Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Spa Like Bath with A Six Foot Tub!

This bathroom was all about utilizing the existing square footage. This was a large bathroom to begin with but poorly laid out for two people to function easily in. A couple things my client had on their must have list included a 6 foot tub, a curb-less shower and plenty of storage for everything they needed to access everyday in the bathroom.





We relocated the shower and tub to allow for a larger that normal tub and giving plenty of light from the cave of a shower they had before. In the shower there was no where to store anything so we installed 2 niches in the pony walls so they visually were hidden and give each person their own space for shower items. Keeping this a clean and minimal space. All the bells and whistles in this spa like shower, body sprays, an hand held and a rain shower head! Something for everyone.






In the tub area we made the perfect relaxing alcove. Free standing 6 foot tub long enough for even the tallest person to lay in and it also features a handheld sprayer. We did a feature wall in a marble and glass diamond mosaic tile which gave a great contract to the larger white tub.





On the vanities we did deep drawers with cut outs for the plumbing to maximize the storage space. We incorporated a pull out laundry bin as well. Her vanity has a lowered countertop for putting on make up with some additional storage above and small shelves and drawers for everyday items.


The color palette we wanted something light, natural looking and easy to clean. The floor we did a 24' square porcelain tile that looks almost seamless with a color match grout. Shower wall tiles are a matte white finish that will hide water spots and be super easy to clean. topping the vanities, shower niches, window sill and pony walls we did a leather finished quartzite. It's natural stone and has a semi matte finish so it gives even more of a natural look instead of a smooth gloss finish.


We framed the large mirrors with a wood build-out going all the way to the ceiling with a crown to top it off. This was a great feature to give the appearance that all the custom cabinetry a more furniture look.




Overall this bathroom feels 10 times bigger than before and has made it a stunning place to spend some time!

 

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Monday, May 11, 2020

Designing Smart and Healthy Spaces: COVID19

All of us have been affected by COVID19 and before this pandemic time design requirements looked a little bit different.  Hospitals and medical settings were on the forefront of sanitizing and preventing spread of germs in interior design. That importance is spreading into everyday design for residential, office and restaurant/hospitality design. A majority of my design work is residential but occasionally a small office or hair salon make it into my design work.




Keeping surfaces clean is making its way to being top priority for everything aspect of life. This can start with interior designers doing their part when sourcing materials for projects. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) has been doing it's part in recognizing designs that take it's impact on the world seriously and making better design choices for the greater good. I am happy to see that I see more LEED residential projects each year and this is what we need as a society. Better materials, smarter design and overall less negative impact on us.



To touch on a few key points, clean-ability, durability and sourcing local have always been important in my design selections for clients. Now these will still remain important but now we add another up and coming important element in material selections, killing bacteria! There are materials out there that have anti-microbial elements to help kill and keep surfaces cleaner and less likely to spread diseases. Some materials commonly in hour home that could have a healthier option to a traditional material. Countertops, tile and paint are all good places to start when designing a kitchen or bathroom in your home.  Silestone is one of those manufacturers who design their material to help keep bacteria away and not penetrate into the surface.


Another company that takes killing germs seriously is Sherwin Williams, they have formulated a paint called paint shield that is seen mostly in hospitals for it's ability to kill surface bacteria quickly. I think we will see that product in homes more often since COVID19.




Tile is also one of those materials that can be formatted to be easier to clean and resist bacteria to grow on it's surface. Natural stone tiles isn't always the best choice as something like a porcelain might be better suited for a certain application. Interceramic is another manufacturer who is taking "green" design seriously in not only commercial spaces but applying that into residential spaces. Having safer, smarter and cleaning materials will improve our quality of life and reduce our chances of spreading germs.

Sometimes these materials might be more costly than it's less health conscious option nut in the long run your health is important and these materials with these technologies can last you longer therefore remodeling as often might not be needed. When thinking of your next design project, remember there are healthier material optinos and you should ask your designer for these if this is an important thing for you.



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Thursday, May 7, 2020

Working from Home: The New Home Office Design

There is no telling how these last few months during this pandemic will change how we work and more importantly where we work from. With the lovely invention of the internet we professionals have more flexibility to work from different places. Could be from your sofa one day, your patio on a nice day or maybe you are super focused and working from your dedicated home office. I have mostly worked from home for the past decade creating beautiful designs for my clients and enhancing their everyday life with personalized spaces that reflect who they are. In any space you spend a lot of time in it's important to have it feel good and function well for you.



Some of us will return or our company office, others might have some flexible office hours and some of us may be entirely working remotely. Which means you now have a new space to design for working there everyday! Things to consider in a home office, work surface, comfortable seating, storage (if needed), and of course how it makes you feel when you are in there. Does it make you happy and/or productive?

A tiny office still gets a couch - it can work!

Clutter free space is a good place to start. Think about what items you need to work at full capacity. Do you need just a laptop or do you need a printer and storage space for documents? Some people need a multi screen set up to view different documents they are references or can be multi tasking. Others like one screen to help them focus with little distraction. When making a list of what you "need" in your office to make it work for you, make sure you don't overlook smaller items that might need an accessible home, like pens or a note pad to quickly write down something from the phone call you were on.

Crafted from solid mango wood and lofted on airy steel legs, our Rustic Storage Modular Desk comes with two attached box files—store letter and legal files in the deep drawers or stash away books, magazines and other desk accessories.


A comfortable chair is key as well. You will most likely be sitting for hours so it being a good fit for your body and how you sit are important. Remember getting up every hour or so and walk around is healthy for you. Walk away for a few minutes then come back with a fresh mind can make a world of difference. I have an upholstered wide chair with arms that I can sit on a foot sometimes but I can also sit like a professional getting down to business.

window/skylight and desk shapes


Depending on what kind of work you do you may need some space for short and long term storage. Maybe you are mostly paperless and this might not apply as much to you but maybe you work in construction and have a stack of construction documents. Look at what you need other than a stack of papers on your desk, because no one likes that!


Justine Hugh Jones Design Study Est Magazine

If you become overwhelmed with what seems like a daunting project, we are here to help. Helping you space plan your space, get all the function you need to be productive and feel happy in a space that reflects you are your style!



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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Small Space? Big Style!

Bigger isn't always better. Typically it is having your space be utilized more. Some ideas I like to use with potential new clients are how they live and flow through their home. Where do you enter into your home? What do you leave at the entrance? Do your items have homes as well? Do you always drop something at the same place everyday? Maybe making that item feel it belongs there is important. 

These are just a few questions I like to ask when deciding how to start a design for a particular client. Maybe you don't know yet, but I'm here to help guide you through the design process as well as making your home feel less cluttered or that there is just "stuff" everywhere. Think vertical storage. Your walls are your friends and they will help you not collect things on every horizontal surface. 

If you use something daily or almost daily and want to out either on displace or need to access it, then it should have a proper home. Also, if there are items you take with you every time you leave the house those items too should have a home. I'm going to show you some of my little helpers in my home. 


I love blankets! I have like 5 in the living room alone but where should they go? Do they just sprawl all over the sofa or chairs? On the floor? Well I use one of them almost daily so it has a home. Somewhere I can easily get to it but also put it back as easily. As if we were kids learning to put our toys back when we are done playing with them. So these comfy blankets in my home have a basket that sits behind a chair so it appears clutter free on the sofa and chairs but I can grab a blanket anytime I need one or two. Sometimes it doesn't get folded and just in a ball on the other blankets but you cant see that behind the chair. 

One of my more important places in the home is where I enter from, the garage. I have hooks and a key holder, my purse, jacket or keys have no reason to come in the house any further than that so they have a home. I always know where those items are, not in a chair or on the kitchen counter, but in their home on the wall and out of the way of everything else. 


Aesthetics are important in design just like function is important too. Do you like coffee? You probably have a coffee maker that sits on your counter in the kitchen, but what about all the things that go with your coffee maker? Does the bag of coffee just sit on the counter next to it? looks like a piece of garbage waiting to be put in the trash? Well make it accessible and attractive. Get a couple decorative canisters for your coffee and sugar and whatever else you like to have in your coffee. Make it feel purposeful and if it is going to live there make it feel as if its part of the kitchen.



These are just a few ideas to make your home feel like things have a purpose and easily accessible. Do you have any good ideas for storage? Comment below!




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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Kitchen Design Tips to Consider

So you have been dreaming about your less than inspiring kitchen you cook in daily. The time has finally come to make that dream kitchen come to life and join you and your home together again! 

A kitchen is much more than a pretty space to look at. It is first and foremost about function. That's right, it can look gorgeous and by all means make you feel happy when you are in there but there are design elements that go deeper than just the pattern of your backsplash tile. 
 


Layout - the floorplan, the footprint and how you walk and stand in the space is important. Do you have a weird existing layout you have been "just living with" for years?  Or that galley kitchen that could have a second entrance into the kitchen or pull the peninsula away from the wall to make room for a fully functioning island you have always wanted?



Maybe these are issues in your kitchen we need to address or at least think about in your new design. 



Perhaps there are too many entrances into your kitchen from more than 3 rooms, maybe the previous homeowner wanted to knock down as many walls as possible forgetting that sometimes you do need walls for elements like a tall pantry cabinet with fully extending interior drawers to see can you have available not just the ones in the front of the shelf.


Open Shelves, Glass Doors or Closed Cabinets - Lately we have all see the lovely photos of kitchen with open shelving. While this is a great idea to give the space a lighter more open space while still giving you storage, it also opens some people open to collect clutter. I have always said if there is a surface some one will put as much as they can on that surface because it us there to be used. This all depends on the individual, some people prone to do this others are not so the amount of open shelves should be considered based on what works for your storage needs.

 
All the Cabinets - More isn't always better. More efficient is. That 16 foot span of wall cabinets may not be needed if we utilized the base cabinets to be more efficient with deep drawers or pull outs for specialty appliances. Having a home for everything you need to access in the kitchen is the most important thing. if you have 3 crock-pots and want to keep them all, we need to find a home for all those in the new design.



Materials - Easy to clean. That is my first priority in a kitchen. Everyone who cooks can be messy at some point. Oh you really like that white carrara marble but use turmeric (stains a lot of materials even if sealed) a lot in your cooking? That is probably not the best material for you then. Using a material like quartz or something that achieves the look you want but also giving you the functional counter so you don't worry about the bottle of red wine you left on the counter and left a ring that you cant get out easily.



These are just a few things to consider when thinking of remodeling a kitchen. A designer should be able to guide you in making the best decisions for your kitchen you are planning to spend a decent amount of money on. We want it to last for years so selections are important as far as quality, function and aesthetics. 



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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Black, White and Red all over - Heights Modern Loft

This pair of empty nesters migrated south from Colorado to Texas and settled in the lovely historic Heights of Houston. With their human kids grown up and gone away (they still have two feline fur babies), they decided to downsize to a loft and upgrade to a more modern look. Lofts present some spacial challenges because they are small and relatively unstructured. In order to visually and functionally expand the space, design must be streamlined and free of clutter, with pieces strategically placed to add shape and form to the free flowing nature of many lofts. Ceilings that cap at fourteen feet definitely aid in opening up the area, and provide sufficient wall space for this couple's extensive art collection, but this tremendous downsize was still a challenge. See how we put their art on display, complemented by some old and new pieces of furniture, and gave their new home a modern, yet traditional and homey look. 






Concrete floors and exposed brick can feel a bit cold and industrial, especially paired with the contrasting color combo of red, black, and white. In order to bring in some unifying warmth, we featured several walnut pieces throughout that blended the red-brown of the brick with the black pieces that accessorize their home. 
 



Finding a place to sit in this living room is a nonissue. You can choose between the modern sofa bench, the pair of matching chairs, or the four red hot bar stools. To keep themselves and their fur babies happy, the couple needed to use comfy yet sturdy materials that they kitties could climb on and relax.



Speaking of seating, this modern sofa bench not only opens up the space by providing visual flow, but it also opens up the options of where to sit. The removable seat backs provide guests with endless possibilities to maximize (or even minimize!) their social interactions. 



This may seem like a simple coffee table, but it is so, SO smart-- especially for this space. Though a unique shape, the triangular with rounded corners is perfectly positioned between the living room's available seating. The base faces the sofa and the other two sides face the matching chairs that seated at nearly the same angle. Still nothing can get in the way of guests chatting and gliding from space to space.



Just beyond the sofa is the dining area. Again, the sofa allows the living and dining 'rooms' to be brought together perfectly so guests can feel free to glide from space to space. Here is a great example how to blend traditional with modern: a refinished antique dining table and chairs offsets the cool edge of the modern pieces.





Perfect for parties, we equipped the dining area with a full bar cabinet to the left, and a sideboard storage to the right that can easily serve a buffet. This loft was designed for entertaining! However, the large windows may make some nosy neighbors jealous they weren't invited... Maybe next time, neighbors!



Enough talk about the furniture- let's move on to the art and accessories! When space is limited, its crucial that displayed items are always kept organized in a way that looks deliberate. Board games, books, religious symbols, family photos, and vases can all coexist on these floating shelves in a visually appealing manner because they're grouped by color and complemented by other items to be equal in height.



You can bet that I needed a ladder to install the artwork here. Tall ceilings are lovely, elegant, and elongating especially when the walls are adorned with art. This couple had a fairly extensive collection of pieces dear to them that they wanted to put on display. Even though they downsized, there was plenty of wall space to accommodate. 



The paintings were continuous with the classic color scheme of red, black, and white featured in the furnishings, textiles, and other accessories. Fresh paintings subtly bring in more color to a space to make it overall more interesting. 

Just to brag about these ceilings one more time, we had enough height to add not just one but TWO chandeliers! In a loft, this is a big deal. One in the living space and one in the dining area bring in just enough light to the rest of the room. 

What a wonderful, fresh start for a new chapter in this couple's life together: a cool loft in a hip part of town, modern, and designed with entertaining in mind. They may be empty nesters, but their kids are sure to stop in for a visit (or maybe just a drink or two!). 


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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

City Home Fit for a New Family!

This family with a newborn was in the market for a new home: their very first house, in fact! Since taking care of a brand new human is task enough, this family didn't want to totally start from scratch. With a few ideas in mind of what they wanted, we didn't need to gut the whole place- just update it a bit. The kitchen was the focal point of the design update, and the rest of the home flowed from there. We were even able to incorporate a lot of their existing furniture into this mid-century modern home. The family wanted to start living in their new home right away with an updated, modern style they always wanted. Take a look at how we achieved a budget-friendly home face lift!


Where light is sparse, it's imperative that you amplify the available light by using colors and sleek appliances that allow sunlight to dance around. This kitchen has a decent-sized window at the sink area as well as a glass double-door that lets enough light in. To keep the light growing, the back splash was finished with limestone tiles.



A great cost-saving measure is to keep your cabinetry and just change the doors and hardware. Here, we just replaced the plain cabinet doors with new textured glass doors. We painted the cabinets light gray to modernize it from the old oak that aged and darkened the kitchen before. The cabinets also got brand new brushed steel hardware to complete this new, modern look.


I know it's hard, but please stop staring at this gorgeous counter top. Look up! We installed a new pot rack that fits perfectly over the enormous island. No need to hide your pots, pans, spatulas, or ladles- put your tools on display! This makes for very easy access and increases your amount of storage.



One of the most fabulous upgrades to this kitchen is the sparkling quartz counter top! This shiny surface looks especially amazing on the brand-new extended peninsula. This is like going from being stranded on a desolate Florida Key isle to partying on the mainland peninsula: it's not a far or difficult trip, and it's definitely well worth it.



 
"Seeing red" doesn't always mean getting angry. Rather, it often just means getting energized! This couple wanted to use red as an accent color throughout their home, which otherwise maintains a soothing, calming palette. The red accent rugs in the kitchen and beneath the dining room set give warm, joyful pops of color that can be found throughout the house.

This beautiful dining room set was seamlessly transplanted into this upgraded mid-century modern home. Pro tip: chairs with larger, higher backs sometimes section off a space. To keep a 'flowing feeling,' set a bench at the side of the table adjacent to a walkway. That way, nothing 'visually blocks' a pathway to another room, which even makes the dining area even more inviting.





A home with kids doesn't have to be void of all 'adult' forms of entertainment. This four-tiered wine rack and minibar flushed against the wall is incredibly convenient when entertaining guests. Just out of reach of children, but perfectly placed for adults to open a bottle of wine, relax and easily spend time with their friends.




The living room features a gray scale color palette with pops of red in textiles. The art above the couch brings in a bit more color while keeping in line with the streamlined, modern look of the house. 



For mid-century modern houses, bringing outside elements inside the home is quintessential. For example, natural brick is generally associated with the facade of a house, but here it is featured in the family room.






 
The 'cozy' is strong with this one. A genuine fire place nestled inside a brick cladding makes you just want to cuddle up, doesn't it?! Here, photos of this loving family are displayed on the wooden mantle in sleek white frames.





This reading nook for two is modern yet cozy, flowing naturally from the living room. The shelving in this home library is perfect for putting books on display, or whatever else you'd like. I love the woven ottoman here! It is modern, playful, and functional (and fairly reminiscent of a giant hacky sack, which is probably the real reason I love it so much).







 

And last (though usually first) is the entry way! This first impression of your home is an important one. Organized and minimalist, the first few steps you take through the door are sure to give you a good idea of what else is in store. In this case, you're sure to find a blend of modernity and comfort in a neutral color scheme with pops of energizing color, fit for a new family's home.


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