Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Austin CounterTops – The First 10 Years

September 9th, 2011 by Shannon Langham

The First Decade: 1971 – 1981

The story of Austin Countertops is rooted in the type of hard work and vision that defines the American dream.  Coming from humble beginnings in small, hard-scrabble Texas towns both Ken and Kay Langham developed the faith, integrity and work ethic that formed the foundations of Austin Countertops.

The year was 1971, and Austin, Texas is a bustling college town with an active music scene and a diverse, unique population.  As the news begins to spread about the beauty and laid-back lifestyle Austin offered, the Austin construction community begins to grow.

As young couple with a bustling family, Ken and Kay Langham were working hard to build their future.  Ken had more than 10 years of experience in the construction industry in the Austin area, and Kay was busy working as a receptionist and bookkeeper for a local dentist, when they were presented with the opportunity of a lifetime.  A local business, Floorcraft Plastics located on North Lamar Boulevard was for sale.  Scraping up the funds, trusting in God and leaning on their faith, Ken and Kay purchased Floorcraft Plastics and began their journey as one of Austin’s best home-grown success stories.

Starting with just five employees the company began fabricating laminate countertops and within one year moved their operations to the current location in East Austin, on Bluff Bend Drive and renamed the business Austin Countertops.

The Texas economy continued to thrive and Central Texas began to grow.  Ken and Kay were perfectly poised to offer builders a great product at a fair price.  In addition to product and pricing, Austin Countertops also offered integrity, and a depth of customer service that became the basis of the company and the relationships their business was based on.

Austin Countertops grew rapidly in their first 10 years as word spread to builders about their reliability, craftsmanship and service.

Winning Color Combos for Fall

June 17th, 2011 by Shannon Langham

Baby pink with mocha makes for a cheerful, retro, almost-edible combo.

sept06decnews angelaadams mammyrug V lg Winning Color Combos for Fall

By Leah Hennen, special to HGTV.com

From the sophisticated aqua and chocolate to tart lime and lemon, strong color pairings are all the rage, and one of the easiest ways to freshen and lend drama to your decor. “People are taking more risks with color and combining colors in more unique ways,” confirms Joann Eckstut, author of The Color Palette Primer: A Guide to Choosing Ideal Color Combinations for Your Home. “Once they see how well strong hues can work, they’re willing to try them, and often love the result.”Read on to learn about the hottest pairings around, to pick up simple tips for using these delectable duos at home, and to see some of our favorite new products that sing with color. 

Why it works: At the deeper end of the spectrum, intense raspberry creates a dramatic foil for rich, dark chocolate. Both are yummy — and deliciously playful. “The pink pops against that soft, warm background, and the brown brings out pink’s own warmth,” Eckstut says.

Variations: Lavender and brown is another candy-hued combo, while brown with rust or red are distinctly autumnal alternatives.

Easy idea: Edge a set of brown throw pillows with a band of pink ribbon, braided rope or fringe, or give them a graphic look with iron-on designs from a craft store, suggests Toronto color consultant Jane Lockhart, host of HGTV’s Get Color! and the author of Room Recipes: Cooking Up Style With Color.

 

Be Bold: Outrageous Yet Sophisticated Color Combos

June 15th, 2011 by Shannon Langham

Select color fearlessly. Make a bold, sophisticated statement in your home with unexpected color schemes.

Remodeling? There is an iPhone App for that!

June 7th, 2011 by Shannon Langham

I came across some great information on iPhone applications that you can use to help with everything from choosing paint colors to flooring design. Enjoy!

20 Best iPhone Home Improvement Apps to help you do it yourself!

iphone main e1288921097506 Remodeling? There is an iPhone App for that!


11 Inspiring Decorating Kitchen Interiors

May 19th, 2011 by Shannon Langham

Having trouble with kitchen redecorating? Or perhaps you have just moved into another flat and simply don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing the kitchen design. Today we would like to show you 11 ways to go, meaning 11 inspiring ideas or take-odd suggestions in coming up with the desired interior theme. We went with a selection of diverse kitchens, in order to let you know there are a million of possibilities out there. Flashy colors versus classic ones, “crowded” kitchens and airy interiors, we took one of each, but only after being convinced there are no draw-backs in style or good taste. Please let us know if you found this post helpful and if you have any other kitchen design related suggestions, don’t hesitate to comment.

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Design Trends: Create Your Own Global Style

May 18th, 2011 by Shannon Langham

From Ikats to Chinoiserie, It’s Easy to Put a Twist on Indian and Asian Design

Indian, Asian, and North-African elements have been consistent influences on modern-day interior design. However, this trend of global chic has had a recent upsurge, due in part to the widespread impact of the Internet, which has allowed for many of these designs and products to be easily accessed and delivered. International design in every imaginable form is only a few clicks and key strokes away. Globalization has certainly helped put a diverse range of interior design styles and products at hand, but with such an incredible variety it can still be hard to figure out exactly how to put together a look. Sometimes just making a few random eBay purchases isn’t enough!
By blending together traditional aspects of Asian and Indian design with more modern colors and materials, these classic looks have a bit more flexibility in contemporary homes. Try incorporating singular elements into your home’s design, rather than attempting to pull off an entire look at once — this will allow you to completely customize it, and give your home a welcoming and well-traveled feel.
83661 0 8 5726 mediterranean porch Design Trends: Create Your Own Global Style
Take inspiration from nature. Many Indian and Asian designs evoke the beauty of wood grains, natural fibers and organic finishes. These aren’t styles that like to use plastic or artificial elements — particularly if you’re going for an authentic feel. This pumpkin and chartreuse daybed is toned down by the presence of natural woods and neutral colored tiles and walls.
by Elad Gonen & Zeev Beech
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Mixing and matching patterns and colors in the same tonal family is a great way to achieve a bohemian and exotic style. It gives a room a well-traveled feel, particularly when chosen in bright, geometric patterns that are so prevalent in Asian and Indian designs. Try adding points of cultural interest in your home — think rich rugs, wood carvings, lanterns, and traditional motifs.
by Carson Poetzl, Inc.
163803 0 8 5821 mediterranean bedroom Design Trends: Create Your Own Global Style
Jewel tones like red-purples, dark yellows, pumpkin oranges, and deep reds are certainly indicative of traditional Indian design, but they aren’t a necessity. This all-white bedroom — with a soft cotton bedspread, screened accent doors, metal lanterns, and metallic jewel-toned throw — has the same exotic vibe as the room prior, but with a completely different set of colors. Going overboard on color isn’t necessary — a few accents here and there will accomplish the same look.
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This room really reflects a good sense of how traditional elements can be smoothly incorporated into a more modern setting. Lush textiles in warm colors play well off of the reddish wood nightstand. The pendant is sort of a contemporary play on a paper lantern, and I love how the brick wall juxtaposes with the entire setup.
by Amy Lau Design
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The suzani pattern shown here is traditionally Persian, but I really like the basic idea of covering a simple couch with a more eclectic and ethnic looking throw. If you’re looking for something that’s more authentically Indian, try a geometric block print — ikats are a great choice that have become hugely popular over the past few years.
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If you aren’t quite ready to commit to changing the decor of your entire house, try incorporating just a few Indian-styled vignettes into a more modern design scheme. The eclectic vintage style of this home allows these accents to work very well. The use of gold — another natural element common in Indian and Asian interiors — with the muted jewel tones is a great touch.
by Vintage Renewal
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Bring some animal energy into the mix! Animals are powerful symbols in Hinduism, and much of Indian and Asian culture. Elephants in particular are a consistently occurring motif in Indian design. This incredibly detailed carved wooden paneling is a subtle way to pay tribute to these elegant creatures — and is a fabulous stand-in for a headboard!

Next: Products that inspire a modern Asian and Indian look

by ADEENI DESIGN GROUP
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Shantung Silhouette Fabric
This fabric has a whimsical look, but a definite Asian feel. A slight modern take on chinoiserie, the more muted colorway makes it a natural fit for a contemporary home.
by fschumacher.com
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Indochine Folding Screen
This Vietnamese-influenced design might be a bit too transparent for a room divider, but I love the idea of using a screen like this in lieu of a headboard. Its dark color would look fantastic with a brilliantly colored duvet.
by cottageandbungalow.com
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Apple Green Lotus Stool
How cute is this little apple green stool? The style is definitely Asian, but its bright color is reminiscent of the warm and vivid hues in Indian design. It’d be really fun as a nightstand next to a lower-set bed frame.
by worldmarket.com
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Double Happiness Tall Sideboard
This is another great example of a more Asian-like design in an Indian-inspired colorway. This simple and pretty console will add a brilliant pop of color to any room! Be prepared to make this a statement piece in your home.
by cottageandbungalow.com
98238 0 8 8808 mediterranean pendant lighting Design Trends: Create Your Own Global Style
VivaTerra – Moroccan Hanging Lamp
Yes, the description says Moroccan, but these hand tooled metal lanterns play with metallics and light in a way that is reminiscent of Indian style as well. I love the idea of using these next to a patterned couch in a vivid color, or next to a four-poster bed in a rich, red-purple room.

by vivaterra.com

Very Unique Circular Home in Japan

May 17th, 2011 by Shannon Langham

What do you think?

So different – so cool….

Residence on the Coast of Japan: Villa Ronde

Villa Ronde 01 750x4992 Very Unique Circular Home in Japan
Villa Ronde is an impressive green-roofed residence designed by company Ciel Rouge and located in Japan. The round shape of this luxurious crib was chosen in order to take full advantage of the surrounding views. According to the architects, the residence “is thought as a wide free organic space in which rooms can be closed or in continuity to each other around a patio. The round shape is the best to cover the beautiful view around as well as to resist and glide in the strong typhoons winds. The building itself seems to grow from an hill in which air system circulate to ventilate permanently the house. Everything is thought for the best thermal natural ratio with a double facade for protecting from winds and sun, as well as the roof is covered by one foot of soil including a watering system”. Villa Ronde features an impressive swimming pool, a private museum, a beautiful terrace and a large guest area. Impressed?

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Galley Style Kitchen-Made Gorgeous!!

May 16th, 2011 by Shannon Langham

Personalized Modern Island Living: the Lopez Island Residence

Lopez Island Residence 5 Galley Style Kitchen Made Gorgeous!!
The Lopez Island Residence is surrounded by as much inspiring nature as possible. Located – as its name states – on Lopez Island, Washington, the home cascades gently between the trees to offer a bold connection to nature. The structure of the house runs along a river close by. This allowed an orientation that offers both light and warmth and ensures beautiful views of the surroundings. An isolated master bedroom at the upper level sets a comfort standard in the middle of nature. The architects explain how the floor-plan was created: “The angle of the living wing corresponds to the bank and creates an embraced outdoor deck area.  The house reaches out to the southeast path to the beach, to the gardens further to the east and most importantly to the west and northwest views of the water.” Needing for their creativity to run free, the inhabitants asked for a studio to help maintain the same dream lifestyle, so they received a generous space for both of them to share their artistic views. His and hers art spaces bring a much needed creative space to the almost perfect residence and the studio is connected to the house with the help of an arcade. Designed by David Vandervort Architects, the house features an impressive Tibetan prayer wheel that adds character and an Asian influence. This is the personalized modern island living we would love to see more of.

Lopez Island Residence Galley Style Kitchen Made Gorgeous!!

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Find Your Design Style

May 13th, 2011 by Shannon Langham

Choose One of These 8 Home Photos to Find Your Signature Look

How do you define your style? This is a question I ask every client, and I often get suprising answers. Most clients identify a particular style as their favorite, but their current interior says otherwise. Others give me a puzzled look and return the question to me, “What do you think is my style?” There are a number of ways to pinpoint your personal style, one easy way is to browse through images saved in your Houzz ideabooks.

Since I began writing for Houzz, I’ve directed potential clients to the site to create ideabooks that display their design aesthetic. I review them, find common threads throughout their chosen images and quickly move forward in designing a space they will love. What’s your design style? Take a look at these 8 white rooms to find out.

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Casual: Wash and wear not only appeals to your fashion aesthetic, it is also symbolic of how you live in your space. Easy-care fabrics drape your windows and furniture, keeping the maintenance of your home fuss-free and fabulous.
by Philip Clayton-Thompson
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Cool: Creating a home that is youthful and unpretentious is important to you. Sturdy furnishings with a hint of an industrial vibe make your space just as suitable for a teen hangout or Saturday morning coffee with your girlfriends.
by Aviad Bar-Ness
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Contemporary: Always on the cutting edge of design, you lean toward the best the market has to offer, from Calacatta marble waterfall countertops to the timeless trend of mid-century furnishings — updated in a polished white finish of course.
by Chelsea Atelier Architect, PC
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Country: Sweet nostalgia runs rampant in your home with items both familiar and unfamiliar to your past. You have an appreciation for time-worn objects and find beauty even in its decay.
by Dreamy Whites
106154 0 8 0115 contemporary bedroom Find Your Design Style
Coastal: The peace of the sea makes itself at home in each room of your house. Your interiors pay homage to the deep blue waters, its inhabitants, the general locale, and worry-free living.
by Frederick Stelle
59889 0 8 0423 modern kitchen Find Your Design Style
Colonial: Steeped in tradition, you maintain the original history of your home even if it means replacing a missing crystal doorknob with one you found at an antique salvage yard. Elements such as a farmhouse sink and cup pulls on cabinetry makes your home feel time-honored and authentic.
by Kim Duffin
170256 0 8 0192 contemporary bathroom Find Your Design Style
Clean: Stylish simplicity is the focus when decorating your home. Only the necessary essentials find a place under your roof, but it doesn’t mean that they are void of form and artistic interest.
by Filmore Clark
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Cultural: You have an appreciation of worldly travel and foreign customs. Whether you collect items from your personal travels or from those of someone else, your treasured possessions find a prominent place in your home.

Which of these photos fits your style best?  Share Your Comments!


 

Maecenas sollicitudin, est id.

March 19th, 2011 by Shannon Langham

Etiam rhoncus orci id nisi commodo non porttitor turpis congue. Nunc porttitor suscipit urna, ac varius massa euismod rhoncus. Nulla consequat, velit sit amet gravida aliquam, ante eros bibendum quam, commodo mollis mi lectus id velit. Aenean augue nunc, consequat et convallis id, tristique quis diam. Sed sagittis posuere magna; vel ultricies nunc eleifend eget. Nunc quis justo nec magna tincidunt vulputate ut id tortor! Suspendisse felis tortor, commodo at suscipit non, vulputate ac leo. Integer id massa at nibh ullamcorper pretium fermentum eget tellus. Aliquam blandit iaculis mollis. Integer condimentum molestie erat, aliquam adipiscing leo tincidunt nec.

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