8 Influential Home Design Trends for 2012

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) annually conducts its Best in American Living Awards (BALA). These awards, open to contractors and design professionals, acknowledge that fantastic design “is not and shouldn’t be restricted to high-priced and custom homes.”

The NAHB uses these design awards to search for upcoming trends for new house design. This past year the jurors identified eight layout trends that will have an impact on new house designs in 2012 and into the future.

When speaking about these tendencies at the International Builders Show, held in February in Orlando, Florida, BALA jurors Heather McCune, Mark Kiner and Victor Mirontshuk all noted that new home layout is significantly better now than simply a few years back. Unlike in the recent boom years, when just about anything constructed was sold, strong competition in the current market is forcing all builders to improve dwelling layout.

A better house with an eye on the future. Now that is what I predict better living.

National Association of Home Builders

Design fad no. 1: classic yet modern. The new homes with strong sales now are those that blend modern and traditional elements to create cleaner and simpler elevations. Interior spaces are clean, bright and easy. Gone are the generous and detailing ornamentation of the past.

This endeavor: Gold Award, One-of-a-Kind Home, 4,001–6,500 square feet
Private residence, Chicago
Project Team:
• Architect/Designer: Kenneth Brinkman, Chicago
• Builder/Developer: Environs Development, Inc., Chicago
• Interior Designer: Amy May, Environs Development, Chicago

Photo by Herbie Rooprai

National Association of Home Builders

Design fad no. 2: exterior spaces as an extension of living room. Whether to get a single-family house or a multifamily building, house buyers are looking for private outdoor spaces that blend seamlessly with the indoors. This trend cuts across geographic regions, being as accurate in the colder regions of the country as in the warmer, milder areas.

This endeavor: Platinum Award, Detached House around 2,000 square feet
Siena at Laguna Altura, Irvine, California
Project Team:
• Architect/Designer: Bassenian | Lagoni, Newport Beach, California
• Builder: Irvine Pacific, Irvine, California
• Interior Designer: Austin Johnson Interiors, Irvine, California
• Developer: Irvine Company, Irvine, California
• Land Planner: Irvine Company, Irvine, California

Photo by Eric Figge

National Association of Home Builders

Design fad no. 3: good, cost-effective designs. To keep construction costs low, we will see multiple roof lines and complexity give way to simplified forms. Gone is the “bursting roof” design paradigm to its simple gable roof and rectangular form. Innovative and creative methods to layouts, storage, curb appeal and so on will be established in the early design stage to make sure that the new designs don’t become boring.

This endeavor: Gold Award, Single-Family Detached Home, 2,001–3,000 square feet
Hampton Lane Plan 2, San Diego
Project Team:
• Architect/Designer: Bassenian/Lagoni Architects, Newport Beach, California
• Builder/Developer: Pardee Homes, Los Angeles
• Land Planner: Project Design Consultants, San Diego
• Interior Merchandiser: Citrine Interior Design, Whittier, California

Photo by Robb Miller Photography

National Association of Home Builders

Design fad no. 4: the family triangle. It was that open floor plans have been limited to certain geographical areas and buyer profiles. The open floor plan is desired throughout the country and by every industry segment. The older living room was replaced by a flexible space that could be used as necessary while still being near the family room. The jurors noted that these new open plans rely on light and detail to give a sense of spaciousness rather than simply being large.

This endeavor: Platinum Award, Interior Design, Kitchen
Brownstones of Brambleton, Ashburn, Virginia
Project Team:
• Architect/Designer: Lessard Design, Inc., Reston, Virginia
• Builder: Miller and Smith, Mclean, Virginia
• Interior Designer: Carlyn and Company, Great Falls, Virginia
• Developer: Brambleton Group, LLC, Brambleton, Virginia
• Land Planner: Parker Rodriguez, Alexandria, Virginia

Photo by Jim Kirby Photography

National Association of Home Builders

Design fad no. 5: multigenerational living. Whether it is because more are kids returning home after school or more parents are moving in with the family, multigenerational homes are rising in popularity. In fact, 1 study indicated that the construction of such homes has jumped 30 percent in the past few years.

So if they create “lock-off” units, two master suites (one up and one down) or even another sort of area, builders are recognizing the increased need for these types of homes and planning to them in their designs. Amenities such as wider hallways, elevators, grab bars and so forth are becoming the norm.

This endeavor: Silver Award, Green-Built Home
KB Home GreenHouse, Orlando, Florida
Project Team:
• Architect/Designer: KB Home Architecture, Los Angeles
• Builder/Developer: KB Home, Orlando, Florida
• Interior Designer: KB Home and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Los Angeles and New York

Photo by James F. Watson

National Association of Home Builders

Design fad no. 6: Kitchen entertaining using a view. Kitchens continue to be without a doubt the center of the house. But with square footage being trimmed, designers are having to create innovative solutions for storage and functional needs. There is also a growing use of large windows to keep the kitchen light, airy and bright so that it can live large. The loss of wall area for cabinetry is composed with walk-in pantries (dubbed the “Costco Closet”), in which it is not unusual to obtain the (messy) kitchen table concealed from view.

This endeavor: Silver Award, One-of-a-Kind Home over 6,501 square-foot
Private home, Bluffton, South Carolina
Project Team:
• Architect/Designer: Hansen Architects P.C., Savannah, Georgia
• Builder: JT Turner Construction, Savannah, Georgia
• Interior Designer: Hansen Architects P.C., Savannah, Georgia
• Developer: Crescent Resources, Bluffton, South Carolina

Photo by Elaine Fultz

National Association of Home Builders

Design fad no. 7: green design components that customers know and want. Buyers expect a certain level of green components in their homes now. Items that are somewhat familiar, reduce operating costs and are simple to use are the most popular.

This endeavor: Silver Award, Green-Built Home
KB Home GreenHouse, Orlando, Florida
Project Team:
• Architect/Designer: KB Home Architecture, Los Angeles
• Builder/Developer: KB Home, Orlando, Florida
• Interior Designer: KB Home and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Los Angeles and New York

Photo by James F. Watson

National Association of Home Builders

Design fad no. 8: much less soil development, more focus on multifamily. The tendency is to smaller developments and infill properties using a proximity to transport and other conveniences. A mixture of housing types and buyer profiles is clear to ensure that households across generations can live near one other. Less emphasis is now placed on the importance of an auto, as buyers wish to reside in walk-to-everything communities.

This endeavor: Finest in Region, Pacific Northwest
Legacy at Riverpark Apartments, Redmond, Washington
Project Team:
• Architect/Designer: EDI International, Houston
• Builder: Legacy Partners Residential, Inc., Mercer Island, Washington
• Interior Designer: Robin Chell Design, Seattle
• Developer: Legacy Partners Residential Development, Seattle
• Land Planner: Tiscareno Associates (Master Plan Architect), Seattle

Photo by Vicaso

More: The Case for Cautious Optimism

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Marine Blue Washes Ashore

As its name implies, marine blue is drawn from naval uniforms and ocean depths, plus it is a cornerstone of the classic coastal palette. Nevertheless this soulful, satisfying color — a hot colour with the barest undercurrent of green — looks even fresher away from the ocean.

Just like a well-cut blazer, marine blue is versatile, handsome and always in good taste, whether it takes the kind of Hollywood Regency elegance or eclectic chic. Have a look at the enormously different styles it adopts in the spaces below.

ZeroEnergy Design

A delightful marine-blue background adds richness and depth to this headboard. It complements the red-orange wall in the adjoining living room perfectly.

Glazed marine-blue backsplash tiles provide an otherwise neutral kitchen additional dimension. The white and natural wood surfaces retain the focus on that gorgeous stroke of color.

Katie Denham Interiors

Marine blue accents help to floor the bold reds in this bedroom. Though this home sits on the California coast, the appearance would be just as appropriate for a Chicago pied-à-terre or even a suburban ranch in Raleigh.

Studio William Hefner

This ranks up there with my all-time favourite photographs on . The blue velvet glows in the light bouncing off the walls along with the antiqued mirror, its own tones shifting between marine and navy and indigo for a quietly dramatic impact.

Jeff Sheats Designs

Though this bathroom would feel on point in a coastal home, swapping out the art would push it in a more conventional direction. The aluminum sink picks the hot undertones in the blue cabinet finish and represents a subtle spin on the classic pairing of blue and orange.

Lizette Marie Interior Design

Nuanced, striated blue tiles in a pattern of interlocking ovals provide this transitional bathroom a beautiful feeling of motion and flow.

Savvy Interiors

The time-honored blue and yellow color palette receives a sophisticated spin with a butter-hued sofa and extreme marine blue on the walls along with ottoman.

Belzberg Architects

Under a cloak of luminous blue tile this tub area shimmers just like the ocean.

Benjamin Moore Marine Blue 2059-10 Paint – $35.95

Rich and complex, this gloomy could be ideal for a research, a powder tub, a boudoir or a dining room. Add a coating of lacquer to give it a high-wattage gleam.

Sundance Catalog

Big Color-Tipped Cutting Board – $150

Dipped in a marine-blue wash, this cutting board extends from workhorse to function of art. It’s almost too pretty to mar with knife marks — I’d hang it on a kitchen wall rather.


Robert Abbey Triple Gourd Table Lamp, Marine Blue – $261.80

A classic lamp base profile gets an update in vibrant marine blue.

F. Schumacher & Co..

Santorini Print, Marine

Indoor-outdoor fabrics such as this one work beautifully in breakfast regions and dining rooms — they resist spilled food and sticky fingers. I could see this on bar stools or simple chairs in a kitchen with kelly-green cabinetry for a burst of preppy panache.

Modern Armchairs

Blue leather adds dignified charm for this midcentury modern–inspired armchair.


Royal Crown Derby Grenville Place Setting – $325

Mix in a few pieces of this delicate china pattern to elevate an assortment of basic porcelain.

The Lacquer Company

Handmade High-Gloss Lacquer Ice Bucket by Rita Konig, Blue Marine – $395

This showstopping ice bucket deserves a place front and centre on the pub buffet or cart.

Colors of Light

Ironwork Trellis Dhurrie Rug, Cobalt Blue and Ivory – $59

Where would not this versatile dhurrie function? Use it to anchor a living space, jazz up a hallway, freshen up a formal dining space or hot a guest suite.


Iron/Tones Smart Split Top-Mount or Undermount Sink – $1,295

Part of a limited-edition line of Jonathan Adler colours, this sink would draw the eye like a magnet in a pristine kitchen.

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the Life-Changing Decision and The Orchard

In 2005, Robert and Linda Cordtz took a remarkable leap of faith by leaving their longtime home and investing their life savings in an ailing orchard. Inspired by their enthusiasm for green living and their love of healthy food, they bought a conventional orchard in Eastern Oregon and began the tender and dull job of transitioning the trees from conventional to organic.

Robert used to work for the Forestry Service removing toxic waste from organic places. Throughout this time he watched more than his share of ecological destruction from chemicals and man-made contamination. “When I retired from this job I decided I didn’t want to touch another toxic thing ever again,” he says. When Linda talks of their job creating a sustainable future, she becomes severe and says that any poison on this house “stops”

at a Glance
Who lives here:
Robert and Linda Cordtz, their dog and a few laying hens
Location: Eagle Creek Orchard at Richland, Oregon
Size: Around 1,700 square feet; 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
That’s intriguing: The orchard consists of 5 acres and homes 1,200 fruit trees watered from Eagle Creek, which flows directly out of the Wallowa Mountains.

Sarah Greenman

The couple sells their natural produce at the Boise and Baker City farmer’s markets. They also have a fruit stand on the house for people prepared to make the drive. And after having tasted their succulent tree-ripened peaches, I can guarantee you the drive is quite worth it.

Sarah Greenman

The Cordtz house is sprinkled with glowing red accents, from the red roof, to the classic stove, to the red bench in the entryway, to the crimson pears that hang heavy on the branches this season. Linda invites me to the kitchen where she is peeling, cutting and dehydrating peaches. She moves to the sink, saying, “We are headed to the marketplace in Boise this weekend, and there’s a lot that must occur before we proceed.”

She bought the cooker secondhand for $250. “It works beautifully. The girl who offered it to me didn’t like the color,” she says. “Could you imagine? I just love it”

Cooker, oven: circa 1950s, O’Keefe & Merritt

Sarah Greenman

Sarah Greenman

Linda’s tools are within easy reach of her or her heirs. Open shelving, hanging baskets and pans along with a multipurpose kitchen table help her to stay focused and efficient.

She quits working as we discuss the home and the orchard. The sink is first to the home and shows signs of age and use. “I don’t mind living with older things. It reminds me to take care of things and be thankful,” she says.

“Ten decades back, I didn’t know what brown rot was or cling peaches,” she adds. “I’m not some sort of organic elitist. I just knew that I needed to live in a fresh way.”

Sarah Greenman

Both discovered the property online. “Linda and I had been frequent visitors of Hell’s Canyon, so we were familiar with the region,” Robert says. “My children had moved off, and we’re ready for something different. We wanted a place where we could grow our own food.”

For a kid in California, Robert’s family had an avocado orchard. “After high school, our family bought a vineyard collectively, which was very successful until Gallo transferred in and radically changed the price index,” he says. “So I’m pretty familiar with farm life.”

In their wish list: “Four seasons, gates to the property along with a nearby national forest,” Linda says. “The very last thing on the list was, I swear, ‘a few fruit trees.'”

The orchard contains 17 varieties of peaches in addition to prunes, apples, pears, plums, apricots, walnuts, hazelnuts, grapes and much more. There is also a steady supply of fresh eggs from laying hens.

Sarah Greenman

The entry is a welcoming and busy jumble of farm gear, art and paperwork. A bright red chair serves as a catchall for wide-brimmed hats, everyday crop lists and other essentials.

“Well this is us,” says Linda, motioning to the overflowing daily life of her property.

Sarah Greenman

Knotty pine walls cloak the upstairs bedroom at a warm glow. A very simple bed and side tables are the only furniture. The majority of the artwork in the Cordtz house is curated from local consignment and thrift stores.

A side table offers space for family photos, vintage postcards and other meaningful items. Linda shows me a picture of a family war veteran. “I’m constantly amazed by and curious about the people who arrived before me,” she says.

Sarah Greenman

Another room throughout the hall serves as an office and a guest space. A Tongan staff along with a thrift store butterfly adorn the hallway wall. Linda has a special love for tribal artwork. Even the “finders, keepers” nature of thrifted art means that lots of bits in the Cordtz house have unknown origins.

Sarah Greenman

A hodepodge of work, correspondence, artwork, keepsakes and invoices makes up the home workplace. A midcentury dining table and chair set act as a desk and seating. The remainder of the area is full of traditional pine furniture to match the trim and the ceiling. Robert constructed the hanging chimney on the far wall.

Sarah Greenman

Linda is a talented artist and appreciates mask making, among other art forms. This green mask hangs alongside the property’s exterior with pieces of foliage stuffed into the top. Linda laughs at her invention and says, “Now he’s doing the Rastafarian look”

Sarah Greenman

Though the orchard certainly takes a high level of labor during the high seasons, it also provides its owners with reflective space, peace and serenity. In their quiet moments, Robert or Linda might be located within this hammock.

Sarah Greenman

As soon as the Cordtzes moved on the orchard, the trees had been in pretty poor shape. The property invested several years as a conventional orchard and was suffering from liberal use of toxins. “Petroleum-based fertilizers are hard to come off,” says Robert. “We moved on the house and stopped it daily. It isn’t important just how long something has been at a state of mal use, you can always choose to end it. And that is exactly what we did.”

Sarah Greenman

On a schoolroom chalkboard pinpointed to the side of their fruit stand, Linda has produced a recommended reading list to its own clients. “I guess I’m a small evangelical about my job. Some people go door to door selling their own religion, but here on the orchard I’m living my religion,” she says.

Sarah Greenman

The Cordtzes believe there’s not any greater way to feed your family than to grow your own food or buy it from a local ranch or farm.

“Know that your predator,” Linda says. “Go to their farms and see exactly what they are doing.”

Sarah Greenman

The Cordtzes are deeply dedicated to their job at Eagle Creek Orchard and to providing their community with fresh, healthy food. Here is Robert walking up to the home with two buckets of peaches.

“This may sound out there, but Robert is talented intuitively to commune with the trees,” Linda says. “A couple years into our job here he said, ‘I can believe that the trees are healing.’ He was right.”

Share your creative household with us.

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Sleek Swimmer's Retreat in Buenos Aires

This modern house in an exclusive waterfront Buenos Aires neighborhood takes the homeowner’s love of swimming into a different level. Principal architect Alejandro Amoedo helped his client, a surgeon using a passion for swimmingpool, achieve the house of his dreams by constructing a house celebrating the pool. “At first, of course, the house appears extravagant,” says Amoedo,”but if you’re knowledgeable about the region, there are a great deal of extraordinary homes here that have pool designs.”

at a Glance
Who lives here: A surgeon who likes to swim
Location: Nordelta, Tigre, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Size: 4,919 square feet; 3 bedrooms; a ceremony room; six baths

Vanguarda Architects

Vanguarda Architects

The pool’s simple lines reflect the angular architecture of the house. There’s the lagoon fronting the house and visual continuity between both indoor and outdoor pools. “It was my client who asked this interior-exterior pool placement,” says Amoedo.

Unadorned picture windows heighten views of the lagoon and an equally expansive house in the distance.

Vanguarda Architects

The TV placement may seem odd, considering the prospect of water splashes in the pool. But that wall is the only place.

Vanguarda Architects

Vanguarda Architects

A steel bar describes the main entry in a facade of wood, concrete and glass.

Vanguarda Architects

Amoedo oriented the living room and dining table in regions with plenty of natural lighting and views.

Vanguarda Architects

From the main living room and indoor pool areas, the cooking station and kitchen island are obscured by cabinetry and modular appliances, but the cook still has a gorgeous view of the lagoon.

Vanguarda Architects

Views of the environment are all magnified on the next floor. A narrow walkway leads the eye into a home office with sliding doors, which open to a balcony with stunning vistas of neighboring properties and an infinite skies.

Vanguarda Architects

More: 16 Wonderful Home Pools

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7 Tips to Get Lovely Traditional Living Room Lighting

The living room could be where your relatives spend the majority of their time, but it’s about more than comfy seating and the right-sized flat-screen TV. Appropriate lighting accentuates the area’s design scheme and creates a sophisticated feel that’s characteristic of standard design.

Selecting and placing the chandelier, sconces, lamps and can lights can transform your traditional space. Below are seven tips that could help.

Howard Bankston & Post

Consider the best way to use the room. For rooms used mostly for entertaining, late-afternoon cocktails or after-dinner java, general lighting may be all you need. In a room like this, a center light provides the key general lighting, with sconces and smaller lights filling in the areas that the decorations miss. Can there be anything more traditional than a crystal chandelier?

Colleen Price

Don’t forget the dimmers. Particularly for general lighting centered in the center of the room, dimmer switches are crucial. This way, you can achieve any type of mood you desire. For vivid lighting, turn the lights up full blast. For nighttime events, turn down the lights to make a traditional scheme, like in this French country room, even more romantic — and looks even more flattering.

Spinnaker Development

Use task lighting to specify zones. Living rooms are to get a lot more than simply relaxing. For rooms for a good deal of use, consider job lights to brighten work areas. Task lighting includes built-in can lights that direct a stream of glowing light onto a reading or working area. An orb chandelier adds an updated twist on heritage in this room.

J.Banks Design Group

Task lighting also includes desk and side table lamps that illuminate areas utilized for paying bills or composing thank-you notes. Design that is traditional is, defined by the symmetry in this area, right down to the fitting pairs of lamps.

Rinfret, Ltd..

Play with accent lights for style. Don’t forget about accent lighting if planning your living room. Sconces are a fabulous touch that can show a painting, a focal point or a distinctive accessory by directing attention to a specific spot.

Anna Lattimore Interior Design

Pay attention to size. Fixtures should be proportional to the room. A fantastic rule of thumb would be to choose the dimensions of your area in feet and add them together. The amount of feet at the sum is the way many inches your chandelier should be.

Long pendants and tall table lamps can help balance rooms with very substantial ceilings. Hang chandeliers 78 to 84 inches high; place sconces at least 60 inches.

DKOR Interiors Inc.- Interior Designers Miami, FL

Add to a home’s ambience with your lighting. Lighting can be among the most aesthetically pleasing parts of a design scheme. This single big turquoise chandelier certainly makes a statement, repeating the color on the pillows and rug and creating a sophisticated neutral palette pop.

Ken Levenson Architect P.C.

Let it leak. Using exactly the very same fittings in adjoining rooms can create continuity. Matching fixtures — especially if they are as fabulous as those — create a design scheme feel well intended. These crystal ribbons are a classic fixture for a traditional home.

Next, two of the favorite traditional lighting fittings.

Restoration Hardware

Foucault’s Iron Orb Chandelier, Large – $1,195

The feminine lines and manly materials of the fixture juxtapose beautifully for use in a variety of living rooms.

Circa Lighting

Timeless Ring Chandelier – $1,050

If you are torn between a glamorous chandelier, a lovely focal point or a gorgeous centerpiece, a classic ring chandelier like this is a great thing to do. Its color coordinates with any decor, while multiple bulbs cast a glow — instead of a piercing, unflattering line of light.

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Regular Update in Texas

After 10 decades of living in their home, by that time the kids had flown the coop, Jeff and Cindy von Hagel’s tastes had shifted. They loved their custom-built location in Plano, Texas, but their inside was overdue for an update.

To update their home out of traditional French state to be more contemporary, they refreshed their furniture with new upholstery, removed wall-to-wall cream carpet and replaced all the light fixtures. After repainting every wall and reassessing their tchotchkes, Cindy and Jeff were able to focus on design elements that matter to them: art by their two daughters and pieces collected in their travels.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Cindy and Jeff von Hagel
Location: Plano, Texas
Size: 3,100 square feet; four bedrooms; three and a half bathrooms
That’s interesting: The homeowners did all the painting, tiling, trimwork and demolition.

Lindsay von Hagel

Strong geometric shapes dominate the household space, but the graceful lines of this sofa and occasional chairs soften the appearance. A round lamp sits on a metal pyramid dining table, and a sharp, contemporary coffee table plays off of a angular paint treatment Cindy created.

Cindy additionally added wall-mounted votive holders, which she uses to flaunt her betta fish. “It is one of those things which each and every visitor opinions on,” she says.

Vase: Glashaus in Wertheim, Germany; java table: Cantoni; shag rug: West Elm; Reserve dining table: habit from copper artist

Lindsay von Hagel

After demolishing the intrusive brick hearth and fireplace surround, Cindy and Jeff chosen for the clean appearance of a metallic-finish ceramic tile.

Custom closets put an embarrassing corner nook to great use. Large gears shape the shelf brackets and are repeated in the side table, including industrial accents to the space.

Art: bought at art auction to a cruise boat; side table: My Habit; leather recliner: La-Z-Boy; red spectacle: Cantoni

Lindsay von Hagel

Although painting the rooms in a variety of shades of warm gray helped to modernize the couple’s traditional house, the biggest impact came from replacing the wall-to-wall carpeting with abundant hand-scraped wood flooring. “I won’t ever buy carpet again!” says Cindy. The set also installed easy stained wooden baseboards to replace the traditional white beveled style original to the house.

Flooring: Home Depot; shag rug: Macy’s

Lindsay von Hagel

The von Hagels reupholstered pieces of furniture. This classic wing seat got an update with a contemporary blanket and pillow and a contemporary floor lamp. The area remains soft and private with a collection of items from consignment shops.

Blanket: Z Gallerie; floor lamp: Lamps Plus; drapes: JCPenney

Lindsay von Hagel

The dark, traditional sofa was reupholstered in an unexpected snakeskin- print velvet, kicking off a new vibe at the formal living area.

Cindy retains collections of beach books and cubes as reminders of her coastal upbringing in St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Pillows: My Habit

Lindsay von Hagel

Cindy fell in love with an octopus triptych at a style series. Recognizing that the price of the original was beyond what she was ready to spend, she asked her daughter to create a similar series in pastels. It is shown proudly in her entryway above a contemporary console table and updated light fixture.

Lindsay von Hagel

Red accents at the kitchen stand out from the soft tones of this ceramic floor tiles and the glass and stone mosaic backsplash. Cindy added touches of crimson to her bubble glass-front cabinets via handkerchiefs.

Red leather bar stool: Crate and Barrel; fruit bowl: Z Gallerie; light fixture: Lamps Plus

Lindsay von Hagel

The red accents in the kitchen carry over to the breakfast and research area, outfitted with a red leather desk chair. Cindy mounted picture drapes at ceiling height to draw the eye upward. An old birdcage displays her cactus and succulent collection.

Red leather table chair: Crate and Barrel; breakfast area dining table: Macy’s; drapes: JCPenney

Lindsay von Hagel

Although their tastes have developed beyond this 1970s bamboo dining place, Cindy and Jeff weren’t inclined to associate with it, as it was the first big purchase they made after becoming married over 38 decades ago. Instead, Cindy reupholstered the seat cushions and added a new area rug. She exchanged out the thick velvet draperies for these customized window treatments.

Cabinets: JCPenney; area rug: Lowes

Lindsay von Hagel

A family friend made this 7-foot-tall metal sculpture hanging in front of Cindy and Jeff’s staircase. They use magnets to display and rotate photos of the two daughters.

Lindsay von Hagel

The sunny yellow guest bedroom “just makes me more happy,” Cindy says. Accurate to her Southern roots, she often sits in this area that has a good book and a glass of sweet ices tea.

The couple’s kid painted the flower mural and forced the drapes.

Lindsay von Hagel

In the game area, a handcrafted pool table sits below classic Tiffany bar lights. Cindy and Jeff display framed collages of those dozens of Broadway plays they have attended over time. Glass floater frames connected together with string and S-hooks showcase their daughters’ artwork, beautifully backlit from the windows.

Lindsay von Hagel

Advice from Cindy and Jeff: Do not worry too much over decorating, and just find things that make you happy. First and foremost, don’t make purchases merely to complete a job. It is much better to leave a hole at the decorating to get a bit while looking for that ideal piece instead of wasting money on a placeholder.

Can you have a creative home? Discuss it with us!

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An SIP, or structural insulated panel, includes a foam center contrasts involving wood, concrete or metal panels, creating a solid, strong, and airtight sheet which is used for floors, foundations, walls and roofs. SIPs are all-purpose substances which may be used instead of framing with wood studs and insulation.

Sett Studio

Typically SIPs are made out of a polyurethane foam core between sheets of oriented strand board (OSB), but they may be made with concrete or metal also. SIPs are used for walls, ceilings, and floors.

This kitchen island has been made with SIPs; they are decorative in addition to structural.

Vanessa De Vargas

The walls of this living room were created using SIPs and translucent polycarbonate glazing. SIPs are structural, like a wood stud. The foam center stands in to the insulation, and heating and cooling costs can be reduced because of its airtight nature. The fewer the pits, the greater, as the only regions with SIPs which aren’t completely airtight are where the panels meet.

See photos of projects built with structural insulated panels (SIPs)

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Expert Talk: Wallpaper Benefits Steam in the Bathroom

Bold, large-scale-patterned wallpapers may not be the first thing springs to mind when you’re considering a layout for the bathroom or powder room. However, here are.

Beth Dotolo, ASIDNCIDQ

Tie everything together. “We wanted to shake this toilet without doing a pricey remodel,” states Beth Dotolo of Pulp Design Studios. “By employing this European trellis wall covering we were able to provide the room an entirely new look and tie together the existing finishes”

She adds, “The right wall covering can elevate a small space, add attention and alter the general look and feel in a minute.”

Angela Gutekunst Interiors, Inc..

Be well read. “My client had seen a wallpaper at a resort with a book pattern she loved,” says designer Angela Gutekunst. “So that led me to this timeless Brunschwig & Fils paper for her powder bath that worked superbly.”

Economy Interiors

Pack a potent punch. “We had something daring and surprising to make interest within this miniature, previously drab powder area,” states Jennifer Jones of Niche Interiors. “This graphic packaged the perfect punch”

Background: Osborne & Little

Elizabeth Reich

Contrast light and dark. “I wanted something new, graphic and unexpected,” says Elizabeth Reich of Jenkins Baer Associates. And she got it with this particular Moroccan-inspired pattern and also the contrast of light and dark. “The ebony-stained floors pick up the espresso in the wallpaper,” she points out.

Grass fabric: Phillip Jeffries

Artistic Designs for Living

Move (a little) crazy. This powder room adjoins a family space, and Tineke Triggs of Artistic Designs for Living took the latter’s accent colours as an inspiration in choosing this large blue and green paisley.

“I like wallpaper and think you can go daring and a little mad in a powder room, since the space is really small,” she states. “It makes the space feel grander.”

Atmosphere Interior Design Inc..

Have an impact. Trevor Ciona and Curtis Elmy of Atmosphere Interior Design like powder rooms to be like small jewel boxes. “So we searched for a large-scale pattern in the clients’ favorite color strategy,” they state. “People are often scared of large patterns, especially in small spaces, but we push all these rooms to have enormous impact.”

Design By Lisa

Freshen up. “My client saw this wallpaper and wished to use it into her new home,” states Lisa Ball of Design By Lisa. “It was a great fit, because it had the same qualities we desired throughout the home — a classic, timeless look that is also fresh and current.”

Background: Zoffany Cordoba

Elizabeth Gordon

Reach for the red. For a guest bedroom and bath, Elizabeth Gordon of Elizabeth Gordon Studio used punches of red against ground tones to highlight the Asian details of some of the rooms’ accessories.

“The guest bath is one of my favorite spaces,” she states, “and has been designed around the concept of the British colonial empire in Hong Kong — with a dash of Hollywood glam. I think the wallpaper on the ceiling actually makes the space”

Wallpaper Suggestions for Bedrooms

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Designer's Touch: 10 Imaginative Kids' Bathrooms

Creativity is king in children’s rooms. It can be somewhat intimidating to find a style that will suit your child for a long time to come, but it is worth it to embrace playfulness while they are still young. There is no better time than now to make an inspirational area for your child. Give a renewed sense of personal personality and accelerate creativity with those inspiring professionally designed spaces.

DIN Interiorismo

1. Bridging the difference. Siblings who bunk together can get a new spin on sharing with this exceptional space. The wooden canopy at the center of the area can be built with supplies out of your neighborhood big-box store and helps split each side of the space in a lively way.

CHIC Redesign

2. Lofty kid. When you’ve got high ceilings, a loft in your kid’s room is an ideal way to maintain the bedroom tidy and orderly while creating plenty of space for drama. Design a similar look yourself for the style that suits your house, but have it professionally built for security.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

3. Built-in bed. Produce an oasis to your child with an in-built built-in bed. Contain open shelving for books, also drawers and doors for clothing. Kid approved.

Kelly Donovan

4. Penthouse living. Remake your attic into a long-term space for your son or daughter. Paint the ceiling and walls a light and inviting shade, then add furniture and accessories for comfort, to get a bedroom where your child has space and privacy.

Wendi Young Design

5. Start your engines. Transform your child’s room from a dull box into a stimulating environment with ingenuity and elbow grease. A dining area is as much fun to decorate as it’s for small ones to grow in.

Watch more fantasy kids’ rooms

Lazzari USA – a brand of Foppapedretti

6. Storage fun. Freestanding or built-in modular wood shelving units are lively and functional. They are great for providing access to toys while instructing kids to keep their room organized.

Cornerstone Architects

7. Cool chalk. Go bold and paint the entire space with chalkboard paint. Kids of all ages will love it — and parents never have to worry about cleaning the walls again. As your child matures, this colour can easily work for a tasteful small space using a yummy chandelier and urban-chic furnishings.

Alicia Ventura Interior Design

8. Branch out. Any space can be adorned with wall art. Get creative! This tree is painted on the walls, and the branches are actually shelves. What a simple way to create functional and cute wall art.

Lakeitha Duncan

9. Striped cupboard. Take off the cupboard doors, paint over-sized stripes inside the cupboard and add shelving for accessories. The headboard is another great touch in this room. Create your very own headboard with pallets out of your nearby big-box store for an excess kick of fashion.

Carlyn And Company Interiors + Design

10. Inspirational headboard. A giant inspirational pin board is a simple way to let your child customize wall decoration. Plus, those are easy to create with cork and a frame. Put your new creation on the wall behind the bed and voilà, you have a headboard too.

Browse thousands of kids’ rooms

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Grown-Up Mobiles Show Sophisticated Style

Modern phones have reinterpreted this traditional youth accessory into complicated and lovely pieces for any component of the home. The move from nursery to varied living spaces can likely be attributed to American artist Alexander Calder, that started designing notable sculptural mobiles many years ago. However, the classic pieces dwell on, whether through high-end functions of art, phones that twice as light fittings or the ones that feel both informal and enjoyable. If you’re looking to accessorize your home, consider something new: the hanging cellphone, for adults.

The Mobile Factory

The oval portions of this mobile soften the square lines of this living room’s furnishings but nevertheless take the contemporary scheme.

If you’ve got a fairly neutral space, a cellphone in glowing neon will offer instant personality and a conversation piece.

Sutton Suzuki Architects

The structural existence of this eye-catching mobile is particularly interesting when you can see it in juxtaposition with the light fixture.

Gelotte Hommas Architecture

Notice how exactly hanging a simple mobile can offer a visually engaging and modern element to a space that might feel casual and sparse.

Habachy Designs

Consider all of the perspectives in a single room. If your second story looks down over a living space, use a cascading phone to draw the eye down. The look advantages those above and below.

Long hallways and open airways beneath tall ceilings can be challenging to decorate. A very simple and vibrant mobile could provide just the right delicate and vibrant touch to the space.

WA Design Architects

For subtle texture, select a minimal mobile in the exact same color as its environment. This white cellphone almost fades away in the walls, which makes it a surprise when it’s noticed.

Laidlaw Schultz architects

If you’re looking to kill two birds with one stone, a mobile light fixture supplies function within an artful form.

This mobile light fixture features a retro-chic feel. The clean design fills the open area beneath this tall, slanted ceiling.


A grown-up cellphone does not need to be high end. You will find casual, lively and affordable options too, like this personalized cellphone created from Polaroid photos.

gogo gulgun selcuk

If you like the youthful feel of children’s phones, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t incorporate one into your home. This mobile plays off the vivid colors in the stained glass window to get an extra splash of pleasure.

Next: More grown-up phones to accessorize your home


Black Art Mobile by Atomic Mobiles – $120

This arty cellphone from Atomic Mobiles supplies a bold sculptural presence.

Design Public

Turning Leaves Mobile, Black and Red – $65

Hang the Turning Leaves mobile for just a sign of intriguing design.


Zephyrine Mobile, Blue – $798

I like the shape and colours of the Zephyrine Mobile from Anthropologie. It is a pricey option, but it creates a big impact.


Flensted Mobiles – Tango Red – $139.50

The balancing act of the Abstract Tango cellphone adds a subtle dose of color to any space.

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