9 Daring Colors for Your Front Door

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 8.14.31 AMStand out from the neighbors with a touch of neon green or a punch of hot pink

I’m a firm believer that you can paint your front door just about any color you like and make it work. It’s all a matter of coordinating the door color with your home’s architecture and the other colors and materials on the house. When I work with design clients to select exterior color palettes, I often tell them a good starting point is to select a front door color they love or pick their main siding color first.

All too often we get confused and overwhelmed trying to nail down a complete color palette all at once and end up feeling unenthused about the individual colors selected. But if you start with, say, a fantastic front door color, and then select the other materials and hues to support this choice, you may have an easier go of it. To help inspire you, I’ve gathered examples of unusual front door colors and developed sample paint palettes you can try out on your own home.

Pet-Friendly Design: Making Room for the Dog Dish

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 3.32.30 PMIn a dog’s life, you eat on the floor. Except in kitchens like these, where pets are factored into the design

When I say there is nothing quite so unpleasant as stepping in a dog’s water dish, I speak from experience (no thanks, Augie). Like a good pet owner, I keep my pup’s water bowl filled with fresh water. It’s located in the kitchen, where I inevitably get busy and distracted and step in the drink. It has happened a lot, which goes to show you really can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

When I next remodel, I’m going to plan for this condition, using the clever ideas from these fellow pet owners as inspiration.

9 Ways to Spice Up Your Kitchen Cabinetry

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 12.55.06 PMIf a perfectly matched set of built-in units isn’t your cup of tea, try these ideas to add some variety

Freestanding cupboards, mix-and-match colors, contrasting textures, individual drawer pulls — kitchens can be as creative as their owners. If sleek, clean-cut units don’t get you excited, take inspiration from these nine ways to get a more varied look in the kitchen.

10 Upgrades for a Touch of Kitchen Elegance

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 7.31.08 AMGive your kitchen a more refined look by changing just a detail or two

“Elegant,” “sophisticated,” “simply beautiful” — are these words you would use to describe your dream kitchen? Even just adding a coat of paint, new lighting and carefully chosen decorative details can bring your current kitchen a bit closer to that dream. Here are 10 upgrades to consider.

10 Ways to Bring Charm to Your Home’s Exterior

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 2.01.13 PMGive your facade, driveway or garage doors a more appealing look to make a strong first impression

Whether you have a cottage that needs a little TLC or a nondescript colonial you’d love to inject with a bit more personality, deciding on changes to the exterior can be tricky. It’s important not to force a completely unrelated style on your home, but the right exterior enhancements can significantly improve your home’s curb appeal.

12 Rustic Touches That Add Warmth to a Kitchen

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 3.05.27 PMExposed beams, chandeliers, farm tables or just a key accessory or two can bring some coziness to the heart of your home

It’s getting darker earlier and earlier this time of year, making us crave a warm and cozy nest on cold evenings. The best place to start is the heart of the home, the kitchen. Gathering with family and friends for comfort food like butternut squash soup, Cincinnati chili or spaghetti and meatballs is even more comforting when the meal is casually served in the kitchen. Adding some rustic touches will make you feel like you’re cozied up in a Tuscan farmhouse or an English cottage. Whether you’re starting from scratch with a renovation or simply want to add a few accessories, here are some key ways to give your kitchen a homey, comforting ambience.

Bathroom Workbook: 7 Natural Stones With Enduring Beauty

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 3.03.42 PMNot everyone wants a marble bath. Bring organic warmth to your bath counters, walls or floors with these hard-wearing alternatives

There’s no other material quite like natural stone. No two pieces are exactly alike, and nothing else adds the same organic warmth and texture to a bathroom. Not to mention the longevity. If they’re well maintained, your stone surfaces can last a lifetime.

Marble, of course, has been a popular stone choice for luxurious interiors for centuries based on its inherent beauty. But while Carrara and Calacatta remain classics, they have their downsides, and they aren’t your only options. Here are seven other natural stone varieties, each with its own unique characteristics and strengths, worth considering for your bathroom floors, countertops and walls.

Pocket Doors and Sliding Walls for a More Flexible Space

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 8.11.26 AMLarge sliding doors allow you to divide open areas or close off rooms when you want to block sound, hide a mess or create privacy

Growing up in a century-old Craftsman home, I took it for granted that we had beautiful solid wood pocket doors. More like sliding walls, they divided the living room from the dining room, and my parents (or my older siblings) would slide them shut when having a party so I could sleep (or sneak out of bed to listen on the other side of the wall). And it’s not only old Craftsman and Victorian homes that have sliding doors — traditional Japanese homes also use a form of sliding room dividers known as shoji. Not many new builds include this useful feature, but if you are renovating or starting from scratch, why not give pocket doors and sliding walls a look?

Remodeling to Increase Your Home’s Value