Living Space: Converting a Garage

In a current Ideabook we addressed the demand for some of us to adapt our”boomerang” kids and aging parents. In that part we dealt with converting attics and basements to more living space in a home. There are, however, some homes which don’t have basements (for instance, houses in Florida) or in which the loft can’t be converted to living space for a variety of reasons (the roof pitch could be too shallow to allow for sufficient head area ).

However there are lots of homes with either attached or detached garages, and these garages can be turned to very great living locations. In fact, there are 1940s and 1950s-era homes with single-car garages which beckon to be transformed into something livable. Whether you’d like an extra bedroom, home office, music room, craft room, playroom or some other living space, these garages can be ideal candidates.

Like any such project, you’ll need to ensure the converted garage will have enough light and distance , comply with neighborhood ordinances and construction codes in addition to become warm in winter and trendy in summertime.

As always, consult a qualified professional before undertaking such a job.


1. The flooring. A converted garage is created to a bright and spacious living space. The new concrete floor is raised above street level to keep water from the inside.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

More frequently than not, the present garage floor concrete slab is sloped, cracked and a bit lower compared to the home floor. So converting a garage to living space usually requires installing a new floor structure. There are lots of possibilities for doing this. One would be to accumulate a wood framed flooring that aligns with the flooring in the main home. Another would be to install a wood framed or concrete flooring that is a step or two down in the primary house (like in the sketch above). An advantage to installing a concrete”topping slab” within the present flooring is a radiant heating system can be installed within the concrete.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

2. The opening. When converting a garage to livable space, there is always the matter of what to do with the garage door opening. Because this opening along with the garage doors have such a massive effect on the overall look of the home, it is logical to fill out the opening using a large part. For instance, a fantastic solution is to keep a garage door at the opening when making sure that the door is weather tight. This is the approach taken in another picture.

Witt Construction

Standard carriage-style garage doors may also be good possibilities, since they may be a featured part on the inside while maintaining the original garage look on the outside.

Ed Ritger Photography

Another strategy is to have big windows or doors fill the opening. Something like these big folding glass doors might be fantastic option provided there is a match with the overall aesthetics of the outside.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

3. Windows. Extra windows will more than likely have to be installed, as garages typically have few, if anywindows. It is important to assess and comply with any local building codes and ordinances when pruning and finding these new windows.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

4. Additional pipes. Including a kitchen or bathroom to a garage conversion can be difficult because tying to the present plumbing lines is problematic. That is not to say it shouldn’t be done as, say, an additional bathroom is always a nice amenity to have. So exploring ways (such as building up the flooring to give a space for pipes pipes) to conquer the technical difficulties is worth.

Tali Hardonag Architect

A number of the outside walls using full-height glass doors and windows leaves no trace of the original garage space in this conversion.


This master suite having a fresh bathroom occupies what was formerly a massive garage. The addition of a the gas fireplace surely makes the room unique. And having the bathroom adjacent to the bedroom makes for a nice master or guest suite.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

5. Ceiling height. Though the kind of framing used in the garage will dictate what can be done efficiently, raising the height of the ceiling is an opportunity if the garage is free standing or has no second floor above it. A vaulted ceiling, and at the next photograph, will surely add to the room’s overall spaciousness.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

A converted garage retains the vaulted ceiling for spaciousness while various architectural elements such as the ridge beam boost the room’s character.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

6. Temperature control. And remember that the new living area will need to be heated and chilled. Based upon how big the area and its location, you might not have the ability to use the present”central” heating and cooling system. Mini split systems may be good choices if this is how it is.

More: Stunning Garage Makeover at Bordeaux
Making Space for Family: Fixing Attics and Basements

See related

Inspiring Designs

When living in town it’s not always feasible to have a lawn — an outdoor space at ground level that may be used for jogging round, grilling, or simply enjoying the weather. Small lots and vertical living things to roof space for a replacement for a lawn. And one way of uniting this roof space in a home is to create a rooftop addition. Listed below are a couple jobs that prop themselves up on the roof for a assortment of factors.

Fougeron Architecture FAIA

The Tehama Grasshopper designed by Fougeron Architecture is a project I’ve featured on more than 1 event. Relative to other endeavors on Houzz, it’s unique for being a renovation of a warehouse and a startling modern inside that belies the fairly dull exterior. The rooftop addition in San Francisco is a one-story glass piece that’s marked by a window that bows out on one side.

Fougeron Architecture FAIA

From across the street, it’s apparent how the rooftop piece is a new element in the northwestern building. The glass enclosure isn’t totally alien — it is about the size of a few of those windows but the articulation of this framing and glass allow it to be even more open compared to current windows.

Fougeron Architecture FAIA

From the top of the stair that leads to the penthouse, we could observe that a bedroom occupies the distance. Note how the door in the end of the photo is custom, to fit next to the angled wall that faces the rooftop deck.

Fougeron Architecture FAIA

Looking back towards the stair, it’s clear how the casting window is related to a kink from the ceiling over the stair. This kink generates another window that brings more light to the bedroom.

Fougeron Architecture FAIA

Now appearing along the stair, perpendicular to the previous photo, it’s apparent that usable rooftop distance is located on the opposite side of the addition. Therefore the residents may enjoy the outdoor space at different times of the day by following the sun across the roof.

Wanda Ely Architect Inc..

Heading to Canada and Toronto, this third-floor master bedroom and bath addition designed by Wanda Ely Architect is perched upon an existing building a whole lot more residential in character than the previous example. It is clear from this view that the addition is approximately 2/3 enclosed and 1/3 roof deck.

Wanda Ely Architect Inc..

A view from another angle indicates that the glass doors and windows between inside and outside and the wood fence in the foreground; the former connects inside and outside, while the latter gives solitude.

Wanda Ely Architect Inc..

From within the addition, it’s apparent that the roof deck is a romantic extension of the distance indoors.

Wanda Ely Architect Inc..

Seen from outside, yes, the deck is little, but any bit of outdoor space is welcome from town. The sliding glass doors are also a fantastic way of uniting indoors and outside, bringing a bit of the outdoors into the home.

William Duff Architects, Inc..

Like the last example, this rooftop addition atop a three-story condo in San Francisco unites indoors and outside through an operable wall. Designed by William Duff Architects, the master bedroom suite takes advantage of views over surrounding buildings.

William Duff Architects, Inc..

From the top of the stair, the custom cabinetry on one side of this large space is evident. Note how the clerestory windows are echoed in the recessed areas over the doors, used for locating picture frames.

William Duff Architects, Inc..

From among the doorways under the picture frames, the view towards the operable wall makes it clear that the rhythm of this wall and clerestories extends outside to the guardrail and also figurines. The rooftop deck beckons.

More: Lower-Cost, Low-Tech Modern Design
Regional Modern Home Design

See related

Contemporary Cabins in the Woods

The term”cabin” draws to obey numerous images and meanings, many of them stemming from Henry David Thoreau’s stay at Walden Pond in Massachusetts. His two-year”life in the woods” was stripped to its character and requirements (food, shelter, clothing and fuel), and to the day, cabins are associated with a roughing-it mentality, in which time is spent in nature without modern conveniences.

Many contemporary buildings which embrace the cabin moniker certainly exist because a rest in the city, allowing the owners to live reclusively and close with nature for a short period of time. But they also include the modern conveniences that many people rely upon: power, running water, sanitary plumbing, heating/coolingand telecommunications. This points to the fact that roughing it’s a relative term. The next cabins illustrate these buildings continue to be compact and relatively simple abodes that relate to the natural context in particular ways.

Browse cabin layout ideas | Find an architect

DeForest Architects

This cabin made by DeForest Architects overlooks Lake Wenatchee in Washington State’s Cascade Mountains. The cabin opens itself up to the stunning lake views by integrating floor-to-ceiling glass. In this view we can see the way the building consists of two volumes which measure down the hill and alternative the slopes of their roofs; this allows views to be had out of volume.

DeForest Architects

Inside, we may see the reason behind the generous glazing because we glance the cold waters visible through the snow and trees.

DeForest Architects

In the approach the house presents itself as primarily shut, with a few tiny openings. The sloped roofing makes it clear that the architects considered the region’s snowfall.

Eggleston Farkas Architects

This cabin is situated in southern Washington, in Port Hadlock, northwest of Seattle. A good deal of these cabins are found in this area, as getting into the outdoors is a favourite pastime, and also the distance between country and city can be quite short.

Eggleston Farkas Architects

The cabin nestles itself against several trees and opens up itself toward the lake views; nonetheless, this really is a common tactic in cabins sites in such places. The cabin is low but it is propped up on footings over the landscape.

Eggleston Farkas Architects

The lifting of this one-story structure allows it to be higher than the landscape between it and the water, among other more practical reasons. The siting of this cabin definitely benefit from an opening in the trees.

FINNE Architects

Designed by Seattle-based FINNE Architects, this second cabin is really situated in the upper peninsula of Michigan state. The small holiday retreat is a very simple box with corrugated metal siding, wood roofing construction, and a rock chimney anchoring one end. Note the glass corner along with the lake view.

FINNE Architects

From inside, similarities with the prior examples are evident: ample glazing, sloping roof, lots of wood. The previous two tie these cabins to Thoreau’s Walden Pond abode, but the last is unquestionably a late 20th-century insulated-glass phenomenon.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

We return into the Seattle area — the San Juan Islands, to be exact. This project created by Bosworth Hoedemaker is really composed of various buildings: a main cabin, a writer’s hut, and a picnic shelter among these. Here we see the main cabin nestled among the trees.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

A closer view of the main cabin reveals the outside porch that’s a primary way of enjoying the distant water views. Full-height glass walls are eschewed in favor of something more conventional, with windows put in timber walls.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

The wraparound porch orients itself toward the water past the trees.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

The author’s hut can be nestled among the trees. Its form is much easier than the main cabin — gable versus hip roof — but the language of materials is similar.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

In spite of small openings, relative to the prior examples, the connection with nature outside is powerful.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

The picnic shelter is constructed of heavy timber and stone, but is otherwise available, sans walls.

Butler Armsden Architects

This previous project, the Yolo County Cabin in upstate California by Butler Armsden Architects, appears very un-cabin-like at first. Sited within a patch of trees on 400 acres of farmland, in the distance it looks like a lighthouse transplanted from elsewhere.

Butler Armsden Architects

This tower is one of two volumes which comprise the cabin; it houses the master bedroom below the roof deck, and also the lower piece includes the living area.

Butler Armsden Architects

The architect describes this lower piece, with its ample porch, as”nearly chicken coop-like.” These two volumes might be at odds with each other concerning materials and orientation, but they’re culled out of an identical vernacular, or so the disjunction functions.

Butler Armsden Architects

Like other examples within this ideabook, views are prized in this cabin, but they are of two kinds: in the living area, the distant views are filtered from the trees and other items in the foreground…

Butler Armsden Architects

Up over the master bedroom, the views are expansive, allowing the owners to take in the entirety of the farmhouse property. Exactly like the lakefront cabins, this one strives to connect the owners using a their surrounding landscape, though it’s more”managed” than, say, a forest or lake. It goes to prove that since the times of Thoreau the expression”cabin” takes on many forms, and that”nature” has many guises.

More regional modern architecture:
Boston | Chicago | NYC | NY Metro | Seattle | Oregon | No. Calif.. | San Francisco |L.A. | Coastal L.A.

See related

Great Design Plant: Manzanita

Like the furniture that fills your home, the plants chosen to increase in your yard are a investment, both aesthetically and financially. A tree or shrub may inhabit your premises so long as you possibly can, or even longer, and may speak firmly of your style character and point of view. Dr. Hurd manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita‘Dr. Hurd’) is definitely a botanical investment that is guaranteed to attract attention and secure any landscape.

Debbie Ballentine

Botanical name: Arctostaphylos manzanita‘Dr. Hurd’
Common name: Dr. Hurd manzanita
USDA zones: 7-10
water necessity:Low to none
Sun requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 12′-16′ tall x 10′-15′ spread
Tolerances: drought, and coastal climates, most soils, deer
Security benefits: Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees; slope stabilizer

Debbie Ballentine

Distinguishing traits. A hybrid treelike shrub, Dr. Hurd is one of the biggest species of manzanita, reaching up of 15′ in height. Open and multi-branched, ovate glossy green leaves fill its branches year-round. Mid-winter beckons little white flower clusters on the tips of Dr. Hurd’s branches, lasting well into early spring.

Huettl Landscape Architecture

Few plants can equal the distinguishing feature that manzanita is known for: its bark. A fine textured color of dark red mahogany, it’s easy to forget that the surface is natural, unfinished and untreated. As an evolutionary means of shield the bark peels away yearly, revealing a new layer. As revealed in this picture, the effect is quite impressive.

Huettl Landscape Architecture

The best way to utilize it. Native into the rugged slopes and chaparral woods of California, Dr. Hurd is a tree designed to handle arid landscapes. Its low, open structure and jagged architectural limbs allow Dr. Hurd are the perfect specimen or focal plant to get a landscape with a rugged Mediterranean theme. Manzanita is also generally trained as hedges and may be used as rather an imposing display.

Look to Dr. Hurd’s natural surroundings for design inspiration. Paired with ornamental perennial blossoms, hulking boulders along with other low expansion wash, attaining a superbly dynamic and water-wise landscape is possible almost anywhere.

Debbie Ballentine

Before you plant. This plant is great news for home anglers hoping to create a Mediterranean chaparral landscape but who might not necessarily live in that specific climate. Even though Dr. Hurd does thrive in warmer weather, it’s one of the very tolerant manzanita species there is — reliably hardy to 10 degrees Farenheit. It’s tolerant of clay soils and summer watering. And while manzanitas are typically slow-growing, Dr. Hurd is faster to reach adulthood.

More excellent layout trees:
Japanese Maple | Persian Ironwood | Smoke Tree | Bald Cypress | Tree Aloe

Fantastic layout plants:
Black Mondo Grass | Feather Reed Grass | New Zealand Wind Grass | Red Kangaroo Paw | Blue Chalk Sticks | Catmint | Slipper Plant

See related

Revive Your Space With a Homemade Pillow Cover

Among the fastest ways to upgrade your mattress or couch is to swap pillow covers. Store-bought pillow covers can be costly, but you can experiment with colours and try unusual patterns by purchasing the fabric and sewing yourself. I’m nowhere near an expert sewer, but that I do have basic knowledge of how to operate a sewing machine and that I create pillow covers all of the time. Let me show you how you can quickly earn a pillow cover.

The finished product: a simple square pillow cover. When you get the hang of it, you can expirement with different shapes also.

Natalie Myers

First, pick your fabric. An upholstery-weight fabric is a fantastic start because the fabric won’t slip and slide. If you are just beginning, geometric patterns like lines, grids, tests or plaid are a fantastic option because the patterns function as built-in guides to help you sew a straight line.

Natalie Myers

Cut out front. Depending upon your fit size, cut on the front of the pillow cover at least an inch larger all around. If you are utilizing a 16-inch square fit, a half-yard of fabric will get the job done. Upholstery fabric usually comes from 54-inch widths, so a half lawn will give you three 18-inch squares.

Natalie Myers

Cut the 2 flaps that will form the back. For the back of the cover, I produce two flaps, one overlapping the other, as a natural closure. No zipper, no buttons. Each flap needs to be larger than half the size of the front, so there’s plenty of overlap. If you are working with a 16-inch square insert, then cut each flap 18 inches by 12 inches.

Natalie Myers

Hem just one end of the back flaps. Fold over the rough edge of each flap and pin it down. For best results, you are able to iron it before sewing for a stiff edge.

Natalie Myers

Sew each advantage.

Natalie Myers

Now for the fun part.

Lay down your bits, right-sides together. Start by putting the front piece with its pattern facing upward.

Put one back flap face down on top of front piece. Make sure that the outer borders of each side match up and the hemmed edge is toward the middle.

Natalie Myers

Put the next flap on top of the first flap with its hemmed border also toward the middle.

Natalie Myers

Pin all round the square, ensuring the fabric lies flat.

Natalie Myers

Now you can carefully sew all around the square.

Natalie Myers

That’s it; you’re done. Twist the cover inside out to show a sharp square ready to be stuffed with your pillow fit. I’m showing you that the back side so that you can see how the overlapping flaps turn out.

Natalie Myers

Proudly display your new pillow. When someone asks you where you bought it, you can say you made it yourself in about 40 minutes.

Next: More great DIY projects
How to Recover a Seat Cushion

See related

Zen Gardens: Serene Outdoor Spaces

Considered by many as the epitome of minimalist design, Japanese Zen gardens were created in ancient Japan to assist Zen Buddhists invoke deep meditation by closely manicured sand and strategically putting rocks to evoke serenity and beauty. The raked gravel signifies flowing water and the rocks represent mountains; together attaining a slick look perfect for garden design.

Although a Zen garden is rooted in monastic life, you can make the most of its curative powers by incorporating a few straightforward materials: gravel, stone and wood. Exotic gardens are simple to create and require little upkeep. See how Houzz designers employed the Zen garden aesthetic to those houses, and create your own respite of peace and calm.

Daryl Toby – AguaFina Gardens International

Try to observe rocks as islands and gravel as water which surrounds them. With just a little creativity it is possible to get a sense of water flowing around the beautiful rock in this relaxing Zen garden made by AguaFina Gardens International.

Daryl Toby – AguaFina Gardens International

This”combination garden” is just another project by AguaFina Gardens. When designing your Zen garden, always look for ways to create meaning with your design. Rocks can signify many things, and dirt gives you the freedom to mould the landscape with designs you can later change for another appearance.

Urban Earth Design

Let your Zen garden glow through your house with this clever design idea made by Urban Earth Design. This window inset adds dimension and light to the interior design while letting the relaxing atmosphere of a Zen garden traveling inside.

Bamboo is frequently the tree of selection in a Zen garden. It is simple yet elegant; exotic yet attainable. Complemented by gray gravel and rocks, this backyard — made by Ververka Architects — reveals how a modern house can benefit from a centuries-old concept.

Wind & Weather

Wind Gong – $49.95

This delicate wind chime adds yet another Japanese component to your garden while de-stressing your life with its soothing sound.

kim E. rooney

A Japanese message carved into a rock completes the serene spirit of this Zen garden designed by Kim. E Rooney.

Frank & Grossman Landscape Contractors, Inc..

This alluring Zen garden, made by Frank & Grossman Landscape Contractors Inc., features an ultra-modern fire pit, which makes good use of this garden’s space.


Kichler 15071 Zen Garden 1 Light Outdoor Post Lamp – $261

A Japanese-inspired outdoor place lamb does its job without disrupting the Zen mood.

Laidlaw Schultz architects

This version of the standard Zen garden design, made by Laidlaw Schultz Architects, incorporates other components such as seats and a fire pit to create a Zen garden more livable.

Carson Poetzl, Inc..

You can mould the notion of a Zen garden into one which shows your imagination. Rather than Zen stone, designer Carson Poetzl created a soothing appearance with ice-like sculptures and onto a bed of sand.

More: Browse Asian-inspired landscapes

See related

Wow Factor: Statement Pieces to Your House

Jazz up your home with a daring element that speaks volumes of your decorating design. Case in point: the announcement piece. What is a statement piece, you ask? When you see something which makes you stop in your tracks for a second or third look, you have got yourself a statement piece. Perhaps it grabbed your attention with its shocking colour or creative design; either way, your jaw dropped out of the impression that it made.

Whenever it is not easy implementing a statement piece, be aware that it’s the power to set the tone for the type of your dwelling. If it comes to home décor, a piece that makes you excited and talks about your style and vision is what home decorating is all about. This ideabook will explain to you how to do it.

More: Design Strategies for Art Lovers

KuDa Photography

If you’re after an original wall treatment, opt for solid wall panelling that bursts with colorful flair. This yellowish panel is used on one part of this wall to make a focal point and in the exact same time, framework the beautiful art set next to it. The colour is repeated in the seats to tie the whole look together.


This stunning and crimson credenza stands in stark contrast to the black and white décor. With its bold shape and colour, this piece provides a kind of charm and elegance that’s truly stirring.

Elad Gonen

This outdoor lounger is the funniest dialog piece. It is an element that echoes nature and doesn’t interrupt the landscape, but suddenly pops because of its curvilinear layout.

Tara Seawright Interior Design

An enjoyable and leafy wallpaper creates the ideal background for floral, animal and picture prints in a room which, strangely enough, seems incredibly stylish and put together. The key to this unlikely cohesiveness comes from the continuous use of an ashy colour palette which allows shapes to combine seamlessly.

Envision living

High-gloss and glittery, these pink dining tables shout great style in this contemporary dining area. Publish a colorful table with an all-white backdrop for more play.

Envision living

By the same token, this high-backed magenta bed becomes a real attention-grabber when put in white environment.


Red may be a tricky colour to use in a dining area, but when paired with a monochromatic colour scheme and utilized in stylish dining seats, the idea makes sense.

House + House Architects

This curvy railing, maybe echoing palm tree leaves using its own form, makes a statement when the stairs oppose in form and thickness. Combining reverse shapes enhances both components and provides a daring characteristic into an area.

Winn Wittman Architecture

Even though flanked by an attractive pool, the real splash in this film comes from the stylish orange seat.

Emily Elizabeth Interior Design

When decorating with bright-hued furniture, it is important that other components, like throw pillows, take cues from the exact same shade to make fluidity. Here, the bright yellow torso matches easily thanks to this.

More: Design Strategies for Art Lovers

See related

Top 6 Roofing Materials

So, you have finally decided to have your roofing contractors Scottsdale AZ replaced. Congratulations! You have just made one of the most crucial steps toward improving the longevity and value of your home. However, you must realize that it’s just the first step. What you need to do next is decide on the type of roofing that you’ll use.

Keep on reading as we have compiled a guide that’s guaranteed to help you with this process.

Basic Considerations When Choosing Roofing Materials

Before we dive into the most common types of roofing and each of their pros and cons, let’s first talk about a few basic considerations, such as the following:

Longevity – How long should the material be able to last?

Weight – Can the existing structure support the roofing replacement?

Durability – Is it capable of holding up to the weather of the area?

Aesthetics – Can the new material complement the property’s look and feel?

Slope – Is the angle sufficient?

Local code – Would my new roofing adhere to the municipal regulations?

Environmental friendliness – Is the material safe for the environment?

Once you have assessed the considerations we’ve mentioned above, you can then move on to choose any of the popular roof repair Scottsdale materials, which are the following:

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are so common that they make up 80% of the country’s housing market. Shingles made of asphalt are moderate in weight and relatively inexpensive. They also have excellent wind and fire resistance. They’re appropriate for different slope types.


They are widely available and they come in a wide range of colors

They’re among the least expensive roofing materials

The installation of asphalt shingles is quick and easy


They have a shorter lifespan compared to other roofing materials (up to 25 years)

Their quality can vary drastically

Clay and Concrete Tiles

Clay and concrete roofing Scottsdale tiles are durable and last for a long time. They are excellent for energy efficiency, and they give homes an Italian or Spanish appearance. In modern homes, you’ll find concrete tiles more rampant.


Lightweight varieties are available

The only maintenance required is checking for loose or cracked tiles

Some products offer lifetime warranties


Tiles can chip or crack

They often require reinforced wood framing

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing materials are our personal favorites as they’re recyclable, lightweight, and energy efficient. They are also durable. Since they are the most modern-looking roofing materials, they can drastically upgrade your home’s appearance.


Durable, they last longer than wood or asphalt

Resistant to harsh weather conditions

Metal roofing provides high solar reflectance


They are relatively expensive with the cheapest being $100 a square


If you’re interested in using a classic roofing material, then slate is exactly what you are looking for. You’ll find lots of buildings that have endured decades or even centuries without their slate tiling getting damaged. Slate is made from all-natural materials, making it an eco-friendly option.


Fire resistant

Considered virtually indestructible

It’s a sustainable Scottsdale roof repair material that’s recyclable


Imported slate varies in quality

Its installation must only be done by professionals

Wood Shingles

Typically, cedar is used to make wooden shakes but you’ll be able to find some that are made of other types of wood. What we love about them is the fact that they give the home a natural look. They also add charm and character to older homes. They’re recyclable and made of natural materials.


They give off a rustic look

The natural character of wood blends well with the landscape

Most shakes are made out of redwood, cedar, and southern pine


Wooden shakes are highly flammable

They can only last up to 25 years

Synthetic Roofing Products

Many new Scottsdale roofing materials available on the market today are made to resemble slate or wooden shakes but they are actually high-tech plastic blends. They are ideal for old homes, which look good with wooden shakes.


They’re mostly fire-resistant

Easy to maintain

Very durable. Can last up to 50 years or more


The quality varies depending on the manufacturer

Prices start at $300 a square

Chelsea Neighborhood Inspires Elegant, Urban Bath

I spent an awesome couple of days in New York during fashion week as part of a bunch of 19 designers and bloggers. Among our activities was a design challenge: we were divided into groups and had to design a bathroom predicated on a given area in New York. It was a part Project Runway and part The Apprentice as we ran around our community, looking for inspiration and debating about the design.

We took pictures of design, wrought-iron work, lifts, building lobbies, man-hole covers, looking to capture the essence of what would eventually become our Chelsea-inspired bathroom. Here is a little recap of this procedure, and suggestions for how you can find the appearance, too.

B•D•G Design Group

This bathroom epitomizes the look we were heading for: tasteful, classy and mature, with little vintage Deco influence thrown in.

The wrought-iron fencing and architectural details about the facades of all Chelsea’s buildings were among the first items to inspire the group. We immediately knew we needed a solid, graphic tile layout to remind us of the wrought iron we saw, not to mention marble to get a bit of elegance.

Vetromarmi Danse Lucido

Our first stop for substances was a tile shop. When it comes to bathrooms, that is typically my first inspiration. Find a tile that you love and the bathroom practically designs itself.


Michael S Smith Cosmati Stone Mosaic Tile – Ann Sacks Tile & Stone

This laser-cut mosaic tile is directly inspired by metalwork. This form of material defines a bathroom, and everything else has to be weighed against this primary inspiration. In the tile store we were like kids in a candy shop, but we finally focused and solidified our first choice: a graphic tile onto the ground only, and easy, large-format Calacatta marble on the walls.

The Lawson Design Studio

If you don’t want your bathroom to look like it’s brand-spanking new, consider mixing metal finishes. Don’t be reluctant to have polished nickel faucets and antique brass mirror or light, it gives a room personality and a collected look.


The Normandy Sink

This magnificent sink is just dripping in elegance and style. It’s like an ideal accessory for a costume.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Tony Duquette – California Sunburst Chandelier – $8,695

I am crazy about this light fixture; it reminds me of a ’70s contemporary interpretation of a Deco piece. Glam with a sense of humor. New York is such a melting pot, our bathroom could not be serious and historical. It needed to have something sudden thrown in.

International Marble & Granite

Calacatta Oro

Nothing says timeless elegance like Calacatta marble, whether it’s used as a countertop in slab form or as tiles, the gold and grey veining is a classic favorite.


Empire Freestanding Rectangular Bathtub

A vintage style bathtub completes the look. We went for this pedestal-style bathtub rather than a clawfoot.


Artiste Stone Mosaic – Ann Sacks Tile & Stone

Strong geometric-patterned tile in neutral black, white and brown nearly has a Deco feel. This is just another way the bathroom almost took, in place of the natural shapes of this wrought iron.

Steven Miller Design Studio, Inc..

This tile which might easily be used on the ground of a bathroom for a solid graphic statement. Again, we are sticking to the classic neutrals and higher contrast drama of white and black.

Gast Architects

Afraid to do your entire floor at a pattern? Elect for the expression of a rug or at runner of patterned tile to get a bit of old-world glamour.

California Home + Design

See related

How to Clean and Maintain Laminate Floors

Laminate floors need a special type of maintenance in order to keep them gleaming even for a long time. As you know, the laminate is a great option for flooring Bakersfield because it’s affordable and aesthetically pleasing. It’s usually known as Formica, a trademark word that has become a generic term for laminate. Regardless of what you call it, learning how to clean these floors is the key to keeping them looking great for a long time.

The best way to keep the floors clean is to wipe any spills immediately. Remember that the longer the liquid stays in the floor, the more likely it’s going to stain.

So check out the tips below on how you can maintain your laminate floors and keep them looking new for a longer time.

Protect Them

Here’s how you can keep your laminate flooring Bakersfield CA protected:

– Wipe the spills immediately. Remember, water that lingers on the laminate floors longer is a total disaster.

– When feeding your pet, place mats under their feeding bowl and do the same thing with the high chair of your baby. The mat will catch any liquid spills.

– Never use any product on your floor that promotes shine. These products will only cause a waxy buildup in your floors that can become extremely difficult to remove.

– Don’t use cleaners that are pine scented. These cleaners have the tendency to leave dull and soapy residue on the floors.

– Avoid using Murphy’s Oil because this product could leave major streaks on your laminate floor.

– The use of vinegar on laminate is still widely debated because its level of acidity may be harmful to the laminate surface. Yet, some people use a little bit of vinegar and plenty of hot water in order to remove pet grime. Using a lot of vinegar could remove the protective seal of the flooring.

– Avoid traditional wet mopping as this could ruin your laminate floors.

– Try to avoid wearing stiletto heels as much as you can. If you need to wear them, carry them out and wear them only when you’re out of the door.

– Trim the nails of your pets regularly before they could scrape the protective layers of the floor off.

– Place furniture pads under the legs of your tables, chairs, and other furniture.

Maintenance Tips

Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:

– Use a soft bristle broom to sweep the floors. Sweeping can help to remove debris, pet hair, and pretty much every bit of dirt that has accumulated on the floor.

– Use the soft brush attachment in your vacuum to clean hard-to-reach dust at the corner of your rooms.

– Using damp mop means less water can enter between your laminate seams. Mix a few drops of liquid detergent with hot water. Dip your mop in the mixture, squeeze and mop the floor.

In a Pinch

– Occasionally use a steam mop for deep cleaning. Don’t do this daily though since the repeated use of steam could buckle the laminate.

– You can use window cleaner occasionally to clean up the spills in your laminate Bakersfield flooring but never use ammonia since it could strip the protective sealant off.