When everything Old becomes New Again

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Wheelchair-Ramp

There is an expected increase in home remodeling due to the number of older adults that are in need of updated amenities. More and more baby boomers are choosing to stay at home. Adjusting these older homes for the aging requires some retrofitting to ensure a safe and comfortable environment. The right kind of improvements can help maintain freedom and dignity.

It Doesn’t Have To Feel Like a Nursing Home

So many memories are made at home and you shouldn’t have to settle for a remodel that feels sterile. There are lots of ways to increase safety without changing the feel of the home. A great place to start when making a home more functional for aging-in-place is a first floor full bathroom. This may seem costly but adding a chair lift or elevator tends to cost much more. We also receive requests for a first floor laundry room, which makes a lot of sense – heading to the basement and carrying laundry baskets upstairs becomes much more difficult.

Cooking Up Convenience

Make sure you get comfortable flooring in the kitchen. Tile, while easy to clean, is tough to stand on for extended amounts of time. Wood cork flooring, vinyl, linoleum, these will be a lot nicer to your joints. Another great addition is seated work spaces, that way you can still prep all your food while sitting down.

One of the more obvious upgrades is a ramp leading to the entryway of the house. Eliminating stairs of any kind is always a good thing, allowing for groceries and other items to be wheeled right in. Keep the wheels rolling in the house; less carpeting is better, making for easy movement in the areas where it’s needed most.

WoodWheelChRamp-1These are just a few things that can be done to allow for the aging to continue making memories where they’ve already made so many. If you know someone who doesn’t want to leave home but needs to upgrade soon for safety and comfort, we can talk through the options, so give us a call – 608-241-9009, or visit our Website adamsofmadison.com for more ideas!

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Kitchen Remodeling Trends

Remodeling your home is a big undertaking, whether it’s replacing a door, a new kitchen or bathroom, or adding on a new living space.  Most people take several years to finally remodel, so you want everything to be just right.

A kitchen remodel can be a very overwhelming process, with so many areas to consider. All of us at Adams Design Construction will help to make the process as smooth as possible.  Nevertheless, gathering ideas before you get started is always a good idea.  Here are a few of the current kitchen remodeling trends:

White’s Brilliant:
One of the latest design trends with kitchen remodeling is using white. White cabinetry, white countertops and even having white walls can help to create a very crisp, calming space. Adding touches of black into the design adds a layer of drama. Even if you do not go with a great deal of white, use it to help build contrast. It is a good idea to have that brilliant white background and then to use pops of contrasting color throughout the space.

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Kitchen design and build by Adams Design Construction, Ltd

Add Some Drama:
Another kitchen remodeling tip for those who want to be trendy is to use pieces within the space that create more drama and excitement. Place something unexpected into the room. For example, you may want to use oversized light fixtures that add color or sparkle to the room. Add fabric shades to windows that stand out. Use countertops with dimension, a unique cut or a lot of character in order to bring in an interesting element to the space.

Make It a Destination:
Rather than creating a space that is just useful, make it a place you want to be. For example, create a room that is welcoming and inviting. Pay attention to the details. Using cabinetry with ornate detailing is a good place to start. Invest in a higher quality tile for the flooring. Consider choosing an island that is the focal point with numerous drawers – so much so, that it looks more like a dresser than an island. If you stepped into a condominium in a tropical island, what would you want this room to look like? Kitchen remodeling to create a destination space at home makes the most sense. After all, you want to feel welcomed in your home.

Collect Pictures:
Ideas you like, a cabinet that would work, a faucet you must have….collect pictures or even use Pinterest on-line to gather you ideas.  It helps to sort out later which ideas are most important.

Kitchen remodeling can be as extravagant or as simple as you would like it to be. It can be an amazing opportunity for you truly to dive into style trends and sophistication. On the other hand, it still needs to be functional. The combination of both functional and trendy is possible. You will know you will have the ideal space when you work with a professional, so if you’re in Dane County Wisconsin, give Adams Design Construction a call – 608-241-9009 – we’d love to make your dreams come true.

Getting Ready For Aging In Place

As we get older and look around our homes, we may realize there are some items that are either becoming difficult or will become difficult as we age.  It is never too early to start planning or making small changes to start to accommodate aging in place.

Here are some ideas of items you can change to aid with aging in place, from small projects to more involved projects.

  1. Bathroom Grab Bars:
    One of the easiest things to do is to install some bathroom grab bars. Install in bath units and/or by toilets for safety.  Please note, grab bars are designed to take one’s weight and do need to be properly installed.  Just screwing into drywall would do no good.
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  2. Counter Height Seating (also known as Bar Height Tables):
    As we get older, getting in and out of chairs can start to become difficult. Consider replacing your traditional kitchen table with a counter top height table and chairs. If designing a new kitchen, then adding a counter top breakfast bar would also fit the bill.
  3. Separate Cook Top Range and Wall Oven:
    Do you have a slide in range-oven unit and is it hard on you when you bend to get items out of your oven? Then consider changing to a cook top range and wall oven units.  You can then place your wall oven at counter top height or any height that works best for you.
  4. Front Load Washer & Dryer Risers:
    The newer energy efficient front load washers and dryers can save you a lot on your energy bills. But just as with the oven, constant bending to load and unload them can become a problem.  Consider putting you front load washer and dryers on some risers.  Most pre-made risers are around 15″ tall, which will make loading and unloading  your front loaders easier on your back.
  5. Relocate Laundry Room:
    Is your washer and dryer in your basement? Tired of hauling laundry up and down flights of stairs?  Consider relocating your laundry room. Move it to the first floor, or if you have a two story home and can find the room, create your laundry room on the second floor near the bedrooms.
  6. Stair Chair Lifts:
    It’s not such a new idea, but more and more companies are making stair chair lifts. They easily attach to your existing stairs and most fold up for easy access. Stair lifts are a great way to keep being mobile regardless of where your stairs may be located in your home (basement, second floor or even outside).
  7. Wet Room Bathroom or Low Entry Shower:
    A wet room bathroom is where the shower is integrated in to the bathroom instead of being a boxed off space in the corner. The big difference of course is the level of the flooring. A wet room has no step or tray for the shower area. The floor being a suitable gradient so water drains away and doesn’t flow out right across the entire bathroom floor. Or as an alternative to redesigning your entire bath would be to replace your bathing area with a low entry shower.
  8. Area Rugs Beware:
    Rugs that slip can be a problem for anyone, regardless of age or ability. If you use area rugs, then be certain to use something to keep them in place.  You can use rug grippers, double stick tape, non slip mats underneath to name just a few, to keep them in place.The Center for Disease Control defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”  for more information, see their web site: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/healthtopics/healthyaging.htm

Thinking about updating a portion of your home, then give us a call, Adams Design Construction, Ltd 608-241-9009, we’d love to help you make your dreams come true!

4 Tips for Designing the Perfect Kitchen

Whether you’re planning a full scale kitchen remodel, or building one from the ground up with a new home, a great design will help you make it the perfect kitchen. Here are four tips to keep in mind when working out designs for your new kitchen:

1) Create an Efficient Workspace – Above everything else, a kitchen is a workspace. And whether you’re preparing a meal for ten or two, it’ll be infinitely easier on you if your workspace is organized and efficient. Typically, while working in the kitchen, you’ll be moving back and forth between three areas: the refrigerator, the stove, and the sink; also known as the kitchen work triangle. Designing your kitchen to optimize this triangle will go a long way to make it a great place to work.

Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen design and remodel by Adams Design Construction


2) Keep it Open  Every kitchen, especially smaller ones, can benefit from having an open layout. Keeping a kitchen open and flowing out into a dining or living room will make it feel way bigger than it actually is. This can be taken even further, by using open shelving instead of cabinets, smaller appliances, and sleeker furniture.

3) Light it Right – Too many kitchens try to rely on a single light in the ceiling to get the job done, when this usually isn’t the best way to do it. Often, a combination of different types of light fixtures, some providing softer, ambient light, and others more focused, is the most effective way to illuminate the kitchen.

4) Air it Out – Those onions tasted great in the dish you just made, but the lingering smell all around your house isn’t so great. Incorporating adequate ventilation into your kitchen design with windows and range hoods will help keep the rest of your home free from any odor, smoke, and moisture created from cooking.

Designing the perfect kitchen can be a daunting task, but you don’t need to do it alone! At Adams Design Construction, we’ve been designing kitchens that look and work great for more than 30 years – we know what makes a perfect kitchen. Contact us to make an appointment, and we’ll help you make your dream kitchen a reality.

Springtime and Clean Windows

Have you ever wondered how those professional window washers move so fast with the squeegee, and the windows turn out perfect? Well, there really are some tricks to it that are simple to learn, and once you do, dare I say it, you may even enjoy washing windows? It is possible!

So, read on for our Washing Windows Tricks:

The first trick is to invest in a good squeegee. They aren’t expensive and they are worth every cent! Those $1.99 ones just will not do. A professional squeegee has a very soft, rubber blade with no imperfections in it.  You can also get extra rubber blades and simply replace that when it wears out. There are many sources to get one, and a professional squeegee usually runs around $10 and up.

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Secondly, do your windows on a cool, or cloudy day.  If you HAVE to do it in the sun, do it in the morning. What you want to avoid here is heat. Heat works against you.

Now to get cleaning. Get a bucket of lukewarm water (not hot), and add 2-3 tablespoons of plain ammonia. Use a sponge that has a white scrubber on the other side (don’t use the green ones, they are too course). Wet your window with the sponge side, then flip to the white scrub pad side, and scrub the window. You’ll be able to “feel” when it’s clean. You’ll feel rough patches, etc when it’s still not clean. This is a step most people fail at, if the window simply isn’t clean, it’s going to look cloudy when done. Scrub well.

You’ll also need lots of clean, white cotton rags or lint free towels/cleaning cloths. Diapers work great here. Dry by hand a 1 inch strip at the top of the window. The trick for no streaks with the squeegee, is placing the dry rubber blade on a dry window. Take the squeegee now and place it at the top of the window in that 1 inch dry strip. Pull down smoothly. Dry your squeegee blade with between each sweep.

To finish the window, if need be, do one last sweep left to right at the bottom of the window.

Finally, take a dry, clean cloth and run with your finger down each window side and across the bottom to clean and dry the edges. They should look perfect! And you’ll feel great having clean windows.

Think you need to replace those windows? Well give Adams Design Construction a call at 608-241-9009, we’re here to help!

 

Layered Lighting Inside Your Home

Illuminating a home is more than buying light fixtures. You have to consider several layers of lighting to create a beautiful living space. Know about layered lighting and get ready to brighten up your home.

We always think of choosing the perfect colors for our home. We spend time in finding the right furniture style. But, one often forgets about lighting. Lighting is one of the most neglected aspects of a home. The right kind of lighting can make any living space beautiful and comfortable. It has the power to add sophistication, warmth and style to your home. But, lighting a room is not just buying pretty light fixtures. Just as you make a room beautiful with different layers of colors and textures; you have to create a beautiful combination of different layers of lighting. Layered lighting not only illuminates your home but also provides practical lighting solution for your accessories.

There are three basics when it comes to Layers of Lighting. You have to combine ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting to create a beautiful amalgamation of lighting to accentuates your home.

  1. Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is the first lighting layer. Every room must have at least one source of ambient lighting. You cannot avoid it because it keeps you from getting your toe stubbed against a piece of furniture. By having adequate lighting, you ensure that you do not trip and fall. An electrician can create ambient lighting with the help of recessed lights, flush-mount fixtures, panels, large chandeliers, fans with lights, etc.

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Ambient Lighting

  1. Task Lighting

The purpose of ambient lighting is general illumination. But, it is insufficient as a light source for purposes that require more light. For example, activities such as reading, sewing, cooking, applying make-up, etc. require additional lighting. Usually, fixtures used for track lighting are visible. So, it is essential that you choose fixtures that match the theme of the room. You can ensure adequate light source with the help of pendant lighting, low-hanging track lighting, under cabinet lighting, bed-side lamps, bathroom vanity lights and so on.

  1. Accent Lighting

To add drama to a living space, you require accent lighting. You can use it to draw attention towards houseplants, paintings, or any other unique accessory in the room. If you have a beautiful sculpture, accent lighting can help you to highlight it. According to a general rule, accent lighting should be three times brighter than the general light source to create a focal point. An electrician can install a variety of wall scones, track lights, pendant lights, LED tape lights, etc. to emphasize a specific area in the room.

When you are thinking of layered lighting for a room, make a planned decision. First begin with the purpose of the room. Also, finalize furniture. Once you are done with it, think of the focal point the room. After you are sure of the layout, consider ambient lighting, and then focus on task lighting and accent lighting. Remember that there is no need to buy separate fixture for all the different types of lighting. For example, you can use a large chandelier for ambient lighting as well as accent lighting. Make sure that the electrician makes adequate use of dimmer switch to provide you with versatile lighting. Remember proper planning and apt combination of lighting can illuminate your home beautifully. And, as always, give Adams Design Construction a call 608-241-9009, we’re here to help.

Choose the Right Kitchen Sink for Your Home

The Kitchen is the heart of any home, and the heart of the kitchen is the Sink. It serves multiple purposes besides washing utensils and cleaning the fruits and vegetables. The kitchen sink is also the busiest part of the kitchen with most of the food preparation and related activities taking place here. It is, therefore, a good idea to spend some time contemplating the various choices available in the market before installing a new sink in your kitchen. 

One of the main deciding points for a kitchen sink is the size. Ideally, a sink should take up to 20%-25% of the counter space. Smaller but deeper kitchen sink serve the purpose as well as longer and bigger sinks, to fit the size of your kitchen best.

Another factor to consider is the material that the sink is made of. Stainless steel is by far the most popular choice because of its ease of maintenance and durability. It is inexpensive and its neutral appearance works well with many decor styles. Other alternatives that are available are  composite granite, porcelain, natural stone, cast iron, and fireclay. Each of these materials has its pros and cons, for example, water marks are easily visible on stainless steel sinks while composite granite is scratch resistant; natural stone is durable but heavy and requires reinforcement while porcelain adds to the old world charm.

Deep, farmhouse style kitchen sink. Design & Build by Adams Design Construction

Deep, farmhouse style kitchen sink.

The mounting style of the kitchen sink is another aspect that has to be clearly decided before purchasing the sink. There are four basic mounting styles: the top-mount, where the sink fits over the counter-top; the under-mount, where it fits below the counter-top; the apron sinks which are exposed in the front; and the integrated sinks which form a continuous surface with the countertop. Of all these, the top-mounted sinks are the easiest to install, while integrated sinks are most often seen in large designer homes.

The design of the kitchen sinks includes single sink or double sinks. Further variations available are inbuilt rinsing surface and/or chopping sections. Single sinks have one large bowl which is ideal for filling large stock pots, besides cooking and cleaning for large families. Double sinks help separate washing utensils from other cleaning and are most useful if two or more people work in the kitchen simultaneously. The inbuilt accessories like rinsing and chopping sections add to the utility but cut into the counter space. Smaller double sinks with sunken divider are increasingly being seen as a more acceptable option to either single or double bowl sinks.

So, have fun, shop around, measure, then give Adams Design Construction a call, 608-241-9009, we’d love to help!