Contractor Tips: Tune into Some Top-Notch TV Room

Most households have a room where the most important activity is watching TV. We’re well past the age when all you needed was an outlet and a pair of rabbit ears — now, DVD players, game consoles, cable and satellites, computer networks and stereo systems can all communicate with your television. It makes sense to attempt to be ready for new apparatus and methods of communicating that will become commonplace in the future.

Whether you’ll be gutting your TV room, building it new or doing a remodel, the tips below can help you take advantage of it.

D’apostrophe design, inc..

Know the way the TV is going to be utilized. Unlike the kitchen, where there could be only one cook, the TV room generally gets used by everybody in the family room. Odds are, not everybody is going to be up to speed on what devices the other people in the household use, the way they use them and how they need to be wired.

Before planning the installation, bring everybody together and discuss which devices will be plugged into the TV, the dimensions of the plugs (important if you need to drill holes in furniture), the way they are controlled (by remote, wired joystick, wireless joystick, etc.) and how often they will be used.

You will also need this info to plan your own electrical power and storage requirements.

Consider glare. Consider the placement of the television relative to the windows in the room. You can always pull the drapes, however a small amount of light leaking around the sides of a window treatment may create a glare on the TV screen.

BW Interiors

Place the screen at eye level. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your TV room, you’ve got two focal points at the space. Many people solve this problem by mounting the television over the fireplace. Many times, the viewing angle is too steep when a TV is put this large, and it is much better to put in it adjacent to the fireplace so that it could be lower.

A good rule of thumb is to mount it about eye level for all those seated. Sit on your couch (or one of equal elevation) at the distance it will be put out of your TV and see if it feels comfortable for viewing.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Plan for your speakers. If you would like surround sound, then buy the speaker system you need and then run the cables, rather than the other way around. This way you’ll know just how many speaker cables to operate and whether any areas of the system, like a subwoofer, will need a dedicated socket.

If you aren’t intending to start up walls, think about mounting the speakers high on the wall and installing crown molding to conceal the wires. They should still be run in wiremold to safeguard them but you won’t possess that unsightly station running around the room.

Attach the bracket to blocking. If you plan on mounting the TV into the wall, you will need to open up at least that part of the wall and put in solid wood blocking so you may attach it. Any heavy thing attached to the wall ought to have wood blocking installed, but especially something as expensive as the current TVs.

Scot Meacham Wood Design

Plan storage to your components. So you’ve had the conversation about what apparatus need to be hooked up to the television — but where are you really going to put them? If you don’t need them from the open, the two most common solutions would be to place them in a nearby cupboard or inside a piece of furniture.

Furniture is convenient as you can set it close to the TV as you need, but remember you will need to drill holes at the back, top or bottom to accommodate multiple wires. If you want to keep the doors shut and still utilize remote controls, you will need to purchase a signal repeater. And these devices generate a lot of heat, which means you’ll need to supply enough room for airflow.

In the event that you set everything in a cupboard, venting isn’t quite as much of an issue, but you will need to find a way to route the cables there, and you will also need a signal repeater.

FORMA Design

Build in flexibility. Technologies alter, and we often update one part of a system while retaining the remainder. Try to build some flexibility into your installation so you may conduct new or additional wires if they are needed in the future.

It’s standard to put in an access panel supporting bathtub plumbing. If you can, do this to your TV installation too. If you need to run cables into a wall in the future and also the wall is open now, set a PVC pipe at the wall so it’s easier to drop those cables into the cellar or your entrance panel.

Christopher Hoover – Environmental Design Services

TV sizes change, and they don’t generally get smaller. If you are going to construct a shelving unit around the TV, look at leaving additional space around the television for future upgrades.

Habitat Studio

Consider screens. If you want to hide the television out of view, you are able to mount screens like these. Pocket door hardware, available at most hardware stores, allows the screens to slip back and forth. Install cut which hangs down far enough across the front face to conceal the track.

Mahoney Architects & Interiors

If you’d like doors to start and then slip back, you’ll need a flipper door slip, which isn’t available at most hardware stores. Instead, you ought to purchase these from a woodworking site such as Rockler.

Another option is a lift, which permits you to conceal the television at a cabinet and raise it when you wish to watch.

TVs are not only seen in TV rooms. Even in the event that you don’t need a TV in the kitchen, then think beforehand. If you are planning a renovation, it’s easy to run a cable to this (or a different) room in the event you reconsider — or if you want to sell the home for a TV lover’s paradise.

The Way Smart TV Will Change Your Living Room
Where to Put the TV Whenever the Wall Will Not Work
More Suggestions for Your Media Room

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A trapdoor’s attractiveness is its footprint. When open, a trapdoor provides access to spaces below or over in an almost covert method. When closed, the trapdoor is a flush surface, either a load-bearing floor or a hatchway to an attic. No square footage is lost in spaces with a trapdoor.

David Edrington, Architect

Most people consider tree houses or attics when they envision a trapdoor. Dormers add enough headroom to produce this loft a bedroom, and also the trapdoor succeeds in making it a cool one with lots of floor space.

A wine cellar is found in the cool depths beneath this kitchen’s trapdoor.

LU Décor

A clear acrylic trapdoor provides access to a open-tread spriral staircase. Plexiglas sheets are strong and have clear clarity.

Adding a trapdoor is a unique way to raise storage space below a staircase.

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Bohemian Elegance in a Space

Vintage light, custom made upholstery and artful vignettes turned this 800-square-foot house into a vibrant and diverse Los Angeles escape. “I am a sucker for this Palm Springs vibe,” says operator Angel Quintana. “I think having colour in every room keeps it exciting and shows a sense of humor. A self-described “flea market junkie,” Quintana has a penchant for unique vintage finds and vibrant fabrics that has imbued her space using the energy and a style all her own.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Angel Quintana, her husband and their dog, Bobo
Location: Los Angeles
Size: 800 square feet; two bedrooms (1 utilized as a workplace), 1 bath
That’s interesting: Quintana once functioned for interior designer Ruthie Sommers.

Madison Modern Home

Quintana and Bobo perch on a custom sofa from Monarch. “Start purchasing some crucial pieces prior to buying a house,” Quintana advises. “I think people buy a house and then do not have sufficient furniture to fill it up. I discover that classic pieces can always be worked into a new area, and other pieces could be offered on Craigslist in case you simply can’t find a spot for them.”

Madison Modern Home

A Lucite cocktail table almost disappears, leaving behind just its tasteful reflective borders. Favourite coffee table publications elevate a thrift shop skull and vintage binoculars. Above the sofa, a flea market–sourced jackalope decoration adds a notice of cheekiness.

Instead of follow the doctrine “There is a place for all,” Quintana prefers to think, “Where should I move this bit into next?”

Madison Modern Home

From the living room, Quintana remade a midcentury modern chair with a stylish Greek key cloth. She re-covered the vintage ottoman in dark green velvet.

Madison Modern Home

Quintana managed to carve a glamorous dining room out of a diminutive space by employing high-backed retro chairs and an Ikea table. A timeless chandelier awakens soft light from above. Quintanta recommends replacing all the light fixtures at a house. “This makes a place feel so unique, and everyone will notice!” She says.

The dining seats will eventually be reupholstered in gold velvet with a pink and white pattern on the back. She is also hoping to substitute the Ikea table using a vintage marble table.

Madison Modern Home

This set of eight six-piece vintage gold flatware place settings and two serving spoons from the Rose Bowl Flea Market is Quintana’s newest $25 steal.

Madison Modern Home

A DIY chalkboard provides an area for everything from everyday inspiration for Quintana’s holistic lifestyle business to shopping lists.

Madison Modern Home

Custom shades and a classic sign from her husband’s college days accessorize the kitchen. Vintage kitchenware brings color to a butcher block countertop.

When asked what she would change about her home, Quintana says, “Don’t get me started about the kitchen! I fantasize about cooking in a lush kitchen for friends and a killer pub for my husband to make me yummy cocktails along with his home made bitters.”

Madison Modern Home

The tufted headboard’s tasteful lines counter a casual striped coverlet from Anthropologie. Overhead, a vintage lighting find adds warmth.

Madison Modern Home

DIY song-lyric artwork rests on a Crate & Barrel console beside the bed, surrounded by curated curiosities.

Madison Modern Home

A ’60s pendant inspired a yellow color palette in this house office. Mirrored closet doors reflect a vintage dresser that Quintana updated with paint.

Madison Modern Home

Bohemian art and a funky lamp located at Home Goods sit on the dresser. A reupholstered chair invites an afternoon read.

“I am a real fan of change, and that includes even the huge pieces of furniture in our house,” says Quintana. “I made a decision to move the whole bedroom to the second bedroom just because I needed to experimentation. I wanted to know how it felt to sleep”

Madison Modern Home

Quintana’s jewelry and accessories reside alongside books arranged by colour, creating visual impact in a snowy bookcase. “I am obsessed with the colour white,” she says. “I feel this room reflects me and my talents. It’s also the room that houses my clothes and sneakers, which are extremely dear to me,” says Quintana.

Madison Modern Home

White is replicated in the elaborate DIY pin board, the faux bamboo Chippendale chair, the lacquer World Market desk and the cream-colored flokati rug. Favourite pictures, photographs and customer ideas are front and centre. A gooseneck desk lamp and typewriter add a vintage touch to the glistening white desk surface. Quintana loves sitting in her desk at the workplace. “I spent time designing it since I wanted to operate in an area that inspired me,” she says.

Madison Modern Home

A scalloped 1950s shelf exhibits a framed photo booth image and bathroom essentials.

telephone: have you got an eclectic, creative home? Show us your house and it may be featured on .

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Artist Sketch: Michelle Armas

Michelle Armas has come a long way from selling paintings for her parents. The Atlanta artist first official sale was to her mother –“I made her purchase a painting off my Etsy website so it would look like a real customer bought it,” Armas states. Now, however, Armas’ cheerful oil paintings and prints are found in online shops, nice art galleries and in Anthropologie.

Armas’ self-described”happy and picture design” is a natural match for contemporary, modern and transitional houses. We caught up with the busy artist to talk about her inspiration, her favorite musicians along with her fear of a monochromatic world.

Armas has started transferring her amazing pieces into less expensive prints, available for sale online. Below are some of her recent developments, available as picture posters or canvas posters.

Michelle Armas

Fly By

Q. Which professionals within your business do you respect most?

A. Stefan Sagmeister. To my mind he’s someone who lives his entire life searching, studying and empathizing — that is precisely why his ideas are so inspiring. I want to emulate him. He has a youthful energy and perspective, but also a confidence that comes from achievement and out of believing in yourself. His TED talks are killer.

Q. What are you working on now?

A. that I feel that half of my energy lately is moving toward business growth and development. I am creating a line of prints and studying how to create more products for my clients in each budget. Another half is painting away like a madwoman.

Michelle Armas

Laura – $35

Q. When did you decide you wanted to become an artist?

A. I always wanted to be an artist. However, I guess I put my money where it counts just one year after I graduated college, and I chose to pay for a postgraduate degree in layout. Although I was in college I knew that I couldn’t be a graphic designer, but my gut said stay, learn and adapt. So I did.

Q. The most important thing on your work desk is…

A. My camera. My wonderful father bought me a Nikon D80 in 2006, and that I used it to take pictures for my own blog. Now it is used to take fantastic photographs of painting and print. A high-quality camera is indeed essential to creating a clean, aesthetically pleasing fresh existence.

Michelle Armas

Q. Which famous artist would you like to utilize?

A. that I like the manner Gustav Klimt’s mind worked. I know everyone says that they love”The Kiss,” but I would love to return in time and see him mix paint, prepare his canvases, and see him sketch and paint. Oh, to reside in Vienna at the time and realize the art — I perish!

Q. Where on earth do you wish to visit next?

A. I would like to spend a couple of decades very painting, and exploring the outer reaches of imagination. I see myself traveling to various cities and living in them for a month or two while I create a ton of new work, and market it there while my Atlanta studio operates along for a little without me.

Michelle Armas

Halycon – $35

Q. Where would you go for inspiration?

A. Inspiration is a tricky one. Since I am one of those people who is constantly thinking, I am better when I have rest. By way of instance, right now I am going through a stage of endless paperwork, meetings, painful expenses and technical drudgery… so I am not painting as much.

I’m taking a trip to NYC, and once I get back I will be exploding with ideas. It could be someone I see on the road wearing something proportionally magnificent, or taking an introspective walk on a rainy day and keeping my eyes on the sidewalk that gives me a flicker of an idea. It could also be a fantasy. I basically only trust that my mind will provide for me, so long as I keep it wholesome, allow it to rest and breathe.

Michelle Armas

Q. If you could pick 1 color on the planet to reside, which would you pick?

A. Green — lake green. It makes me happy. Thankfully I do not have to do that because only imagining just 1 shade forever makes me not be able to breathe!

View more of Michelle Armas’ perform on her online shop and website.

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Pony Wall

A pony wall is a half-wall or short wall that does not bear the load of any overlying structures. It functions as partition or a room divider.

This pony wall provides just a little bit of solitude.

Blue Sky Building Company

A pony wall used to separate regions of the bedroom may also function as a backrest for the headboard.


A tongue-and-groove paneled pony wall using a wood cap helps delineate different spaces in this room.

Ownby Design

Here, a pony wall anchors a recessed living room.

Charlie & Co.. Design, Ltd

A pony wall separates this dining room from the living room with no cutting off the chef’s perspective.

Rossington Architecture

This board and batten pony wall enables everyone to view the TV.

RW Anderson Homes

A pony wall opens up the stairs and supplies a long hallway natural light. The cap helps conceal the inevitable fingerprints.

Read more pony wall photographs

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Eclectic East London Victorian

A stunning garden, a rustic spa, a colorful master bath and a handcrafted interior have made this Victorian terrace home an urban oasis for both Tracey Bendrien and Lawrence Friesen. Although the Canadian couple initially moved to London for its urban lifestyle, they found themselves wanting the ability to escape from the bustle and hustle.

Friesen, an architect, set to work straight away. The couple wanted to modernize the space but nevertheless retain the home’s unique structure and features. The end result is a colorful, eclectic and modern take on a gorgeous Victorian home.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Tracey Bendrien and Lawrence Friesen
Location: Hackney, East London, United Kingdom
Size: 1,400 square feet; 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

Beccy Smart Photography

The garden is the initial part of the house the couple designed. They awakened the pond, and Friesen made this concrete bridge to span across the water region and lead to the rest of the garden, where there is seating for two.

Beccy Smart Photography

Friesen and Bendrien knew they would put in a spa as soon as they bought the home. The garden is seen by them among the spaces in their property. It took them several years to find a tub that has been only right for these, this one from a homeowner in London. The tub replaced an existing shed, and they implanted overhanging foliage for solitude.

Beccy Smart Photography

The couple combined the master bathroom with the cupboard and a dressing area to save space. They fell in love with this cheeky candy-apple-red tub, made from recycled vinyl by Swedish manufacturer Durat.

Painting: Will Alsop

Beccy Smart Photography

Friesen constructed a glistening red cupboard to match the bathtub. “Having the dressing area in which you get ready for your day and end your day only made sense to us,” he states. He left off the doors the cabinet to get an open texture.

Beccy Smart Photography

Skylights in the cupboard region of the toilet keep the space naturally well lit and uplifting. Friesen constructed the floating toilet countertop from leftover American black walnut floorboards. The rest of the timber is constructed from the exact floorboards to maintain the substance palette consistent and use what was available.

Beccy Smart Photography

A wet-room-style shower using a waterfall showerhead sits at 1 corner of the bathroom. The gray tiles are Portland blue limestone. A sturdy shelf runs the length of the space, providing convenient seating and a place for toiletries.

Beccy Smart Photography

Friesen installed and designed these stairs, hand-crafted by their beloved Suffolk expert, Bob Pendred. When the couple opened up the kitchen and hall space, they retained front rooms but removed the hall door and installed this stairs. “The attention is really on a central organization, structured from the stairs as it goes throughout the home — the thought being to ascend to the peak of the home and reach the sky,” Friesen says. “As you move vertically, the concept is that you become both more expressive and private.”

Beccy Smart Photography

The open dining area and kitchen area is flooded with natural lighting. The couple opened up the two spaces to each other and built a bespoke large door to the garden.

Hanging on the dining table is a shell pendant lighting by Scabetti. “We love things that are crafted, and we hope that people who design them can make viable livelihoods from the craft,” Friesen says. “Lights in our sitting rooms and kitchen are goods of this ethos.”

Beccy Smart Photography

The kitchen floor tiles are just like those used on the floors and backsplashes throughout the whole house. The kitchen cabinetry has been designed and constructed by Friesen.

Beccy Smart Photography

Friesen and craftsman Bob Pendred installed and designed this huge window door. This second departure creates a simple flow into the garden from the kitchen. “If the door is left open, it feels as a wall was taken away,” Bendrien states.

Beccy Smart Photography

A wood-burning stove and open shelves with trinkets provide a homey touch. Friesen installed and designed this custom made sideboard, such as a stand to store up to 96 wine bottles. Since it is a Victorian home, meaning restricted storage, that was a fantastic addition.

Beccy Smart Photography

The master bedroom is painted a gorgeous deep plum. The black cupboard was found at Broadway market in the favorite bohemian area of Hackney.

Beccy Smart Photography

Bendrien made the guest bedroom with a female look, using vibrant magenta accents and girly accessories. An ornate fireplace matches the vibrant wallpaper layout.

Beccy Smart Photography

Boldly painted walls match the wallpaper, the reduced trim and the pink accents of the bedding and pendant lampshade.

Beccy Smart Photography

Calming colors, such as this guacamole hue, in the primary living spaces offer a backdrop to dramatic furniture pieces. The stylish hanging lighting is a distinctive Mark Bickers design.

Beccy Smart Photography

The homeowners like to support British designers and bought these couches by Naughtone from 100% Design. The artwork trio is by artist and architect Will Alsop.

Beccy Smart Photography

The couple designed a comfy workspace at the front reception area. A customized glass door leads out into the garden. The ornate office desk is a replica Criterion the couple bought from an auction house. It was initially supposed to go from the bedroom upstairs, however they couldn’t get it to fit through.

Can you live in a creative, diverse house? Show us your home and it could be featured on !

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Guest Groups: The Night Sky

When I was young, I wanted to pay my own ceiling with glow-in-the-dark stars. I believed they would be ideal to count on sleepless nights. While I grew from that fashion, I never lost my passion for the nighttime skies. Stargazing is particularly beautiful in the crisp winter air. This collection contains small suggestions to pull the nighttime skies into the home in some classy, and some enjoyable, manners. — Brandi from Not Your Average Ordinary

Hubble Crab Nebula – $9.85

NASA’s Hubble telescope has been capturing some incredible pictures from outer space. Many of the magnificent prints are available as posters. They would easily add drama to some bare wall.

Barneby Gates

All Star Wallpaper from Barneby Gates – GBP 78

Barneby Gates has a magical touch when it comes to wallpaper, and this celebrity version is no exception. The metallic ink and feel create the stars look really elegant.


Halley’s Comet Path by Dorana Design – $189

For people who can remember watching Halley’s Comet as a youngster, this artwork piece mapping its path is a perfect way to commemorate one of the events of childhood.

Pottery Barn

Star Cachepot – $29.50

The little star on this kettle is subtle, but it is still a lovely reminder that everything we know is made from stardust.


Vintage Constellations Print”Le Ciel” with Miss Quite Contrary – $22

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences, and this vintage print of constellations is a fantastic reminder that past generations have been mapping the skies for centuries.


Constellations of the Northern Hemisphere Wall Hanging by Little Intelligent Studio – $85

This constellation embroidery could look amazing on any bookshelf or wall mounted, particularly if it were surrounded by other instances of nature’s beauty.

Restoration Hardware

Rustic Star Garland at Brass – $55

This sweet little star garland would be ideal inside or outside. It would also be amazing through the holidays wrapped round a tree.

Stars from Seb Lester – EUR 90

I instantly fell in love with this particular print when I saw it. I then took a closer look and discovered that the lines and letters themselves are made up of very tiny stars.

Modern Scatter Cushions – GBP 55

This throw pillow adds a nice touch of the nighttime skies to any area. It might seem particularly charming on a silver or white couch.

Old World Astrolabe – $99.95

Armillary spheres were used by scientists to help find and predict the positions of the sun, planets and moon. While contemporary computers are a lot easier to work with, this tool still has an Old World charm which will help create a home feel like a museum.


Constellation Lampshade by ECLU – $79

This entertaining, whimsical lamp color is created from small pieces of an old constellation map. It might work perfectly in a young teenager’s room or some other family room.


Classic Celestial Globe from Ruff by Margo – $75

Though this vintage globe of the constellations doesn’t light up like most contemporary ones, it might be a fantastic, unique conversation piece in any area.


Sun Moon Stars Vinyl Wall Art Decal Sticker by Decal Farm – $15

Wall stickers make adding some starlight and moving the stars into different patterns much easier than the old glow-in-the-dark stars ever allowed.

Maintain Calm Gallery

Shoot For the Stars from Hayley & Lucas – GBP 16

The futuristic font set against the classic starry sky within this poster create an ideal mix. The sentiment would look lovely framed and set on a desk or on the wall as a constant reminder to dream large.

Pottery Barn Kids

Constellation Sheeting

These constellation sheets may have been designed for a child’s room, but they would be brightly colored in almost any adult’s bedroom too, particularly if hidden during the day by a glowing quilt or duvet.

Urban Outfitters

Constellation Duvet Cover – $69

From afar, this duvet cover resembles a simple black cover with a white layout. But closer inspection reveals a multitude of constellations to learn and trace at night before falling asleep.

Pottery Barn Kids

Stark Star Rug

This star-patterned rug has a slight nautical feel to it, which is not surprising given how profoundly ancient seafarers relied on the stars to direct their journeys.

Pottery Barn Kids

Jared Star Shade & Mason Base – $35

This celebrity lamp color and easy base could be fantastic on any nightstand, particularly in a child’s room.


Retro Atomic Star Glow Plate from Zuza Shop – $7.50

Stars were extremely popular throughout the’50s and’60s for dinnerware, along with the retro appearance of the star burst plate could work for almost any special occasion.


Homer Laughlin 1950s Modern Star Vintage China Bowls by Pazinktum – $40

This collection of six vintage bowls are a wonderfully easy way to incorporate some celebrity bursts into your daily decor.

Next: Indoor Stars Light Winter Nights

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So Your Design Is: Minimalist

What it is: Minimalism translates to living with lesscolor, less frippery, less visual noise, less — well — material . It’s not about sensory deprivation or ruthlessly cleaning house; it’s more to do with choosing to concentrate on a handful of items you genuinely want and love instead of a glut of unnecessary objects.

Why it works: People tend either to crave minimalist style or despise it. If you are in the former camp, then it probably attracts you for its simplicity, its own restful air and its ease of care (read: less dusting). At a hectic, overstimulating world, it may be a treat to come home to a soothing oasis of tranquil.

You will enjoy it if… You would rather listen to a solo a cappella functionality than a complete chorus. You have a dozen variations of the little black dress. You are attracted to barren landscapes. You have mastered the art of the five-ingredient recipe. Nothing makes your heart beat faster than the idea of holding a garage sale.

Mark Newman Design

Style Secret: Clutter Control

Minimalism is about pruning back to the bare essentials, which begins with clearing away the mess. If the pared-down look appeals to you, you probably don’t have excess paraphernalia to begin with. But search for opportunities to scale down further. Sweep flotsam off tables, clean the mantel, roll up rugs and swap the gallery wall for one standout piece of art.

Softer side: It is perfectly acceptable — a few purists may even say desirable — to really have a minimalist space without a single superfluous object within it. An area that lacks so much like a book on the coffee table or even a painting on the wall, however, can feel cold and sterile. Consider adding only a few accents to give it some character: a bold-color menu topped with a slick vase, a single sculpture in the corner, a more stunning pendant chandelier or light.

John Maniscalco Architecture

Design Secret: sterile Furnishings

Furnishings drive a minimalist space and provide the majority of its visual appeal. Think of what’s vital in your area. Would you want three cocktail tables, a set of armoires and a hulking credenza? What is the minimum amount of furniture you should have to keep an optimum degree of livability? Once you decide what to keep and what to skip, look for seating, tables, case goods and other bits that have sleek, stripped-down profiles and deficiency ornamentation.

Softer side: Minimal doesn’t mean uncomfortable — there’s no requirement to perch on hard side seats without a place to prop your feet. Just make sure you keep cushioned furnishings tailored, for example tight-back sofas and chairs. And by all means add a slick ottoman or hassock that will make it possible for you and your guests to reunite effortlessly.

Webber + Studio, Architects

Style Secret: Limited Palettes

It is difficult to pull the minimalist look in an area that’s bursting with color, which produces a whole lot of visual activity in the absence of bric-a-brac. Rather, select controlled neutrals that are gentle on the eye. White is the quintessential minimalist color, but if it seems too stark or clinical to you, go for cream, beige and khaki, or barely-there greens, blues or lavenders. Ground the space with a bit of espresso or black brown.

Softer side: If you long for a more emphatic stroke of color, find a way to bring it in without bothering the area’s serene vibe — if you overdo it, then the distance will feel like it’s wearing too much makeup. Hang a single painting over the fireplace, or paint one skinny accent wall or narrow hallway with a saturated hue. Better still, infuse a hint of color through accents that are easy to alter if you tire of these: a few throw pillows, a bright menu, a handful of novels.

MusaDesign Interior Design

Style Secret: Storage and Organization

Repeat after me: a place for everything and everything in its place. Committing to the minimum look means committing to order, and it’s easiest to eliminate clutter when each thing has its own specified home. Whereas another kitchen may exhibit cooking utensils onto the countertop and dishware in the cabinets, this one tucks everything behind a solid wall of cabinetry to get a clean, uniform look. If you are really ambitious, you may also winnow down everything you’ve stashed in drawers and cabinets to get a house that’s minimalist to the core.

Softer side: You don’t need to hide open shelving behind doors and screens or leave it unfilled. Simply edit judiciously. Wrap a small stack of novels in white paper covers, eliminate all but one or 2 blown-glass boats from your collection and display a single family photo as opposed to a bunch of framed snapshots.

Sara Baldwin Design

Style Secret: Bare Windows

We hardly even need to say this, but fussy draperies and flouncy shades make a minimalist space feel way overdressed. Keep windows unadorned and let their simple architecture shine. If privacy is an issue, consider textured glass apply a translucent film to display inquisitive gazes.

Softer side: Can’t bear to leave your windows completely nude? If you must add a window treatment of some sort, make it as elemental as possible, such as matchstick blinds or even a sleek roller shade. If the rest of your space is quite compact, you may be able to pull plain curtain panels, but be certain they are created from a good fabric in a color that will not halt the attention.

Habachy Designs

Style Secret: Subtle Pattern

If you consider minimalism, you probably consider solids. If you decide to use pattern, keep it discreet. Even something as straightforward as a striped duvet or houndstooth throw may upset the carefully orchestrated balance of a minimalist space. Should you use pattern at all, it should be small scale and tone on tone.

Softer side: Here is an alternative: Pick for feel. This bedroom assembles a tactile base with hardly any feel at all. White-painted bricks, a rug with a deep pile, a matelassé coverlet plus a quilted blanket combine to make depth, anchored by the intense sleekness of the bed frame.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Style Secret: caliber

Layout is much like cooking: The simpler the dish, the greater integrity the components should have. By the identical token, a minimalist space has so few distractions that each thing in it will attract heightened attention. Invest in the highest quality of furniture and accessories that your budget can stand — and because you will not be buying in great quantity, you may have a little extra wiggle room to update.

Softer side: Classic, well-crafted pieces such as Shaker armoires, Windsor chairs and French campaign beds not only hold their own in quality, but their simple, ageless design means they will never fall from fashion. Furnishings such as these show that minimalism doesn’t necessarily translate to modernism; it’s a broad approach as opposed to a prescribed set of style rules.

Brian Watford Interiors

Design Secret: Open Space

Broad swaths of room and unobstructed sight lines give minimalist interiors their comfy appeal. If your architecture doesn’t follow this pattern, and if your budget and time permit, consider minor (or major) remodeling to enhance the flow of your space. Or you can fake it with a little sleight of hand: Paint all of the walls, ceilings and trim the same color to produce the feeling of openness, or search for opportunities to make visual echoes, such as a development of indistinguishable light fixtures or a trio of overscale, just framed black and white photographs.

Softer side: Open distance doesn’t need to feel hollow and lumpy. Heat it, if you like, by breaking up a few surfaces. In this corridor and living area, for instance, a neutral rug, a few artfully positioned furnishings, a mirror and pendant lights help to make the setting seem more romantic.

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Cozy Up to Bedrooms and Baths at Decorator Showcase

A bed sculpted out of steel and reclaimed wood, a headboard designed to combine into walls and a tub filled to the brim with airport-confiscated scissors were only a few of the sights to visit from the bedrooms and baths of the 2012 San Francisco Decorator Showcase, which opens April 28 and runs through May 28, 2012.

The designers stuck with simple colour schemes due to their rooms however livened them up with textural walls, incredible accessories and custom-made furniture. Take a peek at some of the greatest bedrooms and baths from the 2012 showcase house and learn a few straightforward ways to bring the look into your own home.

More: Living Spaces Wow at Decorator Showcase

Tailor-Made Suites
From Brian Dittmar Design

Inspired by British menswear, Brian Dittmar designed a chic and sophisticated bedroom package that sensed as placed together as a well-dressed Englishman. The slick steel mattress was custom designed by Paul Benson, and the foggy grey lamps are out of Avrett.

Artwork: Tyrell Collins

Alex Amend Photography

Antique and modern accents pay tribute to tailoring. The planet is an 18th-century sewing table, and the framed piece over is a shirt made out of a folded map of London. Dittmar designed custom bedding and pillows to conjure the sharp look of ties and pocket squares.

Artwork: Elisabeth Lecourt

From display house to your house: If you’re stuck into a decorating rut, try playing with a motif in one of your bedrooms. It can be something daring — such as a sports-theme kid’s area — or even something more subtle, such as Dittmar’s layout. However, by giving yourself a route to follow, you will have less trouble deciding on what pieces to use.

Artwork: Jay Kelly, Jung Han Kim

From Ma(I)sonry

The most wonderful art installation in this toilet is by artist Michele Pred, who utilizes airport-confiscated scissors and knives in a lot of her job. The design team worked with Pred to make a particular installation for this area — a tub filled with silver scissors snagged from the Transportation Security Administration.

From reveal house to your house: Repurposed finishes and fittings lend texture to this ordinarily smooth and smooth space. A toilet is a great place to take design risks, since smaller spaces can pull off appearances that often look overwhelming in larger rooms.

Master Bedroom
From Heather Hilliard

Most homeowners want their bedroom to be calm and serene. Designer Heather Hilliard stuck with this idea when designing this smooth and simple master bedroom. A subtle striped wall adds visual attention with white and off-white stripes, and an upholstered headboard fits perfectly.

Alex Amend Photography

The mild palette is broken up only with flashes of off-white and navy, and a bit of color within the fireplace. A sculptural fireplace display becomes a functional piece of art.

From reveal house to your house: Painting stripes is harder than it looks. Don’t rush measuring and taping off each section — it is worth it to stop bleeding paint and jagged lines later on. Consider following the tip inside this piece and paint the light base colour before the dark stripes.

Alex Amend Photography

Upstairs Powder Room
From KCS Estates

This bath used the home’s classic design as inspiration for its shape and type of the mirror. The curving shape of the mirror softens the right lines generated by the dressing table and bath; it cuts away to show detailed wall tile from Walker Zanger. Polished chrome and marbl adds a touch of traditional style.

From reveal house to your house: Look for different mirror shapes or a bold framework to add instant style to a bathroom without any remodeling.

Alex Amend Photography

Guest Bedroom
From Matt Murphy Studio

Designer Matt Murphy desired to make a luxurious area that guests would never want to leave. That means a supercomfortable bed with Frette bedding, a gentle seat by a warm fire, a room to write letters and notes and a window seat for lounging.

From reveal house to your house: Put a little additional thought into your guest bedroom. Do not force your visitors to need to tiptoe out to the kitchen or office in the middle of the night — bottles of water, pencils and paper and a couple of good books are thoughtful developments.

Alex Amend Photography

Guest Bathroom
From Tineke Triggs, Artistic Designs for Living

The lavender and gold inside this toilet reflect the colour palette of this guest bedroom only outdoors. Designer Tineke Triggs installed arty accessories out of Arteriors, Michael Taylor and Witford in metallic colors to carry the colour throughout the space.

From reveal house to your house: Sconces make a difference in toilet lighting, since overhead lighting is often harsh and unflattering. If you’re redoing a bath, think about installing sconces on either side of the mirror for a milder and better-looking reflection.

Jack’s Bedroom
Kathy Geissler Greatest

Designer Kathy Greatest made this chamber for a literary ninth-grade boy with a desire for adventure. The area has room to put away all his special belongings and treasures. A gentle wool headboard warms up the space, and a balloonlike lamp adds a splash of playfulness.

Alex Amend Photography

From reveal house to your house: Storage is crucial when it comes to kids’ rooms. Hooks keep up messes and from the floor and give children an chance to flaunt their favourite belongings.

Event information:
The 2012 San Francisco Decorator Showcase runs from April 28 to May 28, 2012.

Location: 2020 Jackson St., San Francisco
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday: 10 Gamble–3 p.m.; Thursday, Friday: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday and Memorial Day: 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Cost: $30 at the door (no advance tickets)

Living Spaces Wow at Decorator Showcase
Delectable Design: Inspiration from Show Houses Past
San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2011: Living Spaces
San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2011: Bedrooms and Baths

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Rooms Rock the Dark Appearance

My husband would argue that AC/DC is the best rock band of all time. I’m unsure about that; I would likely go with Queen. In thinking about modern day stone ‘n’ rollers, I wondered what their homes would look like and ended up imagining all-black rooms with a lot of nail heads, leather and animal prints. Giant stereotype? Well, what if you’re not a rock star and you like the play and formality of the all-black area? Check out how these designers are back in black with their rockin’ designs.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

I can envision AC/DC lead guitarist Angus Young cooking here. This slick, all-black kitchen functions really well because of its functional design and sharp contrast of silver lighting and counter stools. It feels like a black leather coat with silver figurines.

Watch the rest of this home

Nieto Design Group

This chamber speaks for itself. There are high-drama details anyplace to keep up with the zebra tub. Notice how all the glossy surfaces create a formal attitude. Stone ‘n’ roll.

Nieto Design Group

This guest bedroom is blanketed in a dark conceal wall covering. This texture burst is perfectly paired with contemporary black and white furniture to create a futuristic all-black refuge.

LDa Interiors & Architecture

Black can be elegant. Here it strikes an ideal balance of edgy and complex. Notice the impact of the oversize clock. The clock provides a reflective contrast to the dark palette, which comprises a champagne-hued rug and seats. When paired with a contrasting hue, black can feel bright and actually highlight details.

Atmosphere Interior Design Inc..

Pattern and symmetry make a announcement. The silver nail heads of the seat and the golden of the mirror and lamps seem perfectly blended together. Try mixing gold and silver; they harmonize just fine with black.

J. Hirsch Interior Design, LLC

This room really surprised me. The designer paired a charcoal black palette with gentle and conventional seats at a finish end. In fact, all the furniture is conventional with light endings. Notice how unexpected the signature of orange is about the seats. Brilliant and bold — it is all in the combination.

Willman Interiors / Gina Willman, ASID

I think this toilet displays the flexibility of black. This is its lighter side. A basalt bathtub sits on a bed of river stones and is paired with numerous natural elements. The timber trim, woven blinds and live plants create a quiet, tropical background for all these attributes.

Elad Gonen

What rock star could withstand an all-black networking room with crimson velvet sofas? The red sofas had a tall arrangement in holding their own in this dark and striking room. Of course, red always steps up to the job and takes centre stage.

Grab your backstage pass into those all-black rooms, and allow me to know what you think in the Remarks section.

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