For the majority of our projects, Crimson specifies Kohler plumbing products. They are a company known for their high quality plumbing fixtures, and they stand by their products with a lifetime warranty. We’ve had a great history using Kohler’s fixtures and never hesitate to recommend them for all of our projects where Kohler’s products are applicable. For this reason, we jumped at the opportunity to tour Kohler’s factory when we were invited by Ferguson Enterprises, our plumbing and lighting dealer.
Joel and Carolyn joined Ferguson with a group of about 20 other design professionals recently on a day trip to Kohler, WI where their factory has resided since its conception in the late 1800s. While there, they were able to tour all of their factories, view their extensive showroom, and hear about Kohler’s newest products and offerings for 2013.
While walking through the facilities, they were able to witness first-hand the craftsmanship put into each and every tub, sink, toilet, and faucet. They saw the molten cast iron being poured into the molds and the enamel being sprayed on each piece. They witnessed artisans carefully smoothing out the edges of a vanity sink and the large ovens where each porcelain piece is fired. They marveled at the machinery lifting cast iron bathtubs as if they were paper weights.
Finally, Joel and Carolyn were able to tour the Kohler Design Center with 3 floors of Kohler’s latest and greatest products for your kitchen and bath. Along with the countless fixtures in every color and finish imaginable, one of the most impressive features of the design center showroom was the designer galleries. The designer galleries were an entire floor devoted to displaying vignettes designed by famous designers from all over the world using, of course, Kohler products.
What a valuable day of education and inspiration for Crimson’s design team!
There is one question that comes up with almost every homeowner we work with – “Does it make sense to remodel, or should we move?”
It’s one of the first things you need to decide before going too far with your renovation design. There are many points to factor and there is no step-by-step guide to reach a decision. But to help you organize your thoughts on the subject here are 8 questions you can ask yourself:
What will the renovation of your current home cost?
You may not know what a renovation will cost, but most remodeling specialists can help you assemble a ball-park estimate for little or no cost to you. By having a number you can compare it to other options you might have for housing.
How long do you plan to live in your home?
If you plan to move in two years or even five years, remodeling might not be the best choice. The best loved remodeling projects happen when you remodel for you and not an unknown future owner.
Do you like your home’s location, neighbors or schools?
If you’re in love with your older neighborhood, local school or general location, remodeling could be your best option. It’s difficult to find newer amenities in an older neighborhood. And moving to a newer neighborhood with the amenities means losing your community.
What will a new home cost that has all of the things you are looking for?
Have you ever been shocked by the price of a new home? Yes, many new homes are advertised at very affordable prices. But by the time you add in all the extras and options that you want/need the price can be far higher than you thought.
Can you find your dream home in your current neighborhood?
Again, it’s hard to find a ‘newer’ home in an existing neighborhood. If you’re patient and do a lot of searching you may be able to find what you want just down the street. If you’re lucky you could skip the time required to renovate and move right in.
What other costs would be involved in a new home?
Remember to factor in all the expenses involved with moving to a new home. Realtor fees, closing costs, moving expenses, furniture and window treatments are all costs that need to be on your radar.
What are the taxes of a new home versus where you live now?
If you are looking for a new home in the same community then taxes shouldn’t be too big a factor. But if you are looking outside your existing neighborhood then be sure to budget in a possible tax increase.
Do you have a sentimental attachment to your current home?
This is a tough question to answer because a home is a funny thing. On the one hand it’s just a building made of 2x4s and drywall. On the other it’s a collection of memories. Will you regret moving away and starting fresh?
Doing some research and soul-searching up front will reduce the chances of you suffering from buyer’s remorse later. If you need any help answering these questions Crimson Design & Construction is glad to help in any way we can. Contact us today for more assistance.
Who doesn’t love celebrity homes? They are chic and luxurious. They are big and exquisite. Their decorating features expensive artsy pieces and tasteful oddities. Their homes feature a sophisticated comfort and a fascinating energy.
How can we “normal” homeowners ever compete?
Celebrities have lots of money to hire the best of the best. They have a team of architects and interior designers who collaborate to ensure the space is well designed, features up-to-date styles and trends, and incorporates the homeowners’ vibe and spirit throughout.
But we “normal” homeowners don’t have to read Architectural Digest with jealousy and distaste.
Why not instead use it to find some inspiration? Just because we don’t live in $10 million dollar mansions overlooking beautiful scenery or sweeping city views doesn’t mean our space can’t be comfortable, inviting and desirable. In fact, your home can easily be turned into an inviting retreat that will make your friends and neighbors want your house to be the next entertainment hub.
This isn’t Hollywood, but Crimson Design & Construction has remodeled many Naperville-Area homes to be all that is mentioned above and without breaking the bank. We work closely with our clients’ to fulfill all their needs and wants. We help our clients every step of the way by being your team.
Crimson offers architectural services, an in-house design team, and a production team all in one convenient location. Our licensed architect and designer come to you with a personalized design and specific examples for your home, your space, your needs and your wants. Your space will not only be updated, but will also still be a reflection of you and your grandeur.
Equally important Crimson works vigorously with your budget in mind. We will present to you design and selection options that will look good, but won’t leave you saying, “I wish we could afford that tile.” The Crimson team works with you every step of the way to ensure that your remodeling experience is fun rather than frustrating.
Our most select clients appreciate our full service approach and take full advantage of our willingness to handle every detail. Our team will treat you like a celebrity by managing every aspect of your remodeling project from start to finish!
So pick up that Architectural Digest and start making plans for your new space!
The revival of multi-generation living has been on the rise since 2009 and continues to be a lifestyle trend for 2012. “What we’re seeing is the demise of the notion of the nuclear family in favor of the extended family,” said John L. Graham, co-author of Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living.
Motivations range from necessity to convenience to culture. While some situations may be temporary, others aren’t so short-lived. Many factors influence a family’s decision to live together:
- Aging baby boomers are moving in with children
- Young adults are living with parents for longer lengths of time or are being forced to relocate home due to the stagnant economy
- The expected growth in home ownership among Hispanics and Asians, for whom multi-generational living is more common
With life expectancies increasing, baby boomers retiring, pension funds failing and minority household growth, multi-generational living will likely be a trend that is with us for a while, if not a new way of American life.
Multi-generational living may sound unnerving yet living together can offer many benefits:
- Help with household expenses
- Child care or elder care
- Allow the older generation to remain independent longer, none of them wanting to admit they’ll ever need formal assisted living
- Emotional intimacy that comes with frequent contact among family members and the opportunity to make a strong connection with your grandchildren and pass on your knowledge and experience
- Reconnect with your adult children at a different stage in both your lives
- Luxury to travel with piece of mind that your house and pets are taken care of; perfect for the snowbirds
In order to make this new way of life enjoyable and comfortable some changes will need to be made. It is essential to map out your ideal space and to run the numbers on re-do versus buying new, Crimson Design and Construction can help you with this.
If you set up the right space living together under one roof won’t break the bank or drive you crazy. Integrating design that encourages social interaction yet also provides privacy away from the communal living space is the most effective strategy. Separate entrances and kitchens are critical to success. Members of the household share many activities and frequently eat together, and the grandparents often take an active role in the care of their grandchildren. But, at the end of the day, each generation bids adieu and retires to separate quarters.
How do you feel about multi-generation living? And do you think it is something that may be in your future?
Even though houses are scaling down, the kitchen has not been spared. Kitchens are more of a focal point in the home than ever, acting as a central area for all social activities. It’s no wonder they continue to grow in size and remain centralized in the home.
As the everyday populous places more importance on socializing and family togetherness, kitchens are being designed to stimulate social interaction. Today’s kitchens incite family togetherness and socializing by offering spaces for not only cooking, but doing homework, working on your computer, watching a movie, or just chatting.
Walls are coming down, islands are expanding, and more seating is added to encourage lingering in the kitchen and increased connection to those in other rooms of the house. These features not only meet the needs for everyday life, but also accommodate entertaining. For example; a large island used for cooking family meals or doing homework can be turned into buffet space for parties.
This open floor plan design also speaks to our multitasking lifestyle. People cooking in the kitchen do not want their backs to the action; they want to see what is happening. With the kitchen in the center of the home, you can create your gourmet meal without missing the winning touchdown of the game in the next room.
Many people embarking on a kitchen remodeling project often question their need for someone to help with design. Professional design has a mystique of elitism and snobbery. This is often not the case and engaging someone to help with the design process on your kitchen project could be some of the best money you’ve ever spent!
First, let’s consider where design wouldn’t be necessary. Some homeowners are naturally good with colors, layout and design. Finding a few pictures in a magazine is all they need to develop a great idea for their new space. They’re usually quick to make decisions and seldom second guess the choices they have made. The partners in the process agree on most every aspect of the project, making the decisions easy. The kitchen is already well organized and doesn’t require any spatial redesign. This could be because it’s more than large enough or the changes to the space are purely cosmetic. It may only require some new cabinets, counters, flooring and appliances to bring it up to current standards. Any one, or more, of these situations may be a sign that having someone design the space is more service than you need.
Then there’s everyone else. The other side of this is a kitchen or space so far gone that major work is needed or the homeowner feels completely out of their comfort zone. Many homes built before the 1970’s and even some of those built in the 80’s or 90’s have layouts or features that the builder thought made sense at the time. One classic example is the cabinets over a peninsula counter. The builders of the past thought it was a great way to get additional storage space in a kitchen but unfortunately it is the number one reason the kitchen feels isolated or cut off from the rest of the main level. Another feature was the half wall between the dinette and the family room. It was seen as a great way to divide the spaces and separate the floor materials. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what it did while at the same time making the dinette space extremely cramped! These conditions point to the need for a professional designer or architect in your new kitchen.
Not all of these things are easily addressed and could require some real design experience. Other homeowners that surely need help are the ones that can’t agree on anything or second guess every decision they make. There’s concern over making the wrong decision with the paint colors or needing to make the perfect decision. This can stalemate the process and make it so the project will never get off the ground. A professional designer/remodeler will also help you with those decisions that are critical to the re-sale of your home down the road. Those odd layout problems and bad color choices will make the home that much more difficult to sell when the time comes. Do all the colors go together? Is the layout efficient, simple and make the kitchen fun to cook in? Is it so trendy that in 4 years the colors will be too much? These questions will all be critical to you or potential buyers when the time comes.
The key to your project is creating a kitchen that makes it fun to cook, entertain and live in. It’s the heart of the home and it needs to be current and well designed – something you can be proud of.
Somebody turned Neil loose with a video camera! Here is a short video showing off some cabinet ideas you can incorporate into your kitchen renovation. From spice racks and roll-out shelves to garbage bins and cutting boards. Neil takes you on a short tour of the Crimson showroom at 5th Avenue Station in Naperville.
You will see:
- Apron-front sink
- Garbage and recycling bins
- Apothecary drawers
- Roll-out shelves
- Pantry cabinet
- Spice rack
- Cutting board
- My kitchen is isolated from the rest of the house – when I cook I’m not part of the family conversation
- My kitchen hasn’t been updated since the house was built – I’m embarrassed to entertain in our home
- My kitchen is not efficient – it takes too long to make a meal
- My kitchen doesn’t have enough storage space – I have small appliance and cookware stored in other parts of the house
- My kitchen only has one work area – I want my kids/spouse to have room to help with the cooking
- My kitchen is dark – it’s hard to see what I’m doing and it’s depressing
- I don’t have the space and/or appliances necessary to bake – I’d love to be able to make more cookies/cakes
Do any of these sound familiar? Have you said any of these things or have you heard a friend share one of these comments? Please share your thoughts.
Our society has a commodity mindset. We have for years attempted to take every product and/or service to its lowest common denominator – price. Just think, at one time there were different brands of 2×4 lumber, different brands of electricity, different brands of silicone computer chips. At some time each of those brands meant something. They all offered something unique and different to their customers. But over time something happened. Each industry developed a standard to define each product in order to be more efficient. These standards meant that each company began to produce to that lowest level of quality, thereby stripping the innovation and service from the industry. Everything became equal.
When you go shopping and you are looking for the lowest price you are effectively saying that the item is a commodity. In other words you place no value on the company or the service behind the product. Can a service be defined as a commodity? I guess it could be. If a minimum level could be defined, then sure. But as human beings we all have a different way of interacting. We all have different values, ethics, experiences that make us unique. So with that in mind, can your service experience every really be commoditized (there it is)?
Where am I going with all this? It is a general assumption to many people that remodeling is a product – not a service. Therefore, it is often viewed as a commodity in many minds. But I must disagree. Remodeling is a service that just happens to create a product. Our first and foremost job is to service our clients. Yes, our end goal is to build a beautiful product but we must bring service to the client each day along the way.
During a remodeling project, you must interact with someone on a very daily and intimate level. They will be in your home for weeks. They will be responsible for the health and safety of your family, your pets. They will be responsible for the security of your belongings. They will have control over your home and its completion. They will have control over the financial outcome of the project. Suddenly remodeling is looking less and less like a commodity.
I recently had a conversation with someone that was getting ready to remodel their home. They knew exactly what they wanted to do but at the same time, they didn’t. They knew the general concept of what they wanted to accomplish – remove the Dryvit stucco from the exterior of their house and replace it with brick. What they lacked were specific details of what that would look like. That’s why they called on us.
There is an almost infinite supply of exterior stone and brick to use on a house. There are also a multitude of siding materials to choose from. Now put all those combinations together and you have some serious information overload!
You can see how a project as simple as replacing your stucco with stone can quickly become complicated. That’s when the services of an architect/designer are valuable. We have been busy gathering feedback and information from the client to help select materials that fit their needs/lifestyle. We are considering colors, value, sustainability, maintenance, style of the home, neighborhood style, size, and pattern. All of these decisions will affect the finished look and life of the home. I am amazed that often times these decisions are made with the brick mason or salesman. So many pieces of the puzzle are never even considered!
But even more important, might be the need to visualize these changes. Seeing the samples is one thing, but seeing it on your house is something different. Using software that will allow you to see your house in three dimensions with different materials and colors is a great way to see your completed project before you commit to any particular selection. Below are some photos of an existing house and a computer-generated design that will allow the client to envision the finished product in the early stages.
What a great way to make decisions for your project! Don’t make a purchase this large without seeing what you are buying. If you want to ‘see’ your project before you start – please give us a call.