Top deck trends for summer 2012

If your deck or patio needs updating, catching up on the top design innovations and trends will help you create an inviting area that will add value to your home investment. It’s that time of year when homeowners are lured outside by the warm, sunny weather. Is your outdoor space ready to be enjoyed to the fullest? If your deck or patio needs updating, catching up on the top design innovations and trends will help you create an inviting area that will add value to your home investment.

This year’s leading trends focus on blending functionality with beauty to construct a stylish and usable space that requires little maintenance. To create the best outdoor space on the block, consider these popular ideas for your home.

Post caps 
A big trend in decking is beautification – taking your functional space and adding stylish elements that produce visual appeal. One easy way to incorporate this trend is by installing post caps. Mounted at the highest point on the railing, post caps are one of the most prominent features of any deck or patio. Deck and fence post caps give a polished, upscale look for your outdoor space.  They come in a variety of colors and many are available with a built-in solar light. These unique post embellishments are sure to fit your color palette and will enhance your overall outdoor design aesthetic.

Fascia corners 
Corner joints can separate over time, creating unsightly gaps. If you’re looking for an easy way to spruce up your current deck, consider adding decorative fascia corners. Simple and unique, decorative fascia corners are an elegant way to adorn deck skirting and cover corner joint connections.  Fascia corners are an easy way to capture your own personal style while complementing your home’s architecture.

Lighting 
Incorporating lighting into your deck area is a big trend because it extends the time you are able to spend in your outdoor space. It also adds an element of safety in a visually pleasing manner. Look for solar powered lights to continue to be popular – you’ll find this sun-powered option on numerous outdoor items such as string lights and fountains. Recessed deck lights are another popular lighting option – perfect for stairs because they softly illuminate steps once the sun has gone down.

Multifunctional furniture 
Furnishing outdoor space is essential for creating a relaxing, comfortable environment, but it is also a big investment. That’s why more people are looking for multifunctional options that provide a variety of benefits. For example an outdoor sectional can serve as a large couch or be separated for multiple sitting areas. A small table serves double duty when it opens for hidden storage. An outdoor umbrella with solar lights provides shade during the day and soft light at night for easy all-day entertaining.

Composite decking 
If it’s time to replace your whole deck, you might want to consider using composite lumber decking in your new design. Composite decking continues to grow in popularity due to its low maintenance and durability. Today’s composite decking is much different than past options because the designs closely mimic the natural look of wood.

By incorporating these top trends not only will you have a great outdoor space this year, but for many years to come.

Bruzzese Home Improvements specializes in deck and patio additions and updates.  Give us a call or send us an email for a free in home estimate!

Black is ‘in’ for up-to-date interiors

Stylish new kitchen additions take a dramatically dark turn

Stylish new kitchen additions take a dramatically dark turnLove the way you feel after slipping into your little black dress, or donning a well-tailored black suit? Black is not only a great shade on you – it’s also a great shade for your home. The stylish finish is especially perfect in the kitchen – and can be seen in everything from kitchen appliances to hardware, and now even faucets. Make your kitchen feel just as good as you do in your go-to outfit with the magic of black.

Appliance accents 
Stainless steel appliances exude the aura of a high-end, professional kitchen. But the modern stainless appliance wouldn’t be complete without rich, black accents. From ironwork grates and griddles on stainless stoves to refrigerators with black ice makers and handles, the combination of black and stainless conveys professionalism and power. Not in the market for new major appliances? This same feeling can be conveyed with smaller ticket items, from the coffee maker to the toaster oven.

A dramatic finish 
The sink is, without a doubt, the most used area in the kitchen. From filling cups to washing dishes; rinsing fruits and vegetables to replenishing Fido’s bowl, the sink is used dozens of times per day. That said, it should be the first place we consider when it comes to decor, not just an afterthought. Since it’s such a central area, why not give your sink a bit of character by adding a dramatic black faucet? The Arbor kitchen faucet in a Matte Black finish from Moen provides a streamlined appearance that coordinates perfectly with black or stainless-and-black kitchen appliances and accessories. The collection also features the Moen Reflex system on pullout and pulldown kitchen faucets. Reflex allows for unmatched performance that offers smooth operation, easy movement and secure retraction.

Pair your bold, black kitchen faucet with a professional-grade stainless steel sink, like a Moen Lancelot Professional undermount sink, to create a look that blends a high-end chef’s kitchen with a touch of signature style.

Sophisticated surfaces 
Countertops play a large role in the function of a kitchen, setting the stage for food preparation, the use and display of everything from toasters to teapots, and activities from surfing the internet to entertaining guests. Black granite countertops can be a great addition to an already sophisticated kitchen. The options are far more extensive than basic black, ranging from midnight black to a more mixed shade, with secondary colors of grey, white, or even bolder hues, like sapphire. If your budget doesn’t quite leave enough room for granite countertops, solid surface countertops offer a look that mimics stone, at a lower price point. With a durable, non-porous surface and a seamless appearance, solid surface countertops are the perfect solution for busy families.

Dramatic radiance 
Light fixtures can often set the tone for the entire room, both by the light they give off and the look of the fixture. Create a new appearance for your kitchen and dining area by adding a bold choice in lighting. Chandeliers with vintage-style ironwork, strings of black glass or crystal beads, or even dramatic black prints, can be a beautiful accent to an elegant kitchen – the piece de resistance to tie the whole room together.

With just a few stylish, dark-hued accents, you can create a kitchen that stands out, instead of simply blending in.

Bruzzese Home Improvements specializes in kitchen home improvement projects and remodeling.  Please click here for more info!

2012 outdoor living trends can easily update your patio or deck

2012 outdoor living trends can easily update your patio or deckMore homeowners want their outdoor space to truly be an extension of their house and are taking steps to create an inviting area to relax, play and host guests. If you want to update your deck or patio for warm weather entertaining, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money. You can easily refresh the items you already have and add new stylish elements by keeping some top trends and design ideas in mind.

Mix functional furniture: 
The line between indoor and outdoor design is blurring. You can coordinate the style of adjacent indoor and outdoor rooms, since you and your guests will likely spend time in both. No matter if you have a large outdoor deck or a simple small patio, many affordable, stylish outdoor furniture options are available at your local home improvement retail stores. Set up furniture with flow in mind, grouping pieces together to encourage comfort, conversation and a view of nature.

Add colorful accessories:
Incorporating rugs, outdoor pillows, candles and other accessories in vivid colors or fun patterns can really make your outdoor space come alive. Pick three to four colors for your scheme and stick with those colors throughout your design choices. Some of the season’s top hues include rich reds, vivid blues, soothing neutrals and garden-inspired greens. Metal accents are popular as well, so look for decor with gold or silver detailing for a design that’s modern with a tropical flare.

Incorporate a fire pit: 
An outdoor bonfire likely evokes pleasant memories of the past, so incorporate a fire pit into your patio space so your whole family can enjoy time together roasting marshmallows, telling stories and gazing at the stars. Today’s modern fire pits are both stylish and useful, adding a cozy ambiance while warding off the chill on cooler nights. Plus when the seasons do change and fall brings with it lower temperatures, you can still enjoy the beautiful outdoor space you’ve created because you’ll be comfortably warm. Remember to look for options that have a removable screen, so you can open when needed for cooking and then close to keep the fire safely contained.

Create privacy: 
Just because you’re outdoors doesn’t mean that you don’t want a bit of privacy from neighbors or passersby. The good news is it’s easy to create boundaries to your space by using a pergola or outdoor curtains. These options tie in nicely with other outdoor design trends and can give just the right amount of privacy, creating your own outdoor “room” in which to enjoy the long, sunny days.

Light the night: 
Lighting can really make your outdoor space come alive once the sun goes down. Add depth and intrigue by “lightscaping” from different sources. Consider putting up string lights that provide a magical setting that is sure to dazzle guests long after darkness falls. Add an intimate wall lantern next to the patio door or eco-friendly LED garden and path lights to add a soft illumination to outdoor space.

Grow an herb garden: 
There’s nothing that adds the flavors of summer to food like fresh herbs. One of today’s top trends is to have a container garden so you always have your favorite herbs on hand to freshly pick. Popular herbs that are easy to grow include basil, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel and mint. When planting, use containers that complement your outdoor design. Vintage styles that feature aged patinas are very popular this year.

We specialize in decks & patios!  Please contact us for a free in home consultation so we can help you create your own outdoor oasis!

Bathroom remodeling ideas that add style and space

Bathroom remodeling ideas that add style and spaceNow, more than ever, homeowners are adding to the value and comfort of their homes by renovating bathrooms into private retreats with luxurious touches that rival those of an upscale spa or resort.

When considering an update for your bathroom, whether you choose to do an extensive remodel or a smaller project, most kitchen and bath designers agree on these tips:

* Consider the size of the bathroom. If you have a small room, look for ways to make it feel more expansive. A sleek, stylish glass shower enclosure helps your bathroom appear more spacious, and in most instances, a frameless shower enclosure will provide the cleanest, most open look. If you decide to go with a framed shower enclosure, you’ll have two choices: frameless sliding doors or framed doors. For framed doors, be sure the finish of the metal framing and handles matches your bathroom fixtures.

* Think outside the box. Taking a creative approach to bathroom necessities can help you make the most of your space. For instance, the majority of shower enclosures are square or rectangular, but today’s designers encourage you to think about other shapes. Don’t be afraid to consider a circular or oval-shaped enclosure, a triangle or even a standard shape with an artfully bowed glass door, which can redefine the space and make your bathroom more versatile.

* Don’t skimp on the glass. All glass used for shower enclosures is safety glass, which means it is tempered to make it stronger and more shatterproof. That doesn’t mean all shower glass is alike, though. Most shower doors and enclosures are fabricated from conventional clear glass – which typically has a light, almost imperceptible green cast – or some variation of frosted glass.

* Brighten things up. Repainting your bathroom with light colors can make it feel more spacious. If your bathroom has windows or skylights, use window treatments and accents that maximize the amount of light that comes through to give the room a more airy feel.

* Find the best use for your space. Move bathroom cleaning items to a hall closet if you are stretched for storage space in your bathroom, especially if you have freestanding storage units that are taking up valuable floor space. If you need more storage space, consider adding built-in compartments if possible between your wall studs to maximize usuable space.

It’s been shown time and time again that remodeling a bathroom can add to a home’s value. Whether you want to sell or just enjoy your home more, it’s one of the most practical and dramatic ways to make your home more appealing.

For more bathroom remodeling idea’s, please click here.

Easy Kitchen Paint Color Designs You Can Copy

What’s the Kitchen’s Look?

The addition of the Eddie Bauer line has given Valspar’s collection a new dimension. Now, you can choose ready-made kitchen paint color schemes that look like a mountain cabin, a bungalow, a farmhouse, and more.

Here, the relentlessly sunny look of Eddie Bauer’s Daffodil is punctuated–and kept in check–with the darker Pine Needle kitchen island.

Restrained Farmhouse Yellow Kitchen
Valspar/Eddie Bauer Kitchen Paint Color Idea: Farmhouse Yellow Copyright Valspar

Kitchen Paint Tips and Tricks

Don’t stress about kitchen paint colors. Cabinetry covers at least 50% of most kitchen wall-space, leaving the other 50% to be used for backsplashes, trim, and other non-paint areas. That leaves a smaller area than you might think that needs paint.  Click here to continue reading…

By , About.com Guide

Interior design trends

Easy seasonal changes refresh and revive your home:

spring home designsSpring’s new growth and warm sunshine provide inspiration for renewal in our lives. It’s a time to pack away the sweaters and boots for lighter layers and brimmed hats. Homeowners should embrace this same mindset – one where you pack away the heavy textures and colors of winter in favor of breezy fabrics and fun decor that inspire a fresh feeling in your house.

Break out of the winter gloom by making some simple changes to your home with bright, fresh decor. Here are the top trends in interior decorating that capture the optimistic feeling of springtime, without having to spend a lot of time or money.

1. Color your world happy
To uplift your mood and give your home a new personality, color should be the first thing you address. Paint is an easy and affordable way to dramatically change a living space. Spring’s hot color palette includes rich hues of blue and turquoise, vibrant pink and orange tones, and soft greens and neutrals. Visit your local Lowe’s for inspiration from the paint color studio that allows do-it-yourselfers to identify the “hot” paint colors of the season and even pick up samples of each hue to try at home.

Feeling adventurous? Dabble in some vibrant shades inspired by the flora and fauna in your region. Love the bright red of blooming tulips? How about the rich blue of the sky at the noon hour? Try picking one thing and paint it that bold color – a single wall, a door, or even a piece of furniture. Watch as the entire room suddenly comes to life.

2. Mix in light and fresh decor
Making small changes to your home’s decor is a great way to refresh the interior, and you don’t have to spend a ton of money. Window treatments are a great place to start – replace dense fabrics with airy options that beg to blow in the warm breeze.

Next, store away existing rugs and replace with ones that feature bright colors or botanical designs. Dark accent pillows can be replaced with fluffy, colorful options that add life to dated couches and chairs. Seasonal decor changes are simple and can be swapped out year after year.

3. Bring the feeling of “green” indoors
The buds and blooms of spring are a big reason it’s such an inspirational season, and houseplants are a great tool for awakening that sense of nature and bringing the outdoors inside. Houseplants make any room look more luxurious, and they are natural air cleaners, awakening the senses of spring’s fresh air. Good, low-maintenance indoor houseplants include the peace lily, spider plant and snake plant.

Interior decor can also reflect the natural feeling that indoor plants provide. Coordinate pieces that feature nature’s elements, such as a leaf motif on a lamp shade or a beach scene on a piece of wall art. These elements, while subtle, will work together to provide a seamless update to any drab decor.

4. Cut the clutter
Of course any home refresh is not complete without some cleaning. Don’t let spring cleaning overwhelm you – start small and go through any clutter, sorting into piles to use, store, give away and throw away. A good dusting goes a long way too, so be sure to hit all the surfaces with a damp cloth. Shine up mirrors, which will reflect that beautiful spring sunshine to brighten and enlarge the feeling of the room.

To stay on top of your organization and home management, create a MyLowe’s profile at www.lowes.com/mylowes. While there, you can create a virtual version of your home for easy project planning. You can add items you need or save ideas that inspire you to your profile for easy reference, making it simple to keep track of your to-do list. Millions of people are currently using the program to make home project management simple.

Changing your home to reflect the seasons is easy with a few basic steps and a little creativity. Remember to embrace the feeling of spring, and the inspiration will come naturally.

A Jewel Tone Color Palette That Will Make Your Home Appear More Cozy

A Jewel Tone Color Palette That Will Make Your Home Appear More CozyRecently we’ve been inspired by the rich colors of jewel tones and how they can easily change the look and feel in the home. So far, we’ve explored how ruby red can infuse a room with passion, how shades of sapphire and amethyst can make a space feel calm, and how amber can provide a lively touch. This week, it’s about bringing all these rich colors together. What set us off? This photo of stylish heels.

When it comes to decorating, it’s important to remember that jewel tones are vivid, so they work best with other bold colors. For example, amber glassware will look more vibrant on top of a dark green tablecloth as opposed to a pale pink one, and a ruby red chandelier would look extra glamorous in a navy blue setting. If that seems like too many colors in one place, use jewel tones with neutral shades like gray and black.

Also, because of their richness jewel tones can have a cozying effect in a room.  Click to continue reading…

Stylelist Home,

How to Pimp Out Your Grown-Up Toolbox

How to Pimp Out Your Grown-Up Toolbox

 

Don’t you think it’s about time you learned the difference between a flathead and a phillips?  Did we mention how much easier it is to hang a picture when you’ve got a level?

Level:

What to look for: A small torpedo level can handle most household projects (like hanging a picture or mounting a shelf); look for a magnetized model that’s easy to read. Got visions of more serious jobs, like laying a new floor? Opt for a 2- to 4-foot one.

Why you’ll (learn) to love it: You’ll spend less time eyeballing and more listening to your partner making jokes about being “well hung.” Do you need any better reasons?

Get more tips for your toolbox at thenest.com.

This is a good article to get you started on updating your current toolbox.  No home owner should be without a fully equipped tool box with a few high quality tools!

Bathroom Remodel Pictures

Sexy Bathroom Remodel Pictures: The Mandate Was Simple…

Sexy Bathroom Remodel Pictures: The Mandate Was Simple...
Copyright Jason Ball

” My request to industry home remodeling pros: “Got a sexy bathroom remodel picture you want to share with the world?” Their answer: “You want sexy? I’ve got sexy.”

There is nothing worse than a bathroom remodel that looks like it could be found in a gas station–a condition far more prevalent than you might think. Bathroom remodels are meant to be lush and luxe. So, for your perusal, we offer bathroom remodel pictures meant to be ogled over. Portland, OR interior designer Jason Ball kicks things off…”  Click here to see more of these amazing bathroom remodel pictures!

By , About.com Guide

Creativity blooms in this season’s floral decor

Daring creativity blooms in this season's floral decorA little black dress, a great pair of jeans and a leather jacket – some styles never go out of fashion. Some elements of home decor share that same sense of timelessness, and none more so than a simple floral theme.

“Flowers are always fashionable, stylish and on-trend,” says Dani Nichols, a trend-watcher for home decor website MuralsYourWay.com. “Whether you’re looking for just the right touch of elegance and life for patterned upholstery or modern floral murals to make an accent wall pop, flowers are always appropriate.”

Nichols points to hot trends in floral decor this spring and summer:

Floral walls 

“Flowers have always inspired paint makers to create colors that pay homage to both the boldness and the delicacy of floral inspirations,” Nichols says. This year, paint manufacturers are offering a diverse palette of floral-inspired colors, from dusty roses and iris blues, buttercup yellow and daisy white, to frothy lilac and popping peony.

Floral wallpaper and floral murals are also great ways to incorporate flowers into a room’s decor. A subtle pattern of small, delicate flowers can create a gentle, peaceful feeling in a room. Or, go bold with an accent mural that depicts a single, showy bloom. You can find a plethora of floral options online at websites like MuralsYourWay.com.

Sustainability 

One of the most enjoyable ways to decorate with florals – cut flowers – is also one of the most fleeting. Few beautiful things are as short-lived as cut flowers. This season, look for cut flower designs to trend toward sustainability, as everyone looks for ways to get more enjoyment from their flowers for longer.

While adding the packet of plant food will help keep a florist’s bouquet alive as long as possible, there’s more everyone can do to make their displays more eco-friendly. Look for more florists to use biodegradable packing products, compost their leftovers and choose seasonal blooms that don’t require long-distance shipping.

Daring pairings 

When you think of floral design, you probably envision bright, rich hues paired with background neutrals. This year, however, florals are going daring, mixing in metallic accents, and deep, saturated purples and blues that almost appear black. A touch of silver or gold matched with pure white creates an upscale, classic effect. A dash of bronze or copper married with vibrant yellows or blues is an unexpected and delightful decorating twist.

And while bright or light colors are as intrinsic to floral decor as the background greenery, dark blooms impart an almost mystical aura, whether the hue is natural or dyed. You’ll see these daring pairings pop up everywhere from throw pillows to centerpieces, this year.

Nichols also predicts designers will continue to experiment with combinations of floral patterns. “Long gone is the conventional wisdom that if you had one bold floral pattern in a room, you couldn’t do more,” she says. “It’s perfectly alright to experiment with one floral pattern on the drapes and a complementary – or even competing – one on accent pillows.”

“Few decorating themes afford the timelessness and flexibility of florals,” Nichols adds.

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