October 11, 2010

Monday Inspiration: Kitchens

Posted in decorating style, Design Ideas, Design inspiration, Design Inspirations, Houston decoration, houston interior design, Houston Interior Design Blog, Houston Interior Designer, Houston Interior Designers, Houston Intertior Design Blog, Kitchen design, Kitchen Remodels, Kitchen Renovations, Uncategorized at 8:34 am by luxuryforthehome

by Ali Adams

As the holiday season starts peaking around the corner I tend to think of all of the holiday gatherings.  As we all know the party always ends up in the kitchen.  The ideal kitchen is different for everyone, but here are a few that have some wonderful entertaining and styling ideas.

1. Zen and Compact: This zen space is compact while still feeling roomy enough to entertain.  I love the large island and breakfast bar because they allow for plenty of gathering space. Can’t you imagine throwing a party here??

 

A Zen Kitchen by Marguerite Rodgers

A Zen Kitchen by Marguerite Rodgers

 

2. Clean and Modern: This is a large kitchen with an elegant feel.  I love the streamlined marble counter tops that contrast with the dark wood table. I dream of lazy Saturday mornings at this breakfast table.

 

A Modern Oak Wood Kitchen in Los Angeles

 

3.  White and Bright: If I could keep it clean this would be my bright white kitchen.  It just feels subtly glamorous.  I love the idea of a breakfast table built off of the island, it is such a great use of space.

 

New House, New Kitchen Traditional Home

 

4.  Classic and Modern: This kitchen is so clean and neat with a pop.  I love the way the blue island stands out creating an interesting focal point as well as gathering space.

 

A Fresh Florida Kitchen

 

 

October is National Kitchen & Bath Month, call Luxury For The Home to begin the kitchen of your dreams.

281-701-2461

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October 4, 2010

Monday Inspiration: Nurseries

Posted in children's bedrooms, Children's Room, Contemporary Bedroom, Design inspiration, Design Inspirations, houston interior design, Houston Interior Design Blog, Houston Interior Designer, Nursery, Uncategorized at 8:30 am by luxuryforthehome

by Ali Adams

For the past year and a half my life has revolved around babies especially now that he is almost six months old.  Now three of my girl friends are going on round two and have asked me for ideas about nurseries.  Therefore here are few that have a great feel for a new baby and their families.

1.  Soft and Modern: I love this one because it is modern but still feels soft and touchable.

Soft and Modern featured in Coastal Living

2. Retro and Quirky: This is such a fun nursery with all of the bright colors and interesting wall art.  Definitely a place I would enjoy spending time in.

Retro Baby's Room by Frillie Designs

3. Feminine and Glamorous: I love this room because of its femininity.  The upholstered ceiling is a real treat.  It is a beautiful space for a baby girl to blossom.

Glamorous Modern by Little Crown Interiors

To bring some love and excitement to your future nursery, call Luxury For The Home, at 281-701-2461, for interior design expertise you can trust.

Simple Luxury

281-701-2461

September 17, 2010

Expertise in Luxury – Meet the Authors

Posted in Design Ideas, Design Inspirations, Houston Intertior Design Blog, Uncategorized at 2:29 pm by luxuryforthehome

by Leslie Hassler, Houston Interior Designer

Last night, I attended the HADA Preview Party for the HADA Antique Show running this weekend and one of the benefits of going (outside of the treasure I showed you on Facebook) was having the opportunity to speak with some authors at a leisurely pace.  As I am an expert and guide for my clients, I find moments like last night invaluable to learn more for the benefit my clients.

The first author/designer was Hutton Wilkinson, author of a series of books highlighting one of Interior Design’s Greats, Tony Duquette.  His current book, More is More is the second the Duquette series.  While I was picking up a book about Thomas Pheasant, Hutton came over and introduced himself and then proceeded to introduce me to the rest of the authors.  As I flipped through the book, what stuck me where the party rooms and table settings that Duquette imagined.

Houston Interior Design, HADA, Hutton Wilkerson, Tony Duquette

More is More by Hutton Wilkinson

The second author to meet was Architect, Bobby McAlpine; author of The Home Within Us.  Mr. McAlpine is a quite man, but his work speaks volumes.  I enjoyed that his homes had classical, old world feel; but there was a tranquil simplicity to it.  I also enjoyed hearing hoe McAlpine redecorated his home three times before selling it.  It’s nice to know that other designers like to change things in their home.

Houston Interior Design, HADA, Bobby Mc Alpine

The Home Within Us by Bobby Mc Alpine

I think that the author/designer I enjoyed meeting the most was Jan Showers.  Now, having gone to interior design school in Dallas, I am familiar with who she is and had visited her showroom  several times.  But I had never met her in person.  We had a delightful conversation about design school, Dallas and shared a few resources for Houston.

Houston Interior Design, Jan Showers

A truly luxurious book, Glamorous Rooms by Jan Showers

So there’s now three beautiful books for my library.  Now, I just need a Saturday morning and a cup of coffee. Enjoy your weekend and remember to find moments of luxury.

March 12, 2010

The Luxury In Reducing

Posted in Design Inspirations, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designer, Houston Interior Designers, Kitchen Appliances, Kitchen Remodels, Kitchen Renovations, Uncategorized at 11:35 pm by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler, Houston Interior Designer

You know when I think of reducing, I’m usually thinking about the reading on the scale.  Or some of those bills I hate to pay.  But today let’s just talk about reducing in the terms of energy.

The four parts of your home that consume the most energy are going to be heating/cooling, kitchen, bathrooms and laundry.  I don’t know about you, but we’ve done the basics of an automated thermostat, and yes my husband sets it higher/lower than I do.  And yes, since I’m female, I do feel entitled to bump it up or down according to my temperature at the moment.

So barring a new system, we’ve already replaced 25 windows in our home and have planned for new insulation in our 30 year + home.  But what I’m really planning for is the kitchen.  It is the heart of our home.  It opens to the living room and breakfast area.  I can see the boys playing outside, it is where everyone congregates, it is where we cook and we do cook.  We bake bread, make homemade pasta (nothing occupies two little boys like cranking the pasta machine), we sauté, we experiment, we contemplate working our way through Julia Child’s cookbooks.  But do you know what? Our kitchen stinks! Stinks to high heavens!

We have the original 1970’s cabinets; we don’t even have the clearance under the cabinets to push the pro-style Kitchen Aid mixer under the cabinet.  And yeah sure, the pantry is “extra-deep”, but why does that matter when the shelves are only 12” wide.  But do you want to know what the bane of my existence is in this kitchen?  The dishwasher.

As we have grown as a family, different things have become important to me.  Right now, I want to stuff it full, I don’t want to have to scrub or pre-rinse and I only want to do 1 load a day for goodness sakes.

But this is March, our focus on going “Green”.  So can we find a dishwasher that is a workhorse, looks good, and is energy and resource efficient?   I do believe we can.

By definition, an efficient dishwasher is going to be energy-efficient and use water sparingly.  It will offer you capacity (think tall tubs & XXL tall tubs) and it will offer you the world in customization.  Washing China? No Problem.  Only washing a ½ load? (As if) No Problem.  Want to air dry? No Problem.

So welcome, I’ve done some of the research for you.  And looking at the models and the ratings they receive from the Energy Star website, along with my personal opinion, I’ve narrowed it down to 3 models – 2 are ASKO & 1 is a BOSCH.

The higher ranking really goes to the ASKO D5893XXLHS.  It has 12 cycles, uses 187 KW/yr, and 3.8 gallons/cycle.  It has 3 racks with a ton of ability to adjust, holding 17 place settings.

Asko Dishwasher, D5893XXL

The Bosch, holds 15 place settings, but has a bit better energy efficiency (180 KW/yr), uses a bit less water and has 6 settings.  It is quiet and it has three internal trays. Bosch didn’t have an image of the inside of the dishwasher for me to share with you.

Bosch SHX68E05

But my favorite is the ASKO D 5253, a bit of both worlds.  It has the energy efficiency of the 5893.  It only has 6 settings, but still can hold 17 place settings and can be found for about the same cost as the Bosch.  This is the one that will make it into my new kitchen.  In fact, it may make it into my kitchen before the rest of the “new kitchen.”

Asko D5253XXL

Asko D5253XXL

So what is your checklist for a new dishwasher?

Energy Efficiency

Water Consumption

Tub/ Place Setting Capacity

# of Cycles

Price

And really, price should be one of the least considerations.  The dishwasher does not represent the major investment for your kitchen, but it is the one of the most used appliances in your kitchen.  So think about it, make the investment that will save you money and time at every use.

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The luxury of reducing

By Leslie Hassler, Houston Interior Designer

You know when I think of reducing, I’m usually thinking about the reading on the scale.  Or some of those bills I hate to pay.  But today let’s just talk about reducing in the terms of energy.

The four parts of your home that consume the most energy are going to be heating/cooling, kitchen, bathrooms and laundry.  I don’t know about you, but we’ve done the basics of an automated thermostat, and yes my husband sets it higher/lower than I do.  And yes, since I’m female, I do feel entitled to bump it up or down according to my temperature at the moment.

So barring a new system, we’ve already replaced 25 windows in our homes and have been planning for new insulation in our 30 year + home.  But what I’m really planning for is the kitchen.  It is the heart of our home.  It opens to the living room and breakfast area.  I can see the boys playing outside, it is where everyone congregates, it is where we cook…and we do cook.  We bake bread, make homemade pasta (nothing occupies two little boys like cranking the pasta machine), we sauté, we experiment, we contemplate working our way through Julia Child’s cookbooks.  But do you know what? Our kitchen stinks! Stinks to high heavens!

We have the original 1970’s cabinets; we don’t even have the clearance under the cabinets to push the pro-style Kitchen Aid mixer under the cabinet.  And yeah sure, the pantry is “extra-deep”, but why does that matter when the shelves are only 12” wide.  But do you want to know what the bane of my existence is in this kitchen?  The dishwasher.

Let me be clear. As a child, my job was the dishes.  I have a theory – that which you were made to do as a child, you detest as an adult. I HATE dishes.  So, we are in our third dishwasher in this house, our third in 5 years.  As we have grown as a family, you know, different things have become important to me.  Right now, I want to stuff it full, I don’t want to have to scrub or pre-rinse and I only want to do 1 load a day for goodness sakes.

But this is March, our focus on going “Green”.  So can we find a dishwasher that is a workhorse, looks good, and is energy and resource efficient?   I do believe we can.

By definition, an efficient dishwasher is going to be energy efficient and use water sparingly.  It will offer you capacity (think tall tubs & XXL tall tubs) and it will offer you the world in customization.  Washing China? No Problem.  Only washing a ½ load? (As if) No Problem.  Want to air dry? No Problem.

So welcome, I’ve done some of the research for you.  And looking at the models and the ratings they receive from the XXX, along with my personal opinion, I’ve narrowed it down to 3 models – 2 are ASKO & 1 is a BOSCH.

The higher ranking really goes to the ASKO D5893XXLHS.  It has 12 cycles, uses 187 KW/yr, and 3.8 gallons/cycle.  It has 3 racks with a ton of adjustability, holding 17 place settings.

The bosch, holds 15 place settings, but has a bit better energy efficiency, uses a bit less water and has XX settings

But my favorite is the ASKO D 5253, a bit of both worlds.  It has the energy efficency of the 5893.  It only has 6 settings, but still can hold 17 place settings and can be found for about the same as the bosch.  This is the one that will make it into my new kitchen.  In fact, it may make it into my kitchen before the rest of the “new kitchen.”

So what is your checklist for a new dishwasher?

Energy Efficiency

Water Consumption

Tub/ Place Setting Capacity

# of Cycles

Price

And really, price should be one of the least considerations.  The dishwasher does not represent the major investment for your kitchen, but it is the one of the most used appliances in your kitchen.  So think about it,

March 1, 2010

The Luxury of Buying Local

Posted in Design Inspirations, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designer, Houston Interior Designers, Uncategorized tagged at 8:51 am by luxuryforthehome

March is finally here, our weather is warming, the trees are budding and for those reasons and many more, we are going green this month.  I’m like you. I’m not an expert in this area.  I have no certifications for green design, but I have a new focus for the topic.  So, join me this month as we wade through the hype and find ideas, products and designs that are well worth their salt.  If you haven’t had the chance already, sign up for our RSS feed and have the blog delivered to you.

Today, I thought that I’d highlight a green topic – Buy Local. Now the concept began with food, “Eat Local, Buy Local, Be Local”.  Buying local is beneficial in many ways, it supports the local economy, the transportation costs are less and thereby the fuel emissions are less.  But if we take it to my world, the one of Interior Design in Houston, TX – what would it look like?

The 3/50 project” started by Cinda Baxter turns this concept to our local retailers.  Simply put these are the tenets of the project:

  • 3 – Think about which three independently owned businesses you’d miss most if they were gone.  Stop in and say hello.  Pick up a little something that will make someone smile.  Your contribution is what keeps those businesses around.
  • 50 – If just ½ the employed U.S. population spent $50 each month in independently owned businesses, their purchases would generate more than $42.6 Billion in revenue*  Imagine the positive impact if ¾ of the employed population did that.
  • 68 – For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.  If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here.  Spend it online and nothing comes home.
  • 1 – The number of people it takes to start the trend…you.

So the challenge is simple, choose 3 locally-owned businesses to support this month.  An easy challenge, it can be a coffee shop, a restaurant, a landscaper or even an interior designer.

Doubt the impact of 1 person? Look at this illustration, showing how many people a simple drapery order could affect.  First, there is the direct effect of the 3 people in my office, and then there is the showroom, usually another 3 people there.  The UPS deliver guy, the drapery workroom (at least 4, the estimator, the seamstress, the scheduler and the installer). Directly, your single drapery order has touched 11 people.  Indirectly, it is exponential.  So while all of our supply chains may not be 100% local, the effect of your single purchase can be tremendous on the local economy.

So today’s challenge, buy local at least 3 times this month.

September 20, 2009

The Luxury of Mirrors

Posted in defining your luxury, Design inspiration, Design Inspirations, Fireplace, Houston, Houston decoration, houston interior design, Houston Interior Design Blog, Houston Interior Designer, Luxury for the home, Luxury interior design, mirrors, Uncategorized at 5:16 pm by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler
 
Mirrors are one of those staple items in each and every home.  The challenge in using them is selecting one that is unique and supports the style of the home.  The next challenge for most people is how, when and where to use them. 
 
Mirrors should be placed with a specific purpose in a room.  Is your small scale room claustrophobic?  The a large mirror can make the small space feel expansive. Does your room have an awkward niche, or is it lacking windows and natural light? A purposefully placed mirror will divert the eye and provide reflection of natural light. 
 
I often see mirrors placed above fireplaces, which in itself is fine, but what I find troublesome is what the mirror is reflecting, often times, it is a ceiling fan, or a plain ceiling.  When the reflection is devoid of interest, the use of the mirror has failed.  So when you place mirrors, do it with purpose, consider the reflection, and make it a luxurious one.
APF Group Mirror

APF Group Mirror

The full-wall mirror used in this narrow dining room adds depth and dimension to the room.  Even with a table full of guests, the space feels expansive and inviting.  I love that the gold frame on this mirror is the accent color in the space.  If the frame had been one of the darker colors present in the room, the expansiveness create by the mirror would have been too defined.
 
Ritz Carlton, Florida.  Designed by Avery Brooks.

APF Group Mirror - Ritz Carlton, Florida. Designed by Avery Brooks.

 This is a spectacular example of a use of a mirror.  The scale works well with the over-scaled fireplace and mantle.  Even though it is large, it blends into the room, almost acting as a window.  The attempt to blend this mirror into the space can be seen in the treatment of the narrow mirror frame.  I can’t be quite sure, but it seems that the frame repeats the wallpaper pattern on the wall.  This is one room that a visitor wouldn’t really be sure that it was a mirror at first glance.

Sitting Area in Master Bedroom.  Interior Design by Stacy Lapuk.

Sitting Area in Master Bedroom. Interior Design by Stacy Lapuk.

I found this to be another great use of a mirror. The Interior Designer, Stacy Lapuk, made the most of this little nook by installing a mirror that nearly fills this small wall.  The reflection of a beautiful master bedroom, crystal chandelier and a large window magnify the natural light in this corner.  She also has created beautiful reflections with the tailored back of the chaise and ormolu accent table.  A joy to the eye, no matter what way you look it.
 
 

September 2, 2009

Guest Room Luxury: Making the Most of out small spaces

Posted in children's bedrooms, Children's Room, Contemporary Bedroom, defining your luxury, Design Ideas, Design Inspirations, houston interior design, Houston Interior Design Blog, Kitchen design, Luxury for the home, Luxury interior design, Modern Bedrooms, Traditional Bedroom, Uncategorized tagged at 1:38 pm by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler, Allied ASID, AKBD
Guest rooms poise a challenge, especially in more urban areas and older homes.  Our guest bedroom gets used, but only about 20 nights out of the year.  I love some of these options for challenging areas for guest beds.
This is currently on Decorati’s (www.decorati.com) homepage.  The look is so stunning, that it takes a while to notice how small the overall space is.  The window definitely helps the space not feel claustrophobic.  I love that the bedding is also perfectly scaled to the size of the bed (one of my LUXURY TIPS).  See what a difference it makes?
Very small bedroom area, Highlights on Decorati.com

Very small bedroom area, Highlights on Decorati.com

Again, when space is a premium, think of smart storage solutions.  You could find this ottoman by TLS Designs (www.tlsbydesign.com/) in almost any room of the house.  What a great way to be able to host your guests.  The trick here is the complete bedding ensemble to make your guests feel special.  The ottoman is a blank canvas itself.  I keep wanting to put a kick pleat skirt on it, or maybe a fun print for the fabric.  There are just so many ways you could customize it for your interior.
Ottoman Sleeper from TLS by Design

Ottoman Sleeper from TLS by Design

Houston has been behind in the high-rise condominium market, but we are building them like mad in an effort to catch up.  One challenge we are finding for our clients is was to maximize entertaining areas, while still allowing for guest stays.  I LOVE the wall beds from Boone Wallbeds (www.boone-wallbeds.com) – why there isn’t something like this in the US, I have no idea.  The styles presented on their site have sophistication & style.  You really need to check them out!
Linea Line of Boone Wallbeds

Linea Line of Boone Wallbeds

Open Linea Line from Boone Wallbeds

Open Linea Line from Boone Wallbeds

I think this is one of the best ideas for childrens’ rooms.  This chair from Century Furniture (www.centuryfurniture.com) is a great example.  The chair itself is a chair-and-a-half, making a great chair for bedtime stories when they are young and a great chillin’ chair for the teen years – perfect for the BFF to spend the night.
Century Sleeper Chair & Ottoman

Century Sleeper Chair & Ottoman

I caught this in the September issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine (www.bhg.com).  These homeowners integrated the bed into their kitchen area – a new take on the bed and breakfast concept for sure.  This is just another way to show that you can get a guest bedroom in just about anyplace you may want it.
Guest Room Double Duty - Better Homes & Garden - Sept. 2009 issue

Guest Room Double Duty - Better Homes & Garden - Sept. 2009 issue

August 25, 2009

Bedroom Luxury: Nightstands

Posted in Contemporary Bedroom, decoration, defining your luxury, Design Ideas, Design Inspirations, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designer, Luxury for the home, Luxury interior design, Master bedrooms, Modern Bedrooms, Traditional Bedroom at 3:59 am by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler

The choice of nightstands or bedside tables is one of the most personal choices my clients can make.  Today’s interiors use almost any occasional table, dresser or chest as a nightstand.  Fortunately or not, the average height of mattresses also allows for a larger scale table that in previous decades.  Which ever style you choose, it is important that the piece is not too high, too low or out of proportion with the bed.  Here are a few of our favorites.

Bolier Classics  - Chest of Drawers with Burl Wood

Bolier Classics - Chest of Drawers with Burl Wood

Julian Chichester - Temple 3 Drawer Bedside Table

Julian Chichester - Temple 3 Drawer Bedside Table

Carl Moore Antiques - A c. 1770 German Baroque period chest of drawers

Carl Moore Antiques - A c. 1770 German Baroque period chest of drawers

 

Shine Home - Oslo Talbe in Green, but also available in 4 other colors

Shine Home - Oslo Table in Green, but also available in 4 other colors

 

Stanley Furniture - Santa Barbara Bedside Table

Stanley Furniture - Santa Barbara Bedside Table

Custom Skirted Bedside Table

Custom Skirted Bedside Table

June 16, 2009

Random Thoughts

Posted in Design Ideas, Design Inspirations, Eurofase Lighting, Granite, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designers, Perma Flow at 2:14 pm by luxuryforthehome

After being out of the office with project work and travel, I have found my email in box to be busting at the seams. Here are some of the interesting things that have been filling it up!

A Cure For the Clogged Drain

Every once in a while, there is a product invention that just fits the bill and leaves you saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?” The Permaflow by PF Waterworks (http://www.pfwaterworks.net/index.html) is one such product. The pea trap which is available in clear and other colors offers the homeowner a way to clear a clog with out having to take apart the plumbing. By turning a knob, a internal paddle clears the clog. It seems that there is also an easy access to retrieve any jewelry or other items.

A Illuminating Fixture

There are several aspects to this fixture that I love. The overall design is simple and sophisticated. The metal work is detailed and refined. And I love the Art Deco – Golden Age of Hollywood feel to it. This is one of those fixtures that will really shine with simple surroundings. I tried to locate its name, but it is manufactured by Eurofase (http://www.eurofase.com/).

Exotic Stone
I think this actually was sent to me by mistake. There wasn’t any text in the email, but the name of the granite, Red Dragon, intrigued me. This granite is more exotic than most people would venture to put in their homes, but it is beautiful. Imagine it with dark wood, almost black cabinets – perfect for a media room, or bar area. Individual elements like this have the ability to make your home stand out from others.