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.

1Open Up

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.

An open concept remodel in Bucks County by Milex Residential
Milex Residential Open Concept Remodel Bucks County

2Honor History

Many area historic homes stand as monuments to Buck’s rich history.

Farmhouse-style wide plank wood floors Milex Residential

Even if your home is more modern, small elements can be included to add a historical feel and character to your remodel. Including elements such as a country farm sink, a barn door slider or a stacked-wood accent wall using barn planks can add that warm, country charm of the past.

If you are thinking of adding an outbuilding and own an older home, be sure the new structure is in line with the time period and style of the existing home. Milex’s Steve Bohn says to be sure that any renovations are in compliance with the guidelines that exist in some of Buck’s historic housing districts. A qualified general contractor will be familiar with these regulations.

3Use 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.”

hand made locally-sourced shelving bucks county milex residential

4Favor Food + Entertainment

kitchen remodel milex residential bucks county

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.

5Raise 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.

Top Bucks County contractor
milex remodel with bar

6Enjoy 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.

7Make 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.

8Appreciate Art

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!”

Photo credit: Screenshot from GroundUp Productions

9Go Antiquing

Photo credit: Screenshot from GroundUp Productions

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.

10Repurpose the Past

Use elements from the past to add unique pieces to your structure and décor. Bohn loves to include old industrial elements going back to the 19th century which he reclaims from the once-booming local iron and steel industries for which the area was known for in the past. Adding a post for a mailbox, installing metal seats as kitchen barstools or incorporating old gears and pulleys into the design of a remodel adds unique and local interest. For those living in towns such as New Hope, Yardley and Newtown, just across the river from the historic mills, these elements take on particular meaning. “Anyone can buy something from IKEA or the furniture store down the street, but having something that has a story behind it is special,” says Bohn.

Bohn loves to include old industrial elements going back to the 19th century which he reclaims from the once-booming local iron and steel industries for which the area was known for in the past.

However you decide to incorporate the elements of Bucks County into your next home remodel or expansion, Bohn recommends seeking out an experienced general contractor for a consultation before moving forward. “We learn about what you really like and can discuss how to incorporate your ideas into the project, sourcing local craftsmen and materials as we go to achieve a beautiful outcome.”

Reach out to Milex anytime for a free expert consultation- Call (215) 245-1685


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