by Madeline Pillow on April 21, 2015

Moss Building & Design is partnering with Dominion Electric for a Girls Night Out event on Thursday, April 23rd from 5:30 PM-7:30 PM. RSVP here.

Come meet us at the Dominion Lighting Show Room located in Chantilly where we’ll present our HandyMOM 101 workshop, “Caulk It.” We’ll also be giving away some great prizes with Dominion to celebrate their 75th anniversary!

Prior to the event, Dominion shares the latest design trends from the Dallas Lighting Market.


By- Patty Jordan (

From ornate to minimalist, rustic to modern, this year’s collections offer something for everyone.

Each year, the Dallas Lighting Market showcases the latest design trends and lighting fashions, attracting professionals from around the world. Once again the team at Dominion Electric Supply donned their most sensible shoes (it’s a big show to walk!) in search of the coolest trends in residential lighting. Below are our top six trends from this year’s collections.

Feeling Wired

northern va lighting

Wire is big this year, whether it’s in outright “birdcage” designs, or spherical pendants, such as the Haley by Currey (seen above), featuring a “symbiotic” steel circle design. We’re also into Crystorama’s take on the trend – Filmore is a 5 light crystal chandelier encased in a wire cage. Industrial-style design is still hot, too, with everything from steampunky chandeliers by Jeremiah, to street art-themed wall fixtures and overhead designs by Troy that give a playful thumbs up to tattoo culture.

Brass but not Brassy

northern va lighting

Brass, brass, brass–it’s everywhere! And unlike the days of yore, it’s warmer and mellower. We especially loved Crystorama’s Lawson (seen above), a six-light chandelier in aged brass and Hinkley’s Euclid Orb; both blend traditional warmth and contemporary flair, bold proportions and rich two tone finish.

Lovely Lanterns

northern va lighting

Classic lantern shapes have taken on a new personality. Our favorites included the minimalist designs by Robert Abbey (an example seen above): lanterns, featuring simple exterior metal frames encased in clear glass, the interior metal casing painted either a vibrant red or bright white, producing an eye-catching contrast from the outside. Craftmade’s Jeremiah, a metal lantern with a bird theme, is another piece that had us on Cloud Nine.

Organic Elegance

northern va lighting

Birds and flowers play a starring role in this year’s designs with fixtures by Troy, Savoy, Currey, and Golden Lighting. Organic, but elegant, we were delighted with the whimsical touches we saw—little birds perched on iron arms, or tiny white porcelain flowers dotting a metal twig. See above, Golden Lighting’s “Aiyana” which encasing a forever blooming array of the ionic cherry blossoms.

Part sculpture, part fixture and totally contemporary, Hinkley and Corbett featured an array of suns and starbursts. We were drawn to Hinkley’s Impulse (seen below), a dynamic LED chandelier design with petite stems radiating from the spherical body while miniature acrylic ornaments of light glow at its tips.

Northern Va lighting

We Love LED!

For us, LED was the show-stopper this year. Along with better color output, dimming capabilities have vastly improved, and no longer is LED limited to recessed lights. It’s everywhere, from bathroom fixtures to crystal chandeliers for the dining room–an emphatic acknowledgement of the homeowner’s desire for quality design that truly addresses energy efficiency. One of the standout examples of this happy marriage was the number of nostalgic Edison LED lamps we saw, which not only look great but also project warm, soft color. Another shining example of what designers are doing with LED is ET2’s playful suspended array of LED batons (seen below), reminiscent of a game of pick-up sticks.

northern va lighting

Clean and Contemporary

We especially liked the trend toward single lamps hanging from colored cables – Tech Lighting has one on a blue cord. Robert Abbey’s colored drums hide the bulb source in a mirrored disk, producing a two-tiered color output: one shade of purple on the outside, and a different shade of purple on the inside; or a cool teal blue on the interior, complemented by a warm brown on the exterior. We also saw a lot of spheres in Lucite and chrome. For the minimalists out there, Alico, LBL, and Tech Lighting offer an understated line-up of hanging fixtures, along with Maxim/ET2 and its inverted teardrop design. Admiring these collections, we agree with Leonardo da Vinci apt saying, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

To learn more about Dominion Electric or their lighting showroom, visit


Photo Credit:

Haley by Currey

Crystorama’s Lawson

Robert Abbey

Golden Lighting’s Aiyana

Hinley’s Impulse courtesy of Dominion Electric



by Madeline Pillow on April 14, 2015

Hiding the Unattractive Home Necessities

Moss Building & DesignBy- Madeline Pillow (

Spring is the silent call that awakens in us the thought: “I want to spend time outdoors.” With winter weather (hopefully) behind us, we are once again aware of all the activities we could be partaking in outside: picnicking, gardening, or watching the kids play on the swing set.

Along this awareness also comes the realization that the yard looks a little rough. But winter weather isn’t like a calming facial scrub for our yards; it’s more like chemical peel gone wrong so the after effects shouldn’t be that surprising.

But fixing this isn’t that hard to tackle: start by pruning back some unruly trees or plan and prepare areas for your new flower beds. And don’t forget to clean out that bird bath and put in some fresh sparkling water for your feathery friends.

What might be your biggest item to tackle are the things that don’t necessarily go with the backyard. Things that you become blind to and only really notice during the winter months with little vegetation; items like the AC unit or the trash and recycling bins.

An item like the AC unit can be overlooked in how it fits in with your backyard because they are necessary in their utility for your home and need to be easily accessible. But let’s face it, they aren’t really helping with the appeal in your spring yard.

If you are looking to hide an AC unit or trash receptacle, think how you can incorporate these units into their surroundings whether through blending in or building a separate structure.

home addition

This AC unit in Annandale, VA, seen above, was better incorporated into the deck through blending. The unit can still be accessed easily, but it is not a featured aspect of the deck and is set behind some storage that is uniform with the deck material.

Another idea is the building of a structure around your trash or your AC unit (below pictures from Houzz) .

home improvement

The AC unit can still be easily reached and it fits in better with its surroundings.

As well with this home improvement project below, a space was created for the trash and recycling along with a small storage unit (picture from Houzz). With this idea, the structure serves a dual purpose and also adds to the aesthetic of the landscape.

home improvement tips

Yard Home Improvements

By addressing these constants in your backyard, you can make your landscape more uniform and attractive, while still making sure these items are easily accessed. With this aspect of your winter yard under control, you’ll really be able to enjoy those spring flowers with a clear view.

Remodeling Ideas with the Best Northern VA Remodeler

Northern VA Contractor

At MOSS, no project is too big or small. Our team will expertly answer any questions you may have concerning a plumbing issue to handling the logistics of an addition layout.

Get started with your plans by contacting us to set up a phone consultation with MOSS’ Inside Guide or have one of our experts come to your home for a free in-home estimate at 703-961-7707.


Photo Credit: Houzz (


Kitchen Design: Countertop, Tile and Lighting Selections

April 13, 2015

Check out previous kitchen blog installments here By – Jeannine Miller ( I’m so excited to be making the last of my selections. These selections may be last, but they certainly aren’t least – especially the countertop and tile. For years I’ve been looking at different countertops, but had yet to settle on “the one.” Phil and I both love marble, but it’s just not practical for our family. For a while, I was really interested in this newer product called thin porcelain tile (TPT), which looks like marble, but Phil couldn’t get behind it. He insisted he wanted a thick slab of something from a quarry. (How very caveman of him.) Luckily, MOSS owner, Jason Hampel introduced us to quartzite and it was a done deal – it’s perfect for us! Quartzite has the durability of granite, veining resembling marble and our slabs of White Princess were mined in Brazil. …   
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Home Tips: Important New Water Heater Requirements

April 8, 2015

    By – Jenn Zschunke ( On April 16, 2015, the Department of Energy (DOE) will make effective its new energy efficiency mandates as outlined as part of the National Appliance and Energy Conservation Act (NAECA). The new mandates will affect all water heaters manufactured for sale in the U.S. There are some important details that will be helpful to all MOSS customers who could potentially be in the market to repair or replace their water heaters. By introducing new guidelines for the design of water heaters, the DOE calculates that the updated mandate will avoid about 172.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 33.8 million automobiles, over the course of the next 30 years. In order for water heaters to comply with the new mandates, their insulation has to be increased, and, thus, their design has to be altered by their …   
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Kitchen Remodeling: Now for the Kitchen Sink

April 6, 2015

  Check out previous kitchen blog installments here   By – Jeannine Miller ( When the time came to select the kitchen faucet, sink, knobs and pulls, Phil didn’t really care to participate. Lucky me, because I think these things are huge! MOSS kitchen designer, Erin Hoopes, and I set out for Ferguson and knocked these selections out in one morning. Brittany Finch, one of Ferguson’s talented showroom consultants, and Erin had already discussed my style and, much to my relief, had things narrowed down for me. We started with the sink. I went with an undermounted Kohler cast iron sink in Sea Salt. I like how this smart divide kitchen sink has a low-profile divider to better accommodate large pots and baking sheets. I also like having a smaller side to use for a prep sink. We decided to add a filter system to the cold water so I …   
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Remodeling with Developmental Disability Awareness

March 30, 2015

Northern VA Modified Accessibility Designs President Ronald Reagan declared March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in 1987. This was an attempt to ensure that Americans with developmental disabilities had the encouragement and opportunities necessary to reach their full potential. This step has led to a larger awareness of those in the community with these disabilities in an effort to fight against a number of discriminations. At MOSS, community is integral to what we do whether it’s helping our local kids’ sports leagues or our  Community Relations’ sponsorships. Among our clients, we have entered into a specialized community for whom we enter their homes, a personal and integral space, in order to better help it function for their family.  Often, we have needed to address how a home can better serve someone with disabilities so that a person isn’t working for their home but rather their home is better working for them. …   
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Summer Is (Almost!) Here…Time To Check Your A/C!

March 30, 2015

  By – Jenn Zschunke (   I know it’s hard to believe but summer heat will be here soon. With winter seemingly over, we might go straight from freezing temperatures to 90 degrees plus heat! With that in mind, it is a good time to have Moss Home Services come to your home and check the air conditioning unit. Believe it or not, after a harsh winter, your air conditioning unit can need several checks to make sure it hasn’t been affected by the winter elements. There are several steps involved with making sure your air conditioning unit is up to par. Some are possible for homeowners to do themselves, while others are best left to professionals. These are done both outdoors and indoors: Outdoors: Check the unit’s panels and make sure none are missing due to wind. A missing panel needs to be replaced. Remove any covers on coils or lids: some …   
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Entering a Construction Zone: Arlington HandyGirl 101 Program 

March 27, 2015

By- Pam Kopiak (   Spring has sprung.  I wouldn’t have known that last Friday with a snow storm on the first day of spring.  But the snow quickly melted and the time has arrived for spring cleanings, spring maintenance, and, if you are part of the McKinley Elementary community in Arlington, the time for school renovations as well. If you live in Arlington, VA, you might be aware of the ongoing efforts to reorganize the school districts and boundaries to accommodate our ever-growing student population. McKinley Elementary is one of the schools in Arlington that is getting a makeover this year to help alleviate some of the overcrowding. Trailers are in place for student use while sections of the building will be worked on. Right now, the removal of trees has begun – don’t worry, there is a plan in place to save as many trees as possible and …   
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Recycling Materials During a Home Renovation

March 20, 2015

By- Madeline Pillow ( Northern VA Contractor Talks Going Green There’s many ways that you can make your carbon footprint a little smaller and a lot greener. And while it may be hard for Kermit to be green, in all actuality, it’s all about taking time to view the number of options out there versus just accepting the first or most available choice. Being green includes recycling appropriately and being more aware of personal waste. In a remodel, it can be thinking about ways to reuse materials or how they can be reused by someone else in the community. Green Remodeling One way to be greener is by being aware of the materials being used in your remodel. Some greener options may also require more green in terms of your budget so see if these options would fit in with your home and budget in the design phase. Not only will budget …   
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MOSS App and $499 Handyman For a Day : A Win–Win!

March 16, 2015

    By – Jenn Zschunke (   Do you have a smart phone? Do you have any of the following home repairs needed in your home? drywall repairs a leaky faucet electric light fixtures to be changed deck cleaning siding replacements or a multitude of home-related repairs that need to be done? I’d venture to guess that the answer to question # 1 is “yes” and that the answer to question # 2 is also “yes.” Luckily, MOSS is able to help you fix those home repairs and provide you with valuable information at the same time. MOSS is currently offering a special deal to anyone who downloads our app.  After downloading the app, you have the ability to purchase a full 8 hours of handyman services for the discounted rate of $499. You can download the app here.  This is a special deal that covers a multitude of home repairs and home …   
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