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How are Bathroom Remodeling and Making the perfect Cheesecake the same?

I once had a client who wanted me to finish their architectural plan set for a bathroom remodel with some key homeowner decisions incomplete. For instance, they were uncertain if they wanted a spa tub or a standard drop in tub, and were uncertain if they did want recessed medicine cabinets plus the location of lights: sconce lights on the mirror at eye level or a wall mounted fixture above the mirror. All of these things may seem trivial and not important but the devil in the details.

Details. Yes, these little annoying questions and details can make or break your remodel and your pocket book. As I thought about how to explain the significance of knowing most all your answers of material, layout, style before demolition work begins,  my best explanation was cheesecake. Yes, let me compare how making the perfect cheesecake and remodeling are similar. Read more

Superbowl Sunday = Need for Perfect Man Chair

Was Archie Bunker’s easy chair the first incarnation of the Man Chair? Perhaps you want to surprise him the perfect Man Chair. Where do you start? Or you are the guy wanting to take the lead on finding that one chair that you claim as your own. My first piece of advice is open up your sources and set no deadlines. If it’s Monday and you want this chair for this weekend’s Superbowl Sunday, sorry but you are likely setting yourself up for failure. If you are at the Furniture Bazaar Warehouse for their one-day special sale, you are limiting your options and will regret it in the long term. Read more

Expand, Contract

Do you remember the first place that you called “yours?” Mine, it was a small and old Victorian in a not so good part of town that I shared with a housemate. I started with only a futon mattress on the floor, peach and black colored plastic milk crates stacked on their sides as a makeshift open face dresser and a garage-sale playpen served as a crib for my very young son. It was all I could afford and I had no other furniture to my name. Read more

Ten Minutes of HOMEage

As we finish up the year of 2011, many people wonder what their new “resolution” should be for the year 2012. In the Mayan world, there was talk about the end of the world, as we know it in 2012. Perhaps, that is the new resolution for you and your surroundings, “as we know it.”

In the world of Feng Shui, the Chinese 2,000 year old study of human life and their environment. there are a few overall principles. The one that most resonates with me is the principle that “all things are alive”. This means that all people, animals, plants, things have vital energy in our world. You might quickly dismiss this notion of “all things are alive” but what does that look like in your home, your sanctuary? Read more

Outside the Bedroom Window

Your bedroom, the place of rest and restoration. It’s your most personal space inside the home.  It’s no surprise that when we are rested, we operated better during the day. We are able to present our best selves to others and the world. Let’s start the morning entry into the world. What do you see when you wake up and look around? Is there any daylight at all? If not, once you get a shade cracked or a light on, settle yourself back in bed and glance around, all the way around. What do you see? Are the items and arrangements of all the things that are a personal reflection of who you really are? Are there objects that inspire you or bring up a fond memory? Is your favorite color present? Can you see a piece of artwork that you are fond of? Let’s explore ways to ensure your most personal space indeed reflects and recharges the most personal parts of you. Read more

Home on the Yoga Mat

Mine is purple, made of jute and recycled rubber and a gift from a yogi friend. When my mat is cold, my hands and feet slide in Downward Dog. This mat needs to warm up, mimicking me at the start of a yoga practice. I love my yoga mat because it reminds me of the simplest expression of home. The four corners define my space. It is the essence of what I need to sit, lay or stand for some period of time.

I have a yoga instructor who says, “What you need to worry about is only you and your mat, everything else around you is none of your business.” There are times I have been to that class where you are packed in like sardines. Yes, I worry about how we are all going to “Flip the Dog” and not clobber your neighbor from legs flying through the air. And the guy next to me seems to be breathing particularly loud today. How will I focus? Read more

When to Add Vintage or Reclaimed?

It’s the green thing to do. Re-use or resurrect an old discarded item and invigorate new life and purpose into it. When does it make sense to use a reclaimed item in your design scheme? Surprisingly, the answer is almost always. For instance, many of the reclaimed materials go well with a modern and clean look. The naturalness of the material compliments a simple design. In a more traditional kitchen setting, a large whitewash root bowl or platter suggests fresh ingredients. Most importantly, find a reclaimed or vintage item that evokes a strong positive reaction inside of you and you’ll be happy to see it as walk into the room. Read more