Monthly Archives

February 2013

3 Things to Think About When Wiring Your Home:

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Home Repair, Kitchen Design | No Comments

Our lifestyles and daily habits continually evolve to accommodate the latest technology. In new construction, the challenge is to build a home that is wired for technology today and into the future. Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri suggests three things to think about in the design phase to ensure the home’s electrical wiring will meet the homeowner’s needs.

TV Location and Use:

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Think about the locations and uses of each TV. In the planning stage, the homeowner and builder should discuss where each TV will go and whether the TV will require additional components such as a cable box, DVD player or game console.

For example, will viewers watch the TV in high definition?  If so, the TV requires a cable box. Where will the additional equipment reside? In a closet, hidden from view? Or, in a piece of furniture underneath the TV?

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“Typically, most builders don’t include the additional cost of wiring a TV to its components. Determining these prices in the design phase will help the homeowner make informed decisions and stay within the budget,” says Ulibarri.

Phone Use and Location:

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Today’s landline telephones no longer require a phone jack at each location to function. Instead, the telephone base station hooks to a single phone jack running the phone line through the power line so all other telephones in the home hook to electrical outlets. Think about where the phone base station will reside. That space must be wired with a phone jack. No other phone jacks are needed in the home. Think about where the additional telephones will go, so that there are electrical outlets to plug into.

Consider a USB Electrical Outlet:

Leviton USB Charger

Leviton USB Charger

One of the latest developments in home automation is the electrical outlet with USB ports for charging technological tools such as tablets, cell phones and computers. Leviton recently introduced a 20 AMP USB Charger Receptacle. It’s a standard receptacle with two USB ports that incorporate a smart chip from Texas Instruments allowing the device to speak with the receptacle to understand what needs to be powered and optimize the power efficiency.

USBOUtlets

The USB Charger Receptacle fits in a standard box and wires like any other receptacle. “This is an affordable way for homeowners to upgrade their electrical outlets to accommodate today’s technology,” explains Ulibarri. Leviton’s USB Charger Receptacle retails for $20.

For more design ideas and money-saving new construction tips, subscribe to the video series, Trade Secrets by Jorge on YouTube.

Color Trends for 2013 Nix Neutrals For Statement Hues

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Kitchen Design, Video Episodes | No Comments
Midnight Mystery Palette in Roycroft Bottle Green (SW 2847) and Olde World Gold (SW 7700)

Midnight Mystery Palette in Roycroft Bottle Green (SW 2847) and Olde World Gold (SW 7700)

 Opposites Attract as Color Makes a Comeback in Home Decor for 2013

Color is making a huge comeback in home décor and design. Beige walls are out of fashion along with the idea of flipping homes for a quick buck. As more homeowners opt to stay put in their homes for the long haul, they are trading in neutrals for statement hues that bear their own unique décor signature.

Sherwin-Williams has pegged the Color Trends for 2013 and packaged them in four distinct palettes. Recently, while attending the International Builders’ Show in Vegas, I spoke with Sue Wadden, Color Consultant and Interior Designer for Sherwin-Williams.  “The 2013 Color forecast is called Opposites Attract. We featured four collections ranging from deep, dark, saturated masculine tones, all the way to bright, energetic, exciting colors with punches of gray, black and white as palette cleansers, “ explains Wadden.

Every year, Sherwin-Williams culls their color forecast from what’s trending in fashion, pop culture, consumerism and the arts. The reigning color for 2013 is Aloe, as anointed by Sherwin-Williams.

Aloe SW6464 Color of the Year 2013 as deemed by Sherwin-Williams

Aloe SW6464 Color of the Year 2013 as deemed by Sherwin-Williams

“This is no ordinary pastel – Aloe is funky and glamorous, demure and free-spirited. While Aloe’s vibe can verge on retro, when paired with caviar blacks, crisp whites or soft grays, suddenly Aloe has a new soul and attitude. And Aloe is highly adaptable, making it a perfect pick for everyday spaces such as a breezy sunroom or a well-dressed living room,” says Jackie Jordan, Sherwin–Williams director of color marketing.

Aloe SW6464 Color of the Year 2013 as deemed by Sherwin-Williams

Aloe SW6464 Color of the Year 2013 as deemed by Sherwin-Williams

Here is a breakdown of the Four Color Palettes in 2013’s Color Forecast:

Midnight Mystery:

Midnight Mystery Palette in Loyal Blue (SW 6510)

Midnight Mystery Palette in Loyal Blue (SW 6510)

This color palette features oxidized, metallic hues. “Midnight Mystery connotes a moodiness inspired by the futuristic Victorian vibe of steampunk design. It’s a turn of the century aesthetic, a mixture of Thomas Edison and visible mechanics,” explains Wadden. The palette has dark, earthy colors counterbalanced with green grays.

Honed Vitality:

Honed Vitality Palette in Spiced Cider (SW 7702)

Honed Vitality Palette in Spiced Cider (SW 7702)

These earthy, desert inspired colors kick up the neutral palette a few notches with pops of blue for sky and water. The palette draws inspiration from the layered hues of  mineral deposits, sea-buffed stones and the weathered shutters of a rustic farmhouse. “It’s very grounded to the earth and very useable for interior and exterior residential and commercial,” says Wadden.

Vintage Moxie:

Vintage Moxie Palette in  Radiant Lilac (SW 0074)

Vintage Moxie Palette in Radiant Lilac (SW 0074)

This collection of 60s inspired pastels has a retro glamour of pearls, florals and classic feminine silhouettes tempered by funky accents and attitude, according to Sherwin-Williams. Wadden calls them “pastels on speed.” She suggests using these colors as interior pops set off by a white canvas.

High Voltage:

High Voltage Palette in Electric Lime(SW 6921) and Extra White (SW 7006)

High Voltage Palette in Electric Lime(SW 6921) and Extra White (SW 7006)

These bright colors mirror the neon lights of Vegas and 80s fashions. The High Voltage collection has an electric feel and works well with palette cleansers such as black, white, gray and clear acrylics as primary backdrops. “The High Voltage collection is based on the technology of LED lighting and pop culture. They are brights tied to consumer merchandise,” explains Wadden.  She cites as an example, an all white room with electric lime green chairs.

So now that you know what’s trending in color for the home, how do you use such bold hues? I asked Wadden for a few tips.

Use a neutral as a primary wall color and accessorize with colors.

Honed Vitality Palette in Safari (SW 7697)

Honed Vitality Palette in Safari (SW 7697)

You can stay on trend by incorporating splashes of color without making the focus all about a trend color. “Paint the front door rustic red and the exterior charcoal. It’s very rich and on trend,” says Wadden. Think of pulling in color with tile, flooring, carpeting and fabrics from any of these four color palettes.

Take cues from colors you like.

Vintage Moxie Palette in Radiant Lilac (SW 0074)

Vintage Moxie Palette in Radiant Lilac (SW 0074)

“It doesn’t have to be a commitment to the color trend but the whole environment you create,” explains Wadden.  She suggests creating a room that is fashion forward in these colors or using unexpected colors on the ceiling. One example is a front door in plum and a purple couch. “I like the exterior of the home to be a signature of  the home’s interior,” says Wadden.

As a culture, we are becoming more color-conscious, as illustrated by the proliferation of chromotherapy home accessories from bathtubs and toilets to backlighting. I’ll be covering that topic in my next blog posting. Until then, be sure and subscribe so that you don’t miss a single posting on the latest in home design and décor.

The Electric Fireplace, A Hot Property in Home Design for 2013

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Fireplace design, Video Episodes | No Comments
Electric Fireplace by Modern Flames

Electric Fireplace by Modern Flames

Electric Fireplace by Modern Flames
www.modernflames.com

One of the latest trends to light up a room is the electric fireplace. Recently, I attended the International Builders’ Show in Vegas where electric fireplaces were the hot property in home design. There are several reasons why:

Electric Fireplaces are Affordable:

Electric Fireplace by Hearth & Home

Electric Fireplace by Hearth & Home

A gas or wood burning fireplace can cost you approximately $3,000 to purchase and install plus the cost of the gas lines, which can run as much as $400.  An electric fireplace costs approximately $1,000.

Electric Fireplaces Can be Installed in Any Room:

Electric Fireplace by Hearth & Home

Electric Fireplace by Hearth & Home

Because electric fireplaces don’t require ventilation, they can go in any room with a 120 Volt electrical outlet to plug into. The electric fireplace simply hangs from the wall so the possibilities are endless.

Electric Fireplace by Modern Flames

Electric Fireplace by Modern Flames

Imagine an electric fireplace flickering nearby while soaking in your tub, reading fireside in your family room or enjoying an al fresco evening by the flickering light of your outdoor living room hearth.

Electric Fireplaces Go with Any Décor:

Electric Fireplace by Modern Flames

Electric Fireplace by Modern Flames

Manufacturers are capitalizing on this trend in the hearth industry launching new electric fireplace product lines in many styles. These electric fireplaces have cool capabilities that traditional fireplaces just can’t pull off. Some have colored LED backlighting that can be programmed to rotate up to nine different colors or remain constant. The base of the firebox can feature stones or a glass rocks.

Electric Fireplace by Hearth & Home

Electric Fireplace by Hearth & Home

In order to appreciate the beauty of these affordable faux fireplaces, I put together a Vlog with some video clips so you can really appreciate how an electric fireplace can light up a room.

The Kitchen Island Curves and Wraps In 2013

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Kitchen Design, Video Episodes | One Comment

The Latest Trends in Kitchen Island Design Trade Lines for Curves and Mixed Materials for Monolithic.

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The latest kitchen design trend creating a buzz at the International Builders Show has to do with the shape and make of the kitchen island.

Kitchen Island Curves:

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Still a must-have in any modern kitchen, the island is softening its linear look with curves that allow for round-the-table seating instead of shoulder-to-shoulder.

Kitchen Island Surfaces Go Monolithic:

MonolithicIslandNewAmericanHome

Countertops that wrap around the island base are showing up in the latest kitchen designs. It’s an aesthetic known as Monolithic. You’ll be hearing that word a lot in 2013. Monolithic design is defined as a single material that seamlessly wraps around a surface, wall, cabinetry or any other feature.

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Some of the best examples are in the concrete surfaces of kitchen countertops, very on-trend this year. Concrete is a malleable material that can be sculpted and molded to create a seamless surface.

Kitchen Island Doubles Up:

HuntersKitchenRendering

The kitchen island is doubling up in some homes to offer more multi-tasking capabilities, surface space and storage. Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri says the double island is a great solution to a common kitchen design challenge: keeping the kitchen open while preserving storage space. “In one of my homes, the shape of the kitchen is square. Rather than enclose the kitchen with walls to create more surface and storage space,  I added the double island  to maintained the openness while providing this added functionality.”

In this example picture above,  Jorge designed two islands each with seven linear feet of countertop space that sit four feet apart.  The inner island, located in the kitchen center, will be monolithic, made of wraparound Carrera marble with white cabinetry underneath. The island facing out towards the family room features the same white Carrera marble countertop but with an espresso wood cabinetry base to compliment the floor-to-ceiling fireplace in the family room.

For more design ideas and money-saving new construction tips, subscribe to the video series, Trade Secrets, available on YouTube

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