In the market for a new bookshelf? If you have an old ladder lying around, you might not need to hit the store. In fact, there are countless ways you can turn old objects into amazingly practical solutions for storing, displaying and organizing your stuff. Here are some of my favorites.
Disappearing walls put these baths in Mother Nature’s lap, counting tranquil views and fresh air as the best luxuries of all
The modern bathroom has become a retreat in today’s busy world, a refuge from the stress of overscheduled lives. The best ones are filled with luxurious touches — steam showers, soaking tubs, TVs and surround sound — plus elegant materials like rich woods and earthy stones.
But if I were designing my dream bath, I know what I’d put at the top of my wish list: a way to bring the outdoors in. I’m talking about adding glass walls and a glass door to the shower, or setting a freestanding tub on a deck (or in a garden) so I could admire the view while I soak. Imagine what it would be like to hear birdsong or the rustle of the trees as you lather up, or smell the roses (or whatever else is blooming) while you loll in the tub.
Not surprisingly, these baths work best in balmy climates. I’m stuck on the snowy East Coast these days, but it’s always fun to daydream. So join me: Check out these 14 bright and airy baths, all designed to showcase Mother Nature’s best work.
Get the scoop on kitchen and bathroom cabinet materials and construction methods to understand your options
With all the options available, choosing cabinets for your kitchen or bath can be an overwhelming experience. Aesthetics aside, there are lots of factors that might not be readily apparent that will impact the cabinet’s performance and price. Understanding those factors will give you an advantage in making your selection.
There are three basic structural components to a cabinet: the box, the shelves and the drawers. Each can be constructed in a number of ways. Cabinets generally come four ways: boxed and ready to install in standard dimensions, boxed and ready to assemble, semicustom and custom.
To get a better understanding of the way cabinets are made, I visited two manufacturers: Canyon Creek Cabinet Company in Monroe, Washington, which makes semicustom units, and O.B. Williams Company in Seattle, a 125-year-old woodworking shop that builds custom cabinets.
For those of us trying to live within a certain means, we like to think of there not being such a thing as small spaces so much as small imaginations.
If you’ve been feeling the crunch of a not-so-luxurious living space, check out a few of the ideas in this clever infographic, and luxuriate in being the king or queen of your own compact castle.
Both form and function were kept as simple and straightforward as possible. Along one of the long walls, a built-in storage area keeps the residents’ belongings hidden away behind bright white doors. The loft’s other long wall is home to a simple, low-sitting kitchen setup.
The two elevated volumes are home to an office and a bedroom which sit on either side of a central eating area. Their metallic mesh walls keep these rooms connected to the rest of the loft space, but hidden enough that they still feel like private, separate rooms.
The real stars of this interior redesign are the unusual stairs leading up to the two elevated rooms. They are made of folded steel and cantilevered to appear almost as though they are floating. Their passive presence in the loft makes them almost melt into the second-story “towers.”
The architects and their clients set out to create a simple space that contained four walls and some windows, and would fulfill the basic needs to sleep, wash, eat, and relax. They did this by keeping the colors neutral, the materials simple, and the space open and attached to its industrial roots – and they also managed to make the home an elegant and comfortable space to live.
Doors are a pretty straightforward invention, either opening on a hinge, sliding into the wall, or folding, so you wouldn’t normally think of them as an area begging for innovation…
…until Klemens Torggler, and Austrian company, came along and blew our minds, that is.
Meet the Evolution Door, a combination of rotating squares and origami that finally makes the doorway a topic of conversation worthy of any designer.
Questions to ask before you go for one of these temperature systems in your floors or walls (yes, walls)
With a radiant heating or cooling system, the goal is to make the temperature of a room more comfortable by changing the temperature of an entire surface. Most of the time we think of radiant heating systems, we think of them for floors, sometimes called underfloor heating or in-slab heating. But the principle can be applied to any surface: a wall, ceiling or even a mirror.
The concept, like many other modern sustainable design strategies, is actually quite old. Archeological evidence shows that ancient Roman, Korean and Chinese dwellings had various forms of heated floors and walls, with either water or smoke acting as the vehicle for transporting heat or coolness from room to room through hidden pipes. In the realm of modern technology, these systems have been improved and perfected so that there’s now a range of options.
The options for kitchen backsplashes are pretty much limitless in terms of material, color, size and cost. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide what’s best for you and your lifestyle. Knowing how to navigate the process of installing a new backsplash can help ease some of the stress. Here’s what to expect.