This large patio has a range of outdoor entertaining options: An open-air sitting area cozies up by a raised fire pit. There's also a covered patio with the potential to be completely shielded from the elements, thanks to a cleverly-designed pergola with louvers and automated vinyl walls.
If you’re outfitting a space that’s small or has awkward design features, custom-made furnishings may be the best option. Case in point: this elegant guest room. “The bed was designed for a room that had door locations that inhibited twin beds from being placed side by side as they typically are,” explains designer Chandos Dodson Epley. “We went with the corner-style headboard to provide more floor space and a walkway in the bedroom. It also created a cozy nook for the clients’ two young granddaughters.”
The design is full of exquisite amenities such as: a large pool and spa veneered with vibrant glass tile throughout, an elaborate sports bar with multiple plasma screens, full cooking and dining options, surround sound, agronomic heaters, cozy sunken fireplace room and a raised fire pit lounge with vast, open views.
A privacy screen shuts out surrounding views, while a burbling fountain covers outside noise with a natural sound. Other options for cancelling nearby noise include wind chimes, outdoor speakers (play nature soundtracks) or even a tabletop water garden. For a deck retreat, define different rooms in your retreat by incorporating elevation changes in your deck design. Plantings in this retreat include Bonfire begonia and Festival cordyline.
Dress up your coffee table with greens, such as Boston fern, and accessories. Since ferns love moist soil, using organic clay pots lined with pea gravel gives you the option to lift the plant and water for easy care, says Karin Jeffcoat, owner of Cote Designs, a floral and event studio in Aiken, S.C.
A large map of the world is appropriate wall art for a family who loves travel. Track lighting above the map draws the eye to that section of the room. Sliding barn doors match the wood flooring and coffee table and allow for the option of privacy or open connection to the adjoining room. A cushy leather armchair is an inviting and fitting design choice.
A bright cherry red rug instantly livens the design of this basement living space. Red details throughout the room pull out this accent color to decorate the neutral walls and built in white shelving. A midcentury modern red refrigerator and microwave add a fun vintage touch to the room. A tufted brown leather sofa creates a comfortable seating option.
California designer Gabriel Shaw used cork flooring for its amazing acoustic-insulating properties in this home office. It is also much more comfortable to walk on than traditional hardwood and tile. Today's cork color options span the color palette and make it more durable than it was in the past.
In the dining space, designers from America's Most Desperate Kitchens added plenty of storage and a bar area. To add more display options and complete the design in the space, a vintage barn shutter was repurposed into a shelving unit that is illuminated by a bright, broadway light fixture. Vintage metal rakes on either side of the shelves were upcycled and used as wine glass racks.
Custom choices are more and more popular in today's readily available bedroom collections. Stores like Room & Board offer the ability to select the fabric and frame so you can design your own custom headboard. "By picking just the right fabric, the rest of your bedroom choices can easily mix together. We offer more than 200 fabric options on our upholstered beds," says Katie Lloyd of Room & Board.
The backside of a kitchen cabinet door is a space with great potential that’s too often wasted. A spice rack is an ideal way to put it to use — it frees up the inside of the cabinet and keeps all those tiny bottles neat and readable at eye level. Designer Jan Goldman of Kitchen Elements had this cabinet custom-made for her client, but there are lots of prefab wall-mounted options available designed specifically for spice storage.
The homeowner's private collection of bonsai trees inspired designer Bea Pila to designate a special place for a zen garden. A trickling water fountain adds to the sensory experience. An occasional bench provides the option for seated meditation.
“New neutrals” are colors that have enough gray undertones to render them washed out and more on the neutral side but still retain a sense of personality. Blue-gray and “greige” (a mash-up of gray with beige) are both ideal options that work with different levels of taste and different design styles.
As seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper, to maximize the space in this kitchen, Joanna added a functional kitchen island to increase seating options and give the family more prep space for meals. Gray cabinets match the gray trim and molding from the rest of the open concept first floor, and rustic stools provide complementary style. A subway tile backsplash polishes off the space, finishing out the design.
One of the most popular countertop surfaces today, engineered quartz is versatile and durable. Its nearly endless range of color options allows you to visually tie an open kitchen to the surrounding living spaces, as designer Lori Dennis did here with dark blue tones in a kitchen by SoCalContractor.
Sometimes the best spot for your outdoor retreat is a sun-splashed area. If you’ll be enjoying your retreat during the day, even if it’s only on weekends, it’s worth investing in some kind of shade. A simple patio umbrella can cast enough shade for a table and chairs, or consider adding an awning to your home to shade a greater area. Other options for creating a cooling pool of shade include a permanent structure, like a pergola (add vines for color) or gazebo. For a portable shade option, check out pop-up canopy designs. You can also use a temporary canopy to help you determine where you might want to add a more permanent structure in future.
When you have a coffee table with an interesting shape, you don't need to do much on top. For the Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens in Atlanta, designer Jonathan Savage used a small tambour table made of wire, with a glass insert. "A single table, whether made of wood or wire, if it’s really interesting and unusual, it can really make a statement," he says. For a cheaper option, use a garden stool, he says.
The 3-dimensional detailing of the tile give this shower an eye-catching geometric pattern. The clean, angular lines of the tile's edges are softened with the round curves of the tile's details adding another level of interest to the design. A large shelf allows for ample space for shower necessities that are easy to reach while eliminating the need for obtrusive storage options that would interrupt the white design of the shower.