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Why Install a Nest Learning Thermostat

There’s an app for any and everything, nowadays. And the Nest Learning Thermostat is definitely a leader of the pack. Here are some of the futuristic features this innovative thermostat puts at your fingertips.

cqchome-durham-4737Energy Tracker

This thermostat is the definition of app savvy! Simply download the Nest app to see how much energy you use and why. Out and about on a blistering hot day or super chilly night? Change your home temperature from the car on your way back home. How cool is that?

Senses

The Nest Learning Thermostat is always aware. It even senses when you enter the room and instantly lights up to inform you of the time, room temperature and even the weather.

Auto Schedule

It also learns what temperature you like in your room — or rooms! Within a week’s time, it programs itself to be at your ideal temp comfort level.

Techy

Connect your thermostat to Wi-Fi and have the luxury of controlling the temperature at your fingertips — from your phone, laptop or tablet.

Home/Away Assistance

Always helping to conserve energy, a leaf icon appears when you’ve chosen a temperature that saves energy.

Have us install one of these ground breaking thermostats in one or all of your rooms. Beware of showcasing one of them in the kid’s rooms, though. They may be all to happy to continuously test out the new “toy”.

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Countertop Corbels

When envisioning your dream kitchen, one of the first things that comes to mind is “what type of countertop will I select to showcase my personal style and wow my guests?” and “what type of lighting will I use to spotlight it?”

But don’t stop there! Many details are often overlooked when selecting countertops — including how countertop overhangs are supported. Let’s look at how countertop corbels function, both practically and aesthetically.

Heavy-Duty Countertop Support

Supporting heavy countertops found in modern kitchens are the main function of countertop corbels. Favorite countertop materials, including granite, quartz, marble, butcher block and concrete are heavier and require strong supports. Even well-made solid wood cupboards underneath some countertops aren’t enough. Countertop corbels provide the necessary support, and their design (not to mention what color they’re painted) can add great flair.

Floating Countertop Overhangs

thompson-home-2016-08-10-56-hdr-edit“Hidden” corbels are nearly invisible and are appearing in more kitchens, providing a streamlined appearance. High-traffic kitchens can make use of this clever design which makes the space under counters more efficient for seating and open shelving. This is because the corbel is not in the way; whereas a series of large, noticeable corbels make legs and knees clear targets for injury.

All in all, you can achieve the spacious, elegant look you want while incorporating the high-quality materials you desire. Give the team at CQC Home a call today. We are here to support your every effort to create a beautiful kitchen that is sure to become the true heart of your home.

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Freestanding Tubs: A Showcase in Style and Versatility

While some say freestanding bathtubs look like they come from a previous era, they certainly are making a comeback! Here are a few reasons why love for freestanding tubs seems to be overflowing, and are being installed in all styles of bathrooms and homes:

Space Saver • Taking up less room than showers, freestanding tubs help achieve a more open-feeling bathroom space.

freestanding-bathtub-4926Versatility • Freestanding tubs come in a wide variety of materials, finishes, shapes and sizes, and can help transform any space. Their placement is versatile, as well. You can place yours in the middle of the bathroom, next to a wall or anywhere you have space.

Added Value • Such a powerful piece will surely add value to your home, whether you are remodeling before placing your home on the market or plan on moving in the future.

Showcase Your Tile • Opt for a freestanding tub with legs to make your tile choice pop! The uninterrupted stretch of tile creates extra dimension and pizazz.

I hope this has ignited your creativity and helped you brainstorm your upcoming bathroom renovation or remodel! And don’t think your space is too minuscule to integrate one of these beauties, either. Call us today and see how any bathroom can be turned into your own personal resort.

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Rack up the Spices and Convenience in Your Kitchen

Always on the lookout for better organization and increased storage space in the kitchen, I was smitten by this ingenious feature being used in every style of kitchen. Pullout spice racks are becoming a staple in most, if not all, of our kitchen remodels and renovations. Our clients are getting their creative juices flowing, finding other multiple uses for this kitchen feature.

a-kitchen-perfect-for-entertaining-36Obviously, using these babies to organize your spices and seasonings will make life a little bit sweeter — or spicier, depending on your taste buds’ preferences!

Storing canned vegetables and cooking oils can also work here depending on the width and depth of the pullout racks. You may want to carefully consider the exact placement of the racks to make this use even more convenient for you in the kitchen. Having us install them in an upper cabinet (as opposed to beside the stove/oven) can ease your mind when it comes to heat possibly ruining your spices and cooking oils. And there’s always the option of us installing one an the upper and lower cabinet!

Telling our designer and project coordinators how your everyday life works always helps us suggest these and other ingenious features. We have found that clients from busy moms to bachelors and even grandparents are loving and swear by their pullout spice racks! Get touch today and see how CQC Home can help you find ingenious ways to enjoy your new dream kitchen.

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Top Rated Kitchen Faucets

Kitchen faucet designs have come a long way. When remodeling your kitchen, you want a faucet that fits your functionality needs and personal style. Here are some five star faucet faves that cover every kitchen necessity and design.

Best Pullout Spray Faucet

Miseno Cirillo Collection

Not only does this faucet appeal to the eye with a high-arc swivel spout design, but it’s rated the best pullout spray faucet on the market right now. The single-handle operation makes it super functional. Miseno engineers all their finishes to resist corrosion and tarnishing. And a cover plate is included with this lovely faucet for sinks with three faucet holes.

Best Touch Faucet

Delta Cassidy Collection

This faucet is a helping hand in high traffic kitchens! Touch technology (aka Touch20) is used to power this faucet on and off. The water automatically shuts off if left running after four minutes. Another popular feature is the LED light that changes colors with the water temperature. The pullout spray head has a magnetic snap-in element and a 62 inch hose.  A 360 degree spout swivel gives you access from every angle. The faucet and finish are covered under Delta’s lifetime warranty. Six AA batteries are required (and even are included). Your batteries last up to two years and covered under a five year warranty. < two year / five year?

Best Bridge Faucet

Kingston Brass Heritage Collection

This faucet is a great accent piece to any kitchen. The three-hole faucet is available in six different finishes including oil rubbed, polish chrome and satin nickel. An additional hole is required for the sprayer which has a five star rating.

Best Pre-Rinse Faucet

Brizo Artesso Collection

Whether you’re cooking for a big crowd or an intimate gathering, this faucet is a great aid for spraying cookware once your guests have devoured their meals. It combines the functionality of a commercial sprayer and a personal faucet. It features a dual-jointed articulating arm with semi-flexible hose, and a spray and stream wand with a magnetic docking system. By and large, a pre-rinser’s new best friend!

The number of holes on your sink are important factors when choosing a new faucet. We can guide you in determining which mount best suites your kitchen. Traditional faucets with hot and cold taps require three holes for the taps and spout, and a fourth for the sprayer. One-piece faucets, with integrated handle and spout require two holes. If you are starting fresh, select your faucet before your sink so you can purchase a sink with the appropriate number of holes. Or simply contact us today. We are always happy to help with your kitchen design and remodeling needs!

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Kitchen Counters: From Classic to Natural

Before making your countertop selections, ask yourself: “Does my choice in kitchen countertop accommodate my meal prep demands, as well as reflect my personal style?” There are so many options  available that trying to make this one decision can leave you perplexed, taking the fun out of designing your beautiful new kitchen! We’ve narrowed down the list of countertops for you, highlighting the best options we are seeing everywhere!

a-kitchen-perfect-for-entertaining-9Granite

This natural material has always taken the lead. The main reason being people’s desire for the having natural elegance of stone in their kitchens. Another big selling point is that the only natural stones harder than granite are sapphires, rubies, and (my personal favorite!) diamonds. That said, this material is pricey, but boy is it durable. A yearly resealing of its surface must be factored in as well to prevent bacteria growth and stains.

Quartz

We may as well call quartz the “sister” of granite. Most people who love the look of granite, but not its price, choose quartz because it possess that “stone look and feel”. Some other major advantages are that quartz countertops are virtually indestructible and are low maintenance. They come in a wide range of colors, from neutral to vibrant. And you can skip the yearly sealing as it’s not required here.

Classic Butcher Block and Wood

Normally you only see wood incorporated in the kitchen on flooring. Not anymore! Butcher block countertops are a must-have in a kitchen were lots of cooking goes down. This material is made for chopping and cutting. If you do manage to get any chips or burns on your new butcher block countertop, a quick sanding and application of mineral oil will do the trick. With all the modern and upscale kitchen trends we’re seeing, having a natural grain or patterned wood countertop really ties in a warm and sentimental touch that’s missing in many of today’s designs.

Laminate

Laminate countertops have come a long way! These days, laminates are looking just as opulent as the other contenders — at a fraction of the cost.The new and improved patterns are making it easier to incorporate in kitchens with both muted or bright color palettes. Sealing once a year doesn’t have to be added to your to-do list with this material either. They are, however, prone to scratches and chips, and heat resistance is a feature missing from this choice. The great news is there are laminate options on the market that allow you to re-coat or refinish them instead of replacing them entirely.

With the kitchen being one of the most important rooms in your home, it is always in high demand for us to revamp. We’ve got you covered from countertop to bottom!

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Black & White Bathroom Design Trends in Historic Homes

Historic homes are found throughout the Triangle area of North Carolina. Are you looking to restore your historic home’s master or guest bath to its full glory? Want to modernize your bathrooms while keeping a classic and timeless historic feel?

eubanks-home-2016-08-10-86-hdrA design in black and white will do just that! It makes a daring statement without being overwhelming — if done properly. Here are some pointers to balance your new, bold bathroom look.

Bathroom Walls

If you go in the direction of black walls, consider wainscoting and/or decorative molding. These features will soften the look of your audacious new walls. Brushed bronze hardware and a white vanity with legs will add sophistication and elegance.

Bathroom Tiles

Whether you decide to cast your main floor or shower tile in a black and white pattern, include a wall mounted mirror, freestanding (or pedestal) sink and traditional style fixtures to focus the eye and create depth.

Don’t be afraid to add framed art or other decorative objects as finishing touches in your new powder room. A pop of color is very fitting and will bring together your new versatile look. This trend is timeless, so don’t be concerned about it fizzing out. We’ve had multiple CQC Home customers go with this beautiful look. And they tell us they fall in love with their new bathroom over and over again each time they enter it!

Have you been considering a bold bathroom remodel? We’d love to hear about it, answer any questions you might have, and advise you throughout the process. Contact us today! No detail is too big or small for us to assist you with.

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Chic Shower Bliss on a Budget

We’ve all seen those ultra luxurious shower commercials with the oh-so costly looking shower heads, right? We watch, thinking to ourselves… “It would be nice to enjoy a spa-like experience everyday. If only I could afford it!” Guess what? Your shower head prayers have been answered. We have the highlights of a showering fixture that you can get multiple functions from, that’s good looking and budget friendly!

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This style of showering allows you to:

  • Select a fixed shower head (i.e. rain head, shower head, high pressure, etc.).
  • Included is a handshower adjacent to the fixed shower head.
  • A diverter valve is conveniently located on the shower column to easily switch from the shower head and the handshower.
  • No hassle or expense of in-wall plumbing required!

Just when you thought the plastic, single nozzle shower head in your grandma’s shower would be all you could afford in your bathroom remodel, we have a great solution for you! This shower column is gracing many of our clients’ showers — from open to fixed budgets!

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Universal Design and Appeal

iman_woods_durham-4776According to Professional Builders Magazine, the average age for first-time home buyers is thirty-one. This exciting and pivotal milestone merits excitement and celebration! But more often than not, asking ourselves if our new dream home will accommodate us and our family for many years to come simply doesn’t happen. We certainly don’t want to buy a house, only to realize our home can no longer adapt to our changing needs.

Letting us incorporate universal design into your home is the solution! What is universal design, you ask? Minor modifications and layouts in your home that will insure functionality and livability for years to come. Here are some features and modifications we can gladly add to your beautiful abode.

  • No-step entryway into home
  • Hand rails at all entries with steps
  • Motion sensor lights at all entries
  • All door openings with a 34″ for width minimum
  • Open floor plans
  • Low pile carpeting with level thresholds
  • Master bedroom and  laundry room on first floor
  • Front loading washer and dryer
  • Door lever handles vs. door knobs throughout home

In your kitchen alone, there are so many features we can incorporate with little changes in appearance while adding a high degree of functionality for all.

  • Microwave drawers vs. over the stove
  • Base cabinets with pullout shelves for easy reach
  • Lever handled kitchen sink faucet
  • 6-1/2″ deep basin sink
  • Retractable cabinet doors
  • Staggered countertops
  • Side-by-side refrigerator or countertop fridge
  • Accessible electrical outlets in the cabinets vs. on the walls

A basement laundry room, second floor master bedroom, jacuzzi and spiral staircase may all wow us today, but will inevitably become obstacles in our daily lives and routines. Universal design blankets everyone who passes through your doorway no matter their age, size or ability. CQC Home is skilled in providing a seamless and invisible transformation. Please connect with our award winning designer for more information.

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Bathroom Must-Haves

The demand for more comfort, space and technology is on the rise in bathrooms. Manufacturers are listening and responding with savvy, must-have features. We’ve composed a list of the most popular amenities on the market.

Electric Radiant Floor Heating

Placing your feet on a toasty warm floor on a cold morning — what a great way to start your day! We can install this floor heating system under most any flooring, but recommend engineered hardwoods as they are more dimensionally stable (less movement) and better able to withstand moisture and temperature variations than solid woods. Porcelain, stone and ceramic tiles are also perfect flooring choices as they do not expand and contract with heat, and are resistant to warping or cracking. Heat emitting throughout your floor’s surface improves the warmth throughout the entire room, boosting energy efficiency. This can bring significant savings on your monthly electric bill.

Electric Towel Warmers

Staying with the toasty theme, this feature will not only keep you warm after a nice hot bath or shower, it will also dry your damp towels and keep your surroundings clean and mildew free. Rails come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and are practical, as well as stylish. Get creative with your new rails and dry delicate garments, lingerie and bathing suits. Why not even warm your mittens, gloves, earmuffs, scarves and winter coats before heading out the door? The possibilities are endless!

Steam Showers

There are multiple perks in having us install a steam shower. The moist heat reduces your blood pressure by widening your blood vessels, and improves your overall circulation. Relief can also be found by the steam opening up your sinus passages. It also relaxes your muscles while ridding your body of toxins and metabolic waste. Twenty minutes of steam per week can help improve your skin’s tone and clarity. Last but not least, endorphins are released in your brain during a steam shower experience to help you relax mentally and emotionally.

Handheld Shower Heads

Who enjoys cleaning their shower? Not anyone I know. With this feature it makes the task much easier. Bathing small kids or your pets can become a breeze, as well. With the option of multiple settings and detaching the shower head from the wall, you gain mobility of the water and can adjust the pressure to clean even the lowest of spots on the floor. If there are any physical limitations or limited mobility, these shower heads are absolutely essential in making showering effortless. These gadgets also conserve water and energy!

iman-woods-8463Humidity-Sensing Fans

These fans have a built-in sensor that activate them when the humidity rises in the bathroom. It then automatically turns them off after a programmed period of time. This is a tremendous aid in removing excess moisture from the air, helping prevent damage to walls and ceilings. Even if flipping the switch before entering the shower slips your mind, your fan will turn on. This will reduce the chance of mold and mildew growth, as well. And who doesn’t like it when life is made just a bit easier?

Shower Lighting

Adding shower lighting can help prevent slips and falls by increasing visibility. This feature also helps improve your overall health and well-being. Many brands offer lighting to generate balance, wellness and energy. LED shower heads are available that change colors depending on the temperature of the water, promoting safety and entertainment for children and adults alike.

One-Piece Toilets

Since these toilets are smaller than two-piece toilets, installing them in smaller bathrooms helps conserve space. The feature that most consumers are grateful for is the connected tank. Fewer nooks and crevasses makes cleaning this toilet a cinch! Young children and those with limited mobility appreciate that the handles and height are lowered. Plus, being made of one stable piece of ceramic increases the durability for years to come.

Smart Toilet Seats with Integrated Bidet Features

These smart toilets do everything you can think of except talk! Hands-free flushing, an automated lid that opens and closes, a seat warmer, adjustable two-nozzle water spray system and an integrated air dryer. There is even a night light and a massage feature, just in case you were wondering! Luxury is a bit pricey, but this doesn’t seem to be keeping consumers at bay.

Having us up the ante on some or all of your bathroom features will create a daily spa experience for you, and leave your guests singing your bathroom praises!

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