4 Ways to Make Your Home Design More Kid-Friendly

When you’re planning what types of changes to make to your home during your next design & build project, don’t forget the kids. If you have small children or there’s one on the way, consider how to make your home more kid-friendly while you’re making other changes. Let’s face it, most homes are built for adults. The kitchen countertops are too high for four-year-olds to see over, and you probably have a step stool in the bathroom so your munchkins can brush their teeth. Not only are some non-child-friendly features disheartening for little ones who feel like they’re always missing out on the action, but they can also create inconveniences for parents trying to keep them safe under a watchful eye. Here are four ways to make your home design more kid-friendly.

Walls and Open Spaces
Is there a clear line of sight between the kitchen and the area where the kids like to gather before dinner? If they get to watch a little TV or have some gaming time while you’re cheffing in the kitchen, you might sometimes wish the walls were invisible. Consider opening up the dividing wall between the kitchen and the adjoining living room or lowering the wall to a height where you can see the kids from your cooktop.

When putting in a new addition, you’ll probably want to add a staircase somewhere for convenience. A long flight of stairs can unnerve some adults, so imagine how you’ll feel if your toddler is suddenly gazing down the long staircase and you’re 20 feet away. Consider using short flights with a landing in the middle, creating ramps or even installing an elevator. Ask your contractor about local zoning regulations that might affect your ideas.

Kitchen Appliances
Your kitchen can be a place of comfort for children. Having a low shelf or drawer in your refrigerator makes it friendlier for thirsty kids. Don’t be shy about putting in some low shelves in your cabinets for pans and dishes. Create a pull-out drawer to make it easier for children to help clean up the kitchen. They can dry the pots and pans or at least put them away. When planning your kitchen remodel, see what’s available in appliances that have cool-to-touch surfaces, like your toaster, so they’ll stay safe.

Anti-Microbial Surfaces
Did you know that copper and copper-based alloys like brass and bronze are naturally anti-microbial? If you’re concerned about kids and germs, give some thought to what materials you’re using on handles to doors and drawers.

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!

A Closer Look at Flooring in Home Remodeling Projects

Flooring is sometimes an afterthought when you’re thinking about a home remodeling project. Space, fixtures, function and colors are usually the first things most homeowners want to change right off the bat, but floors play a prominent part in the look and feel of your home.

Hardwood Floors
Many of the homes in Northern Virginia were built with hardwood floors. Some of them are in wonderful shape and can be refinished as part of your home remodeling project. If they no longer fit your footprint, they can be repurposed if they are still in good condition. Hardwood floors are a strong and suitable option for nearly any room in the house. From wide planks to thin strips, they add sophistication and beauty to bedrooms, hallways, staircases, hobby spaces, and living and dining rooms. For new hardwood flooring, look for modern choices in very hard varieties like mahogany, cypress and teak. Oak, maple and ash are also durable and popular. Engineered wood floors are layered wood, rather than solid planks, but still wood nonetheless. Hardwood flooring is easy to clean, but can pick up divots and scratches under high traffic and vigorous activities. Hardwood flooring is available in a wide range of colors and coordinates well with almost any room decor.

Natural Stone
Natural stone surfaces are popular choices in Northern Virginia kitchen remodeling, bathroom renovations and home additions. They are featured not only in flooring, but for countertops, vanities and other purposes. Natural stone floors are durable and easy to maintain when they are sealed. The distinctive tones and patterns in travertine, granite, slate, marble and quartz add color and depth to any room. Natural stone flooring is especially fitting in the kitchen, hallways and bathrooms. If you’re looking for a sturdy flooring material for your outdoor spaces, sealed natural stone is a great place to start.

While soft and warm on the feet and comfortable to sit on, fewer homeowners are using wall-to-wall carpeting in home remodeling projects. It is hard to clean, tough on those with allergies and provides unique challenges for people with pets and small children. Area rugs are a popular choice for purpose-specific rooms and provide extra protection for floors in high traffic areas, especially entrances and playrooms.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tile
If you’re looking for a splash of color and distinctively sophisticated patterns, the answer may lie in ceramic tile or its subset of porcelain. While durability isn’t their strong-suit for high traffic areas, porcelain is the stronger of the two and works well in the bathroom, or hallway. Save ceramics for lightly traveled areas. They are both well-suited to mosaics and patterned designs, and are a popular choice in Northern Virginia bathroom remodeling projects.

If you’re interested in seeing what different flooring choices would look like in your home, visit our Foster Remodeling Solutions Design & Selection Center in Lorton. One of our professional designers can walk you through the process with our Design CAD drawings and help you choose flooring options that are suitable in looks, quality, durability and maintenance for your Northern Virginia residential remodeling project.

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!

Incorporating Natural Lighting Into Home Additions

When planning a residential remodeling project for a Northern Virginia house, some homeowners are interested in adding as much natural light to their homes as possible. There are several ways to do this. From large sliding glass doors to bay window seating to skylights and sunrooms, the addition of natural light can brighten up a room and lessen the need for light fixtures. Also, many modern LED lighting fixtures don’t emit the warmth that incandescent light bulbs have to offer. Natural lighting can add some warmth to a room, and the type of windows and window treatments used will affect just how much.

For rooms that have no exterior walls, skylights offer a natural lighting alternative. They also provide added value to your property. Skylights can be installed in nearly any existing room in the home or incorporated into a Northern Virginia home addition project.

One of the most popular options for adding windows and natural lighting is through a sunroom, or Florida room. If you’re adding extra square footage and you want to feature a scenic area on your property or off in the distance, a sunroom is an excellent choice for a Northern Virginia home addition. This also creates the perfect place for hanging plants and greenery.

Bay Windows
Bay or bow windows add more light than standard windows. They also add extra space and make rooms feel bigger. Incorporate a bay window into your kitchen remodeling project or in a master bedroom addition. Incorporate cushioned seating and extra storage space into the area below a bay window for a cozy place to curl up or add a table in front for a pleasant view from your breakfast nook.

Glass Walls
Some windows can take up an entire wall. This is a great way to appreciate a beautiful view on a lakefront home, a wooded lot or the rolling foothills of the Shenandoah mountains off in the distance. Sliding glass doors leading onto the porch from the living room or dining room are another option.

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!