Bruce Case on remodeling tips and trends | Home Front

Case Design/Remodeling designed and built this kitchen in a Maryland home (Case Design/Remodeling, Inc).
Feb 12, 2015

Bruce Case is the president of Case Design/Remodeling, a full-service residential remodeling company with offices in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Every week, Jura Koncius helps you in your quest to achieve domestic bliss. Got a question about decorating? She's happy to whip out her paint chips and suggest the perfect hue, call a retailer to help track down a hard-to-find accent piece or offer some do-it-yourself. Built on years of reporting experience, Home Front is an online conversation about the best way to feather the nest. We invite you to submit questions and share you own great tips, ideas and, yes, the occasional complaint.

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Hello!  Pleasure to be with you this morning.  Hope you're all staying warm.

This morning we have Bruce Case, President of Case Design/Remodeling here. This is  a great opportunity to ask him about that sun porch you've been dying to remodel into a family room and the bathroom that needs to be updated for the 21st century. He knows all the tricks and trends and his company is well known in our area for all kinds of design and remodeling projects.

Also, today we have a new feature on the Home Front chat. You can now earn 15 PostPoints each time you participate in the Home Front chat. All you have to do is record the weekly code that we'll post during the chat and enter it into your PostPoints Web site under Claim My Points. The code will expire at midnight so be sure to enter your code each Thursday to get credit for participating.

Today's code: HF4799

Now let's get going.


Other than real wood or laminate wood, what is popular for kitchen flooring these days? I just don't like the look of wood plus I have it everywhere else in my house already (albeit under area rugs).

Wood is most popular, but we are also seeing a lot of tile & cork.  Tile planks have gained popularity as well.

Have you remodeled your own home and if so, what are some of the biggest takeaways, as someone in the remodeling industry?

Yes, I have recently remodeled my kitchen and several bathrooms.  I relied on our experienced team here at Case.  My biggest recommendation is to work with a company that has an established, proven process.  You're inviting this company into your lives and your home and you want to trust that they'll take care of it like it's their own.

I have had a king mattress and box spring on the floor for a year -- because I can't find a king bed I like! I love modern, spare canopy styles, which look great up to a queen size but often look positively unwieldy in a king. Kind of like a shoe that looks great in a size 7 but when you get to an 11, well, not so much. Do you think the upholstered headboard style is here to stay (at least for a while)? I can't seem to find anything else that is clean-lined but pretty, and doesn't look huge. Any bed sources would be appreciated, too.

Finding furniture can be tricky, but knowing where to look is half the battle.  Upholstered headboards are here to stay!  Check out these great options:


I read about a bathroom design tool you offered last year. Can you tell me a little more about it? Are you still offering this service?

Almost one year ago we launched our bathroom design tool, ibby.  The goal was to make the bathroom remodeling process easier than ever before, and our clients have loved it!  We are still offering this service.  You can learn more about it at

My parents want to age in place and I want to help them. What are some universal design practices we can consider? What are you seeing in the general population regarding universal design?

Universal design is an important consideration when remodeling your home.  We generally recommend grab bars, roll in showers, benches, hand held shower heads, wider aisles in kitchens, sections of lowered counter tops, etc.

I've seen the Case signs around our neighborhood and would like to have someone stop by to get an estimate for a kitchen remodel. What's the best way to set up an appointment and what should I expect on the first visit? Is there a fee for consulting?

Our consultations are free.  You can visit to schedule an in-home meeting with one of our Project Developers.

I have several small projects around our house that never seem to get done. Do you take on projects big or small?

We work on projects of all sizes.  Case concentrates on remodeling.  Fred, our handyman division, focuses more on smaller projects around your home.

You can learn more about Fred here:


Hi, Jura--on all the design shows, curtains are shown pooling on the floor. Is that what's "right" these days? We need curtains for our dining room, which faces the street--as such, we will be opening and closing them frequently, so the long look seems as if it will be annoying. How long should curtains be?

So I called in some really expert help for this one. I just phoned designer Barry Dixon, who is known for his fabulous , stylish window treatments, and here is what he said. "I don't like curtains that have to be adjusted when you open and close them. The curtain should fall naturally into place.  I do like curtains to just touch the floor. I call it kissing the floor. To kiss the floor, my usual look is 3/4 of an inch added to the bottom of the curtain. This way, it won't look like you washed and then dried your pants in the dryer and they got too short.  I don't like light coming in under the curtain; it gives a sort of hotel or office look. If you have to adjust the puddles on your curtains, then we have gone back to 1984."

My children have allergies so I'm concerned about starting any remodeling project. How do you keep dust at bay during a remodel?

We work hard to help eliminate dust during construction.  In addition to providing dust protection, we are the only company in the area that offers air scrubbers.  These are quiet and efficient units that automatically monitor the air quality.

I am undertaking a big renovation and one of the projects is a complete redo of my kitchen. I am determined to install a softer floor than I have now, which is slate. I own a bungalow and plan to keep that aesthetic (sort of). I would do wood but I have wood floors (oak - this is a 1924 bungalow) throughout and really think I want cherry cabinets - would wood floors be too much wood? I just can't decide if I have to give up either the wood floors or the wood cabinets. My kitchen is galley shaped although relatively long and I plan on soapstone or a black matte granite or even Aqua Grantique (a dark granite gneiss that looks like soapstone) counters. Thanks for your thoughts.

Wood floors with stained cabinets is a great combination.  You want to be careful when selecting the species & stain of each so that they compliment one another.  For example, light floors and dark cabinets is a safe way to go and creates contrast.

I tried to enter it in PostPoints but it says it is invalid or expired.

Noted! We're working on it and should have it fixed by the end of the chat. If that is still not the case, send me an email directly at


Hi, you kindly posted my question about looking for someone who can dye slipcovers a couple of weeks ago, and someone mentioned Cannon Upholstery in Bethesda. Unfortunately, they do not provide that service, so I am hoping you can post this in case someone else knows of a service. I have tried dry cleaners and G Street Fabrics. Thanks!

We get this question a lot and I don't have a source. Does anyone out there?

We're considering a remodeling project, actually thinking about adding onto to our home. We'd prefer to stay put and not move, but the remodeling process seems daunting. What advice can you offer for getting started?

Adding space is a great way to make the home you love meet your current needs.  However, to most homeowners it can be an overwhelming process. Over the past 50 years we've refined our process to make learning about your options as easy as possible. 

The best way to get started is to look for inspiration.  Houzz is a great source for finding images.  Next, set-up an in home consultation to learn how to apply your inspiration to your home. 

I've enjoyed seeing Case bathroom remodels at recent DC Design Houses. What are the top bathroom trends this year? What are your favorite timeless trends?

Thanks we've enjoyed participating in the DC Design House! 

Current trends include larger showers instead of tubs, additional shower fixtures, larger format tiles, extra accent lighting and wall hung vanities.

For a modern take on a timeless trend, think about installing traditional material in a non-traditional way.  For example, carrara marble tile in a chevron pattern. 

Does any one have experience ordering stuff from Wayfair? Do you get what the pics show? Reasonable to deal with? We're ready to order quite a bit and don't want lemons.


If you have the space and can afford it, add a screened porch. It has changed the way we live - we can enjoy the outdoors even when it's raining, hot (install a ceiling fan) or mosquitos are swarming.

I an envious! I have always wanted a screen porch and a front porch. With my little colonial, there isn't really room for either.

I plan to update a 1980 3-story brick townhouse, currently largely carpeted, with hardwood flooring including kitchen (currently tile) and bedrooms. Also plan to replace rough black slate entrance and hallway with hardwood. Do you agree going "all hardwood"?

Generally, using one material throughout a space makes it feel larger and the design more cohesive.  

I love the look of porcelain tiles, especially those that look like wood. What do you think about porcelain? Can it go anywhere in the house or should it stay in the kitchen or bath?

Porcelain wood planks are very popular.  They're a good choice for any room in your house, however, you may want to consider installing a heated floor to add comfort. 

Do you have a source that can handle hemming my lined silk drapes - both bottom (where my husband has managed to step on them) and width where the sun has damaged the silk. The original workmanship is beautiful and I'm hoping to find someone with skills who would take this smallish job (4 panels with some detail at the top).

Yes. I have found a place for you. Corrados in Bethesda. 301 951-5545. They do many interior design services as well as making custom window treatments and custom bedding and heardboards and design and painting etc. But they would do this for you.

Hi everyone, we've been assured the PostPoint is working now. Here it is again!

You can now earn 15 PostPoints each time you participate in the Home Front chat.Today's code: HF4799

I want to remodel my kitchen but don't want to be too trendy, I want the design to last years. What advice can you give when selecting kitchen finishes? thanks!

Painted cabinets are timeless, as is a white/gray color palette.  My previous comment about installing a bathroom floor (traditional material in a modern pattern) could also apply to your back splash.  Plumbing fixtures and hardware are easily changed, so these are great places to let your personality shine through your kitchen design.

I've ordered from them a few times and haven't had any problems. Their customer service is excellent - very responsive and accommodating.

Thanks for posting!

What about Marmoleum? It's supposed to be easy on the feet, it's eco-friendly, and it comes in fun colors. I have a tile kitchen floor, but I would definitely do Marmoleum if/ when I redo.

Love it.

Can you recommend flooring for a small shower floor? We had river rocks but we had a leak and have to have the floor replaced. We are looking for something that looks good but doesn't require a lot of maintenance. Thank you!

I'd recommend using a porcelain tile.  They come in a wide range of patterns, sizes, and textures, so it's easy to find something you'll love.  Also be sure that your contractor installs a waterproofing membrane under the floor tile and extends it up the wall several inches to make sure you don't have another leak.

Lots of great advice here, Bruce. Thanks a lot for doing the chat. Also we apologize for the slight glitch in the PostPoints code. It's all fixed now and should work. So all you PostPoints members log in to get your bonus.

See you next week. Thanks for chatting.

This was a lot of fun.  Thank you all for the great questions.  I hope this was helpful.  Please feel free to reach out with any questions we weren't able to cover today.

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Jura Koncius
Jura Koncius is a Washington Post staff writer who specializes in home and design. Read her daily twitter feed @jurakoncius for the latest in decorating trends, shopping, decluttering, organizing and DC retail.

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Bruce Case
Bruce Case is the president of Case Design/Remodeling, a full-service residential remodeling company with offices in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
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