All posts tagged: loft

Design with(out) kids in mind, Part 2

So now that we’ve talked about designing a beautifully curated home that is simultaneously right for the whole family, it’s high time to turn to some of the specific little things I learnt while designing our home. I’m talking about the juicy little tidbits that make up (the beginnings of) a list of things to keep in mind when designing a home for your family. I searched high and low for lists like this and didn’t find much so I hope this will be helpful to those of you in the throes of planning, designing, or renovating. The standard-height bathtub. I made a fly-by mention in the intro post about the bathtub issue. When we were renovating our home, I was (as I’m sure you might imagine) pretty focused on the details and left very little up to the professionals involved as far as fixtures, finishes, and furnishings were concerned. In an incredibly ironic twist of fate, the one thing I left up to someone else ended up being less than ideal. It was the bathtub for …

Design with(out) kids in mind, Part 1

As I previewed earlier this week, I spent a lot of time thinking about whether and how to design our home with kids in mind when we completely overhauled our apartment two years ago. I was heavily pregnant with Little L at the time (you can read more about that and our terrible timing here) and how he’d fit into our lives was at the forefront of my mind. Reflecting back, almost two years after we (finally) completed the renovation, I can safely say that we chose the best route for our family: we designed a home for us, a home that we love living in, and it has turned out to be a great home for Little L too. Lesson #1: You can totally have the house you want, stark white walls, uncarpeted floors, open stairs, the lot. To some it might sound blindingly obvious and to others it may sound a little controversial. But here’s the thing: the choice to pursue the aesthetic you want, to have a house that takes design into account, …

Design + Kids = ?

When I started dreaming up all the ways we would transform our apartment into an incredible living space, I spent a decent amount of time with my good friend Google, searching for “kid-friendly design” and “home design for small children”. I had a little debate going on in my head about whether we’d design the house for our future kids (I was heavily pregnant with our first at the time) or whether we’d design the house for us and help our children learn to live and play in it (safely). I was looking to The Internet for answers, for guidance, for help, and it just didn’t get me very far. I don’t know whether I was simply looking in all the wrong places, my Google skills weren’t up to par, or there just wasn’t all that much out there, but I really drew a blank in terms of finding the resources I was looking for. Specifically, I wanted someone to say, “hey, when you design your kitchen, don’t fret about explicitly choosing cabinet pulls that can be childproofed because …

When you’re constructing/renovating/moving at the WORST possible time

I was just sitting here in our living room on this dreary day in Boston thinking back to when we first moved in. It made me remember just how terrible the timing of our renovation and move was and how, surprisingly, that didn’t end up meaning the end of the world. If I have my dates correct, we bought our loft in April. I was pregnant at the time (but only about 8 weeks) and so we thought (incredibly naively) that we could get started on our dream renovation and move in just in time for the arrival of our baby. And if it wasn’t finished, we’d just live in our old apartment until we could move, right? Wrong. Firstly, no major renovation that turns your house into this sort of gorgeousness can be completed in 8-10 weeks (despite each of the four contractors quoting it as possible). Secondly, the real estate market is, well, pretty unpredictable. Who would have thought that our old apartment would go under contract the day after we put it …

For the love of a desk

I remember when we were designing our apartment, the desk was something I spent some not insignificant time thinking about. Neither my partner nor I spend a lot of time working from home and we’re both pretty content typing away on our laptops on stools at the raised kitchen counter, but we did have an actual desktop computer that needed a home. So we decided to incorporate a desk into our multipurpose (entryway/guest overflow/linen closet) room and designed a beautiful walnut inset that would provide a nice contrast with the strong white cabinetry and give us just enough space for the desktop and a few accoutrements. So we were all set, right? About half way through the construction, our good friends at ZeroEnergy Design suggested we incorporate some workspace into the steel railing at the edge of the loft area. I could hardly imagine what they meant by this and thought it would be something we never used, but ended up going along with it because my partner liked the sound of it. Since I …

Award-winning!

It’s kind of amazing to imagine, but our loft just won an award! The Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston’s annual PRISM awards were just announced, and our loft won Gold in the Best Remodel category. This is the first time any design or architecture project I’ve been involved with has won an award and I’ll admit to having that warm, radiant feeling inside. A shout out and congratulations to ZeroEnergy Design for the collaboration that led to the finished product: a pretty fantastic space to live in. All the photos of our loft can be found here on my Pinterest page.

A postcard from Seattle

A big hello from Seattle!  I’m here all week for a conference and darted out yesterday afternoon to take advantage of a few minutes of free time to explore the city and see what inspiration I could find on the design and architecture front. To be honest, I didn’t make it very far before succumbing to the magnetic pull of a good Sunday brunch, so my findings were limited.  So holed up in a hotel room later I thought I’d take a look at some Seattle architecture online. Firstly, a lot of the talk around local architecture here seems to focus on houseboats, who knew! There are some pretty fantastic living spaces on water to be explored; you can see a few examples here and one particularly creative houseboat here. Secondly, I wanted to share this artist’s loft with you.  The brainchild of Olson Kundig Architects, it is the conversion of an old shoe parts factory in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. There’s something about this space that I find fascinating. Those steel factory windows are a dream …

T is for Texture

Thinking about beginnings, and this new exploration of the internet as a place to share musings on design, I realized last night that I should probably delve a little into how design factors into my life and what are some of the things that I value in design.  The first of these that I want to touch on is texture. It is so tightlywoven into my aesthetic that I don’t think I’ve ever contemplated a project without all sorts of textural elements, both tactile and visual. I was interviewed recently for a publication about our apartment and the design process, and I was asked to describe my style. I remember being pretty stumped by the question, sitting there in silence for a minute or so and then glancing at the writer with a quizzical look and saying, “textured modern?”.  Right there in the middle of our apartment, she looked around, surveying all the architectural and design choices we had made, and nodded as if slowly seeing all the details that characterize this aesthetic. If you could walk through our …