Home and Lifestyle

SPECIAL PROMOTION: Remodel, Redesign and Refresh Your Home

Add new life to dated spaces in your home

Refresh key rooms in your home - Sales Representative Jerry Schmidt describes his family’s business, DreamHouse DreamKitchens, as a complete design, selection and remodeling firm headquartered in Madison. With an enormous selection of cabinets, countertops, sinks, faucets and many other finishes, they work with clients building the kitchens, bathrooms, lower levels, entertainment rooms and master suites of their dreams.

“One of the things that really sets our business apart is that we’re a one-stop shop,” Schmidt says. “From the day a customer walks into our showroom with an idea about how to renovate or remodel a space until the project is completely finished, the client works directly with us. Our designers will advise on colors and finishes, and create a full 3-D color rendering of the planned new space. Once the design is approved, our production crew visits the job site, secures all the necessary permits, revises construction drawings, and orders all the materials needed. That way, when the project starts in earnest, they can hit the ground running.” 

Consumers are often anxious about the schedule for remodeling projects, and the experts at DreamHouse DreamKitchens understand this. The company provides consumers with a detailed timeline of the entire process. “We have our own demolition crews, carpenters and trimmers on site, outfitted with all the products they’ll need—plus all the experience and expertise to get the work done right and on time,” Schmidt explains. “Best of all, because we’re one team, there’s no separation between the designer’s vision of the project and the contractors.”Although most of the remodeling work provided byDreamHouse DreamKitchens is designed to match the existing character of the house, Schmidt says he sees some new decorating trends being incorporated in current projects. “Gray is still a very popular color scheme, integrated with industrial touches, brushed-brass fixtures, and a lot of reclaimed barn wood. In cabinetry, gray paint and stain offer a really timeless look,” he says.Computerized finishing is a recent innovation in the manufacturing of theDreamHouse DreamKitchens signature series of cabinetry. “The process uses the latest technology to make sure your cabinets are both beautiful and durable,” Schmidt says. “Computers analyze the surface of each cabinet door and perfectly apply an even coat of paint to the surface. Then that paint is baked into the finish as the cabinet doors go through a series of high-heat ovens. It solidifies the paint for a harder finish that is more resilient and prevents chipping. That’s the kind of innovation that exemplifies our commitment to quality, in everything we do. When people want something special, we want them to think of Dream.”

For those looking to reinvigorate a room, Brown & Beam offers unique, exceptional furniture. “We stay trendy and affordable,” Owner Lora Brown says. “Because we put such a high premium on quality, you know that you will get statement pieces that will last.” 

Brown says kitchens are most frequently the focus for home remodelers, since it’s the room that gets the most use. “Some trends we are seeing in the kitchen include punches of color in the backsplash, oversized pendant lights, and reclaimed wood accents used on stove hoods and islands,” she says. Living rooms are another family gathering place that offer great flexibility for redecorating, by adding new shelving, wall art, media consoles, and sofas. In terms of trendy colors, Brown says gray is still au courant. “Everyone is using neutral wall colors and flooring as the base, but adding pops of color to rugs, pillows, artwork and accent pieces,” she says. “That extends to using a “gray wash” (instead of whitewash) finish on flooring and furniture. For contrast, emerald green, purples and pastels are popular, along with rugs and artwork with lots of texture.” Brown notes, too, that metals are still big, especially gold and antiqued gold. 

When working with a new client, Brown always starts by asking questions so she can understand their style. “Then, we take a look at colors that suit the room,” she says. “Some people love neutrals while others go toward brighter colors. Next we create a digital floor plan to show all the options for arranging furniture. This is where people see their ideas come to life.” Brown says she has had a passion for interior design since childhood. “It’s thrilling when I get to really tap into what the client loves and create a design that makes them happy,” she says.

As a final piece of advice, Brown recommends bold pieces of wall art to add some dazzle to a room. “Having a fun painting of your favorite animal or just vibrant colors sets the tone for a space,” she says. “Rugsand floor cloths are also a key ingredient in brightening up a room. Having something on your floor really ties the space together.” She also loves mixing vintage pieces with new furniture. “Whether it is vintage artwork or eclectic Old World accessories, mixing new and old together makes a room more intriguing.”

Crystal Welsh works with clients on an array of remodeling projects in her postion as a designerfor Coyle Carpet One Floor & Home. After getting her degree in Retail and Interior Decorating, Welsh started her career as a kitchen and bath designer. Eventually she moved on to designing kitchen countertops, fireplace surrounds, and bar tops. She entered the flooring business in 2011 and has been in the industry ever since.

In addition to kitchens and baths, which are popular spaces to remodel, Welsh says she is seeing more projects focused on lower levels of homes, with larger recreational spaces and more functional, designated spaces for toys and home theater areas. As for color schemes, shades of gray dominate walls in new construction, with bolder jewel tones for accent walls. “Although off-whites made their way into a few Parade homes this year,” Welsh says, while noting that she’s also seeing a lot of gold lighting, faucet fixtures and cabinet hardware.

For what’s hot in flooring, Welsh says she’s fallen in love with carpet tile. “It’s been popular in commercial spaces for awhile, but now I am seeing more and more carpet tile in homes,” she says. “There are so many interesting possibilities in design with carpet tile. It’s a really beautiful and versatile product.” Luxury vinyl also continues to be popular. “It is virtually maintenance-free, and comes in a wide array of tile, hardwood and stained-concrete looks. It continues to be a durable option for most consumers,” she says.

With any remodeling project, Welsh emphasizes the importance of finding designers and contractors you trust. “Attend home shows and trade shows,” she suggests. “Talk to people and ask questions. Get a referral from a friend.”

Finally, where should consumers start when considering redesigning a space in their home? Welsh recommends thinking about how you currently use the room you’d like to remodel: Do you read in the space? Does the family gather there to play games? Do you eat in the space? “Once you define the function of the room, you can start with rearranging furniture and de-cluttering,” she says. “That will make a big difference. If you are interested in just a few cosmetic changes, you can paint and add a few extra pillows or throw blankets. If you want something more, it’s time to consult a professional you trust.” •

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