HOME DESIGN WITH KATHY BEAMAN – Thanksgiving Curb Appeal

, November 1, 2015

Door close up small Perhaps you are hosting Thanksgiving this year? Or maybe it’s just time to get rid of the ghosts and goblins on your front porch and be a little more refined? Either way, it is a great time to decorate outside.

Start your decorating with your front door and work your way outwards. A large pretty wreath can set the tone for the rest of your color scheme. You most likely will want to bring in the warm golds, oranges and reds of autumn, mixed with some purples, browns and blacks for depth and contrast. Don’t be afraid to mix in small doses of an accent color, also, such as robin’s egg blue or teal green, especially if that is your accent color for your house. The wreath can simply be a grapevine wreath with a big bow or something more elaborate or formal, depending on the style of your home. You can also make your own by attaching maple leaves to a wire wreath form with florist’s tape. Dry the leaves first by layering in wax paper between the pages of a big, heavy book, wrap the stems of several leaves with the tape then attach the bunches to the form, overlapping each bunch.

Frame your door with a garland, using some of the same objects and colors that are in your wreath. Again, this can range from very simple strands of grapevine or bittersweet to very detailed layers of foliage, vines, berries, gourds and warm glowing lights, with ribbon intertwined. These same garlands can wrap porch pillars and railings and light and mailbox posts. You are only limited by your imagination. But beware – keep everything in a theme or use a dominant color scheme, otherwise it will get chaotic.

For a country feel, shop your house, garage and basement for objects that you can stack and fill with branches, berries and pinecones. Use old wheelbarrows or children’s wagons and fill with baskets overflowing with gourds, pumpkins and squashes. Prop an old ladder against the wall and place galvanized buckets on the rungs, filled with treasures you’ve picked up from a walk in the woods. Wrap boxes with burlap and fill with leaves and berries. Most of these containers can be kept in place with their contents swapped out for greens and berries for the Christmas season.

For a more formal look, line the steps with matching urns filled with leaves and berries, the largest on the first step, graduating down in size. If the containers are made of different materials, paint them all a matte black. If you have green leaf topiaries, mix some fall leaves in, add some strands of bittersweet berries, paint the containers to match the others, and place on either side of the front door. Add some black iron lanterns with white pillar candles and you’re in business.

Treat yourself to a new door mat. Choose one based on your color scheme and style and keep it clean and swept. If you have outdoor furniture, add some new pillows and a throw, perhaps in the bold accent color used in the wreath and garlands. Then, make yourself a cup of tea or pour a glass of wine and sit down and enjoy your pretty, welcoming entrance. Your neighbors and guests certainly will.

Posted in Decorating, Home design, Jewel Box Homes, Remodeling |

SUNSPACE SUNROOMS – WeatherMaster Windows vs Brand X

, July 29, 2014

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Posted in Featured Listings, Remodeling, Sunrooms, sunspaces |

“Technology and Performance Drive Appliance Trends”

, June 23, 2014

An interesting article from Kitchen and Bath Design News:

“Technology and performance continue to be driving forces in cooking appliances, as technological innovations allow today’s consumers to cook faster and better – all while saving energy. But while technology is hot, waste is not, with the most popular technological features ones that can provide true value and ease of use for users of all ages and abilities. Design wise, color is coming back, but the look is still clean and classic with simple lines or soft curves. Induction cooking remains a hot trend, along with flexible designs that give the designer the ability to create a beautiful and efficient kitchen in any size space.

Below are a few of the hottest trends in kitchen appliances right now.

–While technology and performance continue to drive the appliance industry, a more value-conscious consumer is looking for useful technology that improves the cooking experience and easy-to-use digital controls rather than trophy-style bells and whistles.

–Flexibility is important as smaller kitchens and a greater variety of family and space configurations require appliances that can be placed at the point of use, rather than in some outdated work triangle which may no longer be practical with fewer walls, more islands and Great Room layouts changing the kitchen landscape.

–Time-saving features — from faster pre-heat to speed cooking — are popular right now, along with cooking appliances that include technology to help the user cook better.

–Drawer appliances remain hot, both for their flexible design and accessibility to children, seniors, those with mobility concerns, etc.

–While stainless steel remains a timeless favorite, consumers seem less afraid to use color right now, and colored appliances – including white, black and midnight blue – are gaining ground. Still, design continues to favor simple clean lines, or soft, organic shapes that blend seamlessly into the design.

–Energy efficiency remains important to many consumers”

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Posted in Jewel Box Homes, Modular Homes, Remodeling |


, June 15, 2014

From HGTV:
Materials and Tools:
soapy water
150-grit sandpaper
bonding primer
7-inch roller
paint screen
2-gallon bucket
paint tray
paint for base coat
weaver brush
1. After removing the cabinet doors, wipe them with warm soapy water to remove dirt and grime, and then rinse thoroughly.
2. Sand the surface completely so the primer will adhere and remove the dust. Note: Don’t skip this step; it’s critical for a long-lasting paint job.
3. Prime the entire cabinet (tint it as close to the final color as possible for faster coverage). Let dry.
4. Apply the top coat with a roller (for large areas) or brush (be sure to lay off the paint in even strokes for a nice finish). Let dry. If you want to take a short break, cover the roller and bucket with a plastic garbage bag.
5. To add texture, roll glaze over the top coat and drag a weaver brush held almost parallel to the cabinet vertically, and then horizontally right away to create a basket weave pattern.

Posted in K B Kitchenworks Design Minute, Kitchen Design, Remodeling |

Kitchen Trends

, June 15, 2014

Here is an interesting article I found on www.forresidentialpros.com.

“Kitchen Cabinets Favor Transitional Styling, Painted Finishes

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, consumers continue to favor clean lines and timeless design, with transitional styling, painted finishes and well-organized interiors in high demand right now.

Interest in eco-conscious products seems to be declining in today’s more cost-conscious climate, however consumers remain willing to spend on interior fittings that maximize space and increase accessibility, as these are seen as adding tangible value to the product.

Below are some of the latest trends in kitchen cabinets right now:

–Sleek and simple styles remain hot, with distressed and glazed finishes declining in popularity, along with ornate door styles and heavily carved moldings.

–Painted finishes are trending, with color choices favoring neutral tones and shades of white, though bold pops of color are being used sparingly as accents.

–Gray is the hot color of the moment, but it’s anything but drab, with kitchen cabinets showcasing myriad richly textured shades of grey with plenty of depth and dimension.

–Maple and cherry remain the most popular wood choices, though beech, bamboo, lyptus and alder are also gaining ground in some areas.

–The interior of the box remains a key concern, with consumers willing to spend to increase accessibility and ease of use, and maximize interior space.

–The green trend seems to be slowing when it comes to kitchen cabinets, as homeowners are less willing to pay a premium for these products in today’s more cost-conscious climate.”

I am seeing these same trends in my own business and is pretty much the way I design, anyway.  You just can’t go wrong with clean lines and well designed spaces.

Posted in Jewel Box Homes, K B Kitchenworks Design Minute, Kitchen Design, Modular Homes, Remodeling |


, June 2, 2014

If you own an outdated kitchen, but don’t have the budget to do a gut remodel, don’t despair. There are lots of quick fixes and medium size rehabs that will freshen up your space and not drive you into bankruptcy.

You can begin by doing a little dreaming. Clip pictures of what your ideal kitchen would look like. You probably won’t be able to replicate that exact image, but you can certainly get the same feel.

Next, take a hard look at your wallet. Set a realistic budget, with a 10 – 15% safety pad in it. Have a basic understanding of what things cost and what kind of quality you want.

Now do a thorough inspection of your present kitchen. This is where it really pays to bring in a professional, even if just for a consultation. Very often, this set of new eyes will see things you don’t and can come up with innovative ideas that can save you money in the long run.

The following are some of my favorite ways to freshen a space without breaking the bank:
• Color. Nothing updates a space more than a fresh new color. How you use color depends on your personality and can be very tricky. I like to either use a muted background and bring in bright splashes of color with accessories or use a bright color on the walls or cabinets and accessorize with whites or neutrals. Visit the Paint Quality Institute at www.paintquality.com for great advice.
• Cabinets. If your cabinets are of a decent quality and in good shape, you can update them in several ways. They may just need a really good cleaning or they can be painted (not an easy task to do correctly) or they can be refaced, sometimes just the doors. Roll out trays and drawer organizers can be installed to make them more functional and trim pieces, perhaps not matching but contrasting, can be added to update the look. An example would be to add a black (or red or ?) crown molding, light rail (to hide your new under cabinet lighting) and toe kick to existing wood cabinets and then pick up that color in other spots, perhaps in the hardware, faucet or countertop.
• Countertop. Nothing dates (or updates) a kitchen quite as much as the countertop. For most people, granite is king, with quartz being queen, but there is a whole new world of laminate out there. Check it out.
• Appliances. I think the best thing invented in the last decade is the counter depth refrigerator. It is awesome how this one change gives any space a custom look.
• Backsplash, faucet and hardware. Tons of beautiful choices, at all price points. These three items will really set the tone of your new kitchen. If you can’t do anything else, update these and paint the walls a warm, neutral tone.
So, now that spring has arrived, let’s perk up our spirits and kitchens a bit!

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Posted in K B Kitchenworks Design Minute, Kitchen Design, Remodeling |


, May 31, 2014


Are you getting ready to put your home on the market? Or maybe you’ve got a touch of spring fever and want to jazz up your entrance?

Either way, there are lots of things you can do to give your exterior a lift that don’t require taking out a second mortgage.

Begin by walking across the street and taking a good look at your house and yard. What are your first impressions? Does this scene look warm and inviting to you?

If not, start boosting your curb appeal by giving everything a good scrub. Rent a power washer for the siding and decks, wash the windows (inside and out), sweep the porch, walkways and driveway, rake up dead leaves and clean up the flower beds.

Your front door is very important and is a great place to “make a statement”. Replace it, if necessary, or apply a new coat of glossy paint. If your house has just a main color and a trim color, add an accent color for the door. This is where you can be bold, but make sure the new color gets along with the existing colors and doesn’t clash with them.

Swap out that tired old doorknob with a metal one that coordinates with your new accent color, and then add matching street numbers, perhaps a door knocker and kick plate, a mailbox and even coordinating light fixtures. Black metal or wrought iron looks good with almost everything and never seems to look dated.
If the house is very plain, install some window boxes or shutters or add some architectural details to the existing trim. The home stores are filled with interesting pieces like bulls eye moldings and dentil strips. A word of caution – a little of this goes a long way and should be kept to either the period of the home or the look that you are trying to achieve.

Spruce up the garage door, also. Perhaps it just needs a coat of paint and some new hardware. If it has plain windows, inserts can be installed that go with the window style of the house. Trim can be added to give it an updated look – a “carriage door” look, for instance. Again, don’t overdo it.

Buy some colorful pots and fill them with pretty flowers that complement the colors of your house (perhaps your new accent color). Place these on the porch, down the front steps and even in your flower beds.

Mulch the gardens and, if you have dead spots under trees, mulch those areas also, being sure to keep the mulch pulled back a bit from the trunk. Keep the mulch natural looking; do not use one of those dyed varieties.
Trim any tree branches that are too low (buyers should have a clear view of the house from the street) and prune overgrown shrubs (after they flower). If you have the budget, hiring an arborist is money well spent.
Solar lights are perfect for sidewalks and paths and will make your home appear more inviting and friendly. Easy to install, they also can emphasize the landscape and improve security.

Having a consultation with a Home Designer or Realtor who is schooled in staging can help you achieve a truly professional and pulled together look that will make your home shine.
After all – “you only get one chance to make a good first impression”.

Kathy Beaman is a Home Designer and Realtor with The Beaman Group of Winchester, NH. Please visit her website at www.thebeamangroup.com. Kathy can be reached at 1-603-239-4265 or Kathy@thebeamangroup.com and welcomes your questions and comments.

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Posted in K B Kitchenworks Design Minute, Real Estate, Remodeling |


, April 12, 2014

Press Release
From the Keene Sentinel, April 6, 2013

Kathy Beaman of The Beaman Group in Winchester has completed The National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s course Universal Remodeling – Creating Comfortable and Accessible Homes.

This is an educational program for remodelers and designers featuring “Aging in Place” standards, which allow people to live in their own homes safely, independently and comfortably as they age.

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Posted in Jewel Box Homes, K B Kitchenworks Design Minute, Kitchen Design, Remodeling |

HOW COOL ARE THESE – Grab Bars with Integrated Accessories

, February 23, 2013

Moen Home Care has added products and finishes to its line of Designer Grab Bars with Integrated Accessories. The new Grab Bar with Corner Shelf (shown) adds extra stability and storage in the bath or shower and features a 250-lb. weight capacity. The products are now available in the company’s three most popular finishes – Chrome, Brushed Nickel and Old World Bronze.


Posted in Jewel Box Homes, Modular Homes, Remodeling |