More popular in Europe than in the U.S., conservatories are glass walled and ceilinged structures added onto a house as a garden or sun room. They are synonymous with greenhouse rooms or sun porches. These days, with formality on the way out, the concept of a conservatory is easily applied to the kitchen and with spectacular results. This kitchen style is a BOGO — designed like a greenhouse by the way the ceiling and windows are configured. One lovely example is the English-inspired Gothic Revival Kitchen which has a conservatory-dining space and kitchen in an open-plan room.… Continue Reading
A bedroom added in an attic is bound to be an interesting, unique space and a bonus for the house.
One of the most dramatic transformations I’ve ever seen here was the Old-House Attic Master Suite our artist-decorator friend Amy built for herself and her husband. So I believe in attic bedrooms. We’ve presented other ideas for attic spaces but I think bedrooms are most important because, in addition to making the owners more comfortable, adding a bedroom increases the value of a house.
But building a successful bedroom in an attic has its challenges. Roof lines can create short or irregular walls or areas where the ceiling is angled and too low to stand comfortably.… Continue Reading
We’ve seen attractive bathrooms where wooden dressers, tables and cupboards were made over into sink vanities. Usually these are designer powder rooms where expensive antique chests or tables were modified. Any piece of furniture altered for use in a bathroom must be sturdy enough to withstand daily wear and tear, as well as dampness. An Eastlake dresser bathroom vanity, complete with matching mirror, made a handsome addition to renovated attic master bath in Portland, Oregon.
The reno was done as a flip by a company called Chic Design Investments, which showed photos of the project with just a few notes.… Continue Reading
In a Martha’s Vineyard beach house, the variegated hues of Nikko hydrangeas become a bold accent color.
The dining room of this spacious, open plan house shows how two approaches to home decor can be combined. First there is the type of all over wood-plank paneling often associated with the interiors of boats. Then there is the intense blue painted furniture with its cottage-on-steroids look. That same blue-violet palette was a favorite in the Hydrangea Colors Kitchen we featured here some time ago. Now, that kitchen serves as a prequel to the rest of the house.
This long view into the kitchen provides a general idea of the color scheme there.… Continue Reading
This last month of summer has been cool, especially at night. So the weather has been perfect for sitting outdoors around a fireplace and the coming months will get better, one by one, straight through to Halloween. But some of the best examples of outdoor stone fireplaces come from western and southern climates where they are prime features of stunning landscaped exterior living spaces that can be used year-round.
Stone is key to fireplace architecture. The color, size, type and texture is critical to the character and style of any fireplace and there can be a surprising amount of variation.… Continue Reading
In some kitchens, a seating area can be restricted by structural elements such as windows, doors or pillars.
Two summers ago I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing top kitchen designer Mick DeGiulio when he created a Kitchen of the Year for House Beautiful magazine. One of the main points stressed during his introduction was not about the work triangle, appliance quality, or even about cabinets which are usually the most expensive fixture. Topic A was how kitchens had morphed into living spaces that made seating a key element. So built-in booths or banquettes, which can be fitted into awkward spaces have become a well-loved solution.… Continue Reading