Complexity Hides Within a Concrete Box

The design of this house in Quebec is pushed by the structure and demands of the family — namely, some solitude for the teenaged children and some family gathering spaces. Architect Paul duBellet Kariouk’s result may seem harsh at first glance, however, the monolithic exterior hides an interior that is open, light and more complicated than it may seem from the outside.

This ideabook requires a tour around and inside the house, showing the careful layout that allows each family member to be alone — but also come together in an inspirational space.

Kariouk Associates

Kariouk calls the masonry box that the “base of the family.” The house sits over a river valley, and it’s clear from the exterior the top flooring captures the views through its large windows; the reduced floor is mostly solid.

Kariouk Associates

The other side of the shoebox-shape house is made up of windows, hinting at where the sun monitors its route. The large windows soak up the sun, yet this side tries to contain as much warmth as possible — important anywhere in Canada.

Kariouk Associates

While the concrete-block exterior looks monolithic at first glance, Kariouk composed the blocks into a pinwheel pattern that gives the building a dramatic texture.

Kariouk Associates

The entry is located on one of the short sides, called out with a glass strip, a walkway and a vertical bollard light place from the ground. The glass over the door hints at some of the sophistication.

Kariouk Associates

1 step into the house and the reason behind the glass over the doorway is apparent: A double-height space extends from the entrance all the way to the opposite end of the house. Hence the 2 floors of the house are linked spatially; the zone for the kids is downstairs and for the parents and gathering is upstairs.

Downstairs the finishes are easy (luminous concrete flooring, painted drywall), but as we will see they are more refined upstairs.

Kariouk Associates

Before we examine the rest of the house, it’s good to see the floor plans to comprehend how the rooms work and how the flooring relate. The dashed lines along the hallway at the bottom of the plan are flooring over the hallway that extend into the outside wall. Each one the rooms are off the hallway: 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, mechanical, storage and a TV space that can be open or shut off.

Kariouk Associates

Upstairs is basically an open-plan living room with the master bedroom at the end. Among the flooring extensions (the dashed areas in the past plan) will be a connection to a roof garden that has yet to be built — the roof will probably lift the homeowners over the trees, giving them a fantastic spot for outdoor dining and relaxing. The other floor expansion is a bathtub for the master bedroom, an intriguing condition (the architect calls it that the house’s “one significant cushy indulgence”) that will be explained afterwards.

Kariouk Associates

The staircase in the middle of the plan bring us up into the open living room. Behind us is a small window on the altitude seen earlier (there’s a logic into the windows that is evident from the floor plans). Opposite is the doorway that will eventually offer access to the roof garden.

The concrete flooring of downstairs provide way to wood flooring and glass, located from the railings and in a frosted-glass door visible on the wall at left (more on that later).

Kariouk Associates

The stairway serves double duty, both bringing people upstairs and setting smaller spaces in the open plan — the dining room area is located in the foreground and the living room outside. The kitchen overlooks the living room, and each the spaces look out onto the trees through the large windows.

Kariouk Associates

This vantage point from the kitchen accentuates the openness of the plan, as well as what’s obtained by opening part of the flooring between both levels. Not only are the 2 floors connected through space and sound, but they have a stronger connection to the outside through the large windows.

Kariouk Associates

Like the total house, the master bedroom is compact. Sliding doors function the closet in front of the mattress in addition to closing off the space from the living room outside, providing some privacy in the toilet (note the ceiling trail running the width of the space). Also note that the flooring extends into the far wall. It isn’t open to under, since the plan indicates, but something interesting is going on in the restroom.

Kariouk Associates

As stated earlier, the “cushy” addition to the house is a sunken tub that projects over the double-height area. One can look from the tub through the house and outside the expansive windows. The frosted-glass panel found earlier allows some solitude, something that happens both upstairs and downstairs.

Next: Explore more contemporary houses

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How Can I Regain Lost Home Equity?

In challenging real estate markets, home equity losses may happen. Homeowners and investors alike enjoy real estate appreciation, but intense market downturns may cause a lack of confidence in the housing markets. If your property has depreciated in value, you could be able to regain some of your own equity. Time and patience may be needed until your home equity has been restored.

Use Zillow to discover the current market value of your house (see link under Resources).

Review your mortgage balance. The gap between the value of your home and the amount you owe is your existing home equity.

Make extra payments. For each $84 monthly payment which you employ to your standard mortgage repayment, you will reduce the amount owed on your home and potentially increase your equity by $1,000 per year. The precise equity increase in your situation will fluctuate with market requirements.

Pay your mortgage biweekly to attain an extra payment each year. Each year has 26 biweekly periods, meaning that you will effectively make 13 mortgage payments. Your equity will raise quicker.

Boost your home. Making improvements such as updating kitchens, remodeling bathrooms, making home developments, adding decks and finishing bathrooms can raise the value of your home. If your property increases in value faster than the average for similar homes in your marketplace, you will regain some of the equity that your home has lost.

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The Way to Decide on a Lampshade

So you have picked out a gorgeous new table lamp for your home. But how much thought did you contribute into the colour? The right lampshade can transform a humdrum base into something exquisite, although the wrong colour can make the most stunning lamp look seriously proportioned or unsuitable to the space, or create it awkward to use.

These tips will allow you to opt for the colour that is ideal for your lamp and your own setting.


for a guideline, select a shade that is two-thirds the elevation of the base. That ratio guarantees that the lamp will not look high or bottom heavy.

You also want to make sure the color doesn’t expose some of the hardware beneath, like the harp (the cable frame around the lightbulb).

Kristen Rivoli Interior Design


If the base is around, it is going to look best with a round color.

A square or angular base usually looks best with a square colour.

The exclusion: If you are putting a square-base lamp onto a round dining table, you may like to echo the tabletop by employing a round color.

Charmean Neithart Interiors

In general, however, it is best to select a color that reflects the form of the base and the form of this table it is sitting on.

AM Dolce Vita

A candlestick lamp looks great with just about any form of colour.

Lauren Liess Interiors


The broadest part of the colour must be at least a half inch wider on each side than the broadest line of this base.

Lindy Donnelly

Consider the location of this lamp. You do not need to crash into the colour every time you get in or out of bed, for instance. Make sure the color doesn’t extend past the tabletop.

Regan Baker Design Inc..

The same holds true for a lamp onto a hallway table: Do not let it stick out so far that you bang into it once you walk by.

(And yes, this lamp has a round base and a squarish colour. But the exclusion makes sense here, because the color can sit flush against the wall, minimizing collisions at a high-traffic area.)

Laura Collins Design


If you want the lamp to read by or to shed ambient light, proceed with a translucent shade.


If you are using the lamp just as an accent light and do not want it to light up the space or to shed light on a job, an opaque color may be good choice.

Rick Hoge


Pleated lampshades tend to look more conventional; they’re appropriate in rooms furnished with antiques or which have a great deal of pattern and detail.

If the space is modern, proceed with a nonpleated colour. If you’ve got a modern room and really wish to utilize a pleated lampshade, try out a box pleat — its geometric layout will look fresher and more modern than that of its traditional counterpart.

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Can't-Beat Design: Candlestick Clusters

Styling may change an ordinary space into something really special, and it does not have to cost much. With the addition of props, or decorative things, to particular areas you can create interest, beauty and a feeling of place.

One quite straightforward styling strategy: clusters of candles. Mixing tall and short, traditional and contemporary candles in clusters creates visual weight and significance. They are also elegant and romantic and communicate a message of warmth as well as a passion for entertaining.

Here is how to create your home shine in more ways than you.

Studio Schicketanz

Silver candlesticks casually positioned in this contemporary dining area in a Carmel, California, home look fresh and inviting, and the magnificent yet easy bouquet of calla lillies echoes the sleek candlestick shapes, bringing our attention up to gaze upon the gorgeous retractable skylight roof, a design detail I’d take any day.

Tip: Add metallic glow in the form of decorative accessories — if silver, brass or copper — to give your distance that little something extra. Reflective surfaces behave like stones, elegantly embellishing the distance.

ReStyle Group Interiors

Rustic wooden candlesticks are cheap and ideal for this Mediterranean home in Phoenix. The blonde wood works well with the extreme sea-blue wall and balances the round wall mirror. What a difference these candlesticks make. Imagine if this table were vacant.

Tip: When incorporating decorative pieces to fill a vacant dining room table, try to discover a balance between too much and too small. Add five candlesticks to the table, either clustered in the center or set in a line. Step back and have a look. Now remove two of those candlesticks, step back and take another look. Which version completes the room?

Involve family members in the game to help train their attention for design. They may think you are a bit mad at first, but then again you may stumble upon some future designers in your midst!

Mackenzie Collier Interiors

If your taste leans toward vintage flea market, as in this Phoenix home, here’s a fantastic way to display your entire candles simultaneously. This screen, intentionally or not, is an intriguing visual play on the history of this lightbulb, together with the grouped bare lightbulb fixture hanging just over the candlesticks, causing the eye to dance between the two.

Don’t even consider lighting all of them at once. When it’s time to enjoy any candlelight, remove some of the candles from their bases. I originally considered to advise lighting just some of the candles, but I realized that well-meaning guests may believe you meant to light them all — and may unintentionally create a harmful situation. And of course together with candles put this closely together, a draft can cause 1 candle to light the remainder.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

Empty table got you thinking about how to make it seem not so bare? Here’s a hint, courtesty of a contemporary Boston home, that’s too easy: vase plus cluster of three candlesticks and voilà — things seem somewhat less boardroom plus a good deal more like home.

Tip: Wood floors? Wood table? Wood furniture? Go light with the accessories to detract from the heaviness. To play it safe, if your walls are cream, then go with lotion accessories. If your walls are white, then heap on the snowy.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

This selection of playful candlesticks in a contemporary Boston home bridges the gap between the contemporary wall color and the conventional dark table and chairs. And of course, the candles absolutely balance the colorful art.

I’d also like to view those candlesticks put on a long narrow menu to balance out the width of this large fixture over.


Clusters of candles may also mean combining candelabras and candlesticks, a look that’s really working in this magnificent Manhattan penthouse. In contrast to the expanses of white and bold regions of reddish, the tiny ornamental candles on the coffee table are a personal touch.

Interieurs by Francine Gardner

A cluster of crystal candlesticks, or in this case tea light holders, is soft and pretty, and a fantastic complement to the dark and elegant neutral palette of the New York showroom.

There is something about candles put directly on a face that does not seem quite right to me. So put a collection of candlesticks like these on a gorgeous round platter so you won’t have some regrets. A base for this collection would really enhance the look too. I’d go to get a round silver-leafed menu or some thing Moroccan to bring some mystery.

Amy Lau Design

This loft in Manhattan’s Chelsea area is an ideal home with this collection of artful candlesticks. The shoji screen details match the fine lines of the candlesticks in a magically subtle way. I’d abandon these candlesticks here eternally; they work superbly on the wall-hung sideboard.

A nice choice to these vases of flowers would be a long trough-shaped bowl holding some gorgeous stones.

Isler Homes

The elaborate gold candlesticks here are an ideal reference to the design origins of the magnificent 1930s Italian Renaissance–style home in Dallas.

That I love how the candlesticks, which theoretically are really too large for this mantel, push the limitations of scale and proportion in a way that works.

Yvonne McFadden LLC

Candlestick clusters in the entry hall? Why not? Large candleholders like these add an extremely theatrical feeling. The message I am getting is, “Catch a candlestick and come investigate the castle!” But maybe I have just looked at one too many photos of candles.

Having said that, don’t overdo the candle item. In case you’ve got a screen similar to this one, candles everywhere in the home should be quite subtle or out of sight.

Isler Homes

Silver candlesticks set the scene superbly in the toilet, in the same Dallas home as previously. Most of us don’t have tubs similar to this one, but with candles you really can create an opulent environment in a more modest bath. And besides, when you light the candles and then turn down the lights, then you very well could be transported to the destination of your choice.

Consider using candles as a simple method to relax at the end of a long day. Simple pleasures such as candlelight will be able to help you confront the demands of normal life. They are really valuable.

Significant methods for candle safety at home:
Always keep burning candles in sight, and in the event that you are going to be leaving the room it’s wise to extinguish all candles.Make sure to put candles at a distance from anything that may possibly catch fire: drapes, furniture, books or anything else that’s flammable.When lighting your candles, put holders on a secure, heat-resistant surface, like a plate or tray. This prevents possible wax or heat damage to counters, cupboard tops and tables.Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room, and prevent burning a large amount of candles in a small room, as it may reduce the oxygen in the room.Place burning candles at least 3 inches apart to prevent 1 candle’s heat melting another.Keep candles away from pets and kids.

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Love to Cook? You Require a Fan. Find the Right Kind for You

Finding a fantastic range hood is not just about fashion — knowing what will work best for the own kitchen and how you cook is key. Think carefully about what you need from your own kitchen ventilation system before you go shopping.

Range hoods come as island-mount layouts within a central island and wall-mount models that sit on the wall behind a stove or cooktop. They may be mounted under upper cabinetry or be invisible when incorporated into decorative cabinetry for a power pack. In addition you have the choice of various kinds of downdraft models, either in the form of incorporated stovetop ventilation or as separate pop-up vents.

Curious what will look best on your new kitchen? Here are some options.

Dlux Images

Island Fans

An island fan will be more expensive than a wall-mounted enthusiast, only because it needs to look great from all four sides. But some jobs have island fans used as wall-mounted models or in front of windows.

A buff such as this acts as a sculpture on your own kitchen, interacting with other ornamental things nearby (such as pendants and chandeliers). It is possible to easily create visual clutter when these items aren’t positioned and chosen carefully. Give each product enough breathing space so it does not need to struggle for attention.

Glenvale Kitchens

Wall-Mounted Fans

The magnificent wall-mounted model shown here is from Zephyr. It’s easy to overlook that this piece of art is actually an appliance. Wall-mounted ventilation goods are quiet and efficient, and they arrive in more than 200 RAL colors!

Cucina Bella Ltd. – Rebecca Gagne CKD

Measure your ceiling height attentively if you are likely to work with a model using a stainless steel chimney. You may need to purchase an extension bit to help the chimney get to the ceiling.

If you would like to steer clear of the seam lines which arrive with chimney extensions, then consider running the chimney into a valance or upper cupboard instead.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

Undercabinet Fans

This undercabinet enthusiast produces a professional-looking statement. The controllers for models like this one sit on the unit’s face or bottom. At times it’s necessary to oversize the hood enthusiast to create a pleasing proportion between the range and hood fan. However, for a boxier unit like this, it is totally appropriate to choose the exact same width for range and enthusiast.

Scott Weston Architecture Design PL

Specialty Ventilation

Specialty units such as this Broan E12000 Series enthusiast are fantastic possibilities for smaller kitchens. Its European styling reveals a slim 11/2-inch lip. When the fan is on, this bit slides forwards from the surface of the upper cabinetry by about 6 inches.

Want a seamless appearance? Continuing a band of stainless steel at the exact same width all along the bottom of the upper cabinetry would make the enthusiast disappear.

Moroso Construction

With a similar strategy with a buff liner would require about 2 inches greater depth than the previous example. This kitchen includes a wide stainless steel ring above the cooking zone which accentuates the space’s horizontal features. To replicate this appearance, you would have to get a cabinetmaker create a plywood box and get it wrapped and welded with a sheet-metal manufacturer.


Power Packs

A power pack (also referred to as a liner) allows you to create your own hood fan design. The power pack here is integrated into a rock surround.

Power packs have controls over the bottom panel, but they may also be wired to a remote control box. Some manufacturers also offer wireless remote controllers. The standard power pack unit requires a structure which extends at least 21 inches in the wall.

Most electricity packs comprise LED or low-voltage halogen spotlighting, too. Take a fantastic look at the positioning of your lighting. Depending upon the producer, they may be mounted on the front or rear of this unit. Some install at a tilt. Based on my experience, a version with front-mounted lights which tilt toward the rear or lighting which face down work much better than lighting mounted at the rear of this unit.

Erdreich Architecture, P.C.

This soft contemporary kitchen includes a narrow power pack hidden within the upper cabinetry. Several businesses, such as Broan and Nu Tone, provide exceptionally narrow power packs which may fit to a standard upper cabinet depth. This can be combined with an electric or induction cooktop, because the fan would not reach over the front burners of a gas unit’s open fire pit.

Sullivan Building & Design Group

This power pack was combined with an outside or toaster. The outside blower is not visible here, which is a gorgeous solution with the simple wood and face trim.

A personalized unit above a sealed gas-powered stove typically requires 42 inches of clearance to combustible surfaces. A normal gas cooker requires 36 inches of space to the hood. Since a lot of decorative covers are designed to expand on either side of the range’s width, they will also have a bottom board in which the power pack is set up. You’ll have to either choose a noncombustible material for the bottom panel or move the hood up fan so.

Habachy Designs

This picture shows ventilation grilles installed to a dropped ceiling above the kitchen area. A liner or a small power pack along with an inline or external blower would work for this appearance.

If you would like an even more streamlined design — perhaps using long, narrow ventilation strips — operate with an HVAC expert. However, this program will definitely require a ceiling.

Notice: The greater a buff sits, the more powerful it has to be, which may bring about a draft when you are standing under it. Kitchen fans are also designed to trap grease and steam as near the source as possible. The more complicated the enthusiast, the easier it is to allow vapors to dissipate through the room.

Synergy Construction & Design

Microwave and Hood Fan Combinations

You can also incorporate a combination appliance for kitchen ventilation. There are pros and cons to this particular option, and it is a matter of personal preference.

For many homeowners, a microwave is a no-brainer. However, the true positioning of a microwave can be challenging — particularly in a small kitchen — because it often takes up precious counter or shelf space. Using a combination microwave hood fan above the range sets it out of the way, right into a place that would’ve been employed by a port anyhow. It often strengthens the concept of the stove area as the primary attribute in the kitchen too, without the visual clutter of other appliances. It’s definitely worth considering in small to mid sized kitchens.

But this location also makes the microwave very difficult to reach, as you need to lean over a possibly hot surface. I would never install a unit like this over a gas range — the open flame could become very dangerous.

Kitchen Concepts, Inc..

Pop-Up Downdraft Fans

The flexible pop-up downdraft is one of my favorite port choices. These vents rise in the counter top at the touch of a button. When the vent is resting, all that is visible is a 11/2-inch-wide stainless steel bar. The guts are hidden within the base cupboard — it takes up about 12 inches in depth and a lot of the cabinet’s height. However, it still leaves about 10 to 12 inches of shelf depth for pots and pans.

Home Restoration Services, Inc..

This photograph shows a pop-up downdraft at the center of its ascent. Notice the way the steam in the pot is already traveling to the fan grill, even though it is not completely extended yet.

If a cooking zone is placed against an outside wall, rather than within an island, your ventilation can go directly through the wall to the outside. If used in an island, the ventilation duct needs to be brought down between the floor joists and toward an outside wall. This alternative takes the duct to go parallel with the floor joists (otherwise it could weaken the load-bearing system), so the duct operate could get very long, and you may need to consider the more expensive inclusion of a highly effective exterior blower. Be certain to go over this with your kitchen designer, contractor or heating and ventilation expert before planning and purchasing a a pop-up downdraft model.

Glenvale Kitchens

This photograph shows a pop-up downdraft completely stretched. Now you can buy vents which open up to about 15 inches above the counter. These are extremely beneficial when combined with gas tops. Previously, the regular 6- to 8-inch height of a pop-up vent would draw gas flames toward the enthusiast, dispersing heat on the petrol top.

The Sky is the Limit Design

Range With Pop-Up Downdraft

Some ranges now may have a pop-up downdraft installed directly behind them. Previously, you could put in this port just with a cooktop, because the blower unit and enthusiast took up a lot of this cupboard space beneath, leaving little room for an oven. Now’s slim layouts have transformed that.

The combination of range and pop-up downdraft shown here would be an excellent alternative for a small kitchen, since it leaves the room above the range free for cabinetry or some thing different.

The Workshops of David T. Smith

Range With Integrated Downdraft

Jenn-Air is well known for its incorporated downdraft, which is a part of its flat cooking surface. Instead of having to add a separate appliance — such as the range with the pop-up downdraft combination — you can find a range which accompanies its ventilation built in.

In my experience, homeowners tend to love or hate these appliances. Though they create a fresh appearance, the vent is right on your face, and you may see the dirt quickly accumulating from the grille.

Jordan Iverson Signature Homes

This shot shows a Jenn-Air downdraft vent set up in an island. This is a superb example of how a downdraft ventilation solution enables you to substitute an island enthusiast with interesting lighting. These appliances give you more design flexibility.

Inform us What’s your experience been while shopping for kitchen ventilation? Which alternative do you like?

More: How to Select the Right Hood Fan For The Kitchen

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How to Protect Your Home from Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are capable of spreading very fast in your home. They can move from an infested site into a new structure by crawling on bedding, furniture, clothing, boxes, and pretty much anything!

Although bed bugs only feed on blood every 5 to 10 days, they are quite resilient. They can even survive several months up to a year without sucking any blood! Proper pest control Scottsdale AZ is necessary to keep your home protected from these pesky pests.

Simple Precautions to Prevent Bed Bug Infestation

Following these simple precautions can help you prevent the infestation of bed bugs in your home:

– Closely inspect your beds, furniture, and couches for any sign of bed bug infestation.

– Use protective covering on your mattresses to eliminate any area that the bugs can use as hiding spots.

– Minimize clutter in your home so you can reduce hiding areas for bed bugs.

– Vacuum your home regularly in order to remove bedbugs.

– Be very careful when using any shared facilities in the laundry. Items that are intended for washing should be stored in plastic bags when transporting them to washing facilities. After removing the items from the dryer, place them immediately in your plastic bag.

– Purchase a portable heating chamber that you can use in treating any items in your home that may have been infested with bedbugs. But before you use any of these heating chambers, read the directions carefully and find out if they are safe to use.

Integrated Pest Management

Controlling the spread of bed bugs in your home requires a lot of time and utmost patience. Naturally, bed bugs tend to reproduce very quickly. Furthermore, their eggs are highly resistant to several methods of pest control Scottsdale, whether they are chemical or non-chemical methods. One of the most effective techniques when it comes to controlling bed bug infestations is the application of Integrated Pest Management System.

Also known as IPM, the Integrated Pest Management system is an effective method of pest management, but in a more eco-friendly way. The program considers the life cycle of the bed bugs as well as their environment to control their presence.

By understanding the behavior of the pests and applying some effective pest control methods, the pests can be removed in the fastest time possible and with fewer hazards to the environment.

Using Pesticides to Control Bed Bugs

The EPA has recognized more than 300 different products that can be used to control the infestation of bed bugs in your home. Most of these products are safe to use by consumers who prefer a DIY approach in controlling the pests. However, there are some products that are only approved for use by specially trained Scottsdale pest control professionals. Before approving the products, the EPA evaluates them based on their effectiveness and safety.

Although there are various means of controlling bed bug infestations on your own, it’s highly recommended that you leave the job to specially trained pest control professionals.

Glamour Ahead: Get In on the 2013 San Francisco Decorator Showcase

A fiery orange tepee and an electric classic sign light up a playroom, a living plant wall curtains over a freestanding tub and 60-year-old Monterey pines grow in a stylish living room. This house of wonders is not your ordinary homeowner’s house — it is the 2013 San Francisco Decorator Showcase in an 8,000-square-foot Georgian mansion at San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood.

This year’s showcase highlights the talents of 27 designers in 24 individual display spaces. The chambers show off the designers’ abilities, pushing the limits and displaying their creativity. A gorgeous penthouse spa, a candy chocolatier’s lab and a tiny writer’s retreat are just a couple more things you’ll find behind this historical mansion’s doors. Here are a few of our favourite spaces from this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase.

2013 San Francisco Decorator Showcase
Dates: April 27 to May 27
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to seven p.m.; Sunday and Memorial Day, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets: $30 general admission; $25 for seniors; available at the door or Internet
More information

Playroom: “Danger Zone”
Designer: Martha Angus and Eche Martinez

Taking to heart the thought that each kid is a artist, Martha Angus and Eche Martinez turned among the home’s living rooms into an incredible playroom filled with fun and colour at each turn. A glowing orange baby alpaca tepee, foam-filled furniture out of Art Basel, a vintage sign above the fireplace and light fixtures made out of Kid Robot toys are lively elements that could work only in a bold room similar to this. Windows that had an unfortunate opinion were covered up with stick-on displays. A box filled with fake dynamite adds one final over-the-top twist.

Faux bois painting: Katherine Jacobus; window treatments: inkjet print on vinyl, Quick Signs; sconces: custom, Martha Angus and Eche Martinez, Urban Electric; chairs, stools: Maarten de Ceulaer, Industry Gallery; artwork above fireplace: Charles James Gallery

Living Room
Designer: Heather Hilliard

The first oak paneling and herringbone flooring help warm up Heather Hilliard’s bold black and white design for this dining room. A hand-rolled porcelain chandelier catches the eye and provides a gentle touch to the area’s picture lines. Cardboard sculptures by Ann Weber complement Hilliard’s custom treatment on the walls above the pine panels.

Pendant: Bocci; seat fabric: Christian Fischbacher; lamp: Habité LA; seat fabric: Holland & Sherry; andirons: Tuell + Reynolds; sconces: Soane Britain; chairs, table, console: custom

Master Toilet: “A Sacred Space to Bathe”
Designer: Síol Studios

A living wall at the home bathroom — which Kevin Hackett and Jessica Weigley designed as a “healing wall” — retains a lush range of blossoms, geraniums and mosses. A watering system trickles down the wall to maintain the fragrant bursts of lavender and mint fresh.

Family Kitchen
Designer: Alison Davin, Jute Style

The house used for this year’s display was built from the early 19th century, so the kitchen is tucked to the back and beneath each of the principal rooms. Since this isn’t how folks live today, designer Alison Davin aimed to create a space that a family would love to assemble in. Beams, herringbone floors, a fireplace and other architectural elements make this kitchen feel like a comfy and natural expansion of another living spaces. Dark navy cabinets offer unexpected contrast to the beech counter tops. Terra-cotta tile in Ann Sacks adds a more contemporary element on the counter tops.

Wall paint: White Dove, Benjamin Moore; trim paint: Simply White, Benjamin Moore; cabinetry paint: Midnight Blue, Benjamin Moore; window treatments: Osborne & Little; sconces: Urban Electric; pendants: Remains; tile: Ann Sacks; artwork: Serena Bocchino

Designer: Matthew Leverone

Potted 60-year-old Monterey pines create a dramatic statement in this otherwise calm and gathered space. Layers of textures in the velvet sofa, hand-knotted Moroccan rug, silk cushions and leather seat make the glowing space feel soft and warm. The Monterey pines, planted in cement planters, make the space feel a part of this garden just outside.

Sconce: Jonathan Browning; all of furniture: custom designed by Leverone Design; rug: vintage

Living Room
Designer: Catherine Kwong

The striking floor at the home’s main living room — inspired by Cy Twombly’s iconic function — sets the scene for this easy and elegant space. Stancil Studios covered the ground in a rich navy with bold, sporadic white brushstrokes topped with a transparent varnish. Designer Catherine Kwong kept the rest of the room cool and easy to draw attention to the ground. The first ceiling keeps architectural interest, while the slightly feminine but contemporary furniture adds to the area’s understated advantage.

Fringe lights: vintage, Mario YagI; black and white photograph: Henry Leutwyler; window treatments: Georgina Rice; paint: Pratt & Lambert

Writer’s Retreat
Designer: Kriste Michelini

Working together with the complex slanted ceiling inside this area was not simple, but by having a white foundation for her colour palette, designer Kriste Michelini made extra visual space. White grass cloth walls by Phillip Jeffries and a whitewashed floor blur the borders between the two surfaces and reflect the minimal all-natural light coming from the single window. The built-in platform bed with colorful customized cushions stands out from eclectic wallpaper from Elitis.

Pendant: Alabax, Schoolhouse Electric; skull: Ashley Tudor; wallpaper: Brit Pop, Elitis; table lamp: Barbara Barry, Baker; runner: DwellStudio; cushions: custom and Caitlin Wilson; desk, seat: Ironies

Soaking Bath
Designers: Willem Racké and Emilie Munroe

Although designers Willem Racké and Emilie Munroe understood the mirrors covering the walls of the bathroom had to go, they didn’t want to deal with the mess and chaos that would include a demolition. So Racké painted large parts of canvas in his studio and had them applied to the mirrored walls, leaving a few select spots available for flashes of mirror. Munro worked together with local company Dogfork Lamp Arts to look the chandelier. From the hallway looking in, each light looks like a bubble floating in the atmosphere.

Chair: Coup d’Etat; accessories: Sue Fisher King; carpet: Flor

Teen Girl’s Room
Designer: Applegate Tran Interiors

Designer Gioi Tran made this room with a specific character in mind: an artistic teenage girl rebelling from a beauty-queen mother. The bold room carries an edgy approach to normal “princess” decor. A map of London on the ceiling inspires dreams of traveling, faux-finished walls add abstract colour and a customized mattress is wrapped with string.

Desk, nightstands, bed, dog bed, desk stool: Applegate Tran Furniture; couch chair, nightstand lamps: Coup d’Etat; headboard fabric: Elitis; mattress linens: Kearsley; accessories: Paxton Gate; decorative painting: Willem Racké; floor tiles: Armin Maier

Dressing Room
Designer: Shelley Cahan

Just within the teenage girl’s room (previous photograph), designer Shelley Cahan used a mix of vintage and contemporary elements to create a lively dressing room. Kravet geometric wallpaper came first, dictating the rest of the plan. A Sozo Studio custom closet system is covered in herringbone fabric with a laminate finish for additional visual texture. A vintage-inspired light from Arteriors pays tribute to the home’s authentic style.

Artwork: Lost Art Salon; seat, side table: Ironies

Maker’s Mark Retreat
Designer: Kelly Hohla, Jeffers Design Group

A mix of materials marks this room, designed as a joint study. Beginning with a custom wood credenza by New York artist Michael Coffey, designer Kelly Hohla used amazing Holland & Sherry fabrics and a gorgeous machine-cut hide wall by Kyle Bunting to add subtle texture. The area combines vintage and contemporary, and feminine and masculine, elements to create an inspirational workspace.

Wools, linens: Holland & Sherry; vintage chairs: Coup d’Etat; hide and hair wall: Kyle Bunting; credenza: Michael Coffey; lamps: Herve van der Straeten

Garden Courtyard: “Birds of Prey”
Designer: Davis Dalbok and Brandon Pruett, Living Green

Using artwork outdoors is surprising, but that’s often what makes a courtyard work. Davis Dalbok and Brandon Pruett of Living Green worked with Jane Richardson Mack to put six pieces of an antique Japanese screen in silver-leafed glass, shown here at the top right of this photograph. The images of Asian birds of prey on the displays helped create the frame for the rest of the garden.

There was minimal planting space in the courtyard, therefore Dalbok and Pruett used all of the vertical space they could. Each living wall explodes with conifers, maples, mosses, collectible Japanese maples and uncommon tiny baobab-type trees. Dyeing the gray concrete with a warmer terra-cotta colour made the patio feel more industrial and more natural.

Felted marble planter: Luciano Tempo; cement planter: Kimberlee Keswick; artwork installation: Jane Richardson-Mack; living walls system: Flora Felt; chairs: Michael Taylor

Master Living Room
Designer : Zoe Hsu

Before she had claimed her room from the showhouse, designer Zoe Hsu desired to use this gemsbok horn chandelier in her design. The piece includes a primitive look that complements the Schumacher snakeskin wallpaper in this sitting room. The space is created for someone to transition from getting ready in the morning at the vanity at the corner enjoying a glass of wine at nighttime in front of the fireplace.

Chandelier: Coup d’Etat; wallpaper: Schumacher; ottoman: custom; mirror, sconces: Ironies; fireplace rock: All Natural Stone

Master Bedroom
Designer: Philip Silver

Designer Philip Silver uses an Eastern philosophy in his interior designs; no major piece of furniture sits against a wall. Rather the mattress’s lavish headboard and a silver screen form a passageway in the spacious bedroom to the adjoining master bath. Holland & Sherry fabrics and plush Michaelian & Kohlberg rugs make for a soft and sumptuous sleeping area.

Bed linens: Frette; unwanted tables: Gary Hutton; dividers: Hartmann & Forbes; glass lamps: Jan Showers; mirror screen: Niermann Weeks; mattress suite: Ted Boerner

Designer: Antonio Martins

Designer Antonio Martins turned into this upstairs corner right to an elegant take on a guy cave. Martins watched the owner of the house for a lover and collector of antiques — especially old tools. A wall covered with old carpenter planes and boxes filled with classic tools only hint at the start of the collection. Fundamental materials help to maintain the upgraded man-cave vibe. The walls are upholstered with burlap, and the wood-framed floors are inlaid with metal tiles.

Woodwork: Fabian Fine Furniture; acacia bookshelf lamp: Fuse Lighting; seat: Phoenix, Johanna Spilman; burlap installment: Troy H Maher Wallcovering

Atelier Alcove
Designer: Jaimie Belew

Inspired by Alexander McQueen and the San Francisco ballet, designer Jaimie Belew created a magical drawing space to stoke imagination. Toning down ballet’s typical pink into a warm gleam, Belew custom designed a desk with acrylic drawer fronts and a bronze glass top. Luminescent trim adds an extra glow. Linen-upholstered walls (which also serve as built-in bulletin boards) and parquet marble floors add welcome all-natural touches.

Water Closet
Designer: Kelley Flynn

The design of the black and white fabric wall covering emulates the crown shape of this chandelier. Along with the upholstered walls, a wallpapered ceiling and a mosaic marble floor emanate restrained luxury in this powder room. A hand-forged table by Shawn Lovell Metalworks provides a fairly shelf in a small space.

Chandelier: Julie Neill; wall fabric: Fern Tree, Schumacher’s Kelly Wearstler collection; absolute window covering: Great Plains; wallpaper: Sloane Stripe, Ralph Lauren; floors: tile, Artistic Tile

Penthouse Retreat and Terrace
Designer: Karen Villanueva

Designer Karen Villanueva began her penthouse design together with the stunning city view as inspiration. Bringing in natural elements, soft palate grays and natural tones helped develop a calming region that’s ideal to a spa break. Two massage tables fit perfectly, but they can fold up easily to create room for yoga and meditation.

Guest Bathroom: “Elysium”
Designer: Alfredo Gregory

To create a toilet free of constraints, designer Alfredo Gregory removed as many walls as possible. The consequent open-concept area was created so that every item can get moist. Unlike paint, cement walls and a weathered plaster ceiling will not peel or fade with time. Encaustic cement floor tile out of Waterworks is crackproof. Gregory also custom designed a cement sink, a light fixture and a contemporary toilet to complete the room.

Chocolatier’s Laboratory
Designer: Stephanie Marsh Fillbrandt

This narrow space between the kitchen and the main hall was once a butler’s pantry, attached to the main dining room through a swinging door. Inspired by her family’s love of cooking and producing candies, designer Stephanie Marsh Fillbrandt created a chocolatier’s lab. Custom cantilevered glass shelving holds equipment for distilling syrups and sugars. Gray cabinetry and durable hardware contrast with the cool white Calacatta marble counter.

Shelves, window: Bonny Doon Art Glass; Granite: Brown Felicetta; fabric: Coraggio; hardware: EM Hundley; marble: IRG; Paint: Pratt & Lambert; carpet: Stark

The 2013 San Francisco Decorator Showcase runs April 27 to May 27. More information

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Artistry and Craftsmanship Create a Heartfelt Home

Pacific Coast and beautiful weather views enticed Robert and Phyllis Frank to select Cayucos, California, as the location for their new residence. But the house became something to respect by itself, as a result of its comprehensive design, honorable commissioned artwork collection — each piece a wedding anniversary present to each other for the last 40 years — and vibrant outside paint project.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Robert and Phyllis Frank, cats Jussi and Kiwi, and puppies Stella and Buddy
Location: Cayucos, California
Size: 1,844 square feet; two bedrooms, 2.5 baths

Sarah Greenman

The Franks exploited local architect John MacDonald to create their Craftsman-style house in Cayucos, a small beach community on Highway 1, just north of San Luis Obispo. They then took their time picking a color palette. They wanted colors that fit the house but also that fit. They picked traditional colors using a process created by Rob Schweitzer, director of research for the Arts & Crafts Society.

When the shade was finally on, Phyllis was shocked initially. “The house was glowing, standing apart from the other houses on the block. People began driving down the road and stopping before the house,” she states. “Happily, they were unanimous in their praise. If we sit to the front porch in the day this continues to occur. It took a week or so to get used to it, but it’s perfect.”

All paint colors by Sherwin-Williams. Base: Antique Gold; trimming: Golden Rule; accent: Olive Drab; window accent: Wineberry

Sarah Greenman

Two setbacks plagued premature construction. After razing the past, uninhabitable house, builder Jim Randeen of Nordic Builders discovered that the 5-foot-deep footing. Since county regulations demand that all dirt must be removed 1 foot below the lowest disturbance, this meant the Franks had to remove 6 feet of dirt off the entire lot, from property line to property line.

Then another county regulation stipulated that the property has to slope toward the road. But because the previous residence sloped to the trunk, the Franks had to raise the rear of the lot by 1 foot. That could have been fine, but the few then had to shore up the neighbor’s fences using a 10-foot concrete retaining wall. “Before we put one stick from the ground, we’d spent $100,000 on land preparation,” Phyllis says. “These challenges were beyond whatever we’d anticipated and sent us to the stratosphere, as you can imagine.”

Sarah Greenman

However, the Franks plowed forward. Creating the house sustainable and energy efficient was a must. They sourced many of the materials locally and installed solar panels. “We want to leave a small footprint on the environment and also lower the future expected rising costs of energy,” Phyllis says.

The Franks were also conscious to build a home they can live in for their remaining years by “producing all necessary living areas on the ground floor to ensure at the event mobility is a element in coming years, we would have the ability to stay in the home,” Phyllis says.

Sarah Greenman

The galley kitchen boasts soaring ceilings, a copper hood, ample storage and a farm-style sink. The artwork above the window was produced by Robert Burridge; it is one of the Franks’ many anniversary commissions.

Sarah Greenman

A skylight bathes the kitchen in natural lighting throughout the day. Sensors from the area dictate how much artificial lighting is required based on the time of the weather.

Since Phyllis loves to bake, she asked her architect to create butcher-block-topped storage drawers that could pull out to create additional work surfaces.

Countertops: natural Italian quartz

Sarah Greenman

The design and creation of the Franks’ home was a collaborative process. “Everything in the home is made by an artist, whether the paint selection, the woodwork, the artwork or the landscaping,” says Phyllis.

Cabinetmaker Charlie Kleeman, who built the Franks’ first home in Templeton, California, 30 years ago, crafted all the clear-grain Douglas fir cabinetry and interior trim around the windows and doors by hand.

“Our cabinets throughout the house were created, refined and perfected over months of meticulous and drawings dimensions,” Phyllis says. “Everything works and fits perfectly.”

Sarah Greenman

When the chocolate-colored curtains in the dining area are shut, the space takes on a stunning and romantic vibe.

For three years in a row, Laurie McKay produced a part of the abstract triptych on the wall for the Franks’ wedding anniversary.

Sarah Greenman

Phyllis has spent years singing in choral groups on the Central Coast, therefore songs is quite important to her. Speakers are hidden in each room of the house, and the homeowners can plug an iPod into any area.

Fireplace: Forden’s

Sarah Greenman

The Franks did not want a massive TV taking up room in their living space. “When I am not watching it, I don’t want to see it,” Robert says. They worked with Randeen to create a bank of narrow cabinets that hides the wellbeing TV.

Sarah Greenman

Among the Franks’ most distinctive pieces of artwork is at the hallway. An elephant called Wanalee, who lives in a sanctuary outside Lampang, Thailand, painted the bit.

Sarah Greenman

Lively patterns and bold coastal colors of aqua, cherry and coral brighten the master bedroom. Paso Robles, California, artist Liv Hansen created the silk painting above the bed.

Sarah Greenman

Phyllis shows her collection of jewelry at the master bathroom. Wavy textured tile adds a feeling of motion.

Artwork: Jo Wertz

Sarah Greenman

There are no light switches in the house. Rather, nifty control pads allow the Franks to dictate light use and temperature. When they leave the house, they struck “away,” and all the lights shut off. When they return, they struck “home” and the lights come on to the appropriate level. “This residence is much smarter than we are,” Phyllis says.

Lighting design: Procedure DSG

Sarah Greenman

With two dogs and 2 cats, one of that Phyllis describes as having “special needs,” this large pantry sink was necessary for bathing them. Tall cabinets keep pantry things out of sight, and a sky tube allows for natural light to permeate small space.

Sarah Greenman

The top floor has a second bedroom that doubles as a workspace. French doors lead to a deck with sea views.

A copper octopus called Otto, created by sculptor Ken Freygang of Paso Robles, sits on the deck.

Sarah Greenman

Neighborhood metalworker Alan Root crafted the copper and powder-coated stainless steel gates.

Sarah Greenman

“We had the idea, the criteria and the well-detailed design from the builder, and we trusted our builder and our chosen craftspeople to do their best,” says Phyllis, shown here on the porch with her dog, Buddy. “We wanted to live at a home that encompassed us with quality and beauty, a home that reflected pride and fine attention to detail, and we all think it worked!”

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Outfit Top to Bottom, a Remodel

If you are planning to make changes to your whole house, while it’s all at once, or with time, it is worth it to come armed with a strategy to maintain the look consistent. In this series we’ll be rounding up thoughts and inspiration for updating fixtures, finishes and much more to create the look you desire. We’re starting with a bevvy of thoughts for a cottage-style remodel, so if a cheerful, new cabin is what you are thinking about, you have arrived at the right location.

Wettling Architects

Cottage cheer begins at the front gate, so that is where we’ll begin our quest of remodeling for cabin style. A classic white picket fence or very low rock wall and lush garden are cabin musts.

Ballard Designs

Charleston 1-Light Outdoor Lantern – $199

Try a pair of lantern-style sconces on the porch. Curvy lines and seeded glass give this wall lantern from Ballard Designs a vintage look that would be at home in any cabin.

Pottery Barn

Envelope Mailbox, Vintage Brass end – $49

This envelope mailbox is equally charming and functional — the ideal accent for a cabin porch.

Or try this: A rural mailbox on a place in the yard close to the picket fence would be a classic choice.


Woodpecker Knocker – $40

Finish off your entrance doorway using an enjoyable knocker, like this woodpecker knocker from Anthropologie. Not every home style can pull off a cute and unique detail like this, but in case you’ve got a cute cabin, go for it!

Or try this: Keep it classic with a conventional door knocker to add polish.

Kate Jackson Design

When buying cabin style, think fresh, cheerful and light. You can’t go wrong with classic cream or white paint, great wood floors and beadboard on walls or ceilings.

Pottery Barn

Hundi Handblown Glass 3-light Lantern, Bronze finish – $279

A beautiful yet easy glass pendant lighting like this one from Pottery Barn would function well in a cabin dining area. It’s large enough to make a statement, but the crystal clear glass means it won’t overwhelm.

Or try this: Utilize a woven or rattan pendant to add textural appeal.

Classic white beadboard wainscoting using a simple seat rail and base molding may give a room which quintessential cabin look.


Filmore Full Dummy Knob Set, Polished Brass – $93.77

Doorknobs could be small, but details like these can make all the difference. Stunning crystal knobs like this one would improve interior doors with vintage charm.

These cut-glass knobs from Lowe’s are a great budget-friendly choice, providing you with the expression of crystal in a much more reasonable price.

White porcelain knobs are another cabin classic. The budget conscious can search out ceramic knobs for a similar look.

Group 3

To get a charming cottage-style bath, choose fixtures and finishes with vintage flair. A pedestal sink, a claw-foot tub and classic subway tile are trendproof.

Restoration Hardware

Cartwright Inset Medicine Cabinet – $249

If your cabin bath is sporting fixtures from a different (tackier) decade, bring it back to its original glory with attractively simple pieces like this inset medicine cabinet from Restoration Hardware. It will look like it has been there forever.

Pottery Barn

Quinn Beaded Dual Sconce – $129

This dual sconce would seem subtly tasteful hung.

Vintage Tub & Bath

Lutezia 27-Inch Pedestal Lavatory Sink by Porcher

A pedestal sink is a can’t-miss classic for a cottage-style toilet. This one from Vintage Tub & Bath is especially handsome.

The Home Depot

Metro Hex Glossy White Porcelain Mosaic Floor and Wall Tile – $5.95

White hexagonal tiles are a timeless flooring alternative for a cabin bath. They seem right at home paired with subway tile or beadboard wainscoting.

Vintage Tub & Bath

72-Inch Classic Clawfoot Tub by Randolph Morris

If you’ve got the space, a classic claw-foot tub can become the star of this bathroom. If you are bargain hunting, try out a local salvage yard for a refurbished vintage tub rather than buying new.

Restoration Hardware

Century Ceramic Hooks – $14

It’s the details that count — hang a smart hook behind the door for stowing extra towels or robes along with course.

Kate Jackson Design

The kitchen is the heart and soul of a cottage-style house. Think sun streaming in through the windows, vintage-inspired light fixtures, cheerful and breezy colours, and unfussy surfaces. And obviously a tiny beadboard never hurts.

Erotas Building Corporation

Schoolhouse-inspired lighting, butcher block, wood floors and easy cabinetry, together with some open shelving, are crucial to the cabin kitchen.

Barn Light Electric Company

Sinclair Draftsman Porcelain Pendant – $175

Thanks to its shape and beautiful mint-green color, this porcelain pendant light from the Barn Light Electric Company would look great hanging over a breakfast corner or island.

Schoolhouse Electric

Wilamette 6 Pendant Light – $129

For a timeless schoolhouse look, you can’t beat these bracelets from Schoolhouse Electric.


Top Knobs M12 Dakota Cup Pull – $6.21

For cabinet hardware pick something easy and straightforward. I like the look and texture of these timeless bin pulls.


1 1/2-Inch Hexagonal Glass Knob, Nickel-Plated Bolt – $6

Accent kitchen drawers and cabinets with these petite knobsthat have the look of vintage milk glass.


Värde Countertop – $130

Ikea butcher block counters are inexpensive, warm, functional and perfectly suited to some cabin kitchen.


Rohl Handcrafted, Single-Basin, Fireclay, Apron-Front Farmhouse Kitchen Sink – $1,530

Splurge in an apron-front farmhouse sink from Rohl — it is that the classic and could become the centerpiece of your cabin kitchen. Pair it with a vintage-inspired gooseneck faucet.


Ceramic Basics Capriccio Tile, White Gloss

White subway tile makes a chic and inexpensive backsplash. This is such a common item, you should be able to find a great deal on it from a number of manufacturers in any given local building supply store.

Tyler Morris Woodworking

Shelf Brackets – $18

Cottage kitchens are usually on the smallish side. Open yours up by replacing a number of the upper cabinets with open shelving. Simple wooden mounts like these may be painted to match your wall color.


Ekby Tony/Ekby Stilig Wall Shelf – $36.99

These simple wall shelves from Ikea are a great, quick choice for adding storage into the kitchen.

Or try this: White Carrara marble shelves could make a luxurious addition to a cabin kitchen.

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Tell us Are you currently renovating a cabin? Have any resources to share? Join the conversation!

More: So Your Design is: Cottage

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