Friday, December 31, 2010

10 Design Topics for 2011

Another year has come and gone.  We asked our daughter this morning if there was anything she didn't get to do this year... 'cause today is the last day!  She replied that there's always next year.  Well, I guess that's true but most of the time I feel like we're trying to cram one more thing in the day just to cross it off the list.

So in that spirit, here's my last blog post of the year.  Over the past months, I've compiled tons of inspiring photos for client discussions and many would make great blog posts.  Here are few photos on each topic and you tell me what you'd like to read more about in 2011!

1. Built-in shelving along a fireplace wall...


2. Painting an interior brick wall...



3.  The inspiring work of residential architect, Joeb Moore...




4. Not your grandma's drapes...


5. Thinking about bunk beds for a cozy cottage retreat...


 


6. Kid's rooms and built-in beds...



7. Kitchens with fireplaces... 

Darryl Carter's Townhouse featured in Elle Decor


8. Another inspiring residential architect, Mark Hutker...




9. Dark sash steel windows...


Design by William Hefner


10. There is something about a white bathroom...

Designed by Joeb Moore


There you have it... my first top 10! And to think I woke up this morning wondering what there was left to write about.  So please cast a vote... or my next post might be in 2012!  (Wen, I'm talking to you...)

It's hard to believe that I started 2010 with my first blog entry.  It feels so long ago and I'm in a different place now... as we all are.  The events and moments of the year have added to who I am and the work I do.  Its fun to look back at what I was thinking about from month to month.  I've enjoyed the process and I hope you've enjoyed reading.  Thanks to all of you who have followed my blog this past year.  I appreciate all your comments and positive feedback.  Here's to 2010 and what 2011 might hold for all of us! 

Have a Happy New Year! 
                          -Jennifer Marsh

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hoboken Doors

One of the reasons I love Hoboken is that it's such a great walking town.   What makes it so 'walkable' for me is that every time I'm headed somewhere in town, I see something I hadn't noticed before.   It has a good amount of character, culture, history, revitalization...  all of which makes for an interesting stroll (or maybe a jog if I'm motivated!).  So, as I'm visually inspired on these walks, I get to thinking... "Wouldn't it be great to do a blog post about...?"   Well, here is my first "Hoboken Tour" installment!  Who knows if there will be more, but one can always hope.  We'll call this one...

The Door Tour. 

We'll start with my favorite stoop.  You couldn't ask for a more graceful approach to the front door...


I took these photos on a beautiful day last spring... all in one morning.  By no means did I get all the lovely entry doors of Hoboken documented here.  This is just a smattering... more a consequence of which turns I decided to take that day.   The photos are also in no particular order... I hadn't the patience to figure it out.  

Here's Sobsey's, our gourmet grocer, with its delightful corner door.  Remember when it used to be a custom bridal boutique?    


A charming entry porch, quite unique for Hoboken...  




Lots of black doors in this town.  Can't really go wrong with black...


Ah, but these soft ivory doors against the red brick are quite nice...


 Or maybe gray...


A magnificent pediment looms over these graceful arched doors with horizontal muntins... feels French to me.  I like the natural wood door coupled with the robin egg blue windows...


 Another set of natural wood doors with ornate ironwork...


I thought this recessed entry had a nice composition with the interior paneling and off center door.


The flat facade on this newly renovated row house is dressed up with matching glossy black doors with simple overhead sconces.  The glass is high with tall bottom panels... brings in light but still provides privacy.


This pendant lantern over the door adds to the stately symmetry of this entry.  And the detailed panels and arched glass add to the grandeur.


The rope and dental molding on these doors give a refined quality...


Nice and easy stoop leads to a nice and easy entry door...


Here's the one Federal style entry I found with its six panel door and webbed glass transom detail.  The flag and scooner are a nice touch too.  


As I said, these are just a few of the many wonderful entry doors I pass each day in Hoboken.  So if there is a door you love that's not pictured here, send me a comment and maybe it will show up in... The Door Tour: Part II!  

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Not Exactly a Farmhouse

I've been meaning to write the second half to my previous post:    
New Windows: Part I.   Well, here it is!  I'm sure you're excited, so let's have at it...

I have a project that is just finishing up (and for sale) and it dawned on me that it's a good case study on how to get the most of your new windows.  Last time I talked about different manufactures and window types...  this time I want to look at how to 'use' those windows.  This particular house has beautiful views of the countryside in upstate New York, so the windows were an important part of the design.  

From the front porch and a long bank of windows, you can see the vista beyond...  


Many rooms in this house have big areas of glass to enjoy the surroundings, but from the road we wanted the house to present itself as an iconic image of a farmhouse.  A gabled end with punched windows...  meaning that they are situated independently and appear as 'punched holes' in the wall. 


Because the floor to ceiling heights are much greater than in a historic farmhouse, the windows had to be oversized to provide the proper proportion of window to wall.  The composition of this front elevation and the simple organization of the window and door arrangement were critical to create an understated but rich farmhouse image. 

Once you approach the house from the drive, you see the house starts to open up with larger areas of glass. When you gang the windows together it becomes a window wall rather than individual windows as seen on the front facade.   Here on the south elevation we used an awing to cut down on the southern exposure during the summer months.


In some areas we played with the scale of the windows.  The bigger square window on the right is a focal point at the end of the porch and the small window to the left balances the composition.  Its slighter scale also enhances the wall's textural quality.


A generous window is centered in a second story bay.  Cladding this element in a monolithic material (vertical boards with tight joints) gives importance to its form and simple but prominent windows. 



At the interior, a grouping of windows at the first and second floor accentuates the height created at the staircase.  


The double height space over the dining area is flooded with southern light thanks to the window wall at the stairs.  The soft indirect light highlights the stonework of the fireplace chimney.






The first floor windows at the stair bring light down into the lower level.  No need for your basement to feel like a basement! 


Because we are in the country it allowed us the opportunity for generous windows in the bathrooms, which are filled with light.  If you happen to have neighbors, that's what window treatments are for! A sheer shade or drape can still offer lots of light and give you the privacy you may need.  I am particularly fond of shower windows... just make sure you have a good tile job on the surround and I suggest an exterior grade paint on the sash. 


Here's another bathroom with an entire wall of windows that creates an open backdrop to the Duravit soaking tub...
  

Having windows at the end of a hallway expands the interior of the house to the outside and helps with orientation... its one of those things that makes you feel more comfortable without even knowing it?!   Also, if you can have windows along a hallway it makes moving through your house that much more pleasant.  A connection to outdoors shouldn't be just for vacations!


Okay, so these aren't windows... they're screens on a double height porch space.   But they beautifully frame the views to the outside just like the rest of our windows.  We kept the proportion of the openings the same as the windows inside the house so they relate to one another.

In this house we used only one window type, the double hung.   But by using it in different ways we can provide unique experiences while maintaining an overall consistency throughout the house.   


 I hope to post more photos once the finishing touches are complete!
  

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Kitchen Counter

We've been living with our new kitchen counter for two weeks now... and I have to say, it's heaven!  To give you a sense of our enthusiasm, as it was being installed my daughter said... "This is the best thing that has ever happened!"  Okay, so maybe my kid is a little bizarre... or maybe she's just an architect in the making who appreciates good material?!  But it really is fantastic.  I swear this apple tasted sweeter!


In a previous post, Back to the Kitchen, we were trying to decide what counter material to choose. Ultimately, we picked quartz, Chroma in Cascade White. As much as we loved the idea of marble, the modern feel of the manufactured material seemed to fit the style of our home.  It was an exciting process getting it installed, so I thought I'd share some photos...

Here's a good close up of the green tile we started with. Half the joints were caulked which made it especially terrible to clean, particularly around the lip of the sink.


Brian removed the wall tile and some of the sheetrock to get a good fit when they made a template for the counter...

Photography by Lillian Marsh

The tile and counter substrate were removed the night before.  Thanks to TM & DS for helping haul it to the curb.  When the plumber saw it on the sidewalk, he said..."Goodbye 80's!"  Amen to that.


The next morning we were ready for the install.  (Looks like my pots could use some organization!)



I wish I had some photos of the installers bringing in the counter and setting it in place... it was a real beast.  A big thick slab and a super tight fit.  It took three guys from Atlas Marble & Granite to get it in... thank you!

Here they are preparing the epoxy to apply to the seam...


We have one seam centered on the cooktop.  They leveled the two slabs for a good alignment.


A compressor was used to create suction for a tight joint.


Then we got the plumber to reinstall the faucet and put in a new drain line.  Thanks to Bo Turonis for fitting us in at the end of the day on a Friday!   Here's a shot with the faucet in place... the single hole lever is great for easy clean up!


I have to say I'm loving this sink. It's from Vigo and a great bargain at $290.  At first I was worried about the depth but once I started using it, the deep bowl feels luxurious...well, as luxurious as a sink can be?!  And  best of all, the dishes are hidden from view!

I talked about our appliance selections in my post, Still in the Kitchen.  Here's the new Maytag cooktop we chose.  Another good deal for stainless steel at $480.   I tried to see it in a showroom before we bought it but had no luck.  The price was so good, we took a chance... so far I'm pretty happy with it and it looks great.


You can see we've started the subway tile backsplash (I should say my husband has started it... go Brian!)  It hasn't been grouted yet.  We are debating whether we should go with white or dark gray.  What you see here is close to what the gray would look like.  With the white grout, the pattern won't show up as much. Any opinion?  I'd love to hear it!  

Can't wait to post again once the tiling is done!