A Big Bang for Houston

Great news Houston Design Resources readers….statistics just released by McGraw Hill Construction today reported on May contracts for future construction in the metropolitan statistical area of Houston-Baytown-SugarLand, consisting of Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty,Montgomery, San Jacinto and Waller in Texas.

An authority on the construction market, the firm produces Dodge Reports and Sweets Catalog Files.  According to the Research and Analytics unit of McGraw Hill Construction, the latest

Month’s construction activity followed this pattern:

2013                                     2012                         Percent Change


TOTAL BUILDING             $770,629,000                        $679,868,000            +13

For the year-to-date on a cumulative basis, the totals are:

2013                                    2012                         Percent Change

Residential                        $3,487,483,000             $2,832,771,000            +23

-Residential buildings include one and two family houses and apartments

Houston is booming…if you are building, renovating or just decorating make sure you pick up the current issue of Houston Design Resources for all your residential design needs, from architects and builders to interior designers.  All your furniture, flooring, rugs, antiques, plumbing, hardware, ironworks, appliances, countertops, landscaping resources can be found on the text listing pages. 







We’ve all been there: on the hunt for an apartment or new home, feverishly looking for a place that meets our preferred living requirements. The search can be exhausting, but with determination and a little bit of luck, more often than not we end up somewhere almost perfect. Almost. A common theme in imperfect real estate boils down to size: we envision sprawling staircases and grand rooms and are instead granted with a more modest arrangement.

Whether in a college dorm room, condo or city apartment, however, a smaller space does not mean you have to sacrifice on style


  1. 1.    A Home Within A Home      

When it comes to tight spaces, proper planning and the right set up will instantly open any area.  An important first step to remember is that items in your home need a home of their own, meaning that after something is used, it goes right back to where it belongs instead of simply being tossed here or there. An orderly space is the basis for great design. Clutter builds when items are floating about, and in a smaller space it’s no surprise how fast a pile can go from “small mess” to “where did my floor go?”


  1. 2.    Every Inch Counts

Space is valuable – don’t let it go to waste! It’s important to utilize every nook and cranny to your advantage. If you have an empty corner, for example, look for a narrow nightstand with tiered, built-in shelving for added storage


  1. 3.    Less Is More

This age-old design tip has been around forever because it works like a charm. A downsized style makes for a much more comfortable living arrangement, especially in close quarters. It’s also important to remember practical storage options for extra items you cannot live without. Try using bed risers, which will lift the frame several inches off the ground, to create extra space. To complete the look, add a bed skirt that will add style and hide your stored items from guests and visitors. A less-crowded approach is also best in terms of wall décor.


  1. 4.    Lighten Up

Coming home to a breezy, inviting space makes all the difference sometimes, and utilizing lighter color options make this tip easy to achieve. This doesn’t mean your space has to be overflowing with yellows, oranges and pinks, however. Softer tones like lavender and baby blue add a pop of color without making your room look neon-heavy. If you aren’t quite ready to give up your darks, however, try using a medium charcoal or navy color in small doses. Deep shaded throw pillows, for example, make for a nice accent without shrouding your room in darkness.


Why you should get an Art Appraisal

Top Five Reasons to get an Art Appraisal

1.You could encounter severe losses that are uninsured. Things like fires, lost, stolen, damaged, floods may wipe out an entire houseful of property. If you do not have the most recent appraisal information with your insurance company there is no way to ensure you will be properly compensated should something happen. Artwork is something that may appreciate in value and much of this is determined by its current condition, specialists that may be involved authenticity verification, economy, market, intent etc.

2. Be well informed. You often hear of the stories that make the news time and time again. Relatives leave an old drawing or painting from an artist that we don’t know. Recently paintings found in a Bellport,New York cottage were estimated to be worth $20 to $30 million from the artist, Arthur Pinajian on of which fetched $500,000 at auction and made national news.

3. Charitable contribution of property (household, art, antiques) to a museum or qualifying charitable organization. This occurs when you are considering a tax deduction or just want the public to benefit from your good fortune.

4. Be certain of it’s value. Save yourself a lot of time and avoid surprises if have already have your artwork appraised every few years and/or just prior to the time you are placing the work in a particular market. This is often an emotional time and you’ll be able to negotiate properly based on the current value for the particular time and market you are working in.

5. Determining the value of a work of art to properly consider selling or keeping the work.Acquiring a current appraisal from a professional appraiser that you can base financial decisions on.


Universal Design Is Smart Design

Design solutions cover long-term, situational needs for all. Remodeling trends may come and go, but one trend has evolved into an improved design movement focused on increasing accessibility for everyone in the home. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) recognizes universal design projects as proven design solutions for not only aging-in-place, but for families with special needs or anyone who wishes to move about his or her home freely, without barriers.

For example, the universal design features may include:

· Zero barriers, which mean there are no steps in the home, especially for entryways. All living quarters are on the first floor, with the exception of an upstairs area that was converted into an apartment with the purpose of housing a caregiver at some point.

· Wide hallways, open living spaces and dual entries in all rooms are common design elements used in wheelchair accessibility. Long’s hallways are more than 5 feet wide, and living spaces are expanded so wheelchairs can move around furniture easily. Also, two entryways in all rooms—including the living room, dining room and kitchen—allows for ample traffic flow throughout the house.

· Microwaves drawer and/or refrigeration drawers are also common in universal design, but Long says it is also a stylistic feature for those who prefer to showcase beautiful cabinetry and granite countertops rather than the eye-sore of a microwave taking up counter space.

 · Hardwood flooring is superior over carpeting for wheelchair accessibility. Long removed all carpeting on the first floor and installed engineered hardwood flooring throughout the entire floor, only covering certain areas with rugs. The new flooring also allowed for a five zone, energy-efficient radiant heating system throughout the house, which couldn’t have been accomplished with carpeting.

· Ramped pool entrance is a unique design feature developed by Long to make it easier for his son to be transferred in and out of the pool safely. However, once installed, the ramped entrance doubles as a convenient bench for guests to sit on while they enjoy the pool.

The key to universal design is to come up with design solutions that address current needs and future needs down the road. NARI is the source for homeowners seeking to hire a professional remodeling contractor because members are full-time, dedicated remodelers who follow a strict code of ethics that observes high standards of honesty, integrity and responsibility. Visit the NARI.org site to get tips on how to hire a remodeling professional and to search for NARI members in your area. Houston Design Resources is an active member of NARI in the Houston area.


Houston Breaks Record For Home Sales in a Month

During the month of May 2013 home sales reached their ultimate high numbers on 7,794 single-family homes sold, the greatest one month sales volume of all time! Houston Association of Realtors reported that in May, sales numbers of all types of properties in Houston totaled 9,245, a 28.0 percent increase over the same month last year. Expect the growth in Houston’s home sales to continue. Last year, the Texas Workforce Commission reported the addition of more than 111,000 jobs. Houston has become a booming community over the last year. Current statistics imply that the greater Houston area will continue to gain momentum moving forward with no indication of stopping. Many homes are being sold now due to the rise of new job opportunities and low mortgage rates. This is great news for the residential design community. When looking to build, remodel, renovate, decorate and accessorize indoors or out reach for the latest copy of Houston Design Resources for all the finest home furnishings, products, services or design professionals.


Houston Design Resources Issue I 2013

Have you picked up your copy of the latest issue of Houston Design Resources? Editorial included in this issue feature Jane Page Crump of JanePage Design Group and Chris Cunningham of Cunningham Building & Development with the “Team Approach”. Connie LeFevre of Design House writes about upcoming changes and advancements in the interior design field in her article, “The Changing Landscape of Interior Design”. Matt Powers, of Matt Powers Custom Homes & Renovations “Dared to Dream” highlighting a spectacular home in Memorial. Lastly, we are most proud of our flooring editorial, we were the first publication to showcase the floor Greg Schenck, of Schenck & Company installed in a ranch in Brenham, Texas that won NWFA’s 2013 Best Wood Floor of the Year Best, Reclaimed Flooring. These are just a few features included in the spring issue of Houston Design Resources.

Houston Design Resources Issue I 2013