Taking that first step out of your comfort zone is always the most difficult. But once you do, a whole new world opens up. Spring is the best time to do it. Look outside, draw inspiration from nature and bring it indoors.

Challenge yourself to be creative. If you are one of those who would rather chew on tin foil than experiment with a home improvement project, start simple. Pick a room or two and give it a quick punch of color with a new accessory, piece of furniture or fresh coat of paint.

That is exactly what I did after a recent week at the High Point Home Furnishings Market in North Carolina. I was inspired to bring some of the bold colors I saw back home to defy Kansas City’s “Tan Town” image.

Our clients frequently ask about color and trends they see in Elle Décor, Veranda and other shelter magazines, but so often they are are unable to make the first step. I am a big believer in change, but not in trends — especially in home interiors, where colors should be a reflection of décor and personal attitude.

I repainted the showrooms in our furniture and design boutique with the vibrant Sassy Green by Sherwin-Williams. It felt strong and lifelike, picking up so many wonderful complements from nature, bringing what we love about the outdoors in. Clean, sharp whites, coppery browns, silver and even deep reds were enlivened against this strong new backdrop. Existing and new furniture and décor pieces took on fresh dimensions.

Afraid you can’t pull off vivid color in an entire room? Try painting an accent wall: A jolt of color can add drama and style to any ordinary space. With the neutral or tan shades that are prevalent in most homes, options for an accent wall are endless.

Try something fresh. Take your mind to South Beach and experiment with a citrus color, such as Sherwin-Williams’ Mango. I used this vibrant color on an accent wall to give the room an amazing new vibe. The artwork came to life, and the lamps and accessories took on an entirely different feel. Painting an accent wall not only gives the room new verve, it also offers a canvas for creative expression.

In addition to color inspiration, Mother Nature is a wonderful — and free — resource for reinvigorating your interiors. For example, I gathered fallen tree branches, spray-painted them white, tied them to small tacks with clear fishing wire and hung them against a lilac-colored wall to create an indoor forest. Artificial flowers added to the branches gave it color, texture and a softer appearance.

The indoor forest can be easily moved to other areas indoors or out on the patio, enhanced with fresh flowers or colorful votive candles for a summer dinner party. You might adapt it to a child’s room for a wonderful splash of fun. Play with putting lights woven in the branches or use colored clothespins to attach photographs to the branches. Involve your children in the process. It is so important for kids to be fed spoonfuls of creative opportunities. Let them feel the power of being creative.

Spring is the perfect time to check out of “Tan Town” and go for the bold. Crack open the window to the outdoors and let the creativity in during the most beautiful and transformative season.

Source: Kansascity.com

Reach Patrick Madden, a partner at Madden-McFarland Furniture & Design Boutique, 1903 W. 135th St. in Leawood, at pat@maddenmcfarland.com.

This mountain modern home located at the foot of the Gore Range in Three Peaks. Dubbed “Raven’s Nest” the home is a tight design collaboration between Mark Hogan at bhh Partners and Michael Rath at Trilogy Partners with plenty of insight and opportunity provided by the owners. Lots of glass on the south and west mountain facing sides, this 4000 square foot home is a legacy home for a young family that adores the outdoors. The home features a 30 foot high barrel vault ceiling at the entry, a custom water feature and massive chandeliers designed by Trilogy Partners. This was a BIM project, modeling, interiors, and materials selections by Trilogy Partners.
From the homeowner:  “It was while standing in a gallery in Hanoi one day last year that I learned to appreciate the true power of Trilogy’s 3D modeling technology. We had been searching for paintings for our new home in Summit County, but were having difficulty selecting individual pieces, uncertain how they would mesh with the planned design. The stress was increased by the fact that I was shopping alone, 8000 miles away from my wife in Colorado, and desperately afraid of making a mistake! Seeking advice, I sent a series of iPhone photos to Michael. Within hours, both of us received screenshots displaying the artwork as it would actually look in place, along with lighting, finishes, and furniture. This made our decision process so much easier, and it was amazing how closely the depictions in the model matched the finished product!

As we contemplated building our first custom home, we heard plenty of horror stories from friends and relatives. Our experience with Trilogy, however, belied all such expectations. Michael made the design process exciting and fun as we saw our ideas gradually take shape in the model. The computerized, online process made it easy to test out even small design changes and also allowed us to meet remotely when we didn’t have time to travel to Frisco. The software was incredibly detailed and powerful, allowing Michael to design even custom elements such as lighting fixtures and a water feature. Once we began construction, we found Trilogy to be good partners. They were transparent in their accounting and treated us with honesty and fairness at all times. When our home was finished we were dazzled, but not surprised, because it was just like the model! We found the build quality to be excellent; when problems have come up, Michael and our project manager Bill Ashley have been very responsive in addressing them, even long after the project was complete. They take great pride in their work and are not satisfied until everything is perfect. I have no reservations recommending Michael Rath and his team to anyone planning to build in the Colorado mountains, or anywhere else for that matter!”

Take the virtual tour of a Trilogy home in Silverthorne, Colorado.
Desktop Computer or Laptop– Click the link and allow the page to load. To start the Guided Tour, use your mouse to click the “play” button in the bottom left corner of the screen. You can pause the Guided Tour at any time by pressing the space bar, and resume the tour by again pressing play. To move through the space, use your arrow keys. To look up or down,  click & drag with your mouse. Moving up and down stairs is usually easier by clicking your mouse on one of the clear circles. Click on the dollhouse icon in the bottom right of the screen to view the entire space at once in either dollhouse or floorplan view.
On a phone, tablet or touchscreen– Once the page loads, press the play button for the Guided Tour, tap the screen to pause and explore the space, then press play again to resume tour. To move freely through the space, tap on the screen where you want to go. Drag your finger across the screen to look up, down, left or right. Tap the dollhouse icon in the bottom right to view the entire space at once in either dollhouse or floorplan view.

Going green doesn’t have to cost more. Experts at the NAHB Research Center have identified design and construction tactics that builders have used to minimize the cost premium for green.

Everyone needs to stretch a dollar these days. This is certainly true for home builders, and it’s especially true for home buyers in the entry-level, affordable, or workforce housing sectors. Green building, once widely perceived to be a luxury approach to home building, can be a viable solution for both builders and consumers in the affordable market.

Constructing a green home does come with some added costs, but a lot of builders find that green practices can actually reduce their construction costs and enhance the quality of the homes they build. Many green practices also result in operational and maintenance savings for homeowners.

Using a combination of input from builders participating in the National Green Building Certification Program and results from recent research we did for HUD on the costs and benefits of green affordable housing, the NAHB Research Center has identified seven beneficial practices to consider when building green for the affordable market.

1. Work closely with your suppliers

If you’re new to green building in general or to building green homes with a lower price point, you may want to start your journey by talking with your product suppliers.

Richmond, Va.-based First Richmond Associates has been building quality workforce housing for nearly two decades. Recently, the builder decided that going green with its homes would provide even greater value to customers and set its product apart from the competition. Susan Hadder, president of First Richmond, admits the company didn’t know much about green building, so she let her suppliers know about the new direction they were taking and asked for their help.

“A lot of them were as new to green as we were,” says Hadder, “but they were excited to help us find the best product options available from various manufacturers. It was kind of fun for everyone to discover something new.”

Hadder says she got very quick responses from all her product reps, along with some incentives, which helped her identify what the company needed to get its new green homes certified to the National Green Building Standard (ICC 700). She was pleasantly surprised to find that many of the green product options that would garner points for the home in the certification process were actually an even swap for her in terms of price.

Specifically with flooring options, she found that recycled-content carpet and padding, engineered hardwood flooring, and recycled tile for the bathrooms were all competitively priced with the products she traditionally used — some a few pennies more per unit, some a few pennies less. First Richmond now has two of their Earth-Friendly workforce homes (sales prices range from the $170,000’s to low $200,000’s) Green Certified to ICC 700 by the NAHB Research Center, and the company has plans for more.

2. Look for two-for-one green product benefits

To maximize green benefits while keeping construction costs low, use products or practices with multiple green features. For example, when specifying cabinets or cabinet materials, look for those that have low- or no-formaldehyde content and are made of recycled material. That way, you may be able to gain green certification points for both indoor environmental quality and resource efficiency. While most green rating systems won’t allow for “double dipping” on points (i.e., claiming points in more than one area for the same green attribute in the same product or practice), most will allow for multiple green attributes in the same product to be counted across multiple point categories.

3. Don’t forget about water efficiency

In our work with HUD, we found that water efficiency improvements for both new and renovated affordable projects are commonly overlooked even though they offer a quantifiable benefit to homeowners for little to no additional construction cost. Be sure not to discount the cost benefits for affordable clients of low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads, as well as rated water-saving appliances.

As for finding the products at an affordable price, there is a much wider array of low-flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads on the market today than even five years ago, and the most basic models are cost neutral with comparable non-low-flow fixtures. Most major plumbing product manufacturers now offer these products, eliminating the need for costly special orders, in most cases. With bathroom sink faucets, even if your manufacturer of choice doesn’t make a low-flow version, you can buy replacement aerators that satisfy the requirements of most national green rating systems for around $2 a piece.

New construction on the Goose Pasture Tarn in Blue River, Colorado outside of Breckenridge.


4. Consider alternative framing techniques

Some changes in your framing materials or techniques might provide both cost/time savings and a means to an end in securing points toward green certification. For instance, consider using panels or trusses in lieu of site-built systems. These techniques are labor and resource efficient, resulting in less on-site waste and possibly lower labor and materials cost overall. Fabricated systems often create greater thermal efficiency over stick frames. Many green rating systems, including the National Green Building Standard, also award points for use of panels and trusses.

If you want to continue framing totally on site, there are several optimum value engineering (OVE) techniques that can save on material or labor costs, and can generate green points at the same time. Look into options like:

  • Ladder blocking — uses less wood; provides more room for insulation; gets green points
  • Two-stud corners — at least one less stud at each corner; allows for more fully insulated corner; gets green points
  • Switch from 2x4s at 16 inches on center to 2x6s at 24 inches on center — may result in small increase in incremental cost initially, but gets a lot of green bang for your buck.

5. Explore low-cost strategies with design

Green, at any price point, is not accomplished through product selection alone. Many of the other “ingredients” for a green home involve strategies that can cost very little or nothing at all. For example, depending on the orientation and size of your lot, flipping a house plan is a very low-cost, low-effort activity that can result in green benefits like positioning the majority of windows on the south side of a home for passive solar and natural lighting gains.

6. Pay attention to placement and sizing of hvac and plumbing systems

Optimize your duct runs and centrally locate your mechanical room for material cost savings and increased energy efficiency. Even for smaller homes, be sure not to have more ducts or longer duct runs than you need in any part of the house. Using a central return also reduces material costs and is a simple system that can provide adequate circulation and cost savings to both you and your buyers.

Placing all your HVAC equipment, including ducts, in conditioned space within the home is also beneficial. In addition to creating significant energy savings for homeowners, this practice may also allow you to spec smaller, less-expensive HVAC equipment and limit or eliminate the need for additional insulation for the duct system. Many homes today, even those that may be otherwise energy and resource efficient, have oversized HVAC equipment. As the building envelope of your homes becomes tighter and more energy efficient, the HVAC burden is significantly reduced. A smaller system obviously costs less and could offset other green upgrades you’re making in your homes.

For your plumbing system, make sure you have chosen the most efficient design for your purposes. For multi-story homes, consider a stacked system, which will probably require shorter plumbing runs, less piping, and possibly less labor time from your plumbing contractor. Also consider centrally locating your water heater, as a central location makes the average of every run shorter, thereby reducing material costs.

7. Rely on green design professionals

Green homes often require a higher degree of precision in their design and construction to ensure that the finished product works the way it was designed to work, as a whole house relying on interdependent systems for its optimum efficiency and homeowner comfort. Having experts well versed in green products, practices, and protocols can save you thousands of dollars in trial-and-error and callbacks in the long run.

That being said, there are different ways to go about creating your design team. One way is to seek out experts in areas such as mechanical systems, plumbing design, and landscape architecture, with specific expertise in green building practices. Another tactic is to rally those with whom you already work to the pursuit of greener, more efficient homes. Similar to the enthusiasm and excitement Susan Hadder generated with her suppliers when First Richmond began seeking green solutions, you may generate the same kind of interest with your existing construction partners to learn all they can and contribute. Either way, it’s important to get everyone in your construction chain on the same page with what you’re trying to accomplish. Contractors and suppliers that are not informed can create inadvertent barriers to your ultimate success.

More information and technical detail about these techniques can be found on the Research Center’s technical website,www.ToolBase.org.

Created in 1964, the NAHB Research Center (www.nahbrc.com) is a full-service product commercialization company that strives to make housing more durable, affordable, and efficient. The Research Center provides public and private clients with an unrivaled depth of understanding of the housing industry and access to its business leaders.

Source : Professional Builder

Extreme remodel on the Goose Pasture Tarn in Blue River, Colorado

Did you know that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claims about 40 to 50 percent of wood from demolished buildings can be reused in new construction? While in the past there were limited ways to recycle wood in the United States, it’s becoming a more common practice because there are so many ways recycled wood can be used by builders.

One of our favorite reclaimed timber projects was Trey Parker’s Steamboat Springs home. In his home, we used timbers that had been salvaged from a railroad bridge that had at one time covered a part of the Great Salt Lake, much to the delight of local wildlife who thought the salted timbers were dessert. Using reclaimed timber was a great choice to create the look that was desired for this home, as well as a way to continue in our efforts of creating an environmentally friendly home.

Reclaimed timber beams are also a great choice because aged wood is seasoned, which means it is more stable than newly cut wood. Along with using reclaimed timber beams, wood that has is historic, recycled, or reclaimed can also be used for flooring and walls in new construction. Recycled wood can also be useful as garden or yard art, or to create new furniture. Using reclaimed and recycled wood doesn’t have to stop at the framing of a home.

Here at Trilogy Partners, we strive to be as environmentally responsible as possible in our building practices. Using reclaimed timber and recycled wood is just one way we achieve that goal.

Reclaimed Timber Frame house

If you’re renovating the home, you have a lot of building material options available for use. Consider the following materials to add a beautiful, unique look to your dream home:

  • Limestone can make your home’s walls stand out. By texturing the limestone, you will be able to accentuate the shadows, giving your wall a dramatic effect. This texturing will visually soften the hard material, giving your home an elegant, inviting look.
  • If you are looking to style up the shelves in your home, you can use a patinated aluminum material that features a spiderweb pattern. This will give your shelves a bold look, making it enjoyable every time you go to grab your socks or clothes. To vary the spider web patterns, the horizontal pieces can be flipped.
  • For a truly bold look, you can combine different materials together, such as round glass tiles, terrazzo and wood slats. The contrast can add a lot of intrigue.

For more information on these kinds of building materials, contact us today.

image via Flickr

image via Flickr

Wood makes a wonderful accent for the interior of the home, the natural element provides an unequaled design. When using wood the color palate that you select can make a dramatic difference in how the space is perceived.
To find your most complementary combinations keep these tips in mind:

Weathered or blonde woods are well represented with this color. It also works well with black stains. Finding a light blue with grey undertones will make walnut pop in a room.

Blue, Aqua, Turquoise
All of these shades are an excellent way to accent the warm honey or amber wood tones.

Whites, Creams, Ivory
These are staples when it comes to wood trim. When using a cream it is important to stay away from yellow undertones and whites should never be bright.

Brown and Beige
Given the natural hues of wood, it is an easy matter to find an acceptable brown, tan, or beige that will blend with wood elements.

Of the colors found in the outdoors, wood and greens are the greatest combination.

You can make the most of your interior design by finding the right color match to your natural wood elements.

At Trilogy, we’ve been designing and building homes for 15 years. If experience has taught us anything, we’ve learned that the tighter the integration between design, budgeting, and construction, the better the results for our client, our subcontractors, and for us.

This year we took a giant leap forward to achieve a more perfect Design and Build process. As part of the design process, we are modeling in three dimension all project down to the slightest nuance and detail. Right down to the actual sink, the granite.

What’s different about Trilogy’s modeling process? For one, our clients our integral to the modeling and design. Because they participate fully. They have complete access to the working model. So that they know exactly how each design decision will look, work, taste, feel. Before the first shovel is turned, they know their new or renovated home INTIMATELY.

How else does the model benefit the project?

Now we can budget our projects with unbelievable accuracy. Because everything in the model has an assigned name and description including make, model, manufacture, dimensions and often serial numbers. And all those names can be printed out in a list and a price assigned and voila, a new and more accurate way to budget.

 Now our subcontractors know exactly what their tasks are because they know exactly how they should look when complete. And that eliminates the usual fluff or padding of the bid.

Many designers and architects use 3-d Cad Software to give their clients a taste of what to expect. But just a taste. Rarely do those models have the actual materials, plumbing, appliances, every design detail integrated into their model.

With our models “what you see is what you’re going to get.”


If you want to see the actual model you need to go to their office. You get an hour, maybe, with a rather roughly conceived model a couple of times during project design. You and your project our actually KEPT APART during the design process. When they send you a movie walk thru of the model how can you know that what they’ve sent is actually what you need to see?

Our model runs on our clients’ computers at their homes or offices. You can even view them on your phone or iPad. Our clients spend a lot of time in and around their homes before construction. They see it all.  All the good. All the not so good. They tell us what they like, and don’t, and we keep improving until they tell us it’s just right.

The result is no more wondering how the home will turn out. No more anxiety. And no more regret. Because of modeling, our clients know exactly what they are going to get. And that they are going to like what they get VERY MUCH.BaldyDuplexDon2 3

Modeling reduces risk not only for client, but for builder and contractors. Design modeling creates a more fully optimized product than any other process. Car manufacturers have relied on highly detailed models for decades. So have airplane manufacturers. Most things manufactured these days are modeled first. So we thought, why not use modeling to make our design build process even better?

Below are still images of a homes in design or construction. If you’re interested in learning more about the modeling process, let us know. We can send you a couple of models you can test run on your computer. Or phone or tablet. It’s hard to explain just how REVOLUTIONARY this process is. It’s just something you’ll have to experience for yourself.

A fresh mountain house, featured in Architectural Digest, holds lessons for those wanting a rustic residence that is updated and individualistic. The space, by Michael S. Smith, is shown in the images below. Here’s what we like about the mountain home:

  • A zone for each activity. The dining table is set in its own space, with its own access to the outdoors. Though the home has no formal dining room, it clearly indicates which activity is to be performed where. A rectangular light fixture and rectangular rug further define the dining zone and echo the shape of the dining table.
mountain house

Image via Architectural Digest. Photo: Roger Davies.

  • No clutter. A mountain home should be focused on the notable terrain, with clear views and copious daylight. Clutter is a distraction.
mountain house

Image via Architectural Digest. Photo: Roger Davies.

  • Natural materials. A mountain home can compliment its surroundings with natural materials. This lesson applies to both traditional and modern mountain homes.
mountain house

Image via Architectural Digest. Photo: Roger Davies.


This isn’t the only fresh mountain house that Architectural Digest has written about. Click here to read the AD article about a Steamboat home by Trilogy Partners!

The study of architecture combines the technical know-how of engineering with the artist’s vision of form and function. Natural talent and ability can only take you so far in his demanding field; it is also necessary to study under and work with the best teachers and mentors that you can find. Fortunately, the United States is blessed with hundreds of universities that offer a top-notch education and the required training to produce some of the best architects in the world.

Milstein Hall at Cornell University. Photo via ArchDaily

Every year, the prestigious magazine, DesignIntelligence, thoroughly investigates and rates the various architecture schools in North America. With dozens of top architecture schools vying for the honor, it is a difficult task to decide on the actual winners. Still, these five schools were chosen for their fine sensibilities about and dedication to interior design:

  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Pratt Institute
  • Cornell University
  • Parsons The New School of Design

Each of these schools has graduated and continues to graduate some of the finest architects around. It is a singular honor to be included on this list.

Water Ripples

Water conservation has become an important part of sustainable living.

A growing concern for sustainable construction is water conservation. For many years, reducing power consumption has been a major focus of sustainable living, and while it is important, our dwindling water supply has slowly made green building exceedingly blue.

New construction specifications should incorporate water efficiency and conservation to reduce the impact on our water tables. The easiest way to conserve water usage is to install ultra-low flow fixtures wherever possible; your water consumption will decrease while leaving your quality of life virtually unchanged.

Proper landscaping makes a dramatic impact on water efficiency as well. Native plants reduce the need for regular watering since they have already adapted to the climate’s average rainfall. Scheduling a controlled irrigation early in the morning or after dusk will also reduce the amount of water wasted by evaporation.

To construct your own sustainable designed home in the Colorado Mountain region, contact Trilogy Partners today.

965 N Ten Mile Dr. , Unit A1 Frisco, CO 80443
Phone: 970-453-2230

Email: information at trilogybuilds dot com
Facebook: TrilogyPartners
Twitter: @trilogybuilds
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