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  • Can appear to be outdated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!

How to Build the House of Your Dreams (No, Really)

custom homes

Building a home can seem like an overwhelming concept. How can you get what you want, while still remaining within your budget? It may take some know-how, but building a custom home is more affordable than you think. With the right approach, you can build the home of your dreams without making any major sacrifices. Follow these steps to build the perfect home:

Consider the Land

Do you want to live in Highland Park or do you want more land in Preston Hollow? What about the Lake Highlands school district or on White Rock Lake in Lakewood? Any custom home build should begin with deciding on a piece of land. Prospective homeowners have several considerations when deciding where to build their new home: the neighborhood and school system, access to amenities, and land features like trees or streams all weigh differently depending on your individual preferences. Homeowners also have the option of tearing down an existing home to build on a coveted piece of land.

Your home builder can help you with this part of the process, as often professionals have access to land plots that have yet to go on the public market. Rather than finding a piece of land, then calling an architect, call an architectural design team first. They can provide valuable insight to zoning laws, available properties, and more.

Decide on Your Budget

A custom home designer or architectural designer can help you decide where your home budget should go. For example, kitchens can range from a $5,000 Ikea model to $60,000 for custom cabinetry alone. If all high-end furnishings in a kitchen are a must-have, be prepared to use middle-range options in other areas of the home. Your home design team can provide you with low, middle, and high-end options during the building process, so you can decide exactly where you want to spend your money.

Be Prepared for a Time Commitment

If you want to build the home of your dreams, you must be prepared to be actively involved in the process. Custom home builds take an average of 12 to 18 months, and your input is invaluable to the process. The nice thing about custom homes is that you can spend $20,000 on appliances or over $100,000 – it all depends on your preferences and budget. By being actively involved in the decision-making process, you can ensure that you’re getting the home you want – while staying within a comfortable price point.

Custom home building is not as expensive or difficult as you might think. By taking some simple steps in the planning phases and remaining actively involved during construction, you’ll be in the home of your dreams before you know it. For more information on the custom home building process, contact Tony McClung today

4 Spring Trends in Custom Home Building

messy kitchen

Custom home construction is both an art and a science – as such, it constantly evolves. What was in vogue ten or even five years ago might not make much sense to current homebuilders. Today’s custom home builds place equal weight on form and function, creating beautiful spaces that work for your family’s size and budget. Explore some of the latest trends in custom home building.

The “Messy Kitchen”

The open concept home has been a popular choice for homeowners for years, and it makes sense: an open concept makes a home appear larger and makes it easier to entertain guests. There’s a major downside to an open concept floor plan, however: your guests risk looking at a pile of dirty dishes and kitchen counters as they eat the meal you just prepared. This is where the concept of a “messy kitchen” comes in: newer custom homes feature a hidden prep area tucked in behind the main kitchen space. This allows for minimal cleanup and more time for socializing with friends – isn’t that why you’re hosting in the first place?

More Natural Elements

Today’s custom homes, especially in temperate climates, have an increased focus on blurring the line between inside and outside spaces. While the sweltering summers of the west make it impossible to fully merge these two spaces, designers provide a practical answer by incorporating more natural elements into the home. A stark contrast to the tech and industrial trends favored at the turn of the millennium, today’s modern homes focus on interior landscaping and natural elements like stone, concrete, and copper.

Richer Color Palettes

If the neutral palettes of current home decorating magazines bring waves of disappointment, this year brings good news for those who love color. Current trends in home building feature retro vibes, like candy-coated high end appliances and even rich furnishings in luxe materials like velvet. Look for other warm accents in the form of copper or brass fixtures.

Open Shelving in the Kitchen

Today’s homes focus less on the pristine and more on the comfortable and cozy. One popular way to accomplish this is by incorporating open shelving throughout your kitchen. This not only gives your new house a homey feel, it also gives you the opportunity to turn your kitchen ware into art pieces.

Custom home building trends may evolve, but we think the focus on creating a home that’s functional and beautiful is here to stay. Would you try any of these new home design and construction trends? Tony McClung can help make your dream a reality – contact us to learn more.

Home Maintenance Tips (that you can do yourself!)

Home maintenance is definitely not restricted to the various different repairs you do around the house. In fact, if you do certain tasks regularly you will be able to avoid things from even breaking in the first place. However, if things do break, we have some easy DIY home maintenance tips to help you out. Instead of splurging on expensive professional help, you will be able to do everything on your own.

chimney sweep

Here is an all-encompassing checklist of what every homeowner should do on a regular basis to avoid any problems around the house.

1.     Have the fireplace and the chimney checked and cleaned on a regular basis

Yes, we know. Here in Texas, we use our fireplaces about once or twice a year. But, a lot of us still love having a fireplace in our home for that cozy winter night. But, most of us tend to put off any attention to the fireplace until that winter day arrives, and we have no other option. However, it is very important to have both of these cleaned regularly. Not only is this going to save you from a lot of hassle afterward, this will make your house look super clean as well.

2.     Test The Garage Door Opener Monthly

It is important to check your garage door opener monthly to make sure that it is reversing whenever an obstruction hits it or whenever the sensor beam is interrupted by another object. When you check it regularly, you will know that there is a problem with it beforehand and will be well prepared for it.

3.     Inspect the door and window caulking

It is advised that you do this annually to avoid any mishaps. The caulking also helps save the energy and retains heat within the house. This will not only help you save a lot of money but will also help keep your house well maintained.           

By following the above mentioned three steps you can rest assured that your home maintenance is on point. And, at any time, if you need a professional's help to redesign something in your home, give Luxury Homes by Tony McClung a call today at 214-668-7802!

 

Tips To Renovate Your House Beautifully, yet Economically

home renovations

Most of us renovate our homes because we want them to look beautiful and feel more comfortable as well. If you want to renovate your home, you should consider this home renovation plan to be a business plan. If you are starting from scratch, this could also become your special project. The most important thing when it comes to renovating your home beautifully on a budget is to plan everything beforehand. Following are some of the tried and tested methods using which you will be able to save money along with decorating your home like you want to.

1. Budgeting

The very first step to renovating your home is to start with the budgeting. It is very important that you decide on the total expenses beforehand. Also, make sure that you do not overestimate the budget and research in depth about what you want and how much they are going to cost.

Keep in mind that hiring a professional like Tony McClung can be a benefit in the budgeting and design process. Architectural Designers like Tony will work to organize builders, interior designers and construction crews so your remodel project doesn't take over your life!

2. Choose The Correct Paint

The paint of any room is going to affect its lighting as well. When you are renovating your home on a budget, it is important that you keep everything simple. Keeping a color scheme, which you can use throughout the house, means you can save the money needed to buy various different shades. Be sure to check out sources like Pinterest, Joanna Gaines and other popular design sites for paint color scheme ideas that will be perfect in your home.

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3. Make Small Rooms Appear Bigger

To make your house look bigger without any major renovation, you should know the art of making smaller rooms look appear bigger and more spacious. To do this you could use mirrors. This is a tried and tested method to make any room appear bigger.

 

By using the three above mentioned tips and trick you can make your house appear prettier and grander without having to spend loads and loads of money on it. Who thought renovating a house could be so easy and economical! 

What’s Included in a Luxury Custom Home Build, and How Much Does It Cost?

Dallas-Cost-of-Living

Maybe you’ve considered building a home, but must address the all-important question: Can I afford it? Luxury homes in Dallas come in all shapes and sizes. Chances are you can find a custom home that fits your needs and budget, but you’ll have to do a little legwork first. Here’s what you need to know about the home-building process:

Location, Location, Location

One of the biggest factors affecting your home-build will be where you build it. In Dallas, there is Highland Park, University Park, Preston Hollow, Lake Highlands, Lakewood, Richardson, Plano, Frisco, North Dallas...just so may options! Dallas neighborhoods range from very expensive to “up and coming.” Choose the latter and you may find you can get more house for your buck. Even better, you may find that your home appreciates over time. Keep in mind that as you price out property in different neighborhoods, taxes may vary considerably by location. You can easily estimate your property tax by talking to a local government branch, or looking up tax records of nearby houses with a similar value (or projected value).

Renovations Versus New Builds

If you’re currently in a home that can no longer accommodate your growing family, you might be thinking that a renovation is the best option. In some cases, renovations can be a cost-effective alternative to starting a new home from scratch. In others, however, a new build may actually be more frugal. For example, adding an addition can uncover unforeseen problems that may make working with your existing structure a cost-sink. This may apply to older homes, especially those built before the 1950s (when both asbestos and lead-based paint were used). Remember, these are most dangerous when disturbed, so you could be looking at costly remediation to make your home hazard-free. Lead remediation alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars. In other words: do your homework before choosing a renovation over a new build.

Consider Your Budget

A home cost in Dallas will vary greatly depending on the scope of the build and where you choose to build it. There is no set cost for custom homes, as each McClung home is completely unique and tailored to the individual. As a good rule of thumb, however, expect a new build to cost anywhere from $100-$400 per square foot. Having a home that meets your exact specifications, however, can be priceless.

Tony McClung will guide you through the custom home building process using his decades of experience and architectural design knowledge. For more information about our custom homes, please contact us.