Interior Home Improvement Solutions
Interior Home Improvement Solutions
May, 2008 - Issue #43
Executive Painting 816-7455
Executive Painting 816-7455
Paint & Finish
Problem #1: You're Worried that "Wow" and Kids can't Coexist
by Michael Overton of Executive Painting and Texture Inc. 816-7455
Think color, but be careful; too dark a color in a small space will make you feel like you are in a cave. However, if you have vaulted ceilings with light pouring in, dark color can make a classy statement. If sticky fingers are a problem, consider a low-sheen paint. Also, a multi-color faux finish can hide the occasional smudging until you get around to cleaning.

Problem #2: Good Cabinets, Dated Color
by Fabian Varela of American Fine Finishing 775-2706
The way to update a look, such as an outdated dark oak or honey golden oak stain, is to turn it into a beautiful painted and glazed cream finish. It hides the deep grain found in old oak and becomes a smooth lacquer-finish look. Removing a door panel and replacing it with decorative glass, replacing old hinges with new concealed soft closing hinges, new knobs and pulls, and adding new molding such as crown will give your kitchen a huge kick into 2008!

Problem #3: White Walls, Little Green
by Josh Abramson of A.AllBright Painting 294-1159
When budget is an issue, start in the room that's used most. Adding color will provide a finished, functional space to relax. It is often a blessing not to be able to jump into all rooms immediately; having a grace period to familiarize yourself with your new home gives you a better idea of what colors you really want before making costly redo mistakes. A lot can be done in just one day. We have a program called "Painter For A Day" at a special rate that provides eight hours of quality painting craftsmanship to fit your needs.

Problem #4: Confused About Custom Finishes
by Scott Minkler of Westridge Crown Moulding & Woodworks 510-5900
Custom finishes add huge impact for homeowners who emphasize attention to detail. I suggest that clients enter the process with an open mind; don't be set on a certain wood or very specific style. Have an idea of what you want the finished work to add to your home. I can help get a lot more "bang for the buck" when clients are open to suggestions. The result is a beautiful house and happy clients.

Bella Venezia 254-2246
Bella Venezia 254-2246
Problem #5: Current Dining Set is Anything but Flexible
by Hortencia Abouaf of Bella Venezia 254-2246
This dining table set features a solid rosewood table in dark espresso finish with four chairs adorning a cast-iron design and long bench. It is available in 72-inch length or 84-inch. It complements a home rich in Tuscan Old World accents. The seating allows for an intimate setting or a larger gathering, ensuring that dinner time will always be shared among family and friends.

Problem #6: You Desire Major Style with Reduced Environmental Impact
by Deno Antonini of Interior Home, Inc. 294-9940
We offer the incredibly stylish and eco-friendly Envi™ furniture made in Los Angeles. Frames are made of sustainable hardwoods from harvesters who protect endangered species and old growth. The inside structure combines hemp and jute webbing instead of polyester. Hypoallergenic wool fibers, instead of polyester fiber, wrap around 100-percent pure, natural latex padding. Finishes use non-chemical-based paint applied by hand.

Problem #7: Coordination Hard to Come By
by Scott Hazarian of Sofa Interiors 254-9090
You can achieve perfect coordination by creating your own custom upholstered furniture, drapery and bedding. Sofa Interiors has hundreds of frame styles and thousands of designer fabrics and leathers to choose from. Combining good looks, comfort, easy care and affordability, Sofa Interiors brings you custom-crafted furniture of exceptional quality at unbeatable prices in every style.

Problem #8: The Living Room must also Serve
as a "Vacation Destination"
by Carolyn McLintock of The Decor Store 251-4222
The Marbella Collection reflects the carefree style of seaside communities dotting the Mediterranean coast. Architectural elements like heavy coving and carved geometric shapes give a European flavor, while the braided rope carvings convey the nautical feel of seaside villas. The Spanish colonial influence is apparent in the large scale of the collection; the burnished antique wax finishes and the scrolled iron work reminiscent of the namesake Marbella hotel in Spain.

Problem #9: Seeking Furniture for the Long Haul
by Kathy Goldstein of Suburban Chateau 775-2980
Go neutral with your larger pieces and accessorize with color. Your style changes with time. Staying neutral will save you money in the long run, and you'll never look dated. Of course, your furniture needs to be of superior quality to stand the test of time. We custom-create styles similar to major chains, with better materials, at a fraction of the price.

Problem #10: You Need an Entertainment Center of Precise Proportions
by Bill Schneck of Ambience Furniture 288-2534
This plasma/entertainment center is an exclusive Ambience design by Jim Wong. It features glass doors with iron accents and has a hand rubbed rustic finish. It is one example of many custom designs including computer armoires, desks, buffets, china cabinets, and occasional pieces.

Aged Timber 255-9663
Aged Timber 255-9663
Problem #11: "Blah" Entryway Needs Boosting
by Donna Glasnow of Aged Timber Co. and Acorn Hardwood Flooring 255-9663
The entryway determines first impressions and the "feel" of the whole house. Parquet patterns work very nice in an entry. Bordering the parquet with a couple of planks really frames the room and helps tie the floor together with the areas that also boast plank flooring - the hallways and kitchen, for example. We provide clients with all species, patterns, textures and colors all made to order in our 50,000-square-foot factory/showroom and installed by Acorn Hardwood Flooring wood specialists to ensure a gorgeous final result.

Problem #12: Looking for Wood without the Cost or Worry
by Victor Pena of The Flooring Connection 297-9800
Urbanfloor is an eco-friendly brand with fine, handcrafted products. The result is a beautiful wood floor that is strong, long lasting, and good for the bottom line. Urbanfloor is easy to clean and maintenance is minimal. It's a real hardwood surface that can be sanded, stained and varnished several times and that may change along with your taste. The Platinum Shield finish features six coats toughened by zillions of Aluminum Oxide Crystals - ensuring a smooth, uniform finish with unparalleled abrasion resistance.

Problem #13: Your Crave the Beauty of Stone but not the Price
by Ben Griffiths of Brent's Carpet One 255-3337
Look to a synthetic floor called Amtico. Amtico usually costs less, but has the appearance of stone, wood or even modern metals. These floors have one of the thickest wear layers in the industry and are commonly subjected to harsh wear in commercial conditions - and they still look beautiful! Normally, wood and tile are difficult to put together due to differences in installation and cleaning. With Amtico, designs combining wood, tile and metal eliminate the hassle and upkeep while making a durable fashion statement.

Problem #14: Trendsetter Seeking Wood Floors
by Gary Rasberry of Designs to the Nines 257-9115
Hardwood flooring continues to grow in popularity. The latest trends include wider planks, deeper, richer colors and hand-scraped distressed woods. The latest demands are being made for cherry, birch, white oak, maple and more exotic species from around the world. We are seeing a growing interest in personalized looks, such as patterned layouts and custom-made borders and accents. The biggest trend is homeowners installing hardwoods in once-forbidden rooms such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. With the right installation this is perfectly acceptable.

Finishing Touches

Problem #15: In the Dark on Real Estate-worthy Upgrades
by John Ludwick of Electrical Excellence 904-5414
If you are selling your home soon or staying for the long haul, now is the perfect time to increase your home's appeal with lighting. If you are in the selling category, recessed can lighting and ceiling fans are some of the best investments because they are the two electrical options that buyers want most. If you are in the staying category, electrical options you may want to consider include: upgrading light fixtures, home audio/visual, dimmers, and pendent lighting over islands. These upgrades along with other electrical options will make your home a more soothing and enjoyable environment for many years to come.

Problem #16: Hot House Lacks Cool Style
by George Cleminson of Valley Breeze Fan Co. 255-5015
For centuries, people have been fascinated by the sumptuous textures, vivid colors and graceful architecture of Moroccan design. With its exotic embellishments and timeless quality, Casablanca's new Marrakesh ceiling fan is an authentic reflection of this rich cultural tradition and in true Casablanca fashion, the Marrakesh is engineered for superior energy efficiency so you don't have to fret over obscene air conditioning bills during warmer Santa Clarita weather.

Studio Designs 287-9433
Studio Designs 287-9433
Problem #17: Place without Personality
by Richard Sklarsky of Studio Designs 287-9433
Add textures and splashes of color. A dramatic glass bowl in the middle of the table; a set of dark, carved candle sticks on the mantle; patterned and trimmed accent pillows on the sofa could make a substantial difference. Art always has a formidable impact on a room. A neutral background is the perfect compliment for a dynamic painting. Use iron rods with interesting finials, or textured cornice boxes that combine wood, fabric, and even metal.

Problem #18: Bare Windows, Tight Budget
by Debbie Francis of Debbie's Sewing & Interiors 294-9894
If you are on a small budget we suggest buying nice finials (usually $10 and up) and utilizing them as medallions to mount your window treatment. First, mount medallions appropriately. Second, drape fabric either around and over each medallion/finial and make a swag over the top part of the window or drape. Mount the fabric to the medallions/finials and draw back the drapes/panels to either side of the window. Voila! Simple, but elegant treatments!

Problem #19: Guest Room not so Inviting
by Tami Smight of Tami Smight Interiors 430-0127
Always use fresh luxury sheets with a high thread count. Tie a ribbon around a plush set of towels to greet your guests. A luggage rack or even an extra chair for the room lets your guests feel a little less like they're living out of a suitcase. A lovely leather or wood box on the nightstand provides a place to leave their jewelry and coins. A proper lamp is essential to reading in bed. Finally, place a glass/carafe of water on the nightstand to show your hospitality.

Problem #20: Teen Room Needs the "Fun" in Functional
by Kamila Sedek of Euro-Chic Living 254-3252
To add much needed personality to an empty window, utilize the space by making a custom window bench. A window bench can be both fun and functional. It can add much-needed storage and provide a perfect place to read, nap or just relax. Dress it up with comfortable cushions in dark, stain-resistant fabric and add colorful pillows that draw in other colors of the room. To make the space stand out, frame it with beautiful drapes which can be lined with black-out fabric to control light.

Problem #21: Afraid to "Live" in the Living Room
by Kathleen Williams of Kathleen Williams Interiors 263-7402
It is possible to have a beautiful home that you can feel comfortable in and enjoy. Use forgiving fabrics like washed chenille, micro suede, or polyester/rayon blends that resist stains. Invest in good-quality furniture that is well built and will hold up to the extra wear and tear. Avoid furnishings that constantly need adjusting, like sofas with loose-back cushions or down-filled pillows that need to be fluffed. These tricks will keep your home looking fresh despite muddy paws and peanut-butter hands!

Problem #22: Searching for Cool Cost-effective Solution
by Marna White of CountryView Shutters 800-980-7838
Keeping the home cool during the summer is a major concern. Solid basswood plantation shutters, combined with double-paned windows, can increase the energy efficiency of your windows to an R-value of about 10. An R-value of four is considered cost effective. A white finish raises the reflective properties of your shutter to its peak performance. Consider ordering your new energy-conserving shutters to have them installed in your home before the days of summer become fevered.

Problem #23: Trouble Translating Shutters into Spanish/Tuscan
by Paul Gatlin of Alpine Shutters & Window Fashions
Plantation shutters are an incredibly diverse window treatment. From Spanish Tuscany to Ultra Modern, every style and pallet can be pleased by mixing up the louver size and colors. The simplicity and luxury of plantation shutters combine to provide the only window covering that is so diverse as to appeal to a broad spectrum of preferences. As to Tuscany/Spanish in particular, the stained tone of shutters, as seen here, provide a taste for the amazing depth and style of stained wood plantation shutters.

Stairs & Moulding
Problem #24: Stairs too Standard for your Liking
by Scott Renolds of Legacy Stairs, Inc. 297-7530
The new trend for stairs is wrought iron. In some cases you can change out the existing wood balusters with wrought iron, but usually you have to build a new stairway to accept the new balusters. One of the newest product lines is the Tuscan series that comes in a beautiful oil-rubbed bronze. Other simple but modern choices are the Basket and Twist series that is offered in a copper patina finish.

Problem #25: Kids, Dog and Vacuum Gang Up on Baseboards
by Virginia of SCV Design Center 295-6905
Here are some quick solutions to your moulding problems. Replace the existing baseboard with some new paint-grade material and possibly add a small base shoe to keep the vacuum from hitting the moulding; or you can take it a step further and replace all the mouldings with stain-grade material.

Problem #26: On the Crown Moulding Fence
by Eric Hahn of Mint Condition Painting & Moulding
In our more than 25 years of experience, we find that crown moulding makes a room feel complete. It sounds simple, but it is such a common comment from our customers. Our craftsmen are so well trained, we can install crown moulding in one day. After completion we often hear, "Now my room looks finished." Hesitant homeowners should request a free in-home estimate and a complimentary reference list.

Problem #27: Builder-installed Doors let Noise in and Keep Fashion Out
by Shauntel Anderson of Action Window & Door 607-0314
For less than $100 you can replace a door and the hardware to give your home a more updated look. The change is a simple one for do-it-yourselfers or you can have it installed. For noise reduction, put solid-core doors on the master bedroom and bathrooms.

SC Stair 775-3870
SC Stair 775-3870
Problem #28: Stairway doesn't Lead to Heaven
by Steve Hunt of SC Stair 775-3870
The way two-story homes are designed, the staircase becomes one of the most important architectural features of the home. The warmth of wood and iron has become a trend. SC Stair has followed that trend and has become one of the only custom iron and wood fabricators under one roof. SC Stair can help create custom sculpted iron designs when budget is not an issue - heavenly!

Problem #29: Kids Share a Room and a Closet
by Ed Pinsky of Closet Crafters 255-3353
What works well in these situations is a drawer stack in the center with an even number of drawers complimented by shelves and hanging on both sides. Unless the closet is very large it is best to keep the design simple. If there is room, dual laundry baskets are a nice accessory.

Problem #30: Pantry is a Big Black Hole
by Gabe Lemons of Shelves To Drawers 800-343-5835
You can convert your cupboard and cabinet shelves into drawers. You will be able to see all of the objects you have stored and stop over buying items you already have. Planning meals could be easier when you roll your shelves out and the contents can be viewed from the top rather than the front. This new trend in contemporary homes has proven to be a simple upgrade, as the rollout shelves go into existing cupboards and cabinets, allowing you to have the ease of a whole new space without enduring the disruption and expense of remodeling.

Problem #31: So many Wires, So little Style
by Horacio Rua of Custom Woodworks 212-7230
An entertainment center tailored to your specific needs and space is the best way to organize your electronics. The key is to have a craftsman that is an expert designer. A professional will not only take into account the equipment, but also every single CD, DVD and game you own. They will be up-to-date on the newest hardware and they will use equipment manufacturer's specifications to ensure proper mounting and ventilation. They will hide, yet provide access to cords and connections. Lastly your entertainment center should beautify the space it occupies.

Closet Wine Cellars 297-1935
Closet Wine Cellars 297-1935
Problem #32: Good Wine, Bad Storage
by Kristi Davalos of Closet Wine Cellars 297-1935
Closet Wine Cellars offers a patented wine racking system that allows customers to store wine properly and efficiently. We can transform any closet space into a perfect place to store your wine. Our unique racking system displays wine bottles in a neck down, label facing out, secure position with easy retrieval. Not everyone has room for a new addition, but Closet Wine Cellars offers the average homeowner the ability to have a wine cellar by utilizing existing space within your home.

Problem #33: No Niche to Call your Own
by Mike Conner of Woody's Custom Furniture 945-3516
Woody's Custom Furniture can create the perfect solution for your niche. You can update your home with a beautiful custom-designed entertainment center with a finish to match your existing decor or you can choose a contrasting tone for a fresh new look. Very popular are the woods maple and alder with a wood-tone finish or the timeless white and antique whites that blend so easily with other pieces. With the help of a professional design team, you will have an enviable and personalized solution that will solve your problem with style.

Problem #34: New House doesn't Feel like Home
by David West of David Bryan Woodworks 312-1964
A build-in that I think makes a house feel like home is a custom desk in an area often overlooked: the kitchen. While parents are preparing meals, the children can be working at the desk on homework, drawing, etc. Think of all of the qualities that you would like to have in the custom desk and then have a cabinet maker build it to suit your special needs. Hidden in the cabinet can be a shredder, printer/fax/copier, PC, files and of course, bills. This makes everyday living a little more organized in what's probably the busiest room in the house.

Kitchen & Bath
Problem #35: Big Family, No Storage
by Nick Oz of Dannick Design 775-7430
The answer is custom cabinets with your own ideas and an experienced designer's eye. Custom cabinets give you more space; you could have frameless cabinets and a variety of pull-out shelves and drawers to choose from that could be made deeper and are fully extendable. This will help make your kitchen more useful with extra room and storage space. When you start off fresh with a kitchen remodel, all of your dreams and ideas are put into the design to make it a reality for you and your growing family.

Problem #36: Boring Builder-installed Faucets
by Dominic Mincieli of Fine Faucets Kitchen & Bath Showcase 257-3110
Changing the lavatory faucets is a great way to update your bathroom but if you hope to have the shower and tub faucets match, consider this. Unlike lavatory faucets, shower and whirlpool faucet trims are unique to the valves in the wall. In a lot of cases, if you want to change the trim you need to change the valve. This requires access inside the wall and should be done by a licensed plumbing contractor. Bring in a photo of your current shower faucet and we'll help you out.

Problem #37: Ugly Countertops, Worse Carbon Footprint
by Jodi Gragg of Advantage Tile Stone Design, Inc. 295-9819
With its unique look, our recycled glass countertops are totally new to the marketplace, providing inspiration to anyone who wants to create stunning new spaces. It is fabricated like granite but lighter in weight, made by hand in Southern California. Its production is committed to the removal of recycled glass beverage containers and other products from the waste stream; it is an eco-objective way to recycle more glass and to use it in more things, more often. The concrete recycled glass countertop is a gorgeous, germ-free, family-friendly way to help the planet and Advantage Tile is the only So Cal distributor.

Problem #38: Chipped Sink, Dented Pride
Teri Seigner of Real Deals Home Decor 753-9033
This elegant sink is an exclusive design for Real Deals Home Decor from Jackson Harrison Imports. It features a glass top cloisonne vanity sink that includes the faucet. The finish is beautifully stained and antiqued. There are also furniture pieces from Jackson Harrison Imports that complement the bathroom fixture. The price is excellent because it includes the faucet, sink and storage space, so you receive a complete look for one price.

Problem #39: Every Cook Needs an Island
by Lisa Woodward of Woodward Kitchen & Bath 251-3865
The addition of a kitchen island has become extremely popular, along with industrial appliances, state-of-the-art cabinets and custom countertop designs. A kitchen island allows you to take advantage of unused space, adds storage to your kitchen and increases your counter work area. Today's kitchens are growing rapidly in size and many kitchen islands are becoming "kitchens within a kitchen" complete with sink, stovetop and refrigerator. Kitchen islands are also vital to most modern home layouts that call for a work area to separate the kitchen space from the living room.

Top Construction 775-9945
Top Construction 775-9945
Problem #40: The Kitchen is a Cave
by Greg Aliano of Top Construction 775-9945
Tract-home owners often want to make the kitchen and family room into a more open "great room." In this case we'll expand the space by popping out of the back or side of the house. Sometimes the kitchen will be expanded but stay in the same location; other times it will be relocated and the original space may become a nook. There are limitless options, including making the whole area more open to the backyard, increasing the sense of space and light.

Problem #41: Bathroom is High on Light, Low on Privacy
by Carla Davidson of SGO Designer Glass 702-0008
IronArt provides a look of wrought iron without the weight and cost. We often install a sheet of frosted glass over the window and insert IronArt over it, providing privacy and light. Stained Glass Overlay can be used to create privacy and soften natural lighting. It appears to be stained glass but is constructed on one sheet of tempered glass. Overlay can be made in single pane, insulated glass or triple pane units. It can replace glass in sliding or double hung windows or a single pane can be inserted over a window.
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