3 Surprising Essential Tools for the Modern Architect

What do you believe architects do all day? Many people envision someone sitting before a drafting table, with pen, eraser and straightedge, drawing into the wee hours of night. Unlike this stereotype, most firms have substituted old-school drafting tables with state-of-the-art computers and applications that in many ways can outperform the old pen and paper on any particular day. But technology alone is not enough.

Dylan Chappell Architects

Now’s dwellings conserve energy, provide more functions in less space, promote a healthy lifestyle and are integrated with technologies, and also the ways architects are designing and constructing homes are changing too.

Educating yourself on various tools architects use and why can allow you to receive the ideal design fast and within your budget.


But before we get into computer applications, 3-D fly-through versions and photorealistic renderings, there are a couple basic qualities an architect should have, because even the most advanced gadget or software can’t compensate for their absence. Certain time-tested skills may make the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful architect.

Listening. Good listening skills might be the most important instrument in an architect’s arsenal. When I graduated from design school, I had fantasies of being a wonderful designer, showing and teaching people what great design looked like.

Well, those ancient (and naïve) ideas shortly fell by the wayside when I heard that being a fantastic architect isn’t about persuading people that my thoughts are great, but having the ability to listen to, understand and translate their thoughts into the ideal space for them.

Dylan Chappell Architects

Drawing. In spite of all of the modern technologies, no architect ought to be without a sketchbook or notepad. Being an architect is a lifelong dedication to studying, researching, discovering and experiencing buildings and spaces. You never know when you might come across fixture the perfect detail or merchandise. By always having a sketchbook on architects ensure that they will remember everything.

Although a professional’s sketchbook might have some remarkable drawings inside, it needs to be used mostly to keep tabs on clients’ thoughts and needs, somewhere to record goods, details, comments, to-dos, problems to resolve and imaginative answers. Taking detailed notes and listening well are the foundation of any project.

Z Gallerie

Experience. A seasoned architect is a key ingredient for a successful project, but experience comes only with time and dedication. I am not saying to trust just architects with grey hair, but ensure your architect has completed projects similar to yours. If you reside in an area which has long and complicated design inspection and permitting processes, make sure that he or she knows the ropes and isn’t spending your money and time on schooling.

A seasoned architect not just should know and understand local jurisdictions, vernacular styles and design guidelines, but also needs to be well traveled. Fantastic spaces aren’t only buildings but something you truly encounter. There is not any better way to understand distances or people better than by traveling and visiting the world. Fantastic design transcends style, and there is no substitute for the real item, therefore the more places your architect continues to be may influence favorably on your own design.


All the technologies in the world won’t be able to assist an architect come up with a excellent design without the three must-have attributes above.

However, a treasure trove of applications, products and technology is available to help the modern architect create additional ideas, better communication methods and interrogate presentations. Employing an architect who has strong fundamentals complemented with modern tools means you’ll be presented with better designs, have more options to select from, know what you’re getting before paying to have it constructed, and in the long run, receive the very best design for your lifestyle.

Next: Stay tuned for the next thing in an architect’s toolbox: Computer Aided Design (CAD) software.

More: Who Needs 3-D Design? 5 Reasons You Do | Locate an architect near you

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A volute is a spiral layout element often found on handrails of traditional staircases. Also called a whorl, it’s comparable to the unfurling scroll that is common in Greek architecture.

FGY Architects

The volute is the decorative turnout at the base of a staircase. In this picture the seam where the two combined handrail bits meet is known as the up ramp.

Lasley Brahaney Architecture + Construction

Volutes spiral into the right or to the left of the staircase depending on the placement of the baluster.

Image Design Stairs

The volute is an extravagant gesture adding personality to an otherwise linear staircase.

Siemasko + Verbridge

The coil of this volute can be simple, or it can be exaggerated, as with this wonderful piece of woodwork. When the handrail ends with a single twist, the detail is known as a turnout.

Advantage Contracting

Beneath this volute the curtail is visible. The curtail is the curved staircase tread which extends beyond the first step at the exterior of the baluster.

Solaris Inc..

The vertical rod that is more robust compared to the encompassing spindles is known as the volute newel, and it supports both the volute at its center.

Cairn Construction Inc..

Another option for a staircase landing is to simply use a large newel post, which is located at the beginning of the baluster and forgoes any spiraled woodwork.

LLC, Melaragno Design Company

Some newel posts have curved decorative components adorning them, like this ball finial.

Island Architects

This newel post and a volute are combined.

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Should You Move or Only Remodel?

Can you stay where you are and restore your current home or would you proceed to a different, possibly newer, home? How can you make that decision? Some will counsel you to leave that old home and buy something new. Others will say to tear it down and build brand new, while others will inform you to stay and remodel.

So just how can you create that go or no-go decision? What standards do you use to create a rational decision to stay put and renovate or proceed?

Below are some questions to ask yourself. Your replies will certainly help you choose your next move.

Dennison and Dampier Interior Design

How do you feel about your neighborhood? Is it a place you like? What about the neighbors? What about conveniences? Are you happy your children visit the local schools?

In sum, ensure the neighborhood is the right fit. Take to heart the old adage that you could always fix a home but you can not fix a locality.

Duo Dickinson, architect

Can there be some intangible quality to your house? Whilst not every home has a value beyond just offering refuge, many do. Whether it’s age or design or some other quality, a house that’s significance should not be subjected to the wrecking ball. Expanding, adapting and renovating these houses are certain ways to keep that significance alive for future generations.

Beckwith Group

Does renovating make fiscal sense? You will find a whole slew of factors to weigh when it comes to this question. If you’re renovating, there is not only the price of these renovations. There might very well be related costs, such as temporary living quarters while the home is under construction.

Additional costs will also be associated with moving (for instance, Realtor fees and decorating the new home).

Deciding whether to go or stay requires that you identify all the costs, not only the construction costs, before making a decision.

Before Photo

Northworks Architects and Planners

Does the existing home have good bones? Not every home is a good candidate for a renovation. While there could be a reason to reconstruct an older classic barn that is full of memories, a 20-year-old tract home with a failing base or another substantial flaw might not be a good candidate. So be certain that you check, or have a professional check, the bones of your home to see exactly what lies under those base cracks and less-than-level floors.

Howell Custom Building Group

How does the latest zoning restrictions affect the project? If your home is old, it might have been built under different, often more lax, zoning limitations.

While your home may suit you better throughout the benefits of those laxer limitations, a new home in its location might not. Evaluate elevation, distance to property lines, yard dimensions and so on to determine if saving the existing structure provides some benefits that would be lost if the home were razed.

Chang + Sylligardos Architects

Can I be patient and have fun with the project even when it is not going well? In any case, building a new custom home or renovating your current home will require you to make hundreds of choices. From the macro, like just how large and how much, to the micro, like exactly what hardware you would like on the kitchen cabinets, you are going to spend hundreds of hours on and elsewhere exploring what you like and what is available. If you’re new at this, you’ll probably wish to have a professional assist you every step along the way, so you can prevent “We should have done … ” or “Why did we …?”

Being patient is key. And beginning at the perfect location for you — if it is where you’re or someplace new — will produce the end result truly worth the journey.

More: When to stay or go during a remodel

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Widen Your Space Options Using a Dormer Window

Say you reside in a house with one and a half stories, like a Cape Cod. Your second-floor bedrooms and baths are tucked under the roof, and that cuts back on the usable quantity of floor area available. (You simply can not stand up in much of the region.) While the kind of home is charming — not tall and boxy — much of the second floor is unusable, because it lacks headroom. And you think to yourself that you could have a nicer toilet or additional light or extra storage if you could create some headroom.

This is where a dormer comes in. Typically (although not necessarily) small, dormers can provide that few extra square feet of space you need to realize your goals. Perhaps it’s a simple doghouse dormer that attracts some extra light and an opinion. Perhaps it’s a drop dormer that provides that additional space for a large bath. Or perhaps it’s an eyebrow dormer that adds some style to the exterior when creating additional space in the interior. Dormers are a terrific cure for space-challenged places.

Let’s take a peek at a few of the fundamental kinds of dormers and their prices, features and advantages.

Joseph B Lanza Design + Building

The Doghouse Dormer

This beautifully named dormer, which looks like a proverbial doghouse placed atop a roof, lends a good deal of appeal to a Cape Cod–style residence.

In the exterior a doghouse dormer doesn’t dominate the total scale of your home’s design. It is merely a small and innocuous architectural element that can liven up a roof, while indoors …

Heintzman Sanborn Architecture~Interior Design

… it provides additional space and light.

In fact, lots of doghouse dormers create an alcove space that is excellent for a built-in seat and storage. In addition to supplying some much-needed natural light and views outside, these dormers boost the general performance of the interior, doing so at a minimum price.

Budget: A doghouse dormer can be assembled for small cash in case you have building skills — and a helper. Depending on the kind of window you use and the way the interior is completed, a DIY dormer can be done for a few thousand bucks. If you plan to employ and use pricier stuff, expect to invest $15,000 or more on a doghouse dormer.

Sellars Lathrop Architects

The Shed Dormer

Aptly called, since it looks like a drop that’s been placed on the roof, this kind of dormer will maximize the quantity of usable interior space. Shed dormers are typical in the rear of Cape Cod houses, where the extra space they provide trumps the appeal of a doghouse dormer.

But it’s really simple to get the proportions of a shed dormer wrong, throwing off the exterior look of the whole home. So designing this kind of addition to your home requires a careful blend of getting the additional interior space needed versus what will look good on the exterior. Ensuring the proportions are comfy, even though it means sacrificing some interior space, is generally the best route to take.

Another significant design consideration generally for shed dormers would be to ensure there are several windows, or …

Charlie & Co.. Design, Ltd

… there is more window than wall. In reality, many successful drop dormers are inclined to be all almost window. This maximizes the amount of light entering the interior, visually lightens the arrangement and produces a night lantern effect.

Krieger + Associates Architects, Inc..

Shed dormers really do add that extra bit of interior space that is transformative. So where there originally was not ample room for a big cupboard or a bigger bedroom or a nice, big soaking tub, currently there is. With a number of windows, the spaces made by a shed dormer are light and open and bright.

Jacob Lilley Architects

Shed dormers make rooms in “attics” such as this one inviting and spacious, ideal for that game room one of the trees.

Budget: You should have an architect draw up and an expert build your shed dormer. It is also something which you’ll want to budget more than only a few thousand bucks for. Depending on the dimensions, materials and relevant job, expect to invest $20,000 to $100,000 or more.

Whitney Lyons

The Eyebrow Dormer

This dormer style, such as a watch popping through the roof, is just one of my favorite architectural elements. These dormers are not the same as doghouse and shed dormers in the eyebrow dormer’s roof is curved, and sometimes gently, sometimes not. Because of this curved roof, an eyebrow dormer will be a milder approach to receive additional distance out of a loft.

Eyebrow windows are also less massive looking than shed dormers, especially when windows don’t fill the entire dormer exterior. By swooping its way down to the roof, an eyebrow dormer keeps its gentleness even if there’s a good deal of wall showing.

Whitney Lyons

The interior space made by means of an eyebrow dormer is not as an extension of the room and more of an alcove connected to the room. And with its own curve, an eyebrow dormer is a wonderful counterpoint to rectangular and hard-edged elements elsewhere.

Budget: Expect to cover for the eyebrow dormer; due to its curved character, it requires more labor and materials to create one. A small eyebrow dormer with one window requires an expense of $5,000 or so, while a bigger eyebrow dormer with several windows readily runs $30,000 or more.

More: Ideas for additions, small and large

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Readers' Choice: The 10 Most Popular Bathrooms of 2012

Each of 2012’s treasured baths offers something different to ers. Some inspire organizational ideas, others present creative tiling techniques, while still others take advantage of colour and natural light. Were you among those subscribers who saved these baths to an ideabook this past year? Take a look — among these magnificent spaces may inspire you.

ID by Gwen

1. Open-concept shower in Washington state. Crisp tiles and a intelligent shower layout inspired ers’ own bathroom remodels. readers saved this picture for the open-concept shower, simple tub and blend of tile designs.


2. Sunlit Boston shower. While more shut than the previous shower, this shower’s skylight and porthole window allow for plenty of light. An integrated seat and unique door contour made it worth saving for many readers.

Alan Mascord Design Associates Inc

3. Portland bathtub’s towel. Open Granite Cabinets to store towels in the conclusion of this tub inspired new storage solutions in ers’ bathrooms.


4. Double vanity in Denver. Figuring out how to organize a dual vanity can be difficult, but readers found it a little easier thanks to this picture. Shared and storage allows for plenty of drawer space. Restoration Hardware mirrors price less than habit however still possess a high-end appearance.

Frank Shirley Architects

5. Foggy Cape Cod bath that is blue. Not every homeowner wants an all-white bathroom, also readers adored that the blue walls and hardwood flooring in this area provided contrast.

Griffin Enright Architects

6. Open, modern California shower. This area’s tall ceilings, natural light and contrasting dark hardwood flooring caught ers’ eyes when they had been searching baths this year. The clean lines of this shower and bath would work in any home.

Hanson Fine Building

7. Lively Philadelphia and bright bathroom. It’s amazing what a little color can do. Splashes of citron in the sink and bathtub and a cheerful blue wall shade completely update the conventional style of this toilet.

Mike Connell

8. Gorgeous tilework in San Francisco. subscribers loved the large-format tile in this toilet. The striking tile grain brings the eyes across the stone-covered area.

Lake Country Builders

9. Woodwork in Minnesota. Mixing up the tile dimensions on this toilet flooring makes for an eye-catching layout with just a single material. ers also noted that the wood cabinets and toilet door when saving this picture into their ideabooks.

J.S. Brown & Co..

10. Contrasting neutrals in Ohio. Despite the neutral palette, this bath has several unique design characteristics that readers wished to keep on file. The dark trim round the ceiling, the tiled ceiling and a contrasting tile flooring keep this toilet visually intriguing.

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The Best Places to Stash Small Kitchen Appliances

There are the big 3 appliances — the fridge, range and dishwasher — which most of us know and which are must-haves for each kitchen. However, through the years, little, single-purpose appliances also have proliferated. Toasters, mixers, blenders, food processors, bread manufacturers, waffle makers, coffee machines and so a lot more gadgets have become a part of our kitchens.

However, where do we keep these appliances when they’re not being used? How do we keep them close at hand with no taking up precious counter space?

Darren James Interiors

An appliance garage. Utilize a smaller part of a tall cupboard if you don’t have a large cupboard or pantry space for all these appliances. Add cupboard doors which may move entirely out of the way, and place the appliances on a rollout shelf for easiest accessibility.

Sawhill Kitchens

With an outlet or two at the back wall, the appliances will be ready to use when needed and hidden from sight when not.

ROM architecture studio

Purpose-built closets. You can also dedicate a cupboard for a particular small appliance. Among the most typical uses it to shop mixers. Possessing the mixer on a pullout or lift-up shelf keeps the appliance useful and easily stored away. This is a really useful bit of cabinetry for an appliance used frequently.

Hulburd Design

Don’t forget to use every inch of space. It is rather simple to produce some unique and advanced small places with all the different kinds of cabinetry hardware accessible.

Bunker Workshop

A little appliance closet. A closet-like space may be a fantastic home to all your little appliances. Equipping the cupboard with strong rollout shelves may make obtaining at them simple. When you are finished blending, mixing or toasting, just return the appliance to its home and close the door.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

The most omnipresent little appliance needs to be the coffeemaker. More frequently than not, this superb little machine is placed in which it takes up precious counter space. Rather than let it get in the way, try placing it in a dedicated cabinet, away from the main work area. This manner that individual who desires another cup of morning joe remains out of the cook’s way.

The Woodshop of Avon

If a committed cabinet is not in the cards, then try placing the coffeemaker at a committed corner constructed into the corner.

Marie Newton

A shelf in the pantry. Putting these appliances at a dedicated space in a cabinet will work, particularly if the cabinet is well thought out and organized. A pair of pocket doors supplies ample access and turns the cabinet to what it must be: an expansion of the kitchen.

Chelsea Atelier Architect, PC

If budget permits, a built-in coffeemaker using a slide-out counter can’t be overcome.

Kitchen Thyme Design Studio Inc..

A corner counter. If your kitchen has the space for this, a committed work area will make using that coffee maker, mixer or panini press even more enjoyable — and make room for more than 1 cook in the kitchen.

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Beadboard Panels Give a Shortcut to a Classic Style

Beadboard wainscoting has a classic look that never goes out of fashion. Conventional tongue and groove beadboard may be significant chore to put in, but you can get a similar appearance with beaded hardboard boards, and the practice is comparatively straightforward.

Beaded hardboard paneling is an engineered wood product, generally made from MDF (medium density fiberboard) or a ecofriendly hardboard, also comes in a number of finishes. My loved ones and I gave these panels a shot in our little bathroom for a classic decorative finish that will safeguard our bathroom walls from tear and wear.

Meg Padgett

We chose Georgia-Pacific’s True Bead ready-to-paint 4-by-8 foot panels. You can also find beadboard kits which include paneling, baseboard and chair rail trim, but we created a custom beadboard/board and batten treatment with Engineered timber, MDF and casing.

Note: Feel free to replace any all-wood material for MDF. Wood generally holds up better in a damp environment like a bathroom, although we’ve never noticed any issues with our MDF.

Meg Padgett

Tools and Stuff:

Beadboard MDF paneling (comes in 8-foot-wide sheets)
Grade and measuring tape
Chalk line
Construction adhesive (such as Liquid Nails)
11/2-inch finishing nails or brad nails
Hammer or finishing nail gun
Nail set
Handsaw, table saw or circular saw
Miter saw or miter box/hand saw
1- by 6-inch primed whitewood
11/16-inch by 31/2-inch MDF (used for backer board)
1- by 2-inch primed whitewood
9/16- by two 1/2-inch MDF (used for battens)
3-inch decorative fiberboard casing
Paintable caulk (such as Dap 3.0) and a caulking gun
Semigloss interior paint

Meg Padgett

Ready the room for setup by carefully removing all baseboard trim so that it can be reused. Eliminate all socket and switch hardware and covers from the walls. Eliminate the toilet if needed. Leave any window trim.

If you would like to upgrade the wall paint, do this prior to setup. Paint the wall down into a couple inches lower than the beadboard’s finished height.

When choosing your panels, pay proper attention to the status of each panel and read the manufacturer’s directions on the back of the panel for proper setup.

Note: Like all wood products, fluctuations in temperature and humidity may lead to hardboard paneling to contract and expand slightly. Before installation, stand the panels long borders in the area for at least 48 hours in order that they can adapt to the existing room conditions.

Meg Padgett

Measure from the floor to a desired height (beadboard is usually installed 33 to 48 inches ) and add
⅛ inch to the height to allow for thermal growth. Mark your height and use a level and pencil or a chalk line to mark a line.

Meg Padgett

Cut your panels to height using a handsaw, table saw or circular saw. Cut the panels up if using a handsaw and confront if using power tools. Make a detailed guide for any cutouts, allowing for a 3/16-inch gap around window trim and a 1/16-inch gap when linking bits. Use a jigsaw to cut holes for sockets or detailed cuts, such as around windows. Be sure to follow the spacing pattern of the beads in the beadboard paneling when joining two pieces together.

Dry fit the paneling into the wall first and make any alterations necessary. Subsequently apply construction adhesive to the back of the plank about 1 inch around the outside edge and in a squiggly line layout in the middle. Put the panel in place and use shims to be sure the panel is level.

Hint: For cuts around sockets, draw around the socket with chalk or pencil. Place the back side of the panel against the wall and contrary to the socket. The chalk outline will move to the back of the panel, which makes you a guide on your cutout.

Meg Padgett

Firmly press on the paneling against the wall. While the glue is drying, fasten the paneling in place with a couple nails. I prefer using a finishing nail gun for fast and easy nailing. If you’re using a hammer, drill pilot holes for the finishing nails with a 1/16-inch drill bit first, to prevent damaging the board.

Meg Padgett

Once the paneling is in place, complete it with trim. Attach the 51/2-inch baseboard. Use a level and shims to make sure the board is level. Utilize a nailing gun or hammer and nails to secure the baseboard into position.

Meg Padgett

Next attach the backer board to the top of the beadboard, once more making sure the board is level. For corners use a miter saw or miter box to reduce 45-degree angles on the ends that match in the corner. You might also use the miter saw or box for a more finished look on the ends.

Meg Padgett

Install the vertical battens. The spacing of the battens is up to personal preference, but we placed ours roughly 13 inches apart.

Hint: It’s more important to make certain the battens run parallel with the beads in the beadboard than they are plumb. If you’re lucky and your walls are level and straight, you should be able to attain both.

Meg Padgett

Nail the casing into the backer board, making sure the shell is flush with the surface of the backer. As opposed to nailing into the cap of the MDF trim, which may lead to dividing, apply construction adhesive to fasten the remaining piece into position.

Meg Padgett

Together with the beadboard and trim in place, the wall treatment is ready for any finishing touches.

Meg Padgett

Apply white paintable sealant to any nail holes, gaps or places where trim meets trim. After the sealant has dried, paint with easy-to-clean semigloss paint.

Meg Padgett

This upgraded take on the classic beadboard wall treatment has been the perfect upgrade to give our little cabin bathroom some character that fits our house’s style.

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Pedestal Tubs Have Style Bases Covered

Claw-foot tubs, those freestanding beauties that encircle on four legs that were cosmetic, have enjoyed a resurgence due to charm and their shapely curves. But among their drawbacks is the fact that cleaning the floor area beneath them can be a headache (or, more correctly, a backache).

To get a similar look with simpler maintenance, go to get a pedestal bathtub instead. These versions have the generous soaking area and graceful traces of the claw-foot cousins, but they rest on a good foundation rather than feet. They seem more updated and swallow less space than the whirlpool models that were the rage in the ’90s, plus they add a touch of spa-like luxury into the easiest of baths.

Read the baths below, then make a comment and tell us which bathtubs hit your fancy.

Zieba Builders, Inc..

A timeless pedestal bathtub, tucked into a window alcove that overlooks a beautiful view of the outside, softens the angular lines of this serene bath. A chandelier over underscores the sense of a luxurious retreat.

Tip: Depending on where you set your bathtub, you may need specialty fixtures which can drive up the pipes bill, such as a floor-mounted or rim-mounted faucet and proper drain and overflow mechanisms. Prior to purchasing, consult with a certified plumber about your choices and what their installment will demand.

If you want to use the bathtub as a shower base, you’re going to need a separate shower enclosure and faucet, which will add yet another layer of costs and complications.

Renewal Design-Build

They can be a wise option for bathrooms because tubs appear to float inside their surroundings. Not only do they take up less visual space, but their smaller footprint exposes more floors.

Beckwith Interiors

Among the best features of pedestal bathtubs is their versatility. If you have the space, and whether the water source could be configured accordingly, you could position one at any place in the bathroom that fits your requirements. In addition they come in these diverse lengths and widths which you don’t have to worry about conforming to a predetermined niche.

Tip: Pedestal tubs are normally expensive compared to conventional styles — expect to pay approximately $1,000 to $2,000 to get a simple model from a home center. Custom surfaces or expensive materials, such as the walnut to the bathtub can propel the price tag as large as five figures.

Looking for bargains? Try salvage stores Craigslist, flea markets and auction sites.

Courtney Blanton Interiors

This tub slips neatly in an odd piece of space between 2 vanities and produces a point that is compelling. The eye is led by the pattern of the veined marble flooring directly.

Is marble right for you? Find out more

Friehauf Architects Inc..

Although people picture bathtubs in their oval form, this style has been redefined by fresh profiles. This version rests on a base that is slender and has.

Tip: For young children or for those with restricted mobility, getting in and out of a freestanding bathtub can be difficult. Maintain a slip-proof stool .

Andrea Schumacher Interiors

One downside of freestanding tubs is they surround for storing accessories or lack a ledge. The solution? Add a table nearby and bring in baskets for towels, a rack for robes and other areas to corral sundries.

Stonewood, LLC

Another strategy: Place the bathtub next to a wall of built-ins that keep tub gear. Since the cabinetry will not, in this setting, the bathtub feels.

Wendy Black Rodgers Interiors

Much like claw-foot and other freestanding tubs, the outside provides an opportunity to add a shot of a different end or colour to the toilet. This turquoise variation, together with green walls, brightens a area.

Tip: Painting or reglazing the outside of a bathtub is a catchy, time-consuming and potentially hazardous process, involving strong chemicals and/or laborious sanding of the old end. Should you lack DIY experience and sufficient security features such as ample ventilation, have an expert deal with the job.

Jane Kim Design

A chrome-plated slipper design, with a studded band around the floor, lends a sleek, edgy notice to an industrial area.

Watch more of this New York attic

Gibson Gimpel Interior Design

This nickel and aluminum bathtub emits a feeling of rustic warmth and harks back into the mobile tin washtubs of pioneer times.

Tip: Although cast iron and other metal bathtubs retain heat exceptionally well, they are also quite heavy. Have your flooring to find out whether it can bear the weight is assessed by a professional. Fiberglass and resin versions are lighter alternatives.

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Stay Cool About Selecting the Right Refrigerator

Few of us think about refrigerators, much less obsess about these, until we are faced with dropping $2,000 to $10,000 on one. And what a range in price for a home appliance that’s supposed to do one basic thing: keep your food cold. What accounts for the price differences? Stick around while we discuss the principal types of refrigerator designs to describe.

Southern Studio Interior Design

1. Counter-Depth Refrigerators

What it is: Counter thickness means the body of the unit is as heavy as the countertop but the doors extend past that due to the hinges. Counter-depth units are generally 32 to 36 inches wide, 24 to 26 inches deep (not including the doorway) and 68 to 71 inches tall. If you’re looking for a true built-in, a counter-depth refrigerator won’t cut it, but the price tag might: It’s often tens of thousands of dollars less than an authentic built-in refrigerator.

Variations: This fashion refrigerator comes in many forms. French doors are very popular today, and since the side-by-side doors are half as wide as one door, they’re fantastic for kitchens with tight clearances. Side-by-side and regular old bottom-freezer options also can be found. Like all the refrigerator types in this ideabook, they’re offered in a selection of finishes besides stainless steel.

When to use: This is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for something that looks sleek and more built in than a standard-depth refrigerator, that includes more clearance around the doorway and costs less than an authentic built-in refrigerator.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Side-by-side counter-depth alternative. This counter-depth refrigerator is a 36-inch side-by-side. As you can see, the doors stand out past the side panels and cabinets to allow the doors to fully swing open.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

All-refrigerator or even all-freezer counter-depth alternative. This style of refrigerator or freezer provides you a ton of cubic storage without the price tag of high-end commercial-style ones, but of course, you want more room to have two in precisely the same location. Customizing your cabinets and panels can make these components look like custom built-ins for a modest extra cost.

AJ Madison

Electrolux IQ-Touch Series Counter-Depth French-Door Refrigerator

This really is a side-by-side refrigerator using a base freezer and French doors.

Contemporary Refrigerators – $2,199

There are numerous options for side-by-side versions with glossy water and ice dispensers and door handles.

AJ Madison

Fridgidaire Professional Series All Refrigerator – $1,543

A custom trim kit panel causes this 32-inch freestanding counter-depth unit look like one huge business refrigerator/freezer.

2. Full-Depth, or Standard, Refrigerator

What it is:
A standard-depth refrigerator is roughly 68 to 71 inches tall and 31 to 35 inches deep into the surface of the doors.

Variations: These come in side-by-side, bottom-freezer and top-freezer options and stainless steel, black or white finishes.

When to use: When clearance is not a concern and you’re looking for the most amount of cubic storage with the smallest amount of width and height, the thickness is where you purchase it. This also is the most affordable option. For people used to a full-depth refrigerator, the interior storage using a counter-depth or built-in refrigerator may be a jolt. It’s a fantastic idea to compare cubic footage before you buy.

AJ Madison

Whirlpool Gold GSS30C6EY Side-by-Side Refrigerator – $1,704.60

From the front it is difficult to tell a standard-depth from a counter-depth refrigerator. The first clue will be the price tag: Counter-depth ones tend to cost more. Secondly, check the specs: A normal refrigerator can be 6 inches deeper. If you are looking at this alternative, consider your circulation path; a standard-depth refrigerator can really alter the flow and layout of a kitchen.

Tip: By creating the cabinets a customized thickness around the refrigerator, you can find the look of a custom built-in refrigerator without the hefty price tag.

Fivecat Studio | Architecture

3. Bottom-Freezer Built-In Refrigerator

What it is: Built-in units are generally 80 to 84 inches tall and 24 to 25 inches deep into the surface of the doorway. The entire unit, including the doorway, is flush with the thickness of the majority of standard cabinets. Bottom-freezer units can also be known as over/under refrigerators; they often come in 27-, 30- or 36-inch widths.

Variations:You can get most bottom-freezer built-ins in both stainless steel and panel-ready options, as well as glass fronts.

When to use: All these are fantastic for smaller kitchens due to the width. If you have a bigger kitchen, you can use two of these side by side. The best place for this kind of refrigerator is at the end of a cupboard run in which the door swings open into the work triangle. You can specify the single-door components to have a ideal hinge or a left hinge.

AJ Madison

Sub-Zero BI30U Built-In Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator

The traditional single-door bottom-freezer built-in model is still among my favorites. I like the produce I use every day to be up high and the suspended goods down below from the drawer.

1 2 S T U D I O . C O M

4. Built-In Side-by-Side Refrigerator

What it’s: A side-by-side unit gets the refrigerator on the right and the freezer on the left, using the breaker on top.

Variations: They come with and without water in the doorway and are generally 24 to 25 inches deep into the doorway; 36, 42 or 48 inches wide; and 84 inches tall. Most have a freezer that’s smaller than the refrigerator.They’re also available in stainless steel or panel-ready options, as well as some glass door options.

When to use: These are perfect for kitchens in which you have ample room for one big unit on another wall. They generally work well on the side of a wall of cupboards or perpendicular to the job triangle, as a result of fridge’s being around the right.

People frequently get “built-in” and “incorporated” confused. The principal distinction is a built-in may be flush into the cupboards and look glossy as can be, but it will not be completely concealed. The flange along the exterior of the unit and the grille on top will give it away as a refrigerator, even though it’s a matching cupboard panel.

Mrs. G TV & Appliances

Sub-Zero BI-42S Side-by-Side Refrigerator/Freezer

If you’d like a side-by-side, I suggest you opt for at least 42 inches of width — if you have room for 48 inches, even better. The 36-inch side-by-sides don’t have lots of cubic storage in the refrigerator section.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Between the water and ice on the door and the C-channel pulls, this panel-front built-in side-by-side isn’t attempting to hide its identity. The chalkboard panels are a nice alternative to stainless steel, alleviating fingerprint worries for the busy household who uses it.

US Appliance

GE Profile Built-In Side-by-Side Refrigerator – $5,699

Here’s the same refrigerator with wood panels instead of a chalkboard finish. With the flange along the outside border and the water and ice in the door, it is not considered completely incorporated. (See next for one of these.)

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

5. Fully Integrated Refrigerator and Freezer Column Units

What it is: Fully integrated grills can be completely concealed with cabinet-panel fronts. The hinge style, the absence of an exposed frame and a design that allows the door to conceal the compressor create this possible.Whereas all-refrigerator and all-freezer components have been around for a while in pubs, entirely integrated column-style components are relatively new on the residential industry. They allow for more flexibility since they can be placed together as a custom side-by-side mix or kept independent.

Although these units ideally have cupboard panels to conceal them completely, they also come in stainless steel. Typical widths are 18, 24, 30 and 36 inches; peaks range from 80 to 84 inches. They’re 24 to 25 inches deep.

When to use:
Choose this style if you’re interested in the ultimate customization and flexibility, if you want to break up the place of your refrigerator or freezer, or if you want to produce your refrigerator completely vanish. In this kitchen, the 30-inch refrigerator is the white panel doorway to the best of their ovens, and the 24-inch freezer is the oak-paneled doorway in the foreground concealed within the pantry cabinetry.

US Appliance

Thermador 30-Inch Freedom Fresh Food Column

Column-style units can be stainless steel or board ready for complete concealment.

Design Moe Toilet & Kitchen / Heather Moe designer

Some of the completely integrated components have drawers as well. One more advantage of this style of refrigeration is that you can make furniture-style cabinetry.

AJ Madison

Sub-Zero 736TCI 36-Inch Built-In Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator

What’s nice about the Sub-Zero 700 series is that you can find an all-refrigerator, all-freezer or combo unit in which the freezer is in the base drawers.

What kind of refrigerator works best for you?

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See The Way Wood Warms Modern White Kitchens

I adore an all-white kitchen tiles, counters, cabinets. It is bright and clean and open. However, it may also be a bit sterile. My mother calls for these kitchens morgues. In other words, they can feel cold.

That is kind of the opposite of the way the core of the home is supposed to feel. Right?

However, you don’t have to forfeit your white kitchen along with your modern dreams. All you have to do is add a small natural wood grain to the mixture. And poof! — warmth that is instant.

These 11 kitchens are ideal examples of how you can maintain your modern lines and clean, open atmosphere while incorporating a modest natural glow.

Andrew Snow Photography

Red-Toned Wood

Mix it up. All cabinets do not have to be the same. 1 bank can be white; another bank can be wood grain. There’s nothing cold about this bright kitchen.

Tervola Designs

A wooden countertop on the island is a popular way to bring some natural grain to the mixture. As for me, I don’t adore wood next to water sources (stains, mould and warping), but I do love a big slab of shining wood in the midst of a kitchen.

Elad Gonen

Golden Wood

Wood with a very conspicuous grain is the modernist’s way to go. It is still hot, but it’s got those nice, almost symmetrical lines.

Works Photography Inc..

This wood peninsula has both hot golden tones and stylish horizontal lines.

Buckenmeyer Architecture

In this kitchen, the kitchen cabinets all match, but the countertops are blended.

Devlin McNally Construction

Sometimes just a lovely wood floor provides just the ideal warmth. It is that little milk of human kindness every kitchen needs.

Cardel Homes

Brown Wood

Dark wood tends to be more traditional (although not necessarily). This wood island keeps all that white tile out of making the kitchen seem like a laboratory.

Ilija Mirceski

Dark wood goes modern with horizontal lines. I adore the wood-backed shelves — unexpected and rich looking.


Nothing brings an organic touch just like a gorgeous bit of live-edge wood. This one appears to be melting off the staircase. Gorgeous.

Watch more of the house

Abbott Moon

A wood-grain table in an Granite kitchen gives this particular setup a homey feel. The wooden beams, cupboard design and wood floors all add up to a very comfy kitchen.

Siemasko + Verbridge

This kitchen isn’t even close to feeling like a morgue; the tooled legs on the staircase, cottage-style windows and recessed-panel cabinets take care of that. Nevertheless, the dark wood floors and the rugs rugs make it really warm. I really like Persian rugs at a wood and white kitchen.

The situation for wood countertops
Browse white kitchen photos

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