Category Archives: Arizona

Eco-friendly: home renewable energy and green materials


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Concrete is the lifeblood of the urban city areas. Everything from the buildings to the city infrastructure
has been built using this spectacular material. However, with the recent rise in the climate change
awareness, other more eco-friendly construction materials are slowly replacing concrete. But not just
building materials; even green energy systems are replacing the traditional ones.

Yes, today, you can build an entire house with green materials and rely only on renewable energy. So,
let’s check out some of the most popular home green energy solutions, as well as look at some of those
eco-friendly construction materials, in case you are planning to implement them in your own home.

Home renewable energy solutions


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Even though green energy systems have been around for a long time now, it wasn’t until the last decade
or so that we started to see their wider implementation. At the beginning, renewable energy solutions
were far from cost-effective. In fact, they were expensive to install and required regular maintenance,
which was expensive as well. However, today, things are quite different. We have many different green
energy solutions, but the two most popular ones are solar panels and residential windmills.

Solar power is by far the most popular renewable energy source. Solar energy can be harnessed in a
couple of ways in your home, the most widespread choice being solar panels. Installing just a couple of
them on the roof of your house will help you reduce your energy bill while leaving a smaller carbon
footprint. Take the state of Arizona for example. Arizona is one of the solar leaders in the U.S., in both
residential and commercial solar power use. Homeowners from every part of Arizona are installing solar
energy systems with the help of the federal and state tax credits. Arizona plans to expand their solar
energy production to 15% of the state’s total by 2025. So, if you are from that area, make sure to
contribute to that goal.

Next, we have residential windmills. When talking about harnessing wind energy, most people think
about those massive windmill farms in Australia. However, even smaller residential ones are perfectly
capable of supplying energy to your house while being eco-friendly and cost-effective. The best part, if
you live in a particularly windy area like the above-mentioned Australia, windmills will offer you a much
more reliable and consistent energy output than solar panels ever could.

Eco-friendly building material

Now, let’s talk about those green construction materials. But before you start building, you will need to
inspect and clean your house of hazardous materials like asbestos, especially if your house is built pre

For example, asbestos is found in almost every Brisbane home that was built between World War II and
the early 2000s. The asbestos removal in Brisbane has especially ramped up in the last couple of years
when homeowners realised how bad for them and the environment this material really is. So, make sure
your house is asbestos-free before you implement any eco-friendly solution from this list.


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If your house is affected by asbestos, then that means you will be doing some renovations around your
home. This is the perfect opportunity to make use of green construction materials.

Bamboo is an incredibly durable and eco-friendly material. In Asia, this material is used a lot in
construction; they even build entire homes out of it. Bamboo’s finest characteristic is that it grows
quickly. Unlike oak forests (which take decades to grow), bamboo is easily replanted and reforested.
Plus, it looks fantastic.



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Finally, if you are planning to strengthen your insulation, consider using sheep’s wool. Furthermore, it
offers a much better insulation than standard glass wool that you will find in-between most walls.

Switching to these green energy solutions and building materials is extremely important for the future of
our environment. But if that wasn’t enough, these environmentally-friendly solutions usually come with
some added benefits like reduced energy bills, stronger insulation, and so on. So, maybe the next time
you do some work around your house consider implementing some of them.


Will Sandford is a Sydney based wood architect, blogger and contributor on interior design and ecology blogs. Besides that, he is also interested in home improvement combined with green technology. In his spare time, Will enjoys surfing and rock climbing. He is a regular contributor to SmoothDecorator website.

Posted in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada | Tagged |

Design trends: pot fillers, swinging daybeds, and the latest and greatest in paint color

Pot Fillers


There’s something cumbersome about filling a bulky pot with water in the kitchen sink. But now you don’t have to! Pot fillers are brilliant little faucets installed right above your stovetop for easy fill-ups—and they make pasta night extra convenient.


All-Natural Kitchens


White kitchens are wonderful—but warm wood and soothing stone makes for a naturally rustic kitchen.


Create a Tropical Escape in Your Own Bathroom!


Lounge under the palm trees while you soak in the warm water—of your bathtub, that is. Surround your tub with green plants and tropical-themed wallpaper for a relaxing escape every day.


Swinging Daybeds


Swings and summertime…is there anything better? Instead of the run-of-the-mill porch swing, swinging daybeds offer ultimate summer relaxation. Warning: these comfy swings may result in long naps in the sun.


The Newest Color Trend 


Buttermilk is the flavor of the week in the world of colors. This hue is more inviting than white but softer than a pastel yellow. Perfect for the kitchen—or almost any other room in the home when paired with wooden trims and accents.

Posted in Arizona, California, Colorado, Design Trends | Tagged |

Design trends: open storage, backsplashes, and the illusion of space


Make Board Games the Main Event!


It’s easy to forget about Monopoly or Bananagrams when they are tucked away in storage. Keeping your games out in the open will remind you to partake in the fun more often.


The Illusion of Space


Small living area? No problem! Lean a mirror against the wall for the illusion of more space.


Never-Ending Backsplashes!

Why limit yourself to a backsplash just above the sink or oven? Continuing your kitchen backsplash throughout the entire room is dramatic, chic, and stunning.




Studio apartment problems? Create an entry hall or divide up living spaces with low bookshelves.


Open Storage Space


Open storage space in the kitchen is both visually appealing and practical—keep your favorite appliances, utensils, and ingredients within arms’ reach at all times!

Posted in Arizona, Backsplashes, Cabinets, California, Colorado, Design Trends, Nevada | Tagged |

Design trends: marble countertops, vibrant velvet, and barn doors


Bland-Be-Gone with Neutrals and Gold


Save white walls from looking flat. Adding neutral colors and gold accents keeps the eye interested in an otherwise boring room.


Marble Countertops

Matching marble countertops and backsplashes makes for a chic, fresh kitchen look.


Stand Out with Vibrant Velvet Furniture

This thick fabric material deeply absorbs colors, showcasing the full display of color.


Give a Nod to the ‘80s with a Bold Bathroom Design


Contrasting geometric shapes and a powerful color-stripe brings the best of the era to life.


Barn Doors

Most modern homes utilize an open floorplan. But if you’re looking for the option of seclusion, consider rustically-fabulous barn doors—beautiful left open or closed!

Posted in Arizona, California, Colorado, Countertops, Design Trends, Nevada | Tagged |

Design trends: practical storage, glamorous bedrooms, and outdoor kitchen space


Glass Cabinets  

Conventional, closed-off cabinets can block views and light. Instead, consider adding cabinets with glass doors or panels on both sides to make the kitchen feel more open.


Top-to-Bottom Storage

Make the most of your storage space! Shelves and cabinets with top-to-bottom storage offer that extra organization you’ve been craving.


Glamorous Bedrooms

Want to add some glamor to your bedroom? Place a mirror on the wall above each nightstand. This is perfect for small spaces, creating greater depth in the room, and adding glitzy style to the bed wall.


Outdoor Kitchen Space

If you love the outdoors, building a small kitchen space around the grill makes it easier to prep meals on a porch. A sink makes for easy cleanup and cabinets offer storage for tools, dishes, spices and more.


Entertainment Rooms

Looking for some Friday night fun with the family? Cinema rooms are a modern way to get the everyone together for movies and games.


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Posted in Arizona, Cabinets, California, Colorado, Design Trends, luxury kitchens, Nevada | Tagged |

News flash: mixing metals in your kitchen is more than okay!

You may have heard it the first time you put on one of your mother’s gold necklaces and paired it with her silver bangles.

Or the time you came home from the hardware store with brass towel racks for your family’s bathroom, only to be met with stares of disbelief as your spouse pointed out the chrome faucet and knobs.

We’ve all heard it somewhere: “You can’t mix metals! Gold with gold, silver with silver, copper with copper, etc.”

Finally, there’s good news for those who’ve always bucked the “matchy-matchy” system, since mixing metals isn’t just acceptable—it’s hot!

As more and more designers enter the arena to show off their metal-mingling acumen, the look is catching on everywhere.

The caveat?

There is a method to the mixing madness, so don’t go rushing to the fixture store just yet.

We’ll start things off by going on record as saying there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the kitchen below. If you appreciate a smooth, uniform look, then matching your stainless steel appliances with silver drawer pulls, faucet and chairs is a nice choice.


But take a look at this:


Even though both kitchens are primarily white, the difference in tone is the difference between a brisk winter morning and a balmy summer afternoon. Compared to the first kitchen, the second exudes warmth and gives the eye so much more to do.

Of course, the flooring has a lot to do with it, but check out those antique brass pendant lights. Not only are they the perfect complement to the stainless steel hood and appliances, but they pull they entire room together and guide its overall tenor.

We also like the black iron light fixtures next to the hood and the black sliding track over the refrigerator. This designer has done a masterful job mixing three metals to gorgeous effect, which leads us to hint number one (we call them “hints” because this is not about rules):

  1. 1.    Stick to two or three metals in order to avoid an overly “busy” or confused look (unless you really know what you’re doing).


Below is another example of a warmer metal saving an already chilled-out space from being a touch too frosty. Although the designer went with only two metals here, the antique copper pendants are all that’s needed to offset, even complement, the room’s coolness.



Below we see three cool metals being used together for a pleasingly eclectic look. Although the metals used here more correlative than contrasting, the finishes are not. And that’s what makes it interesting! Yep, texture mixing isn’t off-limits either. From the brushed stainless steel hood to the satin nickel faucet to the polished stainless steel canister set, this scene provides some fiber for your visual diet.

You’ll also notice that the black iron light fixture ties in perfectly with the black iron cabinet pulls, the darker lower cabinetry and the island, making this kitchen charcoal dominant, which brings us to our next hint:

  1. 2.    When mixing metals, pick a dominant one that’s used more than once and position the others as accent pieces.


Here’s another great example of a lovely dominant metal informing the ambiance of an entire room:



We love the copper hood, sink and bar top and think they look splendid with both the stainless steel appliances and the brushed bronze light fixtures. This kitchen positively glows with hospitality, thanks in no small part to the prevailing copper influence.

But copper also does a bang-up job in a supporting role, too. Doesn’t this hammered copper sink look amazing amongst its vintage nickel and stainless steel neighbors?



The last hint we’re going to offer involves visual planes and we’ll lead with our example:


At first glance, this kitchen seemingly has a lot going on, but it’s metal medley arrangement is really quite simple. Here we have a juxtaposition of mostly ebony tones with both brushed and antique brass, with a little stainless steel thrown in for good measure. But if we divide the room by horizontal planes, we see that the brassware is mostly contained to the central portion of the room.

Even though there are myriad elements at work in this kitchen, it’s still cohesive and has a sense of order, since the rich, bold, darker surroundings are made snug and toasty by the burnished brass that constitutes the “heart” of this space. So, hint number three is:

  1. 3.    When mixing metals, try to keep different finishes on separate horizontal visual planes (divide the room into bottom, middle and top).


As we mentioned before, none of our tips are hard and fast rules.

In fact, if you paid close attention, you may have noticed one or more of our tips were completely disregarded in many of our own examples. Of course, most of our examples are the work of professional designers and our tips are merely guidelines for people who are just getting started.

When it comes right down to it, so many of today’s trends are about breaking rules, making it a most opportune time to “get your remodel on.”  Never before have there been so many fun and exciting options, or as many ways to express your unique personality.

If you’d like to know more about what we’ve covered here, or see other combinations and possibilities that will really get your brain humming, reach out any time to schedule an appointment.


Posted in Arizona, California, Colorado, Countertops, Design Trends, luxury kitchens, Nevada | Tagged , , |

February design trends: chevron, terrarium planters, picture rails, and more!




Make Cold Rooms Cozy

Distinctive Details


Need to add some warmth to a cold-looking room? A large, wool rug can add some much-needed softness—to your feet and eyes.


Chevron Patterns

Madison Heights Powder Bath

When it comes to tile designs, a chevron pattern can draw the eye up to make even the tiniest rooms seem more spacious.


Add Green Without the Watering Routine

Victorian Home


Terrarium planters let you decorate your home with succulents or air plants that require little to no maintenance.


Picture Rails

Condo Project

Hate hammering nails through your wall every time you want to redecorate? Picture rails let you display your favorite pictures and pieces of art without committing to that hole in the wall—reorganize the frames anytime.


A New Look for Your Old Dining Room Chairs

Distinctive Details


Adding slipcovers to your dining room chairs can create a whole new atmosphere.


Photos provided by Houzz.

Posted in Arizona, California, Colorado, Flooring, Nevada | Tagged |

Design trends: creative drying racks, kitchen banquettes, and encaustic tile


Be Creative for a Less Cluttered Home

Baillie Scott Arts & Crafts House - The Cotswolds

High ceilings? Your kitchen can also double as a laundry space—just install a drying rack above the sink for a creative, less cluttered home.


Kitchen Banquettes

Putney, Loft Conversion


Casual or formal, the cozy appeal of a dining room or kitchen booth is irresistible either way!


Wood Accents

Minnehaha Modern - Minneapolis, MN


Wood adds warmth to any room. Oak shelves or post and beam ceilings keep it cozy—even with crisp modern designs.


Cook With a Sense of Calm

Upper East Side Apartment


Cool blues and whites in the kitchen give a relaxed, ocean aura.



Redel Home

Encaustic tile adds the perfect pattern pop to any bathroom.


Photos provided by Houzz.

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Kids and pets and messes—oh my! how to find the perfect family-friendly floors



As any parent knows, floors take a lot of abuse. Whether it’s a toddler building with blocks or a puppy chasing a ball, your kids and pets spend a lot of time playing on the floor. A family home needs to have flooring that looks great, cleans up easily, and can take the wear and tear.

No one wants to spend money on beautiful flooring to find it doesn’t live up to your family’s needs. If you have children or pets, check out these family-friendly flooring options for your home:


Top Flooring Types to Consider

Consumer Reports evaluated several flooring types that held up well to high-traffic areas and found that vinyl, solid wood, and laminate were some of the best materials that stand up to the rigors of family life. Tile and resilient flooring are two additional considerations when it comes to great surfaces for your family.


 Shaw Floors

Shaw Floors keep families in mind with two of their products, which should be in the running for your future floor. The Epic Plus™ hardwood floors are built with Stabilitek, designed lasting durability and sturdy enough to handle high-traffic areas. With three options of wood (maple, oak, or hickory), five texture choices, and four width options, you can personalize this durable flooring to your personal style.

If your kids and pets create liquid messes, Floorte™ is a great option because it’s waterproof and protects the top of the flooring to keep it looking great longer. With over 63 style and color combinations, Floorté™ floors also strong, durable, and flexible—and can fit your home perfectly.


Longust Flooring

Longust Flooring has some beautiful options available in laminate that mimics the look of expensive hardwood flooring, yet can hold up to the daily activities of a busy family.

Longust also offers both tile and hardwood floor options.



Tile can often stand up to messiest, busiest areas, and it’s one of the easiest surfaces to clean for families. Marazzi offers glazed ceramic in some stunning options for your home. Additionally, Marazzi’s porcelain stoneware has an impact-resistant body with low water absorption in a variety of styles, such Color Body Porcelain, Glazed Porcelain, and Through Body Porcelain.



Mohawk Flooring is another wonderful brand to explore for your busy family home, offering tile, hardwood, laminate, luxury vinyl and more with a myriad of colors and designs.

And if you’re looking for carpet for your family’s home, Mohawk offers SmartStrand Forever Clean, the only pet-friendly carpet protection warranty that covers all pets and accidents, carpet included.


How to Choose


While the right option for your family is going to depend on your personal style and your family’s activity level, these options are among the most reliable, and aesthetically appealing. Taking your time to evaluate options can help you find flooring you can be completely satisfied with and the whole family can enjoy.

Schedule an appointment with Primera today to learn more about the beautiful flooring options that will work best for you and your family.

Posted in Arizona, California, Colorado, Flooring | Tagged , , |

Design trends: bay windows, free-standing coat racks, and green everything!


Beautiful Bay Windows

Los Gatos kitchen


Make any space look bigger and brighter with a bay window.


Green with Envy

London Fields House

Evergreen has officially made its debut as the newest color trend. Using dark green tiles behind crisp white cabinets makes for a special glossy pop.


Less Is More!

Hemma hos Caroline Wass


Declutter your home for simplicity in your sanctuary.


Free-Standing Coat Racks

Underwater Safari


Making a resurgence in entry ways and by staircase, this movable option is great for houses with insufficient closet space—and those who hate using coat hangers.


Room Color Falling Flat?

Wilson Residence - Blowing Rock, NC


Green, patterned wall paper warms up even the coldest, gloomiest rooms.


Photos provided by Houzz.

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