Mosaik Design & Remodeling, a premier design and build firm based in Portland, was recently named the 2015 Remodeler of the Year by the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Metropolitan Portland, the leading voice for the residential building industry. We had a chance to interview lead designer and co-owner Erin Davis to get her take on the latest remodeling and design trends and tap some of her expertise.
[article photos courtesy of: Lincoln Barbour]
- What is the biggest topic in remodeling these days, both locally and beyond?
How to use existing space more efficiently because lack of storage is a very common topic of discussion. Adding on or reconfiguring an existing space to gain more storage and get more organized is really important to most folks. While it is still important to have an aesthetically pleasing home we are seeing the need for greater functionality across the board. Also, the question of budget is still ever present. While people are doing larger projects in general, there is still a “proceed with caution” attitude regarding the cost of a remodel in relation to the homes’ value.
2. What design trends should we look for in 2016?
Neutrals continue to take center stage in design. Greys, taupes, creams and whites and are still being used heavily in kitchens, baths, bedrooms and the ever popular gender neutral nursery. Soft pastels are making a comeback as evidenced by Pantone’s Colors of the Year “Serenity and Rose Quartz”. Bold colors (think red wall) and dark chocolate cabinetry seem to be losing ground, however dark grey and black (used judiciously) are becoming more popular. Subway tile and glass are still hot, but the shapes and layouts have become more interesting. Subway tiles in all different sizes, are being installed vertically and in herringbone patterns. Glass mosaics are now seen in longer, linear strips rather than just a 1”x1” or brick mosaic.
3. We hear a lot about the Smart Home. What types of smart features are you seeing homeowners starting to consider or incorporate into their projects?
New technology for the home is gaining popularity and fast. There are many smart home products coming on the market that let you control things like your thermostat, lighting, crock pot and appliances from your smartphone. Tons of products from Belkin, Whirlpool and GE allow you to control your home via a single iOS or Android app and many of these also work with Nest. There are Smart LED light bulbs that use motion sensors to detect when you’re in the room. They even have the ability to dim and turn on and off automatically.
4. What are the most common remodel projects and why?
Kitchens and bathrooms. These rooms are the most common remodel projects because they are most used parts of your home and have the greatest impact when remodeled. Also, they have the highest ROI upon selling your home. Another thing that is becoming more common is clients’ desire to gut a space entirely and start from scratch rather than just make a cosmetic update. I believe the cosmetic update has its place for sure, but was much more prevalent during the recession. People are more confident now because they see the economy improving and their homes values rising.
5. Remodeling to sell or stay. What are your thoughts on this?
I believe in remodeling for yourself. We come across so many people who are stuck on remodeling a certain way to appease a future buyer, that they get lost in the process. If you love your home, you will want to be involved with and will become attached to the newly designed space and will not want to leave. Most people understand how a remodeled space can change their home, but they don’t realize how it can change their lifestyle. Most of our clients report spending more time with family and friends, entertaining more and enjoying being at home more often after a remodel. I had a client recently thank me recently for bringing their family closer together. I guess what I’m saying is the process of remodeling is more than just about budget and resale value. It is an intrinsic value that can literally be life changing.
6. Save or Splurge? Do you have a secret area to save money on during a remodel and where you recommend it’s best to splurge?
The answer to this depends on the space, the initial scope of work and the client’s unique tastes. One client may want to splurge on custom cabinetry because they want a different layout and quality product, but choose tile countertops and mid-range appliances, while another may choose to paint the existing cabinets and splurge on higher end appliances and solid quartz countertops. A good remodeling firm will help guide their clients to value engineer each project and tailor for each client’s wants and needs.
7. What are some considerations homeowners should think about when choosing a remodeler?
It is of utmost importance that you choose a licensed and bonded remodeling firm. Also, check reviews and your local Constructions Contractors Board to see if there are any claims against that contractor. Also, interview at least 3 reputable firms for the right “fit”. This will be different for each person. Some people want to feel like they have a great rapport, for some, budget is more important, and for others they rely heavily on information and design ideas presented on site. Either way you will be in a relationship with your remodeler for an extended period of time, so you have to feel comfortable and confident in your choice. Remember to ask a lot of questions and call references prior to making your final decision.
8. How do you define Home?
It is the place you feel the most comfortable and most like yourself. Therefore, it should reflect your personality and cater to the lifestyle and needs of those who live there. If you don’t feel this way about your home, there are many ways to get there. Hiring a professional is a great way to go, but there are great resources like Pinterest and Houzz to help get the juices flowing. Maybe this will even inspire you to tackle small project on your own!
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