02 Dec 2016
Raise the Bar on Home Entertaining
If you entertain frequently, consider having a designated space for a bar in your home. It makes hosting company convenient as it keeps the guests refreshed and it might even help by keeping them from getting in the way of the cook.
If you decide to install a bar in your home, you have the choice between a wet or dry bar. The main difference between the two is that a wet bar, at the bare minimum, includes a sink with running water and a drain and a dry bar does not. Often a wet bar, if it is separate from the kitchen, includes a small refrigerator/freezer and a dishwasher. For a wet bar, the drink preparation area should be designed to both prepare cocktails and contain spills. And, it must have a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) installed in the electrical outlet to protect against dangerous electrical faults that could occur in drink mixers and other electrical devices. A wet bar allows for drink preparation and clean-up to be completely separate from the cooking area, however, it is more costly than a dry bar due to plumbing and electrical requirements.
A dry bar can be set-up for a party on a buffet, counter, or a table with glasses, ice, wine, beer, spirits, mixers, and garnishes, or it can be configured in your current kitchen space. If you are planning a kitchen remodel, even if you don’t have room for a sink, a dry bar can be incorporated as part of your cabinetry and electrical plans should you want a built-in refrigerator and/or dishwasher. When you plan the interior cabinets, consider slide-out drawers instead of stationary shelves or drawers. As for the cabinet doors, clear glass or frosted glass make a very attractive covering to the cabinets.
If you don’t have the cabinet space in the kitchen, alternative spaces can be used in nearby rooms. Consider converting a closet to a dry bar as pictured below.
A dry bar can also be a piece of furniture that can hold the bottles, glasses, and accessories and it can be portable which is very convenient. Visit Create and Barrel for a wide variety and styles that would complement any space.
A guide from Front + Main will help you to build your bar, from a list of must have beginner bottles to the perfect glasses and tools to help you create killer cocktails.
Looking for Tips, Tricks and Recipes for your holiday party? Check out Lou Bustamante’s book. He is the Spirits, Bar, Cocktail, and Food Writer for SF Chronicle.
Visit 1stdibs for Antique, Vintage, Art-Deco and Mid-Century Modern Dry Bars.
Visit Pottery Barn for a wonderful selection of home bar furniture. They offer bars and portable bar carts that look as good in a den or home office as in the dining area of your home. It includes options for small space and decorating pieces that look great alongside a bar, such as tall and narrow bar towers or decorative mirrors.
Need more ideas of Dry Bars? Get hooked on Pinterest!
From Sunsets blog Westphoria – Learn 3 drinks To Make the Holiday Season More Merry
02 Jul 2016
Mention the word wallpaper, and homeowners conjure up the vision of their grandmother’s flocked velvet prints and old-fashioned busy designs and remember the miserable task of having to scrape it off years later. However, today’s wallpaper is back and better than ever and new technologies are making them easier apply and adhere better. If you’re planning on redecorating your home and not sure what to do with the walls, consider wallpaper as an option instead of or in addition to paint. With all of the new styles, graphic patterns, and gorgeous prints to choose from, one can transform an ordinary room into one with serious style.
Are you “brave” enough to try wallpaper in your home?
- If you’re not ready to commit to wallpapering an entire room, a popular way to incorporate wallpaper is to create an accent wall that infuses style and interest in your space. And in some cases, a single sheet of wallpaper can be used as an art element. In this Austin, Texas Midcentury-style home, take a look at how a bold geometric wallpaper as an accent wall transformed a formal dining room into a casual TV room.
- Affordable? Prices today run from as little as $15 to as high as $600 per roll, dependent on the paper’s material, designer, and uniqueness.
- Skill required? Although putting up wallpaper takes far more patience than skill. It definitely requires equal measures of artistic and engineering talent to assure it is assuring it is hung straight and edges are aligned. For novice wallpaper hangers, having an easy-to-match pattern will certainly reduce the complexity. If it is still more than you want to do yourself, visit Wallcovering Installers Association to find an experienced wallpaper hanger.
- As with most other elements of remodeling, the key to a flawless outcome is good preparation. Like form fitting clothes, wallpaper reveals every bump and flaw underneath, so good wall preparation is essential.
Coldwell Banker Concierge summarizes 5 Great Reasons Why New Wallpaper Beats Paint
- More Options
- Conceals Blemishes
- Easy to Change
- Adds an Accent
See the full article here.
Wall Paper Revival … What’s available these days?
When it comes to wallpaper styles, your options are limitless. From contemporary to traditional, a myriad of textures, metallic and animal prints, there is something for every taste. As a start, instead of wading through a mountain of wallpaper books, start by viewing manufacturer’s websites for an overview of the types of material, styles, scales and prices. Some allow you to order free or low-cost samples online. Log on and check out: abnormalsanonymous.com, kremelife.com, clarencehouse.com, brewsterwallcovering.com, seabrookwallcoverings.com, rlhome.polo.com, and waverly.com. A few more are listed in our Resource Section below.
At Anthropologie, you will find a wide range of “papers with personality.” From this simple yet elegant Golden Trellis Wallpaper ($118 Roll 27’L, 27”W Covers 60 Sq. Feet) to this Great Meadow Mural ($548 Roll 9.75L 12.25 W Covers 119.5 Sq. Ft.) there are many artists and price point from which to choose.
For Kids or Kitchens- Chalkboard Wallpaper
Imagine letting your kids write on their walls! These Chalkboard wallpaper panels from Chasing Paper are decorative decal tiles that are simple to hang and easy to remove. These fully functional chalkboard tiles let you write, draw and erase right on them. They’re also handy in the kitchen for grocery lists- just snap a photo with your phone and you’re good to go.
Other Wall Décor
Searching for something chic, functional and eco-friendly? Take a peek at these modern textured wallpapers from Inhabit Living. These 3D wall panels are lightweight and when placed together create an automatic repeat pattern to create a textured wall of any size.
Wall Flats, sold by the box, contain 10 tiles that cover 22.5 sq. ft. and run approximately $62.They can also be painted! For a quick demonstration watch their DIY 3D Wall Panel How to Install Video.
Yes! Even Target Online has a fun collection for the budget conscious.
Hygge & West is a boutique wallpaper company in S.F. that has teamed-up with tableware and architectural tile master Heath Ceramics.
Flavor Paper is known worldwide for its mastery of the fine art of large format hand silk screening.
Schumacher is one of the premier sources for luxury wallcoverings, fabric, and trim for custom residential projects.
06 Nov 2015
When it comes to selecting tile for your home remodel, the abundance of options is daunting. While the material, shape, and size of the tile may be an issue of functionality, the color and texture of the tile can set the tone of a room. An unexpected source, The Wall Street Journal, recently offered an exciting and informative overview of emerging tile trends. As they profess, “No home renovator wants to get stuck with a lousy tile decision, but that doesn’t mean the only choice is basic, boring beige.” See The Complete A-Z Guide to Tiles: 26 Ways to Go Beyond Beige for an alphabetical survey of the new tile landscape, from Arabesque to Zellige.
Not only does the article give provide information on the full range of materials available to homeowners today – many of the new ones driven by technology innovations such as digital printing – it offers ideas from design experts on ways to mix the various A-Z elements. For example:
1. Combine complex patterns with plainer patterns
2. Offset textural effects with smooth tiles
3. Consider playing with scale
4. Besides pure aesthetics, consider a theme and how pairings can be a narrative.
For additional help on choosing the right tile for your home, consider the following factors and see the associated online guides:
Ceramic and Porcelain
Both ceramic and porcelain can be rated for wear using the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) scale, which classifies tile surfaces from 1 to 5. A PEI 1 rating is for “No foot traffic, for wall use only”, while a PEI of 5+ can handle “heavy traffic and is most resistant to abrasion”.
Natural stone is not man-made and therefore does not follow the PEI scale. The natural stones used most often in tile are marble, limestone, travertine, slate, and granite.
There are both subtle and significant differences between the types of stone as to appearance, water absorption to durability. For more information on choosing ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone tile, see National Kitchen and Bath Association, Homeowners Tips for Choosing the Right Tile
Especially important in choosing floor tile, the Coefficient of Friction (COF) is a measure of traction and tile slipperiness. See Interiors and Sources to learn more.
Color, Texture, and Style
The color and texture of the tile helps set the tone of a room. Before deciding on a tile color, take note of existing colors in the room, the mood you want for the room and the amount of foot traffic the area receives. Today’s digital technology, has transformed the process of creating tile with new and intriguing possibilities. For example porcelain look-alike tile is sized to resemble individual floor planks and ceramic and porcelain “marble” tiles look almost exactly like real marble but they do not crack and scratch as easily.
See Daltile Tile Trends to read about their Four Top Tile Trends for 2015: Glass mosaic tiles in updated colors and shapes, a softer color palette, with lots of gray, softer textures, and subway tiles in updated shapes and colors.
Here is an example of the subway tile trend in this recently-completed Palo Alto kitchen remodel. The homeowner selected Heath Ceramic’s Stretched Hexagon tile for their backsplash. It’s a handmade tile that feels like classic subway tile but with a twist. See the Heath Ceramics website for a complete selection of their offerings.
01 Oct 2015
Essentials of a Man Cave
A Man Cave can be defined as a room, space, corner, or area of a dwelling that is specifically reserved for a male person to be in a solitary condition, away from the rest of the household in order to work, play, and involve himself in certain hobbies and activities without interruption. This area is usually decorated by the male, without interference from any female influence. Technically, any space a man can go to be alone can be defined as a Man Cave. It can be an office, basement, garage, or shed out back. It is a room free from other themes or style of the home. A Man Cave is where a man goes for sanctuary.
It’s all in the Accessories
While the location can be almost anywhere, there are classic amenities found in many Man Caves including a pool table, bar, refrigerator, dart board, TV, sound system, a pinball machine, and very comfortable furniture. Often the wall décor emphasizes the man’s interests – sports, cars, movies, etc. Dependent on the man’s interests, they can also include a writing desk, a painting easel, a collection of sports memorabilia, or a garage wall filled with tools.
Comfort & Quality
The lounge chair is a man room necessity. While an old La-Z-Boy might immediately come to mind, take quality into consideration and buy things that are crafted with care. Invest in a good leather chair that is water & spill resistant and eternally stylish. A great chair is more than just a fabric bag stuffed with as much cotton as possible and a built-in cup holder. All good furniture has been designed with both form and function in mind. Here are 3 classic chairs with timeless appeal
The Barcelona Chair
by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe which was designed for the World Exposition in 1929 and still continues to be an iconic masculine piece.
The LC2 and LC3 Armchairs
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/105174/list/modern-icons-corbusiers-lc2-and-lc3-armchairs designed by French designer LeCourbusier
As far as lounge chairs are concerned, many consider the classic Eames Lounge Chair, http://www.hermanmiller.com/products/seating/lounge-seating/eames-lounge-chair-and-ottoman.html made by Herman Miller, to be one of the most comfortable chairs of all time. When you sit in it, it literally conforms to your body.
As far as lounge chairs are concerned, many consider the classic Eames Lounge Chair, made by Herman Miller, to be one of the most comfortable chairs of all time. When you sit in it, it literally conforms to your body.
Eames® Lounge and Ottoman
Audio — Visual
The right viewing portal is absolutely essential to every Man Cave. Equally important is a kick-ass sound system — not just good speakers — but a complete surround sound system. This will enhance your movie, music, or sports experience to the fullest. To create an in-home audiophile experience we offer two resources who are both NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) members who have worked with many of our clients to create integrated home theaters or high performance audio systems.
The Integrated Lifestyle
The key to designing the ultimate Man Cave is to create a personal retreat to surround oneself with things that are meaningful. It is the perfect space for that lifelong collection of (fill in the blank) that your spouse doesn’t understand. The cave provides the perfect space to organize and display the collection and keep them safe. See for example, this modern Man Cave by Benedict August where a G.I. Joe Collection is creatively displayed and childhood toys are the focal point of the room.
Find a wide selection of sports memorabilia from local and national MLB, NFL, NHL teams at Man Cave Memorabilia. www.mancavememorabilia.com Shop locally (Foster City) or online.
Looking for the one-of-a-kind antique for your man room? Big Daddy Antiques Inc. is a retailer of one-of-a-kind antiques and reproductions from European, Asian, and North American markets.
Take a look inside the “Man Rooms” of 14 famous men from history on The Art of Manliness website.
Famous Man Caves
In reading about the lives of history’s great men, one thing the author noticed was that many of them had a place they could go to be alone with their thoughts. Some of these men had a study where they would retreat to think, read, and write. Others had a garage or workshop where they would tinker and experiment. But what all these rooms had in common was their sheer manliness. They were man spaces, places a man could call his own. Within these rooms ideas were formulated that would change the world and books were written that became classics. Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Edison are some of the featured
A Manly Superstore, Man Cave a Home sells everything necessary to build the ultimate Man Cave, whether it’s a pool table, a bar, beer neon signs, Harley-Davidson bar stools, a stand up arcade game…you name it, they have it or can get it.
Click on the team logos to find their 2015/2016 Season Schedules
01 Apr 2015
The Power of Three
There are many elements that drive a design: structural requirements, costs, and functionality, to name a few. However, there is an easy rule, used by many designers to create an aesthetically-pleasing, well-pulled together room. The Rule of Three is a principle used in many areas of design: architecture, graphic design, and photography (though, in graphic design and photography, it is referred to as the Rule of Thirds).
The basic idea is that details and objects that are arranged or grouped in threes (or odd numbers) are more appealing, memorable, and effective than even-numbered arrangements. According to Cecilia Walker of Cecilia Walker Designs, “While it is easier to create symmetry by balancing elements in twos, odd numbers create harmony and force movement and visual interest.” Consistent with Feng Shui principles, odd numbers give Yang energy and even numbers, Yin. Yang expands and moves, Yin contracts and condenses.
With interior design, the Rule of Three not only applies to architecture, but to lighting, color, and interior accessorizing.
Color and the Rule of 3
This simple diagram from The Interactive Color Wheel represents one of the designer’s basic tools: The 60-30-10 decorating rule, which is decorating with a selection of three different colors, each with its own pre-defined function, produces pleasant visual impact.
Dominant color: Roughly 60 percent of the given space should be the dominant color. In interior design terms, this color is for walls. Neutrals are the good choice for painting walls.
Secondary color: The next 30 percent should represent secondary color.
Accent color: The remaining 10 percent of the color scheme is for accent color. Accent color should be attractive. Warm vivid colors are good accents.
Design and Aesthetics
Margaret Everton is one of the many wonderful writers for Houzz. She is an arts and culture writer and explorer of how and what people create. Her work spans the disciplines of architecture and design, art, lifestyle, history, and literature. In her article, Using The Rule of Three In Your Home’s Design, she created an Idea book on the theme of threes and how, as a design tool, the rule in creative variations works in many ways. Here are a few examples:
“The three sets of French doors creates a center point for the room without overdoing symmetry. The chandelier flares out from the center, creating both a groundedness and lightness in this space.”
In this home by Taylor Lombardo Architects, “the larger center arch not only accentuates the room’s center, but its raised height gives the room a loftiness that isn’t literally there. The room not only has added depth, but the illusion of added height.” Read More
With interior design, the Rule of Three can be implemented in progression and spatial composition. Consider the work triangle in kitchen design, color and fabric schemes, arrangements of furniture, and groupings of accessories.
For more inspiration, see Freshome Design and Architecture Magazine’s recent article “10 Designs That Incorporate the Rule of Three”
They demonstrate how to arrange furniture, tabletop objects, and artwork and provide examples of why the Rule of Three is not a hard-and-fast rule. There are times, such as in a small space, where it may make more sense to successfully “break” the rule.
15 Mar 2014
Don’t Forget Your Fifth Wall
To many homeowners, a ceiling is just a ceiling – a large, flat, boring, surface that all too often is ignored, receiving nothing more than a coat of flat, white paint. However, a ceiling, sometimes called “The Fifth Wall” is an opportunity to create a unique and dramatic element in your home.
As part of a designing a remodeling project, keep in mind that the architectural details of a ceiling make their way into our consciousness when we take in the view of an entire room. Pattern, color, and texture on the ceiling can transform the look and feel of a room.
Below are four stylistic details that add architectural interest and pull the entire room together: crown molding, ceiling paint color, medallions and other material coverings.
15 Dec 2013
Art to Warm Homes and Hearts
Whether you have a traditional home yearning for classic impressionism, a contemporary home with a large wall needing a dramatic focal point, or a minimalist home seeking “the one perfect piece,” art can be the finishing touch that transforms your home into a reflection of your personal style.
While some may consider selecting art an exciting adventure, for others it is confusing and overwhelming. Adding art can be easy and manageable and it will add interest and warmth to a room. Here are a few suggestions that will get you started in the right direction.
- Explore your tastes by checking out museums, local galleries, and art in the public spaces such as banks, restaurants, and libraries.
- Select art by size to fit a particular space. Measure the area and make sure to leave enough “white space” so that the art will not feel crowded. Conversely, art that is too small will be lost and look like it’s floating.
- Select by color, choosing one or two of the boldest colors in your room and look for art that incorporates those colors. You’re not looking for an exact match – picking up one or two of the same colors will send a message that the painting belongs in the space.
- Consider a gallery wall or cluster of wall decor taking up a large space. A gallery wall can be so many things, genuinely representing your lifestyle, travels, pursuits, passion, nostalgia – you get the picture.
Give the Gift of Art
This time of year, finding a unique and personal gift can be a challenge. We came across Greenbox Art, a company that helps make the process of finding art for others as gifts or for your own home, less stressful and loads of fun.
Here is the process they suggest:
- Make a list. Describe the recipient in a few words. Funny? Serious? Stylish? Traditional? When you look at a piece of art, determine whether this same list can be used to describe the piece of art. If so, you’re on the right track.
- Visualize. What does this person’s home look like? Lots of reds, or tons of antiques, or Danish modern furniture? How would a particular piece of art fit into that decor?
- Size it up. There are many options for canvas size. At Greenbox Art, pieces are available in a variety of sizes and shapes that will make it easy to customer the art to your recipient’s space.
- Search the website starting with color, subject matter, or price range. Or, find an artist whose work reminds you of the recipient and discover the variety of pieces he or she has created.
15 Aug 2013
Haute Dog! John is a CDD
If you’re wondering how to incorporate dog-friendly features in your home, look no further. John received the title, Certified Dog Designer, from a client when he was asked to design a number of dog-friendly features into their whole house remodel. The home’s dog room (laundry/ mudroom) incorporated a dog washing station, a place for dog crates under the counter, and specific storage areas for food, leashes, and dog care items along with the requisite dog door.
Large slate tiles were installed on the floor in the dog room and main living areas. The beautiful natural stone is able to disguise dog tracks and it can be easily cleaned with a damp mop.
Playful dog paw tiles were installed on the floor leading to the dog door and custom “portrait” accent tiles were integrated into the backsplash – one for each of their current dogs and other special dogs in their lives. Having completed multiple remodels with custom pet-friendly features, John is well-versed in designing a home that accommodates the needs of the whole menagerie.
01 Jul 2013
A Fan for All Seasons
For more than 125 years, the ceiling fan has been one of the most energy efficient methods of air conditioning. It can enhance both cooling and heating operations. Modern ceiling fans can be quiet, stable and energy-efficient. Best of all–they are versatile. You can tailor them to any style or design.
15 Jun 2013
Find Your Niche
When planning a home remodel, there are many decisions to make. Often, the decisions have a substantial cost impact associated with them. However, when looking at the bigger picture of your remodel, don’t overlook quality details that can make your home visually appealing and comforting.