Getting creative with VETRO Glassblowing Studio & Gallery

VETRO Glassblowing Studio owner David Gappa with staff Lindsey Barker.

As a creative professional I am always looking to learn a new art form, and VETRO Glassblowing Studio & Gallery in Grapevine, TX definitely delivered. You’ll be surprised by what types of hands-on creative outlets you might enjoy. The key is to get out there and try something new. Glassblowing proved to be extremely exciting!

VETRO Glassblowing Studio & Gallery is owned by artist and founder David Gappa, who interestingly transitioned from a career in architecture. David Gappa and his team not only assist visitors in blownglass creations, but they are also professional artists in their own right, creating a wide range of gallery art for the discerning eye. David Gappa’s architecture background has given him a unique approach to this art form, allowing him to construct the most advanced sculptural glass art that I have ever seen. This studio is definitely worth visiting.

During my visit VETRO’s team of expert glassblowers showed me around the studio and educated me on the history of glassblowing, which is a much older art form than I would have ever imagined. I learned that archaeologist have found glass creations as old as 5000 years old, and that today glassblowing still uses the same tools and processes that were utilized originally. Fascinating!

The Glassblowing Process

Here I begin the process of making my own stemless wine glass at the VETRO glassblowing studio. Their team assisted me in the process of making my own glass item step by step. With VETRO’s public workshops you can stop by to make a range of creations from a wine glass, to a glass flower, a bowl, and more. Sometimes they even offer wine nights where you get to create in their glassblowing studio (assisted of course) while enjoying a glass of wine.

One tip before you participate is to make sure that you wear close toed shoes and avoid wearing any synthetic fibers since you’ll be around fire and furnaces. There is no reason to be nervous though because the assistance provided is thorough and attentive. My VETRO tour guides for the day were amazing; great artisans and teachers!

I selected my custom color combination for my wine glass.

You would be surprised by how many tools it takes to create one blown glass product! It’s also generally a two person job! There is a lot more to glassblowing than you would expect. Just to create a single wine glass I feel like I went through nearly a 10 step process. Seeing this art form in person gave me a new appreciation of the skill and effort it takes to create the type of glass products we see at stores and galleries. Glassblowing artisans go to school to learn their craft and have to be aware of many formulas when creating various types of shapes and vessels.

I am looking forward to making another glass creation with VETRO’s expert staff. The glassblowing experience is really addictive!

Tools of the trade shown above.

If you happened to be wondering… glass blowing actually DOES involve blowing the glass.

VETRO also offers workshops for private groups where you create alongside a group of your own friends or co-workers, separate from their public workshop offerings. It’s a really great idea for a party or celebration or possibly for a team building activity, and everyone gets to take home their creation.

As far as the quality of VETRO’s glassblown products, I was truly impressed! The quality and heavy weight of their stemless wine glasses exceeded my expectations, and I didn’t lose out on any quality even though it happened to be a guided DIY. I have seen other glassblown wine glass products that are extremely lightweight and thin, the kind of product that would easily break, but VETRO delivers on aesthetics and quality every time. If you enroll in one of their wine glass workshops, your creation will look similar to this (see below).

Advanced Artisan Creations & Customization Options

Now for a look at one of the VETRO team’s more advance creations. Below you’ll get a behind the scenes look at them creating an artistic glass bowl with a really unique textured pattern. VETRO’s team of advanced artisans are capable of creating a wide range of custom options for your home or art collection. Being the design-lover that I am, I am always looking for home decor items with a more unique touch to them. VETRO will deliver on originality when it comes to their custom creations.

VETRO’s storefront offers a selection of ready made blownglass products and works of art that you can take home with you the same day. However, if you need inspiration for a custom product, browsing their storefront is sure to give you some ideas. I came home with SO many ideas for customizing my home with blownglass. The possibilities are endless.

From an interior design perspective, I love the idea of a collage of multiple sized glass bowls as a wall art feature like shown below. Perfect for a statement wall!

Also, consider some of their other decorative selections for enhancing your home’s decor. The works shown below are advanced creations by VETRO professionals that you can purchase or have custom made for your own home or real estate project.

Custom items to consider having VETRO create for your home or business:

(1) Wall sconce light fixtures or pendant lights

(2) Figurative sculpture art (like the incredible dinosaur head shown below) – Created by VETRO owner and artist David Gappa.

(3) Custom chandeliers – of any shape or size you can imagine!

(4) Abstract glass panels as sculptural art (shown below)

(5) A collection of oversized glass bowls for a statement wall installation

Special thanks are in order for Jorma Rahja and Shannan Shumate for showing me the ropes at the VETRO Glassblowing Studio & Gallery. I will definitely be back again! My plan is to create a matching set of stemless wine glasses and serving platters for the dining table. What will you create with VETRO Glassblowing Studio? Schedule your visit today and let them know that Interiors by Jacquin sent you!

VETRO glassblowers Jorma Rahja and Shannan Shumate with Jacquin Headen

Photography by Zoe Martinez

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5 Kitchen Remodeling Ideas to Improve Your Home’s Value

Do you want to launch a renovation project that will be both pleasing to you and will increase the market value of your home?  Well pour yourself a cup of coffee and have a seat at the kitchen table. Now, look around, because you are in the primary room, THE place to start.

According to Kiplinger, USA Today, Than Merrill, and other publications, a stylish, updated kitchen is at the top of most home buyers’ wish lists.  And for the kitchen that totally wows them, buyers are generally willing to increase their offers considerably.  

Cabinets

But please yourself first, knowing that what you create in the realm of good taste, comfort and convenience will be appreciated by others, in case you ever sell your home.

Looking around the room, what’s the first thing you notice?  Yeah, the cabinets. Who picked out that dark stain anyway? Cabinet renovation can be as simple as repainting, or as complex as total cabinet replacement.

If the cabinets are still in good shape, with few or no scrapes, gouges and scratches, a good paint job in a brighter – you almost always should go brighter – color can do wonders for the kitchen.  But don’t scrimp on the paint. Old colors have a bad habit of showing up again over time.

Many homeowners would rather replace the whole lot in one fell swoop, and there’s a good reason for that.  Lightweight plywood kitchen cabinets, with a pretty veneer exterior, make an immediate impact on the look of a kitchen and the modest expense totally justifies the effort.  At this point, husbands might be tempted to say, “OK, that ought to be enough; don’t you think?” Nice try, but there’s more to consider.

Countertops

So, what’s immediately under those cabinets? Right. The countertops. These can be the make-it or break-it factor for many home buyers.  Kitchen countertops run in trends, like high fashion, only without the runway models.  What was all the rage 10 years ago is now dated and boring.

Solid surface kitchen countertops are made with hard materials that mimic the look of granite, marble, stone and other surfaces.  They are not layered or assembled. They’re solid. (Hence the name.) They’re meant to be durable and easy to care for, and what you have five years later looks just the same as it did the day it was installed.

A big trend now in countertops is dark quartz countertops, with luxurious patterns embedded in black or dark gray replica stone.  They’re not cheap, but not outrageous either, and the classy look they impart to a kitchen is immeasurable.

Appliances

Now, about those mismatched, forlorn appliances.  You wanted a new range with a convection oven anyway, so now’s the time to get what you want.  While there are a multitude of options here, one proven winner is the all-stainless look for appliances. Get quality stainless steel – 304 stainless is the best.

Your Walls 

Painting or papering the kitchen walls is always a beneficial move, but don’t forget the ceiling.  You can even consider a patterned tile wall feature for a more unique touch. Additionally, many homeowners install faux wood beams to give their kitchen a pleasant country cottage look. Ceiling fans are another option when renovating.

Victor Leggoreta Architecture for Architectural Digest // Photography: Douglas Friedman

The Windows

And if your kitchen has exterior windows consider replacing them if they’re dated, drafty or inoperable.  There is quite a range of types of windows, offering different styles, like bay windows, casement windows, bow windows, garden windows and more. 

You’ll want to match the window to the style of the kitchen, and keep in mind the extra light and shelf space you’ll get – depending on the style of window you select, of course. So, set a plan, set a budget and start calling. Your house will thank you.

Matt Lee is a contributor to Innovative Green Building Materials. He is a blogger and a content writer for the building materials industry. Matt is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes. 

AOI Home – Shopping the antique treasures of India

If you’re looking for luxury architectural features that are truly unique you will be impressed and inspired by AOI Home, formerly Art of Old India. This company travels throughout India reclaiming architectural elements from historic Indian buildings and structures. This ranges from antique doors, to ceiling tiles, to mirrors and furniture. I had the pleasure of touring their Dallas store, filled with one of a kind treasures of both large scale proportions and small.

While touring AOI Home I learned that they also sell beautiful rugs, ikat pillows (shown below) and other modern day designs with the traditional Indian aesthetic in mind. I loved their intricate bone inlay furniture (shown above) and their large selection of oversized antique, carved doors. Most importantly, you do not have to live in Dallas to take advantage of their selection of Indian architectural elements. They ship across the United States. Get in contact with AOI Home to learn how your can purchase antique architectural elements for your next remodeling project.

Which architectural element would you want most in your home? Visit AOI Home to browse their collection.

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Remodeling Your Home To Sell

via Desire to Inspire

If you’re trying to sell a home, you don’t have to accept your home as it is before you sell it. Much like with vehicles, the work you put into a home creates additional value and raises its price, and there are many smart ways to get the most impact for a limited investment. There are a spectrum of upgrades available ranging from minor fixes and patches to full-on renovation of the entire house. You don’t need to invest a lot to get a good return, however. Here is a list of one or two-day remodeling projects that can still add a sizeable boost in property value before you sell your home. 

(1) Faux Wood Beams in the Master Bedroom

Faux wood beams are all the rage right now. They provide a natural, looming beauty to whatever room they are placed in. So, where better to have them than the master bedroom? Upgrades to the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms rank as the most profitable, so by installing some gorgeous wood beams, you can help give it that air of elegance and superiority that a master bedroom is supposed to have. They also look great in the kitchen as well. Check out this great faux beam installation tutorial from Jenna Sue Design blog here.

via Jenna Sue Design

(2) Outdoor Upgrades

Adding a deck to your backyard can increase the resale value of your home a great deal, attracting a wider group of prospective home buyers. Remember to properly calculate deck size to maximize your outdoor space and use hidden deck fasteners to get that clean, perfect deck look that will attract home buyers.

Furthermore, Adding areas of shade and cover to your deck or other backyard gathering areas offer relief from changing weather conditions and the glare from the sun. Gazebos, modern pergolas, awnings, umbrellas, and canopies add style and character to your outdoor areas and can increase your home’s attractiveness to potential buyers. Installing a patio ceiling creates an additional living space that will appeal to homebuyers and add value to your home. 

via DIY Home Center

(3) Garage Remodeling

Garages serve a variety of purposes nowadays, and upgrading yours will have an impact on property value. You might consider some shiny, indoor stained concrete floors, perhaps. Concrete is another trending material right now and by going with the stained variety, you’ll be ensuring long-lasting protection as well as a sheen that will leave an impression on anybody who stops by to visit. A properly polished and colored concrete garage floor is known to draw bigger numbers on the market, and is very likely to draw a good return on your investment. 

(4) Butcher Block Countertops

Wood is really popular right now, so it’s no surprise that butcher block kitchen countertops made their way on this list. The remodel is a small one, usually not taking more than two days. Adding butcher block to your kitchen gives it a more down-home feel, and as long as the wood is properly stained and finished, these countertops will stay looking great for a long time. Butcher block is the perfect way to spice up a boring kitchen.

via Chris Loves Julia

(5) Update Your Light Fixtures

Updating your lighting to something that looks a bit more luxurious will elevate the look of the entire space and will give your home the appearance of greater value when it comes to selling your home. Consider upgrading the lighting in the living room and kitchen for greatest impact.

via Bein Design

Small Projects Can Add Big Value

Just because you aren’t doing any large-scale renovations on a home, doesn’t mean you can’t significantly raise its property value. By doing any of the remodels on this list, or combining them, you can achieve a significant boost in property value, despite not investing a huge chunk of money. Try one or more of these projects and see for yourself how easy it is to get more than you ever imagined for your current home.

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Construction Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

Luxe Gift Guide – Interiors by Jacquin style!

Check out these inspiring gifts for yourself or a friend – All handmade and found on Etsy!

Graphic layout by Somi Kwon

Which Etsy find from our roundup is your favorite?

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6 Ways to Use Dark Colors While Still Achieving a Bright Space

Image via MyDomaine – designed by Coco Republic

Spaces that consist mainly of dark colors are becoming more and more popular and provide a different feeling than the usual white or neutral spaces. But what if you were able to achieve both with a discerning blend of dark and light? With a few tips you can cleverly use dark accents while still being able to enjoy a bright space, and it’s mostly done by pairing well-selected home décor. Your darker space doesn’t have to be dreary. Here are six ways to still achieve a bright space while decorating with dark colors! 

1. Try to plan your space around natural light

If you’re able to, place your dark colors and furniture in a space with a good amount of natural light. This will cause a natural contrast, especially when it is bright out. The natural light will also have a similar effect as greenery or foliage by opening and warming up the space. 

2. Focus on your wall color

You should use your wall color to bring out the contrast in the room if you’re looking to use dark furniture. The color white will always work on walls. It’s important to play around with different shades of white however, to find what fits best in your space. A completely different approach that will also be successful is darkly colored walls with light furniture, like the fabulous deep green kitchen!

3. Add greenery and foliage 

Placing greenery and foliage, even if it’s fake, is one of the easiest ways to still achieve a bright space while using dark colors. The greenery helps to make the space appear more open and welcoming. The green will add a nice pop of color as well if there is not a lot of color in your space.

via The Girl with the Green Sofa

4. Let accessories brighten up the space 

Accessories can help a lot in a space that is more dark than light. Adding accessories that contrast with the darker furniture can help brighten the space by providing small pops of color and uniqueness throughout the space.

5. Utilize lamps versus overhead lighting

You should place lamps around darker pieces of furniture. Lamps will add a warmer feeling than overhead lighting can provide, and will also be able to spotlight your key pieces of furniture.

6. Use contrasting rugs and textiles around dark furniture 

By placing a rug in front of a dark piece of furniture, it will add texture and color to the whole space. Adding textiles or throw blankets to a sofa or chair will help break up the dark colors. Both can add additional contrast to the space. Alternatively, try a dark colored rug to bring dimension into a space.

via Contemporary Rugs EU

Dark colors give a sense of mystery in a space and can be used successfully, but they do best if you can still achieve a bright and welcoming space. The tips laid out above are simple fixes to a space that just feels a bit too dark. Now decorating with dark colors can be a game changing asset to enhance your space with style.

Article by Lydia Berge – Interiors by Jacquin intern

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Low-Maintenance Surfaces For Your Next Bathroom Remodel

Bathrooms can be a real hassle to clean. They are usually somewhat cramped and feature a variety of different materials and surfaces that can require multiple different cleaners and pieces of equipment just to get the job done. If you’re looking to remodel your bathroom but you’d also like to cut down on the level of maintenance you need to perform, here are some low-maintenance surfaces you can use for your next bathroom remodel. 

1. Engineered Quartz Countertops

There’s a reason why quartz bathroom countertops are in high demand. Their natural beauty is astounding, and quartz itself is very durable and low-maintenance. You don’t have to worry about sealing it because quartz is non-porous. It also stands up very well against heat. This is another low-maintenance material that has the added benefit of being supremely beautiful. 

2. Solid Surface Fabrication

This material is man-made and usually consists of a combination of pigments, polyester resins, acrylic, or epoxy. Solid surface is great because not only is it very low-maintenance and durable, it can be fitted for vanities, sinks, shower walls, countertops, and more. Solid surface shower panels are becoming a trend as well. The material itself is very versatile and can be customized to the highest degree. It’s also easier to clean because it features no grooves, grout, or tiles. A basic cleaner will do just fine. 

3. Spot-Free Glass

Innovation in glass-making technology has led to the latest development in low-maintenance bathrooms, spot-free shower glass. This glass is built to resist spots that naturally build up on other materials and cause those ugly shower spots. With spot-free glass, you don’t have to worry about using any special cleaners or applying a fancy coating to your shower glass to prevent it from spotting. Your cleaning time will be reduced dramatically as well. 

4. Stainless Steel Finishes

Unless you absolutely need the shiny finish of polish or chrome, installing stainless steel will lessen your faucet cleaning duties. Stainless steel and other surfaces like satin nickel as well as satin chrome are far better at hiding fingerprints and water spots, meaning you won’t need to wash them as often to get the same effect. 

You could also consider going with a single lever faucet. These faucets aren’t quite as much of a chore to clean as faucets with two handles and a spout. They only feature a single mounting point on your countertop which means less to navigate around as you do a wipe down. 

Cleaning Your Bathroom Doesn’t Have to be Hard

You shouldn’t have to dread cleaning day when it comes to your bathroom. Many people do because they have things like tiled showers or granite countertops that require extra attention. By implementing a few of the things in this article, however, you can cut your bathroom cleaning time in half. Solid surface fabrication, stainless steel faucets, spot-free glass, and quartz bathroom countertops will all make your life much easier and leave you with more time to do other things besides cleaning. 

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Construction and Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value. 

Impressive custom kitchens & more from Eggersmann

Eggersmann showroom – Photography by Julianna Carl

Eggersmann’s custom kitchens and home living solutions are a contemporary design lovers dream. I stopped by their showroom to get a better idea of their offerings and I received a friendly and informative tour from Eggersmann team member, Kegan Wilson. Eggersmann offers custom kitchens, custom closets, and custom built-in solutions for spaces like your living room and office. I was impressed and inspired by their unique, luxury designs. Read on to see just why Eggersmann is so impressive.

Eggersmann offers four distinct collections for their custom kitchens, and I must say that I appreciated all of them. The collections are called “Modern”, “Unique”, “Classic”, and “The Works”, each of which showcases a completely different style. Above is an example of one of their Classic collection kitchens and below is an example of their showstopping kitchen from The Works collection. One of the key elements of The Works kitchens is the ability to have everything in your cabinets at your fingertips and on display all at once, and then able to disappear fully for clean and minimalist look. The Works also showcases a sliding counter top system, which you can see in action in our video feature.

This counter-top expands! See how it works in our video.

Custom closets are another Eggersmann specialty. They go above and beyond in creating stylish, luxurious closets that will exceed your expectations. From the rich wood options, to the bronze tinted glass, custom jewelry storage, and the surprise addition of an espresso machine, Eggersmann achieves a complete luxury experience in your dressing room.

Home living solutions are another territory covered by Eggersmann and it’s all about the built-ins! Everything is customized for your personal preferences. I loved that they offer built-in lighted cubbies for displaying artwork and they also have compartments to hide your television or store a tucked away bar area. Finishing materials range from various woods to leather upholstered wall units, so you can be as creative as you like with your own custom unit. Eggersmann products are incredibly thoughtful and crafted with care, making this German company my top recommendation for custom home solutions.

Eggersmann offers a unique showroom that is absolutely worth visiting for better determining which of their collections is best for you. You can find Eggersmann’s showroom locations in Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Florida, and Toronto. Their quality products will enhance your next home renovation project and help you to create a luxury sanctuary at home. Eggersmann receives five stars all around!

Visit Eggersmann showroom in the Dallas Design District – 1616 Hi Line Drive

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Art Deco Revival in Atlanta

This historic Atlanta home is known to be the city of Atlanta’s only Art Deco property in existence, and so when it came time to revive this piece of history the space got a contemporary update while preserving the home’s rich architectural history. Here’s a glimpse into this beautiful, art deco home featured in Atlanta Homes magazine. 

 Historic Atlanta art deco home featured in Atlanta Homes. Photography: Erica George Dines
Historic Atlanta art deco home featured in Atlanta Homes. Photography: Erica George Dines
 
To view the full home tour, head over to Atlanta Homes to learn more about this art deco beauty.
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