Technology in the Showroom

The home remodeling industry is a dynamic one: Trends change, and new products and materials appear at a dizzying pace. Technology, engineering, and design intersect in our industry in unique and exciting ways. For the designer, technology can inspire creativity; for clients, technology can help bring design concepts to life.

Chief Architect

3D home design software has changed the way we design and remodel. Using Chief Architect allows designers to accurately convey their plans for a client’s home. Cabinets & Designs designer Bill Currier often sits with his clients in the conference room and projects his designs—using a wireless keyboard—onto the large television screen mounted on the wall, making changes while everyone is sitting together.

The ability to work in three dimensions, and in color, helps bring every design to life and facilitates communication between designer and client.

On-Site Technology

Notebooks (not the spiral kind) are also great tools for designers. Our designers frequently use them when on site. Even smartphones are getting into the game, with apps available that measure rooms, or choose paint colors.

Social Media

social media marketingAnd of course social media has been an incredible tool for home design and renovation. Whether you are a client, a designer, an architect, or a contractor, connecting has never been easier. Websites like Pinterest and Houzz allow home owners to hone their tastes; famous designers, contractors, and real estate agents share their expertise (and build their personal brands) through a combination of reality television and social media. As a result, it’s an exciting time to be part of the remodeling and design industries.

We invite you to connect with us via social media. You can find Cabinets & Designs on YouTube, Pinterest, Houzz, Facebook, and Twitter.

Cabinets & Designs’ Maria Frank Chairs GHBA Education Committee

Cabinets & Designs Wood-Mode HoustonWe have had an exciting few months interacting with our local building, remodeling, and design communities here in Houston and along the Gulf Coast. In May, Maria reported on some of her memorable highlights from KBIS in New Orleans; on June 20th, Cabinets & Designs was on hand for an industry mixer with online home design and décor resource, The Red Vault; last week we were pleased to announce that we were the recipients of Wood-Mode’s 2012 Master Award.

Continuing with the theme of community involvement, we also have some news about our Vice-President, Maria Frank. Maria was recently elected to the Greater Houston Builders’ Association Remodelers’ Council as the Education Committee chairperson.  Her role as chair of the Education Committee is to promote GHBA/NAHB education programs, working in conjunction with the GHBA’s Director of Education. The Education Committee awards a quarterly scholarship to a remodeler in an effort to further foster learning within the GHBA, and the Leo Meerman Scholarship to a remodeler council member or immediate family member to further their education.

Maria Frank Continuing Education InvolvementIn addition to her role as Education Committee chairperson, Maria is also on the garage sale committee. Proceeds from the annual garage sale are used to fund the Remodelers’ Council annual charity projects with non-profit organizations; this year’s sale will be held on September 21st & 22nd at the Reliant Center. The charity project will be with The Beacon Day Center, which assists Houston’s homeless and others facing hard times with private lavatory and shower facilities, warm meals, laundry services and case management. Last year approximately $18,000 was raised! We definitely look forward to this wonderful annual event.

It’s truly an honor to be part of such an active professional community. We invite you to interact with us—like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, for all the latest news in building, remodeling, and design.

Media Room Cabinets

A media room is a place in your home that could benefit from the addition of cabinetry. Are you ready to dedicate an entire room to an entertainment area? Or are you looking to make your current family room/media room hybrid a more functional space? Either way, we offer design and cabinetry solutions that will make a difference. Like the kitchen, a media room is a space where we are likely to spend a lot of our time when we are at home, so installing cabinets serves to both organize the space and provide aesthetic appeal. After all a media room is full of equipment, right? DVDs and CDs (and their cases), wires and chargers, books and manuals, not to mention all of the high-tech toys themselves: gaming consoles and controllers, media players and remote controls, speakers…the list goes on and on. Looking for ideas? Read on!

DVDs and CDs

Even today, when downloading movies, music, and television shows is more popular than ever, we all still have scads of CDs and DVDs—and their cases—infiltrating our tabletops and jumbled in drawers. You can choose traditional, ready-made entertainment system storage or you can “steal” from cabinets intended for the kitchen; pull out trays and shallow drawers can be repurposed for CD storage. Kitchen cabinets come in such a wide range of customizable options—sizes, door options, adjustable shelving, slides—it’s a shame to limit their versatility to just one room of the house.

Speaker cabinets

Speaker cabinets don’t just keep your speakers in one place; after all, it’s not like they are just going to get up and walk away if you don’t have them in a cabinet! No, a good quality speaker cabinet enhances the look and design of your media room while also improving the sound quality. There are many factors that go into choosing the right speaker cabinet: type of speaker, room size and shape, and preferred speaker placement/location. Our designers are happy to discuss your options to help you make the best decision to optimize the sound in your media room.

Dimensions

You know that old saying, “Measure twice, cut once”? It’s an old adage for a reason. Designing a media room requires that you meticulously measure each component. What good is a cabinet or an entertainment system if it’s too small for the thing(s) it’s built to house? Before you fall in love with, and buy, a cabinet or set of cabinets you need to be armed with the dimensions of every TV, every DVD player and game console, and every projector you want to install. And keep in mind that technology is growing at a rapid pace, so it’s important to plan for the future. Over the years you will upgrade and add equipment to your media room toy box, so keep an eye toward the future when you are in the planning process. Considering where you might want to take the room a few years down the road can help you make important design decisions now. Bring in photos from magazines or websites that will help our designers create the look you are going for.

Designing a media room can seem like a daunting task but our designers and sales professionals at Cabinets & Designs are ready to help. Whether you are working on a remodel in your existing home or you are starting from scratch with new construction, we can work within your budget to create a room that is comfortable and functional.

Get more out of your media center by better organization

Media centers are a source of great joy to movie and sports buff. They provide endless hours of entertainment whether the owner wants to use them alone or share the experience with like-minded friends and family members. But behind all this fun lies the reality of a tangled mess of wires and cables and discs scattered here and there separated from their cases, or worse, placed in the wrong cases. All this can dampen the enjoyment home media centers can provide. If you are someone who is facing the problem of a disorganized media center, then you might be familiar with instances when you couldn’t find the remote or the DVD that you wanted to see. The only way to prevent such undesired occurrences is to keep the media center well-organized.

In order to optimally organize your home media center you would need to buy a few things. These are mostly storage boxes meant for DVDs, CDS and video games; also you can get a media rack. You would also need to purchase cable/wire tubing and ties. After you have purchased all this stuff, you can set about getting your media center organized. Begin by unplugging all wiring and cables and then untangling them. Once you have untangled the mess of wires reconnect them to the various devices and pass the wires/cables through the slit in the wire tubing. This will prevent the wires and cables from entangling in future.

Next you must sort out the various discs, that is, DVDs, CDs and video games. Ensure that every disc is in the right case. Keep the three in different storage boxes or if you are using a rack, in separate shelves. Following that, you can arrange the discs in each group alphabetically, by genre, artist and the like. Next you should keep all the remotes and video game consoles at one place, probably a drawer. Once you have done this you will be the proud owner of a well organized home media center from which you can derive maximum pleasure.