Tile on Shower Ceilings


I received a question asking about putting tiles on a shower ceiling or not. The person asking the question said they were tiling the walls all the way up to the ceiling. Tiles on shower ceilings are somewhat optional these days. They add cost, so often they are not done. But tiles on the ceiling…

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What Size Windows Are Best?

Window Size Selection

I recently received a house design question from a reader asking if there was a formula for determining the proper window size (height and width) for a house. Here’s how I answered his question. I don’t have any strict formula I use for determining window size. I depend on my eye. If you have elevations…

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The “How To” of Home Gyms

Home Gym

A number of the houses I have designed have included home gyms. There are a number of considerations to keep in mind when designing a home gym. First and foremost would be sound. I think it’s best to place the home gym on the lowest floor of the house to reduce the noise transmission from…

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When Do We Feel at Home in a Foreign Land?


I was asked recently to comment for an article about the point at which we feel at home when travelling to a foreign country. When have we acclimated to the culture, language and place enough so that we feel the place is now our home? Here are the comments I gave the reporter.  I understand…

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Choose the Right Fireplace for Your Needs


Over the years, I have seen a strong trend away from wood-burning fireplaces toward gas fireplaces. There are two reasons for that. First is the cost. Traditional, all masonry fireplaces are very expensive to build. The entire chimney must be built of masonry and the tall column of cement blocks, bricks, and terra cotta flue…

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Your Front Door and Entrance Is Important

Important Entrance

We all know how important first impressions can be. Our opinion of something or someone is formed quickly upon our first encounter. That’s one reason you should pay attention to the design of your front door, entrance, and the entire arrival and entry experience when designing your house. You won’t get a second chance. So…

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