Furniture Brand for Bath

Amana: A wide selection of stainless-steal refrigerators is now available, including models with wrap-around doors and ones with stylishly curved fronts. Amana Appliances, 2800 220th Trail, Amana, IA 52204.

Vitraform: The Glass sink comes in clear, sapphire, bronze, gray, black, peach, azurlite, solex, cobalt, and opal. Finishes are either frosted or polished, and bases are offered in a variety of metal finishes. Available in a 13-in.-by-17-in, oval, 14%-in. diameter round, or 17-in.-diameter round, all at six-in, depths. Vitraform, 3500 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80205.

Nice design for glass sink

Nice design for glass sink

 

Miele: Designed to be recycled, the metal and plastic components of Miele’s hoods can be easily separated once insulation is removed for efficient material re-use. Miele ventilation systems have multi-speed motors that can move up to 625 cubic feet of air per minute. The hoods are available in one of 200 powder-coat colors. Miele, Nine Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540.

 

Jado: The British Hollys bath, now available in the United States, is noted for its period styling in four faucet handle designs. Finishes are chrome, brass, polished nickel, and satin nickel. Jado, 7845 East Paradise Lane, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. www.jado.com.

 

custom-made pedestals, vanity bases, and countertops for your restroom

custom-made pedestals, vanity bases, and countertops for your restroom

Bisazza: Mosaic glass bathroom tiles are available in a rich assortment of colors (both custom and stock) and trim options. Bisazza, 8530 Northwest 30th Terrace, Miami, FL 33122. www.bisazza.com.

Furniture Brand for Restroom

Alchemy: The Glacier best sink, best toilet and best flushing toilet features a polished, stippled appearance and is made of 3/4-in.-thick glass for your restroom or toilet. It is available with either a rough or polished edge. Alchemy, 3143 South La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016. www.alchemy-glass.com.

best flushing toilet system

best flushing toilet system

Vintage design for best sink and best flushing toilet system

Vintage design for best sink and best flushing toilet system

Bis Bis Imports: Designed by Davide Rognoni for home furniture, Everyday is a single basin console that includes a stainless-steel support structure covered with lacquered wood panels; a brass towel rack in glazed chrome; a white ceramic wash basin; and a lacquered glass top. The console measures 54 in. deep by 72 in. high. Bis Bis Imports, Four Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116. www.bisbis.com.

best toilet bowl and sink

best toilet bowl and sink

 

Thermador: The new 30-in. convection/microwave double oven can cut cooking time in half. This is made possible by combining convection, microwave, and radiant heat in one system. It is available in black, white, or stainless steel. Thermador, 5551 McFadden Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92649. www.thermador.com.

 

water sink

water sink

Lefroy Brooks: Designed by English designer Christo Lefroy Brooks, the Godolphin Exposed Tub Filler (model number GD 8823) combines Edwardian design with state-of-the-art technology. Its Thermostatic Mixing Valve allows the filler to hold a desired water temperature in memory for future use. Lefroy Brooks USA, Ten Leonard Street, Suite 2N, New York, NY 10013.

Stone Forest: The Farmhouse Single Basin, 33 in. by 22 in. by 10 in., is available in beige, rose, blue gray, or black granite. Stone Forest, P.O. Box 2840, Santa Fe, NM 87504. www.stoneforest.com.

Waterworks: Watercolor glass tiles come in more than 40 colors and in glossy and sanded finishes for wall and floor applications. Field tiles come in four-in.-sq., six-in.-sq., and 12-in.-sq. sizes; brick tiles in four in. by eight in., and six in. by 12 in. Molding pieces, caps, and quarter rounds are also available. Waterworks, 29 Park Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810. www.waterworks.com.

hot water dispenser

hot water dispenser

 

In-Sink-Erator: The 1100 instant hot water dispenser combines European styling with the convenience of near-boiling water. It is available in a model that dispenses hot water only (the GN) and one that dispenses both hot water and water from another source, such as cold tap water or filtered water (the HC). In-Sink-Erator, 4700 21st Street, Racine, WI 53406. www.insinkerator.com.

D.I.G.S.: The Fetish Collection by Rhea Alexander is comprised of more than 24 designs for the bath in brushed nickel or chrome, with a selection of accents. D.I.G.S., 115 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10012. www.digs.com.

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A Dynamic and Open Workspace

San Francisco’s Richard Pollack & Associates creates a dynamic, open workspace for an expanding Bay Area business.

“THIS PROJECT INVOLVED several leaps of faith,” says designer Gary Nichols, a senior associate at Richard Pollack & Associates (RPA) who managed the renovation of headquarters for the Hamel Group, “employment marketing strategists” serving the biotech industry. For starters, recalls Nichols, the company committed to not only a largely unexplored area of Oakland’s old shipyards but also an unconventional industrial space in 1998–“before every dot.com had its office in a former warehouse.” As one of the Bay Area’s fastest growing companies, the Hamel Group required an office that could accommodate its expanding workforce and serve as a serious recruitment tool. In addition, the company sought a bold, progressive design that would appeal to its biotech clientele as well as Hamel’s young staff. RPA worked closely with CEO Pamela Hamel and CFO Mike Pauletich to devise an environment that fosters creativity and efficiency, while also providing comfort and influencing employee retention.

 

Open workspace design

Open workspace design

Among the project’s greatest challenges was the conversion of adjacent spaces in two separate, but conjoined buildings into one unified, open office. “The main programmatic objective was to create a whole,” says Nichols. The spaces were gutted and all walls were removed, except for the shear wall between the two buildings. Stripped down to its bricks, the wall was opened in two places to unify the spaces. “A small doorway had been cut into the wall to allow passage from one side to the other,” explains Nichols. “But we created large, ceiling-height openings to open the spaces to one another.” The plan is organized around a central public core with offices and work stations located around the perimeter. A curved boat-shaped form, which intersects the shear wall and arcs up to the ceiling, anchors the newly (used, 7,000-sq.-ft. office.

 

Reception area of the open workspace

Reception area of the open workspace

Decorting Comunal Areas

Guiding circulation and enveloping communal areas (reception, conference room, resource library, storage, and kitchen), the office’s dramatic focal form was conceived by Nichols to unify the space. Made of two textured drywall layers and illuminated from within, “the sweeping, organic form distracts one’s attention from the disjointed space,” says the designer. “One side of the space has a truss system, the other has a flat stud roof. The boat is an element that unifies and holds together the two volumes.” A dropped ceiling above the central core houses mechanical and infrastructure systems, giving this area of the office a sense of enclosure and buffering sound. Elsewhere, visible ductwork, along with concrete floors and exposed structural members, establishes an industrial aesthetic. In conference room, a set of recliner chairs and meeting table were set up. Beside the conference room, a kitchen is available to serve.

Recliner chairs are prefered in conference room and meeting areas

Recliner chairs are prefered in conference room and meeting areas

A communal aspect was essential to Hamel’s program, underscoring the organization’s encouragement of collaboration and creativity among its employees. “There are no truly enclosed spaces,” says Nichols. Even executive offices, he points out, are defined by walls that do not reach the full height of the ceiling. In addition, interior “windows,” framed like pictures, allow visual access behind closed doors–and out to a tree-lined street. Work stations have partitions for privacy, but are open-ended so employees are not cut off from one another. This openness not only facilitates communication but also lowered HVAC costs significantly, says Nichols.

In personal working space, the design is very simple with a desk and a recliner. With the reclining chair, officers can take a rest easily when tired

In personal working space, the design is very simple with a desk and a recliner. With the reclining chair, officers can take a rest easily when tired

In contrast to the multi-layered architectural shell, furniture is simple and functional. An austere concrete- topped table surrounded by tubular steel armchairs occupies the conference room. Systems furniture, specified in a neutral metallic shade, resonates with the metal ducts that snake around the ceiling. The seven private offices are carpeted and furnished with softer pieces to create a more relaxed ambience. In one instance, existing painted signage was preserved on the brick shear wall, adding a bold, graphic element to the decorative scheme.

Design and construction of the project were completed in approximately 14 weeks for an estimated cost of $45 per sq. ft. Project manager/designer Gary Nichols extends credit to RPA designer Eileen Chen.

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Color Light Interior Style

Smash Design animates Manray, a Seattle restaurant and bar, with colored light and the flicker of multiple video screens.

A color light restaurant/ bar design where colorful furniture and chairs are also used

A color light restaurant/ bar design where colorful furniture and chairs are also used

LOCATED IN THE Pike-Pine corridor, an up-and-coming area of downtown Seattle, Manray is a gay bar, restaurant, and video lounge conceived by Smash Design. The 2,000-sq.-ft. space occupies an existing single-story building with a boomerang roof overhang and glass storefront. The designers opted, in this still transitional neighborhood, to screen the interior from the street with an outdoor patio and television-shaped steel panels.

Colored light and video imagery animate the interior. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner and, around 9:00 p.m., gives way to a bar as tables and chairs are moved. To accommodate these various transitions, Smash ran concealed strands of rope lighting with red, yellow, blue, and white bulbs to produce a wide spectrum of available colors. Hidden behind the ceiling and wall panels, the lights create a tinted glow that can change quickly or gradually as desired. The light might go blue for three hours and subtly shift to green, or it can move through many colors quickly, in any sequence, to create the desired ambience.

Color light imagine interior has became a trend

Color light imagine interior has became a trend

How the interior style works

In counterpoint to this contemporary field of moving color and light, Smash opted for a more traditional figure/ground plan by locating a large, oval-shaped bar at the center of the room. According to Smash co-principal Harper Welch (the other is Marc Clements), “We felt strongly that the bar should provide a visual focus and create a circulation pattern that works throughout the day.” The sheet metal overbar provides a distribution point for ventilation, downlighting, and ten video monitors. Eight additional monitors were set into the back wall–an aluminum Formica surface that gives access to the DJ mixing booth and service areas–and a large video projection screen drops down near the front window. “The idea was to really integrate video into the space,” says Welch, “and to let it have a lot of presence.”

The ceiling and walls were finished with floating, ultra-white Formica panels that provide ’60s-retro glamour and reflect the play of moving light and color. “It was a challenge to make an all-white room relaxing,” says Welch. The blue floor, made of vinyl composition tile, tones down the white while also addressing maintenance issues; during the day, when the colored light is less dramatic, it also provides a strong visual contrast to the other surfaces.

This special interior style is used with special design of reclining chairs, tables, and other furniture which can change colors

This special interior style is used with special design of reclining chairs, tables, and other furniture which can change colors

Manray was designed to bring a certain kind of cosmopolitan chic to Seattle nightlife. According to Welch, “The whole Seattle bar scene is really unvaried. Wherever you go, nothing feels very modem, big-city or glamorous. There aren’t many places you want to wear nice shoes.” With the arrival of Manray, however, Seattle can now compete with any number of metropolitan centers that enjoy a bit of nostalgia for the future with cocktails.

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Who better to ask about great style and design than people who live and breathe it every day. So we did just that, calling on the expertise of a landscape architect, a chef and a fashion editor

THERE’S THAT OLD SAYING, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” That’s because they are accustomed – out of sheer necessity – to making decisions, and making them fast. They are also adept at being flexible, able to change direction if the need arises. And they focus on seeing each task through to the end no matter what obstacles are placed in their way. When you think about it, these are all attributes that are needed to complete a successful home renovation or revamp. You need focus, tenacity, flexibility and you can’t sweat the small stuff. It just so happens that these are the qualities that are hallmarks of the people on the following pages.

1. design director / dangar group – THE HOME AND GARDEN

will danger

THE HOME AND GARDEN of Will Dangar comes as a complete surprise. A beachside city location with only a modest-sized garden is perhaps not what you might expect of a landscape designer. Knowing a little about him and his background explains why. Will grew up in the country – Armidale, NSW – and he still seems thrilled to be living in Australia’s largest city. He has more than 14 years’ experience working in the landscape business, and has gone from spending eight years as a contributing exterior design editor at Belle magazine, to more recently, focusing on his three businesses, which sit under the umbrella of the Dangar Group. How he’s transformed both the interior and exterior of his home is even more revealing.

Home and Garden

Home and Garden

MAKE YOUR LIST

First things first – ask yourself “what do you really want from a home?” Will and his wife Julia wanted to live near the ocean. “We moved to Bondi from Sydney’s inner west, so the sea breeze was what we were chasing,” he says. In 1998, the couple hunted down an unrenovated semi. Fortunately, they bought it from a friend, so the actual sale process was relatively stress-free.

BE REALISTIC

While Will and Julia had found a home in a good location, it was five years before they prepared concept plans for how they wanted to transform it. They then waited another two years before commencing renovations so they had enough time to save money. By taking their time and learning about the home they lived in they were able to transform a single-storey two-bedroom house into a home that spans two levels with the addition of another two bedrooms.

ENLIST EXPERTS

Even though Will had lots of experience with exteriors, he wasn’t shy about asking colleagues at Belle for advice on the interiors. At the time they were editor Eric Matthews, now communications manager at Hermes, and interior design editor Romaine Alwill, who has an interior design practice . When it came to construction, Will enlisted the best he could afford. “We had a great builder called Val Luzar who I had worked with on large residential projects,” he says. “My advice is to pay a little bit more to get the professionals.” Will adds that talking to people in the profession and asking questions will teach you a lot. “I have learnt more from them than anything I was taught in college,” he says.

CREATE A HOME

“We didn’t want our house to feel intimidating from an interior design perspective,” Will says. “I love looking at extravagantly decorated projects, however, you never know if it’s okay to sit on the sofas or comfortable recliners! We want people to come over and feel that they can relax. Reclining chairs and sofa beds should be very great!!!” Their house appears like all the other semis from the street, but the use of floor-to-ceiling glass in the hallway and garden are clever design features.

Sofa beds and recliners are selected to creat comfortable spaces for relax

Sofa beds and recliners are selected to creat comfortable spaces for relax

LOOK TO LIFESTYLE

Will and his expanded family – the couple have had two children (Summer, 21/2, and Tom, 6 months) since moving into the property – enjoy swimming at the beach and so designed a house to reflect this. They created separate access to a downstairs bathroom from a side passage so they could have a shower straight after being at the beach. Making their oldstyle semi open plan was also important to creating their ideal family home.

2. Restaurateur / chef / tv presenter – the kitchen has become king of our homes

sean connolly

AS WE ALL KNOW, the kitchen has become king of our homes. Walls have been knocked down to open up living spaces so it can be more integrated into our way of life. And, as a consequence of it now being more on show, it’s taking a bigger share not only of our home’s floorspace but of its budget, too.

Fittings and design features in a kitchen are important. And with the rising popularity of cookingshows on television, it seems the entire population wants to cook like a professional chef. So we asked a real-life celebrity award-winning chef, Sean Connolly of Astral Restaurant fame, what makes a successful kitchen – practically and aesthetically.

For them, Kitchen is a King of the Home

For them, Kitchen is a King of the Home

THE KEY INGREDIENTS

When it comes to planning a kitchen the basics remain the same: oven, rangehood and fridge/freezer. So with the unlimited options available, what does a chef who has been crowned “Chef of the Year” by several bodies, such as the highly coveted Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards, look for when purchasing big-ticket items?

Sean says to cook, even at home, he has to have a commercial-size convection oven with gas burners. Of importance for a rangehood is “strong extraction and low noise – there’s nothing worse than a noisy rangehood”, he says. And when it comes to a fridge, he buys one from the large end of the spectrum, with a freezer of equal size as he and his wife Jo entertain regularly, and have “three active and hungry” children (Eliza, 12, Kiera, 10, and Toby, 7). Wine and beverages are kept in a separate fridge. However, Sean says, “I only buy enough fresh food for three days at a time so I only use produce at its premium. And, I don’t like to overload my fridge.”

HARD-WORKING MATERIALS

Kitchens need to be durable for someone who uses them a lot. So when it comes to kitchen countertops, Sean says he loves stainless steel or Corian. To provide a level of sophistication to an open-plan kitchen, he likes to use white marble for splashbacks. Likewise, Sean prefers the timeless appearance of porcelain for the kitchen sink.

PLATING UP

“I always use white crockery,” Sean says. “It’s perfect for a simple lunch or a glamorous dinner. I use a white plate like a canvas.” But in keeping with his penchant for mixing up modern and traditional, Sean’s family uses bone-handled cutlery. “Jo has a collection that has been passed down through her family,” he says.

OVERALL PLAN

When it came to designing his home, Sean went for an open-plan living space, believing it’s a better design than having a separate kitchen, “so long as you can work in a clean fashion”. He adds, “I like to feel part of the action, and there’s nothing better than walking into a warm kitchen smelling of wonderful creations and then sitting down to enjoy it.”

DINING DESIGNS

“Round tables with wood chair with relining functions create a good atmosphere because you can see everyone and it encourages group conversation,” Sean says. But the key to successful entertaining is to “keep it simple: focus on quality product – the better the quality the less you have to do with the ingredients themselves. Then you can spend more time socialising.”

Round table for dining room

Round table for dining room

3. Editor / harper’s bazaar – an experienced interior designer

edwina mccann

YOU COULD BE FORGIVEN for thinking that the Sydney home of Harper’s BAZAAR editor Edwina McCann had been conceived and executed by an experienced interior designer. It is bold, confident and considered. In fact, the busy mother of twin daughters (Jemima and Luella, 5), and the wife of Toby Smith of Toby’s Estate, did all the work herself, while her husband was overseas travelling for an extended period to produce a book, no less. Here’s how she did it.

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

In 2009 Edwina and Toby found and bought a rundown cottage in the inner-west suburb of Rozelle. The selling points, for them, were an internal north-facing courtyard, a workshop at the back (stables in the original 1840 building), and it was only a 10-minute drive from work.

By converting the workshop into a warehouse space and restoring the old cottage at the front of the property, the couple got the best of both worlds. “Something cosy and something more industrial and fun,” she says. And that’s how Edwina tackled the renovation – staying true to the charms of the cottage and injecting some New York cool into the space.

BRIGHT IDEA

Somewhat unusually, Edwina’s collection of lights that she had accumulated over the years was the starting point for much of the interior decoration. One of the lights in the hallway is a street light from along the River Seine in Paris. “Another one is an old grapecrushing basket. Others we’ve got are old bottles. And then a designer light by David Weeks [above the dining table],” she says. The ideas for how the rest of the home would look were worked around these pieces.

Bright idea for Skylight in the house

Bright idea for Skylight in the house

MIX ‘N’ MATCH

When Edwina first became interested in interiors, the French designer Christian Liaigre was prominent, and his work on the Mercer Hotel in New York was influential to her own developing aesthetic. In particular, she liked the way he contrasted colours and materials. This is evident in her own home where she installed tongue-and-groove ceilings in the warehouse space to soften the industrial features. Likewise, she juxtaposed wood next to concrete, “allowing each of the raw materials to stand on their own”. However, Edwina confesses that she also loves the “craziness” of American interior designer Kelly Wearstler. And she is knowledgeable on the more organic aesthetic of long-time friend and interior stylist Sibella Court.

SMART SHELL

While Edwina knew what she wanted when it came to fittings and furnishings – from the bath to the taps with sofas and luxurious round table – for the shell of the building, she deferred to architect Tom Ferguson. “He was a big influence in incorporating steel into the aesthetics of the building.” Tom also worked out where to put the main-bedroom mezzanine, located in the warehouse end of the home. Plus, he knew of specific products that would benefit the home’s functionality, such as skylights that worked automatically. “Things you just wouldn’t think of if you’re not in that industry,” Edwina says.

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Open-home Inspections for century-old, character-filled house

After months of dragging a toddler and a baby in and out of the car at open-home inspections, Heather Nette King and her husband Jeremy were fed up of house hunting and almost didn’t bother to take a look inside this old weatherboarder in Armadale, Vic. But luckily they did, because the century-old, character-filled house was exactly what the couple had been dreaming of high ceilings with intricate plaster cornices, a wide entrance hall, big bedrooms and a deep bullnose verandah. “But best of all, it had only been moderately renovated – it was totally liveable, but still retained its romance and charm,” Heather says. Within five minutes of viewing the house the couple had negotiated with the agent and secured it as their new family home.

century-old, character-filled house-small

century-old, character-filled house-small

Preparing for Decorating Rooms

The rooms were quickly prepared for decorating. First, the musty carpets were removed and the original Baltic floorboards were sanded and polished. The couple then painted the yellowed walls and woodwork in white. “I even painted the pine kitchen joinery white including the glass in the doors,” Heather says, “It creates a clean, fresh backdrop for displaying my beautiful dining table / chair set and colourful kitchenware.” Heather’s passion for a paintbrush has become a bit of a running joke, as she loves to repaint the kitchen floor a different colour every few months.

Colourful kitchenwares are already to be used to decorate the kitchen

Colourful kitchenwares are already to be used to decorate the kitchen

When it comes to decorating an interior, Heather adopts the simple philosophy that “if it makes your heart sing, then do it”. She loves pieces with history and character, “and if they are a bit banged up, I love them even more,” she says. “I also like to paint wooden furniture such as my elegant tables and recliners in the living room – it’s such a simple way to cohesively tie together different styles and eras. And, whenever you feel like a change, it’s just another coat of paint to completely alter the look.”

Decorating the House by a Stylist

Working as a stylist, Heather sees trends quickly come and go, so she is wary of buying into too many fads. “I love to come up with creative alternatives when a certain look really inspires me.” Her bedroom wall is the perfect example for months she had been coveting a Cath Kidston digital print wallpaper featuring roses, but knowing that just one wall would cost about $1500, she decided to road test the idea by sticking pages from a pictorial rose book onto the wall. Total cost? About $20 for the books and $30 postage from Amazon. “I love it so much I may just keep it the way it is,” she says.

Decorating inside the house by a Stylist

Decorating inside the house by a Stylist

Heather and Jeremy now have plans to build a conservatory-style room off the lounge with comfortable reclining chairs and tables, to overlook the family’s new swimming pool. “It will have white weatherboards, and maybe a little clerestory [high] window for ventilation,” Heather says. “And, of course, lots of lovely banged-up furniture and wild roses clambering all over it.”

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