How to Plan a Bath/Laundry Combo When Every SF Needs to Count
A DIY Ally client wrote: “Hello Alla, I’ve much enjoyed your website, particularly your 11-step eBook and blog entries. I have a space planning question. My husband and I are downsizing from a 2300 sf home to a 1948 ranch 3BR/1BA 1100 sf home. Every sf needs to count. Over the 5+ years we’ve owned the home, I believe we’ve pretty much figured out how to maximize the layout; however, a recent decision to completely re-plumb the house allows us the
How to Design a Closet that Doubles as a Staircase
You've heard a great deal about my project in Bridgehampton; it's been a year in development. Finally, the first stage of construction has started — we are repurposing a free-standing rustic garage into a guest house. I am busy making sure that all of the elements come together seamlessly. Still refining the design for a closet that doubles as a staircase leading up to a new loft.
Choosing Between a Bi-Parting Swing Gate & an Electric Sliding Gate
I am in the process of deciding what kind of an entrance/driveway gate is appropriate for a client’s property. Should it be an electric sliding gate or a bi-parting swing gate? The height is pre-determined by the local code and it cannot exceed 48”, which means that this gate will not function as a privacy or security barrier, but as a clear demarcation between public and private domains.
Beyond Hacking: IKEA Is Introducing Handcrafted Limited Edition Collections
I appreciate IKEA’s trend of partnering with various companies to produce limited edition collections. For instance, a “splashy” new line with Dutch studio Scholten & Baijings capitalizing on a beloved DIY pastime of hacking off-the-shelf products. IKEA wants to be part of it too!
Cornice Molding — Transition Between Wall & Ceiling — Doubles as Light Cove
Cornice molding (AKA crown molding) is a decorative trim and a topmost element that marks a transition between wall and ceiling. Parts of it are placed against both horizontal and vertical surfaces. Most of the time it’s purely ornamental; however it can also function as an intriguing light cove.
Designing a Bar Height Reading Console for a Study Filled With Books
I have a design-conscious client who calls me up periodically with a new assignment to tackle. I love working with him — designing something that fits its function and is innovative can be extremely enjoyable. This time we are working on his study brimming with books. In addition to bookshelves, he requires a desk and a bar height reading console in the space.
Designing a Swimming Pool With or Without a Contractor
The other day I complimented a friend on the waterline tile he selected for a private swimming pool. He thanked me and added: “The tile does not change color when wet.” I found it interesting that a detail like that would be an important consideration.
A Fireplace Is a Heart of a Home
Phew! Just emailed a revised set of drawings to a client. Having gotten a NY State license, I am picking up the pace — we’re planning to submit for permits in less than a month. My passion for the project in Bridgehampton is all-consuming. Now that I’ve worked out all of the “big moves,” it’s time to get to details — I’ve been designing a fireplace.
A Bad Experience with an IKEA Kitchen Cabinet Installation
I wrote about helping a friend with an IKEA kitchen remodel recently. Unfortunately, it has not gone well. We are very disappointed with the cabinet installation. A problem that could’ve been addressed and resolved on site was ignored. The resulting mistake has not been acknowledged and fixed. Instead of taking responsibility and apologizing, the contractor in charge is still arguing, causing a major delay, not to mention a headache.
Re-imagining a Roof Terrace as a Garden and a Pool Deck
Good news! We just got a building permit for the daycare center project. With the load off, I can spend some time preparing for the presentation I wrote about last week. This time the focus will be on re-imagining the building's roof terrace not just as a pool deck, but as a roof garden.