Get the Look of Wood Cabinets for Less

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 1.14.40 PMNo need to snub plastic laminate as wood’s inferior cousin. Today’s options are stylish and durable — not to mention money saving

While plastic laminate cabinets might seem like a relic of another era, they actually are a practical, affordable, and — dare we say it? — stylish alternative to conventional wood cabinetry. “The general public doesn’t have an understanding about the durability, flexibility and options that laminate offers,” says Julie Cavanaugh, the owner of Design Matters, an interior design firm in Los Gatos, California.

Cavanaugh estimates that only about 15 percent of her clients request laminate cabinet faces, and a good chunk of those are for rooms other than kitchens. But the material doesn’t deserve to be neglected, she believes. It’s usually a cost-effective option and more environmentally stable and easier to care for than wood.

Wood-patterned laminate can emulate exotic materials and graining without the limitations and scarcity of the real thing. “You can make beautiful lengths of book-matched cabinetry, because the cabinetmaker is in control of the patterning and the repeat,” Cavanaugh says. The price is another incentive: Cavanaugh estimates that laminate cabinets can save homeowners an average of 15 to 30 percent over wood versions.

Bath of the Week: Black, White and Classic, With Some Twists

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 8.47.35 AMBlack trim and tile keep an otherwise snowy bathroom in a 1910 home from feeling sleepy

Architect Jason Urrutia takes pride in his firm’s grasp on tradition. “We lean toward classic without being boring or old school,” he says. “We embrace elements that time has tested and give them our own creative twist.”

That thinking drove the design of this bathroom and closet in the master suite of a 1910 home in Sausalito, California. “A white bathroom is traditional,” Urrutia says. “But to keep it from being sleepy, you need to wake it up.” The bugle call for these rooms comes in the form of strong ebony elements.

Modular Room Design Transforms Interior Spaces

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Starting as a compact cubic room-within-a-room, this unique modular furniture system opens up in a variety of ways to transform the space from a living room to an office to a bedroom for one or two. Three mobile modules, each with a bench of cushions and open ‘walls,’ can be hooked together or separated and rolled around a given space. Modular-Cube-Room-2 Modular-Cube-Room-3 Modular-Cube-Room-4

The Cube was created by Russian architecture firm Ruetemple to make a small space more functional for a brother and sister. Each of the three sections has built-in storage beneath the benches and an overhang that creates a roof when they’re pushed together.

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Read more: http://dornob.com/rolling-modular-room-design-transforms-interior-spaces/#ixzz35DV01p6E

20 Creative Kitchen Islands

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 3.06.38 PMNixing ready made for readily imaginative, these homeowners fashioned kitchen islands after their own hearts

For the My Houzz series, we visit and photograph creative, personality-filled homes and the people who live there. Sometimes working with professionals but most of the time going strictly the DIY route, these residents take clever and unexpected approaches to home design.

The heart of many of these homes is the kitchen, of course. And the heart of the kitchen is often the island. Whether using reclaimed materials from their own construction sites, refashioning vintage furniture or discovering clever Ikea hacks, the My Houzz homeowners we’ve featured have built their islands to suit very individual lifestyles and tastes. Here are 20 great examples.

How to Make a Top-Down, Bottom-Up Window Shade

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 8.08.38 AMBlock light and control privacy high or low with a no-frills magnetic covering you can whip up for less than $30

Since I deal with privacy issues in my high-density neighborhood, I always coveted the costly window treatments that open from the top portion of the window as well as the bottom portion. So I decided to make one for myself. I was pleasantly surprised by the results — and the less-than-$30 cost. Here’s how you can create your own window panel.

Take It Outside! Inspiring Ideas for Outdoor Dining

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 8.03.52 AMMake fresh-air meals as comfortable and genteel as those indoors — and maybe even a bit magical

As the days get longer, the temperatures gets warmer and the light gets brighter, our daily routines undergo a radical paradigm shift. Whereas just a month or two ago, we were huddled indoors eating hearty stews, roasted meat and baked potatoes, we’re now ready to spend time outside in shorts and T-shirts, consuming lighter fare. One of the great joys of the summer is dining al fresco, enjoying the cool breezes, the late-evening light, the riot of garden color and the smells and sensations of warm weather.

More relaxed, more spontaneous, more colorful, al fresco dining is a different kind of experience. Here are some ideas that will inspire your shift to the outdoors.

5 Ways to Protect Yourself When Buying a Fixer-Upper

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 3.44.09 PMHidden hazards can derail your dream of scoring a great deal. Before you plunk down any cash, sit down with this

fixer-upper can often seem like a first-time homebuyer’s dream: an older home with great bones that simply needs an update or perhaps a few tweaks to its layout.

Unfortunately, even seemingly straightforward projects can be fraught with hidden problems discovered once work begins. While disclosure laws seek to protect homebuyers, sellers can always claim ignorance to problems like lead paint, and disclosures on distressed and bank-owned properties are nowhere near as complete as they are for traditional sales.

But that doesn’t mean you have to risk getting stuck with a money pit. Here are five ways to project yourself when buying a fixer-upper.

9 Ways to Make Your Yard More Fun for Kids

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 12.29.24 PMDraw the younger set outside while keeping grown-up spaces and style intact. Some of these ideas don’t even cost a dime!

Play is at the heart of childhood, and an inspiring outdoor play area can give children many hours of enjoyment. But what if your garden is compact? Maybe you would like to avoid having a playset that takes up precious yard space, or you don’t want to look at toys year-round from the interior of your home. With some simple strategies, you can still incorporate play into your landscape. Here are some ideas for a range of project budgets.

Dream Spaces: 12 Decks That Rise Above It All

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 12.32.53 PMTucked into upper levels, these inspiring outdoor spaces provide more privacy and relaxation above the fray

During the lazy days of summer, just give me a deck, a lounge chair, a cool drink and an umbrella, and I’m good to go.

Lately, though, I’ve been considering upgrading my deck desires. Maybe it’s time to move up, to have an outdoor space above the ground floor where it’s quieter, more private and more restful. What about a perch off the bedroom or a rooftop aerie with a view?

These pictures inspired me. See if you’re ready to make the move, too.