Category Archives: Home Design

Outdoor Kitchens That Offer Sizzling Summer Style

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.

crabs
(Photo ©2017 Lisa J Gotto)

Material Maneuvers

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.

Dekton-Outdoor-Kitchen
(Photo Courtesy of DEKTON)

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 marinegrade 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.

brownjordan3
(Photo Courtesy of Brown Jordan)

Appliance Advancements

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.

Best-outdoor-pizza-oven-2016
(Photo Courtesy of Kalamazoo)

Appetizing Aesthetics

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.

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(Photo courtesy of marca-corona)

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.

pool house
(Photo courtesy of Curtis Martin Photography for Lundberg Builders)

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.

 

 

How to properly clean your washing machine

 

If your washing machine is smelling worse than your gym clothes, it may be time to give it a thorough cleaning. Believe it or not even washing machines get dirty and need to be cleaned. The easiest test to determine if your washer needs to be washed is to, well….stick your head in and smell the inside.

Soils from laundry, detergents and hard water minerals can build up in areas that are hard to see which can develop an odor over time. Mold, grime and mildew in the washer lid and the door are another problem area.  It’s recommended that you try these steps below every six months to keep your washer in tip-top shape.

Top loading washers

Set your washer on the highest level, as well as the hottest setting. Add 4 cups of white vinegar to the wash cycle. After the cycle starts, pause the machine and allow it to sit for an hour. During this time, wipe down the top of the washer with a cloth dipped in the hot vinegar water. Use an old toothbrush to clean the fabric softener and bleach dispensers as well. After an hour, continue the wash cycle.

Next, run another wash cycle using one cup of baking soda. At the end of the cycle, wipe the top inside of the washer tub to remove any scum.

Front loading washers

The rubber gasket at the front of the washer accumulates water, dirt, mildew and other grime. Before cleaning the washer drum, clean the gasket by spraying it with white vinegar and wiping with a damp cloth.

Set the washer to the highest level and the hottest water temperature. Add two cups of white cleaning vinegar to detergent dispenser. Run it through a complete cycle.

Run another cycle on the highest level and at the hottest water temperature, this time adding one-half cup of baking soda to the drum. When cycle is done, wipe inside drum of washer with a damp cloth.

Bonus Tip: Help to subdue mildew and mold by leaving the lid or door open when not in use.

Monday Blues: The Good Kind

The color blue offers a stunning versatility that makes it an ideal complement when paired with different colors, textures and styles. Universally some shade of the color blue is a favorite among men & woman. This versatile color has the ability to be friendly, demanding, powerful, peaceful and even trustworthy. Check out these images below to see how homeowners incorporated it’s many different shades into their kitchen & baths.

This traditional kitchen pairs pastel blue & white for a fresh & clean look

Blue, yellow, and red define this formal kitchen giving it a rustic but fun look.

One of my personal favorites, southwestern with a touch of rustic charm.

French blue-painted cabinets paired with stainless steel appliances give this kitchen a traditional but modern feel. Coming together for something that is extremely charming and beautiful.

Azure blue walls provide a stunning backdrop for this neutral cabinetry in shades of white and charcoal gray.

                           How gorgeous is this Cobalt Blue Mosaic tile?!

                                              The  indigo wall pairs beautifully with this iridescent tile.

Aqua paired with natural oak gave this custom built pool house (Lundbergbuilders.com) a beachy vibe.

 

Aging in Place: Make your home a home for a lifetime!

The phrase “Aging In Place” means living in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of your age or ability level.To age in place it is necessary to modify your house as you mature to increase access and maneuverability. By planning ahead during construction or renovation you give yourself the opportunity to  plan accordingly so that your home has the ability to grow with and remain as functional as possible. A lot of these modifications can be incorporated into a new construction plan or during renovations. These adaptions are functional for normal everyday use so incorporating them early will not reduce your current quality of life. The changes can be as major as adding a bedroom or bathroom to the main level of your home to as modest as adding grab bars in the bathroom. 78% of those aged 50-64 have said they want to live in their own residence as long as possible. Staying in your own home as you age takes planning and help, but the rewards are many. Whether you live alone or with a spouse, aging in place keeps you closer to family, maintains your independence and connects you to your community. And, it costs less in the long run. Read on to find out some ways to help you improve your quality in life as you age.

  • Accessibility – Ramps and stairlifts make homes easier to stay in as mobility declines. Also, add grab bars to stairs, tubs and showers.
  • Bathroom Upgrade – Getting in and out of a bathtub and shower combination can be dangerous as seniors’ agility declines. Tub Cut is an affordable option for converting a tub to a shower. Curbless showers for wheelchair access are also an option. Both of these options are designed to help you maintain your independence.
  • Energy Efficiency – Many seniors rely completely on a fixed income and every dollar counts. Save money on electricity and gas, and stay comfortable, when you upgrade to energy-efficient heating and cooling systems as well as appliances. Check attic insulation and upgrade windows with energy efficient replacement windows. The energy cost savings will continue to add up, and if the upgrades/replacements are done before December 31, 2013, you’ll also qualify for a substantial tax credit.
  • Floors – Prevent falls (the leading cause of disability in older people) by removing throw rugs, relocating furniture, securing loose wires, using non-skid spray on tile and linoleum floors and maintaining a wide area for movement in hallways and pathways in other rooms. Also, consider whether your hallways and rooms are clear enough for a wheelchair to get through easily.
  • Lighting – Dimly lit areas present another fall hazard. As eyesight declines, it’s important to address lighting issues throughout the house, taking extra care that light fixtures have at least two bulbs in vital areas such as the entryway, bathrooms and kitchen. This way, when one bulb burns out, you still have light in that area. Make sure light switches are low enough to easily reach from a wheelchair.
  • Alarm System – Elderly people are often targeted by burglars and a security system can not only help thwart criminals, but provide peace of mind and often make it easier to get emergency services.
  • Door knobs and Cabinets – Arthritis and other conditions make it harder to open doors and cabinets. Replace door knobs and cabinet hardware with levers, which are much easier to grasp.
  • Risers – Getting out of bed or standing up from a sitting position gets harder as we age. The lower the furniture, the harder it is. Installing bed risers, using power seat uplift assists and rising recliners make it easier to get up and down.
  • Door Entry Intercoms – Answering the door can be difficult for those who can’t get up from a sitting position easily, but an intercom allows you to communicate with the person outside the door, and even press a button to let them in, all from where you are sitting.
  • Personal Response System – A lifesaver for seniors who live alone, a personal emergency response system is a lightweight, battery-powered “help” button that is carried by the user. It transmits to a console connected to the user’s telephone. When emergency help is needed, such as medical, fire, or police, the user can press the transmitter’s “help” button, sending a radio signal to the console which then automatically dials one or more emergency telephone numbers.

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Aging in place is a choice. Making these choices gives you control over your independence, quality of life and dignity.Currently, the majority of seniors aged 65 and older are living either with a spouse or alone in their own home. Many of these elderly people already struggle with fulfilling everyday tasks. As Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS), Lundberg Builders has the answers to your questions. We have been taught the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically enriching, barrier-free environments. For more information, please call us at (410) 643-3334.

 

 

Marsala: Simple ways to use Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year in Your Home

123445Each year the color experts at Pantone join forces to decide which color will be dominant in the new year. This year they settled on the color Marsala which name derives from yes…you guessed it the fortified wine. Holding true to the roots of it’s name, this color is not only striking and bold, but also mild and earthy thanks to it’s red-brown roots. Witdfgh many differing and unique qualities it is appealing to both men and woman of all ages. This color is accented well by matte finishes which allows it to stand by it’s earthy and natural qualities. But on the other hand, adding a bit of sheen allows Marsala to be luxurious, glamorous and appear high end. This color can stand on it’s own or serve as an accent to a variety of other colors and textures. The best quality about this color is it’s versatility.If your not ready to dive in and paint an entire room this rich color, try one of these simple accents to jump on the bandwagon!

1. Rugs have the ability to transform a room and are a fairly modest change. Try adding a smaller accent rug for a more subtle change or a full size rug for a bolder statement. Many options can be found at capelrugs.com

2. Try adding a vase or a candle to incorporate Marsala in a noticeable but small way.

Try this planter from Amazon or this candle holder from H&M

3. Have you ever heard the saying go big or go home? Well go bold or go home with this couch from Urban Outfitters. Its sure to make a statement. 31841885_061_b

4. One of the simplest and most inexpensive ways to jump on board is to add flowers.Screen-Shot-2014-12-04-at-6_09_47-AM

5. Try a throw or a bedspread for an easy and warm touch Marsala-throw6. You can add this color to your home in very functional ways by snatching these dishes in this rich color. Many appliances can also be found.120915-pantonemarsala

7. We at 314designstudio love these marsala colored cabinets. By using this color as an accent piece the designer chose not to overdo it by keeping the rest of the cabinetry simple and uniformed. High_res-_DSC4870-Edit_940_626_c1-490x326

8. A Marsala colored bathtub anyone? ideas-to-use-marsala-for-bathroom-decor-4

9. Throw pillows are always an excellent way to add color, texture and personality to your home. How quirky is this Marsala colored wine themed pillow? slide_387074_4654130_free

10. But finally…..if you really want to make the commitment paint a wall as an accent, or an entire room in this color for a beautiful and bold result. To spice it up even more try a textured wallpaper.

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Overall, like this color a lot of the ideas that are presented make bold statements and requires a large commitmentScreen-Shot-2015-01-01-at-2_06_22-PM. Keep in mind that you have the ability to incorporate this color in simple ways to keep your home trendy and fresh if your not ready to commit fully. By pairing this color with other accent colors you allow it to steal the show without overdoing it. Check out the rest of Pantones Spring color list for more inspiration.

THE PROS AND CONS OF KITCHEN & BATHROOM COUNTERTOP SURFACES

ACRYLIC

Acrylic is a man-made, solid surface (non-porous) product. It comes in either pure acrylic or modified acrylic forms. First introduced by Dupont in the 1970s, Corian® is a leading brand in this market.

Pros: Easy to fabricate into custom shapes and sizes, repairable if cracked or chipped, colors options are virtually limitless (unlike stone which is limited to naturally occurring colors).

Cons: Sensitivity to heat and may burn. It can scratch, but scratches can be polished out.

Verdict: Relatively inexpensive, durable and versatile. Good choice for ultra-modern kitchen designs.

acrylicQUARTZ

Quartz is an engineered stone made primarily from natural quartz and blended with resins.

Pros: Completely maintenance free and impermeable to heat, stains, and scratching.

Cons: Quartz is expensive (comparable to a tier 4 granite level) and it doesn’t have the natural veining and color variations that natural stones have.

Verdict: Fairly expensive alternative for those who want the beauty of marble without the maintenance or veining.

quartzGRANITE

Granite is a natural stone. As such, no two slabs are completely alike. Granite is graded based on source, quality, and appearance ranging from tier 1 to tier 5. A tier 1 granite color is more readily available (and can be found at most distributors), whereas a tier 5 slab is the most rare and expensive, and will have huge variances in colors and veining. Granite can also come in either semi-exotic or exotic.

Pros: Granite holds up to heat and does not scratch or stain. Occasional maintenance is required for sealing, but most modern sealants require little or no maintenance.

Cons: Granite is pricey and as a porous surface can harbor bacteria, if poorly sealed.

Verdict: Expensive, as this is still the most sought-after countertop for its beauty and durability.

Need itSOAPSTONE

Soapstone is one of the oldest and most dense stones. It was used primarily for utility sinks for its durability. In its natural state, soapstone is dull and ranges from very light gray to almost black with off white veining. When oiled, it appears dark green.

Pros: Very dense; impervious to liquids and chemicals, one-of-a-kind beauty and veining similar to marble, virtually no maintenance required, and environmentally friendly as it requires no finishes (you can use mineral oil for a darker finish if desired). Scratches can be left as a natural patina. Soapstone ages well. Scratches can be repaired more easily than other types of natural stones if desired.

Cons: Expensive, and color options are limited to those naturally occurring gray and green tones.

Verdict: Although it is expensive, soapstone is a highly prized stone and is most common in classic, coastal, and cottage style kitchens.

soapstone*Soapstone featured in back countertops

MARBLE

Valued for its rarity and its history as a prized stone for use in buildings and sculptures, there is no other stone that compares to the natural beauty and elegance of marble.

Pros: A refined and distinctive look with creamy smooth texture and veining.

Cons: Marble is very susceptible to stains so is not typically used in the entire kitchen. It will also scratch, chip.

Verdict: Very expensive. Marble is top choice for pastry chefs because it remains cool to the touch, but care is required.

314 Design Studio