Friday, April 11, 2014

Adding Small but Valuable Space

Mudroom Addition
Tripping over book bags? Using piles of coats to hold the mail? While things are not quite that bad at my house, I must admit I am dreaming of a mudroom addition. A charming solution to a whole host of issues, mudrooms can do more than store coats and backpacks. Consider what a perfect place to tuck a powder room (for quick clean up) and maybe a small closet for cleaning supplies and a vacuum...
The best part is mudrooms do not need to be large to solve a whole host of issues!
This small addition makes a huge impact, both inside and out.

Since they don't tend to be large, mudrooms are often inexpensive additions - See, my dream is not completely irrational!


On a row house, I envision some type of two story addition on the back of the house. Something that is reminiscent of an old sleeping porch.

Since the whole point of a mudroom is practicality, it would need tile floors. Black and white octagonal tiles would be great with my historic home and they wouldn't compete with the wood floors leading out from the kitchen.

Small spaces call for inventive solutions. Thinking sliding barn doors or pocket doors into a (my new but imaginary) powder room.

arched entry to mudroom closet

So many fabulous Mudroom ideas - real people need real mudrooms!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ceramic Painting - Part 2

Permanent Markers on Ceramics
With so many mass produced products, it is fun to create something unique.
A while back, I did a post about using permanent markers on ceramics to create one of a kind "painted dishes". It was a relatively simple project and the results were very rewarding.

However, a number of people have contacted me, with the same question: 
Is there anyway to erase if you make a mistake?  YES!
All you need are Q-tips and rubbing alcohol. Apply the alcohol to a Q-tip and carefully dab the mistakes you want removed. Be careful not to over soak the Q-tip. If you don't like anything you have drawn, just soak paper towels in alcohol and rub off the entire image!

Here are a few more examples of pieces I created last year.
Singe elements; one flower, one feather, one spider...  seem to work best on mugs. 

I have also been experimenting, using different gray markers with the black. I have been meaning to try out colored markers but just haven't had the time.

There are several non-toxic permanent markers available on the market. I generally use Slick Writers.

For more complete directions, check out my original Post on "ceramic painting".

Enjoy making your own creations!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bad Design Idea - Jack and Jill Rooms

Interior Design Public Service Announcement - 
Please Put an End to Jack and Jill Rooms!
As a Realtor, I see a lot of great home design ideas and unfortunately a number of bad ones.
Let me be clear, the resurgence of the Jack and Jill room, falls squarely into the category of 
"bad ideas".  If you are not familiar with the term, a Jack and Jill room refers to one that can be entered from two different areas.

This configuration is most commonly seen in bathrooms. However, no one wants to lock two doors when using the bathroom.
Put the door, the only door, entering into a bathroom in the hallway or in the bedroom, not both.

 The new trend is to have one door into a bedroom and another into a corridor, often right next to each other. Are we incapable of walking a few extra feet into a hall to enter a bathroom?

Sadly, not only do I encounter Jack and Jill bathrooms, I have seen Jack and Jill bedrooms and closets as well. Bathrooms, bedrooms, and closets are meant to be private areas. Creating two entries ruins any feeling of privacy! Just say "NO" to Jack and Jill rooms!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Basement Flooring Ideas

Flooring Down Under
Even basements that are "dry" run the risk of excess moisture. For this reason alone, much thought should be put into the selection of basement flooring. However, beyond the issue of moisture, there are other considerations: allergies, comfort, warmth, and maintenance.
I look for flooring options that are durable, low maintenance, and stands up well to water. While my preferences are fairly narrow, each flooring option offers a variety of styles.

Tile - Porcelain and Ceramic

Tile is versatile. It can look like wood.

Tile an take on an "old world"  feel.

Or, the look can be utterly modern. Pair it with rugs for warmth and comfort.


Concrete can be stained.

The stains can be applied in patterns.

In addition to staining, concrete can be scored to create a unique look.


Let your imagination run wild with this durable and eco-friendly flooring.

It comes in both tiles and sheets.

Flor Carpet Tiles

If you must have carpet, consider Flor carpet squares

They come in a variety of colors and patterns. However, if allergies are a consideration, carpet squares may not be the way to go.

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