Summers In Texas: Preparing Your HVAC for the Hot Season

air conditioner repair

HVAC can be a pain on finances and time. You spend so much throughout the year on electricity and gas for maintaining heating and cooling systems in your home, and right when you think you’ve spent enough, something breaks…

While some damage and general wear-and-tear is unavoidable, there are tons of helpful precautions and steps you can take to ensure longevity of your HVAC system and lower costs this summer season in the hot state of Texas. Here are some of our top recommendations!

Tips: Preparing Your HVAC System for Summer

Your primary objectives when preparing your HVAC system for summer should be to reduce the amount of wear that components of your system receive, as well as reducing the level of work your system does to a bare-necessities level. Here are our tips:

1)  Change the Filter

You’ve probably heard that more times than you count – it almost feels like servicemen are trying to upsell you for no reason. But in actuality, the filter in your HVAC system has huge implications on the health of your appliances.

When your filter gets dirty, the system must work harder to force air where it needs to go. If you frequently replace the filter, you’ll end up spending less on the additional components than you will on the monthly cost of electricity (and ultimately, the final price of replacing a broken HVAC system).

2)  Programming Your Thermostat

If you have a programmable thermostat, you could be saving tons of money on electricity. Believe it or not, raising the temperature of your HVAC system a mere 4-5 degrees while your gone at work for 8 hours can save you a few hundred bucks annually. Furthermore, the less the system must work to cool down your house, the longer it will last.

3)  Servicing Your System Frequently

It doesn’t cost much to hire a service or repairman (or to learn how to do these basic checks yourself.) There are plenty of key components in an HVAC system which can be easily and frequently checked for damage or wear-and-tear. If you check these on a continual basis, you can save yourself from hefty expenses in the future. There’s a large domino effect that the small components have on the larger ones.

Conclusion

In these hot Texas summers, we fork out a lot of money keeping our homes’ temperature regulated well. But many of us don’t realize we are spending more money than we need to. If you properly check your HVAC system’s components on a frequent basis, replace your air filter, and program your thermostat to raise in temperature while your gone at work, you will reduce the overall work your system needs to do. This will lower monthly electric costs as well as increase the longevity of your system overall!

Selecting Patio Furniture for Your Luxury Home

outdoor patio furniture

Most spring and summer home preparation happens to the exterior of your home – everything from cleaning the gutters, to reapplying asphalt for a driveway, mowing the lawn, landscaping, and power washing your house.

But while these are all necessities for a nice looking home, you’ll want an outdoor space that is welcoming and inviting for hosting friends, or at the very least, enjoying the outdoors in your own yard. Getting the right set of patio furniture can make the hot Texas summers so much more enjoyable. Here’s what we recommend you look for!

Selecting a Patio Furniture Set

There are so many different variations in color, design, and functionality of patio furniture. If you are looking for a simple, quick rundown on what to look for in different styles of patio furniture, here it is:

1.  Wicker Patio Furniture

Wicker, or resin wicker, is a weather-resistant synthetic material that gives a “woven” appearance to furniture made from the material. It has a very outdoor, natural appearance and often works well with both contemporary and modern looking homes.

While wicker patio furniture looks great, the drawback is that it tends to break down through the seasons. After a few years, many of the wicker strands unwind or break and can be a bit of a pain to manage. However, if you properly care for the patio furniture, it should last a while.

2.  Metal Patio Furniture

There are tons of different styles and types of metal patio furniture. The molding and shape of the metal, as well as the type of metal and build structure can all contribute to the quality and appearance of your patio furniture.

Steel

Steel patio furniture is relatively cheap. It’s sturdy and will last a while, however, steel (even stainless) will rust from rainy or humid environments over time. If you are in a generally dry area, this isn’t much of a factor to worry about, but always something to keep in the back of your mind.

Aluminum

Aluminum is perhaps the most popular version of metal patio furniture. It is great for its light weight and durability. Aluminum patio furniture will far outlast wicker patio furniture – the only thing you need to watch is the paint. Over time, paint can wear off or chip from the aluminum if not properly cared for.

Conclusion

Selecting patio furniture can be a difficult endeavor – there are so many different types of materials, construction, looks, and feels that vary between sets. While you will want to select a patio furniture set that you think looks best for your luxury home, make sure that you take durability into consideration. Once you’ve picked the right set, sit back and enjoy the warm season! Be sure to check out the outdoor patios that Tony McClung has designed and happy Summer Texas!

Home Renovation: Building An In-Ground Pool

luxury-home-pool

Texas summers are HOT, right??

So, we can almost guarantee that nearly everyone has entertained the idea of getting a pool at one point or another, but unless you moved into a home with one already built-in, few have legitimately taken the steps to start installing one.

Building an In-Ground Pool

This post is all about in-ground pools and what types you should look into buying. Various different builds and materials are well-suited for different situations, so do your research and think carefully regarding which is right for you. Here are a few different types to check out:

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is perhaps the most well-known and commonly used material for building pools. The reason? They require an incredibly low-degree of maintenance due to their non-porous structure. They are easy to clean and take care of throughout the season.

Fiberglass pools are also relatively inexpensive to install, making them a great option for those trying to keep costs maintainable.

The only big drawback to fiberglass as a material is that it is not very customizable. If you are the type who wants to blueprint out their dream-pool shape and size, fiberglass won’t be a great material to work with.

Concrete

Concrete tends to pick up well on the areas where fiberglass fails – particularly in terms of customization. It’s easy to build a pool of any shape or size out of concrete, as the material gives you near limitless moldability.

One of the primary drawbacks to concrete is the higher maintenance costs in the long run. While it’s easy to work with during the installation and building phase, it’s pretty difficult to clean. Concrete creates rougher and more porous surfaces than fiberglass and accumulates dirt and grime over time that needs to be washed down.

Vinyl Liner

Vinyl liner pools are great for first-time pool owners, as they are quite affordable to install. They have a very smooth finish and are relatively easy to customize the shape and size of (not as much as concrete, but significantly better than fiberglass).

The only major drawback to vinyl liner pools is that the liner needs to be frequently replaced – every 6 to 8 years. So, while they have a low initial cost up front, there’s a bit more work involved in the long run.

If you are thinking about an in ground pool, or backyard renovation, be sure to contact Tony McClung today at 214-668-7802.

Home Security System Options for Your Luxury Home

IT’S THE LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL!!! Here at Luxury Homes Designed and Built by Tony McClung, we know that means summer plans are just getting started - vacations, summer camps and more are ahead in the next few months. With that, you will be leaving your beloved home, and you want to make sure it is safe. Even in Highland Park, Texas, security is a necessity. Keeping your home, your belongings, and your family safe is so incredibly important. Regardless of where you live, everyone is at risk of being broken into, and unfortunately, the nicer your home, the more of a target it becomes. That’s why researching and installing the right security system is absolutely essential.

Home Security System Options:

home security

If you are looking at upping your security system this season to protect your home, here are a few great options and ideas:

Video Recording Doorbell

Did you know that thieves ring the doorbell? It’s the best way to know whether or not you’re home! If you answer, they’ll have an excuse of why they’re there. If not, it’s “free game” for a break in.

Luckily, there are doorbells which have visible video and audio recorders built into them. These serve a dual purpose of warding off potential thieves as well as serving as a surveillance system in the instance of a break in.

Smart Security Systems

Another recent trend has arisen with smart security systems. Rather than systems being visible and manageable only by your security provider, new technology is closing the gap between homeowners and accessibility to their various security devices.

Plenty of new products allow users to control their security devices – viewing, turning on and off, scheduling, etc. – all from their smart phones. This brings greater security and lower costs to homeowners as competition continues to flood the market with new offerings, products, and apps.

Virtual Security Gate Motion Sensors

While camera surveillance is a great idea, it’s hard to program one to “trigger” when movement occurs. However, there are plenty of devices out there which can be installed discretely to detect any motion or movement within a home.

This is a great option for those who want an affordable way to trigger alarm systems within a home. While a security device on a door may trigger an alarm, those types of devices are near useless if perpetrators break in through a window. However, motion sensors are difficult to fool. Keep in mind though – these motion sensors aren’t a good idea for families with pets!

Conclusion

These are just a few of many ideas you can implement to make your home more secure. The market is full of products and unique concepts. With a little research, you can be well on your way to having a more secure, monitored home!

But last but not least, have a great summer!!

Spring Home Preparation: Pros and Cons of Power-Washing Your Home

powerwashing your home

Unfortunately, no matter what we do to keep our homes looking nice (replacing mulch and rocks, planting, fertilizing grass, etc.), the exterior of our homes will develop grime and dirt over the years that is hard to stray attention from. As you are jumping in with your spring cleaning, we recommend occasionally power-washing your home! Power washing is a simple method to help give a house a new, fresh, clean look from the outside.

Power Washing

Power washing, often called pressure washing, is a method of cleaning the exterior of homes with highly pressurized water. This method uses water to forcibly remove grime, dirt, and stains. Here are some pros and cons of this process:

Pros

1.  Effective

The internet is loaded with tutorials on how to remove dirt and grime from your house, but the truth is, many of them simply don’t work. Whether it’s material discoloration, rust and oxidation, dirt, or a myriad of other things, certain methods will only work for certain conditions.

However, power-washing your home is a fantastic way to guarantee a clean home exterior. There’s little that’s able to withstand the power of pressure washing the outside of your house, making it great for year-old staining that seems as though it has passed the point of no return.

2.  Cleaning Wooden Beams

Believe it or not, you can actually restore a wooden beam to it’s original shine without sanding it down. A lot of the mold and mildew that develops in the fibers of a board can be pushed out using a power washer.

So, if your deck is starting to look a little dated and weathered, pull out a pressure washer and watch it work its magic!

Cons

1.  Damage

Depending on the material you are using a power washer on, you may end up causing damage. Some types of siding are incredibly thin, making them susceptible to breakage during a pressure wash. So, if you plan on pressure washing things besides concrete, wood, metal, or other durable surfaces, make sure to do your research!

2.  Health Concerns

Yes – believe or not, using a power washer can cause health concerns such as inflammation or even tendinitis. Power washers use an immense amount of pressure while inducing a lot of vibration during use. Using a power washer for extended periods of time without a proper technique for holding them can very quickly result in tendinitis.

If you plan on using a pressure washer this season, do some research on proper methods for wielding one. It sounds silly, but yes, tools (even a power washer) can be dangerous without correct technique.

Benefits of an Architectural Designer

architectural designer

We all know how to do the same mundane home renovation tasks on our own – repainting, selecting new carpet, landscaping, and so many others. However, how do you handle the larger tasks? Depending on what type of home renovation you are looking for, doing a structural adjustment to your house may be within reasonable grasp. All you need to do is look into hiring an architectural designer.

Architectural Designers vs. Home Designers

If doing a structural home renovation interests you, you’ll need to hire it out. Usually, this will come in the form of selecting between an architectural designer or a home designer. Here’s a little bit about both:

Home Designer

A home designer usually does not have to be licensed. They may be experienced in the industry, but there are no official requirements for home designers/residential designers. Nonetheless, depending on the situation, a home designer may be all you need for your project!

Architectural Designer

On the other hand, an architectural designer is required to have a certain degree of schooling and licensing. Generally, they have met higher industry standards for education and have a wider breadth of knowledge for architectural design.

Benefits of an Architectural Designer

While much of the following will depend on who you hire, having an architectural designer work on your home renovation can be very beneficial:

1)  Sketching Out Concepts

Sometimes you have the ideas but just can’t quite articulate them. Luckily, architectural designers have the creative minds to help you work out your ideas, as well as the technical skills to map them all out on a sheet of paper or in their software. This can help you make sure your luxury home renovation will match your ideas before the project even begins.

2)  Documentations for Construction

Architectural designers go the extra step to create documents with detailed descriptions and blueprints of exactly how a project will be built out. Not only are these documents helpful for reference to understand what it will look like – they also ensure that the project will be built to specifications regardless of the construction company hired.

3)  Negotiating with Construction Companies

Finally, one of the benefits of hiring an architectural designer is that they will work with you to negotiate pricing with construction companies. Depending on the architectural designer you use, construction companies will often give discounts since they are referred from the designer, so make sure you pick someone with a solid network!

Conclusion

Architectural designers can benefit your home in a variety of ways. Above all, they help to take concepts and turn them into reality. Through discussion and flushing out ideas to the detailed mapping of every specification for construction, an architectural designer like Tony McClung can help bring your dream home to life. Give us a call today!

Spring Home Maintenance Tips

If you’re like me, the word “maintenance” probably brings on a bit of an unsettling feeling. We get it – it’s not the fun part about transitioning to a new season. But as a homeowner, you know that appliance failures and other unexpected costs are a pain to deal with.

If only there was some way to avoid property and appliance damage before they happen……

Luckily, as spring rolls around this year, there are a wide variety of small maintenance projects you can take on to ensure your house is in working order and ready to embrace the warm Texas weather!

lawn care

Spring Maintenance Projects

Spring maintenance projects are (for the most part) easy, quick, and essential to maintaining a healthy home! Here are some of our top tips on how you can prepare your house for the new season and steer clear of “home repair” bills later:

Clean Out Your Gutters

Ick. We know. Depending on the size and perimeter of your house, it can be a bit of a longer project, but most people don’t realize how essential the task is for the health of your home. Cleaning out your gutters means you are keeping water from pooling around the foundation of your home. Having too much water around your foundation can result in mold and, in extreme cases, structural failures. It might even be time to get some gutter leaf guards installed to keep leaves from building up in your gutters.

Re-Sealing Your Doors and Windows

Most of us spend a lot of money on heating and cooling respectively through the seasons. While this is inevitable to a certain degree, much of it can be avoided by having a properly insulated home. Part of that involves sealing all the cracks and crevices that develop over time in your house.

Re-caulking your windows and doors can help introduce a better seal and save you money on gas and electric this year!

Proper Roof Inspections

You don’t need to book an inspector every year, but if it’s been a while since you’ve had a roof inspector come out, now may be the time.

Your roof really gets the brunt of all seasonal circumstances – being beaten on by the sun, those spring Texas hailstorms and taking on lots of rain water. If a roof fails, there’s a ton of extra costs associated with mold and flooding that can make their way into your home.

Having a proper roof inspection is a great preventative measure for keeping your house armored for the Spring season this year!

Conclusion

Spring maintenance isn’t that bad. And it’s a lot less of a headache to do the proper preparation now than to deal with the negative circumstances and costs later! If you want to get your luxury home ready for Spring this season, make sure to clean out your gutters, re-seal your windows and doors for heating and air conditioning purposes, and get your roof inspected! Enjoy the warm weather!

Getting Your Home Ready for Spring Party Hosting

Tony McClung Homes

We all search for ideas to paint our walls, update the floors, and buy new furniture to bring a facelift to the interior of our homes. However, seldom do we pay close attention to the various ways we can improve the exterior of our homes.

With Spring just around the corner, there are plenty of ways that you can prepare your luxury home for the season. Whether you want to be the new “host” for Spring and Summer parties, or are just looking for a way to liven up the outside of your luxury home, here are a few steps you can take to get the ball rolling on the whole process:

1. Garden Tips

Perhaps one of the best places to start with an outdoor renovation is a garden. Whether you already have one or are looking to start, it’s always a great place to begin when preparing for the new season.

For a healthy, lush garden make sure you replace your soil with carbon-based fertilizers. Unlike synthetic and petroleum-based alternatives, carbon fertilizers will build up the structure of your soil and keep it healthy for the rest of the year.

Adding crocuses and tulips is a great way to bring a beautiful color splash for a lively spring garden!

2. Updating Your Patio

Many homeowners have neglected the project of updating their patio. It seems like a daunting task, and the seasonality of patio usage can defer people from attempting. However, giving a new look to your patio doesn’t have to be difficult.

When selecting new patio furniture, keep in mind that darker colors are going to look better for longer periods of time, as weathering will not be as evident.

Building a simple wood frame for a pergola is also a simple step that can take your patio to the next level.

3. Landscaping Essentials

While the topic of proper landscaping is a much larger subject matter, there are a few essentials that you can start now to prepare your home for Spring.

Soil Testing: Properly testing your soil is a landscaping essential every few years. After a while, the nutrients is pulled out of your soil and can hurt your crops.

Fresh Mulch: An easy landscaping project is to add a fresh, 1-inch thick layer of new mulch around all your trees and shrubs. It will help keep the moisture in the soil and bring a new, fresh look to your home this spring!

Weed Control: Lastly, the most time consuming (but also most important) step is to bring some weed control practices into the mix. A great way to prepare for spring is by applying a week control to keep weeds from ever being a problem in the first place.

Of course, if you are ready to tackle a major spring home renovation, give Tony McClung a call! His experience in architectural design is one that you can always trust!

Re-Carpeting Ideas for Your Home

Your carpets say a lot about your home. A simple difference in both the material and color of your carpet can give off an entirely different vibe for each room. However, few people are willing to embark on the endeavor of completely reinstalling new carpet, and we totally understand why.

Re-carpeting a home, let alone a single room can seem like a difficult task. But with a little bit of research you’ll be well on your way to giving your house interior a much needed facelift. Since installation can either be done yourself or by a hired professional, we will focus here primarily on how to select the right carpet for your home.

Selecting Carpet for Your Home

There are two overarching criteria to keep in mind while selecting a new carpet for your luxury home:

Color

Color is the first decision that comes to any homeowner’s mind when making a carpet selection. Depending on the natural light in a room, the color of your walls and furniture, style of house, and current family needs, color can be a very important factor.

Bright Colored Carpet

Hindsight is 20/20, and many parents of young children can testify to this after installing brand new white carpets. Stains are easy to show and hard to get out. On the bright side, lighter colors will help to amplify the natural and artificial light in a room which can bring a nice touch. If you are going for lighter colors, purchase an off-white cream or similar color, but avoid the bleached white look. You’ll thank us later.

Dark Colored Carpet

If you are thinking about using a darker carpet, be careful of what room you install it in. Dark carpet immediately pulls the light out of the room, which can be a nice addition to a bedroom or basement but should be avoided for common living areas.

Feel

The next most important factor to evaluate is how the carpet will actually feel. But remember – a carpet’s durability is directly correlated to how soft it is. The softer the carpet, the less time it’s going to last.

Really spend time evaluating exactly what you want. Do you want carpet that is going to stick around for a while, or are you fine with remodeling every 10 or so years for the sake of the added comfort? Carpet materials may also vary, so talking with a professional about a good balance between durability and softness may give you extra options.

Conclusion

The most stressful part of re-carpeting a house is simply the decision regarding what you want. But with a bit of research and a couple conversations with design professionals, you can be well on your way to selecting carpet to fit your luxury home!

Remodeling Your Luxury Home in 2019

Happy New Year

A new year brings the opportunity for a fresh start. After all, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are all about! This season may be your chance to finally embark on that remodeling project you’ve been planning to do. Whether it be a small re-painting job, or a full interior restructuring, 2019 is a great year to tackle those plans and bring your dream home to life.

If you are looking for ideas on how you can remodel your luxury home in 2019, here are a few noteworthy trends for inspiration:

1)  Repainting

While many design trends and décor items go in and out of style seasonally, you can expect a repainting project to remain in style for the next decade. And 2019 is a prime year to start, with new and fresh painting trends flooding in thanks to many of the major design influencers on TV and social media.

For those looking to create a bright and welcoming feel, opt in for a hazelnut. It offers the same light reflection and feel as a flat white but with added warmth and character. More so, hazelnut matches with just about any color, making it an easy and versatile color to work with as you swap out decorations and furniture over the next multiple years. No wonder it’s becoming a new interior color trend this upcoming season!

2)  Ceilings

For the last several decades, popcorn ceilings have been the trend through and through. They’re easy and cheap to install and remain peripherally invisible to visitors.

However, a statement ceiling can be a fun, stylish addition to a home, and we’re seeing the trend rising in recent years. In 2019, be on the lookout for a unique ceiling design. Anything from molded tin, wallpaper, or paint-patterned designs are all bound to add a fun combination of contemporary and modern buzz to your luxury home.

3)  Furniture

When’s the last time you swapped out furniture? For most of us, furniture is one of the last elements we replace, and as a result, makes our homes suffer dramatically from outdated interiors. Follow some rising trends in 2019 by making the addition of curved furniture to your rooms! What used to be a retro style is coming back full force this season along with the opportunity to lift your luxury home’s living rooms to the next level.

Conclusion

2019 is a year full of trends – from paint to furniture, decorations, and interior structuring, there are so many different opportunities for you and your family to bring a modern facelift to your luxury home this season. And redesigning doesn’t have to be a major task! Keep your eyes open for the right furniture and put your hands to work with a little paint and watch your luxury house be transformed!

Cheers to a new year!

Selecting a Pool for Your Luxury Home

I know, it is a bit crazy to start talking about pools when it is finally Christmastime. But, if you are thinking about installing a pool in your backyard for this coming summer, it is time to start getting plans and things in order.

Pools have long been an envied luxury addition to custom homes. But unlike painting, decorating, or even moderate interior construction, building a pool is a major endeavor. Depending on the specifications of your selection, installing a pool can be an expensive and lengthy processes. However, as anyone who is installing a pool knows, they can add so much value to your family and friends’ life. They make hosting easier, parties more fun, and those hot Texas summers a bit more tolerable.

luxury home pool

Selecting a Pool Style

Building a pool is so much more than just digging a hole in the ground – there are dozens of styles, each meant for a different home and backyard landscape. If you are looking to get a pool for Summer 2019, here are a few popular styles that are sure to work with your luxury home!

1)  Modern Pools

Modern pools are becoming increasingly popular. They are often characterized by square or rectangular designs, simplistic materials, sharp corners, and mosaic tiles. The great thing about modern pools is that they are a classy addition to any home – they are stylistically versatile and can help to add that extra “spiff” to your house.

2)  Tropical Pools

Yep, you read that right. Tropical pools are a statement design that give a fun, engaging, and vacation-like feel to your backyard. Big boulders, trees, and even small waterfalls are a few of many elements that can be added to tropical pools. It’s a fun and relaxing twist to the common pool!

3)  Traditional Pools

It’s really hard to create a category for “traditional” pools, as there are truly so many different design elements that fall under the umbrella. Generally speaking, traditional pools are rectangular or hour-glass shaped with natural stone or bricks. They’re classic, nostalgic, and “homey” – it’s hard to go wrong with a traditional design.

Conclusion

Adding a pool to your home is an exciting (and sometimes stressful) task! Pools bring so much life and fun to a home – both stylistically and functionally. If you are looking to make the installation soon, be sure to settle on a style that works best for you. Whether you are going for fun and exciting (tropical), elegant and classy (modern), classic and homey (traditional), or something entirely different, you are bound to find a pool style that fits your home perfectly!

If you are ready to get to work so you can have a pool in your backyard for this coming summer, give Tony McClung a call now at 214-668-7802!

Selecting a Fireplace for Your Luxury Home

fireplace in texas

Fireplaces used to be a functional necessity for a home. However, today they are one of the most renovated pieces in home makeovers, and for good reason. You used to have one choice – the classic brick structure with a chimney. Obviously, now days the industry has expanded to thousands of different styles – elegant, rustic, corporate, moody – you name it, there’s a fireplace to match the character of a home, inside or outdoors.

While fireplaces are nice for the warmth, you don’t always need one for purely functional purposes, especially here in the warm Texas winters! There are so many options on the market that you should be able to find the perfect style for your luxury home. If you are looking at investing in a new fireplace for your luxury home this season, here are some of our top recommendations:

Fireplaces for Your Luxury Home

Selecting a fireplace for your luxury home can be a tough decision – and it should be! You want something that will compliment the theme and personality of your house, not a unit that stands out apart from the rest of your design and interior structure.

There truly are many different styles available; you don’t want to jump in and try selecting a fireplace at random. To help you with your decision, we have selected our favorite overarching fireplace design styles to help you find what look best suits your luxury home. Here are some of our top picks, along with their pros and cons:

The Classic – Brick Fireplaces

Just because you update your fireplace doesn’t mean you can’t pay homage to the classics! A modernized brick fireplace can be a great addition to the house. But you can take a few different angles to brick fireplace design. Using an open fireplace as a candle display, painting your bricks white or black, or making a rustic wood frame addition to the outside are just a few of many ways you can modify brick fireplaces.

Pros

  • Classic and familiar

  • Wood and gas options available

  • Simple

  • Easy to modify/remodel

  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Can appear to be outdated

  • Sometimes difficult to clean and maintain

  • Often understated/non-significant in appearance

“Statement” Design – Island Fireplaces

The island fireplace can’t get any more “opposite” than brick fireplaces. They stray far from the classics. These units have four glass sides and sit in the center of a room – either playing the role of a centerpiece or a loose divider between sections of a home.

Peninsula fireplaces are a related cousin to this style of fireplace, whereby it extends from the wall with 3 viewable glass sides.

Pros

  • Very modern, futuristic, and luxurious

  • Dozens of different designs available

Cons

  • Take up a lot of space

  • Difficult installation

  • Fragile 4-sided glass (think children here…)

Modernized – Slim Fireplace

Slim fireplaces are quickly rising in popularity these days. Slim fireplaces, sometimes referred to as “shelf fireplaces” are fireplaces that extend far in width (up to 60”) but are usually no taller than 1.5 feet. As a result, they look very modern and elegant and are usually versatile in placement.

Pros

  • Easy to put anywhere – kitchen, dining room, bedroom, etc.

  • Framing customizability – wood, granite, brick, metal, or any other material can be used on the outside of the fireplace to accommodate the room.

  • Easy to install

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not super functional (don’t emit much heat)

  • Not well-suited for old or traditional styled homes

Conclusion

Fireplace selection is all about finding a unit that compliments the style of your home. A fireplace says a lot about your home’s character and overall appearance, so spend the time necessary to find the perfect one. Getting the right unit takes time and a lot of research. The best place to start is by defining the overarching category you’d like the fireplace to match – traditional, modern, rustic, etc., and then boiling down your options from there!

If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to Luxury Homes Designed and Built by Tony McClung! We are always happy to offer suggestions and hear your opinions.

Decorating Your Home Uniquely For Fall

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We’ve heard it said that a house is like a blank canvas for designing and decorating…

We couldn’t agree less…

Yes, while there are endless options of how you could style your luxury home, each home has its own character and personality. Finding the right seasonal décor to compliment this is difficult. It’s as much about how the decorations look as it is how they fit your specific living space.

So, you want to decorate your home this fall, but the classic “50 Fall Decorations You Need to Buy” posts just aren’t doing it for you. Why do the homes customized by designers always look better than your Pinterest-board montage attempt? Surprisingly, it boils down to a few, simple techniques that should be kept in your peripherals as you make décor selections this year. Here are our tips on how to take your custom luxury home’s decorations to the next level this fall:

Minimalist vs. Maximalist

The title alone probably hints what we’re getting at here. The truth is, both minimalist and maximalist design techniques can make for a gorgeous home this fall season. So how do you decide? As stated before, the layout and design of your custom home should lead you to know which is best.

Some homes speak for themselves without any design. The sheer layout, carpet, wall colors, and furniture offer a unique character that needs only be complimented by decorations. In this case, minimalistic design is the way to go. If you consistently find yourself struggling to know where to put your decorations in an attempt to avoid drawing attention away from the natural design of your household, perhaps a minimalistic design will better suit your home.

Then, there are homes that seem to serve as a foundation or canvas of sorts for decorations. If you are always noticing a preference to decorate each shelf and empty ledge in your house, your home may be better suited for a busier, maximalist décor approach. Follow your gut instincts on how you feel your home wants to be styled. It will suit you better than any online tutorial or recommendation.

Color Schemes: Finding “Unique” in Traditional

Want an incredibly bland home this fall? We recommend using red, yellow, and orange exclusively. It should be easy! That’s all that’s usually sold in the fall décor section of online and local stores.

Sorry for the sarcasm, but it’s true! If you want a unique home this fall, we recommend bringing in all those traditional fall colors with the occasional unorthodox accent color. For example, a Persian blue or an amethyst are a great way to add a unique twist to your fall season’s décor. A good ratio is a 1 to 6 combination. For every 6 pieces of fall décor, pick one to be a unique color.

The most important part though – stick to one accent color. Don’t start adding multiple or those pieces will just look less like accents and more like accidents.

Textures

Wood, canvas, natural, shine, matte, rough, smooth – any one of us can think of a thousand different textures. Any one of us can also probably find and purchase one of each texture when shopping for fall décor, but we highly recommend against it.

So much of the character of interior design comes from the décor’s texture as much as its color and placement. When deciding on a color scheme, we suggest you also decide on a texture scheme and carry it with you throughout the designing process. You shouldn’t need to have more than 1-3 different textures at most present in your fall décor.

Conclusion

It’s fun to decorate for each season, but it can be difficult to truly find a style that looks good in your house. Each custom or luxury home has its own unique personality and character to it. Don’t try to mask that with decorations! Find décor that uniquely compliments and assists the natural vibe and character of your home. If you really want a uniquely decorated fall home, think outside the box with colors. Don’t just stick to reds, oranges, and yellows – add in a blue, purple, or other unorthodox statement color to differentiate your home from the everyday “Pinterest-inspired” idea (which is becoming all-too cliché these days).

In summary, much of great interior design for fall décor boils down to thinking thematically as opposed to focusing on decoration-specific selection. Decide on colors, textures, and the amount of décor you plan on putting in your house before you start buying items. It will make for a more unique, consistent look from room to room and will be sure to inspire and amaze family and friends this Thanksgiving.

And of course, if you find yourself deciding that new decorations just aren’t doing it anymore and you need a new home remodel, please reach out to Tony McClung with Luxury Homes Designed and Built by Tony McClung in Dallas Texas!

Custom Home Upgrades to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

ecofriendly home design

Consumer waste comes in large part from our houses. Whether it’s food waste, constant A/C in the summer, or a leaky sink, there are plenty of upgrades you can do to help the planet. Adopting a DIY approach means you make sure everything you add is eco-friendly, all while letting you design your home exactly the way you want it. Here are some ways creative homeowners are helping the environment with custom upgrades.

1. Energy Efficient Appliances

Did you know your stove might be costing you too much on your electric bill? Unless your appliances are certified Energy Star, they’re using more than their fair share of electricity. When you replace your old units, consider looking for an eco-friendly model.

2. Solar Lights

These are hot right now – they store energy during the day and power on during the night. They’re a great alternative to electric lights, offering an accent to your exterior and saving you some money, while helping the planet too.

3. Insulated Doors

This might come as a surprise, but your door is probably the second biggest reason your air conditioning is on so much. Unless your door is fiberglass or insulated wood it’s constantly letting in the heat – especially if it’s in the sun!

4. Insulation

Speaking of insulation, when was the last time you replaced yours? It’s not just for keeping the heat in during cold months, without good insulation, your walls aren’t protected from the hot weather either.

5. Native Gardening

An innovative trend is hitting the world of gardening. Instead of growing pristine, traditional grass lawns, some homeowners are focusing on cultivating native species of plants that don’t require as much water. Depending on rainfall, this can mean anything from native flowers and trees, to abandoning grass altogether in favor of succulents like cacti.

6. LED Lights

We all know fluorescent lights are better than traditional bulbs, but what about LED? It turns out, they’re also a great choice for a low-energy light in your home.

If you’re looking to build your dream home, look no further than architectural designer Tony McClung. Tony’s portfolio includes over 50 years of Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico’s finest designer homes. Contact Tony to start making your dream into a reality.

5 Custom Home Features for Blended Indoor/Outdoor Spaces

The end of summer/start of fall is a great time to be outside – the Texas sun isn't quite so hot but the days are still long enough to enjoy time outdoors after school ends for the day. It’s perfect for family time – except for all the mosquitos of course. Sometimes, you just want to enjoy the beautiful outside view but in the comfort of A/C without the bugs. You’re not alone, blending the indoor/outdoor spaces of your home is big in the design world. Whether you already planned for it, or are just considering, these are some great ways to incorporate this trend into an upcoming remodel.

1. Floor to Ceiling Windows

Windows are great – they offer a scenic view, and let in plenty of natural light. What better way to let in more light – and thereby more of a view – than with bigger windows? Floor-to-ceiling windows are big in the design of sunrooms and blended space, as they blur the line between inside and outside.

2. Sunrooms

Whether a cozy breakfast nook or living room, surrounding a room with windows provides a scenic view all from the comfort of the indoors.

3. Glass Doors

The classic French door is an excellent choice for letting in natural light. Did you know they also make sliding versions? A sliding glass door is a great way to maximize natural light, while still keeping a barrier between you and the outside world.

4. Intimate Patios

If you like dining outside, but aren’t a big fan of spending too much time outdoors, you can landscape your patio for a quaint, intimate feel. By keeping the space compact and close to the back door – along with weatherproof furniture of course – you can have the charm of an outdoor dining space on your patio, without getting too close to the bugs.

5. Walls and Patterns

If your wall needs a fresh coat of paint, consider an old classic that’s coming back: wallpaper. Floral and tropical prints are big in interior design this year and for a low-intensity upgrade, adding a palm tree pattern to your rooms can give you the look of the outside, without the time of a full remodel.

If you’re looking to build your dream home, look no further than architectural designer Tony McClung. Tony’s portfolio includes over 50 years of Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico’s finest designer homes. Contact Tony McClung to start enjoying more of the Texas, comfortably!