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From Online Remodeling Book Chapter 11: “A Modern Kitchen on Capitol Hill”

A refrigerator by the back door,
cheap flooring, dark false ceiling
beams, dated materials, and
undersized cabinets were some of
the issues in the existing kitchen.

One recent remodel in Capitol Hill turned out to be, quite literally, close to home—or at least, a former home. I had once lived right around the corner, on another side of the same block. I walked my dog for years past this very house, then owned by a friend of the current owner, automatically noting the exterior details as I strolled by. The house, I knew, was a brick Queen Anne design, a classic style for the neighborhood. Meeting the client at her home (as with many couples, I worked primarily with one spouse), I learned more about what set this Capitol Hill project apart.

The homeowner told me that her career took her overseas so often that she had learned to “plan for impermanence.” The house was a case in point. She had bought it from her friend a decade earlier, but had only lived in it once for nine or ten months between assignments, renting it the rest of the time. She and her husband, who was about to retire, looked forward to living there, and to the alterations that would make it a more pleasant home. But with her chosen career, nothing was certain, something that the project needed to respect. She emphasized, for example, that the new kitchen should include neutral, natural earth tones, ensuring that the house would be suitable to sell, or perhaps to rent to more upscale tenants, should the need arise.

The new open and
modern kitchen design

In addition to improving the worn-out kitchen, her main goal was to open up its connection to the dining room, creating a sense of flow from the front to the back of the house. She also wanted the kitchen to take better advantage of the view of the back garden, which was being redone after high winds split a big tree. She was looking for understated, low-key elegance, “smart casual” arrangements suitable for informal entertaining.

She loved the heart pine floors and the original banister of the living room stairway, and she wanted the new kitchen to work with these and other elements of the historic interior. As we talked in detail, I learned of some other requirements. Besides feeling lighter and more modern, the new kitchen needed to provide space for laptops, cell phone chargers and the mail. It also needed to be a friendly space, with room for the couple to enjoy breakfast or morning coffee.

Architect and building scientist Peter Pfeiffer, FAIA, takes some new interior green…

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Designing a bathroom can be a very fun and simple project. From picking shower doors to custom mirrors, you can pick anything you want and go along with a theme. If you have a small bathroom, you can design it in an efficient way that is fun and funky.image

When renovating or building a kitchen, many people do not realize that there is an association called the National Kitchen & Bath Association that offers homeowners, room designers, and the building industry guidelines that can help them with ideas regarding the design of a kitchen. When designing a kitchen one issue that needs to be resolved,

which the National Kitchen & Bath Association provides guidelines, is the kitchen plumbing fixtures and counter height.image

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We’re very happy to announce the release of the June 2011 edition of Forever Home, our quarterly e-newsletter which provides insightful information for all of your remodeling needs, as well as valuable advice and helpful tips to assist you in Aging-in-Place comfortably and independently.

In our latest issue, you can read about current American Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and determine whether or not you are meeting them. Although the ADA was adopted July 26, 1990, there are still a number of public facilities today that continue to violate Title III. One reason is because these facilities may have architectural barriers. The article discusses how property owners can tell if a facility is meeting ADA requirements by examining their building’s parking, doorways, pathways, signage, and restrooms.

Another article discusses how to determine your home mortgage interest tax deduction so that you can reduce your taxable income and lower your taxes. Such savings can then help you to better afford and keep your current home while aging-in-place comfortably over the years. The article lists and describes the documents and forms (like IRS Form 1098 and IRS Publication 936) that are needed to help you apply for and determine your IRS Mortgage Interest Deduction.

The third article explains how to protect yourself from identity theft—an ever increasing concern and problem in America. It discusses how seniors (or anyone else for that matter) can avoid being a victim by protecting personal information like social security, bank account, and credit card numbers. It also tells how to avoid unsolicited calls and how to handle “phishing” calls or emails that ask for money and personal information. The article also provides an extensive action and recommendation list from the Pennsylvania Area Agency on Agency’s (AAA) Protective Services Unit (which investigates identity theft) about what to do if you suspect personal fraud or think that your identity has been stolen.

This issue’s last entry spotlights the LiftSeat 300 Independence Toilet Lift—an innovative home care product designed to promote independent living for seniors and people with disabilities. In fact, the LiftSeat 300 Independence virtually eliminates the risk of injury related to this personal task.

We hope that you enjoy this issue. Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends and families. Home Evolutions invites you to email us at
hburns@homeevolutions.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
with your comments, suggestions, and any story ideas that would help The Forever Home better meet your specific needs.

Read more: The June 2011 Issue of Forever Home is Now Online

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