SCC Interiors: The Befores and AftersApr 01, 2016 08:30AM ● By Jason Huddle
SCC Interiors: The Befores and Afters
When the home renovation extends beyond what the homeowner can comfortably handle, there are companies in Cabarrus County that make it their business to lessen the pain.
Whether help is brought in at the initial stages of a project or is used at various points throughout, it can save time, money and aggravation.
Angela Malz is owner of SCC Interiors in Concord. While music education and school teaching were the paths her career took early on, her creative side – especially sewing – kept tugging at her. She’d been designing and making clothes for herself from a young age and that soon morphed into making window treatments.
From embellishing the windows in her own home, Malz became a seamstress for friends before becoming an intern for a drapery business. There, she got the training she needed before the owner’s husband’s health issues saw her taking over their business.
“They offered to let me continue servicing their customers and designers, but we would have to be completely ready to take on customers’ work immediately,” Malz explains. “Somehow, in two weeks, we managed to get a business license, secure a business loan, get a storefront, buy commercial equipment, set up a new shop (in Mooresville) and begin working for the customers we had been given.”
Similar to how Malz learned about the window treatment business, she dove into educating herself about design: flooring, cabinetry, etc., components her customers were requesting. That took her to her next big venture: The Refuge.
“In 2013, I had the honor of working as the designer on the construction of their new facility located on Kannapolis Parkway,” Malz says. “My connection to the church projects gave me opportunities to connect with local builders and gain additional experience in residential construction.”
She took that knowledge and partnered with a local builder to design his new homes. It also allowed her to extend that to interior design. So SCC Interiors now has four divisions: new construction and remodels, interior design, treatments and blinds, and – as of a year ago – churches.
“Builders don’t want to sit down and pick out paint colors. They want to build,” she says. “So I’ve come up with systems to manage their clients. We’re with them from the paint colors, roofs, flooring, etc. We make sure they don’t go over budget.”
Prospective customers fill out a detailed questionnaire first. “People are unrealistic about how much
time a remodel takes so we do a time-value assessment,” Malz says with regard to DIY. “If they don’t have the money, they need to take the time to do it themselves, but do they need a permit, a contractor, do they work full-time, have kids…40 hours equals three to four weeks when it’s done part-time.
“A client will hire a contractor first; to us, that’s completely backwards. It’s not their fault, but we can come in first, help them with how much they can spend, how to allocate those funds, help them with the entire design process and give the specs to the contractor for their labor costs.”
Then SCC walks away and the homeowner implements the plan. “For others, they want us to be involved at various points along the way for advice, direction and problem-solving,” Malz explains. “We help on an as-needed basis as the client desires.
“When we manage a remodel project, we always ask if the client would like to do some of the work themselves, to save expenses. Usually, our more proficient clients will handle demolition on the front end, and then painting and handyman work on the back end. That allows our subcontractors to only do the work that requires permitting or special licenses. But we also have a client right down the street who’s retired and is a true DIYer.”
SCC networks with local contractors who are loyal to Malz because she provides them with steady work. That can hurt a homeowner. “There are people that want to general manage themselves. When they hire subcontractors, they don’t have the personal relationships we have with ours,” she shares. “Contractors save time for their designers, so you may have to wait.”
As for what types of projects SCC gets approached about, Malz says it predominantly kitchens and bathrooms. And while styles in Cabarrus County vary with each customer, it’s clear that the HGTV show, Fixer Upper, has gained a large fan base that is appreciative of the rustic-chic style with some shabby-chic thrown in for good measure.
Multibriefs.com explains rustic-chic as “an easy blend of seemingly incongruent items; mixing contemporary pieces with classic and rustic items to give rooms a new transitional twist; the stylish use of rustic elements in the interior space, like rough wood beams for ceilings; natural elements like rock, wood and stone for both exteriors and interiors; natural fabrics like cotton and jute for curtains and other upholsteries; lots of natural light in the room to help accentuate the natural feel; wood, leather, metal and, at times, ceramics to make rooms more earthy and warm; solid colors in rugs and accessories while blending in earth tones with neutrals; and repurposed materials in furniture and lighting with elements of nature abounding everywhere.”
“I’m seeing that Joanna Gaines’ design style is having a very big impact on current trends. I feel like we are in a period of time where people can really decorate with whatever style they prefer – that reflects their taste – and still be current,” Malz says. “Eclectic and modern elements are now mainstream and easily incorporated into a more traditional or transitional setting. I’m always a fan of mixing it up and not getting too boxed in by one particular style.”
And while Gaines is a lover of tans and creams, Malz says those design elements are changing in 2016. “It’s interesting, we are actually seeing a large resurgence of white and gray on everything from fabrics to wall color and trim. Benjamin Moore listed its 2016 color of the year as Simply White, confirming that less is more in 2016. Creams and tans have taken a back seat to the clean, crisp white walls with white and light gray furniture and accents. Simplicity is what everyone is longing for in their daily lives and I think that it is being reflected in home design as well,” she says.
Pops of well-placed bold accent colors are being utilized against this monochromatic design, on an accent wall or in a piece of furniture. And just when you thought gold was gone from cabinet hardware, plumbing fixtures and accent pieces, it’s coming back in a brushed finish.
Other cutting-edge design elements include, believe it or not, wallpaper. “We are using wallpaper
again, but in a different way. Temporary wallpaper – Tempaper – is a big hit right now,” Malz shares. “Even Target sells a version. It allows a homeowner to change their mind as often as they like. It’s also great for renters who used to be very limited on what they could do to their walls. It’s repositionable, about the same price as wallpaper, and you take it off the wall with no wall repair, no residue. We can actually large-format print onto it if a designer comes up with their own pattern.”
And bigger appears to be better in 2016. “Large-format printing in any medium is a big trend,” Malz says. “We are seeing larger patterns in fabrics, floors and wall tiles, wallpaper and furniture. Bigger is better when it comes to simple patterns.
“We are seeing a lot of geometric designs as well as fragmented designs. Chevron, herringbone and other geometric installations are very popular. Installing tile in these patterns is also a great way to get a high-end look with low-cost materials. Heavy textures and three-dimensional patterns are also becoming very popular.”
Houzz.com offers some favorite new design trends from other professionals that might get your wheels turning. Niche appliances like steam ovens, warming drawers and induction cooktops are being paired with black or colored stainless steel appliances in kitchens. Two-tone cabinets, typically with the upper cabinets white or neutral and the lowers a darker color or wood tone, are becoming popular. The cabinets themselves are being built with deep drawers, dividers and inserts. Some remodelers opt for open shelves and minimalism as well as interesting countertop/backsplash combinations, like a brick backsplash with a concrete countertop.
In the bathroom, while bidets aren’t typical, bidet/toilet units are taking off. Medicine cabinets, however, are being replaced by statement mirrors. Whatever material you prefer – wood, metal or a vintage piece – think big.
Living rooms are being designed as quiet oases, with no televisions, stereos or docking stations. Instead, some homeowners are opting for reading nooks, French doors and calming lighting.
Additionally, with the changing age of the U.S. population, more baby-boomers are taking in their parents. Instead of the mother-in-law cottage, homeowners are renovating space in their homes to be NextGen areas. This could be a bedroom with a bath or an entire basement. Homes have to be updated to accommodate grab bars, wider doorways for wheelchairs, etc.
Malz prides herself on SCC’s ability to translate a client’s personal taste and preferences into a design that combines the very best of what is offered today in a way that best represents them, all within their budget.
“Many of our clients are wanting their designs to give them convenience, simplicity and practical solutions for their everyday lives. They want designs that fit their lifestyle now but will have longevity as they age. We find that most of our clients are planning long-term,” she says.That’s the key. Regardless of your style, and no matter how long you plan on being in your home, renovating earlier rather than later – and for your own enjoyment – is just as important as in preparation to sell. It doesn’t have to be big and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You just have to love it.
Article By: Kim Cassell
Before and After Bathroom Shots Courtesy: GCL Development Contractors (GCL Development, SCC Interiors, and homeowner’s Josh & Erica Phillips worked together to bring this project together)Remaining Photos Courtesy: SCC Interiors