Neal's Home Remodeling and Design Blog

6 Before & After Outdoor Living Projects

Posted by Neal R. Hendy on Tue, Jul 26, 2016

Outdoor living extends the function of our home's property by providing useful areas to hang out, grill out, and chill out, outside of the house. While some homes come with great outdoor areas already in place when you move in, often time these lawns, porches and patios don't account for the specific ways you and your family want to interact with the outside. In the six examples below, we've highlighted before and afters that show what a bit of personalization can do to improve the usefulness and quality of your home's outdoor living areas.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Design Trends and Ideas

4 Design Options for Kitchen Floor Plans

Posted by Cyndi Kohler on Tue, Jul 19, 2016

Original Blog Post 10/09/2012 Updated 7/18/2016

If you are planning to remodel a kitchen, you will need a floor plan design. The design should address the basic functions of a kitchen including food prep, cooking, storage, appliance use and clean up. Other areas to consider in your kitchen plan may include space for informal dining, a beverage center, a message center, or a walk-in pantry. As long as people have been using kitchens, fitting these various areas in has been the key challenge. While there are many variations, most kitchen floor plans fall into one of 4 time-tested designs.

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Topics: Design Trends and Ideas, Kitchens

5 Outdoor Fireplace and Firepit Design Ideas

Posted by Mike Hendy on Tue, Jul 12, 2016

In a previous fireplace design blog post, we reported that outdoor fireplaces and firepits were in hot demand in Greater Cincinnati, and we can state now that this shows no signs of stopping. Having a fire element in your home's outdoor spaces allows you to extend to their use earlier in the spring and further into the summer (and depending on the type of winter we're having, even during the holidays).  Whether you opt for a wood-burning or natural gas option will largely depend on how you wish to use it (and whether obtaining and storing wood is a possibility for you), but either of these choices can be designed in such a way to fit the character of your landscape and the needs surrounding it.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Design Trends and Ideas, Fireplaces

Project Spotlight: A Tailored Kitchen Remodel

Posted by Alan Hendy on Tue, Jul 5, 2016

Sometimes a kitchen can look like it is working just fine, but under the surface there are issues that the homeowner can easily detail for you. This was one such project. Under-utilized spaces, inefficient details, and dark cabinetry with no personality were just a few of the issues.

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Topics: Project Spotlight, Design Trends and Ideas, Kitchens

5 Eclectic Kitchen Design Ideas

Posted by Frank Kuhlmeier on Tue, Jun 28, 2016

It's a definite in the design world that strict adherence to a single design style just won't work for some homes and some homeowners. It's these instances when the all-encompassing "eclectic" look is a great solution. Defined by not really being definable, the eclectic kitchen is one where styles intermingle. The difficultly with eclectic kitchens is that, without some boundaries, things can start to get out of hand. Without some guidelines, eclectic can easily turn into cluttered and uncomposed. To avoid that fate, here are 5 eclectic kitchen design ideas for creating balance in your kitchen. The kitchen featured here is a 2013 NARI Local Contractor of the Year Residential Kitchen winner. To see more photos of this project, click here.

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Topics: Design Trends and Ideas, Kitchens

Solutions for Awkward Spaces in Your Home

Posted by Christina Temple on Tue, Jun 21, 2016

Awkward rooms, weird hallways, odd spaces. We've all got them. From that out-of-the-blue angled wall, to the narrow room that isn't quite a room, but somehow doesn't qualify as a hallway either. In some homes, these spaces add character and charm, or possibly a sense of history or pedigree. But most of these types of spaces are throwbacks that don't quite mesh with the modern ways we live our lives and utilize our homes. Here, we've scoured our gallery of design work, and found four projects that tackled the design challenge of the awkward space in four very different ways.

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Topics: Design Trends and Ideas, Laundry Rooms, Home Remodeling, Kitchens, Storage, Entryways and Mudrooms, Additions

Interior Stonework Design Ideas

Posted by Frank Kuhlmeier on Tue, Jun 14, 2016

Using stone as accents inside the home is a design option we've seen a fair amount of in our 40+ years of remodeling experience. That natural look and texture juxtaposed with interior decor creates a casual look, but also injects the timelessness of a rustic architectural statement. It's not, however, a one-size-fits-all option, and there are several ways you can go that can drastically change the finished look from one option to the next. Here are the things you should know when choosing interior stonework for your home.

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Topics: Design Trends and Ideas, Lower Level, Fireplaces

Project Spotlight: A Backyard Transformation

Posted by Steve Hendy on Tue, Jun 7, 2016

Faced with an expansive backyard with no character and a rolling slope, the homeowners had a very simple objective: make the yard a party space. Beyond this clear objective, the homeowners had a wish list of key elements, including a pool, an outdoor living room, and lots of comfortable space for a crowd. The result is a space that takes full advantage of the back yard while keeping scale, space and views at the forefront of the design. The resulting transformation is a 2016 NARI Contractor of the Year Residential Exterior Winner.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Project Spotlight

Smart Technology for Your Home

Posted by Steve Hendy on Tue, May 24, 2016

We might still be a few decades away from the types of high-tech, futuristic home technology portrayed in the movies these days, but the smart home concept has certainly come into its own in the past few years. With "always-on" mobile technology already helping us organize our time and entertain ourselves, it makes sense that we should look to our homes to provide the same kind of on-demand possibilities. But what exactly is a "smart home", and how can it make our lives better? Keep reading for a look at the three primary areas that modern smart technology is improving the home experience.

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6 Before & After Bath Transformations

Posted by Michael Henson on Tue, May 17, 2016

One of the best parts about remodeling your home is the opportunity to reflect on the changes you made by comparing before and after photos. When it comes to bathrooms, which typically look radically different with even minor changes, the differences between what it used to look like and what you changed it to can look like completely different homes. We've looked through our library of images and found 6 Before and After bathroom transformations that show just how much a bath can be changed.

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Topics: Design Trends and Ideas, Bathrooms

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