Homework Friendly Space

Homework is no joke these days! At a recent Back-To-School-Night, my son’s chemistry teacher said the kids should expect an hour of homework every night. I’m sorry…say what? That’s one class out of 7 and some kids are in sports or clubs with practice and activities every day. I remember a similar night for one of my kid’s teachers in elementary school where a parent was asking why they didn’t have homework. Um…because they’re in first grade. Duh! Once the homework years roll in, there’s a lot of it and it’s best to get in some good habits early.

Finding or creating the perfect spot to do homework is easy but keeping that space clutter free can be the challenge. By easy I mean people have natural places they go to that’s comfortable or inviting, where they can be productive. For some it’s in the hub of the household – a kitchen table or the central island. For others (like myself) it’s a bright but quiet desk area.

Having bins or drawers or shelves near a favorite site for studying helps keep tools, papers and books handy. Being able to put everything away neatly and easily helps keep people like me sane. This article in Houzz has some fantastic ideas. My favorite is the sneaky shelf hidden under the kitchen island top. So clever!

If you have any great study spots, share them with us. We always like to see and learn new ideas.

Cozy Gifts for Anyone on Your List

Holidays are filled with seasonal music, seasonal scents, seasonal sights and typically a seasonal credit card bill. Shopping for family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and host gifts to take to all the parties can get extremely expensive! And in a season of Marie Kondo teaching everyone to purge, gifts need to be useful or meaningful.

I love this article from Houzz with recommendations on cozy gift ideas. The best part about this list is that the recipients will feel pampered while receiving some lovely upgrades to their home environment.

 

I also found this other fantastic list of gifts under $20 that work for a variety of people in your life:   https://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/holidays/cheap-stocking-stuffers

Wishing you and your family a relaxing and joyful holiday season!

 

I Want That

I love everything about this kitchen…literally everything! Look at the “before photo” and see where this room started. The transformation is beautiful and inspiring which all design should be (in my humble opinion).

Houzz does such a great job of exposing us to excellent design and ideas from around the world.

These homeowners in Atlanta, GA re-purposed some space to add concentrated storage areas and more windows. The vintage vibe of the tile mixed with the rustic woods adds warmth to the room. The lighting is a special surprise – swing-arm sconces in a kitchen? What? The custom hood pulls everything together on the focal wall.

This kitchen is a lovely gathering space for family and friends!

What Is A Vignette?

And No, it’s not something you put on salad… A vignette is just a fancy term for what I like to call a “Moment”. I’m sure that really clears things up! As I walk through a client’s house I’m always quick to say “I love this moment you’ve created here” as I wave my hand over some table or mantle or chair. They typically look very confused. I assure them it’s a compliment.

A vignette is a variety of items placed together to create a focal point or an area of visual interest. The items are different in nature and size and scale and texture and purpose. But when put together in a grouping they compliment each other to create an interesting visual moment. There’s that word again…

If you’re interested in creating a vignette in your own space, check out this article with the ABC’s of how to pull it off.

Best Finishes for your Kitchen

This article is a gold mine of information! Everything you’ve always wanted to know about the best finishes for your kitchen. All here, in this one place!

Not only are you told what finishes are best, but you’re told why and then given a second runner-up option as well. I love that window coverings are addressed which helps explain why I never recommend soft or fabric-based treatments in a kitchen. There’s even a link for “how to clean stainless steel” since that’s often the #1 complaint for those beautiful appliances.

Check out this article by @SamFerris….he’s done all the research for you!

 

Let’s Clean Up the Laundry Room

The laundry room in my last house almost caused a divorce. Well…maybe that’s a little dramatic, but it was one of the top reasons we moved. Maybe if I’d read this article sooner and had more than 36 sq. feet to work with we would still live there. In my defense the laundry room was also the room between our garage and the kitchen, so you can imagine the shoes and coats and bags and sports gear and laundry all piled up to be tripped over constantly. Like I said…that was our last house!

I love good Before and After photos and this article has plenty. One thing I always suggest to clients is that they make the laundry bright and inviting. You’re going in there to take care of  a mundane task so the space should be pleasant. Make sure it’s functional and organized and there’s a place to store everything – out of site if possible.

Check out the Before picture on the 3rd example. I’ll be curious to know if you shake your head too!

 

Design Rules Are Made To Be Broken

Every client, every house, every space and every situation is unique. Here’s an excellent article from Houzz regarding cabinet height in kitchens. There are a multitude of reasons why you won’t hang your upper cabinets 18″ above the countertops. We always start with the standard rule, but we often move from there due to specific uses or design elements.

 

Which Countertop Is Best For You?

This article answers all of my and my client’s questions…Finally! A must-read before any kitchen or bathroom remodel. Not to mention that all the photos are gorgeous and inspiring…Enjoy!