Door Jamboree

salvage doors hinged together for a patio privacy screen - Emily Johnston Anderson via AtticmagNo instructions needed to create this useful hinged salvage-door screen for the patio.

It’s that time of the year when we start to move outside and revive our outdoor spaces. And having a substantial folding screen on a patio or in the yard can be an excellent way to create privacy. Hinging old doors like these makes for a privacy feature that’s high, substantial and also portable. Even if the doors aren’t as salvage-pretty as chippy white ones [top] there’s always a way to add color and texture or even faux-painted architectural details. So the next time I see an old door out on the curb, I’ll grab it.

(Source: emily-johnston)

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Mirror Images

Miami powder room with mirror mosaic tile insert - Elle Decor via AtticmagMirror tile is making a bit of a comeback.

To a certain generation, mirror tile always will have a “disco ball” association but truth is, it can look pretty great in certain spaces. Bathrooms are prime for mirror applications although a designer friend in Chicago used it on his kitchen backsplash to reflect amazing views of Lake Michigan. Even with standard 1-inch mosaic mirror dots there can be interesting variations as the outdoor Disco Kitchen Splash proves.

In a Miami powder room [top], architect Joe Serrins created a wrap around integral mirror by running a wide stripe of mirror tile dots through a variegated purple mosaic tile wall. To offset the Saturday Night fever effect, there’s a wonky organic walnut-root slab for the vanity. I can still hear the Brothers Gibb on the ipod but it’s a certified conversation piece.

Backsplash of Chrysallis mirror mosaic tile - Ann Sacks via AtticmagAnn Sacks’ variegated Chrysalis mosaic tile also comes in mirror for an evenly crackled effect. Here’s it backs a wet bar sink but I could easily see it as an entire bathroom wall – or perhaps on the ceiling of a dramatically dark dining room.

beverage bar by Mick DeGiulio with Kohler trough sink, Kallista faucet and Ann Sacks mirror subway tile - Kohler via AtticmagCelebrated kitchen designer Mick DeGiulio used Sacks’ Versailles mirror subways for a bar installation in Kohler’s Wisconsin headquarters showroom (which I first showed in my Built-In Beverage Bars post). Inspired by antique mirrors, it comes in 4×8” and supersized 6×20” field tile. The large format would be beautiful behind a tub or on an entire wall at the end of a hallway.

(Source: elledecor, kohler)

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Dove Gray Shaker Kitchen II

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple  hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagThis unfitted kitchen is an exquisite expression of a historic “furniture look.” Join me for a tour.

For many years I’ve had the pleasure of showing this highly unique unfitted kitchen, one tastefully based on historic American Shaker furniture adapted for a modern home [top]. Now I discovered additional photos so I’m reposting this traditional beauty so it can be viewed as fully as it deserves. A kitchen like this is rarely found in the U.S., where cabinets generally are built-in around the perimeter. And while hutches are popular as stand-alone pieces, it’s extremely rare to find a cooking space with four furniture-quality dressers and armoires — each with a distinct personality. Made by the Workshops of David T Smith, which specializes in cabinets based on traditional and antique American furniture styles, the look wouldn’t suit everyone. However, it seems perfect for a 19th century brick house in Northern Virginia where an extension was built in 2003 to house it.

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple  hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagThe danger with any historic kitchen look is the just that: it’s very specific and can feel out of step. However, this one is so well composed and detailed it has a timeless quality. Overall the plan is simple. This is a galley kitchen with a sink in the island. The range wall, built to resemble a colossal curly maple hutch with a planked back, houses the rangetop (with storage drawers below), a spice shelf, the concealed vent hood, and two ovens.

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple  hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagUpper cabinets on each end have reclaimed glass doors and, in the Shaker style, all the knobs are wooden. Stained and oiled curly maple counters are used throughout.

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple  hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagThe business side of the island has a stainless steel farm sink, with a Barber Wilsons faucet. To the right of the sink are Fisher & Paykel dish drawers and a place for utensils. The open end doubles as a table with graceful tapered legs. A trash bin, on the left, is conveniently in the path from sink to fridge.

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagA few steps from the sink, just across the aisle, a SubZero refrigerator is disguised in a curly maple armoire tucked just under the beams. A contrasting, mustard-yellow painted chest-on-chest style cupboard (yellow was a Shaker fave) fills the remainder of the wall space provides an additional work surface and an appliance garage — in addition to other storage. An antique pine floor and Oriental rugs heighten the elegance and warmth of the entire space.

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple  hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagAcross the kitchen on the opposite wall, a stand-alone cherry dresser is used for display.

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagThe dove gray color on the island is one of those unforgettable hues – neutral yet nuanced and it works perfectly with the reddish wood tones and yellow accents. In addition to cabinet storage and black, contrast-painted knobs, there are three bread-board style pull-outs. While these could certainly be used for serving, or for additional work space, at least for a time they do triple duty as homework desks for the owner’s three children. The Shakers, who prized simplicity and utility in their furniture, would certainly approve.

(Source: david t smith)

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Really Simple Spring Cleaning

spring cleaning at home  - food network via atticmagA room-by-room checklist for removing dirt and germs from often-overlooked surfaces.

I confess I’m a bit of a crazy-clean when it comes to my house. But I’m also practical because I don’t have a week to focus on pulling it apart for cleaning then putting everything back. So this year, I compiled a really simple Spring-cleaning program that won’t take long to accomplish. This is not about home-made products or basic maintenance like deep-vacuuming furniture and draperies, dusting book cases, window blinds or light fixtures. It’s a room-by-room alcohol-based approach to getting rid of hidden dirt and germs on common surfaces. It requires very little equipment and can be completed in a few hours in all but the largest homes.

basket of spring cleaning supplies including alcohol, surface cleaner, microfiber towels and paper towels - AtticmagMust-have supplies

A bottle of 91% isopropyl alcohol
A cleaning product for surfaces (my current fave is Method All  Purpose natural surface cleaner though I also use Mrs. Meyers).
Liquid dish soap
4 microfiber towels (1 for kitchen, 1 for bath, 2 for other rooms)
1-2 pairs non-latex gloves
1 roll of paper towels
Basket or tote for cleaning supplies

alcohol saturated microfiber cloth for spring cleaning - atticmagPreparation

First, I wet a microfiber towel then generously add alcohol. The microfiber towel holds the alcohol well but it tends to evaporate quickly so it may need rewetting frequently (if the towel stops feeling cold, time to remoisten). Method surface spray is my back up for any extra-dirty surface. I use paper towels to dry things off, if needed (not usually needed since the alcohol evaporates – nice!). I use disposable non-latex gloves which are inexpensive and protect my hands from the drying effects of the alcohol. But any lightweight glove will do.

Where to start?

I begin in the room with the #1 most-often-used entry door for the house. For us, that’s the garage door in our mudroom (don’t forget to give the garage door opener button a wipe-down). Then I work on a room-by-room basis on each floor.

wiping every door handle down with alcohol removes germs - atticmag

Everyone touches door handles which need cleaning but can be overlooked.

What to Clean in Every Room

Knobs, bolts and locks on both sides of every door.
Door frames above and below the knobs on each side to remove fingerprints and smudges.
Light switches.
Switches on under-cabinet lights.
On/off switches on table lamps.
Thermostats and alarm panels.
All cabinet knobs & handles.
All closet and drawer handles.
Remote controls for all TVs & electronics including VCRs, game consoles and streaming devices.

In Bedrooms

All of the above plus:
Bedside table top, knobs/handles.
Alarm clocks/radios.
Thermostats and burglar alarm panels.
On/off switches on table lamps.
Wooden surfaces around beds.
Remote controls for all TVs & electronics including VCRs, and streaming devices.

In the Family Room & Home Offices
In addition add:
Car and house keys, key fobs.
Cell phones & land-line phones & dial pads.
All electronics control panels & keyboards including TV, stereo.
Other electronics including ipods, tablets, cameras & gaming consoles.
Bar or drink refrigerator handles.
Tops, front and sides of desks/work tables.
Tops, backs, seats of wooden chairs.

spring cleaning - in the kitchen don't overlook vent hood light and fan control knobs - atticmagIn the Kitchen
Pay special attention to:
Handles on dishwasher, refrigerator, oven and small appliances (coffee pot, toaster).
Sink faucet, sprayer and other sink fixtures.
Microwave/speed-oven doors and touch pads.
Vent hood and timer control knobs/buttons.
Apron (front and sides) of dining tables, backs and seats of wooden chairs.

toilet flush handles should be wiped with alcohol to disinfect - atticmag

Disinfecting a toilet handles takes less than 30 seconds.

In the Bathroom
Add these areas:
Toilet flush handles (so easy to forget!)
Bottoms and edges of mirrors & medicine cabinets.
Cosmetic & medicine bottles.
Toothbrush handles & cups.
Shower door handles (inside and outside).
Toilet paper holder.
Hair-dryer handles.
Additionally, rinse out trash baskets. with hot water a squirt of liquid soap and alcohol (or ammonia).

spring cleaning - dirt removed from the bannister - atticmag

Wiping down the front hall banister produced the dark marks on this towel.

In Hallways
Staircase banisters.
Woodwork on archways or doorways.
Doorbells and deadlock bolts.

Utility/Laundry Room
In addition to cabinet and closet handles:
Washer/dryer controls and doors.
Vacuum cleaner controls and wands.
Sink faucet.
Mop handles.

Wiping down these frequently used surfaces takes me just a few hours and gives me peace of mind. I also believe it helped keep us both free of colds and common illnesses throughout this past year.

(Source: foodnetwork)

Met Monday
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Pet Spa

Dog wash station in a mudroom – livesimplybyannie via atticmagConsider the mudroom as a prime location for a built-in doggy bath.

I’m not a pet person but, if I were, I’d want a mudroom that had a convenient place to wash the dogs or do some flower arranging or potting. This raised bath is especially well designed since it’s high enough to eliminate a lot of bending. While I worry a bit about those boys getting boisterous with all that glass, there are sturdy hinges and the doors swing open. Another smart feature is the old-fashioned high-arc faucet with low controls and a tall sprayer. Add a non-slip mat and it would work to quickly shower down a toddler, too.

(Source: livesimplybyannie)

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