consider as you’re prepping your outdoor living areas is mosquito management. Look around for areas where water collects and doesn’t drain well (which could become mosquito breeding grounds). If you plan on spending a fair amount of time outdoors in the coming months then consider having more permanent pest retardants.


Update Bedrooms

When it comes to home remodeling, rooms like the kitchen and bathroom tend to get a lot of attention Unfortunately, they can also be quite pricey and intensive.  If you’re looking for a smaller way to update your home consider giving some love and attention to your bedrooms. Fresh paint, new linens, new flooring, or even rearrangement of the furniture are smaller updates that can still make a big difference. The transition from colder to warmer weather is a great time to lighten things up. Plus, warmer weather naturally means you won’t need as many layers to be comfortable. And if you’re looking for more substantial updates consider a fireplace or built in coffee bar to the master bedroom.

Make Small Touch Ups Around the House

Do you have a list piling up of little maintenance things that need to be done around the house that keep getting put off? Perhaps you’ve got walls in need of some paint touch up, or its been a bit too long since you’ve replaced the HVAC air filter, or maybe that squeaky hinge could really use some WD-40. Spring is a great time to take care of those normal wear and tear items that come with owning a house, but it can seem like a daunting endeavor as the list of tasks start to add up so focus on making it as manageable as possible. Walk around your house and make a list of all these little things that need to be done. Then make sure you’ve got the supplies on hand to get them all taken care of. Once everything is ready to go take a day or a weekend to get it all done.


Window Maintenance

Windows are an incredibly important part of the home and as such require a certain amount of care and concern. Take some time to inspect all of your windows to make sure the glass, frames, and open/close mechanisms are not broken. Replace caulk if you notice it missing or if it has deteriorated. If your windows are older then this might be a good time to consider replacing them with more energy efficient windows. This will help your home better manage the heat to come. Finally, give your windows a good clean, both inside and outside. The longer days of sun will be much more enjoyable if you can admire them through clear windows


Deep Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning, no matter how much you may not like it, is something that is not going away anytime soon. And while the idea of devoting a fair amount of time cleaning your house may not fill you with joy, the benefits of a good spring cleaning can make the effort worthwhile. You likely already follow some home cleaning schedule throughout the year to keep up with the normal mess that accompanies life. So this spring focus on doing the sort of deep cleaning that doesn’t get done on quite a regular basis. Good rooms to focus on include the kitchen, bathrooms, and closets. Get to those hard to reach or easily forgotten areas. Get rid of or donate anything that you don’t need or use anymore.


Make A Bad Weather Safety Plan

Here in the DFW area we know that spring brings with it tumultuous storms that can include anything from a downpour of rain, strong winds, hail, and even tornados. As much as we would like to hope that our home will be spared from any associated destruction, it’s good to have a plan in place so that you will be safe and not left scrambling when bad weather hits. Designate a safe room in your house, ideally an interior room without windows or a bathroom with a tub that can be sheltered in, and stock it with a few emergency supplies.


Find Ways to Save Energy

Winter and summer can be tough on your electric bill thanks to all that heating and A/C usage. The milder temperatures of spring will hopefully help you to naturally save on that bill. But there are some ways you can more actively help save energy both in spring and throughout the year. First, when the weather allows try to avoid running your heater or A/C. Open windows and use ceiling fans to help keep the air in your house cooler. Maintain your HVAC system so that it is running as efficiently as possible. Adding solar screens to your windows can help reduce heat transfer through your windows. A few other small things you can do to help save energy? Replace light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs, add extra insulation in the attic, and be sure that any new appliances you purchase are rated for energy efficiency.

Project Spotlight: Small Changes in Kitchen Provide Large Transformation

When it comes to remodeling it’s often the big changes that inspire the most awe. It’s hard to not say “wow” when an old, dated space that looks like it hasn’t been touched in decades is completely transformed to become sleek and modern. But a remodel doesn’t always have to involve such massive changes to make a strong impact. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference. This North Dallas kitchen is proof that an effective remodel doesn’t have to change much to completely update the look and feel of a room. A few strategic changes packed a powerful punch in this remodel.

In approaching the remodel, the homeowner didn’t want to change much in the kitchen. The existing cabinets and appliances were in good condition and fit well with the homeowner’s needs and design style. Further, the homeowner had also taken great care to over time update her appliances to the ones that she wanted rather than having to shoulder the burden of replacing them all in one go, a great way to lessen the cost burden often associated with replacing those big-ticket items. With these two big parts of the kitchen in good shape the homeowner instead decided to focus on three other areas of the kitchen: the backsplash, the countertops, and the elevated peninsula.

The old tile backsplash wasn’t horribly dated or out of place, but it had a very traditional feel to it and lacked a modern edge that the homeowner desired. A mosaic metallic tile was chosen as the replacement. Remarkably, the relatively small change completely transformed the vibe of the room. The tile gives the kitchen a uniqueness that was missing and is easily the standout feature of the room. The stainless steel finish matches well with the stainless steel appliances so it doesn’t feel out of place in the design of the room. It is also a great complement to the metallic strips that are used to hold knives and kitchen utensils throughout the room. In fact, we’d be willing to bet that if someone didn’t know the metallic strips existed they just might think the utensils were magically adhering themselves to the backsplash.

The homeowner also wanted to adjust the peninsula cabinets. The outer facing portion of the peninsula had an elevated bar cabinet that was too small to be practical for the homeowner. So rather than waste valuable countertop space the elevated section of the cabinets was lowered to match the countertop height throughout the rest of the kitchen. This created additional work space around the sink and helped to more seamlessly tie the kitchen into an open floor plan design with the adjacent living room area. The height change did necessitate that the countertops be replaced. New quartz countertops were installed throughout the room. The lighter color of the material helps them to not distract from the standout backsplash tile.

With just a handful of changes this homeowner was able to completely transform the look and feel of the kitchen. While remodels are often seen as a costly endeavor, making smaller changes provides a solution that is still transformative but also cost effective. So, if cost is what is holding you back from beginning a remodel take a page out of this homeowner’s book and look for ways to make smaller yet powerful changes to your home instead.


2018 Winter Home Maintenance Guide

Today officially marks the start of the winter season even if the weather may have us thinking differently. It’s time for colder temperatures, holiday celebrations, longer nights, and the welcoming in of a New Year. It’s also time to tackle some new items around the house to keep it in well functioning order. Keep reading to find out what tasks we think should make your to do list this winter.


Prep and Maintain the Fireplace

There is nothing quite like curling up in front of a warm fireplace on a cold winter’s day. But if your fireplace isn’t ready to go then those plans could easily go astray. First and foremost, have your chimney inspected each year if you plan to use the fireplace. Next, have your chimney professionally cleaned if it has been a while since its last professional clean or if your inspector recommends it. Finally, stock up on firewood now so that you’re ready when the mood or cold weather strikes. The last thing you want to do on a cold day is run to the store. Plus, you can bet everyone else will have similar plans and you don’t want all the wood to be sold out before you get there.


General Maintenance

It’s another season which means it’s another time to clean out your gutters. Once the leaves have finished falling you’ll want to make sure your gutters are clear so that they’re able to handle any impending winter weather. This is also a good time to check all the safety devices in your home such as your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. Another task to add to your list is to inspect all the caulking around the home and replace any that has degraded or is missing. Key areas to check caulking is in bathrooms, the kitchen, and around windows.



Organize Bookshelves

Chances are that you’ve got at least one bookshelf in your home. You might be using it to store books or as a place to display decor. Regardless of how you’re using it most bookshelves overtime seem to become more and more disorganized. Take some time to give your bookshelves a little love and organization. If you store primarily books consider organizing them in a new way, such as alphabetical by author or even by the color of the book itself. If your bookshelves are being used more for displaying decor then consider swapping things around a bit. At the very least, regardless of how you are using your bookshelves, take the time to remove everything from the shelves and give the shelves a good dusting.

Plan Home Projects for the Next Year

Winter brings with it the end of the current year and the beginning of a new one. This is the perfect time to sit down and really think about any remodeling or maintenance projects that you want to tackle in the new year. Perhaps your kitchen needs an upgrade or you want to upgrade your bathroom to feel more like an at home spa. Or maybe what you need isn’t quite as fun but just as important to a well functioning home, such as a new roof, hot water heater, or windows. Now is the time to get those plans in motion, especially since many home improvement companies are already booking jobs for the start of the new year.

Keep Exterior Cleaned and Well Lit

Winter brings with it colder weather and longer nights, two things that can make the outdoors a bit more dangerous. When it comes to your home’s exterior make sure that the front of your home is well lit. This will not only help you if you are returning after dark in the evening but it will also give your home some added safety. Also keep an eye on walkways at the front of your house to make sure they are clear of debris. If bad weather hits it is easier to clear sidewalks and pathways that aren’t littered with tree branches, rocks or other such objects. Finally, keep watch over your landscaping. If a tree branch is hanging on precariously then get it down sooner rather than later before wind and weather gets to it and can cause more damage.


Prevent Frozen Pipes

The colder weather of winter can be quite the risk for your pipes, both inside and outside. If you want to prevent frozen pipes and the damage that comes with them then be sure to take preventive steps. Make sure any outdoor plumbing has either been winterized or is properly insulated to keep it above freezing when the cold temperatures hit. Inside your home make sure any pipes that aren’t in well heated areas (by windows, exterior walls, or rooms that get rather cold) are insulated as well. If freezing temperatures are in the forecast leave your faucets dripping and the doors to under sink cabinets open. Finally, as tempting as it might be to save money and leave your heater set to a low temperature, make sure that temperature does not get below 55 degrees. Spending a little extra money on heat could save you from spending even more money on busted pipes.


Complete a Home Inventory

If you had to sit down right now and make a list of everything that was in your home could you do it? And not just a list that says things like refrigerator, couch, desktop computer, etc. But a list that includes specifics, such as the brand or where you purchased it or even how much you paid for it. If you can’t do that then this is a great time to put together a home inventory list. Who knows, maybe you’ll even discover something that had been hidden away and forgotten about. No one plans on bad things happening to their home, but if you have a completed home inventory list (with details) it will be a lot easier for you to recoup your losses should something bad ever happen. And don’t forget, once you’ve started a home inventory be sure to keep it updated as you acquire new things.

The Home's Christmas Wish List

The holiday season is in full swing now that December is here and that means that the season of gift giving is also in full swing. Hopefully Santa is ready for the influx of wish lists that are heading his way. And while we might expect to see those lists from young children (or even some adults) we wondered what would happen if our homes got to write their own Wishlist to Santa. We’re not talking about the simple things, like a new paint job or a deep cleaning, because where is the fun in that? We like to think our homes would have big dreams for the gifts that they would want to receive. Here are a few ideas of what we think might make their list.


An Automatic Venthood

What is the best thing about the venthood in this kitchen? The fact that it can disappear back into the island at the touch of a button when the range is not in use. Space is at a premium in this small kitchen so maintaining an open line of sight was key to making the room feel as large as possible. There is no big and bulky venthood hanging from the ceiling that would impede the line of sight in this kitchen. Instead, they get a sleek venthood that perfectly complements the more contemporary style of the kitchen.

An Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor living in Texas is almost a must, and no outdoor living area would be complete without a fully equipped outdoor kitchen for all your cooking needs. The owners of this home were avid cooks and wanted an outdoor kitchen that could keep up with them. It includes a large outdoor grill, restaurant quality smoker, and even a wood fire pizza oven give them plenty of cooking options. An outdoor refrigerator and a clean up station that includes a sink and dishwasher ensure minimal back and forth is needed between the outside and inside when this kitchen is in use.


A Unique Master Shower

If you judge by the amount of money spent remodeling them every year, the master bathroom is easily one of the most important rooms in the house. A room this significant deserves a stand out feature and we think the shower is the perfect item to focus those efforts on. This rounded shower is truly one of a kind. From the rounded mosaic tile walls and glass walls, to the dual handheld shower heads and rain shower head, and to the built in soap niche and bench, this shower is full of great features. Doesn’t your shower deserve an upgrade of its own?


An At Home Gym

Working out can be such a chore, but an at home gym will make it less so. Imagine waking up in the morning and not having to make the trek to the gym in order to get your sweat on. Having a gym at home will allow you to tailor the equipment to fit your needs and not have to fight with all the other gym members for its use. One of the many things we love about this home gym is the carpet floor tiles. Flooring in gyms tend to get trampled on quite a bit more, but these floor tiles can be swapped out individually as needed.

A Pool

A pool in the backyard is a staple feature when living in an area that sees hot summers and mostly mild winters. Pools can range from simple to complex. The pool at this Dallas home falls far into the complex category with its three interconnected pools. On the upper level is a general use pool and spa pool. The lower level lap pool allows the family of competitive swimmers to continue to hone their craft from the comfort of their own home. It is connected to the upper level pools through a beautiful waterfall feature. But an effective pool doesn’t have to be quite so complex. Simpler features like an extended wet deck or architectural feature can create a unique and fun backyard pool.   

An Elevator

If your home has stairs chances are at some point or another you’ve found yourself having to dread making the walk up there, even if it was just one night when you were especially tired. What’s the solution? How about an elevator that does the cross floor traveling for you! We love how the newer technology feels right at home in this historic 1920’s built home. It has wood paneling and brass fixtures on the interior finish and outside was designed to look like a European castle turret to match the Tudor style of the home.

An Heirloom Piece

When it comes to home remodeling the focus seems to always be on the new. But sometimes looking into the past can offer some unique and stylish options. Take the piece that hangs behind the range of the remodel of this historic home’s kitchen. It is a cast iron fireback from the 1800’s in France that the homeowners were able to acquire. Its history makes it a stunning piece in a kitchen that is meant to provide modern luxuries and conveniences while also honoring its history and heritage.


A Bold Paint Job

Yes, we started this post off by saying the simpler upgrades like paint would not make a home’s wish list, but we like to think that repainting a room with a bold and standout color is a step above a simple paint job. This bedroom benefits greatly from the rich purple hue featured on its walls. It helps give the room some unique personality. Using such a bold color can be a risk, but if done correctly then the payoff can be fantastic!