Why Home Improvement Projects Have Surged

 

The sound of power tools is roaring in neighborhoods across the United States.

And throughout neighborhoods home improvement projects have been in full swing.  Once COVID hit, families needed someplace the kids could play and learn. Playhouses went up in the back yard, basements were converted to school rooms, dens were now home offices.

Necessity is one factor driving the home improvement boom. Americans have been forced to use their houses more — and differently. But that doesn’t account for the huge spike in demand documented by Max Anderson, chief economist at Porch.com.

“These are all-time highs,” Anderson says. “In terms of measured history in the United States, these are the highest levels of home improvement spending we’ve ever seen. Anderson says that just over 3 out of 4 homeowners whom Porch.com surveyed have completed a major project since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and roughly the same percentage have one on the drawing board. Homeowners younger than 40 are the most likely to have completed projects this year, though more than half of baby boomers have done home improvement work too

Rock-bottom interest rates also make home improvements more attractive. And he says that in unsettling times, spending on one’s home can be a comforting investment.  People aren’t going on vacations or going out to restaurants, so they’re appreciating their homes more and spending money on them.  Many people have money to spare so they are updating their vacation homes and upgrading their primary homes, too.

If it is time for a home improvement project, we hope you will consider Carole Lee Interiors.  Our full- service design / build approach provides you the benefit of a trained eye of an interior designer and the increased supervision of a general contractor.

We have extensive general contracting experience in both interior and exterior projects.  Full-scale interior projects can be kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, dens, or any room inside your home.  Some exterior projects include decks, patios, walkways, outdoor kitchens and firepit installations.  And our design services offer a full suite of furnishings to pull your project together.

We work closely with clients to ensure you prevent costly mistakes, while delivering an exceptional customer service experience.    Give us a call to discuss your next home improvement project.

 

 

 

2021 Trends in Hardwood Flooring

 

 

Hardwood flooring continues to grow in popularity and is one of the most preferred flooring types for homes. Ironically, this is followed by all sorts of products trying to mimic the look of hardwood flooring, regardless of whether it’s porcelain tile that looks like hardwood flooring or engineered vinyl planks.

But many homeowners still prefer the real thing and that is what we recommend. Hardwood floors are timeless, rich looking and a good investment for your home.  If well maintained, they last for decades.  And you can refinish hardwood floors to update the color or sheen as trends and preferences change. There are so many options to choose from, it can sometimes be daunting. But a good rule of thumb is to choose something you like rather than only something that is on trend.  However, if you can do both, that is ideal.   Here are a few ideas hardwood flooring trends for 2021 to consider.

 Dark and Cool Toned

The trend towards darker tones continues to grow with cool tones preferred. There is a move away from warmer tones with red or red/brown undertones and a preference towards browns that are purer and more natural.  For those looking to go darker, there are blends of ebony and dark walnut to true black. While black or ebony floors may look stunning, they do require more maintenance to keep them looking clean.

 Gray and Gray Blends

Gray flooring has been on the rise and you can see it everywhere you go in wood, tile that looks like wood and gray vinyl planks that look like wood.  There are a range of hues, from charcoals and greiges to brown grays.  This is a newer tend and one to watch but may not be the best selection if you want a warmer looking space.

Light, Natural and Muted

The opposite of the popularity of dark woods is the choice of light or natural looking flooring.  But the theme is consistent with dark woods in that homeowners still prefer cooler tones that drown out the yellow hues. Light hardwoods have a distinct advantage when it comes to keeping them clean as they tend to show less dirt than darker hardwoods.

Natural Looking Floor Finishes, Sheens and Textures

Matte and satin finishes are the most popular sheens, while semi-gloss and glossy sheens are dated and a bit more difficult to maintain.  Flatter finishes have become more popular. And mate and satin finishes are practical, easy to clean a and with proper care look better longer.

Wide Plank Flooring

Wider planks will naturally make room look and feel larger and more spacious.  Not only are wide planks wider, but they are also normally longer than the more common sized flooring planks.  The combination of width and length tricks the eye into b believing the area looks larger than it actually is. So, it you’re trying to make a small space look larger, consider wider plank hardwood floors.

Carole Lee Interiors provides services in both selection and installation of all types of hardwood flooring.  Give us a call today to set up a consultation.

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

Designing Your Outdoor Living Space

While the summer solstice is about June 21 in the northern hemisphere and considered the day that begins the actual start of summer, Memorial Day weekend absolutely kicks off the unofficial beginning of summer. With that, the outdoors becomes more like your living room and sometimes even your kitchen.

Carole Lee recommends starting with a clean slate by power-washing your home’s exterior top to bottom, including all porches and decks, gutters and window washing.  Removing the winter’s grime gets you in the mood to begin to enjoy outdoor living.

Consider our team of general contractors to build a new customized patio or a beautiful walkway that coordinate with the look of your home and add new dimensions to your landscape design and curb appeal.

Outdoor cooking upgrades are a wonderful addition to any luxury living environment and a good investment to increase the value of your home. Outdoor dining is all about fun, as opposed to indoor kitchens that are all about functionality. We invite you to let our team of experienced general contractor’s install grills, sinks and kitchen counters in your outdoor living space to help lower your energy bills and add additional entertainment appeal.

Carole Lee Interiors also features a wide selection of outdoor lounge and dining furniture, accent tables and furniture cushions and covers in beautiful prints and solids made from all-weather materials made to last for years to come, as well as coordinating umbrella’s and stands. Plus, we have firepits to cozy up to during the evenings, perfect for delightful outdoor entertaining.

Carole Lee Interiors and General Contracting provides interior design and complete general contracting for projects large and small. Call today to schedule a consultation. And we hope you enjoy your summer!

Bold Backsplash Designs

It’s safe to say that 2019 will not be a year for all white everything. Some of the biggest home décor trends are big, bold, and beautiful. Give the heart of the home some personality with a bold backsplash.

This doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be colorful. If you’re into the more monochromatic look, you can choose a bold pattern or ask your designer to recommend a design that works well with the style of your home.

While standard-issue white subway tile is safe and will look fantastic it may not be what you are looking for. Instead perhaps go bold with a statement backsplash made of an intricate, multi-colored mosaic. Or maybe a leaf-shaped ceramic in spring-fresh green is more your thing. Tiles that stray from white can be endlessly exciting and keep your room feeling fresh.

The most common tiles use for a backsplash are ceramic, porcelain, stone, marble and sometimes even glass.  You should be mindful that not all tiles will cost the same. Tiles are priced by square foot and the cost can vary depending on the type of material. Work with you designer to get the look you want at a price that’s comfortable for you. Here are a few types of tiles to consider for your backsplash project.

  • The look of marble for less: To mimic the look of expensive marble go for a glazed porcelain tile, with high gloss coated over its surface for shine.
  • Porcelain and ceramic tiles: These types of tiles have many options to make your kitchen traditional to contemporary. With endless designs and options – you’re sure to find a tile that makes your kitchen unique.
  • Stainless steel and natural stone: This material offers a wealth of warmth to your kitchen space. Used together, these materials can create one of a kind looks.
  • Mosaic tile: Mosaic tile packs in smaller patterns and seemingly offer more bang for your buck. Depending on the range of materials – this can be an easy way to turn your kitchen space into a work of art.

From traditional tile to trendy glass — and shiny metal to rustic wood — there is seemingly no end of choices for kitchen backsplashes today. But with the right interior designer and installer, you can make just about any material work.