Shower or Tub???

OK, it’s time for me to eat my words again, or maybe just issue a change in opinion about showers vs. tubs. Most people have a very definite preference, and when we are working on projects we have to determine those preferences. For resale, we always make sure, even if the client is a professed shower lover, that there is also a tub or at least one in a secondary bath for children. More often there will be at least a tub/shower combo in one secondary bathroom, and perhaps the others can have showers – whatever the owner prefers, but with resale in mind.

I was one of those who hated the bathtub. I rebelled against the old jet tubs because they would not completely drain out all of the water and would leave about a cup of nasty water retained in the lines. When the air jets came out they were nice and clean, not holding the dirty water, but they were sort of fluffy, without the massaging action. On the plus side, you could use more bath products in those tubs than you could in the jet tubs. Then the popularity of the freestanding tub, and soaking tub, became the rage, and really still is. They are pretty to look at, and photograph, but dangerous for many to enter, and therefore essentially just for looks.

So, why do so many people dislike tubs and prefer showers?

The main reason, I think, is because we feel they are faster, and with our hurried lifestyles, we think we don’t have time for a leisurely soak. Honestly, when I think about it, I take just as long for a shower because the hot water is relaxing and I don’t want to get out. It makes me feel better and sleep better. Supposedly it’s a fact that the raised body temperature from a hot shower or bath lets your body do its normal cooling that happens after you go to bed and it is good to have that warm experience before sleep. I think another reason some of us don’t like the tub as much is also because the water gets cold and you have to constantly adjust it by adding more hot water. If you have to be monitoring and working to keep the temperature, that is not fun or relaxing. 

Photo: Aquatica

But wait! The reason I am changing my thoughts about tub bathing is the new technology – hydrothermal therapy! It will keep your water hot so you can relax. Also, the new jets, like the Shiatsu massage for your back, and even a wrist jet (for too many hours on the computer), make your time in the tub worthwhile since you also get the added benefits of a massage. Plus, the dirty water retention problem has been corrected by redirecting the angle of the jets. You can also use all kinds of bath products in it, even oils. Wait until you hear about the indulge therapy that oxygenates your skin with a microbubbles system, cleaning it without soap! Supposedly it increases collagen, so BRING IT ON!

I recognize we have been doing body sprays in showers for a good while and they do a type of massage, but it seems fewer clients want those, and instead prefer a good spray head, sometimes also a rain head, and a handheld. The beauty of these has been that they are thermal controlled and maintain the temperature. It might be nice to have all of that and more, and be able to sit and relax in a tub, with added relaxation techniques. If you are still a lover of the freestanding tub, without the jets, just for soaking and relaxing, you can have it with the hydrothermal addition to enjoy a soak that stays warm.

Now all I need is a place to put it in!

Other posts you may also be interested in:

Tub vs. Shower??

Shower or Tub??? OK, it’s time for me to eat my words again, or maybe just issue a change in opinion about showers vs. tubs. Most people have a very definite preference, and when we are working on projects we have to determine those...

read more

The End of Harvey

The End of Harvey This blog post is a follow-up to The YEAR of Harvey.Many of you have been so kind as to inquire about how and what we’ve been doing since Harvey. Thus, I feel the need to write the end of the Harvey story, even though I rarely post personally. We...

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Furniture in Motion

Furniture In Motion    Would you believe that over half of the furniture being produced today is equipped with motion capabilities? Even though I see so many options, I still find that surprising. However, when you think about how many items do have the...

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The End of Harvey

This blog post is a follow-up to The YEAR of Harvey.

Many of you have been so kind as to inquire about how and what we’ve been doing since Harvey. Thus, I feel the need to write the end of the Harvey story, even though I rarely post personally. We expect to close on the sale of our property at the end of this month and move on. I loved our property that we are now selling to another family with children to enjoy very much, and I am grateful for the time it was ours. I planted so much on that acre in Memorial for many years.

When I was at our deserted house recently, finishing clearing out some items stored upstairs and in the mucked out garage, I discovered my Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow shrub, happily blooming, even after being underwater for more than a week! Of course, the botanical name is Brunfelsia Pauciflora, but that’s not as meaningful or memorable to me.

There was something symbolic about this plant showing all its colors of blooms that occur yesterday, today and tomorrow, as they change colors with each day; hence the name.  My yesterdays of forty years were pretty wonderful with our children and grandchildren growing up there playing on the creek and property, and enjoying life in the city with a taste of the country.  Also had a peacock come strolling through while I was there to remind me of all the wildlife we experienced, and there are many more stories about that!

I imagined the today to be the current situation of Harvey, but dragged out for a year and a half, after destroying the collectibles, treasures, and accumulation of all of those years. I know there are many others still trying to decide what to do or even still trying to get settled back into their homes. We still see evidence all around the city with some vacant, scraped lots, some still sitting homes, and many under construction, but elevated.

Finally, tomorrow is what is to come as we close this chapter. Many people were affected not only physically, but also psychologically, and I know that is hard. I prefer to imagine the future as full of hope, surprises and possibly new adventures; although if I am honest, there are moments when that is rather difficult. Thanks to friends and family, those times are fewer and fewer, and I am optimistic about a great future!

Other posts you may also be interested in:

Tub vs. Shower??

Shower or Tub??? OK, it’s time for me to eat my words again, or maybe just issue a change in opinion about showers vs. tubs. Most people have a very definite preference, and when we are working on projects we have to determine those...

read more

The End of Harvey

The End of Harvey This blog post is a follow-up to The YEAR of Harvey.Many of you have been so kind as to inquire about how and what we’ve been doing since Harvey. Thus, I feel the need to write the end of the Harvey story, even though I rarely post personally. We...

read more

Furniture in Motion

Furniture In Motion    Would you believe that over half of the furniture being produced today is equipped with motion capabilities? Even though I see so many options, I still find that surprising. However, when you think about how many items do have the...

read more

Furniture In Motion

 

 

Would you believe that over half of the furniture being produced today is equipped with motion capabilities? Even though I see so many options, I still find that surprising. However, when you think about how many items do have the motion capacity currently, that statistic shouldn’t really come as much of a shock.

Swivel vs. Recliners

Most of the inquiries we get now, here at Design House, for comfortable lounge chairs, have the added request that they be swivel, swivel/glide, and sometimes recline as well. The swivel chair is extremely important and useful to allow you to turn to the TV, conversation, or view. In the past, I considered that the worst piece of furniture was the dreaded recliner, but today you don’t have to have that heavy, bulky, bustle back recliner. Now they can look like a regular chair, be upholstered in a beautiful fabric or nice leather, and be customized as you prefer. You can select the size, arm, leg, etc, and they are much more high style and slender in profile; plus, the motion is greatly improved. Sometimes the old, bulky ones were really hard to “kick back” in, especially for the more petite person or the elderly. Today, there are a variety of electronic controls and battery operated when there is no way to plug it in. Additionally, you can have them swivel and glide like the popular lounge chair request. One word of caution though, if the chair is for someone older, or someone a little unstable for some reason, the glide might be a challenge for them having the movement possible as they sit. Recliners can be good not only for relaxing purposes, but also as the perfect solution for someone recuperating just after surgery. 

Black Recliner (Closed)
Black Recliner (Open)

Motion in Bedrooms

Bedrooms are another place where motion furniture is really growing with the adjustable beds becoming so popular. Again, this can be a health benefit for someone with a gastric problem or recuperating with the need to be elevated. There are many ways of hiding a bed that pulls out of a cabinet, or a wall, or even lifts into a dropped ceiling. Now, there are also movable closets that will close up when not needed, but become a walk-in closet when opened. 

Black Recliner (Open)
Black Recliner (Open)
Black Recliner (Open)
Black Recliner (Closed)
Black Recliner (Open)

Moving Work Stations

In the office, motion furniture has always been used for the desk chair, but now many people prefer the stand/sit desk that is so highly touted as better for your health, allowing you to continue working standing or sitting. The adjustable height can also be incorporated into work stations where even the stations themselves and files may be portable and movable. Work tables may not only adjust in height, but also tilt and be a white board for meeting presentations.

Look for many more options to come in furniture movement, with the addition of voice activation, as the industry works to make pieces adjust to different demands, locations, and smaller spaces!

Other posts you may also be interested in:

Tub vs. Shower??

Shower or Tub??? OK, it’s time for me to eat my words again, or maybe just issue a change in opinion about showers vs. tubs. Most people have a very definite preference, and when we are working on projects we have to determine those...

read more

The End of Harvey

The End of Harvey This blog post is a follow-up to The YEAR of Harvey.Many of you have been so kind as to inquire about how and what we’ve been doing since Harvey. Thus, I feel the need to write the end of the Harvey story, even though I rarely post personally. We...

read more

Furniture in Motion

Furniture In Motion    Would you believe that over half of the furniture being produced today is equipped with motion capabilities? Even though I see so many options, I still find that surprising. However, when you think about how many items do have the...

read more

 

What Will 2019 Bring to Interior Design?

Can you believe it is 2019 already? 

I hope you enjoyed the holidays and family, but now that you have taken down the holiday decorations, is your home looking a little tired and needy? We all look for that fresh start for the New Year and make our resolutions, typically about how we can improve ourselves, but let’s think about the environment that you spend so much time in and how it can affect your happiness and health! Below are some predictions for what’s coming design wise in 2019.

Color

Of course the Colors of the Year have been revealed, which you may have already seen, and those are always interesting, but please make the space you live in yours and not dictated by these predictions, unless you absolutely love them and they suit your environment. A home should reflect who you are and how you live, so surely it has to be personalized. Of interest though, are Pantone’s Living Coral- with the warmth of nature, Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan- a calming gray, Sherwin Williams’ Cavern Clay- another color of nature, and Behr’s Blueprint- a mid-tone blue. These are some of the most well-known sources, but many other manufacturers are coming up with their own Color of the Year. As for the most immediate facelift of your home, nothing can beat paint! Remember, for an allergy free experience, look at the zero VOC paints.

For furnishings, you can expect to see a neutral palette that is not as gray as the long standing previous trend, but more toward light sand, or warmer gray, and even tinted pastels. Also popping up are the bold colors, from ethnic to neon, much like the fashion industry. Black and white, with its combination creating both balance and boldness, will continue to be a good pairing. It is reported that there are more charcoal or versions-of-black kitchens being ordered now as well.

Pantone – Living Color

Sherwin Williams – Cavern Clay

Benjamin Moore – Metropolitan

Behr – Blueprint

Texture

People are loving the feel and warmth, emotionally and physically, of textures in their environments, from floor carpets, to the seating, bedding and soft throws. Velvets continue to be strong, especially now that technology has made them more practical, with great abrasion resistance and cleanability. They now can be used in luxurious and elegant settings when they are made with a silk or linen fiber. Many new performance fabric versions are family friendly and thus suitable for areas with heavier use, perhaps among children and pets.

Thibaut Pasadena Chair

Layered Look

Patterns

You may be surprised, and may not agree, but florals, botanicals and chintz are back! They are being layered with different patterns in rooms, much as fashion is doing with clothing. This can move more toward the maximalism trend with lots of different mismatched fabrics.  Also watch for the shell and scallop shapes which will be seen in furniture, accessories and wallcovering.  And don’t forget about wallcovering for a dramic addition to your home, on the walls, the ceiling, as a furniture finish, or even risers on steps, of course with protective coating.

Thibaut – Sunburst Wallpaper

Wallquest – The Woodlands Collection Wallpaper

Mixed Metals

The use of mixed metals, that has become so popular, continues, but gold, copper, matte brass and black will dominate the new scene. Pewter and gunmetal may be a little softer look.   Imagine the charcoal cabinets with the brass and copper as fixtures and a sink – definitely a dramatic look! Of course, the mixed metals are to be found in abundance in lighting and accessories, but they can even be found on a complete console and lots of chairs and furniture accents.

Currey and Company

Technology

Technology is affecting all of our products and the way we use our spaces. The connected home is now so much more available and inexpensive. We have had integrated systems that allow you to control the window coverings, fireplace, lighting, entertainment, etc. for a while (and some are very elaborate in what all they can do) but now, even something as affordable as Amazon Echo and Google Home (which are rapidly adding to their commands) are more reasonably accessible and can be taken with you when you move. In 2016, there were 80 million smart home devices purchased and it is predicted that the number will reach more than 53 billion by 2022.  Voice interaction will take over for all those remotes.

Kitchens and bathrooms are areas with many exciting new options to simplify your life, and the controls are becoming more intuitive and easy to use. There are innovative 3D faucets that make you wonder how the water got there with all the openings! Look for the volcanic lava stone and great concrete tiles that have been developed for the kitchen and bath. There are way too many to write about here, so get with your designer before you start remodeling or building those new spaces!

More new designs of architectural robotics furniture pieces will become available, like the Cloud Bed, that can be raised and lowered from an integrated dropped ceiling.  When raised, there is a sofa and coffee table underneath that becomes your study or living area. The sofa’s back is the bed’s headboard and the coffee table supports the bed’s frame. Also, check out the pocket closet which doubles your storage space in tiny areas.  When I was recently in Spain, a manufacturer showed us the prototype chair for offices that will tell you when you are slouching, including anything that might be detrimental, and when it is time for you to get up and move, or elevate your sit/stand desk.

Sofa and Coffee Table Set Up

Down as Bed

Sustainability

Sustainable products will grow more in what is now available and the demand for them.  Perhaps it is just up-cycling an old piece of furniture or accessory with a coat of bright paint, to make a real standout, fun, accent piece, or making more conscious decisions about where the product comes from, and whether it can be recycled. You can look for vegan furniture, also.  How about a corrugated cardboard bed made by Happy Beds?

Image by In My Own Style

Image by In My Own Style

Vegan Bed

Miscellaneous

I would add that I think we will see more curved furniture and vintage and artisan pieces.  Also, there seems to be more requests for a little more traditional, or “brown” furniture to mix in, but then, at Design House, we always strive to have a variety of curated selections from various periods and origins on our floor, and certainly available for sourcing and order.  Additionally, we have numerous lines we can help the customer create their own custom pieces with. So, let’s all get busy giving our interiors a fresh start, as well as ourselves!

Other posts you may also be interested in:

Tub vs. Shower??

Shower or Tub??? OK, it’s time for me to eat my words again, or maybe just issue a change in opinion about showers vs. tubs. Most people have a very definite preference, and when we are working on projects we have to determine those...

read more

The End of Harvey

The End of Harvey This blog post is a follow-up to The YEAR of Harvey.Many of you have been so kind as to inquire about how and what we’ve been doing since Harvey. Thus, I feel the need to write the end of the Harvey story, even though I rarely post personally. We...

read more

Furniture in Motion

Furniture In Motion    Would you believe that over half of the furniture being produced today is equipped with motion capabilities? Even though I see so many options, I still find that surprising. However, when you think about how many items do have the...

read more

2018 Holiday Tabletops – A Texas Christmas and Baccarat’s Table

 

Design House was so honored to host Baccarat, the renowned French manufacturer of fine crystal, with their own tabletop this year, which also revealed their fall collection. The President, Jim Shreve, was present to talk with everyone about the glamorous silver and crystal table. His goal is for people to use it every day and not just put it on display. To make that task easier, he explained how you can put the crystal in the dishwasher. The secret is to not let the pieces touch because this can cause chipping.  Shreve also advised using a dishwashing detergent that does not have any citrus added since this causes etching.

Among the oh-so-many beautiful pieces they introduced was a greyhound dog and a cat. These approximately two feet tall items looked almost like ice sculptures. Another interesting item was the acrylic plateau box used to elevate the dog and a huge vase. The interior of the box was filled with broken Baccarat pieces from the Baccarat Hotel in New York. These pieces were discovered in storage bins in the back of the hotel. I guess they just couldn’t put the broken pieces in the dumpster! Thankfully they kept them to be repurposed and recycled into beautiful plateaus.

The Design House 2018 Holiday Tabletop

Most people, when doing their tabletops, will probably do as we have to do in our showroom – use what you have to begin with. We used what table and chairs we had in stock, and combined the best suited lighting we had to start. This year with our theme, we ordered some fabric with a magnolia design to make slipcovers for some existing host and hostess chairs from our LeFevre collection. The most appropriate table we had was long, but not really wide, so the centerpiece needed to be narrow, but dramatic. The first thought we had was to use an antique trough that was carved out of a tree trunk to hold a lush display of florals down the center of the table. Well, this perfect trough was too long, and we couldn’t find another trough narrow enough to use, so we used a gutter with end caps, made to size. You could say our showroom went from Baccarat to the gutter! The gutter was filled with oasis floral foam and covered with moss to hold the maximum amount of florals. Then, we were off to the cooler to see what florals were available, along with another trip to prune some magnolia trees!

 

We hung lots of fresh mixed garland on the chandelier and mantle to pop the green magnolia leaves in the fabric. Of course, we had to add a few magnolia leaves, berries and pomegranates, along with the galvanized and painted deer walking out of the landscape painting above it. For the centerpiece (the gutter), we used red roses, white ranunculus, dusty miller, thistle, camellia foliage and ilex berries. The berries on the fireplace were toyon berries.

The place settings were anchored by the galvanized metal chargers, and layered with Green Ivy ceramic dinner plates, which were topped with the vintage white Limoges small plates. The Haussmann trunk flatware seemed the perfect complement with the branch design and the antique Green Thumbprint stemware picked up on the green plates.  We also added some handcrafted Italian pewter and glass stemware for the mix, and finally, the napkins were custom made with Ralph Lauren plaid from Fabric House.

We hope you visited the 2018 Holiday Tabletops, but if you were unable to make it, we hope you enjoy our posts and plan to make it out next year!

Other posts you may also be interested in:

Tub vs. Shower??

Shower or Tub??? OK, it’s time for me to eat my words again, or maybe just issue a change in opinion about showers vs. tubs. Most people have a very definite preference, and when we are working on projects we have to determine those...

read more

The End of Harvey

The End of Harvey This blog post is a follow-up to The YEAR of Harvey.Many of you have been so kind as to inquire about how and what we’ve been doing since Harvey. Thus, I feel the need to write the end of the Harvey story, even though I rarely post personally. We...

read more

Furniture in Motion

Furniture In Motion    Would you believe that over half of the furniture being produced today is equipped with motion capabilities? Even though I see so many options, I still find that surprising. However, when you think about how many items do have the...

read more

Ten Award Winning Holiday Tablescapes

The holidays are stressful enough with finding the perfect gifts, decorating the house and cooking for a crowd, but when you add all of the fabulous Pinterest and Instagram posts, it is enough to make anyone feel inadequate. Well, we are here to show you our past ten years of award winning holiday tablescapes, that includes Best of Show, Best Floral, Best Theme, and People’s Choice; and give you tips on how you can create this kind of look in your home.

1) 2008 Design House Deck the Table

For the first year of holiday table tops in our showroom, we started small and easy enough for anyone to do. As throughout the ten years of doing Christmas tables, we start with what is currently in the showroom, just as you might in your home. Mixed silver goblets, wine glasses, china and flatware from home made contributions to this first table. Natural greens, along with limes and floral arrangements made this a fragrant, comfortable and easy set up.

2) 2009 Design House Deck the Table

2009 Design House Deck the Table

We added a touch of elegance to the room with fresh evergreens on the table, chandelier, and potted paper whites. The aroma alone will capture your guests’ attention and provide them with holiday spirit. Note that when you are working with fresh greenery or florals, you can add some artificial pieces and somehow the fresh ones make them work! We added the artificial magnolia here. Sometimes we will start with a base of artificial garland and add fresh greens, berries, or whatever you have.

3) 2010 Design House Deck the Table

Go bold! Don’t be afraid to add an element of surprise to a room. For this table setting we had just discovered some vintage metal Chippendale chairs in a warehouse and bought them for Design House. That was our start. There is always something we discover or have in our showroom that gives us the inspiration. We contrasted the metal chairs and silver in the settings with the custom branch chandelier and rustic wood table. This rustic branches balance the elegant table settings here to keep the environment casual and lively.

4) 2011 Design House Deck the Table

2011 Design House Deck the Table

Your holiday table does not always need to be the total focus of attention. For example, the mirror in this space compliments the table and draws the eyes across the space to the far wall. The evergreens that flank the buffet add balance to the wall and an accent color, which is mimicked on the reclaimed wood table bringing the eye back to the center of the room and straight to these vintage lantern chandeliers from a French residence in Egypt. The lantern theme was continued on the tabletop, and vintage Christmas plates were used that year. The only chairs we had available needed a little help for Christmas, so we made some simple, short and sassy slipcovers.

5) 2012 Deign House Deck the Table

2012 Deign House Deck the Table

This table gives the room a casual elegance by using a simple color scheme of white and green. These earthy holiday colors and materials give a natural look to your tabletop. The crisp white napkins and dinner plates soften the zinc table while the glass angels on each place setting are part of the angel theme, with the white cast angels, by a local artist, on the buffet. The angels also add to the artisan feel of the space when combined with the zinc tabletop. All of this is topped and really made more dramatic with the glitzy vintage crystal chandelier. The eclectic and wide range of pieces mixed together help to create holiday glam and a festive setting for a simple, rustic table.

6) 2013 Design House Deck the Tables

2013 Design House Deck the Tables

We had a little fun with this one by opening the metal doors to our storeroom, filling in the space with some old doors from our showroom and lighting some branches behind the doors like lit outdoor trees. Here we used vintage Limoges china and Christofle Malmaison flatware with a luxurious Niermann Weeks chandelier topped with a ceiling of branches above to add a touch of whimsy. By placing some fresh fruit, herbs and greens around the table and chandelier you create a faint aroma that compliments the meal and is pleasing to the eye.

7) 2014 Design House Deck the Tables

2014 Design House Deck the Tables

The location of this year’s table in front of the animal print wallpaper made it easy to create a festive spirit. Simple floating stars in this “Starry Night” theme had lights directed toward them to sparkle. The three panel antique mirrors and wreaths with lights make the room feel larger and continue to reflect the sparkle of the stars and mercury glass. By adding custom name cards under glass domes your guest will feel extra special. These continued the “star” theme and a little whimsy with names of famous movie stars on them for our event.

8) 2015 Design House Deck the Table

2015 Design House Deck the Table

Let your furniture dictate your tablescape. This live edge table with a stainless steel branch base just screamed organic design for the décor. That was achieved with lots of greenery to compliment the wood table top, while the chairs pick up on the metal base, along with the silver goblets and flatware that was silver and wood. The greenery on the table was also frosted, adding to the winter wonderland feel.

9) 2016 Design House Deck the Tables

2016 Design House Deck the Tables

This woodlands theme began with the deer we had just received and also the chairs with the goatskin seats and natural wood. The forest is not only depicted by them, but also the “stream” that runs down the middle of the table. This was done with a fabulous Waterford linear piece that allowed us to lay florals and greening flowing out of it and down the table. This stream continued down the ends of the table to the floor. Pomegranates and oranges were used throughout the greenery to compliment the beautiful Limoges china.

10) 2017 Design House Deck the Table

2017 Design House Deck the Table

I bet you can guess that the fabulous chandelier we had just received was the start of this table. This icy, crystal winter wonderland was accented with the acrylic chairs and they allowed us to show the hide rug anchoring the setting. We did make them a little warmer with the addition of small wreaths we made from the greenery used on the table. Additional warmth was suggested with the inclusion of many candles featured on slices of wood, and what great improvement with the fake candles! People would have to touch them to make sure they were not real. The new green and white Limoges china was the perfect complement to the setting.

We hope these examples will encourage you to take a closer look around your spaces, get those creative juices flowing, and use what you have as a start. Be sure to stop by Design House in The Houston Design Center during the first week of December to see what we’ve come up with this year! We are excited to announce that Baccarat will be creating a table in our showroom this year, and we can’t wait for everyone to have a chance to see their wonderful selections!

Other posts you may also be interested in:

Tub vs. Shower??

Shower or Tub??? OK, it’s time for me to eat my words again, or maybe just issue a change in opinion about showers vs. tubs. Most people have a very definite preference, and when we are working on projects we have to determine those...

read more

The End of Harvey

The End of Harvey This blog post is a follow-up to The YEAR of Harvey.Many of you have been so kind as to inquire about how and what we’ve been doing since Harvey. Thus, I feel the need to write the end of the Harvey story, even though I rarely post personally. We...

read more

Furniture in Motion

Furniture In Motion    Would you believe that over half of the furniture being produced today is equipped with motion capabilities? Even though I see so many options, I still find that surprising. However, when you think about how many items do have the...

read more