Accommodating Homes

The desire for a lovely home for homeowners and their family is important, but equally important is a home that can accommodate certain requirements.

For people in wheelchairs, there are requirements that can make a home work well. Basic elements such as halls and doorways wide enough to allow for wheelchairs to pass through are a must.  Open floor plans often help provide the space for wheelchairs to maneuver among furniture and architectural elements.

Flooring is also important. The best choice is tile for a number of reasons. First, the smooth surface makes it easy to move through a home in a wheelchair. The sturdy nature of tile also means that it will hold up under some potentially rougher than usual traffic. Finally, it’s one of the easier materials to maintain.

Kitchens and bathrooms require some special consideration. They have to be large enough to handle a wheelchair, include a shower with easy access and toilet that is set higher. A lower sink with space underneath works well, and drawer storage is obviously better than a traditional medicine cabinet.

For a kitchen, upper cabinets are not particularly useful, although most homes include them. Plenty of lower cabinet or open shelf space within reach from a sitting position is critical. Having a prep/work surface at table level will make fixing meals much easier, and a faucet with a pull-out spray helps with cleaning up.

Today’s designers and home suppliers are addressing the needs of people with wheelchairs. If this is a concern for you or a member of your family, let us know if you would like more information.

Bathroom Blogfest 2012: Creating a Cottage Style Bathroom

We wanted to finish up Bathroom Blogfest 2012 with a  traditional, warm bathroom design.  This design can work for both newer and older homes.

Cottage style is a charming choice for the bathroom.  Cottage style can work with traditional and farmhouse architecture as well as cottage homes.  These bathrooms favor traditional elements and surfaces and often reference vintage and antique elements.

This bathroom features one of the timeless classics of bathroom design: the claw-foot tub.  These antiques are classics because of their deep soaks and cast-iron construction that holds the heat. Antique claw foot tubs can be found restored to their original condition, and can also be customized with color on the exterior.

The pedestal sink is a nice vintage touch that fits perfectly with cottage style. While these sinks don’t provide storage, their narrow profile is ideal for a small bathroom. Additional storage can be created with a small vintage cabinet, bookshelf, or hanging cabinet.

You could add penny tiles or hexagonal tiles on the floor for a classic vintage cottage style.  Typically, white and black, today’s penny tiles and hexagonal tiles can be found in an array of colors to suit any taste. A soft throw rug next to the tub is a stylish and smart addition to create a soft place to step out of the tub.

Wainscoting on the walls is a great touch in a cottage bathroom. Subway tiles, in classic white, would work nicely on the walls in a cottage bathroom, as well. Charming vintage art and the simple framed mirror complete the cottage look in this bathroom. The wainscoting dark color framed by the white trim and patterned area rug adds visual interest to this bathroom.

We hope you all enjoyed reading about bathrooms this week as much as we did! We’re so grateful to have participated in Bathroom Blogfest 2012 and cannot wait until next year’s group blogging adventure.  Don’t forget to take a look at the rest of the Bathroom Blogfest writers below:

Name Twitter Username Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott susanabbott theIdeaStudio www.theideastudio.ca
Laurence Borel blogtillyoudrop blog till you drop www.laurenceborel.com
Bill Buyok AventeTile Avente Tile Talk http://www.aventetiletalk.com/
Jeanne Byington jmbyington The Importance of Earnest Service blog.jmbyington.com
Nora DePalma steamtherapy The Mr. Steam SteamTherapy Blog http://blog.mrsteam.com/
Mr. Steam noradepalma OR-DP POV www.oreilly-depalma.com/blog
Stacy Garcia kbtribechat kbtribe http://kbtribe.wordpress.com
Diane Kazan dkazan Public Bathroom Blog http://thekazan.blogspot.com
Arpi Nalbandian Arpi_Nalb Avente Tile Talk http://www.aventetiletalk.com/
Victoria & Shelley Redshaw & Pond scarletopus Scarlet Opus Trends Blog www.scarletopus.com
Sandy Renshaw sandyrenshaw Purple Wren purplewren.com
Bruce D. Sanders rimtailing RIMtailing http://rimtailing.blogspot.com/
Paige Smith none Tile tips from installation professionals http://neusetile.wordpress.com/
Todd Vendituoli TALV58 Thebuildingblox http://www.thebuildingblox.com/
Shannon Vogel cyswebsites From the Floors Up http://fromthefloorsup.com
CB Whittemore cbwhittemore Content Talks Business Blog http://simplemarketingnow.com/content-talks-business-blog/
Irene Williams crossvilleinc Elevate Your Space http://elevateyourspace.wordpress.com/
Linda Wright skiptotheloo Skip to the Loo! http://lindaloo.com/

 

Bathroom Blogfest 2012: Ocean Inspired Colors in the Bathroom

Let the bathroom blogging continue! We hope you’ve had a chance to look at some of the other participants’ blogs; they’re all amazing with great, helpful tips.  There’s only a couple more days left of this year’s Bathroom Blogfest so get your reading glasses on and enjoy the designs!

The colors of the ocean just seem to work in a bathroom. It could be the connection with water that makes these colors work so well. We’re not sure why so many of us are drawn to the colors of the sand and sea when designing our bathrooms, but we are. Blues, creams, beiges, greys and greens in soft hues can all work in a sea inspired bathroom.

Whether you choose to design your bathroom in coastal style or not, you can still use ocean inspired colors in the bath.  Floors, walls, shower curtains, towels and mats can all be found in beautiful shades of the ocean and sea. Colors inspired by sea glass, soft blues, greens and white, are a lovely combination for the bathroom that is neither masculine nor feminine. If you have a bathroom that has white tile on the walls and floor, you can add these colors as accents as either paint for the wall or vanity, or in smaller doses by using colorful towels and mats.

Colorful glass tiles inspired by the ocean are beautiful in the shower or on the floor in a coastal or ocean inspired bathroom.  Mosaic tiles used as a border or on the floor can also bring in ocean colors. Mix these colorful tiles with neutral stones like white marble or travertine to bring in another layer of natural beauty.

If the ocean does not inspire you, think about your favorite outdoor space. Mountains, lakes, meadows and deserts can all be color inspiration for your home.

Check out more Bathroom Blogfest 2012 entries here:

Name Twitter Username Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott susanabbott theIdeaStudio www.theideastudio.ca
Laurence Borel blogtillyoudrop blog till you drop www.laurenceborel.com
Bill Buyok AventeTile Avente Tile Talk http://www.aventetiletalk.com/
Jeanne Byington jmbyington The Importance of Earnest Service blog.jmbyington.com
Nora DePalma steamtherapy The Mr. Steam SteamTherapy Blog http://blog.mrsteam.com/
Mr. Steam noradepalma OR-DP POV www.oreilly-depalma.com/blog
Stacy Garcia kbtribechat kbtribe http://kbtribe.wordpress.com
Diane Kazan dkazan Public Bathroom Blog http://thekazan.blogspot.com
Arpi Nalbandian Arpi_Nalb Avente Tile Talk http://www.aventetiletalk.com/
Victoria & Shelley Redshaw & Pond scarletopus Scarlet Opus Trends Blog www.scarletopus.com
Sandy Renshaw sandyrenshaw Purple Wren purplewren.com
Bruce D. Sanders rimtailing RIMtailing http://rimtailing.blogspot.com/
Paige Smith none Tile tips from installation professionals http://neusetile.wordpress.com/
Todd Vendituoli TALV58 Thebuildingblox http://www.thebuildingblox.com/
Shannon Vogel cyswebsites From the Floors Up http://fromthefloorsup.com
CB Whittemore cbwhittemore Content Talks Business Blog http://simplemarketingnow.com/content-talks-business-blog/
Irene Williams crossvilleinc Elevate Your Space http://elevateyourspace.wordpress.com/
Linda Wright skiptotheloo Skip to the Loo! http://lindaloo.com/

Bathroom Blogfest 2012: Using Marble in the Bath

We are participating in the 7th annual Bathroom Blogfest! This year’s theme is “Still Coming Out” and it is a great way to bring together bloggers from all over the globe to talk about bathroom designs.  Take a look at who’s participating this year and get the inside scoop on everything bathroom.

There is just something classic about marble in the bathroom. Marble counters and sinks are traditional designs that continue to be popular today.  But there are new ways to use marble in the bathroom in addition to the classics.

Marble tiles can be applied to the floor, walls, and shower stall.  New tile sizes and patterns make this centuries old material feel contemporary.  Laying the tile in a horizontal pattern, rather than a traditional vertical pattern turns these classic tiles into a contemporary style.   Oversize horizontal tiles, like in this bathroom, are another way to put a contemporary twist on marble tiles.

Marble can be polished, honed and tumbled for shiny and matte surfaces.  Honed and tumbled are better choices for flooring as they are not as slick when wet.  Placing a bath mat down can help absorb water and prevent slips.

The tile is a neutral color, which allows a homeowner to have versatile options for the sinks, countertop, and bathroom accessories.  This homeowner chose to keep the bathroom sinks and countertop clean and neutral by choosing white, but they always have the option of adding a pop of color with towels or candles. Another great option for marble tile choices is classic white marble with grey veins.  A mix of white fixtures and marble has a crisp feeling that makes us think of a luxury hotel or spa.

Covering the walls and tub surround in the same marble tile gives this bathroom a uniform look and only adds to the luxurious spa feeling. Using the same material throughout the space makes the room feel even larger.

Even a little marble can make a big impact. A marble counter in the bathroom would take a small amount of stone and could fit most budgets. You could also add a strip of small marble tile for a sink’s backsplash in the bathroom.  It will add detail and interest to your bathroom.

Read more about Bathroom Blogfest 2012 from other writers:

Name Twitter Username Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott susanabbott theIdeaStudio www.theideastudio.ca
Laurence Borel blogtillyoudrop blog till you drop www.laurenceborel.com
Bill Buyok AventeTile Avente Tile Talk http://www.aventetiletalk.com/
Jeanne Byington jmbyington The Importance of Earnest Service blog.jmbyington.com
Nora DePalma steamtherapy The Mr. Steam SteamTherapy Blog http://blog.mrsteam.com/
Mr. Steam noradepalma OR-DP POV www.oreilly-depalma.com/blog
Stacy Garcia kbtribechat kbtribe http://kbtribe.wordpress.com
Diane Kazan dkazan Public Bathroom Blog http://thekazan.blogspot.com
Arpi Nalbandian Arpi_Nalb Avente Tile Talk http://www.aventetiletalk.com/
Victoria & Shelley Redshaw & Pond scarletopus Scarlet Opus Trends Blog www.scarletopus.com
Sandy Renshaw sandyrenshaw Purple Wren purplewren.com
Bruce D. Sanders rimtailing RIMtailing http://rimtailing.blogspot.com/
Paige Smith none Tile tips from installation professionals http://neusetile.wordpress.com/
Todd Vendituoli TALV58 Thebuildingblox http://www.thebuildingblox.com/
Shannon Vogel cyswebsites From the Floors Up http://fromthefloorsup.com
CB Whittemore cbwhittemore Content Talks Business Blog http://simplemarketingnow.com/content-talks-business-blog/
Irene Williams crossvilleinc Elevate Your Space http://elevateyourspace.wordpress.com/
Linda Wright skiptotheloo Skip to the Loo! http://lindaloo.com/

 

Black & White Flooring Options

Are you unsure what flooring to use for your home? Do you have a bold streak and want something unique? Then you might want to add a bit of pizzazz to your décor with black and white flooring. This color scheme creates drama in any room as it makes everything else in the room stand out. Often chosen for bathrooms and kitchens, we’ve recently seen some designers use it throughout the home.

One way to execute a black and white scheme is by implementing the checkerboard design where black and white tiles are placed alternately on the floor. This is one common way of using these two sophisticated colors together.

Another way to implement a black and white scheme for your flooring is by laying black and white tile squares on the diagonal to make a diamond appearance. This look will make your room look shiny and clean.

A mosaic black and white tile can also be a sophisticated choice, though a bit expensive and complicated, if you want patterns and textures for your tile in your entry or hallways.

Another design option that you can do is by adding a single tile of different color in the middle of the room that has black and white flooring. This will give added drama and will create a pattern that will stand out.

The pinwheel design is also a great pattern to follow when implementing a black and white scheme. To do this, single black tile is surrounded from all sides by white tiles or a variation of this pattern is using a white tile instead, with black tiles surrounding it.

If you want a bold, clean and unique look for your kitchen and bathroom, then a black and white color scheme is the way to go.

Design Inspiration: The Colors of the Mediterranean

Deep blue seas, terracotta tiles, golden sun yellow, olive green, rich ochre—these are the colors we think of when we think of Mediterranean style.  These rich, vibrant colors take their inspiration from the sea, land and sky around the Mediterranean Sea.  Found throughout countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Morocco, the colors of the Mediterranean can be incorporated into your home for a beautiful color palette.

Terracotta flooring is great in a Tuscan or Spanish inspired kitchen. These warm reddish brown tiles can be paired with white or wood cabinets.  Terracotta tile can also be used in entryways and bathrooms. Moroccan tiles that are typically colorful with bold patterns are another choice for flooring or backsplashes inspired by the colors of the Mediterranean.

Plaster walls tinted with a hint of yellow ochre are also wonderful ways to bring in a bit of the Mediterranean to kitchens, bathrooms, living or dining rooms.  Ochre is a warm, golden yellow that looks amazing paired with deep blues and olive greens.

For more Mediterranean color inspiration, look to the textiles of these Mediterranean countries. Provencal fabrics from the south of France offer great color pairings and inspiration for walls, floors and furniture colors.

You can be inspired by the colors of the Mediterranean even if your style is not Mediterranean. Accents in these vibrant colors can work with most styles of decorating. Use these colors as a jumping off point for your own style décor and the result will be colorful and cheerful.

Bathroom Meets Wet Room

A separate shower and bathtub, preferably a soaking tub, have been standard in a master bathroom for quite a while.  While showers and tubs have become fancier over the years with more spray and deeper soaks, the layout is pretty standard.  With freestanding soaking tubs becoming more popular, we’re seeing a change in the layout of large master bathrooms.  One of the changes we’re seeing is the creation of a “wet zone”.  Have you seen these? Do you have one in your own master bathroom?

A wet zone puts the shower and tub in a single area in the bathroom.  This one has a glass enclosure that contains both the shower and tub. If the glass goes all the way to the ceiling, a sort of steam room is created.  The shower can be a step up from the rest of the bathroom or simple divided from the room with the glass partition; a tiled wall would also work to delineate the space. Continuing the same flooring, whether it be slate, tile, or marble, throughout the bathroom and wet zone helps unify the room. For the wet zone, a textured flooring surface will prevent slips when showering or getting out of the tub.

The remaining area of the bathroom can be dedicated to a large vanity with double sinks and storage. A water closet for the toilet keeps that separated as well. Containing the wet zone and steam is ideal for a master bathroom that opens onto the walk-in closet or dressing room.

Entertaining: Casual Dinner Party

In our busy lives it can be difficult to make time for friends and family gatherings. Starting a tradition of weekly family meals is one way to make sure you have quality time together. Another great tradition is to have dinner parties with your friends and neighbors. These parties do not have to be formal affairs. A casual meal in the slow cooker or on the grill is a good excuse to bring together a small group of friends and neighbors.

Open concept kitchens that open onto the dining area are great for these casual dinner parties. It seems at most parties people gather in the kitchen. Allowing the chef or chefs to interact with guests both in the kitchen and gathered at the table is a great thing for the hosts.  Having an open concept kitchen dining area that shares the same floor surface, whether it be tile or wood, will make the two spaces feel like one large room.

For a casual dinner party, you can make it a progressive party where courses are served at different homes. This is a great idea for neighbors or a small block party. Potluck can help keep the costs down for you if your guests bring dessert or appetizers.

Making time for friends and neighbors is a wonderful way to open your home and entertain guests. Dinner parties do not have to be formal or fancy to bring people together over good food, good drinks and good conversation.

Wine Storage in the Kitchen

We are having a love affair with wine to the point that wine storage is becoming a standard feature in kitchen designs.  Whether you are a wine connoisseur or the occasional wine drinker, you’ll want a place to store your bottles in your home.  Wine cellars, wine fridges and wine racks are the most common ways to store wine in the home.

Wine connoisseurs who have the space will probably have wine cellars in their home with proper temperature control. If you don’t have space for a proper wine cellar, a wine refrigerator is probably your best choice. These small refrigerators can store both white and red wine at the perfect temperature. Wine refrigerators can be installed in a kitchen island or row of lower cabinets. These refrigerators can also be installed in a bar area or pantry if your do not have the room in the main kitchen. Adding a wine fridge definitely will give your kitchen an updated feel.

If you are a more casual wine drinker or want to display your bottles, a wine rack on the counter can serve your needs. Do not store wine or liquor above the refrigerator as the heat can destroy the wine. Better to create wall or counter storage as seen here.  Built-in wine storage is a nice feature in a kitchen and along with stainless steel appliances, stone counter tops and wood floors can give your kitchen the look of an update without a huge renovation or remodel or the cost that come with it.

Bath Along Modern Lines

ModernBathroomThis bathroom is intensely modern. Clean lines and limited furnishings and accessories support this, but it’s the color choices that push the bathroom into a truly contemporary look.

Black, white and red is actually a classic color palette for the modern style. In this case, red really takes front-and-center. The glossy tone of the red floor helps it stand out in the room. Notice that the red flooring is so shiny that the bathtub, sink and floor vase actually reflect white against it.

The strong use of red and a dark charcoal-toned black make the white in the bathroom stand out. This is in sturdy contrast to the standard and rather bland use of white in bathrooms. Of course, these fixtures are far from standard. The tub’s grace really makes the space special and its’ lines coordinate perfectly with the larger floor vase and the handful of smaller ones perched on the shelves around the walls.

There are only a few elements that are not shiny and manmade. The vases hold grasses that add a nice and needed bit of green to the room. This keeps the space from feeling too sterile. Also, about a half-dozen water-rounded stones in a soft grey have their places on the shelves. Simple of line and color, they work well with everything else in the bath.

One interesting note: even with this simple design, there’s actually plenty of storage. Some of the charcoal rectangles at the bottom of the bathroom and the white rectangles above contain storage shelves. With spring-loaded sleek cabinet doors, no visitor would know, but they actually provide quite a bit of room.

Whether this bathroom is your style or not, you have to admit that it does draw your attention!