Hand Rail Design- Inside and Outside

The timeliness of this request to share a guest posting on he subject of handrails was very good. S Interior Design is designing a contemporary 8,000 sf home from the ground up and the exterior and interior handrail design is a very important design element to be determined.

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Contemporary Handrail Designs

While installing a handrail on a staircase may seem like a minor part of home design, the appearance and functionality of a railing can make a significant difference to the overall mood and style of your home. The following four types of handrails offer contemporary styling and many unique applications.

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Wooden Hand Railings

While wood has been used in traditional handrails for years, this traditional material has taken a modern twist with the way it is being used today. Designers coupling natural wood with industrial materials like metal and stainless steel have made wooden railings popular again. Pair your favorite metal with wood for a fresh and contemporary look.

Metal Railings

Metal has become the material of choice for many designers because of its visual and functional appeal. Stainless steel handrails are one of the most alluring material choices for the many benefits they offer. While stainless steel is commonly implemented in public places, many homeowners have turned to this unique metal for its low maintenance and long-lasting durability. Because it is not porous like wood, it can be sanitized and doesn’t hold bacteria as easily. Stainless steel is easy to install and can be customized with paint or designed to create a one-of-a-kind look every time.

Special Materials

Contemporary style is all about being unique and out of the box. To create a truly contemporary staircase, use a unique handrail material for eye-popping color, shape, or function. A designer or do-it-yourselfer should look for special materials that can withstand everyday wear and tear. Some unique materials include LED light tubes, brass, or glass. The possibilities are limitless when you look beyond the expected.

Outdoor Handrails

Contemporary handrails expand past the realm of interior design and are often necessary features to create a beautiful garden or outside area. Using a contemporary handrail design on the exterior of your home can create a lasting impression of your unique style while adding the functionality needed for walking paths, porches, and decks. Stray from the traditional by using metal handrails that go in horizontal patterns. Unlike vertical bars, a horizontal metal baluster can make a home or landscape look larger and more spacious. Play with textures, patterns, and materials to create an eye-catching design that compliments your home’s exterior.

Making your home match your personal style is easier than ever with the many materials and design options available in today’s handrail market. As you look to install a handrail that offers contemporary style, modern functionality, and bright bold appeal, reference these handrail types and materials for a more comprehensive look at today’s railing options.

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Choosing a shower screen in a bathroom renovation

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You might think that choosing a shower screen is not the most enjoyable part of your home renovation, but if that’s the case you just haven’t been looking at the right shower screens. When I did my recent renovation, the most beautiful ones I found were from Frameless Impressions. Frameless shower screens have a very understated and modern look, they’re elegant and they give the impression of enlarging the space of your bathroom rather than cutting it off and compartmentalising it. This is a display image of the screen I ended up having installed.

I loved the idea of it as well as the look of it, because frameless screens are very easy to clean to clean and maintain. Unlike curtains, they don’t mould or rust, and the outward swinging door protects the rest of the bathroom from splashing. I love the way the glass lets the light from the window in and illuminates the white bathroom and tiles. It gives a real feeling of calm and luxury even though in reality the bathroom is a very small space. Here is another image.

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Choose a screen that is the right size and shape for your bathroom. Not all screens have to have doors. Take the one above for example. You want your screen to fit perfectly in with the feel of your bathroom, it doesn’t have to be fancy, just functional and elegant. I was surprised also to find that they don’t have to be expensive. Choose one that you’ll be able to live with for years to come.

Are Grey and White Boring?

Are Grey and White Boring?

Hardly! When you combine shades of white, grey and beige with varying geometric pattern and a bit of dark wood it is anything but BORING!

Top 5 Urban Kitchen Design Trends

The guest post below is written by an author who lives in London.  So often, design trends begin in Europe and then filter over to the United States.  With more and more downtown revitalization projects happening  across the U.S. metro areas, urban living is once again becoming more popular for younger adults as well as active retirees who want to be close to the ‘vibe’ of downtown living.   Take a read of some of the kitchen design trends that fit the urban living profile.

TOP 5 URBAN KITCHEN DESIGN TRENDS

While some homemakers have transformed their kitchen into bistro-style hangouts, others have made them look like art galleries.  And even more people have redesigned their kitchens into culinary studios.  Whatever style you choose for your kitchen, popular design trends can help you make a bold statement.  With the selection of different textiles these days, everyone is going for a ‘transitional’ design rather than a traditional one.  So here are my top five urban kitchen design palettes that will help you create a functional and entertaining hangout.

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EMERALD

A stark white kitchen with bold hues of emerald is a striking choice this year.  You can play with white, shades of grey and incorporate emerald into your seat cushions, a set of vertical drawers or cabinetry, or an accent wall.  As a vibrant backdrop, the emerald trend will look refreshing against white walls but also add invigorating warmth to your kitchen.

BLUE SERENE

If you’re inspired by waterfront bars or cafés, you’ll enjoy turning your kitchen into a coastal retreat.   This year the colour blue is on everyone’s renovation radar and never fails to impress.

Pastel shades like powder blue can feel smart and sophisticated against a crisp white canvas.  Modern details like recessed spotlights, stainless steel fridge freezer, contemporary bar stools and a painted pantry door keep the overall look fresh.  Have a look at Wickes doors online for a variety of styles to add doors and dress your windows.

Wooden floors with a woven blue Persian rug, sanded furniture and minimal décor helps you achieve a tranquil atmosphere.

NEON STUDIO

A fluorescent touch is all the hype this year, so if you’re high-tech kitchen could use a splash of colour, don’t be shy to accessorize with neon placemats or even include yellow, pink and green bar stools on a grey backdrop.

This trend complements kitchen technology enthusiasts so you can turn your kitchen into an internet café.  A deep stainless steel basin with tall faucets built-in to your marble island counter is a contemporary and practical design.  Mirrored sliding doors for your food pantry and suspended single-track lighting like built-in LEDs will enhance the neon theme.

NEUTRAL TONES

Neutrals like shale, flannel grey and pewter also take dominance this year. So if you can find nice suede wallpaper and layer your kitchen with chrome hardware.  You can sharpen the overall design of your kitchen with stained, painted or frosted glass cabinetry.

Incorporate wood and copper elements such as tables, stools, frames or décor pieces.

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ENERGIZE WITH BOLD GRAPHICS

High energy colour palettes including bright yellow, red chilli and electric blue add character to your kitchen.  Install stainless steel cabinetry and a unique countertop like marble, basalt, glass, steel or limestone instead of the typical granite.

Whether its bold geometric patterns or botanical prints, you can create a fun retro space and further experiment with contrasting wallpaper, cushions or backsplashes.

With inspiration from India’s roadside kitchens or Lebanon’s bustling street counters, you can use bold colors like tango orange, purple or green along with printed backgrounds for a lively look. A popular design element is the accent cabinet so you can add a vertical accent column by painting a set of drawers or selecting coloImage

red cabinetry.

Author bio: Amna Alam is a London-based freelance writer who enjoys film, fashion and interior design.

Using Natural Light in Your Design

One of the greatest gifts a designer can leverage is natural light sources.  Understanding the natural light opportunities in a room can guide material selections and what types of artificial lighting is added.  Here in Arizona, S Interior Design likes to incorporate SolaTubes and strategically placed clerestory windows in homes and offices so our clients can enjoy the abundant natural sun shine without loosing heat and privacy controls.    Below is  a guest post about windows, natural light and window covering options to consider.

Using your window space to the best effect

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While the structural architecture and design of a room can have an effect on its atmosphere and mood, it is the lighting that truly brings it to life, enhancing the room’s design and décor, as well as creating the mood. Lighting patterns, colors and targeted illumination can create a variety of moods, from cool, restful and relaxing, to warm, active and cheerful. Both artificial and natural lighting can be used creatively to bring out the best features of a room and distract attention away from more negative areas.

 

Artificial lighting is an part of interior design, but natural lighting, courtesy of windows, is often overlooked or seen as something to work around. Natural lighting, however, is not only better for the eyes; it is also the best light to see accurately, see colors and tones and is a natural mood-enhancer. Choosing the right window coverings and treatments to allow natural light in to the best effect is an important step in truly finishing a room.

Window decorating and natural lighting

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There are a variety of different types of window coverings and treatments to choose from. Selecting exactly which to use depends on the room that the windows are in and the lighting effect required.

 

Window treatments in the bedroom need to be functional in some way, whether it is blinds that can be adjusted or shades that can be easily raised or lowered. Drapes and curtains are also frequently used in bedrooms; many being made from the same fabrics and trims as the bed linens. Room darkening and heat and sound insulating, these types of window coverings have the added benefit of creating a romantic and relaxing mood, particularly when made from luxurious fabrics and materials, such as sheers, brocades or velvet.

 

In the main living areas of the home, letting in natural light while maintaining a measure of privacy is the key. Covering only a portion of the window is an ideal way of admitting natural sunlight while maintaining privacy. Plantation shutters, along with other styles of window shutter, are a great way to accomplish this lighting effect. Covering only the lower pane or portion of the window, plantation shutters may be opened as desired to let in even more light. Even when closed they allow plenty to come through while keeping the room’s occupants screened from the outside world. Shutters fit in with almost any interior design, in particular country styles and Victorian design, as well as modern and eclectic looks.

Kitchens frequently do not have large windows or have windows with unusual shapes, so finding suitable coverings and treatments that are stylish, yet functional, may prove difficult. In addition to shutters, which also work well here, café curtains are a very popular window covering. Functioning in a similar way to the shutters, café curtains leave the upper part of the window nearly bare, allowing plenty of natural light to come through, while also ensuring a degree of privacy. Café curtains are available in a variety of styles and fabrics.

Bathroom Design Trends

S Interior Design loves remodeling bathrooms for their clients.  When we were asked to host this guest blog post on Bathroom Trends, we said YES!  Fun, contemporary design ideas to inspire you.

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Bathroom Trends: Glass Mosaic Tile (via)

Bathroom trends to me start with the tile work. In this case, one of my favorite examples is the Copper Color Bisazza Glass Mosaic Tile. It gives you that contemporary look and serene feeling to your bathroom. Other trendy styles of tile you should consider for your bathroom redesign project are natural stone, pebble tile, stone mosaic tile and stainless steel tile. If you’re doing budget-conscious remodeling, use designer tile sparingly in the form of cut-out tile accents, to give you that designer tile design cue.

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Turquoise Painted Glass Vessel Sink (via)

Vessel sinks are very much trendy these days. Walk into any high-end restaurant’s bathroom, and you’ll likely see a vessel sink. Depending on the style, they can also be very affordable. Personally, I like the above vessel sink made of glass, and painted turquoise.

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Trendy Shower Doors: Neo-Angle Frameless Shower Enclosures and Glass BathTub Screens

If you couldn’t tell from the glass vessel sinks and the glass mosaic tile recommendations, glass is in style when it comes to the bathroom. One of the reasons for that is because glass allows for the passage of light. That means a lot of glass, opens up an otherwise small looking bathroom, and makes it look more spacious. Also, if you have fancy tile work in your bathroom, there’s no better way to show off that tile work than with beautiful low-iron glass (in which the green hue has been reduced by taking out the iron content).

Nothing looks drabber than cheap, toxic, vinyl shower curtains. In these examples, the neo-angle shower enclosure is the trendiest and most expensive shower enclosure on the market. It’s frameless, so the metal hardware is barely visible.

On the other side, is the glass bathtub screen. These are very trendy in Europe, and are starting to make their way over into the United States. In Europe, people aren’t afraid of a little bit of water splashing out of their tubs. At the end of the day, both a full shower enclosure and a glass bathtub screen are great options for a trendy bathroom.

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Granite Countertop (via)

Granite countertops are a popular décor trend both in the bathroom and the kitchen. They provide the perfect backdrop for the aforementioned glass vessel sinks. And if you’re going to spend the “dough-re-mi” for a solid-slab granite countertop, utilizing clear glass vessel sinks might be a good idea in order to better showcase the granite. If you’re looking to save money, you can also do a DIY project and use a granite tile kit, which is a third of the price of buying the solid slab of granite, as seen above. They both provide that trendy, natural, solid-stone look for one’s bathroom.

About the Author

Shahab Shokouhi is a glass design expert at www.dullesglassandmirror.com, an innovative manufacturer of glass table tops, glass shelves, and all other glass and mirror products. Follow Dulles Glass and Mirror on Pinterest or on YouTube to see how they’re changing the way glass products are manufactured, customized and delivered.

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