Contemporary Design in a Traditional Area

Wayne Contemporary BathPowder Room St. Davids

A few years ago I was commissioned to design and build a contemporary home in the Saint Davids Neighborhood of Wayne.  I am traditional in my personal tastes, the design challenged me and stretched me in a lot of exciting ways, since then I have been adding contemporary elements into a lot of my traditional designs.

Yesterday I used a sledge-hammer to break a hole through the floor of a bath we will be remodeling in the coming weeks.  I needed to verify the location of floor joists to position the drain in a custom shower tray that must be ordered now to be delivered on time to keep the project moving.  There is something satisfying about the destructive power of a sledge-hammer, and yes ladies, I did take a dust pan and brush along and cleaned up my mess.

Inspiration Photo

Magazine Clipping

This client always has inspiration pictures, we use them as we explore design options and then as we make selections.  Her’s is a traditional main line suburban home and after years of living in traditional surroundings Ginny has decided to spice things up with more contemporary furnishings and finishes.  Following is a sneak preview of the job.

Hall Bath Before Remodel

The new plan calls for a separate tub and shower. To create the additional space we eliminated the existing bath linen closet, and stole some room from an adjacent hall closet.  The lost storage was replaced by the linen cabinet next to the toilet.

Pina Hall Bath Floor PlanHere is a picture of the tile in a 1×1 mosaic, There is a nice variety of coloring in the tile which adds visual texture to the room.  We chose 17×17 tile for most of the bath.

Bath Tile

The lighting is decidedly contemporary.

Contemporary Lighting

The square theme continues with the plumbing fixtures.

ShowerLav Faucet

The cabinet hardware continues the angular, square theme.

Cabinet hardware

To offset the hardness of the square chrome fixtures and the tile we selected a warm stain on cherry wood for the cabinets and pulled one of the warmer tones from the tile for the wall paint, Benjamin Moore AF-100 pashmina.

Benjamin Moore AF-100 pashmina

I draw elevations of each wall to help the customer visualize the room and to communicate clearly with the tradesman that will execute the project.  Initially I presented the clients with 4 design concepts, this is the design concept that we used to price, and then to sign the contract.

Initial DesignAfter making selections, including a 3″ thick edge on the granite top, the drawings were revised.

Vanity Design FinalThis is the shower wall final layout with the 17×17 tile.

Shower Tile LayoutI am excited to see these ideas come to life.  This is the second time we have worked for this couple, I will strive to meet the expectations we set last time.

The renovation of our basement, laundry room, master bath and bedroom by Glenn Gingrich Inc. was excellent in every way.  We had many articles from interior design magazines of exactly what we wanted in terms of lighting, cabinetry, shower design, tile and overall design and the finished product looks exactly like these photographs! Bruce Gingrich was extremely helpful in guiding our selection of custom lighting, tile, coordinating paints, fixtures and cabinetry.  He was always available for questions by phone or email.  Daryl is a delight to have in your home and takes complete responsibility for every worker that comes through the door.  Every person that worked in our home was on time, worked a full day, was always courteous and as neat as possible.  In short, it would be difficult indeed to find any contractor that is going to do a better job than this one.  We recommend them with five stars!                                              ~ Ken and Ginny Pina 

Bruce Gingrich is a residential designer and custom builder based in New Holland, PA.  His company, Glenn Gingrich, Inc. is a design, build, remodel firm that executes projects from conception to completion.  His functional insight, meticulous planning, building expertise, and customer collaboration can give you the living space of your dreams.


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Partial Kitchen Remodel, Wayne (Part II, The Door)

The clients had always wanted to eliminate the door at the top of the stairs that connect the game-room & garage to the kitchen.  The doorway was narrow and the door was rarely closed.  The knob stuck out and would snag purse strings, bag handles and loose clothes.  We had looked at the possibility of replacing it with a pocket door in an earlier remodel and decided it was impractical.  Now that we were working in the kitchen Renee asked me again if it would be possible to do something, anything, to improve it.

The design solution to this challenge turned out to be simple, elegant, and a surprise to me, (yes, I was the one that created the solution)

This is the view of the door from the Entry/Living Room.  Not very attractive with the door opened or closed.  As you can see the fridge sticks out well beyond the cabinet.

The solution was to create a fridge side panel that hinged to double as a door to the game room when the parents tired of listening to the Wii.

From the living room you now see a nice four panel side on the fridge.

From the game-room/garage stairs there is an elegant look of raised panels and nothing protruding to nab you.

So where did the design inspiration come from?  I don’t know but my guess; I have always been fascinated by interior window shutters that open into the jambs to become decorative elements.  This is an extension of that idea from a window to a door.  I scan interesting pictures  and keep them in “idea files.” Below is a picture that shows shutters of this type in the open position.

Not sure of the source of the photo, it may have been House Beautiful.

To see Part One of this post scroll down or click Partial Kitchen Remodel, Wayne

Bruce Gingrich is a residential designer and custom builder based in New Holland, PA.  His company, Glenn Gingrich, Inc. is a design, build, remodel firm that executes projects from conception to completion.  His functional insight, meticulous planning, building expertise, and customer collaboration can give you the living space of your dreams.

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Building Lot for Sale, New Holland

We have a single lot for sale in an established, small, rural neighborhood outside New Holland. It would be perfect for a couple that wanted to downsize to a new, low maintenance home with a first floor master. We build homes designed specifically for the each customer.

Build to suit lot

734 Pleasant Drive, New Holland, PA 17557  (Zillow Listing)

Eastern Lancaster County School District

1/2 acre +/-, Public Sewer, Price $84,500

The lot is for sale only as a design build job by Glenn Gingrich, Inc.  Inquiries 717-354-9374

Google Map Location

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Partial Kitchen Remodel, Wayne

This is our third time working for this couple in Wayne.  In 2003 we removed the rear walls of the kitchen and dining room and added a Gathering Room.  In 2007 we removed half of the roof and added a third floor master suite.  The main objective of this project;  to open the kitchen and dining room by removing the wall that separated them.

The peninsula that replaced the wall needed to deal with the trash and provide a place to deal with the mail, invitations, reminders, schedules, the things that typically end up laying on the counter.  They were also looking for a beverage fridge to supplement the relatively small fridge in the existing kitchen.

I suggested a wall cabinet that would help anchor the peninsula, give a focal point when viewed from the gathering room, and hide a small “command center” to deal with the mail.

What looks like an ordinary junk drawer has an added feature, note the charging cell phone. We installed an outlet behind the drawer to allow charging of phones and cameras with out the clutter of cords all over the counter.  Speaking of outlets, we found this wonderful, miniature outlet to use on the backside of the peninsula.

As part of the project we painted the Gathering Room, Dining Room and the Kitchen all the same color, Benjamin Moore, greenbrier beige, to create a more cohesive feel in what is now one beautiful open room where the family congregates.

The Gathering room window as seen from the Kitchen.

We replaced all the existing white Corian tops with granite, and added an arch to upgrade the bar top.  The arch only added about $60 to the cost and gives a much more elegant look.

Bruce Gingrich is a residential designer and custom builder based in New Holland, PA.  His company, Glenn Gingrich, Inc. is a design, build, remodel firm that executes projects from conception to completion.  His functional insight, meticulous planning, building expertise, and customer collaboration can give you the living space of your dreams.

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Home Library

Home Library from Foyer

I could not wait to post these pictures.  The room was finished two days ago and the owners have not even finished moving into it yet.

This is our second time working on this Ambler, PA home.  During the whole house remodel, 3 years ago, we stole space from the living room  to create a more spacious foyer and converted the remaining area into a “Quiet Room,” a place to get away from the TV for reading or talking.  Julie called to tell me they were ready to complete the room with built-in bookcases to create a home library.

The request was for a room that the couple could sit and talk…

Residential LibraryA table style desk that all four of them could pull a chairs up to for looking at pictures on the computer…

Home office deskA convenient place for the printer that was out of sight…

Printer CabinetStorage for games and files…

File drawersStorageTo add warmth and to give the room a more “custom” feel we added raised panels and crown to all the walls that did not have bookcases.

Wainscote

I recommended that they find club chairs with small arms and backs, so the chairs would not overpower the space visually.  A lot of current furniture has huge rolled arms and backs to fill the large gathering rooms of modern homes.  Here we were looking for small chairs with generous seat dimension for comfort, they settled on the Briarwood Chair from Crate & Barrel.

Accent Lighting added the finishing touch.

Library LightingThe cabinetry and moldings were manufactured by Horizon Kitchens from Mountville, Lancaster County.  Lighting was supplied by Yale Electric.

Bruce Gingrich is a residential designer and custom builder based in New Holland, PA.  His company, Glenn Gingrich, Inc. is a design, build, remodel firm that executes projects from conception to completion.  His functional insight, meticulous planning, building expertise, and customer collaboration can give you the living space of your dreams.

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Lighting – Nordstrom’s vs. Wal-Mart

Ever wonder why Nordstrom’s and Wal-Mart feel so different?  Besides the obvious radical differences in the merchandise, they are “lit” very differently.  Nordstrom’s lights their merchandise using focused spot lights, so the store is dimly lit giving a calm feeling while the clothing, shoes etc. are well lit drawing your attention to them.  On the other hand, Wal-Mart uses banks of fluorescent lights to light everything in one inexpensive, uniform, harsh and boring way.  How does this apply to your home?

Contemporary KitchenSt. Davids, PA

There are three basic categories of lighting:

  • Ambient
  • Task
  • Accent

This is easily explained by describing the kitchen lighting above.  Ambient light is provided by the hanging fixtures over the island.  This is the general light that allows you to see in a room.  The problem is when you stand at the counter to work that light is dim and often behind you.  So we add recessed lighting that shines directly on the counter and sink to light the areas where you work, providing light for the task.  The final layer of light, the accent, adds the surprise and beauty, here the rope light in the ceiling tray and the light on the stone tile back-splash provide that drama.

Family Room AmblerAmbler, PA

In this family room you can see all three categories in action.

Bedroom Light, Wayne PAWayne, PA

Sometimes the ambient light is the accent.  This unique fixture hangs over the foot of a bed.

Bath St. Davids, PASt. Davids

In this contemporary bath the ambient light is supplied by recessed fixtures creating a moody effect at night.  The pool of light from the bright spot focused on the granite slab draws your attention to this beautiful stone accent. (Yes, that is water dropping from the ceiling to fill the tub, is that too cool?)

Kitchen Mountville, PAMountville, PA

These raised panels are above a kitchen sink on an interior wall.

Kitchen Lighting Wayne, PAWayne, PA

Here you can see the difference that accent lighting makes, even in an already dramatic cabinet the lighting adds a lot.

Bathroom Wayne, PAWayne, PA

I love the pattern of the window grills from the sun light.  Sometimes the most interesting light is the light that you can’t control.

Layers of lighting, controlled by dimmers can be used to create many moods in a room, adding to the beauty of your home.

All the fixtures shown here were purchased at Yale Lighting, Lancaster, where I have worked with a wonderful lighting sales person, Heather Stauffer, for many years.

Please Add Your Comments Below

Bruce Gingrich is a residential designer and custom builder based in New Holland, PA.  His company, Glenn Gingrich, Inc. is a design, build, remodel firm that executes projects from conception to completion.  His functional insight, meticulous planning, building expertise, and customer collaboration can give you the living space of your dreams.

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A Front Porch Is Inviting

Front Porch AdditionDevon, PA

Home without Porch

A front porch is inviting, it provides shelter to our guests, give us a place to greet people as they enter the home.  After more than 20 years building and designing I am still amazed at the improvement  a porch makes to the front of a home.  Or perhaps I should say, the improvement a well-designed porch makes.


Vaulted Porch additionWagontown, western Chester County, PA

Home before Porch addition

Yes, that is the same house.  We added in-laws quarters to the right side, and a porch to the front of the existing house, as well as new exterior trim details and new siding.

Porch Design

To look good the porch must be proportioned properly, there are three main scale issues.

  • First, the overall size of the porch relative to the size of the home, does the width and height of the porch match the scale and architectural style of the home?
  • Second, the size of the posts or columns, are they proportioned to the height and size of the porch?  In most sub-divisions built between 1960 and 2005 porch posts and columns are too skinny.
  • The third issue is the size of the beam or girder that supports the roof, it needs to be sized to physically and aesthetically support the load.

As with all design there are a myriad of details that can make or break the finished product.  I look through my library of historic homes and building for examples of proper proportions when I am designing.

Please add your comments!

Bruce Gingrich is a designer and custom builder based in New Holland, PA.  His company, Glenn Gingrich, Inc. is a design, build, remodel firm that executes projects from conception to completion.  His functional insight, meticulous planning, building expertise, and customer collaboration can give you the living space of your dreams.

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Happy Valentine’s Day ~ Pink is the color of 2011

I received my March Issue of House Beautiful last week.  Their “Color Issue” follows Pantone’s 2011 Color of the Year, which is a pink named Honeysuckle.

Why do I care? Mostly I don’t.

My design work tends toward classic.  I work with clients to create rooms and homes that are not easily dated.   Updating historic design themes, combining traditional American details into what I call Americana.   Generally I avoid anything that is trendy because one year’s Hot item, is passé the following year.

Having said that I do love color.  And I am always looking for ways to add personality, character and drama into my clients home.  So if pink is this year’s color, what would I do with it?

How about a powder room with a white vanity, white trim work, and a rich warm pink on the walls.  Three years from now it is not a big deal to change the paint color if you tire of it.  Maybe we pick a khaki for the walls that has a blush undertone and you accessorize with pink.  Or, I recently had a client that loved turquoise and in her kitchen we painted the inside of the cabinets and the back-splash, Benjamin Moore, Old Pick-up Truck Blue.

That same thing could be done in a historic pink like Benjamin Moore, Queen Anne Pink HC-60.

It is your home, enjoy it.

Bruce Gingrich is a designer and custom builder based in New Holland, PA.  His company, Glenn Gingrich, Inc. is a design, build, remodel firm that executes projects from conception to completion.  His functional insight, meticulous planning, building expertise, and customer collaboration can give you the living space of your dreams.

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Kitchen Upgrade: What’s old is new and what’s new is old.

Hutch Close up

We built this home in 1988.  Recently the owners came to me wanting to upgrade the kitchen “without spending a fortune.” She did not love the cabinets, but they looked okay and were in good working order, “could we save them?” she was tired of the Formica tops and back-splash and hated the closet that was taking up too much space in the kitchen. She added “Oh yeah, the closet is stacked to the gills so in the end we can’t have any less storage”

BeforeBefore

The solution:  A money-saving, partial kitchen remodel. Remove the closet and replace it with a Hutch.  Add a pantry to the run of original cabinets.  Replace the small island cabinet with a more substantial island.  Leave the existing cabinets and appliances, but install new beaded board back-splash and, replace the tired out Formica with Granite.

New Island and Hutch

Old Kitchen new counter

“What’s old is new.”  New counters and back-splash revived the look of the old cabinets.  Painting the backslash white helped tie the old to new and gave a lighter appearance to the kitchen.

Custom Hutch Cabinet

Custom Island

“What’s new is old.”  Both the new hutch and the new island have details from old furniture style cabinetry.  Wide rails and style on the cabinets and doors.  Old thumb latch hardware, old-fashioned wood knobs, furniture legs on island two panel doors on the hutch and a wood top on the hutch all add character to the kitchen.

Storage Pantry

The new pantry is stained to match the existing cabinets.

The Final Verdict:

From day one she was thrilled with the look of the kitchen.  Two or three weeks later we were talking and she said in an offhand way, “the kitchen works great, everything I do is easier, I am enjoying cooking much more.” That is the result I am looking for, the intersection of form and function, making the kitchen beautiful and a joy to cook in.

Bruce Gingrich is a designer and custom builder based in New Holland, PA.  His company, Glenn Gingrich, Inc. is a design, build, remodel firm that executes projects from conception to completion.  His functional insight, meticulous planning, building expertise, and customer collaboration can give you the living space of your dreams.

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Dark ceilings are dramatic!

Lancaster, Pa

Dark ceilings are dramatic!  We painted the dining room ceiling of this recently completed custom home a deep eggplant purple, Benjamin Moore AF-650 caponata.  Common wisdom (which often isn’t very wise) says that dark colors shrink a room.  In this case the effect was to make the 9′ ceiling feel taller.

When I joined the family construction business in 1987 designers were in the middle of an off white craze.  I am glad to see the return of colors over the past few years and people’s growing willingness to play with deep, rich, unique colors.

New Holland, PA

This garage ceiling is painted a deep red color, Benjamin Moore, Arroyo Red.  The doors, cabinets, walls, and everything on them are painted a single color to give a less cluttered look.  Benjamin Moore HC-77 Alexandria Beige.

St. Davids, PA

We painted the ceiling of this dramatic contemporary family room a bronze that was custom matched to the Terratone color of the Anderson windows.  At 18′ this ceiling did not feel any higher with the dark paint.

To add some fun to this back porch ceiling I picked a terracotta to tie into nature and painted all the supporting structure black to add some drama.  On the traditional gray clapboard house the colored porch ceiling is a pleasant surprise when you walk out the back door.  Benjamin Moore Georgian Brick HC-50.

To help our customers see colors accurately we make large samples of any deep or unique colors we select, sometimes as large as 36″ x 36″.  A pint of paint is cheap compared to repainting a room.

Go, Paint Your Ceiling Boldly!

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