TaLaya and Kerrick found their 1500 square foot home to be a storage challenge. This living room features one of TaLaya’s most creative solutions: a large wooden armoire. Woven cane gives the piece a handmade look that is beautifully complemented by the other woven elements in the space. Of particular interest is the patterned basket that ties together the colors of the rug and pillows in the room. The brass stool and accessories deepen the layers of metallic color in the space.
A major challenge for this design project was the couple's distinct design sensibilities — the husband is a fan of midcentury modern design, while the wife longed to add traditional touches of warmth and character to the space. Here, a vintage, midcentury Vistosi ceiling fixture and framed advertising poster speak to the husband's design style, while the blue velvet settee and roll-arm chaise add a traditional touch. Bold, bright fabrics on the upholstered pieces bring vigor to the neutral backdrop of the walls and rug.
Yellow is a strong color, and part of what can make it a challenge to work with in the home is how easily it can overwhelm the other colors in a space. One simple solution is to break up the color yellow by using it in a patterned piece. On this bed, the simple infusion of white in the bright, citron yellow of this pillow creates a beautiful pattern that fits perfectly into this minimalist bedscape. The Haze pillow (https://www.aphrochic.com/product/haze-2/) is a modern take on ikat in today’s latest color.
With five boys, the homeowners wanted to make sure their home was stylish, but could also stand up to the test of their large, rambunctious family, so designers were sure to include plenty of durable materials in all of the home's spaces. At the kitchen island, sturdy, metal barstools add seating at the breakfast bar. In the living room, a woven rug defines the space, while two sofas-one with an easily machine washable slipcover and the other crafted from a durable leather-add plenty of seating that is sure to meet the challenge of the homeowners and their boys.
As seen on HGTV and DIY Network's Flipping the Block, Amanda Marks and Curtis Goldin had only $80 left to renovate their living room for the sixth challenge. Their big design decision was to take out the popcorn ceiling and expose the wooden subfloor of the second floor; the rest of the room was designed around that idea, with rustic pieces from Joss & Main, and under-stair storage and shelves made by Curtis.
Due to the existing terrain, the basement level opens directly on grade. The rear of the home becomes more informal with the octagonal family room and varying roof lines of the bedrooms on the second floor. Just to the left is the poolhouse and pool.
This Chappaqua property, with its strict setback requirements and a 10 to 12-foot drop-off, posed a design challenge, even with four acres to play with. To accommodate the landscape, the home was designed to have two stories in the front and three in the back, allowing for a walkout basement.
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.
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.”
When creating a bar to service the kitchen and dining room for a client who entertained regularly, Teri Turan’s biggest challenge was space: “We only had a 47-inch space to fit a wine captain, an ice maker, storage for top shelf bottles, mixers, glassware, cocktail napkins and bar paraphernalia,” she says. Custom cabinets and careful shopping for extra-small appliances got the job done. She finished off the look with Persia Pearl granite countertops and honed travertine tile on the backsplash.
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.
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.
Bay windows can be a design challenge. For Jeanine and Bryan they took the opportunity to carve out both a dining and work area in the bay window. A large round dining table is a perfect fit. On the table, which is perfect for both work and entertaining, a dramatic arrangement of branches towers over a collection of favorite books together with a sculpture from artist Murjoni Merriweather.
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.
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.
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."
Soybean, also known as edamame, earns its spot on the challenging list because of how much critters love it. Grow a crop of edamame, and you’re rolling out the welcome mat for deer, groundhogs and rabbits. These animals consider soybeans candy. Take care to protect plants as soon as you plant, which shouldn’t be too early, because soybean is very cold sensitive. Wait until temps are reliably above 55 F.
This hidden door bookcase leads from an office to the guest quarters in a private home in Alameda, Calif. Designed by Mark Dutka of InHouse Design Studio, it’s made of rift oak with a natural finish, and is just one part of a highly complex design which covers every inch of the room’s walls. It was quite the challenge, but Dutka's specialty is the design of custom cabinetry solutions for specialized residential environments. Our question is, what’s the secret password?
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!