Thursday, September 25, 2014

Creative Storage Solutions for Building a Home

When a homeowner comes to us with their first floor plan to start editing and making it the best it can be, one of their first questions is always, 
WHERE CAN WE ADD IN STORAGE?

Everyone has it … STUFF. And we all need a place to put it! 
(And make it look aesthetically pleasing of course)

So we have collaborated again with Kathi Fleck of Lone Star Property Solutions to help YOU with a few creative ways to "hide" your prized possessions (or junk;)

First : A few of TCI's favorite storage solutions from around the web!
- An under the stair liquor cabinet. Talk about handy!

- Don't want a pile of shoes at the bottom of your stairs where everyone leave them? 
Make a stair… a DRAWER!

- Kitchens are always the best place for creative storage. These are two we love. 
A Platter Divider Drawer!

- And if you look to the bottom left: individual shelves for your rolling pins!

- Lastly, TCI just thought this was too amazing not to share. You want storage? 
Well this children's playroom has it ALL!


LoneStar Property Solutions weighs in on ideas they have put to use:
There are many ways to find space where none seems to exist.
 The key is to look and then look again.

Glimpse beyond a door, look above the window, peek below a table and put a cabinet in a place you never thought to put it before. 
Instead of looking around at eye level, look up and down. Think vertical. 


These clients are avid cooks and spend most of their time in the kitchen. We removed the old cooktop and narrow drawers. Oversized deep drawers allow for easy access for most of their pots and pans.



Most of my clients want to use that corner space and complain about crawling into the corners of underused cabinets. Yet the thought of a wobbly Lazy-Susan caused them to hesitate before putting in new kitchen cabinets. These sturdy Susans are the ideal way to store small appliances and make great use of that corner space.

How do you make use of the corner on an oversized bathroom vanity? This corner cabinet balances the room and cabinet, allowing for items to be hidden from view yet accessible to both sides of the vanity.
 It even houses electrical for keeping the hair dryer, rollers, curling iron plus more.

Hopefully you all have a better idea of some fun and creative ways to STORE!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

New Home Journals - Courtney's House

Part 2 of our NEW HOME JOURNALS!

Today we are excited to walk you through Courtney's 
beginning stages of her family's home build!

And like we started off with Terra's -- We first kick off with THE LOT!

On a little over a 1/3rd of an acre in McKinney, this cul-de-sac lot will give plenty of room for their growing family to have years of play-worthy backyard space!



The full brick home with accented cedar garage doors and shutters 
will provide a nice contrast to the landscaping around.


Courtney chose to use all rectangular and square windows instead of half-moon or eyebrow windows throughout the home. This makes life SO much easier when it comes to window treatments as well ;)

A few of the home specs!:
3700 Sq Ft
4 Bedroom 
3.5 Baths
Custom Kitchen
Family Room
Media Room
Gameroom/Playroom
Office
And Much More...

FIRST FLOOR:
 SECOND FLOOR:

Many of the finishes are completely selected and concepts are already starting to form! Courtney's vision for the home is light and airy. The minimalistic view of "less is more" will be put into play throughout the space. 
Grays, whites, with a splash of brushed nickel in the finishes are the beginning concepts….

We will share these concepts soon! For now, here are a few of the finishes:
- 12' Vein Cut Stone Fireplace Surround
- 42" Linear Fireplace
- Linear Glass Backsplash
- 3CM Granite and Quartz Countertops
- Espresso Stain Wood Floors
- Brushed Nickel Delta Plumbing Fixtures
- Stainless Steel Frigidaire Appliances
- Modern Black Iron Stair Railing
- Brushed Nickel Custom Lighting
- And Much more...

And the exciting part -- The framing for the foundation has begun! In the next week,
 we hope for plumbing to be laid and foundation to be poured!

Construction Specs:
- 16 SEER HVAC Systems
- Radiant Barrier Roof Decking
- Low-E, Double Paned Windows
- R-38 Blown Insulation
- Rinnai Tankless Gas Water Heaters
- PEX Plumbing Systems

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for concepts and images
 to find out more of what these home will look like!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Terra and Courtney: New Home Journals - Part 1

But "you do this for a living, it must be SO fun to design your own home!!!….."
It's a common misconception about Interior Designers ;)

Today we are starting a series about our very own … Terra and Courtney! 
Ironically, they are both building new homes… across the street from each other!!

We want to share with you our build-journeys. 
The good, the bad, AND the ugly ;) But hopefully mostly the good!

When it comes to building your own home, and you are a designer… 
it is 100 times harder than designing for a client! 
Because you are your hardest critic.

Today we will walk you through Terra's beginning stages in her home build!

First off -- The LOT. 
Sitting on a beautiful 1/2 acre in Prosper, this "piece of dirt" will transform 
into a gorgeous homesite for her and her family.

The official sign-off on the lot!


The most incredible part of this home is that Terra and her husband are actually the
  architect AND designers on the project. 
Every detail has been thought out and drawn by THEM!

Terra pulled out her drafting markers from school and went to town on the 
front elevation of their home. The realistic drawing gives them a visual 
to begin the design of their home. 

A few of the House Specs
4,729 SF
4 Bdrm
3.5 Bath
2 Living Rooms
Office
His/Her Closet
Walk Out Attic
Much More…

The beginnings of the finish selections are underway
Here are a few of the best:

Finishes
Hand Scraped Wood Floors
Natural Stone Tile
3CM Granite Countertops
Kohler Plumbing Fixtures
Solid Core 7ft and 8ft Interior Doors
Iron Rod Staircase
Beautiful Kolbe Low-E Aluminum/Wood Casement Windows
Contemporary Trim Package
Near Perfect Flat Wall Texturing
Low-E Glass Shower Enclosures
Beautifully designed by Terra
Much More…
Like we mentioned before, the beauty of this home, is that Terra has been 
able to design this home exactly how she wants and to fit her and her families needs. 

The final floor plan is perfect!

FIRST FLOOR:

SECOND FLOOR:
A few Construction Specs
Pex Home Run Plumbing
Spray Foam Encapsulation
Zip Systems Exterior and Roof Sheathing
Ditra Uncoupling Membrane under Natural Stone
21 SEER Carrier Air Conditioners
96 AFUE Gas Furnaces
Walk Out Attic
Much More…

Up Next We will walk you through Courtney's new home build 
and all the details that go into it! 
STAY TUNED!

We are excited to take you along these journeys as we share our concepts, visions, finishes and eventually the finished products!!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Traci "with an I"




A different type of post today as I take a break from client projects and think 
about the essence of being unique. My parents decided to spell my name differently
 and as I thought it was a pain growing up and correcting the spelling constantly, 
I have learned that I truly love the fact that it is different... so am I.

During a spell of "googling" myself (hey, we have to do it:), I stumbled across the 
blog "Traci with an I" and I laughed as I recounted my task of repeating this at 
every new Starbucks I go in. Who wants to spend the morning staring at a cup 
with your name spelled wrong??? Duh.



And then I was asked this common question during an interview last week-

"What is your philosophy on Design and Life?"

Smirking and pondering this question while I was getting ready and spritzing myself
with my favorite perfume, Coco Mademoiselle, my answer was perfectly clear.


That goes for design... that goes for life.

Dare to be different, Friends. You'll like it-



p.s. Check out the other Traci's blog- great for DIY! www.traciwithani.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fresh Ideas on Durable Flooring

We get asked the question: What flooring can i use that will withstand my children, pets, friends, lifestyle etc?

Well we have a little survey of 3 questions to help you figure this out!
1. First off, what aesthetic are you going for? Warm, cool, wood or stone?

2. Do you have animals that may scratch the floor easily or tend to pull giant pieces of furniture around the room often? ;)

3. How often do you like to clean?

Hardwood Flooring: This flooring is of course everyone's dream, but it is a softer material and can tend to scratch with dogs claws or sofa legs. Also--- HINT: The darker the floor, the easier it is to see dust.

Engineered Hardwood: A thin piece of real wood on top of a thicker piece of plywood. These hardwoods are more cost-conconcience and are easier upkeep. They will still scratch some, so you have to watch out for that.

Vinyl Hardwood: We use this type of flooring in commercial spaces many times. It will not scratch and is VERY easy to mop up quickly for cleaning

Tile and Stone: Definitely your go-to low maintenance flooring, easy to clean, and usually will not scratch. There are many new products out there in tile and stone that make this category even more exciting that it used to be!

Today we are collaborating with TCI's newest colleague,
Kathi Fleck, on her favorite types of durable flooring!


Kathi is the designer at LoneStar Property Solutions and she weighs in on todays topic:

"You ask: what are the options? Replace the carpet? Install wood or tile?
These have been the main flooring options on the market for years. Replacing carpet with wood has become extremely popular over the past ten years.
Although wood is installed in many homes, it is susceptible to scratches, fading and moisture. Most just accept this and decide the best places in the home for their updated flooring.

You ask: what are the options? 

 Faux Wood
Why not try wood-look flooring and have the look without the worry? The two very different materials are wood-look tile planks and vinyl planks.

Benefits of Wood-Look Tile Planks:
- Easy to maintain and clean; resists moisture and is less likely to stain
- Highly durable even in high traffic areas
- Wide variety of colors and plank sizes with a look for everyone
- Can continue to tile from main living areas into the kitchen and bathrooms, as well as extend the look into the outdoors for a continuous flow throughout the home
- Fire resistant

Benefits of Wood-Look Vinyl Planks:
- Thicker than tile and softer underfoot than tile
- Wide range of wood species and colors from very light to deep tones
- Very easy to replace a few pieces, if needed
- Vinyl plank flooring is easy to clean as well as waterproof, making it an excellent choice for wood-floor effects in kitchens and bathrooms. (read more)"


You can see -- the options are endless when it comes to flooring. 
Let TCI know if you need a little help!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wood Balusters - How to Create a Fresh Staircase

A clean take on staircase balusters -- 
with a little wood and a coat of paint
Read ON!!!
In this area of Texas we see a lot of THIS when it comes to staircases and balusters:

But we prefer not to make a staircase busy with lots of curves and wrought iron. 

Why not use a material that is even MORE readily available 
and create something new and unique??

 A new favorite is to create geometric symmetry with wooden balusters. No longer are "wood staircases" a thing of the past, or a "cheap" alternative to iron.


Use the imagination to create squares, patterns and shapes from the wood and make your banister something to be talked about!

 link

Even just the simplest of shapes -- a square baluster, can create such a clean "craftsman" style look that is easily combined with a transitional design.


In some situations you could even carve alternating
 patterns in the wood for a custom touch.


This look has been used many times in the northeast US in design, but we are revamping it and bringing it to Texas for a new and refreshing taste!


Will YOU step outside the box??

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Great Garage Organization Gadgets and Tips!

In honor of "National Clean Out Your Garage Day" which is the Saturday after Labor Day, Traci Connell Interiors is making it a office-wide holiday! Everyone would love to have a clean, organized and presentable garage… especially when the door is open. How do you make that happen? And even more, how do you KEEP it looking that way?

We have a few tips on how to make AND keep your garage free of clutter.

            First, try to get as much off the floor as possible. It goes without saying, when you can see the floor…clutter seems to disappear. Make use of wall storage or even ceiling hung storage. Use bins, baskets and buckets (the 3 B’s) to “hide” / organize all the miscellaneous pieces that seem to end up lying around in strange places.


            Second, empty and start over. By taking everything out of your garage, you are able to reassess the situation, donate items you can part with and then put it all back (or maybe throw away what you DON'T need!) in an organized manner. 


            Third…Label! If you have adequately utilized your bins and storage solutions, you will NEED to label. You can create cute or simple labels, but as long as they are grouped with "like" items. This helps you to easily locate all those “miscellaneous pieces” that you stored away back in step 1. By putting tools with tools and gardening items with gardening items, you shouldn’t need to tear the garage apart each time you go to look for that one missing item.


            - And Fourth... last but not least… Keep it up! If its neat and tidy, it will encourage other family members to KEEP it neat and tidy. Everyone has to do their job. If you get something out, make sure to put it back where you found it and you will not have to go on a scavenger hunt each time you need it again!


Yes, this will take several hours…maybe even days to complete, but following these tips will help you breath easier each time you head out to the car, or begin yard work, or even just take the trash out. The garage will be a place you can enjoy, not be scared of!


And most importantly, be sure to follow the FOURTH step very closely… then maybe next year on the Saturday after Labor Day, you won't be stuck out in the heat pulling old boxes and dead leaves out of your garage! ;)

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