Thursday, February 21, 2019

In The Woodworker Shop - The Closet

Our workshop is full of wood in various stages of becoming something else. We have three projects going on simultaneously that involve shelving of some sort.

Projects work out better when you begin with a thoughtful plan that gives the client a vision of what the space will be like when completed.  While people agree with that when it comes to kitchens, bathrooms, offices they often just want to put shelves and rods randomly in the closet space. Resist the urge. Plan the closet space.

Closets are all about storage.  It helps if you know what you want to store in the closet before you start construction.  There are basically only two types: wall or reach-in closet, or a walk-in closet. Regardless which type you have in the room, think about what you want to store in it before you start any modifications. What you need to store will determine what you need to build. 

There are basic components that you will need to include:  Rods for long and/or short items,  open shelving of various heights, and some shoe space.  Think about whether or not you need drawers.  A wall closet is only 24" deep so that will be all wall but a walk-in closet could include drawers if you need them. If you have a lot of scarves than you may want a drawer, but scarves can also go on hangers with the blouse they accessorize or on open shelves or hooks.  Drawers are optional and need space for opening them.  Another issue with drawers is that they tend to be expensive compared to just shelves and rods.  Drawers need hardware - full extension glides and knobs/pulls. Our clients were right on top of their storage needs, so we just had to build, paint  and install.

The pictures on the right shows the various pieces necessary for this project. This job will be built on site. The shelves are done and the gray paint is being applied.  We spray paint our cabinets/shelves.  We have about 30 shelves with these units.

Installation day:

Wall Two
wall three

wall five
Wall four

  Lots of storage.                                                                   

Monday, February 18, 2019

It All Starts At The Entrance - The Barn Door

Originally, this project was to consist of a slight upgrade to the existing bathroom. The clients wanted a more comfortable bathing experience that appealed to their senses.  There was no debate on replacing the carpet with tile or getting a new vanity along with lights and other fixtures but the elephant in the room was the sunken tub/shower arrangement.  Not only was it an eyesore in the small space but neither homeowner liked using the space foe bathing, so it was neither beautiful nor functional from their perspective and their main reason for calling on a designer for help. It was requested that something be done with the sunken tub.  They were not sure about getting rid of it but something had to be done.
With every remodel I prefer to give my clients at least two, if not three, design options.  Whether a designer knows the amount of the budget or not, you can be sure that there is one, and I have found that within three options, clients will realize that budget is regulated by their product decisions and product decisions depend on their priorities.  I believe that options build understanding, confidence and most importantly trust between you and your client.  Priceless.

In this bath remodel, a huge window within the sunken tub/shower combination provided plenty of natural light into the room. Natural light, so important in a bathroom,  was never a problem here.  However, that same sunken tub/shower combination was an immediate eyesore and presented my greatest challenge in creating a luxurious master bath for my clients in a bathroom that measures 103" by 100".

With a respect to budget, my first option included filling in the sunken tub and overlaying the area with a tub/shower enclosure.  This does not change the floor plan and will be the least costly of all options.  

The next option separated the shower and the tub area.   In order to make this happen,  the toilet had to be moved to the far side of the room.  Moving the toilet always impacts the budget.  It's an expensive item since you not only move the toilet but all the plumbing lines and venting items that accompany it. Moving the toilet  to the other side of the room also meant that the vanity had to be reduced by 6 inches, so it went from a 2 sink 60" vanity to a 2 sink 54" vanity with a small pony wall between the lavatory and the toilet.

The next option and the one they chose, totally uplifted the entire area. This option removed the bathroom door and broadened the remodeled space to include the adjacent closet, small hallway and the entrance into the space from the bedroom.   In order to save wall space inside the bathroom and the closet, I suggested a barn door as the entrance from the bedroom. I knew this was a gamble but it opened up the space tremendously.  The pictures and layout below show this new space configuration.  The red barn door looks fabulous and now my clients absolutely love their bathroom. Priceless.

The Barn Door
Bathroom to the Left; Closet to the Right

Replaces the sunken tub

wall hung double sinks

wavy sinks

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

ICFF Design Show - Chairs


Professionals in the Design Community congregated from around the Globe  to experience the dazzling innovations on display at North America's premier design show, ICFF,  in NYC - May 20th-23rd.   It's a moment in time  to view trends, get a head's up on "what's next", develop relationships with new and solidify relationships with ongoing vendors. The Show also presents an opportunity   to talk face to face with artists who develop many of unique items that designers love to introduce to their clients.   Talking to artist to understand what influenced their design is one of my favorite things to do and I love to pass that insight onto my clients.

International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) had a variety of comfortable and intriguing chairs that invited the attendee to sit and relax.

This leather jewel from Molinari Living offers a soothing moment to anyone walking through the many exhibits and, if you have a beverage, there is a revolving tray attached for you convenience. For some collections matching tables with a choice of table tops are also available.

From casual dining chairs to office chairs, color was a fun factor in the appeal:

Interior Renovation Award 2014
Atelier Fesseler

Let Emotions Think

Leader in Rope Furniture

There were many fascinating elements surrounding the ICFF Show.  Further postings will address what I consider the cool finds in the Show as well as the kitchen and bath items.  Stay Tune.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The World of Paint

One of the first things people often do when they want a new look to a room is to paint it.   I have hundreds of paint color samples that I take to my client's home and we talk about what color is best for each room.  Often the downstairs or public area are done in one color and the private areas done in different colors.  It's best to have a color plan laid out before the process begins.

This living space is  one of my favorite projects.  The house is now on the market for sale so all the pictures that once adorned the walls have been removed for staging purposes.

Designing With Books

I'm currently involved in choosing paints for a 1,000 SF condo.  Gray is one of my favorite colors. They are a variety of shades, some charcoal, some light,  but they can all serve as a base color with areas of bold blue or purple to offset and create magic in the room.  I created a post earlier in the blog about the color of gray:    

How To Paint A Room Article:

If you decide to do the painting rather then hire a contractor, here's an excellent article to help with the task:

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

From Archtectural Plans to Concrete, the Building Process Begins..

As several of our clients already know, last year we started working on plans for our condo atop of a 2 1/2 car garage that would house our tools as well as cars.  We have jumped through several hoops like getting the plans approved by the  Township  and working with a local architect to avoid having to get a variance -  long and expensive process.  We are now at the point where we can move forward with the actual concrete and lumber.  It's always exciting to see the lines on a drawing become the walls of a structure.

 The picture to the right shows the outline of the addition.  It always looks smaller then it actually is for some reason.  The condo upstairs will be 1000 + square foot.

As you can see below, the footings have been started.  And the Dumpster has arrived - hooray.

While the framing and other task will be done by us and other family members who are in the construction business, a local  Concrete Contractor and HVAC Contractor are in place.  I am working on hiring a Roofing Contractor.

A rough draft of the finished condo is below.  I am still designing the space but I have some of the products already picked out.  I've time since we won't actually get to this for a few months yet.  The interior is my realm, so I can not wait.

As we proceed, I will keep you posted.