Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Increase House Value

Given the current market of falling house prices and the volatile house market, many homeowners are concerned about their house’s value. The single most important reason many people are homeowners instead of renters is because of their house value. If ever one wants to resell their home, the value of that home is crucial for selling as well as buying. Every homeowner should be aware of how to put value back onto their homes, here are some approaches:

  1. Make it Grand: Master bedrooms should deliver a sense of grandeur when anyone enters the room. If a home is magnificent and the master bedroom lacks substance, that is a large turnoff for possible home buyers. Simply upgrading lighting fixtures in addition to dimmers creates high appeal. With appropriate lighting and color schemes a house can appear very au courant. Paint and coloring may sometimes be more important than furnishings.
  2. Keep it Updated: Simply replacing all kitchen appliances with greener and newer technology can add much value to a home. Especially if one is considering selling the home, updated appliances are a positive aspect that prospective buyers consider.
  3. Curb Appeal: Keeping lawns well manicured and driveways clear adds curb appeal to your home. A good first impression is important and may add value to the neighborhood as well. It is also a good excuse to get rid of the excess clutter sitting around your yard and a fresh coat of paint will do wonders for your home’s appearance!
  4. Roof: Don’t forget that the roof protects the beautiful house that lies beneath it. So any problems or old roof tiles that have not been replaced are necessary to insuring safety as well as increasing value. Consider having a roof inspector come out to check stability and durability.

Consider these four simple steps to increasing your house’s value. They are not all weekend projects and some of them may require outside assistance, so dig out that contractor and interior designer’s number. You will be surprised how much your house’s value increases and others will notice as well.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Real wood vs. Laminate - the great flooring debate!

While in the process of building or renovating your home, the debate of authentic wood versus laminate flooring is likely to arise. What few things are most important to consider?

Cost – this is the first consideration on many people’s mind. Across the board, hardwood is a more expensive option. Costing approximately 30-50% more. On the other hand authentic wood floors add a perceived aesthetic value to a home buyer which manufactured floors simply do not. & Some of the newer wood options (bamboo, white pine) are lower cost than traditional oak, ash and maple.

Durability - certain areas of the home get more heavy use. For example, how often is your family in the kitchen versus the dining room? While hardwood flooring is more visually pleasing, it can be more difficult to maintain. Sunlight can be problem for dark hardwood floors. Water damage is a concern for many hardwoods and even softer woods such as bamboo. While laminate flooring is more resistant to stains, scratches, and moisture, if damaged, it is not easy to repair compared to most hardwoods.

Appearance – this for many is the prime factor compared to installation difficulty, durability, or even cost. The beauty of authentic wood flooring is that no two strips of wood are identical. This adds a natural beauty to the floors. Because laminates are machine-produced, the “wood pattern” is fixed and the color does not naturally alter as it does in hardwood flooring. Using real wood flooring can result in creating a more visually exciting space.

All of these various factors are important to consider before beginning the design process. If there are any doubts or inquiries, approach your interior designer for professional advice. Designers will also have the latest information on new wood types and finishes for a contemporary or classic look.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Trends in Green Home Design

Electricity and water bills are on the rise and our country is moving further and further towards green home design. Many ways exist to stay green in your house no matter how old it is and keep style and design aesthetics in check.

Replace all incandescent light bulbs with energy saving light bulbs. By replacing solely the light bulbs that are used most in the home, you can save up to $100 in a year. ENERGY STAR has great qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) that would be a great replacement. Also, if Motion Sensor Lights are added to outdoors, that will cause a huge saving on electricity. That way, the lights will only be triggered with motion rather than staying on for hours at a time.

Check all appliances in the home and make sure they are energy efficient. Appliances that are qualified energy efficient will be marked with an ENERGY STAR sticker. Savings up to 10%-30% can be made on operating costs versus having non-ENERGY STAR appliances in the home.

If the windows in your home are old, it would be a good idea to look into replacing them. Replacements may include windows that are energy-efficient that include weather-stripping and storm windows. Replacing windows alone can save up to 7%-24% on heating and air-conditioning bills.

Are you thinking about installing wood floors in your home? Hardwood floors are beautiful and give homes a warm feeling. However, bamboo floors are now among the rise in home trends and they are considered environmentally friendly due to the years bamboo takes to mature compared to usual hardwoods. Their light nature can easily lighten up a room and gives it a beautiful, but unique look.

Reduce trash. That may sound a bit silly to many households, but now we want to rethink and reuse before we recycle. Pounds and pounds of compost is thrown away as trash and that can all be reused in every household. Such items are banana or orange peels, tea and coffee grounds, egg shells, apple cores, and even moldy cheese! The compost can be collected in a jar (there are so many decorative ones for all styles of home) and reused throughout your garden. A popular way to reuse compost is as soil for gardening and it is known to have a higher nutrient value compared to most store bought soil.

Plant trees! How many times have you heard that said over and over again? However, planting trees close by to homes creates natural shade, especially in the summer. The foliage blocks radiation in the summer that would warm the house and in the summer, the branches are bare and allow radiation to come through and warm the house.

Now what are you going to do to make your home more green?

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Trends in Kitchen Design

Have you ever taken notice to no matter how large a home is or who is living in the home, everyone always congregates in the kitchen. The kitchen is truly the center hub of any home and should show tasteful design (no pun intended!)

As we know, trends are constantly changing and a kitchen should not be renovated or redesigned more than once in the home’s lifetime. The key to having a kitchen that does not lose style over time is to make the style compatible with the homeowner. Traditional kitchens continue to be the most popular design trend for kitchens in 2010. Contemporary is closely behind, but shades of white, beige, and bone are in which carry heavy weight in traditional style. Cherry wood remains to be the most popular for kitchens, cherry evokes a warm feel and that is most comfortable for kitchens. To coincide with cherry wood, hardwood floors is increasing in popularity, although ceramic, tile, and stone are regularly seen in kitchens.

Now the whole world is moving towards green energy and conservation. It is not difficult to find energy saving appliances and now they are smaller and more efficient as well. For example, dishwasher drawers don’t carry as large of a load but use less water and remind users to conserve as well.

If you are thinking about remodeling your kitchen, consider what is most important to you. The form, functionality, or perhaps the size? Consult what you don't have currently and what you find dire to have. This will help greatly when beginning your renovation process.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

ASID 26th Annual Design Awards Celebration

Last night, Wednesday, June 23, 2010 was the CA Northern Peninsula Chapter’s Gala. It is a big celebration for professionals in the design industry in which they are recognized for their achievements and are able to applaud fellow designers. The event was hosted at the Tech Museum of San Jose and approximately one hundred guests attended. Green was seeping out of every corner of the room, inspiration drawn from the Gala invitation designed by BCDA designer Kate Puvogel.

The award ceremony took place after cocktails and Bethe Cohen Design Associates walked away with four awards! Three of which were gold awards: single family residence over 3000 sq. ft., bath, and single space—house entry. The fourth award was a platinum judge’s choice award for a single family residence over 3000 sq. ft. All awards were well deserved and it was very exciting for the BCDA team to be recognized among fellow professionals in the industry.

This year, owner and founder Bethe Cohen herself, was the co-chair for the Gala. In addition to Bethe’s contribution, other members of the BCDA team helped coordinate and execute plans of the Gala. Numerous gifts were donated by vendors, clients, friends, and businesses to raffle throughout the night. Cocktails and dinner were served and guests had an amazing time. The BCDA team had so much fun, they are already looking forward to next year’s gala.

Monday, June 21, 2010

How About a Sculpture?

Does your garden feel drab and uninteresting? Do you believe you have planted all the flowers possible and raided every nursery around, but there is nothing that you see fit for your yard?

Consider putting sculptures in your garden. Sculptures, whether, metal, glass, or stone offers much character to any yard. Many feel that adding a sculpture to landscape gives the garden a contemporary feel. On the contrary, many sculptresses create pieces that complement any styled home. Many sculptresses around the Bay Area create custom sculptures for customers that have an exact idea in mind. Sculptures come in all sizes and sometimes they are not even the centerpiece of the garden. They can be discreetly placed beside a tree or in bushes to add a natural look to the garden.

If considering purchasing a sculpture or finding out more information, here are some recommended sculptresses.

Benbow Bullock
Jerry C Karlik
Arthur Norby

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Martis Camp

Located between Truckee and North Lake Tahoe, Martis Camp of the Martis Valley was the ideal location for this specific clients’ vacation home. BCDA designed the house interior from the very beginning and worked closely with the architect. This home has a contemporary feel, with dark colors, and minimal furniture. Below are three videos that highlight senior designer, Vivian Solemani’s, progress throughout different stages of the project.

In addition, this house is one of six chosen to be a part of Martis Home Tour 2010, benefiting Excellence in Education. If interested in viewing the home, tickets for the tour are available for purchase through the website and the event takes place on August 7, 2010 from 10am-4pm.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3