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How to Ready Your Home for the Holidays

Are you hosting for the holidays with guests set to stay over? As you look around your home wishing you had signed a remodeling contract months ago, don’t despair. There’s still time to make small changes to ready your home before guests arrive. Here’s a timeline we’ve adapted from Real Simple magazine, while adding a few of our own approaches into the mix.

Five Weeks Out

Time to focus on the guest room and accommodations if overnight guests are expected. Be sure there’s open storage for company to use during their stay. Update any bedding or window treatments that have seen better days. Make sure an outlet is visible and add extra charging cords or a power strip for your guests’ devices to recharge.

Four Weeks Out

There’s no better way to help your entire home feel clean and welcoming than a fresh coat of paint in a few key areas. Add surprising paint colors or vibrant patterned wallpaper if you’ve been wanting a bold change. If a simple refresh suits your style, a new coat of paint in the same color will do the trick. Our team of craftsmen can help with painting or papering, just give us a call.

Three Weeks Out

Time to inspect your light fixtures, especially in the guest room, living room, and entryway. If anything looks rusted, cracked, or dated, now’s the time to purchase and install new lighting options.

Two Weeks Out

Now starts the fun part. Update decorative accessories by adding plants, new rugs, and throws to your space. These small updates are low-cost but can have high impact helping you dress your home up. If you haven’t already – because you were busy decluttering, painting, and installing new lighting – now’s your chance to add seasonal décor. Lenton Company Pro Tip: Festive throw pillow covers are a great way to help your current pillows look refreshed and celebratory, without the need to buy whole new pillows.

One Week Out

Almost there and now is the time to clear away all the remaining clutter that piles up daily. Dust corners, clean windows, and your home is certain to sparkle and shine.

If you were planning a kitchen, bath, or multi-room remodel before guests arrived but put it on the back burner, we would love to help put your plans in motion in time for next year’s celebrations.

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Architecture as Art: The American Craftsman

At the turn of the 20th century, two architect brothers – Charles and Henry Greene – worked together in Pasadena, California to create what is known as Craftsman homes. The brothers were influenced by the English Arts & Crafts movement, which was a push back to the Industrial Revolution by promoting the work of skilled craftsman over machine made goods. Another influence was Oriental wooden architecture, popular in the day. Available as kit homes and in pattern books, craftsman bungalows became the most popular style of small house from about 1905 through the 1920s. Today, they are a treasure worth restoration.

External Features

The outside of a Craftsman home is easily recognizable by some standard features. A low-pitched, gabled roof reflects the Oriental architecture influence on the style. These rooflines typically have a wide, unenclosed eave overhang with decorative supports. The front porch area extends the livable space of small homes making it comfortable to spend time outdoors.

Columns, whether tapered or double, are another distinctive characteristic that support the overhang. A partially paned door with glass panes in the upper third of the door and separated from the bottom paneled portion by a thick piece of trim is another authentic look. Multipaned windows are another featured detail. The most common configurations are either four-over-one or six-over-one double-hung windows.

Earthy Colors and Mixed Materials

A nature-inspired palette of browns and greens helps the low-profile bungalows blend seamlessly with their surroundings. One or two contrasting colors are typically used to highlight architectural features like trim or decorative supports. Craftsman homes almost always feature a mix of materials: clapboard or shingled siding with the porch piers and foundations often made of stone, brick, concrete block, or stucco.

Indoor Spaces

As you might expect, inside living spaces reflect the warmth and comfort of natural woods and a variety of textures and details. Since the homes were typically constructed as bungalows, simple, wide-open layouts make the most of limited square footage.

Inspiration Leads to Renovation

While not every home has the basic structure to transform into a Craftsman, there are features that can be introduced inside and out to mimic the classic California vibe.

Instead of a front porch, consider adding a patio cover in the back of the house to serve the same purpose of extending living spaces with the benefit of privacy. Plan a mix of materials and textures to replicate the earthiness of nature and use contrasting paint colors to highlight details. Introduce glass panes and stained glass in cabinetry to give an artistic ambiance.

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Invest in Improvements on Trend for 2022

The 2022 U.S. Houzz & Home Survey released earlier this summer. According to Houzz, the data reveals that not only did renovation budgets grow in 2021, but project scopes also expanded. For the purpose of their study, recent homeowners are defined as those who have not yet moved into their home or moved in less than a year ago. Short-term owners moved into their home one to five years ago. Long-term homeowners moved into their home six or more years ago.

Renovation Activity & Spend Hit 4-Year High

Home renovation activity and spending are at the highest rates reported since 2018. More than half of homeowners (55%) renovated in 2021, up from 53% in 2020 and 54% in both 2019 and 2018. Following 15% growth in median renovation spend in 2020, homeowners reported an additional 20% jump in 2021 median spend, which now stands at $18,000.

Planned Renovation Spending Increases Year Over Year

More than half of homeowners (55%) plan to renovate in 2022, and nearly half (46%) plan to decorate. For the first time since 2018, homeowners’ planned spending has increased. The median has been $10,000 for the past three years and is now $15,000, a 50% jump.

Recent Homebuyers Spend Double the National Median Spend

Recent homebuyers, who account for 10% of renovating homeowners, spent nearly double the median ($30,000) in 2021, surpassing the median spend for short-term and long-term homeowners ($19,000 and $15,000, respectively). Recent homebuyers with higher-budget projects (the top 10% of spend) invested $175,000, compared with $100,000 for short-term homeowners and $90,000 for long-term homeowners. This higher spending limit potentially can be attributed to the number of projects recent homebuyers undertake at a single time. They are averaging three to four rooms, as well as home systems such as electrical and plumbing.

Investment in Interior Rooms Rises

The median spending increased for all interior room renovations in 2021. The kitchen, which remains the most popular interior room to be upgraded and is the room with the highest spend, saw an increase in investment of 25% ($15,000 in 2021 versus $12,000 in 2020). Interior rooms with the most dramatic spend increase are guest bathrooms (38%), laundry rooms (33%), living rooms (33%) and guest bedrooms (28%).

Other findings include homeowners exploring alternative funding sources – use of cash declined 7 points while financing with credit cards increased 6 points. Another area of investment increase was on outdoor security system upgrades.

Source: 2022 U.S. Houzz & Home Study: Renovation Trends

BestBath walk-in shower enclosure with customized tile inlay.

Universal Design Considerations for Shower and Bath Remodels

Adaptability, also known as universal design, is trending in products that allow people of all abilities ease of use. From small children with limited dexterity to adults with temporary disabling injuries and those with the normal effects of aging, adaptability characteristics are becoming an integral part of a manufacturer’s design.

Features like spa-like showers without the potential tripping hazard of a curb, a connected shower seat, and a shower head on a glide bar for comfort and ease are finding their way into residential bathrooms providing extra utility, as well as aesthetically pleasing.

Roll-in showers are designed for people to directly roll into the stall using a specially designed shower wheelchair. A beveled threshold about 0.5″ high allows the wheelchair to roll over.

Universal design marries adaptability with beauty over the whole range of human ability. Even fashionable towel bars are doing double duty as grab bars with the addition of extra blocking behind the walls to make that level of support possible. Small details have big impacts. Toilets 2-inches higher than the standard 15- to 16-inch-tall fixture reduces strain on a user’s knees when getting up.

It wasn’t that long ago when a homeowner’s choice when remodeling a bathroom was between expensive custom tile work or relatively inexpensive big box store prefabrication enclosures. Today we’ve found a happy middle ground. BestBath, located in Caldwell, Idaho, bridges the gap as an industry leader offering design and engineering services to assist in creating bathroom units that meet a homeowner’s unique requirements for space, configurations, compliance, and type of users. Lenton Company is proud to be a BestBath dealer.

According to its website, BestBath became a world-leading manufacturer of bathing products by focusing on being first in product quality and first in creating products for people of all abilities.

Their products range from walk-in tubs to traditional shower inserts designed to be useful, beautiful, and easily modified as individual needs and abilities change. With accessibility in mind, BestBath products provide the function and value needed today and for many years to come.

BestBath single and multi-piece showers are the perfect fit for home bathroom remodeling projects where safety and accessibility are a concern. Removing the barriers of slippery, traditional tubs is an important step to living in place as homeowners make arrangements to remain in the home they love.

BestBath walk-in shower enclosure with customized tile inlay.

Six Key Considerations for Living in Place

With so many different stages in life, it’s not surprising that needs change as time progresses. Lifestyles suitable for a 20-something are not quite practical for someone approaching their 50s, 60s, 70s… you get the point. Add to that, aging isn’t always graceful. There could be reduced balance, decreased mobility, injury or illness, reduced mental capabilities, decreased strength and endurance, or reduced vision and hearing just to name a few. The concept of Living in Place is to adapt the home of your choice for as long as you are able to stay.

Getting Into the House

Even the most modest homes have steps to access entryways. Designing ramps — temporary or permanent – is a must to ensure access. Whether a concrete pour, decorative wood slats, or prefabricated metal, ramps for a wheelchair allow homeowners to get in and out. If not already in place, handrails for existing stairs provide support when a ramp is not present.

Moving Around the House

Flooring is an important consideration when inside the home for ease of movement. Smooth surfaces are more desirable than carpeted areas. Special hinges can be added to most doors to increase width by two inches. Sunken rooms can be elevated and leveled to minimize steps inside the home.    

Bathroom

Challenges in the bathroom include having sufficient room to move, a place to sit, showering and bathing, safety, and personal care. Surprisingly, the bathroom lends itself to the most opportunity for improvement with thoughtful design. Space can often be reclaimed to provide space for movement; built-in or furniture benches can be added for additional seating. Zero-entry showers provide access without barriers. Vanity counters can be designed for wheelchair roll-up access. Grab bars strategically placed for safety are now available to reflect beautiful design elements.   

Kitchen 

Kitchen islands and cabinetry offer enormous potential for keeping things in reach. Everything from drawer microwaves to hydraulic appliance shelves, a homeowner can avoid the difficulty of reaching beyond their grasp. Kitchen pullout pantries make storage accessibility a breeze. Varied heights incorporated into an island accommodate a variety of needs.     

Laundry  

Height is a factor for all things laundry related. Front loading washer and dryer minimize bending; standing height counters aid in sorting and folding.   

Lighting & Technology 

When it comes to lighting, more is better. LED lights with dimmers offer flexibility and there should be multiple sources for accessing switches. Whether Siri, Alexa, Google or other creative names, technology can easily be added to assist. From emergency calls for help to cameras and television sound bars, let a virtual assistant help. The Amazon Echo creates an intercom type system in every room.

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Interested in Living in Place?

Lenton Company Hosts Seminar to Address Living in PlaceHome Modifications for Accessibility

Lenton Company will host a seminar to explore the possibilities of adjusting living spaces to be accessible as owners grow older. The complimentary seminar will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2022, starting at 10 a.m. at the Lenton Company Design Studio located at 530 Commerce Ave., Suite C in Palmdale.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 35% of people aged 65 or above upsized their homes by purchasing a 3,000-square-foot or larger home in 2020, compared with only 23% in 2017. Others choose to make modifications to stay in their current home surrounded by neighbors and family and to avoid the prohibitive cost of senior living communities.

“Living in place home modifications often focus on the bathroom, including options to replace a traditional bathtub with a barrier-free shower and to design the overall space to allow for easier access of walkers and wheelchairs if necessary,” said co-owner Rob Lenton. “Design details like stylish handrails strategically placed to provide stability can make a home more aging-friendly.”

“My mother has lived with us for more than 20 years and we’ve made adaptations along the way,” said Evelyn Lenton. “We recently completed a single-story addition to our home with the concept of our own future accessibility needs in mind.”

For property owners interested in exploring the feasibility of living in place in their existing home, the upcoming seminar led by Rob Lenton will provide information on accessibility issues including getting in and out of the home, moving around in the home, bathroom challenges, and kitchen considerations.

Seating is limited; call 661.273.9179 or email carrie@lentoncompany.com to reserve a space.

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Upsizing to Your Forever Home

Interior design creates its own energy within a space. Design trends we’ve seen so far in 2022 reflect an attempt to achieve levels of inner peace in the aesthetics and functionality of space. Read about the top five design trends we’ve seen this year.

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Lenton Company ‘Grows’ Hope and Awareness for World Central Kitchen in their Chefs for Ukraine Humanitarian Effort

Lenton Company announces a local initiative intended to bring awareness and to direct donations to the World Central Kitchen in their “Chefs for Ukraine” efforts to feed refugees of the war in Ukraine. Sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine, will be distributed as self-contained grow kits. Residents may call 661.273.9179 to reserve a complimentary grow-kit or pick one up at Lenton Company Design Studio located at 530 Commerce Ave., Suite C in Palmdale between 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“As an Antelope Valley family-owned Design-Build-Remodel business for three generations, we know the kitchen is the heart of the home,” said co-owner Rob Lenton. “The kitchen fuels the body, feeds the family, and provides sustenance for all who enter. It creates a gathering place where love, nourishment, and fellowship flourish.”

“Our collective hearts break at the loss of home, life, and security for the people of Ukraine. That’s why we’ve chosen to partner with the World Central Kitchen and their frontline Chefs for Ukraine humanitarian effort to feed refugees of the war in Ukraine.”

As of March 12, 2022, the World Central Kitchen activated operations in over 55 cities, served more than one million meals through more than 330 distribution points since Russia’s invasion, according to a news release. The relief effort continues to grow even supporting restaurants in Ukrainian cities, which remain under active attack.

Lenton Company purchased several hundred sunflower seed kits to distribute to Antelope and Santa Clarita valley neighbors. “We hope residents will join us in donating to the World Central Kitchen to help their frontline efforts,” said Evelyn Lenton. There is no suggested donation for the kits; only for recipients to consider making a direct donation to the nonprofit at a level comfortable for them.

“We hope to spread the hopeful optimism of the sunflower, which also happens to be the Lenton family signature flower,” Evelyn Lenton added. “It may seem a small gesture in a large crisis, but we know our community has empathy for the people of Ukraine and we hope they join us in helping this humanitarian effort to feed refugees.”

ABOUT LENTON COMPANY

Lenton Company has been crafting exceptional spaces since 1984 in the Antelope Valley and surrounding areas, specializing in kitchens, baths, new additions, and overall home remodels. Their design-build-remodel approach has earned them the accolade of “Antelope Valley’s Best” 11 times, a “Homes for Life Award” by the National Association of Home Builders for an accessible primary bathroom remodel, and named “Best of Houzz” award recipient for the last seven consecutive years. Evelyn Lenton was honored with the 2020 IMPACT Award and 2019 MVP Award by Remodelers Advantage. Affiliations include the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and the Antelope Valley Chambers of Commerce. www.LentonCompany.com 

ABOUT WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN

Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) is first to the frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises while working to build resilient food systems with locally led solutions. WCK has served more than 60 million fresh meals to people impacted by natural disasters and other crises around the world. WCK’s Resilience Programs strengthen food and nutrition security by training chefs and school cooks; advancing clean cooking practices; and awarding grants to farms, fisheries, and small food businesses while also providing educational and networking opportunities. Learn more at wck.org.

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What Makes a Great Kitchen Island?

There’s nothing that can make or break a kitchen like an island. Being one of the most requested items on remodels, kitchen islands are something that we have become very familiar with over the years. In our experience, there are a few things that a homeowner should always look out for when considering an island for their home.

Placement and Size:

There is nothing more important than how the kitchen island fits in the kitchen itself. No matter how badly you want an island, if there isn’t room then it will only cramp up your space. As a rule of thumb, there should always be enough room for two people to easily pass alongside one another inside the kitchen along all sides.

Multipurpose Function:

Islands have the power to become a statement piece in your home and kitchen, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be functional. When considering an island, think about how you can utilize it and what purpose you want it to serve in your home. Islands can include storage space, sinks, dishwashers, seating, and more. Pro tip: drawer microwaves are trending in 2022!

Striking Design:

Islands give you the opportunity to create a striking center piece in your home like no other. With color contrast, unique materials, or interesting shapes, your kitchen can be transformed both aesthetically and functionally. With islands, the sky is the limit!

Location:

Who says you need to put an island inside of your kitchen? With our most recent remodel, we placed the island outside of the kitchen and towards the living room. With this redesign, the kitchen was transformed into a much bigger space with an open, flowing floor plan. If your kitchen is too small for an island, all hope may not be lost!