This past week we began reviewing plans with the architectural firm and client for a new home construction project slated to begin next year in Long Island. The family hired us to assist with the interior design and floor plan of their dream house they are building on a five acre lot. They searched for a long time trying to find a residence that suited their preferences and since they were unable to find anything they loved, decided to build the home. They love the French Chateau / Neoclassical look with a grand front entrance which opens through the center of the house to the rear. Upon entering the home guests will be able to see the rear veranda, pool and greenery. The home will be in the range of 8000 square feet.
One of the amazing benefits of designing and building a home from scratch is the range of flexibility and preferences which can be executed. Rather than trying to design around an existing floor plan which you may not love, the home can be laid exactly the way you would like. Every single element from the millwork, molding, flooring, fixtures, windows to the landscaping, etc can be carefully chosen. One frustrating aspect to purchasing existing homes, regardless of the budget, is paying for expensive components which clients plan on changing anyway (kitchen cabinets, finishes, bathroom tile, flooring, etc.). Here are several inspirational new home construction designs in the French / Neoclassical style.
Bringing a warm feel into kitchens can often be challenging due to the preponderance of appliances and cabinets. Often clients will opt for a clean, modern, aesthetic which is easy to maintain but if not designed correctly can feel cold. Wood floors, metal and mixing similar tones in kitchens will help take attention away from appliances and cabinets. In the first example the designer selected a grayish brown color for the cabinetry and steel hardware which complemented the stainless steel oven. The countertops on the right and the lighting above the stove are also stainless steel and add to the cohesion of the design. In the second example a textured wall offsets the stainless steel fridge, and the wood flooring along with the carpet pull everything together. In the third example, the cabinets were painted different colors, and the island was a hue between the wood flooring and the cabinetry on the back wall, so it doesn’t feel nearly as much of a centerpiece as if it were white and matched the cabinets on the back wall. The trick is, even though cabinetry and appliances are such a large part of kitchen design, to incorporate enough other elements so that they do not dominate the look of the space.
Here are some images of my top 3 selections for decorative mirrors. There are two main types of mirrors, decorative and functional, and should be selected depending on its main purpose and desired look. Mirrors whose main function is aesthetic are selected based on the frame’s design, material and shape. Bathroom mirrors are primarily functional and should be able to repel moisture, be backlit, and fog free whenever possible. Often decorative mirrors are used in powder rooms where moisture isn’t an issue.
Finding the right mirror can be a time consuming task, especially if it is going to be the centerpiece of a living room or the first accessory you see when entering the space. If the space is filled with linear elements and clean, straight lines, round or oval mirrors are a way to offset the rectangular or square shapes. Mirrors are increasingly being used in sets similar to how designers are using sets of pendant lights more and more. The first and second images illustrate sets of mirrors which offer flexibility in creating a layout that fits a certain wall. Often it can be tricky finding a single mirror which is the perfect size for a large wall. These sets can be used in bigger open areas without feeling too small.