See more of this home remodel in Reston here. Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction.

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Home remodel on your New Year’s resolution list? A home remodel is a big financial investment and no one wants to make any changes to their home that won’t stand the test of time when it comes to design choices. We’re here to help! This month, we’re sharing what made our team’s list of trends and things we think we’ll be seeing more of in 2023 when it comes to kitchen and bathroom remodeling and interior design.

Fireplaces in Kitchens

The role of the kitchen has changed in the last few decades. They’ve become multi-functional spaces that serve gathering and entertaining needs as well as their day-to-day cooking/prep function. There is now a move taking this one step further by creating kitchens that are ‘cozy’. We like to think we’re trail blazers on this one, but fireplaces in kitchens are regaining popularity as a way to achieve a more intimate and ‘lived in’ feeling.

A Touchstone recessed electric fireplace was integrated into the island in this home remodel in Reston. See more of this home here. Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction.
Photo Courtesy Jamie Padgett.
Pet-Friendly Laundry/Mudrooms

This has been a growing trend in recent years, but adding a pet cleaning station to a mudroom or laundry is now a BIG ticket item. With many of us adding a furry friend to the family during the pandemic, it’s now become a ‘must-have’ for many homeowners when they are building a new home or remodeling an existing one. Nicola, our Director of Marketing, did this in her own home and created not only a dog shower (that also doubles for muddy boot cleaning and other heavy duty cleaning) but also added a built-in dog crate, too.

Photo courtesy Nicola Shelley.

Butler’s Pantries as an Extension of Kitchens

In the same way the role of the kitchen has changed, our use of ancillary spaces on the main level has also changed. Historically, Butler’s Pantries were reserved for staff as a primary “landing point” for meal service/clean up as they were located between the kitchen and dining room. These days, Butler’s Pantries are an extension of the kitchen, usually with similar cabinetry or design elements (although not always) for a cohesive feel but with a multifunctional purpose. Not everyone has room for a separate Butler’s Pantry, so mixed-use spaces that combine the Butler’s Pantry/Pantry/Laundry/Mudroom are now high on homeowner’s wishlists.

In this home remodel in Oakton, a room previously used as a playroom was turned into this gorgeous Butler’s Pantry. You can see more of this remodel here. Photo courtesy of Synergy Design & Construction.
In this townhome remodel in Reston, an underutilized room off the kitchen was transformed into this pantry with tons of storage. You can see more of this remodel here. Photo courtesy of Synergy Design & Construction.

Ready to give your Butler’s Pantry or Pantry some pep? Then read this!

The Un-Bathroom

Emily, one of Synergy’s Interior Designers, has had her eye on this one for a while! But what exactly is an “un-bathroom”? The true un-bathroom has to have more than a fancy vanity and fabric; think an eclectic mix of art on the walls and pieces of furniture that usually don’t go in bathrooms, such as chairs, dressers, fireplaces and, yes, even rugs.

Left photo courtesy TradChap. Right photo courtesy Corrigan Chateau. We’d like to be transported to this un-bathroom right now!

Reeded/Fluted Cabinetry (especially in Bathrooms) and Chunky Countertops

Not ready for the un-bathroom but interested in trying something different? Camille (also one of Synergy’s Interior Designers), is calling reeded/ fluted cabinetry as one of the new looks we’ll be seeing more of in the next few years. Paired with ‘chunky’ countertops, they are a chic addition to any bathroom.

This bathroom (left) features a honey colored vanity with brass knobs and honed white marble. Photo courtesy of Dana Wolter Interiors. Right photo courtesy Bria Hammel Interiors.

Bringing the Outside In

This one isn’t a new trend, but the importance of bringing the outdoors in is making a repeat appearance on our list this year. As Mina, Synergy’s CEO & Founder says, “our connection to nature is one of the most important aspects of living in our home.” You don’t have to go big (like switching out your windows to have a better view outside), simple changes like adding botanicals, accessories and wooden elements are a simple way to help you feel more grounded and relaxed.

If you are bringing plants into your space, large plants are perfectly able to hold their own in a room. However, grouping smaller plants is the key to achieving a design-thoughtful look. Mina likes odd numbered groupings (think threes and fives). The example below shows how use of similar hues of plant pot colors on a simple white shelf provides a stunning visual. I feel calm just looking at it!

Photo courtesy Garden Trading.

New Twists on Traditional Elements

It started with brass, then wallpaper and then, most recently, oak cabinets. There has been a resurgence of more traditional elements BUT with a totally new twist. Polished brass everything is definitely a thing of the past, but brass has reclaimed its position as a design element that has longevity when done right or used as part of mixed metal fixtures.

See more of this home remodel in Reston here. Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction.

Talking of traditional elements, many of us have furniture or other items handed down by family members that we just don’t know what to do with if the design in the home leans more transitional or contemporary. Barbara, Synergy’s Project Coordinator, thinks vintage pieces mixed in with more modern elements is gaining more attention and, when done right, it’s a great way to integrate heirlooms without making a space feel dated.

Photo courtesy of Architectural Digest.

Missed our posts about design elements that might be dating your home? We had a few! Read Part One here and Part Two here!

Dark, Moody Colors

“Moody” paint color made our list last year, and it’s a trend that grew in popularity over the last twelve months and continues to soar in usage. From walls to trim to ceilings, dark colors continue to pop up everywhere.

Photo courtesy of Studio Magee.
Photo courtesy Max Humphrey (Design)/Christopher Dibble (photography). 

Looking for more paint inspiration? Read 2023 Paint Trends and Color Inspiration.

Tile

OK, we admit it. This one isn’t new, but the ever-changing choices and finishes in tile lights us up so it’s on our list again this year. We called the move toward geometric tile some time ago, and that’s a lasting design element that will be around for years to come. Subway tile is also still a highly popular choice, but the rules have changed when it comes to size and finish. What we love about tile these days is that you don’t have to splurge to get a modern, high-end look.

Geometric tile makes a design statement in this bathroom remodel in Reston. LOVE! See more of this remodel here. Photo courtesy of Synergy Design & Construction.
A new twist on subway tile. “Retro” collection subway tile in the color “Leno Gloss” was used on the backsplash in this kitchen remodel in Reston. See more of this home remodel here. Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction.
“Adriatic Sea” artisan backsplash tile from Fireclay Tile was used in this home remodel in Reston. See more of this remodel here. Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction.

Great interior design should have longevity that lasts for decades and not fall out of fashion by next year. At Synergy, we’re here to help you sort the lasting design trends from the short-lived fads. If you’re ready to work with one of the best home remodeling companies in the area, get in touch and find out what’s possible in your space!

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

Vining Ivy. Photo courtesy Glidden

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

It seems like no time at all since we took a leisurely stroll admiring the calming and soothing colors of last year’s color trends! This year, the biggest names in the paint industry are ready to move things forward and are looking optimistically to the future with new colors that are lush, gorgeous and versatile.

As a full service home remodeling company that focuses on design-thoughtful interior remodels, Synergy doesn’t provide painting as a standalone service. However, we believe painting should be included as part of every home remodel and our Interior Designers will even help you pick out the perfect palette for your space! Not every home remodeler or general contractor includes painting in their scope of services, so be sure to ask the question before you sign a home remodeling contract.

With that said, time to get inspired and take a look at the top color picks by some of the biggest names in the painting industry.

Benjamin Moore  

Benjamin Moore is our go-to paint company when it comes to our home remodels. This year, they’ve named Raspberry Blush (2008-30) as their color of the year. Providing “Joie de Vivre”, it is described as “a vivacious shade of color tinged with pink, this electric hue is the definition of charismatic color.”

One of the most frequently asked questions we get from clients is how to best use color without overdoing it and overpowering the space. This depends on a lot of factors (including your personal design aesthetic when it comes to use of color), but it is possible to paint a room all in the same color, or simply use it as an accent. Benjamin Moore provides some helpful suggestions for using this paint color to maximum effect in different ways:

  • Bring a blushed update to the deep red dining room with Raspberry Blush walls and Onyx furnishings.
  • Create a lively living room with walls and wainscoting. 
  • Add a pop of color to your home with a powder room or ensuite painted in this rich coral.

Farrow & Ball

Based in England, Farrow & Ball have long held a reputation for quality paint and interesting colors (or should we say, ‘colours’) and they are also high on our list of favorites when it comes to paint names! 

This year, they introduced 11 new colors to their collection of high-performance, low-VOC, water based paints. According to Farrow & Ball they are, “inspired by moments of joy, comfort and refreshment to bring delight to your decorating. The first additions to our much-loved colour card in four years, these versatile new shades range from a lively, flame red to a delicate pink. With our signature richness, depth and extraordinary response to light, each one is unmistakably Farrow & Ball.”

This is a big deal for Farrow & Ball who haven’t introduced any new colors for four years. They are retiring 11 of their older colors to make way for these new ones, so if you’ve used their paint in your home in recent years, it might be a good time to look into which colors are being discontinued in case you need a touch up.

“Our relationship with our home has changed so much over the last few years, it felt like the perfect time to introduce these new colours,” said Joa Studholme, color curator for Farrow & Ball, in a press release. “We all feel ready to show off our spaces and personal style.”

Say hello to the new Farrow & Ball colors:

  • Stirabout
  • Eddy
  • Tailor Tack
  • Templeton Pink
  • Bamboozle
  • Hopper Head
  • Selvedge
  • Kittiwake
  • Wine Dark
  • Whirlybird
  • Beverly

Sherwin-Williams

“Minimal”, “calming” and “intriguing”, Sherwin-Williams has chosen Redend Point (SW 9081) as their color of the year. Inspired by connection and care, it is described as a color of “warmth” by the company which, “embraces a spirit of connection with the world around us with this soulful-yet-subtle hue.” Well, I’m sold!

Redend Point (SW 9081). Photo courtesy Sherwin-Williams

Redend Point (SW 9081). Photo courtesy Sherwin-Williams

BEHR®

Fans of a more neutral color palette rejoice! BEHR® has selected Blank Canvas (DC-003) as their color of the year. According to BEHR® it, “sets the tone for relaxation” and allows homeowners to “renew every room of your home.” Erika Woelfel, Behr’s vice president of color and creative services, said, “White is the perfect color for starting fresh. It’s restorative.” 

It is a modern and bright take on an off-white with undertones of brown and gray that make it a true neutral shade. It doesn’t contain yellow so it can easily be paired with other neutrals without looking ‘tired’. This is also a completely new shade from BEHR® as part of a brand new Designer Collection. 

Glidden

Glidden describes their top pick Vining Ivy as a “bluish-greenish-something-in-betweenish” color that “serves up versatile vibes, making it an on-trend addition to any room. No matter if you think it looks more blue or more green, either way, it’s a vibe.” The perfect color for people who can’t decide between blue or green, this one might end up solving a lot of problems when deciding which color to get in the paint aisle!

This color is also another one that puts emphasis on the restorative side of life. According to Ashley McCollum, Glidden color expert, “The overarching theme for 2023 is about reflection on what matters most to us, our relationship with the planet, and how we want to engage with others. Its versatility takes the guesswork out of design, leaving consumers with more time to indulge in the things that matter most to them.”

The color also works well on an accent wall, a front door and can even work in small spaces. Per McCollum, “even the most modest spaces can benefit from the teal treatment. For those short on square footage but big on style, we recommend using this rich hue as a bold contrast to a neutral palette, making a petite room feel plush.”

Vining Ivy. Photo courtesy Glidden

Not ready for a larger scale home remodel but thinking it’s time to freshen up your home with some new paint? Download our free Guide to Paint Finishes to get you started here!

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

Before & After. (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction)

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Well, last month’s “Design Elements That Are Dating Your Home” column clearly struck a chord with many local homeowners! We heard from lots of people who shared other items they think are ready for a new, fresh twist. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some other dated items homeowners want to switch up when it comes time for their next home remodel or refresh!

Kitchen Desks

We’ve lost count of how many of these we’ve pulled out of homes in recent years! The kitchen desk seemed like such a great addition when it became ‘in’. However, many homeowners just never used them and they became a dumping zone rather than a work zone. When the COVID pandemic and lockdown happened, most people didn’t want to work at a desk in a small space facing a wall, so the home office/dining room got more attention as a work zone and the kitchen desk was abandoned. If you’re thinking of a kitchen remodel, we say replace the kitchen desk if you don’t use it. Put that square footage to better use!

Closet Pantry

There was a time when homes in this area weren’t built without a closet pantry. Although they are useful, they take up A LOT of square footage and because of their layout (not to mention an added door in a small space), things tend to disappear into the back of them, never to see the light of day again. Closet pantries are now being replaced with pull-out pantry cabinets instead. Got room for a separate pantry? Lucky you! The pantry has become a curated space in its own right and we LOVE it!

Platform Tubs in the Primary Bathroom

We’ve been saying this for a while, but the days of oversized platform tubs are gone. Taking their place are free-standing soaking tubs — or no tub at all! If you love a good soak, then the new style of tub is a great addition to your primary bathroom, but it’s no longer a ‘must-have’. Many homeowners are foregoing the tub altogether and creating large, glass shower enclosures instead. If you simply must have a tub, the trend of having a glass enclosure that has both the shower and the tub in one ‘wet’ zone has also been showing up everywhere in recent years.

When it comes to resale, many prospective buyers may want a tub somewhere in the home for kids (and yes, sometimes, pets!), but it is no longer a requirement to have a tub in the primary bathroom.

Read More

Kitchen lighting done right! See the Before photo of this kitchen below. (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction)

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Nobody likes to hear their home is starting to date and look its age, or that a “must have it” design choice they made may have seen its day. But, it’s a fact of life that, as time goes on, interior design trends and aesthetics evolve and what was “in” twenty or thirty years ago is now ready for a refresh. So, let’s take a look at some common design elements that are dating your home — and some ideas for how you can update your space.

Like all things design, if you have any of these things in your home and you LOVE them, let them be. It’s your home; if it makes you happy, enjoy them. But we bet it’s more than likely some of these things will resonate with you and you might even have been thinking about switching them out for a while!

Honey Oak/Orange Toned Stair Banister & Railings

Oh, boy. This is a controversial one as we see this all over Northern Virginia because so many of the homes in the area were built around the same time. We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but it’s time to put a fresh spin on your honey oak staircase and get your paint out!

Replacing the entire floor is one thing, but updating your staircase is a weekend job that will totally transform your space. Don’t believe us? See the examples below!

1980s Ceiling Fans

This one always creates fond memories of flowery wallpaper borders and chintz sofas. For us, it’s all about the details and nothing sticks out more in an updated space than a dated ceiling fan. Even worse? If you haven’t gotten around to replacing that bulb that went out or the chain has broken and is no longer serving a purpose.

There are SO many options available now at really reasonable prices from big box stores and online. But with so many options, how do you know which one to choose? You don’t have to have contemporary tastes to get one you like. A general rule of thumb is the less it has going on, the better. We think this one is an easy fix that you need to put on your list NOW!

Glass Blocks

Guilty! This was SUCH a popular look for such a long time (especially in bathrooms) that it’s hard to let them go. However, it’s time to move on! These days, large clear glass shower enclosures and fuss-free streamlined modern finishes are the way to go.

Removing glass blocks may not be an easy change. If budget allows and it’s an exterior window, it’s money well spent to replace it. If that’s not within your budget, hang a sheer drape in front the glass block window to filter the light and soften the look.  If you have a glass block shower or accent wall and you want to take it down, you’ll likely need professional help. Put it on your wishlist for when it’s time to remodel!

Before & After (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction)

Read More

Reston Kitchen. Synergy Design & Construction.

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Main level footprint not serving the needs of you and your family well? Kitchen too small? Ready to rethink the layout of your space? Then read on because, this month, we’re giving you a behind the scenes look at a recent main level remodel in South Reston and show you how we reimagined this home. Time to get inspired by what’s possible!

The Challenge

This custom contemporary home had great bones and lots of space, but our clients were ready to update and improve the flow of the main level, create a much larger kitchen and put the underutilized (but spacious) hallway to use.

The existing kitchen was small given the square footage of the home. It was sectioned off in a corner of the expansive main living area, with lots of walls and half-walls that weren’t showcasing the beautiful architecture of the space.

Before. Looking from the great room to the kitchen (behind the partition wall)
Before. Looking from the dining room into the kitchen.
Before. Looking from the den to other side of the kitchen.

Moving into the hallway, to the right of the photograph below is the entrance to the great room. An entrance to the kitchen off the family room/den (at the far end) can be seen in the middle. On the bottom left, the top of the basement staircase can be seen. The hallway was wide but the space was not used efficiently and opened up the potential to get creative with rethinking the purpose of this space.

Before. The view from the front door.

The Design Solution

The design solution for this home was all about making the flow of the spaces make more “sense” from a functionality perspective as well as give each space a more clearly defined purpose. We closed off the entrance into the kitchen from the family room at the back of the home and removed the walls previously separating the kitchen from the dining and great rooms. This gave us the needed space to create a much larger kitchen that now flows into a dining area and great room.

3D of reconfigured kitchen space (looking from great room into kitchen)

In the overly-large and under-utilized entryway adjacent to the existing kitchen, we proposed repurposing the space to create a new bar (with cabinets and floating shelves that matched the kitchen for continuity and a cohesive feel) as well as a brand new powder room. In this 3D image, you also see the entrance to the kitchen from the den is closed off, and a wider entrance into the new kitchen/great room created on the right hand side.

3D of new bar and powder room as seen from the entrance hall

The Finished Product

We opened this entire space up! With all the enclosing walls gone, it looks (and feels) like an entirely new space. By closing the entrance into the kitchen from the hallway and den, we were able to create the perfect wall for a large gas range and hood.

After. By removing the existing kitchen walls, we had the space to create a much larger footprint for the kitchen.

The remodeled space looks completely different and provides better functionality for the family’s lifestyle. It also complements, not competes with, the beautiful high ceilings in the space.

After. Light, bright and modern, the new layout complements the existing architecture.

We widened the entrance to the hall. Beyond, the new bar can be seen. The bar matches the finishes in the kitchen, providing cohesiveness between spaces.

After

The former empty hallway is now unrecognizable with the gorgeous new bar!

After. The new bar. To the right of the photo, a pocket door hides the newly added powder room.

Proving wallpaper works equally as well in a small space, we loved this client’s choice of Hygge & West “Petal Pusher” wallpaper to make a real design statement in the powder room!

After. Powder room.

As a local home remodeler who only works on custom projects, we’ve seen it all when it comes to Reston’s many varied styles and types of homes. We’re ready to help you rethink your space to better suit your needs and aesthetic. Get more inspiration for what’s possible in your home here.

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

Photo courtesy Nicola Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Not thinking of a complete home remodel but looking for a few design ideas to spruce your space? Then look no further, as this month the Synergy team are providing some easy hacks any homeowner can do that provide an instant upgrade.

Mina, Founder

Mina’s top tip?

“Consider using decals because they’re inexpensive, easy to order and you can install them without professional help. I did this myself in my office with roses on a dark wall. Choosing this type of contrast easily creates drama and a ‘designed’ space while remaining flexible enough to remove the decals and choose a different paint color when you tire of it down the road.”

Photo courtesy Mina Fies, Synergy Design & Construction

Emily, Interior Designer

When it comes to quick, but high-impact changes, Emily has lots of tips!

“If you can only do one thing at this time to update or make an impact on your space to make it look ‘designed’, it’s paint, paint, paint! Walls that is! Painting cabinets is a whole different ball game and painting walls is way easier, with a big impact.”

“If you’re able to hire a painter, great, but even if you have to spend a weekend to invest some time in taping, prepping and painting some walls yourself, it will make a huge difference. Paint instantly elevates any furniture or decor you then add to the room. I’ve (DIY) painted at least the bedroom and living room of every apartment/rental/house I’ve ever lived in even if it was only a year-long living situation. To me, the impact of paint outweighs even having to prime and paint back the rooms to their original color at the end of a lease!”

Download our FREE Guide to Paint Finishes to get you started!

Emily’s second tip (although, if you’re not handy or good at DIY, you might need a little outside help!) is to add vertical interest and/or add architectural details to a space. For example, create a tile, stone or millwork fireplace surround that goes to the ceiling or add a shiplap wall. These details create visual interest and can completely alter the look and feel of a room. Check out the carousel below for inspiration!

Maegan, Office & Client Relations Manager

Maegan is all about letting nature be an interior design inspiration.

“This time of year is a great time to think about biophilic design. It might sound technical, but it’s not. Biophilic design is the practice of connecting to nature in our inside spaces. Studies show that when we connect to natural elements, we tend to feel less stressed, more restored and even more productive and creative. This is true for both our work and home spaces and is fairly simple to achieve.”

  • Houseplants are a great way to bring the outdoors in. Or if you don’t have a green thumb, pick up fresh flowers weekly at the grocery or local farmer’s market.
  • Let there be light.. and fresh air! Open the blinds to let in sunshine and allow it to filter through your space. And if the weather is agreeable, open a window, too! Not only will that allow fresh air in, you can hear birds chirping or leaves rustling.
  • Bring in a water feature like a tabletop fountain. With so many people living and working in urban environments, the sounds of water can create a soothing change of pace.
  • Even hanging images of natural surroundings can have biophilic benefits. Botanical prints or landscapes work well. Or any photos you’ve taken yourself on trips or times outdoors not only have the benefit of bringing nature in, but have special meaning because it represents a moment special to you.
Photo via Modsy

Barbara, Project Coordinator

Barbara’s got two top design tips!

“Add floating wall shelves to a room to reflect your mood and personality. It is a great way to showcase fun and special items that are meaningful to you. These items can be changed out throughout the year. This is something that anyone can do and a great activity for the entire family. It is easy and inexpensive. Just let your creative juices flow and think about what makes you happy!”

“It’s not all about interiors! My second tip is to update your patio or porch with flowering annuals and colorful pots and accessories. It is an inexpensive way to add warmth and charm to your outdoor space, not to mention added curb appeal. This is perfect for the person who loves to ‘play in the dirt’. And added bonus? Bees, butterflies, ladybugs and dragonflies will love it.”

Photo courtesy istockphoto.com (left). Photo courtesy digthisdesign.net (right).

Nicola, Director of Marketing

I am not afraid of using color in my own home. If you aren’t brave enough to paint an entire room or even an accent wall and prefer to keep your wall color neutral, you can easily add a pop of color with accessories. It doesn’t have to be one color: pick a palette of three or so complementary colors that appeal to you and bring a room to life with artwork, cushions and rugs. The nice thing about this is you can switch things up as the mood (or seasons) change.

My second suggestion is to group more than one photo or pieces of art (such as a triptych — three coordinating panels or pictures). Grouping of photos and art is a great hack that doesn’t need to break the budget but gives a designer touch. It’s also great if you have a large wall where one piece might look a little ‘lost’.

In the example below, the walls are neutral but the yellow, gray and blue touches and the grouping of the three pieces of art in the same colors brings the room together.

Photo courtesy Nicola Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Check out some of our Before & Afters to see how we used these ideas in local home remodels and get inspired with what’s possible in your space!

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Undertaking your first major home remodel can be a daunting task. It’s not always easy knowing where to start and what to look out for when deciding on which home remodeling company or general contractor is right for you.

We’ve all heard the renovation nightmare stories. As a professional home remodeling company, the last thing we want is for any homeowner to end up in a situation where their remodel is dragging on and on with no end in sight, or to hear that the initial estimate given has now doubled and the total cost is growing by the day. So, this month, we’re looking at a few red flags and things to ask to help you pick the perfect remodeling partner for your project!

Red flag #1

A general contractor or home remodeling company tells you they can start construction in a few weeks. This should cause you to pause and ask why.

We’ve heard from a number of homeowners in the area recently who have told us they can’t even get remodelers and tradespeople to return phone calls. As with the housing market, the construction and home remodeling industry is still booming. There is no excuse for an unreturned email or phone call, but the reality is many companies have no bandwidth to start any new construction projects until later 2022/early 2023.

At Synergy, we can start the design process within the next six months, but construction start dates for new projects are now booking in early 2023. So, if someone comes to your home with promises of being able to start construction ‘in a few weeks’, ask questions why they have availability.

When it comes to how long it takes to complete a remodel, we’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: no major home remodeling project is going to be completed within a couple of weeks (and at minimal cost) from the time you sign on the dotted line. Any company or individual who tells differently is setting you up for disappointment. Design thoughtful remodeling takes time. Design comes first, construction follows. We have a saying at Synergy “materials wait for construction, construction doesn’t wait for materials” meaning you should have made all of your design choices with most of them ordered (especially things like cabinetry and appliances which have extensive lead times — especially in recent times due to supply chain issues) before anyone comes anywhere near your home with a sledgehammer.

The point is, if you’re thinking of a home remodel, have realistic expectations about how long the process will take. Start the conversation now and don’t call in the early fall expecting to have your new kitchen by Thanksgiving!

Red flag #2 

The contractor gives you a cost on their first visit.

This one makes us crazy! We know you want to know on the first visit, but asking a professional remodeler how much a remodel costs is like asking, “How much is a car?” The make, model, engine size, alloy wheels, leather seats, heated steering wheel and that third row you really want to ferry the kids around all increase the price. The same thing applies to home remodeling. Providing a free estimate for a simple pull and replace powder room remodel or to paint your main level is one thing, but totally different for a full kitchen or other home remodel.

A number of things impact the cost of your remodel from changing the footprint (which usually requires plumbing, electrical and/or mechanical changes), to the cabinetry line you want to the level of finishes you expect. No one wants to be change ordered at every turn during the remodeling process when you have no option but to pay more to get the job done. Not every remodeler takes the same approach, but we’d rather be realistic about cost with you upfront so you know what you’re getting yourself into rather than get to the end of the project with your budget blown and costs twice what you’d been told initially.

Read more in Square Foot Pricing for a Home Remodel: What Every Homeowner Should Know.

Kitchen Remodel in Fairfax (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction). At Synergy, we pride ourselves on coming in on-time, on-budget for every home remodel!

Red flag #3 The contractor hasn’t worked on a project of similar size and scope to your project before.

This one is a recipe for disaster. Before you meet any potential remodelers, poke around the contractor/remodeling company’s website and take a look at project examples to get a sense of the size and scope of a typical project they work on. Read testimonials and Google reviews — they are a great way to get a sense of what a company is all about from real clients.

A cautionary tale! One of Synergy’s project photos turned up in the marketing materials of another company who had just started out and they didn’t have a portfolio of their own. If something doesn’t seem right to you, trust your gut and ask to see photos from actual projects they have completed.

Basement Remodel in McLean (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction). See more of our projects here.

Red Flag #4

You’re told you don’t need a permit for your remodel.

If a contractor tells you this, one of two things is happening. You are doing a small, simple pull-and-replace type remodel and just replacing cabinets or countertops or they are not telling you the truth. Why lie? Because permits take time and cost money. The bottom line: If you are undertaking a remodel in any part of your home that requires moving or adding mechanical, electrical, plumbing or even walls within your home, you need a permit.

Reputable companies will submit permits and get approvals on your behalf. Read more about why it’s important to permit and what the longer term consequences are if you decide not to apply for a permit here.

Kitchen Remodel in Vienna (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction). Was this kitchen remodel in Vienna permitted? You bet it was — it’s one of ours!

Red Flag #5

The contractor outsources all of their work to subcontractors.

Not all remodeling contractors or remodeling companies are set up in the same way. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how they source carpenters, designers, project management and specialty trades (think plumbing, mechanical, electrical, drywall, tiling etc). Are they in-house or subcontractors?

When you work with a full service design-build firm like Synergy, there will usually be an in-house team who work on your project. The benefit of this is continuity and a single point of accountability with less likelihood of things being forgotten or dropped during handoffs. At Synergy, we have a team of carpenters, interior designers and project managers who work on your remodel but we partner with trusted speciality trades who we manage on your behalf. Read more in Life Under Construction: Who’s in Your Home?

And lastly, don’t assume the contractor is licensed and insured. Ask!

Thinking of a home remodel and not sure what’s possible or where to start? Give us a call! Our consultations are free and we’re happy to help you get started!

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

We’ve been in the home remodeling business a long time. We know it can be overwhelming when you start thinking about a kitchen remodel and all the decisions that have to be made. We’re here to help make life a little easier. Here are five design tips when it comes to remodeling your kitchen to get you started!

 1. The Kitchen ‘Triangle’

This one is a BIG one. We often say a great home remodel starts with figuring out how you actually use the space. Function first, form follows. When it comes to kitchen design, one of the first considerations is the kitchen ‘triangle’. Simply put, this is the most effective layout between the refrigerator, stove and sink, usually loosely based on a triangle. It’s not a hard and fast rule (and one that has undergone some changes with the addition of multiple kitchen ‘zones’ over the years), but it’s a great place to start with your dream kitchen remodel.

Got a galley kitchen or other layout that doesn’t lend itself to the triangle rule? No problem! The main consideration is to think through the best flow and energy efficiency of your space to minimize the back and forth between cooking, cleaning and storing areas.

In this kitchen remodel in Reston, the redesign of the kitchen included the sink and refrigerator along one wall with the stove on the left forming the third point of the ‘triangle’. This remodel also highlights another kitchen design issue to consider — cabinet height! Read on for more information…

The Kitchen Triangle (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction)

 2. The Kitchen Island

The kitchen island has made it onto the “must have” list for many homeowners. Kitchen islands are great in large kitchens and provide tons of prep space, storage and a gathering place when everyone inevitably ends up in the kitchen! They also work great in smaller spaces where walls are being removed to open up a kitchen to a dining area or family room, for example.

A growing trend in recent years has been the addition of not one but two kitchen islands. Two islands allow you to have one dedicated to prep and/or cooking and another for casual dining/entertaining. This kitchen remodel in Herndon features two islands and shows how the kitchen now seamlessly blends into the family room and dining area.

Double Kitchen Islands (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction)

The general rule of thumb is that aisles in the kitchen should be at least 36″ wide. Ideally, the aisle in a cooking zone should be 42″ to 48″ depending on your cooking configuration. Island and peninsula sizes should be adjusted accordingly.

Lastly, if you have a small or galley kitchen with no room for an island, fear not! There are LOTS of really great versatile options for moveable islands that double up as dining tables or bar areas that won’t break your remodeling budget.

3. Cabinet Height

Nothing says “wow” more than kitchen cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling. Adding  cabinets that go to the ceiling WILL add cost to your remodel, but if look outweighs budget considerations and it’s something you really want, go for it!

Ceiling height cabinets look at home in all types of kitchen designs from transitional to contemporary. If your aesthetic leans more transitional, a good way to break up cabinet “blocks” is with the use of smaller, glass fronted upper cabinets. This allows for the storage and display of treasured, but infrequently used, items. A great example of this can be seen in this local home remodel. The interior cabinet lighting is the final touch to this elegant space!

Cabinet Height (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction)

In more contemporary homes, slab fronted cabinets that run all the way to the ceiling create a sleek, ultramodern look that oozes a designer feel and keeps the lines clean and crisp. In this home remodel in Reston, a “cloud” ceiling detail was added that dropped the ceiling height creating the illusion of a much bigger space. The contemporary white cabinets are warmed up by the contrasting wood tones.

Cabinet Height (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction)

Many mid-century homes in this area have sloped ceilings that don’t lend themselves to ceiling-height cabinets. If you work with an experienced kitchen designer, they will help you figure out the layout that works best for your home. Our in-house Interior Designer, Emily, not only partners with all of our clients on the actual kitchen cabinet type and color, she also produces realistic 3D images that help give clients a real sense of what the finished space will look like. The image below shows a 3D image for a local home remodel in Reston with a sloping roof that is currently under construction. Watch this space for the finished product!

Cabinet Height (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction)

Looking for more cabinet inspiration? Check out project Before & Afters on our website.

4. Let’s Talk Trash

OK, so it’s not one of the most glamorous or exciting things on the home remodeling checklist, but don’t forget about your trash location! Nothing ruins a beautifully remodeled kitchen more than a large free-standing trash can stuck on the end of a cabinet or beside an island. Incorporate your trash receptacles into a cabinet somewhere near the sink or main prep area. You won’t regret it! These days, most quality cabinet lines include options for both regular and recycling cans to be contained within one pull-out cabinet, either on the kitchen perimeter or kitchen island.

Can you spot the location of the trash in this home remodel in Vienna? These homeowners decided to locate their trash and recycling cans to the left of the sink. This photo also provides a preview of our next design tip — the microwave drawer!

Hidden Trash (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction)

 5. Small Appliance Consideration: Microwaves

There was a time when there were only two microwave options: a hung microwave at eye level installed above the stove or a free-standing one sitting on a countertop. There is a third option: the microwave drawer. They’ve been around for a long time, but they’re often not top-of-the-list when it comes to kitchen design considerations. They should be! Microwave drawers can be integrated into your kitchen design and tucked away in an island.

What we love about them is that they are not only stylish, they are safer when it comes to lifting hot containers/bowls. Instead of having to reach up to take out hot liquids at head and shoulder level, microwave drawers allow you to lift hot food up onto a countertop. Microwave drawers are also a great universal design consideration. Growing children, older adults and those with mobility considerations can more easily reach a drawer independently, and the drawers typically open on their own with the touch of a button, making them easier to use with less strength.

For most of our clients, once you’ve had a microwave drawer in your kitchen, there is no going back. The photo below of a kitchen remodel in Oakton shows a microwave drawer installed in a beautiful blue island.

Microwave Drawer (Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction)

What design tips or questions do you have? Let us know in the comments!

Looking for a local home remodeling company to partner with on your dream kitchen remodel? We’ve been in business in the Reston area helping local homeowners renovate happy for almost 15 years! Get in touch! Our consultations are FREE.

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

By Mina Fies, Soulful Living Guide & Founder, Synergy Design & Construction

Let’s face it… we all live busy lives and are often stretched way too thin — and yet it’s our homes that help us come back to ourselves at the end of every day. While it’s always been important to me that our home remodels go beyond gorgeous countertops and new flooring, it really is all about the creation of ‘home’ however that shows up for us.

Everyone deserves to feel good when they walk in the door everyday, which is why I created a dedicated way in which I could help others create personal, meaningful spaces that support them in day-to-day life (even when they’re not ready for a full remodel). Although I don’t have a magic potion for achieving a perfect equilibrium, I have realized finding time to renew and recharge, even if it’s just for a few minutes, is the single most important part of my day.

Imagine a space created just for you, to restore your energy, provide a sense of calm and restoration, and bring you back in alignment with your true nature.

As a Soulful Living Guide, I like to call this the “Zen Zone”.

Personally, I use my Zen Zone as a place to meditate and to be present to how grateful I am for the blessings in my life. I love to journal, so this is where I find time to write. Some of my clients use theirs as a place to read a few pages from a book, flip through a magazine or cool down after a long week.

Your Zen Zone can be anywhere you’d like. The key is feeling relaxed and calm when you’re there.

So, how do you create your own Zen Zone?

Identify Your Zone — Start to visualize your home and ask yourself where you feel your zone should be. Use your intuition to choose a spot that feels right. If you have an extra bedroom, that’s fine, but all you really need is a little nook, corner of a room, even a portion of a walk-in closet.

Prepare Your Zone — It’s time to shift the energy. Remove any nearby clutter from your new spot so the energy feels light and calming. Do a thorough clean of the area.

Zen Your Zone — Cozy it up! Add objects that activate your senses and give you a positive vibe! THIS finishing touch is what makes it such a powerful addition to your self-care routine.

Have fun with it, incorporating natural elements like plants and flowers, calming scented candles, music, or your seasonal journal.

Looking for design inspiration and more pointers to create your own Zen Zone?

Watch my free Zen Zone masterclass here. Our homes serve as access to our highest awareness and yet we rarely give them the attention they deserve. Learning to tap into a deeper understanding of how your home can support you and your evolution is the first step in shifting everything and creating your very own sacred space in time.

Are you ready to love your home again? Learn more at minafies.com.

The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com

Kitchen Remodel in Leesburg

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

We’ve all been there. We have an idea in mind about what we want in our home remodel, but the sheer number of decisions needed and the options available for everything from cabinets to appliances can quickly become overwhelming. Will that floor go with those cabinets? Will that light fixture compete with the other finishes? This month, we’re here to help with one decision point: countertop color! So, let’s dig into the various options and take a look at some examples of how countertop color brings a look together.

Photos courtesy Synergy Design & Construction.

Lightly Veined

This has been THE go-to choice for countertops in the last few years. No matter what countertop material is used, lightly veined countertops are versatile and add design detail without overwhelming the rest of the finishes. For some, they also make the perfect choice if there is a concern about every single little water splash or stain showing on the countertop surface, as veining helps to subtly camouflage specks that inevitably end up on countertops from day to day.

Kitchen Remodel in Vienna

The look of this kitchen remodel in Vienna is pure perfection! The lightly veined countertops complement, not compete with, the blue and white mosaic accent tile behind the range.

Kitchen Remodel in Fairfax

Lightly veined countertops are equally at home in contemporary remodels! This gorgeous waterfall island makes a statement in this kitchen remodel in Fairfax.

Kitchen Remodel in Reston

Our clients selected this lightly veined countertop for their blue and white kitchen remodel in Reston. Although a pure white countertop also looks stunning against blue cabinets, this countertop is perfect for pulling the blue, gray and white tones of the rest of the spaces together. 

Gray

What we love about gray countertops is their versatility. Gray goes well in contemporary spaces and can (which may surprise some) be used with dark cabinets.

Basement Remodel in Reston

Contemporary, but not cold! In this basement remodel in Reston, the gray countertop is right at home with the black cabinets. The look is kept light with the use of the lighter colored geometric backsplash tile and light wood floating shelves. Cheers!

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Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

The beginning of another year brings the opportunity to start afresh and rethink our living spaces. We’re turning our attention to ‘what’s new in ’22’ when it comes to home remodeling and interior design. In the last few years, we saw a huge shift in what homeowners want when it comes to a home remodel, from calming spaces to multifunctional rooms with enough space for dual home offices due to the demands of virtual work and school. Some of these trends are here for the long haul, but there’s also a few surprises we think will gain in popularity this year. So, join us as we take a look at our team’s top picks for home remodeling and interior design trends. 

Moody Vibes 

Feeling moody? You’re not alone! It’s the first thing on the list for Synergy Founder, Mina, who says, “I feel people are feeling a little ‘moody’ (at least I am). Be it the lingering pandemic or just a yearning for more color in their lives, A big trend will be to darken things up a bit (darker blues, greens, and, yes, even grays) on walls and in cabinetry.” In her own home, Mina used this specially mixed paint color on the walls of her home office and added another on-trend design feature to lighten things up; the beautiful floral wall decals. 

Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction

Organized Mudrooms

Not a new trend, but mudrooms are now packing a design punch in their own right. The multifunctional mudroom is now a top request for both newly constructed homes and home remodels, with everything from dog washing stations to home gyms to storage solutions being high on the “must have” list for homeowners. It certainly was for Nicola, Synergy’s Director of Marketing, who made sure there was not only a dog shower, but a built-in dog crate for her doggo in her new home. Likewise, in this home remodel in Vienna, our clients wanted a space that pulled double duty as a family-friendly mudroom and pool equipment storage area as well as a gym separated by a cool custom-built wooden slat dividing wall.

Photos courtesy Synergy Design & Construction

Geometric Tile

We called this trend way back in early 2020 and for Emily, Lead Designer, and Barbara, Project Coordinator, this one is still on the hot pick list. This is especially true when it comes to kitchen backsplashes. Emily says, “Classic-shaped subway tile is giving way to more fun, wacky shapes.” You don’t have to go too ‘out there’ to get the look. In this recent home remodel in Reston, the geometric backsplash adds a touch of modern design in a transitional kitchen. The floral window treatments are also on-trend. Floral wall and window coverings are making a BIG resurgence.

Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction

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Photo courtesy Glidden

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Nothing gives your home personality or creates a mood more than paint. Last year’s trends were all about colors inspired by nature to help calm and soothe after the stresses of lockdown and our need to leave 2020 behind us. With many of us still working from home and spending time in our nests, paint remains high on the priority list of changes homeowners want to make in their space. This year, it’s all about renewal but keeping a sense of warmth and home as the central focal point. So, grab a coffee and let’s take a look at what some of the biggest names in the industry have chosen as their color and/or color trends for 2022.

Benjamin Moore

We love Benjamin Moore paint and use it in most of our home remodels, so they get our first color shout out for 2022! This year, they’ve named October Mist (1495) as their top pick. We like the delicacy of the description, “Evocative of the stem of a flower, this gently shaded sage anchors and uplifts.”

According to Nivara Xaykao, Associate Manager of Color Marketing and Development at Benjamin Moore, “We homed in on October Mist because it felt so fresh in the moment, but it also has a timeless quality. It’s distinct enough to make an impression on its own, but then it’s subtle enough to pair with so many other colors.”

Photo courtesy Benjamin Moore

Farrow & Ball

For their 2022 picks, Farrow & Ball have chosen five different colors: Breakfast Room Green, Stone Blue, School House White, Babouche and Incarnadine. We never get bored of their creativity when it comes to naming paint!

According to the company’s long-serving color curator, Joa Studholme, “There is something inherently human in the colors that we are attracted to for 2022 as well as in the way we use them. They are an eclectic mix of the pure and the humble that evokes the warmth and harmony of a more innocent age while celebrating life today. Function goes hand in hand with ornament, using colors and finishes in unusual ways to celebrate the principles of utility, kindness and honesty.”

In simple terms, that means they are scaling things back to a simpler time but with a fresh twist that celebrates present times.

(from left to right) Breakfast Room Green, Stone Blue, School House White, Babouche, Incarnadine. Photo courtesy Farrow & Ball.

Sherwin-Williams

In keeping with the botanical inspired tones, Sherwin-Williams has chosen Evergreen Fog (SW 9130) as their Color of the Year. According to the company, Evergreen Fog is “soothing, subtle and a perfect shade to freshen up any space” that is “a versatile and calming hue, a chameleon color of gorgeous green-meets-gray, with just a bit of blue. It’s a simple but sophisticated wash of beautiful, organic color for spaces that crave a subtle yet stunning statement shade.”

We say, “Yes, please!”

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By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Love it or hate it, the nights are getting darker and winter is on it’s way which means you are either looking forward to cozy nights in or are already thinking about the best places to go to catch some sun.

Either way, it’s the time of year when our attention turns to getting ready for the holidays and entertaining once again — and there’s nothing that creates ambience and a feeling of ‘home’ during the long winter months more than your fireplace.

It’s often one of the things that’s last on the priority list, but updating your fireplace can make or break how a room ‘feels’. So, if yours is a bit tired and you’re ready for an update, let’s take a look at some easy updates that will help your fireplace shine!

Wood Accents

It’s amazing the difference the use of natural elements can make in the design of a room. Wood brings the outside in, helps ground the space and, when used in the right way, is the perfect way to blend finishes together. Wood feels right at home with both transitional and contemporary design.

In this recent home remodel in Reston, the fireplace in the family room was nice but, with nothing to break up the floor to ceiling height and bulky look, the stone overpowered the room. By making a few simple changes such as adding a new wooden mantel and adding a custom niche with wooden shelves (seen on the left on the ‘After’ photo below), the fireplace now takes on a whole new feel and provides visual interest. The original wood-burning fireplace was also converted to gas.

Before (left), After (right)

Stone

For their recent home remodel, Synergy’s owners, Mina and Mark Fies, were ready to upgrade the old fireplace in their primary bedroom suite. They opted for PrecisionFit™ Onyx stone by ProVia to cover the former plain brick exterior for a linear, contemporary look.

Although ProVia stone may be better known for exterior applications, it is a great option for indoor projects like wall accents and fireplaces because it installs easily and quickly.

Watch this video as Mina explains how easy using ProVia stone is and read more about ProVia stone here.

Before (left), After (middle), After (right)

Electric Fireplaces

Don’t write off electric fireplaces. Personally, we LOVE the look and flexibility an electric fireplace can provide. In this basement remodel in McLean, the basement rec room previously felt cold and the off-set fireplace was awkwardly placed. Enter the “Sideline Elite” recessed electric fireplace by Touchstone! The fireplace now provides a cosy central focal point with the T.V. placed above it — complete with theater chairs for family movie nights!

Before (left), After (middle), After Close Up (left)

Tile 

The use of tile on a fireplace facade is a simple and effective way to easily update your room without having to replace everything else.

As part of this home remodel in Vienna, we updated the fireplace in the family room for a more transitional look. The old stone which, in this case, dated the room was replaced with marble tile in a herringbone pattern. The wood burning fire was replaced with a Heat & Glo gas fire from Fireside Hearth & Home. The bookshelves and cabinets were not replaced, but the new fireplace gives them a whole new lease on life.

Before (left), After (right)

Get Creative!

Fireplaces don’t always have to be in the Family Room or Basement. As a unique design feature, Mina and Mark Fies decided to remove an old gas fireplace in their family room and install a Touchstone “Sideline Elite” electric fireplace in their kitchen island instead. This allowed them to reclaim space in their family room and change the overall flow of the entire space.

In addition to providing visual appeal, electric fireplaces are practical, too. They are a great way to effectively and safely heat a room. Read more about Mina and Mark’s design choice here.

3D Rendering (left), After (right)

A word of caution: if you are going beyond updating your fireplace facade, ALWAYS hire a professional to install or remove both gas and electric fireplaces.

If your next home remodel needs more than just a fireplace update, we’re ready to help you rethink your space! As a local full service design build firm, we’ve been helping homeowners in the area create dream spaces for well over a decade. Find out who we are and what we’re all about here.

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Crews appear to have aced the overhaul of Hook Road’s tennis courts, which are once again available for use.

Reston Association finished replacing the Hook Road courts with completely new asphalt court surfaces and coloring earlier this month.

The renovation also involved installing new fencing, drainage, access improvements, and energy-efficient LED lighting, which will be operational by this coming Friday (Aug. 20), according to RA’s capital projects webpage.

After closing for construction starting in March, the four courts opened back up Friday evening (Aug. 13). By Saturday morning, community members were already taking advantage of the refurbished facilities: a game unfolded on one court, while an instructor delivered a tennis lesson on another.

“They’re beautiful, they’re flat, and they play well,” one of the players, Reston resident George Jastrzebski, said of the new courts.

The overhaul of the tennis courts on Fairway Drive ends a years-long journey.

The project was part of a larger upgrade of the Hook Road Recreational Area that RA started working on in 2016. Other projects identified there in a conceptual master plan include improvements to the baseball fields and pathways.

Crews used heavy machinery to grind up the former courts, which were built in the mid-1970s. Crews mixed in cement then laid down the new courts.

Typically for tennis court renovations, Reston Association layers gravel and asphalt on top of the existing surface, but three layers had already accumulated on the Hook Road courts, so they decided to do more extensive renovations, RA Director of Capital Projects Chris Schumaker said in a Reston Today video in late March.

“It will be a much stronger base than prior ones,” Schumaker said in the video. “It should last significantly longer than prior court renovations. We’re usually expecting about 30 or 40 years out of this.”

He also said the project has the benefit of not sending the asphalt into a landfill.

RA has 52 tennis courts, half of which are lighted and eight of which are clay courts, according to its website. A pass is required to use the private courts.

Jastrzebski has played at the Hook Road courts “on and off” but said on Saturday that he might try to use the courts more now that they’re renovated.

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Renovations at Herndon High School that have been in the works for half a decade are nearing completion.

A project to update the 54-year-old building at 700 Bennett Street is in its final stages, Fairfax County Public Spokesperson Jennifer Sellers tells Reston Now.

Most recently, construction workers completed phase three renovations that began about seven months ago. That includes work on areas for gymnastics, wrestling, the auxiliary gym, auditorium, music wing, and an extended main corridor.

The project’s third phase was finished in time to welcome students when they return to school for the new academic year on Aug. 23.

“Overall, Herndon High School will be returning to a much different space than previous,” writes Sellers.

There’s still some work to be done, though, including finishing the concessions building, an additional parking lot, tennis courts, and several instructional rooms. That should all be finished this fall, leaving a few other small items to be completed by the end of the calendar year.

In the meantime, students and staff affected by the ongoing work will be temporarily relocated into interior spaces that have already been renovated until winter break. There will still be one temporary classroom in a trailer until then as well.

Most of the work is also happening towards the back of the building, further limiting the impact on in-person learning.

The last time Herndon High School underwent renovations was 1991.

With the school remaining mostly virtual all of last year, it has allowed construction to happen without interfering with day-to-day operations. The main gym closed for renovations right after a community goodbye and right before the COVID-19 pandemic mostly shut down Fairfax County Public School buildings for more than a year.

Construction on Herndon High School started in early 2018, adding more than 138,000 square feet to the building. In total, nearly 416,000 square feet is being renovated or added, and the school will now have a capacity for about 2,500 students.

Funding for the projects came from bonds approved by county voters.

Nearly three-quarters of county voters supported a $250 million bond referendum in 2013 that partially helped fund the planning of Herndon High School’s renovations. A significant portion of the 2015 $310 million school bond went towards the high school’s renovations and additions.

Courtesy FCPS

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