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Taking the First Step toward Building an Addition

April 16, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Home Remodeling
So you want to build a home addition but aren’t sure how to start the whole process. Run through our handy list below to get your addition process started off right.



Pop the Question

Ask yourself some essential questions: What are you looking to get out of an addition? How will the addition add value to your home? Where should this addition go? Funds weigh heavily into the decision to add on. This resource offers a handy chart to estimate the costs. You might not have plans to sell the home now, but consider the how much an addition might boost the ROI when you do decide to move. Our tip: maximize the amenities you include (i.e. LED lights, a princess-sized walk-in-closet, an outdoor shower)—focus on what will make your home different than the rest on the block.


Get in the Zone

Look up your zoning regulations and restrictions regarding where and what you can build. Check with your residential community and local laws to guarantee your construction plans are up to code.



Feed Your Creativity

Gather home decorating magazines to fuel your creativity and spark an idea of what and how to add on. Your amazing home additions can take any shape or size. Build up to give your one-story a two-story upgrade. Build the extra powder room you’ve been eyeing on Pinterest, or expand the master bedroom to create a spacious getaway you’ve always craved. Revamp and spice up current décor, play with the lighting, or color the walls. You’ve got a blank slate of a whole new addition to work with!



Let’s Plan

Like any project, it’s essential to set a timeframe… in pencil. A timeline will keep you on track and aware of your budget and responsibilities. Major renovation projects may naturally veer off path, but having a solid plan will make the process so much easier to manage. Here at Case Design, our Project Developers are excited to meet you and show you how to make your vision a reality. Once you decide that Case Design is right for you, our Designers will design and propose the ideal layout for your new space. We’re here to help every step of the way. It couldn’t be easier to build an addition that fits your budget and space, and also transforms your house into a dream home!

Are you ready to take the first step toward building an addition now?

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2014 DC Design House

April 11, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Bathroom Remodeling
It’s time for the big reveal! This year’s DC Design House may be one of Washington, DC’s most dramatic before and after remodeling projects. The location chosen for the 2014 DC Design House is a spacious, historic home located in Forest Hills. The 8,000-square-foot home was built in 1929 by Marshall B. Coyne, the founder of the Madison Hotel. Coyne’s home has remained in the family since, and currently belongs to his granddaughter Suzi Wilczynski. Twenty-four local designers have had the privilege to transform 29 spaces within the gorgeous home. These spaces include: six bedrooms, five full baths, two half baths, a formal library, a three-car garage, and a pool.

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The 2014 DC Design House


The Washington, DC Design House event is a designer showcase for the DC Metro area, in which top area interior design professionals showcase their talents into a “flowing themed design home” to raise funds for charity. Though the event started in 2008 as a single charitable event, it has since become the region’s foremost annual residential design attraction, with over 55,000 visitors over the past six years. It is also a leading annual fundraiser event for the Children’s National Health system, having raised over $1 million since 2008.

Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. and ibby are honored to contribute to the 2014 DC Design House. Notably, Case Design and Ibby were given the opportunity to remodel two of the bathrooms in the home.

Ibby DC Design House 2014

The Case Design/Remodeling team of TJ Monahan (with Case’s ibby), Steve Magill (with Case’s fred), and Allie Mann (with Case’s Falls Church, VA office) in the bathroom (and shower) that Allie is renovating for the 2014 DC Design House.


This marks the fourth consecutive year that Case Design’s Allie Mann has designed a space in the Design House. This year, Allie redesigned one of second floor bathrooms. Allie has an eye for creating comfortable and casual spaces, and her work has an emphasis on Kitchen and Bath design. As you can see, Allie was able to transform an outdated, white-tiled bathroom into an elegant bathroom with calming moss green walls, polished marble floors and countertops, and stylish cabinets.

Allie bath before 2

Before: Allie’s bathroom


allie after bath 2

After: Allie’s bathroom


This is the first year that ibby’s TJ Monahan has participated in the event, but he accepted the challenge and vowed to wow guests. As he told the Washingtonian, ““The attention to detail is impeccable. The play of color, texture, and scale is joyful. At first, your guests are taken aback by the modern lines that seem to spring from the historic confines of the space. As the space begins to settle in, they see that no, this is not just modern design for design’s sake. The tones of the stained-wood vanity and mirror would suit the finest library trim. The marble floor is supple and soft. The white ceramic accent tile is a tip-of-the-cap to traditional subway. The niche provides the storage necessary for showering supplies. It’s all so familiar—but at the same time, it’s all brand new.”

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TJ’s bathroom before renovation, and the design he created on ibby.com


TJ bath before

Before: TJ’s bathroom


tj after bath 1

After: TJ’s bathroom


TJ used ibby’s online design tool to map out the bathroom before making any changes. With the help of Team Ibby, TJ transformed the old bathroom into a modern space that still felt at home in a historic house. The dark wooden cabinets contrast nicely with the bright white walls, bathtub, and sink. The clean, straight lines and rectangular shapes give the bathroom a sleek look.

The 2014 DC Design House opens to the public on Sunday, April 13 and runs through Sunday, May 11. Hours are Saturday & Sunday from 12 – 5 pm, and Tuesday thru Friday from 10 am – 3 pm. Tickets cost $25 each and are available online or at the door. The home is located at 4600 Linnean Way, NW, Washington, DC. For more information, please visit the official website or Facebook page.

We hope to see you there!
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Greening the Kitchen Can Be a Breeze

April 7, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Kitchen Remodeling
The peppers and broccoli don’t have to be the only things that are green in your kitchen. There are plenty of ways to make your kitchen eco-friendly, and we’re here to help. The cost is low and the benefits are high, so let us show you how to create a sustainable kitchen that will make you feel good about protecting the environment and cutting energy costs.


Paint Me (Green or Anywhere in Between)

Transforming your kitchen into a sustainable hub starts on the walls. Color the space with low-or-no-volatile organic compounds (VOC) paint—that is, paint with little or no harmful carbon-containing compounds. The eco-friendly choice cancels out harmful chemicals that typically seep out long after regular paint is coated on. You’ll find your low-or-no VOC options sold at most major paint manufacturers.


Wood You Be Mine?

If we’re talking sustainability, then it’s all about bamboo. Bamboo grows quickly (like, three to four months quick) without fertilizers and pesticides (the earth says thank you). Provided that it’s cared for properly, the biodegradable wood makes for a durable base, making it a prime alternative to hardwood flooring. Go with bamboo and you’ll get the warmth and elegance of traditional wood with a material that’s simpler to install, better for the environment, and less harsh on the budget.


Scrub Up

Dishwasher or hand washer? Surprisingly, you end up using more water when scrubbing up by hand. Toss the dishes into the dishwasher; you can skip on the pre-wash too if you’re feeling particularly water-usage conscious. If you’re thinking of switching out the current dish washer for its energy-efficient alterative, look for features like a stainless steel interior, filtration system, or a condensation drying option.


Give It the Green Light

Light your kitchen the sustainable way with environmentally-friendly bulbs.  Energy-saving incandescent bulbs, for example, can last up to three times longer than traditional bulbs. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), on the other hand, use about one-fourth the energy of a regular bulb. Light emitting diode (LED) bulbs convert electricity into light—and, while typically known for indicator and traffic lights, can make for a suitable energy-efficient, sustainable lighting source to shine into the kitchen.


How have you transformed your kitchen into a sustainable space? Tell us in the comments section!

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Apartment Living: How to Maximize Your Space

April 2, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Home Remodeling
There are many great things about living in a city, but tiny apartments and small rooms can be frustrating. The key to making the most of limited space: knowing how to best utilize every bit of space. Whether you have a studio apartment or small rooms within your home, Case Design wants to help you make the most of your living space.

Studio Apartments

It’s easy to feel cramped when you live in the tight quarters of a studio apartment. Because many studio apartments consist of one large space, it is critical to section off different living spaces. If you do not have built in barriers like walls or permanent fixtures to help you with this, position your furniture to create zones.


This homeowner built a clever privacy screen around the bed, separating the bed from the rest of the bedroom. This also creates a wall, behind which they placed a runner table that held decorations and lamps that livened up the space.


Apartment Kitchens

Small kitchens can be very challenging to manage, especially if you feel as though you don’t have enough storage or counter space to work with. Using walls as hanging storage space is both functional and attractive. Hang up nice pots and pans, cute aprons, and even serves culinary décor a unique line of sight in your kitchen without losing out on space you may have lost with cabinets.



Having a small, apartment kitchen also means you have to get creative when organizing your appliances. This compact kitchen is the perfect solution to contain everything you need in one area, all encased in pretty white cabinetry.


Apartment Living Rooms

Likely scenario: you want to have enough seating for guests, but don’t have much space to give up for extra chairs. One good solution is to build a built-in, cushion-topped bench that also functions as storage. That way you can have both seating and a space to stash odds and ends that often clutter a small space. Check out the space below that fits a chair, table, and bench in one corner of the room.


If you’re in need of a living room centerpiece that utilizes space effectively, consider a multi-level coffee table. For instance, this 2-in-1 coffee table is a great solution when you need to put out party platters and drinks, while also housing magazines and DVDs. You could also consider buying a small table that can be wheeled in and out of the room when you need extra tabletop space.



Do you have a small space of your own? How do you make the most of each square foot?

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Turn Your Porch into an Outdoor Retreat

March 28, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Home Remodeling
Porches add a lot of value to a home, offering a shady refuge, a spot to socialize, and curb appeal. For centuries, porches have exuded a feeling of tranquility and comfort, and somehow make time seem to move a little bit slower. Whether you are watching the sun set or leisurely reading your favorite book, you’ll be thankful to have a porch that serves as an outdoor retreat. Here at Case Design, we want to help you design and build the porch of your dreams.


Open Porches

If you live in a warm climate and often yearn to spend time outdoors, an open air porch is ideal for you. They allow you to escape direct sunlight but still enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Open porches are a perfect place to incorporate different textures and building materials. The short cobblestone walls look great paired with wooden base boards in the porch below. They also make for a modern looking porch.



The exposed brick gives this porch a rustic look, while the arched entryway above the white columns ties together this Southern porch. Choosing dark patio furniture contrasts with the light colors of the house. If you’re fortunate enough to have a long porch, consider dividing the area into zones so there doesn’t appear to be empty, wasted space. This concept is perfect for enclosed porches as well.


Enclosed Porches

Enclosed porches are a great way to enjoy the view while staying comfortably indoors. Below is another great example of a large area being separated into zones – one for privacy if you wanted to curl up with a good book, and another more social, circular area. Even though the porch is enclosed, natural light can still pour in from all angles because of the floor-to-ceiling windows. The vibrant furniture colors add life in contrast to the room’s crisp white walls. Plus, the plush chairs look like you can practically sink into them.


Some enclosed porches are more about dining. This screened-in porch has the perfect layout for socializing and dining, and still allows you to enjoy all of nature’s sights and sounds. The stone fireplace, log chairs, and wooden vaulted ceilings give this porch a natural vibe, and it makes for an idyllic mountain home escape.


Do you have a porch attached to your home? If not, have you ever considered adding one?


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Refresh Your Spring Cleaning Checklist

March 24, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Home Remodeling
April showers may well bring May’s flowers—but preparation for springtime’s glories begins well before the season changes. Ruffle the feathers of your duster and get to work sprucing up your home. There’s no room for winter’s residue when Mother Nature whisks in that time of the year we’ve all been waiting for.


Your spring cleaning pursuit begins with cleaning, combining, and organizing. Take to the closets and cabinets, shelves, and wardrobes. While you clean, you should also organize your odds and ends. Here’s a trick: prevent clutter by adding hooks around the home. The family chef will have no excuse for not hanging the apron and potholders precisely where they belong.


The books tossed under your coffee table could use some restacking—or better yet, repurposed as wall décor. Adding books to a dining room cabinet or onto your kitchen shelves gives the space a homey feel.



Touch up your walls before the sunny spring days arrive. Fix gashes, scrapes, and markings by dabbing a fresh coat of paint to cover wear and tear. Or, choose a bland room and spruce it up by painting an accent wall. Try a soothing green, a cheery yellow, or a polished powder blue.


Switch out the sofa covers and pillows to liven up your furniture. Stick to the springtime palette by swapping your lamp shades and curtains for sheerer fabric and pastel colors.


Let’s be honest, your carpet is probably overdue for vacuuming and wood furniture needs polishing. Thinking of something a bit more adventurous? Start fresh by pulling old flooring out and replacing it with the gleaming tiles or rustic stone you’ve always dreamed about.


There’s nothing better than homegrown vegetables and flowers. Find a pretty pot or area of your yard, sprinkle some seeds, add some water, and watch your garden grow. But your pretty plants don’t have to stay outside. Potted flowers make an ideal centerpiece in the kitchen, a pleasing sight in the foyer, or a fresh look for the powder room.



And perhaps for the sweetest perk: open the windows to let the springtime breeze circulate through the home. Thankfully, winter didn’t last forever, and now your home is ready to come alive for spring!



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His and Hers Spaces

March 19, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Bathroom Remodeling, Home Remodeling
Just because you love your significant other doesn’t mean you have to share every bit of your space with him or her. Let’s face it, sometimes you need an area that entirely belongs to you. Check out the ideas below that teach you how to create individual spaces while maintaining a cohesive room. You’ll find you can appreciate your significant other even more if you aren’t elbowing him or her away from the sink every morning.

His & Hers Bathrooms

There is no place where his and her areas are more essential than in the bathroom. Everyone’s morning routine is smoother if you both are not vying to use the same space. Picture him shaving and her brushing her teeth and applying mascara over one sink – it’s pretty much a recipe for disaster. Consider a few of the setups below that have separate his and her space, no matter the size of the bathroom.


The long countertop with individual sink basins allows for personal space while maintaining a shared feel. The large countertop leaves plenty of room to spread out and utilize your own space.


This option is great for making smaller spaces functional for two people. While counter space is a bit limited, each person has his or her own sink and mirror, allowing for a bit of privacy.

His & Hers Office Space

In an age where more and more people are working remotely, you need to be sure that your office space is set up to accommodate both you and your partner. Two separate desk spaces give each of you room to complete your tasks without encroaching on the other’s space. Just be sure you have enough drawer space and shelving so that you aren’t battling it out over the prime storage real estate.



His & Her Furnishings

We all have those little decorative touches that we love, but what happens when your significant other doesn’t love your animal print couch or you hate that neon beer sign leftover from his college days? It’s time to compromise. You can both have pieces of what you like incorporated into the home. Consider purchasing two similarly shaped lounge chairs, and having each of you choose a fabric or covering for one of them.


Giving yourself a little personal space while still respecting your partner’s design tastes is always a good idea.  Put these ideas into practice and you’ll probably start feeling positive vibes in your relationship and in your home.

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Thinking Green on St. Patrick’s Day

March 14, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Bathroom Remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling
St. Patrick’s Day is Monday, which for most means corned hash, Guinness, and the color green. However, when we at Case Design hear “think green,” we aren’t just thinking of adding a splash of emerald green to the walls or a throw pillow on the couch. Our team of project developers and designers will focus on making your home more eco-friendly. While many people look for energy-efficiency in new home construction, what most people don’t recognize is that older homes—like so many in the Washington, DC metropolitan area—can achieve great results with just a few simple renovations.

With temperatures (hopefully) rising soon, an investment in energy-efficient window panes may take a backseat to the installation of new ceiling fan fixtures. Ceiling fans are great because they can help cut down on AC energy bills by using wind-chilling effects to help you feel cool. Nowadays, ceiling fans aren’t just a utility, they can add design elements to your room too.



In addition to cooling, another savvy renovation in hot summer months is the move towards more efficient plumbing: be it sinks, showers, or toilets. New faucets and showerheads can deliver equal or better performance with reduced water usage through faucet aerators and lower-flow showerheads. These new fixtures are often easy to integrate into any bathroom.



In addition to replacing larger, older appliances in the kitchen with more energy-efficient ENERGY STAR ones, you can save on energy costs by better utilizing natural lighting and opening space for your appliances to work properly. When space allows in your redesign, relocating your refrigerator out of direct sunlight and away from warm appliances like your stove, oven, and dishwasher will cut down on the energy required to keep it cool.



These tips just scratch the surface of what’s possible when seeking to make your home green during a renovation. The U.S. Green Building Council maintains a comprehensive website for all things green during remodeling as a resource. Further, Case designers are always willing to discuss options with you on how your renovation can also be a move towards a greener future.

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Amazing Home Additions

March 10, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Home Remodeling
Feeling a little cramped? If you’re eager to expand your home but aren’t ready to splurge on a whole new house, then a home addition is your best bet. You can bump up your one-story home, add a patio, or designate a part of your backyard to build a guest house. There are plenty of ways to add new rooms that fit perfectly with your existing home, and also gain that extra space you’re craving.

Addition

An Outdoor Addition

Do you often host friends and family? A separate, outdoor guest house provides overnight guests with comfortable lodging when they come to visit. A separate guest house maintains their privacy and personal space while still allowing guests to feel like they’re a part of your home. To minimize electric costs, consider installing large windows that allow bright sunlight to flood the space.



Alternatively, you could easily use this outdoor addition for a spacious home gym. Stock the space with your workout machines of choice, and don’t forget the electronics, like a wall-mounted TV and sound system. These details can be the perfect incentive to getting you back into the fitness routine. Here’s to that New Year’s resolution of getting back into shape!


Decorating Tips

When it comes to decorating the added space, most people match the décor with the home’s original style. Or, let this be an opportunity to unleash your creative, courageous interior decorator. Bright colors can add life to a small space. A wall mirror opens up the room and, if positioned in the right location, they can reflect your outside view.



Bumping It Up

If you’re feeling a bit strapped for space, you don’t have to simply move out. Rather, think about moving up! Upgrade your single story home by adding additional floors. Or add that balcony or rooftop patio you’ve always dreamed of.



The real fun lies in deciding the purpose of the new rooms on your new floor. The kids can get a play area with plenty of space for crafts and games. The adults can get… well, their own version of a play area. Give him the gift of a gaming room, or give her the royal dressing room. Consider creating a library or reading room with ample windows and a skylight. The possibilities of what you do with this new, empty space are limitless.




What kind of addition appeals most to you?

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Margaret H. – Case Design Spotlight

March 7, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Client Spotlight, Kitchen Remodeling
After working with Case Design on several small design projects, Margaret and her husband Bob decided to enlist the firm to get started on a larger renovation. “I trusted them and I live close to one of their main offices, so I always saw their advertisements. It made sense to go through Case,” Margaret explained.

Margaret asked her Case Project Developer Richard Rocco and Architectural Designer TJ Monahan to add a new room and renovate her kitchen. During the initial discussion, she realized just how much this would change the overall layout of the home. In order for Margaret to visualize just how the home would change, TJ designed a 3D model of the home. “It was really cool,” Margaret said. TJ also created three different designs that ranged from simple to elaborate. Ready to take the plunge, Margaret and her husband decided to go with the more elaborate design.

After: Kitchen



Margaret said her Case Design Team made her feel comfortable for the entire duration of the renovation. Since the project took place during the winter, Case made sure Margaret and her family stayed warm. “I don’t know if last winter wasn’t as bad as this one, but it definitely didn’t seem as though a wall in my home was missing,” she explained. “The team showed that they cared and we got to know them as part of the family during the renovation.”

Case also made Margaret feel comfortable customizing the design that TJ created for her. She liked samples that she chose from the Case Design showroom, but wanted something even more unique for her kitchen countertop. “My husband is a geologist and so he was very particular about where we got our granite. The team helped me find that special material,” she recalled.

After: Kitchen



Now that Margaret’s kitchen is fully renovated and her extra room is complete, she and her husband use the new space as a music room. “He plays the cello and I play the viola. It’s a great place to practice and it’s right in our home. We’re a part of a string quartet, and the other members come to our house to practice,” she beamed. Both the new room and the kitchen also feature large windows that Margaret says “really bring the outdoors inside.”

After: Dining Room



A veteran Case customer, Margaret says that she would definitely choose Case to complete any other renovations she may take on in the future. Upon hearing that the design firm won the 2013 National Capitol Business Ethics Award from the National Capital Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, Margaret said, “They are worth the money and I’ve developed really great relationships with everyone who worked on my home. I’m not surprised they won. They’re straight shooters.”
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