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3 Reasons to Opt for New Kitchen Cabinets Now

Posted by on 2014-08-20 10:43 am in blog

When you look at your kitchen, what do you see? If you enjoy your cabinets and the appearance they give off, you can turn your attention to another part of your home. On the flip side, if you feel that now is the time for new cabinets, you don’t want to wait too long to consider your options. Here are three reasons why you should consider installing new kitchen cabinets in the near future: 1. Your current cabinets are dragging down the look of your home. You have beautiful hardwood floors, top of the line appliances, and fresh paint. What you don’t have are cabinets that go along with these high-end features. Once you make the change and your new cabinets are installed, you will love the final result. 2. No longer functional. Do you find it a challenge to keep your cabinet doors closed? Are your drawers sticking? Are the shelves rotting? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your kitchen is no longer as functional as it once was. With new kitchen cabinets, all of these problems will be in the past. 3. If you want to consider selling your home in the near future. Nothing sells a home faster than a new kitchen. With new cabinets, you can be rest assured that buyers will fall in love with your home. On top of this, you can set a higher list price if your kitchen is updated and in good shape. Like many, you may be putting off your kitchen remodel project. There is a lot that goes into this, but we are here to help. Over the years, we have assisted many people in taking the look and feel of their kitchen to the next level. Are you going to be next? Contact us for ideas, guidance, and much...

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A Kitchen Designer’s Choice Floor: Luxury Vinyl Tile

Posted by on 2014-08-13 11:33 am in blog

By Jessica Cannon My kitchen client’s always ask “if it were your house, what flooring would you install?” My answer is always the same, Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT).  In my mind, this product was designed to be installed in the kitchen.  There are an endless number of reasons in why LVT is my choice flooring for the kitchen. Our top vendors come out with new, beautiful styles each year that continue surpass themselves in well designed and realistic looks.  The vibrant colors, patterns and variation, and the superior realistic texture is incredible.  These natural stone looking tiles often appear to be even better than the real thing. The best part being, they are more durable than a natural stone, porcelain or ceramic tile.  Most often, LVT is either a full vinyl material, or a vinyl material with a limestone back making the tile extremely durable.  The tiles won’t crack, chip, or break and are much softer and warmer on your feet than your average porcelain/ceramic tile.  If you drop a cast iron pan on your LVT, it isn’t going to creak or break the tile (where a porcelain/ceramic definitely would). This stuff is indestructible (and it looks so good)! Luxury Vinyl Tile is comfortable on your feet in all weather, warm in the winter & cool in the summer.  The styles range from contemporary, transitional, traditional, and rustic and come in a variety of finishes to include semi-gloss, matte, natural, and even metallic.  LVT can be installed virtually anywhere.  We are starting to see it being installed as a backsplash tile in the kitchen and on the floors of bathrooms.  LVT is also a favorite for basement installations because it doesn’t react to moisture. The recommended grout for LVT is a special epoxy grout that will not stain, crack, chip or crumble apart. There are a variety of colors available to coordinate with the tiles. It is also possible to install LVT without grout.  The tiles can be butt up next to each other for a fully seamless, no grout look.  This type of installation looks great with a more modern kitchen design. LVT comes in a variety of sizes (16”x16”, 12”x12”, 12”x24”, 16”x 8”, and 8”x8”). These sizes can be laid in a variety of patterns and designs, from a traditional straight lay or diagonal install, to a modern brick lay, you can even install these tiles in a pinwheel pattern.  The possibilities are endless. LVT is also much easier to install than a ceramic/porcelain tile.  Most often it is a one day installation.  Spread the adhesive, lay the tile, and then grout.  The adhesive sets much more quickly than the thinset adhesive that is used to install porcelain/ceramic tile, so you don’t have to wait until the next day to grout the tiles.  Many of our clients purchase LVT and install it themselves.  It is one of the easier flooring materials to install.  However, if you have us install the tile – -you will get a lifetime installation warranty. Some of my favorite LVT’s include:               Armstrong Alterna (this has a lifetime warranty)                              http://www.armstrong.com/flooring/alterna.asp               Mannington Adura                              http://www.mannington.com/Residential/Adura.aspx...

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5 Signs it is Time to Replace your Carpet

Posted by on 2014-08-06 9:51 am in blog

Even if you properly maintain your carpet, there will come a time when you need to replace it for one reason or the next. To determine when this should be done or if the time has come, consider the five signs of replacement detailed below: 1. Carpet cleaning is no longer an option. If stains persist after cleaning, it is time to consider replacing your carpet. 2. Rips and tears. If your carpet is aging and you begin to notice rips and tears, you should consider the benefits of replacing it in the near future. Some rips and tears can be repaired, but if your carpet is old it is best to move forward with something fresh. 3. No way to get rid of odors. Does your carpet smell like your cat or dog? How about the debris your children have dragged through the home for many years? If you are unable to remove the smell through professional cleaning, you may not have any options besides replacement. 4. The carpet is worn in spots. When your carpet is worn out, almost down to the pad, you know it is time to have it replaced. This may not be accompanied by stains or odors, but it will drag down the overall appearance of your room. 5. You cannot remember the last time it was replaced. Has the same carpet been in place for more than 20 years? This is just about the maximum lifetime of carpet, even if it is in a low traffic area. If this much time has passed, be glad that your carpet lasted so long (and then begin your search for a replacement). Are you beginning to believe that now is the best time to replace your carpet? If so, contact us to discuss your options. We are more than happy to help you choose the style that is perfect for you and your...

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How to Choose the Right Carpet for Any Room in your Home

Posted by on 2014-08-05 12:03 pm in blog

Are you ready to purchase new carpet for your home? Regardless of if you are replacing everything or only one room, this is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. There is a lot that goes into making this choice, but when it comes down to it you have the final say. As long as you consider your many options, there will come a time soon enough when you are ready to pull the trigger and make a purchase. Here are several tips to consider as you attempt to choose carpet for your home: 1. Price always matters. Like most, you will have a budget in place for this project. Even if you don’t have tons of money to play with, there is a good chance that you will find something that suits your style. Set your budget upfront and go from there. That way you are focused solely on products you can afford, not being tempted by those that are out of your price range. 2. Color makes a difference. Above all else, you will spend a lot of time comparing the many colors that are available to you. Would a dark color work best? How about something bright? Will you play it safe and go with the same color as you had before? These are the types of questions to consider. Tip: ask your carpet company to bring samples to your home, allowing you to see how each color looks in your room. 3. Know your styles. One carpet style is not necessarily the same as the next, even if the color is identical. Some of the most common styles include plush, frieze, and berber. From the low profile look and feel of berber to the traditional appearance of plush, your options run deep. With these three details in mind, choosing the right carpet for any room in your home should be a pleasant...

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Home Improvements That Sell Homes and Pay Off

Posted by on 2014-07-31 12:51 pm in blog, Uncategorized

By: Jessica Cannon We work with a lot of real estate agents on getting their client’s homes ready to put on the market.  Often we meet with the agent and home owner at the property and develop a list of home improvements that will help make the home more appealing to potential buyers, and ultimately sell their home. Many of the items that we recommend come up over and over again in each property that we work on.  Here is my “best of” list of recommendations on home improvements that will not only get your property sold fast and for the list price, but pay you back for the investment that you have made. 1. Paint: A fresh coat of interior paint can work miracles!  Bring in some of this year’s neutral color trends (like grey and taupe tones). Your walls will look fresh and buyers will get the impression your home has been updated as they recognize popular color trends. 2. Carpet Cleaning or Replacement:  At the least, you should have your carpets professionally cleaned (we recommend Stanley Steemer). When cleaning won’t cut it, replace the carpet with an entry level carpet in a neutral color.  We have several carpet options for just this occasion in stock and ready to install next day. These carpets won’t break the bank and show really well. Your potential buyers will appreciate new soft carpet under their feet. 3. Hardwood Floors: Buyers love hardwood floors and it is definitely one of the most sought after upgrades to homes in this area. However, if your home has hardwood installed and areas are dull, scratched, discolored, or worn – – they may need a refresher.  We most often recommend sanding and refinishing your hardwood floors. This process can give your old wood new life and make it look like it is brand new. 4. Lighting: Shed new light on your home. Upgrade your old and outdated fixtures and light bulbs. Most of the homes in this area have a fluorescent light in the kitchen, outdated brass fixtures, and Hollywood light fixtures in the bathrooms.  An easy fix to update these lights is to replace the old fixtures with more contemporary ones. If you don’t relocate the lights, you will save on labor from your electrician.  Most often a surface mounted light can be removed and replaced easily.  This small switch will make a huge impact. 5. The Bathroom: Oh how we love a retro look; the classic pink bathtub and toilet … but your potential buyers most definitely won’t.  Replace the toilet with a new white, high efficiency toilet and have the old pink tub reglazed white.  Reglazing is a great way to save money and get the look you desire.  A newly glazed tub next to a clean white toilet will have your potential home buyers tickled pink. 6. Upgrades: While freshening up the bathroom, change out the plumbing fixtures as well.  Many of our homes have out-of-date brass or gold fixtures or builder grade specials.   Changing out the faucet, shower/tub faucets, and bathtub drain (as well as the vanity light fixture mentioned above) is an upgrade that homebuyers will notice.  I recommend brushed nickel or chrome fixtures. 7. The Kitchen: Many say that you’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and...

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Glossy? Semi-Glossy? or Flat? – Choosing the Right Paint

Posted by on 2014-07-29 3:02 pm in blog, Design, FA Design Build Team, FADesignBuild

The sheen, or relative glossiness, of paint can dramatically alter the appearance of its color.  While technically the color is the same, the amount of reflected light changes our perception.  Glossy paint appears to be slightly darker than flat. Flat paint is preferable for its soft, almost velvety appearance.  It hides minor imperfections and can be touched up easily.  However, flat paint has a strong magnetic attraction to greasy fingers, dust, and scuffs.  The slightest brush can leave behind an enormous mark.   Because flat paint can’t be washed, thoroughfares have to be regularly repainted.  Many of the paint companies are now selling a premium matte paint that contains ceramic beads that make it washable, however, it is considerably more expensive. Eggshell paint has a very slight sheen.  It has the advantage of being less attractive to dirt and marring and can be lightly wiped.  It does show a noticeable sheen difference when retouched, however. Satin paint has a bit more sheen, and is washable.  It is often recommended for bathrooms and kitchens.  It cannot be retouched. Semi Gloss is used for doors and trim.  It is easy to wash.  Semi Gloss is reflective, so surface imperfections are noticeable. What do I recommend?  It is hard to suggest anything other than flat for wall surfaces from a purely aesthetic perspective. Flat paint looks better, because the lack of light reflection allows the color to serve its function:  to be a backdrop to a design plan.  You are not distracted by surface changes or blemishes.  However, scuffed and fingerprinted walls are a decorating disaster, so it is probably best to use Eggshell in homes with small children and pets. I never recommend Satin.  In my opinion, people are unrealistic about how long they expect paint to last.  The days of oil based paint curing on the walls and creating a glossy and impenetrable surface are over.  Today’s latex paints are easy to apply and even easier to paint over, and should be done every five to seven...

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Kitchen Sinks We Love | Care & Cleaning

Posted by on 2014-05-28 3:55 pm in blog

Kitchen sinks handle so many jobs, we used them for cleaning and to prepare meals.  There are so many types of sinks traditional, modern, vintage, etc.  You should always consider the size of your kitchen, your style and how much work you plan to get done in your kitchen. It’s also very important to consider maintaining your sink so it lasts as long as you need it.  These are some tips by the National Bath & Kitchen Association: – Minimize the organic solid wastes (ie food) that are put down the kitchen drain. Follow with water to flush the pipes. – Do not put materials that cannot decompose down any drain. – Wash and dry dishes immediately instead of letting them linger in the sink. – Freshen up your garbage disposal with ice cubes, baking soda, hot water, and an occasional orange peel. Sources: NKBA and One51 Place We spoke with our Director of Design Jessica Cannon and asked her to share her thoughts on some favorite sinks.  Here’s what she shared with us: 1. Kohler Apron front stainless steel sink – – I’ve always liked the look of the apron front– but the style is so traditional.  Kohler’s stainless steel apron front sink gives this traditional style sink a real modern vibe.   We installed this sink in our showroom in Fairfax….it is a must see, come in and check out this contemporary twist on this classic style apron front sink. 2. Elkay Avado triple bowl, under mount stainless steel sink – – this modern stainless steel sink has zero radius sides with strong sleek lines.  This uniquely designed three bowl sink is very functional for your chef at home. 3. Kohler Cast Iron Sink – The Enameled Cast Iron collection from Kohler comes in a variety of colors that will compliment any design.  The sink pictured here (Langlade with Smart Divide) is an under-mount double bowl with a low barrier that divides the compartments making it easy to wash and rinse large items while still keeping the two basins separate.  Enameled Cast Iron sinks are very durable and provide a great option for a unique look other than the typical stainless steel sink.  Tell us which one of these kitchen sinks would you...

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To Remodel Or To Sell Your Home@f1

Posted by on 2014-05-09 11:08 am in blog

Illustration by: Leo Lammie By: JC Gibbs There are many reasons for remodeling selling your home. “A big benefit in choosing to remodel your current home rather than moving is being able to customize your space.  You can plan every aspect of your remodel including the design, layout, and style that suits you and your family best.” By moving into a new home, be prepared to make some compromises – it’s unlikely that you will find a new home that has every detail you want. Jessica Cannon If you already like your current home’s floor plan, your neighborhood and if it makes more sense financially, those are already pretty strong reasons to consider remodeling your current home over selling it. CNBC’s Realty’s Check Article mentioned how home renovation was hot in 2013 and it will remain throughout 2014.  One of the reasons is that many families are considering remodeling their homes even after their kids have left for college since the parents are expecting they to move back in to avoid spending thousands of dollars in rent. Article (click here) This post’s title “to remodel or to sell your home” reminds me of the TV Show by HGTV Love it or List it, I know it’s just a TV show, but you can always see the excitement on the faces of the participants whenever they go hunting for a new place, but then you can also see their faces whenever they go back to their renovated homes, it’s priceless! The warmth of the memories in that house and being able to stay there, but with a few improvements that makes them decide to Love it instead of listing it. In the case of my parents back in Panama, they remodeled their previous home and put it on sale, it wasn’t about the floor plan, or the house itself, it was about location so they made a few improvements to increase the value, sold it and bought a new home.  That worked for them, and then with FA Design Build we have had several similar cases in which some folks make a few improvements and sell their house or apartments, but we also get the opportunity to work with families that want to stay in their homes and give them a makeover.. The pictures below are a good example of how making the renovation of their kitchen was totally worthy! How about you, are you planning to remodel your home or to sell it@f0 Before After...

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Home & Design Inside Look Event – Woodbridge

Posted by on 2014-04-29 6:35 pm in blog

This past April 23rd we had a wonderful time hosting this event along with REICO and Home and Design Magazine. It was an amazing evening of celebration and industry networking. We look forward to joining them again at their next Inside Look party. [justified_image_grid preset=13 ids=”103668,103669,103670,103671,103672,103673,103674,103675,103676,103677,103678,103679,103680,103681,103682″...

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Sorting Your Flooring Style

Posted by on 2013-11-21 4:02 pm in blog, Design

By Katie Reitmayer As a flooring consultant I get asked a lot about what is popular and what other people are buying. Knowing what flooring styles are en vogue at the time can help you improve the value of your home. And what is the point of upgrading your flooring other than to increase the value of your home? However, value has multiple definitions.  If you are planning to sell your home in the next five years, you should most certainly make sure you put in flooring that is updated and popular. However, if you are planning to stay in your home for a while, sometimes you need to plan for what you like and not what everyone else likes. We all have individual tastes and styles. Just because a loose pile carpet is all the rage right now, that doesn’t mean that you are going to like it in your home. Know what you like. Bring pictures of things that you love and of houses that you would love to live in. This way your any flooring consultant can direct you to the styles that fit best with the vision you have for your home and not the vision that everyone else has for theirs. The person who should be happiest with the flooring choice is you! Besides, if popularity was an appropriate indicator of the things that are beautiful then green shag carpet never would have existed. Summary: When you are looking for new flooring, think about the following: What does the style say about me? Am I a modern person who is looking for the clean look of an Eco Finishes bamboo floor? Or am I traditional and looking for a beautiful floral Kane area rug? How is the flooring going to be used? Do I need something that will hold up to traffic while staying formal like a Karastan Nature’s Harmony? Or something loose and fun such as the Karastan Unprecedented? Always balance your style with your needs and you will be delighted...

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