Sound Advice for Designing a Home Music Studio

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 7.33.43 AMHow to unleash your inner guitar hero without antagonizing the neighbors

Most musicians will admit to sharing a single core skill necessary for mastering their instrument: control. When it comes to designing spaces for practicing, performing, recording or just jamming, control is equally important to acousticians and architects. We aim to control the sound entering and exiting the studio, the heat and humidity inside and, of course, the acoustics.

While a home music room may not have the demands of a professional recording studio, many spaces can benefit from the sound isolation and acoustic treatment applied to rooms designed for playing music. I’ve designed spaces for music at all scales, from auditorium halls to private listening rooms, and have learned a few basic sound concepts that can dramatically improve the aural environment of any space.

12 Ways to Get a Luxe Bathroom Look for Less

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 7.56.09 AMYour budget bathroom can have a high-end feel with these tricks for choosing tile, stone, furniture and more

Although we all love to drool over images of gorgeous designer bathrooms, we may not have the budget to go all-out when the time comes to spruce up our own washrooms. But that doesn’t mean your remodel has to be generic and uninspired. There are many ways to get a high-end look without a hefty price tag. Here are 12 tricks to do just that.

A Walnut Wall of Storage Opens Up a Kitchen

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 8.47.11 AMA 30-foot wall of storage frees up cooking areas and counters for food prep and entertaining

Traditional kitchens reign supreme in this particular suburb of Philadelphia. And that’s exactly what this family of four didn’t want. So finding a local designer to do something different proved challenging. “They didn’t get what we were looking for,” says one of the homeowners. “We wanted someone who could think outside the box a little bit.”

They wanted something, well, the opposite of traditional. They wanted “all the cliché things, like clean lines, an open floor plan, all white, no upper cabinets,” the homeowner says. So they searched for home professionals on Houzz and came across general contractor Brian Osborne. “He just got us,” the homeowner says. Osborne and his team of designers and fabricators helped modernize the space by integrating a 30-foot black walnut wall ofstorage that took all the pressure off the cooking stations and hangout areas to create an incredibly spacious and airy kitchen.

Ready to Try Something New? Houzz Guides to Color for Your Kitchen

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 8.47.52 AMIf only mixing up a kitchen color palette were as easy as mixing batter. Here’s help for choosing wall, cabinet, island and backsplash hues

Vibrant reds, bold oranges and electric greens all have their place in the kitchen today — it’s just a matter of finding the right tone and using it correctly. Are you ready to get cooking with color? Take a look at some of Houzz’s best kitchen color guides, complete with suggested paint picks and color palettes, and start sampling some fresh new hues on your kitchen cabinets, island and backsplash.

Decorating Trends: Survey Shows What Homeowners Want

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 3.47.05 PMIs the TV gaining or losing ground? Are women or men trendier? Find out and learn more about people’s decorating plans right here

If you ever get frustrated that your home doesn’t quite look how you’ve always dreamed it should look, then consider this: The next time you’re standing in a room of 100 people, know that 98 of them share your frustration. That’s according to a recent Houzz decorating survey, for which more than 1,700 people shared their decorating intentions — and, yes, frustrations. Of those surveyed only 2 percent felt they had achieved their ultimate vision for their home. And on average most of us feel we are only about halfway to fulfilling our vision of home.

Tempted to Try Wallpaper? 10 Tips for Finding the Right Pattern

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.08.37 AMBefore you lay down a lot of cash, sit down with this advice for getting a wallpaper you’ll love for years

It can add texture, color, pattern or a painterly scene — even more so than paint, wallpaper can change the entire look of a room. But given the cost and the need for professional installation (a must), wallpaper can seem like a risky commitment. If you’ve been wanting to add wallpaper to your space but keep shying away, these 10 tips should help ease some of the fear factor. Armed with good information, you can find the right wallpaper for you.

Contractor Tips: Top 10 Home Remodeling Don’ts

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.06.36 AMHelp your home renovation go smoothly and stay on budget with this wise advice from a pro

Whether you work with a general contractor or act as one on your own project, getting a glimpse into the mind of a contractor can give you a new perspective into remodeling projects around your home.

I’ve learned a lot working as a contractor, and some of those lessons can help homeowners too. What you do is just as important as what you don’t do, and sometimes a homeowner’s instinct can negatively affect a home renovation project.

How do you know if you’re helping or hurting your project? Read on to find out and to see what can help simplify your home remodel.

Home Improvements That Pay You Back

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11 Tips for Building a Bathroom in the Attic

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 3.44.56 PMTurn that dusty storage space into a bright, relaxing bathroom by working with your attic’s quirky spaces

Many of us don’t have room to add a luxurious four-piece master bathroom to our homes, unless we sacrifice a spare bedroom or carve into our closet space. (Heaven forbid!) But some savvy designers and homeowners have found a smart solution: an attic renovation. A deep soaking tub tucked under an eave or a pair of pedestal sinks may just fit perfectly. Take cues from these stunning examples of beautiful bathrooms that are all found in this often-overlooked storage space.