Days out on the boat, fishing dockside with the kiddos, and afternoons by the pool are wonderful Chesapeake endeavors that are best followed up with a refreshing shower once back on dry land. Here are three reasons why you may want to re-think where you are taking that shower.
IT’S PRETTY PRACTICAL
With all the attention being paid to our alfresco living spaces, it is only logical—and at times, more practical, to have that facility incorporated into your outdoor living scheme. Not to mention, all the sand and other land particles that WON’T make it into your house, if they’re washed off outside first. #lessmess!
2. IT HAS ZEN PROPERTIES
Beyond convenience, installing an open-air shower as a complement to your adjacent outdoor living areas provides another chance to feel more in harmony with nature and enhance your sense of well-being with its inherent spa-like vibe.
3. IT ENHANCES VALUE
Creating an outdoor shower experience on your property, can also give you an opportunity to flex those creative bones and style a space that adds to the overall aesthetic and enhances your property’s amenities and value.
NEED MORE INSPIRATION?
With the variety of materials including treated real woods, stacked stone and amazing composite products that mimic the look of natural materials, you will have many options when it comes to designing the space.
From rustic, to moody, to modern there are many ways to provide for both the privacy you will want to have with the aesthetic you find most pleasing.
Want to discuss your ideas for an outdoor shower project with an expert? Our talented team of certified designers can help you assess your needs and then combine them with the right materials, fixtures, and creature comforts specifically designed for outdoor living spaces. Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience; we are open 8 am – 4 pm, Monday through Friday.
Before you know it, summer will be here—and you know what that means when you live on the Chesapeake Bay—letting the good times roll outside and enjoying sun, fun, family and friends! We’ll bet you cannot wait for fresh-caught Maryland Crabs and BBQs! While your appetite may well be ready for your first crab feast, can you say your outdoor space is? Fundamental to good Maryland living is enjoyment of outdoor living and entertaining.
While outdoor design trends may have started with a simple charcoal grill and a beverage cooler, outdoor living spaces evolved in the mid-2000s as a most-wanted home feature, with many new home builds featuring outdoor kitchens integrated into patio and deck floorplans. Today’s outdoor kitchens are “next level” offering even more options with new materials, appliances and aesthetics to rival even our most urbane interior kitchen floorplans.
In other words, grab your biggest crab pot and get ready for your next summer on the Chesapeake with these outdoor kitchen innovations.
While granite remains widely popular when it comes to indoor countertops, and stone is a wise choice for outdoor surfaces due to its durability, an innovative material that blends the glamour of the former with the weather-resistant qualities of the latter is now available in the composite category. This outdoor-rated composite is called DEKTON and is known for its strength and style. DEKTON withstands high temperatures, and resists stains and dinging from heavy utensil use. It provides the long-term durability aspect that is a necessity for enduring outdoor use.
Those first-generation outdoor kitchens rarely strayed from using stainless steel when it came to outdoor cabinetry, and with good reason. Like stone, it is one of few options that is both weather- and termite-proof. But manufacturers have added marine–grade polymers and teak options to the mix.
The marine-grade polymers are durable, easy to clean and come in variety of colors for customization and the use of teak can bring the woodsy warmth so many homeowners desire in a kitchen—even an outdoor kitchen.
What is the biggest must-have item in the outdoor kitchen marketplace right now? The pizza oven! More than just a way to accomplish a quick meal, the pizza oven is giving families a unique, new way to connect and create fun quality time. Outdoor pizza ovens come in a variety of materials and sizes, free-standing and built-in, and in every type of style from modern to rustic. Other items that families are asking for and are available now are smokers, flat cook tops, and better storage options. Industry leaders predict the next big trend will be outdoor heaters; a great item to have for those cooler Bay breezes and to extend outdoor kitchen use beyond the summer season. The objective is to provide more options that appear less obtrusive and blend better with our outdoor kitchen surroundings.
Creating a seamless transition from the inside of your home to your outside property is the priority in aesthetics today. Design and build options are available that open up a space so much that you can walk through the front door of a home and see a vista of the outdoors uninterrupted by drywall. Imagine your Bay area home providing that type of view.
To achieve uninterrupted site lines between indoor and outdoor spaces, 314 Design Studio experts recommend level floors with seamless room transitions and utilizing flooring materials suitable for indoor or outdoor spaces.
Today’s porcelain floor tile options that mimic wood and stone provide the option for opulence because they look just as beautiful indoors as they look outdoors. Both wood and stone-look options are available in many varieties to complement any décor and help create the wow factor of the seamless look.
This four-season, 500 square foot Cape Cod style pool house was designed by architectural designer, Bob Moreland and built by Lundberg Builders. The exterior mixes a stone front facade and vinyl siding to match the original home, a custom-built cedar outdoor shower and attached storage area. The interior includes a cozy wood burning fireplace with a stone tile chimney facade, a limed-oak ceiling, porcelain ceramic tile flooring for durability, and a LaCantina folding wall system. The folding wall system is a fantastic way to connect indoor spaces to your outdoor living space.
Do you have an idea for an outdoor kitchen and living space you would like to discuss with our designers? Our talented team of certified designers can help you assess your needs and then combine them with just the right materials, appliances and creature comforts to create a space that not only maximizes function and form but also blends substance with your unique sense of style. Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience; we are open 8 am – 4 pm, Monday through Friday.
Carrara marble, ceramic tile, natural stone—all the beautiful materials that create today’s most appealing and sophisticated bathrooms—are also all the things that can leave your space feeling cold and austere if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are plenty of options and work-arounds you can discuss with your bath designer prior to construction or remodeling to ensure you are creating the warm and inviting sanctuary space you need with all the materials and finishes you want.
The Extra Benefits of Soaking & Whirlpool Tubs
While a hot bath in a traditional tub is surely a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, upgrading to a soaking tub allows you to submerge several more inches of your body in pure warm, aquatic bliss. Many homeowners have embraced this trend just for the enhanced opulence these tubs add to a room, but when you factor in the additional depth per soak, you gain the max benefits of form and function from your fixture.
Jetted or whirlpool tubs are another option with added benefit. Although they have been around for some time, the latest iterations of these fixtures create more than just a balmy, bubble bath. Today’s models offer options like hand-held shower features, waterfall lights and even luxury cushioned headrests. In-model heaters can also make sure you don’t have to run additional hot water while you’re enjoying your hydro massage. What will they think of next? Optional TVs? Oh, yeah—they already have that!
The Power of the Steam Shower
Isn’t any shower with hot water a “steam shower?” Surprisingly, no. A steam shower combines the best of the shower experience with the benefits of a sauna. The enclosed and controlled environment of the steam shower produces water vapor that surrounds the body with the help of a humidifying steam generator. The health benefits of steam showers are numerous. They include increased circulation, cleansing the body of toxins, enhanced recovery from exertion, and stress management. Steam showers can also improve the complexion by opening your pores to promote clear skin. Remember the last time you had sore muscles and then think about how much better you would have felt if you had a steam shower to step into for instant relief.
Bane of Thrones
Knowing that your porcelain god could be ice-cold when you need to use it in the middle of the night can send shivers up your spine. Fortunately, the evolution of our home thrones has been quite dramatic—a far cry from earlier versions of seats with plastic cushioning —today’s models offer smart technology with quiet-close lids, flushing and freshening devices, and wonderful, glorious warmth; some 20-plus degrees above room temperature, if you like. Prices vary widely depending on which features are must-haves for you, but warmer experiences are possible for less than $200 per throne.
Heated Towels = Happy Bodies!
Europeans have known this concept for years; even modest hotels abroad offer this as a standard bathroom appliance. When it comes to home appointments, these handy accessories have expanded to include a variety of finishes and sizes, and offer wall-mounted or free-standing styles. While you will need to exercise extra care with young children in the home, in general, towel warmers are specifically designed to operate at a maximum temperature between 100 and 150 degrees to provide the best towel-drying benefits without being a fire hazard.
Every Blissful Step
Talk about happy feet! Heated floors provide an extra heated layer between the ground and your ten tootsies which can be a game changer in winter. Even in warmer climates, cold tiles can be an issue—it’s just the nature of the material. Heated floor systems, which are either electrically based or use hydronics (heated water circulating through a system of tubing in the floor), are energy efficient and can actually help save money over time. Cost per square foot varies per region, but you can ask any homeowner who included this feature in their build budget, and they’ll tell you, it was worth every penny.
Want to create a bathroom that is as comfortable and convenient as it is beautiful? Our talented team of certified designers can help you assess your needs and then combine them with just the right materials, fixtures and creature comforts to create a space that not only maximizes function and form, but blends substance with your unique sense of style. Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience – we are open 8:00 am -4pm Monday- Friday.
We asked some of the region’s best hosts for their favorite kitchen design ideas for holiday entertaining. Significant planning is required for flawless, memorable parties for guests and hosts alike. Having a kitchen that is designed to support guest interaction, food prep, storage and serving top the list.
1) Practical Design Layout – Open floor plan concepts offer sight lines that connect the kitchen to dining and serving areas so hosts can still enjoy their guests while preparing foods.
2) Ample Work Areas – Have you ever noticed how everyone wants to gather in the kitchen? A large island is a host’s work-horse that adds essential space for food prep and serving. Island stools offer guests seating while keeping them away from kitchen traffic and congestion and the danger of hot dishes and pans coming out of the oven.
3) Attractive Built-Ins– Buffets, sideboards and strategically placed cabinetry can be built-in to offer room for laying out a spread of utensils, plates, appetizers and desserts with plenty of room for decorations and the personal touches that make a space inviting. Glass fronted cabinetry offers a pretty place to display china.
4) Themed Organization –Design your kitchen to create serving “stations” such as a coffee station, breakfast bar, or cocktail bar that corral items by theme – specific utensils, serving ware, stemware, barware, small appliances and ingredients for convenient all-in-one access. Below is a whole room designed for a client who loves to enjoy their impressive collection of wines with their guests.
5) Butler’s Pantry – A butler’s pantry keeps the mess out of sight and allows hosts more room to store larger sheet pans, serving trays, or seasonal china instead of having to pack it up and haul it out for each use. It’s also a great place to store canned goods and other pantry staples and provides more utility space for mixers and other large appliances. Budget permitting you could even include a second dishwasher and/or a utility sink to wash dishes and prepare cut floral arrangements!
With virtually endless options, designing a kitchen can be a daunting process to undertake on your own. With years of experience and hundreds of happy clients served, our certified kitchen and bath designers can help you bring your ideas to life with less stress. Whether you are looking for the latest top-of-the-line trends and features or you need value engineered options, from concept to build, we will guide you in selecting the right countertops, cabinetry, appliances, and finishes to create a practical and beautiful kitchen. Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience – we are open 8:00 am -4pm Monday- Friday.
314 DESIGN STUDIO WINS WHAT’S UP? MAGAZINE’S BEST OF EASTERN SHORE 2017 READER’S POLL FOR ‘BEST KITCHEN DESIGNER AND KITCHEN AND BATH REMODELING’
June 5, 2017- 314 Design Studios, a boutique kitchen and bath design studio, has won What’s Up? Magazines Best of the Eastern Shore 2017 readers poll for ‘Best Kitchen Designer and Kitchen and Bath Remodeling’. The kitchen and bath design studio are well known for their exceptional designs, extraordinary customer service and unparalleled craftsmanship. They have also recently won the ‘Best of Houzz Design and Customer Service Award’. Winning these awards further confirms 314 Design Studio is a company with the highest standards of craftsmanship and industrial excellence.
The company designs and remodels kitchens, bathrooms, closets, laundry rooms and other spaces throughout the Eastern Shore, Annapolis, Kent Island and other areas. They have two kitchen and bath showrooms located in Stevensville and Annapolis, MD. There you can view a selection of fine cabinetry, countertops, knobs and more.
Every year What’s Up magazine asks their readers to cast their votes for the best businesses, law firms, spa services and medical professions by submitting an online ballot on whatsupmag.com. The winners will be honored at the annual Best Of Party held on June 15.
About 314 Design Studio
Our clients receive the finest personalized service from an experienced design team who will help turn your vision into reality. Whether you want to create a new space or simply beautify an existing one, our designers will assist in transforming your kitchen, bath, home office, library or any room in your home into the space you have envisioned.
Our studio is filled with samples of fine cabinetry, tile, countertops, fixtures and accessories. We are proud to support the work of local artisans and craftsmen and are the exclusive representative of quality cabinet lines.
The most efficient outdoor kitchens are ones that are just as functional as indoor kitchens. Some outdoor kitchens can be very simple; only having the essentials.
However, some outdoor kitchens require a professional designer for assistance in design and installation. Regardless if you choose to hire a professional or not, here are things to keep in mind when designing your outdoor kitchen.
Select low-maintenance materials and equipment
Be sure the materials you choose are designed to withstand the elements (extreme heat, snow, heavy rain and wind) and are easy to clean and maintain. Known for its durability, high quality stainless steel is a popular choice because it is easy to clean, corrosion-resistant and durable. The products you choose will need to be able to withstand temperature changes, as well as be waterproof.
Extend your living space
Installing an outdoor kitchens provides you with a place to cook and entertain your family and friends. Be sure to plan for shade and shelter in case of rain, as well as to make things more comfortable in the hot summer months. You can incorporate an umbrella in seating areas or a pergola to provide more shade. Many homeowners are even installing outdoor ceiling fans to provide more comfort during the hot days of summer. Also consider incorporating a fire pit to create a warm spot for the cooler evenings and months.
Add well placed lighting
Adding outdoor lighting can help your outdoor space be more inviting for your guests, truly making this retreat an extension of your living space. It will also help make food prep and cooking easier and much safer. If you have incorporated a pergola in your design, a light can be installed from the ceiling. You can also consider installing light fixtures behind the work space or incorporating pole lights. Lighting not only extends your time outside, but provides safety for walkways, cooking areas and staircases.
Choose your location wisely
There are several factors that need to be considered when choosing a location for your outdoor kitchen. You’ll want to assure smoke from the grill doesn’t go back into your home. With this in mind be sure to put the grill in a place that is a proper distance from your home. Another consideration is whether or not the view from inside your home is important to you and your family. If so, consider putting the outside kitchen at an angle so the view isn’t blocked. It’s also imperative to consider the other areas of your yard that are already established. Do you have children or pets? The hot grill shouldn’t be placed next to children’s play equipment or an area your pet is prone to play in. Finally, consider placing the outdoor kitchen in close proximity to your indoor kitchen. Sometimes there are occasions when you may need to use both kitchens simultaneously. It also makes hauling everything from the indoor kitchen outside, and back inside again much easier.
Choose reliable appliances
The appliances you choose to have outside will need to be even more durable than the ones that are normally used for inside kitchens. Stainless steel and ceramic appliances are durable and require low maintenance.
By choosing the right appliances and materials, considering the location of your outdoor kitchen and your families needs, you can extend your living space and provide an all inclusive spot to entertain. Depending on the size of the space that you have available, it may be best to call in a professional for advice and suggestions.
Sustainability and being Eco-friendly are two topics that are becoming increasingly popular. With Earth Day approaching quickly, most communities have events planned to help remind us that it is everyone’s responsibility to work together to sustain our planet.
While these events are fun to take part in and a helpful reminder, you may wonder what else you can do in your own home to celebrate Earth Day everyday. Read on for ideas to be more Eco-friendly in your home.
Plant a tree. A 10-year-old tree absorbs about 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, according to the Urban Forestry Network. It may take a while to reap the full rewards from planting a tree, but there is no better time then today!
Start a backyard compost pile. Composting is “the act of intentionally allowing organic matter, including coffee grounds, food waste, grass clippings and shredded newspapers, to decompose and turn into fertilizer or soil amendment.” Composting helps reduce landfill waste, improves the soil by adding nutrients and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Fix something instead of purchasing new. Repairing something rather than replacing it is always better for the Earth and your wallet. By repairing something in your home you are saving resources and materials by not purchasing new.
If you’re not the handiest person, consider taking your broken item to a professional, or calling a handyman to help!
Spring Clean in an Eco-friendly way. Most aren’t aware that you can make almost every cleaning product that you use in your home. This makes for a natural, chemical-free product that doesn’t cost you anything. Check out this website for cleaning product recipes!
Conduct an energy audit of your home. Most people turn off lights when they leave a room or unplug things that aren’t in use, but do you really know how much energy your home uses? Check here for information on conducting an energy audit.
Switch to Energy Star-rated bulbs. Some options can use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer than your standard bulbs. on average you could cut $30 off of your electric bill.
Run a full dishwasher whenever possible. Doing this could use half of the water and energy of washing the same dishes by hand.
Have another? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Get details and costs on top counter materials to help you narrow down the choices for your kitchen
Choosing a kitchen counter is no easy task with so many available choices. Since this surface area takes up a large amount of the kitchen, it ends up having an impact on many of the other choices you have to make when remodeling or designing a kitchen.
Below are some of the most popular counter top materials, and the pros and cons of each.
Soapstone Kitchen Counters This material is resistant to stains, chemicals and bacteria, and is a durable and natural choice for a kitchen. Although it is considered to be on the expensive side at $80 to $100 per square foot, it is considered to be a lifetime investment.
Granite Kitchen Counters Granite has always been one of the most popular choices for kitchen counters. With plenty of character, including unique grains, colors and customizable finishes, it is also considered to be extremely durable. It can cost as low as $50 per square foot but prices can go up quickly with more exotic slabs and difficult installations.
Copper Kitchen Counters Although it is not a common choice it is surprisingly easy to clean and maintain. This is considered a “living” surface, as it reacts to different substances, creating a blend of matte reds, browns and greens. It costs at a minimum $100-per-square-foot.
Engineered Quartz Kitchen Counters Engineered quartz comes in just about every shade possible, so it is perfect for anyone who wants a unique or custom look. This product combines ground quartz, resin and pigments for a very durable result. It is pricey at $95 to $105 per square foot.
Tile Kitchen Counters This is one of the more affordable choices starting at $30 per square foot. Available in stone or ceramic, it is extremely durable and is one of the few choices that is completely DIY. Maintenance can be difficult, but choosing a darker grout can ease this burden.
Zinc Kitchen Counters Although not a popular choice in modern times, this metal has a warmth that has made it stick around for many years. The tone of this metal darkens with time, adding patina. Its antimicrobial properties make it a smart choice for a cooking space. This material starts at $100 per square foot.
Recycled Paper-Based Counters This ecofriendly choice has surprising durability considering it is made entirely of paper. It is typically mixed with resins and pigments and looks very similar to soapstone, and averages between $40-80 per square foot.
Plastic Laminate Kitchen Counters This option can work with most designs because it has so many customizable edges and finishes. One of the cheaper options it ranges from $8-20 per square foot. It’s one downfall is that it is not very durable and may need to be touched up or replaced more often then some of the other choices.
Recycled Glass and Cement Kitchen Counters One of the more pricey options starts at $100 per square foot, but is growing in popularity because of the unique combination of glass and cement. This option is ecofriendly, durable and customizable.
Stainless Steel Kitchen Counters This choice is nonstaining, heat resistant and easy to clean, and is a top choice for chefs. Starting at $80 to $90 per square foot installed means it’s more affordable than most stone counters, too.
Solid-Surface Kitchen Counters
Although not very popular, this miracle material has the ability to imitate just about any look without the same maintenance or price tag. Prices range from $50 to $100 per square foot, depending on the manufacturer.
Wood Kitchen Counters A personal favorite, this option offers a unique, warm and long lasting countertop. The cost varies depending on the type of wood you choose, but one of the most popular choices, a butcher block, tend to range from $30 to $85 per square foot.
Marble Kitchen Counters
Marble counters are always in style offering a classic look however it tends to scratch and stain easily. Marble is known more for the patina it develops, than for its durability. The cost typically ranges from $70 to $100 per square foot.
Concrete Kitchen Counters
Pigments, stains and dyes can create concrete counters with color and visual texture, making them fairly easy to customize . With the right sealer, a concrete counter can be well worth its cost — averaging between $100 to $150.
Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World
Stevensville, MD, January 17, 2017 – 314 Design Studio of Stevensville, MD has won “Best Of Design” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The Kitchen and Bath Design Studio was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.
The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.
“We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals, including 314 Design Studio” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”
About 314 Design Studio At 314 Design Studio our clients receive the finest personalized service from an experienced design team who will help turn your vision into reality. Whether you want to create a new space or simply beautify an existing one, our designers will assist in transforming your kitchen, bath, home office, library or any room in your home into the space you have envisioned. We are conveniently located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in Stevensville, just minutes from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Visit 314designstudio.com for more information.
With the cost of living continuing to rise, it is not uncommon to find multiple generations living under the same roof. With this new reality it is important to have a bathroom that is functional for all members of your clan. A standard 4.5” shower curb may be simple for a younger person to step over but may be impossible for a grandparent or older adult to tackle.
There are several advantages and disadvantages to think about when considering this change for an existing bathroom or choosing this type of shower in a new home. Read below for a few things to consider.
Curbless showers are easier to clean than a standard shower. Eliminating the curb in a shower space opens up the entire bathroom making it one seamless space and much easier to clean.
Maximize your space. By eliminating the obstacle of the shower enclosure you will be able to more effectively use
every inch of your space, especially in smaller bathrooms.
Creates a streamlined look. The curbs on showers tend to stand out and can be an eye sore. By removing the curb you create a sleek, spa like look.
Functionality for everyone. This change will make your bathroom an “equal opportunity” space. This makes it easier and safer for older generations to utilize the shower.
With every decision there are typically advantages, we well as disadvantages. Read below for a few unfavorable things to consider before making this change.
Too little privacy. Since the shower will be open it does not offer as much privacy as a shower enclosure would. This can be reduced by using obscure glass, glass blocks, a half wall or curtains.
The shower will be colder as the heat will escape without an enclosure to keep it in. You can reduce this by having a heated floor installed.
With this to think about what is your take on having a curbless shower in your home?