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Bring the Spa Home: Renovations to Turn Your Bathroom into a Haven of Rejuvenation

The evolution of the bathroom has been an interesting one. A typical home in the 1950s had only one small bathroom used by the entire family. Most homes in the 1970s featured a slightly larger “master” bath with a powder room. But things really started to change with the excess of the 1980s: The building of significantly larger homes lead to very large, quite flashy bathrooms with cavernous spaces full of missed opportunity.

With the arrival of the new century it seemed as though home buyers and builders figured it all out. The larger bathroom was great, but the space should be used more efficiently with both form and function taken into consideration. We begin and end our day in this room and it should be comfortable and organized.

“Bathrooms used to be viewed and utilized in a solely utilitarian manner; from a design standpoint, styles are definitely getting more contemporary and elegant”, says Maya Williams of Maya Williams Design. “A bathroom can be more than just the place you prepare yourself for the day. It’s also, arguably, the most important room in a home because it’s the place you energize your body and mind in the morning and settle your mind and body in the evening. It’s no wonder many of my clients request a home spa retreat remodel of their bathrooms.”

If you’re looking to seriously upgrade your bathroom, we have a few remodeling ideas that can completely transform your boring bathroom.

Make a Clear Change

The hottest trend for 2018 is the wet room: Showers and a free-standing tub in one easy to clean space surrounded by glass. If you don’t have space for a true wet room, you can get a hint of the look by enclosing the shower or shower and tub with a floating glass surround which looks as though it has no fixtures, or a metal frame enclosure with a grid format to give the appearance of French doors.

Choose Large, Natural Stone Tiles

Forget boring subway tile. It seems that larger stone tile is taking over because it makes cleaning so much easier. “I’ve been hearing the need for more easy-clean materials,” says Emily Hoefler, a kitchen and bath specialist at Renovations Group Inc. “A lot of people are shying away from tile because they don’t want to clean grout. If a homeowner does want to do tile, they’re opting for larger format tiles to reduce the amount of grout needed.”

She says we’ll soon see plenty of showers outfitted with large stone tiles in darker hues, even backsplashes as well.

Consider Dark Fixtures and Vessel Sinks

As an overall home trend, warm metals are hot this year. “One of my absolute favorite things becoming increasingly popular is warm metals,” Hoefler says. “Brass is back along with bronze, copper, and even satin nickel for a softer take on the trend. For warm metals, my suggestion is to go bold. Pairing these metals with contrasting colors such as black, dark blue, or even bright white is a great way to make them pop.”

Vessel sinks—those that sit on top of your vanity countertops—have been around for years, but in 2018 they are coming on strong in a variety of custom options. You’ll find them carved from natural stones, fired in artisan kilns, or made of hand-blown glass, and with theme decorations like koi fish and mermaids.

Incorporate Freestanding Furniture

If your bath is large enough, add a piece of freestanding furniture for storage. The rich wood of a mahogany French armoire, for instance, makes a great place for extra towels and bathrobes. Wood also adds earthy warmth to bathrooms and gives it even more of a spa feeling.

Embrace Technology

With every year, technology advances in almost every area of the home and the bathroom is no exception. Fiddling around with the shower controls to get your preferred pressure and temperature can be a thing of the past by investing in digital shower controls. Programmable systems let you set temperatures, adjust lighting, or even pre-set shower times to lower water consumption. Imagine using a remote control to turn on the shower from bed in the morning!

Some systems are so highly responsive they feature LED lights that change color as the temperature adjusts. The Crosswater Digital system, for example, flash red when the water is heating up, blue when cooling down, and white once it’s reached the right temperature—an especially handy feature when bathing children to avoid potential scalding.

In the end, the purpose of a home is not just to provide shelter; it’s also a personal sanctuary where you can relax and be yourself. A bathroom is even more personal in nature. Nothing beats a room that offers relaxation and luxury. With a beautiful custom bathroom, you get this and more: The colors you want, the materials you want, and the atmosphere you desire.

If you’re looking for a professional builder and remodeling company in the Pinehurst, North Carolina area offering unique home building expertise, decades of experience, and a reputation to back it up, Pinehurst Homes, Inc. is the choice for you. For more information on the services we offer, call (910) 295-5400.

(Sources: Dwell Magazine; Ballard Designs; The Ambient; Academy Marble & Granite; ImproveNet; HGTV; American Home Shield; and The Mercury News.)

Time to Break Out: Move the “Heart” of the Home Outside

With Summer just a few weeks away, it’s understandable if you’re already dreaming of sipping sweet tea and enjoying a scrumptious meal outside. But, as you take a look at your run-down old deck or patio and unused backyard those dreams of enjoying an outdoor paradise seem out of reach. You’ve wanted to renovate and update the space for years, but you keep putting it off. Why? Don’t spend another summer stuck inside—make 2018 the year you create the outdoor space of your dreams.

Now more than ever, homeowners are migrating to their backyard to host and entertain family, friends, and neighbors. Research from Hoffman York on outdoor living trends found that approximately 30% of those with outdoor kitchens considered them their favorite room in (or, in this case, out of) the house.

The creation of outdoor living spaces a huge trend in homeownership this year, according to Realtor Magazine. Boring backyards are being transformed into “multifunctional entertainment areas” that include kitchens, bars and even wine rooms, the magazine reported. “Today’s yards are multifunctional and serve to entertain, offer a place for relaxation, and maximize lot square footage.”

Outside Living Made Easy

Outdoor kitchens in North Carolina continue to be popular in exterior living spaces, and every year, they’re becoming more elaborate and more suitable for year-round use. If you’re thinking about designing one this year or remodeling your existing outdoor kitchen, be sure to incorporate the following four elements for maximum utility and comfort.

Sturdy Cabinets

Cabinetry is the foundation upon which the rest of the cooking area is built. Kitchen cabinetry has greatly improved in the last few years and now offers plenty of storage with ample space for any number of kitchen appliances—ensuring your outdoor kitchen is just as functional and convenient as any indoor space. A variety of styles and materials are available for outdoor cabinets, so you’re sure to find something that matches your vision.

Quality Appliances

An outdoor kitchen is no longer limited to “the basics.” Now, along with your standard grill, sink, and refrigerator, many spaces now feature coffee and tea bars, ice makers, wine refrigerators, pizza ovens, dishwashers, and more. Whatever you can imagine can be made real.

Outdoor Entertainment

Outdoor living spaces offer more functionality now than ever—they’re beautiful, well-designed, and as comfortable as any room inside the home. But the patio is no longer a place to “just” cook. Entertainment is a big part of a backyard get-together so outdoor televisions have become a must. The TV can be hooked up to cable and outdoor audio systems which allows the ability to watch a movie or the game or simply listen to great music.

Heating Elements

After designing or remodeling the outdoor kitchen of your dreams, you don’t want to drastically limit the amount of time you’re able to use it. By installing a heating system, such as infrared heaters or a natural wood-burning fireplace, you can ensure your space is ready to entertain all year. Having an outdoor space that’s comfortable for you and your guests those extra months means you don’t sacrifice doing what you love just because the weather isn’t perfect.

Beyond the Outdoor Kitchen

“Outdoor living now means a lot more than a few lounge chairs scattered on a brick patio or rocking chairs lined up across your front porch,” says Zoe Gowen, Senior Home Editor for Southern Living. “People are embracing the idea of outdoor ‘rooms.’ They want the same amount of comfort and convenience from their porches and decks as they do their living rooms. Smart homeowners realize that a porch addition is a lower cost way to extend the square footage of your home. And, it’s also a lot more fun to be outside.”

Here are four design ideas Gowen says will be the big trends in 2018.

Swoon-Worthy Outdoor Furniture

The first step to creating a comfortable outdoor living space is furnishing it with comfortable and attractive furniture. “It’s really hard to enjoy yourself when you’re afraid that the weather-beaten wicker chair beneath you may crumble at any minute,” says Gowen. With advances in furniture and fabric technology, it’s possible to have fully upholstered furniture outside. It’s also nice to combine different kinds of furniture to get a collected look just like you would in your living room.

Fabulous Fabrics

A focus on high quality outdoor furniture has also boosted the selections and combinations of outdoor fabrics homeowners are using. Bold colors seem to be favored this year, but if you’d like to play it safe, consider navies, browns, or charcoals as neutrals, but lighten the palette with contrasting, patterned pillows. Just your indoor sofa, you’ll want to layer on two pairs of matching patterned pillows in complementary prints. “Stripes and geometrics are almost foolproof to blend,” says Gowen.

Don’t Overlook the Floors

Consider painting the floor to give your porch the polish of a room and to extend the life of your decking. “When painted floors get dirty, just paint them again,” Gowen says. Outdoor floor rugs also bring a space together. Flooring options have expanded and allow owners to use tile and a variety of other materials.

“Timber can fit into any design aesthetic and can be left to weather and silver or kept vibrant and fresh depending on taste and available time for maintenance,” says Matt Leacy of Landart Landscapes. He says homeowners can go minimalist or textured when it comes to flooring. He sees more “raw” and finished concrete being used as well.

Cooling Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are available in a variety of styles from contemporary to tropical and more to match your home’s exterior. When choosing an outdoor fan, you have two options: Damp location versus wet location. Damp location fans are for covered outdoor areas such as a porch or patio where it will be protected from direct contact with rain. Wet-rated designs are best for an open gazebo or cabana pool area.

As you can see, your backyard can be more than just empty space—it can be part of your home. With a little imagination and design help from Pinehurst Homes it can be transformed into a beautiful place where you’ll enjoy family gatherings, parties with friends, or a relaxing retreat from everyday stress. Even the simplest addition can make a world of difference in improving your outdoor living space.

Pinehurst Homes can create an outdoor space to accommodate all of your entertainment needs. Our team is available to assist you with personalizing your outdoor kitchen space from the cabinets to the appliances you would like to include. We’ll work with you to create a unique kitchen and outdoor living space that fits your style integrates seamlessly into home.

If you’re looking for a professional builder and remodeling company in the Pinehurst, North Carolina area offering unique home building expertise, decades of experience, and a reputation to back it up, Pinehurst Homes, Inc. is the choice for you. For more information on the services we offer and the dependable and experienced partner companies we work with, call (910) 295-5400 or visit www.pinehursthomesinc.com.

(Sources: National Association of Realtors; Realtor Magazine; The Charleston Home & Design Show; Globe Newswire; Southern Living Magazine; Design Builders, Inc.; TLC Interiors; and The Tennessean.)

Latest Kitchen Design Trends for 2018

The latest kitchen layouts offer an abundance of options and design trends. These were among the key takeaways during a recent International Builders’ Show seminar in Orlando focusing on “What’s Cooking in Kitchen Design.” Interior design industry experts Laura Sullivan, founder of ID.ology Interiors & Designs based in Asheville, N.C., and Deboni Sacre, founder of Liv Design Collective headquartered in Salt Lake City, provided a breakdown on what’s trending in the following areas:

ISLANDS
• People want multi-functional islands
• Different shapes are in demand, not only the traditional rectangle
• Multiple seating and wrap-around seating is becoming more popular
• The island is the focal point, and can change the whole look of a kitchen

PANTRIES
• Luxury designers are building large, walk-in pantries
• Butler pantries are an emerging trend
• Pantries are acting as an extension of a kitchen, but hidden away

LIGHTING
• More layered lighting
• Decorative fixtures
• Recessed lighting still popular
• Toe kicks and overhangs

SMART STORAGE
• Open shelves for ease of access
• People are comfortable displaying dishes and pots in open shelves
• Pull-out cabinets are a nice touch to save space
• Decorative display pot racks are becoming more popular

SMART APPLIANCES
• Consumers want more high-end appliances
• Appliances can come in many colors
• Power outlets on island for phones and laptops
• Motion-sensing fixtures

BACKSPLASH
• Full-wall backslashes are in demand — no more four-inch back slab
• More materials are popular, such as wood and a metallic look
• Creative patterns

COLOR
• Bold is back in the kitchen
• Navy, black and blue
• Painted and natural mixing
• Brass is still hot
• Mixed metals is a big trend

COUNTERTOPS
• Quartz is the new budget material
• Increased us of wood, natural and softer colors
• Stainless steel is making a comeback

There are so many choices it can quickly become overwhelming. At Pinehurst Homes we have home design and remodeling professionals who can help you navigate the choices to get the kitchen fits your lifestyle and budget. Our President, Wayne Haddock, is a Past President and member of the Moore County Home Builders Association. As an active contributing member of the National Association of Home Builders (www.nahb.org), Wayne would like to thank the NAHB for their contribution to this article.

How do you know its time for a Bath or Kitchen Remodel?

Fall in Love with Your Home…Again

Do you want to expand your kitchen for added workspace? Have you been wanting to add a beautiful walk-in shower or soaker tub to your master bathroom? For many homeowners, renovations are the fastest path to better living while adding equity to your biggest investment — your home. Pinehurst Homes is eager to be your partner with design, feature and technical skills to help your renovation or remodel be a success.

Dream Kitchen

You deserve a kitchen that’s built for the way you live. Maybe you entertain often, but find you don’t have the room to host your guests comfortably. Or, perhaps last Thanksgiving, you realized how much you could really use a double stove to make meal preparation a breeze. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) suggests you consider the following when thinking about a remodel.

Ensure Adequate Space: Are you happy with the amount of counter space, cabinet space, and floor space in your kitchen? Is the position of your refrigerator or the shape of your counter taking away useful work space? Do you keep the kitchen island or remove it to make the space feel larger? Could you use more countertop space for food preparation?

Improved Traffic Flow: If there’s more than one cook in your household, consider making more room around the main work area. If you enjoy entertaining, an open plan kitchen that allows for more social interaction between the kitchen and other rooms may be a better option.

Keep Children in Mind: Dated appliances and design of your kitchen can be hazardous for young children. If you’re in the process of expanding your family, consider making more room for cooking larger meals. Keep in mind that microwave ovens should be installed 3 inches below the principal user’s shoulder, but no more than 54 inches above the floor to avoid accidents. Remove countertops with sharp corners to prevent injuries to young children.

Energy Efficiency: Dated appliances may be costing you more money than you realize. Technological advances in dishwashers, disposals, and refrigerators could save a considerable amount of money and are well worth the investment. Simply upgrading to a dishwasher with low energy consumption, delay timer, and economy cycle or half-load button will save both water and money!

Universal Design: Will you be able to use your kitchen safely as you get older? Considering such an issue is vital in a kitchen remodel. Employing universal-design techniques in a remodel will help ensure the space works for everyone—no matter age, size, or physical ability.

Updating the Layout: Are you thinking of adding a deck to the side or back of your house? Incorporating a door into the layout of your kitchen would be a great convenience for outdoor entertaining. You may want to rearrange the position of windows to allow more or less sunlight, but keep in mind that a cooking surface should never be located under an operational window.

Any one of these changes can make a huge difference in the overall feel and usefulness of your kitchen. Before the remodel begins, make a checklist of major and minor problems and keep notes of the features you like and dislike most. This way, when you sit down with Pinehurst Homes, they’ll know exactly how to suit your needs, taste, and style.

Bathroom Bliss

The bathroom is arguably one of the most important rooms in the house, and definitely among the most frequently used. However, it’s easy for homeowners to overlook this space when it’s time to renovate or update. Updating your bathroom is a worthwhile investment which not only adds value to the home, but also increases the overall quality of your day-to-day life. If you’re not sure if you really need to make a change, here are a few things to think about.

Improved Layout: If you’ve ever had to deal with a poorly designed bathroom, you know what a pain it can be. While there’s no “right” bathroom layout, it’s recommended that the most used features are placed in the most convenient locations. These features should also be placed up against walls to leave as much space as possible. Even a small bathroom can feel spacious when designed correctly.

Maximize Storage: You don’t usually think of storage space in the bathroom until you realize it’s next to non-existent. If you’re dealing with a cupboard-less bathroom, you may find that you’re storing extra toilet paper or towels on top of the toilet…not a good look. Wouldn’t it be nice for such things to be stored out of sight? A bathroom remodel will give you the opportunity to add plenty of storage space and make room to breathe.

Increased Space: Families grow and your once “charming,” “cozy” bathroom is now a cramped and smelly boxing arena. Sharing a bathroom with one person can be hard enough as it is, but the more bodies you add, the worse it gets. A remodel or upgrade can give you room to move and allow everyone to prepare for the day and out the door on time.

Plumbing Upgrades: Plumbing could be considered the “glue” of the bathroom. When plumbing goes bad, you could end up with a disaster on your hands. From major flooding to ruined walls and electrical issues, making sure plumbing is up-to-date is vital and can give you the opportunity to update your bathroom’s overall aesthetic.

Improved Safety: There comes a time in our lives when safety features are needed to prevent serious injury. Safety upgrades such as bars in the shower or beside the toilet can help make a home more comfortable. If you live in an older home, you may not have grounded electrical outlets—something that should be corrected immediately.

Energy Inefficiency: With new advances in technology, there are so many ways to make your home more energy efficient. From lighting and electric to water usage, simple updates can save you money and lessen your environmental footprint.

These upgrades and remodels will help you fall in love with your home again. Another bonus? You’ll also be increasing your property’s value. You may not think twice about your “vintage” master bathroom or “retro” kitchen, but a potential buyer may see a big red flag and pass up your home when you do decide to sell.

If you’re looking for a professional builder and remodeling company in the Pinehurst, North Carolina area offering unique home building expertise, decades of experience, and a reputation to back it up, Pinehurst Homes, Inc. is the choice for you. For more information on the services we offer and the dependable and experienced partner companies we work with, call (910) 295-5400 and ask for Vickie Haddock.

(Sources: National Kitchen & Bath Association; National Association of Home Builders; Realtor.com; Loan Depot; Lowes.com; and Home Advisor, Inc.)

Tips to Protect Your Home Before the Next Frigid Winter Storm

A few minutes of work on your home now, can save you lots of money (and headache) down the line.

Hopefully you did a bit of work winterizing your home last Fall, but there are still several issues to check now that Winter Storm Grayson is behind us. You may have experienced drafty windows or fireplace problems with the severe cold that descended upon us last week and that’s why we’d like to share a few maintenance items you can work on now—before the next cold snap hits. Trust us… you don’t want to let things go until they lead to bigger problems with a much higher price tag!

Check Windows, Roofs, and Doors

Inspect the outside molding around each of your home’s windows and the seal. If you suspect a leak, you should take a closer look from the inside of your home. One simple method for air leaks is the “wet hand” test. Simply wet your hand and hold it a few inches from the edge around the window. If there’s a leak, you’ll feel air blowing on your hand. Use caulking to repair small leaks and keep windows sealed tight.

If your windows are older, they may be inefficient single-pane windows. Seriously consider upgrading to double- or even triple-pane windows to boost the energy efficiency of your home. Pinehurst Homes can help you with choosing new energy efficient window solutions and with the installation.

You may also want to inspect the kickplate and seal on your external doors. With summer sun and moisture these seals can rot and weaken, leaving gaps, cracks and leaks that will let in cold air. With much older doors, a total replacement may be needed to ensure there are no air leaks. Addressing any issues now will save money down the road on your heating bill as well.

Take a good look at your roof and check any shingles that look loose or raised. If you discover roof leaks and broken shingles, Pinehurst Homes can assess any repairs needed and provide an estimate. Many of these problems get much worse over time. What might be only a $200 repair now, could turn into a $5,000 fix later. 

Inspect the Health of Your Basement

Walk the perimeter of your home and look at your foundation. You should also inspect your basement or cellar walls for any mildew, cracks, or areas of concern. Basement leaks and moisture will typically appear as bubbling of paint or grey and darkened areas on the walls. As they progress, the area may turn green or black, and you may see cracks in the foundation (definitely time to call in someone who knows their stuff)!

Check out your sump pump and basement drains as well. It may be a little unpleasant, but give them a whiff. The smell will not be great, but drains shouldn’t have a strong, sour, or dirty odor. Also run some water down your basement drains to see how quickly the water disappears. If the water isn’t dissipating quickly, one torrential rainstorm or several days of steady rain could cause costly basement flooding.

If you suspect foundational issues, don’t panic. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of patching a crack with plaster and adding a coat of anti-microbial/mildew paint. Other times it may have to do with the grade of your landscaping, which may also be as simple as adding dirt to low areas around your house. It’s not always an expensive issue, but you should address it right away, as foundational problems can greatly devalue your home and lead to structural issues inside your home. Again, Pinehurst Homes has been helping customers solve complicated structural and repair issues for many years, so don’t hesitate to call is if you have concerns.

Inspect the Fireplace and Chimney

There’s nothing like the glow of a fire to warm up a winter evening. Before you light up that first log, make sure your fireplace and chimney are clean and critter-free. A professional chimney sweep can clean out soot and other debris that could catch fire. Be sure to keep your home’s warm air from escaping out the chimney when you’re not using it by closing the flue completely closed. You shouldn’t be able to feel any cold air coming down the chimney. You can also install glass fireplace doors or a chimney inflatable that blocks cold air from coming down the chimney and keeps in warm air.

Stock Up on Cold-weather Essentials

When winter storms hit, they often come with power outages. To ensure you and your family are prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you this winter, you will want to have an emergency kit ready. Following are a few ideas of what you may want to include:

  • An alternative heat source such as a generator, wood-burning stove, or fireplace (and fuel to run them or to burn!). Keep in mind you should NEVER use a generator or portable gas cook stove inside the house. These can fill the room with dangerous carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide.
  • A working, fully-charged fire extinguisher, candles or flashlights and plenty of batteries.
  • Sand, ice melt, and a shovel if where you live is prone to ice and snow (avoid using kitty litter—it doesn’t provide good traction and can make a mess).
  • Of course, keep extra non-perishable food items on hand, including bottled water, and be sure that any family member that requires critical medications has enough to last a few days.
  • You may also want to keep some non-potable water in buckets for flushing toilets. 😉
  • Have some extra cash on hand in case power is out and ATM machines aren’t operating.
  • Be sure your vehicles have a full tank of gas. The added weight can also improve traction on wet or snowy roads. Keep in mind, that even four wheel drive cars can slide on ice. 
  • Last but not least, be sure your mobile phones and electronic devices are charged, and if possible, have a backup battery source you can use to recharge them.

A little bit of preparation and prevention now can help make certain your home is warm and ready before the next round of freezing temperatures or snow arrives.

If you’re looking for a professional builder in the Pinehurst, North Carolina area offering unique home building expertise, extensive remodeling services, decades of experience, and a reputation to back it up, Pinehurst Homes, Inc. is the choice for you. For more information on the services we offer and the dependable and experienced partner companies we work with, call (910) 295-5400 or visit www.pinehursthomesinc.com.

(Sources: Liberty Mutual Insurance; How Stuff Works; NBC News 4; Travelers Insurance; and Living Well – Spending Less.)

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