The Chair of the Beautiful Thing About Dad

On a recent weekend day, I awoke out of a much-needed nap to find a curious new addition to our living space: a large, bulky, well-worn, dark blue leather sweater. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief like it was Christmas morning. Funny how you can never understand just how much you actually needed something until it is right there before you.

My wife’s father had simply dropped off the chair. It was a gift from his mom, my wife’s grandmother. I am told that my wife’s grandfather had sat in this chair for many years until he died. I stared in awe at exactly the same thing. I eventually had my first Dad Chair. And then a strange thing occurred.

Neither my wife, son nor I had laid claim to the chair, but in my mind it was immediately obvious that it had been mine. This was for Dad. Me.

I felt territorial and possessive. My mind raced with thoughts of me sitting at the chair drinking scotch and saying sensible things, of reading thick leather-bound literary tomes and, needless to say, watching soccer matches every Sunday. But we do not have a TV. And that I hate scotch. And that I read trashy detective novels and rarely say wise things! What’s?

You can see here that the chair is nothing outstanding. (But man, it is comfy.) Why am I feeling so animalistically “manly” about a very simple piece of furniture?

Turns out, there are a great deal of variables involved with my brutish behavior. “Generally, the Dad Chair is a protected base for the dominant male in a home,” says environmental psychologist Sally Augustin. From “normally,” Augustin is referring to the obvious fact that there are many distinct households, some with no men at all. My psychological behavior relating to this chair is actually a culmination of biological in addition to cultural influences.

Shannon Malone

Let’s look at the latter. “There’s a great deal of nonverbal communication happening with these chairs,” Augustin says. “From the first ’50s sitcoms, dads have had control of the living room recliner, which recliner today screams Dad to us raised in the West.” That might help explain my urge to drink face-contorting malt whisky and see a sport I really care very little about.

And that I really do have lots of memories of my father’s claimed territory throughout multiple houses we lived in when I was growing up. He never actually had a Dad Chair, but he definitely had his spot, marked by an indention at the couch, where he’d sit every night, his knees bent and his feet tucked up under himself, with a small lean from the left armrest so he would reach his glass of wine on the side table. My mom moved to a new location in San Diego about a year before, and sure enough, the couch arrangement is identical, and his spot was recovered.

Holly Marder

Amsterdam art dealer Hyland Mather knows that too well. Nothing was said, but the brown leather chair shown here became the Dad Chair in his household.

“I am unsure how mine turned into mine, besides I am the person who discovered it and hauled it inside,” he says. “I do not care when somebody else sits in my chair, but frankly and for no spoken motive, nobody else does. My father has a chair in his house that nobody else sits, and as far as I know he had made no verbal objections to others sitting inside it, but nobody does”

There are no formal criteria for a Dad Chair, although we have previously provided some helpful suggestions for locating the perfect guy chair. For Mather there’s just something intrinsically different about the older broken-in chair when compared with the midcentury pieces found elsewhere in his property.

“It fits me,” he says. “It smells great. It’s brown. Brown is great. In our house it is the cigar of chairs.” (Of note, he says, is the fact that his wife has her own chair, too. However, for some reason, everyone sits inside)

Sarah Greenman

Many Dad Chairs, but do have a couple things in common. You’ll notice that many have springs that are substantial. From a profound, historical biological standpoint, this is so whoever’s sitting at the chair doesn’t feel threatened about somebody’s sneaking up behind them, says Augustin, who is written about primordial behavior concerning biophilic design.

Sarah Greenman

Another interesting thing you’ll find with many Dad Chairs is that their place. “They are probably positioned so that it has a view of the major door into a space, that’s the ‘power position’ in any area,” Augustin says. (Without considering it, I put my chair directly in view of front door)

There has been research on how we have a tendency to sit over and over again at precisely the exact same chair in classrooms and at precisely the exact same place, which has its own benefits. “It seems we get emotional support from being at precisely the exact same place on multiple occasions,” Augustin says. This runs in combination with needing an individual’s own space and territory in order to modulate emotions.

“Territories are very important to us emotionally. We all need a place that we control and may return to and personalize — it will help keep our anxiety levels down,” Augustin says.

Right. So stay out of Dad’s chair.

Inform us : Can you have your own spot in your property? Please show us in the Remarks section below.

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8 Dream Closets Move Beyond Storing Clothes

Previously the bedroom closet was the place. Now the emphasis will be on producing functional, organized cabinets which double as comfortable places to hang out, play and work.

Giambastiani Design

Spa-like escape. This revived 1910 bathroom, designed by Solomon + Bauer + Giambastiani Architects, has a modern vibe with a definite slant toward pampering. Its generous glass sliding doors display towels and robes while displaying the room’s spaciousness.

MB Jessee

Room with a view. While most cabinets can not offer a view (perhaps there’s no room to bring a window, or it is constructed within an interior area), this closet takes benefit of its own vantage point from within San Francisco’s Millennium Tower.

A seat provides additional shelving to make up for any missing storage space or a dedicated seat to enjoy the sights. The window theme continues through using frosted glass doors and a cabinet topped with glass.


Library effect. Architect Dan Featheringill of Feather & Gill Architects gave this closet the qualities of an elegant analysis, together with bird’s eye maple paneling and hickory floors that were blackened with a stain from PureColor. Wood appliqué ceiling tiles have been selected in a pattern similar to that of their customer’s favourite store: Chanel.

Warm lighting and a comfortable chair provide a cozy spot for getting ready or curling up with a book.

Taylor Hannah Architect Inc

Corner workplace. A sizable closet is a gorgeous thing, although not everybody has the space to devote just to garments. By placing a desk in the closet, like architect Taylor Hannah did in this spacious setting, it is possible to use one inspiring space for 2 purposes.

Martin Perri Interiors, Inc..

Boutique. Martin Perri Interiors created this design as part of a European modern job to emulate a luxury boutique. High-gloss polyester lacquer cabinets set the stage for accessory displays behind half-inch glass doors. Motion sensors turn the cabinetry’s backlighting on when someone enters the space. Additional LED side lighting is provided by manually operated switches. An embossed leather stools sits prominently in order to give the homeowner an opinion of her wardrobe choices. Plush carpeting atop bamboo flooring adds comfort to the dressing experience.

Art gallery. Why should the clothes and accessories receive all of the adulation? Art is a wonderful opportunity to add colour, beauty and possibly a little bit of amusement to the dressing experience.

This cupboard’s rich, monochromatic palette, designed in keeping with the remainder of the sophisticated residence, creates a slick background for an art exhibit that reflects the customer’s nautical fire.

Other chances for any closet include framed photographs of relatives and pets, and inspiring fashion shots.

Cablik Enterprises

Party pad. Wake up and get excited to begin your day by means of a vibrant colour. This closet, part of a whole-house renovation designed by Dencity and constructed by Cablik Enterprises, includes vivacious purple cabinets from Kingdom Woodworks.

The modern chandelier paired with shag carpets and a polka dot love seat would make anybody want to crank up some tunes and have a good time, no matter what time of this morning.

Walker Woodworking

Washing-dressing room. Can you think of a better time saver when it comes to laundry than creating a closet around the laundry room? Or is it? Walker Woodworking designed this clever double-duty space as part of a home renovation to empower good chore flow.

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10 Ways To Give Your Hospitality a Tropical Touch

Why settle for casual hospitality when you can treat your visitors to tropical hospitality? Below are a few very easy and innovative ways to make your guests — not to mention yourself — feel like they’re staying at a bed-and-breakfast amid swaying palms and with a turquoise sea.

1. Put your memories on display. Switch up your screens and bring out a few of your favorite things for a complex game of show and tell. An artful arrangement of tropical memorabilia, postcards or publications is guaranteed to find some fantastic conversations started, particularly if they tell an interesting story.

To keep your shelves from looking too cluttered, stick to a limited color scheme, or pick a color to tie it all together visually. Here I’ve used a printer tray that has been given to us as a present by a friend, who happens to be an authority on tropical drift seeds; a few of those seeds are suitably scattered through the display. The wood tones are repeated with all the shelves and also the shadow box, drawing attention to the shells, vase and art.

2. Display and serve tropical fruit. Unearthly-looking pleasures are exciting for visitors to admire and devour. Head to a local specialty market, farmer’s market or ethnic market and keep a watch for exotic fruits, such as the rambutan and guinep shown here. You will have a great deal of fun tasting some thing fresh, and it’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience for your visitors.

Research the fruit so you can make it a safe and enjoyable experience for all. In the minimum, it is going to make you sound smarter. If dragonfruit and snotfruit sound too frightening for you, exhibit a pineapple instead. It is the global symbol of hospitality.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

3. Use bold leaves as striking arrangements. Just a single leaf could be all it takes to make a room say”tropical.” Clip a leaf or two off a houseplant such as the parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans) or kentia palm (Howea fosteriana) to make your room feel as though it’s shaded by swaying coconut trees. They are sometimes placed in a vase such as the one displayed here, made to a organic table runner or exhibited on a wall, mantel or windowsill. In the absence of palm fronds, the leaves of additional leafy tropical plants will do well.

4. Incorporate tropical art. This painting by my mother, Nancy Asbell, is more than simply art; it’s a window into a cheerful and bright Florida scene painted by somebody who lived life via the strokes of her paintbrush. But perhaps I am biased, since she had been my mother, after all. Regardless, the appearance is made complete with a rattan box plus a glowing wire candleholder.

You do not have to get an original painting to find this appearance, however, and economical alternatives vary from a framed and enlarged picture to a popular tropical print that has been wrapped around a framework such as a painted canvas. You might even roll ink over a palm frond and make a print by putting it onto a big sheet of superior paper, letting it dry and putting it in a mat and frame. You likely have some other neat ideas of your own.

Amoroso Design

5. Bring the houseplants centre stage. Houseplants are often overlooked and awarded the part of supporting actors in the unfolding drama of decoration, but a well-situated specimen becomes a sculptural work of art and ties rooms into the world outside the windows. If you do not possess a houseplant already, you can get massive palms and other architectural specimen plants for roughly the exact same price for a bouquet of flowers.

This chamber uses a muted color scheme, tropical wood textures and a fun zebra print for an exotic appearance that draws attention to the glowing green white bird of heaven (Strelitzia nicolai) in the corner. If you are new to houseplants, follow the directions on the tag or search on the internet for tips. Generally speaking, just make sure you give it plenty of bright (but not direct) light so it is easily admired and healthier to boot.

8 Houseplants You Can’t Kill

6. Create texture with unusual collections. Sleek and minimalist furnishings could be awarded interest and warmth with a little bit of natural feel, particularly if the pieces tell a story, such as the sea beans displayed here. (But since they were meant to begin a conversation, you’ll have to ask about them in the Comments to discover more.)

The most mundane items can dress up a dull table without adding clutter. A flat-woven tray of coffee beans not only appears rich and exotic; it smells fantastic and encourages guests to conduct their hands through the tablescape while they await dinner. While the pinecones or seedpods on your backyard might not technically be tropical in origin, they will still look that way in the right setting.

7. Create the necessary arrangements. If you own a houseplant or possess some tropical bulbs in the backyard, think about combining them with cut flowers to create your own artistic flower structures. Just about any flower would fit right in with the help of large and bold tropical foliage, but nearly all of the flowers (with the exception of the green cymbidium) inside this wedding arrangement were clipped from potted tropical plants on my balcony.

When tropical flowers and foliage are hard to find at your regional florist, head to the houseplant part of the garden centre and begin looking for a plant that could take care of a light pruning. Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum wallisii), split-leaf philodedron (Monstera deliciosa) and anthuriums (Anthurium andraeanum) are all houseplants that may be clipped and additional to flower structures.

8. Collect vacation memories. A postcard can be made to a work of art with the help of a photograph frame, which spiny lobster appears to blend right into the natural habitat of dark wood and interesting beachcombing finds here.

Shadow shelves and boxes create perfect display spots for found treasures like seashells and memorabilia that could otherwise languish away into a darkened cupboard, but the possibilities are infinite. Make your own British colonial curiosity cabinet with whatever treasures you’ve stowed away. Even decidedly’untropical’ subjects are able to appear exotic and intriguing when handled like a museum’s most precious collection. What fun screens can you come up with?

Design Studio -Teri Koss

9. Put flower vases in unexpected places. A flower arrangement on the dining room table is nice, but a display livening up a hallway, foyer or toilet speaks volumes regarding your thoughtfulness and hospitality. At a pinch you can even purchase (or reduce your own) flowers and split them up for two structures to spread cheery tropical taste around the house.

When you have a plant in the backyard with fragrant flowers such as the gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) or moonflower (Ipomoea alba), consider floating them into a bowl on your toilet sink so they can give their odor into a most unaromatic place.

10. Choose some flowers. You definitely don’t need an whole flower arrangement to bring the tropics to your tabletops; an iconic hibiscus flower in a coral-patterned vase is everything it takes to make you feel as though you’re vacationing in Polynesia. This flower was plucked from my garden in Florida, but hibiscus plants and other trademark tropical favorites such as heliconias and gingers are usually available at the garden centre as seasonal container plants. Purchase one for yourself and use the flowers and foliage all season long.

You do not have to go overboard with tiki kitsch to make guests feel as though they’re staying at a hotel. An artistically organized display of well-chosen items is all it takes to bring a little exotic excitement to your home, and it does not have to cost a dime.

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3 Shower Sound Systems That Beat Your Clunky Old Radio

Waterproof sound systems for listening to radio and music in the shower have existed for decades. First came watertight radios. Waterproof CD players. And, of course, now folks listen via gadgets linked to smart phones within a wireless Bluetooth connection.

Wireless gadgets offer a major upgrade in the quality of both shower-based programming, and for a number of reasons. First, you are able to listen to a much wider range of content, such as live-streaming morning news programming. Second, you won’t miss any phone alerts, alerts or incoming calls. (One merchandise, detailed below, even lets you answer those calls.) And lastly, there’s the continuation variable — the shower sound can be a continuation of whatever you’re listening to before and after your shower. The great thing about Bluetooth is that any Bluetooth-capable device will connect.

Here are three low-cost and advanced options to the First World–est of issues: how to play audio and listen to the information while you’re in the shower.


Moxie Showerhead + Wireless Speaker – $199

The Kohler Moxie is easily the most peculiar shower-based sound system on the market, because the speaker is in the showerhead. The middle part of the mind is a magnetically attached, removable and rechargeable Bluetooth speaker. Should you need a speaker for dryer activities, there’s no reason you can not pop it from the showerhead and take it along with you.

The drawback is there are no controls on the speaker. You’ve got to get all that set before becoming in.

The speaker’s battery lasts more than seven hours on a charge, according to the manufacturer. You recharge it via a USB connector.

The Kohler Moxie is offered in white or chrome.

iShower – $99.99

The iShower is a water-resistant Bluetooth audio system which can connect to up to five phones or tablets streaming audio.

One intriguing feature is that iShower has the capability to connect with phones fairly far away — around 200 feet, according to the manufacturer. You ought to be able to leave your phone on the opposite side of the home playing, then once you turn on the iShower from the bathroom, you are going to pick up the sound flow.

Unlike the Moxie, the iShower has controls for volume, next track, pause and play.

Hipe Waterproof Bluetooth Shower Speaker – $69.99

The Hipe Waterproof Bluetooth Stereo Shower Speaker is a cheap, easy-to-use shower speaker. It doesn’t have to be installed like the Kohler Moxie, nor affixed like the iShower. On the contrary, it hooks on the shower nozzle like a clothes hanger. That makes it great for traveling or moving from 1 bathroom to another.

The Hipe’s battery is rechargeable; it lasts 25 hours on a fee, according to the company. The speaker is less watertight than others. It is not meant to be submerged in water but can handle normal shower splashing.

The Hipe does normal Bluetooth streaming of audio and other audio. But it also does something special: It functions as a speakerphone for phone calls.

That is right! Now when the phone rings, you can answer the call and have your conversation while you’re in the shower.

Tell us Can you?

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View a Soothing Backyard Bathhouse Born From a Salvaged Tub

After a lilac tree died in Sloan Schang’s lawn in Portland, Oregon, the summertime, it left behind a blank corner. Additionally, it provided him with a chance. A secluded backyard spa appealed to Schang, a writer and creative director, but the6,000 bill required for the necessary electrical work and a new spa sounded less than agreeable.

So Schang constructed his own yard bathhouse — in under a week and for under 1/6 the price — with a salvaged claw-foot tub. “My wife was appropriately skeptical when I suggested placing a bathtub in the garden,” he states, “but she was pleasant and trusting enough to just let me run with this.” Let’s see just how he did it.

Job at a Glance
What: Backyard bathhouse
Location: Portland, Oregon
Size: 7 by 10 ft
Budget: $750, such as labour and materials

Website Preparation

Schang cleared from the deceased lilac tree in addition to some ornamental grasses to prep the website. He dug a hole 5 feet wide, 7 feet and 6 inches deep, attaching it with pressure-treated 2-by-6s.

He closely packed 1/4-inch-minus gravel into the mat to prevent the cast iron tub from sinking. The tub sits atop the compacted gravel without further anchoring.

The deck is framed with pressure-treated 4-by-4s, resting lengthwise on the gravel. The decking itself is recycled cedar fence boards left over from another house improvement project; Schang cut and nailed them straight to the 4-by-4s. While he states the deck was level and protected already, he also anchored it with foot-long garden stakes, pounded into the ground and bracketed into the deck frame.

Before Photo


The claw-foot tub was a steal at $100, and the catalyst for this backyard project. It was already in great condition, only requiring an application of paint. Because it’s protected from the elements by the pergola, Schang didn’t prep the tub in any other way.

He hired a plumber to install a new outdoor hot water bib, tied into existing pipes in the couple’s basement laundry area. Often it’s possible to substitute an exterior hose bib with one which that may tie into a hot water line, but that was not an option here. Schang was pleased to pass this off section of the undertaking. “If there is something you are uncomfortable doing yourself — like plumbing, for me,” he says, “absolutely hire a professional or request an experienced buddy. The peace of mind is well worth the extra time and cost.”

Schang ran a long rubber hot-water hose 60 feet from the exterior hot water faucet into the tub website. He hid the hose in mature landscaping rather than burying it.

The hose rests on a bamboo bet; the flow is controlled with a single-handled faucet. The water temperature is controlled by the bib at the side of the house. “We rarely ever use the cold tap, except in the summer when we use it as a cool-off pool with our son — and generally just fill it with hot hot water,” he states. On colder nights that the water stays warm for 20 or 30 minutes, longer in summer.

Schang secured the overflow hole and preceding faucet holes so he can fill the tub entirely.

The tub drains into a 15-foot-long ABS drain pipe, extending aboveground out into the planting beds. Like the hose, the pipe is hidden by plants and drains on the vegetation via perforations.

Before Photo


For backyard privacy and shield, Schang built a pergola that’s 7 feet wide, 10 feet long and 8 ft tall.

“If you’ve ever built a fence or a deck, then you can handle this,” he states.

If this is the first home improvement project, though, be cautious, be methodical and do not hurry through it.

“All I will say is measure, measure, measure,” Schang advises.

Here’s how you can construct a pergola how he did:
Measure and dig the locations for the four posts.If you are sloping the roof, cut the rear posts to length.Set the posts and cement in 2-foot-deep holes.Cut and hang the exterior box frame for the roofing. (Schang bolted heavy lag bolts right into the post.) Cut and hang the joists. (Schang utilized using joist hanger mounts) Cut sheets of corrugated metal roofing to the ideal size with heavy tin snips, then attach them to the joists and frame them with screws.

Light Fixture

Schang built and made the lighting fixture himself. He drilled out a area of holes in the base of a soap box he purchased on Etsy and stapled a series of lights to poke through the holes in the box. Schang calls the mild “a cross between an old-timey Lite Brite and a kind of mild shower.” String lights already drape the perimeter of the lawn, therefore Schang only had to attach an extension cable.

“Night soaks are silent and calm,” he states, “and on clear nights we get glimpses of the stars throughout the trees” One of the favourite things about the tub is how drastically the encounter transitions from day to night. “At the morning and late afternoon, the tub gets some choice moments of sun, and birds and squirrels are continuously popping in to see what’s happening.”

“The result has exceeded both of our expectations,” he states, “and that I can’t ever imagine getting tired of the space and the simple magic of an outside soak. It’s all somehow rustic and luxurious at the exact same time, quite Swiss Family Robinson.”


Structure and decking — $225:
Six 10-foot spans of 4-by-4 pressure-treated wood posts for the pergola and deck frameEight 8-foot spans of outside 2-by-6s for the roofing frameSix bags of easy-mix concrete to the postsThree sheets of corrugated metal roofingHardwareBamboo solitude shadeTen 5-foot-long cedar fence boards to the decking20 cubic feet of 1/4-inch-minus gravelDecorative river rockPipes — $475 (including hired labour):
Hose rated for sexy waterFaucet to control circulation at the tub (mounted onto a cedar stake)Faucet to control water at the side of this houseOverflow corksABS drain pipeClaw-foot tubLight fixture — $50:
Soap crateStrand of Christmas lightsExtension cordOther substances:
Clear outdoor protective sealer for all wood that’s not pressure treatedRepurposed materials for bathroom fittings (cedar decking shower caddy, tree stump side table, towel hooks)More: View a trendy office in a greenhouse | More salvage style ideas

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Now Arriving a Playful Powder Room, on Network 2

Interior designer Lisa Konjicek-Segundo had worked on the rest of the grand house in the Gold Coast area of Alameda, California, over time, but somehow this outdated powder area evaded her touch until lately. “I returned to work on a few of their daughter’s chambers and told them it was high time we did something about it,” she says.

“My clients love New York City, so we chose to make it an ode to the city, with a industrial vibe and photography,” she describes. The powder room is quite a divergence from the more conventional style of the rest of the house. “Because the door swings out to the hallway, it is always closed. People open the door, flip on the light and are extremely surprised,” the designer says. Here’s a peek behind that door — brace yourself for the unexpected!

Powder Room at a Glance
Who uses this A family with 5 children
Location: Alameda, California
Size: Approximately 4 feet by 10 feet
Budget: About $10,000

Before Photo

BEFORE: The teeny room featured a outdated white porcelain shell spout having a dated splatter-painted surround, an odd niche filled with air fresheners, a shell-motif mirror plus a lot of randomly hung artwork.

Olive Juice Designs

AFTER: For the wall-size picture, Konjicek-Segundo turned into MegaPrint and selected a photo of New York’s Spring Street subway station. “Fortunately my clients are forward thinkers, and they have great senses of humor, so they thought that the fact that the bathroom seems like it is sitting on the metro system was hilarious,” she says.

The perspective adds thickness to the very small room, as does the large customized mirror onto the left side, which extends from the bottom of the sink into the ceiling. Konjicek-Segundo combined an extremely low-profile, contemporary bathroom with old-school hex tile that looks like something one would see in a subway station.

Tile: San Francisco Greatest Tile

Olive Juice Designs

Konjicek-Segundo pulled the green color from the picture for those walls. “People always believe lighter colors will add thickness, but it’s darker colors that do — I mean, consider the earlier picture,” she says.

For the same reason, she painted the ceiling. The metal lighting fixture, from Policelli, adds an industrial touch. The couple had the sign, which fits right in over the doorway.

“The husband is a mathematician, so I pitched this toilet paper installation to him,” the designer says. It is inserted between the studs, and the rolls produce circles in the boxes. The bottom of the niche has a toilet paper dispenser and two shelves for magazines. The installation is framed in ebony.

More clever places for the t.p.

Olive Juice Designs

“The husband actually wanted a vessel sink, that was tricky — we had a space saver,” Konjicek-Segundo says. She found this one through San Francisco’s DJ Mehler and had it imported from France. Mounting the faucet into the side instead of between the vessel and the wall saves space. A built-in pub for a hand towel stored them from cluttering up the wall with you. “During big parades in my clients’ street, people knock on the door and ask to use the restroom,” Konjicek-Segundo says. “Once they see it, they frequently call out to their buddies in the street and say ‘You’ve got to come see this!'”

Your turn: Please inform us about your creative house remodeling project below.

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A Seattle Remodel Channels Palm Springs

You often hear about a house being really well constructed, and that was definitely the case with this remodeled 1908 Craftsman. However, “well constructed” and “nicely laid out” are two completely different things. “The entire way it had been set up prevented you from getting any link to the view over Ballard, a really adorable neighborhood in Seattle,” says designer and architect Charlene Wilson, of Portal Design, “or any link whatsoever to the backyard.”

Wilson states that Lots of the inspiration for the house came from the lifestyle in Palm Springs, California. The homeowners have a holiday house there, and Wilson spent some time with them in the desert and went to occasions during the city’s yearly Modernism Week.

One of the things that they enjoy about Palm Springs is the capacity to live inside and outside, not something you can do in Seattle. “The sense of being able to stream from inside to outside was one of the chief drivers in renovating this house,” states Wilson.

at a Glance
Who lives here: 2 engineers
Location: Seattle
Size: 2,100 square feet on two floors, and a 180-square-foot attic; 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths
That is interesting: The Ballard neighborhood of Seattle was full of tiny homes, because the region is very sloped and the lots are rather narrow.

Portal Design Inc

The house includes a reverse floor plan, with the bedrooms and baths on the first floor and an open kitchen, living room and dining space, and a half bath, on the second degree.

For your second floor, Wilson purposefully remained with fundamental finishes that could be timeless — walnut flooring, white kitchen cabinets along with a marble kitchen island. “But we also wanted to introduce some whimsy to the plan,” she says. “We implemented wallpaper over the credenza from the sofa, but to a small area so that it is easily changed later on.”

The aquamarine-blue touches reminded Wilson and her clients of Palm Springs. “It had been one of those things we saw on a lot of house tours, and it just stuck,” says Wilson, “combined with the usage of timber on ceilings.”

Gray couch: EQ3; round glass table: classic, Eileen Gray; cushions: Waverly Small Talk Accent; carpeting: Andalusia, West Elm; dining table: handmade by Amish furniture makers in Ontario, Canada; Shell Chairs: Eames; yellow seats: classic, Area 51; white couch: classic; acrylic tables: Gus Timber; hanging light fixture: black Tom Dixon Beat Light Broad; credenza: custom design by Charlene Wilson, fabricated by 7 Hills Design; background: Flavor Paper Scrubs on Gold Pony Skin Foil; wall sconces over credenza, (on background): SuperOrdinate Antler Sconce, Design Within Reach

Portal Design Inc

The look of the front elevation was influenced by the website’s sloping nature. “We created a pop-out over the garage that’s clad in metal and balances that facet of the house,” states Wilson. She also added quite a few new windows to allow as much light as you possibly can.

The green part of the facade is Hardie board panels, and the gray is Hardie board siding. The existing porch has been torn down and replaced with one with a ceiling made of cedar car decking — a component that’s also used inside the house on some of the ceiling on the second floor — along with a stainless steel door.

“Since the lot is so intense,” Wilson says, “we had to create quite a few transitions to get from the driveway upward, from the sidewalk up, and have that link to have the ability to go across the side of the house to the backyard.”

Portal Design Inc

The stairs are in the same place as they were in the first house, but inside their previous incarnation they have been completely submerged. “What we decided to do in an effort to not completely demolish the house, and do too many structural alterations, was to utilize a steel frame after the walls have been eliminated,” states Wilson. “By doing that we were able to keep the members much smaller.”

She adds, “We also really liked the modern aesthetic of the painted steel with timber offsets.” The stair treads are parallel strand lumber, and the railing, using stainless steel wires, was custom made by Portal Design and fabricated by its own builder.

Portal Design Inc

The kitchen island is topped with marble and clad in gray lacquer over medium-density fiberboard (MDF). The timber toe kick is walnut, to match the ground. The art is from Shag from Palm Springs.

Bar stools: CB2; pendants: Tech Lighting Pele Pendants; refrigerator: Architect Series, KitchenAid

Portal Design Inc

The walnut wrap around the left side of the refrigerator frames from the white cabinets. “The idea was to create a furniture type of appearance, where there’s a border of walnut revealing, and offsetting that with the white lacquer,” states Wilson.

The little cupboard over the sink is tied to the cupboard to its left and then jumps up to create an enclosure to the stove hood. “The exhaust tube that comes out of the stove hood is unsightly, but on account of the roof slope we weren’t able to highlight it how you normally would using a stainless steel hood,” states Wilson.

She adds, “So that box was produced to hide the hood, along with the squarish cupboard to the right is its counterbalance. It was just one of those things born of necessity.” The stairs to the right lead up to the attic office.

Range: 30-inch gas, Wolf; countertops: Caesarstone

Portal Design Inc

The plan of the master bedroom again reflects Wilson’s effort to keep things that were going to be permanent as impartial as possible. “There’s a lot of light in the house, and about the headboard wall we wanted a great neutral to dark color,” states Wilson. “We decided that hot gray partly because it’s a simple color to decorate with as a backdrop. You can throw anything against it, and it’s going to look fantastic.”

Since the master bathroom is buried a bit in the center of the house, Wilson used a frosted glass panel from the shower allowing more daylight to creep into the bathroom.

Bed: Min Bed with Plexi Headboard, Design Within Reach; linens: Ironwork, West Elm; lamp, table at left: classic; lamp on shelf: Tube Top, Design Within Reach; art: Creamsicles print, Crate & Barrel; wall paint: Chelsea Gray HC-168, Benjamin Moore

Portal Design Inc

For the primary toilet, Wilson decided to possess the backsplash go from the top of the counter to the ceiling to accent the alcove. This also plays to the verticality of the mirror, which includes inside lights on either side.

The blue part of the vanity is lacquered MDF, although the timber elements here and about the bathtub surround are walnut.

Backsplash: Seattle Tile Company; countertop: Caesarstone; sink: Vero, Duravit; faucet: Metris, Hansgrohe; bathtub: Paiova, Duravit; rain showerhead: Arzo, Delta; floors: Fiel Obsidian Black (12 by 24), Seattle Tile Company

Portal Design Inc

A deck opens off the main living area and cantilevers over a little addition Wilson added to enlarge the master bedroom. The awning is frosted acrylic and was custom made.

Outdoor fireplace: Modfire

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What's Your New Year's Resolution for Your House?

January 1 provides us with a proverbial blank slate, but it frequently brings an accompanying sense of dread. It is time for New Year’s resolutions, but instead of dealing with yet another diet or costly gym membership, deliver your resolutions home this year. Committing to enhancing your home (and we’re not only talking about decluttering) could dramatically improve your quality of life.

We would like to know: What New Year’s resolutions are you making for your property?

Molly Brandenburg

Maybe you only need to appreciate your home more and feel genuinely happy in it. That could mean eventually picking a new color for your living room.

Molly Brandenburg

Is peace of mind high in your list? Something as straightforward as getting a fresh key rack to keep your house keys in the exact same spot could cut down on stress. Or perhaps you would like to be sure to have a safer house this past year. Installing fresh smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and updating your disaster kit may be great ways to begin.

Finances are often a big area of overhaul in a brand new year — how are you going to make yours work for your property? For many, it will mean using rebates; for others it will mean turning the water heater a top notch and taking ecofriendly considerations into consideration.

Molly Brandenburg

Of course, there is the nonresolution route too. Selecting not to do something can be as effective as doing something. Maybe it’s deciding not to spend some more money on your own living space, or creating a conscious decision to not worry about the little things, and allowing the home get somewhat messy during the week. It might only be a matter of sitting back, relaxing and trimming your house (and yourself!) Just a slack.

Which are your house resolutions for next year? Share them in the Remarks section below — your thought may wind up in a featured ideabook.

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The Easiest, Most You StandMake

Should cake have all of the fun? Cake stands can display a number of different foods, such as fruits, snacks, candy and cupcakes, serving as great sandwiches and figurines to your own parties. So if you’re hosting a holiday resort, birthday party or baby shower, or simply have a celebratory event, repurpose your secondhand or flea market finds into a delightful way to elevate your yummy treats. All you will need is a hot-glue gun along with some sturdy dishes to mix and match. Below are four stand styles.

Rikki Snyder

Bold colours and Fun Shapes

Utilize your cake rack to display fresh seasonal fruit. Add bright color to a tabletop or a room by choosing vibrant colors. Try using unexpected contours, such as oval platters.

Rikki Snyder


Glue gun
Extra glue sticks
Inexpensive bowls and platters of various shapes and fashions

Tip: make certain the bowls you select are wide enough to support your dish, therefore it’s going to be sturdy and can support the weight of their meals.

Rikki Snyder

Apply a thin coat of glue on the bottom rim of this bowl or mug (the base of this cake rack). Work fast; hot glue dries fast.

Tip: You can take your cake stands apart again later, if you wish. Just place them in the freezer for a half hour to shrink and harden the glue, which makes it effortless to peel off. You might even use craft putty as a temporary, reusable option.

Rikki Snyder

The moment the layer of glue was applied, center on the base the plate or platter that is going to be the cover of the cake rack. Press lightly and maintain it for a few seconds while the glue is setting. Permit the glue to dry for at least a half an hour prior to using or moving your cake rack.

Rikki Snyder

Experiment with platter shapes and heights for variety across your desk.

Tip: The glue should maintain your cake stand together for several celebratory occasions if you take care of the piece correctly. After use, carefully wash the rack with warm water.

Rikki Snyder

Soft, Muted Colors

Trendy color combinations like this muted chopped yellow and grey provide a blank canvas for the treats.

Rikki Snyder

Cupcakes and cake alike will glow on these impromptu cake stands. Combine your favorite colors to make an enticing palette to your dessert table. These colors nicely complement chocolate frosting.

Rikki Snyder

Blues and Whites

You would not use your grandma’s precious china, but put flea market finds to good use by mixing classic cups and plates at a color scheme of your own choice.

Rikki Snyder

A massive plate to the base will provide additional sturdiness in addition to more room for treats. You can experiment with stacking additional tiers without glue; just be certain the plate can support the food things.

Rikki Snyder

If your event comes with a theme, decorate with an intentional color scheme, such as this yellow, white and blue one used for a buffet-style tea station. Utilize your tiered cake rack to display cookies.

Rikki Snyder

Rikki Snyder

Classic White

Using a wide-mouthed bowl since the base for this cake rack creates a simple but sleek look. Use tall glasses paired with curved bowls to display colorful snacks in your next birthday party.

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Find the Ideal Cooktop for Your Kitchen

When designing the work places in the kitchen, having a cooktop that’s separate from the toaster or toaster allows for greater flexibility. Choosing the right cooktop takes some study, however. Gas and electrical have been the two normal offerings, and while traditional gas cooktops stay a favorite choice, you may choose to look beyond them along with the familiar electrical coil alternative and consider electrical or radiant warmth. You could also search for different sizes, from streamlined 30-inch ranges to ones that are 48 inches or larger, in addition to different bells and whistles. Last, you can even set up individual modular cooktops that permit you to personalize your installation or create a separate place for steaming food or cooking with a wok.

In my opinion, it is really hard to compare gas and electric cooktops, because they’re such different cooking encounters — it is like trying to compare a grill into a griddle. But no matter what your taste, here’s a simple guide to the options.

Darren James Interiors

Induction and radiant electric cooktops. It can be hard, or even impossible, to tell the difference between an induction cooktop and a luminous electric cooktop by simply looking at them. They frequently look exactly the same, with sleek ceramic glass surfaces rather than vulnerable coil rings.

The main difference between the two is how they provide warmth. An induction cooktop uses an electromagnetic field that heats the cooking vessel rather than the cooktop itself. Induction cooktops heat up instantly and offer very precise temperature control. Induction-compatible cookware is usually necessary for induction cooking.

A radiant cooktop heats and cools down slowly, similar to a traditional oven. It doesn’t need specialized cookware. Even though it is not generally as well-known as a gas cooktop, lots of professional cooks favor it.

Thermador Home Appliances

Masterpiece Series Induction Cooktop

Circles indicating the place of these “burners” are often found on both the induction and radiant cooktops, even though there are sleek options in which the black ceramic glass appears to have no markings in any way.

Luck Stone Center

Gas cooktops. Traditional gas cooktops are still preferred by most, because using a visible flame lets you control the heat output more precisely. Another difference between gas cooktops and electrical ones is that gas cooktop power is measured in BTUs (British thermal units).


KitchenAid 30-Inch 4-Burner Gas Cooktop – $999

Drop-in gas cooktops. Drop-in gas cooktops sit on top of the counter. They traditionally have control knobs at the top also. Most drop-in gas cooktops have sealed burners and are not as strong as their range-top alternatives. They’re usually 30 or 36 inches wide and offer a burner choice simply, not the integrated grills or griddles that can be found in range-top options.

Mike Smith / Artistic Kitchens

Gas range shirts. A gas range top is different from a drop-in cooktop since it appears like a range that’s overlooking the oven. They traditionally have control knobs on front apron rather than on top. Gas range shirts are often more powerful than their cooktop counterparts, using much more BTUs.

Range tops typically include the same cooking surface structures as their range alternatives. A 30-inch model generally includes four burners, exactly like a typical range will, while larger sizes offer more options, such as griddles and grills. These components frequently offer a particular simmer burner too. Some manufacturers permit you to pick from open or closed burner options.

Range shirts with griddles or grills included usually start at a 36-inch dimensions and move around 48- and 60-inch versions. The arrangement of these burners is usually customizable. A 36-inch range top has a 12-inch griddle, whereas a 48-inch or larger one may have the choice of a 24-inch griddle.

AJ Madison

Wolf SRT484FX 48-Inch Pro-Style Gas Range Top

A couple of manufacturers offer a 48-inch range top using a French shirt, which has concentric rings involving the burners. These rings disperse heat across the entire area they occupy, with the hottest spot in the center and the cooler regions on the borders. This allows you to simmer, cook sauces slowly and have a couple of distinct pots on the outside at the same time.


BlueStar Heritage Classic Range Top

This range shirt has a exceptional characteristic: a raised griddle and broiler in a single. It is a fantastic choice if you want both options without giving up the leftovers.

SH insides

Modular cooktops. Independent, single-function cooktops are wonderful for smaller kitchens and also allow for more flexibility at a larger kitchen. They generally come in 12-, 15- or 24-inch sizes. Options include standard gas burners, a wok stove, grills, induction burners and steamers.


Gaggenau Vario Cooktops

You can combine independent cooktops to produce your own custom large-scale cooktop or separate different elements into independent cooking channels.

Just one countertop steamer is very popular with those looking for healthier cooking options.

Sub-Zero and Wolf

Wolf 15-Inch Integrated Cooktops – $1,570

Another steamer, grill or induction cooktop in addition to a traditional gas range is many a home cook’s ultimate dream installation.

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