Monday, November 25, 2013

A Design Process: breathing new life into an outdated space!

We're often asked how to start a renovation project. Where do you begin? How do you breathe new life into an outdated space?

Follow us on a recent project:


We begin by evaluating your spaces and understanding your style and budget. How deep does the renovation or design change need to go? 

Then we prepare a sketch: 

 And finally - a whole new look!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Here is a preview of our newest completed project in Mediterra, Naples, Florida. A full showcase will be on the web site soon!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sneak Peak: Our Newest Ad

Here's a sneak peek at our newest full page ad in Your Home magazine! Be sure to click on it for a full-sized view!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kitchen & Bath Remodels - A Strong Investment!

Want instant gratification? Consider remodeling your kitchen and baths.  The finished project will bring immediate enjoyment and future resale value.

Both kitchen and bath remodeling offer strong value. If you are doing the remodel to help sell your home right now, you might not get full value for what you invested, but it sure helps sell the house. In today’s market, it’s well worth it.  If you are remodeling to bring more function and enjoyment into your home, a kitchen and bath remodeling  project will definitely do that. 

There are new features in cabinetry, plumbing fixtures and appliances that can make your kitchen and baths more functional and enjoyable. Rain heads and steam shower in baths, kitchen sinks with built-in drainers, colanders, cutting boards and pot fillers, convection microwaves and ovens - the list goes on forever!

If you think your kitchen or bath cabinets have to remain in the same foot print - think again! We recently changed the entire cabinet layout in a 1998 kitchen, removing the raised bar (typical 1998 style) and adding a sleek one level, large bar that accommodates the sink, dishwasher, base cabinetry and allows for 4-6 bar stools.  The client wondered where we got all the room to do this.  That‘s where your remodeler will think outside of the box and come up with ideas that might surprise you!

Now is a good time to improve the quality of your life and the value of your home by remodeling your kitchen or bath. This is a type of project that can be done in all price points.  We can think of no better investment for updating and improving your home.

From construction to remodeling to design - Kingon Homes and Southern Showcase Design is here to help each step of the way. Call us for a consultation and let us help you make your house a dream home AND a perfect investment!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Get Creative With Applied Wood Molding

Applied wood moldings allow for all kinds of creativity in your home. Trim molding can be added to walls to create a frame or frames for design elements, such as mirrors or art.

For instance, if you have a wall that is 16 feet long and 12 feet high, you might want to want to add three frames  (each section would be 3 feet wide x 5 feet high) evenly spaced on the wall.  You then have the option to install mirrors, paint a contrast color, add tile or art inside the frame.  Great look! 

To get started, begin with  a pencil with an eraser and 1/4" graph paper.  Each 1/4" equals one foot. Draw your wall area, then sketch out shapes you would like to see on your wall.  This allows you to envision what the moldings will look like on your wall.

A headboard wall would be a fun project.  If you have a low ceilings trim can be added to give a coffered ceiling effect. Limitless options are possible with moldings! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...

Mirrors (on left) open the room and reflect the gorgeous view!
Mirrors - the decor miracle worker! 

Want to enlarge your space visually?  A mirror can give the allusion of width or depth, and can create a longer line of vision. 

Mirrors can draw attention away from a problem area.  For instance, perhaps a bathroom or kitchen opening off of a formal room is an element you want to hide. Mirrors on both sides of the opening diminish the attention of the opening and can reflect a pretty view from another part the room or the outside.

Naturally dark rooms can be made lighter with the use of mirrors.  Concave or convex mirrors become interesting art. A client recently installed a large mirror with a series of small convex pyramid shaped mirrors on a wall in her beach condo.  Wow! What a look!  It created a larger feeling of space and also acts as the featured art.

Monday, May 13, 2013

DESIGN TIPS: Drywall Detailing

Everyday, ordinary drywall can become a glorious design element with just a little bit of detailing and inspiration! 

For instance, by adding a top layer of drywall to  the  bottom third of an existing wall, you can cut in 2 foot by 2 foot squares the depth of the drywall layer. Add chair rail inside each square and to the top of the newly added drywall.

Bingo! You have created a wainscot. 

This is a great look in a dining room or study.  The wainscot can be painted with wall paint any color of your choice, or even enameled to look like wood. It can also be fauxed it to look like wood, which is much cheaper than real wood.

Let your imagination fly with drywall!

Monday, April 29, 2013

DESIGN TIPS: Architectural Detailing

Ceiling Details Can Change A Room
Maybe you have high flat ceilings and you'd like to add some interest to your ceilings.  
You can frame a detailed ceiling.  This will probably require the assist of an expert, unless you are really handy.  The more elaborate the design the more costly to have framed and drywalled.

You could  frame a 6"x6" soffit around the perimeter of the room, and add cross section 6"x6" wide, creating 4 recesses in the ceiling, this would be the most economical. Framed circles  in the middle of the room are gorgeous but are much more costly to build.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

ENTERTAINING 101: Focal Points

This tip continues our series on getting your home ready for entertaining.

Focal Points
Have a focal point that establishes your theme in your main room. This will anchor your theme.  Decorating around this featured item will help the flow from room to room.  

Art & Accessories
What you hang on your walls and what you showcase as accessories will have an impact.  One of my clients likes to tell stories about an over-sized tribal necklace that hangs in a focal spot of their home. The story changes regularly, depending on the gullibility and sense of humor of their guest.

Lighting is crucial, as it establishes the rooms ambiance.  Put dimmer switches on overhead can lights. The dining room, foyer and outdoor lights are a good place to start to create your desired effect.  

At different times in your evening you may want to adjust your lighting. Candles can be lovely, but watch out for breezes from fans, a/c vents, or opened windows. There are whole house lighting systems that can create scenes from romantic to super bowl party with just a flick of a switch.
Take a good look at your space. Step back with a critical eye and ask yourself,  "Is my home comfortable, guest friendly, tasteful, and do I like the way it lives and feels?"  If you answer yes to all , then you have done a great job of getting your home ready for entertaining.  If not, remember, simple changes can work wonders! 

Good luck in creating a lovely home environment.

Friday, April 5, 2013

ENTERTAINING 101: Get your home ready!

Have you noticed that Southwest Florida just might be the home entertainment capital of the world? It is!  Our beautiful climate and friendly people blend together to create the perfect environment for getting together, and what better place than in our homes. 

Is your home ready for entertaining?  We want our house to look as good as possible when we invite our friends to spend an evening or afternoon.  Your home says a lot about you.  You invest a lot of your time and energy to make your home as comfortable and as appealing as possible. 

A large or very small decorating budget shouldn't make a difference if you follow some simple suggestions:

Sometimes just re-arranging or eliminating furniture pieces can make a dramatic difference.  An overly crowded room doesn't do you one bit of good.  You should be able to move around freely, if not make a change.  Sometimes moving furniture from one room to another makes a nice difference.  If your dining room is small, buffet dinners will work just fine.

Formal or casual rooms should look comfortable and not haphazard.  Too many colors,  textures, sizes and scales create chaos making your room feel unfriendly.  Formal arrangements should be symmetrical in your furniture and accessory arrangements with the use of muted or deeper colors.  A casual look is usually asymmetrical and playful with the use of textures and color (but not too many).

A theme will help you unify your decor.  The theme should flow from room to room.  Examples of themes are beach, tropical, country French, Tuscan, Asian, or world traveler,  just to name a few.  If you can't decide on a theme tear pages of pictures of homes you like from decorating and home magazines.  More than likely they will have a similar look or theme, and this will help you develop your theme and style.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

RENOVATION TIPS: Top Remodeling Tips for 2013

Kitchen makeovers are the most requested remodel projects. Kitchens are no longer just a place to prepare food - they are an area for entertaining.

Because of it's broadening role, an outfitted kitchen can be the most valuable asset in your home.

Bathroom makeovers come in a very strong second.  Homeowners want a spa-like environment.  Remodeling can change a cramped bathroom into a luxurious spa.

No more small separated rooms in the main living area!  Removing an interior wall or two between the kitchen and living room, family room or dining room can make your space feel  more spacious and more user friendly for entertaining. 

Removing carpet and installing hardwoods, bamboo, tile, stone, reclaimed flooring or cork make one of the largest impacts on a home. Bare floors are great for people who have pets or suffer allergies.

From outdoor kitchens and arbors to outdoor living rooms with fireplaces and TV areas to draped dining rooms....only our imagination can hold us back.  Aluminum screen enclosures around pools are being replaced with concrete and stucco columns and arches with screens inserted between the columns.  Pool houses with fireplaces and or restrooms and storage areas for pool supplies are growing in popularity.

Adding a room is one of the most valuable improvements you can make to raise the market value of your home.  A master bedroom can be made larger, a study can be eased into an unused outdoor space, adding a room above your garage can provide many uses from guest quarters to game rooms or a study, exercise areas, hobby space or a combination of uses.

Most homeowners want to save money on their electric bill.  The best way to save on utilities is to upgrade your HVAC equipment, to include new ducting.

Adding additional insulation to your attic, replacing windows with energy efficient and impact resistant windows as well as caulking and sealing around windows and doors will also help you save your utility bills.  Check with utility companies about the possibility of rebates for these improvements.

Most of our homes are one of our largest investments.  General maintenance and quality improvements to your home will make every inch of your home a valuable investment.

Be sure to read all our other tips and news in the archive located on the right sidebar. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

DESIGN TIP: Color Your World

by Ann Kingon, Southern Showcase

How do you refresh and update your home without great expense?
Color can transform your home! So many people live in white or beige rooms, which can appear stark, cold or display a real case of the "blahs". Just a touch of color can add drama, warmth, and even a touch of sunshine. Color can be bold or subdued; it can be warm or cool.  Your desired effect will determine what colors you should choose.  Here are a few  tricks  designers and decorators use that can help you navigate the world of paint and color.

Make more space without adding a single square foot!
Pale colors tend to recede visually, the lighter the color you choose for walls and floors, the larger your space will appear.  Cool colors such as blues and greens make small spaces appear larger.  You might want to consider using the same color throughout in a small condo, it will make the condo seem larger.

Make large rooms appear smaller!

Deep colors reduce sense of space.  Warm colors (red, orange, yellow) appear warm and cozy (they also simulate appetite)  Large spaces feel more welcoming and user friendly with these colors.  Have you ever been in a large home that felt cold and uninviting?  I bet they didn't use a warm color pallet.

Get more headroom!
Make low ceilings appear higher by painting the ceiling a shade or two lighter than the walls.  You can install crown molding around the perimeter of the room, which will help draw your eye upwards.

Hide things you don't want to emphasize!
Windows, doors or any off-center architectural detail will not be as noticeable if they are painted the same color as the walls.  Air conditioning vents and returns seem to disappear when painted the same color as walls or ceilings.

Get modern!
Paint with contrasting color for a contemporary/industrial look. Pipes, metal work and air conditioning ducts can look like sculptural artwork.  You have to be a little adventurous to go this route, but remember, it's only paint.  Niches and tray ceilings are much more noticeable when painted in a contrasting color.

Optical illustions down the hall!
Paint can make long corridors appear shorter if you use a deep warm color on the far walls. Try this one tip - it works like magic.  To give the corridor a more spacious look paint with light cool colors. And to make the corridor look longer, mount a tall mirror.

Paint is inexpensive, and lighting at the paint store can't be trusted to match your own lighting, so initially, buy the smallest amount you can and try a test area. This will assure you that the sample you fell in love with on the swatch really is the color you want.

Remember, paint is one of the easiest transformations for your home, and can give you a big bang for the dollar.

Stay tuned for our next tip, and most of all, have fun!

Thursday, February 28, 2013


Granite is a practical countertop material. Granite countertops will retain their beauty and depth of shine for many years to come, as well as add a great deal of value to your home.

Understanding the care of your granite countertops will protect your investment:

  • Never use any ammonia product to clean your granite countertops, as this can eventually dull the finish of your countertops.
  • If you feel something is stuck to the surface of the countertop, double-00 fine steel wool or a razor blade may be used to take it off.
  • Use warm, soapy water to clean the surface of your granite countertops. Specialized stone cleaners may be used. These cleaners can be purchased from any tile store.
  • You may cut directly on the stone surface. It is recommended that if you are going to do any cutting in the same place, you should use a cutting board. Repeated cutting on the stone surfaces will dull your knife.
  • Hot pots and pans can be placed directly on the granite countertop surface without the use of a potholder. However, do not slide the pot on the surface of the granite, as the pot may have a metal spur that could scratch the surface of the granite.
  • We recommend that you apply a granite sealer to your tops once every six months. Granite sealer can be found at any Home Depot store.