Remodeling a Home: What To Do BEFORE You Move In

By | Builders and Contractors, Design Team, Stress Free Living, Uncategorized | No Comments

So, you’ve found a new home for a great price that you’re ready to remodel. Whether you’ll be moving your family into your new house, renting it out or flipping it, the buying process is undoubtedly tedious and complicated. If you’re moving you or someone else in soon, you’re probably ready to get it over with and start making a return on your investment. However, it you know the house needs updates, why wait?

The best time to start and complete your renovation is while the house is empty. By trying to complete projects over time (even the small ones), you may end up pushing your timeline back even further as life gets in the way – especially as school starts and kids go back to school and the business of fall begins. If you or renters are living in the home, these projects can also cause a huge mess and inconvenience, and even drive energy costs up as builders enter and exit the home or if windows and doors need to be open.

Completing your remodel at one time doesn’t have to be difficult. By working with the Norfolk Idea Center, you already gain access to all of the best products and resources in one place: our showroom. When working with one of our design professionals, homeowners and contractors are able to select flooring, cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, lighting, stone and more without the stress of visiting several different stores – saving you so much time in the process!

You won’t have to sacrifice your personal style when choosing from our selection, either. Our designers work with you, listening and learning about your lifestyle and ideas when creating a home design for you. Visit us at 350 W 22nd St #101b in Norfolk to browse our selection, or call (757) 351-4550 to schedule a design consultation.

Spring Into Summer Bash!

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Join Norfolk Idea Center for an open house party to support local businesses as well as showcase their products & services!


• Food and drinks presented by local restaurants and breweries – 15% of proceeds from food trucks will be donated to Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads, Inc.

• $1 raffle to win prizes – ALL proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads, Inc.

WHERE: Norfolk Idea Center
350 W 22nd St. Suite 101B
Norfolk, VA 23517

WHEN: May 10th, 2018 | 4 PM – 7 PM

WHAT: Enjoy food, drinks, and festivities with the community and local businesses as we give back!

Food & Sweets:

Jessy’s Taco Bistro
Hummingbird Macarons & Desserts

Food Trucks: [15% of proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads, Inc.]

Cast Iron Catering Co
Rita’s Ice VA Beach – Fairfield Shopping Center

Alcohol: [Complementary with wristband]

O’Connor Brewing Co.
The Bold Mariner Brewing Company
Smartmouth Beer

Raffle Prizes Provided By:
Decorum Furniture
O’Connor Brewing Co.
The Bold Mariner Brewing Company
Siren Skate Shop
Schneider Custom Builders
BizConnect Hampton Roads
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty – Norfolk
Pinot’s Palette
Mermaid Winery
Medical Aesthetics of Virginia
Just Cupcakes

Contact Danielle for Questions and to RSVP

Interested in helping with this event?

Contact Danielle at for more information on how you can help!

Buying and Selling: What to Look For

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Home buying season will soon be in full swing, and many homeowners are making lists of what they need to improve in their homes to sell, or what to look for in other homes when making offers. If you’ve owned your home for a while, you probably have a few renovations to take care of before showing it to potential buyers. If you’re purchasing a home, you’ll want to keep these same areas in mind – assessing the quality of the work and materials against the listed price of the house.

So, what should you be looking for? Here is our guide:

  1. Flooring: The floor of a home is one area that can become the most damaged, especially in a home with high activity, children and pets. Is the carpet tearing away from the trim or thinning out? Is the hardwood scratched or discolored? Not addressing damage will cost you later on when a potential buyer catches it, and will cost a buyer more later on when they end up replacing it.
  2. Outdated fixtures and hardware: Even the most beautiful home can feel shabby with outdated lighting, faucets and cabinet door handles. These areas may seem small and insignificant, but a potential buyer should be keeping tabs on areas they will have to spend a lot of extra time fixing up!
  3. Consistency: Are the renovations and design of the home consistent through every room? Modern, minimalistic backsplashes look great in a kitchen, but if the countertops and cabinets don’t match, it can look cluttered and confusing to a potential buyer. Pay attention to consistency in quality as well, and don’t settle for a quick DIY job to rid of a problem.

When buying or selling a home, Norfolk Idea Center is here to turn your ideas into reality, and guide you through your renovation. Let us help you navigate the many design options today, and design an end product that works best for you!

Update Your Mudroom This Summer

By | Home Ideas, Interior Design, Stress Free Living, Uncategorized | No Comments


As you consider a renovation to your own mudroom or entryway here are some things to ask. First, what purpose does this space serve? Busy individuals with kids still in the home (or grandparents with frequent visits from the grandkids) need space to store shoes, coats, dog leashes and keys. They desire a space that is functional- allowing quick access to those items you may need when leaving the house, while providing a space to sit and put on shoes, coats, etc.

Others may desire an entryway that focuses less on function, and more on design. We’re only a phone call (or visit to our showroom) away from helping you identify the best look and feel for you and your family. As you start to dream up your ideal entry space, here are some ideas we’ve seen and love!

Bench with Storage
This is probably one of the more common solutions we’ve seen. A beautiful bench can offer seating for putting on shoes and coats, while also offering storage. Kids can have their own bin to store their items in, and can access them easily. Add coat hooks above the bench, and you’re covered, while keeping your entryway open for foot traffic. We have a variety of cabinetry options that can suit this purpose beautifully!

Converted Coat Closet
Do you have a closet in your entryway? What about turning this into an alcove. We can install benches in these spaces, and utilize the space above for coat hooks or cubbies. Even better, how about a deep sink for washing up before coming inside? Or even a half bath to keep muddy footprints out of the main living areas. The result is beautiful and incredibly functional, while taking up no extra space in your home.

If you aren’t in need of storage or seating solutions in your entryway, we have endless ideas for beautifying this space. Come in to the Norfolk Idea Center today to discuss your style preferences, and let us help make your entry space welcoming, and memorable.

Norfolk Idea Center is here to turn your ideas into reality, and provide ideas to match your lifestyle. Let us help you navigate the many design options today, and design an end product that works best for you!

We Won … Retailer of the Year in the Service Category!

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The Retail Alliance, is a non-profit trade association serving the interests of local retailers in greater Hampton Roads.  Since their founding in 1903, they have been committed to to promote and support the healthy growth of retail businesses and trade through education, advocacy and member benefits.

On Thursday, May 25th, business leaders from across Hampton Roads gathered at the lovely Norfolk Botanical Gardens to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Retailer Of The Year Awards.  This ceremony is conducted annually to honor our local retailers for excellence in Customer Service, Innovation, Community Service and Profitability.

We are proud to announce that the Norfolk Idea Center won the 2017 Retailer of the Year Award for Service Category Winner –Southside!  Our Project Designer, Jaime Simpson was honored to accept the award.

We are proud to be a member of The Retail Alliance and would like to thank the organization and the sponsors for a wonderful year and a fabulous night!

Six Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Home For Spring

By | Bathroom Design, Design Team, Home Ideas, Interior Design, Kitchen Design, Uncategorized | No Comments

Spring is here and with it comes new growth, fresh scents, and bright colors. Naturally, we want to bring that feeling of fresh and new into our homes. From big design changes to little ones, spring is a great time to spruce up your home!

Try some of these design ideas for your next home spring spruce up.

1. Spring is a great time to brighten your kitchen with new cabinets or countertops! If you want to change it up just a bit, try something as simple as adding new drawer pulls can give a clean and new feel to your cabinets. As the day light sticks around longer, why not bring that light inside with innovative lighting to enhance the beauty of your kitchen? Photo Credit Bryan Sebring

2. Your carpets can get well-worn and dirty over the winter months. Spring is a great time to replace your carpet with a hard surface. From hardwood to the newest vinyl tiles, this flooring choice is easy to clean, update your look, and add value to your home.  Photo Credit Boa-Frank

3. Sometimes sprucing up your home is as simple as adding a pop of color. New pillows, throws, or even a painted accent wall can go a long way to brighten your space. Choosing the perfect bouquet of accent pieces is an easy way to bring spring inside.   Photo Credit Monik Markus

4. Change fabrics for a bright and airy feel. Try a new bedcover with clean, crisp spring colors or new towels to spruce up your bathroom. Photo Credit Lisa Clark

5. Letting natural light in improves your mood and gives your space a sunny feel. Spring is the perfect time to get new windows, or you can choose to add new shades, blinds, shutters or sheers to your existing windows! The right choice can help bring the sun of spring in and dark of winter out. Photo Credit Roger Mommaerts

6. New ceiling fans and updated light fixtures always add a fresh feel to a room. Try lighter colors rather than dark woods. A bright white table lamp ceiling, fan, or white pendulum lighting may be just the thing to freshen up your room. Photo Credit Mary Walker

Sprucing up your home for spring can be as easy or involved as you want it to be.  It may be as simple as helping you to pick new fabrics and paint, or as involved as choosing new flooring or cabinets.

Either way, this Spring The Norfolk Idea Center is ready to help you make those important design choices. Call today and let’s get started!

Customized Kitchen with Traditional Details in Bay Creek Eastern Shore

Top Home Design Trends of 2016

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The modern home is constantly evolving, and while some trends go in and out of style, others take their place in the design arena and stick around. The trends that stand the test of time are often those that allow people to live more comfortably and get more use out of their home.

When it comes to home design, kitchen and bath renovation projects still remain at the top of the list for most homeowners. But what are people demanding from these upgrades?

Here are a few trends we’ve seen in 2016 here at our premier design showroom in Hampton Roads, (and we expect many of them to stick around):

  • Kitchens with Style & Function – Kitchens used to be all function, no form, but recently we’ve seen that families have been moving more and more toward creating stylish kitchens that marry the look and feel of the rest of the house. Our design team loves working with clients on crafting their perfect kitchen, because we understand no two people use this space exactly the same. We’ll ask you questions about how you entertain, and how you move around your kitchen on a typical day, to ensure you’re getting a design and look you’ll love.
  • Mellow, Calming Bathrooms – Your bathroom should feel like your own personal spa, and there are so many design options available to help you find calm in these rooms. Cool tones for countertops, fixtures, flooring, and bath/shower surrounds were a big trend for bathrooms this year, and we expect to see these trends continue.
  • Taking Some Design “Risks” – If you are in the market to build your own custom home, or are considering a large renovation project, why not make it uniquely yours? While families are often concerned about resale value down the road, and tend to opt for traditional design and architecture for that reason, we believe your home should fit your lifestyle since you will be the ones living in and enjoying it now!
  • Working with a Designer. One trend we are very excited to see growing more popular is more people utilizing the personalized experience of working directly with a designer on their construction and remodeling projects. A designer will be able to help you select the right products and materials for your job, and will ensure that your finished space is exactly how you’ll want to enjoy using it.
  • Showrooms over Big-Box Stores. The experience you’ll get walking into a Home Depot or Lowe’s is often overwhelming, impersonal, and you may walk out wondering if you really got the best advice on your product selections. When you walk into the inviting space of a design showroom like Norfolk, you are given an individualized level of attention and guidance, combined with our design team’s level of expertise and skill in knowing how to best guide you through the options in our Center.

We carefully hand-pick each of the product lines we carry here at the Norfolk Idea Center. We know every bathroom fixture, tile color, cabinet finish, and lighting style within our four walls, and we would love to help point you in the right direction for a look you or your client will love for their dream home.

The Norfolk Idea Center is located in the charming Ghent area of Norfolk at 350 W 22nd Street, Suite 101B. Our showroom hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and evenings and Saturdays by appointment. Give us a call at (757) 351-4550 or stop in to talk with our team about your project!

Reasons to Love Oceanside Glasstile

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The Norfolk Idea Center in Ghent, Norfolk is a place where designers, builders, architects and homeowners alike can explore new products and manufacturers for home design. From smaller projects like bathroom remodels or adding a tile backsplash to a kitchen, to full renovations or new constructions, the Norfolk Idea Center is your source for the materials you need to create that perfect dream home.

When it comes to adding a splash of color and personality, few design elements compare to a tile accent. And even fewer can hold a candle to the truly unique look of Oceanside Glasstile. This company describes its culture as one of “informality, California beach mojo, and experimental business concepts,” which are reflected in the craftsmanship and beauty of their line of innovative glass tile products.

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Offering glass mosaics, stone and tile, porcelain floor tile and more, Oceanside Glasstile partners with artisans all over the world to create some of the most beautiful stone, glass and tile products available today.

Our lead designer, Jaime Simpson, shares why she loves pointing her clients to Oceanside Glasstile:

“There are many reasons why I love to work with Oceanside’s glass tiles, and why they are a fantastic option for any project:

  • – the company is very focused on sustainability and creating a green product (most of the glass tiles incorporate recycled glass bottles)
  • – many of the tiles can be used indoors or out, giving the tiles the versatility to be used not only in kitchens and bathrooms, but for fireplace surrounds, as an accent wall in living rooms, outdoor patios, or for pool areas
  • – their unique designs span all styles and colors, adding a dynamic element to every space

We suggest that people take home samples so they can see it in their actual environment.”

Interested in learning more about this beautiful and unique product?? Come join us at the Norfolk Idea Center for the next event of our Lunch and Learn series, Thursday June 30th, 2016 from 12pm to 1:30pm where we will be showcasing Oceanside Glasstile. Lunch is on us.

RSVP by reserving your ticket through EventBrite, e-mail Jill at or call 757-351-4550.  There is no cost for this program.

*We have limited this event to 25 attendees to provide the best use of our interactive space. If this event is full, please reach out to Jill to be included in our announcement of future events!*

Renovated master bathroom in Tustin, California includes Oceanside Glasstile product line Devotion Fez.

ElevationsKitchenGlasstileFieldBacksplashHarvestTruffleDetail GeologieMergePatternDetailGlasstileSlateShowerBathroom

Ideas from Jaime: Minimizing Buyer’s Remorse in Home Design

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One of our primary goals here at the Norfolk Idea Center is to help people avoid the “I wish someone had told us” feeling of regret about their design choices.

A recent example… A client brought us a cookie cutter kitchen design, where the cabinets didn’t really play well with the adjoining rooms. I made gentle suggestions to better help the cabinets work with the great room as a space for entertaining and hosting.


I usually ask: “Are you happy with the arrangement of this space? It seems like it may work well to do it this way…”

They welcomed this input, and they were grateful for me suggesting this, as they had been focusing on the kitchen as its own space. They told me how thankful they were for my insight, saying my guidance helped them go the next step to see how they would actually use the kitchen in conjunction with the surrounding rooms. The LIVABILITY factor is something we always try to remind our clients about. It’s the hardest to foresee.

Thankfully, we welcome feedback from clients after their homes are completed and they have been living in them for a while, about what they liked and didn’t like. This input helps us constantly improve our ability to help families hit the mark on their dream design.

There are no hard and fast rules with building or remodeling a home. There are design guidelines, but we are of the school of thought where: “anything can go,” so long as it feels right and plays well with what our client is looking for. 

We are not limited by any one style or design approach. We always focus on the individual client in front of us to meet their design preferences, and collaborate from that point forward. 


Jaime Simpson-New HS– Jaime Simpson, Project Designer



Upcoming Lunch & Learn Event at Norfolk Idea Center

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Come experience the leader of exterior wood products, Thermory, in this next event of our “Lunch and Learn” series at the Norfolk Idea Center! Enjoy lunch on us and take part in this interactive conversation about decking and outdoor wood products for the home, all within the inspiring walls of the Norfolk Idea Center showroom!
We are pleased to host these informational sessions that bring together experts of their field – from the product side, to designers, builders and architects – along with homeowners to meet in the four walls of the Norfolk Idea Center showroom. Our space sparks creativity and encourages discussion of how different styles and elements can translate into that perfect design! If you’re a builder, designer or architect, bring your clients to this event and learn about the outdoor wood products that will make their decks and patios their favorite part of their home!