Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Home ideas

From Creative Home Design (1999; Barnes & Noble)
There are some fun and beautiful ideas in this book, including a powder room with library wallpaper; another powder room with a wooden arm chair used as a towel holder; and one with a matching sink skirt and wallpaper.  Another has a salvaged freize from a demolished building over the mirror.  And the pedestal sink in a real, old pedestal with carvings is most impressive.
I liked the bathtub with the lattice surround; and another bathroom had a wooden floor with tile sections that look like area rugs; that is beautiful and practical (water proof).  A shared children's bathroom has a pegboard with each child's name over one of the pegs.  Most of these bathrooms have lots of color, btw.  
A farm table with drawers makes a good island, and it can be used for eating.  For the furniture look, a kitchen sink has huge legs--most unattractive!  A cabinet in one kitchen has Roman numerals on it--possibly the date of a kitchen remodel.  A kitchen floor has a checkerboard pattern painted on it to match the cabinet color.  I liked the unique collection of yellow French aperatif pitchers in another kitchen.  (I never knew there was such a thing.)  I also liked the collection of different sized and colored narrow bottles of liquid seasonings.  (I think that's what they are.)
One long island was held up by two massive pillars--a very distinctive look.  Another long island had a marble top and several electrical outlets for small appliances, with an open shelf below for copper kettles, pans, etc.  There was quite a variety of islands, including one that surrounds a support pillar at one end.  And an extra deep marble sink is eye-catching!
Kitchens can flow into living rooms, great rooms, and even libraries, though I prefer my books to be protected.  Stainless steel, color, copper, and glass blocks can add a lot to a kitchen; and I love retro kitchens.
One section of the book is devoted to kitchen storage; there are lots of open shelves--a look I don't care for; and every time I see open, low shelves--at floor level, I figure that these people don't have children or pets.  Custom cabinets can hold a lot of things, even a step stool. 
Dining rooms can be elegant and formal, casual, or rustic--including a really deep fireplace and Spanish colonial.  Btw, a quilt used as a tablecloth definitely needs a glass top.  The table surrounded by white, swivel office chairs is striking.  You can use any kind of chair, of course.  Tree trunks with the bark still on as table legs, especially on a dead animal's skin gives country a whole new meaning.
Outdoor eating areas can incorporate lots of plants.  A picnic look is inviting, though I much prefer a screened porch without the bugs. 
Home offices with cubbies and shelves are practical and interesting.  An office can work in a bedroom if you use elegance and drama, matching woods, style, and color--or a disguise.  Or possibly a separation with columns and cabinetry.  (We did that in the Great Hall.) Or a screen.  Or maybe separate floor coverings, such as a mosaic tile floor.  Or whimsy.  Imagination, color, and thinking outside the box--that is certainly Creative Home Design. 

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