Month: September 2018

A Window Above the Bathroom Sink: Feature or Flaw?

I believe it’s safe to say that most men and women love a window over the kitchen sink. But place that window over a bathroom sink, and that I believe most people would find this to be a defect. A mirror directly above the sink is pretty convenient — you can see exactly what you’re doing when you brush your teeth or shave your face. So if you’ve got a window instead, what can you do? Check out 16 baths where that window over the sink is not a flaw, but a feature.

Browse toilet designs | Find a toilet designer

Jerry Jacobs Design, Inc..

This marble vanity stands within a bay window, and the mirror was designed to be suspended in the front of this window. What an impressive and luxurious space. The window is definitely a characteristic of the toilet, and functionality is handled beautifully.

MN Builders

Are you ready for some imaginative genius? This mirror slides on a track so that when it is positioned over the sink it reveals that a medicine cabinet. Developed by Malcolm David Architecture and constructed by Mueller Nichols Cabinets & Construction, this can be a totally custom piece.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

This long, horizontal window operating over the entire counter area lets abundant light into the toilet while mirrors are placed at intervals in front of it. Fluorescent lights inset into the mirrors provide light at face level.

Moroso Construction

This round mirror is held in place by a metal pole attached to either side of this window. In the morning, you’d have wonderful natural light emitting your face from all over, so you can see yourself while enjoying the view, too.

These mirrors are attached above and under the top of the backsplash and a customized header. See that the electrical has been run through the header, and wall sconces are dangled out of it involving the mirrors. So, they have ample natural light during the day and extra lighting around the face level when it’s needed.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

There’s something to be said for its simplest and low-tech approach. A freestanding makeup mirror keeps this window completely unobstructed for sun and the opinion. What a cheerful place to start the morning.

Powell/Kleinschmidt, Inc..

A large freestanding mirror solves the problem by standing directly behind the vessel sink. The faucet is offset to the right.

MN Builders

This easy swing-arm mirror is simple to pull into place when it’s needed. And it can be pushed out of the way when you’re more interested in gazing off into the distance during your morning ablutions.

David Howell Design

Attached to the side wall, that this mirror does double duty as a practical piece and sculptural accent. Oh, I would love standing there looking out at the greenery.

Northbrook Design

Hanging a framed mirror from the ceiling is befitting the conventional style and Old-World charm of this bathroom vanity.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

This bath is firmly tucked into one of my own inspiration ideabooks for favored baths. A massive field of glass block allows in abundant light while maintaining privacy. Flat metal bars running from backsplash to ceiling hold the mirrors set up.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

In the front of the glass block in this toilet, medicine cabinets with mirrored doors and lights are attached to a metal frame at the ceiling and countertops. Not only do you’ve got the light and mirror, but your toiletries are within handy reach too.

Jim Tetro

Shoji screens gently filter light in this modern Asian-style bathroom. The mirror is placed inside the window frame, and pendant lights dangled from the ceiling put the light directly where it’s needed to either side of this mirror.


Here’s another great example of a traditional bathroom with an oval mirror hung in the front of the window. Simple is good.

David Vandervort Architects

A toiletry shelf over the vanity is the best place to prop a tiny mirror and enjoy sunlight in your face.

Inform us Do you have a window over your bathroom sink? Do you like it? Share your own photos!

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8 Ways to Make Your Piano Room Sing

My sister only added a beautiful black upright piano into her property. It has turned into her place into a musical hot spot for family members and friends and has me thinking about getting one. However, where would I put this, and how do I design a space with it?

If you’ve got a new or used piano or are pondering the idea, here are some hints on locating a fashionable place wherever your piano sounds and looks great.

Hint No. 1: Set your piano in a spot with constant humidity and humidity — no knots. Extreme temperature and humidity can weaken or damage the piano as time passes.

Chr DAUER Architects

Design your distance all around your piano. If your piano is a significant portion of your life, organize your furniture about it to get best listening enjoyment. The expression of your piano gets significant since it’ll be the focal point. Personalize the wall above it to represent a feeling of who you are. Also consider painting the walls and supplying it with colors to contrast your piano. For instance, in case you’ve got an ebony or dark-stained complete, keep the room bright by using soft colors and upholstery. The piano will steal the show!

Ana Williamson Architect

Put it off to one side. This provides you multiple choices — piano playing on one side along with the conversation area for fun on the other.

Jennifer Brouwer (Jennifer Brouwer Design Inc)

Put it in a living room. A living room is one room in the home which isn’t always used. So give it a fresh function and call it the piano room. Maintain the piano in the front area , away from the rest of the home, so kids and adults can exercise daily without disturbing others in the rest of the home.

Hint: You might think the basement would be a fantastic spot to put a piano, therefore practicers don’t disturb others. But basements can have high humidity levels which could damage your piano.

Andrea Schumacher Interiors

Use it to make a room appear wider. If you’ve got a narrow room, place the piano onto the end wall to create a sense of a broader room.

You can also make the piano wall a distance saver by integrating a built-in around it. This is very handy for keeping song publications framing the piano so that it stands out.

InterDesign Studio

Create a scene. The atmosphere you create throughout your piano can inspire you to practice. Hollywood stars seeing you perform isn’t a terrible crowd! Try out a bold colour as a background for dramatic appeal.

Neiman Taber Architects

Balance and enhance architectural details. If you’ve got high windows, such as in this picture, placing a piano underneath fills in the space. Pianos also balance out a rooms which have a fireplace which isn’t centered.

Never place your piano in direct sunlight. Over time, sunlight will damage the finish and heat can affect the tone.

Also, don’t place a piano near a drafty window, door or chimney draft, or near a heating or air conditioning vent. It was the rule of thumb to not place a piano onto an outside wall, but since houses can be well-insulated these days, homeowners feel comfortable doing this. The secret is to maintain your piano secure from cold air and dampness.

David Churchill – Architectural Photographer

Make the most of the room’s acoustics. A piano can sound loud and bright in an area with hard surfaces that are polished. Rugs, upholstered furniture and window treatments absorb the noise, soften the tone and provide heat. The bigger the room, the further you should be conscious of this.

In a large room, consider placing your piano in a corner so there is less bouncing of noise on other walls.

Michelle Hinckley

Modernize your piano therefore that it does not feel so heavy. Upright pianos are big and tall, so that they could take up good space in a space, but there’s no need to place it front and centre. Find a corner that is wide, deep and tall enough to your piano. Add some different components to finish the look and it won’t stand out.

Pick elements which make it feel airy like a big mirror and a lamp with a reflective base.

Have a piano? Tell us in which it is in your home!

More: Tour an Eclectic, Music-Filled Home in Sydney

Browse: See hundreds of piano rooms

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Readers' Choice: 2011's Best 20 Kitchens

In 2011, we found a great deal of kitchens that played with colour and texture in tile and fabrics. Designers have creative with storage solutions and working with small spaces. Kitchens as part of great rooms have been popular, too. Bold lighting fixtures were a must, however simple and traditional cabinetry was still existing in every kitchen fashion. Take a peek at Houzzers’ treasured kitchen photographs, then tell us: What’s your favorite?

More Readers’ Choice winners of 2011:
Bedrooms | Baths | Offices | Living Bathrooms | Patios | Kids’ Bathrooms | Laundry Rooms

Nic Darling

1. This New York kitchen was added to many ideabooks for its unique mixture of texture and colour. Matte grey cabinetry, industrial lighting fittings, walnut work surfaces, plus a steel and exposed timber drop-down table all play to some natural colour palette, whereas timeless Kartell Mademoiselle Chairs include a pop of color and pattern.

Venegas and Company

2. Folks continue to be enjoying black-and-white kitchens. A black island provides drama , without getting too overpowering, while timeless white subway tile and modern pendant lights keep the room looking fresh.

Artisan Kitchens Inc..

3. There are a lot of great built-in storage thoughts within this adorable seaside kitchen. The dog dish is a particularly clever storage alternative that keeps dog dishes out of the way and prevents your pet puppies from knocking over their food! The dog drawer bones above hold treats and food, and tagged heavy drawers to the right of the island are packaged with treats for all these lucky pups’ owners.

Charlie & Co.. Design, Ltd

4. Multipurpose rooms that are spacious, flexible, and operational were all the rage this season. Possessing a spacious kitchen and dining room is a great way to combine two spaces that serve similar purposes, and makes for a ideal entertaining area, too.

Battle Associates, Architects

5. The arched entryway and display cabinets are what attracted readers for this kitchen. Glass doors on each side of cabinetry allows light come through. Contemporary pot racks include more storage and enhance the design of the kitchen.

Urrutia Design

6. The glass pendants above the slick island within this modern kitchen caught the eye of many Houzz users. A stunning palette of black, white, gray and navy combine in rich finishes and textures to make a gorgeous and daring area.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

7. While we saw fewer of these this season, all-white kitchens continue to be available on many wish lists. We love the clean appearance of the off-white subway tile within this kitchen, making the glowing white cabinetry and trim stand out.

Kitchens & Baths, Linda Burkhardt

8. Smart storage solutions drew Houzz users to the timeless East Coast kitchen. The pull-out pantry includes an amazing amount of storage and tucks away with ease. It is a wonderful solution for anyone who doesn’t have enough room to build out a walk-in cupboard.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

9. Iridescent backsplash tiles give this kitchen a little bit of glamour for this very simple kitchen. A mixture of modern and traditional finishes gives it a exceptional appearance people fell in love with.

Redbud Custom Homes

10. This kitchen combines a number of traditional elements subtle enough to keep the room still looking fresh and current. Wood surfaces warm up the distance, and subscribers loved the sage-green subway tile counter tops.

Fiorella Design

11. Houzz users were enchanted by the soothing grey and white tones within this kitchen — the tiled backsplash instantly catches the eye. Nonetheless, what our readers really loved was the open shelving above the sink. It is a simple solution to get a tiny bit of extra kitchen storage, and permits the kitchen to still feel open and light.

The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn

12. We saw lots of amazing butcher block islands this season, exactly like the one in this kitchen that made the top-20 list. Not only is this a functional countertop surface, but it is going to wear beautifully with age. We love the way that it warms up this distance and contrasts with the white cabinetry and granite counters.

Atmosphere Interior Design Inc..

13. Readers were enjoying industrial pendants in every style of kitchen this past year. We saw photos of these pendants in modern, traditional, and contemporary kitchens all around the world. This modern kitchen in Canada used three of these pendants to light the island’s white counter tops. A black-and-gray mosaic tiled backsplash provides a sense of texture and pattern to contrast with the streamlined cabinetry.

Dijeau Poage Construction

14. Here, a comparable kind of pendant is used at a classically designed white kitchen. Houzz readers loved the comparison of the white subway tile backsplash and white marble counters, as well as the convenient island sink.

Cameo Kitchens, Inc..

15. Many of the same details in the previous kitchen are integrated into this area, but using a much more conventional touch. The coffered ceilings have been a huge hit with Houzz readers, as well as the custom wood hood along with ornately carved mantle.

Charlie & Co.. Design, Ltd

16. Here’s another open kitchen that Houzz users loved. The modern design of the kitchen and built-in dining room area is minimalistic, but still comfy. Houzz users loved the use of textiles int his distance, and the hot wood grain.

Kenzer Furniture

17. This all-white kitchen includes a timeless appearance with a slightly feminine design people adore. The combination of the paneled cabinetry, marble counters, and timeless pendants make a tasteful and controlled appearance.

John Maniscalco Architecture

18. Occasionally modern kitchens may come across as cold, but subscribers adore this hot twist on minimalistic modern design. A Carrara marble counter tops and backsplash are warmed up with chocolate brown cabinetry and rustic-looking wood and iron barstools.

Joel Kelly Design

19. The show-stopping lighting fixture within this area made it a must-see for Houzz users. The stunning chandelier makes a bold statement, also stands out agains the blank, black cabinetry.

Schrader & Companies

20. The exposed wood beams within this kitchen captured the eyes of Houzz users searching for kitchen inspiration. The huge 12-foot granite island is the perfect spot for food preparation, and has a lot of room for entertaining functions.

Have your say: Which of these top kitchens is the favorite?

See the most popular kitchen photos on Houzz

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Houzz Tour: Nostalgic Family Home in Upstate New York

This charming Cape Cod-style home is nestled away in a quiet, kid-friendly suburban community in LaGrange, NY. Owners Peggy and Dennis Maloney happen to be working on making it their own since moving here from the 1980s if their sixth child was born.

Peggy decorated the home with family heirlooms and items that she found at estate sales, antique shops and flea markets. Each one has a unique story behind it, while it’s a rare find from a real estate sale or a souvenir from one of the numerous trips to Europe. She’s “absolutely in love with all the colors white and blue,” she says. “It was an easy choice when selecting paint colors for the house.”

Houzz in a Glance
Who lives here: Peggy and Dennis Maloney
Location: LaGrange, New York
Size: 3,000 square feet; 5 bedrooms

Rikki Snyder

Their primary sitting parlor, (my favorite room in the house), is full of blues, whites, greens and lots of rare collectibles.

Rikki Snyder

The secretary furniture piece in this area was found in an estate sale, along with the green vintage sofa made from the 1940s. “It had been love at first sight,” Peggy says. She had it reupholstered, and it’s currently a primary element in her parlor.

Rikki Snyder

One of Peggy’s most valued collectibles is a blue and gold Limoges porcelain vase from France atop her side table. The fitting green chairs in her parlor add an ideal contrast to each of the whites and blues, adding warm color into a bright, airy and inviting area.

Rikki Snyder

Peggy’s bedroom was kept very easy with blue walls and gentle light blue-and-white accents. A craft room from her bedroom is Peggy’s favorite place to be. She enjoys making a wide variety of crafts like wreaths, Christmas decorations, pillows, blankets and aprons there.

Rikki Snyder

If Peggy’s not spending some time in her craft area she’s frequently off at the kitchen baking. Like their bedroom, the kitchen is very easy with blue cupboards and white accents, though they intend to remodel their kitchen, make new cabinets and adjust the color to cream within the next few months.

Rikki Snyder

When the Maloneys proceeded in, they added a new front entry, making the entryway broader and much more inviting. They also added a screened-in porch off the back, remodeled a bathroom, replaced the carpeting and repainted.

Rikki Snyder

This dining area is their location of family gathering. This space means much to her since she never had a dining room in her house when she was growing up.

Rikki Snyder

Peggy had always wanted a cuckoo clock, and she eventually bought this find while in Bavaria, Germany. “Whenever the grandkids are over and the cuckoo clock goes away they run on to it and observe it in amazement,” she says.

Rikki Snyder

A hutch displays Peggy’s blue-and-white dishes and glassware, reflected here in the dining room mirror.

Rikki Snyder

A hanging Christmas cactus, a philodendron, asparagus ferns and bonsai trees line the front.

Rikki Snyder

At the corner of the dining area are more of Peggy’s blue-and-white dishes from England and furniture that has been in her family for quite a while. Included is a pewter tea collection, which is Peggy’s favorite piece to drink from. You could always expect a nice cup of tea upon entering this charming home.

More Houzz tours:
New York City Design Sensibility at Lowcountry
Playful and Elegant at New York

Next: Tour hundreds of inspirational houses

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Kit Houses Stand the Test of Time

Kit houses were America’s first mass-produced, prefab homes, sold by Sears, Montgomery Ward, Gordon Van Tine, Aladdin and also a couple of others. The materials for these homes, ordered straight from a catalog, were delivered to the construction site by truck and rail. Unexpectedly, each the parts, from wood to dividers to the kitchen sink, have been delivered ready for assembly with a local builder or even the owner.

As the prevalence of the kit house grew, so did the available sizes and styles. Sears and many others could produce homes that catered to every pocketbook and every taste. Over 70,000 were sold during America, and a number of these homes are still standing. In fact, there are many communities from Maine to Illinois to California that boast a large, complete collection of kit homes.

Such as the bungalow, the apparel home began with the dawn of the car Age and the consequent growth of inner-ing suburbs.

More: The Bungalow: National Design in the Dawn of the Automobile Age

WINN Design+Build

Cabinet homes came in several distinct sizes, styles and types. All the material for this particular Craftsman kit house would have been ordered through the retailer’s catalog and delivered to site by rail and truck.

WINN Design+Build

As one lot owner after another ordered from the catalog, it was not unusual for whole neighborhoods to be built almost exclusively of kit homes.

WINN Design+Build

Originally small homes for small lots and marketed to budget conscious buyers, these homes have a richness of detail that belies their modest origins.

WINN Design+Build

Kit homes are ripe candidates for renovations and expansions. By adding windows to this living room, this kit dwelling is made more attractive for today’s owners.

WINN Design+Build

Such as the bungalow, the normal kit house kitchen was initially modest and basic. Through renovation, remodel or a potential improvement, these kitchens may meet 21st century needs for spaciousness, convenience and light.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

A page out of this Gordon Van Tine catalog for the “Columbia” version, which the firm also marketed as the “Hudson.” Montgomery Ward marketed a slight variation of this home as the “Cedars,” selling the kit for $2,515. Not bad for each the materials to build a home.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

A 1920s Gordon Van Tine “Columbia” model, bought from a catalog page such as the one above, after renovation and expansion. New siding, windows and front door guarantee the home will be around for another century.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Many apparel homes that were initially small, frequently only six rooms and one bath, have been expanded for added living space like a family room in addition to master bedroom and bath.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Ceiling heights from the original kit homes were usually ample, letting new spaces to possess the exact same. An addition to your kit house also affords an opportunity to include windows, raising the quantity of natural lighting from the house.

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Houzz Tour: Casually French Birmingham

In Mary Evelyn McKee’s Birmingham house, polished and serene choices really are a mere extension of this designer’s naturally distinguished palette. The Norman-style house reflects her Francophile inclinations, while constantly keeping things slightly casual in family-heavy areas like the mudroom entrance and kitchen. Comfort is key, but it never takes over the sophisticated aesthetic and chic color palette of cream, white, beige and moss green. Carefully chosen antiques complete the spin on traditional, Southern fashion.

Mary Evelyn Interiors

The outside is an architectural example of understated design. With no shutters on the house, the oversize lamp hanging over the door is prominent. The ivy growing up the side allows the house blend in the surroundings.

Mary Evelyn Interiors

The barrel vault-ceilinged foyer leads straight to the garden. French doors in the entryway and back of the hallway bring in a lot of light. Two armless club chairs offer you a place to sit and read.

Mary Evelyn Interiors

McKee wanted to maintain the kitchen conservative, so she put a classic table in the middle and utilized dark grout to offset the subway tile backsplash. Simple white upholstered chairs keep the black and white wood color palette.

Mary Evelyn Interiors

From the kitchen, a drop-down desk is surrounded by storage for dishes, glassware and serveware. The dark gunmetal grey finish feels dramatic against an otherwise white kitchen color scheme.

Mary Evelyn Interiors

Skirted chairs surround a French walnut table in the mushroom-gray dining area. Neoclassical rolls include the grandiose chandelier and lush, gold raw silk drapes.

Mary Evelyn Interiors

A watercolor print of vibrant yellow flowers above a traditional sideboard adds a number of the brightest color in the house.

Mary Evelyn Interiors

The color tones of rock, straw and white are calming enough to permit the various antiques to stand out well. Children’s portraits lean against a mantel flanked by golden French sconces.

Mary Evelyn Interiors

The designer’s long-haired dachshund Nicholas sits to the overstuffed daybed in the living area. A traditional metallic base lamp covers a tablescape of accessories which have shells and crystal pieces. An abstract nude hangs solo on the far wall.

Mary Evelyn Interiors

McKee painted the bedroom a color she calls the”sacred” color. “It is the color of the Virgin’s veils in Renaissance paintings,” she says. A mix of green and blue, the overall effect is very cerebral and calm. The blue-on-blue linens and draperies improve the fairly aesthetic.

Mary Evelyn Interiors

The Fortuny upholstered seat plays off the beige/gold mirror and little walnut table. Local designers are responsible for the little prints she’s layered using plate stands.

Mary Evelyn Interiors

The mudroom entryway includes a bit of country-chic, with baskets and hooks for keeping necessities.

More: See hundreds of inspirational home tours

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The Way to Arrange Your Room for People and TV, Too

Arranging furniture in a room with a TV is one of the best design inside challenges. I have always been jealous of those who’ve rooms devoted exclusively to watching TV. The majority of us don’t live that way — our rooms need to do double, triple or quadruple duty, and accommodating a huge screen with all manners of living is tricky. But placement to get a view is sometimes as simple as shifting the furniture.

If you are fortunate enough to have a room used only for lounging and watching TV, a set like this is ideal. A sectional facing a a screen with ample space to put up your feet is the family-room equal of a screening space. The dark wall and ceiling produce more contrast so pictures are crisp and clean, and also the low-positioned TV means never having to crane the neck.

BW Interiors

Transferring the TV next to a different focal point, in this event the fireplace, takes the emphasis off the monitor. The furniture arrangement is approximately the same as in the last photo, but the TV does not dominate. There are simple views from all of the available seating of both the TV and the fireplace, and there is a very clear sense that more goes on here than watching a screen.

If you live alone or think about TV or movie watching a solo activity, a great screen and comfy seat are all you need. Replace the seat for a chaise or daybed to make space for 2. Simple and private.

Cecile Lozano Interiors

When a room should function both as a place to interact and get just a little screen time, a corner press center is great way to go. Put the TV on an adjustable arm or swivel stand expands the view to both sofas and the dining room table.

Amoroso Design

While I am not an advocate of mounting TVs over the fireplace, it functions for this particular room. The various kinds of seating and the arrangement creates a cozy conversation area and leaves sight lines unobstructed to both the fireplace and TV. The screen is big, but the arrangement clearly communicates the room is for socializing first and watching TV second.

Andrea Schumacher Interiors

There is no TV observable in this photo, but it’s easy to imagine one on left wall, supporting the snowy settee. Style and comfort are addressed in this particular setting. The group of furniture — couch, daybed, footstools and seat — serve many purposes. The occasional seat, footstools and daybed signify the room is frequently utilized to entertain guests. The daybed yearns for an afternoon nap or comfy evening reading before the fireplace, along with the positioning of the couch is ideal for watching TV. The daybed using its low height and no rear, allows for clear sight lines into the screen.

Elad Gonen

Sight lines are taken into account when choosing and positioning both furniture and TV in this room. The smaller scale of the seats permit easy viewing from the couch, although the TV here is placed slightly higher than is optimal for viewing.

We may love a TV along with the entertainment it provides, but nothing beats having a house full of people and the relations they bring. Serving both is the sweet spot between technology and design.

More: Where to Put the TV
TVs Which tow the Designer Evaluation
TV in the Bedroom: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

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