The Formation of a Home Elevator Installation

Home elevator ideasNorthbrook addition







These Northbrook residents, who have worked closely with Normandy Designer Vince Weber over the years for prior renovations, love their house and wanted to be sure they could stay in their home as long as possible as they aged.  “One of the challenges they were concerned about for the future is the location of their master suite, which is on the second floor,” says Vince.  ”Creating an addition for a first floor master suite was not a good option for them, so in the end we determined that the best solution would be to expand their existing master suite and install a two-story elevator.” The elevator solved the problems that the stairs could one day pose as they aged and gave them the longevity they had hoped for in their home.

Home elevator

Elevator in homeElevator installation







“To fit the style of their traditional home, we used Mahogany to line the elevator and wood flooring,” added Vince. “We implemented a 42in. x 60in. design, which leaves plenty of space for the possibility of a wheel chair or walker, standard white interior doors that matched the rest of the home and an accordion elevator door.” Vince was able to design a fully functional home for these homeowners, and meet all of their future needs to live comfortably in their new space. The two-story elevator gave these homeowners the home they had longed for as well as a fifth bedroom, leaving them with plenty of space for their growing family to create memories for years to come.

spa like shower

luxury bathroom

White painted cabinetry

Master suite ideas

Master suite closet

A Designer’s Home Holiday Decor

railing garlandWith the holidays just around the corner, Normandy Designer Leslie Molloy, CKD is ready to celebrate- and decorate! Leslie was able to combine a few store bought items with her antique heirlooms, in order to create the perfect holiday setting.

In order to put a creative twist on the stair rail garland, Leslie added white Christmas lights.  The lights enhanced the visibility of the bright red berries and pine cones that were intertwined in the garland.  Leslie was able to secure her Christmas garland to the stair railing by using black zip ties, which were a perfect solution to blend them with the existing black railing.

Mixed with her purchased holiday décor, Leslie also added vintage Santa Claus candle holders.  These heirloom candle holders added a fun personal touch to the space and a bright pop of colorVintage santa claus to compliment the berries in the garland.

You can find more holiday decorating tips and inspiration from Normandy Designers on how to add floral picks to your tree, how to create a welcoming Christmas entry way, how to make your artificial Christmas tree look full and much more here.



Room Temperature Wine Storage Ideas

Large kitchens and open concepts are such a popular trend we see in today’s homes, and because homeowners have more space to work with in these new layouts, more cabinetry, kitchen islands, beverage centers and even home bars can now be incorporated. Depending on their preference and how they choose to customize their space, some homeowners may choose to incorporate wine storage options into their home. Whether it is for convenience, entertaining or just as a design element, room temperature wine storage is a unique feature for any style home.

Mixed finishes in the kitchen Large at home bar furnitureVertical wine storage






“Room temperature wine storage options can be an interesting way to incorporate decorative elements into the space and add functionality and visual appeal,” says Normandy Designer Leslie Lee. “By breaking up cabinetry, you can keep the space from feeling too ‘heavy’, and create a welcoming atmosphere full of charm.”

What are some common approaches you see used for wine storage options?

“We used to see many homeowners choosing the small X-frame cubbies, that allowed storage for multiple bottles of wine, but now we tend to use horizontal or vertical square cubbies that keep the bottles more aligned and can sometimes take up less space,” added Leslie. “However, if the homeowner is drawn to the X-frame, there is a more updated option using a larger approach that still allows for plenty of storage, like these ones here.”

Kitchen island wine storage wine storage units

Room temperature wine storage







How can you incorporate these wine storage options into the space? 

“Placement of your room temperature wine storage is really up to the homeowner and how it works within the space,” says Leslie. “Whether it is purely aesthetic or ease of use, some of the most common places these are located are under counters or near the refrigerated wine, upper cabinetry, near a beverage center or integrated into the kitchen island.”

Floor to ceiling cabinetry     Dark wood kitchen islandWhite kitchen with beverage center

Turn Your Sample Door Into Home Décor‎

During the remodeling process, one of the steps homeowners need to go through is selections, where they choose the design elements for their project.  After completing their kitchen remodeling project with Normandy Designer Vince Weber, these homeowners decided to reinvent their cabinetry sample door, and create a unique piece for their newly remodeled kitchen. The homeowners decided to add chalk paint to the center of their shaker style door, and came up with an interactive message center to list quick notes and even the menu items for the evening!

kitchen cabinet door ideas chalk paint ideas Chalk paint ideas kitchen

Normandy Contemporary Kitchen at Abt Electronics

With the picturesque view of the Chicago skyline, it’s easy to find where the inspiration came from for Normandy Designer Christopher Ebert, who developed the layout for this contemporary galley style kitchen.  The streamlined cabinetry draws attention upward and adds visual height to this small galley kitchen.  The city influence is enhanced even further with the stainless steel appliances and sculptural metal, seen on the kitchen peninsula, which mimics the architectural design seen through the framed kitchen window. See below for photos of our newest displays on the North Shore at Abt Electronics in Glenview!

Natural walnut cabinetry with satin finish and matte black hardware.

Chicago condo kitchen ideas

Cubby-hole wine storage and concealed TV niche.

Lift cabinets kitchen

Kitchen peninsula with natural stone countertop and structural metal legs.

White countertops

Tall natural wood kitchen cabinetry.

Tall kitchen cabinet pantry

Porcelain backsplash tiles.

Over the range backsplash ideas

Soft- close kitchen cabinetry.

Soft close hinges


Normandy Luxury Traditional Kitchen Display at Abt Electronics

If the combination of color in this luxury traditional kitchen doesn’t draw you in, the gorgeous coffered ceiling will surely do the trick. As you first enter the traditional kitchen created by Normandy Designer Chris Ebert, you will notice the dual level island that takes center stage on the large scale porcelain floor tiles that mimic the look of leather.  The dark wood perimeter cabinets frame the space and help create visual focal points for the bright red and taupe painted cabinetry.

As you make your way through the kitchen, you will also notice the ornate arch that features two shelving niches for cooking essentials, gorgeous marble countertops and a beautifully detailed tiled backsplash.  The arch is an ideal space for cooking and food prep and has plenty of storage for cooking and kitchen utensils in the surrounding red cabinetry. See below for photos of our newest displays on the North Shore at Abt Electronics in Glenview!

Colorful cabinetry and vaulted ceilings.

Dual level kitchen island

Dual level island with pop up TV and table height seating.

Painted cabinetry

English bronze bridge faucet and black super single bowl sink.

Single bowl sink

Wood paneled refrigerator.

Wood paneled refrigerator

Eat in kitchen table with antiqued chandelier.

Kitchen table ideas

Ornate cooking arch with marble countertops and niche shelving.

Niche shelving ideas


Large kitchen ideas

Normandy Glam Bar Display at Abt Electronics

The glamorous entry bar, designed exquisitely by Normandy Designer Chris Ebert, is the first of the three new displays you encounter at Abt Electronics in Glenview.  The elegant features, such as the custom linear etching on the intense black engineered stone or the whimsical chandelier that hangs above, capture immediate attention. The curved metal brackets that support the bar add additional contrast against the unique pattern, as well as accent the simplicity of the backless bar stools. See below for photos of our newest displays on the North Shore!

View as you enter the Normandy Remodeling Displays at Abt Electronics.

black and white bar

Black engineered stone countertops and cladding with custom etching design.

Black and white contrast

Elegant bar chandelier.

Glamorous chandelier

Hammered brass nickel bar sink with polished nickel fixtures.

Hammered metal bar sink

Normandy Kitchen Displays now at Abt Electronics!

Bar area ideasNormandy is thrilled to announce that our new kitchen displays, designed by Normandy Designer Chris Ebert, at Abt Electronics in Glenview have officially opened!

As you enter the displays through the Atrium and into the Design Inspiration Gallery, you will notice the glamorous bar area.  The elegant details, such as the sparkling chandelier and the unique cross pattern that is etched into the black engineered stone, capture immediate attention and add drama to the space. Chicago condo kitchen ideasThe dual levels of this bar keep the prep space, which is home to a hammered metal sink and polished accents, separate from the bar height eating area, making this bar a must-have for entertaining. See more photos of this project.

As you move your way past the bar, you will notice the contemporary kitchen and luxury traditional kitchen.  The contemporary kitchen features clean lines, warm colors and elongated features that add height and visual interest to the space. This metropolitan inspired kitchen is able to complement the view, as well as the lifestyle, that’s familiar to many Chicagoans. See more photos of this project.


Large kitchen with island

And for those of you with a somewhat larger kitchen, and a passion for fine-details, the luxury traditional kitchen is unlike any other. Featuring bright red colors and warm wood cabinetry finishes, traditional is truly
brought to the next level in this space.

The luxurious details seen throughout this kitchen including glittering tile, the antiqued chandelier, and the gorgeous coffered ceiling, give this exceptional space its unique character. See more photos of this project.

Finding Space For The TV Over The Fireplace

Vaulted ceilingsIf you visit the family room in a typical American home, you’ll find focal point of the room tends to be the television.  It tends to be a primary location for entertainment viewing and often the furnishings are arranged to make the most of the TV viewing experience.  You may also find that many of these same family rooms have a beautiful fireplace which is a natural focal point for the room, which can conflict with the more practical usability of the television.  Many peopleStone fireplace faced with this challenged have decided to pair both the fireplace and the television into a single unified focal point of the room by placing the television above the fireplace.

“In many homes, placing the TV over the fireplace can make a great deal of design sense, however, there are important requirements that need to be met in order to create a visually pleasing, yet functional, center-of-attention,” says Normandy Designer Laura Barber, AKBD.

If you are considering placing a TV above the fireplace in your home, there are a few basic rules of thumb that can help you make the most of both the beauty of your fireplace and white fireplace surroundthe functionality of your television:

Appropriate Clearances: “Because the fireplace can create so much heat, it is important to have adequate space between the television and the fireplace in order to avoid any damage to the TV,” added Laura.  Ensuring that the TV is protected from the heat can be addressed in a variety of ways including placing the TV in a recessed niche, or leaving adequate space above a sizeable mantle, both of which can be designed to minimize the amount of direct heat that reaches the TV.

Proportions:  It is important to keep proportions in mind, so that the focal point of the room remains balanced.  If the fireplace is smaller than the TV, the space can appear where to put the tv in the living room with fireplaceto be too top heavy. For example, this image shows how the tile surround creates and illusion of a larger fireplace, which help keeps the television and fireplace in balance.

Design: “Having an intended space for the TV from the initial design stages can help with the overall layout of the room,” says Laura. “Having a central point of interest helps homeowners decide where furniture would be best placed as well.”  You want to be sure that the TV is positioned at a comfortable viewing angle so that it is an enjoyable and relaxing experience.

Embracing the Character of a Living Finish

Copper on roofWhen beginning your home remodeling project, selections can be the most crucial aspect. This is even more true when choosing materials that have “living” characteristics, that may change naturally over time. Understanding the characteristics of your material selections is important when you are deciding whether or not you’d like to preserve the original look of your choices, or allow them to naturally change over time.

“When choosing to incorporate living finishes into your home, it is important to know the product you are purchasing and the subtle variations that the materials can make as time passes,” saysDark bathroom fixtures Normandy Design Manager Troy Pavelka. “Choosing finishes for your home is all about the aesthetic you are trying to capture, the expectations the homeowners have for the space and the care you wish to put into the materials over time.”  When allowing your finishes to naturally alter, in some cases you can help preserve them by applying sealants that create a defensive coating. This is a common selection for homeowners who wish to achieve a vintage or classic look, with natural and artisan-like qualities.  If you prefer that the finishes retain their pristine look, some are available with factory applied coatings that avoid any major changes from exposure.

Wood butcher block kitchen island“Living finishes take on their own unique appearances, which is one of the main attractions homeowners have to these materials in the first place,” added Troy. “But these natural materials are referred to as living finishes due to the fact that they can tarnish and oxidize with every day wear and use.” For example, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Copper and Soap Stone products, take on unique patterns that cannot be duplicated, making these particular finishes, one-of-a-kind.



Soap stone countertop in kitchen