10 Common Kitchen Design Issues and How to Fix Them

Designing a new kitchen before a remodel is an exciting process. So much so that it can be all too easy to skip ahead and miss some important design decisions. From fixtures and fittings to layouts and storage, there are many different kitchen design issues to fix before remodeling work begins.

In this article, we look at the most common design dilemmas to consider when designing your new dream kitchen. With some careful planning, you can enjoy a kitchen space perfect for all the family, which will, in the long term, add significant value to your property.

10 Common Kitchen Design Issues and Solutions

1. Think About the Flow

The key to any successful kitchen design is the flow of the layout. In other words, how people typically move about in space. The traditional flow in 20th Century home kitchens was triangular, where we moved primarily between the sink, range, and fridge. Nowadays, kitchens have expanded in both size and function.

During the design stage, it’s essential to consider how you, your family, and guests will use the kitchen. For example, certain foods and utensils may need to be positioned closer to particular fixtures than others. If you’re a family of enthusiastic bakers, then your kitchen’s layout and flow might be somewhat different than if you’re not.

2. Envision Your Kitchen with More Than One Cook

kitchen design issues

Related to flow is how many people are involved in food preparation at any one time. If you love to cook or bake together, then your kitchen will need more space so people can move about without injury or obstacles. Consider also whether you often have guests to join you as you cook. Will you need an area for guests or family to be comfortably seated so you can chat and entertain at the same time?

Another design consideration is accessibility for disabled or elderly family members who might join you in food prep. In this case, a second sink placed at a lower level might be a requirement, as will wider access to specific appliances and surfaces.

3. Consider Cabinet Clearance

A common kitchen design mistake is failing to leave enough room to open cabinet doors and drawers. Misplacing cabinets is an easy error to make without careful measuring. For optimal usage and the most fulfilling kitchen experience, it’s crucial to ensure cabinets have plenty of clearance.

Consider how far out a door needs to swing and whether this movement will impact other doors, cabinets, appliances, and fixtures. You don’t want to have to force people to wait before being able to get past you.

4. Maximize Vertical Wall Space

Walls are an often underutilized space, especially in smaller kitchens. And that’s a shame because they offer valuable storage real estate that can improve both the function and the aesthetics of a kitchen interior. You can mix and match cabinets and open shelving to create a beautiful look perfect for your desired kitchen style.

Kitchen walls make excellent showcase spaces as well where you can highlight your unique tastes and personalities. You can present anything from cookbooks, photographs, and decorative art to cookware collections, lamps, dried food canisters, and more, to enhance the aesthetics of your cooking and dining areas.

5. Accommodate Needed Storage

kitchen storage lafayette in

Another mistake many homeowners make when designing a new kitchen is underestimating just how much storage space they’ll need. It’s important to plan ahead in great detail and determine what exactly will be stored in your kitchen and where. Doing so will ensure you have enough space for everything that can be stored away to avoid too much surface clutter.

There are countless easily-accessible storage options for kitchens that allow for the storage of more items in a single space. In addition, the floor space can also be included as a storage feature with the inclusion of a multifunctional trolley, for example.

6. Measure Appliances

You may have your eye on some fantastic new appliances, but will they fit in your dream kitchen? The dimensions of all kitchen appliances need to be carefully measured and considered. For example, you might select a large, deep refrigerator in your kitchen only to find out that it grates on your nerves because it curtails your movement and looks oversized compared to its surroundings.

Choose your appliances in conjunction with your design so you and your professional designer can incorporate them seamlessly into the final design. As well as refrigerators, think about the dimensions of dishwashers, microwaves, food processors, toaster ovens, espresso machines, and any other appliances you need.

7. Room for an Island

Kitchen islands make lovely visual and functional additions to the center of a kitchen. But they don’t suit all kitchens, especially smaller ones. Simply adding an island for the sake of it can lead to circulation difficulties and an aesthetic mismatch. The same applies to placing an island in the wrong location or at the wrong angle.

It’s important to measure out the space where you potentially want an island to go. Consider how the structure might influence how you move about your kitchen and access cupboards and drawers. An excellent alternative to an island is a peninsula, depending on your kitchen shape. A peninsula is very similar to an island, except one end is attached to the wall.

8. Proper Lighting and Lighting Placement

kitchen lighting

It’s not a lot of fun cooking or baking in a dark environment. As one of the most practical rooms in the home, it’s crucial your kitchen lighting supports your food preparation and cooking activities.

Your food prepping area will require brighter and stronger lighting when compared to the dining space, while more localized lighting can help you quickly identify items in cupboards and drawers. Dimmable ceiling lights will also influence your home’s ambiance.

9. Install Enough Outlets in the Proper Places

It’s easy to forget just how many electrical appliances the typical home kitchen features. During the design stage, think about the appliances you have – or will purchase – and how these will influence your workflow within the kitchen.

For example, consider where you will make coffee, where the toaster will go, and even whether your laptop or tablet will be a regular feature on a particular countertop. If in doubt, it’s better to install too many electrical outlets than too few. There are also several clever ways to hide outlets these days, including in drawers for charging smartphones and other electronic devices.

10. Choose the Right Paint Finish for Your Cabinets

The common dilemma homeowners face when designing a kitchen is whether to choose natural wood or a painted finish for the cabinets. As the cabinet doors collectively take up a large surface area, they make quite a visual impact on the overall design scheme.

There are pros and cons to both choices, but the decision usually comes down to how much you like natural wood features and how messy the surfaces of your kitchen might get, especially if you have children.

Painted surfaces allow for a clean and powerful color feature. On the other hand, natural stained wood finishes allow the beauty of the natural wood grains to show through and tend to hide dirt and grime better than a painted wood surface.

Work With a Qualified Design-Build Firm

With so many kitchen design dilemmas to figure out, it’s always important to work with a qualified design-build firm to ensure your new kitchen meets its full potential.

Riverside Construction, founded in 2008, is the go-to professional design-build team that has earned the respect and confidence of discerning homeowners in the Lafayette and West Lafayette areas.

With an award-winning team of highly skilled and experienced professionals in various fields, we excel at listening to client ideas and then translating those dreams into reality. We can help you decide on a direction, guide you on pandemic-related remodeling issues, and be with you every step of the way to ensure your dream home is achieved.

Contact us now to schedule an initial conversation about your upcoming home remodel. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, listen to your ideas, soothe your worries, and work with you to finalize your plans.

Why It’s Important to Create a Healthy Home Lighting Plan for Your Lafayette or West Lafayette Home Remodel

When designing a home lighting plan, designers will often focus first on the important functional and aesthetic qualities of light. While these are vital considerations, another often neglected factor is how light affects our health. The interchange of bright daytime light and night-time darkness influences the quality of our sleep and, thereby, our physical health and mood. 

This interchange is known as the circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock that regulates when to be alert and when it’s time to sleep. So before your next home remodels, consider some of the ways your lighting choices might have an impact on your daily sleep-wake cycle.

The Science Behind the Need for Proper Lighting

bedroom lightingOur circadian rhythm is set by the light we see via specialized light sensors within the eye. The rhythm is adjusted according to the light and dark cycle in our environment, both natural and artificial. These circadian cycles influence our sleep but also a lot more. The related physiological processes can affect our metabolism, body temperature, cardiac function, and even our hormones, as well as aging.

While our diet and level of exercise also influence our circadian rhythm, it’s light that has the most significant impact. Without exposure to the natural day-night cycle, our sleep patterns get disrupted, and we begin to feel tired, moody, and susceptible to physical ailments. Unfortunately, our modern technological lifestyles don’t help, especially when it comes to home lighting and screens.

The Benefits of Natural Light

The best way to positively influence our internal body clock is by accessing as much natural light as possible during the day and softening artificial light before sleep. This is because natural daylight regulates our circadian rhythm the most and also brings with it a number of its own direct benefits.

Studies of the workplace have shown natural light in an interior leads to higher productivity. We naturally feel more energized in a room bathed in daylight, which can be particularly beneficial if you work from home, like increasing numbers of people are doing.

Natural light is also beneficial for our eyesight, especially when viewing screens for extended periods. Daylight helps the eye produce dopamine that contributes to healthy eye development in children and young adults.

Plus, perhaps the most well-known benefit of natural light is its mood-enhancing qualities. In daylight, especially when sunny, we tend to feel increased levels of wellbeing. The more we allow natural light into our homes, the better we feel.

Renovations That Add More Natural Light

kitchen lightingIncrease the size of windows
The most obvious way to add light is to increase the size of your existing windows wherever possible. In older homes, windows tend to be smaller to conserve heat. But these can be enlarged thanks to modern advances in window technology, without any negative repercussions on your energy bills.

Window location
Consider also where you can add windows. Even creating a small window at the side of the house can bring in a sizeable amount of much-needed daylight to a too-dark space.

Skylights
Skylights and sun tubes bring natural light from above, allowing you to increase the daylight in an interior even if you can’t further modify the windows. A sun tube channels natural light via a highly reflective tube and can look light artificial ceiling lighting when you first see them – except they are healthier and cost nothing to run.

Doors
Doors are another feature that you can modify to allow more natural light into a dark hallway or kitchen. Choose a door with a window or with sidelights. Modern windows are highly energy-efficient, and windowed doors come in a wide variety of styles.

What Are the Healthiest Types of In-Home Lighting?

lightbulbsArtificial lighting considerations are every bit as important as those of natural lighting. The two need to work together through the day-night cycle. In the evenings, at night, and during the winter months, we rely on good indoor lighting to safely navigate our homes, prepare food, host guests, take a bath, socialize with our families, work, and relax.

Indoor lighting is essential for our daily functional requirements and emotional wellbeing, with light influencing how we feel within our environment. But it’s all too easy to choose the wrong type of lighting, especially when it comes to the bulb.

The best indoor lighting mimics the light we find in the natural environment – from the sun. Incandescent and halogen light bulbs are the closest thing to sunlight and are a healthy bulb choice. That said, they are losing appeal in the United States because they use too much energy to produce the light they emit. Government restrictions will likely be further tightened in the years to come.

LED lights are increasingly the bulb of choice and for good reason. They are more energy-efficient, longer-lasting, emission-free, durable, and diverse in scope and design. Because of this last reason, it’s essential to choose your LED bulbs carefully. Not all are created equal, especially when it comes to health.

Select LED lights that come close to resembling daylight. Healthy LED bulbs have a warm color temperature of about 2700 kelvins (k) or less and a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 95 or more, indicating color accuracy.

Create a Healthy Home Lighting Plan

Developing a healthy lighting plan for your Lafayette or West Lafayette home is more than simply adding a few suitable bulbs and nice lamps. In order to help the human body and mind transition from day to night, it’s important to consider how lighting needs to change over the hours and the localized tasks for which light is required.

As noted, adding as much daylight as possible during the daytime helps our mood. Adding daylight-like bulbs also brings health benefits when indoor lighting is required. Plus, there are the transition stages, especially in the hours before bed when too many bright lights can reduce our ability to wind down.

A healthy lighting plan developed in conjunction with your trusted remodeling partner can help you determine the best lighting options for different stages of the day and for each room and area.

A good lighting design plan includes consideration of three distinct layers: Ambient, Task, and Accent Lighting.

  • Ambient lighting is the light cast across the entire room, usually located on our ceilings, in some form or another.
  • Task lighting, as the name suggests, is a more concentrated beam of light used to illuminate a small surface used for tasks, such as a food preparation surface in a kitchen.
  • Accent lighting lies somewhere in the middle. It highlights features within a space such as artwork, a cabinet, or even simply a room corner.

The different layers of indoor lighting allow you to modify the amount of light in a room at different times of the day. As bedtime approaches, some lights can be turned off as other forms of lighting gently guide you into a frame of mind conducive to sleep.

And this is what we can help you achieve.

Your Home Remodeling Team in Lafayette, Indiana

Riverside Construction, founded in 2008, is the go-to professional design-build team that has earned the respect and confidence of discerning homeowners in the Lafayette and West Lafayette areas.

With an award-winning team of highly skilled and experienced professionals in various fields, we excel at listening to client ideas and then translating those dreams into reality. We can help you decide on a direction, guide you on pandemic-related remodeling issues, and be with you every step of the way to ensure your dream home is achieved.

Contact us now to schedule an initial conversation about your upcoming home remodel. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, listen to your ideas, soothe your worries, and work with you to finalize your plans.

Home Design and Remodeling Trends to Consider for 2022 in Lafayette IN

The reality of the global pandemic will continue to influence home design and remodeling trends in Indiana during 2022. How we live our lives and shape our homes has changed over the last couple of years, and these trends will further evolve over the next 12 months.

Our homes, perhaps like never before, have become places where we seek comfort, security, and serenity. Also, as more and more of us work from home in Tippecanoe County, the quality of residential interior spaces has become intrinsic to our mental, emotional, and even financial wellbeing.

With all this in mind, we look at the anticipated design trends for 2022 and how the desire for a beautiful home sanctuary will influence remodeling choices over the next year.

Kitchen Design Trends in Indiana

KitchenWhite kitchen remodel Lafayette IN trends for 2022 point to antique and vintage features being popular. Homeowners are increasingly shying away from ultra-sleek show home looks and instead going for a warm, lived-in environment where homeliness and a timeless appeal are paramount.

This trend is best embodied in the Mid-century design style, where natural materials are a core feature of the theme. A Mid-century kitchen often features clean and bold interior colors with a growing trend of adding vintage decor and antiques.

To add old-worldly focal points, you can find some lovely antique pieces at vintage fairs throughout Tippecanoe County and neighboring areas, whether decorative items, furniture, or pots and pans.

Wood is making a comeback as a kitchen material. After being out of fashion for a while, its revival brings exciting opportunities for retro or rustic styles, as with the previously mentioned decor theme. In addition, wood can work well with other natural materials such as stone or quartz.

Marble-look Quartz countertops are a big trend at the moment and will be for the foreseeable future. Synonymous with high-end luxury and durability, marble-like quartz is an affordable alternative to natural marble and has even more benefits, including heat resistance.

When it comes to colors, opposites definitely attract. We’re seeing a trend of combining and contrasting two bold colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel. Think peach and green, for example. Green is going to be big in 2022. Another example is copper and blue. Picking such opposing colors creates an immediate bold contrast that can powerfully enhance a kitchen decor scheme.

Statement extractor hoods are another significant feature for the coming year, with eye-catching metal surfaces creating a defining statement in any kitchen. Hoods are now available in many different designs, shapes, and finishes, with custom-made hoods introducing extra character to the cooking area.

Kitchen lighting design is perhaps more important than ever as we spend more time in our homes preparing meals. Layered lighting, where different types of lights are created for different kitchen zones, is set to develop further in 2022. Additional localized lighting features make food preparation safer and bring ambient character to an open-plan kitchen and dining space.

Speaking of open-plan kitchens, how about opting for a double island? An emerging trend across the United States is the inclusion of a pair of island units for kitchens with plenty of space to spare. As an indispensable feature of modern kitchens, the kitchen island is now the focus of exciting emerging designs and possibilities.

As the home kitchen becomes more of a multifunctional meeting space, there’s an increasing desire to move kitchenware and foodstuffs away from view. Of course, pantries have long been popular, but now they are exploding in popularity, especially for their modern array of clever storage options.

Homeowners now want decorative features, artwork, technology, and minimalist styles to take precedence in the kitchen where once shelving and cupboards were ubiquitous. This trend will only increase in 2022 and well into the future.

Bathroom Design Trends in Indiana

BathroomLafayette open concept bathroom shower trends for 2022 in many ways mirror those of the kitchen. Bathrooms are seeing a movement toward more open-plan designs and a focus on the benefits of new technology.

Open concept showers are becoming increasingly popular as people seek to lessen the boundaries between the bathroom interior and the traditional shower cubicle. Depending on your bathroom shape and size, a shower can be designed without any partitions at all, or alternatively, with just one or two sides.

Lafayette homeowners are also looking to increase the floor space of shower cubicles, with more long-term awareness of aging-in-place benefits for family members and when it comes to the overall value of the property for resale.

When it comes to color trends for 2022, dark bathroom palettes are making a splash. Charcoal is the go-to color that is going to be a popular choice for modern, sleek interiors. Darker tones contrast nicely with white or silver fixtures and result in minimal visual distractions.

And for low-maintenance bathroom walls that also look great, consider installing large format tiles. These big tiles are growing in demand in high-end homes because they’re easy to keep clean, mimic more expensive natural materials, are cost-effective, and look beautiful. You can find large format tiles in numerous styles, colors, patterns, and materials.

Indiana Basement Design Trends

BasementsLafayette Basement Remodel are no longer the dark and dusty storage spaces they once were. Instead, modern lifestyle trends, fueled further by the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, have led homeowners to develop the basement as an extra room for family activities.

Gym memberships can be expensive and exercising in a crowd can feel uncomfortable. Home basement gyms are increasingly popular remodeling requests and for good reason. You can fit in every item of exercise equipment you need, improve the lighting, add some inspiring décor, and even add a spa area with a steam shower and sauna.

Open concept basements will be big in 2022, quite literally. By knocking down walls, you can create a wide expansive basement space for multiple uses. Depending on natural lighting sources, you can even create a home office or homeschooling area. Or a combination of an office, gym, yoga retreat, and even a games room. The possibilities are endless.

Other Trends to Watch Out For in Indiana

More and more homeowners in Tippecanoe County are investing in mudrooms – also known as an all-purpose drop zone. If you’re tired of muddy shoes, dirty paws, and wet coats and hats messing up your hallway and kitchen, a mudroom is the answer. This multipurpose space can also double up as a drop-off space for grocery store deliveries, a laundry area, a tech tool charging station, and a place to prepare for departure every day.

The weeks of lockdown and isolation have led to increased demand for larger windows to let the outside in. Daylight influences our mood and wellbeing, and so the more natural light you can let into your home, the better. This trend will grow in 2022 and well beyond, especially if more and more of us work from home.

Speaking of which, flexible home offices are another blossoming trend. With different family members requiring different types of workspaces and for differing time periods, there’s not always enough room for a single dedicated office or studio for each person.

Flexible spaces allow each family member to create a dedicated work area wherever it best suits them, even if it means modifying an existing room such as a kitchen or basement.

With so many emerging new trends, it’s essential to seek the advice of experienced home remodeling professionals. And this is where we can help you.

Your Design-Build Remodeling Team in Lafayette, Indiana

Riverside Construction, founded in 2008, is the go-to professional design-build team that has earned the respect and confidence of discerning homeowners in the Lafayette and West Lafayette areas.

With an award-winning team of highly skilled and experienced professionals in a range of fields, we excel at listening to client ideas and then translating those dreams into reality. We can help you decide on a direction, provide guidance, and be with you every step of the way to ensure your dream home is achieved.

Whether you’re transforming a kitchen, updating a bathroom, designing a home office, or adding an extension, let us guide your decision-making and partner with you to achieve the results you envision.

Contact us now to schedule an initial conversation. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, listen to your ideas, soothe your worries, and work with you to finalize your plans.

2 Ways to Design and Build Your Perfect Home Office

Working from home has never been this popular — and in these times of physical distancing more important. Although a nice break from the office, having an ongoing work-from-home situation can become a little stressful when you’re not used to it. That’s why we wanted to offer our help in creating a conducive work environment for you. If you’re settling for a makeshift workstation, consider the advantages of designing and building your ideal home office instead. Now’s your chance, with two clear options to choose from to meet and exceed your expectations for a comfortable and efficient workspace.

Ideal Home Office Option #1: Repurpose an Existing Space

The first step in planning your ideal home office is asking a few basic questions about its utilization: How many people will it need to accommodate? Will the workload be heavy or light? Will you need silence for concentration, or distractions to keep you entertained? Most importantly, what’s your budget? The simplest, quickest, and most affordable ideal home office is using what you already have.

  • Bring a “Dead Space” Back to Life
    Take a tour around your home, with a discerning eye for areas that you and your family never even enter. You’d be surprised how much of your living space is under-utilized, often not used at all. These can include hallway alcoves, spaces under stairs, empty closets, and various nooks and crannies leading from one room into the next. Many of these have ample room for an ideal home office.
  • Change An Area You Already Have
    One step up from reviving a dead space is transforming a living one: Journey downstairs to your basement or upstairs to a loft or attic with an intent to design your ideal home office there. Evolving these spaces into a dream office is a combination of creativity and flexibility. Renovating above or below all the family commotion can give you the privacy and quiet needed to get work done.
  • Seamlessly Blend the Office Decor
    Whether you’re revitalizing a nook or remodeling your basement, your ideal home office should have the ergonomics and aesthetics perfectly aligned with your needs and design style. From the selection of desk and chairs to lighting fixtures and storage units, electronics to wiring, an optimal design heightens efficiency while matching the look and feel of the room and your home.

Ideal Home Office Option #2: Build an Entirely New Addition

Depending on your needs and budget, now might be the time to take things to a whole new level and create your ideal home office as a stand-alone addition to your home. The advantages of designing and building from the ground up are many, including having free reign over the layout, style, and functional basics such as workstation comfort, shelving and storage space, electronics, and even multifunctional use.

  • Choose the Best Spot
    An ideal location for your home office is actually where your needs and the existing architecture of your home come together. Depending on your current layout, a home office could be built off the great room in the backyard, or as an extension of the kitchen or dining nook.
  • Build Your Perfect Workstation
    If you’re committed enough to build a room addition for your home office, then demand nothing less than the desk, chair, and monitor set up just right for your body. Make sure you physically test each component alone and in combination to ensure optimal comfort in terms of position, orientation, storage, and lighting. Design your office around this personalized experience.
  • Make it Gorgeous and Efficient
    The same sensibility that created the work-from-home movement also inspires innovative homeowners to design and build home offices that are more than just “workspaces.” Make your new area not only ergonomic and efficient but comfortable, fun, and engaging! Add art, games, family photos, plants, electronics, other distractions. Mix work and play to bring out the best.

Partner with a Design-Build Remodeling Firm You Can Trust

Working from home makes more sense now than ever before, as does the opportunity to create your very own ideal home office.

Family owned and operated, Riverside Construction is eager to responsibly and safely work with you to bring your dreams to life. Now’s actually a great time to remodel, and Riverside is pleased to conduct most preparatory work remotely and effectively; we also help protect your family by conducting all work according to strict EPA lead-safe-certification regulations.

Riverside Construction is Lafayette’s top award-winning, design-build remodeling company. For more than 12 years we have provided loyal clients personalized and enjoyable remodeling services, delivered on time and on budget. By listening intently to your needs we provide the region’s best work: Take a look at our portfolio, and let’s build your ideal home office!

Maximize Your Basement Remodel by Including These Key Elements or Design Features 

If you have an unfinished or finished basement, you have the option to add valuable living space to your home—whether you need an extra bedroom, theater, workout room, entertainment area, or any other flexible space. Whatever the motivation behind your basement renovation, a finished basement is an ideal extension to your home that not only adds convenience and flexibility but can also add resale value. 

And while a finished basement is a sight to behold, finishing your basement is a big undertaking with a lot to consider. Beyond the necessary basement preparations that are required for finishing (i.e., waterproofing, layout, permits, etc.), there’s the fun part of deciding what features and amenities your basement should have. Here’s a closer look at what you can include in your finished basement to maximize the space and enhance its functionality:

What to consider including in your basement remodel

A wet bar

Wet bars are great for basements that you intend to entertain in, especially if you are a sports enthusiast. What items are synonymous with sports spectatorship? That’s right, food and drinks. A wet bar makes it convenient for you to serve guests without missing any action, and they are great for drawing people in and sparking conversations. Wet bars are also a stylish accessory that can keep guests around the area and out of your kitchen.

Kitchen

Add a kitchen to your basement and it becomes an entirely new, flexible space with the potential to serve as a guest or in-law suite. If you have the square footage, you’ll get long-term mileage out of adding a full kitchen, complete with a refrigerator, oven, microwave, full sink, garbage disposal, and even a dishwasher.

Lighting

When finishing your basement, don’t overlook the important detail of lighting. Since basements rarely have much natural light, it makes it that much more important to create a lighting plan just like any other room in the house. But, you will likely need more. Recessed or slim disc lighting is recommended for all-over illumination. Undercabinet lights work well around food prep areas. Pendant lights can be hung above tables or areas that need a focused spotlight. Use dimmable lighting around the TV. Remember, you want your basement to have a warm and welcoming feel — not be dark and dreary. The right lighting is critical.  

Egress window for the bedroom

When complete, your basement remodel should be stylish, functional and practical. But you also want to make sure that it is safe. In addition to testing radon levels and including a smoke detector in the finished space, if your basement includes a bedroom make sure you include an egress window. In fact, in Indiana, ensuring the availability of some sort of egress window or door is a state requirement for basement bedrooms. Egress windows essentially allow an additional point of exit aside from the main entry point to the basement, which can be life-saving in the event of an emergency.

A bathroom

A full bathroom with a shower is ideal, but even a half bath will suffice in a basement. Bathrooms are practical, especially if you intend for your basement to double as a living space where you entertain. You don’t want your guests or your household members to have to retreat to the ground floor level to use the restroom when nature calls. Bathrooms also add to your resale value.

Storage space

Many homeowners are so zeroed in on maximizing the functional space in their finished basement that they lose sight of one key area: storage space. Remember, the original purpose of a functional basement was to house HVAC equipment and store household belongings, etc. With that being said, make sure to consider adding valuable storage space in your finished basement—for items like holiday decorations, sports equipment, bulk food items, etc. 

A fitness room

When all is said and done, your health and fitness is a number one priority.  Consider dedicating a separate room in your finished basement to fitness and exercise. Doing so can help you save on costly gym memberships and also provide a space where you and your family can work out on your own time and in your own personal space.

A playroom

If you have kids, then you’re likely very familiar with the space needed to house all of their toys. Are you tired of stepping on Legos in your living room or tripping over dolls in your family room? While certain toys are appropriately stored in your kids’ bedrooms, a playroom can be a welcome addition to a finished basement. It can minimize clutter and provide a dedicated area for your kids to play, separate from the main living areas of your home.

A home office

If you’re like most Americans who take work home each night, or you have created a makeshift office in your bedroom or another corner of your house, then you may want to include a home office into your remodeling plans. Home offices can even double as a guest room to maximize the functionality of your living space. Bonus: you may even qualify for a special tax write-off if you incorporate a home office into your basement remodel.

Schedule a Virtual Home Consultation with Riverside

 

We’re all doing what we can and making the most of these challenging circumstances. Most of us at Riverside Construction are still working to create exciting new opportunities to help you solve challenges and obstacles with your home.

With the new shelter-in-place mandate and social distancing, you are likely spending even more time at home. Good news! You can still meet with a design and remodeling expert virtually:

  • We’ll cover all the same material in a typical in-home consultation
  • Anyone in your family can join the meeting where ever they are
  • Using technology, we can still tour your space
  • We’ll explain our design-build process and provide you with a rough budget estimate

For more information on what you can include in your basement remodel to maximize its functionality, contact us to schedule a virtual home consultation today! 

5 Tips to Ensure Your Home Addition Blends Seamlessly With Your Home

While naturally adding square feet, room additions are a wonderful investment that allows you to prolong the enjoyment of your home (and your neighborhood) for years to come. But, integrating your addition into your home’s existing architecture isn’t easy. It often involves hiring a design professional to get it right.

Whether you’re building outwards or upwards, home additions are complex projects. Consider these five essential tips when planning your new space. The result? An intelligently-designed home addition that blends beautifully and seamlessly with your home’s original architecture and style.

1. Start with the Foundation

Behind every home addition is a strong foundation and it’s critical to match the floor and roof lines or elevations. It’s also important to make sure the foundation is deep enough to go below the “frost depth” in your geographic area. The depth requirements vary from region to region depending on the local weather. Building above the frost depth will cause the addition to shift over time independently of the main structure as the ground freezes and thaws, potentially causing foundation problems. Moreover, you need to make sure the type of foundation is appropriate for the soil type in your area. Again, failing to do so may cause shifting problems in the long run for your new addition.

For most home additions, it is also best to match the type of foundation used in the existing structure. So, if your existing home is built on a slab foundation, the addition should also be built on a slab foundation. If your original foundation is a crawlspace foundation, then the addition should also have a crawlspace foundation. This way, the addition is strong, level and seamless from the ground up.

2. Match the Exterior Finishes

Start with the roof and move your way down. Your room addition should match every detail on the original home, including trim, windows, siding, doors, hardware and paint colors. If you have a historical home, matching exact finishes can be more challenging, especially if some of the features are no longer in production. Home additions don’t have to match exactly, but the design should always be complementary in these aspects:

  • The roof—The roof on your addition should closely match the rooflines on your existing home. This means mimicking the pitch, soffit style, overhang, eave depth, rafter size, and spacing. It also means you may need to consider an entirely new roof. Older shingles on the existing home may be faded making it hard to match shingle shades on a room addition, for example. If your roof is starting to show its age, this may be a good time to simply update the entire roof.
  • The siding and other exterior finishes—Watch out for siding colors as well. If your existing siding has faded, it won’t match the new siding on the home addition.  Having the same color and style of trim can also go a long way towards tying the two structures together. If you have brick or stone exteriors, these materials can be harder to replace, but there are also creative ways to mix and match finishes that still look beautiful and blend well together. The key is to choose colors and finishes that complement each other.
  • Windows and Doors—These days, it’s becoming easier to find custom windows and doors that meet current Energy Star ratings and building codes, while also coming in historical dimensions and designs that might match those on your existing home. At the same time, exact matches are not always easy to find, so consider designs that work in harmony with the existing style. You can also replace older products with newer replacements to keep the design style consistent.

3. Blend the Interior Addition Design

The new room addition should also feel seamless from the inside. So, as you walk from the older part of the home and into the new space you should not feel a jarring sense of incompatible styles. It will be important to match elements like paint colors, window casings, crown molding and light fixture styles between the older and newer parts of the home.

4. Understand Local Building Codes and Zoning Laws

In every town, including here in West Lafayette, there are local building codes and zoning laws that dictate whether or not you can build a home addition on your property. Before getting too deep into your project, you will need to identify any restrictions that might be on your property. For example, some lot restrictions prevent certain types of home additions; and building codes (or the existing foundation on your original home) may prevent you from building up. A remodeling contractor can help you determine what the restrictions are, and then help you plan from there.

5. Don’t Forget Landscaping

Many homeowners are so excited about the home addition itself that they forget all about the landscaping—particularly the cost of new landscaping. Most contractors in West Lafayette will do some basic seeding around the home addition. Beyond that, homeowners will need to factor other landscape aspects into their home remodeling budget and plan.

If you’re considering a home addition, contact Riverside Construction today for a design consultation, or sign up for one of our home remodeling seminars to discuss your ideas with our design-build team and other homeowners in the area. You can also peruse our home addition portfolio for more ideas. If you’re still researching your next remodeling project, sign up for our newsletter to get new ideas every month. We’re always happy to talk with you, so call us at 765.838.1644.

Choosing Kitchen Faucet Finishes and Types

Whether you have a broken faucet that needs replacing or you’ve decided that it’s time for an upgrade to improve your kitchen’s appearance, it’s a good idea to carefully examine your options so you can make a well-informed decision. Of course, the design team you work with can provide insight into selecting the perfect faucets during a remodeling project.

Before you get together with your design experts, you can take a moment to become familiar with what’s available today. To help you with the decision-making process, we’ve compiled a comprehensive look at kitchen faucet types and styles:

Kitchen Faucet Types

 

Faucets also come in numerous types, including gooseneck, high and low arc, wall mount, and bridge. “Touchless” faucets introduce sensor technology, giving you yet another option to consider. Let’s take a quick look at each to help you select the one best suited for your kitchen look and needs.

High arc or Gooseneck faucets are designed as their name suggests, with thin and tall stems that are sleek and elegant. Metallic finishes accentuate their brilliance, and their dimensions leave plenty of room in the sink and make pot-filling a breeze. A popular choice among Lafayette homeowners is high arc pull-down faucets.

Low arc faucets are available in various designs and arrangements. Choose stem height and finish based on your usage and aesthetic needs, great choices that offer an ideal balance between form and function. Many also come with a pull-out sprayer.

Wall mount faucets are not super common, but when used tastefully give home kitchens an interesting commercial look and feel. Completely freeing-up the sink area has its own numerous benefits.

Bridge faucets are distinctive designs where the hot and cold handles, levers, and controls are physically connected to the main faucet stem, literally creating a “bridge”. The look is traditional and not for everyone, but when appropriate can powerfully complement similar design features throughout the kitchen.

Touchless faucets now seem like the rage, adding high tech to any design and finish you choose. They might not be worth all the hype, but they offer convenient features that free your hands for doing other tasks. A simple hand wave turns these faucets on or off thanks to a movement sensor. 

Kitchen Faucet Finishes

 

Once you’ve got a good idea of what type of kitchen faucet to install, the next step is to select a finish. Kitchen faucets serve a utilitarian purpose, but they can still look good while you use them. 

You have several finishes to consider, including brass, bronze, chrome, nickel, stainless steel, matt black, and the newest exotic finish, ombre. 

Brass faucets will bring a traditional look and feel to your home. They can pair nicely with white kitchen finishes to add warmth and work equally as well with a modern-looking kitchen sink. Matte or brushed brass fixtures are quite versatile and appealing. The “Champagne Bronze” listed in the picture above is Delta’s version of the brushed brass finish.

Bronze that is treated by rubbing it with oil gives the metal a darker look. Oil-rubbed bronze is one of your pricier options, but you can’t beat it for the traditional look it provides, giving your kitchen a bold and classic appearance. The “Venetian Bronze” listed in the picture above is Delta’s version of the oil-rubbed bronze finish.

Chrome is one of the original finishes for plumbing fixtures, giving them a very classic look. Chrome is durable, easy to maintain, and great for minimalist kitchens. With a bold, shiny finish, chrome faucets are favored by many home renovators. Look for quality chrome, which resists tarnishing while being long-lasting and easy on your budget.

Nickel faucets are available in various finishes, including brushed and polished. Brushed nickel is a slightly warmer version of stainless steel, and polished nickel is a slightly warmer version of chrome.  Brushed nickel is also becoming the “new chrome,” and is used very frequently in all kitchen styles. Some manufacturers have even been able to engineer this finish to offer a “Spot Resistant Brushed Nickel”. Also known as pewter, brushed nickel works nicely to bring soft tones and warmth. Remember that the beauty of nickel faucets requires some maintenance. Periodic polishing of nickel faucets keeps them looking beautiful. Brushed nickel resists tarnishing better than polished, so keep that in mind when weighing your options.

Stainless steel is ideal for kitchen faucets thanks to the finish being easy to clean and maintain — especially useful when you have young kids since it possesses antimicrobial properties. Shiny like chrome, stainless steel is more expensive but gives your kitchen a more sophisticated look. So, for a more luxurious looking kitchen with sturdy, enduring faucets, stainless steel may be your preferred option.

Matte Black is a newer finish that has gained popularity in more modern and contemporary kitchens. In striking contrast to the metallic finishes, matte black is sleek and minimalist. The simplicity and purity of the aesthetic contrast well with nearly any kitchen style, making it very versatile and appealing. 

Ombre is a new finish for kitchen faucets developed by Kohler. Taking its name from the French word for “shadow” or “shade,” ombre melds two vibrant metal finishes together to create an interesting transition from light to dark. Ombre currently comes in two variations: vibrant rose gold and polished nickel. 

Selecting Faucets for Your Upgrade

After considering the various choices for kitchen faucets in your upcoming kitchen remodel project, you are bound to have some questions. Start by visiting our Kitchen Portfolio for ideas and then sign up for our free home remodeling seminars, which will give you more insight into preparing your own home to look magazine-cover worthy. Have fun browsing — your Riverside Interior Design Team is here to help. 

To learn more about selecting kitchen faucets or to consult with a designer, contact Riverside Construction today at 765.838.1644.

How to Select the Best Flooring For Your Home Workout Room

The decision to install a home gym can be life-changing in any number of ways, but it also involves a lot of decision-making. The physical location of your personal workout space will influence its actual square footage as well as the floor plan, layout, and specific finishing materials. Basement gyms, for instance, might accommodate heavier fitness equipment, but can also present a logistical challenge for installing large equipment. A yoga studio, on the other hand, might occupy only a sliver of space in a seldom-used second-floor guest room.

In addition to basic decisions about space and use, you will want to consider privacy, convenience, and finishing materials.

One of the primary considerations for any gym is the flooring type that will best suit your needs. Fitness flooring varies, and your decision must suit not only your particular needs but also your room décor or design style and your budget.

No matter what your exercise preferences might be — from Zumba to incline walkers or rowing machines, some common flooring choices are carpet, foam, vinyl, and rubber. Here’s how to evaluate the pros and cons of each:

Carpet

Carpet tiles are used in both commercial fitness facilities and home gyms. Commercial grade, low-pile carpet is soft, resilient, and comfortable underfoot, all pluses for a workout room. Carpet absorbs some sound and is as suitable for yoga and karate routines as it is for exercise machines. Carpet provides a non-slip surface and offers some insulation against cold or extreme heat. Carpet tiles, which are easy to install, may also be easily replaced if they become damaged or stained.

Overall, carpet is durable, versatile, cost-efficient, child-friendly and easy to care for. It is available in a wide range of colors, and individual carpet tiles can be mixed to create a custom design or to designate specific exercise zones.

On the minus side, however, carpet is not water-resistant. It is subject to mold and mildew if used in a damp area, and can harbor pests and insects. Carpet also is more difficult to clean than other flooring types. Wall-to-wall carpet may stretch over time, unless it is a glue-down variety, and may require professional re-stretching.

Foam

Foam is a popular and playful choice for family-oriented exercise. Available in bright colors and sometimes sold as interlocking “puzzle pieces,” foam is comfortable, cushioning and extremely lightweight. A foam pad, or blanket, is a highly functional and economical alternative in a part-time workout room. Because foam is so flexible and absorbs the impact of physical activity, it is a good choice for a stationary bicycle, a lightweight rowing machine, or for strenuous movement, including jogging in place or punching bag workouts.

It is soft and resilient for floor stretches, and for all age groups. In addition, foam allows the greatest creative flexibility for color and pattern.

The only reported downside to foam is that it is not usually considered the best option for extremely heavy exercise equipment. If plans for your gym include weight benches, elliptical machines, or heavy treadmills, another type of floor might be more durable.

Vinyl

Modern vinyl is as functional for a workout room as it is for a utility room or child’s bathroom: It’s easy to clean, resists mold and mildew, will withstand heavy use and some abuse. This category of resilient flooring comes in an array of products including planks, sheets, and tiles, and allows extensive customization through color and pattern. Vinyl is flexible, easy to install with minimum preparation, and can be used directly over a slab, as well as over sub-flooring or an older wood floor.

High-quality vinyl will be durable, while low-quality material will be susceptible to rips and tears. Unfortunately, vinyl flooring cannot be refinished, so when it is damaged it needs to be removed and replaced. This is easier in a tile and plank installation than with sheet materials.

Vinyl flooring is also offered in three different types of wear surfaces, offering a full range of protection against scuffs and stains—from entry-level (Vinyl No-Wax) to Urethane and Enhanced Urethane, which offers the most protection.

Finally, a vinyl floor is only minimally shock resistant. Over concrete, as in a garage or basement, it will still be hard, and perhaps cold during the winter.

Rubber

A fourth popular option for a home gym is rubber flooring, with all the best qualities of a flexible and easy-to-care-for floor and few of the disadvantages. It is available in rolls or tiles, is comfortable, shock resistant, durable, and easy to keep clean. While economical color options are limited, it is extremely practical. If used as area matting or a temporary surface, it can be moved and stored easily. Rubber does not absorb odors, is anti-microbial, and will not be damaged by water.

However, like vinyl, rubber has little insulating quality and will be colder in the winter than carpet or foam.

Ready to Design Your Workout Space?

When you’re ready to move forward with your plans for a home workout space, Riverside Construction can not only help you decide which type of gym flooring will best suit you, but we can help you design and build a space that fits your needs exactly, fit to your budget, timeline, and lifestyle.  Start a Conversation about your home workout space today.