6 Amazing Garage Conversions Dreamed Up by ers

Most of us could use a little extra space — for an office, for entertaining or just for relaxing — but a number of us have the funds or room to add on to our existing homes. However there may be a blank slate nearby, just waiting to be reinvented: the garage.

These six er garage conversions have gone above and beyond the average remodel. No longer in need of a parking spot, or tired of looking at the mess that had piled up, these homeowners took advantage of the empty or dilapidated garages. The resulting dream rooms gave these households the extra distance they were searching for.

Suzanne Dingley Interiors

er: Suzanne Dingley, Suzanne Dingley Interiors
Location: Salt Lake City
Toilet size: 180 square feet, detached
DIY or professional job? The two

A brand new work-from-home job supposed that Suzanne Dingley’s husband needed a new office. Rather than cramming into their house, the couple turned into their detached garage, which had turned into a dark and filthy dumping ground for junk. They gutted the distance, exposed the rafters and pitched roof, and put in new floors and built-in storage.

Suzanne Dingley Interiors

The white and red colour palette evolved from the Ikea photograph of a London bus — a tribute to the couple’s British roots.

Suzanne Dingley Interiors

The set replaced the existing garage doors with two sets of French doors and two new windows to allow in natural lighting. The newly insulated ceiling and flooring control the internal temperature, but a window warmer and distance heater help out, too. “My husband is quite happy with his distance, especially with his short commute throughout the yard,” states Dingley.

er:Rick Giudicessi
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Toilet size: 240 square feet, connected
DIY or professional job? Professional

This 1930s garage was not just worn out and beat up; its odd design and tiny garage door made it impossible for Rick Giudicessi to park his car inside. Rather than using it for storage, then he turned it into a tiki bar with an attached terrace in which his family can amuse year-round. “When the weather finishes using the terrace and tiki bar area, we proceed inside to the heated area,” he states.

Taking the garage down to the studs and designing an open ceiling turned the bland distance into just what the family now calls The Annex. Although Giudicessi made a lot of the new space himself, all of the structural work required professional help.

New cabinetry, a bar top, a satellite TV and bar stool seats make The Annex the ideal sports bar, ideal for entertaining in rain or shine.

Michael and Kathy Brown
Location: Cincinnati
Toilet size: 600 square feet, attached
DIY or professional job? Professional

Though Michael Brown used his attached garage, it became a fast solution for some extra distance when his in-laws moved in. The house’s original kitchen was too small to sponsor two extra people, therefore Brown had the garage changed into a professional-grade kitchen, using a brand new garage attached to the side. The remodel required help from architects and contractors, but the result was well worthwhile. “We have never regretted doing this, not even for another,” he states.

Megan and Rich Hirsch
Location: Bexley, Ohio
Toilet size: 525 square feet, detached
DIY or professional job? The two

Megan Hirsch enjoys having outside parties, but her yard and main dining area were too little to contain the large groups she wished to sponsor. The garage, which opens into the house’s backyard, had plenty of room to spare. Reserving part of the street-facing section of the garage for parking nevertheless left area for indoor-outdoor enjoyable. A 14-foot watching screen rolls down within the back of the garage so that the family can host outdoor film nights and Ohio State University football parties.

The brand new black standing-seam-metal roof contrasts with the fresh white siding, placing the garage apart from the brick main house. Considering that the garage is visible in the road, the Hirsches needed something that would make an impact.

Fans, a disco ball, classic fixtures and a large dinner table set the ambiance for dinner parties inside. The Hirsches set up the hanging lantern onto a pulley in order that they can lift and lower it on the dinner table, lighting nighttime feasts.

er: Nancy Rice
Location: West Wareham, Massachusetts
Toilet size: 300 square feet, connected
DIY or professional job? Professional

Nancy Rice didn’t need a place to park her car, so she took advantage of the chance to flip her garage into her dream area: a personal library.

With the help of a contractor, she made a classic Victorian-style library, complete with floor-to-ceiling shelves along with a bank of windows with a window seat for studying. “I’m a retired schoolteacher and a lifelong bookworm,” she states. “I have always dreamed of owning my own library. I suppose it was from watching classic movies and studying British literature”

Michelle and Rich Walton
Location: Long Beach, California
Toilet size: 400 square feet, detached
DIY or professional job? Professional

Three active kids, a pool and consistently warm California weather required an outdoor hangout area for this Long Beach family. Rather than building something new, Michelle Walton and her family worked together with Royce Flom Construction to flip their garage into a joint pool house and storage space for their outdoor equipment.

“I’m from Ohio and grew up with basements. My husband is from California and states, ‘The garage is your California basement. No one parks within their own garage in California,'” Walton says.

New French doors create a pass-through in the pool into the house on the other side of their garage. Walton painted the floor together with nonskid paint, so the kids would not slip and slide while coming in from the pool.

The white, casual, beachy vibe was a given for the family. “We love the shore, and we have a great deal of surfboards,” Walton says.

Watch more garage transformations from readers
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Make Your Own Wildflower Nursery

My backyard just turned 6 years of age. For years, I kept buying new crops to fill in the gaps — even after I’d no openings left. It got to the point where if I had been near a nursery when running errands, I would poke my head and nab a few things — especially during late summer and throughout the fall sale season. When I got home, I would slip my purchases into the backyard, nestle them among adult plants and hope that my wife never noticed. In fact, I knew she would not care, but maybe deep down I cared. My addiction was costing me money, but it did not have to.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Fall is my favourite season — crisp mornings and evenings, hot afternoons, bright blue skies, stunning sunsets and a backyard with a rainbow of fall blooms and foliage colors. When the leaves begin to drop, it is a lot easier to tell where any plant openings are and to plan what could yet proceed in.

Fall is perhaps the best time for gardening — the cooler temps make things easier on you and the plants, and the warm soil enables roots to get established and plan to remove even sooner next spring. But why buy plants when you can easily harvest and cultivate your own?

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Just look at this bounty. Fall not only shows the structural bones of your backyard, but seed heads add another level of attention. These seed heads mean hundreds of free crops for you, aside from the fact that they are feeding birds and other creatures. But when can you gather the seeds?

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Gather Seeds When They Are Ready

My guideline for seed collecting over the course of late summer into fall is rather laissez-faire: When the seeds begin falling off or blowing away, they are prepared. (Then you really have to be on the ball, especially if it gets windy.) Here, old Liatris blooms are all puffed up, prepared for the seeds to be collected.

I walk around the backyard a few times every week using any temporary container that I will find, from glass to plastic to paper bags. The wider the container mouth, the greater for seeds which take easily to the wind — you want to grab as many as you can once you start choosing.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Sometimes it’s a lot easier to cut off the tops of crops, like this ironweed, and drop the entire mess into a bag. The seed heads are so small, you’d be out there indefinitely otherwise. Why not save picking the seeds out for a chilly winter day in front of a fireplace? You can even turn it into a date with your spouse or some kind of amorous game. Hey, you have to spice up seed pruning.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Grass seeds are frequently very easy to collect. Just run your hand up the stem, from bottom to top, cupping and collecting seeds as you go.

One major benefit of collecting wildflower seeds grown in your backyard is that you may trust them — if you do not use pesticides or chemicals, you know the seeds are organic.

In addition you know the mother plant — where it grew, what it enjoys, the very fact it thrives in your soil. Using locally sourced seeds is all roughly as ecologically friendly as any act you can perform in the backyard, and you can’t get more locally sourced than outside the back door.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Coneflower seeds are not these spiky pointy things. Rather, the seed is deep down in there, little rectangular tan bits half the size (or less) of your pinky’s fingernail. To get at them, I have discovered that sacrificing my thumb is greatest — I push it across the flower head, getting poked and jabbed, causing the spikes to pop off and allowing the seeds slip out.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Mountain mint and monarda seed heads make your hands smell great, but the seeds are very small and loose within the faded tubular blooms. I snip off entire clumps of seed heads and, while holding them within a container, crush them with my fingers or hands. This easily releases the very small seeds.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Plant Before Winter

OK, so now you’ve got these seeds. Some have fallen onto the backyard bed and will resow, and you’ll be able to move them in spring or let them have free will and choose their own places.

Or you can winter sow. Many seeds need chilly or wet stratification — which can be a period of several weeks or months of freezing, moist conditions. Here from the U.S. Central Plains we call this period winter.

I hope you kept your old nursery pots or got some from a neighbor who had been throwing them away. Fill them around halfway with potting soil or perhaps just your normal garden soil (clay, sand, whatever), and broadcast the seeds evenly across the surface. Let winter snow bury the seeds to you.

Come spring you’ll have dozens of seedlings in each container, ready to pot up or put in the backyard once they have rooted better within a couple weeks. Congratulations! You’ve become your own wildflower nursery.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Or Shop Seeds for Later

If you don’t use all your seeds, you can certainly save them. Some may not be viable next year, but many will — if you store them properly. Here’s the way:
Strip each seed from the chaff, which is frequently the feathery or crunchy piece connected to the seed. Let the seeds dry out, in the few days to a week. If you select seeds when they’re falling off the plant, then they ought to be pretty dry. But if you pick them following rain or other wet weather, they will need several weeks or days to wash out inside — dispersing them on a table or pan helps accelerate the drying. Shop in a paper bag, which provides good air flow (glass and plastic will encourage mould growth). I have discovered that college lunch totes, folded over two and stapled, function good. I label them with all the plant and year accumulated. Store the bags in a cool, dark, dry place. That may be in a dry garage, an outbuilding, a storage seat out or in a cellar. The benefit of storing them out is that you’ll be cold-stratifying the seeds — some may also require moisture, but people that just need it chilly will be prepared to sow again come spring or summer.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

The first year I winter-sowed seeds in 24 containers. Let me tell you I was as giddy as a kid in a candy store the subsequent spring. I had sufficient plants to strike some problem areas in my beds, with plenty left over to gift or even sell.

Now I have discovered I have a new addiction — amassing plastic pots and cluttering up my backyard every October and November. However, no need to hide this addiction, since the crops are liberated, and that I know for certain they will thrive in my backyard.

More: 3 Ways Native Plants Make Gardening So Much Better

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Patio of the Week: Water and Fire Mingle in a Canadian Front Yard

“Can you believe my husband started out as a plumber?” Inquires Terri Laan, whose husband, Christopher Farner, gave their entrance terrace a modern makeover. “He has an wonderful sense of balance and style, and over the years I have pushed him to do more of that sort of work,” Laan states. “We did not have much space to use, but what’s there is over the top.”

The base of this space is decks and stone pavers surrounded with a idle moat; fires, fountains and a dazzling LED lighting scheme create comfortable zones for lounging and entertaining.

Patio at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple and their teenage son
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Time to assemble: About 2 months
Team: Christopher Farner, Sylvia Edelenbos, Regina Sturrock Design Inc, Maria Valentino, Laurel Nicholson and Daintry Robson

The deck is made of ipe and contains many different spaces for relaxing out front. Two tall concrete constructions provide privacy from the street — one features fire; the other, water. The fountain is 6 feet wide and 6 feet high; the fireplace is 8 feet wide and 6 feet high. The front lawn foreshadows the contemporary renovation interior.

“Our area is seriously legacy, but strangely the house is getting all kinds of applause,” Laan states.

Because they can be found at a historic high-end shopping district with a lot of pedestrian traffic, people are constantly walking by and peeking into the intriguing space. “We have met more people because we renovated the terrace than we’ve over the past 23 years dwelt,” she states.

This terrace stone divides the space and highlights the entrance sequence.

Wrought rock: 24- by 24-inch Vintage, Banas Stones; rock on house: Grey Natural Bed, Bruce Stone

The front terrace is good for big parties and intimate get-togethers; the seating area on the right is where a set of two to four are inclined to hang out. The chairs encircle a 3- by 3-foot concrete gas fire pit. LED lights give off a soft glow under.

A lazy-river moat surrounds the decks. Eight pumps filter and circulate the chlorinated water, keeping it tidy. The moat also comprises 50 LED lights. “It is very cool when it is lit up at night,” Laan states.

The furniture’s modern lines operate well with the architecture, yet all the bits are very comfortable and stand up to the elements.

This 8-foot-long gas fireplace to keep things toasty on chilly Ontario nights. The front lawn has extended the family’s living space and is a favorite place for friends new and old. “We are very casual entertainers … we don’t mean to entertain, but we all know so many people and it is very tough to book patio space in the town, so today I receive text messages from my pals asking, ‘Is the patio available?'” Laan states.

Big events tend to bring the guests as well, some invited and some that occur by. “During the next week’s jazz festival there will be approximately 50 people here, and usually some stragglers we don’t know who feel entitled to visit … we’re cool with that,” she states.

Perhaps you have imaginative used your front lawn? Please show us everything you did at the Comments!

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Create Your Own Shangri-la With Bird of Paradise Plants

If you’re looking for a great houseplant to give your decor a tropical flair, then Strelitzia,commonly known as bird of heaven,won’t disappoint. While it’s often wrongly known as a banana plant (it is a toast), you won’t find any bananas growing, however if you’re lucky (or rather, if a plant is truly joyful) following three to five years then you might just discover some gorgeous blooms.

The two most common species at the Strelitzia household, each of which may be purchased as a houseplant, seem very similar, and it is a good idea to know which kind you’re purchasing, as the end result will not be exactly the same. Strelitzia reginae grows to a maximum height of 5 to 6 feet and blooms with the traditional orange bird of paradise flowers; it also has a dwarf version, where the leaves are quite small comparatively. Strelizia nicolai can grow to be a giant shrub and blooms with dramatic cream and black bird of paradise flowers; it is not as likely to be sold as a houseplant, although surely some confusion is always a chance. Choose wisely. It’s always a good idea to become an educated houseplant purchaser, especially when it comes to investing in something that you hope to enjoy for years to come.

Below you’ll find examples in which bird of heaven was utilized in an assortment of configurations, and I have added some hints that I hope will be helpful as you navigate the path into using houseplants to enhance your property.

Melissa Lenox Design

The large green bird of heaven leaves are a great complement to the peacock blue partitions within this eclectic San Francisco living room. I want to find some more green plants to balance the ocean of intense shade, especially behind the lotion seat in the foreground, however this is a superb start.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

The plant is a fabulous addition to this neutral Seattle living room. Its tropical flavor is an ideal match for its bamboo dividers, sisal area rug and neutral beachy decor, which adheres to the sea view beyond. 1 plant looks great, though a second one on the right side of this window will perfectly frame the opinion and really bring the outdoors in.

This complete bird of paradise plant well balances the blooming orchid on the coffee table in this Portland, Oregon, home and functions to cancel the formal decoration that could on occasion make a room look more like a hotel lobby than a house.

Plants are a great way to add life to a distance, since not only are they alive and breathing, but they are also not ideal! Just a little imperfection in the shape of a plant that has its own mind may be a great way to make a home feel comfortable and resided in, especially if you’d rather not have a cluttered appearance. On the flip side, a cluttered plant accounts a modest family-made mess also.

Grossman Photography

Bird of heaven is a superb selection with this contemporary high-rise living area in Miami, since it connects the residents to the tropical surroundings far beneath and detracts from the sterility of the cityscape. The pair of plants provides grounding symmetry within this open area, as well as adds perpendicular interest, which is always a significant element in any room.

Moment design + productions, llc

In this Manhattan pied-à-terre, bird of heaven does a great job of providing a human touch to the intriguing though impartial cityscape view. Some true green is a welcome touch of colour in a sea of black upholstery, and in fact, I would really like to see much more green in that way corner by way of a chunkier bud and two birds of heaven planted together — there is quite a bit of blank wall area that could benefit from a large tropical leaves.

A Interior View Interior Design Studio

Following is a perfect example of an area that will profit greatly from a Strelitzia nicolai, as the ceiling height in this Seattle house warrants an extremely tall plant. The plant used is well positioned, however, functioning as a visual anchoring point at the conclusion of the curved couch, and also our eye has a moment of relaxation before taking in the huge ocean perspective beyond.

Lasley Brahaney Architecture + Construction

Bird of paradise works well within this modern Philidelphia house and matches this corner well, bringing the outdoors in. In this scenario, however, the plant really could be taller to fill the vertical space and also to bring up the eye rather than down. Here I find myself looking at the bottoms of the seat rather than at the garden beyond, and wondering whether the ceiling is really low or whether it only seems like that. Is not it fascinating how one thing whose proportions aren’t quite right can change everything?

To not worry; there are a few ways to solve the issue of a plant that is lacking height while you’re hoping and waiting for it to grow: a plant stand, a tiny low table, a stool of some type or maybe even a couple of cinder blocks if your decoration (and your partner?) Can handle them. Just do not forget to fertilize so you can send these cinder blocks on their way earlier rather than later.

Choosing the right plant for your house isn’t always so simple, as there are lots of options, and one must always consider the requirements of this plant first. Add Strelitzia to a list of possibilities, and even if it not blossoms indoors, you’ll still appreciate its exquisite green leaves and the touch of heaven it brings into your house.

How to care for bird of heaven:
Light: Bright light with some gentle indirect sun; too much sun can burn the leaves of plants that are designated houseplants. Temperature: Bird of heaven is generally not a cold-tolerant plant, and above 60 degrees Fahrenheit is preferable in sunlight. Water: Maintain the soil always moist year around, though bird of heaven is also known to be drought resistant, so don’t worry too much when the soil gets dry between waterings; just do not overdo it. In case your house temperatures drop in sunlight, water less frequently. Soil: Plant in rich, well-drained potting mix, at a broad, as opposed to deep, bud — bird of heaven has a shallow root system and likes to disperse. Feeding: Fertilize every 2 weeks in summer and spring with a balanced fertilizer to promote blooms. General care: Dust the leaves often. High humidity is preferred, although not compulsory. Mist the plant or put it on a bed of rocks sitting in water. The water in the tray will vanish, providing humidity for the plant. Furthermore, bird of heaven enjoys to become pot bound; it will blossom better this way. Therefore, if you divide the plant or move it into a bigger pot, it might take a few more years to blossom. Air purification: While it isn’t known as a superhero in reducing airborne toxins, all broad-leaved plants are effective in improving indoor air quality. Poison indicator: even though it is not considered poisonous, toxins are found in both the leaves and seeds that could adversly affect humans, cats, dogs and dogs if consumed. Children and tiny animals are at higher risk, and foliage intake is more worrisome than seed ingestion. Native habitat: South Africa

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Stock Up on These Stylish Pantry Door Ideas

Cabinets, countertops and appliances generally steal the show from kitchens. However, the pantry door is no slouch and should have a chance to stand out. A playful pantry door lets you step away in the standard package of cabinets and also add a personal touch to your cooking space. Whether you decide to paint the doors a bold colour or add chalkboard paint, frosted glass panels or barn door hardware, your cabinet can add whimsy to your kitchen.

Rock Paper Hammer

Colorful Pantry Doors

Don’t be afraid to show off your personal style from the kitchen with a bright shade, such as the red on this salvaged cabinet door. It will immediately create your pantry the star of your kitchen. Does not this one remind you of an old telephone booth, too?

See more of this Kentucky kitchen

Burleson Design Group

Bringing vivid colours to the kitchen can be nerve racking, because numerous kitchen substances are large investments. Using color in your pantry doors is a great thing to do. Since it’s just paint on a small surface, you can change it as often as you’d like. The turquoise with this vintage screened pantry door feels fresh but still ties in to the kitchen reclaimed, vintage look.

Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd..

Barn-Style Pantry Doors

The glass panes onto this conventional barn door provide the proprietor a glimpse inside. If you’re clutter-prone, this probably is not the ideal alternative for you. A frosted pane or strong door can conceal your messes from drifting eyes.

Erin Hoopes

This modern kitchen mixes things up using a barn-style cabinet door that contrasts with the more modern main cabinetry. I love the way the designer painted the slipping barn-style doorway with chalkboard paint and magnetized it, too.

Chalkboard Pantry Door

Turning a plain old cabinet doorway into a magnetized chalkboard door requires many, many applications of both kinds of paint. But if you’re eager to place the job in, the final result will be stylish, playful and functional. It is possible to add photos of the children or nearest and dearest, and maintain a list of grocery items in plain sight.

Brenda Olde

Chalkboard paint aids this cabinet door stick out in the oak cabinetry. Many pantry doors come with frosted glass panels. If you’re not fond of this frosted glass, just cover it with chalkboard paint. However, you’ll want to write your grocery list lightly, because of the glass underneath.

Normandy Remodeling

Frosted Glass Pantry Door

This frosted door seems great in this modern kitchen also helps conceal any clutter. The door hardware mimics the refrigerator hardware, too.

Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry

These homeowners highlighted their pantry space with sliding frosted doors. This is a bold choice that requires some business behind the doors, but the substance certainly sets the pantry besides the remainder of the kitchen chimney.

Farinelli Construction, Inc..

Hidden Pantry Doors

This cabinet door appears like the remainder of the cabinetry within this kitchen, using a chalkboard to break the lender of all-white cabinets.

Farinelli Construction, Inc..

This subtle door actually opens, like a key passageway. This smart technique avoids a doorway that cuts into the primary kitchen area.

Mark Williams Design Associates

This narrow pantry door swings out to reveal an entire space supporting the cabinetry.

More: 8 Ways to Create the fantastic Pantry

Inform us : What do your fantasy cabinet door look like?

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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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Bathed in Color

Orange is a joyful colour that we have a tendency to associate with heat, sociability and creativity. It’s a fantastic bathroom color option if you reside in a cold weather, as it will help warm you up on the chilliest days — those who reside in hot climates might want to use the color sparingly.

If you’re considering using this feisty colour in a bathroom, there are a couple of things to remember while picking your palette. If you go bright and bold, use the orange in limited doses or using toned-down neutrals. Maintain the layout very easy (using unfussy decorative fittings), otherwise you’ll encounter sensory overload.

Warm hues tend to progress, and cool colors recede, therefore darker apples will make a bathroom feel bigger. Want to work with a saturated orange? If your bathroom lacks natural lighting, you might want to pump this up with better lighting. If you decide on a milder orange, it may operate as a neutral backdrop hue that pairs nicely with a number of other colors and can handle more things going on in the area.

Have a look at a few of my favorite orange colors for baths, combined with eight enticing baths piled in orange.

Jennifer Ott Design

It can be challenging to tell from a small chip if your chosen paint colour is going to look great on a bigger scale, so make certain to sample colors in the area before committing to them particularly if you’re going with a bright bold color.

Orange paint picks for toilets (clockwise from top left):
1. Ginger Peach 119-5, Pittsburgh Paints
2. Spiced Nectarine DES193, Dunn-Edwards
3. Medici A0706, Glidden
4. Mac n’ Cheese 098-4, Mythic Paint
5. Orange Spark KM3558-3, Kelly-Moore Paints
6. Carrot Stick 2016-30, Benjamin Moore
7. Island Orange 2010-2, Valspar
8. Obstinate Orange SW6884, Sherwin-Williams

Studio 80 Interior Design

What an bathroom! The saturated orange wall color is the best background for all those beautiful pendants and the filigreed shadows they cast. The room glows.

Min | Day Architects

Ironically this bathroom is not for everybody, but for those who love lots of bold color during a place, I think it illustrates the way to successfully pull off it by maintaining the decoration and design minimalist. You could add some art and accessories in other colors to break up the orange, but I’d still keep them very easy.

CCI Renovations

If you prefer the intense orange color in the prior bathroom but want a smaller dose of it, then check out this fashionable space with its own eye-popping orange tiled accent wall. With the majority of the bathroom clad in white and ample daylight pouring in through the skylight, the space reamins open and light.

Mark Brand Architecture

You might go with a more neutral palette overall and also add a dash of orange through furniture or accessories only. The tougher-to-change things in this bathroom would make a terrific background for accessories and furniture in any colour. A neutral backdrop palette would provide you lots of choices to play with colour down the street without having to completely renovate the distance.

Orange blended with other hot hues, like yellow and red, creates a vibrant but harmonious palette. This toilet’s abundant light, white walls and high ceilings allow for a liberal use of bright colour without making the space feel claustrophobic.

Chimera Interior Design

Consider bringing colour in through wall coverings, like this fun wallpaper. These particular shades of orange are energy boosting — a fantastic option in a bathroom where you spend the morning showering and getting ready to start the day.

Thomas Roszak Architecture

Try painting a small wall a favorite orange. This is an excellent low-commitment way to find a little punch of color in a room. This more toned-down orange is a fantastic choice for a bathroom where you would like to invest some time relaxing in the tub.

Jane Ellison

This is another lovely bath clad in a mellower orange, however, one that still has lots of vibrancy. Many wood tones look orange, so the combination of orange and wood in a room exudes a warm, rich and comfy vibe.

Tell us How have you decorated with orange in a bathroom?

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Cooking With Colour: When to Utilize Gray in the Kitchen

Gray is continuing its conduct as a popular neutral hue in houses. It is still a bit of an unconventional choice as the predominant colour in a kitchen, but that is quickly changing, according to the increasing amount of gorgeous gray kitchens appearing .

Gray can look austere and chilly in contrast to the warmer neutral counterparts, tan and beige. The trick to working with this is to put it with a warm material, such as wood, or a contrasting hot and bold hue, such as red, yellow or orange. A gray kitchen may not be the best choice if you live somewhere with year-round cool, overcast and rainy days, but it’s a superb colour to get a kitchen in a hot climate — it will give your kitchen a cool and elegant vibe.

Have a look at my top gray paint choices for kitchens below, along with 10 yummy kitchens on which feature this tasteful hue.

Jennifer Ott Design

8 enticing grays for the kitchen:

1. Carriage House 157-3, by Mythic Paint
2. Horizon Gray 2141-50, by Benjamin Moore
3. Rhino 710E-3, by Behr
4. Online SW7072, by Sherwin-Williams
5. Lava Gray 554-6, by Pittsburgh Paints
6. Seal Grey GLN46, by Glidden
7. Trout 33-13, by Pratt & Lambert
8. Martini Shaker KM3925-2, by Kelly-Moore

Odenza Homes Ltd

These moderate cool gray cabinets and coordinating backsplash function as the perfect background to the hot red range.

LUX Design

The gray and white striated marble staircase in this kitchen is totally magnificent. Considering that the designer used a restrained color palette and did not overdecorate, the rich materials are able to acquire all of the attention in this cool, modern loft kitchen.

Joseph Trojanowski Architect PC

This handsome kitchen is clad in a warmer gray hue — leaning toward taupe. It is a rich, underutilized neutral which functions nicely with any other colour. Or keep the entire palette neutral, as was done, to permit the fine stuff to stand out.

Architectural Design Consultants

Gray and bright yellow are a wonderful color combination. Sometime grey is cool and understated, yellow is sexy and eye catching.

Sally Wheat Interiors

Gray isn’t only for modern kitchens, of course. The soft gray colour on those kitchen cabinets is simply elegant, and also the colour contrasts nicely nicely with Carrara marble counter tops. The dark wood floor concurrently grounds and warms up the space.

Gaylord Design LLC

This is such a clean, soothing palette. If you are not into trendy bold colors but do not want an all-white kitchen either, consider a mild warm gray for your walls or cabinetry. Again, the wood floors add warmth and charm. The kitchen is lovely, clean looking and airy.

As a neutral hue, gray will work with any other colour you might want to bring to your kitchen, such as the bold lime green in this enjoyable contemporary space. The wonderful thing about neutral gray cabinets and a bold wall color is that the latter is comparatively simple and affordable to change, should another color hit your fancy or if you feel the need to neutralize the space for resale.

Jamestown Estate Homes

These cabinets have a very warm gray hue, closer to some putty colour, and I love how they look against the exposed brick wall. The comparison is quite subtle, allowing the brick to get the attention it deserves. The chairs add a wonderful punch of colour.


I’m a huge fan of this full-height backsplash within this kitchen. The tiles form a unique accent wall in an otherwise minimalist space. They also serve a more practical function in that they’re durable and simple to clean. The tiles are a rather dark shade of gray, but since the remaining colors in the space are mild and there is plenty of natural light flowing in, they produce drama without being overly heavy and overpowering.

Peter A. Sellar – Architectural Photographer

Black appliances seem sharp along with medium to dark gray cabinets. This kitchen palette of black, white and shades of gray is understated yet so sophisticated. A bit of heat is essential, but to avert a cold and sterile-looking kitchen. The rich wood floor adds the perfect dose of warmth and personality.

Tell us What do you think — yay or nay for going gray in the kitchen?

More: Obsessed With Gray from the Kitchen | More guides to gray

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Pantone Unearths Emerald as Its 2013 Shade of the Year

Emerald has landed at the peak of the color wheel, named by Pantone because its Shade of the Year for 2013. Pantone’s yearly color forecasts get a lot of buzz. Can they affect how you decorate each year?

And do you wonder what goes into the choosing? “To arrive in the choice, Pantone quite literally combs the world looking for color influences,” according to the organization. “This may include the entertainment business and films in production, travel art collections, sexy new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences can also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that affect color, as well as upcoming sports events which capture worldwide attention.” Spring sets by Tracy Reese, Nanette Lepore, Barbara Tfank, NAHM and Marimekko are listed as influences.

Poll: Vote for your preferred 2013 color forecast

In case you are also wondering what all this color-predicting clout may lead to, then be watching for your Sephora and Pantone Universe 2013 Color of the Year attractiveness collection, along with a Pantone bed and bath collection at JCPenny. Hmmmm…

Anything you consider this yearly announcement, it gives us an opportunity to inspect the ways designers are utilizing a particular colour, which I always appreciate. Emerald is a color taken straight from nature, on leaves both matte and glossy in addition to in the stone. What I find most interesting about utilizing emerald in house decor is its own split personality — it’s moods which are downright crunchy granola, then it can transform into a glamorous diva in a moment’s notice.

This implies it’s great versatility: You can take it in a more rustic direction (believe leaves and stalks ) or go full-out jewel-tone glam (believe the $30 million worth of stone that Richard Burton gave Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Cleopatra.) Check and see whether any of these emerald rooms match your mood.

Rikki Snyder

Glam in the living room. Interior designer Jamie Drake had his eye centered on emerald when he put together this magnificent room for the Kips Bay show house in New York.

Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC

Natural in the living room. If you’re intrigued by emerald but are not prepared to commit to full walls or upholstery occupations, deliver it in through nonpermanent textiles and accessories, such as pillows, rugs, plates, bottles, curtains or glassware.

Laura Britt Design

Glam in the bath. The glossier surfaces in this bathroom give emerald a contemporary Hollywood-glamour moment.


Natural in the bath. Emerald brings in strong color and calm to this well-balanced bathroom.

For Folks design

Glamorous accent pieces. As a jewel tone, it also brings elegance to rooms bedecked in metallics and marble.

Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC

Natural accent pieces. Because it’s a color found in nature, emerald works with rustic all-natural materials, like glass, wood and rope.

Andrea Schumacher Interiors

Glam in the kitchen. This kitchen emerald isle takes its colour from a lavish floral Stark wall covering.


Natural in the kitchen. An antiqued paint finish on these cabinets adds a rustic, farmhouse-inspired touch.

Carlyn And Company Interiors + Design

Glam in the bedroom. Malachite can come out of nature, but it’s a high-end kind of nature. This large-scale piece on the wall is really a showstopper.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc..

Natural in the bedroom. A bright faux bois bedspread and other all-natural textures create a restful, contemporary bedroom.

Erica George Dines Photography

Glam seat. A large and bright porter’s seat creates a strong design statement in this bright white entryway.

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Natural seat. Paired with warm and light neutrals, these green seats enliven the space with their color and geometric pattern.

Story & Space – Interior Design and Color Guidance

Glam at the Office. An animal print on a bergère chair along with a glistening parson’s desk stick out in front of an emerald wall.

Melaragno Design Company, LLC

Natural in the office. Emerald hues were popular during the Arts and Crafts era, which looked to nature for color palettes.

Erica George Dines Photography

Perfect pairing. I enjoy a green like emerald, kelly or apple best paired with sharp white and black. It is a fairly bold and refreshing move.

Rikki Snyder

What do you think about Pantone’s decision? And do you believe it hit the mark with this past year’s Tangerine Tango pick?

Maybe you want one of the major paint company’s selections for 2013. Glidden is going with a exotic and dark colour, Indigo Night. The choice of benjamin Moore is really a gleam. Sherwin-Williams is choosing for classic nostalgia with its Aloe pick. Yolo Colorhouse is considering reclaimed wood and other rustic materials using its subdued organic palette.

Vote: Do not forget to have your say in our 2013 color trends poll!

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