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 |

WeatherMaster Vertical 4 Track Window System

, July 29, 2014

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Posted in Featured Listings, Jewel Box Homes, Sunrooms, sunspaces |


, July 1, 2014

A JEWEL BOX HOME is a small home designed with top-quality materials, upscale detailing and custom finishes.

The term JEWEL BOX HOME is not new. Famed architects Louis H. Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright used the term to describe some of their favorite designs.

The popularity of the JEWEL BOX HOME and the lifestyle philosophy it represents has reemerged!
There has been a nationwide decline in the “McMansion” craze. Separate formal living and dining spaces are out, kitchens, great rooms and outdoor entertaining spaces are in.

Many factors play a role in the desire to downsize – less to manage in terms of energy and water consumption, a desire for a lower maintenance lifestyle, a focus on livability and a less is more philosophy and the opportunity to now own homes that operate with optimal efficiency using smart home technology.

These JEWEL BOX HOMES appeal to a wide variety of demographics including young professionals and newlyweds, as well as two fast-growing segments – empty nesters and retirees. Living spaces are built to human scale. Architectural details add beauty and character. Human needs take priority – the focus is on good design – not size.

To today’s home buyer/builder, utilizing low maintenance, long-lasting and locally sourced materials are a priority. Lifestyles are taken into account during the design phase; the home is tailored to the owner’s way of life. JEWEL BOX HOMES are meant to meet the needs of home life, not follow trends.

Many JEWEL BOX HOMES utilize “Aging in Place” techniques, enabling owners to stay in their homes longer during their later years. Everything is on one floor, the hallways and doorways are wider, bathrooms contain large walk-in showers, kitchens have raised dishwashers and wall ovens and countertops are at various heights, making it easier to work either sitting down or standing up. Cabinets are equipped with roll-out trays and washers and dryers are on the main level.

Passive solar, day lighting and proper siting of the house on the lot are all practices often used when building the JEWEL BOX HOME. Using the sun to warm and light the home and utilizing proper window placement for optimum ventilation cuts down on heating, cooling and electric bills. Sitting in a bright cheerful room full of sun on a cold winter day or filled with cooling breezes during the hot summer is a much nicer experience that being shut in with all the lights on and air conditioning running. This is the JEWEL BOX HOME experience. Beauty, harmony and function defined by the owner’s needs.

Just as a jewel box displays the gem inside to its best advantage, the JEWEL BOX HOME enriches the lives of its people. A living space that is filled with light, full of fresh air and extremely comfortable to live in, as well as being beautiful to look at, that is what a JEWEL BOX HOME is.

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Posted in Jewel Box Homes, Modular Homes |

“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 |

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 |


, 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 |