Saturday, April 19, 2014

Home Bike Storage

Cycle Solutions
There are always trends in real estate - home saunas, wet bars, mud rooms... Some of these fads last the test of time, while others become obsolete. 
A trend, of late, is that more home buyers are looking for bike storage. While homes in the suburbs often have garages to store bicycles, those of us who live in urban areas are a bit more space challenged. However, ingenious bike storage is popping up everywhere!

The Bike as a Home Accessory

bike storing shelf Most Practical and Creative Bike Storage Idea
Some storage solutions turn a bike into a work of art.

Looking for a more tucked away solution, inside the house?

Outdoor solutions!
Small Storage Shed for Bikes Trimetals Metal Bicycle Store Bike Shed   Metal Sheds GEFZcCxt
You can purchase this outdoor solution.

Since Jakes had two brand new bikes stolen in a 3 month time span.. this is perfect. Bike Storage | Sept 2010 012 by Treesaurus, via Flickr

I am hoping this is one trend that will stand the test of time!

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!
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