Kitchen Countertops to Consider for Your Kitchen Remodel

 

The kitchen is the heart of your home; where meals are enjoyed, school bags get tossed, good and bad news is shared, and the place where guests tend to congregate when you entertain, despite having the dining room table set. The workhorse of every kitchen are its countertops.  Countertops must be both functional and durable, while completing the design and style of the kitchen.

If you are ready for an update or a complete remodel, here are five popular countertops you should consider based on durability, function, and style. Prices will vary based on availability and fabrication.

Quartz

Currently a very popular choice in kitchen countertops. Homeowners tend to choose quartz surfacing because of its many advantages. Quartz doesn’t need to be sealed, and its seams blend very well. It is easy to clean and is heat, scratch, and stain resistant.  Because of its manufacturing process, quartz is durable and has a seemingly endless choice of colors and patterns.

Granite

Granite surfaces are slabs of stone cut from the earth, making each piece unique. It is more porous than quartz and does require a bit more maintenance. You can order granite countertops with a polished, shiny finish; a honed, matte finish; or a specialty finish such as flamed or leather. Because of the many choices in colors and finishes, design flexibility is a significant advantage in choosing granite.

Marble

As a counter surface, marble offers a beautiful, timeless look. It has been a preferred stone in architecture throughout the ages. However, as a fair warning, marble is softer and more porous than granite. It is susceptible to stains and scratches so upkeep can be challenging, depending on your lifestyle.  Even so, some of the most beautiful countertop installations are in marble.

Quartzite

If you love marble but don’t want the upkeep, you should also consider quartzite because it is a natural stone with similar beauty. Quartzite is a solid, crystalline mass of mineral stone cut from the earth in slabs.  It’s harder than most knife blades and is more resistant to etching than marble. The generally lighter, more subtle tones of quartzite give it design versatility.

Wood
A durable surface for hard-working kitchens, wood countertops are more sanitary than you may think. Wood offers warmth both visually and tangibly, in contrast to cold stone surfaces.  Today it’s possible to design kitchen countertops to be a wood species such as cherry, maple, hickory, walnut, teak, sapele or mahogany. If you use a wood countertop as a cutting or chopping surface, be willing to accept cuts and scratches in the surface and simply apply a food- safe oil to the wood.

A kitchen update or remodel may seem overwhelming.  However, working with the right design and build firm can eliminate the stress of a kitchen project. At Carole Lee Interiors we guide you with advice on budgeting and time management during each step to keep your project on track.  We combine extensive interior design knowledge with a team of expert craftsmen to ensure your project is executed without sacrificing form or function.

Give us a call today.

Things to Consider When Remodeling Your Laundry Room

 

Remodeling any room in the house can be a complex process, even functional rooms like laundry rooms take a lot of thought and planning to get from inspiration to result. Here are some specific considerations for laundry rooms. Working with an interior designer who also provides complete general contracting services may be the best way to manage your project.

 

Know Why You’re Remodeling

When first setting out to renovate your laundry room, it is important to understand the driving motivation behind the project. Is the renovation happening to update the look, or to accommodate a functional aspect of this frequent use room? Keeping this core impetus to renovate in mind leads to a project that suits your wants and needs.

 

Make Sure the Room Fits Your Life

Whatever the reason for the redesign, the workflow for a functional room like the laundry room is a design element not to be missed. Consider if the room big enough and located in a part of the house that makes sense for your living needs. Renovating the laundry room might include bumping out a wall or moving it to somewhere easier to access.

There are a few considerations unique to how a laundry room fits into varied lifestyles. The physical space of any appliances, as well as sinks, folding boards, and cabinets represent the fixed elements for spacing. Laundry basket space, drying racks, clothes lines or poles, ironing or steaming equipment, and maintaining chemical safety vary more household to household.

 

Make Sure the Room Fits Your Look

The laundry room may not be the most or least glamorous room in the house, but it is a room that sees frequent use. As with any remodeling job, the end result should be something you’re happy to look at on a regular basis. From lighting options to color profile, there are many ways to make a laundry room uniquely yours.

Though a functional room, the laundry room will still be visited daily by many. Making any regularly used spaces comfortable is an important part of any redesign project. Matching walls, cabinets, and even appliances can be a daunting task well worth the time. Flooring options and potential noise reduction features also increase the quality of use of a laundry room.

 

Lighting

Often an interior or basement room, frequently without any natural lighting of any sort, laundry rooms benefit greatly from a well thought out lighting plan. The classic dangling bare bulb fits the functional requirement, while integrated strip lights and time-out options make a visit to the laundry room more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

As a functional space, choosing the right bulb is an important step. Full spectrum white light from LEDs or daylight bulbs help identify stains and reveal the true color of cloth, while softer yellow lights might reveal what something will look like inside.

 

Cabinets

Choosing the right cabinets for a laundry room is a matter of both form and function. Choosing to have doors on any given cabinet changes both the look and ease of access. Waist-high cabinets can be used as a folding table and staging area, while floor to ceiling cabinets offer more storage without the folding table.

 

Flooring

Choosing the right flooring for a space can be a daunting task and choosing the right flooring in a room with as specific a purpose as the laundry room is no exception. Some flooring is great for cleaning up lint but does not stand up to the weight of some appliances, other flooring is comfortable and cozy, but a pain to clean. Add in the complexity of coordinating the flooring with the aesthetic theme of the room, and the value of an expert becomes apparent.

 

Call or email Carole Lee today to schedule a consultation for all of your interior design, general contracting, and project management needs!

Outdoor Living In 2021

Whether you’re cooking, exercising, or just hanging out, plan to spend more time outside this year as backyards, decks, and patios evolve into comfortable, well-equipped extensions of the home.   This year’s outdoor living trends are all about making your backyard, porch, or even balcony a regular part of everyday life. Homeowners can expect to bring indoor conveniences outdoors with smart technology, multipurpose add-ons, and structures that allow us to be outside longer and more often throughout the year. Whether it’s a spot a private patio with plenty of shade, or a place to do the cooking, outdoor living in 2021 is synonymous with time spent at home.  Here are a few ideas we like that will enhance your outdoor living experience.

Outdoor Kitchens

Cooking at home outdoors has become increasingly popular.    And we don’t just mean your standard barbeque grill, but instead entire outdoor kitchens.  There are many additional cooking elements like pizza ovens and grills to supplement the main interior kitchen.  Other options can include prep space, storage, sinks and refrigeration.  Space and your renovation budget will determine what type of kitchen we can build and install.  And we always recommend additional seating to complete alfresco meals.

Multipurpose Furniture

In 2020 entertaining was less of a focus, which prompted furniture designers to build multi-functional pieces meant to work in outdoor spaces that accommodate both everyday living and social distancing.  Expect newer designed outdoor furnishings to be versatile enough to use in nearly any space you choose. Hidden features and items that are convertible, like modular tables that can be pulled apart with hidden beverage compartments are things to look for.

Products That Extend the Outdoor Living Season

Furniture, accessories, and add-ons that help you stay outside longer are an especially popular upgrade.   We like to help our clients extend the days and hours they can enjoy being outside.  Amenities like fire pits, heat lamps, misting systems and fans help extend the outdoor living season.   To tie it all together we add outdoor rugs, throw blankets, pillows, and lighting, which supply cozy ambience.

Why Carole Lee?

 At Carole Lee Interiors, we offer clients a complete approach to satisfy all your outdoor living needs. We provide outdoor kitchen installation, custom firepit installation, outdoor lighting and full-service design and decoration for all furnishings, including selection and purchasing.  Give us a call today!

2020: What A Year

Dear loyal customers,

It certainly has been an uncommon year for both our business, our customers, our customers who are also business owners and our family.  We undoubtedly did not anticipate the often overwhelming disruption caused by the arrival of COVID-19, beginning in March of this year.  Business shut-downs, healthcare concerns and general pandemic fatigue have impacted us all.

Throughout this year’s ups and downs we have relied on our customers to help our business stay afloat and for that we want to offer you our heartfelt thanks.  We look forward to turning the page on 2020 and the arrival 2021 with hope that things will soon return to what was once referred to as ‘normal.’  Yes, moving forward there may be a ‘new normal’ but we hope we see you there.  We will continue our promise to provide excellent customer service in all we do.

From all of us at Carole Lee Interiors, we wish you a happy, healthy and safe holiday.

Best regards,
Carole Lee,
President

Work with Carole Lee and Avoid Costly Mistakes

Unfortunately, some people may become intimidated by the idea of hiring a professional interior designer who provides both interior design and general contracting services. Perhaps you are concerned about the process of working with an interior design team, as well the potential costs associated with hiring a professional.

Carole Lee understands your fears and does her best to alleviate your concerns by providing easy access to each client and by offering a full suite of interior design and complete general contracting services. And, it’s important to remember that as a professional interior designer she is a trained expert and can know what is best for your project. It is smart to trust the professionals to do what we only think we can do.  Here are five reasons why you should hire a full- service interior designer.

Avoid Costly Mistakes
The number one reason to hire a professional interior designer, like Carole Lee, is to avoid costly mistakes. Have you ever bought a piece of furniture that looked amazing in the store only to discover it was too big once you got home? Or, have you ever painted a room three or four times trying your best to get the perfect color, only to fail? Do you really understand all of the requirements and have the skills required to renovate your kitchen or bath? Mistakes can be real budget busters. Although it may seem like you may save money on DIY projects as opposed to paying an additional designers’ fee, the truth is that hiring a designer can help you avoid costly mistakes and help you make decisions that will increase the value of your home. And Carole Lee will get the best value out of what you can spend. She is accustomed to working with a line item budget and will manage your project and understand where every penny is going.

Save Time
Let’s face it.  Redecorating and renovating space requires a lot of work and a lot of time. Extensive background work must initially be completed with regards to the structure and location of the space, the different styles available and many minor details as well as serving as the liaison with many skilled tradespeople. Carole Lee Interiors will handle all of the details and make recommendations based on your specific dreams and goals.  As a full-service interior design and build firm, she provides turnkey solutions offering both interior design and general contracting services. As one project manager handling your entire project, she really saves you time.

Better Resources & Contacts
Carole Lee has curated a list of the best and most trusted resources and contacts for small, medium and major interior design projects. With advanced knowledge of construction practices for large scale projects and a network of plumbers, masons, carpenters and electricians she stands by the quality of work her team provides and knows it will be up to your standards.

A Complete Visual Story
As an ASID certified interior designer, Carole Lee has spent years training and working in her field. While working with you to decide on your décor style and goals, she presents a whole visual story, so you understand the projected outcome of your space before starting the work.  This provides a clear timeline of what to expect from start to finish. Without a designer providing direction your end result may not be what you expected or wanted.

A Trained Eye
Carole Lee is a trained designer so you get an immediate plan of action for your space with a pair of eyes that will catch things you are guaranteed to miss. She has spent years perfecting her craft and is trained to look at a space creatively, spatially and practically, paying attention to every detail; from the placement of furniture and lighting, to color palettes, traffic flow as well as what part of the room should be the focus to create the added WOW factor.

Contact Carole Lee today and let your dream space become a reality.

Give Your Home Curb Appeal

With many people spending more time at home due to COVID-19, homeowners are taking a closer than usual look at their surroundings, both inside and out.  Now with the summer months upon us, we are enjoying more time outside and maybe crave a few updates and changes.  During stressful times beautiful outdoor surroundings can bring solace to you and your family.

But if you intend to put your home on the market the main draw to buyers when first laying eyes on your soon-to-be-sold home is “curb appeal” or how it looks from the street.  If you can draw potential owners in with the first glance, you are far more likely to get them in the front door and convert to a buyer.  A professional interior designer can keep you from making costly mistakes and knows what trends buyers are looking for. As a single source interior design firm, Carole Lee Interiors provides both design services and complete general contracting to provide you with turnkey solutions for your projects.

Here are a few things we are available to help you with to improve the curb appeal of your property.  And, who knows, after you have completed all of these gorgeous upgrades you may want to keep your home after all.

  • Landscaping: Trimming your shrubs so perspective buyers can see the house.
  • Pressure washing:  Clean your siding, driveways, walkways, patios and decks.
  • Exterior Painting: Adding a fresh coat of paint to the front door or the entire house.
  • Outdoor lighting: Installation of updated porch fixtures and walkway lighting.
  • Outdoor Accessories: Order management of planters, porch and patio furniture
  • Masonry: Redo walkways with flagstone, brick, concrete or hardscaping.
  • Construction & Remodeling: Make your front porch larger or add a deck.
  • Roofing:  Cleaning or repair any problems with your roof.

We are now back open, fully operational and welcome the opportunity to give your home a refresh.  Give us a call today.  Happy summer!

Home as Your Sanctuary

With the country (and most of the world) finding themselves stuck indoors due to the escalating coronavirus crisis, many of us are having to adjust to working from home, working out at home and being limited with how many times we can leave the house.

First and foremost, our hearts go out to anyone who’s been impacted by the virus, either directly or indirectly. Our thoughts are especially with those who are sick, to whom we extend our heartfelt wishes for a full recovery. And we’re truly inspired by the selfless healthcare workers, first responders, grocery workers, truck drivers and the many others who are on the front lines working tirelessly to care for people in need.

Everyone needs to do their part. As an Interior design firm, we know that your environment can impact your well-being and productivity. And now that we’re all spending the foreseeable future at home, we thought we would put together a few ideas to help create your own home sanctuary and hope to make life just a tiny bit better.

• Bring in the natural world by adding planters & garden boxes for a calming vibe.
• Add colors that make you happy and feel serene.
• Bring a room to life with scents and flowers.
• Declutter your workspace and main living areas.
• Make your bedroom a cocoon.
• Create bath time bliss with fresh linens, a soaking tub and candles.
• Organize your kitchen with new kitchen storage solutions.
• Enjoy meals with family with farm-to-table accessories
• Recharge your patio with cozy chairs and colorful cushions.
• Add firepits for evening family gatherings.

Take care, stay well and let’s get through this together.

Sincerely,
Carole Lee

What is BESPOKE Interior Design?

The word bespoke has evolved from a verb meaning “to speak for something,” to its contemporary usage as an adjective that has changed from describing first tailor-made suits and shoes, and later, anything commissioned to a particular specification (altered or tailored to the customs, tastes, or usage of an individual purchaser), and finally to a general marketing and branding concept implying exclusivity and appealing to a high end luxury market.

For example, when it comes to furniture, bespoke furniture quit simply is custom- made furniture for your home, designed for exactly what you need, where you need it, what you need it for and exactly how you want it to look.  Typically, a quality piece will be commissioned using the materials you want, based on your budget. When talking about kitchens, bespoke kitchens refer to a kitchen that is designed to order, unique in its specification and tailored to the exact requirements of its owner.

These same attributes can be applied to interior design.  At Carole Lee Interiors we look at design as art, and believe exceptional interior design melds style with purpose, and is an aesthetic study in balancing crisp, clean design with the warmth of traditional architectural details. Every project we accept will be custom tailored to your space, your needs and your budget.  Our goal is to enhance the way people use or live in their space and  to create interiors that are truly unique. It is this versatility that is the key to our bespoke interior designs.

We invite you to contact us today to schedule a consultation.

How to Decorate with An Area Rug

Adding a modern area rug to a room that lacks excitement can solve your problem. While that alone is a good enough reason to decorate with a rug, there are many others good reasons as well. An area rug completes a room by tying together the different design pieces visually. A rug can also anchor a room, define it, add warmth, and help layer a room’s decor.

Here are a few ideas on how to decorate with area rugs:

Use Rugs to Define Areas 

Use a rug to separate or define areas, such as seating or dining areas, and foyers. This is especially useful in apartments or larger rooms a that need a visually divider and definition.

Create Variety 

You can use rugs to create variety within a space. When you use two area rugs in a room, be aware that sometimes rugs the same size can visually cut the room in two. Instead consider different sized area rugs to create visual divisions and variety.

Create Harmony 

When using more than one rug, use area rugs that complement each other in both style and color palette. If not, you could end up with a jarring or unpleasant effect. Too many patterns not well managed in a room can create a disconnect and ruin the sense of decorative harmony.

Control the Volume 

Area rugs can visually quieten a room or turn up the volume as needed. If your upholstery or wallpaper has an ornate pattern, choose a rug that is more subtle. When walls and upholstery are fairly subdued, you can try a busier pattern or bolder colors to add more interest to your room.

Create a Focal Point 

Area rugs are great when used as a focal point and can make a huge impact. Create contrast by painting your walls a hue that echoes one of your rug’s accent colors.

Try Different Shapes

Not all area rugs need to be rectangular in shape. Let the way you group your furniture dictate the shape of your rug, then select either a square, round or oval shape to complement your furniture arrangement.

Update a Room 

Area rugs can easily be changed out along with pillows and possibly window treatments, to update a room for changing seasons, or as a way to introduce new color trends.

TIP: As a safety measure and to preserve your area rug, always use a liner to keep your rug from slipping or creeping. The rug liner should be appropriate for your floor type, and also be the right size to fully keep the rug from sliding.

Be sure to contact Carole Lee Interiors and Complete General Contracting Service for all of your home design needs.

Excerpts taken from The Spruce.com https://www.thespruce.com/tips-for-decorating-with-rugs-1391114

Earthy Colors In Interior Design

One of the most popular home design trends this year is the use of earth tone colors, as reported in Décor Magazine. In previous years, gray tones were often all the rage in interior design. This year, grey is still dominant but it’s often combined with softer pastels and earthy tones.

Earth tones describe a color palette inspired by the colors we find in nature.  Warm browns, camel, greens, sienna, and umber, soft grays and tans all blend together to form a harmonious and welcoming interior in your home or office.

Earth tones work well in both modern and traditional homes due to their versatility and beauty and can add a layered look by building interest through various levels of tones and elements. This color palette tends to impress and is a safe choice for those looking for a relaxing and luxurious atmosphere that is both comfortable and pleasing to the eye.

November is a great time of year to enjoy a cozy space beside a fireplace with soft lighting in a well appointed home.  Why not elevate your home interiors by calling Carole Lee today to schedule a consultation.