31 July 2012
28 July 2012
27 July 2012
I'm an Olympics nut, so I'll be glued to my tv for the next 16 days, which got me thinking about options for designing with televisions in our homes. Flat screens now mean that we don't need to hide them in big entertainment units any more. Here are some brilliant options I've come across.
Where will you be watching? Are you as excited as I am?
Need some ideas for designing or redesigning your home? Contact me about online design for only $150.
26 July 2012
Water conservation is a focus of the modern bathroom since over the long term this approach is beneficial to both the environment and our wallets. With that in mind, here's a little info on water-wise upgrades that we can integrate into our next bathroom remodels.
|LDa Architecture & Interiors|
Hot Water Recirculating Pump
A recirculation system provides instant hot water and uses considerably less water than a traditional system does. The main drawback to such a system is that it requires the pipes to be insulated, which usually necessitates going through the walls. Remodeling is the perfect time to install such a system because you can offset that additional cost.
Tankless Water Heater
Traditional water heaters are inefficient. Tankless heaters heat water on-demand, which eliminates the need for the tank and greatly reduces energy usage. There are some special considerations when combining tankless and recirculating systems: a standard recirculating pump may not provide enough water for the standard tankless heater, so it is necessary to buy them with synergy in mind.
Replace the Toilet
Unless your current toilet is very new, it is outdated and using too much water. High-efficiency toilets can save the average family tens of thousands of gallons of water each year, which will easily offset the additional cost of the unit. A dual-flush feature, which you can purchase already installed or add via a kit, can significantly increase those water savings.
Low-flow showerheads and fixtures use high pressure and aeration to create an appropriate flow using less water. These are wise additions for right now, even if you’re not planning a remodel. And if you are renovating, replace the showerhead but rethink replacing your shower and bathtub. New fixtures along with resurfacing and tile replacement can produce a like-new modern bathroom at a much-reduced cost.
|Mark Brand Architecture|
I will definitely think about trying one or several of these options once I own again instead of renting. Even just a simple dual-flush toilet or a standard toilet fitted with a dual-flush kit is a smart investment. Factor that in with low-flow fixtures and tankless and recirculating water systems, and it becomes clear that we can do right by the environment and save enough money to offset the cost of the remodel in a very short period.
Will you be using water-smart technology soon?
23 July 2012
20 July 2012
One of the most asked questions I get from homeowners is how to organize their entryway. In fact, a previous post I wrote about mudrooms here is one of my most popular. Whether you are lucky enough to have a designated mudroom, or like many of us, you have to make do with just a small entryway, there are ways to make it work efficiently in order to save you time and frustration getting in and out the door every day. After all, home is supposed to make you feel happy and at peace, not frustrated and chaotic!
|LDa Architecture and Interiors|
|LDa Architecture and Interiors|
If you have a dedicated vestibule like the pictures above, make sure that you take advantage of the space by building either neat open storage with cubbies or baskets, or closed storage so you don't see the mess.
The spaces above show great ideas for creating a mudroom if you have an open floorplan home where the door opens right into your living space. Create a small wall or half wall where you can build closed storage and a bench. Then you won't be looking at coats and shoes all the time and it creates a nice looking zone.
Hooks are a must. There is nothing better for quick access to coats, hats and bags. And its welcoming for guests when they visit so they can take off their coat and hang it up themselves.
Take advantage of vertical space to add shelving for hats, umbrellas and sports equipment. If you don't have built-in cubbies, use boxes and baskets for pretty storage. And try to make room for a bench or chair- its very handy and you'll be thankful you did.
And always have a place for your keys, sunglasses and mail - things that need a landing spot and can be found again when you need them. A mirror and lighting are also helpful - after all, you want to reflect your new mudroom and look perfectly organized and at peace before heading out, right?
Hope this helps get your entryway in order.
19 July 2012
I'm crushing on LDa Architecture & Interiors right now - they have a dynamite portfolio of work on their Houzz page. These pictures have made my room of the week, not only because they are my favourite black and white, but also because they bring a modern touch to a slightly formal home. The attention to details like molding, cabinetry, flooring and doors make these spaces stand out. Don't you just love the black framed glass doors on the dining room?
17 July 2012
Ready for some more creative ideas for sprucing up your home through repurposing? Have at it!
|repurposed rake key rack from The Selby|
|recycled bottlecap tray from Sweet Something Designs|
|repurposed insulator pendants from Girl In Air|
|tapestry headboard via randomitis|
|vintage luggage medicine cabinet by Blake Sloane|
|bentwood chair turned side table via Martha Stewart|
|reclaimed wood and loaf pan crate by Homeroad|
16 July 2012
13 July 2012
I've loved pineapples as decoration ever since a trip to Italy where I spied them on gates throughout Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. Pineapples are known as the symbol of friendship, welcome and hospitality, and historically they announced the hospitality of mansion owners through carved wood or molded mortar on gateposts. Here are some sources for pineapples to use not only at your door and on your porch, but inside your home as well.
1. stone finial - Restoration Hardware/ 2. pineapple lamp - Sue Fisher King/ 3. vinyl welcome decal - Etsy/ 4. hurricane lantern - Frontgate/ 5. vintage pineapple vase - Etsy/ 6. white porcelain pineapple - Adorn Homewares/ 7. crystal pineapples - William Yeoward Crystal/ 8. indoor-outdoor rug - House Accents/ 9. silver finial and rod set - Restoration Hardware/ 10. pineapple plaque - Amazon
12 July 2012
Again, this is more of a design classic than a trend, but x-benches are everywhere once more, and they make a real statement when placed in pairs. This multifunctional piece of furniture dates back to Egyptian times (take a look at the great pictoral history I found below) but the modern takes on this beauty are endless.
|via La Dolce Vita|
|Atmosphere Interior Design|
|Nate Berkus via Decor Pad|
|Laidlaw Schultz Architects|
11 July 2012
10 July 2012
It's really important to go into a refresh with an idea of the look and feel you are hoping to achieve. It saves money on purchases you don't need and on paint and fabrics that aren't quite right. Yesterday, I showed you my bedroom refresh for summer; I wanted something light and airy, and the colours needed to work with my rental beige wall colour and existing taupe curtains. So with those colours in mind, I used a beautiful pink, cream and taupe marbleized vase as my inspiration.
I'm also a big web and Pinterest browser, so I looked for rooms with the same mood that I wanted to achieve. These images inspired me further.
And here is how my room turned out.
Hope this inspires you to find something as a "jumping off point" that you love.