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Kitchen Cabinets: Antibacterial Copper Gives Kitchens a Gleam

Copper has a long background in the kitchen; it’s been used as a material for kitchen sinks and butter for centuries. As a result, its benefits and disadvantage are well established and agreed upon. This gorgeous metal makes an instantaneous statement when employed for kitchen sinks, and it garners a unique patina over time due to its reactive nature.

Nowadays copper sinks can be found in a vast range of shapes, sizes and styles, allowing them to work beautifully in your kitchen, no matter what your kitchen design is. Here are some basics to assist you determine if this is the kitchen sink material for you.

Signature Hardware

Aberdeen Smooth Double Well Farmhouse Copper Sink – $926.95

The fundamentals: Hand-formed copper is full of character as a result of its color, malleability and ever-changing patina. Copper sinks include varying thicknesses: 14 gauge (thicker and high in quality) to 18 gauge (thinner and less expensive).

Cost: $450 to $1,000 on average.However, costs can certainly increase for thicker-gauge copper and more complex sink layouts.

Lasley Brahaney Architecture + Construction

Benefits: Copper is powerful but easy to shape, therefore copper sinks can be found in a vast range of styles, shapes and dimensions, and can be made quite large and deep.

Based on the gauge, copper can last for several decades. Fragile dishes will also be less likely to break if dropped to a copper sink, since it is malleable and not as hard as ordinary stones.

And best of all, aluminum is filled with antimicrobial properties, making it an superb choice for bacteria-filled kitchens.

UB Kitchens

Cons: Not all copper sinks are created equal. The thicker the copper, the more durable the sink. Thin copper sinks are more likely to dent, scratch and even warp with time.

Be aware that copper is an extremely reactive metal, and its finish will certainly change over time. A sink’s natural patina and finish can be ruined by acidic fluids, sexy dishware and abrasive cleansers.

In Detail Interiors

Sustainability: Copper is 100 percent recyclable. It can be melted, forged and shaped as many times as required. In fact, according to the Northwest Mining Association, about half of the copper products purchased annually in North America come from aluminum. Premium scrap copper has at least 95 percent of their worth of freshly mined copper.

Epiphany Design Studio

Maintenance: Copper is known for its sanitary benefits (germs can survive on copper for only a matter of hours). Plain old hot, soapy water cleans it all best. Additionally, it is constantly changing color and developing interest and variation, but you are able to slow down this process with wax treatments a few times a year. You will also want to avoid abrasive cleansers.


Ballard Smooth Weathered Copper Kitchen Sink

Are you really a lover of copper kitchen sinks? Share your thoughts in the Remarks section below.

See the way the copper sink can work with your home’s design

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Quit Playing About With Your Game Console

Popular game consoles, such as the Nintendo Wii U and Microsoft Xbox 360, aren’t connected with sophistication or minimalism. They are more correlated with all-night, caffeine-fueled shoot-em-up video games. But game consoles are now extremely versatile, strong, all-purpose computers made expressly for incorporating to living rooms and dens, and they can help you streamline your home computing and entertainment systems. They even offer activities that can fundamentally improve your lifetime.

Plus, there are a number of quite powerful and fun things that just gaming consoles can do.


Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set – $349.99

Nintendo has announced plans to send its next-generation game program, called the Wii U (pronounced”we, you”) on November 18, 2012.

The Wii U ought to be a great gaming system — and an odd one. Contrary to the recent Wii, which can be operated by some motion-detecting controller which looks like a TV remote, the new Wii U will include a controller using buttons and a touch screen. The handheld touch screen may be used for controlling what’s on the TV. But it may also be utilized rather of this TV display. Therefore the Wii U will be a complete gaming console and a somewhat portable gaming device all in one.

Wii U owners may become members of an upcoming Nintendo Network, whereby Nintendo will maintain an app shop (which Nintendo is calling an eShop) for downloading all kinds of software that will work with the gambling system.

In addition to all the regular stuff you would find in a controller — gyroscope, accelerometer, haptic feedback and so on — the Wii U controller will have an integrated microphone, speakers and camera, as well as electronics that will allow you to use a wireless credit card to make purchases. It will also support stylus input, which means you need to have the ability to sign things and draw images.

It’s this blend of controller capabilities and an eShop which makes the Wii U so full of promise for non-gaming applications. The gambling system will likely enable the constraint of your current TV and videos using the touch screen and buttons on the controller. While watching TV, by way of example, you need to have the ability to move the display to the controller and take it with you all around the house.

You can also expect a lot of internet shopping software, in which you can quickly scan products and purchase by tapping your charge card on top of the controller to make the buy. And finally, it is almost certain that the Wii U will have the ability to replace your telephone, working as a speakerphone for internet calls along with a videoconferencing system at the touch of a button.


Xbox 360 Media Remote – $19.99

Contrary to the brand new Nintendo Wii U, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 platform has existed for decades and is about to go right now with many nongaming capabilities.

An Xbox device, which begins at $199, can play video DVDs on your TV just like a dedicated DVD player can. It may also show you films, TV shows, music videos and Web videos through Netflix, Hulu and Microsoft’s own content assistance, similar to an Apple TV apparatus does. It may play PC films on a home Windows network or through a regular USB flash drive, like a PC. Plus it can get ESPN3 sports content — even letting you watch two games simultaneously — similar to satellite networks do, in case you’ve got a $50 annual Xbox Live Gold subscription.

You’re able to interact with this all round home entertainment system using an Xbox controller if you want, but you likely won’t desire. Alternatively, you can purchase an Xbox-specific remote control, for example Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Media Remote. You can even search for films and other entertainment using search.


Xbox can replace an whole music collection. Microsoft this month declared Xbox Music, a new service for downloading digital audio to Xbox consoles and enjoying with them over home music programs.

Xbox Music costs $9.99 per month and enables ad-free music streaming from its own catalog of 30 million tunes and 70,000 music videos. On top of that, it’s a feature that gives you an artist-based radio flow, like Pandora does. So you pick a band or a singer, and Xbox Music will perform not just tunes from the choice, but other artists with a similar style.

If you’ve got old audio CDs in your collection, you can set those from the Xbox and play them as if it was a CD player.


Nike+Kinect Coaching – $49.99

An Xbox can even be a personal trainer. Microsoft intends to launch an Xbox program called Nike+Kinect Training at the end of October 2012. The software utilizes your Xbox, and a Kinect sensor, to get your performance and shape while exercising, and it will even customize your workouts according to your skills and progress.


Kinect for Xbox 360 – $149.99

To be able to use Nike+Kinect, then you’ll require a 149.99 Microsoft add-on called Kinect for Xbox 360, and it is a sensor which uses cameras to track your moves as you use Kinect-supporting games and software.


Xbox 360 Chatpad – $29.99

Xbox can even replace your telephone, giving you communications capabilities right out of the Jetsons.

Whenever you have the Xbox Kinect, then you may use it along with your TV to possess live video chats with friends and family who also have Xboxes. An agency called Video Kinect utilizes one of the cameras in the Kinect addition to broadcast you and your living room to the home of another person on the call.

But Xbox gives you many different means to communicate also. You can chat, which can be like text messaging, and use Twitter and Facebook, with the societal networks appearing on your TV. Communicating on Xbox is a lot like communication on your computer, but you are relaxing on the couch and the communication is taking place on your big TV.

Some of the communication requires a computer keyboard, so it is a good idea to purchase an Xbox 360 Chatpad, a little, wireless keyboard made to be held as you type.

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10 Smart Ways to Deal With Summer Gear

When the first cold nip in the air arrives, it’s the perfect time to spend a weekend putting summer equipment in order. The end of summer always feels disgusting, and I find the time I take moving through all of those soggy towels, seashell collections and vacation photos signals a clear end to the summer season, letting me welcome the joys of autumn. As programs become more complete and vacations end, it also feels good knowing that I am starting with a clean slate, ready for whatever comes next.

From sorting, cleaning and repairing to arranging and saving for another year, these 10 tasks will help you get the task finished.

Interiors Studio Martha’s Vineyard

1. Toss broken pool toys and beach equipment. Inner tubes and other inflatables do not last forever, so be sure to check for holes or other damage prior to saving them. Give items that have been at the beach a thorough scrubbing and toss anything that’s cracked or broken and cannot be repaired.

Tongue & Groove

2. Make the most of end-of-season earnings to fill gaps in your equipment. As soon as you understand what you need (a new umbrella to substitute the one that blew away?) , think about stocking up today instead of waiting until the next year.

Not just will you get the lowest cost today, but you can prevent that last-minute shopping frenzy on the way to the shore next year.

simple thoughts

3. Edit your shore treasures and keep them safely. Beachcombing is a wonderful summer pastime, along with the paintings you accumulate can become meaningful mementos of your journeys. When you’re finished exhibiting your own shells, beach glass and driftwood, give everything a once-over to get rid of broken bits and pieces, then keep everything in a hard container with a lid to protect the delicate contents from breakage. If your collection has gotten too big, think about giving a package of treasures to a friend who you know would appreciate it.

Kimberly DesJardins Interiors

4. Sift through holiday photos. With digital photography, it is so easy to dump photos on the computer and forget about them.

I recommend creating a seasonal date along with your hard drive to edit photographs. It retains the task (comparatively) manageable, and you could easily purchase a photograph book online to include all of the summer’s memories.
Pick a few to print as nicely and rotate your own favorites in simple frames.

Organize Pictures in a Flash

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

5. Sort board games and check for lost pieces. Following a summer’s worth of game nights and play dates, the board game scenario in almost any family home is certain to be a pitiful state.

Enlist the children to help sort Monopoly money and Scrabble tiles, then treat yourselves to ice cream cones.

Vidabelo Interior Design

6. The grill prior to barbecue season ends. It’s accurate, there’s still some prime grilling weather before us, but that barbecue likely got a great deal of use this summer, and it’s time for a small deep cleaning. Most of us understand how to clean the surface of the grate with a wire brush but Lifehacker has a great video tutorial on how best to clean all of the parts of a grill.

Flow Wall System

7. Inspect sports and outdoor equipment for damage before storing. Outdoor adventures such as camping, hiking and fishing rely on your own equipment’s staying in good form. Carefully look over every product and fix minor issues as you come across them. Clean out coolers , air out tents and sleeping bags, and type sports equipment before neatly packing it off.

LDa Interiors & Architecture

8. Say goodbye to summer accessories that have seen better days. Sun, sand and salt water are hard on fabrics. Rather than keeping things past their prime, take a minute to sort through your shoes, hats, bags and shades, and give those old, crusty flip-flops and worn outside shore bags that the heave-ho.

Kailey J. Flynn Photography

9. Switch upward summer bedding (and clothing). When you feel that the first chill in the air on a crisp morning, that’s a fantastic sign it’s time to swap mild blankets for thicker colours and duvets. Launder your lightweight coverlets prior to keeping them in an out-of-the-way spot. While you’re at it, then pull those summer clothing from rotation to generate space for the comfy sweaters and boots of fall.

10. Thoroughly clean sandy towels and swimsuits. Sand can wreak havoc on washing machines, therefore allow beach towels to dry out and shake them well to remove sand prior to bringing them to get a wash. I like to pack my beach towels and swimsuits inside a beach bag, so everything remains together and will be easy to find come next summer.

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How Bluetooth 4.0 Will Change Remote Control

Wireless technologies have been transforming domestic life since the accessibility of home radios in the 1920s. Ever since then every new type of wireless technologies and each new application has attracted more transformative changes to the home.

Television, by way of example, used to get its signal wirelessly, which allowed its rapid adoption in the 1950s. As the use of cable TV spread, altering a wireless signal into a nonwireless one, wireless remote controls added another advantage.

Vacuum telephones altered when and where you could make and receive calls. Wireless garage door openers and other special-purpose wireless devices subtly enhanced people’s lives in tiny ways. You probably have a Wi-Fi community in your home, which you use to connect computers, laptops, telephones and your TV into the web.

You likely also use another wireless technology called Bluetooth. If you’ve got a wireless headset with your mobile phone, or a wireless keyboard or mouse with your pc, you are using Bluetooth.

Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are geeky technologies functioning invisibly and also behind the scenes to profoundly change houses all over the world. They have eliminated cables, reducing clutter. And they have freed you to put consumer electronics devices everywhere.

Now a technology that is new is going to really change things.

Why the new, enhanced Bluetooth will change your property. The fourth generation of Bluetooth technology is revolutionary. It is not only a bit better than the Bluetooth you are currently using. It is massively better.

Today most chatter about Bluetooth 4.0 is all about complex gadgets, such as the highly anticipated Pebble E-Paper Watch (revealed). The device will utilize Bluetooth 4.0 to let you control your phone, as well as household appliances and press devices like your TV, from the wrist.

Bluetooth 4.0 is also called Bluetooth Smart Ready, and among the greatest things about it is that it uses much less power.

Should you use a wireless mouse or keyboard, you understand that the batteries must be changed or recharged every couple weeks or, at most, every few months. Bluetooth 4.0 would allow them to never need to do anything using batteries. These devices are charged when you start the box and stay charged for more years than you would want to utilize them.

This really is great news, and not simply for idle wireless keyboard users. I will tell you why in a minute.

Where Bluetooth 4.0 comes from. Bluetooth 4.0 is not something you buy at the shop. At some point, one by one, a gazillion gadgets may add or upgrade to the new technologies. The most competitive organization to build Bluetooth 4.0 into its goods is Apple. This is astonishing, since Apple often lags behind other companies in the introduction of new standards and new technologies.

The iPhone 4S was the first phone ever to support Bluetooth 4.0. The present iPad (revealed in usage over) is your first tablet to support it. In fact, every important Apple product, such as notebooks and laptops, shipped in the past year includes Bluetooth 4.0 support.

From the close of the year, we can anticipate every important Bluetooth apparatus, from telephones to tablets to peripheral devices, to support the brand new Bluetooth 4.0 standard.

And that is only the start.

Control4 7-Inch Mobile Touch Screen – $999

What happens when all is connected. The motive Bluetooth 4.0 will totally change everything in the home is that it’s going to accomplish the following feats:

1. It will replace proprietary technologies. A wide selection of home gadgets, from TV remote controls to room temperature thermostats into doorbells, use nonstandard technician to communicate wirelessly. New capabilities in Bluetooth 4.0 will mean all these gadgets may only use the new standard. When that happens, you will be able to easily connect to, monitor and control things with your phone and tablet. Present tablet goods, such as Control4’s 7-Inch Portable Touch Screen (revealed) utilize Wi-Fi or proprietary wireless technologies. Due to these technologies, the use of tablets for controlling things is uncommon. Bluetooth will make home tablet controls and control panels commonplace.

2. It will enable more things to become wireless. Bluetooth 4.0 can allow it to be cheap and easy for companies to add wireless connectivity to random things: lamps, washing machines, refrigerators, coffee makers, air conditioners, ovens and a lot more. You will be able to control and monitor things from your phone or over the Internet that you previously had to control by touching the object.

3. It will let you automate things. Once a product or piece of functional furniture may be controlled through Bluetooth 4.0, it is easily automated. You simply need the software to command it. Your smart mobile and tablet computers are based on an “program” economy, and that means you can expect literally tens of thousands of home-control apps to come out there during the upcoming few decades.

4. It can help appliances speak to one another. With all your stuff connected through Bluetooth 4.0, the appliances in your home can speak to other appliances without your involvement. The thermostat may turn on the air conditioner. An incoming phone call can pause your TV display. The alarm clock by your bed can turn on the coffee machine. The mobile phone in your pocket may turn on the lights in and around your home as you pull in the driveway.

Futurists have been making bold predictions about the coming era of the “smart home” for decades. These visions involve wireless technologies for connecting devices to the world wide web, to user control devices and to each other.

Bluetooth 4.0 is that technologies. And now it’s here.

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Magic Mirrors Emerge From Fairy Tales

With the potential exception of Simpleton’s golden goose, the trendiest fairy tale home accessory ever has got to be the wicked queen’s magical mirror in Snow White.

The Grimm Brothers’ description of this mirror is positively medieval. But in the speech of Silicon Valley, that magic-mirror gadget has been a augmented-reality display with face recognition and a voice-controlled artificial intelligence virtual helper that has been capable of querying remote databases of females ranked by fairness.

Don’t look now, but magical mirrors are not only for wicked queens.

Magic mirrors and magical windows — actually, magical glass surfaces all around the home — will become commonplace, as a result of breathtaking advancements in computers, computer interfaces and, of everything, glass.

It is all about the glass. The top U.S. innovator in glass to consumer electronics, Corning, has developed a technology which enables it to fabricate elastic glass as though it were printing background. The elastic glass is going to be used as a computerized touch coating, theoretically turning any surface — from fridge doors to countertops to entire walls — to smart-touch displays that function like iPad devices. This glass is going to have the moisture permeability, temperature tolerances and clarity of glass but the flexibility and reduced cost of vinyl.

Corning can be developing glass which kills bacteria and viruses on contact, and all different sorts of smart glass technologies. It generated a

#!”> Video about the near future that showcases exactly what will probably be possible when its present research comes to market.

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Neighborhood Walkability: Get the Score

Five years ago I learned about the website Walk Score, which utilizes Google Maps to figure out the walkability of a location based on local shops, restaurants, schools, parks and so on. Input an address or a neighborhood, and the Website ends up a Walk Score on a scale of 1 to 100, from “Car-Dependent” into “Walker’s Paradise.”

The scoring and programming are far from ideal. Distances are as the crow flies; the tool doesn’t consider street design and terrain. Climate, safety and neighborhood quality are not considered, either. But the site is still beneficial in determining the ability to do things with no vehicle.

I looked in many different homes on to ascertain their various scores. They all are ones that I could ascertain the exact address or at the block on which they’re situated. Neighborhood scores are potential, but I noticed that scores can vary by plus or minus 10 points inside a neighborhood. So they need to be taken with a grain of salt.

To have the ball rolling, I will offer up the scores for where I grew up and where I live today. I grew up in an old suburb of Chicago using a gridded design in addition to proximity to the commuter trains and “village green.” It scores 69 (Somewhat Walkable), but newer suburbs certainly score lower, as they’re developed based on proximity to freeways, not trains. I live in Astoria, Queens, a 20-minute train ride from midtown Manhattan. My speech scores 88 (Really Walkable), but other areas of the area closer to the shopping roads venture into Walker’s Paradise.

Kendle Design Collaborative

Desert Mountain, Scottsdale, Arizona
Walk Rating: 3

Golf course developments are easily the very car-dependent parts of suburbia. This home on a large lot benefits from the controlled scenery of this course, but one must push past the boundaries of the evolution to do anything besides play golf.

Belzberg Architects

Beverly Glen, Los Angeles
Walk rating: 34

It’s not surprising that L.A. is a very car-dependent city, although a lot of people may not understand that its ancient, comprehensive streetcar community enabled the sprawl now served by freeways. These broad rights of way cut up the city, so even short trips need circuitous travel by car. That circumstance is also the end result of the landscape, especially the hills overlooking the city’s sprawl. The allure of this house in the Hollywood Hills is clear, but walks are likely restricted to exercise.

Resolution: 4 Architecture

Throggs Neck, Bronx, New York
Walk rating: 37

It may be a surprise that a home in new york would score just marginally above the previous case. This home, beside the Throggs Neck Bridge from the Bronx, is just about as secluded as you can get in NYC while still being at the city limits. This means you have to drive even to reach public transport, typically the best way of getting about the city.

Kaplan Thompson Architects

Deering Center, Portland, Maine
Walk Score: 52
Somewhat Walkable

With this “in city” home, we venture from the Car-Dependent and into the Somewhat Walkable realm. The architects testify to the proximity of universities, dining and shopping, but the home is tucked near a cemetery and a park, meaning the places to walk are not inside a 360-degree circle of the location.

Make Architecture

Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles
Walk rating: 65
Somewhat Walkable

Elsewhere in Los Angeles, nearer into the Pacific, the rating is about twice as Large as at the Hollywood Hills. This home illustrates one attribute (although not a mandatory one) of walkability: density.

Universal Joint Design Associates

Brentwood, Austin, Texas
Walk rating: 65
Somewhat Walkable

When we compare this home in Austin into the previous one in L.A., the simple fact that they have the identical score may be surprising. One is essentially a rowhouse, and one is a freestanding home on a generous lot. Each owes its relatively high score into a gridded network using a mix of uses within an easy walk. This Austin home, it needs to be pointed out, is located in the midst of a brief block, which could typically be vacant or used for a garage. It is a way of infilling the suburbs to include more density while decreasing sprawl, 1 piece at a time.

Kenny Craft, CNU LEED AP

South Main, Buena Vista, Colorado
Walk rating: 66
Somewhat Walkable

An ideabook centered on walkability needs to incorporate a brand new urbanism development. South Main occupies a 41-acre region between the town of Buena Vista and the Arkansas River. The programmers envisioned a “walkable, pedestrian-friendly community” with “tree-lined roads, mixed-use homes, green construction and also a conscientious land-use layout” The effect clearly has more density compared to a typical suburban area but not enough to reach Very Walkable status.

Dean Nota Architect

Hermosa Beach, Los Angeles
Walk Rating: 71
Really Walkable

Near Manhattan Beach sits Hermosa Beach, a compact community that includes a “boardwalk” (The Strand, really paved and not made of wood planks) on the Pacific. Here we enter the next kingdom, Very Walkable. This home benefits from proximity to Pier A Avenue, which runs perpendicular to The Strand and that is where most of the community’s commercial offerings are located.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Windsor Road, Austin, Texas
Walk Rating: 72
Really Walkable

This multifamily project is located near the University of Texas in Austin and, more immediately, near a boulevard with a Great Deal of commercial amenities. This means the project is still somewhat suburban, with a lot of trees on a large lot, but I can’t help but wonder how walkable the boulevard is, or whether it’s geared more to cars than pedestrians.

Nic Darling

Kensington, Philadelphia
Walk Rating: 74
Really Walkable

This LEED Platinum project lies north of Philadelphia’s Center City district, however is only a few blocks from a subway line that connects the residents to a lot of this city. Walk Score does offer a Transit Score as well, but it’s limited to cities whose information is open source, if they have public transit to start with. This usually means that Transit Scores are not available the majority of the time. Regardless, proximity to buses and trains is equally as crucial as walkability for anyone seeking to live someplace with little to no car usage.

John Maniscalco Architecture

Cole Valley, San Francisco
Walk Score: 74
Really Walkable

San Francisco is a hilly but still very walkable town, particularly taking public transport into account. This home is located near Golden Gate Park, one of the city’s best amenities.

Kaplan Thompson Architects

Westover Village, Arlington, Virginia
Walk Score: 75
Very Walkable

Created by the exact same architect as the Portland, Maine, home revealed previously, this “subway green” house is west of downtown Arlington. The home is very close to the core of Westover, which is home to lots of commercial amenities.

Searl Lamaster Howe Architects

Lincoln Park, Chicago
Walk Score: 80
Really Walkable

Having lived in Lincoln Park (carless, as is still the case at Astoria) for a number of years, I can attest to the area’s walkability. This home is located a little bit farther from commercial strips compared to other parts of Lincoln Park, but it’s nearer to the elevated train that connects the area into the Loop and different areas of the city.


Sawtelle, Los Angeles
Walk rating: 89
Really Walkable

So where must one go in L.A. to reach Very Walkable standing? In this case, it’s West Los Angeles, which is between Beverly Hills on the east and Santa Monica around the west coast. It is a somewhat compact and built-up area with a number of commercial strips.

Schwartz and Architecture

Potrero Hill, San Francisco
Walk Rating: 89
Really Walkable

Launched in San Francisco, we see a higher number resulting from more density and an immediate mix of applications — a little grocery store is next door to this home.

John Hill

Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York
Walk Score: 98
Walker’s Paradise

This Upper West Side town house designed by workshop/apd eventually gets us into the Walker’s Paradise. It’s not surprising that Manhattan is where it happens. This residence is located less than a block from Broadway and its own commercial amenities. It’s also about halfway between Riverside Park and Central Park, making it an perfect location for walking as well as other diversion.

John Hill

Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York
Walk rating: 98
Walker’s Paradise

But other boroughs score just as high, most notably Brooklyn. Fort Greene is just one of several neighborhoods in the borough that has been gentrified into a greater or lesser degree in recent decades. This home is a little bit of a trek from Prospect Park (Brooklyn’s answer to Central Park, also designed by Frederick Law Olmsted), but it’s very close to the neighborhood’s own Fort Greene Park.

John Hill

West Village, Manhattan, New York
Walk Score: 100
Walker’s Paradise

The ideal Walk Score appears back in Manhattan, at the West Village and neighboring Greenwich Village. Individuals who have visited the region definitely understand that its walkability is the end result of greater than proximity to shops, restaurants and so on. It is also because the area is a beautiful urban place, using a mix of short blocks at bizarre angles, a small scale and older trees. The area was home to author Jane Jacobs and motivated her influential Death and Life of Great American Cities. The social diversity has changed in the 50 years since she published it, but the physical personality has been staunchly preserved, making the area a delight to walk in and, for people who can afford it, to live in.

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Eclectic DIY Décor, Texas Style

Blogger Dana Frieling made her home to tell a story about her loved ones. “A stranger could walk into our house and immediately start to know us,” she states. “Natural elements show our love for the outdoors, and personal artwork shows the gifts of my dad and our daughter.”

DIY answers were often the best way to get what she desired and remain within her budget. See how she personalized her home with everything from an ambitious midcentury-style wall paneling to a faux arbor in her kid’s room.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Dana Frieling, her husband and two children
Location: Round Rock, Texas
Size: 3,000 square feet; 5 bedrooms
That’s intriguing: The DIY dining area wall installation comes with a midcentury-inspired diamond layout created from 1×4 boards.

Dana Frieling Interiors

Black spray painted frames above the fireplace hold scrapbook paper at a pattern Frieling loves. To get a 3-D effect, she installed the mirror with L shaped brackets.

Dana Frieling Interiors

A leather sofa, an industrial coffee table plus a cowhide rug signify Frieling’s rustic design. The special piece against the wall was a tithing booth at an old churchnow the household uses it for storage and as a prayer box. Art on the gallery wall is a combo of Frieling’s father’s pencil drawings and various prints.

Couch: Rooms To Go; coffee table: Pottery Barn; cowhide rug; Overstock.com

Dana Frieling Interiors

“I enjoy the challenge of the hunt,” Frieling states. “I shop at places like Marshalls, T.J.Maxx and Salvation Army.” She made the picture curtains using discount fabric.

Dana Frieling Interiors

DIY wood paneling and a cute chevron pattern transformed this formerly awkward corner right to an integrated TV center. “It’s fun to have something really different that can not be purchased in a shop,” Frieling states.

Read about how exactly she upgraded this built-in here.

Dana Frieling Interiors

The entryway is Frieling’s preferred area. “The curved walls which create the rotunda are somewhat unexpected and help to make it dramatic,” she states. Stripes, which Frieling painted, exaggerate the curves.

Wall paint: Senora Gray, Benjamin Moore and Early Morning Mist, Behr; rug: The Rugstore; table: Pottery Barn; spectacle: Charlotte’s

Dana Frieling Interiors

An amazing breakfast nook in the kitchen gets a dab of midcentury-modern design with DIY wood paneling, made by Frieling and her husband. The twosome carefully measured bits of walnut strips, attached them to the wall and painted the entire thing in the exact same gray hue from the entryway. See how they did it.

Interior paint: Senora Gray, Benjamin Moore; table and chairs: The Dump

Dana Frieling Interiors

Frieling installed a few subtle wall shelves to hold rows of dainty vases and prints at the dining area. An elaborate chandelier and picture floral chairs give the room a fun and feminine touch.

Table: Four Hands; bamboo tray: Tuesday Morning; chandelier: Z Gallerie

Dana Frieling Interiors

The curved countertop in the kitchen serves as the perfect spot for after-school weekend and snacks lunches. Frieling stayed to the exact same neutral palette, accessorizing with brighter shades for the table and chairs at the eat-in nook.

Countertops: Taylor Morrison; color under pub: Bayleaf, Benjamin Moore; pub stools: Star Furniture

Dana Frieling Interiors

Frieling went cooler and brighter as it came to her two kids’ spaces. The heavy freezer playroom feels grown-up but can also be lively with a vibrant arts and crafts screen.

Wall paint: Restless Sea, Behr; pillows: Burlington Coat Factory

Dana Frieling Interiors

In the master bedroom, a conventional framework gets dressed with mirrored side tables and zebra-patterned ottomans that the family’s pugs find comfy.

Interior color: Stamped Concrete, Sherwin-Williams; bed framework: Drexel Heritage; side tables: Bombay

Dana Frieling Interiors

Frieling just finished redesigning her daughter’s room. While she wanted the room to function with the remainder of the house and for years ahead, she carefully considered her daughter’s passions while designing the distance.

Frieling gave a simple desk chair a new coat of blue-green paint, and a bare wall got a makeover with blue paint and cork circles to get a vibrant and trendy bulletin board.

Wall paint: Rhino, Behr; desk: World Market; desk chair: Pottery Barn (repainted)

Dana Frieling Interiors

Mother and daughter worked together to get a theme that would be enjoyable and private. Frieling’s daughter loves being outside and playing with animals, so they took their theme from character. An”arbor” of artificial greenery hovers above the bed, and a hammock becomes the perfect reading spot. Nature-inspired artwork and bedding round out the appearance.

Hammock: Bonanza.com; bedding: West Elm

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Product Watch: Spanish Tile Gets Technical

Technology from embedded lights into ink-jet printing was behind some of the most fascinating offerings in the 2012 Cevisama tile expo in Valencia, Spain. Not to be outdone, three-dimensional tiles wowed with their architectural aspects and discovered new, creative uses.

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Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

Here you see technology integrated into tile with LEDs, which are long lasting, energy efficient and versatile. This Natucer combination would work well in kitchens, bathrooms, even home theatres.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

This TV mounted onto a crochet wall facade by Tau hides sophisticated capabilities. Using a system such as this from S3 to get Tau, you can control your websites, audio, lighting, heat and air filter via touch sensors installed from the tile.

Photo by Kenn Busch

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

Using ink-jet methods to render a client’s artwork onto tile lets Ceracasa to create nearly infinite designs. This custom look was originally created for industrial architecture.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

This Natucer arrangement looks like basic tile right? It is really a mix of glistening indoor tiles and exterior tiles using a slip-resistant finish. Thanks to excellent digital technologies, they seem almost identical. The combination is excellent for creating a mixed indoor-outdoor space.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

I really like the 3D trend that was widely seen at Cevisama. The powerful dimensionality in this wall design from Natucer is.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

You could consider this dimensional tile steroids! Here it serves as a space divider. Shallower versions of the same shapes, too by Natucer, can function as shower niches.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

Here, Natucer reveals what it could do with 3D for furniture, with bamboo tile as table legs. Dimensionality gives tile an entirely new location in the house, bounded only by your creativity and distance.

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News: Layout Heats Up

Home industry experts around the nation grew optimistic in the recent news that the Remodeling Market Index had climbed to its highest level in five decades. According to the National Association of Home Builders, remodeling thought is at its highest since 2007, and should continue to increase through 2012. This change has been a long time coming, and it may be seen from the projects on and nearly anyplace else.

Much of this has to do with the worldwide market. Some remodels are based on changes in family life — a parent or a child moving in, for example. Others are based on a pent-up requirement for making a dream home. People are spending more time at home with all the people they love. Long-lasting materials, sustainability, design and wrought floor plans have become priorities.

We talked to contractors and experts from all over the nation to receive a glimpse of how prevalent this shift is and its impact on the home industry. The consensus appears clear: Remodeling is king right now, and it is not going anywhere anytime soon.

More: Cautious Optimism Among Home Builders

Siemasko + Verbridge

Home professionals note various tendencies in remodeling across the country

“Two decades ago, two-thirds of my job was new building plus a third was renovation projects. In the previous two decades, that has turned,” states Charlie Simmons of Charlie & Co.. Layout. “It is difficult to sell a home — rather than potentially taking a loss to sell their property, people are changing their current home to get the most out of what they have.”

Sven Gustafson, a custom home builder and proprietor of Stonewood LLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota states that while his new building business has not diminished, the remodeling aspect of his business has increased to about precisely the exact same level as the new building side.

Ed Dion of Dion Builders in Tallahassee, Florida has observed something quite different in his home state. “I have not noticed an increase in remodeling,” he states. “A decrease in building overall with remodeling fared better than new home building — contractors who normally assemble new houses are currently renovating.”

Charlie & Co.. Design, Ltd

Remodeling projects mirror changes in lifestyle

While the push in the center of the change is definitely the present condition of the worldwide market, smaller variables are at work, too. Individuals are living different lives than they did five or 10 decades ago.

Individuals want open living areas where everybody can spend some time together, and family-friendly houses that allow every room to be used on a normal basis. For many homeowners, the kitchen has become the true heart of the home, and family life emanates about it.

Kitchensmaster suites and outdoor spaces are still the very renovated spaces. Builders and remodelers across the nation often cite these areas of the home as the principal priorities for their clientele. “Of course, often you start working on a kitchen along with also the remodel gradually makes its way out to other chambers,” Charlie Simmons states.

Pent-up need

Many homeowners are awaiting redesign because the downturn in 2008. “Our clients have been talking about improving their houses for quite a while,” states Dave Spetrino of the Plantation Building Corp in Wilmington, North Carolina. “They feel as though they’ve been patient long enough, and even if the restoration is slow, there is no reason they should continue to delay much needed and well-deserved improvements.”

Before Photo

Carrie B Brunner

Some projects reflect an aging population

a lot of these remodeling projects are done with aging in mind. According to the NAHB, about 62 percent of contractors surveyed in 2010 were working on home modification projects because of aging. “We aging baby boomers are spending money to make our homes more accessible,” states Ed Dion. “Everything from grab bars over the tub, to retrofitting houses to fit a elevator somewhere.” Many builders anticipate boomers to dictate the market as the population continues to age.

Young families will eventually dictate that the industry

But Thad Siemasko and Jean Verbridge of Siemasko + Verbridge architects in Massachusetts believe young people will catch hold of the market finally and start focusing on family-friendly housing in a mid-century style. This architecture company can also be seeing a shift in style within their renovation projects. Owners have started to look more towards tidy and much more contemporary designs, and need customized spaces with quality materials.

Siemasko + Verbridge

A change in demand makes a shift in supply

For many builders, it has meant a change in targets. For others, it is meant keeping an eye on the competition. “The tendency shift is a bit scary,” states Nathan Cross of NWC Construction in Florida. “Most contractors are capable of building something new, very few are capable of performing renovation work. Sometimes that means that the market is overwhelmed with inexperienced men and women. Homeowners should make sure to hire a professional remodeler — one which can provide you references and show you projects.”

Dave Nielsen, CEO of Portland Oregon’s HBA and the Professional Remodeler’s Organization talked with some of the band’s 200 members to receive their input, and many had concerns about new builders getting into the remodeling market. It is an entirely different field. New builders often cost by square footage, which will not work in remodeling. As a result, costs are quoted far too low, and at times they will find out they can not complete the job at the price. This means that professional remodelers have to work even harder and reduce their margins substantially into compete.

There is often confusion on the type of professional to hire when remodeling. Portland’s HBA PROs frequently clarify this gap with their clients: Builders produce a product, and remodelers provide a service. But, there are also many full-service businesses which can do anything a customer requirements.

Advantage Contracting

Remodeling aids houses sell

For homeowners looking to market, that buyers are willing to remodel in the future doesn’t mean you can leave your home in fixer-upper condition. Most contractors say the market is searching for houses in excellent condition. “In many instances, buyers have lots of houses to select from,” states Dave Spetrino. “They are going to gravitate toward houses that need less work or possess the move-right-in feeling. Updating your home before you record it available will definitely increase the amount of prospects.”

The consensus is that people are looking to have a home that they will remain in for quite a while. Bob Peterson, the NAHB Remodelers Chair, states he’s heard less about resale one of homeowners in the previous six months than at any other time throughout his career. “People are staying home,” he states. “They need somewhere to earn their own.”

Before Photo

Carrie B Brunner

Projects concentrate on quality and sustainability

“We anticipate that the trend within the next several years will concentrate on remodeling. Those projects will add value to a home, while at precisely the exact same time providing better livability along with a fresh sense of style,” states Douglas Dick, AIA, of LDa Architecture and Interiors in Cambridge, Mass.”Sustainability will continue to be an important part of a remodel as homeowners work to reduce their energy costs while making a real effort to reside within an earth-friendly method.”

Remodeling to rise through 2012

As existing houses in the marketplace continue to age and the availability of property continues to decrease, odds are that the amount of remodels will continue to go up. “Our latest release of our Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity suggests the year will begin slow, but gain momentum by the second half of the year,” says Abbe H. Will, a Research Analyst in the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. “Continued improvements in the job market and housing market must make homeowners more confident about investing in their homes and project some of the larger discretionary projects they put off throughout the downturn.”

“The long and short of this is, I believe people are figuring out that the market is what it is,” says Mike Davis of TMT Home Remodelers in Central Oregon and chair of the State Remodelers Committee. “Even though we are not seeing a very considerable uptick in the market, we are not seeing it drop any further either. That essence of predictability serves well for the consuming public because they have some notion of what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

Tell us: Are you remodeling this season?

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