How to Incorporate Color in Your Home

Color infuses a space with character. There are numerous ways in which homeowners can introduce color throughout their residences. For some, there is no such thing as too much color while others shy away from adventurous hues.

“Whether you are bold or color-timid, you can incorporate color to fit your personality, adding warmth and distinctiveness to your home,” explains Harrell Designer, Debra Winston.

Accent walls, backsplashes, wallpaper, and cabinetry are great ways to make a bold color statement. But for those who would prefer not to see bold color everywhere all of the time, Debra suggests a “stealth surprise.”

“I have a client in San Jose who loves color and isn’t afraid to use it,” says Debra. “One of the ways they integrated adventurous shades was to add a fun wallpaper on an accent wall or use a pop of color on the inside of their closets. In the same way that a bright lining on a classic jacket provides a flash of color and personality, it makes them smile every time they select their outfit for the day. This ‘stealth surprise’ is a fantastic way for people who are concerned about having too much color overwhelm the space to dip their toes in the water.”

Whatever hue you choose for your covert closet color, pull pops of that same tone in adjacent rooms using colorful pillows, rugs, artwork, and other accent pieces.

For many, their home tends to focus on neutral tones. Debra has noticed that most people strive for warmth and stability in the overall color they choose. Décor and accent pieces offer incredible opportunities to infuse color as do kitchen appliances. Accessories in a kitchen such as a colorful tea kettle, trivet, painting or wall hanging add punch without permanency. Bedding, pillows, and towels can easily (and fairly inexpensively) be changed in baths and bedrooms. The same concept can be applied throughout the house, creating an entirely different mood based on the season or as a way to experiment with current design trends.

Painting the exterior of your entry door is another way to invite that pop of personality. Just as with the interior, the majority of homeowners also opt for a neutral tone for the exterior of their home. Choosing a complimentary yet bold shade for your entry door creates visual interest as well as curb appeal without making a major color commitment. A red door is a classic and historic symbol of welcome, or go with a vibrant tangerine to catch the eye (and make it easy for people to find your home)!

A popular home design trend is painting all interior doors a rich charcoal gray. When coupled with crisp white trim and a soft gray wall color, this palette is elegant and sophisticated, working well with a variety of design and decor aesthetics. Use a satin or semi-gloss finish paint to keep fingerprints at bay.

Color should welcome you, making you feel at home. Bold or subdued, deliberate or stealthy, however you choose to use color is an expression of you. It can be playful or classic, cosmopolitan or traditional. A lot or a little, color adds distinctiveness, warmth, and richness to every room, every space, and every home.

Debra Winston has been with Harrell Remodeling Design + Build since 2014 and has received numerous awards for her designs. Her fine arts background and her 13 years as a fashion designer for Ralph Lauren in New York City give Debra a unique design sense that benefits Harrell Remodeling clients. Debra specializes in Kitchen and Bath redesign and is a Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP), as well as whole-house remodels and room additions. Debra takes great pleasure in guiding her clients’ through the Design + Build process. She listens closely to what they want, and what will actually work for them. Her goal is to provide the best solution for every client’s distinct needs and lifestyles.

Looking for inspiration? Contact the Design + Build team at Harrell Remodeling and discover how we can transform your Silicon Valley house into an amazing home.

struxure pergola

Unique Outdoor Rooms Offering Sun, Shade & Shelter

Struxure’s state-of-the-art outdoor configurations fit any architectural aesthetic, from traditional to contemporary.

Outdoor living areas are one of the most sought after home improvement spaces for leisure and entertainment. One of the most challenging aspects of making these outdoor rooms both functional and enjoyable is finding that sweet spot between sun and shade while mitigating the impact of rain and other elements. Though traditional architecture offers some solutions, it also has its limitations.

Enter the revolutionary louvered outdoor structure from Struxure Outdoor (formerly Arcadia Building Products). The zero to 170-degree louvered roofing zones can be opened to a multitude of angles, providing the ideal amount of shade or sun as desired. They can also be closed completely, keeping out the rain or offering a fully shaded environment during the heat of the day.

In keeping with Smart Home technology, the iLouver app allows homeowners to schedule pre-set daily open and close times as well as choose from preset louver positions. An optional rain sensor shuts the interlocking louvers automatically at the first drop of rain, funneling to the built-in gutter system that can either be directed to an existing downspout or to a downspout hidden within its posts. Electrical wiring for lighting, heaters, and ceilings fans can also be tucked away inside beams for a streamlined appearance.

“These structures originally found their foothold in the commercial realm but are now taking off residentially,” explains Harrell’s Outdoor Designer, Lisa Parramore. “The maintenance is practically nonexistent and the cost is less than building out a roof, which prevents natural light from entering into your home.”

The epitome of distinct outdoor luxury, these scalable structures can be designed for spaces large and small, including patios, courtyards, decks, swimming pools, entryways, verandas, as well as outdoor kitchens and living rooms. Manufactured in the Unites States from durable powder coated aluminum, these innovative pergola-type structures are engineered and built to the exact specifications required in your unique outdoor space. Able to withstand severe wind and weather, homeowners don’t have to forego appearance for steadfastness and durability. Each design also undergoes a comprehensive structural engineering process, adhering to all local building requirements.

struxure pergola

Struxure’s state-of-the-art outdoor configurations fit any architectural aesthetic, from traditional to contemporary. Clients can choose from five standard color options and a myriad of custom colors as well as optional architectural elements including traditional rafter tail and cornice designs. These high-end outdoor systems also allow your local remodeling company to customize the pergola on-site to further enhance the appearance matching it with the exterior of your residence.

“The louvered outdoor structure is a breakthrough in outdoor living with so many residential applications,” says Lisa. “It is by far one of my favorites for creating functional and beautiful outdoor spaces.”

Harrell Remodeling’s award-winning certified Professional Landscape Designer, Lisa Parramore is passionate about creating indoor-outdoor living spaces that inspire her clients to embrace and celebrate the California lifestyle. After living and working for two years in Japan, her projects embrace the extraordinary relationship between traditional Japanese architecture and its surroundings. Lisa co-authored the winner of the 2006 Best Gardening Book Award, Living with Japanese Gardens, and Japan Home with Chadine Flood Gong, ASID. With her ability to beautifully integrate a home’s interior with the outdoors, Lisa brings a distinct vision and design sense to the Harrell Team.

Fall in love with your backyard again! Start a conversation with one of our designers today about creating an outdoor space that fits your lifestyle.

Images courtesy of Struxure Outdoor.

Color Trends for 2019

The colors we choose for our home speak volumes about our personality and style. When it comes to color, some homeowners are more adventurous while others lean toward hues that are mild and understated yet still convey individuality.

Color has a direct impact on our emotions. Some homeowners desire an overall neutral palette that creates a pleasing, tranquil space while others prefer introducing lively hues that provoke an energetic atmosphere. Whatever your preferred palette profile, there are many ways to introduce color into your home.

Clothing is the catalyst for residential color trends, working its way from fashion into our living spaces. For the past few years, gray has been a forerunner in the neutral color space, replacing browns and beiges that once graced the walls of many a Bay Area home.

In keeping with this popular color inclination, Benjamin Moore’s Color of 2019 is Metropolitan,  an adaptable, stylish, and understated neutral gray. The company also creates a coordinating color palette designed to work beautifully with their starring hue.

Says Ellen O’Neill of Benjamin Moore, “Metropolitan AF-690 emanates nuance, harmony and extravagant ease. Always adaptable, it softens to matte or shimmers with sheen. It’s neutral. It’s understated. It just is. This is color, off-duty.”

Sherwin Williams has traveled down a different path with their rich terracotta hue, Cavern Clay,  the earthy quality of which works well as an accent wall coupled with neutral tones or as a standalone color, infusing a warm sophistication to an entire room.

Pantone recently announced that their Color of the Year for 2019 is Living Coral, which they describe as “an animated, life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens.” Vibrant and at the same time soothing, Living Coral embodies our “need for optimism,” providing a sociable, spirited, and playful manner in which to invite connection and intimacy in our home environment.

Other color palettes are finding their way from the runway into hallways, kitchens, and livings spaces. Turquoise, navy blue, metallic including gold and rose gold, and matte black are trending in popularity as homeowners personalize with pigments in a myriad of manners. Adding vibrant pops of color is a great way to infuse character and playfulness throughout your home. Colored cabinets, entry doors, countertops, accent walls, and tile are all wonderful ways to introduce color.

“Navy and other blue tonal values are making headway especially when accented with gold,” explains Harrell Designer, Sara Jorgensen. “In the kitchen, painted cabinets are taking things by storm. Navy works beautifully as a cabinetry color especially when accentuated with gold hardware.”

In addition to navy, gray and white tones are popular palettes for kitchen cabinets. Islands offer an ideal way to introduce accent colors; wood tones are trending as popular ways in which to highlight kitchen islands.

As for metallics, while chrome and satin/brushed nickel remain much-loved among homeowners, brushed brass, rich gold, and the elegance of rose gold are finding a foothold in homes. Drawer pulls and knobs, lighting, and fixtures are classic ways in which to tie in metallic throughout your home.

“Tile is another way to pull in color and texture into a room,” says Sara.

Geometric tiles, especially in black and white, create a high contract focal point.  Tile backsplashes behind cooktops can be designed as a beautiful mosaic or a simply stunning accent. Shower niches are another way to imbue color into a bathroom that otherwise may embrace a neutral palette.

Your home is a blank canvas and the colors you choose for your living spaces are as individual as you. The design team at Harrell Remodeling has their fingers on the pulse of the latest trends. Armed with that information plus your personal preferences, we will make your home come alive with color!

Call us today to schedule a design consultation with a Harrell Designer to discuss your next remodeling project.

Innovative Wallpaper Trends

Once upon a time, wallpaper was an extremely popular home decorating trend but one that after its heyday fell out of favor for decades. Over the past five years, thanks in good part to the popularity of HGTV, wallpaper is making a slow and steady comeback as a home décor option.

Says Harrell Remodeling designer, Debra Winston, “Wallpaper is on the leading edge of home design trends. It is very forward thinking and currently is embraced most often by early adopters who aren’t afraid of color, patterns, and making a bold design statement.”

Debra recently worked with a repeat Harrell Remodeling client who found some unusual wallpapers she wanted to incorporate into her San Jose ranch home. These fun small-run “stealth prints” by Spoonflower included an English floral pattern that upon closer inspection includes dragons interwoven amongst the vines, and another white floral skull print on a deep teal background.

“This client isn’t afraid of color or taking a design risks,” explains Debra. “Though these adventurous patterns aren’t for everyone, wallpaper can have a place in most anyone’s home décor.“

Having worked as a scarf designer for Ralph Lauren before her career shift to designing home interiors, Debra innately understands color and pattern in printed designs. With her finger on the pulse of up-and-coming trends, she is seeing a multitude of wallpaper motifs making waves in the home décor space.


Under the Sea


Underwater themed wallcoverings featuring colorful fish, octopus, and other sea creatures are fun, lively designs that make a vibrant, visually entertaining design declaration. A small amount goes a long way with these animated patterns.


Flora and Fauna


From monochromatic to wildly colorful, these wallpapers include both plants and animals. Inspired by classic motifs, ferns, leaves, and flowers coupled with monkeys, birds, barn owls and butterflies offer a fun and adventurous way to add some whimsy to any room.

“These daring designs pack a punch,” states Debra. “Using this design on an accent wall is ideal to make a visual impact without overdoing a good thing.”


Florals


Always popular, today’s floral patterns are tonal, subtle and soft. Romantic and elegant, these Asian-inspired abstract watercolor and ink wash floral designs are silver, whites, and grays, creating a reflective, textural quality that adds depth and interest. Also making a resurgence are organic, nature-themed floor-to-ceiling murals, such as bare tree branches in silvery whites and grays.


Animal prints


Modern, refined, and opulent, animal prints invite a unique, textural quality to any interior space. Inspired by the diversity of the animal kingdom, these designs include alligator, zebra, cheetah, leopard, and snake prints updated in both muted and bold hues. The cheetah print in navy and white, zebra in a pale, silvery gray, and alligator in navy, silver, or a rich burgundy conjure a contemporary twist.


Geometrics


Timelessly classic, geometric patterns invite a sense of visual order. Many of these wallpaper designs blend a matte shade with a metallic such as navy and gold, or charcoal with copper or rose gold. Many current geometric designs include a French influence by incorporating medallions, traditional brocades, and romantic, curvy designs. Be they linear, angular, curvy, or organic, geometric wall coverings are always sophisticated.


Natural materials

Harkening back to the 1970s are today’s wallpapers that are realistic in appearance. Stacked stone, shiplap, brick, grass cloth, linen, or barnwood, these designs give the illusion of natural materials. Offering visual texture, they often include hints of metallic for depth, deceiving the eye and invoking warmth. It is a way to bring the natural world into our high-tech environments.

“Whether you love daring design or prefer something more subtle, there is a wallpaper that will work for you,” explains Debra.

Debra has been with Harrell Remodeling Design + Build since 2014 and has received numerous awards for her designs. Her fine arts background and her 13 years as a fashion designer for Ralph Lauren in New York City give Debra a unique design sense that benefits Harrell Remodeling clients. Debra specializes in Kitchen and Bath redesign, and is a Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP). She also works on whole-house remodels and room additions.

Harrell Remodeling has been designing and remodeling distinctive homes in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley since 1985. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our incredible designers in Palo Alto or Los Gatos and discover how we can transform your home, kitchen, or bath.

Fireplace Shapes, Styles & Trends

Gone are the days of the standard built-in masonry wood-burning fireplaces. Today’s fireplaces offer a tantalizing trifecta of ambiance, customization, and technology. Sleek lines and multi-media options abound, all of which offer homeowners endless ways to add the inviting warmth of a fire into their homes.

Fireplace Favorites

The linear fireplace is by far a homeowner favorite and a hot trend right now. Built into the wall, they don’t take up any square footage and they can easily be incorporated into rooms of any size. Linear units can be as small as 36 inches in length to an impressive 10 feet long (varying by manufacturer) with ribbon of flame spanning the entire width. Linear fireplaces come in a myriad of styles including tunnel, stand alone, corner and front facing units as well as space creators, used to separate living spaces while retaining an open feel. These horizontal pieces can be complemented with surround finishes including bronze, black, graphite, stainless steel, and even hammered copper.

Gas inserts are another popular option to convert and modernize existing brick or stone fireplaces without undergoing significant renovation. Though the general size and shape of inserts are fairly standard, there are a multitude of styles from classic to contemporary. A fireplace insert can transform your energy-inefficient, expensive, and high-maintenance wood-burning unit into a beautiful, energy-efficient fireplace that creates instant ambiance and warmth. Something to take note of for inserts is that they have a thicker frame around the outside of the units.

LED Lighting

Fire and technology seem like two unlikely bedfellows but today’s models are packed with techy touches. One of the most sought-after is LED lighting, which can be changed to fit décor or to achieve a particular ambiance. With the touch of a button, homeowners can choose from a rainbow of hues.

“Manufacturers have really upped their game in the choices of media,” states Harrell senior designer Sara Jorgensen. “One of our clients chose a unit with LED lighting so they could alter the color to fit their mood. They use the red tone for Valentine’s Day and Christmas and teal to show their support of their favorite hockey team, the San Jose Sharks.”

Reflective Glass

Once upon a time, brick was the material of choice for fireplaces, especially the back panels. Choices were limited to a simple straight brick pattern or a herringbone design. In addition to the traditional designs, modern fireplaces now offer a black reflective glass that enhances the beauty and luminescence of the flames. The clean, sleek lines of these reflective panels provide a contemporary look that can be a pleasing aesthetic addition.

“I highly recommend going to see the reflective panels in person,” says Sara. “They just sparkle.”

Customized log sets

Another medium that allows fireplace personalization is by choosing a customized log set. R.H. Peterson Company’s Realfyre offers an extensive line of incredibly realistic ceramic log inserts. The hand painted log sets are available in a wide variety of wood types such as woodland oak, western campfire logs, and charred, rugged split oak to name a very few.

For those desiring a more modern look, Realfyre also offers a glass pan burner system that are ideal for island, see-thru, and peninsula fireplaces. Instead of a log set, flames erupt from glass gems or nuggets that cover the base of the firepan. Different shapes, colors, and reflectivity of the glass can be chosen to fit the décor of a space.

Heat N Glo is another highly reputable fireplace manufacturer and they also offer a selection of realistic log sets as well as a modern ceramic fiber stone base for some of their models.

Zero Combustible Zone

Another technological advancement is the creation of a zero combustible zone. This transfers heat through other venting areas and away from sensitive electronics. Ortal fireplaces offer cool wall technology, allowing wall-mounted televisions to be placed within inches of the fireplace at optimal viewing level. With televisions being a primary entertainment source for most and the ever-increasing popularity of placing TVs above fireplaces, this eliminates the need to mount your TV at uncomfortable neck-craning levels.

No matter the type of fireplace you choose, it is required by code to have a screen for safety reasons. Depending upon the manufacturer, some screens are visible while others are more of a mesh that is designed to protect but not be seen.

Sara offers this advice to homeowners choosing a fireplace, “I always advise my clients to go see the fireplace in person so they get a real-life view of what it looks like and how visible or “invisible’ the safety screen is. Seeing it online just isn’t the same so it’s worth a trip to a place like California Window and Fireplace in Campbell before we place your order.”

With all of the media, finishes, shapes and sizes, there is a fireplace that fits your personality, décor, and lifestyle. The options are endless so let your imagination run hot!

Sara Jorgensen is a California state Certified Interior Designer (CID) and a Certified Green Building Professional (CGBP) with a BA in Fine Arts in Interior Design. A Harrell designer since 2005, she has the unique ability to discover and artfully execute her clients’ design desires along with their functional needs.

Since 1985, Harrell Remodeling has been designing and remodeling distinctive home all around the Bay Area. A Design + Build firm with locations in Palo Alto and Los Gatos, we invite you to contact us to find out more about how we work, talk to members of our team, and discover how we can make your remodeling dreams a reality!

Colored Kitchen Appliances

Focal point and pops of color are terms our designers use all the time. Both of these design aesthetics can be achieved in kitchens by incorporating colored appliances.

For most homeowners, especially those who prefer safer color choices and those who are remodeling with reselling in mind, sticking with stainless steel is generally probably the best way to go. The staying power of stainless steel is timeless and typically appeals to the majority of homebuyers as well as homeowners.

But for those who want to make a bold statement and achieve a custom design that showcases their distinctive style, colorful kitchen appliances are a great option. They add a unique focal point and that pop of color all in one fell swoop while also serving a functional purpose.

Says Harrell’s award-winning Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) designer, Gloria Carlson, “I find a small population of clients decide to choose to include colored appliances in their kitchen but the look it achieves is so much fun and really speaks to their individuality.”

There are a number of companies that offer colored appliances. Price, color availability, and style vary to fit almost any budget. Most Many companies offer colored ranges, and others some also include refrigerators and other appliances in varying hues. UsuallyOften, clients decide to have the range as the focal point with all other appliances in stainless steel or having fronts to match the cabinetry.

Some of the colored appliance manufacturers Harrell Remodeling Designers frequently recommend include:

“Whether our clients want a totally custom color, a standard or a professional-style range, or an appliance that is contemporary or really retro, we can help to find exactly what they want,” explains Gloria.

BlueStar specializes in ranges, hoods, cooktops, and refrigerators ideal for the serious home cook. These professional chef-grade appliances are available in over 750 colors as well as textured finishes. BlueStar will also match customer colors so if you have a favorite, they can make it happen! Their website allows you to configure your range, choosing everything from size, number and type of burners, trim, doors as well as knob and overall color of the appliance. As you “build” your range, you can see exactly how it will look in real time on their website.

American-made Dacor offers their luxury Heritage ranges in custom colors. Dacor allows clients to add that perfect splash of color with a few standard colors as well as hundreds of custom color options.

La Cornue designs high-end, handcrafted French ranges that are truly the “masterpiece of the kitchen.” These appliances are works of art and make a daring, everlasting statement while providing the ultimate in a professional-style range. Their Château and Cornufé collections each offer an incredible array of colors from which to chose, including one-of-a-kind hues. The options are endless, allowing homeowners to make an appliance statement that speaks volumes.

Big Chill is a great option for clients who are looking for appliances with a vintage feel. They also have a sleek, modern Pro line as well as a classic, industrial collection. Depending upon the collection, they offer either standard hues or as many as 200 custom colors in addition to a full line of professional grade appliances including ranges, refrigerators, dishwashers, and hoods.

Colored kitchen appliances can be used a number of ways, from being the singular focal point surrounded by a neutral background to making a bold statement by having all appliances a custom color. The options are endless and Harrell’s Designers are here to help you make these important decisions.

We invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation with a member of Harrell’s design team to help you explore your kitchen, bath, or home remodeling project.

Designing A Kosher Kitchen

Add Some Fun To Your Next Remodeling Project

Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom can be a serious undertaking, but it can also be a great opportunity to add a touch of playfulness to your home. Whether you are remodeling a powder room, a master bath, or a kitchen, the Harrell Remodeling design team excels at creating modern residential designs while also developing special spaces that reflect the personality and spirit of the homeowners.

Americans are staying in their homes longer than ever before, opting to renovate or remodel rather than move to a larger residence. Families in the 1950’s typically moved approximately every five years. Since 2013, most people tend to stay in their homes an average of nine years compared the year 2000 when they moved every seven years. Many Bay Area and Silicon Valley residents are following this trend and as a result, personalized remodeling designs that are unique and individual are becoming more popular.

Gloria Carlson, a senior designer at Harrell-Remodeling, loves to create fun and creative designs that reveal her clients’ unique personalities and passions.

“The number one thing I do when I have a specialized design project is to listen. I want to understand what they are looking to achieve, both functionally and aesthetically, so that I can help to realize their dreams,” said Gloria.

Here are three examples of Harrell Remodeling clients who wanted to express their individuality in their kitchens and bathrooms, and how Gloria’s exceptional talent for creating enjoyable and useful designs were incorporated in these projects.

Creating Enjoyment Through Better Organization

Recently, a couple with whom Gloria had known previously came to Harrell Remodeling wanting to create a larger kitchen. Having been entertained by this family in the past, Gloria already understood the owner’s kitchen “rhythm” and family flow. She recognized that the client cooked in designated areas throughout the kitchen, from baking to making coffee. Gloria listened to their specific requests to create a new, streamlined, and contemporary layout that emphasized special zones and the following details:

Accentuated Special Kitchen Zones

  • A baking area that included an appliance garage for small appliances, offered efficient storage for flours, mixing bowls, utensils, etc. in adjacent cabinetry. This zone was situated directly next to the oven.
  • The coffee zone was designed to hide coffee containers, filters, and boxes of teas, and Gloria made sure the espresso maker aligned perfectly with a potfiller faucet to fill the machine’s water tank.

Carbonated, Filtered, and Chilled Beverage Zone

  • In the center of the kitchen, Gloria designed a large island to function as a buffet serving area, prep zone, and gathering spot. To help contribute to the central gathering purpose of the island, Gloria specified a faucet that included a built-in filter, water chiller and carbonation system at the sink. An under-the-counter refrigerator and built-in liquor cabinet made the island a refreshing kitchen hangout.

Customized Planning Zone

  • A planning zone with organizer shelves, key hooks, and a cork board and white board was designed to add a functional focal point to the room.
  • Color was integrated into the kitchen to highlight the modern upgrades and to make the space visually appealing and inviting.

“My clients still tell me how much they love what I did in their kitchen,” said Gloria.

Entertaining with Serve-Yourself Soda

Gloria worked with another family who entertained frequently. These homeowners wanted an area for guests to gather away from where they were doing their last-minute cooking, and they requested a built-in soda fountain, for their own love of sodas and for fun entertaining.

Fountain Soda Bar With Fully Equipped Bar Gun

  • A separate beverage zone was created on the opposite side of the prep zone and kitchen sink. The beverage area was designed in an “L” shape that allowed for plenty of storage space both above and below the wet bar area.
  • At the beverage center, Gloria specified plumbing for a carbonator, refrigeration line, filter system, and a fully loaded bar gun with a multitude of syrup flavors required for making fresh sodas.

Customized Backsplash Made From Vintage Bottle Caps

  • To punctuate the theme with a really fun and unique design, Gloria designed a backsplash that was made up of vintage bottle caps. Hundreds of bottle caps were individually placed in the backsplash to resemble tile, resulting in a customized conversation piece that echoed the homeowners’ affection for soda.

This clever kitchen redesign melded the clients’ passions to create a nearby entertainment space for guests while also allowing the homeowners to simultaneously work in the kitchen and interact with their guests.

Creating A Kitchen and Bathroom Design To Reflect A Family’s “Joie de Vivre”

Sometimes a client just wants to forego all traditional design concepts, and allow Harrell Remodeling and its amazing designers to create something truly fresh and new. This was the case with a Bay Area family who wanted their home to reflect their passion for travel and desire to welcome nature into their children’s bathroom.

Once again, Gloria stepped into the picture, transforming the family’s kitchen and bathroom. Highlights of these design projects include:

Customized Kitchen Magnetic World Map For Displaying Travel Tokens

This family traveled the world, collecting magnets from each place they’d visited as tokens of their adventures. Gloria noticed they mounted their collection of magnets on a large whiteboard attached to a kitchen wall. She replaced this bland whiteboard with customized world map wallpaper, with colors to match the kitchen palette, which was adhered to a steel plate to make the map magnetic. The new design allowed the family to place their magnets on the specific countries and cities, while creating a showcase piece that sparked conversation during dinner parties.

The family also wanted a bathroom with a jungle theme for their elementary school aged daughters. For this part of the project, Gloria invited the children to participate in the design and material selections, and they created:

Colorful Children’s Bathroom With Tropical Jungle Theme

A unique combination of tiles was applied to the bathroom walls to give the space a jungle vibe. A niche in the shower showcased a tile mural with a family of monkeys hiding in a rainforest. Beneath the showerhead, Gloria designed a glass mosaic blue tile waterfall that flowed down the wall, across the shower pan, and onto the bathroom floor to create meandering river. The blue tile river stops in front of the vanity in the shape of a small puddle of water.

Gloria used porcelain tiles with a wood grain to create a large tree trunk design on the shower wall and a leafy mosaic tile and green grout to create the foliage.

The results for this home were spectacular, playful, and completely customized for the client’s lifestyle and personalities.

When it comes to your residence, infusing a remodel with a touch of individuality can be a wonderful way to make your mark on a space. Whatever your passions, hobbies, or visions for your Bay Area and Silicon Valley home, the award-winning designers at Harrell Remodeling Design + Build can help you “take a walk on the wild side.”

We invite you to contact us for a complimentary consultation to discover how Harrell Remodeling can design your next distinctive space.

The Future of Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Trends

Most homeowners are intrigued to know the hottest kitchen and bathroom design trends and what materials are currently being used in ultra-modern homes. And when they are ready to remodel their own residence, homeowners want to ensure the firm they choose for their remodel project is intimately aware of the latest trends, materials, and design.

That’s why Harrell Remodeling makes it a point to send at least one of their designers to the annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) to observe and track emerging trends. KBIS is the world’s largest kitchen and bathroom tradeshow where cutting edge designs and trending themes can be experienced firsthand. This year, the company sent two of its designers to perform reconnaissance on behalf of Bay Area homeowners. The two returned with an amazing list of noteworthy styles that will be evolving in the next year or two.

This year, Harrell Remodeling senior designers Sara Jorgensen and Debra Winston attended the KBIS show, returning with valuable insights into current and leading trends for their clients.

“The KBIS is such a huge show. We walked 21 miles and took 21,000 photos. The experience inspired us and we were able to identify design trends and techniques that will absolutely translate to more amazing Harrell Remodeling results for our clients. These trends are happening now, but will also be emerging in the future,” said Sara.

In general, Sara explained that there was a clear distinction between East Coast design trends and West Coast design trends.

“East Coast styles are still very traditional. They are using lots of detailing, and decorative cabinets. But when you see the West Coast styles, they are all frameless cabinets with clean lines and very contemporary,” said Sara.

EMERGING RESIDENTIAL TRENDS

Here are some trend highlights from the show that are relevant to Silicon Valley homeowners:

  • Walnut cabinets
    Everywhere Sara and Debra went, they saw walnut finishes dominating kitchen and bathroom cabinets. This rich walnut finish is replacing the white-on-white look that’s been popular for traditional kitchens and baths. Walnut is not relegated to just the exterior of the cabinetry but is also being used on the inside of cabinets. Sara and Debra observed that many modern designers are skillfully combining the color white with walnut in a variety of ways to showcase the trend.
  • LED lighting modules
    The use of sleek, under-cabinet, energy-efficient LED lighting was clearly an emerging trend. Manufacturers are developing thin lighting tape that can be used throughout both the bathroom and kitchen. The use of lighting was everywhere, but most prevalent in the skillful illumination of the undersides of counters and cabinets. In many cases, this sleek under-counter lighting highlighted the walnut and white finish on upper cabinets.
  • Incorporating textures
    There’s no getting around it, textured surfaces will be a major influence for residential designers in the near future. Texture is a fantastic option for homeowners wanting to add something different to their kitchens and baths. The use of texture was found in multiple materials including tile, plastic, and even metal. For example, the two took note of engraved textured metal wall panels, walls that looked like rustic wood, and surfaced tile used for highlighting kitchen backsplashes. Sara and Debra discovered that, “texture is here to stay!”
  • Gold accents dominated
    Both designers discovered that gold is being extensively throughout many of the kitchen and bathroom designs they toured. Gold is used sparingly to accent beautiful walnut or other wood finishes. It is also elegantly paired with navy blue. This trend of navy blue and gold was used frequently in kitchen islands or perimeter cabinets, where small gold lighting or cabinet fixtures accentuated the rich blue.
  • Bold, playful colors
    The use of bright reds, blues, and yellows were prevalent throughout the show. For example, many appliances are now sporting bold colors to add some spark to the kitchen. Daring colors are being combined with textured metal in apron-front sinks. Another unique manner in which color was incorporated was by painting the insides of cabinet drawers with bubble gum pink or other playful hues.
  • Televisions and fireplaces
    One of the most visible themes Sara and Debra noted was a focus on televisions above fireplaces. As the designers explored this theme further, they realized that fireplaces are now being manufactured in such a way that they can be paired closely with a large, suspended television. Many high-tech fireplaces incorporated LED lighting trim around their perimeter with the lights changing color to coordinate with a favorite sporting team or to set a mood. Also, there were clever ways of concealing the television behind a large piece of art when not in use. The TV was secured to hardware allowing it to swing down, under the artwork and in front of the fire for easy viewing.

While not every homeowner will use all of these ideas and concepts in their remodeling project, they do provide a great framework for future design ideas. In addition, the concepts have been instilled into the deep arsenal of talented designers at Harrell Remodeling, who are always looking for the next great design solution!

“Design Trends” as Part of Harrell Remodeling Workshop Series

Because the KBIS show was so immense, Harrell Remodeling has incorporated some of Sara’s and Debra’s notes into a “Hot Trends in Products, Design and Remodeling” seminar that are part of the firm’s regular informational series of workshops and presentations for the Bay Area homeowners.

With locations in Palo Alto and Los Gatos Harrell Remodeling has been designing and remodeling distinctive homes since 1985. We invite you to stop by our “Jewel Box” Showroom, attend one of our workshops, or schedule a complementary appointment to learn how we can make your remodeling vision come true.

How To Choose The Best Firm For Your Next Remodeling Project

The saying “Home is where the heart is” strikes a deep cord with homeowners everywhere including those residing in the Bay Area. Home is where our lives are centered. Home is where we relax and unwind, spend time with family and entertain friends, where we enjoy the holidays and special occasions. Because of this, more and more people are investing money in remodeling or redesigning their residences to create beautiful gathering spaces, safer living environments, and versatile homes.

How do you find the right remodeling professional that will make your remodeling vision a reality? Harrell Remodeling recommends the following guidelines to help you choose a professional design and remodeling firm:

  1. Ask for Recommendations
    There is no doubt about it… word of mouth is one of the best strategies to follow when selecting a remodeling professional.
    Residential remodeling can be tricky, thus the potential for lengthy and unexpected delays, budget overages, or costly mistakes. To avoid this, check with your local Chamber of Commerce, get recommendations from friends, and check online for references and reviews. See if certain businesses continue to be mentioned. When investigating remodeling firms, it is also a good idea to establish the level of complexity these companies are able to handle, and their experience with remodeling projects similar to yours.
  2. Credentials and Certifications Matter
    With a solid list of recommendations in hand, it’s time for some basic research on each firm.
    Really look through the firm’s website to see the qualifications of its designers, project managers, and carpenters. Like any vocation, recognized credentials and certifications from professional associations like the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) along with certifications including Certified Interior Designer (CID), Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP), and Certified Green Building Professional (CGBP) are important. Any seasoned and skilled remodeling professional will have invested time and money in course work and passed rigorous tests to earn these credentials and certifications.
  3. Get To Know Your Remodeling Professionals
    One of the best strategies for finding the best remodeling firms is to visit their offices. 
    Do they have a showroom with the latest materials and design concepts? When discussing design and remodeling ideas, do they include a professional designer in the conversation who can offer suggestions and apply these concepts to your project and lifestyle? Who would you be working with? How are projects like yours handled? How and when are payments made? Is there an open line of communication should you have questions or concerns? It is important to ask a lot of questions, but also make sure to listen closely to answers. The way remodeling professionals answer questions can be extremely important and revealing.
  4. Check References
    When conducting your due diligence on remodeling firms, ask to see some of the firm’s past projects.
    Get a good idea of the firm’s style and ability to solve challenging problems. When looking through the company’s portfolio of work, make sure to ask if you can call former clients to get a firsthand account of their project: Was the worksite clean and the workers respectful? Did the job get completed on time and on budget? What was the communication and planning process? All of these will give great insight into the overall professionalism and quality of the remodeling firm from someone who has employed their services.
  5. Check The Status of Their License
    After checking references and speaking with past clients, visit the Contractors State License Board and make sure the company is in good standing.
    Is their license active? When does it expire? Do the have any claims filed against them? Are they bonded and insured?
  6. Price Is Not The Most Important Criteria
    While every homeowner has a budget for their remodeling project, choosing a firm purely on the basis of cost can backfire.
    There is a lot of truth behind the saying, “You get what you pay for”, and when it comes to hiring a remodeling company these words are even more crucial. There are firms that will provide a very attractive quote on the project but when the rubber meets the road, they end up costing much more in lost time, poor workmanship, and inaccurate pricing. It is important to weigh all of the criteria including price in your decision. Everyone wants to get the most bang for our buck but when it comes to our home, the quality of work and inter-personal communication far outweigh saving a few dollars. The results will be worth it in the end.
    Recommendations, certifications, and being licensed, bonded and insured are all important aspects of finding the top remodeling firms. Finding a company with high-quality workmanship, who understands your lifestyle and distinct requirements, can solve challenging problems, is on the cutting edge of design, will stay on time and on budget, and with whom you have a solid professional rapport are also very key components to finding the right firm for your home remodel.

Since 1985, Harrell Remodeling has been designing and remodeling distinctive home all around the Bay Area. A Design + Build firm with locations in Palo Alto and Los Gatos , we invite you to contact us to find out more about how we work, talk to members of our team, and discover how we can make your remodeling dreams a reality!