March 30, 2010

What I'm Seeing in Design Trends, Part 3: Bathrooms

I'm going to be away for a week, but I thought I might leave you with some bathroom trends to ponder.  This is what I'm seeing as new (some not-so-new) trends in bathrooms.  The photos I collect tend to show larger bathrooms, likely because smaller bathrooms are so difficult to photograph and therefore there just aren't as many photos out there.  But bits and pieces of these themes can be carried over into small bathrooms for a very similar look.

"Floating cabinets", modern glam, lots of white...

from Desire to Inspire 

Polished finishes (specifically nickel), vertical mirror strips behind sink with tile on either side, wall sconces...

source unknown (sorry!)

Natural materials, curbless showers...
source unknown (sorry!)

Warm taupe-gray colors with whites and a little high-polish glam... a combination of natural and crisp geometric materials...

Pebble floors, vanity areas in center of room, open vanity cabinets...

Chandeliers and other elegant lighting in place of traditional wall-mount light bars...

Wood floors (be careful!), wood trim, freestanding tubs... looks more like a regular room with furniture than a bathroom...
Charcoal gray or black cabinets...
from Amoroso Design via Desire to Inspire
Large showers being more important than big tubs...
from Amoroso Design via Desire to Inspire 

March 25, 2010

C.G. Sparks Dining Table on Sale

C.G. Sparks is a local furniture and accesssories store here in Salt Lake City.  The bright blue building has a lot of personality, and is a great indication of the fun character you'll find inside!  I've always loved their reclaimed wood dining tables, and was happy to see this reclaimed teak table is currently on sale for $ 550 (regularly $875). 

They have several standard size tables available, and they can also make custom pieces using reclaimed teak, rosewood, and other wood species.

C.G. Sparks features reclaimed pieces and materials from places like India and Tibet, most of which are hand-picked by the owner of the company.


You can also find random unique items like an antique door and frame from an Indian temple...

or a hand-carved Hannuman the monkey god...

If you live in Salt Lake City and haven't been to C.G. Sparks yet, I recommend you check it out soon.  And if you're in the market for a dining room table, check out the reclaimed teak table on sale! 

(I promise, I am getting nothing to promote this store.  I just really like it and wanted to share their fun stuff.)

March 24, 2010

Overstock Bar Stools

After a couple months of obsessing over these stools on Overstock, I finally bought them, and they're great with our homemade table.  While I probably would have chosen something different if budget wasn't an issue, these were under $100, including shipping (plus a discount coupon).  They're sturdy and they look good.  Definitely a worthwhile purchase.

March 22, 2010

DIY Inspiration: Bold Wallpaper

So, on a whim last fall, we bought 3 rolls of this cool retro wallpaper from Graham & Brown, called Boheme: Green. 

We intend to install it on a wall in our kitchen, and it will (hopefully) look something like this:

The project is a bit intimidating, which is likely why we haven't done it yet.  A big linear pattern in an old home with crooked walls just scares me.  AND I believe the color is now discountinued.  AND I'm not entirely convinced we ordered enough to allow any room for error. 

There are so many great wallpapers out there now that wallpaper has made a comeback.  I'm loving all the bold patterns I'm seeing.  For your own inspiration, here are some great images I've collected.

(image source unknown)

from cococozy (paper by Graham & Brown)

(image source unknown)

March 19, 2010

Before & After: Living Room

This is what our living room looked like when we bought our house:

Yuck, right?  We immediately tore out all the dark heavy drapes and the carpet.  We installed a (I can't believe I'm about to admit to this!) vinyl wood-look floor on top of the concrete slab.  I typically avoid fake-wood floors, but this one is actually pretty impressive.  It's a commercial-grade floor, which means it's great with the abuse it gets all day from the dogs and it's good with moisture too, which is great when you have dogs that track in mud and also drool insane amounts of drool all over the floor.  PLUS the pattern of the grain actually matches the grain texture on the floor... imagine that.  (This is my complaint with most wood-look floors.  The grain rarely matches the texture, making it look even more fake.) 

Aside from the floors, we painted, and we added a dog door in the left side of the bookcase.  That's really it, but what a big difference.

Here's how it looks now:

This is definitely not a finished product, but you can see where we're going.

Things to do: 
1.  Do something about that big blank wall behind the sofa (see earlier post).
2.  Get rid of the hideous end tables.  I'm on the lookout for something cool to replace them with... but I refuse to pay full price.
3.  Get rid of the Ikea chair.  It's lived its life and it's time to move on.
4.  New sofa pillows.  These are stand-ins for the pillow the dog ate.
5.  Reupholster the sofa.  Will do this myself, hopefully, once my sewing and upholstery skills improve... a lot

March 18, 2010

I so want to copy this backsplash!

I've seen this application before, but never done so well.  Check out the far wall - the marble backsplash is actually 2 marble panels that slide back and forth to conceal or expose the spice rack shelves on either side of the range.  How cool is that?  (Click on the link for a closer more detailed photo)

March 17, 2010

Coffee Tables on Casters

A recent post about tables on casters on Desire to Inspire had me all gung-ho about a possible new DIY project.  I love the look of these tables, and they're so easy to push out of the way, which in our case is important because our living room is also our workout room and the coffee table moves often (okay, maybe not as often as it should, as we're not working out as often as we should). 

 Well, after pondering this DIY project, guess what?  I found the perfect table on KSL!  

This used Room & Board (I've always wanted to own something from Room & Board!) coffee table is perfect.  It matches our style perfectly, and does everything I wanted a coffee table to do (moves easily, cleans easily, and allows some display without cluttering the top of the table). 

So another DIY project gets crossed off the list. (Is it cheating if I bought the table rather than making it?)

March 16, 2010

What I'm Seeing in New Home Design Trends - Part 2: Mudrooms & Laundry / Craft Rooms

from HGTV, designed by Gail Drury

To continue the new home trends... I'm seeing an evolution in Mudrooms and Laundry Rooms.  It's all about convenience, storage, and organization.  But with a twist - these rooms have more personality than ever.  The utilitarian industrial look is gone, and has been replaced with a warmer more comfortable feel.  Whether traditional or modern, these areas can have a lot of style. 

from Dura Supreme Cabinetry

These days Laundry Rooms are for more than just laundry. Craft areas are often integrated into Laundry Rooms as well. Therefore I'm seeing more furniture: tables, chairs, sofas... anything to make the room more comfortable.

from DecorPad

source unknown

March 12, 2010

What I'm Seeing in New Home Trends - Part 1: Kitchens

One of my favorite people in the world is designing a new home, and I thought I might give her some ideas of the trends I'm noticing in both new construction and remodels.

1.  Butler pantry as a working kitchen.  I'm seeing butler's pantries getting larger, with more appliances included, and I see kitchens getting smaller (and by smaller I mean just not as gigantic as they've been in the mcmansions of the past few years).  The idea of big meal prep and cleanup being done in a separate room is appealing.  You can just close off the mess for later, and enjoy time with family and friends in your main kitchen. 

2.  Prep sink.  An island prep sink has almost become a must-have in many kitchens.  It makes sense - the prep sink is used for chopping and peeling and getting ready for meals, and the main sink can be dedicated to clean-up, meaning you can throw all your dirty dishes in that general direction and deal with them later because they're out of the way. 

3.  2 Dishwashers.  I'm seeing this in larger homes with larger kitchens, but people love the idea of not having to wait for a full load to run before putting more dirty dishes into the dishwasher.  (Notice how many of my posts are based on making clean-up easier and more convenient for people?)

4.  "Command Centers" in the Kitchen area.  These work well for families with young kids and hectic schedules.  From bulletin boards to clip boards to chalkboard paint and calendars, to cubbies and mail slots and anything else to try to keep life organized and under control.  These spaces take a lot of thought to be functional, rather than just a dumping ground for everything.  But they're a great concept and can make a soccer mom's life much easier!

5.  European simplicity.  In a very different direction, I'm also seeing a trend toward the simplicity of European style.  Smaller kitchens, with just the basic necessities.  And no clutter.  In this kitchen style it is more important than ever to have a good design, because EVERYTHING needs to have its place.  These kitchens take advantage of every inch of space, including the backsplash area between the countertop and wall cabinets.

6.  Fewer wall cabinets.  Kitchens feel more spacious and open without wall cabinets.  By adding a full wall of tall cabinets or more functional base cabinet storage, you can often eliminate many if not all of the wall cabinets. 

7.  Eclectic Looks.  I'm seeing a lot of mixing and matching within cabinetry and furniture.  I love the look of an eclectic kitchen full of mixed and matched pieces that seem to have come from an antique store or consignment shop.  These kitchens have so much more warmth and personality than your standard kitchen full of boring monotone cabinets. 

8.  Center kitchen design.  I recently read this article from Kitchen & Bath Design News and found it very interesting.  Rarely do I get the chance to get involved that early on in the planning phases of kitchen location, but I think it's a great concept that makes a lot of sense. 

March 9, 2010

Custom Maple & Concrete Benches

I designed these custom benches for a client and I got to see the finished product for the first time today!  These will go in the mudroom and front entry of a home in Park City.  Since the mudroom will get a lot of use after skiing, when everyone will want to come through the door and immediately dump all their wet gear on the closest surface (i.e. the bench), I was nervous about using a wood bench top.  So I suggested concrete.  The wood bases closely match the nearby kitchen cabinetry, and Scott at ConcreteXpressions did a great job on the tops.  Simple, modern, natural, and somewhat chunky, these are going to fit perfectly into my clients' home!

Note:  The concrete isn't splotchy, just dusty - it's been sitting in their shop for a couple weeks now...
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March 8, 2010

What to do with the blank walls over the sofa

For months the wall over our sofa has been blank.  I can't decide exactly what to do.  Or maybe the problem is that I know what I want to do, but I don't dare commit.  I want to do a collage of frames, which involves a lot of planning and a lot of nail holes (plus a lot of spackle to fill in all the "oopsy" nail holes).  I recently saw this photo and have decided whoever did this was a genius.  I think it will be the only way to figure out a layout that works (hopefully the first time).

Here are some of the many photos I've found for inspiration:

from Elizabeth Bauer Design

from photographer Stuart McIntyre


I'm sorry I don't have credits for all the photos.  Many of these I started saving long before I thought I'd be posting them on a blog. 

If anyone else have photos or ideas of this application, please feel free to share with me!