Posts Tagged ‘Green Concepts’

HOME DESIGN – What’s Hot For 2011

January 4th, 2011 by Lori Gilder | 3 Comments

Happy New Year!  It’s hard to believe that a year ago I wrote an article “What’s Hot And What’s Not For 2010”.  I had such a huge response to this piece that I thought it was only fitting to share a similar version of the home building, renovation and design trends that are topping the charts for this year.

Whether you’re customizing a recently purchased home, making the changes needed to update your existing space or are simply interested in increasing the overall value of your home, keep these ideas in mind when tackling your 2011 home improvement projects.


Smaller Homes
For those families purchasing new homes, many are looking for more modestly sized properties than the McMansions of the past.   Being more attracted to the space they need rather than the space their ego wants – is on today’s agenda.  It’s all about being more value conscious and living authentically. Although some newly built homes may be shrinking in size – by only about 10-15% (reducing overall room sizes), the high-end materials and finishes are in no way compromised.

Rooms are becoming more multi-functional than in years past and therefore it’s more important than ever to maximize every inch of space – within the existing footprint – and provide creative and integrated storage solutions throughout your entire home.  Less clutter and greater organization will contain your “stuff” and still allow your home to feel more spacious and uncluttered.

There is a return to a more simple, warm, natural and clean-lined design reminiscent of mid-century modern architecture. A blending contemporary and traditional styles – resulting in a chic transitional design style.

Greener, Healthier and Smarter Homes
The current scene is definitely green. Energy efficiency is fast becoming the hottest and most desirable trend or “shift” in the home design and building industry.

You can go all the way and completely reduce your carbon footprint or simply begin by introducing energy-efficient windows, lighting, appliances, tank-less water heaters, low-VOC paints, stains and sealants into your next home renovation or building projects.

With a one-year extension of energy efficiency tax credits, it only makes sense to take advantage of this offer and incorporate these products along with more durable and sustainable materials when you’re updating your home.

Easy maintenance, high quality materials and integral smart systems make for an easy transition for the changing family.  Integrating state of the art or “Smart” technology into our homes is a very hot trend that continues to blaze.  It’s about making our lives easier.  Controlling kitchen appliances, lighting and your entertainment systems from a centralized panel will soon be foreshadowed by the apps from our smart phones where we’ll be able turn on our lights, have our fireplace crackling and our dinner cooked to perfection the moment we walk through the door.  Sign me up!

Universal Design
Renovating your existing home by removing interior walls not only improves the flow, it also creates an open and flexible floor plan, which is more comfortable and versatile for families who love to entertain – particularly in kitchens which now serve as multi-functional environments incorporating cooking, dining, gathering, entertaining and even working together in one open space.

Re-designing your home’s overall layout and introducing some Universal Design principles into your renovation could include wider doorways, main floor master suites, and user-friendly kitchens and baths.  These subtle tweaks make even the smallest homes feel more spacious and appeals to an enormous segment of the population –Baby Boomers and Gen Xers alike.

Work Spaces
The homeprenuer trend is not just growing – it’s intensifying.  With an unstable economy comes the opportunity for more people to work from home either part time or launch home-based businesses. Today’s technology makes it easy to be as productive at home as in an office-based location.

Since most home-based businesses must co-exist with families, separating the living and working environments can be a challenge.  If you’re lucky enough to have a separate guesthouse, a detached carriage house, or space above your garage then designate that space for the ideal office location.  Otherwise, like the vast majority of home-based businesses provide a space within the home itself – an unused bedroom, space beneath a stairway, or corner of the kitchen or family room.  Either way – select an area where noise and traffic are at a minimum and privacy is optimum!

Porches and Decks
With the trend of downsizing our homes comes the idea of expanding our interior living spaces to the outdoors.  Homes with charming porches and decks naturally transition the interior to the exterior instantly expanding your living space. It extends the summer season almost forcing us to live outdoors before the really cold weather sets in. Porches can define a neighborhood, and recapture a sense of community.

Decks can be as simple or elaborate as the home they’re attached to.  Multi-leveled or single, built in seating or casual seating areas, hot tubs, outdoor kitchens, and fire pits – all of which create added living space and provide a vacation-like atmosphere.

Design your porch or deck to compliment the character of your home’s exterior architecture. Give it some thought in planning.  It should be proportionate to the size of your home and property and make sure to include energy efficient solar or LED lighting.

Keeping abreast of these home design trends will help guide you when it comes time for you complete your “to do” list.  Families grow, people mature and our needs change.  It’s all about re-inventing your home making it feel as though it was built just for you.

Stay Inspired!

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2011 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.

What You Can Do – With Bamboo!

June 8th, 2010 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

Bamboo is a tremendously versatile, highly sustainable and renewable resource – and the perfect alternative to hardwoods.  It can be harvested every 3 to 5 years compared to 10 to 25 years for most other soft and hard woods – and never needs replanting as it continues to grow from the same root system.   It’s innate characteristics and strength rivals maple and oak and due to its water resistant properties won’t shrink or swell like most hardwoods. This unique species of grass can be implemented into any home renovation project from cabinetry to flooring and everything in between

Here are some perfect bamboo applications for your next home remodeling project.

  • Exterior Decking and Deck Tile
  • Interior Flooring
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Outdoor Fencing and Garden Edging
  • Gazebos
  • Interior/Exterior Doors
  • Cabinetry
  • Shelving
  • Furniture
  • Wall paneling
  • Wallpapers and wall tiles
  • Bedroom headboards
  • Butcher Block
  • Kitchenware
  • Home accessories
  • Window coverings
  • Screens/Room dividers
  • Light fixtures

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.

Happy Earth Day!

April 22nd, 2010 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

Today is Earth Day, and whether you’re ready to save the planet, or simply practice more eco-friendly habits it’s easier than ever to implement green and sustainable products into your home renovation projects.

Here is just a small list of some great resources for you to research before you get started on your kitchen or bath remodel.  Educate yourself on all the available materials out there, as they will provide you with a greener home and a much healthier lifestyle.

Counter Tops
Bamboo is considered a very sustainable material since it reaches maturity within five years, and regenerates from its original root system – never needing replanting.

Wood is a fabulous material for butcher-block counter tops and flooring. When these woods are locally grown, sustainable or FSC certified, they will rate quite highly.

Concrete countertops are increasingly popular in contemporary settings, and don’t off-gas.  They are considered greenest when locally fabricated and mixed with cement alternatives and recycled aggregates.

Quartz surfaces like my favorite CaesarStone, is available in a plethora of gorgeous finishes and colors – is easily maintained, and has an endless life cycle. They also manufacture a stunning recycled quartz collection.

Hardwoods and Bamboos are a favorite choice for beautiful flooring solutions.  If the wood if FSC certified (Forest Stewardship Council), or reclaimed then that material is considered an environmentally responsible product.,

Marmoleum or Linoleum tile is constructed of Linseed oil, jute, limestone and other components that collectively provide for an incredibly strong and durable product.

Cork is not only sustainable and renewable (like bamboo), but is extremely soft and comfortable under foot.

Wool Carpeting is naturally stain resistant and highly durable without containing any chemical additives – just the natural oils in the sheep’s wool.  With regular maintenance it can last up to 50 years and is biodegradable once it’s discarded.

Cabinetry can easily be refaced or repainted with low voc or zero voc paints – which is the greener alternative.   If however they no longer fit into your renovation plans then consider re-using them somewhere else or donate them to your local Habitat For Humanity Re-Store.

FSC and sustainable woods that is formaldehyde free – and finished with a low voc sealant – is a green alternative to recycling your old cabinets.  An interesting alternative to wood is a veneered wheat board composite.  The straw fibers are combined with a formaldehyde free resin and then painted with low or zero voc paint.

Solid core passage doors from are also constructed of wheat straw and FSC-certified woods, is formaldehyde free and meets LEED guidelines.

Finally for exquisitely designed and eco-chic furniture creates beautiful environmentally sustainable pieces.

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.