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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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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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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Ranch House Remodel: Installing the Interior Finishes

Follow the Improvement of Mike and Leann Rowe of Lutz, Florida, as they Reestablish a 1970s-era ranch Home in St. Pete Beach, Florida. We have demonstrated the way they found the ideal house, constructed their project group, gathered inspiration, established a budget, drew the programs, started construction and started to purify the inside. The author is the project architect.

In the last installment of the Florida ranch house renovation journal, the inside construction was well under way. We were relocating walls, installing new electrical apparatus, transferring plumbing lines for your new fixture places and much more. In a sense we were getting the skeletal and muscle systems roughed in and ready for the new finishes.

When the walls were up and also the systems roughed in, we installed all-new gutters throughout. When the drywall was up and primed, we started on all those very pleasant finishes that we’ve spent the past several months selecting. Here’s what the project looks like today.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich

With up the drywall and primed, we get to see exactly what the spaces are actually like. When many people can envision the dimensions and character of each chamber while the programs are being drawn, this is the first chance for some to actually get a good feel for each area. In any remodel the architect and client are on precisely the exact same page about the outcome, because it’s actually expensive and time consuming to start shifting walls round at this time.

The angled orange planks on the floor are the template for the kitchen island. This template was constructed early on so that Mike and Leann could verify the specific place they desired for the island.

Bud Dietrich

We have begun installing the new wood floor now that the ceilings and walls all primed. The floor is a dark stained bamboo that will provide a nice foundation to the insides.

Flooring like this must be left to acclimatize before installation. For several days beforehand, we controlled the humidity from the house to be certain that the flooring won’t enlarge, contract or otherwise change its dimensions too following installation. We have also used a urethane floor sealer that can hold down any moisture from the concrete slab.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Even though a team operates on installing the hardwood flooring, two teams are still installing the tile finishes. The tile setters have laid out a part of the master bath shower wall to be certain they know how everything is going to fit together and where, if needed, tile cuts will happen.

Mocks like these are particularly useful when performing a remodel. Nothing beats verifying things from the area …

Bud Dietrich, AIA

… even when a drawing is done that shows the detailed tile design. The old adage “measure twice and cut once” is the best way to save money and time for all concerned.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

The guest bathroom tiling is just about all done. So far we’re really pleased with our usage of little blue-green and grey stripes for the shower floor and one wall. These tiles can help add to that beach house personality that Mike and Leann very much desire.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich

We have worked with the tile setters, Artisan Tile of all St. Petersburg, to pick the grout colour for the bathrooms and the kitchen backsplash. While the grout colour can be chosen earlier, doing this just about when the tile is getting started is always nice, as you get to see the tile set up and with the kind of lighting it will exist in.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich

One of the last remaining bits of work at the exterior would be your entrance door. We didn’t wish to put in this too early, as we didn’t wish to risk damage. Now that we’re close to finishing, we’ve gotten the door (by Therma-Tru) set up and ready to be painted.

The prior front door was solid wood, but we chose a door with a lot of glass and sidelights, with a rain-glass pattern for privacy. A good deal of light comes through, but nobody will be able to peer in uninvited.

For front door shade, we are going to be selecting something from the orange family. This came about when Leann saw the ideabook When to Paint Your Door Orange.We’re looking forward to testing a few sample oranges on the door next week.

Next: The Last outcome | Follow this remodel from the beginning

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Country Meets Contemporary at a Michigan Getaway

Resigned for their urban loft and sleek modern furniture during the weekdays, this Chicago pair today turns within their city-slicker badges each weekend for a Michigan country life in a recently built contemporary farmhouse. Interior designers Tom Riker and James Dolenc of jamesthomas made the fresh, rural home to be filled with timber paneling, white oak floors and one-of-a-kind antiques. With high ceilings, open a grand front porch and a screened-in living area with a wood-burning stove, it is a space in which the homeowners can host large gatherings, relax with family and forget about the hustle and bustle of big-city living.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Tom Riker and James Dolenc, on weekends
Location: Glen, Michigan (about a two-hour push from Chicago)
Size: Around 4,200 square feet; 4 bedrooms (a hallway has two extra single beds), 4 1/2 baths

jamesthomas Interiors

The screened-in porch embodies farmhouse appeal. It’s filled with antique furniture which Riker and Dolenc scored at local antiques stores, fairs and flea markets. They had the quilt made from a metal watering jug, along with the cart coffee table predates all of the catalog copies found on the market now.

Although the area is not winterized, it has storm windows and also the owners utilize it year-round, including as the spot because of their Christmas tree. “About an hour after you lighting up the woodstove, the area warms up,” Riker says.

Stove: cast iron, Vermont Castings; Color: Ballard Designs

jamesthomas Interiors

Clerestory windows and a skylight keep the living room bright and light. “Although this is the formal living area, it still feels casual and inviting,” Riker says. “We utilized linen on the couches and comfy upholstered chairs. You can fit a lot of people in here”

The painting on the mantel was a housewarming gift from friend and artist Francine Turk of Chicago. (Interesting fact: From the movie The Breakup, with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughan, ” Turk created all the art that Aniston’s character pretends to sketch, in addition to a number of the work from the gallery in which her personality functions.)

Paint: White Dove, Benjamin Moore; coffee table: Noir

jamesthomas Interiors

Whitewashed white oak floors and butt combined wood paneling (similar to shiplap) on the walls and ceilings round out the farmhouse appeal. “Together with the paneling rather than drywall gave it a much more authentic country feeling,” Riker says.

jamesthomas Interiors

From the kitchen, Riker and Dolenc exchanged the usual can lights for pendants, schoolhouse lights and sconces to throw a more authentic country vibe.

Retractable shelves instead of top cabinets keep things open and relaxed. The nearly 9-foot-long kitchen island promotes casual weekend interacting.

Pendant lights: Pottery Barn; ceiling fixture: Restoration Hardware; sconces: Troy Lighting; countertops: Caesarstone; counter stools: Ballard Designs

jamesthomas Interiors

Guests also congregate about that eating place, in which built-in banquettes wrap round a zinc-topped kitchen table, which Riker states is quite durable and has a gorgeous patina.

The designer provides two useful tips for people designing a custom banquette: 1. Make certain that the spine has a pitch for relaxation, and two. Have the carpenter make a lip to hold the cushions in place to prevent sliding.

Kitchen chairs: Restoration Hardware

jamesthomas Interiors

A long hallway contributes to the garage, back deck and laundry area. “Plenty of guests encounter through this hallway, so we needed to dress it up and make it special,” Riker says. “There are plenty of hooks for beach totes, hats and towels, and places to kick off and stow your flip-flops. We made it extra long, added lots of windows and utilized tumbled travertine on the ground.”

Flooring: Ocean Blue tumbled travertine

jamesthomas Interiors

The first-floor master bedroom has a door which leads out to a private patio. “We utilized a herringbone rug in here to cozy up it for the winter,” Riker says. A four-poster bed and a mirror, both scored in a county fair, encapsulate laid-back comfort. The loveseat was a Craigslist locate, and also the couple’s cats really like to snuggle up on the Ikea sheepskin throw.

Bed: Pottery Barn; carpets: Ralph Lauren (discontinued)

jamesthomas Interiors

A photograph from Chicago artist Ron Seymour paired with classic accessories brings a rural touch into the master bathroom.

Bathtub: Piedmont Number872, Sunrise Plumbing

jamesthomas Interiors

There’s a nearly 800-square-foot area over the garage which contains an office, a tiny guest room, a bathroom and this long hallway with built-in bedrooms. It’s a favorite spot for young nieces and nephews if they spend the night.

jamesthomas Interiors

The new build is a crisp country home with a huge front porch and a standing-seam metallic roof. A stone retaining wall connects the home and garden into the greater landscape. “We wanted the house to feel farmhouse-ish but still do the job for now,” says Riker.

Windows: Pella; paint: White Dove, Benjamin Moore; siding: Hardie plank

jamesthomas Interiors

The home sits on 4 acres about a block from Lake Michigan, allowing for a rare combination of close proximity to the shore and privacy. The plants are deerproof to keep the critters out of the landscaping.

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Layout Takeaways From a Just Beautiful Swiss Hotel

My latest visit to St. Gotthard Pass — a 6,900-foot-high Alpine pass connecting the German- and also Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland — started with a tour of a former military bunker deep in a mountain that has been converted into a cultural and exhibition centre. It finished with a visit to a hospice converted to a hotel, just steps from the bunker’s exit. Contributing to the disposition of the two diverse yet connected entities (more resorts will probably be needed for the bunker’s new usage) was that the weather: Sun to the east gave way to fog, low clouds and rain at the pass.

This ideabook requires a glimpse in the prior Altes Hospiz, converted by Swiss architects Miller & Maranta into a wonderful hotel that respects the area’s history while providing modern conveniences — and a few courses for residential buildings and interiors.

John Hill

The resort’s conversion was completed in 2010, however the construction (centre) dates back, in 1 form or another, eight generations. The right side of this building, below the bottom aspect of the grey roof, is really a chapel, the most historic part of the construction. The chapel and the hospice have been rebuilt quite a few times for a variety of reasons, most recently 100 decades ago.

John Hill

Miller & Maranta maintained the construction basically as is but inserted a ground, made a new wooden structure and inserted a new roof. The last bit is the most idiosyncratic element of the design, because of its asymmetrical form, its own exaggerated dormers and the surface.

John Hill

As we round the lake in front of the hotel, the chapel’s bell tower gets visible.

John Hill

Approaching the construction, we may see the chapel entrance; the hotel entrance is on the side of this construction from this view. The roof asymmetry continues around this side as well.

John Hill

The fourth side of this building, where the entrance to the hotel is found, varies from the other three because it is one strong wall, sans roof.

John Hill

The ground-floor entrance is more monastic or just like a church than a hotel, which is fitting given the building’s history. The tiny windows appear larger because of the size of this opening on the inner face of the wall that is deep. I’ll acknowledge this photo captures only a portion of the quality of light coming in through these windows.

John Hill

A corridor that leads to the stair at the center of this building is definitely more hotel-like. The rock floor is an especially wonderful touch.

John Hill

The upstairs corridors that serve the different rooms utilize wood flooring and a similar grey wall complete. Overall the finishes are minimal, however they exude a warmth that is accentuated by the light coming in through the tiny windows. Notice the tray at the door for holding shoes.

John Hill

The device I was able to visit is a duplex that serves five people. A living room includes the entrance flat downstairs, and 2 bedroom areas are upstairs. Each surface is covered in solid wood boards, making the rooms warmer still compared to corridors.

John Hill

The stair is especially wonderful. The simple design features a good guardrail down the center of these measures.

John Hill

One of the 2 bedrooms upstairs is larger than the other, serving three people. Here we may see the new wood structure the architects included. It is apparent that the space is below the roof’s peak. Each the finishes and even the furniture pieces are simple, but the spaces are very comfy.

John Hill

Another bedroom has two beds; not observable is a dresser serving equally. We see that a little window centered in the room. The space layouts are hardly regular, fitting the asymmetrical outdoor. Inside, the design makes a calm that is a respite from the unpredictable weather of St. Gotthard Pass.

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Contractor Tips: Advice for Laundry Room Design

Laundry rooms these days are migrating upstairs in basements, in which they have traditionally sat in the majority of homes. Occasionally these rooms are little more than two appliances and a slop sink within an unfinished area. While this is a step up from rubbing against the clothes on a rock at lake’s edge, the majority of people are looking to have a better laundry experience.

If you’re upgrading your laundry space but are still maintaining it in the basement, the issues you deal with are largely about aesthetics and function — better lighting, counter area and other common difficulties. However, if you are moving the setup to upper levels, there are distinct concerns. These are heavy-duty appliances one full of water and one with warmth, so you want to be careful. This advice can help you manage this serious situation with proper care and preparation.

Lucy Interior Design

One of the first upgrades to create to a laundry room is adding counter area. Front-loading washers free up space on top of the appliance, so it’s possible to install a counter top over the washer and drier. Be certain that you leave space for those machines to move without hitting the counter top. You will want to set up wood blocking to support the counter — don’t rest it on the machine.


This chandelier certainly does sparkle, but it is not practical lighting for the laundry area on its own. Fortunately, it does not have to do the heavy lifting in this space because there are recessed lighting for ambient lighting and undercabinet lighting for task lighting. Other than additional counter space, better lighting is just one of the initial upgrades you need to create for your laundry area, so you don’t end up stepping from the house with a place on your top you could not see.

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

To make the job of moving wet laundry to the dryer simpler, make sure the washer and drier are set up so that the door swing on every is opposite, and that the door of the dryer does not get in the way as you throw clothes from one to another. When you purchase appliances, ask the salesperson when the doors could be changed easily at home when the swing isn’t right about the one you purchase.


Rev-A-Shelf Fold-Out Ironing Board – $190.30

If your laundry is in a place available to see as people pass through your house — such as a mudroom — you’ll want to keep things hidden. A number of the very same things that we install in kitchens to make life simpler work in a laundry too. If you’re constructing a laundry and kitchen at precisely the same time, consider mixing the cabinet order and get accessories such as this pullout ironing board. Or use the older kitchen cabinets in the laundry and add an aftermarket pullout trash can, such as the one available at Rockler.

Style Moe Kitchen & Bath / Heather Moe designer

The nearer your laundry area is to the remainder of your dwelling, the more sound will probably be an issue. If you are building the space from scratch, then install batt insulation in the walls to decrease noise. All these are heavy appliances that move around a good deal. If the laundry is going to be on an upper floor, the floor joists should be reinforced to handle the load. Stiffening the floor will also reduce noise from rattling objects nearby.


A noise you don’t want to dismiss is what is known as “water hammer” Newer machines add little bursts of water repeatedly, and the water turning off and on can liquefy the pipes in the wall, possibly causing leaks. Should you hear a clunking sound when the washer runs, consult with a plumber until it is too late. On the exterior of the wall, a burst washer hose can flood your house in a minute, so make certain you are utilizing stainless stainless steel reinforced hoses.

Tina Kuhlmann

The washing machine itself could flow, so if you are on an upper floor, then it should be set up in a pan with a drain, as shown in this picture. Better yet, tile the floor and have a floor drain installed. This way you will be prepared for any floods and you are able to mop the floor right into the drain.

Du Bois Design Ltd

The drying rack above the sink pictured here’s a terrific way to conserve energy, but you are going to want to eliminate the moisture in the atmosphere, so install a dehumidifier or an exhaust fan ducted to the outside.

Abbott Moon

We’ve talked a lot about water, but remember there’s fire in the area too. The most significant safety concern on your laundry area is the dryer duct. A smooth-walled rigid duct, properly set up using the minimal run and fewest number of functions is critical. Be sure that the dryer isn’t pushed against the wall, crimping the exhaust. Clean your lint filter and examine the ductwork and outside socket at least once a year to get lint buildup. You’ve made your laundry area beautiful and functional — don’t let a flood or fire ruin it.

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20 Tools Every Homeowner Must Have

If you adore tools or just have to stock a simple toolbox, here are the top 20 crucial items to receive your little project done. How many do you have?

Connected: 14 Power Tools for Your Home Shop

Philips screwdriver. A Philips or X-shape screwdriver is most likely one of the most frequent tools in almost any toolbox. If you have a have a handle that takes interchangeable tips, you can cover a wide assortment of screw types and dimensions.

Flathead screwdriver. A flathead or directly screwdriver is invaluable; most light switch plates utilize screws that are straight, for example. Having the right size flathead may make a difference, so begin with at least a set of three (small, medium and big ) to have the ability to handle most jobs.

Tape measure. Your tape measure is crucial for estimating material quantities, figuring out placement of items, and calculating floor plans and furniture dimensions. It is almost always a good idea to measure more than once to make certain you’ve got it right.

Level. Some folks are good at eyeballing whether something is level or not, but this tool takes all of the guesswork away. It takes only a slight mistake to create things look off-kilter.

Utility knife. From cutting paint round windows that are stuck closed into opening boxes, scoring drywall or even trimming the edges of carpeting, the applications are so many that you’ll be surprised how you ever got by without one.

Hammer. Pounding nails, pulling nails, crowbar activity, tapping items into place — it almost goes without stating why you will need hammer. A costly hammer is lightweight and long; its own leverage can help you once you take that wall down.

Putty knife. A putty knife is great for scratching dry glues and paints and for dispersing putty, paste and spackle. Possessing a 11/2-inch dimensions for scratching and a 5- or 6-inch one for spreading is helpful.

Nail collection. A nail place is utilized for hammering nail heads below the surface of the timber, so that you can then fill the hole with wood putty and sand itto create the nail vanish. This way the hammer never has to create an ugly dent in the surface you’re pounding.

Combination square. This multiuse tool may confirm 90- and – 45-degree angles for miter cuts, quantify depths and short distances, and also is great for scribing a direct line. It also has a vial to make certain that your job is level or plumb.

Pliers. The serrated jaws of pliers help with holding objects firmly, in addition to with pulling, pinching or bending metal.

Adjustable crescent wrench. There is a screw built into the mind of the wrench; turning it adjusts the size of the opening, so that it fits onto most any hexagonal nut. Turning a nut with pliers only strips the borders, making it harder and more difficult to get a good grip when tightening or loosening it.

Cable stripper. This wire stripper includes a blade for cutting cord to the proper length and several notches for scoring the insulation round wires of varying dimensions, which may then be pulled off. Wire needs to be exposed without the plastic coating to produce electrical connections.

Hex key application (or Allen key). Many screws, particularly bikes and assemble-it-yourself furniture for which a flush screw is essential, utilize hexagonal sockets. Multiple hex key dimensions can be purchased separately and the leverage on those is better, but a jackknife-style place like this provides all you need in 1 tool.

Power drill. Drilling suggests generating holes, along with a power drill is the ultimate luxury when tired hands have turned a lot of screws. It adapts not only to drill pieces to bore holes, but also to each kind of screw-head bit, making bigger projects go fast and with less muscle. Just be cautious to stop when the fastener is tight so that you do not strip the screw head. Don’t skimp on this instrument — you will appreciate having a good deal of power.

Electrical cable. A rocky, well-insulated indoor-outdoor power cable for high-amp tools can help you expand the limited cord of your tools to your job site — and it’s acceptable for yard work too.

C-clamp. This instrument may hold pieces of metal, wood, or plastic collectively once you want to paste, saw or file them. Use a thin shim between the clamp and the thing you’re working on this clamp doesn’t mar the surface.

Flashlight. Needed repairs may occur in dark, cramped spaces as well as when the power is out. Additionally, everyone loves to help by holding the flashlight for you. They do not work without batteriesso have extras on hand.

Ladder or step stool. Painting, reaching the lightbulb, shifting fittings, trimming the hedge, stringing lights, getting into the loft and a lot more activities require the aid of a ladder.

Broom and dustpan. When projects get messy, save your loved ones broom from harsh debris from having a committed set.

Music. Every job is made easier with music or talk radio. That is the reason why hardware stores sell radios, although these are more rugged, with rechargeable battery packs that may also be used on your cordless tools. More rocky means when you drop your hammer onto it, you simply pick it up and return to work.

More: 14 Power Tools for Your Home Shop

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Gorgeous Desert Hillside Home in Arizona

When building a house on a gorgeous desert hillside, you have some significant website planning and technology to think about. When designing a house nestled into the side of a rocky hill outside Phoenix, architects Jon Bernhard and Mike Wetzel of Swabuck Partners knew they had to bring in the engineers and the big trucks — large trucks filled with massive boulders. The boulders assured that the hillside was stable and kept its natural beauty, and they enhanced the way the house and its built landscape related to the spectacular surroundings.

The architects have been”guided by the owners’ appreciation for outdoor living as well as the qualities the native desert offers,” says Bernhard. Single-slope, computer-engineered roofs accompany the slope of the hillside. “The deep roof slopes fit and follow the mountain slope, and cantilevered terraces soften the home’s imprint on the property,” says Bernhard. “This light touch on the website is further symbolized with the usage of desert colors, textures and by blurring the line between the indigenous and the man-made by participating boulders and landscaping within the living spaces.” This included integrating water, which cascades down the hill and appears to continue upon the terrace and out beyond the entrance.

All the interior spaces take full advantage of the natural lighting and surrounding views, and it’s hard to understand where the insides end and the outside begins. Both inside and outside, spaces range from towering and receptive to small and intimate.

Since this house transitions so easily from front to rear, side to side, and inside and outside, it’s only fitting that we will be hopping from outside to inside and back out again along this tour.

at a Glance
Who lives here: A family of five
Location: Outside of Phoenix, Arizona
Size: 19,000 square feet; on about 5 acres; 4 bedrooms, including a guest house with 1 bedroom and one bath
That’s intriguing: Some of those boulders added into the website proved so big that they had been brought in singly on their own trucks.

Swaback Partners, pllc

An axis of water ties the front of the house to the back. A waterfall flows down from the top of the hill, and due to this axis, there is an illusion that it flows beneath the rear patio, is brought through the house and terminates at this fountain.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The single-slope roof structures follow the slope of the hillside, making the house seem to be a part of the hill. The municipality didn’t need a three-story structure, so a garage is cleverly tucked underneath the primary living floor (far left side of this picture ), even though a master suite occupies the upper floor over a different portion of the house (toward the ideal side of this picture ). The construction you find on the far right is another guest house.

“We implemented boulders into the sides of the walls along the drive to make it seem like it was carved out of the hillside,” says Wetzel.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The main entryway is an inviting gem box also makes the most of local materials and light. The entrance door consists of 5-inch-thick mahogany panels floating between layers of laminated glass. A grid of 21 panels of onyx appears to float across the entrance. During the day the sun glows through; backlighting provides a warm and inviting glow at night.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The front door is aligned with an expanse of glass that opens out to the backyard and a view of the hillside. The grid of onyx hovering overhead highlights the axis in the front entrance to rear. The water also highlights the link by the hillside waterfall into the fountain in the front.

Swaback Partners, pllc

An individual can follow the water out of the pool and fountain out front into the pools round the rear entrance and up the hill.

“The hillside was reconstructed to stabilize it,” clarifies Wetzel. This meant that the existing hillside was covered in a geotech mesh for security, and boulders were brought in and proceeded to pay for it. The team engineered the waterfall found previously, which offers soothing sound and brings the eye up to the top of the hill.

Swaback Partners, pllc

Through the front door, a gallery-like hallway leads to the fantastic room.

Swaback Partners, pllc

At the excellent room a grid of Fossil Creek flagstone highlights verticality. “The 24-inch by 24-inch grid lines continue up to the swimming pool and the guest house,” says Wetzel. This is one of those design moves that joins the inside and exterior design.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The towering ceiling in the excellent room articulates the hillside-driven incline of the roof.

Swaback Partners, pllc

“The indoor design and the outdoor architecture each speak for themselves, but they also blend together really well,” notes Wetzel.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The entrance terrace leads from the garage level up into the front door. The guest house is located on the ideal side of this image.

Split-face Mesastone adds purple-haze colors in the mountain into the facade and introduces a different feel. Weathered penny copper adds to the glow overhead.

Swaback Partners, pllc

Pocket doors open the fantastic room up to the entrance terrace. Large cantilevers offer shade from the Arizona sun, keep the house cooler and make terraces. In addition they produce a transitional space that continues to blur the lines between inside and outside.

Swaback Partners, pllc

“Substantial lengths of glass and clerestory windows offer natural daylight during every room in the house,” says Bernhard. “Floor-to-ceiling glass and also the avoidance of finish-material changes at exterior wall lines deliver expansive indoor-outdoor living environments.”

Swaback Partners, pllc

The sheets of glass that you see about that breakfast area are pocket doors, which transform the enclosed room to an al fresco dining space with a few straightforward slides.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The kitchen picks up on a darker desert palette that includes Red Dragon granite and Wingate black cabinetry. Smaller-scale components, like the backsplash tiles, make a more intimate feel.

Swaback Partners, pllc

In a house so receptive to the exterior, solitude is essential. Metal mesh sunglasses provide it in this powder room.

Swaback Partners, pllc

A bedroom opens into a mountain patio and abuts 12-foot by 18-foot boulders. “We placed each of the boulders to look natural and not contrived,” says Wetzel.

Swaback Partners, pllc

Constructed up into the hillside, this bath enjoys a grand view of the boulders.

Swaback Partners, pllc

“Anywhere we can monopolize on integrating the natural light to the inside, we did,” says Wetzel. Case in point: The deficiency of risers on such white oak staircase opens up the view to the large window at the landing.

Swaback Partners, pllc

Upstairs, a sitting room in the master suite gets the top floor its own retreat.

Swaback Partners, pllc

“We altered the grid in the master bath to make it more human scale,” explains Wetzel. The 24-inch by 18-inch limestone highlights horizontal lines, while green slate presents a new substance and cooler colors.

Swaback Partners, pllc

“The master bedroom has a to-die-for view,” says Wetzel. “You seem out to the mountains and will see the city lights in the distance.” To take advantage of this opinion, a motorized 12-foot x 15-foot doorway opens into a private patio that has a fire pit.

Added soft light comes in the Sapele mahogany ceiling coffers.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The view from the top of the hill to the backyard is spectacular. An upper patio with its own fire pit provides an intimate, tucked-away outdoor area and a view of the city lights at night.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The designers made certain that the tint of the patio’s cement matched the landscape.

Swaback Partners, pllc

Well-placed boulders cleverly conceal an outdoor shower, providing solitude yet keeping the open-air feeling.

The job took 20 weeks from begin to finish, including all of the extensive site work. “On a job like this, it’s always scary at the start to see how much has to be done. It is an excellent feeling to receive it right, down to the tiniest details, and execute something outstanding,” says Wetzel.

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