Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thinking about that attic

Not all attics are created equal so before you start dreaming of that gorgeous loft you need to determine a few things. That means going up to the attic and taking a look around. What do you see?

1) You may have potential for an attic if it has a kind of A shape. Some are designed with a W shape (this refers to the trusses that support the roof). If it is the W kind of attic, you may find that the expense of remodeling makes a project elsewhere in the house make more sense. Remember, these shapes are about the supports for the roof so you can’t take short cuts.

2) If the attic has potential, you’ll need to determine how much headroom there is. This will be guided by the pitch of the roof. There are often building codes in place that require a minimum amount of headroom so even though you can stand up easily that doesn’t mean you can go ahead.

You’ll need to measure and determine how much room there is and if it meets codes. You’ll also find headroom down the middle isn’t sufficient. There is usually a minimum area of the attic that needs to allow for the proper headroom. Keep in mind, building materials will likely take some of the current height away.

3) You’ll also need to consider how people will get up to the attic. Standard stairs will take up a considerable amount of space from the floor below. You may be able to reduce this with stairs that have a landing halfway up. Another option is spiral stairs which generally take up the least amount of space from the floor below.

4) If you’ve considered all of these and see that everything is a “Go!” then take a moment to consider the insulation for the loft’s walls and how the room will be heated and ventilated. Then … start the dreaming!

5) Lastly, remember to always check with local codes about what you can do and what requirements may be in place, such as exits. You don’t want to find yourself with a project that, when finished, can’t be used or can’t be insured. Check those codes!

And if all that seems overly daunting, take a breath and relax. With experts like those at Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes, you have a skilled help on your side.

Serving Northern Virginia
Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes
8630-C Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031
Tel:(703) 641-9800
Fax:(703) 641-5938

The new living room? – Kitchen trends 2011

The trend this year is toward seeing the kitchen as meaning more than just food. People are seeing kitchens as a living space and this is guiding a trend toward natural warmth. Key words this year are value, natural and function. And living.

Trends are toward a classic quality that means comfort along with a look that will stay fashionable a long time while incorporating some very contemporary ideas.


Personal taste always dictates color but this year you will likely want to think “natural and warm.” This can be bold and rich colors like shades of copper, burnt oranges, chocolate and coffee tones and yellows. If bold isn’t you, tone it down with subtler variations of these. In either case, consider warm palettes that are welcoming and complement natural materials.

Natural materials

From counters to cabinets to flooring, natural is the thing this year as people move from synthetic materials to woods and stone which are often more durable while providing the warmth that is defining this year’s trends.

Materials like granite and bamboo will be popular (and bamboo can be a better option from an environmental perspective). Bamboo and hardwood floors will be fashionable, as will materials like bamboo as an option for cabinetry.


Lighting isn’t just about being able to see. It’s also about feeling. This is why this year’s trends are emphasizing three aspects of kitchen lighting: natural lighting, statement lighting and accent lighting. Natural light means looking at enlarging your windows or adding more windows – even considering a skylight in your kitchen. It’s all about getting more sunlight in your kitchen.

Statement lighting will be equally popular with an emphasis on a touch of elegance through pendant lighting in bronze, iron and other styles. Even chandeliers will have appeal as both contribute to a brighter kitchen. 

Accent lighting will be big as people choose recessed and track lighting. The use of dimmer switches will also help in adapting kitchens to delivering lighting that can reflect mood and function as you adapt to the time of day and what you are doing – brighter as your working; softer as you relax.

Space and organization

With thinking of a kitchen as a living space rather than simply as a place to cook and eat, many are asking, “What else can be done here?” In answer, computers are finding their way to the kitchen so recipes can be stored and organized, quick Internet searches can be made for recipes or grocery lists prepared. Where space is available, some are even thinking of desks where kids can do homework while moms and dads prepare food. People are seeing their kitchen as a place for families to gather and interact.

Increasingly, the trend for kitchens is to think in terms of “more” and “what else” and “living.” They are no longer cooking spaces; they are living spaces that include cooking. This is helping to determine colors, lighting, materials and more as people search for ways to make the kitchen welcoming, warm, soothing and adaptable.

Remodeling tip: Stay organized and focused with folders

By: Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes

Remodeling projects can be big and they can be small but regardless of the size there is one general tip to keep in mind when engaging on your project. It should help you keep on track, organized and help ensure the vision you started out with is what your finished project achieves.

It comes down to one word: folders.

1) Name your project and create a folder for it – yes, a folder for paperwork. You can create a equivalent “folder” on your computer, but some items (like receipts) require a physical, old school folder.

2) Within that folder, create sub folders for the different aspects of your project. Using a remodeled room as an example, the sub folders would be such things as electrical, plumbing and paint. For each aspect of the project, try to create a few notes outlining what is being done and why so that, in later months and years, you can go back and refresh your mind about why something was done a certain way.

3) For something like paint, jot down why you chose a certain color. More importantly, write down the color you choose and keep a chip/sample of the color for future reference. (You may want to touch something up in the future and will want something to refer to.)

4) Keep receipts in their appropriate folders so they are easy to find.

While keeping a folder with sub folders helps you stay organized it is also beneficial in keeping you on course and focused on what you are doing. And believe it or not, a year or so later when you embark on another project you can forget why you chose to do something one way and not another.

The information we keep in a folder helps us to remember and stay consistent with our vision.

Serving Northern Virginia
Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes
8630-C Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031
Tel:(703) 641-9800
Fax:(703) 641-5938

Don’t get tangled up with wires and extension cords

A common problem with our homes today is what to do with all the wires. There was a time when people didn’t have to worry about such things. But they didn’t have cable, internet or even electricity. We do and so, when remodeling a room, it’s a good idea to think through this aspect before beginning.

When renovating a room, try to get a vision of the room nailed down in more than a general way. Try to get a picture of where your furniture will go, where the TV might be placed (if there will be TV in the room) and keep in mind where phone and internet outlets will be (unless you are strictly a cell phone user and have wireless internet).

If you don’t think these things through, you may find your room is a jungle of wires that you need to deal with.

In some cases, you may not have much choice where an outlet might be, but in most cases you do.

For example, if you have a picture of how the room will be laid out, and where furniture will be placed, you can ensure your electrical outlets are placed in convenient locations so wires and extension cords don’t have to run under and behind furniture.

If you are adding a cable outlet and you know where the TV will be, you can have the outlet placed in a location where it doesn’t require huge lengths of cable running throughout the room.

It is the same story with all electric and electronic elements that could be in the room. Knowing ahead of time where they will be can help to eliminate the problem of “all those wires.”

Keep in mind, there are few things as annoying as wires when you are trying to clean. And nothing can throw off the wonderful impression your room could make than tangled wires behind everything.

Serving Northern Virginia
Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes
8630-C Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031
Tel:(703) 641-9800
Fax:(703) 641-5938

Monday, September 26, 2011

Award Winning Addition

Ashburn home goes from "How?" to "WOW!" in just three months' time

Homes Editor

When an Ashburn family learned of the joyous news, a newly engaged son, planning for the happy couple began which would include a celebration in this soon-to-be-renovated
home. As the homeowners planned for enough space to entertain guests, they began their home improvement wish list. On the living level, the list included a larger breakfast area, a sun room, a more functional and expanded kitchen, creating more of an open floor plan in this typical colonial home layout. With plenty of exterior backyard space to expand
the lower level, the family included changes to an older deck with Jacuzzi that did not fit their lifestyle. Updating the master bathroom also qualified for this round of renovations.
Facing a shortened time frame and the significant task of renovating for an engagement celebration, the homeowners met with and hired designer Sonny Nazemian of award
winning Michael Nash, Design, Build and Homes. A full service company, working from initial concept through architectural design, construction, interior design to finishing, Michael Nash is a single source for finest design workmanship and prides themselves on every aspect of
each project completed in-house, with no use of outside contractors. With a vision for the addition and renovations, the project quickly became reality.

outdoors in
Sonny says the main agenda of the team was to direct all interior attention toward the beautiful scenic backyard. Expanding the back of the house from the existing kitchen, the 14 by 22 foot addition replaced the old deck to accommodate the larger kitchen, breakfast area and sun
room. Built on a concrete foundation, the exterior of the addition was covered with siding to match the existing home.
Designing a more usable outdoor space for the family, the team created a new 26 by 36 foot angular stone patio leading from a side French door from the addition. The space includes a short wall surrounding the patio made from matching stone, decorative lights on the perimeter, as
well as a water feature in the round-Preparing for an engagement party, this local family took three months to build an addition to create an open floor plan with tremendous natural light.
ed corner to be enjoyed outdoors and indoors, viewable from the new sunroom and family room.
Extending the existing kitchen wall by three feet, the design team was able to include large windows at the back of the house as well as the French door leading to the patio. Designing a vaulted ceiling in the sun room brightens the once dark space, the expansion also allotting
for new side windows bringing in western sunlight for increased natural light.

Change and Arrange
Building a window bench under and added cabinetry around the side windows in the sun room gives the family more storage space which the original kitchen seemed to be lacking.
With the extension, re-arrangement of all kitchen components was made possible creating better traffic flow, more storage, accessibility and better accommodation of appliances.
By eliminating the corner pantry, the center island was enlarged and is no longer a cause for gridlock. The client chose warm cherry cabinetry with exotic stone counter tops, a limestone backsplash, upscale appliances and detailed molding throughout the kitchen and addition. Pendant, under cabinet, and recess lighting warms up the space, while matching new hardwood floors with existing floors make the open floor plan seamless.

Luxury Retreat
Last item on the renovation list included changes to the master bathroom. Living with a modest, functional bathroom, the homeowners wished to complete the master suite with a luxurious retreat. Elongating the bathroom space allowed several necessary changes the homeowners were interested in creating. A corner bathtub was removed to make room for a straight soaking tub as well as a larger glass shower stall. The other side of the bathroom includes a half wall for toilet privacy as well as extended dual vanities with custom cabinetry above and below.
Updates throughout the space give this bath a spa-like feel.

Award Winning
Is it any wonder this renovated space and addition went on to win the Contractor of the Year (CotY) award for 2010?
This award is given by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry's (NARI) headquarters to members who have demonstrated outstanding work through remodeling projects. NARI's core purpose is to advance and promote the remodeling industry's professionalism, product and vital public purpose. Each year NARI contractor members are invited to compete
for this prestigious award. This home was categorized as a residential addition under $100,000 which includes but is not limited to additions, adda-levels, or attic build-outs, which increases livable . space of the existing home. The project cannot have changed the exterior footprint or elevations of the existing residential structure in more than one location. Michael Nash has won and continues to win awards throughout the industry. With this award winning
design and construction, the client's satisfaction was achieved for the special celebration while the space continues to be fully utilized and enjoyed daily.

For more information about Michael Nash Design, Build and Homes, please
visit www.michael-nash.com or call
(703) 641-9800. To learn more about

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Home & Design
Washington DC. Maryland. Virginia
Fall 2011

Intended for smaller spaces, the Hydro-Slide
Glass shower door is designed so that one
pane of glass is fixed while the other is operable.
Available in custom sizes through Case
Design/Remodeling, Inc. casedesign.com

The Ronbow Rebecca wall-mount vanity
imparts a clean-lined, modern look to the
bath, with a recessed ceramic basin and a
frosted glass drawer front. Available in cinnamon
and dark cherry (pictured) finishes
through Michael Nash Design Build &


Home & Design
Washington DC-Maryland-Virginia
Late Spring 2011


We transformed a dated, dysfunctional bathroom
into an enlarged, opulent master bath
worthy of a NYC penthouse, complete with
larger footp rint, marble and mahogany
• A Napolean, free-standing tub and

enlarged shower with bodyspray features
• Triple mirrors and high-end connecting
mahogany vanities topped with marble
• Mul ti-ti ered lighting, pocket-doors and
marb le fl oors complete the elegant look