Luxury Bathrooms Trends

Luxury Bathroom

Luxury Bathrooms What are the current trends in house design when it comes to the design of luxury bathrooms? Well, bathrooms are not just a utilitarian room anymore. It’s all about the “spa” experience. Let me run through a few bathroom design and amenity requests I hear more and more. The bath is now the oasis, the…

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House Design Put into Words

Design in Words

Good house design is something we can feel, but often we have trouble putting into words. When I set out to write Designing Your Perfect House, I was presented with this challenge of putting feelings and impressions in written form. I wasn’t sure how well I could do it, so you can imagine how gratifying…

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Colors: Cool Greys Versus Warm Greys

Warm and Cool Grays

Just yesterday, I was meeting with a client and the subject of the color grey came up. We were looking at stone and what mortar color we should use with various colors of stone. You might automatically think of mortar as being grey. But there are many shades of mortar and many shades of grey.…

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How to Negotiate with Your Builder


In today’s economy with the big downturn in homebuilding and construction hurting every builder, negotiating can be more effective than ever. But some methods of negotiating can be more effective than others. Don’t overplay your hand. You might be holding all the cards right now, since every builder is very hungry for work. But pushing…

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My White Oak Floor Is Yellow!

White Oak Floor

I received this question today and I thought others might be facing the same dilemma: My husband and I just bought a house built in the early 60’s and it has the original white oak floors that have the aged yellow/orange look. I’m getting used to them, I think!  I don’t know what color to…

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When Is A House Watertight?


You might think your house only becomes watertight when the siding, brick or stone is completely installed. Actually, sidings of any kind, including masonry and stucco, are not as watertight as you might imagine. They are not the last line of defense against water. I refer to siding, brick, stone, stucco, and other sidings as…

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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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