Tag Archive for: Lafayette IN

The Benefits of Finishing Your Unfinished Basement in Lafayette and West Lafayette, IN

Basements are no longer areas confined to storage and laundry. A finished basement can allow you to use your creativity to turn a dark and dull space into a beautiful and useful extension of your home. No matter what the size or shape, basement remodeling is one of the least expensive ways to add living space. Here are some of the benefits of finishing your unfinished basement:

Benefit #1:

Increase Your Home’s Value

Most families we talk with about remodeling wish they had extra room in their homes. By refinishing your unfinished basement, you add valuable living space that will only increase your home’s value. It is an especially good option if zoning laws and permitting in your neighborhood don’t allow for structural additions.

The cost of finishing your basement is usually less than adding an addition, and some of your cost can be recouped when you go to sell your home—you’ll recoup an average of up to a 70% return on investment, according to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report 2017. But your increased enjoyment and use of the space will be worth every penny as long as you live there.

Dance Studio

Benefit #2:

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Who doesn’t want to save money on their utility bills? When remodeling your basement, use this time to add insulation and other energy-efficient features that can reduce your heating and cooling costs. Items including energy-efficient windows and Energy Star appliances, LED lighting and compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs), and proper insulation help your overall energy savings and reduce your carbon footprint.

Benefit #3:

Create Flexible Spaces

While “upstairs” rooms are generally assigned a specific purpose, like a kitchen, bedroom, or dining room, your finished basement can be used in a number of ways, like a yoga studio, a children’s playroom, or a recreation room. Another benefit is that spaces in your finished basement can grow and change as your family’s needs change and are repurposed easily.

Basement Craft Room

Benefit #4:

Create Dedicated Spaces

As families were isolated at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, they needed to repurpose their homes to meet their work and leisure needs from home. Home offices and home gyms became necessities and more sought after than ever before. By finishing your unfinished basement, you can incorporate these dedicated spaces into your home for any specific requirement.

Benefit #5:

Add Storage

If you’re like most families, there’s never enough storage, so when creating your basement design, look for ways to add custom built-in storage. Utilize the areas under the stairs, add vertical storage, and built-in closets in out-of-the-way nooks and crannies, or create a dedicated storage room by closing off the mechanical area. Storage doesn’t need to be out of sight. Add attractive shelving, open cubbies, and wall storage units for children’s toys, crafts, or office supplies. Don’t forget overhead storage. Use hanging units and rods for wine glasses, gym equipment, or out-of-season clothing storage.

Benefit #6:

Generate Extra Income

Depending upon the zoning requirements in your jurisdiction, you may be able to transform your unfinished basement into a separate living unit. This can be used for multi-generational living or to rent out for additional income.

When adding a bedroom or two, keep in mind that to be considered an actual bedroom, bedrooms must have an egress window and a closet. This is more easily created with partially above-grade basements but can be achieved with below-grade rooms with some excavation. The addition of a bathroom also adds convenience, value, and the option of an income-generating extra space. A build-in rental unit may add appeal to potential buyers when you go to sell your home, as it can help supplement income and lighten, or even cover, the mortgage payments.

Benefit #7:

Make it Uniquely Yours

There is no cookie-cutter solution for finishing your unfinished basement. You get the pleasure of making it uniquely yours. You’ll work closely with our design team to incorporate the exact features you want to enjoy. It is a blank canvas upon which you can create something suitable for you and your family.

When you purchased your home, you likely bought it “as is” and had to compromise on some of the features you really wanted. This is your chance to get creative and add exactly what you’d like in your home. Make it your own with special features, including these:
Basement Wine Cellar

  • Wet bar
  • Wine cellar
  • Home theatre with built-in entertainment system
  • Cedar-lined closets
  • Sauna
  • Fireplace
  • Billiards room
  • Man cave
  • Craft room

Finish Your Unfinished Basement in Lafayette and West Lafayette with Riverside Construction

The benefits of finishing your unfinished basement are many, and working with a design-build remodeling firm like Riverside Construction can help bring your dreams to reality.

With a design-build remodeling firm, you work with one team throughout your entire project—from concept to design to construction. Riverside Construction’s well-planned-and-managed design-build process will ensure that your project runs smoothly and is delivered on time and on budget.

We’ll lead you through an initial in-home consultation meeting where we’ll discuss your remodeling goals, timeline, and budget and offer suggestions in these areas. We’ll then move to design, where all the fun begins. You’ll work closely with our design team and see your ideas come to life through 2D and 3D renderings.

We’re extremely proud of the beautiful basement remodeling projects we’ve completed for homeowners in West Lafayette and the surrounding areas. View our “before and after” photographs and project stories in our Basement Renovation Portfolio that will give you ideas for your own basement remodel.

Contact Riverside Construction to schedule a conversation with our design specialists. And download our free eBook: How to Start Your Remodel Off Right.

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

An excellent way to create extra room in your home is to turn an underutilized basement into a functional and livable space.

Doing so adds a wealth of new lifestyle and work-related opportunities for your family, together with a potential increase in the value of your property, especially when it comes time to sell. 

Given your basement’s scope for improvement, this is a refurbishment that’s important to get right. Part of a basement remodel process is choosing how you want the space to be used and the functional design elements and features to match.

With this in mind, this article looks closely at what you can include in your finished basement to maximize the space and enhance its functionality.

Home Office

Working from home has never been more popular, and the trend will likely continue in some compacity. Your basement could be a great place to set up a workstation out of the way of general family life. When planning a basement home office, you’ll need plenty of natural light to keep your mood high and prevent eye strain. 

Consider placing your main work area near natural light sources such as an egress window or a walk-out door. You’ll also require plenty of electrical outlets for your equipment, plus air conditioning and plumbing. Depending on your work, you might also need storage, such as shelving and built-in cupboards.

Check out our article Design and Build a Beautiful Home Office for more inspiration.

Home Gym

Passionate about fitness? Build a basement gym! A functional, comfortable, and aesthetically appealing home gym is the best way to ensure you stick to an exercise routine. Designing and building a basement gym is a fantastic way to have a designated space to keep fit that’s private and doesn’t encroach into everyday family activities.

Consider vital aspects such as light, ventilation, strong flooring, and power sources during the design process. Think about how you will maintain the air quality, how close you are to a bathroom and water access, and how you can define different spaces for different exercises (i.e. weights, yoga, cardio). 

You may want to add sound systems and specialized storage units as well. 

Media Room

Media rooms or home theaters are another type of room that has gained popularity over recent years. Again, the basement is the perfect place for it to go, especially as plenty of natural light is not a priority. 

Media centers require a lot of electrical wiring to provide proper lighting, video, and surround sound. You’ll also want to carefully plan the positioning of screens, speakers, receivers, A/V equipment, and video projectors. 

Soundproofing is another factor. You’ll want to reduce the amount of sound traveling to other rooms or adjoining neighbors via walls, floors, and ceilings. 

And then there’s seating and their overall comfort and placement. You’ll need to consider how many people typically sit down together, how you interact during movies, and whether children will require special seating.

Check out our guide on Ultimate Media Room Design Considerations for more inspiration.

A Secondary Kitchen

Secondary Kitchen

A basement is a fantastic place to add a second kitchen. A basement kitchen provides extra prep space for entertaining guests or working from home, without the need to continuously walk up and down the stairs.

The kitchen can support other basement uses such as a home office, media room, game room, or even a guest bedroom. If you have a young adult or aging family member moving in, the kitchen will form part of an apartment-style living quarters that is private and self-contained. 

An Additional Bathroom

Basement Bathroom

A bathroom is another potential basement addition. A full bathroom with a shower is ideal, but even a half bath will suffice, depending on the room you have and other requirements. 

Bathrooms are practical, especially if you intend for your basement to double up as an in-law suite or entertaining space. Your guests or family shouldn’t need to travel between floors to use the restroom when nature calls. Bathrooms also add to your home’s resale value.

Wet Bar

Wet bars are a fantastic addition to basements where hosting and entertainment are the core function, especially if you are a movie enthusiast or sports fan. 

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.

Playroom

If you have kids, you’re likely familiar with the space needed to house all of their toys. You’ll also have painful memories associated with 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 allows you to minimize clutter and provide a dedicated area for your kids to play that’s separate from the main living areas of your home.

Additional Storage

Many homeowners are so zeroed in on maximizing the functional space in their finished basement that they lose sight of one key area: storage. The original purpose of a functional basement was to house HVAC equipment and store household belongings. 

This need is still present. Even when much of the basement has been converted to other uses, storage space should still be included. During the design process, consider where valuable storage space can be retained, modified, or added. 

After all, the basement is likely the perfect place for items like holiday decorations, sports equipment, bulk food items, and so much more.

Lighting Details

When finishing your basement, don’t overlook the critical detail of lighting. Since basements rarely have much natural light, it’s important to create a lighting plan that supports diverse activities throughout the day. 

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. An effective lighting plan is critical. 

Basement Bedroom Egress Window

When complete, your basement remodel should be stylish, functional, and practical. But you also want to make sure that it is safe. So, in addition to testing radon levels and including a smoke detector in the finished space, if your basement has a bedroom, ensure 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.

Work with a Qualified Design Build Firm like Riverside Construction

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 refurbishing a basement, transforming a kitchen, updating a bathroom, designing a home office, or building an addition, 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.

Popular Kitchen Design Ideas to Consider for Your West Lafayette Kitchen Remodel

Remodeling in today’s home kitchens go far beyond utility and allow you to customize your kitchen to suit both your lifestyle and your taste. Whet your appetite with these popular kitchen designs to consider for your West Lafayette kitchen remodel.

Walk-in Pantry

Older kitchens never seem to have enough storage, so consider adding a walk-in pantry to your kitchen design. Store non-perishable foods and large and small appliances out of sight, but within easy reach, and create stations like a coffee bar with its own electrical outlet, or a kid-friendly snack or cereal counter. Organize by zone, creating groupings for baking ingredients, beans and rice, canned goods, cereals, and herbs and spices, for example.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Adding a Walk-in Pantry

Zero- or Low-maintenance Surfaces

Cut down on cleaning time with low-maintenance or zero-maintenance surfaces throughout your kitchen.

  • Countertops: Quartz is a good, hardy choice to resist countertop scratches and stains. It offers easy clean-up with a wipe of a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Cabinets: Flat-panel or shaker-style cabinet doors have less detail to collect dust and grime. Select them in white or a medium-toned woodgrain to hide fingerprints.
  • Flooring: Vinyl flooring can look like laminate or hardwood, yet protect your kitchen floor against water, stains and scratches.
  • Paint: While high-gloss paint may be the easiest to clean, it can be overly shiny and reflective. Instead, consider satin paint for walls and semi-gloss paint for trim and baseboards.

Kitchen Remodeling

Ceiling-Height Backsplashes and/or Slab Backsplashes

Backsplashes aren’t just for behind the stove. One of the most popular kitchen design trends is “wow factor” walls of tile or marble that span the space from counter to ceiling or wrap around the entire kitchen prep area. It’s an easy way to add drama, color, and texture to your kitchen design.

Use of Mixed Finishes

Tired of your “matchy-matchy” kitchen? It’s okay to mix and match finishes to create your own custom look. Combinations can include stone and natural materials, a mix of dark and light stains and paint—or any combination you imagine. To avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many colors or finishes, it is best to use finishes to create a focal point.

transitional kitchen remodel

Geometric Tiles

Geometric tiles infuse energy and style into your kitchen design and are a popular choice of designers. Go bold with an entire floor of geometric tile, or use them to create an artful display with square, rectangular, hexagon, diamond, or triangle shapes. Geometric tiles offer a full range of looks—from elegant, subtle, or classic, to a contrasting, contemporary feel with a bright pattern and artistic effects.

Built-in Coffee Station

Create a dedicated spot where everything you need for your morning coffee is easily at hand, with a coffeemaker, mugs, coffee, sweeteners, and electric outlets stored together or within easy reach. Some of the popular kitchen design ideas for coffee stations include a built-in espresso machine, a mug warming drawer, Keurig K-cup or Nespresso capsule storage, coffee-shop art, a hidden refrigerator, or refrigerator drawer, a water supply, and an adjacent sink.

Accent Colors

Add a pop of an accent color in your accessories or décor, or incorporate an accent color into your backsplash, wall, or cabinet colors to add personality to your kitchen. Use a little or a lot, depending on the impact you’d like to have. Some of the more popular kitchen design ideas for accent colors include red, green, navy, turquoise, and gold.

Two-Tone Cabinetry

When done correctly, two-tone (or even three-tone) cabinetry can create visual interest in your kitchen. Ground the lower cabinets or a kitchen island with a darker color. Pull accent colors from a lovely backsplash. Create a cozy feel with darker upper cabinets. Or tie in with accent colors. Two-tone cabinetry can be dramatic with bold colors, or provide just a hint of color, depending upon the look you’d like.

lafayette transitional kitchen remodel

Gold or Brass Hardware

Kitchen hardware has endless choices, but what’s trending are the gold tones in brass and gold finishes. Instead of the gaudy, bright gold that you might be imagining, gold finishes in brushed gold, are soft, warm, and inviting and pair well with both light or neutral-colored cabinets, and deep, rich colors. Brushed brass offers a warmer tone that contrasts well with dark surfaces, pairs beautifully with jewel colors, or brightens up a white kitchen.

Vintage Pieces Mixed with Modern for an Eclectic Look

A “vintage” piece can be anywhere from 20 to 40 years old, as opposed to “antique” which is anything older than 100 years, and “vintage modern” is the design trend of mixing old and new. Ways to inspire vintage modern into your kitchen for an eclectic look can include the use of patina, color, style, fabric, and metals.

retro kitchen remodel west lafayette

Cabinet Accessories

There are a plethora of ways to customize your kitchen with the popular selection of cabinet accessories available today. The options for both storage and convenience are endless. Some of the popular options include cutlery and utensil drawer inserts and partitions, plate organizers, roll-out tray shelving, a pull-out pet feeding station, open accessory or cookbook shelves, glass-front lighted cabinets, blind-corner shelving, custom herb and spice storage, towel bars, waste and recycling centers, and pegboard storage.

To Choose Which Popular Kitchen Design Ideas to Consider, Work with a Qualified Professional Design-Build Firm like Riverside Construction

There are many exciting decisions to be made when designing your perfect kitchen, and at Riverside Construction, it’s our job to help you make them. You’ll work closely with our design team and interior design staff who will walk you through the decision-making processes of choosing the exact features you require for function and style.

As a design-build remodeling firm, Riverside Construction guides you through our well-managed process from design to selections to construction, to ensure a smooth project—delivered on time and on budget. For kitchen design inspiration, view our kitchen remodeling portfolio.

A kitchen remodel adds beauty and function to any home—and increases your home’s value. If you live in West Lafayette or near the Lafayette, Indiana area, schedule a conversation to talk to us about what you have in mind for your kitchen.

How to Expand a Galley Kitchen – 5 Easy Solutions

How do you make a long, narrow kitchen with limited space on both sides bigger? This is a common question for homeowners with a galley kitchen in Lafayette. This distinctive kitchen layout has a definite charm that makes it widely popular. However, it can sometimes feel restrictive, functionally and in its appearance, especially as our kitchen habits have changed in recent decades.

So how to expand a gallery kitchen or make it seem more spacious?

How to Expand a Gallery Kitchen or Make It Seem Bigger

What Exactly Is a Galley Kitchen?

A galley kitchen features cabinets and countertops on either side of a corridor-like space. The name comes from the traditional galleys found on ships where food is cooked and prepared. These designs made the best use of often tight spaces, and similarly, a residential galley kitchen also suits smaller kitchen areas.

In a standard home galley kitchen, there’s a floor area stretching between two parallel walls or runs of cabinetry. Typically, you’ll find two or more workstations facing one another. A primary benefit of such a setup is that it’s easier to quickly access core areas of the kitchen without too much movement. This makes it a favorite design arrangement among many chefs.

Pros and Cons of a Galley Kitchen

how to expand a galley kitchen

Like with all kitchen layout types, there are several benefits and drawbacks to the galley kitchen.

The pros include:

• Easy and fast access to the essential cooking appliances
• Close proximity of different food preparation surfaces to one another
• Smaller and narrower shape suitable for some home layouts
• Quicker and easier to clean compared to more spacious kitchens

The cons include:

• A lack of a central social focal point such as a kitchen island
• Narrower layout makes it harder for multiple people to cook simultaneously
• Reduced scope for larger custom appliances to fit into the kitchen
• Can impact the resale value for homes with smaller galley kitchens
• Potentially less storage space depending on the design

Galley kitchens can also suffer from reduced daylight, leaving them looking darker than larger and more open-plan kitchen interiors.

So how can you make your existing galley kitchen bigger and more advantageous than it currently is?

1. Remove a Wall (or Partial Wall)

If possible, remove a wall – or part of a wall – between your galley kitchen and another room. Doing so will increase the amount of perceived space both vertically and horizontally and allow for easier communication when people are in different areas.

The increase in space will likely also bring more natural daylight into the kitchen and the adjoining interior. More light makes a smaller kitchen feel larger, lighter, and cheerier.

It’s essential to check whether the wall or section of the wall you want to demolish is not load-bearing. Your professional design-build team will know how to help you figure this out if you are in doubt.

2. Rework the layout by Borrowing Square Footage from a Nearby Space

A different way to increase the area of your galley kitchen is to borrow space from a nearby enclosed storage area or another unnecessary structural feature. For example, a small closet outside the kitchen can be knocked through and turned into a wider access route or a wine serving area.

Before and during the design process, it’s important to figure out how you want to use your kitchen and dining area in relation to your general lifestyle. For example, if you host regular dinner parties, creating extra counter space between the galley kitchen and dining room can be beneficial for serving food and drink to guests.

3. Join the Kitchen and Dining Room with a Countertop Extension

A countertop extension can significantly open up an otherwise restricting galley kitchen if you regularly entertain and like to gather together as a family. By placing a countertop between the kitchen and the dining room, you create the perfect entertainment space that provides increased service and storage options.

Such an extension is perfect for pouring drinks, serving food, and simply chatting together over brunch – with the addition of barstools. The extra storage also reduces clutter and allows you to access specific items faster and more effectively. It also provides a pleasant backdrop to the rest of the wider space.

4. Move the Dining Area Outside the Kitchen

Some galley kitchens feature an in-built dining area. This links to previous points where an adjacent storage cupboard or wall can be knocked through and either a countertop or dining nook installed. It might be possible to move the dining area outside the kitchen altogether in such scenarios.

Doing so may require you to reconfigure your storage units and large appliances to increase both the function and the amount of available space in your galley kitchen. For example, when knocking through part of a wall to add an eat-in peninsula, you’d need to move the refrigerator and cabinets to the opposite wall.

5. More Ways to Make Your Galley Kitchen Look Bigger

Galley Kitchen

You can effectively maximize storage in your galley kitchen by adding floor-to-ceiling cabinets. These come in various designs to suit different kitchen styles, including incorporating large appliances and little niches for display and preparation purposes.

You can even hide appliances such as fridges and dishwashers behind panels identical to the surrounding cabinets.

Conversely, if your kitchen already has plenty of storage, you can opt to reduce the number of upper cabinets you might have and install open shelving instead. This change will lead to a more spacious ambiance.

Color is another crucial factor in the perceived size of an interior. Lighter colors make a space appear bigger and airier, while darker colors can make it heavier. Working with a designer can help you balance color, light, texture, and pattern in harmony that feels in balance with the surroundings.

Finally, increasing the amount of natural light in your kitchen is always a good idea. Our mental, physical, and emotional well-being is directly tied to how much natural daylight we receive. Where possible, increase the size of existing windows or add new ones. Skylights in the ceiling can also be an excellent option.

Your trusted design-build remodeling team will be able to advise you on these design options. And this is where we at Riverside Construction can help you.

Work With a Qualified Design-Build Firm

Riverside Construction, founded in 2008, is the go-to professional design-build team that has earned 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 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 kitchen is achieved.

Whether you’re transforming a kitchen or any other area of your home, let us guide your decision-making and partner with you to achieve your envisioned results.

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.

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.

What You Need to Know About Home Surface Materials

Quartz or granite? Marble or solid surface? Selecting materials for kitchen and bathroom surfaces can be confusing. There are many materials from which to choose. Some can look almost identical to others. Yet they all have different qualities that will suit different functional and aesthetic demands. 

When choosing home surfaces during your next remodel, whether it’s kitchen countertops or bathroom worktops, it’s important to be familiar with the different material qualities prior to installation. In this article, we explore what you need to know when it comes to some of the most common surface materials. 

Butcher Block

Burcher Block

Butcher block is a heavy-duty surface made from assembled wooden slabs. It’s the only permanent surface that can be used directly as a chopping board, with a little sanding quickly removing blemishes and scratches. For some home chefs, the pleasantly worn look is a desired aesthetic and matches with country-style kitchen décor themes. 

If you’re prone to forgetting to use a chopping board, the soft wooden surface will be kind to your knives. Butcher block is susceptible to moisture damage. It’s, therefore, a good idea to oil the surface regularly to minimize swelling. When it comes to cleaning, simply wipe with soap and water. 

Laminate

Laminate Countertop

Laminate is a man-made material featuring layers of paper covered with a protective melamine resin top layer. Just underneath this resin, is a decorative print layer that is available in different styles, some of which even mimic natural stone like granite and marble. This makes it an affordable alternative to more expensive materials.

The protective resin seal means laminate is very easy to keep clean. Simple cleaning with soap and water is all that’s normally required. However, laminate is susceptible to damage, especially from knives, accidents, and abrasive cleaning materials. As repairs are difficult to make, serious damage will require a complete replacement. 

Quartz

Quartz Countertop

A Quartz countertop – also known as engineered stone – is a relatively new home surface option. While quartz countertops are a manufactured surface, the core property is quartz, a highly durable, hard, and strong natural material. 

The combination of quartz with different resins and pigments means quartz countertops are available in a wide variety of styles and colors. Its non-porous surface ensures it remains stain resistant, easy to clean, and impervious to bacteria. However, it can sustain heat damage from extra hot pots or hair tools, so it’s wise to be cautious. 

Tile

Tile Countertop

Tile has long been a popular surface option for kitchens and bathrooms. We typically picture tile forming a backsplash or floor, but it can also look tremendous as a countertop. With so many different shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, and materials from which to choose, tile offers hundreds of creative design options.

Tile is also one of the more affordable surfacing options. It’s heat resistant and it’s very easy to replace chipped or discolored tiles. That said, one of the biggest drawbacks of using tiling in the sometimes wet conditions of a kitchen or bathroom is the porous nature of the grout. Regular sealing is required but this doesn’t always prevent stains and bacteria buildup. 

Granite

Granite Countertop

Granite is a natural stone material without any added ingredients. This natural beauty is why it’s such a popular choice among homeowners throughout the United States. Often installed as a solid piece of quarried stone, granite countertops usually have few seams, providing an expansive look that’s also very easy to keep clean. 

Granite is extremely strong and resistant to scratches. It can also take a lot of heat, meaning you can safely put hot equipment directly onto the surface. One drawback is that granite is porous and so it’s important it is thoroughly sealed so as to prevent stains. 

Marble

Marble Countertop

Marble is another highly popular choice when it comes to kitchen and bathroom surfaces. With its natural grains, solid appearance, and timeless appeal, marble brings the beauty and elegant strength of nature right into the heart of the home. Marble countertops make a bold and luxurious statement and for this reason, they are at the higher end of the price scale. 

An intriguing quality of marble is that it maintains a low temperature. It always feels cold. This makes it ideal for baking. As stones go, marble is one of the softer ones, making it more vulnerable than granite to nicks and cracks. Also, avoid exposure to acidic foods like lemons as over time this can remove the polish or sealant that’s so important to prevent stains.  

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is used in restaurant kitchens throughout the world. It’s also a great surface option for the home kitchen. Stainless steel is durable and non-porous, making it highly resistant to water, heat, stains, and just about anything else. This is why it has widespread use in commercial and industrial environments. It’s very easy to wipe clean. 

Unfortunately, stainless steel does dent and scratch relatively easily. Denting can be minimized with the correct installation techniques used by experienced professionals. Stainless steel countertops can be noisy as well when placing objects onto the surface, and for some people, the industrial look can be a little too cold and clinical. 

Solid Surface

Solid Surface Countertop

Solid Surface (also known as Corian) is the perfect mid-range countertop material for homeowners seeking a middle way when it comes to surface types. It’s a man-made synthetic material usually made from a combination of acrylic, polyester resins, and stone pigments. 

It can closely mimic naturally occurring materials such as stone, granite, and marble, making it a more affordable alternative. While not as strong as natural materials, it’s less susceptible to cracking from heavy impacts. However, it is easier to scratch and is not as heat resistant. But it’s very easy to maintain and clean. 

With so many surface materials to choose from, it’s important to get professional advice and guidance before an extensive kitchen or bathroom remodel. 

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, 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.

5 Considerations for Designing the Ultimate Media Room for Your West Lafayette Home

Media rooms or home theaters have steadily gained in popularity, and it’s not surprising after lifestyle improvements have spurred demand for home remodeling projects. So, if a home theater or media room space is on your wishlist, we’ve compiled a list of essential design options to consider.

It takes thoughtful planning to make your media space turn out exactly as you had planned. With the right design, your media room can be an inviting gathering place even when the lights are on, and the sound system is off.

Lights! Camera! Action! Pass the popcorn, please! Here’s what you need to know…

1] Choose the Right Space

Carving out a section of your basement is an ideal way to make good use of an unfinished or underused space. Basements typically do not have large windows, multiple doorways, or high ceilings, making them ideal for transforming a room into a dedicated home theater. You might also consider utilizing a section of a garage or unused bedroom that is approximately 20 x 13 feet—an ideal configuration for a home theater.

2] Wiring for Sound and Light

Media centers require electrical wiring—and lots of it— to provide proper lighting, video, and surround sound. Even if you have to remove sections of drywall to reroute circuits, it’s better to hide the necessary electric infrastructure than to “make do” with visible cables and wires. Your design-build contractor and a qualified electrician will assist you with planning your media room, including proper placement of wiring for essential speaker locations, a receiver, A/V equipment, a video projector, and essential lighting.

Generally, you’ll want to consider wiring that allows speaker placement 1) above or below the viewing screen, 2) at either side of the screen, 3) on the sidewalls, 4) and on the back wall. You’ll also want to identify a location for the receiver and A/V equipment, which can be placed in a hidden cabinet or nearly closet.

3] Keep It Quiet — Soundproofing

Soundproofing a media room involves modifying the surrounding wall, floor, and/or ceiling to minimize the amount of sound traveling to other rooms or adjoining neighbors. To quiet the noise, insulation plays a huge role. An insulation rating of R30 is recommended for use in exterior walls, the ceiling, and floors. To keep rumbling movie sounds to a minimum, you’ll also want to consider insulating the interior walls with loosely-packed R11 insulation. The more soundproofing you can apply, the more functional the media room will be.

If permitted, you’ll also want to consider using specialty drywall such as QuietRock Soundproof as an effective sound barrier.

Other soundproofing techniques to muffle sound include hanging wool or velvet drapes on the outside of the walls, or quilt batting covered with decorative fabric. To minimize sound transmission between floors you can even use acoustic ceiling tiles.

4] Optimize Your Viewing Experience

Do you remember, as a child, sitting in the front row of the movie theater? By the end of the movie, your neck hurt, and you were squirming in your seat, right? You’ll want to prevent this from happening in your home theater. There is an optimal location and placement of your screen so that you can minimize neck and eye strain. A rule of thumb from media experts is that the seating area should be positioned 1.5 times the diagonal measurement of the television from the screen for optimal viewing comfort.

And, when it comes to the video display, bigger is not always better. Investigate the relative advantages of LED, LCD, and plasma technology, or explore innovative OLED that is reputed to be thinner, brighter, and more energy-efficient.

Understand that, whether you create a dedicated home theater or you plan a first-class viewing center in your living room or den, your screen, sound system, and lighting must work in tandem. Clarity and picture quality are vital, comfort counts, and you want the sound system to be as easy to operate and as attractive as possible. That means planning! Avoid skimping on the planning process.

5] Design Principles

Once you have identified the room’s location, the next step is to create the “shell” of your media center, select the specific equipment, and plan its installation. When that is done, move on to the aesthetic choices that will enhance your viewing experience and create the finished space of your dreams. Here’s the shortlist of priorities:

  • TYPE OF SEATING: Your media room doesn’t have to have stadium seating, nor do you need reclining theater chairs, but if your room is large, it’s not too difficult to build in a raised section or two to hold overstuffed loveseats and plush lounge chairs. Room size and the number of people in the family will dictate your seating options. Consider flexible modular or sectional seating or a built-in banquette with plush cushions for children.
  • BLACKOUT SHADES: If your room has a large window, roller blackout shades will darken the room and provide an authentic theater experience. Drapes of a plush fabric also serve as additional insulation and can help improve sound quality.
  • LIGHT FIXTURES: Wall sconces add decorative appeal and eliminate the need for a central ceiling fixture or table lamps. Utilize dimmer switches or remote controls for safety and ease of operation. If you have different floor levels, consider low-voltage rope lighting at the steps or install step illumination to prevent accidents.
  • FEATURE WALL: Even though a large-screen television will undoubtedly become the room’s focal point, consider other decorative design features. For example, frame the screen with decorative molding or add columns to side walls as architectural accents. Alternatively, install a cabinet or counter on the back wall to serve refreshments or provide storage. Use one wall as a gallery for poster art, or install shelving to showcase movie or entertainment memorabilia.
  • PAINT COLOR: While most homeowners opt for lighter tones in living spaces, a media room will benefit from rich, darker colors: Navy Blue, Charcoal, Deep Wine Red, or an Earthy Terra Cotta or Forest Green are popular choices and will provide the perfect background for your media room. Darker upholstery or leather chairs work well in a home theater or media room. As an option for elevated seating at the rear of the room, consider pub tables and upholstered swivel stools.
  • FLOORING: Carpet is the right choice for a media room. It not only helps soundproof the room, but it amplifies the richness of movie soundtracks. Consider carpet tiles that can be easily replaced should they become damaged or stained by use.
  • CUSTOM BUILT-INS: Most media rooms are designed for viewing televised movies and DVDs and home movie films. You’ll no doubt have video games and other electronic equipment as well. Having a closet or specially designed custom cabinetry is a boon to organization and enjoyment.

When you’re ready to begin planning your home theater, call on Riverside Construction, which has experience in all things home remodeling. As the premier design-build contractor in Lafayette and West Lafayette, our team can help you determine the best location and the best materials, and the most economical ways to proceed with your media room project. Contact us or call 765.838.1644.

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It’s in the Details: Small Remodeling Projects Can Make a Huge Difference

The old expression that it’s the “little things in life that count” may also be true when it comes to home remodeling. If you think your home looks dated or you dream of having a magazine-worthy kitchen each time you prepare a meal, consider the smaller details as you plan your next home remodel.

By breathing new life into some of your home’s spaces, you will gain a new perspective about what it is you love about your house. It might also turn out that the comfort and familiarity of your existing home are what’s truly important after all.

Update Your Windows and Doors

Updating your windows and doors can make a huge impact on your home. Not only can you potentially benefit from energy savings and a lighter, brighter interior, new windows and doors can enhance your home’s interior and exterior appearance, while also adding value to your property. How’s that for a double win?

Consider high traffic areas when rethinking the use of doors and windows in your space, like your kitchen and bathroom. How can a new window bring in more natural light and update the overall look and feel of your home? Today, there are numerous features and options to choose from that will enhance your living space.

And choices are growing with homeowners’ preferences. Modern trends include windows with black frames, modern bay windows, transoms, window walls, and so much more. Homeowners are choosing window and door frames that have narrower profiles, which enhance their views and visibility. They are also opting for color-coordinated door and window colors. Finally, with more and more importance placed on the outdoors, many homeowners are choosing between slide, folding, French, quad, single, and movable glass wall systems.

Whatever the style you choose, make sure to take into account how the replacement windows and doors will look from both the interior and exterior of your home.

Maximize Your Illumination

Nothing belies a home’s age more than a single ceiling light in a bedroom or long hallway, fluorescent tube lighting in a kitchen, or inadequate bathroom lighting. Today there is no reasonable excuse for living with shadows and dark corners. Updating a home’s entire electrical plan makes sense and will save dollars and cents in the long run. Pay attention to the three types of lighting that are part of a comprehensive plan for every room: ambient (general) lighting, focused task lighting, and accent lighting.

Consider retro and industrial design styles that are making their way into West Lafayette homes. Choose between soft gold lighting fixtures, vintage Edison-style bulbs, or ornamental lighting with cleaner lines. Update old-style plugs and switches with new versions that come in a variety of styles and colors.

A creative designer will introduce you to the staggering array of available options for long-lasting, energy-saving lighting. Ask about lighting that is voice or motion-activated or controlled by smart technology. And consider new high-tech devices and entertainment options.

Refresh Your Kitchen

Kitchen remodeling is typically high on a homeowner’s wish list. But a kitchen remodel doesn’t have to involve a total gut job. Here are some options:

  • Repaint, refinish, or resurface older wood cabinets: Change the kitchen’s entire look by changing the color of the cabinets or replacing cabinet doors with a different style.
  • Replace kitchen countertops: While granite is still a top choice, there are numerous other options. Modern solid-surface materials simulate stone, but they’re also available in bright colors and patterns for immediate impact.
  • Changing the backsplash is a relatively small update that makes a significant difference.
  • Add a specialty appliance: An under-counter fridge, a wine chiller, or a dishwasher drawer, perhaps. Or install a second sink in a counter section to facilitate cooking and clean up.
  • Add an island or extend an island counter to provide additional seating.
  • Add pendant lighting over an island or raised kitchen counter.

Add New Hardware

Many homeowners are unfamiliar with the impact new hardware can have on their home. It’s relatively quick and easy to replace dated cabinet handles and drawer pulls, or to update bathroom towel bars and toilet paper holders. Survey all the hardware in your home. Replace an old doorbell button with chimes and replace it with a newer wireless model. Personalize your chime while you are at it!

If your home has simple round brass doorknobs, know that they date your home more than any other single feature. Boost your home’s curb appeal with a freshly painted front door and entry hardware. Think about trading those standard brass knobs for newer black, brushed nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze finishes, or replace knobs with trendy new levers.

Consider Adding Moldings

Beautifully crafted crown molding is a feature of traditional design. Still, its use is not restricted to conventional styles, nor are architectural details confined to whole house remodel projects. Crown molding can emphasize the ceiling height, provide a distinctive accent at the ceiling line or be the “crowning glory” of kitchen cabinetry and built-in bookcases.

In addition to crown molding, there are a variety of other moldings to consider.  For example, a chair molding (or chair rail) installed horizontally around the perimeter of a room adds both visual interest and is practical (no more chair dings on the walls!).  Upgrading existing or adding window and door casing is also a fantastic way to freshen up a space, especially when painted in a dramatic color.  Spruce up a den or home office using different moldings to create wainscotting panels.  The possibilities are endless!

Redo Your Floors

Flooring is sometimes considered the “fifth wall” of a room. While the surface you walk on may not be the most exciting aspect of design, it represents one of the most critical choices for a home — in terms of style, function, beauty, durability, and price. What’s underfoot sets the tone, in many cases, for the total ambiance of your home.

Among available flooring options to consider when planning a home update are traditional wood planks, reclaimed or distressed wood, engineered wood, newly popular bamboo or cork, ceramic or porcelain tiles, laminate or luxury vinyl tiles, stained concrete, natural stone or carpet. Flooring doesn’t have to be the same throughout your home, but if you choose different floor finishes for other rooms, be sure to coordinate the colors, patterns, and materials.

Seek Guidance from Riverside Construction

Riverside Construction has expertise in all things remodeling. We specialize in home additions, basement remodels, and kitchen and bath updates. Our design-build team will help you achieve your design and renovation goals in ways that correspond to your vision, time frame, and budget. We have been serving clients in Lafayette and West Lafayette since 2008, and we have built a reputation for satisfaction. Browse our remodel portfolio as you crystallize ideas for your renovation project.

We understand that not every home needs a whole-house renovation. Our design staff will work with you to find creative solutions that fit your lifestyle and enhance your family’s enjoyment quotient. It’s what we love doing, and it’s what we do best. We concentrate on the details so that you can capture your dream home.

Contact us now to schedule a conversation. Or sign up for our monthly newsletter which is chock full of design trends and remodeling tips to fuel your creative spirit.

Remodeling a Basement? Why You Should Consider Adding a Basement Kitchen

Gone are the days of dark, dank basements. Finished basements with amenities like home offices, home gyms, game rooms, and in-law suites are in perpetual demand.

The next big trend in lower-level or basement amenities is secondary kitchens. Whether it’s a full kitchen or just a couple of appliances and some counter space, the additional prep area and storage make entertaining easier and clean up faster.

If you are remodeling your basement, or thinking of remodeling it, consider adding a second kitchen. Repurposing this underused space in your home will provide many benefits.

A space for entertaining and special occasions

If you have a big family or like to entertain frequently, a basement kitchen can provide an ideal space for get-togethers. There’s no need to run up and down the stairs or worry about a mess.

Adding a basement kitchen allows you the ability to entertain large crowds with easy access to cooking and cleanup—and without disturbing the main part of the home.

Entertaining becomes even easier if you have a separate entrance and a bathroom in your basement. Guests have no reason to go up and down the stairs and you can keep everyone in one area.

Overflow kitchen storage

In every household, there’s never enough storage. A basement kitchen can be a great way to store extra dishes or small appliances. It can also be a great way to store additional food staples and supplies. It’s like having an extra pantry.

Have family heirlooms or unique items you picked up on your travels? Showcase them in open shelves or glass door cabinets and highlight them using accent lighting.

Build an apartment or in-law suite

Do you have a young adult moving back home, or a parent or in-law that you want to keep close? A basement with a kitchen is easily converted into an apartment or in-law suite. By adding a door to the outside and a full bathroom, you have an apartment-style living quarters, which provides you with an extra rental income opportunity. Make sure to provide all the proper exiting and safety precautions if the space will be used for an extended period of time.

Improve resale value

A home with a basement kitchen is more valuable than one without. Money spent on your basement kitchen will produce a return on investment up to 85% of your expenditure. The added amenities, such as a wet bar, appliances, and storage space, will also increase the home’s value should you decide to sell.

Basement kitchens are fairly new but are gaining in popularity, so having a home with this feature is unique. This will make your home stand out on the market, attracting buyers who like to entertain or have need for an additional living space.

Start now

If a basement kitchen sounds like something you need in your home, we are ready to start making it a reality. Peruse our basement portfolio for more ideas. You can also subscribe to our mailing list or schedule a call to start a conversation about your basement kitchen project.

How COVID Is Reshaping Home Design and What Homeowners Want

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has changed our lives, and that it will continue to change how we live in the near future. Home design, of course, is not immune from these effects. In fact, homeowners’ needs have changed quite a bit, particularly as family members spend more time working at home, as their children continue virtual classroom learning, and as health concerns mount. Here are a few ways home remodeling is helping people improve their lives in Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana:

Adding Home Offices

Working from home is becoming the new norm, and many companies are looking to adopt remote jobs permanently going forward. Dining room tables may work for the short-term, but eventually everyone needs a quiet, well-lit space that they can work at comfortably. This has led to an increase in the number of homeowners looking to add a functional home office or workspace.
There are many aspects of a home office workspace to consider – lighting, storage, video conferencing, and sound transmission, to name a few. You will want to take all of these into consideration when selecting the right space for your office. Unfortunately, many homes don’t have extra rooms that can be easily adapted to this new use, so homeowners are having to be creative about where they carve out a new work area. Design professionals can help you make decisions about how to add a workspace into your existing footprint without losing valuable living space; or add on.

Building a Room Addition

After spending several months quarantined in the same house, many families are seeing the benefit of having more space to spread out. If it’s not in your plans to move into a larger home, building square footage onto your home may be the answer. Adding just a few square feet, or another level, can make quite a difference, and it will increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell.

Some families are having difficulty finding privacy in homes that are designed with an open concept floor plan. As such, they are looking to add walls, partitions, or doors to create private spaces. Look at the areas of your home that aren’t used very often and see if adding dividers or furniture can help you break them up into smaller, more personal, spaces.

Adding More Storage and Larger Pantries

Since stocking up and making fewer trips to the store is the norm now, many families are looking to add more storage space for their non-perishable food items and cleaning supplies. These areas are best located away from living areas, so products don’t have to be carried throughout the entire home to get them where they need to be.

Underused spaces, such as the basement or garage, can be modified to include additional shelving, drawers, and bins to hold groceries, spices, cleaning supplies, and other staples. Be sure to include additional lighting and ventilation to make using these areas easier and to help protect food from spoiling.

Upgrading Bathrooms

The shortage of toilet paper, as well as a heightened interest in cleanliness, has led to an increase in the purchase of bidets and other washing appliances for the bathroom. Bidets are used around the world, and offer a clean, sanitary alternative to paper. If you don’t want to install another fixture in your bathroom, there are toilet seats available that include a bidet attachment.

More luxury fixtures are also being installed in bathrooms these days, as many spas or pools have closed. Jetted tubs, walk-in tubs, voice-activated or touchless faucets and larger showers with multiple heads can all make you feel like you are being pampered, and safe, in your own home.

Adding Home Gyms

Homeowners stuck at home are looking to home gyms to keep them in shape and help them handle the stress that the virus has caused. The first step in designing a home gym is to look at the type of equipment that will be used in the space, and then design the space around it. A gym with a treadmill and free weights is going to need different features than one that is used for yoga and Pilates, for example.

You’ll also want to consider the type of media that will be used in your home gym. If you like to watch TV while exercising, then make sure a flat screen is part of the décor. If all you want is soothing music, then a sound system and speakers will be required. You may want to add ventilation or fans if the space will be used for strenuous exercise.

Using Easy to Clean Surfaces

Cleaning has become a focus for our lives the past few months. Installing surfaces that are easy to clean and disinfect easily will help contain virus transmission, as well as help asthma and allergy sufferers living in your home. Look for non-porous materials that can be easily cleaned with household cleaners and don’t require special treatment. Stainless steel, laminate, and porcelain are all good choices to use in the kitchen or bathroom.

There are some materials that are naturally antimicrobial or that aren’t hospitable to germs in general. Copper and brass are naturally antimicrobial and have been used in plumbing materials for generations. Cork flooring not only resists germs, it is soft, insulating, and water resistant too. Other materials to consider are luxury vinyl tile (LVT) for flooring, and antimicrobial paint.

More Hands-Free Fixtures

Hands-free faucets and dispensers have been in use commercially for several years. Now they are becoming more popular for home use. Both plumbing and electrical fixtures are available with hands-free operation. Some even offer voice-controls and they can connect to your smart home system and control through an app, meaning you don’t even have to be in the same room to make them work!

Improved Air Filtration

Homeowners are looking for ways to make sure the air they breathe indoors is safe and healthy, even during these times when more people are spending time at home. Buying better air filters and cleaning or changing them more often will help. Fresh air from the outside is, usually, better than recirculated air, so opening windows is always a good idea when you can.
If you’d like more protection, there are some additional filtration systems that can be added to your home ventilation equipment to help ensure that your indoor air is healthy. Technology such as infrared and ultraviolet light filters can be added to existing systems easily. The light kills viruses and microbes in the air before they get into the home, ensuring that everyone breathes easier.

Expanded Mudrooms and Entry Ways

One of the ways the Coronavirus can get into our homes is through the soles of shoes. Many families are instituting a “no shoe” rule in their homes to help calm the spread. This has led to more families adding mudrooms or expanding storage in their entry way to store shoes and other clothing. You could also add a small sink to the mudroom, allowing everyone the chance to wash their hands before they enter the living areas of your home. Besides shoe storage, it is thoughtful to add some additional seating in these areas, so visitors have a place to safely take off and put on their shoes.

Staying Safe While Staying Home

The Coronavirus has caused changes in all our lives. Some of these changes may be temporary, but others will continue long into the future. Making some of the changes above to your home will help you stay home more comfortably, so you can enjoy your family and your work more peacefully.

If you need more ideas for making your home safer and healthier, visit our portfolio. Once you have selected your project, we’ll be waiting to hear from you to schedule a virtual or in-person consultation.

Also, you can sign up to receive the Riverside newsletter — Designed for Home — to stay abreast of new ideas for your home.

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