Posts Tagged ‘Design’

Home Ideas from Our Favorite Hotels

Inspiration for your home can be found anywhere. Whether it’s a show on TV, a spread in a magazine, or a hotel keep an eye out for ideas to implement into your designs. Here are a few rooms that stood out to us from our favorite hotels across the world.


Harbour Rocks Hotel

This gorgeous hotel in Sydney, Australia is a perfect example of how to blend two styles while creating your own distinct look. With rooms ranging from modern to classic, the two aesthetics blend together in the lobby, creating a comfortable yet minimalist space. Every room here is immaculately designed, but it’s the kitchen that stands out to us.

Painted in warm colors and mixing stone, tile, and granite, this room is surprising to the eye. The white granite countertop offsets the darker colors beautifully, and the shelf space is minimally designed and elegant. If you have a lot of space to work with, consider a modern look like this. Bonus points for big bay windows, letting in lots of natural light.



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Keep Warm This Winter with These Gorgeous Fireplaces

Nothing announces the holiday season like a roaring fireplace. Whether or not there’s snow outside, warming up with a fire and a cup of hot chocolate makes a perfect evening. Check out the list below for some of our own dream fireplaces, and imagine cozying up with friends and family in front of your favorite design.

The Elegant Quartz Fireplace

For sleek design and sheer beauty, nothing beats quartz. More durable than granite, quartz also requires no polishing or reconditioning, making clean up a breeze. This beautiful white quartz fireplace offsets the wood overlay and black flooring for a stylish, modern look.     



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Granite Countertop Colors: Making A Beautiful Home

Some Granite Countertop Colors

Granite Countertop Colors


Choosing the right color is a crucial step in granite countertop installation. While having a granite countertop installed will inevitably add beauty to your home, the perfect color will help tie the room together.


A good rule of thumb is to go with a color that contrasts well with the colors of the room in which the countertop is being installed.

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Today’s Clients Want to See Their Project Before They Build

Architects and designers have always faced the challenge of presenting a design to clients who are unable to visualize at all. There have been 3D visualization aids available for many years, but for most projects without a substantial design development budget these options were cost prohibitive.

Technological advancements in the 3D modeling industry have now made 3D architectural rendering a viable option for any project. This offers a great advantage to businesses offering design work as part of their sales process. A skilled 3D designer can use the specific finishes that their customer desires and allow their customer to see, for example, how well the finishes in a proposed renovation will coordinate with finishes in their existing home.

A typical project drawing can leave a lot to the imagination:


When combined with a 3D rendering, everyone knows what to expect:


A complete 3D rendering will feature the customers chosen finishes on every surface, e.g., wallpaper, flooring, paint colors, various wood species and colors, and granite countertops, etc. Various lighting options can have a big impact on the overall look of the project. Rendering the project in 3D allows the client to see what impact different kinds of lighting can have on the project, and the impact of the natural lighting of the proposed project.

This trend is reflected in the software being used in the design industry. Most of the design programs have begun to make 3D visualization a key part of their software packages. There are several programs now that allow a homeowner to visualize their proposed project without the help of a design professional, such as the iGRANITE iPad app by Granite Transformations. This app allows users to upload a picture of their own home or office and experiment with different finishes on the countertops walls and floors in realtime.


3D architectural visualization allows the construction process to go more smoothly for everyone, as the contractor can clearly establish the client’s expectations and avoid the typical “I didn’t think it would look like that” situation. This helps the contractor to avoid project delays, and the owner to prevent costly change orders. As more and more consumers come to expect to see their project before they build it, 3D presentations are becoming the standard in the design industry.

About the Author: Post contributed by Daniel Shaheen at DDS Architectural

Small Bedroom Solutions: Make Your Small Bedroom Feel Like a Big Space

When your bedroom is smaller than you would like you’ll want to be creative and make thebest use of your space.  Following a few simple principles will help keep your bedroom a cozy sanctuary instead of a cramped mess.


For your bed a metal frame or a divan with a headboard and no footboard both have the clean open lines that make your room look bigger.  Buying a bed with built-in draws underneath is a good option but if you don’t find one you like purchase bed risers which will give you an extra six inches of storage space under your bed and a bed skirt.

Choose simple bed furnishing schemes. Large and crazy patterns make your bed look like a soccer field in concession stand.  Instead try palates of solid colors; on your bed neutral hues will make your room look the largest.


Vertical space:

Utilize as much vertical space as possible.  Make effort to get dressers that are taller than normal. The more your personal belongings have their proper place the less cluttered a room appears.  Sometimes entertainment centers or wardrobes add excellent visual interest and give more vertical storage space than dressers.  Don’t forget to consider “lingerie” dressers which are narrow but tall.  They may be just what you need instead of a bed side table because they can hold more and take up the same amount of floor space.

A coffered ceilingwill instantly make your bedroom look much bigger.  Also known as a tray ceiling, it is when the center of the room is raised into the attic above.  If this is at all possible for your bedroom it is worth the effort to install.

bedroom 2


Light colors make a room look bigger.  Use darker colors as accents inyour throw pillows, bed linen, and curtains.

Mirrors make any room look bigger.  Take care not to overuse mirrors in a bedroom.  One or two mirrors, well-placed across from windows to reflect natural light will make the most of the room’s size and emphasize the open spaces.

Use sconces that clip to the headboard of your bed, and small table lamps that sit on your dressers instead of floor lamps to free up extra floor space in your room.  The more sources of light, the bigger the room will appear.

Magic tricks:

Eliminate clutter as much as possible with pretty baskets.  Use a table skirt to create a hidden space for books and magazines.  Keep a box in the bottom of your closet for things that you may want to give away and if they stay in the box for more than six months than commit to letting them go.

What people notice first when they see a bedroom is not the size but the overall style impression.  If your bedroom is small, focus on clean lines and add your personal warmth so that the word that you and your guests first think of when they enter the bedroom is cozy.

Bio- Sunny Popali is the Marketing lead at Mattressnextday. Mattressnextday offer the full range of common mattress sizes including: small mattress, single mattress, double mattresses, king size Mattress, super king Mattresses, and odd size mattresses.

Bringing the Outdoors Into Your Home

Hiking isn’t just for the outdoors anymore.

The outdoors has been influential in interior design for years. From log cabins to Southwestern flare, all types of natural influences have made their way into our homes. But now more than ever, less “themed” inspiration is taking center stage.

Soil, trees, wood, stone…all of these come to mind when thinking of the outdoors. These elements are perfect additions to any space, allowing a room to look organic, rustic, and welcoming. However, we’re not talking gaudy outdoor à la dark woods, flannel, and deer heads. It’s easy to add outdoor influences in a modern and sophisticated way. Here are three ways to subtly bring the great outdoors into your home.

Organic Flooring

modern outdoor influence - flooring

Flooring is a great way to bring the outdoors into your home. By choosing untraditional flooring like beech you can completely transform a room to look light, airy, and clean.

Natural Vaulted Ceilings

outdoor inspired ceiling

If you have the opportunity to remodel your ceiling, consider adding an architectural statement with beams in raw wood. It can add some rustic flare while simultaneously giving off a streamlined aesthetic.

Stone Accent Wall

modern flooring inspiration for outdoors

Accent walls can bring a room to life and add to dimension. Rather than painting it a different color, why not play with texture and use natural stone? It can look both modern and welcoming when done using a stone with minimal lines and a subtle texture. Or add a bit more texture to give off the impression of a fireplace minus the functionality and upkeep.

modern outdoor interior design on walls

Adria Saracino is a freelancer, blogger, and home décor enthusiast. She writes for 5.11 Tactical, which sells everything from flashlights to its signature 5.11 Tactical polarized sunglasses.

Photo Credits: modern room, interior new loft, ethnic furniture, living room, modern interior room with nice furniture inside, modern room

Elder Friendly Home Design

Are you thinking about redesigning your home to make room for a parent or grandparent who is moving in? Here’s how to design a safer and less stressful multigenerational home.


With the rising cost of assisted living facilities, many senior citizens are choosing to stay in their homes longer. The trend to “age in place” is growing in popularity along with the trend for elderly parents or grandparents to move in with their children and grandchildren.

When two generations share a home they can usually live cheaper collectively. Whether it’s contributing rent or serving as cost-free daycare, move-in parents can help ease the family’s cost of living while avoiding the isolation and higher expenses of living alone.

The three major factors to consider when remodeling a senior addition to the family are safety, comfort, and costs. By sitting down with an experienced home remodeler you can find creative and affordable solutions.

Design for safety. As we grow older, we tend to lose flexibility and balance. Senior citizens are more likely to have fall related accidents and suffer significant injury from falls. Therefore, we want to look for ways to reduce the likelihood and severity accidents.

Talk to your builder about installing slip resistant flooring. Remove high-gloss flooring tiles and cover polished floors with carpeting, where possible. While throw rugs are nice decorative touch, they can cause slips and falls. Wall-to-wall carpeting with thick padding will reduce the risk and impact of falling.

Staircases are a particularly dangerous place for senior citizens. Consolidate living space to a single level to make it safer and less strenuous. When you can’t get away with single-level living, make sure stairwells are well lit and free from any tripping hazards. Securely anchor handrails in hallways. Consider installing a stair lift.

Remodel bathrooms for safety, as well as comfort. Replace bathtubs with walk-in stall showers. Have professionally installed safety grips installed by toilets and inside the shower. Your remodeler should be able to recommend safety grips that are both effective and aesthetically pleasing.

Design for Comfort. Make sure your elderly loved one has a comfortable living environment, and not just a safe one. Many families are choosing to remodel their homes with two separate living areas. A home designed with two separate living areas, but not as a legal two-family rental is sometimes referred to as a “secondary suite” or a “mother-in-law house.” In the Northeast, this type of layout called a mother-daughter house.

Consult with your local building code so that you don’t inadvertently modify your house into a two family home without the proper permits. Two separate entrances allow the senior to have more privacy and independence without feeling as if they are living on top of the family.

It’s important to redesign your home with reselling it in mind. Poorly modified homes often require lots of renovation. Follow proper interior designing principles when adding safety features or your senior living area might end up looking like a hospital ward.

Separate thermostats will keep everybody happy. Seniors often feel the need for more heat in the winter and less air-conditioning in the summer than younger people do.

With a separate entrance and living space, seniors can have more control over the look and feel of their homes. The buffer between living spaces will let you enjoy your sleek and modern design without clashing with that tacky recliner Grandpa doesn’t want to give up.

Countertops should be higher than normal to reduce stooping and bending while shelves should be lower to avoid overreaching.

Make sure you have good lighting. Incandescent light fixtures are better than fluorescent bulbs because they produce less glare. Light switches should be illuminated so they can be found in the dark. Plug nightlights in hallways or mount motion sensitive light switches.

For additional safety and privacy, install an intercom. An intercom will allow for easy communication without intruding into each others living areas. Additionally, get a medical alarm or senior alert system so that an elderly relative can summon help when no one else is home.

Home Design Costs. Home remodeling is not cheap, but there are several ways to finance. A reverse mortgage can help pay for renovations, but only if the senior continues to live in the mortgage home as a primary residence. Before taking out a reverse mortgage it’s important to consult with a qualified, unbiased financial and legal adviser and not just a mortgage salesperson.

Thanks to for these tips on safer living spaces for senior citizens.

Ultra Modern Bathrooms

12 most creative bathtubs

Shower and/or bathtub plus a sink and a toilet equal the universal facilities commonly referred to as a bathroom.  How varied can designs really be with these standard functional necessities defining its space?  Depending upon the amount of square footage available there are many interpretations of this familiar space. Let’s take a look at the sleek, angular and uncluttered designs that are starting to grace the most necessary room in the house.

modern bathroom 1

Bathtubs are a thing of beauty and can be displayed (rather than sunken) with pipe exposure to accent.  No need to hide the angular beauty and smooth lines of pipe.  The focus is about the materials incorporated to solicit a tactile sensation.  Minimalist presence helps clear the mind and create an atmosphere of tranquility.  Wood and colorful wallpaper are ways to diversify texture and dimension.

modern bathroom 2

These matching fixtures are offset by the brightly colored, tiled walls contrasted against the charcoal accents and well-placed lighting.  Light is used in this bathroom to create density of dimension.

modern bathroom 3

2012 modern design trends are predicted to have a lot of pure white rooms.  Though this bathroom provides the designer with a lot of space to work with, modern themes allow and even encourage the use of center stage rather than corner and wall hugging facilities.  The opaque use of white space delivers an environment of peace without distractions or darkness.

modern bathroom 4

Built in ledges for artistic space and sharp angles can be a dramatic but functional expression of design in modern bathrooms.  Eliminate wall art and shelving in favor of a complete room motif that draws the eye to the floor to ceiling ambiance of the room.  Using houseplants will also bring a serenity and healthy cleansing atmosphere to the bathroom.

Ultra modern bathroom vanities incorporated into your new house plans will update your home drastically.  A total lack of clutter, angular lines, strong materials and lots of light are the hallmarks of modern bathroom design.

Lisa writes about interior design trends and Austin homes for sale.

A Modern Twist on Culturally-Influenced Design

French country, tribal, Caribbean…these all bring to mind a very distinct aesthetic. Design is influenced by all corners of the world, and the rich cultures of these influencers are apparent. Going all in and incorporating these styles into your own home can quickly look costume-y, especially if you are trying to mix different cultural designs throughout your house.

However, you can still chicly incorporate these beautiful, global-inspired designs into your home. The key is to think modern, not traditional. Whether you add a few modern accessories or completely transform your space to give homage to another part of the world, here are some modern interpretations of culturally-influenced design.

Modern French Country

modern French country interior design

French Country can all-to-easily turn into a tribute to Little House on the Prairie. However, an all-white canvas and sleek lines makes it fresh. Plus, subway tile back splash is classic and can be incorporated into a lot of different styles.

French Ornate

modern French interior design

Fancy a more ornate, traditional French style but afraid of it becoming too over the top? The key is using fresh, modern colors and subdued details. Once you start mixing dark colors and lavish, conflicting patterns it can become extravagant and gaudy.

African Tribal

modern African interior design

Tribally-influenced design is all about bold patterns and colors. Give it a modern twist by tempering the color palette, opting for cool tones. In addition, playing up the graphic appeal of the tribal design can bring age-old traditions to present day.

Modern Moroccan

modern Moroccan interior design

Moroccan design is epitomes with deep, bold colors and lavish, ornate detail work. You can add it to your home without going over the top by adding Moroccan flare as a punch of color to a neutral space. Also, picking a brighter hue of Moroccan jewel tones will add a modern, yet whimsical twist.

German Modern

modern German interior design

Germanic design is known for its modern, architectural lines. However, it can easily look cold and dated, as if it was from the mod era. Warmth is in, so give German design a modern twist by creating a warm inviting space. How do you do this? Use warm, light wood tones and play with textures to add a cozy depth.

Adria Saracino is a freelancer, blogger, and home décor enthusiast. She writes for Pimsleur Approach, which sells language learning software—everything from pimsleur French to pimsleur German.

Photo Credits: Décor Pad, House Beautiful, Plan Home Design, Contemporist, A Designer Spot

Incredible Dog Houses

Many people regard their dogs as members of the family. Some are treated just like cherished children. Our dogs are well cared for, and we give them things to call their own, like a collar and toys. And while many beloved dogs live indoors inside our own house, we often give them a place to rest when they’re in the backyard in the form of a dog house. Most doghouses are of simple construction and design. They don’t require much but a pad and a water bowl. Our dogs just don’t mind how their house looks; they aren’t connoisseurs of architecture or design. But some dog owners love their pets too much to give them a plain and basic house. These owners also tend to have too much money to spare. Here are some of the most incredible dog houses.

The Cool Pet House

The Cool Pet House, which was debuted at the Australian Pet Expo, is a technologically advanced home design. The Cool Pet House has heating and air conditioning for your pet, and you can control the temperature on the thermostat with a remote control. There is a humidifying system that keeps the humidity at a comfortable 50 to 60 percent. There are LED lights inside the home and out. There is even a buffer area at the front of the home that provides a transition area for your pet (temperature controlled) so they are not exposed to sudden temperature changes. Best of all, there is Wi-Fi camera that allows you to watch your pets when you’re away.
Photo credit: Funky Products

Beyond the Crate Houses

If you have $5,000 to $30,000 to spend on your dog house, consider getting your pooch one of the Celebrity Dog Mansions from You can select a custom-made home for your dog in a variety of different styles: hacienda, brick estate, white colonial, Swiss chalet, Georgetown, Victorian, English cottage, or French chateau. For each home you will be consulted before construction, and you will help design the home to your specific desires. Your home will be built just for your dog, from the blueprint to the landscaping. Your dog can get a variety of amenities as well, including running water, lighting, heat, and air conditioning. If you like, you can even build your dog an exact replica of your own home.

World’s Most Expensive Dog House
Photo Credit: Beyond The Crate

Any dog owner who truly wants to give their dog the most luxurious pad can take a cue from the owner of a pair of Great Danes in Gloucestershire, England. She (a surgeon who wishes to remain anonymous) commissioned architect Andy Ramus to build a doghouse that cost about half a million dollars. The climate-controlled home has a private bedroom for each dog with sheepskin-lined beds, a spa, sound system, and 52-inch plasma television. There are automated food and water dispensers, a day lounge, and an outdoor area with a climbing ramp for playtime. CCTVs also provide security and allow the owner to check up on her pooches at any time, and the dog house is connected to the main house. It was even designed to have a retina scan at the entry to ensure only the lucky Danes are allowed in.

Susan Wright DVM writes for DogFenceDiy the invisible fence alternative.

Get more ideas for pet-pampering at Wet Nose Guide!