Denny + Gardner Blog

LED Tape for Lighting Alternatives

One of the more challenging parts of a renovation is finding creative ways to update lighting. At times, simply replacing out-dated fixtures with a more modern look is often a solution to the lighting problem. However, there are instances when, for any number of reasons, this particular solution is not the most desirable.

One of our favorite products to incorporate into our renovations when presented with a lighting challenge is LED tape. LED tape is a flexible ribbon of tiny LED lights that can be cut to any length. LED tape offers an enormous amount of options for unique lighting in the home. The flexibility of the product allows for a great deal of creativity where lighting would normally be problematic. Aside from the ambiance and warm glow provided, LED tape offers a highly functional lighting alternative. Because it remains cool to the touch, LED tape is ideal for installation in a home with children to avoid any accidental burns from touching hot lights.

LED Tape in Kitchen
LED tape was used in this kitchen renovation in Great Falls, Virginia.

The soft glow from the LED tape provides ideal nighttime light in any room of the house, but particularly for installation in a kitchen or bathroom. They provide a much broader range of installation options for counters when compared to other lighting options (spotlights or bar lights). Another benefit, LED tape lasts longer than traditional lights making it well worth the investment.

In this particular renovation, we installed LED tape on the underside of kitchen cabinets. Note how the light from the tape provides enough light for those late night trips to the fridge while not casting too much light.

Reston Master Bathroom Gets A Facelift

Previous Poorly Installed ShowerIn this bathroom facelift, the homeowners’ shower stall was poorly constructed by a previous contractor, leading to leaks through the floor into the kitchen ceiling below. The old bathtub was too short for the tall homeowners, so we took out the tub structure to make way for a longer, more elegant stand alone tub. Fortunately the homeowner had extra floor tile from the previous renovation, so we patched the floor and purchased new shower tile to blend with the existing tile.

We tore out the old shower and installed proper water proof membranes behind the Durock walls. Then we re-tiled with a very organic set of flat pebbles for the shower floor, porcelain wood plank tiles for the shower walls, and a touch of marble mosaics to the shower and new bathtub niches (“Claros Silver Tumbled Cobble” from the Tile Shop, “Rain” porcelain plank tiles from the Mosaic Tile Company, and “Arabescato Seaweed Wave” from the Mosaic Tile Company).

Renovated Bath

The new taller, frameless shower glass enclosure allows for these tall homeowners to easily access their new towel warmer (“Infinity” by WarmlyYours).

The new stand alone tub (“Emily” 69″ acrylic tub from the “Wyndham Collection”) is longer, yet still allows enough leg space for the toilet, and helps make the room feel larger. New modern polished chrome fixtures tie the new pieces together with the existing vanity.

Finally, a soothing coat of aqua (“Catalina Blue” from Benjamin Moore) was applied to the walls to give this Master Bath retreat a truly spa-like feel!”

South Reston Kitchen & Family Room Expansion

A home’s kitchen is the cornerstone of the house — the gathering area for family and friends. So, why not make it an oasis? A beautiful, functional area with ample counter space for cooking, lots of storage, and plenty of seating.

One reason, kitchen spaces, are often too small.

For this homeowner in Reston, Virginia, we transformed an existing two car garage into an open kitchen and expanded the family room. The added area from the garage allowed us to enlarged the family room by opening up the walls and adding a second bay window. The addition of new tile and hardwood flooring throughout added a warmth and brightness to the space, truly making this renovation an oasis for the homeowner.

View of House Exterior After Renovation
View of House Exterior After Renovation
Expanded Family Room with Additional Bay Window
Expanded Family Room with Additional Bay Window
Renovated Kitchen
Renovated Kitchen
Looking Into the Kitchen From Dining Area
Looking Into the Kitchen from Dining Area


Herndon Renovation – Demolition and Cabinet Installation!

For the past few weeks we have been demolishing a kitchen and two bathrooms in Herndon, VA. After the demo is complete, we brought in our electrician and plumber to “rough-in” the new electrical and plumbing.

For the kitchen, we installed new under cabinet lights, hidden under cabinet outlets, and new pendants for the bigger island.

kitchen demo empty rough-in
An empty Kitchen!

After demolition and rough-in is complete, we can install the new cabinets and then the countertops!

white kitchen cabinets raised panel traditional
The new cabinets are in!


Herndon Renovation – Leaks-be-gone!

Last week we started a kitchen and two-bath renovation in Herndon, Virginia. Although the homeowner was only initially planning on doing the master bath, leaks from the hall bath toilet and the kitchen dishwasher put these two rooms on the renovation block as well.

During the first week of renovation, the team  removed the existing kitchen cabinetry (to donate to Habitat for Humanity’s Restore) and gutted the two bathrooms, including demo’ing the tile floors and walls. Next up, rough-ing in the electrical and plumbing…

Stay tuned as I take you through the process of this renovation, and always feel free to ask any questions or post any comments!
herndon renovation - before pictureherndon renovation - before picture

Ashburn Marble Master Bath: Tile Shopping

     Last week I met with a client whose master bath we will transform into a carrara marble sanctuary in a month’s time. We have already decided on a custom white vanity, and on Friday we met at the tile/stone store.

     Using carrara marble as our guiding theme, we selected a carrara marble countertop which will also cascade down the side of the vanity. Keep in mind, marble is less durable than granite and porcelain, but for a careful adult, it is a beautiful and sophisticated choice for a master bathroom.
     The homeowner also decided on a 12×24 carrara marble tile that we will use for the shower walls and the wainscoting around the clawfoot slipper tub. This will be a nice feature that protects the surrounding walls from any water that splashes around the tub.
     For the floor, we went with a medium gray porcelain driftwood-like plank tile. This darker floor will serve two purposes: to offer a nice contrast to the lightness of the carrara marble and white vanity, and to help hide dust and other things! We will keep the pattern simple and linear, staggering the grout lines to keep the floor somewhat traditional, but act as a neutral base and allow the eyes to focus on the more glamorous wall tiles.
     For the shower floor, it is recommended to use a tile or mosaic that is less than 3″ inches in diameter when having a shower floor that slopes toward a centered drain. Smaller tiles and mosaics will mold easier to the slope of the shower floor, which is crucial for forcing the water to drain. Smaller tiles also mean more grout lines, which creates more traction, which will prevent slipping (if this is a concern for the client). Since we are likely going to use an off-centered drain, we found a beautiful marble basket-weave mosaic.
     For a bit of color, glamour, and shine, we found tiny square mosaics that will tie all the colors of the bathroom together. We will use this mosaic as the accent tile for the shower niche, and to add an accent strip around the shower enclosure, to top the wainscoting, and then stretch across the vanity to act as a backsplash.
     Last, we found bullnose pieces of matching tile to give the wall tiles a polished edge, and to give the floors a suitable baseboard.
     As you can imagine, just choosing the tile can seem daunting, but taking a little time to plan and compare tiles at the shop will be worthwhile when you finally get the beautiful bathroom of your dreams!
     Please stay tuned as we make progress on this Ashburn Marble Master Bath…
This is a sample of the mosaic tile we will use for the carrara master bath retreat.

Hello Denny + Gardner friends!

Hello friends of Denny + Gardner! This is Caroline Moore, Project Coordinator and multi-tasker at D+G. From now on I will be posting short entries about anything that strikes my fancy at this residential renovation company located in Sterling, VA. If you ever have any questions or comments (about products, techniques, or our company in general), please feel free to contact me!



Caroline Moore, Project Coordinator at Denny + Gardner
Caroline Moore, Project Coordinator at Denny + Gardner



Reston Triple Crown Rectified Porcelain Tiles

Denny + Gardner is responsible for some of Reston’s most beautiful home additions. This lovely home on Triple Crown Rd is no exception…we have expanded the foot print, added skylights, customized bathrooms and opened up the space to create a modern feel. The over all design and choices of finishes is the vision of the owners and Jon Hensley of Hensley Architects.

Here you can see Marcin, our extremely talented tile setter, laying down a sleek slate-colored porcelain tile throughout the main entrance floors. Because the tiles are a neutral color, they can blend easily with a multitude of design styles, from rustic and masculine, to sleek and modern. White base moulding will make the finished look pop, and paint on the walls will tie the theme together.

The entire process involves removing the previous floor to the subfloor (in this case concrete), leveling the floors to ensure a consistent and smooth transition between floor types (wood flooring will also be installed), and laying the new tiles evenly and securely so they last a lifetime! Here Marcin has used Ruby brand tile levelers to ensure accuracy and consistency of the grout lines. These rectified tiles are cut precisely along the square edges to be the exact same size, which allow the tiles to be placed very close together with smaller grout lines (1/16”), and a sleek modern look! It’s a more arduous process, and not many tilers are able to achieve the look the way Marcin has, but Denny + Gardner understand that the beauty and quality of the work make the final appearance worth the time and effort!

Once the tiles are laid in thin-set, they will require an overnight drying period before they can be grouted. The grout will also take another 24 hours to set, and the beautiful tile floors will be ready to walk on!

Once the tiles and wood floors are laid, the kitchen and bath cabinets can go in, along with the appliances and other fixtures. Please stay tuned as we complete this project and blog about other aspects of the job!

We welcome any comments/questions, and if you’ve used similar products, please let us know how they look and feel in your house! 

Marcin Laying Rectified Porcelain Tile




Leesburg kitchen Remodel complete

Denny and Gardner just put the final touches on this beautiful and fun Leesburg Virginia Kitchen. The old kitchen was outdated and the tile countertops were rotting in place, something had to be done. In addition to those problems the original kitchen lacked storage and was not an inviting space for the family to gather. Our time frame for completion was tight but as usual Denny and Gardner was up for the challenge. Just a few days after we had reached completion our customers had a big family get-together. Cooking and socializing was finally possible in the new space. A once old and decrepit kitchen is now alive with color and function, making the entire downstairs area the perfect place to entertain. The materials used were: Integrity Cabinets, steel grey granite, black and white porcelain tile, and GE Monogram appliances. Thanks for looking and we welcome any of your comments/questions!


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Reston Virginia Bath Remodel

Denny and Gardner has embarked on another bathroom remodel project in Reston Virginia. Three out dated bath spaces are being fully gutted and rearranged. These spaces started out as builder-grade bathrooms and will eventually become fully custom Denny and Gardner Masterpieces. Designed and built by our in-house team. Keep following this amazing transformation over the next couple of weeks.IMG 0456IMG 0457IMG 0458IMG 0461IMG 0459IMG 0460