Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Really Custom- photos from various projects

Mexican Tile and Wood Stove w/ Bread Baking compartment
in a Farmhouse Kitchen Addition to an Older Home
It's fun to be an architect, or hire an architect, and work on a design that creates something unique and personal as a result. It's part of why I enjoy being a residential architect. You can find out what the client really wishes they had in their home and build exactly that- a wine cellar? a wood stove to bake bread in? a library for a collection of books? a kitchen from which you can watch the game while cooking? I often urge my clients to dream of what they want from their home and not worry too much about how we get there. Use colors, styles, and materials that you will be happy looking at- for some that is clean and serene with a lot of white and cool colors, others keep wood accents natural and unpainted. And still others enjoy whimsy with bold and bright checkerboard patterns and unique tiles.

Red Tile, Wood Beams and Kitchen open to Living Room
Bold Colors and Patterns in this Home Office
Understated Custom Tiled "Tree of Life" Back-splash over cook-top
Colorful Tiled Back-splash
A Bench and Cubbies in the Entry

Panels built to match cabinetry hide appliances for a very clean look (not painted yet)

I like to incorporate features into the design that will make life easier and work for the way my clients live - a bench, wall hooks & cubbies near the entry or a room with a dutch door to contain the dogs. I also like to problem-solve to use space and materials efficiently - like when I tucked a little shower seat into a nook created when an addition was built around an existing fireplace or when a sink was tucked into an artist's closet rather than using up the corner of a room. No room to call a library? How about shelves at the top of the stairs? An easy place to personalize is a tiled design over the stove.

Book shelves create a Library in the Hall
Artist's sink hidden in closet of Painting Studio
Dog Room has Dutch Door, Doggie Stair up to
Doggie Door leading to outdoor Fenced Kennel
Shower Bench tucked into an extra bit of space
Sometime we want to highlight a beautiful piece of art or re-purpose a found object into art- I encourage this, as long as we are not using old single-pane glass in our new building envelope. (Always use insulated doors and windows that exceed energy code! Reusing old windows or doors is NOT being green - but that is another post...)

One client had a stained glass window we placed among bookcases between the library and entry and back lite for a marvelous connection between rooms. Another had antique heavy wood doors that were re-used as a laundry room and panty door. Objects and antiques as art can be placed in your home for you to admire each day.

Art House- from left Stained glass window set in bookcases,
Iron gates mounted and lite on far wall at end of long view,
Large-format tiled wall wraps around side of refrigerator

Closer view of the Iron Gates as art - and Antique Columns used to partition the Room
Sometimes custom can be more expensive, but not always! So go for it next time you renovate or paint! Be brave! Chose a funky tile or different light fixture or an antique piece of furniture. Plan for a built-in so you can put stuff where you need it and save space. Add a root cellar or a greenhouse or even just window boxes, if you are a gardener. Put wood on the ceiling instead of the floor. If you want to bake bread, get an awesome oven and use cool tiles to accent it. Find an antique barn door or column or metal hinge that you love and re-purpose it inside. Make your space personal & beautiful so it brings you joy and ease in your daily life!

Antique Dry Sink re-purposed as Vanity Cabinet
Painted Kitchen Cabinets and Built-in Bench under Window

Built-in shelves in a Mud Room Entry

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