Bright colours and playful accents such as the spool “hooks” and hook rug bench give this mudroom its sunny disposition. But good looks aren’t enough. A mudroom also has to be easy to clean and resistant to the muck and rain that comes with spring’s weather. Opt for floors in natural stone (slate and limestone are gorgeous) or honed ceramics. Avoid flat paint which is difficult to clean. And have plenty of storage to keep clutter out of sight.
Always ready to serve, the humble closet has so much potential as a design element. Ready to ditch those drab “builder’s special” closet doors? Dabble has three stylishly innovative solutions to give your entrance closet the welcome attention it deserves.
Who knew anything labelled “barn” could be so sleek and modern? This industrial stainless steel barn door provides simple sliding closet access. Backpainted glass offers a gentle glow from reflecting sunlight and sultry sparkle at night.
Dabble Savvy: Tempered glass is heavy. To accommodate the weight load, it’s critical to provide appropriate blocking (support) inside walls.
Ditch the Doors
Who says there has to be a closet in the foyer? This quick and easy update takes the entry from blah to BLAM. Remove the original doors and add a bench, providing a soft landing for changing shoes. We’ve added hooks on either side of the alcove to flaunt seasonal necessities.
Dabble Savvy: If you require storage, swap out the bench for a 3-drawer chest or even an armoire.
Design Tip: Choose a highly patterned rug for an entry to hide everyday dirt.Instead of art, try a large floor mirror behind the bench to give the illusion of more space.
Create an elegant entrance by backing tempered glass doors with a black and white image on vinyl film. The high contrast between black walls and photographic doors puts this focal point in sharp focus.
Dabble Savvy: For traditional spaces, search architectural salvage shops for interesting and original doors as an alternative to glass.
Tips to Planning a Bathroom Renovation:
– A bathroom may be a small space, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy to do.
– If you’re buying a bathtub, make sure you sit in the one you are going to purchase beforehand to see if it is comfortable.
– Collect images from Pinterest and Houzz and then determine a realistic budget.
– Determine which trades you will need and when (plumber, tiler, electrician, vanity maker, etc.)
– Remember to keep a 10-20% contingency fee for unforeseen problems.
For more of Kimberley’s tips on planning a bathroom renovation visit Cityline.
Set courtesy Ginger’s.
Author: Kimberley Seldon
All over the world, consumers are discovering the merits of the small space lifestyle, abandoning the work and burdensome expense that goes with living in a “McMansion” in favor of the elegance and practicality of living in cozier spaces. From young homeowners who have rediscovered the joys of loft-style homes in the city , to empty-nesters who prefer smaller, more manageable living spaces, millions of homeowners have migrated to the “not-so-big” style of living.
500 Ideas for Small Spaces is a practical guide featuring 500 real-life remodeling, organizing, and decorating tips for making a truly small home look and function better. Today, living in a small home isn’t a compromise, it is the preferred choice for growing numbers of homeowners.
Chatelaine design expert Kimberley Seldon recommends looking for double-duty pieces, for instance a console table that can expand into a dining room table, or an ottoman that provides extra storage for your files or books.
Originally aired on Cityline.ca on February 26, 2013.
Step 1: Assess Your Needs
Personal clothing preferences and knowledge of the precise way you love to get dressed —socks and pants first, top last —paves the way to successful closet design. A passion for wool sweaters requires abundant shelving space while an obsession with dress shirts signals a need for additional double height hanging.
Step 2: Aim High
Take advantage of every square inch of available closet space and build floor to ceiling cabinetry. Labelling boxes or bins with content details makes the hunt for that once-a-year Derby hat a breeze, even if it’s on a top shelf.
Step 3: Deep and Wide
Varying shelving depths maximizes space and function. Hanging storage requires 26″ of depth while shelves for folded items are best when limited to 16″. If you are updating or changing closets, it’s a good idea to measure the existing linear footage of hanging space and adjust accordingly. If possible, allow an additional 12″ for anticipated shopping sprees and door crasher sales.
Step 4: Beware—Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Misplaced workout gear? No more excuses. If you can’t see it, you won’t wear it, so position popular items at eye level for easy access and store offseason pieces up high. Open storage is essential for keeping tabs on a frequently changing wardrobe.
Step 5: Light it Up
Natural light in a closet is ideal, allowing you to distinguish between black and blue socks before heading out the door. When a window or skylight is not an option, invest in a quality lighting plan to eliminate the dreaded ‘dressed in the dark’ look.
Step 6: Measure Up
Put that tape measure to work and note lengths and depths of items to store. For example, men’s dress shirts require a minimum height of 40″ and long dresses generally need 70″-72″. Shoe sizes vary, but a minimum depth of 11″ is ideal.
Step 7: Adjust as Needed
Seasons change, and so does fashion. Thank goodness for adjustable shelves that offer the flexibility to store boots and flip-flops without wasting space.
Step 8: Take Stock
Purge seasonally to weed out clothing not worn during the past year. Donate gently used items, and consign finer pieces, to gain closet space and peace of mind.
Step 9: Group Like Items
Relieve early morning frustration by stacking and hanging like items together. Colour coordinating facilitates quick location of favourite items and keeps the closet neat and stylish looking. Remember, an organized closet means easier outfit planning.
Step 10: Hang It Up
Prolong the life of garments by using appropriate hangers. Use padded ones for delicate items, plastic for dress shirts, and sturdy wooden hangers for jackets and blazers.
From crib to bunk to full-sized bed, kids’ bedrooms change often. Nyla Free says forget the themes and embrace your child’s interests and age to create a child-worthy bedroom that feels just right.
Step 1: Age Appropriate
Think bold and graphic prints for teens and whimsical patterns for little ones. However, before budgeting, consider that most children feel the urge to redecorate every three to five years.
Step 2: Light Control
A dimmer switch sets the mood for bedtime and provides a soft nightlight when required. Covering windows with blackout lined drapery keeps sunlight out when it’s time to sleep.
Step 3: More than a Bed
Bedrooms aren’t just for resting tired eyes. Add a cozy chair for reading, desk for homework and ensure appropriate floor space so there’s room to stretch out and play.
Step 4: Make it Personal
Display photos of friends, keepsakes and personal artwork to create a unique showcase, honouring individual style. Make sure to include a space for bragging rights, where involvement in activities and sports is given its due.
Step 5: Storage Wars
Bring the words ‘neat and tidy’ to the forefront of your kids’ minds. Make cleanup and organization trouble free with bins and buckets, bookcases and boxes.
Step 6: Think Longevity
Purchasing classic pieces now saves money later. Bedding and paint colours are easy changes to make as kids grow, but you’ll thank yourself in years to come for investing in furniture with staying power.
Step 7: Save and Splurge
Incorporating vintage finds like a telephone stand as a bedside table adds interest and doesn’t break the bank. Splurge on investment pieces such as a good quality bed they’ll have for years and statement items for impact.
Step 8: Boost the Fun Factor
A stylish mix of patterns, colour and texture ensures a ‘not so serious’ approach to children’s room design.
Step 9: Room to Grow
Adapt to growth spurts and ever changing needs by purchasing furniture to grow into. A queen size bed will see young scholars through college while a full size chair snuggles two kids early and one as she grows big and tall.
Step 10: Involve the Kids
Get the creative juices flowing by asking about colour preferences and hobbies. Invite kids to participate in selections by narrowing down options to two choices mom can live with.
There’s nothing like the scent of a wood burning fire to make the winter seem friendlier. Here are three stylish ways to stack, store and style firewood. One is sure to kindle your creativity.
Stack it Modern
This sleek white Corian log holder from Constantine Interiors is practical and stylish enough for even the most devout modernista. The slim form handsomely corrals dozens of logs, keeping them close at hand.
Stack it High
The discrete wall niche keeps a steady supply of logs neatly in place and nearby throughout the winter. This type of built-in storage solution is an ideal option if you are building from scratch or have limited floor space.
Stack it Stylishly
Purists love the ease and simplicity of this simple storage method. Gather a small stack of logs into a tight bundle, then wrap with twine or a decorative ribbon. Adorn with fresh greens and decorative elements, such as the beaded berries we chose, to create a festive, holiday arrangement.
Design Tips: Reuse last year’s ribbon for an earth friendly approach. Use birch logs to add a touch of winter white. Have an old leather belt lying around? Use it to bundle your logs for a more masculine look.
Piles of ‘stuff’ and no place to hide. What´s a designer to do? Built-in cabinetry is a popular solution says Dabble design contributor Nyla Free, but it’s also a pricey undertaking. Make sure you get it right the first time by following our step by step guide to custom millwork.
Step 1: Determine the Purpose
Shelving can be built virtually anywhere, so deciding what needs to be stored is the key to getting started. TVs, books, toys and clothing all have certain considerations when planning depths and heights in your shelving. So determining which items, how many, and what their sizes are takes you to the next step.
Step 2: Measure the Space
Whether it’s one wall or many, careful measurements must be taken in order to proceed with laying out the space. Measuring the wall along with window, door, outlet and switch locations is essential.
Step 3: Consider Details
Want to store books? You’ll need a minimum of 13” depth. However larger art or ‘coffee table’ books may require more depth. If hanging clothes or seasonal coats, allow 24-28” for closet depth. Need a place to organize stacks of paper? You’ll need 20” of depth for legal files and 14” for letter. Research toy bins and storage boxes according to your needs as they come inall shapes and sizes and your shelves can be customized accordingly.
Step 4: Sketch it
Put pencil to paper to determine the merit of your initial idea. A quick sketch allows you to visualize the new storage space before it’s built. Do you need open shelves, closed doors, cubbies and drawers? What will yours look like?
Step 5: Call your Carpenter
You’ve got a plan and you’re ready to go. Time to call a carpenter and review details. There may be structural limitations that affect the overall design so consulting an expert eliminates surprises down the road.
Step 6: Deciding on materials
Painted cabinetry gives you the option to choose any colour. You can paint MDF (medium density fiberboard) or wood. MDF, although less expensive is easy to chip and harder to repair. Wood is a pricier option but one that will last and is more forgiving whether stained or painted.
Step 7: Review with electrician
Outlets or switches on the wall where you’d like to add a built-in are no problem as they can easily be incorporated into the back or sides of the unit. Consider adding lighting to the top or even front face of the bookshelves as a decorative detail. Ensure the TV’s outlet is in the desired position and make sure to account for speaker height and depth.
Step 8: Detailed drawings
Ask a qualified interior designer to provide construction drawings, as they are an essential element to any built-in cabinetry project. Make sure all drawings are reviewed onsite with the cabinet maker to ensure best possible results.
Step 9: Time for the tools
With details firmly in place, construction can finally begin. Some carpenters build off-site and install upon completion. Others build in or close to the room and install as they go. Review your cabinet maker’s methods before project commences and you’ll avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary interruptions.
Step 10: Place items and enjoy
With construction complete and the dust swept away, let the organization begin.
A daily thoroughfare should be anything but everyday. Turn an often ignored hallway into a purposeful beauty with one of these three creative solutions.
This handsome console table is an ideal width for the niche in this long hallway, and it provides a spot to throw your keys at day’s end. Stretching from side to side, its driftwood grey colour is a lovely complement to the rugged stone floor. A large, cubist style painting titled “Mujer con Pez” (Woman with Fish) strikes a dramatic pose between the black shaded sconces.
Design Tip: Change white lamp shades to black to create a more dramatic, formal look.
When storage is at a premium, take advantage of available floor and wall space. To capture vertical storage, position a tall bookshelf or étagère (similar to a bookshelf, an étagère is an open shelving unit meant for display) against the hallway wall. Now, decorative objects such as the antique wooden boxes, leather books, and personal mementos are in clear view.
Design Tip: An étagère’s open back allows wall colour to become part of the display.
Gallery Style Art Wall
A series of mismatched stools becomes part of the dynamic art display on a bare hallway wall. To create a similar grouping, measure available wall space, considering fixed features such as sconces or light switches. Cut a piece of butcher’s paper to the required size and lay it on the floor. Position artwork in a pleasing composition, making sure outside edges line up with butcher’s paper edges and leaving 1″–3″ gaps between pieces. Next, using a ruler, determine exact placement of nail holes and mark spots on the paper. Finally, tape butcher’s paper onto wall and put nails through marked holes. Tear paper away and hang artwork.
Design Tip: Combine objects d’art with framed pieces for added interest.