Written by Betsy Natter // Photography by Kevin Crawford
Just like the clothing we wear reflects our sense of style and personalities, our communities and homes mirror who we are and the things we love. Bucks County is a great place to live, work and raise kids. It pulses with art, culture, history, beautiful natural landscapes and wonderful food. If you’re looking to expand your home, remodel or update your space, why not bring a bit of Bucks inside and make it reflect some of the distinguishing features of our beautiful county?
For advice on how to bring a bit of Bucks into your home, we asked construction and remodeling experts Mike DeMaio and Steve Bohn of Milex Residential to share with us their tips for design features that highlight many of Bucks County’s distinctive components. Here are ten ways to customize your home with style.
Reflect the wide open spaces of Buck County farmland, parks and natural areas by opening up your home’s interior. Take down some walls to create an open floor plan. Build up to create a vaulted or cathedral ceiling and add some reclaimed wooden beams to mirror the open spaces of an old country barn.
Use natural materials
Bring the outdoors in by utilizing local materials such as stone, tile and wood. Repurpose the broken down stone wall in the backyard to create a special fireplace surround, garden entry or fire pit. Embrace a unique roofing style in our area and opt to repair a natural slate or shake cedar roof rather than tear it off. Use wood accents for a kitchen counter or wet bar instead of granite.
Bohn suggests using locally sourced woods such as hickory or black walnut.
“Almost every job we’ve done has included some kind of wooden accent.” Milex Residential utilizes the services of a local mill and is able to create custom pieces and materials. “We can do things like create a live edge, where we remove the bark, but keep the natural curved edge for a unique look and feel.”
Favor Food + Entertainment
Bucks County has so many wonderful restaurants to explore, but in a brand new kitchen you can create your own culinary masterpieces. Add more counter space and cabinet storage, create a cohesive yet open kitchen/dining area, add a colorful tile backsplash or build a walk-in pantry.
Raise a Glass
If you enjoy locally produced craft beers and wine, make room for them at home. Don’t forget to add a wine cooler to your kitchen remodel or transform an unused space into a wet bar in your entertainment area.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Expand your living space to relax and entertain just outside your back door. Build on or expand a deck to include seating, planters, a grilling area, a shaded pergola or fireplace. French doors or sliders can open the space to allow for easy flow of traffic in and out when entertaining.
Make Room for the Kids
Bucks is a great place to raise kids, so why not give them their own space for play when they’re little and for entertaining their friends as they grow up. Remodeling or finishing a basement can add livable space and value to your home while getting the Legos off the living room floor. Add cabinets or shelving for toys, a space for sports equipment or a home entertainment area.
Embrace the culture and art that is abundant throughout the county. Show off a few choice pieces of art or sculpture with additional lighting that highlights your collection. Adding new windows can bring in tons of natural light. Perhaps recessed lighting or strategically placed lights can focus the spotlight instead. Bohn says, “Lighting is so customized these days and so small, we can hide lights anywhere!”
Antique shops all over Bucks are filled with pieces waiting to be loved again. Refurbishing an older piece of distressed furniture and building it into a kitchen remodel or using it as a focal point in your design can add unique character to your project.