The goal of this project was to modernize the open plan living space, but in a thoughtful way that would respect the location and also provide the young bachelor with a functional design. The narrow living room space was one of the biggest challenges in the space planning. By creating a wall hung entertainment unit and bookcase, with a large area rug and small cocktail tables, the narrow space was visually widened.
To keep the flow of the space fluid and to create visually interest in the corner of the main living space, a custom round dining table with "wishbone" chairs make a bright statement and feel inviting.
As seen on HGTV's Love It or List It Too, the primary challenge for Kevin & Celine's family home was maintaining a balance between the heritage of the house and incorporating a modern design. Designer Jillian Harris bridged the border between modern and historical by choosing a modern version of tile for the backsplash. The originally planned grey slate tiles were set aside with the discovery of the original fir floor boards. A large peninsula created as a gathering place for the family. A deep pantry to the right of the fridge was designed by having to close off a small corridor that was no longer to code.
Giving a brand-new kitchen timeless character and rich personality is a challenge for the best architects and designers. One way to solve this problem is by repurposing a furniture piece for the workspace — but it’s not always easy to find the right fit, as architect Jeff Troyer discovered. He says: “We searched for months for the kitchen island, seeking something with warmth and character that would also fit the space. My clients and I finally found this antique school science lab table online and had it shipped from Ohio. We had to purchase this sight unseen, but it ended up fitting perfectly and the wood is beautiful.”
Starting with an apartment-sized, three-seater sofa centered on the left-hand wall, Briana and Buzz arranged the space around it to maximize the flow of their loft's living room. They took focus off of the room's lack of space by grounding the area with an oversized area rug featuring a bold, graphic print. Instead of adding a bulky, horizontal bookcase to the spatially-challenged room, the couple opted for tall, metal book towers they placed by in the window. The vertical arrangement instantly turned their cherished photography books and novels into a sculptural focal point while still keeping the collection neatly organized.
It’s hard to imagine now, but this charming living space was once an unassuming commercial garage. To make the most of the compact, 1,260-square-foot space (including an upstairs loft area), Frazier Associates minimized the number of walls within. Exposed brick walls and concrete flooring on the first floor were retained and a new staircase, crafted of reclaimed wood and metal railing, was designed for access to the second floor. "Providing more natural light was the biggest design challenge," say the designers. "A new recessed patio was designed behind the historic garage doors to allow for more light on the first floor, as well as to create a front entrance and a small exterior seating area."
Ada's Technical Books & Cafe occuppies a remodeled home in the Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle. The impetus for the project was to create the "book retailer of the future." Achieving this vision required an adaptive reuse design, an addition and a pioneering approach to the neighborhood bookstore. The challenge would be to convert a dilapidated single-story Craftsman into a refurbished mixed-use project. The owners were dedicated to creating a balance of history and modern sustainability, so architect Jeff Pelletier imagined the building like an aged book cover with crisp, clean pages on the inside. In order to connect the space with the street-scape, Pelletier added a raised front porch for cafe seating.
Hosts Jonathan and Drew Scott in front of the home of Jen and Matt McAfee in Valencia, CA as seen on season one of HGTV's Brother Vs. Brother. For the final challenge of the season, the remaining members of Team Drew lost Monica Reese who joined Team Jonathan. The two teams will have three days to renovate two identical homes in Valencia, Calif. One of the winning team members will be crowned champion of Brother Vs. Brother and win $50,000.
With her expressive style, Olaniyi admits that getting all of the use she and her husband need out of a 900 square foot duplex can sometimes be a bit challenging. “Our home is small, which is great,” she begins before acknowledging that, “some of the spaces are a bit tight. Every room needs to work hard on its function, so designing spaces so that they have enough breathing room is never easy.” The dining room is a perfect example of a lot of creativity living in a small space. In the intimate dining room that seats four, everything in the dining space, from the color of the walls, to the striking art and metallic touches, works together to give the small space a big presence.
In an open plan space, one of the challenges is delineating between separate areas of the home. This kitchen carves out a space all its own with the placement of a blue polymer console table that acts as a kitchen island. More than just a barrier, it picks up on the lucite of the dining table and the color of the overhead pendant and cabinetry. All of this helps to ensure that even though the rooms are separate the design is cohesive and unified.
Designer Justine Sterling set out to modernize this young bachelor's open living and dining areas, but in a thoughtful way that would respect the location and also provide the client with a functional design. The narrow living room space was one of the biggest challenges in the space planning. By creating a wall hung entertainment unit and bookcase, with a large area rug and small cocktail tables, the narrow space was visually widened.
Sterling's client has a great sense of nostalgia for his old collections of passed down family treasures and many were custom framed, placed in museum style boxes or simply placed under a cloche, like his Red Sox signed ball collection. What could have been cliche sports memorabilia now looks tasteful and purposeful.
A vintage kitchen cupboard handed down from my parents does double duty in a hallway as storage for gift wrap and shipping supplies, kitchen linens and other items. Figuring out where to store things in a historic home is a perennial problem but not as challenging as in previous homes. A small portion of my vintage suitcase collection on top of the hutch once functioned as a much-needed storage tower of suitcases and room divider in the closet-free two-room apartment where I lived with my husband in New York City's East Village. The "Pray for Atlanta" artwork is by beloved Atlanta artist R. Land. A metal basket holds my son's sports equipment and vintage wooden tennis rackets, which we still use.
Cooking a turkey is usually the biggest challenge for a Thanksgiving first-timer, so we recommend tackling it the day before Thanksgiving. Then, just set aside some time on the day of to reheat it. If you aren't up for cooking your own turkey, order a pre-cooked one from a local market, add fresh herbs and lemon slices and put it on your own serving platter. We won't tell your secret!
One of the major challenges with the Summit Avenue mansion renovation is that it needed a new concrete basement, as seen on DIY Network's Rehab Addict. Host Nicole Curtis is working first hand with the concrete crew to ensure that the job is completed correctly. Nicole's tip is to work side by side with anyone you hire to work on your home to learn from them in their area of expertise.
The right furniture configuration can mediate any number of design challenges, creating multiple zones in a large, open space, for example. “This open-concept family room/kitchen has a long, narrow configuration,” say the designers. “We created a cozy seating area near the TV and opted for smaller-scale furniture to keep the space from feeling cramped. The airy lightweight coffee table from Blu Dot is easy to move aside for train or Lego marathons.” Tip for tight spaces: “If you are squeezing a lot of furniture into a smaller space, choose pieces that your eye can see under. This helps make the room feel visually lighter. Higher furniture legs or box frame tables like this one are both great options.”
Tomatillos are relatively trouble-free in terms of pests, but the plants are not self-pollinating. You need at least two tomatillo plants for the yellow blooms to form fruit. Grow just one, and you’ll only have a plant with yellow flowers. Also, the pollen tends to clump at high humidity, sticking to the inside of the flower so it can’t be transferred to another flower—and that means no fruit. The last challenge with tomatillos is finding seedlings. This is one veggie you may need to grow from seed yourself.
A series of pilastered arches frame the view from the dining room to the glass doors of the library. Intermediate “vestibules” help to formalize the entry to the dining room and living room from the entry without the use of doors.
An interior challenge was to transition from formal to informal spaces. Daniel Contelmo Architects accomplished this by minimizing the detailing of moldings in the informal spaces, and adding beading in the ceiling and oak accents in beams and mantels.
The existing landscape provided a challenge, but also the opportunity to design outdoor living spaces on several levels. The flat-roofed family room needed a pitched roof to blend with the existing house, but the roof, along with the turret, couldn’t block existing windows. To accomplish the homeowners’ vision, interior walls had to be removed, but they were constructed of clay blocks, which supported two-story block walls above. We continued the 16:12 pitched roof over the existing family room, but shifted it back to allow light into the third-story window. The same pitched roof covers the garage addition, but a reverse gable with paneled accents provides interest and a carriage house feel.
The goal was to give the home a worldly and globally inspired feel so new custom designs, textural fabrics and finishes were incorporated along with Asian and African artifacts and antiques. Habachy Designs imagined the occupants of this home as well-traveled, and the objects in the home were artifacts and cherished tokens of their trips around the world.
The area rug, as well as the lounge chairs, are custom pieces designed by Habachy Designs. The great room was an expansive, extended oval, and it posed a challenge as to how to divide the room into separate living spaces. In order to emphasize the curvature of the architecture, Habachy Designs mimicked the shape in the tone-on-tone rug. This allowed for a focal area and living space to be created that would be harmonious with the entirety of the great room.