Posted by on 2015-01-30 12:56 pm in blog, Design, Interior Design, Renovation

The announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala, is always an exciting time for designers of all stripes.  Pantone determines the shade that most represents the current cultural mood, and creative thinkers from graphic design to fashion have fun forecasting the choice, then analyzing it once it is made. This year’s color is Marsala, a brown-red.  Personally, I was quite surprised by the choice, as I had not noticed this tone in my work at all.  I don’t think I was alone in my bafflement.  The collective gasp form the whole of design industry was nearly audible, and it didn’t take long for prognosticators to begin to denounce it, as The Atlantic did, as “rust, the grimy, gag-inducing type that lines corners or frat boy dormitory-style bathrooms. Or blood, the freaky dried kind whose iron content has been exposed to the air long enough to evoke a dull brick.”  Slate went so far as to name their review, “Why Everyone Hates Marsala, Pantone’s Color of the Year.” Personally, the color reminds me too much of the 80s, and not the fun MTV-dominated 80s, but the decade that made stogy Laura Ashley prints a staple on unflattering dresses and equally unflattering wallpaper. I’m going to stick to last year’s Radiant Orchid, and hope for better luck next...

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5 Tips for Picking Paint Colors

Posted by on 2015-01-21 12:58 pm in blog

At some point during a design project you will turn your attention to paint colors. Make the right decision and you will be happy with the final result. But make the wrong decision and you could find yourself repainting in no time at all. Here are five tips for picking paint colors: 1. Start small. If you have more than one room to paint, don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Start with one room, see how it turns out, and then go from there. This can help you avoid a situation in which you paint multiple rooms with a color you don’t like. 2. Test multiple colors. Buy samples of several colors you like, paint a small area of the wall, and step back. Which one do you like the best now? Which ones can you cross off your list? 3. Consider the rest of the room. What color is your furniture? What type of floors do you have? Are you going to hang pictures on the wall? These are the types of questions you need to answer. The paint color you choose must complement other design elements. 4. Be yourself. It is easy to get so caught up in the latest and greatest trends that you make the wrong decision. Just because a color is “in” doesn’t mean you need it in your home. Let your personality shine through. You won’t be disappointed if you do. 5. Have fun with it. Painting your home is supposed to be fun. You don’t want this to turn into a difficult task that puts you in a bad mood. There are hundreds upon hundreds of colors to choose from. Consider them all as you attempt to make a final decision. If you need design assistance, don’t shy away from reaching out to us at your earliest...

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Verona Marble Shower

Posted by on 2015-01-14 1:25 pm in blog

We recently completed our first installation of a Verona Shower system with our partner Euro Stone Craft. The Verona Shower is a distinctive marble shower wall and shower floor material. The shower and bath surfaces are an engineered marble – made from recycled natural marble aggregate (95%) and filler combined with a special polyester thermal set resin binder. The stunning beauty of Verona marble shower walls will transform your bath into a luxury spa. The production and use of engineered marble products offers an ecological solution which is very attractive and economical. Verona marbles are more uniform in color, stronger and less porous than natural marble. This stone is available in 21 colors. For our client, Mr. W in Fairfax, we chose the color Botticino. Mr. W is of the baby boomer generation and was looking for a maintenance free solution for his bathroom. As Mr. W had recently fell while trying to step into his tub to take a shower, we removed the tub and made the entry barrier free. We converted his tub/shower to a shower only stall with a seat and corner shelves for storage. We were able to fabricate everything, including the walls, shower floor, seat and shelves with the Verona Shower marble. Mr. W wanted his new shower to be as maintenance free as possible. Verona Shower marble, unlike tile, does not have grout lines to clean or a place for mold & mildew to grow. The shower floor is slip-resistant, waterproof, and grout-free – offering a luxurious look, safety, durability, and ease of maintenance. The floor surface is specially crafted in a leather texture, making the floor slip resistant. Each Verona shower system is custom manufactured – like Mr. W’s. We created a custom space for him within his existing bathtub footprint that included a seat and corner shelves for storage. We were also able to mount grab bars on the walls for him. Verona marble can also be fabricated for a vanity top, tub deck, and floor tiles – the possibility for design options are endless. I really enjoyed working with a new product – while it isn’t new to the market, it was new to FA Design Build. Our partner, Euro Stone Craft worked hand in hand with us to make sure this project went off without a hitch. Mr. W is so pleased with his new shower – he loves the luxurious marble look, ease of maintenance, and newly found stability and safety in his showering experience....

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Natural Stone Tile: Which is Best for your Home?

Posted by on 2015-01-08 12:24 pm in blog

Are you looking for a way to update your home’s flooring? For kitchens and bathrooms, there are not many materials better than natural stone tile. With so many products to choose from, don’t be surprised if you find several that would work well in your home. Not all natural stone is created equal. There are many types to choose from, with the following five options among the most popular: ·      Granite. This is a great choice for high traffic areas, especially kitchens. On top of the durability, it is available in many colors. ·      Marble. Also available in a variety of colors, this tile is only recommended for kitchens if sealed regularly. ·      Limestone. Limestone comes in many forms, from light to dark and polished or textured. This material can be easily scratched and stained, so make sure it is sealed regardless of where it is installed. ·      Travertine. This natural stone is used in both floor and wall applications, thanks to its unique crystallized appearance. Travertine may be susceptible to stains and scratches, but the right sealer can help protect against this. ·      Slate. When it comes to durability in natural stone tile, slate is second to none. A perfect choice for all high traffic areas, including kitchens and living spaces (such as family rooms). Before you make a final decision, compare the pros and cons, as well as the appearance, of the five natural stones detailed above. If you need any assistance along the way, we are always available to...

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Cool Kitchen Cabinet Accessories to Consider

Posted by on 2014-12-31 11:38 am in Design

When shopping for kitchen cabinetry, make sure you keep an open mind regarding the many accessories that are available to you. It is easy to get so caught up in choosing the right cabinet style that you overlook some of the cool accessories that could make your kitchen more functional. Here are some of the many accessories to consider: ·      Rollout drawers that allow you to easily access everything from canned goods to pots and pans among other items. ·      Slide out baskets and bins, such as hidden trash cans. ·      Spice drawer. ·      Bread drawer. ·      Lazy Susan, which makes it simple to take advantage of “dead space” often found in corners. ·      Appliance garages, such as those that can house a toaster or coffee maker. ·      Wine rack. These are just a few of the many kitchen cabinet accessories that can take your space from drab to fab. While you may not be able to add every accessory, due to size and budget constraints, a few of these can go a long way in making your kitchen everything you want it to be. In addition to a variety of products, we are here to help you with the entire design process. We can show you what will work in your space, what won’t, and how to get the most out of your design. Once your new kitchen is complete, you will come to realize that every accessory has something special to...

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How to Successfully Choose Plumbing Fixtures

Posted by on 2014-12-17 12:04 pm in blog

When it comes time to choose plumbing fixtures for your home, such as in a kitchen or bathroom, it is important to know all your options. Along with this, you have to think long and hard about how your decisions will impact the overall look and feel of the room. Tip: you may want to hold back on choosing plumbing fixtures until the rest of your choices, such as flooring and cabinetry, are made. Here are three tips that can guide you towards success when choosing plumbing fixtures: 1. Compare all your options. From the manufacturer to the size to the color, you may be surprised at how many choices you have. Visit our products page for a better idea of which companies are leading the industry. 2. Make sure it matches. The last thing you want to do is choose plumbing fixtures that don’t match one another. For example, it doesn’t make much sense to have a nickel faucet and a bronze shower head. Note: many homeowners desire to match all the plumbing fixtures in their home. 3. Think about functionality. There used to be a time when a fixture was just a fixture, but those days are long gone. You have more options than ever, which can make the decision process a challenge. If you focus on functionality, based on your personal tastes and lifestyle, you can eliminate some choices and gravitate towards others. These are the types of steps you can take to successfully choose plumbing fixtures. If you require professional guidance, feel free to reach out to us at your earliest...

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Ready to Renovate?

Posted by on 2014-12-09 11:14 am in blog

By Jessica Cannon Here’s an article will be very helpful to those of you who are considering a home remodel or renovation in the future.  It is a great place to start and one of the best articles I’ve ever read on “what to look for when picking a home renovation/remodeling company”. This article has a lot of good information that is explained very well in detail (including a checklist that I’ve included below).  We at FA Design Build talk about all of the items in this article with our potential clients.  But if you are just starting out, and haven’t met us yet, this is a great place to start in choosing a remodeler that is right for you. The article also explains a bit about design/build firms and the difference between design/build and a regular contractor or remodeler.  I am a bit biased in that I work for a design/build firm and love it– the teamwork is the best– all aspects of the remodeling project are in house. One of the best tips in this article that we talk about with our potential clients is….  “A common belief is that homeowners should get three price estimates before choosing a contractor for their remodeling project. Unless the proposed design, scope of work, products, materials and all other factors are identical in the three proposals, however, this can lead to a comparison of apples and oranges.” If you are just starting out in the remodeling process, please have a read.  We at FA Design Build are here to answer any of our questions about our process in home remodeling. Here’s the checklist from the article in finding the right home remodeler. What the experts say you should ask contractors during the interview process: ? Are you licensed to work in my state? ? Do you and your subcontractors carry liability and worker’s compensation insurance? ? Can you provide insurance certificates? ? Are you lead-certified (certified in lead-safe work practices)? ? What is the warranty on your work? ? What services are covered under your contract? May I see a sample contract? ? How long have you been in business? ? Who will be assigned as the project manager? Will the project manager be on site all day? ? Do you have an architect/engineer on staff? If not, whom do you use? ? How many design drafts are included in the contract? ? Do you use your own construction crews? ? Who are your subcontractors, and how long have they worked with you? ? What is the time frame for the project? When could we start? What is your estimated completion date? ? When do you need my product selections? ? Who will walk us through design and selections? ? How do you handle allowances for products? ? Which suppliers do you use? ? Would the contract be fixed price or cost of materials and labor plus contractor fee? ? What payment schedule will you use (deposit, regular payments, percent of completion payments, other)? ? May I have a list of references for comparable projects you have recently...

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Clean your Carpet or Make a Change?

Posted by on 2014-12-03 11:25 am in blog

There is nothing worse than a well decorated and designed home with subpar flooring. If the time has come for you to focus on this part of your home, there are many questions you need to answer. For those with carpeting, here is a decision you will have to make at some point: should you attempt to clean your carpet or simply have it replaced? This depends on a variety of factors, including how dirty your carpet truly is, the type of stains you are dealing with, your timeframe, and your budget. If your carpet is relatively new, it makes sense to focus your time and attention on the cleaning process. You can rent or buy a carpet cleaner, or you can hire a professional company to visit your home. Either way, you are hoping for the same end result: for your carpet to come out looking as good as new. On the other side, if your carpet is old or too dirty to be cleaned, it is time to consider making a change. There are many types of carpet to choose from, allowing you to find something that suits your budget and style. When shopping for carpet, focus on the following details: ·      Style ·      Color ·      Quality ·      Cost ·      Carpet pad When you examine these details, one at a time, you will find yourself moving closer towards making the right decision. It doesn’t matter if you clean your carpet or make a total change, when everything is said and done you will be happy with the result. For those who decide on a new install, contact us for professional advice and prompt...

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Mixing Wood Tones

Posted by on 2014-11-26 11:59 am in blog

By Denise Smith Like many decorating decisions, the introduction of wood tones into a plan requires some conscious awareness.  A well thought out strategy for how different types of wood will play against each other can really create a memorable design.  But at the same time, when I visit a space for a first time I rarely think, “Well, this would be nice if the wood tones coordinated better.” I hear about this fear from my clients, too. Mixing wood tones scares people. I think part of this comes from the choices of the recent past. About 20 years ago there was natural oak (country) and deep cherry (traditional). And they didn’t work very well in the same space. Today case goods are readily available in retail furniture stores in an easier mix of palettes. Deep dark brown tones commonly called espresso and nearly grain-less birch are very common. Both play well with others. Choose wood tones that coordinate seamlessly with the entire plan. The fore-mentioned oak works in casual rooms, where the rules are looser. If the flooring is wood, consideration should be given to the stain. It is not necessary to match the wood on the furniture to the wood on the floor. This is not necessary or even desirable. A knotty pine floor, oak cabinetry and painted end tables coordinate beautifully. Conversely, in a contemporary plan, light bamboo floors would be a perfect backdrop to a dynamic...

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3 Carpet Myths to Avoid

Posted by on 2014-11-19 11:00 am in blog

When it comes time to shop for flooring, you will be faced with a variety of options. Even though hardwood is becoming more and more popular, carpeting is still a top choice among many homeowners. Those who shy away from buying carpet often times do so because of widely circulated myths. Here are three myths to ignore as you consider your options and decide what type of flooring is best for your home: 1. Carpet will get dirty sooner rather than later. The same can be said about any type of flooring, right? There is no denying that carpeting can dirty over time, but this isn’t something that should hold you back. As long as you stay on top of things, vacuuming and scrubbing when necessary, your carpet can look good for many years to come. 2. Carpeting is the wrong choice if you have allergies. This myth has been disproven time and time again. A variety of studies have shown that carpet actually traps allergens, keeping them from reaching the air. Note: to avoid stirring up allergens during vacuuming, use a cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter. 3. The pad doesn’t matter. If you believe this to be true, your high quality carpeting may begin to wear down sooner than you ever imagined possible. It is a must that you use some type of carpet pad. Furthermore, you may want to upgrade from the basic pad to improve the chance of your carpet lasting a long time. If you have any questions about these carpet myths, don’t hesitate to contact us for guidance and...

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