Archive for the 'Design Ideas' Category

Hot or not hot? Tin can wall covering

This wall covering made from tin can tops, as seen in the New York Times, has a certain appeal. But there’s something a little creepy about it, as well. Or is it just me? (Photo: New York Times)

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Bullnose corners are great, but what about the baseboard trim?

You’re familiar with bullnose corners, right? Rounded, elegant, rich-looking. But what do you do about the baseboard moldings? You can’t very well finish them off with standard squared-off, 90-degree moldings. On his Build or Remodel Your Own House blog, Carl Heldmann offers some suggestions from Distinctive Woodcraft West. The corner molding shown here has a [...]

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Ask Kathy: Where to get started with a kitchen design?

Question: Your coverage in the L.A. Times and your blog have inspired my husband and I to move forward with purchasing a new house that has everything but one key feature: A Great Kitchen. In fact, the existing kitchen is barely bigger than the one I had in my college apartment. We have a fantastic [...]

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DIY paintings: Hot or not hot?

For a cool contemporary home, these DIY paintings might be fun and flexible. These look so sophisticated. But actually, they’re simply canvases stretched on wood frames covered liberally with gesso-thickened paint. And where in the world would artists be without the miracle of gesso? Just moving one colored canvas in or out of a scene [...]

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Remodeling trend: males abandoning man-caves?

Men, could this be true? You’re abandoning your man-caves for man-kitchens and man-patios? This emerging (get it?) trend was announced in a press release for ReVision, a remodeling company that won an award for the outdoor man-kitchen you see here. Todd Senft, from the Canadian remodeling company, said the project was created for “a young [...]

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Book Report: ‘Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House’

"Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House" by Daniel P. Gregory, with photographs by Joe Fletcher and a foreword by Joel Silver. (Rizzoli; 256 pages; $60) Reviewed by Robert Nebolon (Robert Nebolon, a Berkeley architect, designed a contemporary Hermosa Beach home featured previously on this blog.) Cliff May, the father of the California ranch house, [...]

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Love this green tile

As I’m perusing tile stores to get ideas for my own backsplash, I come across a photo of this gorgeous green glass tile. It’s in a house featured by the L.A. Times Home Section in an article title, appropriately, Exploding with color. What struck me was the use of the same color in all the [...]

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Tile artist’s home is her canvas

Back in the 1980s, Michelle Griffoul chose her home for one reason. “It had forklift access to the backyard,” said Michelle, who bought the home, in the Santa Barbara County community of Los Olivos, when she was a fledgling ceramic-tile artist with a very large kiln. “The house itself was irrelevant.” But the sage-green house [...]

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Dining room makeover: ideas for my own situation

I see a couple of ideas here that are useful for my own remodeling. But the thing that really jumped out at me in this story is that the homeowner and I have nearly the same name: she is Kathryn Price, I am Kathy Price. However, she has three kids and a law degree. And [...]

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For HGTV’s Kim Myles, a good start

For Kim Myles fans who were put off by what one commenter here called a “bizarre” color scheme during HGTV’s “Myles of Style” show on Sunday, tonight’s presentation may have been her vindication. The boutique hotel décor of the reveal was stunning with a richly hued wall of puddling drapes and a three-toned upholstered headboard. [...]

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Choosing colors, the ‘rule of five’ comes alive

I’ve been lucky enough to meet two amazing TV decorators: Amanda Pays from Fine Living’s "Breathing Room," and Kitty Bartholomew from HGTV’s "You’re Home: Kitty Bartholomew." (Kitty and I later wrote a book together, now out of print). Amanda and Kitty shared with me two golden nuggets of decorating wisdom. But really, those nuggets never [...]

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Architect/contractor from California builds colorful home in Israel

Michael Abel, an architect and contractor from California, and his Israeli-born wife Nava, built and decorated this 1,800-square-foot, five-bedroom, three-bathroom home in the town of Zichron Yaacov, Israel, which overlooks the Mediterranean. This is from an article in the New York Times. The article says that many of the building materials, including interior doors, were [...]

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Feng shui remodeling tips from . . . McDonald’s?

To be honest, I don’t go to McDonald’s for healthy food. But, I might go to a certain McDonald’s for a healthy environment (and maybe to get some design tips for my own home). That McDonald’s is in Hacienda Heights and its owner, Mark Brownstein, wanted to redesign the store to deal with slumping sales. [...]

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A Dust Dilemma: What would you do about the fireplace?

After visiting Susan Rose at her 1933 Eagle Rock home, I wondered how I would have handled the dilemma she faced with her fireplace. The problem stemmed from the fact that Susan wanted to add a new bedroom onto the side of the house where the fireplace already existed. (The other side of the living [...]

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A galley-licious kitchen redo

I do some writing for a Better Homes & Gardens magazine and when I present my editor with a great remodel in a galley kitchen she tells me they can’t use galley kitchens because they are too difficult to photograph. And I’m like, well most people have galley kitchens. And she’s like, we still can’t [...]

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The New American Home of 1984

If you were born prior to 1984, you may recall how frightened some of us were of that year on account of George Orwell’s 1949 book, "1984," that foretold a bleak vision of a future with a Big Brother state of government and a band of thought police. However, in terms of the New American [...]

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Tired of the cans in your ceiling?

In the beginning, there was the bare bulb. And then there came to pass the light fixture. Soon upon the land, dropped ceilings and fluorescent lights spread. As humans progressed, recessed lighting became the rage. And then pendant lights became the queen of cool. So the trouble is, how do you go from a recessed [...]

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Stupid kitchen layout: Can you top this?

Some kitchen layouts are awkward. Some without grace. But this one, in a Corona tract house, was flat-out stupid. You can see, in the top photo, the kitchen after the $7,000 DIY remodel. It is truly wonderful. But in the next photo you see the kitchen as it was originally laid out. The rough sketch [...]

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Does pan drawer beneath cooktop work for you?

I was reading a story about a $100,000, three-year kitchen remodel in the San Francisco Chronicle this morning when I came across this photo. It’s a handsome kitchen, no doubt about it. But I was struck by the pan drawer underneath the cooktop. Of course you have to put something under a cooktop. It can’t [...]

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Subway tile: On the way out? Or still in?

The real reason I’m so dismissive of trends is that I’m lousy at spotting them until they’re nearly over. Those in the know have been using subway tile for a few years, and I wonder: Is it still trendy or over? Should I make this economical choice for my own remodel? In the top left [...]

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