Sunday, February 27, 2011

Entryway envy

So...this week I was doing some research on entryways and stairs.  I found some really grand entryways and some very unique stairs.  I did not realize how many different things could be done to stairs to make them more interesting. 
This entryway is a very open and inviting space.  The tile work with the design on the floor adds a nice detial.  Having the arch shaped door and windows that surround it create a nice change from the typical door.  The columns that create a break between the entryway and the dining room are a nice touch instead of a plain wall.  Above, the chandelier casts a warm glow on all who enter. 
These stairs are really neat.  Instead of being so bulky and taking up so much space the floating stairs are open and allow a line of sight right through them.  These also allow for all of the space underneath the stairs to be used.  Normally a closet or maybe a powder room would be all that could fit. 
These tree railings are a natural touch to bring the outdoors in.  They create an organic feel instead of having a chunky railing that doesn't lend much to the decor of the room.  So many options are available.  Look around and see what you can find, or better yet, use your imagination!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fun Aquariums

I came across some cool ideas for aquariums recently, so I thought I would share some.  It just goes to show you that you don't have to have a typical rectangular aquarium in a room, it can be a part of the design. 
This is a bathroom sink that is an aquarium.  This sink would be a fantastic addition to any bathroom, especially one with an underwater theme.  Can you imagine the conversation piece this could become if you put it in a guest bathroom?!  This would go very well in my dolphin themed bathroom!
A perfect match for the aquarium bathroom sink is the aquarium tank on the toilet!  That tank is much nicer looking than a typical porcelain ones we normally see.  This piece would definitely add some interest to a normally invisible item in the bathroom.
This table would be a great idea for a casual seafood restaurant.  Maybe a lower version with some chairs instead of stools and it could be put in a nicer restaurant.  This would be a step away from the typical lobster tank at eye level that is seen at a lot of seafood restaurants now. 
Any piece of furniture can be converted to an aquarium, including an old computer monitor!  This aquarium is becoming very popular.  They call it an imacquarium.  What a cool way to re-purpose something that we would normally throw away.  I will keep these unique aquariums in my arsenal for my clients that request an aquarium to add a little pizazz. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Think Summer

This week I, once again, got my inspiration from The Family Handyman magazine.  This month they have a patio pergola as their do-it-yourself project.  Here in Texas, the majority of the time, we spend a lot of time outside.  In the summer months it is harder to do that with the sun beating down on us.  A pergola is a great way to give partial shade to an area without cutting the beautiful sunshine completely.  With a pergola, vines could be coaxed to climb it to provide a more natural environment that blends more into the outdoors.  Adding to our living space by creating a usable outdoor area is a great way to enjoy the normally fabulous weather that Texas offers.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Camouflage Televisions

I was at Michael's this week getting a piece of my artwork matted in the custom frame shop.  While I was standing there waiting a small flyer caught my eye.  It was how to use a custom frame to put around your flat screen television.  I have seen this done on the decorating shows on the television before but never really looked into it.  So I decided to do a little research to find out more. 
This frame is one example of a custom frame from Michael's.  I found a website called  This site has so many more ideas than just putting a frame around the television to disguise it.  Artwork that moves out of the way when you turn the television on is one example.  Another choice is to have a mirror where the television is when it is off, with this nothing moves, the glass is a special kind of glass that allows the picture to show through with no distortion when the television is on. 
This artwork is one of the choices that is offered on  An artist can use their own artwork instead if they can make a digital copy of it.  A family portrait could also be used, for example, with the photographer's written permission.  With the technology of flat screen televisions and this unique way to camouflage them the ugly television no longer has to be the focal point of the room.  The television can be hidden away and a beautiful piece of artwork takes its place until the television turns on. 

Kitchen organization ideas

This week...after the roads cleared up...I headed to Home Depot to check out the kitchen cabinets.  A well organized kitchen is necessary for us to be able to function well and safely while preparing our meals.  I spoke with the person in the kitchen department and asked about any new kitchen organization that was available for cabinets.  She gave me a Thomasville catalog that is strictly devoted to cabinet organization units.  She also said that is THE place to go to get organization ideas, not just for the kitchen but for closets, bathrooms, anywhere you can think of. 
This Lazy Susan is one example of a way to organize things more efficiently in a cabinet.  This type of shelf swings out to allow easy access to an otherwise hard to get to cabinet.  Notice that the door folds out of the way too.  No more having a cabinet that you can't use because you can't reach into it easily.  Lazy Susans come in different finishes and materials depending on your cabinets. 
This cabinet has a door that pulls out with shelves attached to it.  Shelves like this are much more convenient instead of multiply drawers or doors to look through.  Easy access is available from two sides.  Organization would be much easier with these shelves.  The shelves are as deep as your cabinets and can be custom made to whatever width you choose. 
Pull out shelves in a bottom cabinet allow for easier access.  Instead of having to bend way down to see what is in your cabinet just pull out the shelf.  This idea would also work well in a Universal Design to allow easier access for someone in a wheelchair.  These shelves are as deep as your cabinets.  You can custom order them to the width of your choice.
I thought these small shelves mounted on the inside of a door would be a great idea to replace a spice rack.  Spice racks take up counter space, this way you could save your valuable counter space for some kind of neat kitchen gadget.  These shelves would also be good for small items that tend to disappear in the big cabinet.  These ideas are just a few that Home Depot had on display.  Check out the website I suggested for many more ideas.  Organize your kitchen so you can enjoy creating in it. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Simply Color

This week I was introduced to a fun restaurant.  The name of it is Zoe's Kitchen.  The architecture of the restaurant is very simple.  They use geometric shapes and lots of bright color.  The ceiling is left open to all of the duct work which gives the restaurant a casual industrial look. 
The colors are very bright and energetic.  Stripes of varying sizes are on the walls.  Oranges, reds, greens, and blues are used to add fun and interest to the restaurant.  Below the stripes shown in the picture above is a spot where local schools can put up their artwork.  Zoe's Kitchen then sells the artwork and the money that is raised is given to the charity of the school's choice.  What a fun way to give back to the community. 

This is one of the lighting fixtures in the restaurant.  Simple repetitive globes hanging from a cylinder but so interesting.  An orange color is on the cylinder to pull some of the color off the walls onto the ceiling.  Use bold energetic colors in your home.  Make it yours.  Do what you like. 
Until next week...