remodel/construction

I recently was asked my opinion on what a homeowner should do with her brick fireplace. She felt it was dated and she was looking for ideas. This got me thinking about how we can deal with these architectural features.
 
There are many different types of bricks, including concrete bricks and fly ash clay,  burnt clay, sand lime, and engineer bricks. According to TheBalance.com, bricks provide aesthetic, strength, porosity, fire protection, sounds attenuation, insulation, and excellent wear resistance.
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Here are some ways to work around brick from a design standpoint:
 
1.  Leave the brick as-is and add a chunky mantle. Sometimes I love brick, sometimes I don’t. If it lends itself to the history of the home or building, you may want to keep it. Can it be cleaned? Can you add a mantle to bring more attention to the fireplace, but yet play down the brick?  
2.  Paint it. Can the brick be accented or down played by painting it a deep color or white? What about a white wash enabling the brick to peek through? We once had a client who hated her 1950’s white stone fireplace.  It was in a midcentury home and I felt it added to the architecture of the home. In this instance, instead of painting the stone, we painted the walls an icy blue, which made the stones stand out, she found a new appreciation and now considers this a focal point of her home.
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3.  Drywall it. Another solution is to drywall over the brick and start fresh. Sometimes it just doesn’t work with the decor or lends itself to the space, and this can be a solution to start fresh. Once dry walled over, you can start fresh with tile or ledger stone, or just paint it.  Adding an mantel and artwork is a must as well! fireplacedrywall
 
A fireplace facelift can refresh your living space with a much needed updated look and feel. These are just a few ways to transform your hearth to become the heart of your decor! 
 

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Oh! The Places We’ll Grout!

February 20, 2017

grout Grout actually has an important job to do. It locks tiles in place, keeps water out, and provides a decorative finished look. “Not only does grout fill the voids, it makes the floor, wall, or countertop stronger by bonding the tiles together and preventing the edges of a tile from chipping and cracking,” says David Goodman, the tile contractor for This Old House’s Nantucket project.  
 
Speaking from a design aspect, I always love picking grout for our tile projects. I find that often clients leave this blindly to me as it can be a bit overwhelming to them, and by the time they have approved all the other selections, this one is often just too much for the mind.  And that is fine, as I LOVE selecting grout, it is one of the important finishing touches to the room.
 
grout1Grout can serve different purposes in terms of a design aspect.  It can be NEUTRAL, and blend in nicely with the tile which makes the tile and grout appear to recede.  It can CONTRAST with the tiles greatly and cause either the grout or tile to advance.  Lastly, it can HARMONIZE, providing a pleasing balance.
 
 
We found some great examples of grout used in different rooms on Houzz. Check out the ideabook from houzz.com

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Backsplashes Add a Splash!

January 29, 2017

By Kelly DuByne Tile is almost always involved in our remodels.  For kitchens in particular, there is always a backsplash of some sort.  Backsplashes are most often the last of the finishes selected after the cabinets, flooring and counter selection.  Backsplashes can be subdued and blend in with the other finishes or the wall paint, […]

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A Step in the Right Direction: Shoe Storage Solutions for Any Space

May 17, 2016

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger Cinderella wasn’t the only woman to ever have problems keeping track of her shoes. In fact most of us have a frustration over our shoe collection and our inability to keep them neatly organized. If you are like me, you probably have the original shoebox your pumps came in, and you try […]

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Doors: Opening Design Possibilities

April 26, 2016

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger Windows and floors and doors, oh my! Windows and floors and doors, oh my! We all remember a similar rhyme from childhood (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!), but now that we are adults, this revised version is probably a more accurate depiction of what scares us. Of these three design […]

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Hiring a Designer Will Save You Money

February 16, 2016

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger When homeowners are faced with the need to decorate, design, build or remodel homes, the first thing they decide is if they can afford to do so. Once they factor in the cost to hire professional contractors, permitting, materials, etc. their budget may be tighter than expected and hiring a professional interior […]

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The Ups and Downs of Stairs

October 20, 2015

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger There are few things that add impact to a person’s perception of a home’s value like stairs do. Whether it’s the stairs leading up to the front door or interior stairs from one floor to the next, they speak volumes about the care and maintenance of the residence. Think about the last […]

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Cabinets—Where to Begin?

September 15, 2015

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger Everything, including the kids’ snacks, the everyday dinnerware, grandma’s gravy boat, the laundry detergent, bath towels, blow-dryers, and on and on and on, need a place to be housed. That’s right! We as consumers have a huge amount of ‘stuff’ to be stored. Walk into any home’s kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, etc. […]

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Plan Your Remodel Like A Pro: Schedule, Budget, Love It!

July 21, 2015

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger Couples start to plan for their weddings at least a year in advance.  They select photographers, florists, caterers, the officiant, seamstresses, tux rental shops, D.J.s, etc. for a single day event.  They worry and fret about every little detail, yet when it comes to major construction on their homes people often times […]

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