Tips For Where To Put Your TV

Mounting tv in nicheA newly remodeled room can seem like the ultimate blank slate when it comes time to decorate.  But considering the room’s intended use and developing a furniture plan early in the design process can be immensely beneficial to how you enjoy this new room addition or renovated space. There are certain elements and focal points that are meant to take full attention of a space that don’t always include the TV, even though at times, all eyes tend to be on it.  “Because of the varying tastes and interests TV for master suitehomeowners tend to have, some people choose to make the TV less of a visual statement, but still need to find a way to fit it into the space,” says Normandy Designer Karen Chanan.  When considering incorporating a TV into the rooms of your home, use these 3 tips:

1.  Placement-  When you know your newly designed space will be home to a TV, consider it from the beginning. This way you can design it into the space, rather than treating it like an after-thought.  “Keeping the TV in mind can help you decide the orientation of the room and make sure each element is thoughtfully placed,” added Karen. “This includes window placement to reduce glare and purchasing or placing furniture accordingly in order to find a comfortableTv above fireplace mantel solution that makes sense for the room.”

2.  Focal points-  Whether it is art, a TV or the fireplace, every room needs a focal point, and the living room is no different. Determining the focal point of the room early on will allow you to build added components into the space in order to hide cords, create a seamless niche or account for larger cabinetry or furniture to place the TV inside, depending on how much attention you wish to call to it.

3.  Intention-  In living rooms and other areas of the home, the TV is usually exposed, however, there are other alternatives to having aTv on swivel base TV in the space, without calling attention to it.  Ways to diminish the presence of the TV in a room are cabinetry, where it can be lowered and raised at the homeowner’s convenience or swivel arms that allow the TV to be flexible for angles it is watched, or mounted.  “Mounting the TV in the corner decreases the opportunity for the television to dominate the look of the room,  thereby letting the intended focal point remain as a stand-alone feature,” noted Karen. “Having an idea of the layout of the space and accounting for furniture and other elements of the room can help create a space ideal for your personal interest and intended use of the room.”


Mixing Stained and Painted Kitchen Cabinetry is a Winning Recipe

White cabinets stained distressed islandMixing stained and painted finishes in the kitchen is a remodeling trend that’s been popular for several years, and shows no signs of fading any time soon.  “Introducing multiple finishes in the kitchen allows you to create contrast, enhance the visual interest of the space, and break up the potentially monochromatic look of the kitchen,” says Normandy Designer Kathryn O’Donovan.  Mixing colors, textures and materials can work in any style of kitchen; it is just a matter of how the effect is applied.  “In a modern kitchen, it is more common to see contrasting colors in a similar glossy or matte finish,” notes Kathryn. “For a more traditional look, you can pair a distressed, stained cabinet with crisp white painted cabinetry which will create that wonderful ‘antique furniture’ look.”

Mixed finishes in the ktichenSelecting an accent color for your kitchen remodel can provide a welcome pop of color without becoming visually overwhelming.  “I recommend that statement pieces are offset with more subtle choices so that you don’t overwhelm the space,” commented Kathryn.  “And while there are some traditional design guidelines that should be followed, many of the rules are being rewritten; which means that today’s kitchens are filled with character and personality, and are no longer simply aWhite cabinetry stained wood collection of white cabinets.”

Kitchen with mixed cabinet colors

A Kitchen Ledge With A Stylish Countertop Edge

White kitchen with accent colorsWhen selecting kitchen countertop treatments, it is important to remember that each style of kitchen has its own unique components, which help them stand apart from other styles.  “The kitchen countertop edge can add the smallest of detail, but still create such a strong impact on the overall look and feel of your kitchen,” says Normandy Designer Laura Barber, AKBD.  “After you have determined the style you wish to achieve in your kitchen, these countertop details can make all of the difference in helping you reach your goal.” Here is a list of kitchen styles and examples of which countertop edges would help enhance the style you wish to achieve in your kitchen.

Traditional:  Popular for their eye-catching accents, traditional kitchens are famous for Countertop edge detailtheir architectural details, decorative elements and cabinetry adornments.  “In traditional kitchens, more ornamental countertop edges are commonly seen,” added Laura. “After selecting your cabinetry, you can use the details found in the door styles and trim to influence what countertop edge would work best for your kitchen.”  Countertops in traditional kitchens are commonly seen with some variation of an Ogee edge treatment, due to their decorative curved details.

Transitional: Incorporating the gentle curves of traditional and the clean lines of contemporary, transitional is the balanced combination of the two.  With only hints of ornamentation, any countertop edge in a transitional kitchen that is Black kitchn countertoo elaborate will have you shifting from transitional back to traditional.  Maintaining that balance between traditional and contemporary in this style means that a cabinet door with more detail will need a countertop edge that is simpler and less detailed. The reverse also holds true in that a Shaker style cabinet door can pair nicely with curves or soft lines of more traditional countertop edge treatments without the overall look of the kitchen becoming overly ornate.

Contemporary or Modern: These two styles of kitchens can share many similar elements, including sleek lines, cutting-edge appliances and frameless cabinetry. Modern however, Modern kitchen countertopfocuses more on lack of ornamentation and a strong horizontal grid system, while contemporary uses a mix of materials, shapes and scale.  “Since contemporary and modern kitchens focus on clean lines, I suggest a waterfall, mitered or eased countertop edge detail in these styles of kitchen,” added Laura. “Continuing with the sleek look and lack of embellishment in a modern kitchen, countertop materials are usually solid in color to enhance the shape and hard lines of the structure.”

Traditional kitchen counter

Not all countertop options have a broad range of choices to consider for the edge treatment.  Different materials and manufacturers have different options, since the various materials perform differently.  Some materials, such as certain marbles, are too fragile for a mitered edge and may be prone to chipping.  Not every profile is right for every surface, so it’s wise to consult with experts in the materials that you are considering before falling in love with a particular look for your countertop edge.




Marble kitchen island

Island table and chairs

Traditional kitchen counter

Normandy Designer Ranked Nationally as Top “40 Under 40”

Award winning ann stockardEvery year, Professional Remodeler Magazine recognizes the industry’s next generation of leaders through a national search of rising talent. We are proud to announce that this year, Normandy Designer Ann Stockard was named to the 2014 list of the top “40 under 40” professionals in the remodeling industry!

“I’m honored to have my name listed among some of the most talented remodelers in the nation,” says Ann. “My work brings me such joy and fulfills my passion for design; I can’t imagine doing anything else.” Ann has won numerous local and national awards and has had her work featured in various publications. Ann’s recent award wins include a National Chrysalis award for a bold Hinsdale bathroom remodel and a 2014 Contractor of the Year Award Accent wall in showerfor her Willow Springs kitchen remodel.

Anyone who has had the privilege of working with Ann knows it’s not surprising that her design passion and eye for detail creates beautiful projects for so many homes throughout Chicagoland.  Normandy is proud to have Ann as part of our team, and we offer her our Congratulations on her recent recognition!



Colorful bathroom ideasAll white kitchen

Double kitchen island design


Screen Porch Ideas- Making Your Exterior More Superior

Adding a screen porch to your houseAdding a screen porch to your house can provide some welcome additional living space, and give a boost to the curb appeal of the home as well.  A screen porch addition has many of the same requirements as any other home addition, as well as a few additional considerations due to the exposure to the elements.  “The screen porch is meant to act as an extension of your existing home, just like any other home addition. In fact, the only real differences are screens in place of windows, and no need to tie in heating and cooling with the rest of the home.” says Normandy Design Manager Troy Pavelka. “Since you are trying to create a seamless transition from your home to the porch, it is important to be mindful of the Porch patio ideasplacement of the porch and the materials selected.”

“When determining the location of the screen porch, one of the frequently overlooked considerations is the impact this will have on  the available natural light in the interior rooms,” added Troy.  ”The newly added roof and extended outdoor living space will filter and diminish the currently available light and air flow.  If you can position the new porch outside of a room that already has other windows to provide light and fresh air, you will be able to minimize these issues.”  It is common for existing windows to become a part of the screen porch, so there will still be some opportunityScreen porch addition ideas to borrow natural light and air flow that is now supplied to the porch.

Other key pieces to remember are that, although acting as an extension of your home, your screen porch needs materials that are able to withstand the elements of the outdoors.  “Since your porch is going to be exposed to the weather, I recommend using Douglas fir or Cedar in areas where you would like to enjoy the beauty of natural wood, because they are resistant to rot and moisture,” noted Troy.

Porch with windowsIt is possible to create an indoor feel for this outdoor room by adding TV’s, decorative ceilings, tile flooring, fireplaces and interchangeable storm windows and screens, depending on zoning restrictions.  Since screen porches are a common transitional space to the yard, they can also be connected to a deck or patio, which extend the potential for gathering and entertainment spaces even further.

Interchangeable screen glass windows

Ideas to decorate a screened porchScreened porch with deck

Normandy Remodeling Named Favorite Home Designer

favorite home designer 2014We are flattered to have been voted ‘FAVORITE HOME DESIGNER Hinsdale’ by the reader’s of Glancer Magazine. You can find the Glancer Reader’s Choice awards in the July issue. Our sincerest thanks to the residents of Hinsdale for such an honor!July 2014 glancer magazine



Kitchen & Bath Design News Features Normandy Designer

July 2014 KBDN coverCongratulations to Normandy Designer Leslie Lee on her recent feature in Kitchen & Bath Designer News Magazine!  This traditional kitchen design, featured on the July 2014 cover, is rustic yet luxurious.  In this article, Leslie reflects on her experience designing an ideal kitchen for a gourmet chef, and all of the requirements to meet those needs. For example: appliances and ventilation, prep space, lighting, plentiful food storage and an easy-to-navigate entertainment layout.



Leslie Lee KBDN Cover


The Best Time of Year to Remodel

Kitchen remodel for summerOne of the most common questions we hear when people are planning their kitchen remodel is “When is the best time to remodel my kitchen?”  While kitchen renovations happen year round, many people have found that planning for the construction to take place during the summer months can make living through the renovation more enjoyable and less stressful.

One of the reasons that living through kitchen remodeling construction can be a bit easier Patio ideasduring the summer months, especially in Chicago and its suburbs, is about meal prep.  “Summer is the season for grilling and outdoor dining on your deck or patio, which gets you out of the house and enjoying the warm weather,” says Normandy Designer Liz Reifschneider.  “This brief respite from the construction going on inside can be quite soothing and can help you cope with the disruption to your normal routine.”

Backyard ideas for summerTaking advantage of the warmer weather for construction requires some advance planning, as do most things for a kitchen remodel.  You will need to allow time to design and plan your new space, and some additional time for blueprints and permitting.  “It’s important not to rush through the planning stages, and to give yourself plenty of time to make sure that you’re creating a space that meets all your needs, without feeling rushed to meet a particular construction timeline,” commented Liz. “If you’re someone who makes decisions quickly, Unfinished kitchenthat planning phase may take a month or two.  But if you really want to delve into the details or make more significant changes, you should allow a few months for working out the design you really want.”

Once your design is complete, there are still several important parts of your remodel that can impact your timeline, one of them being the permitting process.  Some villages are How to begin a kitchen renovationfairly quick and can issue permits in a few weeks, others have long timelines and it can be several months before your permit will be approved.

Cabinetry is another key piece that can have long lead times, and some manufacturers even shut down for a few weeks in the summer months for employee vacations.  “It’s not unheard of to wait 3 months or longer for a custom or semi-custom cabinet to be delivered,” says Liz. “It’s just one more piece of the Ordering kitchen cabinetstiming puzzle to be considered.”

The good news for finding the right time to remodel is that it’s almost never too late to start, because there is always next summer. If you would like to remodel your kitchen during the warm summer months, you probably want to begin meeting with a designer and planning as early as late fall.  An initial October or November meeting gives you plenty of time to work through your design goals andWhite kitchen remodel schedule construction to begin as the weather warms up.  If you happen to finalize your design more quickly than expected, most companies will be able to delay your start date by a few weeks or months to give you an opportunity to soak up the summer sun as your kitchen undergoes its transformation.

“With summer months always seeming to fly by in Chicago, the renovation will seeminglyWhite and gray kitchen be over in no time.” added Liz. And what better way to start the cold weather months in Chicago than with a beautiful new kitchen?


Wicker Park Row House Wins Award

Open shelving kitchen ideasWe are excited to announce that this beautiful Chicago kitchen remodel has been recognized with a 2014 Chrysalis Award for Remodeling Excellence. Normandy Designer Kathryn O’Donovan worked closely with Wicker Park homeowners to create this loft inspired kitchen.

 This is Kathryn’s third Chrysalis Award win since 2011  and her first national Chrysalis Award Win. This particular kitchen also took a Normandy designer wins awardRemodeling Excellence Award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Greater Chicagoland in 2013.  The Chrysalis Awards are open to any professional remodeler and design professional in the United States.

Porcelanosa Tile Now at The Normandy Showroom

Normandy remodeling porcelanosa tileWe are excited to announce that the Normandy Hinsdale Showroom now features the unique look of Porcelanosa tiles.  These European tiles are particularly intriguing for fans of Contemporary design, and can create a striking design statement in any room.

The Normandy Design Team is excited to add Porcelanosa to their design arsenal to further expand the Kitchen backsplash ideascreative possibilities for their clients.  Having a display in the showroom allows Normandy clients to interact with the products they are choosing for their remodel, and get a hands-on look at the impact these tiles can make on their project.  Porcelanosa’s reputation for cutting-edge innovation in both design and materials can elevate any space, and can be one of the details to bring a kitchen or bathroom remodel to the next level.

Kitchen and bathroom tile ideas

Porcelanosa contemporary tile