Category: Fireplaces

What's Mother Taught You About Making a House?

Many of us have learned valuable life skills from our moms. From day one Mother taught us how to take care of ourselves. From feeding us to instructing us how to cook ; from cleaning up after us to creating us clean in our own; from repairing our broken messes into instructing us to fix ourselves, moms have helped us to have our very own houses.

For this Mother’s Day, please tell us what particular thing — large or small — your mom taught you about making a more welcoming, practical home. Post a photo if you can. Your comment may end up in an upcoming showcased ideabook.

Here is my own mother, Carrie, with my sister, Emily, and me.

My mother had me and my three siblings throwing on housework back when the broom was taller than I was. Although we complained bitterly at the time, I’m so grateful to her for stoking my affection for a neat and clean household — especially her handy tip of crossing dust from hardwood flooring onto the carpeting and vacuuming everything up in one fell swoop — and helping me find the sweet pride in a clean house.

Rain or shine, the answer to “I am tired” in my childhood house was, “Go outside and play” Mother believed in clean air, sun and playing living things — and I owe my love of nature, gardening and being outdoors to her continuous prodding. Oh, yes, you will find many Saturdays spent weeding, moving stones and planting flowers — and yes, I hated it. But now I would kill for a garden to muck around in.

Both gardeners in this picture are not related to me, but it seems we all share a love of nature.

decordemon

Obviously, sometimes our mothers teach us what not to do, and we can be grateful for this, also. Hey, nobody’s ideal, and a few of us may owe a specific strength to a mother’s minor flaws.

My mother are the first to admit that fixing things — jiggly doorknobs, clogged toilets and broken dishwashers — isn’t her forte. OK, it is not my forte either, but the fact that both of my little brothers are whizzes using a hammer and a screwdriver helps compensate for it.

Inform us What has your mom taught you to do at home? How has she helped you to make your property what it is today? See a picture of your mother and we’d love to hear your story and you in the home.

More: Time Travel into ers’ Childhood Homes

See related

Outdoor Lighting to Make Your House and Landscape Glow

There’s something about a home at night, glowing from inside, that beckons you home. Translate that impact to your yard and you can gain extra outdoor rooms all night long.

Start with the front door to welcome people at night, include a few lights to your garden or backyard patio, or perhaps spice up a few trees using some uplighting. Lighting can be minimal and economical as a few solar lights out of a house improvement store or may get complicated and expensive with setups that are designed. Whether you choose to invest a lot or a little, the tiniest bit of lighting can go a very long way in the dark.

Have a glimpse into a few homes at night, lit from within and without in varying degrees of brightness. Exotic patios, glittering fountains and sculptural trees all get a boost out of a little mild. Where would you add a little glow to your house at night?

Kristi Spouse Interiors

A Well-Lit Welcome

Everything begins at the front door. Simple sconces flanking the door can add sufficient lighting for people, while uplighting along posts and a warm glow from inside are even more inviting.

Carson Poetzl, Inc..

Ensure people don’t visit by illuminating the road to the front door. Lighting the road and the door itself is the priority with night light.

FORMA Design

Lighting Paths

When paths and steps cut trails through the garden during the night, light can be useful. Dangerous when dim, paths become a design feature with the inclusion of night lights.

Noel Cross+Architects

Start with just a few lights and add additional to amp up the intensity as guests get closer to the front door. Welcome them with a strong glowing front porch lighting.

Kevin akey – azd associates – michigan

Lighting Art

Beautiful sculptural pieces could get lost in the dark with no lighting. Lighting the house behind the sculpture provides an art installation depth and presence.

Viewpoint Lighting

Lighting Up the Trees

Uplighting trees may add drama to a night garden, particularly when the tree has a striking form. Huge, twisting branches look living when lit from within and beneath.

Try placing uplighting under trees and bushes to create cool shadows during the night. Assessing the lights during the night, or just experimenting with a flashlight prior to installing, permits you to see precisely how the shadows will perform at night.

McKay Landscape Lighting

Another choice is to uplight the tree to revolve around the contour as a whole instead of concentrating on darkness. Extra lighting below the bench seating in this photograph permits the region to operate at night instead of disappearing into the shadow.

Exteriors From Chad Robert

Lighting Up the Waters

Water features gain additional drama when illuminated at night.

D-CRAIN Design and Construction

Illuminating a swimming pool is a classic use of outdoor night lighting. Few things are bewitching.

Illuminated fountains seem to glitter through the night as the water and light bounce off each other to beautiful effect.

Wheeler Kearns Architects

Tame the Light

Lighting doesn’t have to be brilliant to create effect. Subtle light that peeks out from wall slats gives enough shine to make this backyard patio romantic and cozy.

McKay Landscape Lighting

Subtle lighting around the front door may also be powerful without going over the surface. A few spotlights give depth to a blank wall, while strip light highlights the linear structure.

Possidento Lightscapes LLC

Whether you are light human-made art or the extraordinary lines of character, pathways throughout the backyard or the plants inside, lights can alter the night landscape in beautiful ways.

More: The Top 3 Ways to Light Up Your Landscape

See related

Plan Your Residence Remodel: The Design and Drawing Phase

In the first part of our series relating to this Florida ranch home renovation, we found the way Mike and Leann Rowe discovered a 1970s home with great bones and built a team to help them turn it into their dream home on the water. In this event, we’ll follow the design and drawing portion of the project.

In a project in this way, design and construction are intertwined. The team assembled by Mike and Leann included me as the architect, builder John Prahl and Jimmy Temple of Canco General Contractors. Collectively, John, Jimmy and I will help the Rowes evaluate design options and keep the project on track. This team approach should save Mike and Leann time, money and aggravation as most of us have input into developing the design and drawings.

Here are the first steps we are taking to find the drawings below way.

Watch Part 1 of this Renovation Diary

AIA, Bud Dietrich

1. Create a budget and a wish list. The first step in any endeavor is to establish exactly what you want, what you want and exactly what you can afford. So developing a budget and a wish list — something builders call a “program” — is equally vital.

That is exactly what Mike and Leann’s new home looks like now. They want three bedrooms (one of which is a home office/guest space) and at least 2 full bathrooms. They both like to cook so they will require a kitchen large enough for the both of them. And they want the kitchen open into the views and situated in the center of the home.

Phil Kean Designs

2. Define your story. In addition to the practical necessities and functional needs, your home should tell your story. So when starting out to the design, it’s important to define what that story is.

This photo of some other home provides an idea of exactly what Mike and Leann are searching for. For them, the story is about having immediate access to the gulf waters (Mike and Leann are enthusiastic boaters) and observing the casual, inside-outside Florida lifestyle. Big openings with walls of glass which may be pushed out of the way are essential. But because this is Florida, a means to keep out flying insects is also essential. Something clever, like these retractable screens that fill in massive openings, is what we’ll be opting for.

Olga Adler

3. Find inspiration. While not long ago you needed to purchase those magazines, tear out the a couple of pictures that inspired you and then toss away the magazine, now you can simply browse and save inspirational pictures in an ideabook. And while before you needed to keep all those bits of paper in a folder someplace (“Which are those clippings? I know they are around here someplace“), now you can e-mail a URL to a photo or collection of photos to your architect.

That brings us to the wonderful ceiling. Mike and Leann would enjoy a tall, vaulted ceiling. While browsing , Leann came across this picture and sent me the link. She loves the feeling of space the ceiling generates and the painted wood finish. So if the budget (there is that pesky financial issue again) and other issues allow, we’ll develop a ceiling very similar to this one.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

4. Research the codes, ordinances and regulations. From earthquake immunity in California to impact immunity in coastal Florida, just about every city, village and city has a particular and unique set of construction codes, ordinances and regulations which any project is going to need to comply with.

Though all of these principles will occasionally make us desire to moan and whine, they exist to protect life and property. Remember the May 2008 earthquake in China that toppled many buildings, such as schools, that price many individuals, including children, their lives? This was a disaster that would have been avoidable with the occurrence of better construction codes rigorously enforced. So let us remember this earthquake and its disastrous results every time we want to whine about “onerous” construction codes and regulations.

Since our project is situated in coastal Florida, we are going to have to mitigate the effects of hurricanes. Above all, we are going to need to ensure our brand new windows and doors meet or surpass the appropriate design pressure (DP) rating (a variable of wind speed, size and place). And there are strict regulations by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) who will most likely need to be taken care of.

All this won’t be easy or inexpensive, but the resulting safer construction will be well worth it.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

5. Document what is. Whether building new or renovating an existing structure, a thorough understanding of the existing requirements is essential. After all, it’s not like we begin with a completely blank slate. There are existing walls, roofs, windows and structures, as well as site features like solar orientation, sight lines and landscape features. Getting a handle on all this and making sure we understand the site and our current structure will help us as we navigate the design of a home which Mike and Leann will cherish for a lifetime.

Two tasks most frequently utilized to record the current conditions: 1). Taking a great deal of photos, and two) carefully measuring each wall, ceiling height, door opening, window location, electric device place and so on. All this information is then placed into a computer-aided design (CAD) document as a baseline from which we develop our design.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

6. Grow some basic sketches. My favorite question to ask as we brainstorm design ideas is “What should we … ?” With Mike and Leann, we explored how best to organize the interior spaces to match their needs. Each time we had develop an idea, we’d develop a 3-D sketch (using Sketch Up, my favorite drawing program) so we could see the implications of this idea and weigh its pros and cons.

Because creating an open floor plan with a kitchen in its centre is a critical part in our endeavor, having sketches like this helps us envision that open plan. The sketch also lets us see how we can incorporate a large, wide opening in the rear of the home.

Importantly, sketches like these may be carried out quickly and relatively inexpensively. Let’s face it, moving walls onto a bit of paper is a great deal easier than shifting walls which have been constructed.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

7. Start Looking for possibilities. The plan of each project is the process of finding the inherent possibilities of the site and existing structure while considering your needs, wants and budget. So architects like to ask questions like “What does it want to be?”

With all the intercoastal waterway and bridge to the mainland forming the background, Mike’s and Leann’s new home wishes to become open to the view out into the water and the bridge and up into the sky.

The brand new home wants all the blue sky and blue water to infuse the inside with light and space. So we’ll consider raising the ceiling to get views up and out and make that major opening to catch perspectives of the water and across the waterway into the bridge and the mainland.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

8. Record the choices. During the process of designing the project, Mike and Leann have made a whole bunch of choices: space dimensions, furniture placement, floor finishes, light areas and much more. The way the final project will look, feel and function is going to get listed on the building drawings. These construction drawings will then be used to convey our decisions to the St. Pete Beach construction official as well regarding the builder and all the other contractors and suppliers who will work on the project. Obviously, the further choices made, the more complete the drawings will be all of that is going to lead to better communication which will save time, money and aggravation as the project gets built.

Next: Securing the permit and starting demolition

More:
How to See a Floor Plan
8 Ways to Follow Your Budget
Remodeling Guides

See related

Designer Sketch: Susannah Devine

“Hidden pockets and key passages have always intrigued me,” says Susannah Devine. Though her projects lean more toward a modern fashion, Devine’s imagination is often triggered by mechanical artisans of the 17th and 18th centuries. This unexpected passion is one of many that creates her refreshing appearance.

The Houston interior designer is half of RD Architecture, a firm that specializes in LEED-certified jobs. Though Devine has a passion for all things green, her objective is to split the misconception that designing and building green has a certain appearance. “Material selection is a variable, but green design is based more on the way you construct than what you build,” she states.

profile: RD Architecture LLC | Locate a interior designer or builder

RD Architecture, LLC

Save

What is the most fascinating thing you are working on now?
I love the diversity of styles. Our remodels utilize the existing style of the home and unite it with the distinctive person style of the homeowner. Not one of our jobs can be described accurately with a single word. The terms “contemporary” and “traditional” alone are very obsolete.

What is a fresh way you are using a fresh color or substance now?
I’d like to start using more dual-functioning materials, such as cork. A cork wall covering kids’ playrooms, music rooms or home offices provides some benefits. It functions as a tack wall for artwork or work in advance. In addition, it’s regarded as a renewable source.

RD Architecture, LLC

Save

The most significant thing on your desk is …
Oh, that’s easy! My earbuds. Music is a link to the soul — and of course my work mode. The type of songs I listen to depends on what I am working on — classical, rock-and-roll, country, rap and everything in between.

My ideal client is … A homeowner that knows and appreciates the elements and principles of design. One who challenges us to push those boundaries and functions with us collaboratively to create that particular haven they call home.

Where on earth do you wish to go next? I’m working on a project with a local artist to record the neighborhood around our office. A number of the amazing 1940s houses have fallen into disrepair, and a number are marked for demolition. These older houses have more character and presence than many new houses. It is tragic that many will not survive. I am hoping that our locality has a renaissance and we can get involved in the restoration of some of those architectural treasures.

RD Architecture, LLC

Save

Do you still draw, or is everything on the computer now?
We use CAD for the practice of producing and documenting a design. To exemplify volume and mass, Google SketchUp is a great tool. RD uses that with great success to help clients understand the human scale and points of view within a design. However, I favor quick hand sketches in perspective to identify the three-dimensional aspects of details for cabinetry and custom furniture. I also do color studies of exterior and interior elevations. Ink renderings and photography are also private hobbies of mine.

Which famous architects could you love a chance to utilize?
Frank Lloyd Wright comes to mind first. His style is beautiful and timeless, but it’s his approach to design and his philosophy of natural architecture that’s most in line with my own views. He exploded the “box” of traditional idas. Instead, he confessed the way the home responds to the environment along with the spirit and psychological well-being of its occupants.

Above: One of Davis’ fireplace designs for a client, installed just recently.

RD Architecture, LLC

Save

What inspires your designs?
Each client brings her or his own nature and eyesight once we start a job, and we draw for inspiration. We’re the firm you hire to realizeyour particular style. Designing this manner requires an open minded, out-of-the-box, problem-solving style to discover the right solution for each design problem.

Favourite traditional furniture bit?
Midcentury furniture designers had the right idea about the stability of form and function. I love Saarinen’s Womb Chair.

Who is one of your favourite artists?
There is a local Houston artist who has recently come to be a popular. Justin Garcia’s art actually moves me. His paintings have a silent strength, a soothing voice with something real to say.

Where’s your go-to location for inspiration?
— and I am not just saying that. You men are the very first place we go along with the very first place we recommend for clients to go to gather images for inspiration. Your site is extremely user friendly. Please don’t ever make it complex. Simple is sometimes better and more effective. And that goes for design as well.

More designer sketches:
Jean Dufrense | Danielle Wallinger | Lea Hein | Noel Cross

See related

12 Home Furnishings for Those on the Move

How do you create a room look and feel permanent, even when you understand you may be moving? And what about answers to decorating and storage woes that don’t involve springing for built-ins you would just need to leave behind? If you don’t plan to remain in your existing house long term (no matter if you rent or own), then check out these 12 ways to bring the color, style and space-saving storage you’ll need — with bits you can pack up and move with you when you go.

CDA Interior Design

1. A furniture piece with architectural detail. Just one large-scale part of furniture, such as the magnificent armoire shown here, is sufficient to give any room a more permanent appearance. A richly comprehensive piece can also compensate for a lack of architectural detail at the area itself — also, like all of the pieces featured here, this you can go with you when you move.

Sarah Greenman

2. Artistic investments. First paintings, sculpture, handmade pottery, glass art and iconic designer bits you love are all worthy investments to create for the long haul. You can take them everywhere, and they’ll hold — or perhaps profit — value as time passes.

Caitlin Wilson Design

3. An upholstered mattress. Rather than spending fancy wallpaper for the bedroom when you believe you may move, bring in a big dose of color and layout having a upholstered headboard. The height and shape of the headboard, paired with a print that you love, is sufficient to make a focal wall so you can depart the wall behind it bare.

How to make an upholstered headboard you can easily change

4. Portable clothes storage. If you’re short on closet area, pick up a clothing rack appealing enough to be on screen. Store just your prettiest pieces on it, tucking the remainder from sight from drawers or in a cupboard. Should you move to a bigger place in the future, you can always use it in the laundry area, or pull it out at parties to maintain jackets. In case you have the closet area but lack company, start looking for stand-alone storage units that you can tuck in your cupboard to customize the space — without even paying for built-ins.

Browse garment racks

Matthew Bolt Graphic Design

5. A piece with a built-in-quality top. Even renters can have the pride of “renovating” the kitchen with this awesome trick: Purchase a mobile piece having a luxurious surface, such as marble, copper or zinc, rather than the typical butcher block top. A breakfast table, baker’s rack or kitchen island could all work nicely.

Taylor Jacobson Interior Design

6. Colorful furniture and rugs. Small- to medium-size stained rugs can deliver a punch of color to a whole area without painting. Use them in smaller bedrooms or layered on top of bigger rugs in a huge area. Lightweight rattan chairs, small poufs and additional accent furniture can also be perfect for changing the look of a room — they can be the stars of this show in a small room and take on a supporting role in a bigger house.

Lauren Liess Interiors

7. Natural-fiber and hide rugs. You can never go wrong with natural-fiber and hide rugs. They seem great professionally or layered, in living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms. They can bring textural interest to a neutral scheme or offer a soothing neutral base to a house full of splashes of color. And to top it all off, they are virtually indestructible.

ThinkMakeBuild

8. A fantastic big mirror. An oversize mirror immediately opens up a room and gives the impression you’re fully settled in your house, even if you just moved in. A mirror that looks equally good hung on the wall or discriminated against it is the most flexible.

Emily A. Clark

9. Straightforward shelving units from multiples. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg shelving unless you want to — only buy multiples of basic bookcases and line them up side by side for a personalized look.

You are able to personalize your shelves by adding a coat of color or patterned paper to the rear wall, or simply by gluing grosgrain ribbon trim across the shelf fronts.

10. Your own light fixtures. You do not need to live with light fixtures that you don’t like, even if you rent.

Most landlords will not have a issue with you swapping out the lighting fixtures, provided that you replace the old ones before you move out — that you are going to want to do anyhow, which means you’re able to bring your classy lighting fixtures along to your next location.

Vanessa Francis

11. Stuff on the walls! Even when you’re in a really temporary location, don’t skimp on putting stuff up on the walls.

Filling holes and touching up paint before you move out will take just about an hour it is worth it. Before moving to your next location, take a photo of your art wall so that you may re-create it in your next flat without starting from scratch.

Taylor Jacobson Interior Design

12. Houseplants and potted trees. Greenery can solve a multitude of decorating dilemmas, from filling blank corners to disguising unsightly features. And plants clean the atmosphere to boot. It is true you need to be cautious when moving your plants to a different residence, but it can be done — and it is definitely worth the effort.

How to care for decorators’ preferred houseplants

Tell us : Can you have a favorite piece that’s come with you on many motions?

More: Versatile Furnishings to Make the Move With You

See related

Entryways Take a Seat

Entryways will be the primary rooms in our homes guests see when visiting. As a result of this, many of us go to great lengths to make them beautiful. We purchase lovely art, mirrors and costly carpets, and even place fresh flowers on tables to make a fantastic impression.

Yet along with being delightful, entryways should also be functional. What’s the one piece of furniture every such space requirements? A seat, or possibly a seat. The point is to supply a comfortable place to remove shoes or to perch once the conversation gets really good.

TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design

A single seat within this entryway beckons guests in. It’s a fantastic example of the fact that you don’t need to be fussy and on the top or invest a lot of money to make your entryway inviting.

Kate Marker Interiors

A classic church pew makes for perfect entryway seating. Pews may be painted to match your d├ęcor and therefore are narrow enough for snug spaces.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

If you are intending to have a unit built in, remember about storage. This one has storage over for seasonal items like hats together with space underneath for sneakers. The pleasant, soft pillow is a bonus.

Urrutia Design

A matching pair of seats seems lovely in this large, open foyer.

Vanessa De Vargas

If your entryway lacks space, take note of the picture. The matching ottomans tuck neatly but provide additional seating when required.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

This built-in unit has a contemporary look and drawers for storage.

L. Cramer Builders + Remodelers

Even the grandest entryways need seats. This pretty upholstered seat fits right in with all the stately feel of this room.

Tiny entryways don’t need to skimp on seating. Perhaps a set of wooden stools is just what your little foyer requirements.

More:
Corral Your Gear Having a Makeshift Mudroom

Make the Most of a Console Table

See related