Monday, May 4, 2015

Thinking ahead

Making a decision with the future in mind is not as easy as simply choosing something that is trendy at the moment. For longevity, wiser decisions are often made when the future is one of the factors being considered.

Lauren and I designed a "free-standing counter" in this half bath. After talking with Thomas Rice, I realized a better solution was to have the base of the cabinet recessed 8", which still allows it to appear as free-standing and allows us to use the turned legs we wanted on the four corners of the cabinet.

When the base is simply recessed, it seems to be a much better solution. (1) The tile installers don't hate you because they don't have to lay tile in 5-1/2 inches of overhead space. (2) Now we only have to sweep 8 inches under the front and sides of this cabinet, which will be much easier than trying to keep the floor clean all the way under the cabinet.

A second example of planning ahead involves an old "trick" I learned years ago. It is unfortunate I didn't learn it before buying our first sofa. We got married in the orange/green/yellow decade of the 70's when those three colors reined in design, from fabric to Tupperware. Our sleeper sofa was floral orange/green/yellow and I am thankful I don't have a photo to share. We couldn't "kill" the thing. It followed us to three houses, finally ending up in an upstairs game room.

I should have learned a lesson from the ugly sofa, and maybe I did to a certain extent. Yet I bought a second floral sofa. This was calmer and I still love it after seeing it daily for several years. The only problem is when trying to pair throw pillows with the sofa. The possibilities are limited because of the sofa fabric. I still love my Chippendale sofa and Queen Anne style wing-back chairs so decided to have them recovered for our new home.

I am currently searching for fabric for these pieces. I promised myself that I would not use a floral or Jacobean fabric on any of these pieces since I want to be able to switch colors with throw pillows. The fabric to cover the dining room chairs has been chosen, along with another fabric for the two wing back chairs. I chose that fabric because I loved it the minute I saw it. I was sold when I found out it is 100,000 rubs fabric. It will live longer than we do.

The sofa is the last item to figure out. I might settle on s stripe since it would not be as limiting as floral. I'll have to make that decision after looking just a bit more to see if I am missing any great possibilities.

We also considered the future when choosing paint and finishes. We wanted to provide a back-drop to the whole house design that would allow us to be more flexible with colors in our furnishings and accessories. 

When looking for a solid stone to use for counter tops in the laundry room, a half bath and game room, we discovered HanStone quartz. The pricing is very competitive, and they have some beautiful stone choices. I was trying to find a simple white background with just a bit of color when I discovered Tranquility.

After returning home tonight from a brief trip, we made a stop by the house to discover that some of the counter tops had been installed while we were away. One of those is the vanity counter top pictured above, from HanStone. The pure white with random gray veining mimics the colors of the trim and walls. The white also helps to bring some light into the small bathroom, which is an interior space without any natural light.

This bathroom has a built-in open shelving unit just inside the bathroom door. It was salvaged from an empty cavity between rooms. When the walls were being framed, I noticed the space and asked the builder to please let me have it for a shelving unit. Now we have a handy place to store pool towels of all colors since very little will clash with the background. I am hoping this will be a fun, colorful space simply because of the towels and art pieces we will place in this small half bath.

Thinking ahead seems to take more time and causes more work as we search for just the right solutions, but it does provide more options in the future when you want to change up rooms just a bit without redoing the entire space.

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