Author Archives: Ananta Creatives

Spotlight on Project Manager Bonnie Foster

With more than 35 years of experience in architectural design, project management, home building and remodeling, Bonnie Foster has worked with every trade you’ll find on a job site. Trade professionals are overwhelmingly male. While she is proud to represent the less than 10 percent of the construction workforce that is female, it is not what defines her professionally.  

It is her depth of knowledge and varied work experiences that make her such a respected member of the Dickson Development team. “Our clients love Bonnie. She guides them through every step along the way, from initial meetings to the design process, product selections to the actual construction and remodeling of homes,” says Richard Dickson, president of Dickson Development. “Bonnie has great instincts, excellent design skills, a tremendous amount of patience and discipline and, above all else, she knows every facet of this business.”

Bonnie, after earning her degree in architecture, began her career working with architectural firms on the West Coast, designing both custom and track homes. She worked her way up from draftsperson to senior designer to project manager, running multiple large projects for track homes. She also worked for a home remodeling and animation company that developed a tool used by homebuilders to sell new homes from virtual reality models. “In that role, I was able to combine my architectural knowledge with my marketing skills. I enjoy doing both,” she says.

For the past 18 years, she has been working for design-build companies as a designer and marketing specialist. As the project director and scheduler for Dickson Development the past several years, she works closely with homeowners and trade partners to make sure every detail on every job is completed on time and to everyone’s satisfaction.

Motivated as a Woman in a Male-Dominated Field

“I love working with homeowners. I have met and assisted hundreds of families helping them to realize their dreams of transforming their living spaces.” She says. “It is very satisfying when you get to work closely with homeowners on the design of a project and then see the finish result. I also genuinely enjoy the camaraderie on each job with all our staff, trade partners and vendors.  It takes a great team to get great results.”

She has clearly found the right team at Dickson Development, one where she is respected and appreciated and able to bring all her skills to the table.

“Instead of coming up through the ranks of a framer or a carpenter (most who are male) before being promoted into a project management role, I gained knowledge of every aspect of home building working in these different capacities,” she says. “Working in a predominantly male field never deterred me. If anything, I would say it was motivating.”

To schedule a consultation, call Boonie Foster at 609-799-0220 or click on the link below..

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Stay at Home, Dream at Home

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Home improvement projects, from mudroom makeovers to whole-house renovations, start with a dream, a wish, a vision. For more than 47 years, Dickson Development has been meeting with homeowners in the Princeton area to hear their dreams and transform them into reality. We miss that personal exchange as much as everyone else. However, right now, it’s more important that we all stay home and stay safe to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

But that doesn’t mean you have to stop dreaming! Whether you’re in the middle of a DIY home improvement project or planning a future remodel, we want to hear from you. Send us photos of the rooms you want to transform, and you could win a free consultation.

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For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, call us at 609.799-0220, email info@dicksondevelopment.com. or click on the link below.

 

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1980s Colonial Renovation Blends Modern Amenities with Personal Style

The story of this whole-house renovation in West Windsor, New Jersey, is as much about the way we live our lives—with the kitchen as the center of activity—as it is about the infusion of a homeowner’s personal style. West Windsor, NJ Kitchen Renovation ContractorLike other Colonial homes built in the 1980s, the house lacked many of the modern amenities families desire today. Rooms were closed in and sectioned off, the kitchen was tight on space, and both the bathrooms and kitchen had original fixtures.

When the homeowners, two busy professionals with three active boys, bought the house in 2011, it was in immaculate condition. Nothing was in need of repair, but the house felt cramped and dated.

“After we lived here for seven years, things needed to be replaced,” says homeowner Jackie. “We were ready to knock down some walls and renovate the entire house.”

Jackie wanted to be sure to incorporate personal touches throughout the renovation—bursts of color, rich textures, intricate tilework, unique flooring and cabinet options. This project needed to reflect her creativity, as well as achieve the practical goal of improving the overall flow of movement in the house. She selected Dickson Development based on positive reviews, but also because she sensed right away that their team understood her vision for the project.

“The homeowners were very involved with every aspect of the design,” says Bonnie Foster, project manager at Dickson Development. “They wanted the kitchen to be distinctive and searched high and low for just the right piece of granite for the island. It became the focal point of the room.”

The kitchen was expanded 2 1/2 feet in the back, which left more room for cabinetry as well as the substantial granite island. “Aesthetically, the island is what I like the most about the kitchen,” notes Jackie. “Not only can we all eat here, but it serves as a huge workspace as well. The original kitchen had a counter with a peninsula shape that was very hard to get around and closed off the room. The island lets you move around in either direction.”

The kitchen also features beautiful prefinished hickory handcrafted wood floors in random widths, stunning hardware, stainless-steel appliances and an abundance of cabinets. “We added quite a few additional design details, including beautiful accent tile behind a stainless-steel range,” says Bonnie.

West Windsor, NJ Bathroom Renovation ContractorJackie loves the look of bold colors and rich textures, found throughout the house. The family room also features a rugged stone fireplace set against a deep orange accent wall. The cubbies in the mudroom are a stunning shade of blue. Where there was once a cramped space, there is now a well-organized mudroom and laundry room. “The built-in cubbies in the mudroom really make a statement. The color just pops,” she adds.

Jackie was also delighted to have more room in the master bedroom suite. “We bumped out the wall to create more space for a master bedroom and bathroom suite,” explains Bonnie. “The new bathroom features a 4′ x 4′ shower, a freestanding tub, a dual-sink vanity and beautiful tile work, giving the room a cool, crisp feel.”

Every step of the way, Jackie worked closely with Bonnie, down to the last detail. “I am not a designer, but I had a vision. Bonnie brought it to life,” she says. “We’re so very pleased with the end result, and family and friends have had nothing but compliments. We can’t wait to be able to have our first big family celebration here.”

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To schedule a consultation, please call 609.799.0220 or click on the link below.

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The Master Bathroom Enters the 21st Century

Princeton Master Bath

modern master bathroom Hopwell NJSince it first debuted in the 1926 Sears catalog as part of the then top-of-the-line Dutch colonial, the master bathroom has reflected the times. Pink and teal blue tile defined the mid-century master bath. Jacuzzi tubs marked the 80s. And the 90s brought master bathroom vanities complete with a double sink.

“Today in 2020, people want a spa-like sanctuary where they can relax and unwind,” says Bonnie Foster, project manager at Dickson Development. If you’re planning on a master bathroom remodel, Foster and the rest of the team at Dickson can offer up-to-date master bathroom layouts and designs to help you create your dream space.

Here are some of the most popular trends in master bathroom designs:

Out with the old, in with the new. The 2020 master bathroom is modern and minimalist, Foster says. This means neutral tones, geometric shapes, and clean lines. White or wood vanities and countertops with splashes of greenery set the stage for serenity.

Fashionable floors.  Master bathroom flooring has gone from purely functional to a key part of the room’s ambiance. People want stylish, high-quality flooring that holds up to normal bathroom wear and tear. The same goes for the floor in the master bathroom shower space. Popular materials include porcelain tile, luxury vinyl, and engineered wood.

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New Classics

Specialty lighting. Current top trends in master bathroom design incorporate lighting into the actual architecture, Foster says. Recessed lights, strip lighting in shampoo niches and under cabinet toe-kicks, wall-mounted fixtures, and decorative chandeliers and pendants are just a few examples of master bathroom lighting ideas. Energy-saving LED lighting is also hot, as are separate controls for lighting that allow users to set the perfect mood for how they intend to use their bathroom space.

Space for stuff. As we spend more time in our master bathrooms, we want additional storage for fluffy towels and toiletries. In response, current bathroom trends include upgraded vanities and cabinets with plenty of drawers and shelves.

Tubs that stand free. Not only do they provide a place to relax and rejuvenate at the end of a long day, soaking tubs add an artistic element to any master bathroom plans. In terms of style, modern has replaced traditional when it comes to free-standing tubs. Gone are claw feet, and in are curvy, spacious tubs that sit flat on the floor.

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Personal Touches

Creative use of tile. Want to add some color and personality to your master bath? Do so with master bathroom tile. “Whether it’s splashes here and there or on an entire accent wall, unique shapes and patterns, bold shades, and irregular cuts in tile can all add texture and flare to your master bathroom design,” Foster says.

Techy toilets. It’s not your grandmother’s carpet-covered toilet anymore. Master bathroom toilets in the twenty-first century are sleek and modern with optional bells and whistles, like self-cleaning, heated seats, bidets, overflow protection, and built-in night lights. Tankless toilets—which conserve water and take up less space—are also popular.

Mod mirrors. Today’s master bathroom mirrors offer both form and function. Says Foster, “a bold, asymmetrical framed mirror can instantly add a chic element to your master bathroom décor.”

Elegant Finishes

Brass fixtures. After decades of brushed chrome and stainless steel, brass master bathroom fixtures are back in style. “Brass finishes give an air of sophistication that makes the master bathroom feel even more special,” Foster says.

Marble in the master bath. Whether it’s on wallpaper or the real thing, marble is a timeless way to add a touch of luxury to any master bath. And marble is totally versatile—you can use it anywhere from the top of your master bathroom vanity to the floor to shower walls.

Working with a Professional

As you embark on a master bathroom remodel, of course you want to stay current, both in layout and design. From the first sketches to finishing touches that make your master bathroom distinctly your own, let the experts at Dickson Development be your best guide.

To schedule a consultation, email info@dicksondevelopment.com or call Richard Dickson at 609-799-0220 or cick on the link below.

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Making Mid-Century Modern Again

mid-century-modern-designMad for mid-century modern?

You aren’t alone. Mid-century modern design continues to enjoy tremendous popularity, as its functional elements, minimalist sensibilities and seamless integration with nature appeal just as much to eco-conscious millennials as they do to nostalgic boomers.

“People who grew up in the mid-1950s and 1960s, not to mention fans of the TV show Mad Men, which took place during the same time period, quickly visualize mid-century modern architecture and interior design as minimalist and simplistic—and maybe a little fun,” says Bonnie Foster, project manager at Dickson Development. “It’s become a modern classic.”

Characteristics of mid-century modern design include:

  • A contemporary, minimalist look with flat planes and clean lines
  • A focus on function over form
  • Large windows and open floor plans, which connect the home to nature and draw the outside in
  • Use of geometric and abstract forms
  • Blend of industrial and natural materials, such as steel and wood
  • Pops of bold, saturated color integrated with contrasting black, white and gray themes

“Mid-century modern is a flexible, clean style of design that can blend well with others, from traditional to contemporary,” explains Richard Dickson, who has been building and renovating homes since 1972. “Here in New Jersey, we don’t typically design homes with a classic, mid-century modern flat roof, due to the climate. But we do incorporate many other elements of mid-century modern style, such as mixing industrial metals with natural wood or blending indoor with outdoor living spaces. These trends have been popular for years and remain so today.”

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The mid-century modern design movement originated in the 1930s but rose to prominence during the 1950s and 1960s. Germany’s Bauhaus movement of the early 20th century was a primary influence with its stripped-down aesthetic and bold colors.

The style became popular in the United States in the mid-1950s, which was a time when there was a great deal of optimism about the future and Americans were captivated by scientific discovery and space travel, science fiction movies and TV shows like The Jetsons. Mid-century modern design reflected the mood of a nation that equated futuristic design with social change and industrial advancement.

Today it simply works with the way we live. It’s attractive and versatile, and it complements both expansive open floor plans and small urban spaces. Mid-century modern–inspired furniture, lighting and home décor accent pieces are easy to find and available in a wide range of prices. “Like post-century contemporary, with a similar uncluttered look, mid-century modern also serves as a great backdrop to today’s modern homes with smart gadgets and technology,” adds Bonnie.

Mid-Century Moderation

Bonnie cautions against going too mad for the mid-century modern look. “We like to work with select elements so the style doesn’t overwhelm the space or become quickly outdated,” she says. “It’s a really easy style to use, but also to abuse if you aren’t careful. Mix things up for a more balanced look.”

Incorporating mid-century modern into your home:

  • Learn to identify vintage pieces or credible replicas. Sellers tend to overuse the term “mid-century modern,” so the buyer must beware! Vintage pieces originate from Denmark, Yugoslavia, Japan, Italy and the United States.
  • Use restraint when shopping. Focus on stylish touches versus a complete overhaul.
  • Shoot for clean and uncluttered. If you decorate a room in 100 percent mid-century modern style, you may tire of it quickly.
  • Start with one piece that fits with your existing décor. Then build around that piece with complementary colors and textures, including new cabinetry, fixtures and lighting.
  • Take it easy when using bright, saturated colors. They can quickly go out of style, unlike today’s neutrals.
  • Consult with a design or building professional for guidance and planning.

Here to stay?

“I think it’s safe to say that mid-century design will remain popular for the foreseeable future because of its versatility and appeal to a wide range of people,” says Richard. “Finding your own personal style is about how you live as well as what you like.”

To schedule a consultation, email info@dicksondevelopment.com or call Richard Dickson at 609-799-0220.
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