Can You Go Back?

The other day, before I left Kitsap Kitchen and Bath, my last official appointment was with a lovely young couple that purchased the home my late husband and I built almost thirty years ago. Here is a drawing of the lovely 5,000 square foot home.  Drawing of Gordone.jpg

I wonder how other people feel when they go into a home that you designed, or built or bought and then sold and moved on.  It was lovely that they were such a nice young couple and loved the house.  It was hard, as over the years, the former owners had made significant changes to the interior and exterior that were very different from my initial vision.  The new owners were trying to repair all the things that were left unattended for several years.  My heart went out to them, as so many things need work.

Thirty years later my taste has certainly changed with color choices and was glad even back then, other than a pick tub & toilet in the master (now yucky) I had stayed with classic and beautiful choices.

Gordon front.jpg

This is the original exterior, but it is now light yellow with black trim, and the arches over the entry and the garage doors are now just a rectangle.  The architect was from California and good friend, but the arches and trim had to be repainted every year, as the V in the middle of the arch, opened the grain of the wood, so water got in the wood.  The lovely arch over the fireplace in the living room is gone and the antique Sheraton fireplace surround has disappeared that was above the master bedroom fireplace.  The trees are grown and beautiful!  There is a lot more landscaping that hides the front of the house a bit.

Gordon Living Room.jpg

This a photo from the living room looking into the dining room.  I had those two Captain’s chairs on the right for several years, but tired of them (still tired of them) and sold them ages ago. The columns are telling of the time it was designed and built, but classic lines are still lovely.  The new owners have had the floor refinished with exception of the entry where the last owner put black marble over the wood.  (yuck)  and the lighter color on the floor is much more up to date. I don’t have any photos of the kitchen, but it was a dream to work in, alone or with a party of people.

I would love to be the one redesigning their bathroom, but they did not contact me personally, so in the proper ethical and business since it is totally up to them.  But it does need to be updated, so I am glad they are taking it on.  I think it would be a very challenging, but overall fun project and would really add to the house.

How many of you have ventured back into a home you loved and what did you think about the changes?  Maybe as a design professional, it is harder for me to accept and love change?  How about you?

Can You Go Back?

Top 25 Renovating Mistakes

  1. Buying Cheap Materials

    “One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to home renovation (is that) they try to be cheap when they buy materials. The bottom line is, you’re going to get what you pay for.” “If you’re going to do it, do it. If you can’t afford to do it, wait.”

    2. Inaccurate Measurements

    An inch or even sometimes a half an inch can make a difference. And if your dimensions are off and it’s not equal and symmetrical, you’re not going to get the full impact and effect that you want. If you’re not sure about how to measure or you can’t follow the directions, don’t hesitate at all to call somebody. Ask them to come over and take the measurement for you.

    3. Skipping the Prep Work

    Do it the right way, right away. You shouldn’t avoid your prep work. You want to take the time to do it right and right from the beginning.

    It’s a horrible, tedious process, and nobody likes it, but it saves so much time later on down the way. And that’s what you’re trying to do: save yourself money and time.

 

Top 25 Renovating Mistakes

The One Thing I Wish I Knew Before I Chose Open Shelving in My Kitchen

Kithen-Open-Shelves-4

More than any color, style, or even sink shape, open shelving is arguably the biggest trend in kitchen design right now. In a beautifully designed and styled kitchen, it’s easy to see why. From an appearance perspective, having open shelves allows your kitchen to showcase more personality than wall-to-wall monotone cabinets. Plants, bowls, cookbooks, mugs you name it are shown off, adding color and texture to the space. The shelves themselves can be an accent with material options from raw wood to stainless steel and everything in between. Because of that, open shelving can really fit in with any design style, from minimal and industrial to traditional and eclectic.

When it comes to functionality, the pros and cons of open shelving become a little divisive. On the one hand, floating shelves don’t take up a lot of physical (and therefore visual) space, so in a small or dark kitchen, swapping even three feet of cabinets for shelving can make a kitchen feel larger and brighter. And if you’re a serious cook, keeping your everyday tools, ingredients, and serving dishes within reach (and sight) can be a major plus.

However, there are some potential inconveniences you may run into with open shelving, which should definitely be considered to decide if open shelves will mesh or conflict with your cooking- and lifestyles before fully committing.

Though it may seem obvious, having open shelves means everything you plan to store on them will be out in the open, for all to see. Do all your dishes match? Are your bowls chipped, your pans stained? Do you care? If you think that might bother you, you might feel compelled to invest in a whole new set of dishes ($$$), or display your matching set while you hide the misfits in a lower cabinet, which means you’re using twice as much storage space for one item.

Another major thing to consider is the cleaning and upkeep of what you’re storing on your shelves. If they’re holding your everyday dishes and glasses that get cycled through at least weekly, you shouldn’t have to worry about dust or grime gathering. If you’re displaying items that you use maybe twice a year because they’re pretty and match the rest of your kitchen decor, you’ll likely need to dust regularly and rinse them off before use. For those items whose use is somewhere in between, the regular dusting and additional cleaning might become an annoyance.

If you’re still fully committed to the idea of open shelving, more power to you. They’re an affordable take on kitchen storage that feels at once modern and old-school. And they can totally transform the appearance of a room. But if you’re on the fence or not sure swapping your cabinets for shelves will be compatible with your lifestyle, there’s an easy way to test it out: Remove the doors from a couple of your upper cabinets for a few weeks and see if you like the feel and look of it. You may even decide that look on its own is a good fit for you.

attractive-kitchen-open-shelving-modern-shelves-terrific-7-the-other-way-to-get-is-just-use-and-not

The One Thing I Wish I Knew Before I Chose Open Shelving in My Kitchen

Design Basics to Help You Think Through a New Master Bath

These standard dimensions and layout tips can help you plan the deluxe bathroom of your dreams

Spacious master bathrooms have become one of the most considered spaces in home design. These often luxurious settings provide a refuge from hectic schedules and a place for pampering. In these spaces, we can be assured privacy in an increasingly public world and stamp our unique identities in their finishes.

By their nature, they allow a wide variation in creative design solutions and material choices. There are a few basic elements that each bathroom requires, and then there are the amenities that make it special to the owner. Let’s take a look at standard dimensions of essential fixtures and then investigate the options for other elements.

Design Basics to Help You Think Through a New Master Bath

Conceal Your TV

Conceal Your TV

  Master Bathroom Transformations

Thinking about remodeling your main bathroom? Get inspired by looking at these before-and-after bathroom photos from an article on Houzz.  A newly updated bathroom is always a treat to view, but when you get to see what it looked like before, you really get inspired. Start thinking about what you like or don’t about your own bathroom then think about what it could be.

  Master Bathroom Transformations

THE WARM SIDE OF MINIMALISM

Here is a wonderful article from Kohler about designing a simple, but wonderful bathroom.

Veil Master Bathroom Suite from Kohler

Minimalist design centers around de-cluttering space and providing more room for both the mind and the body to breathe. Too often this design style is mistaken for being stark, bare or monochromatic—but that is a far cry from the inviting feeling of warm minimalism. Follow these simple guidelines to carefully curate your space and ensure your bathroom can feel both pared down and cozy at the same time.

Well-Rounded Silhouettes:
Minimalism has evolved from harsh corners to the gestural, organic rounded edges seen in the pieces of the Veil Collection. By incorporating ergonomics and asymmetric spherical shapes into the minimalist world, this collection forms a powerfully comfortable design.

Overhead view of the Veil freestanding bath from Kohler

Beyond White:
White fixtures are a staple of minimalist suites like the Veil Collection, but they instantly become more inviting by adding décor and paint colors in a neutral color palette. When a room utilizes these subtle accents of taupes and shades of white, it creates a subdued energy that’s perfect for rejuvenation.

Tantalizing Textures:
While the overall aesthetic of minimalism shies away from the extravagant, bringing in textured fixtures creates interest without becoming overwhelming. When seen from far away, pieces like the Artist Edition Shagreen Sink don’t steal attention but upon closer inspection, its fine details add eye-catching depth and shimmer.

Oyster Pearl Artist Edition Shagreen Sink from Kohler

Nature as Nurture:
Intentionally choose a few perfect pieces of décor like plants or other natural materials to add to your design in order to help your bathroom feel less bare. Wood accents can be painted over as a way to blend the outdoors into your color scheme and bring energy to a space. The contrast of treated wood or splashes of greenery soothe the environment and bring the outdoors in.

Layers of History:
Items with a lived-in vibe can actually enhance a clean, minimalist design. For instance, distressed and oxidized metal finishes like the Composed Faucets in Titanium Finish present as sleek and contemporary but still have warmth. These designs infuse a sense of charm and intrigue in a modern space.

Composed Faucet in Titanium Finish from Kohler

Stay Versatile:
One way to keep out the clutter in a bathroom and still provide function is to expertly choose pieces that are multi-purpose. For example, the Verdera Lighted Mirror has built-in lights which eliminate the need for additional light sources. Hidden storage inside of a vanity or mirror also keeps your grooming items close but out of sight. In this way, minimalism emphasizes quality over quantity—a sentiment that translates to more mindful living in general.

The Verdera Lighted Mirror with built-in Amazon Alexa

Invisible Technology:
Tech innovations should elevate your bathroom experience without ever feeling intrusive. The Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror uses voice control to center your routine around mindfulness and immersing yourself in a relaxing escape from the modern world.

By following these warm minimalism trends you’re sure to create a space that feels as good as it looks.

THE WARM SIDE OF MINIMALISM

Look What is Under the Stairs

Love these ten clever under-stair design solutions.  It does not have to be a waste of space or a closet.

10 Smart and Surprising Under-Stair Design Solutions
A sloped ceiling, low-head height, and limited access to sunlight might mean some design restrictions, but that doesn’t mean that the area under a staircase is doomed to be a completely unusable space in your home.

In most multi-level residences, the space under stairs can create some unusual, awkwardly shaped spaces that can be difficult to program. Between its low-head height, sloped ceiling, and small square footage, it can be difficult to make this space useful Fortunately, several designers have come up with creative solutions to render this difficult spot under staircases as viable square footage in even the smallest of homes, where every inch counts. Take a look at some of the ways homeowners, architects, and interior designers have approached this challenging area of the home and turned it into a place of beauty and even respite.

1) A Child’s Bright Workspace

10 Smart and Surprising Under-Stair Design Solutions - Photo 1 of 10 - In this home by O’Neill Rose Architects in Queens, New York, three generations of a family were living in a single house, including a young girl. To provide a space for her to complete her schoolwork, the architects designed this bright, energetic desk area under the stairs, but managed to make the space feel like anything but an afterthought.This space was designed for a younger student under the stairs and managed to make space feel like anything but an afterthought.

2) A Hidden Bar Cart on Wheels

10 Smart and Surprising Under-Stair Design Solutions - Photo 2 of 10 - A mobile bar cart with room for kitchen storage is not the most traditional under-stair solution, but it's proven to be critical in the design of this kitchen and living space in Seattle by designer David Sarti. Its plywood construction, black knobs, and bright red casters mean that this design is meant to be noticed rather than be ignored.

A mobile bar cart with room for kitchen storage is not the most traditional under-stair solution, but it’s proven to be critical in the design of this kitchen and living space. Its plywood construction, black knobs, and bright red casters mean that this design is meant to be noticed rather than be ignored.

3) A Wood-Clad Office Nook

10 Smart and Surprising Under-Stair Design Solutions - Photo 3 of 10 - In this home in Austin, Texas, architect Kevin Alter of Alterstudio renovated a 1920s bungalow to include a rustic but modern office nook under the new stairs leading to a second floor. By outfitting the walls of the office in knotty pine, the space contrasts with the surrounding white walls and becomes a design feature rather than a forgotten space. 
Here is a rustic but modern office nook under the new stairs leading to a second floor. By outfitting the walls of the office in knotty pine, space contrasts with the surrounding white walls and becomes a design feature rather than a forgotten space.

4) Elegantly Detailed Custom Cabinets
10 Smart and Surprising Under-Stair Design Solutions - Photo 4 of 10 - In a Brooklyn home renovated by Office of Architecture, subtle details on bright white cabinets keep this space under the stairs from feeling anything but dark and dreary, despite the dark wood treads and risers and black iron handrail. Thoughtful details, like simple, geometric hardware and hidden hinges, keep this often-awkward space useful and appealing.
 Subtle details on bright white cabinets keep this space under the stairs from feeling anything but dark and dreary, despite the dark wood treads and risers and black iron handrail. Thoughtful details, like simple, geometric hardware and hidden hinges, keep this often-awkward space useful and appealing.

5) Living Room Overflow Space

10 Smart and Surprising Under-Stair Design Solutions - Photo 5 of 10 - In this home by architect Charlie Lazor in Minneapolis, the space under this open-riser metal stair has been allocated as overflow storage and seating for the living room. Although it may initially seem like an unusable area, the height of the stair means that the space is in fact usable by someone seated or reaching for items in the storage cabinet along the back wall. By carefully placing the chairs, the space appears useful but not cluttered.
The space under this open-riser metal stair has been allocated as overflow storage and seating for the living room. Although it may initially seem like an unusable area, the height of the stair means that space is, in fact, usable by someone seated or reaching for items in the storage cabinet along the back wall. By carefully placing the chairs, the space appears useful but not cluttered.

6) Space-Saving Kitchen Storage

10 Smart and Surprising Under-Stair Design Solutions - Photo 6 of 10 - In this 240-square-foot apartment in New York City with a sleeping loft over the kitchen, architect Tim Seggerman didn't waste a single inch by locating kitchen cabinets and open shelving on the underside of the staircase that leads up to the lofted bed. The angle of the steps was incorporated into the shelves, which accommodates items like a single paper towel roll or small mugs under the lower steps, then graduating to larger sliding cabinets under the higher steps. 
In this 240-square-foot apartment with a sleeping loft over the kitchen, the architect didn’t waste a single inch by locating kitchen cabinets and open shelving on the underside of the staircase that leads up to the lofted bed. The angle of the steps was incorporated into the shelves, which accommodates items like a single paper towel roll or small mugs under the lower steps, then graduating to larger sliding cabinets under the higher steps.

7) Statement Storage and Office Space

10 Smart and Surprising Under-Stair Design Solutions - Photo 7 of 10 - In the family room of this former industrial loft in Brooklyn that was renovated by SABO project, a new staircase leads to a mezzanine level. The alternating tread steps double as cabinets that are free of knobs and visible hardware, creating a graphic statement piece in the room. The cabinets give way to a workspace that's complete with open and closed shelving so that the space can remain uncluttered.
In the family room of this former industrial loft, a new staircase leads to a mezzanine level. The alternating tread steps double as cabinets that are free of knobs and visible hardware, creating a graphic statement piece in the room. The cabinets give way to a workspace that’s complete with open and closed shelving so that the space can remain uncluttered.

8) A Space For an Elegant Vignette

10 Smart and Surprising Under-Stair Design Solutions - Photo 8 of 10 - In homes that aren't short on square footage, the space under a staircase can be the perfect spot to create a beautiful ensemble of items like a grouping of your favorite vases or a special piece of furniture. In this home near Bristol, England, that was designed by Paul Archer, the space under a stairway was made visually, if not programmatically, useful by locating a glass table and vase with simple lines to create a subtle, minimalist vignette.
In homes that aren’t short on square footage, the space under a staircase can be the perfect spot to create a beautiful ensemble of items like a grouping of your favorite vases or a special piece of furniture. The space under a stairway was made visually, if not programmatically, useful by locating a glass table and vase with simple lines to create a subtle, minimalist vignette

.

Look What is Under the Stairs

Using Your Phone at Dinner?

 

“You see people in restaurants all the time who are sitting across the table from each other, and instead of staring at each other, they’re staring at their phones,” says Dwyer, a doctoral candidate in psychology. “We were really curious: Is it having an impact on people’s social interactions, how much they’re enjoying the time they’re spending with other people?”

The short answer, they found, is yes — and not for the better.

Phone use during a meal led to a modest but noticeable decrease in diners’ enjoyment, according to their research, which was published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and will be presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s annual convention on Friday. Technology at the table caused people to feel more distracted and less socially engaged, leading to a drop in enjoyment equivalent to half a point on a seven-point scale, explains Dunn, a professor of psychology and the study’s senior author.

“[Phones] do make a difference,” Dunn says. “But it’s a small enough difference that you could easily overlook it and not even necessarily realize how phones are altering your experience in subtle ways during social interactions.”

The researchers asked 300 people to go out to dinner with friends or family, with the intention of studying how phone use affected the experience. But the researchers did not want people in the study to be aware of that goal.

To disguise the study’s intent, the researchers told half the group that they’d receive a study-related question by text at some point during the meal, so they should keep their devices on the table. The other half thought they’d answer the question on paper during the meal, and were told to put their phones away as part of a longer list of study directions.

Afterward, both groups answered questions about their enjoyment, phone use and overall dining experience. Their responses showed a clear dip in pleasure among the phone users — who, just by virtue of having their phones on the table, ended up using them for an average of 11% of the meal.

The effect appears to transcend dinnertime, too. In a second experiment, the researchers texted survey questions to more than 100 people five times a day for a week. Each time, people were asked about their emotional state and what they’d been doing in the last 15 minutes. If they had been on their phone while having a face-to-face interaction, they enjoyed the interaction less than people who had been face-to-face with another person without a phone, the researchers found.

Kicking a tech addiction can be tough; even after conducting the study, Dunn says she still finds herself tempted to respond to a text or two at the table. But the results emphasize how important it is to unplug around friends and family, Dwyer says.

“Phone use can be a bit of a habit. You’re used to pulling your phone out and looking for new notifications,” he says. “Have a rule that if you’re going to go out to dinner with some friends or family members, you’ll put your phone on silent and leave it off the table. Try to stick to these rules so you can form new habits.”

If you can resist the lure of your device, Dunn says, you may actually enhance your experience in a few ways.

“Phone use may be contagious. People are more likely to use their phones when others around them are also using their phones, so that suggests there may be this sort of domino effect,” she explains. “By putting your own phone away, you might be creating a positive domino effect.”

Using Your Phone at Dinner?

Planning Your Bath

Planning Your Bath