Archive for the ‘Around the House’ Category

Making the Most of Your Bathroom Storage: An Organized Bathroom with Style

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Organized, clean, and calming. Isn’t that how we’d all like our bathroom described?  After all, a bathroom may be one of the smallest spaces in our home, but it’s where we start and end each day!

Bathroom Remodeler Twin Cities MN

In a bathroom, a lot of items compete for a little bit of space, making bathroom organization sometimes hard to manage.  What type of storage solutions do you really need?  Here are some tools that might make a big difference:

1. BUILT-INS — Built-ins are better suited to the small space of a bathroom than you might think:

  • Even the smallest wall space can accommodate new shelving when built right and open shelves save space by not having doors that swing open.
  • Recessed built-ins can take advantage of the hollow spaces hiding behind your drywall — consider a recessed medicine cabinet, floor-to-ceiling cabinets, or cubbies in your shower.

2. VANITIES — Make the most of this bathroom staple, by consider these vanity twists:

  • The Vanity Tower – A fabulous way to add storage without taking up more floor space, the vanity tower sits on top of your bathroom counter, like an upper cabinet. Easily adaptable to your bathroom’s style, vanity towers can even feature glass doors or open shelves to give the illusion of a more open space.
  • Open Shelf Vanity – Vanity furniture pieces with shelving are becoming more popular. These pieces creatively and practically store your daily necessities, when you combine with baskets or other containers to maintain a clean look.

3. CABINETS — Take your typical cabinet up a notch:

  • Open Shelf Cabinets – Consider built-in cabinetry with no doors for the flexibility to use baskets, trays, or other containers.
  • Drawers – Including drawers in your cabinets is an efficient way to maximize your bathroom storage. Consider installing small drawers with dividers for makeup, or a specialty drawer for larger items.

4. BASKETS — When in doubt, add a basket! Options for color, styles, and textures are endless. And the storage possibilities are fun, exciting and oh-so-helpful:

  • Keep small items organized on open shelves.
  • Artfully display toilet paper rolls.
  • Gather towels or washcloths.
  • Hide your hair dryer, cord and all!

Need some visuals?  Check out these images on bathroom storage ideas featured on Houzz for some starter inspiration!

Looking to add more storage to your bathroom? Considering a bathroom remodel?  Sass Construction would love to help! Serving Eden Prairie, Chaska, Chanhassen, Edina, Bloomington, and more throughout the West Metro area in MN.

Adding Touches of Summer to Your Home | Home Design and Decor Ideas Twin Cities MN

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Along with the warm weather and green grass come cravings to immerse ourselves in all-things-summer, lest we never forget its beautiful, sun-drenched glory.  One way to keep summer in our midst at all times is to bring touches of the outdoors in.  Here are a few ideas to give summertime the center stage in your home:

Summer Decor Ideas | Sass Construction Remodeling

Glimpses of the Garden – Fresh cut flowers are an easy way to add a touch of summer to the home, so bring some in!  In addition to floral arrangements, try using other accents of the garden as decor.  Experiment with using bright colored pots in unexpected ways, like to hold your ice bucket or filled with an array of candles.

Keep it Light – Heavy fabrics remind us of winter.  If you have throw blankets over your sofa or pillows with wool or heavy fabrics, swap them out for lightweight versions.  You may want to use summer weight towels in the bathroom and kitchen too — in a summery color please!

Color Galore – Add bright colored accents to your tabletops or living room setting.  Bring in bright colored trays, pillows, table runners, vases, and other items that will add a little punch wherever you look.  Summer is not a season for drab — pinks, aquas, oranges, yellows, and reds take center stage.

Scents of the Season – We associate winter with cinnamon and fragrant fir trees, likewise summer with the smell of fresh floral blossoms and tropical fruits!  Splurge on a couple luxurious candles in yummy scents and breathe-in a season of summertime memories.

Here’s to enjoying our Minnesota summers to the fullest!

Sass Construction is a design-build contracting team located in Chanhassen MN.  Connect with us about your Twin Cities summer remodeling projects today!

Three Ways to Add Radiant Orchid and Purple Tones to Your Home’s Interior | Radiant Orchid Panatone Color of the Year 2014

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

This year’s Panatone color of the year is Radiant Orchid, an intense purple with lilac, fuchia, and pink undertones.  While you might not be ready to paint your whole living room purple (though we won’t stop you!) this is an upbeat color that might just bring some visual joy to your home.

Here are three ways to use radiant orchid or other purple-tones in your interior design this year without letting it take over:

1. Spot on.  This color is intense, bright, cheerful!  One spot of it is all you need to add some “oomph” to a room.  Try a single piece of furniture (say, a new side table) that stands out in an otherwise neutral or deep-hued room.  Even smaller, but no less impactful, consider adding a throw blanket or pillow or two to accent your sofa or bed.

Purple pillows accent a living room

Try accenting with pillows in purple tones

2. Mix it up.  If you want to implement some radiant orchid without the attention being drawn to it alone, mix it in with other color tones.  Pairing purples with reds in particular is a fabulous way to add some fun and warmth to a room.  Or consider using it with a turquoise or emerald green to balance out the brightness with something a bit more earthy.

Purple pairs well with red

Purple pairs well with red

3. Pot it.  This spring and summer, what better way to give radiant orchid a try than with an orchid itself!  Bring in some potted flowers of the purple-nature and see how you like the color.  If you find yourself falling in love, add more orchid tones later on.

Pink Orchid Plant

Try a potted orchid or fresh cut purple flowers

Sass Constuction is a remodeler and builder in the Twin Cities area, specializing in interior and exterior projects for homes and businesses throughout Chanhassen, Chaska, Eden Prairie, and more!

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Foods

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

It is always fun when Thanksgiving comes along, giving us the opportunity to express our gratitude. To all those with whom we’ve worked this past year: thank you for your friendship and amazing support.

Of course, the office is also abuzz with plans for Thanksgiving dinner. We’re looking forward to eating those foods that only come around this time of year! Here are some of our favorites…

Scott
Loves the yams – more specifically the yummy-sugar-coated-with-walnuts kind!

Mark
Loves all the food during Thanksgiving, but mostly the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy.

Chris
She’s all about her mom’s old recipe for gravy – it goes good with everything!

Amber
Her favorite: the garlic mashed potatoes. Yum!

Barb
Loves Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup (she said if you haven’t tried this you don’t know what you are missing), along with the sweet and salty Strawberry Pretzel Dessert…a family favorite year round.

And for fun, check out Barb’s Strawberry Pretzel Dessert recipe below! It may not be traditional Thanksgiving fare but it is definitely a delicious addition to any holiday get-together.

STRAWBERRY PRETZEL DESSERT

Crust

1 ½ cups crushed pretzels (pretzel sticks work well for crushing)

½ c. sugar

½ c. melted butter (or margarine)

Mix pretzels, sugar and butter. Press into 9×13 pan. Bake 5 min at 350 degrees. Cool.

Filling

8 oz. softened cream cheese

1 medium size container of cool whip + more for serving

2 small packages strawberry jello

2 cups hot water

2 -10oz. packages frozen strawberries with juice

Blend softened cream cheese and 1 medium size container of cool whip. Spread over cooled crust.

Dissolve strawberry jello in hot water. Add frozen strawberries (thawed, include juice). When jello begins to set, pour over cream cheese layer. Set until firm.

Cut into squares. Top with cool whip.

Enjoy!

The Sass Team

p.s. thanks for checking out our favorite Thanksgiving foods!
What are some of yours?

 

 

Homeowners’ Winter Preparation Checklist: Winter Is On It’s Way!

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

MN Homeowners' Winter Home Maintenance ChecklistIt’s official: snowflakes have been spotted in Minnesota — yes, even here in the Twin Cities!  Like it or not, winter is coming our way.  To make sure you stay warm and cozy this winter, and to protect your home from potential damage that may come with the snow and ice, we’ve created a helpful winter checklist for you to review!

Homeowners’ Winter Preparation Checklist:

  • Wait to prune your trees or shrubs!  Waiting until late winter to do this will promote growth in the spring.  When is best exactly?  Check out the helpful pruning timelines for MN provided by Ramsey County here.
  • Prevent Ice Dams.  Ice dams are often caused by poor insulation and air leaks in the attic.  If you allow an ice dam to build up, water could intrude into your home when the ice melts, causing more damages than anyone wants to deal with.  Read here for some great tips on preventing them.
  • Clean you gutters!  Just like an ice dam, gutter blockage could cause water to find it’s way into your home.  Get out that ladder and do it right!
  • Drain and winterize your outdoor faucets and irrigation system. 
  • Have your fireplace cleaned and inspected.
  • Have your furnace tuned up!
  • Reverse your ceiling fan to create a downdraft of the warm air that tends to hang out at ceiling level.  Adjust your fan so that the blades run clockwise in the winter and counter-clockwise in the summer.
  • Seal gaps and cracks around your doors and windows and evaluate whether new windows would be helpful.  Sometimes sealing cracks may not be enough, especially if you have older windows!  Today’s window materials consist of low-e glass panels that act as a shield – keeping heat in during the winter and heat out during the summer.  To learn more about low-e glass and other types of energy-efficient windows, read more here.
  • Adjust your thermostat settings.  Set the temperature on your thermostat to range within the 65-68º range when you’re home and about 10 degrees lower than that when your away or asleep.

Following these steps over the course of the next few weeks will give you peace of mind, knowing your home is as cozy as you are.  Be ready for the winter ahead!

Do you have remodeling or home projects you need help with before winter sets in?  Contact us here at Sass Construction to discuss your remodeling or building project today!  Serving Chanhassen, Chaska, Eden Prairie, and suburbs throughout Minneapolis and the Twin Cities, MN.

 

A Well-Lit Home: Lighting Options & Trends for Your Space – Part 2

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
bathroom with chandelier and sconces

This bathroom creatively uses a chandelier combined with wall sconces to achieve a romantic effect.

Though it may seem like a small factor in  your home, we know that lighting can make a huge difference!  Picking up where we left off last week with Part 1 of A Well-Lit Home, here are four more lighting styles for your interior space, ready to provide the ambiance you’re looking for:

Recessed Lights – Tucked inside an opening in the ceiling, groups of recessed lights give off ambient light without making an overpowering design statement.  Often paired with a dimmer switch, this style of light also allows you to create a low light environment when you want it.  Recessed lights are popular in kitchens and living rooms, especially over islands or sofas and tables.

Chandeliers – Not just for the dining room anymore, chandeliers are adding style to kitchens, bathrooms, even entryways!  A chandelier can add romance, elegance, or modern style to almost any room.  One chandelier is great, but sometimes two is better –  try using a pair of smaller, low-hung chandeliers over a kitchen island or two larger ones over a long dining table. Peak at these beautiful chandelier uses from hgtv.

Wall Sconces – Sconces mount directly to the wall, and are usually used in pairs.  Often seen on either side of a fireplace or doorway, sconces have been a classic source of accent lighting for decades.  Sconces come in a variety of materials such as glass, metal and ceramic.  They shower indirect light on sections of the wall, often forming interesting shadows and backdrops.

Lamp Light – Though it’s important to install as much light as necessary at the time of your remodel or home building project, do not forget that table and floor lamps can be a key source of light for a room, and certainly add a lot of style.  Lamps allow you to swap out lighting on a more regular basis, especially if you like to decorate with the trends.

To create a well-lit, well-designed room, you’ll likely want to combine direct and indirect light, such as overhead sources with lamps or sconces.  Ideas flowing?  For some unique and trendy ways to use lighting in your home, check out these creative ideas from hgtv and then start planning how you can add ambiance, practicality, and charm (with lights!) to your new or remodeled space.

Sass Construction has the expertise you can trust to create a remodeling experience that will benefit your family and your home.  Contact us today!  Brightening up homes in Chanhassen, Chaska, Eden Prairie, the West Metro, and throughout the Twin Cities.

A Well-Lit Home: Lighting Options & Trends for Your Space – Part 1

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Lighting is an amazing tool that can change the look and feel of your home. Dining Room Pendant LightsWhether you want to add ambiance, comfort, versatility, or practicality to a room, lighting is your go-to source.

Most rooms serve more than one purpose.  As you contemplate the lighting for a room it’s best to consider what activities you’re going to use that space for.  This will influence your choice of lighting fixtures and their placement.

Having a strong grasp on different lighting styles can open up a new world of options for your home and make the shopping and design process that much simpler.  Here are some light fixture options and styles that you will likely run across as you consider lighting for your new home or home remodel:

Flush Mounted Ceiling Lights – Illuminating a room directly from the ceiling provides a good overall spread of light.  A flush mounted ceiling light is usually a single fixture that holds one to four bulbs, sometimes in combination with a ceiling fan.  Available in endless styles, often featuring a glass bowl or a shade, an interesting ceiling light can add style to a room.  Flush mounted ceiling lights are especially good for bedrooms or hallways; in other rooms, they will likely need to be accented with additional lighting to provide enough light for the whole room.

Track Lighting – Moveable lights that run along a track, track lighting is multi-purpose and now stylish too. The ability to move light fixtures can help you adapt a room for its many uses – say cooking one minute, doing homework at the kitchen island the next.  Track light spotlights are also beneficial for streaming light on bookcases, artwork, or a fireplace mantel.

Pendant Lights –These low-hanging light fixtures cast “pools” of light, making them great for tasks or ambiance.  Often made in eye-catching designs, pendants can bring style and character to a room – traditional or modern.  Grouping multiple mini pendants together is especially on-trend right now, hung over a kitchen island or bar area. These pendant lighting ideas from Better Homes & Gardens are sure to spark some ideas.

Under Cabinet Lights – Often forgotten or deemed unnecessary, under cabinet lights can be highly impacting in a kitchen or bathroom.  Whether they draw attention to that well-designed backsplash or provide extra light while chopping vegetables, under cabinet are both beneficial and beautiful, adding a reflective glow throughout the room.

Now that your light bulb of ideas has clicked on, want to learn more?  Check out this fun photo tutorial from hgtv that will clue you in on the differences between ambient, task, and accent lighting, and then stop by next week for part 2 of this article, featuring four more lighting types!

Ready to remodel your home and create a beautiful, well-lit space?  Contact us here at Sass Construction today!  Creating beautiful spaces in Chanhassen, Chaska, the West Metro, and throughout the Twin Cities!

Home Hazards to Watch for this Christmas Season

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

It’s that time of the year again – time to gather around the tree with family and friends, enjoy hot chocolate, delicious foods, and celebrate with gifts! Christmas tree light safety

Joy-filled as Christmas can be, it also brings potential safety hazards.  At Sass Construction, we want to help you avoid those hazards — after all, it’s the best gift we can give! 

To help you stay safe this holiday season and keep your celebrations “merry and bright,” Sass Construction recommends using the following guidelines when handling and plugging-in your Christmas decorations:

  1. Extension Cords and Outside Lights  — Make sure when using an exterior extension cord, the cord is labeled as such. Examine each cord before use, looking for fraying, cracks, or other damage. Cords should always be replaced if you see any damage. Keep all extension cords away from standing water and snow, and always use the appropriate length cord.
  2. Indoor Lights and Decorations  –  It’s important to inspect indoor Christmas tree lights before each use. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and be careful to not overload an outlet with too many plugs, which has the potential to cause a fire.  Avoid placing cords where they can be pinched or smashed in a door, window, or under heavy furniture.  And lastly, unplug your decorations before leaving the house or going to sleep.  For convenience, you can purchase a timer from your local hardware store that plugs into your electrical socket.
  3. Christmas Trees  — When choosing your Christmas tree, we advise the greener the better! As the weeks go by, a tree will dry out in a heated home. A dry tree is more flammable than a healthy green one. Make sure your tree has plenty of water each day. Ask to have a few inches cut off the trunk when you purchase the tree to allow better water absorption.  Avoid placing a tree closer than three feet from any heating agents, including fireplaces, electrical heaters and/or radiators.

From all of us at Sass Construction, Inc., we wish you a safe and joy-filled Christmas!

Recipes We Are Thankful For

Monday, November 19th, 2012

We are always happy when Thanksgiving approaches because this festive occasion gives us the opportunity to appreciate and express our gratitude to all those with whom we have worked together this year!  We want to thank you for your unending support and friendship.

At our office we are getting excited for Thanksgiving too.  Therefore, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite recipes.

 

Stuffed Mushrooms 

Original recipe makes 12 large mushrooms.

Ingredients

  • 12 whole fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.

When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Here’s a delicious pumpkin cheesecake pie recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (16 ounces total) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Dash cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust

Preparation:

Combine cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and spices; mix with a hand mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix until blended. Pour into graham cracker crust. Bake at 350° F. for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Cool. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, or overnight. Serve garnished with sweetened whipped cream or whipped topping.

Enjoy!

The Sass Team

P.S. Don’t forget to Shop Small on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24th.

Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Here in Minnesota, we try to avoid this for as long as possible.  Yet, with the first snow flurries on the ground, we think it is officially safe to say winter is upon us!  Is your home ready for the havoc that winter can wreak?  Double check to make sure that your hibernation hut is up for the task ahead with this winter home maintenance checklist:

  • Keep your home’s warmth in!  Avoid warm air escaping by insulating the outside walls and unheated areas of your house.  Wrap any pipes near exterior walls or in crawl spaces, as well as all heating duct work, with insulation or heating tape.  Also, caulk or weather-seal all windows to cut down on wind drafts.  Not only will these tasks help to keep you toasty warm, these insulation strategies can also help to keep your energy costs under control.
  • Avoid Frozen Pipes. When the temperature drops below twenty-degrees fahrenheit the potential for damage as a result of frozen pipes greatly increases.  To manage exterior pipes, detach all gardening hoses and shut off the water supply to exterior faucets.  As an extra safety precaution, check the water from your home faucets on a regular basis – reduced water flow can be an early sign of frozen pipes.
  • Prevent Ice Dams. Ice dams occur when ice forms on gutters or on the eaves and valleys of your roof, preventing melting snow and ice from running off.  When this happens, water can back up, seep under shingles and tiles, and cause serious home damage.  Prevent this by ensuring that your gutters are kept clear of leaves and debris.  Also be sure that your attic is properly insulated to further prevent ice dams from forming on your roof.