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!

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.