Ours is an old-fashioned, hand-built wood burning hearth. But I’m fascinated by sleek, contemporary gas fireplaces I’ve seen on TV — notably on ABC’s Castle — and in magazines. These come in a variety of shapes and widths and can be placed in non-traditional spaces — like the center of a wall. Most impressive is a contemporary bathroom fireplace installed between the bedroom and bath, or in a wall over a bathtub. Because the bathroom remains such an unusual location, a fireplace will upstage even the most dramatic tub every time.… Continue Reading
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Finding the right LED light bulb became an exercise in absurdity this week. I thought I understood new lighting tech.
Two of the ceiling lights in our TV room burned out a few days ago. And while that may sound like a domestic detail hardly worth noting, what with beheadings in the news and the ebola virus spreading, this one small event has taken on a larger significance. So I hope you will indulge me while I break today from talking about kitchen design or chair styles. I want to explore why changing a lightbulb now requires a 22-year investment, a magnifying glass to read the fine print, and an email to the electrician to be sure the house won’t burn down.… Continue Reading
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