“To hire or not to hire … that is the question”

“To hire or not to hire … that is the question”   Okay … it’s time. You’ve discussed this home improvement on and off for quite some time.  You’ve clipped pictures from magazines, created an ‘idea-book’ on Houzz® and written lists of ‘wants’ and ‘needs’.  Now it’s time to take action and pursue the ‘dream…

“…and the 2014 Color of the Year is…”

“…and the 2014 Color of the Year is…” Unlike the Academy of Motion Picture’s announcement of ‘best picture of the year’, Pantone’s annual announcement of ‘Color of the Year’ is a bit of a ‘non-event’… creating little if any stir with the general population. And to say that professional designers wait with baited breath for…

‘The Dream Stage’

  ‘The Dream Stage’   Tired of winter? One way to escape the doldrums of cold and ice is through dreamy thoughts of a new project in your home.  With the holiday season well behind us, perhaps you are thinking of ways to improve entertaining in your home.  Perhaps it isn’t even inside your home…

Considering a ‘Fixer-Upper?’

  Considering a ‘Fixer-Upper?’  There’s a certain appeal to owning and living in one of the beautiful century old homes gracing Duluth’s hillside.  In their glory, these homes were rich in architectural details and solidly constructed. I often encounter folks who desire to purchase and restore an older home.  Rarely an impulsive decision, it does…

A Designer Looks Back On 2013

A Designer Looks Back On 2013   The kitchen and bath industry is forward thinking and fast paced with something new always just around the corner.  As designers, one of our challenges is staying on top of the continuum of new products and technology while honoring timeless design. Sometimes it’s a balancing act … to…

De-bunking Some Renovation Myths

  De-bunking Some Renovation Myths   After a few ‘sleepy’ years of deferring home improvement projects, you might find yourself among the folks who are ready to initiate a long delayed project.  Whatever you are considering – be it a kitchen renovation, family room addition or landscaping … don’t allow yourself to experience anything less…

What Color?

What Color?   We recently received a collection of new color samples from one of our cabinetry suppliers.  They have determined ‘grey’ to be a popular finish for some time to come and have formulated a dozen variations of finish in this shade for their line of custom cabinetry. On another front, in January, Emerald…

A Little ‘Bling’ & Some Other Things

A Little ‘Bling’ & Some Other Things   Trends have always influenced the decisions we make about the products we choose… be it food, fashion, cosmetics, automobiles or home design.   Sometimes it is hard to determine if a current trend represents a ‘whim’ verses an idea that has evolved as the result of improved technology…

Built-In Furniture – The Workhorse of Your Home

Built-In Furniture – The Workhorse of Your Home   The renowned architect, Le Corbusier (1887-1965) once referred to housing as a ‘machine for living’ … an ‘industrial product that should include functional furniture’.  I’m not sure any of us want to think of our homes as ‘machines’ but we all can appreciate the need for…

CREATING A ‘BETTER’ LIGHT BULB

  CREATING A ‘BETTER’ LIGHT BULB In 1879 Thomas Edison received a U.S. patent for a carbon filament electric light bulb that far exceeded the performance of many earlier versions created by other inventors, and the incandescent light bulb, as we know it, was born.  Today, over 85% of the lighting in our homes is…

WINTER HAS ARRIVED! EMBRACE THE WARMTH!

WINTER HAS ARRIVED! EMBRACE THE WARMTH!   The warm days and cool evenings of Autumn have transitioned to winter… and the urge to settle indoors and embrace the coziness of our home’s interior beckons.  Sweaters and sweatshirts come out of seasonal storage, long pants replace shorts, and the menu shifts from lighter fare to hearty…

FROM ‘NOT SO BIG’ TO ‘RIGHT SIZE’

  FROM ‘NOT SO BIG’ TO ‘RIGHT SIZE’  The average American home size has more than doubled since the 1950s. Each decade since the post- WWII housing boom has seen a 25% increase in the size of houses.  According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average house built in 1950 was 983 sq…