Tanya Bamford named MVP

Congratulations to our MVP

Tanya Bamford named MVPOur marketing consultant, Tanya Bamford of TCB Marketing recently received the MVP award representing Custom Craft at the Remodelers Advantage Marketing Pros roundtable in Baltimore this past July. After spending two arduous days working with some of the remodeling industry’s top minds, Tanya was recognized by her peers for her dedication, keen insights, and expertise.

We’ve been honored to have Tanya as part of the Custom Craft team for the past 6 years. Tanya and her team at TCB Marketing have been an integral component in assembling and contributing to our marketing and communication efforts over the years including our website, print advertising, direct mailers, social media, as well as our email newsletters.

As we continue to grow and build on the services we provide, we look forward to Tanya’s continued contributions. Congratulations Tanya and keep up the good work!

home office with built-in cabinetry

Built-ins Provide Both Form and Function

Built-in Cabinetry and Shelving Add Form and Function

home office with built-in cabinetryWhen we meet with homeowners to assess their remodeling needs, lack of storage is a frequent complaint we hear. One of the ways we help our clients resolve these challenges is through the creative use of built-in cabinetry and shelving. Beyond providing storage, built-ins offer a host of benefits. Adding these features to any room of the home will improve the functionality, aesthetics, and organization of the space as well.

Are built-ins the solution for your home? Take this quiz and find out.

  1. Does your home lack storage space?
  2. Are your countertops frequently cluttered with mail and other papers?
  3. Do shoes and miscellaneous gear litter entry areas?
  4. Are there sufficient locations for handheld electronic devices to be charged near a counter?
  5. Do you have an underutilized area of your home, while the rest of the space feels cramped?

If you were able to answer “yes” to any of these questions, then a renovation featuring built-in cabinetry and shelving may be the solution for you. For ideas and inspiration, check out this Houzz Ideabook I prepared. It highlights many clever and subtle ways built-ins can be used throughout the home.

How We Can Help

Whether you need a well-designed kitchen pantry, mudroom, laundry room, or home office like the one featured above, Custom Craft Contractors has the expertise to design and build the right solution for your needs. We have been designing and installing built-in cabinetry for clients for more than 30 years. Our talented team stays current on the latest trends and product innovations. We will help you select the right door styles, finishes, mouldings, and features to create a stylish and functional space that will stand the test of time.

Questions About Built-ins?

If you have questions about how built-ins can enhance your home, I invite you to contact me directly at (610) 584-0665, or feel free to email your questions to me.

fireplace renovation

Fabulous Fireplace Ideas

fireplace renovationWhen it comes to adding warmth to a home, nothing does it quite so well as a fireplace–both literally and figuratively. Fireplaces are the focal point of any room and offer a wide variety of benefits including:

  • Versatility! A fireplace can be installed anywhere in a home, from family rooms to outdoor living areas
  • Fireplaces can reflect any style, from traditional to modern
  • They offer a cozy place to congregate with family and friends
  • Gas fireplaces offer a cleaner heat source than their traditional wood-burning counterparts and can be used to create heat efficiency in strategic areas of the home

On the downside, old fireplaces are often a significant source of heat loss. When we perform energy audits in homes, we frequently find that fireplaces are a major source of drafts. The good news is that they can easily be updated to be more energy efficient and attractive.

I’ve pulled together some of my favorite fireplace photos in a Houzz Ideabook for you. Check it out for some design inspiration. If you have any questions about updating your fireplace, feel free to give us a call at (610) 584-0665.

kitchen lighting

3 Lighting Tips For Your Next Remodeling Project

kitchen lightingLighting is a critically important aspect of every remodeling project. Whenever we advise our clients about lighting, we address three primary areas of need: Functionality, Style, and Control. If you are planning a remodeling project, here are a few home lighting tips for you to consider.

1. Address Functionality First

Before we begin selecting fixtures, we consider first how the homeowner will use that space, and then we work with them to select the best lighting options for that area. From task lighting around work areas, to accent lighting for accentuating artwork, there are a wide variety of lighting options available.

The quantity and mix of fixtures necessary to light any area will vary depending on the size and dimensions of the space. Using a light layering approach, we strive to achieve the optimal lighting solution based on each client’s needs and budget.

2. Make a Style Statement

More than just providing illumination, lighting can help homeowners express their individual style and taste. Clients often select decorative pendant fixtures over their tables, peninsulas, and islands to add personality to a room. Pendants can be in line, staggered, or larger in scale. Large or small, there are numerous options for every taste ranging from vintage or reproductions, to industrial, sleek and contemporary, transitional, traditional, eclectic, the list goes on.

3. Gain Control

Finally, when working with clients on their lighting, we always consider how they want to control the light in the space. Do the lights need to be dimmable? How frequently will these lights be used? What are the energy efficiency goals? Do the homeowners want to be able to control the lights remotely? Recent innovations in technology have made it easier than ever for clients to control both interior and exterior lights whether they are away on vacation, or simply seated in another room.

Still Need More Ideas and Inspiration?

Looking through photos on Houzz is a wonderful way to gather ideas and inspiration for any remodeling project. To assist with your lighting planning, browse through this Houzz Ideabook I created.

If you have questions about an upcoming project, please feel free to contact me with your design questions. I can be reached at the office line at: (610) 584-0665.


Considerations for your bathroom remodel

Rainshower-Bath2When discussing bathroom design with our clients, storage needs are inevitably brought into the conversation. Most clients have concerns about the lack of storage space in their current bathrooms which leads to messy, cluttered counters among other challenges. Not surprisingly, in nearly every bathroom we design, additional storage space is a major design objective. Here are a few storage options to consider for your next bathroom:

  • Cabinetry above vanity
  • Custom drawers and cabinets with electric receptacles
  • Tall storage units
  • Open storage spaces

Features for the Shower

An often overlooked, but critical area for storage is around the shower and tub. Corner shelves are commonly used, but a better option is a storage niche if budget allows. A niche is more costly since it involves additional labor and materials. With that said, the cost is offset by the ample benefits they offer including more convenient access to bottles of cleansers, space efficiency, and aesthetics. From a designer’s perspective, a niche also allows for more creativity within the tile design.

Benches for larger shower areas, or foot ledges in smaller showers, are also on the must have list. A few other must haves are grab bars for current needs or planning for the future. Fortunately, the grab bar style, size and finish options are not as limited as they were at one time. It is very likely that you can find a style that compliments the plumbing fixtures that will be used.

For plumbing fixtures, more than one shower head is often desired. If more than one person uses the shower, preferences may differ. One family member may want a rain shower mounted to the ceiling or wall to provide a spa-like experience, while another may prefer a hand shower on a slide-bar which gives more flexibility. The latter also comes in handy for cleaning the shower.

As for shower doors, there are numerous options. Depending on budget, there are standard sizes with finish options or there are custom sizes using framed or frameless doors and panels.

Another consideration is a curbless shower. The advantage of this style is that it reduces the risk of tripping and falling while entering or exiting the shower. Regardless of age, many homeowners are selecting this style of shower because of its clean, streamlined look.

More Bathroom Ideas

For more bathroom design ideas, please view our Houzz Bathroom Shower Organization Ideabook. This should inspire you for your upcoming project. As always, if you have any questions about your bathroom remodel, please do not hesitate to contact us at (610) 584-0665, or via email at: info@customcraftcontractors.com.

kitchen corner cabinet solution

Good Kitchen Design Requires Form and Function

kitchen corner cabinet solutionWhen designing kitchens for clients, I tend to give equal consideration to aesthetics and functionality. While having an attractive space is important, for most homeowners, incorporating better organization and storage features are top priorities. My feeling is that you can never be too organized. Having a well-organized kitchen makes meal preparation more enjoyable by alleviating the frustration of not being able to find a certain utensil, pan, or baking item.

As an avid cook and baker myself, I am well aware of the importance of having a place for everything in my own kitchen. I draw upon these insights when I design. Regardless of the size of the space I am working with, I find it an exciting challenge to creatively configure a space for both form and function. Here are a couple of great ideas for maximizing the space in your kitchen.

1. Magic Corners
There are great interior accessories on the market such as magic corners and unique pull-outs for that corner in your kitchen where you don’t want to give up precious space. I can’t remember the last time I wrote off a corner with all of the options available.
2. Deep Drawers
Not only can deep drawers be used for storing large pots and pans, they can also be utilized for storing a variety of dishes with two-tiered dividers or removable pegs like the photo above.
3. Hidden Spice Racks
Placing your spices nearby your cook top makes great sense, but those jars add unattractive clutter to your counters. Fortunately, there are many clever ways to add under-counter storage space for those miscellaneous containers. Vertical pull out drawers can be added adjacent to your stove to keep those seasonings close at hand when you need them, but out of sight when you don’t.

Houzz is a great online tool to search for innovative ideas on how to maximize your storage space. Follow this link to view our Houzz Ideabook called Kitchen Organization filled with kitchen storage ideas and inspiration.

Make a Stylish Statement with a Tile Backsplash

backsplash with subway tileWhen I renovated my kitchen last year I wanted to be classic in style. I was tired of my current backsplash and this time around wanted something timeless. I have white cabinets with dark granite countertops so I ended up choosing Grecian white marble 3” x 6” subway tiles. There’s so much interest in the each piece of marble and I love the way it looks in the simple brick pattern. I capped of the ends with vertical marble pencils.

Tile backsplashes can truly make a statement in a kitchen whether you go with a simple classic design or a more dramatic look. It is a way to bring all of the other materials together such as the countertops, cabinetry and flooring. There are many options to choose from as far as shape, size, type of material and color. If you go with a simple subway tile in a brick or herringbone design for example, there are many types of materials to choose from such as marble, travertine, glass, and ceramic.

When you peruse through our Pinterest Kitchen Backsplash Ideas Board, you will see a trend toward subway tiles in many materials. It is a great way to go whether your taste is classic, contemporary, transitional or traditional. A framed accent can be used above the cooktop to add more detail if desired.

For those of you who like color and something a little different, there are ideas using Arabesque and patterned tiles. A tile backsplash does more than simply protect your walls from splashed and stains, it is a way to make your design unique and express your personal style.

Tips for Creating a Houzz Ideabook to Share with Your Contractor

At Custom Craft Contractors, we are crazy about Houzz. If you haven’t discovered it yet, take some time to explore this online community dedicated to home improvement. Houzz has changed the way homeowners plan for a remodeling project. The Houzz website centers around a searchable database of project photos uploaded by remodeling professionals. To date, more than 5 million photos have been added. Similar to Pinterest, users of Houzz (also known as Houzzers) can search these photos for ideas and inspiration for their own homes. When they find images they like, they can add those photos to Ideabook folders in their account for future reference. Follow this link for some helpful tips from Houzz on how to create an Ideabook.

We like Ideabooks because they are a useful communication tool in the design process. For every room we work on, we ask our clients to prepare an Ideabook with specific types of images. Reviewing these photos together facilitates a productive dialogue about the styles and finishes our customers prefer.

If you are planning for a remodeling project in your home, here are some tips on the images you will want to include in your Ideabook:

  • Cabinetry style – For kitchens, this can include your primary cabinets and island.  For bathrooms, this would include the vanity and decorative storage cabinetry
  • Knobs & Pulls – The hardware on your cabinets can be more of an understated accent or a bold highlight. Be sure to include close-up shots with details of the style you prefer
  • Wall Tile – Whether it is the backsplash in a kitchen, or shower and tub surrounds for bathrooms, try to include photos that tie into the overall theme of the room
  • Flooring – There are many options for flooring. When adding photos to your Ideabook, try to be consistent with the material type and look, like natural wood tones, tile, or other material
  • Lighting – Lighting features can dress a room beautifully, so remember to include pictures of the type you would prefer, such as pendants, chandeliers, sconces, recessed, under cabinet, etc.
  • Plumbing fixtures – Faucets, sinks, tubs, and showers will play a role in the overall look and functionality you’re trying to achieve, so be sure to include images depicting the features you would like to see, from zero threshold shower stalls, to pot fillers over a cook top

By filling your Houzz Ideabooks with images of the features and finishes you would like in your home remodeling project, you will help your contractor develop the ideal design for your home. As always, if you have any questions about these tips, don’t hesitate to contact us at (610) 584-0665.


DIY Holiday Centerpiece Idea

holiday-centerpiece‘Tis the season to decorate your home for the holidays with wreaths, beautifully decorated trees and mantles—not to mention eye catching centerpieces for the dining table.

This year I wanted to add some warmth and a rustic accent to my centerpiece, so I used an old carved wooden drawer (shown here) and filled it with fresh evergreens, pods, red berries, and miniature white orchids. The arrangement is simple, fragrant, plus it adds a splash of color and seasonal flair to my table. Best of all, it was inexpensive to create. I found everything I needed around my home—and you can too.

To gather the materials for your holiday centerpiece, take a walk outdoors and look for fresh greens, berries, pine cones, and birch bark. Gather what you need then head back inside and look for a beautifully shaped bowl, and some candles, and start arranging. If the materials you need are not readily available around your home, try visiting your local farmer’s market or garden center and you are likely to discover a wonderful selection.

For more ideas, inspiration and creativity, I encourage you to visit our holiday decorating board on Pinterest. Wishing you peace, health and happiness in the new year!

Notes for Fall Decorating

With the new season bringing crisp, cool air and colorful trees, it’s a great time to decorate your home for the upcoming holidays. In addition to Thanksgiving, having a daughter with a birthday that falls on Halloween, this season has been a big time for festivities in my family. Especially when my daughter was young, when family and friends would visit, they were surprised when they first saw my decorated and painted pumpkins in colors of gold, silver and white that I used as centerpieces. Some would have monogrammed words on them with a mix of berries, pine cones, etc. I wasn’t much of an orange person so this worked well in my home.

Fast forward 20+ years later, while looking through Pinterest for decorating ideas, I couldn’t help but notice all of the photos with natural white and painted pumpkins along with a mix of natural materials like bittersweet, acorns, plants and candles. So whether you are decorating outside at your entry or creating a centerpiece for your table or a display for your mantle, the possibilities are endless. The selection is great at your local farmers market and I would highly recommend starting there. You will be sure to find a great variety of colors, shapes and sizes of gourds, squash and of course pumpkins. Not to mention mums, ornamental peppers, etc.

For more fall decorating ideas and inspiration, check out this board I put together on Pinterest. Don’t forget to follow Custom Craft Contractors while you are there.