November 25, 2016

Many people love the look of a traditional bathroom.  This does not mean it has to be stuffy or outdated.  Having a traditional look will increase the equity in your home, which will greatly help you when you go to sell it.  It will also provide you a beautiful bathroom look to enjoy for the time you spend in the space.

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You can accomplish a traditional bathroom look with the following classic additions:

  1. Pedestal sink. Pedestal sinks are classic.  They have a period feel, hide ugly pipes effortlessly, and simple lines pleasing to the eye.  If the space allows, place two pedestal sinks side by side and hang beveled mirrors over them.  Because having a pedestal sink will take away storage space, place cabinets on either side with glass windowed doors.
  2. Wainscoting gives bathrooms a cozy atmosphere, especially smaller ones.  Many people are starting to use faux wood paneling for wainscoting instead of the traditional particle board.  It’s easy to install, affordable, and varies the look of typical wainscoting.
  3. Claw-foot tub. No one will argue the magnificent look that a claw-foot tub brings to a bathroom. Combine it with wallpaper, a marble topped vanity, and plantation shutters for a totally luxurious feel.
  4. Shower ring. These go great above claw-foot tubs.  They are curved metal rails that are mounted on the ceiling so you can hang a curtain.  This adds a traditional vibe by making the space look chic.  You can choose to leave the shower curtain closed, or open to expose the look of the tub.
  5. Black and white. Black and white is a look that has been, is, and will continue to be for as long as interior design continues.  You can incorporate black and white into your linens, floor tiles, or even with a two-piece toilet. If you have a cast iron radiator in your bathroom, paint it black to match.
  6. Cross-handle faucets. These look wonderful with pedestal sinks or washstand stinks.  They work as both an art form and a water deliverer.  Curved edges will give more of a traditional feel than modern, angular cross-handle designs.
  7. The look of stone or brick will simply never grow old.  It is a sought after, desired design touch that can be typically quite expensive to accomplish.  Use faux stone or faux brick paneling to get the same amazing look, and complete the project on your own.
November 24, 2016

The funny thing about laundry rooms is, they are typically considered as an afterthought, despite their daily and constant use.  They are called utility rooms for a reason, as they are used for many things!  There isn’t a ‘typical’ utility room size, layout, or shape, as they are often created in leftover areas of the home after every other room has been completed.

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Because you will spend so much space in that area, wouldn’t you like to pay it a little more attention and give it the design remodel it deserves?

  1. Know What You Want to Achieve. This is the most important factor, as you want to be happy with the end result. Ask yourself a few questions ahead of time: what’s important to you? Who will use it most?  How do you want it to function? What design scheme are you going for?  Are you working with a current space you have, or remodeling to create new space?
  2. How Will it be Used? Laundry rooms are not only for washing clothes.  These rooms are often where people walk in and out through the house, so there needs to be storage for coats, bags, shoes, and keys.  Sometimes the pets’ food, dog leashes, catbox, etc. are also kept in the utility room.  Sometimes people store their brooms, vacuum cleaners, crafts, mail, and sports items in them.  Know ahead of time what your family’s needs are, and how the utility room will serve those purposes.
  3. What Type of Appliances do you Want? This will often depend on the space you have to work with. If you have a smaller space, consider getting a washer and dryer combination that stack on top of each other.  Side by side works great if the room allows, especially if you aren’t as tall.  You can place counter space for folding, sink for when extra scrubbing is needed, as well as an iron/ironing board setup.
  4. Special Features. This is where the design comes in.  How do you want it to look?  Will you use traditional wallpaper, or use a simple paint?  Will you add texture with faux brick or faux stone paneling? Do you want a television in there for the many hours of folding?  Perhaps you will keep a wine fridge in your utility room, as well as a hanging rod and drying rack.
  5. Research, Budget, and Execute. Do your research ahead of time; know what materials will fit into your budget, if you can pay a contractor for any of the jobs, and what jobs you can do yourself to save money.  Then, get to work!
November 22, 2016

If you are sick of feeling like you’ve entered the 90s every time nature calls, perhaps it is time to upgrade that old bathroom of yours.  If you are ready to take the plunge (pun-intended), congratulations! Remodeling a bathroom isn’t for sissies, as lots of work is involved.  However, with the proper planning, material selection, and execution, it can be accomplished in an easy fashion.

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Step #1: Determine What it is You are Trying to Accomplish.  Before taking on a project that will put a decent dent in the ole wallet as well as take up a good amount of your personal time, you must ask yourself the simple question of: “what is it that I want to accomplish as an end result?”  It’s not enough to know you want to remodel your bathroom.  What would your ideal bathroom look like?  If money were no object, what would it have in it?  Is this a master bathroom or a guest bathroom?  How often will it get used?

Step #2: Know Why You are Remodeling.  There are three main reasons people choose to remodel a bathroom: updating the look, resale value, and better functionality with more storage.  If you are simply updating your look, you will focus more on material selection and maybe plumbing fixtures.  If you are doing it solely for resale value, then you need to think less of what you want, and more of what the majority of people would want.  If it’s for better functionality, you will most likely be doing some gutting, rerouting plumbing, and ending up with an entirely new bathroom.

Step #3: Do Your Research & Set a Budget.  First and foremost, know how much money you have to spend.  This is going to help you select materials better, and know what you will be able to do on your own and what you will need to hire out. Try to choose as many DIY projects as you can, such as using faux stone paneling in the shower rather than spending thousands on authentic stone and a contractor.

Step #4: Find a Professional.  Having to hire a professional is completely up to you.  Will it be more time effective and cost effective to have someone do certain things, such as lay tile flooring? Schedule a design consultation first to know your options.  You may be surprised by how much guidance you can receive from a designer as they can help make your vision a reality better than you would on your

November 21, 2016

There is a reason that California has one of the highest populations in the entire country.  California’s beauty and charm attracts people from all over.  One of the main things that people love is the weather and the landscape.  In California you can find the beach, desert, and mountains all in one state!  One of the most popular areas to visit is California’s wine country.  The rolling hills covered in grapevines and Mediterranean countryside feel is where life slows down a bit.

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Regardless of where you live, you can embrace the wine country lifestyle by following these design tips for your yard.

Hardscaping

For the exterior of your home, think: modern farmhouse.  To get this look, pair old-fashioned wood with metal.  You can have a metal roof with wood paneling on the exterior of your home, or even a wood porch with metal furniture.  Choose neutral colors for the exterior paint, and use crunchy pea gravel or flagstone for a walkway.  To save money and time, consider using faux wood paneling for the exterior of your home.

Indoor-Outdoor Connection

The connection between the indoors and out is one of the most attractive characteristics of a California home.  To achieve this look, design doors where they can be kept open.  Add a screen if need be to keep the bugs out.  Also, place a table outside so meals can be enjoyed outdoors as well.

Courtyards

Gravel courtyards are seen in the gardens of France and Italy, and found commonly in California wine-country homes.  Use decomposed granite or a gold-toned gravel to complete the Mediterranean look.  Add a table and a potted Citrus tree and you will feel like you are on an Italian vacation in your very own backyard.

Add Some Shade

Having a shaded area to sit will encourage you to actually use your outdoor area, even during the warmer months.  A great way to do this is with a pergola.  It will look beautiful in a garden or next to a pool.  You can then grow grapevines or a similar plant up the side of the structure to give off a wine country feel.

Kitchen Gardens

Last but not least, you can truly be a part of the farm-to-table movement by adding a garden to grow veggies and herbs.  Create a raised planter bed with corrugated metal edged with wood.  Most veggies will thrive in this type of setting because the water drains well and soil stays warm,

November 18, 2016

Turkey day is just around the corner, six days away in fact.  Is your home ready for the big meal?  If you are hosting this year, you are probably finishing up any last minute to do’s: running errands, recipe planning, and lots of grocery shopping, decorating, and so forth.  Not to mention getting the house cleaned and making sure the guest room is ready for out of towners.  If you haven’t planned a spa day to relax after all the hard work, now is the time!

accent wall living room

Once Thanksgiving passes, there are many other holidays to follow: Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, Kwanza, Ramadan, what have you.  Regardless of your religion and what holidays you celebrate, if you are hosting them your home décor has probably crossed your mind a time or two.  Is your home prepared for the celebrations?  Is your design and decoration exactly as you want it to be?  If not, there are still a few weeks left to get it in perfect shape, and faux wall panels will help you get there.

Faux brick panels

Use faux brick paneling to create the perfect .  This accent wall can be anywhere: in your living room on the main wall, in your dining room, or even in your bedroom behind the bed.  The accent wall’s purpose is to highlight something in that room, whether it is the bed, dining table, fireplace, piece of art, etc.  Having a faux brick accent wall will make your home feel more inviting and take your design to a whole new level for celebrating all of the festivities.

Faux stone panels

Faux stone panels look gorgeous when placed on a fireplace, used as a kitchen backsplash, or even in the bathroom behind the tub or in the shower.  Our faux stone panels at faux direct are designed to look and feel exactly like authentic stone, which gives off the coziest vibe possible over the holiday season.

Faux wood panels

Faux wood looks ideal when used as an accent wall, wainscoting, as well as for exterior design: exterior walls and front porch design.  Take advantage of our Fall Sale going on now and receive 10% off your order, just in time for the holidays!

All three varieties of faux wall paneling come in multiple designs, are resistant to mold, mildew, and rot, and are UV resistant/weatherproof.  They are DIY and extremely easy to install.  Head to our ‘Products’ section now to see how you can get your home design in tip-top shape in preparation for the Holidays this year.

November 17, 2016

Your bedroom should not be an afterthought in the designing process of your home.  Although most people probably won’t see it, it is where you will spend a good amount of time.  You want it to be comfortable, functional, and reflect your style.  If you are working with a designer, these are things to discuss with him or her before starting the project.  If you have the time and creativity to accomplish it yourself (more power to you!), then these are good things to keep in mind and know before designing your bedroom.

bedroom-design

If you have the time and creativity to accomplish it yourself (more power to you!), then these are good things to keep in mind and know before designing your bedroom.

  1. Write Up Your Wish List. Your wish list should contain everything you could possibly need or want.  However, that will be the important clarification throughout the process: needs vs. wants.  You will want to make sure you have room for all needs in your budget, and still throw in a few wants as well! Pull together photos from Pinterest or your favorite design magazines for inspiration.
  2. Your priorities are basically a nice way of saying budget.  This needs to be defined right from the get-go.  If you choose to pay as you go, you will end up spending way more money than planned.  Instead of being excited at the end of your project, you’ll most likely feel depressed and depleted financially.  To help stay in your budget, try and do as many DIY projects as possible, and use affordable materials such as faux wall paneling to add an accent wall behind your bed.
  3. Existing Furniture. Knowing the size of your bed is the most important factor in deciding how to layout the rest of the furniture in the bedroom.  Are there other pieces of furniture or fixtures that you already have and love?  Do you want new ones?  Tailor these to the bed and you will be golden.
  4. Your Unique Style. What mood do you want the bedroom to give off?  What parts of your personal style do you want it to reflect? Look back at your wish list photo collection and you may be surprised to find a theme.  Perhaps it is light, airy and open, or maybe it is dark and cozy with textures. Tailor the design to your style, also keeping in mind the theme of your overall house (farmhouse, modern, traditional, beachy, etc.).  When it’s all said and done, you will have better than expected results to help you sleep peacefully.
November 16, 2016

You might love your interior design, but are still looking for a change.  Nothing major: just a few little odds and ends to make it feel clean, crisp, and new.  It is, after all, the subtlest details that make a place feel beautiful.

Here are some ideas on how you can pay attention to the details and sharpen up your current design scheme.

  1. Knockout Shower. Having a shower that feels custom designed to your personal style is a perfect way to sharpen your bathroom design.  This can be done by adding texture with faux stone paneling (DIY friendly and quite affordable), adding a custom shower niche built into the walls, or even replacing the curtain with a sleek, glass door.
  2. Smooth Thresholds. Where one type of flooring transitions into another type of flooring is called a threshold.  In order for this to feel seamless and smooth, you want the flattest, most flush transition possible.  This takes careful work but makes a world of differences.
  3. Lighting Under Your Cabinets. Recessed lighting under your cabinets lighting up your kitchen countertops adds an entirely new level of sophistication.  This type of project does work best before cabinets are installed, however, as it is nearly impossible to cover up the wires and transformers afterwards.
  4. Unique Hardware and Hinges. These are things that people often neglect to take notice in, however they make a huge difference in a room.  You can add a dramatic effect just by selecting the proper hinges for a door or hardware for kitchen cabinets.
  5. Nice Light Covers. Goodbye plain, white light covers with the very obvious screws.  Instead, consider using screwless cover plates if your home is more of a modern themed house or metal plates with a vintage feel if your home is more traditional.
  6. Concealed Electronics. One way to easily clean up a space and sharpen the design scheme is to conceal random wires and cables.  Installing a pipe behind your walls for these wires to run through is ideal, making the TV mounted on the wall much more visually appealing.  Nothing will distract a person more quickly than a bunch of wires hanging from the television or stereo system.
  7. Fresh Paint. This is a design trick that never fails.  Simply adding a fresh coat of paint to your front door or interior walls will make the place feel brand new.
November 15, 2016

If you like your current design, but don’t love it, maybe it’s time to spruce things up a bit.  There are no secrets to design, as each person has their own style and creative talents.  However, there are a few tried and true tips that will ensure great results every single time.

Make Any Room Better

Use these tips as a foundation to making your house as best as it can be.

  1. Choose Your Paint Color Last. A great way to spruce up your home is by changing the paint color, but don’t make this selection the first part of your sprucing up process. If you plan to change upholstery, rugs, or artwork you want to choose the best color to compliment those things.  Very seldom do people plan all of the accents around the paint color, as the paint should not be the showcase of any room.
  2. De-Crowd the Space. A great way to make a space feel new and larger is by taking away or rearranging furniture. Overcrowded rooms feel cramped and small. Less is more, always.
  3. An easy way to make a change in your home, an aesthetically appealing one at that, is to add texture to a room(s).  This can be affordably and easily done with faux wall paneling.  Faux stone, faux brick, and faux wood panels from Faux Direct are DIY and extremely cost effective.  There are so many applications for faux wall paneling that you will be sure to find one or more projects that would look great in your home.
  4. Create a Focal Point. Sometimes, especially after living in a home for awhile, rooms can become so busy that there isn’t a clear focal point.  Each room should have one.  In every play, for example, there are leading roles as well as supporting cast members.  This same principle holds true in design.  Choose a star and make all other items secondary.  Too many ‘leaders’ will only create visual noise.
  5. Edit Collectible Items. Do not hang onto something just because your great Aunt Sue bought it for you when she was bartering on her last Caribbean cruise. If a piece doesn’t fit: donate or toss it. The end.
  6. Vary the Scale. Make sure you choose appropriate pieces for the space you are working with.  What might look small in the store can end up looking ginormous in your living room.  Vary sizes with scale and proportion.  Threes and fives typically do much better when arranging items than even numbers do.
November 14, 2016

Perhaps you just purchased a new home, and you know exactly how you want it to look in your mind.  Now you have to ask yourself, are you going to do it yourself or hire a professional?  Maybe you’re considering both?

Some people are under the impression that only millionaires in palaces hire interior decorators.  For others, the concern is not money but rather having control over the end result that drives their decision.  Do you know what camp you fall into?  Here are some factors that may help you decide.

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Pros to DIY Decorating

The number one advantage to decorating your home yourself is that you will not have to pay someone else to! The end result will be exactly what you want, reflecting your very own personal style.  There are many DIY friendly decorating projects out there with full tutorials listed online.  You can even DIY bigger things, such as kitchen backsplashes or stone fireplaces by using the proper materials like faux wall panels.  If you do your research, select the right materials, and plan out the necessary time, there is no reason why you cannot accomplish DIY home decorating (especially if you’ve successfully done it before).

Cons to DIY Decorating

When accomplishing a project yourself, there’s always the off chance that you could totally screw it up (no offense).  In that case, you resolve to live with the mistakes or you pay a large quantity of money in order to make up for it. Another con is you may not be the type of person that can visualize the end result and take the necessary steps to get yourself there.  You also may not be the creative type, and help is the best option.

Pros to Hiring a Decorator

Decorators have access to a whole new world that the average Joe cannot partake in: trade in only furnishings, certain fabrics, wall coverings, specific services, tradespeople, etc. Working with a designer will give you access to these perks, and give you a truly customized end result. A decorator will also listen to you, understand the vision you are going for, and work to make it happen.

Cons to Hiring a Decorator

The number one con is the expense.  It can be a very costly process, and it is also an intimate one.  You will be sharing a great deal of your life with your decorator, so if you do not ‘jive’ with that person they can become an adversary rather than a confident.

November 11, 2016

Because you might not be fully in control of your renovation, you may feel as you have little influence over some of the details: staying on budget, finishing on time, what materials are used, etc.  However, you have far more control than you may think! The entire idea of the renovation as well as what materials are used are indeed up to you.  It is imperative to nail down the details prior to beginning a renovation.

renovation-costs-lorimer-ensemble

The following article will help you with two areas: putting together your renovation team as well as ironing out how much your project will cost you.

  1. Decide Who Will Help You Make Your Vision Come True. First of all, you must be confident in what your end result will be.  What is it you are trying to accomplish?  Are you starting completely from scratch, or are you re-designing a currently existing area(s) of your home?  If you have never done a renovation project before, you may decide to hire a designer to help you construct a plan and a budget.  If you are extremely handy and have experience with these types of situations, perhaps you and your family or friends will be the dream team on your own.
  2. Construction Plans. Anything that is being built will need to adhere to local coding.  Draft plan rules vary from state to state, and can even vary county by county.  These construction plans are going to have to be approved by an agency to make sure these codes are met and are as safe as possible.
  3. Ask What Your Options Are. Various pros offer different services.  Some companies offer initial design all the way to project management.   These may be priced as menu options or as per-hour rates. You can work with architecture firms, engineering firms, design firms, and construction firms.  Shop around and know your options, what is offered, and what you can afford.
  4. Be Up Front About Your Number. You need to be 100% honest with your budget.  There are typically design pros who work with clients who have specific budgets. For example, if you have $10,000 to spend on a project, but fall in love with a pro who’s projects start at $75,000, you probably need to keep looking.
  5. Choose Proper Materials. Materials can make or break your budget.  Make sure you and your designer go through all possible materials for each job.  You may opt to splurge in one area, and save in another.  Be aware of what is out there, such as faux wall paneling that can give you the same look of authentic stone, brick, or wood without paying the typical prices.

 

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