Storage Wars, Making Everything Fit

At Ence, we are well known as being one of the foremost luxury home builders in Utah. But while that dream home may seem spacious and expansive at first, as humans, we have a tendency to fill that space with furniture, clothes, ornaments, etc. Eventually, you may find that your home looks like an episode of hoarders. There is nothing wrong with owning a large amount of personal items, if you know how to store them. Having a spacious, open home allows us to breathe and relax. Here are some tips to help your home remain a place of relaxation and comfort, while still keeping all the things that you just “can’t throw away.”

An Example of Hoarding

  1. Hoarding_living_roomChoose the right sized home for your needs. Sometimes this can be difficult, especially depending on what is needed. It isn’t an uncommon experience to move from a larger home to a smaller one. If you ever feel you absolutely can’t part with anything, consider taking advantage of not only indoor space, but outdoor space as well. Utilize a patio overhang and walls to create an outdoor room in your house.
  2. Plastic bins, plastic bins, plastic bins. They are cheap, affordable, and come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Plastic bins can make a world of difference when you are trying to become organized. Additionally, you can buy plastic storage furniture (pick plastic or a synthetic for it’s lighter properties as wooden furniture can often be heavy and hard to move).
  3. A bit of elbow grease and/or home design can ensure that your home has all the necessary qualities to be able to store the large quantities of items that you have collected over the years, but just can’t get rid of. Consider making a storage space under the stairs, for an improvised closet, or use that space in the attic, that otherwise would go unused. Protip: stack heavier boxes/tubs along support beams to ensure that they are well supported, it never hurts to be safe. Also, try and go up into the attic every so often to spray for spiders that may take up residence!
  4. Cabinets with glass windows and shelves, placed strategically throughout the house, allow for an easy display approach. There are many places where these items can be found pre-built and ready to install. Although, if you aren’t handy yourself with tools, you can always hire an expert or friend to install them for you. Having the extra space on a blank wall, for instance, goes a long way toward showing off your collection.

Finally, if you absolutely don’t have space in your home for all of your gear, collected over the years, get a storage unit. One of the easiest ways to avoid having a cluttered house is to spend a bit of money on a storage unit; they vary in size so you can store practically anything. The idea is that you will have it when you need it. Try to pick a unit that is close to where you live, as you may find that you may need quick access to what you’ve stored. Consider storing things which are seasonal: clothes, decorations, and collectibles. Store items that you rarely use, but don’t want to throw away. For more tips and reasons to get a storage unit, visit this website.

How to Childproof your New Home

At Ence, we realize that buying and owning a new home can feel like you’re walking on clouds. That is, until you look down at your 22 month old child, realizing that sometime in the not-too distant future, they will be getting into absolutely everything and anything that they can and possibly hurting themselves in the process. Whether you are new parents or grandparents, here are 5 tips to help ensure that your child won’t be the victim of circumstance. While this list is not all-inclusive, it does contain some great tips for getting started on child-proofing your new luxury home.

Dresser falling on a child

1. babyIs it big and heavy? Anchor it to the wall! Many parents likely feel that their two or four year old toddler couldn’t possibly tip over the heavy television stand, or the book case filled with books. That’s definitely not the case.http://abc7.com/news/anchoring-tv-and-furniture-prevents-tip-over-injury-to-kids/800282/
Every year, over 200 children die because of heavy furniture falling on top of them.
It can happen at any moment. Don’t let your child become a statistic. If you think that the piece of furniture is potentially heavy enough to crush your child, secure it to the wall with an anchor, and secure all televisions to the furniture pieces themselves. For more information on what kinds of furniture should be secured, check out this site here: http://childproofingexperts.com/5-myths-about-furniture-tip-over-injuries

2. Purchase furniture with rounded edges and a sturdy build. Kids are full of energy and it only takes a second of running around a corner, or taking a wrong turn without looking, for the event to turn into a trip to the hospital. If you have furniture with sharp edges, whether it be counter tops or a table, consider either attaching plastic guards over the top, or possibly manually rounding the edges. Your child may still run into the corners, but it is more likely to be a bump that can be healed with a kiss than a cut which requires stitches. Buying furniture that is heavy duty will also reduce the risk of injury as your child gleefully jumps, runs, and otherwise uses the living room furniture as a jungle-gym, while you aren’t looking.

3. If you have small children, cordon off stairwells leading to the second floor or basement. While it is likely every boy’s and girl’s dream to fly, their first experience shouldn’t be down the stairwell. Keep in mind that baby-gates will only work for so long. You may need to upgrade them as your child figures out how to climb or otherwise disable the safety mechanisms that are supposed to keep them at bay.

4. On the subject of safety devices, plug guards, cabinet hooks, door safety handles, and other similar devices can keep a child in the room they are supposed to be in. However, a young child should be supervised at all times. These preventative measures will likely ensure that you won’t have to worry about a child ending up in a room they weren’t supposed to be in.

5. Finally, there is no substitute for education. Educate your children at every opportunity about the various dangers that can be found around the home. While they will assuredly discover many of these dangers on their own, vigilance and education should keep them from trying to inadvertently hurt themselves.

By following these helpful tips, you can avoid many of the stresses that come with being a parent. It is our hope that you and your children safely and happily enjoy living in your Utah luxury home.

6 Interior Design Ideas for Your Dream Home.

Who hasn’t ever dreamed of their “perfect” home and the things that they would love to see inside? At Ence, we don’t just build luxury homes, we build dreams. But a dream can feel pretty empty without filling it with content.
Here are 6 of the coolest design ideas that we could find on the internet, which could transform your custom St. George home (or wherever you may happen to be) into a dream home fit for an emperor.

1. Aquarium Bedsky
Ever dream of falling asleep in an undersea paradise? Well, this gets you just about as close as you might want to be without having to live close to the ocean. For St. George Homes, this is a boon. If you have a bit of money, you could have a custom fish tank made to overhang off your bed. Then you could fill it with a variety of tropical fish (make sure they are compatible!), and drift off to summer in style as you watch the fish lazily swim through the tank.

2. Bookcase stairwell
Bookcases are awesome, but sometimes they can take up much needed space. Solution? Turn your stairwell into a book case. The only problem you may run into on this one is the fact that the stairwell may become one of the most popular spots in the house to hang out!

3. Secret Rooms
Believe it or not, there is a company out there that will install secret rooms into your Utah Luxury Home, if you have a bit of cash. It could be the ultimate getaway or a safe-room in times of trouble. Not a bad investment for a dream home.

4. Under-the-stairs storage.
Ever wonder what to do with all that useless space under the stairs? Why not turn it into extra storage. Install drawers, cabinets, and cupboards to get the most out of the otherwise unused space.

5. Outdoor Cinemas.
A projector, a few pieces of drywall, and a frame on wheels (surrounded by white canvas), can make an excellent, and potentially mobile outdoor cinema. With this, you can break out when the weather gets warmer. Enjoy classics at full blast to attract the neighbors to your door. You are certain to be the talk of the town! Or, at least the neighborhood. This is a great way to get the family together for the evening.

6.Fish-tank pool
Pool installations are a must but if this is going to be a dream home, it needs to be even classier. Install fish tanks around the edges of the pool so that you can literally “swim with the fish.” Alternatively, a small pond just beyond the edge of the pool would work as well, just make sure they have their own separate filters!

We hope you enjoyed some of these ideas presented here. Any one of these ideas can be fulfilling but the important thing to remember is that this is YOUR dream. Figure out something that you would like to see happen, and go for it.

For further information, don’t hesitate to contact us here for more information.

What’s Happening in May?

There are so many great events and activities going on in the St. George area throughout the month of May. Here are some of our favorites:
St. George Art Museum National Park Game Night

May 2
Ashland“Fun filled game night for ages 8 and up. Games will be National Park versions of Yahtzee, Memory, Monopoly, Jenga and Trekker.”

Steel Magnolias

April 31 – May 21
steelBrigham’s Playhouse – “Based on the blockbuster movie hit, Steel Magnolias, is the heart-warming play about a group of southern women that support one another as they gather each week at Truvy’s Beauty Parlor. The bond that they have helps them to face the trials and tribulations that they struggle with as they laugh together and cry together.”

Jennifer Nettles at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre

JenniferNettles“Adding to her many accolades, in February 2015 Jennifer Nettles made her Broadway debut as Roxy Hart in the Tony Award Winning, record-breaking musical Chicago and will join the cast of the Dolly Parton television biopic, ‘Coat of Many Colors,’ slated to air on NBC December 10. The lead vocalist for international duo Sugarland, Jennifer has become one of the most admired singer-songwriters in music today.”

What Women Want Expo

May 6-7
what-a-girl-wants“What Women Want Expo is the largest consumer show in Southern Utah for 12 years With the most Amazing Vendors, you’re guaranteed a fun shopping experience.”

IRONMAN St. George 70.3

May 7
chasegroup“The bike and run courses are two of the most challenging on the IRONMAN 70.3 circuit, but what goes up must come down, and some of the descents are just as epic. Both courses present spectacular views of downtown St. George, Snow Canyon and the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.”

Hurricane Mud Run

May 14
mud_run_team-“We are Southern Utah’s Premier Mud Run.  This years event takes place on May 14, 2016.  Our course will run approximately 5K with obstacles, mud and lots of FUN! This event is for everyone.  Single runners, families, teams.  We invite everyone to participate.  You will select a ‘heat’ time when you register.  You can skip any obstacle you want.  Hit them all or miss them all.  It’s entirely up to you.”

Kitchen Layout Ideas

Since we are expert luxury home builders, we at Ence know a thing or two about home interior design as well. Since the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home, we decided this week that we would focus on this week.

One-wall

Kitchen_FittingThis kitchen layout is great for smaller homes because it requires a minimal amount of space while maximizing convenience. For example, the sink is usually positioned between the stove and the refrigerator to make cleanup easy. You can even put sliding doors in place to hide kitchen clutter in a studio style apartment. One of the drawbacks, however, to a one-wall kitchen is the minimal amount of counter top space. This can make it difficult when preparing multiple dishes or having multiple cooks work at the same time. If there is room, you can add an island to provide more counter space to work with.

Galley

Galley-Kitchens-Designs-Galley-style kitchens are great for efficiency in cooking. Many commercial or restaurant kitchens are designed like a galley in order to facilitate large-scale food production. While this efficiency can be great, there are also drawbacks. Galley kitchens don’t leave room for a dining area which limits the interaction you can have with your guests or family while cooking. A possible solution for this might be to turn one of the walls of cabinetry into an island to make the kitchen area more conversation-friendly.

 U-shape

U-shaped-kitchenThe U-shaped kitchen is essentially a galley kitchen with one end closed off. This arrangement can help keep others out of the main area of the kitchen while still keeping the area open to other rooms and allow the passing of traffic. One of the downsides to a U-shaped kitchen is that it can be difficult to make room for a table and chairs. It can also sometimes be impossible to fit the dishwasher adjacent to the sink.

U-shaped with Island

traditional-kitchen-with-painted-wood-floors- If you add an island to a U-shaped kitchen layout, the space can become both more functional and more interactive and social. An island allows the cook to face out of the kitchen while working, which makes it easier to interact with others. It also opens up room for others to help out in the kitchen. The island does, however, provide a slight obstacle to transporting food out of the kitchen.

G-Shape

GshapeThis is a rendition on the U-shaped layout that maximizes space and is a great option if you don’t have the room for a U-shaped kitchen with an island. In this layout, a fourth leg is connected to one side of the U forming a right angle or in some cases an obtuse angle. This additional does not usually have a floor to ceiling wall because that would close off the kitchen space from the rest of the home too much. The addition should not be so long that it makes entering and exiting the kitchen difficult, but should also not be so short that it cannot function as a seating area or home for an appliance.

L-Shape

L-Form-Küche-Holz-ModernThis has become a popular format since the decline of formal dining rooms and the rise of open floor plans. The L-shaped layout is formed by two adjacent and perpendicular walls and can be either small or large. It is perfect for entertaining guests and creating a mingling atmosphere. Without an island, however, the cook is still facing away from the rest of the gathered group. But instead of adding an island, you might consider just bringing in a table and chairs to form an eat-in kitchen. The table can be used in food preparation and also allow for easier interaction while eating than an island can.

How to Pack Quickly and Efficiently

suitcaseSometimes packing can be a real PAIN

 

If you’ve ever moved before, then you know how much of a hassle it can be. Here are some tips and ideas to make moving day go more smoothly:

1. Gather supplies ahead of time

Isn’t it the worst when you’re all ready to start packing… and you realize you don’t have any packing tape? Avoid hitting snags like this by making sure you have all the necessary supplies before you get started. Supplies to have on hand might include boxes, tape, bubble wrap, newspaper, and markers. For moving large appliances or stacks of boxes you can rent dollies from a home improvement store or truck rental company.

2. Get rid of things to lighten the load

Before packing, it may be a good idea to go through your possessions and see what items you can get rid of. Things that are broken or you no longer use are good candidates for the trash bin and will help simplify the moving process.

3. Start early

Packing can be a huge undertaking and more often than not will take longer than you expect so it’s always a good idea to get started early – much earlier than seems necessary. Two to three weeks before moving day will be ideal in most cases, though this will vary depending on the size of your home and amount of possessions.

4. Get help

Making things easier on yourself might be as simple as asking those around you for help. Ask friends and family to pitch in and lower the pressure on you to get everything done yourself.

5. Pack strategically

Sometimes, in the haste to get everything packed, we just throw things in boxes, toss them in the truck, and then leave ourselves more of a burden when we get to the new house. Make the unpacking process as painless as possible by labeling all your boxes and denoting which are the most important things you’ll want to have unpacked first. Make sure to put the things you’ll need immediately – change of clothes, toothbrush, etc – in an easily accessible place.

6. Get used boxes

Keep the cost of your move down by getting used boxes. In an effort to go green, U-Haul has started a box recycling program where you can get used boxes for your move and then return them when you’re done. Moving can get expensive and this is just one way to ease the financial burden.

7. Manage your weight

Pack more efficiently by paying attention to weight. Make sure to pack heavy items such as books in small boxes and light items such as sheets and pillows in large boxes to keep things from getting too heavy to lift and transport.

8. Fill nooks and crannies

Make use of all available packing space. Don’t empty out dresser drawers – use them for packing. This will help you conserve space on the truck or in your transportable storage units. Otherwise, you’re packing air.

9. Don’t just use boxes – use bags as well

You don’t have to limit yourself to boxes – use large garbage bags as well to pack non-fragile items such as towels or clothes. This will also help you make the most of your truck space as bags can be stuffed in places that a box couldn’t.

10. Use blankets and towels as padding

Don’t just pack up your blankets and towels, put them to good use as padding on fragile items to help save on packing supplies.

 

Looking for more moving tips? Check out this week by week moving checklist from Good Housekeeping to help you get started.

FURNITURE 101

Buying furniture for a new home can seem like an daunting challenge. Deciding on the style, pieces, and expense you are willing to pay to furnish your home can seem overwhelming. If you have a two-year old prone to draw on anything, having a leather settee with a cherry coffee table will probably not work. Finding the best furniture to complement your lifestyle will help your new custom house feel more like a home.

Assembly,Types, & Quality
couchCushions and general build can determine what quality level the furniture is. Cushions that are just  foam are not good quality and will shift and lose shape over time.  Furniture that is heavy and made with natural wood will last longer. Color is important as well. While lighter colors calm a room they tend to get dirty quickly if not properly maintained and if a piece will be used more, darker colors fare better over time of wear and tear. If kids and pets are in the picture, stain resistant fabric can handle the daily situations of wear and tear. You don’t have to have shapeless unflattering pieces, but don’t buy it if it is not comfortable. Look at the legs of the furniture and see if they are screwed in not just simply glued, stapled or nailed. Check for springs to make sure they aren’t rubbing up against the frame. A sofa without springs will just be flimsy and wear out very soon. Wool and leather are strong and durable and a good investment when properly cared for, but can be very expensive. Don’t place leather furniture next to heat sources overtime it will cause them to dry and crack. Don’t place furniture in direct sunlight. This will cause the furniture to fade and look older.

Wood
It is important to know wood types, the difference between hard and soft wood. Hard wood comes from Deciduous trees and softwood comes from Coniferous trees. Softwood is a lot cheaper than hardwood and can tend to warp and bend over a short amount of time.

Sales
Consider the time you are buying, new furniture will usually hit the market in February and August so typically January and July are a good time to find a killer deal. During major holidays like 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Black Friday are also great times to get more deals. Salespeople will rave about the different features the furniture has double check the warranty make sure that all the details are in writing. If you decide to finance a piece of furniture make sure that you are able to pay if off completely in the given amount of time. Don’t forget to look and shop online. Sometimes stores can have exclusive deals for online purchases only. Garage sales can work for cheaper purchases, it just depends if your taste is similar to the person who is selling.  Flea markets and furniture swaps can give you a jumpstart to DIY projects.

DIY
There are so many different websites, blogs, and Pinterest to help brainstorm ideas and compare the cost of the project. Repainting a chair or resurfacing a table top can make a huge difference in a simple way. When refurbishing items double check the finish so no bubbles or brush streaks are visible. Reupholstering old cushions can give a pop to a room that could be overlooked. Even just washing the cushion covers can make a big difference.

A good selection of furniture can make a house feel like a home. As Cache, Davis, and Weber county specialists in custom home design and building we are here to help your dream become a reality.

6 Painting Mistakes to Avoid

colorIt’s only a matter of time before the colors in your Utah luxury home
begin to get a little boring and you decide to switch things up.
St. George has some great custom paint stores to help you, but
there’s a few things you need to know before taking the plunge.

Mistake #1: Painting a ceiling flat white.

The ceiling, that one wall no one ever thinks of. If you want to add a little flair to a boring white ceiling, don’t paint it white. All white paint has some gray in it, which will take the room down. Try a shade of cream instead.

 

Mistake #2: Going too “matchy”.

Going all “matchy-matchy” seems like a good idea, but wait. You never want your walls to match the color in one of your fabrics because it comes off too strong. Rather, find a grayed-out version of the color.

 

Mistake #3: Playing it too “safe.”

A palette of JUST neutrals gets boring fast. One of the biggest mistakes people make with neutrals is not using enough contrast. Don’t be afraid to add some elements that give personality.

 

Mistake #4: Not following a common theme

The rooms throughout a home must feel connected. A “relaxed, coastal chic” room probably shouldn’t have a “elegant country-style” bathroom. Every room must follow the overall theme of the home.

 

Mistake #5: Forgetting the importance of a finish.

Darker colors will be very flat after they dry, so use a high-luster finish. For example, an eggshell finish can really kill a rich hue. Do your homework to understand what you’re working with.

 

Mistake #6: Selecting a one-dimensional hue.

When adding some stronger colors to your palette, remember to find ones with depth. A color lacking depth will jump out at you rather than pull you in. What might be “Decisive Yellow” could end up looking like “Schoolbus Yellow.” No one wants that!

Countertop Guide

Countertop Guide

counter-top
Getting to design your own kitchen can be a very rewarding experience, but the amount of decisions you have to make can be overwhelming. With so many options, it can difficult to know which direction to go. One decision you’ll be facing is what type of counter top material you want. This pros and cons list will help you get acquainted with the most popular options and help you select the ideal material that will compliment your kitchen design. For further questions feel free to contact us here.

Granite

Pros

  • Beautiful, naturally-formed design
  • Each piece is unique
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Can withstand heat and knives very well

Cons

  • Can become easily stained, will require sealing to avoid damage
  • Very heavy, must be paired with strong cabinet boxes

Butcher Block

Pros

  • Great for country or cottage style kitchens
  • Creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere
  • Comes in a variety of tones
  • Has beautiful natural graining patterns
  • Natural wear and tear can add charm and personality but can also be sanded away if desired

Cons

  • Can warp because of water damage, will need to be oiled frequently to prevent this
  • Can absorb bacteria and will need to be disinfected regularly

Solid Surfacing

Pros

  • Great for modern style kitchens
  • Very low maintenance, no sealing required
  • Damage can be easily sanded away
  • Very wide range of color options including vibrant hues not found in nature

Cons

  • Artificial man-made look may not appeal to everyone
  • Can be just as expensive as granite or other natural materials

Marble

Pros

  • Very classy and elegant
  • Has a strong defense against heat

Cons

  • Has a weak defense against staining, scratching and chipping
  • May not be sensible to use throughout whole Kitchen because of price and potential for damage

Quartz Surfacing

Pros

  • Simple to maintain
  • Great at imitating natural beauty of stone
  • Comes in wide variety of color options
  • Very durable

Cons

  • Can imitate stone, but isn’t quite as good as the real thing
  • Can be just as, if not more expensive than stone

Tile

Pros

  • Works well in country or old world style kitchens
  • Comes in a variety of color options
  • Stands up well against staining, heat and knives
  • Individual tiles can easily be replaced if chipped

Cons

  • Modular aspect makes for an uneven surface that can be difficult for cutting boards or when rolling dough straight onto the counter
  • Grout between tiles can attract bacteria or become stained if not sealed

Laminate

Pros

  • Getting better and better at mimicking more expensive materials
  • Great for designing on a budget
  • Easy to clean
  • Can be paired with any cabinet base because of its light weight

Cons

  • The layers in the material can peel over time
  • Susceptible to stains, scratches and burns
  • Excessive damage can be difficult to repair

Concrete

Pros

  • Works well with industrial chic designs
  • Can be tinted to any shade you want and can be inlaid with shells or other interesting materials
  • Very durable
  • Can withstand heavy use

Cons

  • Stains easily so must be sealed frequently
  • Can crack if exposed to high levels of heat
  • Very heavy and will require strong cabinet base

6 Spring Candles to Vivify your Home

candle1With spring upon us, your St. George home needs freshened up with a luxury candle or two. Here are some of our favorites:

Artist Series Candle x Ben Fiess

When this candle burns out, you can use the adorable ceramic vessel as a vase for fresh flowers or a cup for pens. Three delicious scents are available: Santal, Spruce, and Fleur.
To buy: $38, leifshop.com.

Tuscan Cypress + Figcandle2

Do you daydream of relaxing in the warm sand of an enchanting Mediterranean beach? Forget booking a plane ticket, this all-natural soy candle will bring the sublime sensations and smells to you.
To buy: $25, tampasoy.com.

candle3Grapefruit Oleander Melrose Jar

Within this custom mercury glass vessel is a sweet nectarous that when lit, will burn for almost 75 hours. Stronger notes of citrus and delicately balances out with subtle hints of sandalwood, cedarwood, and patchouli.
To buy: $33, illumecandles.com.

Crème de Orangecandle4

The exquisite Valencian orange and creamy vanilla aroma this double-wick candle exudes is simply delightful.
To buy: $30, sydneyhaleco.com.

candle5White Flowers 3-Wick Gilt Candle

Within this deep blue, gold dipped vessel is a fine white wax that fills your home with the aroma of a fresh springtime flower garden.
To buy: $26, paddywax.com.

candle6

Geode Candle

Richly scented with island pineapple, fresh mango, coconut and Tahitian vanilla, this geometric candle is perfect next to your bathroom sink.
To buy: $14, shopterrain.com.