Archive for the 'Design Ideas' Category

Studio City kitchen shop wins national design competition

Imagine a 1950s house with a brick-lined kitchen. Now imagine that a prominent attorney owns the house and wants to create a suitable kitchen in which to get geared up for the day. You might be imagining this maple and granite kitchen, which won a 2007 first-place award from the National Kitchen and Bath Assn. [...]

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Trying to sell your home? Add shoe storage

If I weren’t one myself, I’d say U.S. women are weirdos. And that’s not because we own an average of 19 pairs of shoes each, as was reported by Reuters, based on a study by Consumer Reports. Nothing unexpected about that, considering our country’s recent credit-card orgies. What’s bizarre is that we try to hide [...]

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A tile master in our midst

I’ll be heading out soon to interview tile artist and manufacturer Michelle Griffoul at her home in Buellton, just north of Santa Barbara, for a Pardon Our Dust feature. In the meantime, I was perusing her website and came across this utterly gorgeous combination of tile and bronze. Have you ever seen anything so mouth-watering? [...]

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Style Sleuth: Bringing down the ceiling in cavernous spaces

Here’s a cool idea I saw at a SoCal Starbucks for visually bringing a too-tall ceiling down to human level. In this scene, two squares of warmly finished plywood have been suspended from the tall ceiling, with recessed lights built in. How clever is that? The reason I bring this to your attention is that [...]

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Q&A: How to house hunt with future remodeling in mind?

<p><a onclick=”window.open(this.href, ‘_blank’, ‘width=295,height=192,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false” href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/08/30/rabucinwindows.jpg”><img title=”Rabucinwindows” height=”195″ alt=”Rabucinwindows” src=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/pardonourdust/images/2007/08/30/rabucinwindows.jpg” width=”300″ border=”0″ style=”FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 5px” /></a><strong>Question</strong>: I’m getting ready to embark on a house hunt here in Los Angeles. Beyond dealing with the particulars of finding a place to buy, which is treacherous enough, I’d like to get a headstart on the remodeling. [...]

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Q&A: How to house hunt with future remodeling in mind?

Question: I’m getting ready to embark on a house hunt here in Los Angeles. Beyond dealing with the particulars of finding a place to buy, which is treacherous enough, I’d like to get a headstart on the remodeling. Obviously, I don’t have specs for my new digs to really plan anything out, but I’d like [...]

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One woman’s castle is another woman’s shack

If you have a friend who lives in the arty village of Cambria, as I do, she is likely take you to see the local curiosity called Nitt Witt Ridge, as my friend Jeannie did earlier this week. Nitt Witt Ridge is the creation of the late Art Beal, aka Capt. Nitt Witt, a reclusive [...]

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Can’t get enough tiny houses?

There’s a whole gaggle of ‘em at TinyHouses.net. You know, a tiny house need not be a full-time residence. Here’s how this site defines tiny houses: “They are the structures which resemble our childhood drawings: simple, symmetrical, human sized, single purposed. Bigger than a shed but smaller than a two-car garage, the one room tiny [...]

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Want a peaceful sleep? Check out the feng shui bedroom

This little video, presented with permission from Design2Share, is amazingly helpful. I realize this bedroom is in a New York apartment, and not in Southern California, but I do believe the principles of feng shui (the ancient Chinese art of placement) travel nicely across state lines. See more Design2Share videos

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Remodeling Challenge: What do with the TV?

From Los Angeles real estate agent David Kean: I have a wall in my loft/condo that I need some help with. Since our HOA does not allow us to mount our TVs on the wall I have put mine on a mirrored table. The wall just seems boring. I want to spice it up with [...]

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Have a hard time picturing new space? Get a scale model made

You have to admire architects, designers and contractors who can picture 3-dimentional space by looking at a set of blueprints. I’m not among them, and you might not be either. Of course, 3-D renderings on the computer have made it easier to imagine the corner cabinet or island your designer is suggesting. But for a [...]

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Young designers learn the facts of remodeling life

As first-time home buyers and recent architecture school graduates, Apurva Pande and Chinmaya Misra got a lesson in real-world construction when they remodeled their own 1,600-square-foot midcentury bungalow in the West Adams area. At architecture school — he went to UCLA and she to the Southern California Institute of Architecture — the couple learned about [...]

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A week at design school

If a new custom home or major remodel might require a year and a few hundred thousand dollars to pull off — or more — wouldn’t it make sense to spend a week thinking about it? I’m talking about spending an intensive week in Vermont, at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School, which I did a few [...]

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When architecture alone is not enough . . .

After a Claremont homeowner designed her new master bathroom and had it built, she felt the dramatic octagonal recess in the room needed a little more drama. So she brought in Dan Gallagher of Gallagher’s Decorative Painting and Design (Lic. No. 733972) to add more dimension. First Dan applied paper-thin sheets of copper to the [...]

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McMansion Backlash: The Small House Society

Since 1997, Jay Shafer has lived in a 96-square-foot house in Sebastopol that is smaller than some people’s closets. You can see it by clicking here. The house to the left and below is another small house, dubbed “Little Prefab on the Prairie.” Jay is a co-founder of the Small House Society, which is part [...]

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Architects’ own Venice remodel wins national AIA award

Earlier this year, the so-called Solar Umbrella house — designed by owners and architects Angela Brooks and Lawrence Scarpa and built by Above Board Construction in West Los Angeles — won a 2007 Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. The innovative house is hard to describe and luckily it’s built in Venice where [...]

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Get the Martha vibe without moving to Riverside County

Visitors are flocking (at the rate of 70 per week, if that’s a flock) to western Riverside County to check out the new homes built by KB Home and designed by Martha Stewart, as reported by the L.A. Times Real Estate section. The homes reflect the East Coast vibe of Martha’s homes in New York, [...]

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Remodeler’s Challenge: What’s up with that fireplace?

Is there anything better than looking at houses? I find it exhilarating to see inside people’s homes, either remodeled houses I tour for my newspaper and magazine articles, or houses for sale that people are ready to leave. Sometimes, I see something that needs to be remodeled, fixed, altered, or otherwise made right. I saw [...]

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Gewgaw? Or nah?

Gew·gaw [gyoo-gaw]–noun: something gaudy and useless; trinket; bauble. (Dictionary.com) Every now and again, we’re faced with a wrenching dilemma: Do we retain the gaudy, ornate, distracting look of woodwork installed by a previous owner of our home? Or do we paint over it, tone it down, bring it up to this decade’s sensibility? The new [...]

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Ask a Realtor: Will an open floor plan bring in top dollar?

Question: We are planning a remodel of our home which is about 1,400 sq. ft. We currently have a large living room (357 sq. ft.), a dining room (136 sq. ft.), and a kitchen (125 sq. ft.) we are planning to remodel. We are thinking of possibly opening up the walls between these rooms to [...]

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