Blog


Medi-Tub for Smart Design

Posted by on 2013-09-02 12:23 pm in blog

Basement Bathroom By: Jessica Cannon In using the concepts of Universal-Smart Design, we installed a Medi-Tub for a Baby Boomer generation couple in a bathroom that was once only a powder room. The client’s wanted relief from an aching lower back and legs- this walk in tub includes Jacuzzi jets and an inline heater with seat. We also installed Daltile Fantesca Pinto Grigio Tile* on the floor and walls. *Daltile’s catalog doesn’t show this product but it is available. Please call me at (571) 732-0914 if you have any questions regarding this...

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5 Japanese Kitchens for Small Spaces

Posted by on 2013-08-29 1:25 pm in blog

by: JC Gibbs  Don’t you just love Japanese Designs@f0 One of the things that I like the most about them is the use of small spaces and how well thought out and functional every element is, in not just Interior Design but designs of all sorts. This is the first time I’m submerged in the Remodeling and Flooring Industry and on September I’ll officially be one year with FA Design Build / Flooring America.  There is still so much to learn and I look forward to this journey, I love learning. I live in a petite studio in Arlington, VA and at times it is quite challenging to have the kitchen the way I want it set up due to the amount of space and because I rent so I can’t deliberately make changes.  Working along with Jessica  has changed my perspective in the usage of space for small places.  One of the projects that helped me to open my eyes is a small contemporary kitchen we finished around the Woodbridge area. The Kitchen is small and yet when you’re standing in there, you feel you have just about enough space to cook and prep anything. I cook everyday, and bake at least twice a week, so you could say that from all the rooms in a home, my heart is always in the kitchen.  Take a look at the photos of the Small contemporary Kitchen I’m referring to (click here).  1.  This kitchen space is similar on space to mine.  I prefer closed cabinets for easier cleaning, but if you don’t have many pots and pans, you probably already use and clean them often enough that it’s ok to leave them hanging on your wall. 2. The details on this photo are a bit more difficult to appreciate, but from the image you can tell how well the space works.  It starts with the fridge on the right side, and then moving to the left you can see the sink and on top glasses and plates on the shelves. More to the left you have a small prepping surface and then hanging pans to finally get to the stove next to a window.  If I could design my own kitchen I would love having a window very close to my stove, not only it is pleasing to look through it but it also helps with the air circulation. 3.  There are several things I love about this kitchen, and though it isn’t as small as mine, these details could be applied to any size kitchen. The first is the peninsula with the two stools, there is nothing I enjoy more than cooking for people and a peninsula or island definitively combines both cooking and feeding people so it’s perfect.  The backsplash painting with the Sakura Tree, I’m not in love with the art itself but the idea.  I think I would need my friend Denise to come to the rescue on how to incorporate a Sakura tree drawing on a backsplash to harmonize with the rest of the kitchen. 4.  This kitchen doesn’t seem so small because of the open space, but the truth is that this flat is just a touch bigger than my studio and the space utilized for the kitchen qualifies it, in my eyes at least, as a small kitchen.  I’m...

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Del Ray 203K Project Story

Posted by on 2013-08-22 8:14 pm in 203k renovation, blog

By Jessica Cannon The biggest change, and main focus of the home remodel, was to take all the walls down in the first floor to create a “great room”. The existing floor plan included the living room up front, powder room in the middle, followed by the kitchen and dining room in the back and were all separate rooms. We opened up the entire floor and moved the powder room to the back corner of the home. The “rooms” got moved around a bit so the living room was at the front of the house, followed by the dining room and kitchen. We also added a large pantry near the kitchen and powder room for additional kitchen storage. The open plan/great room completely changed the feel of the house, which previously felt very small…now it’s an open and airy space. I love the finishes we selected for the 1st floor. These included: Wellmade Carbonized strand bamboo though out the great room (with matching flush vent registers) Merillat Classic cabinetry in the kitchen (Portrait Maple door with Sable stain and 5 piece drawer fronts) With CoreGaurd Sink base & upgraded full extension/soft close drawers Cambria Laneshaw countertops Glass brick-style backsplash tile Elkay Avado stainless steel sink Delta Trinsic pulldown faucet New appliances Main paint color: Benjamin Moore Natural Wicker Accent wall paint color: Benjamin Moore Sienna Clay All of the bathrooms (a total of 3 remodeled bathrooms) now have dual flush toilets – Kohler Persuade dual flush toilets (white). In the 2nd floor of the home, we adjusted/relocated some of the walls to create a larger master bedroom and master bathroom. We changed out all of the doors throughout the 2nd floor and installed new carpet (Floorcraft “Featured Event” color: Highlight) up the stairs and in all of the rooms and halls on this level. Everything also got a new coat of paint. The 2nd floor has two full bathrooms. These bathrooms were fully remodeled and include the following:   Master Bathroom: Kohler Forte single hole faucet Delta In2ition 2/1 shower with Classic Monitor series valve trim Kichler Tully light above the vanity Shower Enclosure/Door Kohler Levity bypass door with roller track Floor Tile: Happy Floors NeosTile Silver (12×24”) Shower Floor Tile: Happy Floors NeosTile Silver (2×2” mosaic) Wall Tile: Happy Floors NeosTile Chalk (12×24”) Wall Accent/Listello: Dal Tile Coastal Keystones – Block Random Mosaic – Tropical Thunder Paint color: Benjamin Moore Gunmetal     We named the hall bathroom “The Sanctuary” and chose finishes and products that would create a luxurious & stress free environment. We removed a window in the tub/shower area and installed glass block to allow privacy but not lose the natural light. We also replaced the standard tub with a deep soaking tub.       Hall Bathroom: Moen Voss single hole lavatory faucet Mirabelle Edenton acrylic soaking tub Delta In2ition 2/1 shower with Addison valve trim and tub spout Kichler Freeport light over the vanity Shower locker – Kohler Pilaster Floor Tile: Happy Floors NeosTile Grafite (12×24”) Wall Tile: Happy Floors NeosTile Silver (12×24”) Wall mosaic tile – glass (provided by client) Paint color: Benjamin Moore Mozart Blue     This project also includes a variety of other items that needed to be updated. These include: New shingles on the roof (Burnt Sienna –...

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6 Tips for Better Kitchen Performance!

Posted by on 2013-08-21 4:47 pm in blog

This is a guest post from Jim Grace, REICO Kitchen & Bath Accessorize your kitchen for better performance & easier use! Cabinet Accessories – the “hidden” jewelry of your kitchen! Some of a kitchen’s best kept secrets are hidden behind the doors, drawers and fronts of your cabinets. They sit patiently waiting for their turn to delight you, help you find what you are looking for or just make your life and little bit more fun or easy. They are the “hidden” jewelry of the kitchen, cabinet accessories. Cabinet accessories come in all shapes and sizes. Here are 6 great ideas for cabinet accessories that can help improve your kitchen:       1.  Base Multi-Storage Drawer Having a deep drawer allows for more storage, and that storage is increased even more with the base multi-storage drawer. A second slide in drawer core nestle right inside the larger drawer core, allowing you to store additional lids, cooking utensils or whatever you need right there with other items. ———————————————————————————————————————————————————–     2.  Base Pull out Pantry Want a handy cabinet that allows you to see all the canned goods you have stored without getting on your hands and knees to rifle through everything. A pull out pantry storage provides efficient storage and an easy way for the cook to see what they have to work with in the kitchen. Also comes as option in wall cabinets and taller pantry cabinets. ———————————————————————————————————————————————————–   3.  Base Top Mount Waste Basket – Double A must have in every kitchen! Hide the trash can, clear up kitchen floor space, minimize smell and keep recycling with it as well, a base top mount waste basket is the perfect cabinet accessory for any kitchen. It hides your trash…what could be better? For the serious recycler, you can go with a larger cabinet that holds 4 trash bins. A serious recycling party that will never end! ———————————————————————————————————————————————————–     4.  Tilt Out Sink Tray Another absolute must have! Hide your sponges and keep your kitchen sink and countertop more neat and tidy. Plastic or metal insert easily house multiple sponges behind your sink base drawer front. A small investment that keeps your tired old sponges hidden. ———————————————————————————————————————————————————–         5.  Vertical Lift Appliance Garage Hide countertop appliances and easily access when you need them with a Vertical Lift Appliance Garage. The front cabinet door blends in perfectly with the rest of your kitchen, minimizing clutter on your kitchen countertops. It’s easily raises up and down with minimal effort and looks great. ———————————————————————————————————————————————————–     6.  Base Flat Storage Good bye junk drawer…hopefully! Organize storage instead of jamming all into the closest drawer with a Base Flat Storage cabinet. Organize for art supplies, place mats, cooking sheets. All of your flat storage items together for organized access. Label maker lovers go crazy for this one, putting their mark on each tray to really take it to the next level of organization….or anal retention! ———————————————————————————————————————————————————– There are so many more cabinet accessories (click here for more ideas) to choose from that can make your kitchen a lot more fun and functional to use. Whether you are planning a new kitchen or just want to update your current ones, cabinet accessories can make a huge...

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Jessica's Wish List

Posted by on 2013-08-19 1:03 pm in Design

We asked our Director of Design Jessica Cannon if she could add any five products to her bedroom / bathroom which ones would she choose and she shared her wish list with us on this post.  What would you add to your own bathroom or bedroom?  Let us know in the comments. 1. Kohler HydroRail Shower Column Ever since my vacation to Puerto Rico, I’ve wanted a rain head in my shower. This is where I first experienced getting showered with a rainhead. Installing one of these shower heads can be expensive and often requires re-doing the plumbing in your current shower/bath (which also means new tile). Untill Kohler came out with the HyrdoRail shower column. This is at the top of my “wants” list!! “Take your shower from ordinary to extraordinary—without remodeling. With HydroRail shower columns, you can transform a standard, single-outlet shower into an unforgettable KOHLER showering experience without altering, or even having to access, your in-wall plumbing.” Product (click here) 2. Merillat Masterpiece base cabinet ironing board A foldaway ironing board and iron storage with an integrated outlet would be a great addition to my bedroom or bathroom. I hate my clunky ironing board – I keep it in my guest room closet with the iron and hate lugging it all out to iron. I’d rather go to work in wrinkly clothes than set up the ironing board. With the Merillat Masterpiece base cabinet ironing board I’d be freshly pressed every day. Product (click here)  – – click on the 3rd photo on this page for the base cabinet ironing board – there is a video of the product. 3. Eero Saarinen’s Womb Chair The Womb Chair is my dream chair. While in grad school and learning about architecture and furniture design, I fell in love the Eero Saarinen’s aesthetic. This chair embodies everything I appreciate about Saarinen’s style and work. I can just imagine curling up in this chair reading a book with a cup of coffee and blanket. Product Info (from DWR): The expressive sculptural forms of Eero Saarinen’s furniture can also be found in his architecture, from the TWA Terminal at Kennedy Airport to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis to Dulles International Airport. In 1940, the Finnish American and his friend Charles Eames took first prize at the Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition at MoMA. Later that decade, when Florence Knoll challenged Saarinen to create a chair that she could curl up in, she had found the right candidate for the task. The Womb Chair and Ottoman (1946) has an enveloping form that continues to be one of the most iconic and recognized representations of mid-century organic modernism. By applying foam molded over a fiberglass shell, Saarinen created a single-piece form that perfectly facilitates a relaxed sitting posture. Manufactured by Knoll according to the original specifications of the designer. Made in U.S.A. Product (click here)    4. Wish Come True – Karastan Smart Strand Silk Carpet This carpet is the definition of luxury. I’ve been working at FA Design Build & Flooring America for 5 years. This carpet is by far the softest, warmest, and most cuddly I have ever felt. I want this for my bedroom!! I can only imagine getting out of bed in the morning – this carpet...

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Downs LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles) and Planks

Posted by on 2013-08-08 6:18 pm in blog, Flooring

by: Denise Smith  Downs LVT is the fastest growing flooring product because: Trendy & Popular –  Always looks beautiful–lifetime residential guarantee. –  Modern Styling from contemporary to rustic. –  Up to Date Sheens: metallic, natural, or matte. Easy & Durable –  Can be installed in wet environments so it’s perfect for nearly everywhere. –  Comfortable in all temperatures, warm in winter, cool in summer. –  Simple ‘Click’ installation–great for Do It Yourself. More Information on Downs LVT [click here]      ...

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War of the Floors: Solid Hardwood vs Engineered

Posted by on 2013-07-25 12:53 pm in blog

By: Derrick Nabors and Denise H. Smith Today’s hardwood is known for its ever changing variety of grain patterns, spectacular colors, and overall ability to add to the beauty of your home.  In this, our first War of the Floors blog post, I want to delve into the world of hardwood, both solid and engineered styles.  I will be going through the strengths and weaknesses of each product so you will know exactly what to look for in choosing a new hardwood floor. “Could my Hardwood Floor be refinished?” One of the guests asks during our latest Flooring Seminar The Basics Of Wood: First, wood is a natural resource.  It is both a renewable and a recyclable product. It adds strength and stability to any floor system. It insulates just as well as 15” of concrete.  Wood floors are rather simple to clean and since they don’t retain mildew or absorb dust, if allergies are an issue, hardwood is a good choice. Now for our first competitor in our lineup:  Solid Wood is cut straight off the log with a saw, unlike engineered, which is basically peeled off with a knife from the tree. Solid wood is one complete piece of wood. Solid hardwood strips and planks are typically ¾” thick.  It is most commonly recognized at a 2 ¼ and 3 ¼ inch width. Lengths can range from 9” to 72”, with the average being 32”. SOLID WOOD: Benefits: Solid Product (No particle board).  Shows more color variety and grain variation from piece to piece. Knots and imperfections make wear problems less noticeable. Disadvantage: Sensitive to moisture. Can’t be placed directly onto a cement floor sub-floor. Hygroscopic meaning it expands by absorbing moisture and contracts by evaporation. Stable lengthwise, but expands and contracts widthwise, therefore may buckle, expand, or contract. May need to be sanded and refinished. ENGINEERED WOOD: Benefits: Warp and expansion resistant. More structurally stable. Most companies guarantee engineered wood to not warp, buckle, cup, or form gaps. Engineered hardwoods can be installed above, on, or below ground level, and are better for moisture present areas of your home such as kitchens, basements, and attics. Requires 50% less wood to fabricate, which saves precious forests Engineered woods are produced with many types of factory finishes, which offer additional protection to the surface of the wood.  Can be used in commercial settings. Disadvantage: Most engineered hardwood cannot be sanded or refinished. It is possible, however, to recoat the finish layer to remove minor surface scratches. So in conclusion, engineered flooring has an advantage over our “old school favorite” solid wood floors. When it comes down to it, solid hardwood may have a reputation that it does not warrant, especially when the strengths of engineered hardwoods are considered. Each has benefits and disadvantages, but the constant improvements being made by the largest companies in flooring like Armstrong, Mannington, and Mohawk make today’s hardwood flooring an excellent choice for your home. SOURCES: MOHAWK UNIVERSITY  BASIC FLOORING...

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Easy ways to create a relaxing home

Posted by on 2012-08-14 2:52 pm in Design, FA Design Build Team

By: Denise Smith Northern Virginians live at a hectic pace. Our lives are stressful and after a demanding day of work and gridlocked traffic, most of us want to come home to a relaxing environment where we can rest and decompress. Creating a space that welcomes relaxation doesn’t need to be difficult; just a few simple steps can make a big difference. The quickest and easiest way to create a more relaxing space is to clean up and de-clutter. Block out a period of time every single day for this task, even if the time is spent just for going through the mail. Organization is a habit, and habits can be formed in as little as 21 days. Imagine how much more inviting your home will feel and look in just three short weeks of committed sorting. Choose soothing colors for walls and furnishings. Bright, pure colors are better in social spaces like dens and family rooms. Harsh red and orange tones raise heart rates and should be avoided where relaxation is desired. Use quieter colors for bedrooms and private spaces. Consider a soft shade of pale green for the hallway leading to the bedrooms and prime the mind for rest. The residual noises from modern society and its technology usually go unnoticed, but the fact is our world is louder than ever before and this contributes to daily stress. The suppression of unnecessary sound can go a long way to creating a more restful, relaxing home. Wall to wall carpeting absorbs more sound than hard surfaces. Fabric draperies can be pulled closed to muffle the sounds from traffic or construction. Specially constructed sound-reducing windows can be installed for areas where external noise is especially bothersome. A lengthy honey-do list can be stressful. If you can’t find the time or the energy to complete nagging little home improvements, consider hiring a handyman for an afternoon. Many will work on an hourly rate and can knock out annoyances like dripping faucets, tight doors and stuck windows in a short period of time. Your home should be your haven, not just a place to land at the end of the day. Decorate with intention, aiming to create a place where you want to spend time and more importantly–a place where you can take a deep breath and relax. Image Source: HGTV’s Blog...

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Making the Most of Outdoor Living Spaces

Posted by on 2012-07-03 5:27 pm in Design, FA Design Build Team, Outdoor Spaces

The front porch has become a symbol of what is good about America. It’s as much a part of who we are as apple pie and Chevrolet. And rightly so—no other place can represent the perfect balance of public discussion and private reflection like the front porch. Outdoor living areas ranked third in upgrades wanted most in homes, according to an April 2012 survey from Better Homes and Gardens, and the home improvement industry is responding. Creating an outdoor space can be simple or elaborate, and the investment may be large or small. But whether it is a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen, a sunroom, or a quaint gazebo or simple deck, these improvement projects bring value to the home. While our parents may have had to make a choice between an iron table or a creaky wooden swing hung from a metal chain, today’s consumers can choose furnishings that rival any inside the home. Technological advances have provided low-cost, long-wearing resins and fabrics to the market that have unsurpassed abilities to withstand the challenges presented by constant exposure to the elements. The introduction of resin wicker sparked a surge in the outdoor furniture market. Resin wickers are durable and virtually indestructible. Retailers from Target to high-end Georgetown boutiques have outdoor sofas and armchairs that look as beautiful inside as out. Solution-dyed acrylic fabrics, such as those sold by Sunbrella, combine intricate designs with vibrant colors and withstand years of UV exposure before they begin to fade or break down. And no outdoor sitting area is complete without a rug. Recycled polypropylene turns milk jugs into long-lasting, mold- and stain-resistant area rugs. These outdoor rugs are inexpensive and beautiful; placing one under a sitting arrangement of furniture instantly creates the feel of a comfortable sitting room, even if that room is just a slab of concrete. Here in Prince William County, the days may be too hot in July to enjoy an outdoor space without shade, but nights can be pleasant, especially if there is a breeze to keep the biting bugs away. And Autumn is right around the corner, whether we like it or not. —– From the  ”Home & Hearth” column in July’s Prince William Living, by Denise Smith. Denise Smith Design and Sales Consultant FA Design Build/Flooring...

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203(k) Rehab featured in Home & Design Magazine

Posted by on 2012-03-22 6:05 pm in Bathroom renovation, case studies

By Mylene Thomas and Jessica Cannon Your 203(k) renovation can still meet your style standards. This renovation was an overhaul of the entire home including, but not limited to, the plumbing, electrical, dry wall, painting, existing bathroom, kitchen, and exterior. What made this job particularly interesting was the installation of a full master bathroom within a master suite in what was originally just an attic space. The additional challenge for this 1946 South Arlington Cottage style home was that this property had been vacant for over a year and was then purchased by a 1st time homebuyer with a FHA 203(k) loan. We now had a challenging design concept for a crumbling home to create a luxury space on a significant budget. The attic space was a 9’x 11’ open room with a window and ceiling fan. A lot of research had to go into this project to accommodate the contemporary sense of style the homeowner had and the budget we had to work within. We closed in the existing window to use the area with the full height ceiling for the shower space and installed a full bathroom with standup shower stall, vanity and toilet. My favorite design feature was the ceramic floor tile that looked like the hardwood with gray undertones you found in the rest of the home. We also maintained the integrity of the original Cottage style home by adding shutters on the exterior of the window we had closed off. At the end our client, Rachel Dendui, had this to say, “FA Design Build helped me navigate the 203(k) Renovation process. Their designer [Jessica Cannon] provided expert advice, and drew the plans for a beautiful bathroom out of a tricky floor...

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