farmhouse-kitchen-lancaster-pa

Kitchen Color: The Versatility of Neutral Colors


Neutral colors are often underrated, but they can be used in various ways and will never go out of style. When it comes to kitchen color, white is still the dominant option. It is always on the top of the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s (NKBA’s) annual Design Trends Survey of the most popular kitchen color. However, there are plenty of other neutrals that can work well, too. This article will discuss the versatility of neutral colors for the kitchen and some of the best ways to use them!

But what if you want to add color to your kitchen? Here are a few ways you can easily add a pop of color to make your kitchen look fresh and fun.

New Window Treatments 

Replace neutral blinds and curtains with window treatments that are eye-catching and bright. Select a solid color that matches your kitchen decor, or if you’re feeling extra spicy, choose window treatments in a stylish, bold print.

Bright Rugs 

Kitchens see a lot of foot traffic, and rugs are a practical solution for keeping the floor clean and the noise level down. Instead of picking a rug in neutral tones, select one with a bright design that fits with your kitchen’s color scheme. Just make sure you purchase a rug with the right pad for your flooring type.

white-kitchen-island-retro-chairs Painted Base Cabinet

If your kitchen has an island, you can consider choosing painted base cabinets to add a splash of color to your otherwise neutral space. Select a deep blue for a subtle look or paint the cabinet a cheerful yellow.

Interesting Backsplash

Add a decorative tile backsplash that complements your kitchen decor. If you choose a bold design, consider installing a tile accent in a small space, like around the stove. This eye-catching change will bring color and character to your kitchen decor.

Colorful Cookware or Glass Accents 

Most people choose cookware and dinnerware in neutral colors to adapt to any color scheme. Instead, consider buying pieces with bright, bold designs and displaying them on kitchen shelves. These colorful pieces can act as cookware and home decor simultaneously.

white-farmhouse-kitchen-lancaster-county Wallpaper 

Wallpaper is far from out of style, and there are plenty of wet-space-safe designs on the market perfectly designed for kitchen walls. So select a fun print and create an accent wall to make your kitchen space pop.

 Unique Pendant Lighting  

Pendant lights are a trending choice in home design, and they’re so easy to install. Many pendant lights are equipped with a plug, so all you’ll need is a nearby outlet and a ceiling hook. They come in all shapes and sizes, colors and prints, so pick a light fixture that gives your kitchen character instead of choosing a light fixture that’s made of stainless steel or glass.

Neutral kitchens may be en vogue, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a colorless space. Whether you want to incorporate a peaceful shade of blue or a pop of color that’s bright and cheerful, you’ll be surprised easy it is to add color to your kitchen. Keep these tips in mind as you plan your kitchen remodeling project.

Do you have a kitchen renovation in mind? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

gray-kitchen-island-bar

Choosing a Kitchen Backsplash


A kitchen remodel is a big undertaking so it’s important that you consider every detail along the way. Your kitchen backsplash probably won’t break the bank, but it has the potential to complement big-ticket items like your countertops and cabinets. Here are five things to consider when choosing a kitchen backsplash so it fits seamlessly into your beautifully designed space.

1. How Much Space Will Your Backsplash Cover?

When considering the design of the backsplash and selecting your backsplash materials, it’s best to approach it already knowing the area it will cover so you can make decisions that stay within your budget. Some materials, like a stone backsplash, are much more expensive than others, and they’re also harder to install—which makes it more labor-intensive (adding to the expense). Small, decorative tiles are also pricey, so while a lovely glass backsplash might make sense in a small space or as an accent, it may not be a practical choice financially to cover a large area.

2. What Material Do You Want for Your Backsplash?

There are quite a few material choices when it comes to backsplash designs, but the most popular are tile and stone. There are benefits and drawbacks to each material, and each has its own unique look. Stone backsplashes are typically more expensive, but when you pair a marble countertop with a stone backsplash, it truly is a lovely combination of textures. Tile, on the other hand, is a more cost-effective option, which makes it a more popular choice for kitchen backsplash designs. Consider the look you’re trying to achieve and your budget, and then choose the best material for the job.

neutral-kitchen-with-countertop

3. Plain or Patterned?

Tile comes in all shapes, sizes, patterns and colors, and it can be overwhelming to narrow down your choice to pick the right design for your kitchen. First, consider your countertops, and choose tile that will complement the countertop’s texture, material and color—creating a balance that’s pleasing to the eye. If your countertop has a busy design, it may be best to choose a tile design that is more neutral, and if your countertops are primarily a solid color, you may have more freedom to choose a more playful tile pattern. If your countertops are busy and you choose an equally busy tile design, the effects will look messy and visually unappealing. Your remodeling firm will help you create a balanced look, so none of the design elements are competing for your attention.

herringbone-subway-tile-backsplash

4. Functionality First

Your backsplash shouldn’t be the biggest expense in your kitchen remodel, so choose a design that fits within your budget. Additionally, the main function of your kitchen backsplash is to protect your kitchen walls from damage while you cook and clean. Select a backsplash that is easy to clean and consider the tile material’s durability. There are plenty of materials to choose from, and not all are created equally.

5. Don’t Forget the Grout

Grout is like the glue that holds your backsplash together, but it can also be incorporated into your overall design. For many decades white grout was the dominant option, but it’s hard to keep clean. Sometimes a colored grout can change the entire look of a backsplash design, making it unique and eye-catching. Or select a grout that is the same color as your tiles for a seamless look.

Your kitchen backsplash should not be an afterthought during your kitchen remodeling process. With careful consideration, your backsplash can be a showstopping piece that cleverly ties together the countertops and cabinets, for a perfectly cohesive look. There are infinite design possibilities, and with the help of your professional remodeling firm, you’ll be able to create a beautiful backsplash for your new kitchen.

Do you have a kitchen renovation in mind? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

 

reduce-energy-bill

4 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bill


With the price of so many goods and services on the rise, here are a few simple ways to reduce your energy bill.  

 Check for air leaks. Drafty windows and doors can be a huge source of energy loss. Check each of your doors and windows for drafts, and if you feel them, purchase a weatherization kit at your local home improvement store. You can also buy heavy, insulated curtains. If the draftiness is too severe or it’s too dangerous to fix the leaks (such as your second-story windows), call a professional. 

  1. Use LED lighting fixtures. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting accounts for 15% of an average home’s electricity use. LED lights “use up to 90% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.” 
  1. Adjust the thermostat. Adjusting the thermostat is one of the most significant ways you can see savings on your utility bills all year round. In colder months, try setting the thermostat a bit lower. For example, if you normally set it at 72, try 68 during the day and even lower overnight. While at first, these adjustments may feel a bit extreme, your body will adjust, and you will notice savings. 
  1. Check for water leaks. The source for an increased water bill is often found in hidden leaks. Fix any dripping faucets or running toilets. Afterward, if you still suspect hidden leaks, check your meter before going to bed and in the morning to determine an over-usage. 

 While these changes may be small, over time they will add up to sizable savings.  

remodeled-basement-finished

Project Spotlight: A Fabulous Finished Basement


Erick and Erica are second owners of a home built by Metzler Home Builders. They loved their home but desired additional living space and decided to pursue the idea of a finished basement. Their uniquely shaped lot and home layout provided allowed them to accomplish four things on their wish list for their basement: a library/game room, a playroom, a media room and storage space. They also wanted to incorporate into the space a bathroom, a wet bar and a Murphy bed. 

Tim Zehr drew up a plan for the basement, which included all the desired items. Erick and Erica were impressed with the plan and the proposal and felt like they were getting the best “bang for the buck” in having Metzler’s undertake the project. They were willing to pay for the quality they expected to have in the finished product.  

Work began on the basement at the beginning of March 2020. Unfortunately, the project was halted shortly after due to the construction shutdown during the pandemic. During this pause, the media room shifted to a whole different space in Erick’s mind, and the idea of a theater room was born. By hiring an audio/visual specialist, the room was transformed. The wall-hung TV was scrapped for a 106” diagonal screen, and a ceiling-mounted 4K HDR home theater projector. Speakers and a subwoofer were installed, and sound-deadening features were utilized in the walls and ceilings to minimize sound transference to the remainder of the home. The addition of smart lighting controls greatly enhanced the theater experience. 

Erick and Erica appreciated the flexibility demonstrated by the entire Metzler team to adjust on the fly and how they dealt with the initial Covid shut-down phase with professionalism. They were impressed with how the framing layout led to an excellent utilization of the space and appreciated the attention to detail that Mike Trout and his crew demonstrated throughout the entire process. Erick described Mike as a “stickler for details,” and noted, “every email and conversation I had was dealt with professionally and timely by all involved.”  

In addition, he said, “Less than two months after completion, we had an unrelated water leak in our theater room from the HVAC humidifier unit, and Tim was great to work with on the insurance claim and restoration. Everyone [at Metzler] went above and beyond to help us deal with that unforeseen event.” 

Erick and Erica use their newly finished basement every day with their three small children. They love the built-in cabinets and bookshelves and the unique spaces designed by Tim. The Murphy bed and full bath allow for a wonderful retreat for out-of-town guests.  

Whether they want a quiet place to read, want to watch the kids play, or enjoy a movie together in the theater room, this young family has a fantastic space that will serve them well for years to come! 

finished-basement-in-lancaster-pa

spring-home-checklist

Get-Your-Home-Sparkling Spring Home Checklist


The first official day of spring is March 20, and with winter in our rear-view mirror, March is a great month to ready your home for sunnier days and warmer weather. Here are a few projects to include in your Spring Home Checklist. Get a jump start on them now, so you may fully enjoy the spring days ahead. 

Inside 

Spring is the perfect time to clean your home thoroughly, but you can’t forget about those pesky spots. The tops of cabinets and under appliances are often overlooked in between deep cleans. If it’s been a while since you took care of these hard-to-reach areas, now would be a great time to dust or vacuum them out so they’re ready for summer. 

 Grease and dirt residue can stick to your cabinet, backsplashes and walls in your kitchen. To remove these pesky substances, you will need a bucket of warm water mixed with mild detergent. You should also use the same mixture on bathroom surfaces where soap scum, mold and mildew can linger. 

Outdoors 

The winter may have prevented you from spending much time outdoors, but now that spring has arrived, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Cleaning outdoor furniture is a chore most homeowners avoid, but it’s essential if you want to use your patio all summer long. If you’re not sure how to do it, these quick steps will help:  

  • Gather the necessary cleaning supplies: liquid soap or detergent, baking soda and water for scrubbing dirty surfaces. 
  • Grab some rags and a brush to get into those hard-to-reach spots.  
  • Scrub down every surface with soapy water or soap mixed with baking soda.  
  • Rinse everything off and let dry before using them outside. 

 It may still be a bit too cool to begin a garden, but now is the perfect time to plan. Local nurseries only have room to stock the most popular plants, so if you want variety, spend time looking at seed catalogs and online retailers. 

 Additionally, when working in your garden, it’s important to have the right tools. For better results, sharpen any lawn and garden tools before starting work. Clean out last year’s potting containers, check hoses and nozzles and buy yourself a new set of gardening gloves.  

lancaster-pa-home-builder

Project Spotlight: A Truly Custom “Forever” Home


Derek and Sarah have always dreamt of building a new home. After moving to Lancaster County and experiencing an unsuccessful home search, they decided it was time to pursue that dream.  They had certain requirements for their “forever” home and hadn’t been able to find a home that met their needs within their price range.  They thought building a new home was not financially possible.  After looking into it further, they found that building a new home was more cost-effective than buying a house that was on the market and having to make repairs and improvements to make it work for their family. 

custom-built-home-southern-lancaster-county

A realtor that was working with Derek and Sarah referred them to Metzler Home Builders.  After an initial consultation with Jordan Metzler, they visited a house that Metzler’s had in the Parade of Homes and saw the attention to detail and expert craftsmanship.  That helped “seal the deal” and they decided to move ahead with plans to build. 

Their gorgeous home nestled in the rolling hills of southern Lancaster County features four bedrooms, three and a half baths, an office and large laundry on the first floor, and a loft used as a playroom on the second floor.  With four daughters, Derek and Sarah wanted as much closet space as possible, and as many bathrooms and vanities that the house could hold!  Jordan worked with them to come up with a house plan that would meet those needs.  When asked what they like about their new home, Derek and Sarah said “Everything!”  At the top of the list is the kitchen.  It is the “heart of our home, a gathering place for our family and friends. It has become the hub for socializing and connecting with loved ones over a good meal.”  Also on their list is the wrap-around front porch.  Most mornings you’ll find them on their rocking chairs enjoying a cup of coffee. 

design-build-construction-southern-lancaster-pa

“The team at Metzler Home Builders communicated a very clear and organized picture of the process for us,” said Derek and Sarah. “They were incredibly friendly and accommodating along the way.  After working through modifying other custom designs to meet our needs, Jordan recommended we start from scratch on a design for a custom build.  In the end, we had the perfect design for our family. They delivered an excellent product on schedule and on budget.  Metzler Home Builders changed our lives in the best way possible.  Our family has the opportunity to make lasting memories in a well-crafted custom home!” 

This article was originally featured in our Fall 2021 print newsletter.

kitchen-ideas-neutral-color

Gorgeous & Functional Kitchen Ideas


The kitchen is not just for preparing meals. Some of the fondest family moments occur in this room as you try a new recipe or share a plate with your loved ones. The kitchen is also an expression of your lifestyle. Cabinets, countertops, and floorplan designs reflect your style and personality. The good news is you can create a gorgeous and functional kitchen—one of your dreams—regardless of its size. Here are some ideas to consider before you meet with any remodeling firm about a kitchen remodeling project.

Pick a Neutral Color

Neutrals are so versatile, and a neutral kitchen can be the perfect canvas to personalize your space, with colorful rugs, glassware, drawer pulls, fixtures and more.

White is always one of the highest-ranking colors in each National Kitchen and Bath Association’s (NKBA) annual design trends survey. That’s because it doesn’t go out of style. Over the years, people have associated this color with purity, happiness and fresh beginnings. Thanks to its brightness, white also reflects light to give the room a larger feel.

Neutral doesn’t need to equal pure white. Grays and greige (a mix of beige and gray) are also good neutral colors to choose from.

Lighting Is Important

Besides adding personality to your kitchen, lighting maximizes visibility to ensure safety while cooking. Four types of artificial lighting go into the design of your kitchen: task, ambient, accent and decorative. These, coupled with natural light from windows, will create a kitchen lighting plan that is smart, safe and functional.

When thinking about the lighting you need in your kitchen, it’s important to review:

  • Where you need light, such as overhead, overtop the island and kitchen table, under the cabinets, etc.
  • The activities you’ll be doing in the kitchen (and at what time of day). If most of your cooking happens before dawn or after dusk, you’ll need to consider that.
  • Think about how bright the light should be—now and in the future. Keep in mind that as we age, the sharpness of our vision deteriorates (as anyone who wears reading glasses can attest). This means you’ll need brighter light to do the same tasks.

The kitchen is not just for preparing meals. Some of the fondest family moments occur in this room as you try a new recipe or share a plate with your loved ones. The kitchen is also an expression of your lifestyle. Cabinets, countertops, and floorplan designs reflect your style and personality. The good news is you can create a gorgeous and functional kitchen—one of your dreams—regardless of its size. Here are some ideas to consider before you meet with any remodeling firm about a kitchen remodeling project.

kitchen-ideas-subway-tiles

Subway Tiles for the Backsplash

Subway tiles were developed by designers LaFarge and Heins in 1904 for the New York subway system to create bright and almost purified stations in an otherwise dank, dark underground hub.

Originally made from white glass, subway tiles are traditionally 3×6 inches, but they now come in a variety of sizes, colors and finishes. They are versatile and can complement almost any design style. This is in addition to their numerous arrangement options. For instance, these tiles can be arranged in a classic staggered pattern, which can make your kitchen appear larger and brighter or a vertical stack could give the room a modern feel. Other options include herringbone and geometric patterns.

Ergonomic Design

Often referred to as “universal design,” an ergonomic design guarantees convenience to all kitchen users, regardless of their age. Apart from improving posture, ergonomics decreases motion and exertion when reaching for items on shelves.

One way to enhance ergonomics is by lowering the typical counter height from 36 inches to between 28 and 30 inches. By designing countertops at different heights, you allow everyone in the family to help in the kitchen, including children. Varying countertop heights also add depth to your space to enhance aesthetics.

Other smart ergonomic design ideas include installing a microwave drawer, widening the space between counters, adjusting the height of the toe kicks, using cabinet drawers for storing your plates (instead of overhead cabinetry)—to name a few.

Smart Storage

A functional kitchen begins with proper storage of “all the things,” and thankfully, there are cabinets that can be built to match your needs.

  • Cabinet spice racks
  • Pull-out drawers for dishes, pots and pans
  • Lazy Susans or blind corner cabinet organizers for maximizing this space
  • Drawer inserts for keeping your knives and cooking utensils organized
  • Under-sink and trash can organizers, and more

Your remodeling firm will be able to share even more ways you can create smart storage for all your kitchen cooking and baking needs. However, thinking about these items before meeting with your remodeling firm will help prepare you for the details you’ll need to consider throughout design.

Ready to create your own gorgeous and functional kitchen? Contact us to schedule a consultation.

outdoor-living-space-renovation

Project Spotlight: A Haven for Outdoor Living Lovers


Michael and Sharon are outdoor-loving people. They enjoy entertaining family and friends, grilling or just relaxing outside listening to music. They purchased a home several years ago that Metzler Home Builders had built just a few years before that. The original back porch was not adequate for their entertaining needs. They decided to add an outdoor living area with a covered patio and wanted it to look like it was built with the original home. Since they were from out of the area, they weren’t familiar with Metzler’s. They knew they had a quality-built home, though, and since Metzler’s had the blueprints and specifics of the original materials used in construction, it was an easy decision on who to use for their patio project. Tim Zehr, the Senior Designer/Estimator, created CADD drawings of the existing home with the new covered patio. Michael and Sharon were able to make changes to the CADD drawing to suit their taste and budget before the project began. 

covered-patio-construction-lancaster

 

A fireplace was a must for Michael and Sharon’s new outdoor living area. They love the relaxing sound of a crackling fire, the warmth it brings and that wonderful smell on a chilly evening. Their grandchildren are able to make s’mores and roast hot dogs. Their previous home had an outdoor hot tub which they loved. They knew they wanted a hot tub again, and like the fact that it has protection from the elements. 

Michael and Sharon start their day with coffee (and their puppy, Gracie) on their “absolutely gorgeous” patio, and end their day relaxing in the same space. Their favorite time on the patio is “campfire time.” They love the fact that their outdoor space can be used to a greater extent since it’s covered. 

outdoor-living-lancaster-pa

 “It was an extraordinary pleasure to work with Metzler Home Builders,” said Michael and Sharon. “Their desire is to be certain that each customer is completely satisfied. Everyone we worked with was courteous, professional, and had a sense of humor. Their craftsmanship is exceptional. When questions or concerns were raised, they were always available to respond. Our experience could not have been better!” 

This article was originally featured in our Summer 2021 print newsletter.

bathroom-design-natural-light

Leading Bathroom Design Trends


The bathroom can be one of the most used rooms of the house. It’s also a room that requires special attention to comfort and durability, as well as functionality. Bathroom trends have changed drastically over the years and will continue to do so. Here are some of the most popular bathroom design trends that are influencing current design.

Touchless Sensors and Smart Home Controls

Smart home technology for the bathroom is a growing trend with no signs of slowing anytime soon. Approximately 12.8 million people in the U.S. use voice assistance, such as Alexa, Google and Siri, at least monthly, according to eMarketer, and the bathroom is no exception. With voice control, you can adjust smart lighting or use your smartphone to update a music selection. Smart showers allow you to digitally control the water temperature, so you never have to step into a scalding hot shower again. Rain showerheads with LED lighting and Bluetooth built-in speakers can set the mood. Motion sensor faucets and smart toilets make a beautiful addition to any bathroom.

Wall Mount Floating Vanities

Although the crisp lines of floating vanities are generally seen as contemporary, the versatility in storage, along with an array of configurations, make wall mount floating vanities an attractive choice for any bathroom. Because they do not take up any floor space, they create an airy, clean feeling in the space. They also make cleaning the bathroom floors much easier.

Large-Format Tiles

Tiny mosaic tiles are beautiful, but there is a growing movement toward large-format tiles on bathroom walls. This tile style can make a room feel luxurious. With fewer grout lines, not only is it easier to clean, but it takes less material to achieve the same visual effect.

bathroom-design-trends-large-format-tiles

Wood-Look Tiles and Heated Flooring

According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) report, porcelain and ceramic continue to be top-ranking materials for the bathroom, much in part to their versatility. As a result, consumers can expect to see more use of porcelain and ceramic tiles that mimic natural hardwood and marbles, as biophilic design continues to gain momentum, particularly in the bathroom. While not new, heated flooring has become increasingly popular. Not only do they offer that spa-like touch, but they are great for keeping your feet warm.

bathroom-design-soaking-tubs

Space-Saving Soaking Tubs

While showers are still taking up more of the bathroom layout footprint, the tub is no longer sacrificed. The pandemic has only increased homeowners’ desire for relaxation, making soaking tubs a top bathroom feature. The Houzz bathroom trends study notes that freestanding, flat-bottom tubs will be more popular than clawfoot models or other decorative bases; many options do more in less space.

Backlit Mirror and Medicine Cabinets

According to Houzz, 77% of homeowners install new mirrors during a major bathroom renovation, and most now choose illuminated mirrors that offer soft ambient lighting without adding unwanted glare or reflections. When dimmed, this embedded feature can double as a nighttime bedroom nightlight.

 Smart Toilets

According to the NKBA 2021 design trends report, smart toilets and bidets are becoming more common in post-pandemic bathroom design. Smart toilets have self-closing lids and touch-free flushing, which greatly reduces touching surfaces that typically have a lot of germs. Some even offer self-cleaning technology, such as a bacteria-killing light under the lid.

Ready to dive into your bathroom design project? Contact us to schedule a consultation.

decorative-fireplace-surround-slate

Fireplace Surround Options


Cooler temperatures have arrived and with that, fireplace use will be kicking into high gear once again. Those people with fireplaces can enjoy a cozy atmosphere, have warmth when electricity is interrupted, cut energy costs and be eco-friendly. Those with wood-burning fireplaces can even heat their coffee or soup on the woodstove!  Sixty percent of new homes now have some type of fireplace and that number is rising. If you don’t currently have one, you may want to weigh the benefits and decide if a fireplace is a good fit for your home. 

 There are many different options to consider when installing a fireplace in your home – whether it’s a new build or an existing home. There are gas units, wood-burning units, blower options, remote options, decorative liners, and many different sizes and applications (see-through, three-sided, outdoor, etc.)   Aside from the unit itself, there are also various options for what surrounds the fireplace. Many times this is what dictates the look and feel the fireplace will have in your home, more so than the unit itself. A quick run-down on the “anatomy” of a fireplace surround will help you when selecting a style and finish for your fireplace 

 Starting from the bottom up, the HEARTH is essentially the “floor” of the fireplace and extends beyond the firebox and into the room. It can be flush with the floor or raised up off the floorSlate, flagstone and brick are some favorite materials for a hearth. 

The SURROUND is the area outside the fireplace unit itself on the wall. Popular materials for a surround are formed stone, brick, tile, granite and slate. The materials for the surround can extend the height of the mantle or be installed floor to ceiling for a more dramatic look. 

The MANTLE is the shelf above the fireplace unit. The mantle can have “legs” or be a free-standing shelf. A simply painted mantle with legs provides clean lines that will accompany most any style. A more rustic look can be achieved by using a piece of reclaimed lumber or old barn beam as a shelf mantle. 

 Check out the pictures of some of our favorite fireplace surrounds from a few completed projects.

fireplace-renovation-brick-with-wooden-mantel

stone-surround-two-sided-fireplace-wood-mantel