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Design In Unexpected Places

GHBA Remodelers Council members remind homeowners to take another look at neglected spaces

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Photo courtesy of Greymark Construction Co. | Photo by Kathleen Ryan

Homeowners are more design-savvy these days, putting extra thought and resources into spaces that are traditionally more of an after-thought. Members of the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association say that designer details are popping up in unusual places.

Leslie King, CGR, GMB, CAPS, president of Greymark Construction Co., said that while many homeowners want more space in the laundry room, the company also has clients who want to convert utility space into a mud room. “They’ll take space from the kitchen to make a place where the kids can sit down and put their shoes on, a place to hang coats and room to put backpacks after school,” she said.

Jim Nowlin, CGR, CAPS, president of Remodeling Concepts Inc., past president and currently immediate vice president of the Remodelers Council, said the most requested remodeling projects his company is seeing are for higher-end kitchens and master bath projects.

King, 2014 president of the Greater Houston Builders Association and a former Remodelers Council president, agrees that kitchens are one of the first places in which clients are going all out with design. She said she has been adding mixer stands to the design, as well as incorporating recycling chutes and adding built-in spice racks between studs in the pantry walls.

Interior designer Lynne T. Jones, ASID, said homeowners are even building what is known as a “dirty kitchen,” or a second kitchen in which the messy work is done. “It can get dirty, so the big kitchen looks pretty,” she explained.

Man dens and she caves are taking center stage, too, according to Jones. “Men are taking their getaway spaces more seriously,” said Jones, who just completed the largest man cave she’s ever seen. “It was an entire barn with a full kitchen, dining room table and wet bar. It ended up being absolutely fabulous.”

Women also are carving out in-home niches for themselves, and one of the most popular is the closet. A client recently asked Jones to turn the space into a dressing room, complete with a crystal chandelier and added built-ins that include glass doors, an island with drawers to store jewelry and a three-way mirror.

Jones, who has a number of unusual projects in her portfolio, said small spaces, such as powder rooms, can be a fun place to incorporate high-end materials.

While most of her work involves homes, Jones said she has shared her expertise in some unexpected locales, such as the interior of a private airplane and aboard a 40-foot sailboat.

Thanks to networks such as HGTV and DIY, and websites like HOUZZ.com and Pinterest. com, homeowners have become more savvy of design trends, Jones said, and suggests that clients make the most of a remodel by using these resources to put together a wish-list or inspirational binder full of images they like and hiring a qualified contractor. “A professional can help pull it all together – and make sure they get the most out of their investment.”

About the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association:

The Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association is an organization of remodelers and industry associates dedicated to the promotion of excellence and professionalism. The council achieves its mission through education, certification and service to the members, industry and community. Serving as a resourcefor both homeowners and industry professionals, members include contractors, designers, building suppliers and other professionals. For information about the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association, call 281-970-8970 or visit ghba.org/consumers.

Design of small spaces in large rooms can take a master bath to luxurious heights.

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