Written on June 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm , by Kate
The use of marble in interior design has a long history, dating back as far as Ancient Rome. Marble has been used over the centuries to embellish everything from iconic architectural structures to modern day kitchens and bathrooms. Sculptures as famous as Michelangelo’s David have been carved from this prized stone and it has always held its appeal throughout the years.
Marble is a luxurious choice and is often more expensive than other solid surfaces, but is worth the investment since it’s unquestionably elegant and forever timeless. There are two varieties of Italian marble that are similar in appearance, both milky white with gray veining, and they are Carrara and Calacatta. Carrara has more delicate, lighter veining; Calacatta is a rarer, pricier stone and has bolder more defined strokes, yet both are a desirable luxury stone.
Slabs are the most expensive but smaller scale tile patterns tend to be more affordable per square foot. The mixture of small and medium scale motifs add interest to any bathroom space from petite herringbone to offset brick pattern tile.
Calacatta marble appears on the walls in this bathroom, adding drama and one-of-a-kind pattern. One thing is true about slab marble, it doesn’t need embellishment of any kind. Marble has earned its beauty and is best left with its stunning and unique veining on display.
Instead of slab on the floors or walls, look for large scale marble tiles that will give the same look, but broken up into smaller sections.
Or consider a marble basket weave tile for a decorative inset pattern that is both intricate and exquisite.
One of the most popular ways to add marble to the bathroom is with slab countertops. Mix it up with tile or wallpaper in the same gray and white palette to bring additional pattern to your bathroom space.
Looking for the ultimate in luxury? How amazing is this retro inspired vanity washbasin with spectacular Lucite legs – stunning!
Whichever way you choose to use it, from tile on the floor to slabs on the walls to the simplicity of a countertop, you can never ever go wrong with marble in the bathroom. Carrara and Calacatta marble are surfaces that hold a rare title, they have stood the test of time for not just decades, but centuries!
Written on January 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm , by Kate
I love to read up on what’s happening in remodeling, and while trends come and go, one choice that is consistent among homeowners over the years is the use of wood as a countertop in kitchens. I’ve always loved the look myself and we opted for a wood kitchen island countertop years ago.
Hard woods of all kinds can be used in a kitchen – walnut, cherry, and alder among others, and chefs love a giant slab of butcher block for its convenience in food prep.
Choosing wood as a countertop brings warmth to a kitchen space in contrast with the common cooler materials used in kitchens such as glass tile, ceramic sinks, or stainless steel appliances.
Wood countertops are also an affordable option in comparison with pricier solid surface choices, and retailers like IKEA sell slabs of butcher block that can be stained darker or even routed with an ogee edge.
Wood countertops have a reputation for being a higher maintenance surface than granite or marble, but if sealed properly they’re virtually waterproof. The one thing homeowners must avoid is the placement of anything too hot on the wood, but trivets and pot pads within arms reach will prevent any accidental burns.
The use of wood in any space brings character to your home and when cared for properly, wood countertops will remain useful and beautiful for years.
Other helpful articles from the archives:
Have you installed wood countertops in your kitchen? Share your thoughts and maintenance tips!
Written on September 2, 2012 at 9:57 pm , by Kate
We remodeled our kitchen five years ago, and I recall the initial difficulty of choosing the hardware for the space. In the end, I chose knobs and pulls from three different suppliers and even though they are slightly different styles, they all work together because they share the same finish.
Kitchen cabinets rarely come with pulls or knobs so it’s a big decision left to the homeowner to choose a style and finish that works with the space. A reader recently wrote to me asking about the process of choosing kitchen cabinet hardware. Here are a few tips for making the final choice.
Contemporary kitchens look best with streamlined pulls, and sleek tubular or rectangular options are a perfect complement for this modern style.
Old World inspired hardware works well in traditional or European style kitchens.
It’s important to consider the finishes on the light fixtures and appliances in the space. There’s no need to match every finish, you can mix chrome with brushed nickel, or oil rubbed bronze with brass, just be sure the finishes will complement each other. With white kitchen cabinets, the good news is that any of the available finishes for knobs and pulls will always look great!
Written on August 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm , by Kate
I do a lot of second hand shopping and every now and then I’ll spy a great dresser in a thrift store or on Craigslist and think to myself, “That would look fantastic in a bathroom!” Traditionally designed for the bedroom to store clothing, dressers are rebelling and finding their way into spaces outside the boudoir.
Clever homeowners are now adding character to their bathroom spaces by choosing dressers as vanities instead of standard cabinetry. Often you must sacrifice the utility of the top drawer to make room for the sink bowl, but what you lose in functionality you gain in style. Here’s a peek at this gallery of dressers transformed into vanities in bathrooms!
A white solid surface countertop supports two sinks with reproduction vintage faucets in this elegant bathroom with a repurposed white dresser.
Gray paint and porcelain knobs turn this elevated dressing table into a functioning vanity in this serene bathroom filled with vintage touches.
Contemporary clean lines and pulls take the spotlight in this bathroom nook where a nine drawer dresser style vanity wears a marble top.
Curvy drawers coated in black paint coupled with vintage brass pulls equal drama in this sophisticated powder room.
In the mood for fun and feisty? Coat your second hand find with bright colored paint and add a modern towel bar to the side for a one of a kind pretty pink vanity.
Clean and classic is the look in this bathroom where white paint and glass knobs share a timeless quality.
Converting a dresser into a vanity is simple when you follow these DIY instructions.
One final tip, pay attention to your height when shopping for a dresser to use as a vanity. A standard vanity is 30” but many adults find that height to be too short, and prefer a more comfortable height between 32” – 36”. Bring your tape measure with you and be sure to factor in the additional inches added from your chosen countertop.
Next week, we’ll take a look at how dressers are being used outside the bedroom in kitchens, entries, and living spaces, stay tuned!
Written on June 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm , by Kate
I was clipping out of magazines some favorite looks from the ‘Renovation Style’ and ‘Kitchen and Bath’ Special Publications the other day, consolidating them into a master inspiration file and I noticed that the bathrooms that stood out to me even years after publication had incorporated finishes and elements that withstood the test of time. From my observations I’ve compiled six tips for ensuring timeless bathroom design in your next bathroom remodel.
Layers of White. There’s no question that a healthy dose of white makes a space feel cleaner, and where else could that design truth make more sense than in a bathroom. Painted beadboard and ceramic white finishes will always project a timeless quality as seen in the spaces below.
Dark Wood Tones. The use of stained wood has been around as long as we can remember, and a deep walnut or espresso finish, when paired with crisp white, will communicate warmth as well as provide rich contrast.
Historic Finishes. Marble has been used for centuries in kitchens and bathroom design and as a recognized natural stone it is always a beautiful choice for floors, walls, and countertops. Limestone also falls into this category as do modern versions of clean solid surfaces that mimic the look. Notice how the addition of a freestanding bathtub also adds a gracious quality to this soothing retreat.
White towels on a ladder used as a unique display complement the warm travertine tile installed in a simple grid pattern in both large and small scale in this bathroom with European appeal.
A white pedestal sink is a classic choice as are sleek chrome or nickel finishes. Temper the coolness in the metal with warm woods found in the mirror and infuse rich contrast with ebonized floors.
White subway tile is a no fail choice for tiling walls in showers, or when used as a wainscot treatment around the surround of the bathroom.
Vintage Appeal. Using pieces from the past not only adds personality but also ensures the design choices will still have appeal in the future, just like the antiques used to form the vanities seen below. Modern vessel sinks installed above bring the old world pieces into the modern century.
Water Colors. In home remodeling, many people seek to transform their bathroom into a soothing oasis to give them a spa-like retreat. Choosing colors associated with the colors of water in beautiful blues or greens will capture that feeling.
Built-In Storage. In many older homes, you’ll find great architectural details and elements like recessed alcoves in a bathroom. Mimic the look in your bathroom by stealing space from the wall or an adjacent closet to include the same convenient storage solution.
Bold But Temporary. It’s perfectly fine to use your favorite colors in your bathroom design, whether that’s a lime green or vivid orange, but to preserve the timelessness of a bathroom, it’s best to use those bold colors in a temporary way such as the paint color on the walls or the accessories chosen for the space.
It’s easy to repaint and switch out the accessories in future years but it’s a much more serious home improvement project to remove tile and replace sinks or flooring. Keeping this in mind, make your bold color choices ones that can later be changed to a different palette.
The same is true for fabrics. The choice to use a graphic print on the window panels makes this bathroom feel very fresh and modern, but it also allows the homeowner to easily change that decorative element if they should choose to do so in the future.
A timeless bathroom is one that includes materials that will withstand the test of time over the decades. Choose tile, flooring, cabinetry, and fixtures that possess real authenticity, clean lines or traditional shapes and classic finishes, and you’ll enjoy a space that will add beauty and value to your home for years to come.