1. The big three: Siding, Roofing, and Stone
We spent days debating between a gray-ish taupe or a beige-ish gray for the siding. Did the stone facing make the taupe siding look too green? Did the gray make the brown stones look too brown? What about the roofing color? Once we put all three side by side, the combination became obvious.
Lesson: Always choose exterior materials at the same time.
2. The kitchen Island
Mere inches seem like miles when you’re talking about storage and workspace for an island. First, we had to prioritize: More storage or breakfast bar seating? In the end, we came up with features that gave us both. Although we didn’t want a huge island (How do you reach the center to clean?), we were able to gain more storage by making the layout T-shaped with a raised end cabinet and still had space for plenty of stools.
Lesson: Think outside the box when you’re outfitting the island.
3. Bathroom floorplans
How many times do you think you can re-arrange a bathroom? Well, for the three-and-a-half baths in the house, we went through no less than 10 iterations. And that doesn’t count the pencil sketches or iPad doodles. Or the versions our kitchen and bath designer worked over in her own head before showing to us. However, going through those iterations did get us to a clever arrangement for the master bath that is far from where we started. And allowed innovative bath products to shine—a tub with music, a shower with digital controls, and a really cool way to watch TV.
Lesson: There is more than one way to design a bath. Don’t feel hemmed in by conventional layouts.
4. The TV placement in the living room
This could be the most discussed wall in the entire house! With the changes in television sizes and formats, the design of a media wall isn’t the standard proposition that it used to be. We knew we wanted to showcase its spot in today’s family life, so we turned to our designer for help. She came up with a configuration for the TV, fireplace, and shelving that is sleek, balanced, and modern. And feels right at home in the open floorplan.
Lesson: Because electronics will continue to change, think about flexibility. And remember that finishes and paint colors can help integrate a television seamlessly into a room.
5. And the easiest decision? Black cladding for the windows. We loved it in theory and we’re loving it in reality. Some things you just know.
Lesson: Trust your instincts.
Home Exteriors, Home Improvement Expert Advice, Planning a New Home, Style Spotters | Tags:
bathrooms, Building a new home, expert advice, exterior materials, floorplans, home exterior, Kitchens
Last year we did a light makeover on our combined kitchen/family room which involved painting everything a glorious white and bringing in color through furniture and accessories. Our bright little breakfast nook in particular is one of my favorite corners of our home and the space we primarily eat in as a family. It’s the place where I tap away on my laptop in a pinch, and where my son does homework right after school. We’ve colored, crafted, and cooked all over this little corner and I have so many happy memories here. We went with a vintage Saarinen-inspired tulip table which comfortably seats our four Tolix chairs. But there’s definitely still room for more seating, which is one of the best perks of a round table. There’s always room for someone else! Which got me to thinking – what about doing a banquette against the window to offer more seating and a dash of drama to the room?
And inevitably I fell down the rabbit hole over on Pinterest…
While most people seem to go the built-in route, we probably wouldn’t be able to do a built-in due to the arrangement of the kitchen and the air conditioner vents. And to be honest, I’d prefer something a little more flexible (read: less permanent) like a long bench or upholstered piece of some kind. In fact, this photo just below from BHG was one of my inspiration pics when I was designing the space. I LOVE that freestanding banquette!
How fun is this pair of whimsically upholstered banquettes in a clean, modern space?
I think we definitely have the room to do something somewhat substantial, moreso than just a backless bench. I envision something cozy because despite how much I love the look of our red Tolix chairs, they do sit a little bit cold, especially in the dead of winter when you’re trying to wake up over that first cup of coffee. I envision something cozy but practical. And fabric choice is obviously a huge consideration as we have little ones and would need it to be ultra durable – maybe a Sunbrella option would be best?
Here are some of my top picks for what I’d put in the space. I really love the whimsy of that striped option.
I’d love some input on this. What are your thoughts? Upholstery? No upholstery? Arms? No arms? The sky’s the limit, isn’t it?
Open shelving in kitchens has been a super hot trend now for a few years and one that isn’t restricted to only one style of kitchen, which can be a difficult feat for a trend to pull off! You’ll see it in anything from super traditional to uber-contemporary thanks to the choice of materials and styling of the shelves.
Over the long fall break weekend here, we spent time at our lake house and got to peek in on a friend’s adorable vacation cottage above (did you see this living room?). I love her use of materials, and the way she styled the shelves. Her pantry is around the corner and still remains accessible but keeps those less-than-camera-ready items we all need carefully tucked away.
But don’t run out and pull your kitchen cabinet doors right off yet. This is a look that requires some serious planning and intention. To keep it from looking cluttered and unpolished, think of these shelves as the place to have your pretties on display. Functional items like coffee cups and everyday dishes can definitely have a place as long as the shelves aren’t overflowing with items.
Check out some of these inspirational picks from BHG’s Pinterest boards and see how these homeowners styled their shelves:
Decorative – and functional – olive oil bottles have a place positioned nearby this stunning Wolf range. The homeowner can easily reach necessary items while whipping up something delicious for dinner. Plus the natural texture of the wood is a nice contrast with all the gleaming stainless steel and white.
These white floating shelves feel bright and airy with the pops of color provide from the everyday dishes on display. Consider how your colors will look against the wall or tile you’ve chosen.
Carefully edit your open shelves. Remember that similar items look great when positioned together in sets of 3 or 5, such as these small plants and glass jars above.
Colorful pottery, dishes, cookbooks, and vases add loads of personality to a kitchen. Maybe you have a collection of something like vintage mason jars or cake stands – consider how these would be best on display to get maximum enjoyment of them more often than just a single occasion.
Remember: repetition can often be key to keeping your shelves purposefully styled as opposed to randomly cluttered. Groupings of mugs, plates, stemware, etc. can be both easily accessible and pretty to look at.
I’d love to hear how you feel about open shelves. Is it a trend you’re willing to try?
More from BHG.com:
Trend: Cabinetry Color-Blocking!
Refreshing cabinetry with paint is nothing new, but lately I’ve been noticing kitchen cabinetry featuring two, three, or even four different colors and finishes to create a color-block effect. It’s an affordable way to add style to a kitchen, and the possibilities are as endless as the wall of paint chips in your local paint aisle. From subtle to eye-catching, depending on your palette, this trend offers looks everyone can love.
Here’s how to create a color-block effect with the cabinetry in your kitchen.
Paint your upper cabinets a different color than your lower cabinets. If you’re choosing a high-contrast combo, paint the bottom cabinets the darker color and the upper cabinets the lighter one. Placing the dark color near the floor will help visually ground the space, while having the light color up high will make a kitchen feel more open and airy.
If you desire two bright colors that are similar in intensity, select hues that are fairly close together on the color wheel–such as turquoise and lime–to keep the look from becoming too jarring.
If you’d like to introduce a bold, energetic color in your kitchen but you’re afraid it might become overwhelming, leave the upper cabinets in a natural wood tone or a neutral paint color.
What’s your favorite palette for kitchen cabinetry? I love the idea of painting my lower cabinets navy and my upper cabinets white. Check out more colorful kitchen cabinetry ideas and watch a video on how to paint cabinets.
Hello! Kelly Eagle here! We see a lot of kitchens around here and in every style you can imagine!
The majority of the kitchens have white cabinets, with fewer having stained wood, but lately I’ve noticed another cabinet finish gaining popularity: greige painted cabinets.
In this month’s Better Homes and Gardens, designer Ann Rae’s kitchen has a perfect example of the color.
She painted her cabinets with Fawn, by Farrow and Ball. The color is a light tan-greige-green that is versatile, fitting into traditional kitchens, country kitchens, and even those with a more modern flair. She noted that she loves how in some lights the color reminds her of stones on the beach, but can also read as pale leaf green.
If you’ve been considering painting your cabinets, but want a color less predictable than white, this may just be the inspiration for you.
Here are couple of other examples I love:
This shade of beige reads a little green, but the color is subtle enough to act as a neutral, yet interesting enough to not need much accessorizing. Crisp white counters and accents modernize and lighten the space.
If you are a bit braver with your color choice, try painting your cabinets a dark greige. Pair dark lower cabinets with light – or white – upper cabinets.
Since these colors are rooted in the most basic of neutrals, accent colors can vary as wide as the rainbow, adding life and excitement to your kitchen.
What about you?
Would you paint your kitchen cabinets anything other than white?