Helpful Tips for Sound Control in the Home

Sound control in your home plays a particularly important role in comfort. Residential designers be it architects, interior designers, or builders are challenged to incorporate acoustics into their design solutions. Acoustic controls are considered a must in public, educational, and some commercial spaces. Have you ever wondered how museums are designed to be so quiet?  What about churches like Sagrada Familia in Barcelona designed by the great architect Gaudi? The sound control is amazing given there is marble on the floors, the columns, and parts of the ceilings.

What may be overlooked in residential design is sound and how it affects our emotional state.   It is an important part of holistic design. Sound flows through the windows, under the doors, through the vents, and through the walls. How do you want to control sound in your home?  Sound also bounces off the floors, walls, and ceilings and can make it difficult to understand conversations or even think.

In order to effectively control sound in your home, it is important to understand both sound reverberation and sound transmission, as well as ways to address each.

Acoustic Control

Sound reverberation occurs when sound bounces off surfaces. Open floor plans with hard surfaces create reverberations and makes it difficult to control noise levels.

What will help reduce reverberations? Here are 5 suggestions!

1. Carpeting or other soft flooring solutions such as LVT

Home Control

2. Drapery and other soft window treatments

Sound Control

3. Walls can also absorb sound

Home Sound Control

4. Ceiling heights in ratio with room size

House Sound Control

5. Ceiling treatments such as coffering

Home Sounds

Sound transmission occurs when sound moves between materials. Sound transmissions are more difficult to control with residential design, but there are measures that can be implemented to help reduce sound transmissions to an acceptable level. Below are 4 areas to assess when trying to mitigate sound transmission in the home.

  1. Sound controlled glass for windows and doors
  2. Underlayment used with wood floors and other types of hard surfaces
  3. Soundproofing walls and plumbing chases
  4. Door sweeps

Stay tuned into our blog for more helpful information on creating a healthy and happy home! Are you looking to improve your home’s overall wellness and functionality but don’t know where to begin? Give SDG a call. Our team would love to help!

Improve the Flow of Your Home

Many have mentioned to me the challenges of living and working at home during this time of the pandemic and how chaotic their environment has been. Architects are now discovering that beautiful homes that have been designed with open floor plans work well for creating a welcoming environment, but do not work so well for multifunctional needs. Here are some questions to consider to improve the flow of your home.

The flow of a home should consider the use of space, traffic patterns, views, and natural daylight. Here is a list of considerations to keep in mind when you are thinking of how to re-configure your space. These questions and guidelines can be applied to your home whether you are building new or remodeling.

1. If you might need a space to have multiple functions, consider a sliding door system so you can close it off when privacy is needed (or if its messy😊)

Flow

2. What are the access points of entry to a given room and how does that impact the use of the space?

Your Home Flow

3. Is a view to the front important to see who is dropping by or leaving packages? Or is a view to a garden important to keep your mind balanced and healthy?

SDG

4. Is there enough natural light? Would you need to consider skylights or clerestory windows to optimize your wall and floor space and still maintain natural light?

The flow of a space

5. How are you planning to treat your windows? Will you cover them with shades, drapes, or shutters? What are the benefits of each and how will the window treatments affect your natural light?

Home

Schlosser Design Group specializes in holistic living and wellness in design and has been helping families and individuals create homes that are both beautiful and functional for decades. Whether you are building a new home from the ground up, remodeling your existing home, or needing to refresh your spaces to be more conducive to your current needs, SDG is here to help. Call us today to see how we can assist in bringing form and function to your home.

Keeping Up with SDG Newsletter

While we are still finding ourselves social distancing during this pandemic, I suspect you and your families are taking note of what is most important to you. Now more than ever your home is the base for the way your family lives and works. Interior design is so important not only to the beauty of a space but for your mental state and keeping spirits high. This is a great time to reflect on how interior design impacts your life. Know that SDG is keeping up with the latest design trends in our new normal. My passion and mantra have always focused on transforming spaces to be more useful and to meet the needs of my clients for the long term while beautifying and adorning them in the process.

Keeping up with SDG

At SDG we are catching up on our continuing education requirements. As a registered interior designer, I am required to complete 12 hours of education. The industry is doing a great job publishing online webinars and planning video meetings through GoToMeeting, Zoom, and other platforms. Some of my classes have been on New Trends in Luxury Kitchens, Understanding of Acoustical Treatments, Gourmet Outdoor Kitchens, and Wellbeing and Design. Who knew interior design could be so technical. I just LOVE it!

In my volunteer work as Chapter President of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, we have planned a virtual “Mimosas with Monogram” for our newest members. Monogram’s chef is sending out a recipe that participating NKBA members can make in advance. We will be able to eat, drink, and be merry while we learn about product design. Next week we are participating in a virtual scavenger hunt. My team is highly creative!

On the home front, my husband talks on the phone incessantly (partly his nature but required for work). My high school son is keeping busy in his bedroom, but for me, our small temporary apartment just doesn’t fit the bill. I feel blessed to have an office to go to where I can stay isolated and accept deliveries. This really helps break up the day plus makes for a HAPPY marriage!

Ending Thoughts

The science behind interior design reports that Sensory Overload leads to Stress, Procrastination, and weight gain. Keep your homes clutter free and organized and you can survive almost anything!

Stay Healthy and Happy,

Cristie

Covid-19 Response

We have been so blessed to have support during this uncertain time and we want to let you know we are here to assist you in any way we can. Our crews continue to work on our projects as city ordinance permits us to do so. We are taking every precaution possible including limiting the number of workers on job sites, focusing on projects that have been impacted by last October’s tornadoes, and completing work that was in progress when the novel Covid-19 virus interrupted our daily lives.

Our number one concern is for you, your families, our contractors and ourselves. Our showrooms and vendors continue to support us through virtual meetings, phone calls and emails. Most of our suppliers continue to fill our orders. And of course, UPS is delivering.

We will continue to work on the planning of new projects so we will be ready to start when you are.

Please reach out to us if you want to discuss a future project that you have been thinking about. We would love to improve your lives through holistic design solutions to support your well-being.

From my home office, Cristie Schlosser

Recovering From a Tornado

In 2019, my home was hit by a tornado. To say it was terrifying is an understatement. But it’s important that you know how to prepare yourself and your home for this extreme weather event, and what to do afterward to protect your home and your belongings.

Dealing with extreme weather events are never easy, especially when your home is part of the wreckage. I hope these tips, taken from my own experience, will help make your life easier when recovering from a tornado strike.

Before the Tornado

If you live in an area where natural disasters are prevalent, make sure you take some time preparing for the storm in an off season. At the very least, you should know which room in your home is the safest for seeking shelter. Tornados strike without much notice, so it’s important your entire family knows what to do and where to go if a storm hits.

During a tornado, the best place to seek shelter inside your home is an interior room on the ground floor or in the basement that has no windows. If you have time, it’s also helpful to bring these important items into the shelter with you:

  • Wallets and purses
  • Passports and other forms of ID
  • Pets
  • Outerwear such as a coat and shoes
  • Pillows and blankets
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Bottled water

Immediately After the Tornado

As soon as the tornado passes and it’s safe to leave your home, you should do so. You should take the following valuables with you when you leave, just in case your home is further damaged in the storm or looters come to take advantage of your hardship:

  • Cash and credit cards
  • Medication
  • Medical records and other family records, like birth certificates
  • Jewelry
  • Silver
  • Portable electronics like laptops, tablets and camera equipment
  • Tax files for the current year
  • 3 – 5 days of clothing
  • Essential toiletries like glasses
  • Family photos

The evening the tornado hit our home, we thought our belongings were a total loss. It was impossible to see anything between the dark and the rain. Once the storm passed and we knew we were safe, my son put on gloves and cleared trees and glass from our garage and driveway. We put the items listed above in our car and drove to a friend’s home to stay the night.

Though my son and I were quick to take action, gathering our valuables and securing safe passage to another location, that won’t always be the case. My husband wanted to stay and protect our home. Developing a plan before the storm hits, including a list of valuables you want to take with you, will help your whole family stay focused on getting to safety once the danger has passed.

The Day After a Tornado

When it’s safe for you to return to your home, you’ll need some volunteers to come with you and help sort through the debris. Documentation of the damage is very important in order to take advantage of your homeowners insurance as much as possible.

Have friends or family members help you make lists of what wasn’t damaged, what can be salvaged and what must be thrown out. Don’t wait for your insurance company to sort through these items for you — they will likely be inundated with claims from other customers in your area, and the longer you wait to get a claim filed, the longer it will take to get repairs, secure storage and find a temporary home.

As you’re cleaning up, many service providers may come asking if you need assistance and trying to sell you their services. While most are good people trying to help, it’s important to stay vigilant and complete due diligence before hiring anyone.

How an Interior Designer Can Help After a Tornado

Most people wouldn’t think of calling their interior designer after a tornado hits, but I highly recommend this be one of the first things you do. I was able to offer many of my clients so much relief by:

  • Providing records of the value of damaged items
  • Getting quotes for repairs, which are often required for insurance purposes
  • Connecting them with a quality, trusted contractor to complete the repair work
  • Sourcing replacement items and materials for those that were damaged
  • Coordinating handling and storage of furniture and art

The rebuilding of your home can take months and can be a costly and emotional experience. Don’t wait until you’re too far in the process. Contacting a design professional early on can make rebuilding after a tornado less stressful.

3 Phases of A Master Bathroom Renovation

Remodeling a master bathroom is a big home improvement project that can take months, depending on the updates. Each renovation that I complete with my clients is unique, however, I like to provide them with an estimated timeline when we first begin working together.

A major master bathroom remodel can take anywhere from 12-14 weeks, depending on the project size, and involves three phases: planning, construction and finishing. If you hire an interior design firm like Schlosser Design Group, you won’t have to worry about managing any of the details during this hectic process. Completing a renovation project yourself could take much longer if you’re unfamiliar with architecture, design and construction.

Planning Phase

  • Initial Client Meeting and Project Documentation — this part of the planning phase includes an initial meeting with the client to learn about their preferences and documenting the existing space by taking photographs for reference and measuring the layout and other critical elements such as light switches, etc. We allocate 4 hours total in 2 separate visits to your home.
  • Designing — Next we go to work drawing your existing floor plan in our CAD, computer aided design program. Then we analyze your space and develop design solutions based on the information we have gathered and create architectural drawings for your approval. Depending on the size of the project it can be as short as 2 weeks for drafting.
  • Sourcing — While we are designing you a new space, we also develop the finish direction by sourcing samples for the required materials like flooring, tile, countertops, plumbing fixtures, lighting and accents. We will share our ideas with you through a 3D rendering and actual finish materials. Once the solution has been approved, we will show you the furnishings and window treatments that will be needed. Knowing which materials you select for your finishes sets the direction of textiles we recommend to complete the space. Since sourcing is part of designing this can take 2 weeks. Depending on how much furniture is required, sourcing could take up to 6 weeks. A lot of work goes into sourcing product including pricing quotes.
  • Homeowner Prep — You’ll pack away all of your belongings so construction can begin.

Construction Phase

The construction phase is the longest part of the process and typically takes 8-10 weeks but can extend even longer if a problem is uncovered during demolition. Construction consists of:

  • Demolition — Before picking up the sledgehammer, your contractor should prepare your home for the upcoming mess. Installing extra air filters on the HVAC and zipper doors around the room should keep the rest of your home tidy. Next, the team can strip back the room to the studs. Demo typically takes three or four days to complete.
  • Plumbing and Electricity — Plumbers and electricians move or add pipework and wiring.
  • Walls — Walls are erected. This process spans framing, insulation, putting up drywall and skim coating.
  • Tile — Tiling for walk-in showers, tub surrounds and sink backsplashes happens next.
  • Flooring — Flooring is laid.
  • Cabinetry — Bathroom cabinets and countertops are installed.
  • Paint — The room is painted.
Tiling is part of any construction phase

Tiling is a key part of any construction phase, but especially in this master ensuite. I designed this walk-in shower to be a luxurious and spacious retreat for my clients.

Finishing Phase

The finishing phase is commonly called Trim Out and typically takes one to two weeks and consists of:

  • Plumbing Fixtures — Plumbing fixtures like toilets, sinks, showerheads and tubs are installed.
  • Accents and Finishes — With the bulk of the work done, the construction team will start to put the finishing touches on the bathroom. This includes adding hardware to drawers and cabinets, installing custom closets, hanging mirrors and putting up light fixtures. Installing specialty finishes such as wallcoverings are part of the finishing phase.
  • Cleaning and Staging — The general contractor will bring in a make-ready person who will clean the space before handing it over to the interior design team. The design team will add all the final touches like rugs and art before the final reveal.
Arranging accents and making sure everything looks perfect

During the finishing phase I get my hands dirty in the client’s space, arranging accents and making sure everything looks perfect.

See an SDG Renovation Behind The Scenes

In the third video of my SDG Renovation series, I take you on-site at my client’s master bathroom remodel. You’ll see what their home looks like while workers are updating the space, how the home is kept clean, and how designs can change once demolition is complete. If you want the full context of the project, be sure to go back and watch Episode One first.

Quartz Countertop Vocabulary

If you’re not an experienced interior designer, talking about bathroom or kitchen countertops can be like speaking a foreign language. Veining, movement, porosity… what does it all mean? This is my cheat-sheet to understanding the professional lingo when choosing a stone countertop.

Edge Profile – The shape of the edge of the countertop. There are many different edge styles to choose from, like flat, bullnose, beveled, and quarter-round.

Engineered Stone – Countertops that are man-made from combining quartz with binders. These countertops look like natural stone but allow the manufacturers to have more control over what the finished product looks like. Engineered stone is more consistent than natural stone because it is manufactured instead of mined.

Fading – When a stone loses color after being exposed to sunlight.

Movement – A unique pattern that flows through a slab. Movement is the opposite of uniformity or consistency.

Non-Porous – A surface that does not have holes in it, so it does not absorb air and moisture. Non-porous surfaces are ideal for countertops because they do not need to be sealed. Most engineered stones are non-porous.

Porous – A surface that has microscopic holes in it, allowing it to absorb air and moisture. Most natural stones are porous and if it is being used for a countertop, it must be sealed.

Sealing – The process of putting a clear coat on top of the stone to protect it from stains. Sealing is especially useful for porous stones.

Slab – A large, flat piece of stone. Stone countertops are made from slabs of either natural or engineered stone.

Veining – Long, thin strips of contrasting color in a countertop slab. Depending on how a slab is cut — either with the vein or across it — the veining can appear swirled and cloudy, or distinct and linear.

Faint veining - engineered stone

This faint veining in this engineered stone picks up on the softwood tones from the custom cabinets. Design by Schlosser Design group.

Watch Behind The Scenes

In the second video of my four-part series SDG Renovation, I take you behind the scenes as I select an engineered quartz countertop for my clients. To learn more about the project I’m selecting countertops for, go back and watch Episode One.

Beautiful engineered stone

In my video, you’ll see how I selected this beautiful engineered stone for my client’s master bathroom. Design by Schlosser Design Group.

5 Signs Your Master Bathroom Needs a Renovation

A master bedroom suite should be tranquil and relaxing, but an outdated and poorly functioning master bathroom can make it feel exactly the opposite. Bathroom renovations are the answer — when renovating, you can wipe the slate clean on your bathroom and start fresh with a space that is beautiful, functional and safe.

These Five Issues Should be Red Flags and Help You Know if it’s Time to Renovate Your Master Retreat.


Electrical Hazards

Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. If your bathroom has electrical outlets, switches or lights too close to bathtubs, showers or sinks, you could be at risk of electrocution.

Lack of Privacy

Privacy is important in any bathroom, but especially in a master suite when the space serves multiple functions and two people may be using it at the same time. The ideal master bathroom should have a separate water closet, or W.C., for the toilet.

Poor Storage

Cabinet space, linen closets and vanities, among other types of storage, are important for master bathrooms to fully serve the homeowner. Depending on when your home was built, it may not make the best use of space to maximize storage for towels, makeup, hair products and other bathroom supplies.

Storage Closet by Schlosser Design Group

Storage is a critical part of any master bedroom suite. If your closet doesn’t have ample room to keep your clothes and shoes organized, it might be time for an update. Design by Schlosser Design Group.

Incomplete Design

All spaces in the home should be well-planned so they are both functional and beautiful. Sometimes one of these features is missing, however, causing a design to be incomplete. For example, I recently redesigned a master bathroom that was using a shower curtain with a walk-in shower stall because it did not have a door.

Shower redesign by Schlosser Design Group

Before our renovation, my client’s master shower was incomplete because it used a shower curtain in a standing shower stall. Schlosser Design Group redesigned the space to increase the size of the shower and add a glass door.

Poor Ventilation

Ventilation is a key part of proper bathroom construction because it prevents a buildup of moisture and humidity in the space. If left unvented, mold or mildew can grow in your bathroom. While some older homes don’t have ventilation at all, others vent improperly into the attic rather than directly outside through an exterior wall or the roof. It’s crucial that bathroom steam does not get released into the attic because it can cause the roof framing to rot.

Watch SDG Behind The Scenes

Recently, one of my clients tasked me with renovating their master bathroom, which you can see in my new video series SDG Renovation. In Episode One, I walk you through their existing bathroom and all of the functional and safety problems that existed.

What can a registered interior designer do for you?

That’s a great question. Clients I work with often wonder what a registered interior designer (RID) does that’s different from other designers. It’s complicated so let me simplify and offer some insight so when you decide you need an interior designer for your project, you will be well informed and make a good choice based on your needs.

Anyone can call themselves an interior designer. There are of course certified kitchen and bath designers, interior decorators and stagers who provide interior design services, but to become a registered interior designer requires a formal interior design degree from an accredited institution, a 2 year apprenticeship, and passing the professional examination (similar to the architectural exam) — the National Certification of Interior Design Qualifications (NCIDQ). This is a long process, allowing RIDs to stamp construction drawings for permitting. This is one of the major differences between registered interior designers and other interior designers and decorators. Of course there are other paths that designers can follow but the RID path is the most involved, most technical and requires the most education. A very small percentage of interior designers are actually registered with the state of Texas.

Why is this an important distinction? RIDs can develop construction documents, meet regulations and building codes requirements, and apply sustainable design principles, as well as the manage and coordinate other professional services including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, – all to ensure that people can work, live, and learn in an aesthetically pleasing, and safe environment.

RIDs have mastered the ability to understand people’s behavior in order to create functional and beautiful spaces down to last adorning detail including, furniture, window treatments and art and accessories. RIDs work with architects on new construction, design remodels, relocate plumbing, and electrical, and design kitchen and baths. Just like doctors, lawyers and architects, registered interior designers must complete 12 hours of continuing education every year so they are current on both technical (codes, universal & sustainable design) and design trends.

RIDs can help save you time and money with their extensive knowledge and an array of resources – they are not typically tied to any one product or manufacturer. RIDs are client focused not product focused.

Creating a mindful and appropriate solution for a space for any use takes knowledge and an understanding of human nature that goes beyond the selection of color palettes and furnishings. If you want a collaboration that allows the best possible options for you, hire a registered interior designer for your next design project and you’ll be glad you did.

Cristie Schlosser, principal and owner of Schlosser Design Group, LLC has been practicing interior design for 18 years. She is a professional member of ASID and the 2015-2016 ASID Texas Chapter Dallas Design Community Chair. Cristie has won numerous awards and is a member of NARI, NKBA and USGBC.

Reinventing Light

It’s easy to convert existing down lighting to LED by using retrofit kits from companies like Nora lighting. Companies such as Phillips and Toshiba have designed LED lamps that screw in to A19 sockets and MR16 low voltage. These are two great ways to incorporate LEDs into your existing lighting without a great deal of expense. We use LED lighting for general illumination, accent and task lighting as in under cabinet illumination, bathrooms, chandeliers and cove lighting when specifying new lighting fixtures. Currently we are designing a new construction residential project with 100% Energy efficient lighting. LEDs come in a variety of color temperatures and their CRI ratings are very good, in the high eighties which is much better than fluorescent. When selecting LED lamps, pay attention to the lumens vs. the wattage. – See more at: https://schlosserdesign.net/reinventing-light/#sthash.jk52JABa.dpuf