Archive for the 'Design Ideas' Category

A glass-door refrigerator for a change of pace

Yes, it’s a bit unusual. But why not? This is a commercial refrigerator from Frigidaire that is being used in a home. It costs from $1,400 to $1,700 depending on what kind of deal you can get. The light can stay on or off. You decide. Some people like to leave it on during the [...]

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The $5 starting point

Isn’t this bedroom yummy? It’s in the Rosarito Beach vacation condo that Don and Gigi Maurizio remodeled. Gigi, an administrator with the Glendora Unified School District who lives in Claremont, told me she found the headboard (which is really a footboard) for $5 on closeout at a Pier One Imports store. That was the starting [...]

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Look to neighbors for ideas on vintage architectural details

The nice thing about remodeling an older home in a neighborhood of such homes is that you need simply walk around the area with your eyes open to find ideas for exterior architectural details. That’s what Aaron Raymond did when he remodeled his 1942 French Normandy home in the Windsor Hills area of Los Angeles. [...]

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How’s that remodel working out? Greening up a modest tract house

Bill and Becka Doering did a whole-house green remodel on their Santa Barbara home, and I wrote a Pardon Our Dust feature about it, which you can read here. Bill is both an engineer and a green-building enthusiast. With his firm, Doering Design & Engineering, he helps others make their homes more energy-efficient. Also, the [...]

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The new chic: decorating from the dump

I knew we were on our way to a Depression Era decorating mentality and now we have arrived. Thank goodness we have artists living at the poverty level to show us the way. As seen in this feature in the New York Times, an artist who makes sculpture from driftwood and his resourceful partner have [...]

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5 Favorites on Kathy’s Remodeling Blog

You can tell what’s up in the world by what people search for on the Internet. Here on Kathy’s Remodeling Blog, we’ve got five consistently favorite subjects that interest your fellows readers. They are: Green Remodeling Kitchens Before & After Contractor Issues Design Ideas

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Is it a grab bar? Or a fashion statement?

It’s true: People don’t generally like the way grab bars look. The industrial feel of old-school grab bars brings to mind an institution of some sort. And so while it would make sense to install grab bars during any bathroom remodel, many homeowners don’t on account of the looks. These are from our friends at [...]

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The doggie apartment in the laundry room

Where to put the dog bed? That is the question. In my own house, I tend toward the philosophy of: Let’s put the dog bed in the middle of the living room so my fur baby doesn’t get lonely. But not all people are going to warm up to this idea. I’ve never crated a [...]

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Would you sacrifice square footage for charm?

When famed kitchen designer Susan Serra visited Copenhagen this month, she stayed in this apartment and sent back this photo. In this living room, I was struck by the deep-set windows, which add so much charm. It creates a feeling of thick walls, and provides shelves for plants, flowers and other things of beauty, and provides a [...]

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Before & After — Ikea kitchen island on steroids

This is one of the best budget kitchen remodels I’ve seen. While you can see a dramatic change from before (bottom) and after (top), notice that the cabinets are the same, the window is in the same place, all the appliances are in the same locations and the floor and ceiling are the same. So [...]

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Add a front porch; save the world

Have you ever driven or walked past a house that was so alluring, so charming, so warmly inviting that you felt an urge to go in and sit a spell? I bet that house had a front porch. I’m convinced that our future as a species would be more hopeful if we all had front [...]

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Flaunting Ashton Kutcher’s luxury studio trailer is in very poor taste . . . but I wanna touch it!

As you well know, the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are going the other way. The whole economy is rigged that way and you wonder how long it will go on. As our new two-class economy unfolds, it seems disgusting for rich people to flaunt their riches, doesn’t it? So why [...]

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Etsy Find of the Week — Super cool wall decals

I just can’t get enough of these removable vinyl wall decals. They are made by a lady and her Chinese husband, who is the artist. The little bio on the Etsy website is so endearing: “We are a family run shop,my husband is a chinese artist,he design the graphics,I do some computer work.we are very [...]

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The irresistible appeal of a tiny house

I guess I'll end up in a tiny house someday because I am irresistibly drawn to them. The one shown in this video is in Olympia, Washington, which is, I gather, a free-thinking community. What I love: The simple life. Being a citizen rather than a consumer. Cedar walls. A loft bed. Off the grid. [...]

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Famous Folks at Home: Gerry and Imaging Spence in Montecito, Calif.

When Santa Barbara Magazine asked me to write an article about the massive remodel done by Imaging Spence (yes, that’s her given name), I kind of dreaded it. You may recall that her husband Gerry Spence is a famous attorney and author, and I feared that the couple might be snotty and ostentatious and arrogant. [...]

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Enlightened journeys

I’ve been especially enchanted with several house photos in my collection, and I finally realized what they have in common: All of the homes use natural light to make the journeys from room to room more pleasant. The top photo shows Claire Gunning, 8, walking down the stairway in her family’s Hermosa Beach home, which [...]

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Architect Portfolio: Hermosa Beach house on a teeny lot

The more I study this “green” house, the more I like it. Of course, it’s more of a teardown and rebuild than a remodel, but the lot size — at 30 feet by 50 feet — presented plenty of challenges. The 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom house, which is two blocks from the beach in Hermosa, was designed for a [...]

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A new kitchen for an older woman

Outside of Charlotte, N.C., Judy Hammill moved back to the farmhouse where she grew up and that her own father built. But the kitchen was dated and would not work as Judy settled into retirement and got older. She won a makeover from AARP and an aging-in-place specialist to make the kitchen accessible. The new [...]

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Selling the Mantel: fireplace mantel as striking focal point

How important is a fireplace and mantel? Take it from a man who tours hundreds of houses a year and whose sales depend on features that attract buyers: “Every room needs a centerpiece,” says David Kean, an interior designer and real estate agent with The John Aaroe Group, in Beverly Hills, Calif. According to Kean, [...]

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Super Cool Idea: Your garden flowers embedded in resin panels for cabinet inserts

This idea is so unique that we at Kathy’s Remodeling Blog can hardly stand it: You can have your own garden flowers imbedded into resin panels for use as kitchen or bathroom cabinet inserts. See some options here Can you imagine your favorite flowers, that you grew, immortalized in resin panels? You can use translucent [...]

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