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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.

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.

How to Remove Kitchen Soffit – 5 Careful Considerations

A kitchen soffit is a closed-in area above the cabinets. Soffits were a popular design included in homes in the mid-to-late 1900s. Today, however, homeowners don’t appreciate the boxed-in feeling soffits give a kitchen, especially those extending past the cabinets’ face. In addition, with the increasing popularity of open floor plans in the 2000s, the soffit is largely an unwanted feature. As a result, many interior designers suggest removing them and using the space for more storage. However, before committing to tearing out the soffit, there are a few things you need to consider.

1.   What’s Behind the Kitchen Soffit?

Created to hide utilities like HVAC ductwork or plumbing lines from an upper story, the soffit design became so customary that designers started including them in the kitchen solely for aesthetics. But, you can’t be sure if you can remove a soffit unless you know its purpose in your kitchen. If there’s nothing above the kitchen, chances are your soffit is purely ornamental. But, if you have a bathroom overhead, or if there’s a return air duct in the soffit, you can guess that mechanicals are behind there.

If you don’t have the original building plans, the only way to know for sure is to cut holes through the drywall and look inside. But don’t start swinging a hammer yet. “Since you don’t want to damage anything,” says Andy Haste, founder and president of Riverside Construction, “it’s advised that you consult with a reputable contractor or design-build firm that can help you explore your options, both from a design and a cost perspective.”

2.   How Will Removing the Soffit Impact the Cabinets?

To remove the soffit in the kitchen, you may also need to take down the cabinets. If you don’t plan to purchase new ones, you can rehang them after the soffit is gone. However, consider partnering with an experienced home remodeling contractor for this task to eliminate the risk of damaging the cabinets.

3.   Will Soffit Removal Affect the Ceiling and Walls?

Once you remove the soffit, the surrounding walls and ceiling will need to be repaired and painted. You’ll also need to patch the holes left in the drywall from the studs that held the soffit in place. Also, “matching ceiling textures can be complicated, and patching it can require painting the entire ceiling to disguise the patch completely,” says designer, Kelly Grish. At a minimum, the whole area will require a fresh coat of paint.

4.   What Else Should I Ask My Contractor?

Kitchen Remodel QuestionsDepending on what they find behind the soffit, you do have options. After assessing the situation, here are a few more questions to ask your remodeling contractor.

  • Can the mechanicals behind the soffit be relocated?
  • If yes, what would that entail?
  • How much would it cost to move the plumbing, electrical, or ductwork?
  • How would moving the mechanicals affect our time frame?
  • If we move any of the utilities, how long will we be without service?
  • Is there a less-expensive option?

5.   Can You Disguise the Kitchen Soffit?

If removing the soffit isn’t an option because it’s hiding mechanicals, there are other ways to give your kitchen a more open and modern feel. Here are a few ideas for disguising a soffit to consider:

  • Crown molding along the soffit adds a hint of elegance to your kitchen. And the added detail brings dimension and the illusion of a higher ceiling.
  • If the original builder missed the opportunity to add lighting to the soffit, do that now. Achieve soft ambient lighting with LED strips above the crown molding. And for task lighting, recessed can lights stay out of the visual field while illuminating the countertop while you work.
  • Replace the upper cabinets that hide the soffit. Custom cabinet makers can create cabinets that stretch up to the ceiling with the soffit hidden inside.
  • If replacing the cabinets isn’t in the budget, disguise the soffit to look like another row of cabinets.
  • Add decorative molding in a pattern to give your soffit some visual interest.
  • Use the soffit as a canvas for creative artwork. “Paint custom art, farmhouse signage, or other design elements on a soffit, turning it into a thing of beauty,” says designer, Kelly Grish.
  • Hang a collection of plates, trivets, or other collectibles on the face of the soffit.
  • Disguise the soffit to look like a beam with a structural purpose. Then, add other faux beams to the kitchen to help it blend in and create a new, rustic design.
Before Kitchen Soffit Removal After

Consult with a Professional Remodeling Contractor

Now that you know what removing your kitchen soffit could entail, consult with a home remodeling and design professional to learn your options.

Since 2008, Riverside Construction’s award-winning team has served homeowners in the Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Tippecanoe County areas. First, take a look at their extensive portfolio of stunning kitchen remodels, then schedule a consultation with one of their expert design-build professionals. Also, sign up to receive their monthly “Designed for Life” newsletter for current remodeling trends and kitchen design inspiration.

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.

12 Design Essentials for Your Next West Lafayette Bathroom Remodel

According to Remodeling’s 2021 Cost vs. Value Report, a mid-range bathroom remodel brings one of the highest returns on investment if and when you decide to sell the home. More importantly, for homeowners who plan to remain in their home, the National Association of Realtors Research Group gives a bathroom remodel a Joy Score of 9.3. So if you’re planning to remodel your bathroom this year, here are 12 key design elements to consider for your project.

1. Choose High-Quality Cabinetry

Bathroom Design Essentials

The bathroom is probably the most humid room in your home. A typical family of four can easily subject a single bath to two hours of steam per day. You need cabinets that can take that type of exposure. Riverside Construction often recommends Showplace Cabinetry because their choice of high-grade materials ensures you have a quality cabinet. Here are the three options when selecting cabinet material.

Solid wood–Solid wood expands and contracts with humidity changes. Over time, these changes can cause the paint to crack where the boards meet. Choose a close grain, like birch, poplar, or maple, if you want to use solid wood. It’s best for door frames, small drawers, or the cabinet face.

Plywood–Plywood is less expensive than solid wood and less prone to expansion and contraction. Choose a close-grained, hardwood variety, like birch. Plywood is an excellent choice for door panels, deep drawers, and cabinet sides and shelves.

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)—Fine for painted cabinets, MDF is made of different types of compressed wood. It’s more prone to moisture damage than the other options and requires adequate sealant.

2. Choose Countertops Carefully

When it comes to countertops, choose something aesthetically pleasing but also easy to care for. Here are the pros and cons of the three most popular options.

Natural stone, including marble and granite

Pros

  • Beautiful and elegant
  • An infinite variety of patterns and colors
  • Durable

Cons

  • Can be scratched
  • Susceptible to staining, if not sealed
  • More expensive

Quartz

Pros

  • Doesn’t require sealing or polishing
  • Stronger and less brittle than natural stone
  • Water, scratch, and stain resistant
  • Ideal for high-traffic bathrooms
  • Many styles and colors to choose from

Cons

  • Not as heat resistant as natural stone
  • Sometimes, seams show
  • More costly option

Solid Surface

Pros

  • Water and stain-resistant
  • Easy to clean and repair
  • Great for high-traffic areas
  • Can be manufactured without seams
  • Less costly (similar to entry-level granite)

Cons

  • Not heat resistant
  • Stone-look is artificial

3. Add Plenty of Storage

Who doesn’t need more storage? In the bathroom, particularly. Any way you can add storage to this already space-challenged room will improve your life. Whatever you choose to create a home for your everyday items, make sure it fits your lifestyle. For instance, to avoid countertop clutter, you need a vanity with enough drawers or cubbies to hold the things you use every day. Also, consider adding a closet for occasional use items, like spare towels, first aid supplies, or extra paper products. Here are a few clever storage ideas for your bathroom remodel:

  • Remove the lower shelves of a ladder-style bookshelf unit and place it over the commode for out-of-the-way storage, adding visual appeal.
  • Built-ins not only provide storage but also add value to your home.

4. Layer the Lighting

Remodeling is the perfect time to improve the lighting in your bathroom. A design-build remodeler can advise you on how to provide the ideal illumination for everything from up-close work to creating a relaxing spa-like atmosphere. If you don’t have a window, adding lights in the shower makes that space safer. Consider installing bright, focused light for shaving or applying makeup, soft ambient light for general use, and dimmable can lights for a long soak in the tub. To improve the space’s overall design, choose stylish fixtures, like a chandelier near the tub or brass sconces aside the vanity mirror.

5. Design for Accessibility

Planning for future use is recommended, no matter what your age. But older homeowners, in particular, may want to consider incorporating universal design elements into their bathroom remodel. Work with a local design-build remodeler to learn how to make life easier and safer for your family. In addition, older adults or those with accessibility limitations may want to consider the following design changes.

  • Zero-entry shower or walk-in tub
  • Non-slip flooring
  • Hands-free faucets and lighting
  • Grab bars and shower seating
  • Handles instead of knobs
  • Improved lighting
  • Lowered cabinets and sink for wheelchair access

6. Add a Window in the Shower

If at all possible, add a window in your shower. The greatest enemy of every bathroom is moisture. Opening a window, even if just a crack, before or after showering will draw the humid air out. If you’re concerned about privacy, choose frosted glass. It will prevent outsiders from looking in, while allowing all the natural light you need.

7. Include Proper Ventilation

Whether you have a window or not, an adequate exhaust fan is key to maintaining the health of your bathroom. A fan’s ability to remove air from the home is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The rule is you need at least 1 CFM per square foot of bathroom area. So, if your bathroom is 5- by 8-feet, you need an exhaust fan with a 40 CFM rating or higher. For further protection, consider installing an exhaust fan with a timer and an antibacterial violet light. When the fan turns off, the violet light comes on to stop mold and bacteria growth in the room.

8. Consider a Recessed Medicine Cabinet

Most medicine cabinets have mirrored fronts, a necessary element in every bathroom design. In addition, they provide much-needed storage space for items used regularly. Things like toothbrushes and paste, deodorant, combs, and hair gel get stashed out of sight rather than cluttering up the vanity top. Recessed medicine cabinets blend nicely into your design, rather than protruding from the wall like someone hung a box there. If you don’t already have a recessed cabinet, the construction phase of a remodel project is the perfect time to add one.

9. Include Niches for More Storage

Stop dropping bottles off the narrow tub ledge while taking a shower. Instead, include niches in your new shower design to store your shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. If the bathroom accommodates several family members, include several places so everyone can have their own space for their personal care products.

10. Stay Warm with Heated Flooring

Nothing is more luxurious than a warm bathroom floor in the morning. Consider installing radiant floor heat underneath the tile if you’re replacing the flooring during your remodel project. Easy to install, electric heat floor mats link together and lay on top of the subfloor. They then connect to an electrical circuit and thermostat. And, then the floor covering goes on top. In a small space like a bathroom, you can cover the entire floor or just the areas where you stand or walk. Your design-build team can advise you on the best product to use and its perfect placement.

11. Consider Low Flow Toilets and Showerheads

Low flow toilets and showerheads can save you money on your water bill and are better for the environment. Consider these comparisons.

Fixture Type Standard Flow Low Flow
Sink Faucet 2.2 gallons per minute 1.5 gallons per minute
Toilet 1.6 gallons per flush 1.28 gallons per flush
Showerhead 2.5 gallons per minute 1.8 gallons per minute

12. Keep The Main Fixtures Neutral

Everyone remembers the pink or avocado green bathrooms of yesteryear. They were the bane of home remodelers who wanted the charm of buying an older home but craved a more neutral color palette. Don’t make the same mistake for the future owners of your home, which could be you if you plan to stay a few decades. Fads come and go. So, choose neutral options that style well with any décor for large fixtures like the tub, toilet, and sink. Save the personality for components that cost less, and require less work, to replace.

If you’re ready to get started on your bathroom remodel, Riverside Construction is prepared to serve you. Since 2008, their award-winning team has served homeowners in the Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Tippecanoe County areas. Take a look at their extensive portfolio of stunning bathroom remodels, then schedule a consultation with one of their expert design-build professionals. Not quite ready? Sign up to receive their monthly newsletter, “Designed for Life,” to stay informed on current design and remodeling trends.

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.

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