10 GREAT CHOICES FOR UPGRADING YOUR HOME’S WINDOWS
Windows can personalize a new home or add more value to an existing one–so know the styles available and the benefits each offers. Here’s what the experts say.
1. Double-hung. This is the most popular style. The top and bottom sashes move up and down independently, letting in more air. They’re a great option with young children or pets, since you can keep the bottom closed for safety, but open the top for ventilation. Most models have sashes that tilt in or come out for cleaning.
2. Single-hung. This very basic window opens only from the bottom. The top sash doesn’t move. They’re less expensive than double-hung, but can be hard to clean from the inside.
3. Casement. These are hinged on the side with a crank at the bottom that opens them. Older homeowners prefer casements to double-hung windows you push up and pull down. The crank also makes for easy opening in hard to reach locations, such as over a kitchen sink.
4. Sliders. This design uses panels that slide on a track. It sometimes includes a fixed middle panel, with two sliding side windows. It’s another good option for older homeowners because there’s no lifting. This style also provides great ventilation and big views.
5. Picture. This is simply a large, fixed window that gives an unobstructed picture of the view it provides. It is often combined with double-hung or casement windows on each side.
6. Bay. This style uses three windows at 35° or 45° angles. They can be fixed picture windows, casement, or double-hung. Bay windows are great in living rooms and master bedrooms, especially with a window seat. Their angled surfaces let in lots of light.
7. Bow. This is a rounded bay window. The shape is created by putting three, five, seven, or nine narrow casement, double-hung, or fixed windows at 10° angles to each other.
8. Awning. This window is hinged across the top and opens outward from the bottom. The design is good for high locations, above a door or another window.
9. Basement hopper. This is the opposite of an awning, hinged at the bottom and opening in from the top. It’s usually used to let light and air into basements.
10. Geometric. These are fixed units that come in a variety of shapes. They’re used alone as an accent, or above a large window or door. Geometrics add style and can bring light into large foyers and hallways.
If thinking about new windows has you thinking about a new home, we can help with the financing. When you decide to take advantage of today’s opportunities to upgrade, downsize, or buy a first home, we’re happy to answer any questions. We can also help with refinancing your current home or funding home improvements. Please call or email us any time. We’re always here for you… Have a great day!
P.S.: Mortgage rates are still at historically attractive levels. When buying or refinancing, it’s smart to start the process early. Please call or email us to explore your options!
Orson B.Klender, Associate Broker
38 High Rock Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Connect with me…..
Cell: 1 (518) 588-2319 ~ Fax: 1(866) 588-6066
You’ll find personality aplenty in these distinctive backsplashes — and lots of inspiration too
Tiles: Zellige in Blue Ciel, Design Tegels
A lot of us clamored for the source of this tile after a feature about the house appeared on the Houzz homepage. The homeowners obtained it through an Amazon seller, MC Glass, which still has similar tiles in stock.
Backsplash: 309 Lacquer Finish Steel, Shanko
Backsplash tile: Hamilton Parker
Orson B.Klender, Associate Broker
Keller Williams Realty Saratoga Springs
38 High Rock Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Connect with me…..
Cell: 1 (518) 588-2319 ~ Fax: 1(866) 588-6066
Concrete comes in more colors and finishes than ever before. See if these 6 floors open your eyes to the possibilities
Does it sound like concrete might work for you? Learn more with the six beautiful concrete floors below as examples.
How it was made: The color was achieved using a semitransparent concrete stain that comes in several colors.
Why it works here: “We felt that the color we chose went well with the natural wood in the house,” says Nikki Fisher of Gelotte Hommas Architecture. Concrete is also an economical finish in homes with radiant heat, like this one.
Tip: Stained concrete floors will always have natural variations in color, because of the way concrete takes the stain. “You have to embrace its uncontrollability in a sense and go with the organic nature,” says Fisher.
Installed by Clark Boa Construction
Why it works here: This concrete floor enabled Indigo to further blur lines between indoor and outdoor spaces in this home.
Tip: Indigo founder Jeb Thornburg points out that while it’s possible to achieve your desired concrete color, it will never be exact. “Concrete coloring and finishing is a lot like cooking,” he says. “You can make the same dish 10 times, and each time it comes out a little bit different.”
Thornburg points out that many factors can influence the way your floor turns out — everything from the local sand mix to the air temperature during the pouring and curing. “To us this is just part of the nature of the material, but it is something to keep in mind up front,” he says. “You need to make sure you are comfortable with the imprecise nature of the color outcome.”
Installed by Clark Construction
Why it works here: The rich chocolate brown takes the cold commerciality out of the finish, creating a cozy and relaxing space.
Tip: Amy Simmons of Greenbelt Construction advises homeowners to embrace the cracks and color changes that will eventually happen to a concrete floor. “That’s the beauty of concrete floors: Nobody else’s floor is ever going to look just like yours,” she says.
Installation by Gkrete
How it was made: The texture was achieved using a chemical-free Portland mix aggregate with natural gray and blue tones. “Unlike typical construction processes, we did not construct the frame until the foundation had a week to cure, while watering and cleaning the concrete twice a day,” says Stephen Heiman of Steven Allen Designs. The concrete was then diamond polished and sealed with a light gloss.
Why it works here: A light gloss finish like this one requires minimal maintenance for keeping concrete looking new and clean.
Tip: If you’re thinking about installing concrete, Heiman recommends consulting an experienced builder in the early planning and budgeting stages. Designs using concrete can often intersect with structural issues. For example, this particular floor is actually the foundation slab the home is built upon. And don’t forget — concrete is heavy. When using it in upper floors, it’s a good idea to consult a structural engineer to make sure your home can support the extra weight.
How it was made: Environmental Dynamics used an aggregate of LaFarge North America mix with 25 percent fly ash to achieve this floor’s silky texture.
The buttery brown color was achieved using a three-step acid etching process, starting withLitochrome Chemstain Classic stain in a mix of Antique Amber and Padre Brown. The concrete was then sealed twice, once using Kure-N-Seal, then with an acrylic sealer that acts as a wax.
The rumor mill: Some homeowners and installers worry about problems with strength and color broadcasting in aggregates using fly ash, but Stace McGee, principal at Environmental Dynamics, says this worry is unwarranted. She urges anyone considering this material to do research to allay any concerns.
Why it works: McGee points out that using concrete works on more than just an aesthetic level, as it keeps space temperatures stable and helps save energy.
Tip: As already noted, homeowners need to understand that concrete cracks. That said, it’s worth talking to your designer and contractor about finding ways to limit the cracking. “For this project, we poured 5-inch-thick concrete with a mesh of #4 rebar at 16 inches OC [on center] each way. There is also a regular rhythm of control joints that were cut in and then grouted to match the floor,” explains McGee.
Installation by John Rodriguez of Milagro Custom Flooring Solutions
How it was made: Kenneth Brown Design improved upon the existing concrete floor by darkening its color using a tinted wax on the polished concrete slab.
Why it works here: The young man who lives here loves to skateboard and run in and out of the pool. Concrete provides the durability he needs while adding to the design’s modern vibe.
Tip: Kenneth Brown recommends embracing concrete as a casual material that will crack and wear with time. Disguise scuffs and surface scratches by waxing your concrete every six months or so. Ask your installer for a product recommendation; most waxes are quick and easy to apply and require no special equipment.
These coordinating colors and materials will make your red walls look right at home
Black and white. What will go with your red art wall? Try white upholstered furniture, a crisp black and white rug, and simple white curtains. Tie in the wall color by choosing toss pillows covered in interesting textiles with a bit of red in them — perhaps made from pieces of an old kilim rug or sari silk.
Design dilemma: accent wall or all red? As a rule of thumb, large rooms, open floor plans and kids’ spaces can benefit from a little more white space. Define a nook or an alcove with red paint and leave the rest crisp white. Small, cozy dining rooms and studies are better able to handle four walls of red.
Tell us: Do you have red walls? How do you decorate around them? Share your photos and tips in the Comments!
Period details mix with new features for a family home as idyllic as its pastoral surroundings
Who lives here: Rafe Churchill, Heide Hendricks and their son and daughter
Location: Sharon, Connecticut
Size: 2,300 square feet (214 square meters) 5 bedrooms, 2½ bathrooms
The original home was so overgrown that the trees were right up next to it and causing rot. When this photo was taken, an awkward addition off the back of the house had just been removed.
They replaced the addition with a new mudroom and a relaxing back porch where they spend a lot of time. “The sunsets over the horse farm next door are stunning,” Hendricks says. The family members love to enjoy them from here, and they often gather for breakfast on the porch. They also keep a rollaway Ping-Pong table in the barn to enjoy in the yard.
The wicker and rattan furniture are vintage, as are the pendant lights. The fabric is weather-resistant ticking by Sunbrella. The throw pillows are covered in a mix of vintage Indian cotton and John Robshaw fabrics.
Shades: The Home Depot; tablecloth: John Derian
For example, between this library/living room and the TV room, Churchill designed pocket doors to widen the existing opening and allow the rooms to share the available light. The doors also block the noise from the TV when the kids are watching. The couple also added French doors in the TV room, which let in more light. Churchill designed the built-in shelves.
A mirror over the fireplace reflects the light, and a well-worn antique rug warms the floor. The pouf is a 1970s Mexican hand-tooled leather piece. The easel and painting propped on it are both antiques. “Rafe and I are both drawn to antique animal paintings,” Hendricks says.
The photo of the Suburban is by their dear friend, photographer Theo Coulombe, who documented the deterioration of his car after it stopped running.
Wall paint: French Gray, Farrow & Ball
The inspiration: an English manor house full of items with patina. The window treatments feature ornate crewelwork, but on an unlined burlap-like fabric, bringing in a relaxed rustic touch. The chandelier, made from fallen antlers, brings in another rustic touch. Churchill custom designed it with Montana artisan Jim Swanson, who sometimes enlists Boy Scouts to help him gather the antlers.
The original fireplace was finished in a busy brick; the couple simply covered it with stucco. While they had planned to add a mantel, the simpler look has grown on them, and they are leaving it the way it is.
Wingback chairs: Restoration Hardware, wall paint: Smoked Trout, trim paint: Slipper Satin, both by Farrow & Ball
The counter-height island is a Great Barrington Antique Center find. “We wanted to keep the room as open as possible, and the legs help do that,” Churchill says. The well-worn piece also has handy drawers for storage.
The farmhouse sink, narrow glass countertop cabinet and lack of upper cabinetry also lend a period feel. The pendant lights are refurbished vintage lights. The countertops are honed Danby Imperial marble.The couple used overhead lights and recessed lights only when absolutely necessary, to stay in keeping with the period. They prefers sconces and table lamps — these are the only recessed lights you’ll see in the house.
Kitchen sink, faucets: Waterworks; wall paint: Old White, cabinet and trim paint: Hardwick White, both by Farrow & Ball
Wall paint: Farrow & Ball
Coverlets: Pine Cone Hill
Bed: Ethan Allen, wall paint: Light Blue, Farrow & Ball
The third floor (not shown) has an additional guest room and another bedroom that they use as a playroom.
Wall paint: Gervase Yellow, Farrow & Ball
Watch the world go by at your leisure from a porch decked out with comfy furniture and inspiring accessories
Make a tight or awkward yard a real destination with these design tricks from the pros
2. Implement a smart lighting design. This space also has a multifaceted lighting scheme. Sconces serve multiple purposes of task lighting by the grill, landscaping lighting by the plantings and overall ambient lighting. Meanwhile, an arm pendant hangs over the dining area.
Here an outdoor rug helps establish an extra living space on a small deck in Detroit.
4. Complement your interiors. Use the same colors and style that you’ve already established inside your home for your backyard to make it feel more like its own living room. “Stylistically, you want to pick up on colors and textures that tie the two spaces together,” says Amber Freda, a landscape architect in New York. “Make it more than just a couple of chairs and a dining table. A plain dining table with wooden chairs won’t entice you to use it very much, but really comfortable lounge seating will.”
6. Pay attention to scale. If you’ve got a small backyard, the last thing you want to do is cram in a 10-person dining table. Instead, consider built-ins or extendable tables. Likewise, you won’t want to plant a tree that’s going to grow to 100 feet tall and completely overtake your yard. Here Radford smartly worked in small, native plants and grasses to keep an open feel.
Radford goes even further, suggesting using the same material that’s found elsewhere on the property. For one of his backyard projects, he used the same paving material as in the front entryway. “It created a unified space that made it seem bigger,” he says.
Freda agrees: “Avoid the hodgepodge effect,” she says. “Instead of doing 20 little pots, do five big pots for a more clean look with bigger impact. Pick only two or three styles of planters, two or three colors — it makes it feel less accidental, chaotic and overwhelming.”
To get the most out of this 25-foot by 20-foot Toronto backyard, architect Erik Calhouncreated raised decks over a large tree’s very high roots. He skipped big plants in favor of creating more recreation space. “Hedges or bushes would stick out 3 feet, and you wouldn’t be able to move anymore,” he says.
Pergolas are great for creating an intimate feel, but you can get the same effect with plantings. Architect Gary Beyerl’s backyard (shown here) is 10 feet by 20 feet. Because he has apartment units attached to his home, he wanted to do something that would afford him privacy. He used vertical plantings like humongous trumpet vines and aredbud tree to create an envelope of plant material. “By extending the plant zone up the vertical surfaces of an urban space, you can make a lot of visual greenery work to your advantage,” he says. “I’ve got a verdant environment even though it’s tiny.”
Native succulents and grasses minimize water use, but you should also consider artificial turf. “It maintains color and character better than a natural yard,” Beyerl says. San Francisco designer Martha Angus used artificial turf in the backyard space shown here; she also recommends faux boxwood. “A boxwood hedge might be 18 to 24 inches deep,” she says. “That takes up a lot of space. Faux boxwood comes in squares that are 3 inches deep that you can staple to a fence. They’re absolutely gorgeous, don’t require water and take up no room whatsoever.”
13. Terrace a sloping yard. Angus’ project here highlights another good method of increasing a tight backyard space. If you’ve got a severely sloping yard, consider terracing. Granted, terracing can be incredibly expensive, says Angus, because an extensive substructure must be created to support the terraces, but, as you can see, it provides more flat surface for activities.
Art and sculpture are good candidates, too. “A single sculpture with uplighting can be phenomenal,” Angus says.
Calhoun suggests going with an architect who can best come up with the right approach for your unique space. Is there a lot of sun? Rain? Wind? “You want someone who has a whole philosophy,” he says. A landscaper who specializes in country-style gardens could come in and do the usual, and it might be lovely, he says, “but it won’t be as satisfying as something that reflects what’s going on with the building. Call an architect instead of calling the nursery.”
Beyerl suggests bringing in a team of pros to get the job done. “Room making is an architect’s profession,” he says. “Then a carpenter can complete all the design finesse. And a landscape designer will understand how the plantings will work over time.”