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foley remodeling bathroom days to finish

Bathroom Remodeling, Start to Finish: How Long Does it Take?

If you’ve decided to embark on a home improvement project, you might be wondering how long the process will take. The scope and length of any renovation can be a significant factor if you decide to go through with it. 

So when it comes to bathroom remodeling, just how long will it take? 

Most bathrooms tend to be pretty small compared to the rest of the rooms in the house—although that isn’t always the case. But don’t be fooled by the size of the bathroom. Just because there’s less square footage doesn’t mean the job will be quick and easy!  

The bathroom can be a tricky beast. It’s filled with water lines and plumbing, electrical wiring, and ventilation shafts. Most of the work that goes into renovating a bathroom is “behind the scenes,” under the floors and behind the walls. 

That’s not to say that the finishings don’t take time, too. Depending on the complexity of the work, the size of the space, and the components you want your finished bathroom to have, the design elements can add days or even weeks of extra time onto your project. 

The Master Plan

The first step to any successful renovation is to have a plan in place. This means working with your design team to establish a comfortable budget and figure out which elements you want to feature in your bathroom. Once you’ve done that, it’s important to consider the priority of your wish list. Depending on your budget and the time you have to do the job, you might have to compromise. 

Once you know exactly what needs to be done, only then will you be able to accurately calculate how long the process will take. Without knowing the details of your bathroom remodel, we can only give approximate ranges for each stage of development. 

foley remodeling bathroom days to finishPoints of Consideration 

Invasiveness

Is this a tip-to-tail, start from scratch remodel? Or is it just cosmetic? If you’re stripping your bathroom back to the studs, the project will take much longer than if you’re doing a surface makeover.  

Imported Goods

Are you ordering specialty materials that have to be shipped across the country or even internationally? If your materials can’t be sourced locally, you’ll need to add time for shipping and delivery. 

Right Hand (Wo)Man

Think about who is coordinating the various workers. Do you have to hire an electrician, plumber, inspector, and other independent professionals? Or is your contractor taking care of it? If you are doing it yourself, finding the right people for the job can be a lengthy process, unless you’ve already done much research on the subject. 

foley remodeling bathroom days to finishThe Timeline

Here is an example of the average timeline for a bathroom remodel in Fairfax County:  

  • Demolition: 2 days. May take longer if the bathroom is on an upper floor.
  • Rough Carpentry: 2 days. Optional if you’re already working with a solid structure.
  • Rough-Ins: 2-4 days. The foundational water lines, plumbing, and electricity get put in, minus the fixtures.
  • First Inspection: 1 day. An inspector has to sign off on the electrical and plumbing before the drywall goes up.
  • Insulation: 1 day. Insulating the walls is a quick job and can take under a day.
  • Drywalling: 2-3 days. Between hanging, mudding, drying, sanding, and repeating, time spent drywalling can really add up.
  • Final Inspection: 1 day. Once again, the inspector needs to approve that the technical aspects have been done correctly.
  • Paint: 1-2 days. Typically a pretty speedy process, although you may need an extra day for multiple coats.
  • Tile Work: 2 days. A simple task, but takes time to dry after application.
  • Cabinetry: 1 day. There aren’t usually many cabinets in the bathroom, so this shouldn’t take too long.
  • Flooring & Trim: 2 days. Can take longer depending on the materials used.
  • Hookups: 2 days. Hooking up the fixtures, including toilets, tubs, faucets, light fixtures, etc.
  • Float: 1-2 days. Having float in your schedule allows you to make time for unexpected tasks.

A full-scale renovation can take anywhere from two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half weeks when it’s all said and done. A cosmetic refurbishment can be anywhere from a few days to a week and a half—the last calculation assumes you’re doing all the work listed above, from painting to hookups.

For a no-stress renovation and a stellar finish, Foley Companies can help bring your bathroom vision to life. Our streamlined design-build process ensures smooth sailing, and you’ll love your new space! Connect today, and let’s talk about it.

foley remodeling midcentury kitchen design ideas

Mid-Century Modern Kitchens in Northern Virginia

There are some trends that just never die. Mid-century modern design is an architectural design and décor approach with enduring appeal. Loved by many, its sleek, chic, and functional style is incredibly popular in Fairfax county kitchens.  

As it happens, mid-century modern has a long and storied history. For brevity, we’ll summarize decades of social, economic, and industrial advancement in a few paragraphs. 

The History of Bauhaus: Where It All Began

Mid-century design is generally inspired by styles made popular in the 1930s to 1960s, taking its lead from the Bauhaus movement. Bauhaus emerged in the mid-1910s. Pioneered by German architect Walter Gropius, Bauhaus eschewed the luxury of the past in favor of modernity and minimalism. At the time, it was considered a collision between modernism and the Arts and Crafts movement. 

foley remodeling midcentury kitchen design ideasFollowing two world wars that decimated global economies, production methods changed significantly. Populations were growing, and there was a mounting demand for homes and the furnishings to fill them. The Bauhaus revolution adapted industrial production techniques to generate décor that was primarily functional but also stylish.  

Perhaps the most important principle of Bauhaus was that ‘form follows function,’ meaning that the design of an item should represent what it was meant to do. The practicality of the thing came first, and its design was a function of its purpose. Together, the two elements gave rise to the design style we know as mid-century. 

Getting The Mid-Century Look

If you love mid-century design, you might be wondering how you can get it and if it will look great in your home. 

This is where the ‘modern’ part comes in. Mid-century modern design is inspired by Bauhaus, but it does not recreate it. This gives you a lot of leeway to introduce vintage influence with 21st-century flair, allowing your space to evoke the past without becoming overwhelmed by it. 

Here are a few basic rules to get the mid-century modern look in your very own home: 

Keep It Simple

foley remodeling midcentury kitchen design ideasMid-century design favors clean lines, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be straight. Whether straight or curved, just make sure your lines are unornamented and smooth. Simpler is better when it comes to mid-century modern design! 

Embrace Minimalism

foley remodeling midcentury kitchen design ideasLess is more with Bauhaus design, but we think that rule is open to interpretation. Minimalism is typically characterized by austerity and sparseness. Mid-century modern kitchen design tends to be minimally furnished and not overstuffed, which means choosing décor pieces judiciously. 

Minimalism, in this case, just means your home should have lots of space to accommodate flow. Choose a focal point and stick with it. Don’t clutter your space; let your décor make a statement that will stand on its own!

Don’t Be Afraid To Mix It Up

foley remodeling midcentury kitchen design ideasJust because minimalism is a guiding principle doesn’t mean that your selections have to be boring. Choose textiles and colors that complement each other rather than ones that fight to be noticed. You don’t have to use the same material on every piece of furniture to look cohesive. 

Neutral or “Notice Me”

foley remodeling midcentury kitchen design ideasMinimalism typically encourages a subtler color palette, which is how many people end up with minimal looks that are mostly beige or white. And while beige and white are great in their own right, they’re not for everyone. Don’t be afraid to play around with color. It’s easy to turn up the dial on neutrals by adding a bold hue to the mix. Mid-century modern design is well-known for its interplay of crazy colors and patterns. The true key to minimalism lies in how you accessorize. 

Now that we know the rules, here are some examples of how to use them!  

  • Simple, streamlined cabinets with flat fronts or shaker-style doors. These designs are stylish while still evoking the mid-century feel. 
  • Play with paint. Your cabinets will pop with a splash of paint in any color, from pastels to deep, saturated hues. If you’re concerned about overwhelming your space, try painting just the bottom cabinets.
  • A funky light fixture—or fixtures—can make all the difference. Something geometric or industrial-inspired will draw the eye.
  • Patterned tile is another excellent way to kick up the mid-century vibe. Even if everything else is sleek and subtle, patterned tile creates a beautiful surprise.
  • Colored accents can make any space pop. Against an otherwise neutral palette, you can easily switch up accent pieces and colors whenever you’re inspired to do so. 

So if mid-century modern is the vibe you’re going for, the design-build team at Foley Companies would love to bring it to life. Connect with us today, and let’s get started.

foley remodeling pastel kitchens

Pastel Kitchens for Your Northern Virginia Home

When you renovate your kitchen, you want to make it last. That’s why most homeowners lean toward clean, classic, and timeless designs. Too edgy or too trendy, your design will age poorly and disappear deep into the “what were they thinking” file. 

Is Pastel Passé

We’ve all seen pictures of pastel homes that haven’t stood the test of time. To our modern eyes, they appear kitschy and outdated. To look at them, you might wonder if the home belongs to an 80-year-old grandmother or someone whose design aesthetic is stuck in the past.  

But that doesn’t have to be the case! Pastels aren’t just for nurseries, time-capsule homes, and preteen bedrooms. In fact, we love pastels in the kitchen more than ever right now! 

Kitchens should be bright and airy, which makes them the perfect candidate for a pastel palette. Introduce a little fun into your kitchen, or go for a more subdued look without losing visual interest. There’s a pastel for every purpose! 

foley remodeling pastel kitchensWhat’s a Pastel

A pastel color is part of a family of paler hues, with high levels of brightness and low saturation. These types of colors are seen as soothing and cheerful, leading people to associate them with childishness. But who said soothing and sunny colors can’t be for grown-ups too? 

We often see colors like baby blue, mint, peach, and lavender used as examples of pastels. But pastels don’t always have to be bright and bold. Take ‘millennial pink,’ for example. Its soft, dusty-rose tone has enjoyed a recent explosion in popularity, and we see it everywhere. 

Muted Pastels

For a subtle and mature look in your kitchen, try muted pastels. Some design bloggers are even touting these tones as “the new neutral.” If grey and beige have lost their appeal for you, trade them in for a muted pastel. It’s a fun way to introduce color into your palette without overwhelming your space. 

Muted pastels can be extremely elegant. It’s entirely possible to incorporate your affinity for these soft hues into your otherwise adult kitchen. 

Dusty periwinkle or light grey-blue look incredible on cabinetry. If you’re unsure about covering all of your cabinets in one color, try it out on your lower cabinets first. Then, complement the shade with white upper cabinets and a veined gray stone countertop. 

foley remodeling pastel kitchensBright Pastels

Brighter pastels look rich and luxe when paired with the right color palette and textures. Bold, minty paint on the walls or cabinets is evocative of vintage kitchen styles and makes your room look fresh and vibrant. 

Mixing and Matching Pastels

As with any interior design choice, it’s all about how you accessorize. The same goes for pastels. Fortunately, there are lots of different materials that look good with pastels of all shades. Medium and dark-toned natural wood is an elegant accent to pastel colors, and white never goes out of style. Black also pairs well with pastels, providing a grounding element, and ensuring that the look doesn’t become too whimsical. 

Try a geometrically-patterned tile in a neutral tone for a modern look, or go full retro with checkerboard if you’re feeling bold. Silver appliances and fixtures, either polished or matte, give your kitchen a sleek finish. 

foley remodeling pastel kitchensPastel Accents

If you’re not ready to go all-in with your pastel color palette, you can try spicing up your kitchen with a few pastel accessories. 

Brighten up your kitchen chairs with a few coats of pastel paint. Invest in some matching pastel dishware or a few colorful decorative items you can scatter throughout the space. A small area rug can also introduce a simple splash of color to liven up your space. 

Houseplants are another way to strike contrast against your pastel features. If you love the color green, there’s no easier way to get it than with some gorgeous green foliage, and it’s an easy way to punctuate your pastel kitchen. To get the relaxed look of hanging and trailing vines, English ivy, pothos, and philodendron are all perfect choices. They’re easy to grow and thrive in a sunny window. Ivy is also known for its air-purifying properties!  

If you’ve been dreaming about a pastel look for your kitchen, speak to the design team at Foley Companies today. With 40+ years of remodeling excellence in Northern Virginia, we bring unparalleled knowledge and insight to all of your home improvement projects. When you’re ready to go pastel, we’d love to help. Reach out today, and let’s talk about it. 

foley remodeling modern home additions

Modern Northern Virginia Home Additions

If you feel that your home has grown a bit too small for your family, a home addition is a great way to open up your world. 

Most homeowners will typically opt for one of the “big three” additions, either adding on to their family room, the master bedroom, or creating a sunroom addition on their ground floor. 

As with anything in life, it helps to be prepared. Before you break ground, you need to have a solid plan in place, so here are a few tips to help you get thinking about your next step.

1. Do Your Research: Cracking the Code

As a resident of Northern Virginia, your property will be subject to specific building regulations. When it comes time to add onto your home, expect to jump through a few hoops to make sure that everything is up to code. 

foley remodeling modern home additionsFairfax County has its own list of zoning requirements that will apply to any part of the house you plan to build onto. Your addition must fall within the regulated property line, as dictated by local zoning ordinances. The number of yards of distance from the property line is unique to each zone and the land on which your property was built. If you’re not already familiar with your district, you can contact the Zoning Permit Review Branch, part of the state’s Department of Planning and Development. 

Once you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s on the paperwork, it’s time to call in the professionals. However, if the thought of zoning restrictions makes your head spin, the design-build team at Foley can help you sort that out as well. Our team is well-versed in the legal aspects of renovation, as well design and construction. We’ll take care of every detail, so you don’t have to worry about it. 

2. Making Room: What Kind of Addition Do You Want?

Once you have your team on board, you’ll want to think about what you want to add on to your home. Do you want to expand an existing space, or add a new one altogether? 

foley remodeling modern home additionsIf you’re not sure what kind of addition is right for you, we’re more than happy to assess your zoning type and property. Once we know the parameters we have to work with, we’ll sit down with you, talk through the options, and help you decide.  

The last thing you’ll want when building a home addition is to end up with a space that looks markedly different from the original structure. 

Your home addition should have a cohesive look and feel. We’ll consider the interior and exterior, and make sure that the new parts mesh well with what’s already there. Even if it’s not an identical match, it should still complement the existing structure and look like it belongs there.  

Keep in mind that the biggest problems with a poorly-designed addition might not just be about the way it looks; it can also lower the resale value of your home. Regardless of how well the addition is actually built, a poorly-matched aesthetic communicates carelessness, or worse, a lack of design chops. Either way, it doesn’t perform well on the “curb appeal” end of things. 

3. Thinking Outside “The Box”

foley remodeling modern home additionsMany older houses were built with smaller, enclosed rooms that you could section off for total privacy. Nowadays, our lifestyles tend to favor open-concept designs. Rooms are no longer purely for function. Almost every space has both a practical and social purpose. 

So, if your home needs more space, keep in mind that it’s not exclusively about expanding the square footage. It’s essential to optimize the space that you already have. For example, if your family room or master bedroom is closed off or broken up by walls or doors, our design-build team can open up that space by rethinking the interior flow. 

4. The Sunroom Experience

foley remodeling modern home additionsFor true additions, like sunrooms, the idea is to give you a space that you can use as a retreat while incorporating it naturally into your home’s existing design. Most sunrooms are designed to bridge the gaps between your outdoor spaces and the interior. Lots of windows and a sunny, enclosed space helps you extend the warmer season on both ends. 

When it’s time to upgrade your space, Foley Companies is ready to make it happen. With over 40 years of experience in the design-build industry, Foley is well-equipped to give you the home addition that you’ve been dreaming of. Reach out today, and let’s get started.

foley remodel kitchen floor tile

Tile Trends for Your Northern Virginia Kitchen

Your kitchen floor deals with a lot. The occasional dropped pot, a slip here and a spill there, and judicious scrub-downs. And let’s not forget about the daily wear and tear of foot traffic through the busiest room of the house!

With everything that’s going on in your kitchen, you need a flooring solution that’s durable and easy to care for, and doesn’t sacrifice quality or visual appeal. You need a floor that will stand the test of time and look great all the while. 

Versatile, Beautiful Tile Floors

For durability and versatility, tile is an excellent choice. Tile’s natural water and stain resistance make it ideal as a high-performance kitchen textile. Plus, most tiles are low maintenance and super sturdy, giving them long life and making them an excellent investment for any homeowner’s kitchen improvement project. 

When it comes to kitchen tile, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. No matter what your style is, there’s sure to be a color, shape, texture, or pattern that suits your vision. The choices are virtually endless and easily customizable for any space. Whether you prefer high-gloss or matte finish, subtle, or eye-catching – wherever your imagination goes, you can have it. 

Below, we’ll take a look at some of the best and most popular tile options for the discerning homeowner. So let’s jump in! 

foley remodel kitchen floor tile

Clay Tiles

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are both excellent choices for a kitchen floor. If your space sees heavy daily use, as most kitchens do, porcelain or ceramic might be just the ticket. Both are made out of clay and then fired in a kiln to harden them. The biggest difference between ceramic and porcelain is the purity of the clay and the temperature at which the tiles are fired. 

Porcelain is made of refined, super-heated clay, giving it unparalleled hardness, durability, and beauty. These qualities make them highly sought-after – as well as expensive. 

Ceramic is the more affordable cousin of porcelain. Still, the two are so strikingly similar that most people find it hard to tell them apart. Fortunately, ceramic tile shares the superb durability, versatility, and customizability of porcelain, so it’s a good option if you’re looking to save a few bucks. 

Both types of tiles are extremely dense, making them resistant to water damage and staining. They’re easy to maintain, and a simple grout will keep them sealed for years to come. Not only that, but both come in a rainbow of colors and patterns, making them the popular choice for homeowners everywhere. 

foley remodel kitchen floor tile

Natural Stone

Natural stone tiles are made from slate, marble, travertine, granite, and limestone and bring beauty and elegance to any kitchen space. Some, like slate and limestone, have a rougher, more industrial look, while delicately-veined stones like travertine, marble, and granite are elegant and polished. 

While glamorous, stone tiles need extra love to keep them looking beautiful. They are more porous than their clay counterparts and need to be resealed periodically to help them retain their water and stain resistance. 

Something Different?

If you want to express yourself with your tiles, why not check out ceramic tiles that mimic wood flooring, or hand-painted cement that reflects your home’s personality? For an eye-popping touch, try a color-contrasting grout. White tiles with dark grout, or vice versa, is a modern favorite! 

foley remodel kitchen floor tile

Price Expectations

Tile runs the gamut in terms of selection, and their prices also vary considerably and can cost anywhere from $2 to $100 per square foot. When picking out your tile, consider the amount of space that needs covering and how much you’re willing to spend to get the look you want. 

Ceramic tiles are usually the most affordable, with an average price of around $2 – $3 per square foot. Porcelain tiles typically cost between $3 – $10 per square foot, although this can vary depending on the style. 

Natural stone is easily the most expensive option, with an average price of about $5 – $10 per square foot. However, if you have a taste for the finer things in life, you might find yourself paying upwards of $25 per square foot for top-quality natural stone tiles. 

Pro tip: Tiles are usually graded on a scale from one to three, with grade one being the purest finish and the highest quality. The better the quality, the more expensive the tile is likely to be. 

When you’re ready to forge ahead with your new kitchen floor, reach out to Foley Companies today. Foley Companies is a family run business with four decades of experience transforming homes in Fairfax County and throughout Northern Virginia. We’re passionate about giving you a result that you’ll love for years to come. Connect with us today, and let’s started.

Vanity Fair: Choosing the Right Vanity for Your Fairfax County Bathroom

What’s the first thing you see when you walk into the bathroom? If you’re anything like us, it’s probably the vanity.

Vanities are the most significant item of decor in any bathroom. Like its namesake, your vanity should be the recipient of admiration and attention. It can be the focal point of your bathroom or the piece that ties everything together.

Regardless of your preference, you need a vanity that will complement your design, flatter the size and shape of your bathroom, and have that artistic flair that makes your bathroom design feel like an extension of the rest of your home.

What is a Vanity?

Image from narniachina.com

Image from narniachina.com

A vanity is much more than just a sink. It’s a combination of both the sink and the cabinetry that surrounds it. It is used for storage, and for disguising the often-unsightly plumbing required to make your sink work.

For some bathrooms, you might not even need a vanity. When working with limited real estate, you might decide just to have a sink instead of all the cabinetry that a vanity requires.

Decisions, Decisions

Image from iStock

Image from iStock

With such a wide range of options, how can you select a vanity that will work best for your space?

Here are a few things to consider before making your pick.

  • Who is it for? You’re going to need different things from your vanity, depending on who’s using it. For example, a children’s bathroom vanity will look much different than the vanity you choose for your powder room or the master suite.
  • Where will it be located? The vanity needs to be right for the space in terms of size, shape, and existing plumbing layout. And while it is possible to make changes to your plumbing, you may prefer the simpler route of picking a vanity that fits with what’s already there.
  • What other logistical elements will factor into the selection? The vanity you settle on shouldn’t disrupt the flow of traffic through your space. That is, you shouldn’t be squeezing past it to get to the toilet. You will also need enough room around your vanity to accommodate for door swing. Think about how much room you’ll need to accommodate shower doors, cabinet doors, and the bathroom door itself.

Vanity Styles

Never fear – there’s a vanity for every taste, budget, and aesthetic. Most choices hinge around the type of sink it houses, so let’s look at that first.

Sink Types

Wall-mounted sinks are attached to the wall using hanger brackets. They have no ground support and are perfect for small spaces.

Image from signaturehardware.com

Image from signaturehardware.com

Pedestal sinks are similar to a wall-mounted sink but are held up by a narrow vertical support or pedestal. Sometimes, the pedestal is merely decorative and doesn’t support the sink at all, but rather hides the plumbing.

Image from magnushomeproducts.com

Image from magnushomeproducts.com

Over or undermount sinks are nestled right into a cabinet unit, and can be installed from above or below. Unlike wall-mounted or even pedestal sinks, they are not freestanding and must have a vanity unit attached.

Image from qndesigns.com.au

Image from qndesigns.com.au

Vessel sinks are basins that simply perch on your vanity’s countertop. Unlike overmount and undermount sinks, they are not integrated into the cabinetry at all. If you like a vintage or eclectic look, a vessel gives you some nice options as you can use a cabinet that’s not necessarily designed to be a vanity.

Image from TradeWinds Imports

Image from TradeWinds Imports

Vanity Types

Wall-mounted and pedestal sinks don’t incorporate any cabinetry and are often (but not always) the choice for petite bathrooms. However, for those who have a little more freedom with their space, a larger, more furniture-like vanity might be just the thing.

Washstand

Image from Pinterest

Image from Pinterest

Traditional washstands have been around for hundreds of years. Usually made of wood, they featured a few drawers or a cabinet below and a basin on top. These days, washstands are super space-savers and can be adapted as minimal pantry-style shelving units. We love the look of a washstand that is essentially a wall-mounted sink surrounded by a narrow countertop, and supported by metal rails with a few shelves below.

Fully-Integrated Furniture

Image from Birdy Bath Co.

Image from Birdy Bath Co.

A wall-to-wall vanity can provide plenty of counter space and storage, and is prime real estate for any kind of sink, whether it’s integrated or an individual vessel. You can use any material for your cabinetry, adapt it to any style or size, and customize your storage just the way you like it.

Jack & Jill

Image from Pinterest

Image from Pinterest

Speaking of wall-to-wall vanities, why not double the fun with two sinks instead of one? This is great for couples who need extra elbow room or a family with several kids.

No matter what kind of vanity strikes your fancy, the design-build team at Foley Companies is ready to help give you the bathroom of your dreams. Connect with us today, and let’s get started

brizmaker / Getty Images

Outdoor Dining Area Ideas for Your Fairfax County Backyard

What could be better than dining al fresco on a summer evening? Whether you’re sitting down for a family dinner, celebrating a holiday with a barbecue, or having an intimate date night with your partner, it’s always better in the great outdoors.

No matter what your style or who’s dining with you, your outdoor eating area should be an extension of home and your kitchen. Here are an assortment of ways to bring the indoors out, and turn outdoor dining into the event it was always meant to be.

Outdoor Dining Areas: The Logistics

From hgtv.com

From hgtv.com

Think about where you want to dine. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the backyard, on the front porch, or even on a corner of the deck. Anywhere that you have room can become a dining area. It’s just a matter of utilizing the space and resources that you have available to you. 

If you have limited square footage, you don’t want to just plunk down a few tables and chairs without first considering if they fit the shape and size of the space. Even if you have a lot of room to work with, you will still want to make sure that the setup feels thoughtful and proportional.

Things to consider when choosing a dining set:

  • How many diners will there be, both regular and occasional?
  • What is your aesthetic preference? This includes shape, size, and style. How formal do you want it to look, and should it be cohesive with the rest of the home?
  • Is it proportional to the size of your space?
  • Will it be your main sitting area as well as your dining area?

Wants vs. Needs

From rocksdigital.com

From rocksdigital.com

You don’t have to resign yourself to a space that doesn’t accommodate your needs. Make your space work for you. Formulate a design and choose décor that enhances your lifestyle. There’s no need to try and mold yourself to someone else’s idea of cool. You want to be sure you end up with a space you’re going to love.

First, consider what you need from an outdoor dining area. Maybe you need a table that seats three or four immediate family members, a barbecue, and perhaps something to give you a bit of shade.

Then, think about what you want. Perhaps you’ve been dreaming about a table that can accommodate up to a dozen diners, a fancy outdoor grill, and a pergola. What you need and what you want are not incompatible! It’s all about exploring a design that will allow you to incorporate both while staying within the limits of your budget.

Start With The Basics

From hawk-haven.com

From hawk-haven.com

First, pick out the table that you want. Keep in mind the abovementioned considerations. These will help you find a table that suits your space and style. You can get a dining set with chairs that match, but they may not be the style, size, or number that you’re after. 

If you have only a few people dining with you regularly but plan to have more on special occasions, consider getting benches. Benches make it easy to accommodate any number of guests without having to squeeze extra chairs around the table.

Add Some Accessories

Photo Courtesy of Grand Patio

Photo Courtesy of Grand Patio

Once you have the fundamentals, it’s time to dress your dining area for success.

For shade, a sun-sail, standing deck umbrella, or a hanging cantilever umbrella are affordable alternatives to a custom-built pergola or gazebo.

If you plan to dine outdoors regularly, you may want to invest in outdoor dishware. It can be quite challenging to clean broken glass off a patio, so it might be worthwhile to make the purchase. Melamine table settings are much more durable than glass and ceramic.

If a tablecloth isn’t quite your style, placemats are an easy swap. They keep utensils off the surface, but they’re also a quick and stylish way of setting the table.

To ward off bugs during the dog days of summer, try gauzy mosquito netting – it can be quite appealing! Citronella torches are another alternative.

And speaking of torches, don’t forget about lights and other decorative items. Strings of lights are a beautiful way to illuminate any outdoor space, and they come in tons of styles, from delicate fairy lights to industrial Edison bulbs, and yards of wire strung with tiny LEDs. Add a liberal sprinkling of candles and lanterns, and you’re ready to rock the summer!

No matter your taste and no matter your space, Foley Companies can help you create the perfect atmosphere for outdoor dining. Connect with us today, and let us show you how.

PHOTO BY GREG HADLEY

Outdoor Kitchen Design Ideas for Your Fairfax County Home

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right, mid-summer grilling season has arrived along with the hot weather. But maybe your backyard isn’t quite an oasis of al fresco dining.

If you want a fresh look but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few ideas to pique your creativity and get you ready to renovate.

The Logistics

As with any home improvement project, there are a few factors to consider when planning your outdoor kitchen. Here are a few:

  • Size of your space
  • Style preference
  • Choice of materials
  • Equipment, furniture, and other features
  • Lighting and shade solutions
  • Budget limitations
  • How often you plan to use it
  • Anticipated level of maintenance
  • Local zoning bylaws
  • Building codes
  • Durability and weather resistance

The Work Flow

From crismatec.com

From crismatec.com

When designing an indoor kitchen space, we always follow the golden rule of the kitchen triangle. While the layout won’t be identical for an outdoor kitchen, the concept should be similar. You’ll need to access your fridge, sink, and your grill.

However, because this space is fundamentally different from an indoor kitchen, we approach it a little differently.

Zone In

From kitchendesignconcepts.com

From kitchendesignconcepts.com

Instead of the triangle, your outdoor grill space should include wet, dry, hot, and cold zones. Your wet zone is where you can wash your ingredients before you prep them in the dry zone. The hot zone is for your grill, while the cold zone is for your fridge. 

A logical progression would be to start with your cold zone, then move to the wet zone. Next to that, you’ll have the dry zone, and then finally, your hot zone. Think about whether you like to work left-to-right or right-to-left, as this will definitely come into play during the design phase.

The Layout

From Pinterest

From Pinterest

Like an indoor kitchen, your outdoor food prep area can be any shape or size. U-shaped, L-shaped, galley, and island styles are all excellent choices for your open-air kitchen. So-called “one-wall” or “straight line” kitchen spaces are pretty popular too, as they’re space-efficient. 

A U-shaped or elongated L-shape is perfect for homeowners that want the all-in-one kitchen and sit-up bar look. This way, you can grill and entertain your guests simultaneously.

No matter what shape you choose, make sure to leave plenty of “landing space” on either side of your zones. This way, you have room to prep and set down dishware when it’s time to plate.

Regardless of how much space you’re working with, your kitchen prep area should be proportional to the dining area. If you’re really tight for space, you can even combine them into a shared cooking and dining area.

Culinary Accessories

From Pinterest

From Pinterest

If you want the full grillmaster fantasy, go all out on your barbecue – within reason, of course. If cooking is important to you, it’s okay to splurge a little in this area and cut back on other design elements. It’s all about priorities!

Instead of a full-size fridge, try a mini-fridge that will fit underneath your countertop. Don’t forget about storage cabinets to hold all the necessities, including dishware. Melamine dishes are a great choice because of their durability, and they come in a wide range of styles and colors. 

Design and Dine

From bossdesign.com

From bossdesign.com

Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time to think about the décor. Pick out your table and seating, thinking about how many guests you plan to have dining with you, both now and in the future. 

What’s your style? Is it clean and classical? Perhaps it’s more of a relaxed, cottage-by-the-lake vibe, or a rustic Spanish villa look. Whatever your preference, there’s a way to translate it to outdoor decor.

Don’t neglect the flooring. If your dining lounge isn’t located on the deck, flagstones or cement pavers look great underfoot. To illuminate the space, play around with lanterns, strings of lights, torches, and integrated outdoor lighting.

For a smaller, more affordable shade solution, try a hanging cantilever umbrella. For more coverage—and a higher price tag—you may enjoy a stylish pergola, which accents your space without overwhelming it.

Whatever your taste, make sure to choose durable, exterior-approved furniture and decor. You want your investment to withstand the elements!

Finally, remember to set the table. A nice fabric tablecloth is great, but woven placemats are a low-maintenance alternative. Add candles, flowers, and other decorative items for that extra little something. All you need now is your friends and family around you!

Are you ready to finally build that outdoor kitchen of your dreams? Foley Companies will give you a space you’ll love to spend time in. Connect with us today, and let’s get started!

Image from thekitchenshowcase.com

Traditional vs. Transitional Kitchen Design

Every homeowner wants a great kitchen. Not only is it an amazing and profitable selling point, but it also improves your everyday enjoyment. The benefits of living in a home that works for you meets your needs, fits your style, and makes you happy cannot be overstated!

So how can you get that kitchen you’ve always dreamed of? As always, the best thing to do is to start with a plan. What is your preferred style? When you scroll through Pinterest, what kinds of images catch your eye? Are they sleek and streamlined? Or are they rich, detailed, and elegant?

Know Thyself

Believe it or not, knowing what styles you like will help your design evolve. And with so many options to choose from, having a vision before you start planning is always crucial to a good renovation experience.

Your kitchen design team can help you create the perfect plan. But first, you’ll need to help them by narrowing down your choices just a little. Give your kitchen designers an idea of your style preference, what features you want, and how you hope to use it. With these ideas to guide their design, they will then create a result that you’ll love.

Two of the most popular types of kitchen designs are traditional and transitional models. But what are they exactly? Likely, you’ve already seen photos of both of these approaches, but we’ll try our best to clear up any ambiguity.

Traditional Design

When you think of a traditional-style kitchen, perhaps you think of flowery finishes, over-embellished accents, and a general feeling of inaccessibility. But that doesn’t have to be the case! A traditional kitchen can be elegant without feeling stuffy; it’s all about careful coordination.

What defines a traditional kitchen?

Fine Craftsmanship

Image from jfdesigns.co

Image from jfdesigns.co

These kitchens curate a distinctly ornamental look, featuring architectural embellishments and close attention to detail. These detailed elements can adorn various surfaces. Raised or elaborately-carved cabinet panels and soaring, curved lines are great examples of this. Crown molding, corbels, and luxurious furniture pieces give the space a certain air of grandeur.

Luxury Finishings

Image from romerointeriors.co.uk

Image from romerointeriors.co.uk

Natural stone countertops, like marble, granite, and quartz, ooze traditional appeal and elegance. Surface finishes or glazes also give the kitchen a refined, polished look.

Neutral Palette

Image from crismatec.com

Image from crismatec.com

Neutral doesn’t mean beige, but traditional design does tend towards a warmer, more subtle color palette. These include whites and creams, beige, greige, and earthy tones. They can also swing into blacks, greys, and even muted green tones, but these often tend to be accent colors.

Layering

Image from seattletimes.com

Image from seattletimes.com

Layering is used in the traditional kitchen to give a space visual interest, depth, and complexity without overwhelming the design. A traditional kitchen rarely, if ever, has flashy, ostentatious features, bold patterns, and colors, or statement items. They feature elegant, sometimes elaborate adornments that, when combined with simple, classical pieces, gel together to highlight the entirety of the space. The design elements are cohesive and dimensional, without any particular item screaming for attention. 

Transitional Design

Transitional style is a combination of traditional and modern design elements. While traditional designs often feature more contemporary pieces to ensure that ‘classical’ does not equal ‘outdated,’ transitional fully embrace the mixture of old and new. So much so, in fact, that the juxtaposition of tradition and modernity is part of the beauty of this approach.

What exactly is a transitional kitchen?

Clean and Clear

Photo: Zio and Sons Creative

Photo: Zio and Sons Creative

While some homeowners may think traditional styles are too formal and stuffy, the transitional kitchen embraces a more relaxed and casual look. While it still features some of the elements that make a traditional kitchen great, it trades in the former’s extravagant detailing for cleaner, straighter lines, a more simplified approach, and an unfussy appearance. Think flat cabinets, unadorned hardware, and industrial-style kitchen appliances. 

Simple Palette

Image from home-designing.com

Image from home-designing.com

Similar to traditional designs, transitional kitchens tend towards a simplified color palette. However, there is a preference for tones that appear light and airy, rather than warm and earthy. Whites, beiges, and greys are aligned with this palette, and cooler tones are also good choices.

Geometry

Image from homedit.com

Image from homedit.com

Whereas traditional designs are enamored of curves and swirls, transitional kitchens are the ideal canvas for simple lines and a more structured aesthetic. Herringbone and chevron patterns make for beautiful backsplashes, while three-dimensional geometric lighting fixtures set the space off to perfection.

Whether you prefer traditional or transitional design for your kitchen, Foley Companies can give you a beautiful result that you and your family will love. Connect with us today, and let’s get started.

From carlaaston.com

Bathroom Features to Consider for Your Next Remodel

What are your bathroom’s best features? Or perhaps a better question is, what features do you imagine your dream bathroom will have? 

A bathroom renovation is one of the most sought-after home projects we see in Northern Virginia. Second only to kitchen renovations, a bathroom remodel significantly increases the marketability and monetary value of your home, and it can also make your daily living experience more enjoyable.

Beyond The Basics

Image from 314designstudio.com

Image from 314designstudio.com

Every bathroom has the same basic building blocks. At the very least, it has a toilet, a sink, a shower or a tub (maybe both), and a bit of storage. But why settle for basic when you can have a bathroom that’s designed just for you?

Getting the perfect space is all about knowing what you want and what you need. Obviously, you need the four elements listed above. But what do you want? Is it a luxurious steam shower? Perhaps it’s a massive claw-foot tub, a heated floor, or a Jack and Jill vanity.  

Before we start planning, we need to understand your priorities. What sort of lifestyle do you lead? What makes your house a home? What are your style preferences, and what will make your new bathroom the perfect space for you?

Priorities, Priorities

Image from supportforstudentsgrowthcenter.com

Image from supportforstudentsgrowthcenter.com

Consider where you are willing to compromise as well as where you won’t. If you have high expectations for certain elements, you may have to make trade-offs, depending on your budget.

 Of course, making trade-offs doesn’t mean you have to settle. You should never have to make do with something you don’t actually like. When you need to meet your budget, making trade-offs may simply mean allocating funds a little differently. You’ll still get the highest-quality products and features that are most important to you.

Still unsure about how to identify your top priorities? We suggest creating a simple decision-making matrix. First, list all the elements that you want in your bathroom renovation. It can be aspirational! The important thing is to nail down what you want, and then we’ll see if it’s feasible.

Weighing the Scales

Wragg, Getty Images

Wragg, Getty Images

Once you have your list of features, use a point system to assign weight to each item. We suggest using a three-point system:

  • Absolute must-have, can’t live without it: 3 points
  • Want to have, within reason: 2 points
  • Nice to have, but not necessary: 1 point

Go down the list and give each item a number. This will help you rank your choices in order of priority, with three-point features at the top, and one-pointers at the bottom. This approach is especially handy if you and your partner are making the decisions together and struggling to agree on what the renovation should look like.

Once you’ve established your list of wants and needs, it’s time to assess what you’re willing to spend. Your design-build team can help with this process, as they’ll have extensive knowledge of comparable products on the market that will allow you to get a similar look at a more affordable price. 

The Matrix in Action

From researchgate.net

From researchgate.net

Let’s look at one specific example using the priority matrix.

Take one three-point item: flooring material. It’s clearly an essential, but what’s still undecided is how much you’re willing to spend to get what you want. For your flooring selections, you are choosing between porcelain, ceramic, and vinyl.

Before you make your selection, consider these points, and decide where your priority lies: 

  • Best quality. You’re willing to spend however much it takes to get what you want, no matter how expensive it is.
  • Best value. You’re willing to pay an amount that gets you the right balance of quality, functionality, and price.
  • Best price. You want to spend the smallest amount of money possible, regardless of the trade-offs in quality or durability.

Use your bottom-line budget to create hypothetical scenarios and work backward to determine what you can afford in each category. Keep in mind that there are some areas where you are willing to spend more to get what you want. In this case, porcelain may be the best quality, ceramic the best value, and vinyl the best price.

Ultimately, this decision isn’t just about the money you spend now. It’s also about making choices that will best suit your lifestyle and will deliver value when it comes time to sell.

Whatever bathroom features make it onto your list of ‘must-haves,’ Foley Companies is ready to bring your vision to life. Connect today to explore your options, and let’s talk about it.