Posted on

Building Safe and Beautiful

by Mandy Blume
Blumestone safe and beautiful

Safe and Beautiful

Marketing a business seems simple enough, but in construction, we usually get jobs by “word-of-mouth”. People generally share how we are on time and how beautiful, but it’s not easy to explain what truly makes us different. Over and over, we find our clients do not realize the effort we put into creating a safe and beautiful environment. It’s an odd thing to explain, but the materials in the structure truly make a difference.

The best comparison is having a 5-star prepared meal; but one chef uses grocery store ingredients that are 5-14 days old and ripened in transit versus a chef who goes to the farmer’s market and gets fresh, ripe, organic ingredients as much as possible. This is our effort in the building business.

Many folks tell us that we should market this difference. But we find that since it is not a common practice, people aren’t sure why our efforts are important. But just like the food we consume builds a stronger body; better materials, a few simple adjustments, and intentional placement, truly make a safer environment in our constructions.

After completing college together in Mechanical Engineering and Business, we respectively pursued higher degrees and certifications in health. These combinations and having kids with compromised immune systems shape the way we design and build.

Tangible Experience

Jim is brilliant at solving problems with his unique engineering brain. Where some see a fast way to make it look pretty and get out, we see the opportunity to create a space with a little less electrical interference, a little less off-gas, a little more functionality, and thusly, a lot more natural place.

As expected, each job is unique and provides a fun challenge. Every job requires us to identify how we can best use our skills to create a sound structure that fits the client’s wishes, while we “step it up” to provide the cleanest environment which optimizes health in their living/ working space. Our vision is to make each build safe and beautiful, from the “Inside Out”.

Not all of our recommendations cost a lot of money. One simple way to improve a space is incorporating live plants. We share our thoughts about it in this article. These learnings over the years are why our goal of “Building a Better Lifestyle” is so rewarding. When we have clients tell us how great they feel in the new place, or share the excitement of how their space is so clean and peaceful; we know we have succeeded.

 

 

Posted on

Building The Wooden Rooster Cafe in Seminole

by Mandy Blume
The Wooden Rooster Cafe

The Wooden Rooster,  a french crepe cafe

We’ve built some fun places and we are pretty picky in our efforts to build in a better, more healthy way. One of our more recent builds was an easy choice. We were asked to build a wonderful cafe and I’d like to highlight this delicious, french-american burst of deliciousness, The Wooden Rooster.

The Wooden Rooster Cafe

We enjoy getting out and supporting our local businesses for our date nights. And one of our favorite spots is The Wooden Rooster. They have the most perfect, savory and dessert crepes, along with coffee, drinks, salads and more. We frequent the downtown St. Petersburg location, and after a conversation with the owners, we are set to build their second cafe in a new, open style mall in Seminole.

The Wooden Rooster is a great, hangout spot, offering coffees, WIFI, and crepes designed by it’s french owner. Experiencing the culinary, french escape right here in Tampa Bay Florida; minus the expense of a long flight, is a treat. The environment offers a french, modern, organic ambiance as family photos from France hang on the walls. These photos, custom wooden benches, tables and center bar create a “Farm-meets-elegance” charm with a welcoming atmosphere.

As far as the food goes, we highly recommend the Nutty Joe (sans Oreos) with a buckwheat (less gluten) crepe, nutella filling, a scoop of ice cream, with the coffee expresso pour over. Our children love The Burg and the TLT for breakfast and lunch. The menu is constantly changing and visible here.

The Wooden Rooster Seminole Jeremy and Lisette

 

 

The Building Difference

Additionally, from a builder’s perspective, the plumbing is built with pipes that do not leach petroleum nor metal. Our effort to build better, means that our clients can use cleaner water in their business. For the walls, we use stains and no VOC paints so that the employees and guests can breathe cleaner air. There are several differences in our work that are a direct result of our experiences that you can watch here.

After breakfast or lunch, the Seminole location is also a destination spot. To walk off the food, you can stroll between shops for every need and want you may have.

Truly, at the end of the day it never ceases to amaze us how in just a few months, our team can take a concrete box, and create a space designed by a wonderful local architect, and end up with something so beautiful. Of course, there is a lot of hard work but it is spectacular to watch, none-the-less.

Directory

If you are local to Tampa Bay, The Wooden Rooster is a great destination spot and I’d love to hear which crepe you enjoy the best!

The Wooden Rooster at Seminole City Center Mall, across from The Studio Grill Movie Theater
7839 113TH ST. N. SUITE F
SEMINOLE, FL 33772

If you are looking to build a cleaner commercial structure, we look forward to speaking with you on how we might partner with you in building a better lifestyle for you and your team.

 

Posted on

Add Beauty and Health to Your Home or Business with Plants

by Mandy Blume
Peace Lily beauty and health

Add Beauty and Health

Health is pretty important, and over the years we’ve been building, Jim and I discovered there are ways to build health. We also include fun elements as a way to boost health in the home. We started out like everyone, but having children and volunteering with foster children directed us to consider materials and designs that create more fun and less toxins.

I wanted to share some thoughts are health that may seem a bit off the topics of; concrete, wood, and actual building. However, it is something we find to be very important.

Building a business or a home, we generally start with the idea of creating a canvas. We guide our clients to build with a classic style, with less trendy fixtures so that in five years, it’s still a design that is enjoyed. This way, changes can be made with new colors and styles by changing the; chairs, sofas, throws, dishes, curtains, etc… These varying trends and tastes of the different seasons of life will match if the basic design is classic. It is here where we find the beauty of plants comes into the picture to really take a living or working space to the next level.

Green plants are always a great way to bring a living element to the interior space. The choices are limitless; edibles, ornamentals, but I really like intentional placement and thought. Shown is the Peace Lily, which is a family favorite for many reasons.

Peace Lily

The peace lily is a simple plant that is an overall “cleaning plant” known to mitigate:

  • mold spores,
  • formaldehyde, and
  • trichloroethylene.

For this reason, I place these plants in the laundry room and bathrooms, just like my grandmother did. It creates a functional health  advantage as well as providing a “living” element in a wet room.

From an aesthetic perspective, the white flowers will go with any color scheme of a business or home.

Additionally, I like the name. Peace is something we all aspire to have in this short life and I feel that the name of a plant somehow matters.

Fortunately, peace lilies are easy to maintain by merely watering one day a week. Unless it is placed in a dry spot next to direct sunlight, which you may want to water twice a week.

These are a few of the reasons we use plants. We believe they add an element of fun and the Peace Lily is a terrific, easy, beautiful, and functional addition to any space.

Posted on

How to Make Step Downs Safe and Elegant

by BLUMESTONE
186 home Step Downs

Safe and Elegant

Step Downs are not safe features in a home unless designed well. They are random steps from one room to another that create a multi-level feel in one-story homes. These are very common in most older Florida Homes. Unfortunately, these step-downs create a real safety challenge, and taping yellow industrial ribbons across the steps is not an elegant design touch to any home.

So, here are some ideas of how we accomplish both safety and elegance.

Step downs

When we bought our very first home in Florida years ago, we tripped when we first moved in. Almost every guest tripped as well. Over time we got used to the floor plan, but we learned to give a warning to our guests.

History

Florida architects in the mid-1900s designed many homes with step-downs, especially in the transition from the Dining Room to the Living area. Ideally, if your ceilings are higher than 8.5 feet, you can fix this tripping hazard by simply adding concrete to level the floors. However, in most Florida homes, the ceiling is only 8 feet tall. Therefore, if you raise the floor, the original 8- ft ceiling becomes nearly 7- ft. from the floor, which is uncomfortably low.

Today’s style has changed dramatically. It is more commonly desired to have wide-open spaces in a home. Gone are the lower ceilings and soffit ceilings above bathrooms and kitchens. Cozy niche rooms are replaced with fewer walls and tall ceilings. These are easy renovations, but the step-downs are a real challenge.

Over time, we figured out an affordable, discreet, and successful way to make this transitional step safe and elegant.

Updating for Safe Design

Notice in the above photo we incorporate all bulleted features. This home was a real challenge because there were 2 step downs, from the entrance to the kitchen and dining area, and a second step down into the living area. To create a safe transition but instill beauty, the entrance floors were laid in brown wooden herringbone, while the kitchen and dining area featured a white wood-plank pattern. Next, the room changes color to the brown wood-plank design but finally returns to the brown wood herringbone pattern for the delayed step down.

With these visual aids, our employees, subcontractors, and guests quit tripping and falling at these floor transitions.

If you have wood floors, lay a border before and after the step down in a contrasting color to emphasize a floor level change.

It is surprising how the smallest changes can make the most significant difference for a safe and elegant home.