Tag Archives: Timeless Design

Simple.

Simplicity.  It’s something we hear in reference to many aspects of our lives.  But what does it mean for home design?  First, let’s discuss what it does not mean.  A common misconception is that simplicity is synonymous to boring, modern, cold, plain, or sterile.  Simplicity should not be confused with these descriptors.  So what does it mean?  Simplicity is timeless and unfussy.  It is effortless.  It puts emphasis on quality materials, functionality, and efficiency rather than ornate details and expansive floor plans.  How does one achieve simplicity?  Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource explores the “how” in this article.

Subtle InterestHartford Sunroom Addition

Although order and repetition can be used to achieve simplicity, there are many opportunities to add detail and character to a simple space.  Include “imperfect,” yet soft, elements such as distressed woodwork or hand-hewn beams.  Consider a monochromatic color scheme.  Create contrast with a mix of old and new items.  Add texture or pattern to your home.  Reclaimed materials, hand-scraped floors, honed countertops, a herringbone backsplash or floor, tin ceilings, brick – the options are endless to add charm and showcase your style in an understated manner.

Wauwatosa Master Bath RemodelNeutral and Natural

Cool neutrals, soothing earth tones, natural textures – simplicity is warm and adaptable to changing styles and trends.  Many homeowners opt for tone-on-tone grays, beiges, and off-whites.  For an organic feel, weathered wood, natural stone, and various metals are just a few ideas.  These elements can add a calmness to your space.

Restraint

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

-William Morris

This quote is a great example of simplicity.  For a simple, uncluttered space, homeowners need to learn how to “edit.”  They must choose what’s important to include and what is not necessary.  This is the “less is more” or “quality over quantity” idea we’ve discussed in the past.  Instead of a huge, open floor plan or elaborate design details, opt for efficient space planning and quiet elements.

ConnectionWauwatosa Sunroom Remodel

Simplicity and less “stuff” can connect you more to your surroundings by emphasizing natural light and showcasing views of your home’s backdrop.  It also focuses on establishing a better flow and seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors such as a sunroom with a patio door or accordion glass door that creates easy access to an outdoor entertaining space.

Timeless Design Part III

Classic Style

We have reached the final section of our three-part discussion on timeless design.  After focusing on your remodel’s layout and flow, it’s time to concentrate on the details.  Although there are many style possibilities for your home, one that seems to be the most approachable is a classic style.  It’s an option that stands the test of time and offers flexibility, allowing you to change your home’s look with accessories and fixtures.

Keep it simple.Classic White Kitchen

When a home has too many ornate details, it can quickly become dated.  Consider using clean lines and understated architectural details.  For instance, a timeless kitchen often features inset doors rather than raised panel doors (traditional) or flat panel doors (modern).  In a classic home, you may also see elements that add interest without overpowering the space, such as coffered ceilings, wainscoting, furniture-style toe kicks, and crown molding.

Opt for a neutral palette.

Classic White Master Bathroom“Neutral” is not necessarily a synonym for “boring” or “bland.”  Actually, neutrals often have a strong presence in a classic style home.  Beiges, grays, whites, off-whites – they are all common options and can be spiced up with trend colors through accessories or other items that are easy to adjust, if desired.  You can also combine different neutrals or play with textures to create interest.  Using the kitchen as an example again, many homeowners will mix white perimeter cabinetry with a stained island to keep it classic, yet add some variation.

Use quality, classic materials.

Classic style has “staying power,” so you want to ensure the materials you choose were made to last and won’t look passé in a few years.  Here are some examples of classic products and materials for two popular rooms in the home:

In the kitchen:

  • Marble mixed with honed black countertops
  • White subway tile
  • Butcher block tops

In the bathroom:

  • Hexagon or basketweave tile
  • Carrara or Calacatta marble
  • Free-standing tub
  • Pedestal sink
  • Subway tile
  • Nickel fixtures

Timeless Design Part I

It’s a common question: how can we create a space that stands the test of time and looks like it has always been there?  A remodel is a big investment, so homeowners want to ensure that the space has a long “life span.”  You don’t want to look back 10 years from now and think, “That was so 2013.”

How can you achieve timeless design?  Bartelt answers that question in a three-part blog, discussing efficient layout, seamless transitions, and classic style.  Today, we’re focusing on your home’s floor plan.

Efficient Layout

Think about your lifestyle.

It’s important to understand how you use different rooms in your home.  Do you entertain frequently?  Are you a gourmet chef?  Do you have small children?  Questions like these affect the flow and specific details of each space.  If you entertain often, for instance, you may want a large island, wet bar, and direct connection from the kitchen to the family room.  If you enjoy cooking, that may dictate the placement of your cooktop in relation to prep areas.

You should also identify what is and is not working for you in your home.  Are there rooms that are rarely or never used?  Do you have a cramped kitchen and an oversized dining room?

Evaluating your lifestyle and determining if your home complements it are the first steps in the remodeling process.

Create open, yet separate spaces.

“Open concept” is a term we hear frequently.  Eliminating walls, doors, and other barriers can accommodate better flow and make the space feel larger, but it’s essential not to merely create a big, open box.  Use arches, columns, French doors, shelves, beams, and other details to Colgate Kitchen Remodelcreate open, yet defined spaces.  It adds character to your home and still allows you to engage guests in the other room while you prep in the kitchen.

Consider functional rooms.

Unused rooms or “catchalls” are taking up valuable real estate in your home.  Make room for practical spaces, such as mudrooms, laundry Mequon Mudroom Remodelrooms, and home offices.  These spaces often serve as your family’s hub, offering organization and serving a specific purpose.  There are endless options to make these rooms work harder for your family – lockers, cubbies, closets, message boards, “drop zones,” benches, and beyond.

Maximize your storage.

There are many storage options available to keep your home organized and more functional.  Don’t waste any space!  Incorporate cabinetry that extends to the ceiling.  Consider organizational Spice Racksystems, such as Rev-A-Shelf, that offer pull-outs, racks, and dividers to make use of dead corners.  There are often empty pockets where you can seamlessly insert storage – on unused walls, in a kitchen island, under the stairs, even in narrow areas (i.e. cookie sheets or wine bottle storage).

When planning your storage, make sure to think about how you use various spaces.  You’ll want everything to have its place, to be within arm’s reach of where you’ll need it.  In the kitchen, you’ll probably want spices by the range, knife storage near the butcher block, and drawers with silverware dividers close to the sink and dishwasher.  In the mudroom, a coat closet, mail organization, and cubbies with hooks may be essential.Pull-Out Pantry

There are many other creative opportunities for storage and organization:

  • Butler’s pantries
  • Drawers built into banquette seating
  • Pot racks
  • Cookbook shelves
  • Pull-out pantries
  • Closets

 

Bartelt to Present at the Milwaukee/NARI Fall Home & Remodeling Show

Matt Retzak and Rick Bartelt, CGR, CAPS, CCP, MBC, of Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource will lead a presentation, “Timeless Design, Seamless Transitions,” on Sunday, September 22, 2013, at 12:30 p.m. at the Milwaukee/NARI Fall Home & Remodeling Show at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park.

The presentation will answer an important question: How can we create a space that stands the test of time and looks like it has always been there?  A remodel is a big investment, so it’s important to ensure that a space has a long “life span.”

Matt Retzak is the project designer and coordinator for Bartelt.  With over 14 years of architectural and industry experience, he has worked for the company for over 10 years, overseeing the design process and helping clients think outside of the box.  Retzak has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Rick Bartelt is the owner of Bartelt.  He began in the construction industry 40 years ago, assisting his father, Ronald Bartelt, on project sites during weekends, holidays, and summer vacations.

Founded in 1984, Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource is a premier, family-owned remodeling firm specializing in residential and commercial design and construction.  The company has won local, regional, and national industry awards, including 2013 Regional and National “Contractor of the Year” (CotY) awards presented by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).  With in-house designers, production staff, and expert carpenters, Bartelt is a member of the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc. and Metropolitan Builders Association.