Special Guest Bathroom Design

guest-bath-vanity-webThe guest bathroom generally gets the least amount of attention in a home. It’s the smallest room in your house, and your focus when you’re planning your new home is on your kitchen first, and then on your master bathroom and other areas where your family will be spending a lot of time. It makes sense to place the guest bath at the end of your list of priorities.

But if you think about it, chances are almost every visitor to your home will see your guest bathroom at some point. So it has a direct affect on how they view your home. And this is actually the most cost-effective room to create design drama, because the space is so small. A minimum investment can provide the maximum design impact. Let’s take a look at some of the guest bathroom designs in recent Fulton Home models to get some ideas of approaches you might want to take to give your guest bath some extra style.

First Impressions:basha-legacy-powder-room-3-web

Think about what your guest bathroom will look like from the hallway. Even if your visitors don’t actually use the bathroom, they will probably walk past and glance in. That first impression will have an effect on the entire hallway.

In this photo to the right, the eye is automatically drawn to the copper artwork on the far wall. Other features such as the tile and the mini-chandelier come into focus later. Altogether this is a luxurious and well-integrated guest bathroom.

This first bathroom involves a serious investment in options to create a feeling of luxury. This was appropriate as it was part of the Legacy series of homes, which was a luxury line. But you don’t need to invest as much in options as was spent in this model to create drama.

view-from-hall-web

Take a look at the guest bathroom to the left. The vanity is nice-looking but fairly straightforward with a sink embedded in the countertop. The tub and surround are a solid surface which is less expensive than tile. But the tile chosen for the flooring and the coordinated tile inset added to the solid surface in the tub surround makes this bathroom pop.

In this case creativity and thoughtful style take the place of expensive options to make this bathroom stand out. Add an interesting coordinating shower curtain and some towels to emphasize the contrast and you have a guest bathroom that shows your personality without a big investment.

Lighting:basha-legacy-powder-room-2

Because of its small size, smaller light fixtures can have a big punch in a guest bathroom. And if you want to take a chance with a different look, a guest bath is a great space for experimenting. The simple wall sconce on the right adds a touch of charm in a guest bathroom. After all, this is not a space where you need bright lights, and a gentle glow is flattering when people look in the mirror.

guest-bath4-web

 

 

The photo on the left shows another fun way to use lighting in a guest bathroom. By adding a light under the vanity, the room doesn’t have a blinding glare when a guest hits the switch, and the look is unusual and interesting. In this case the sink is also translucent – notice the photo at the top of this blog – so the light also makes the sink glow. This choice gives you the opportunity to add some drama to your guest bathroom while not taking up any additional space.

Tile Trim:basha-legacy-powder-room-1

Whether you choose a simple row of tile to outline your vanity or expand your tile choices to cover an entire wall, tile has a special place in many bathrooms. In the photo to the right you can get a closer look at the Legacy bathroom we visited above. In this case a full wall of tile is complemented with a rich row of glass tile trimmed with a darker border just above the vanity, serving as a backsplash. It provides the feeling of wainscoting and pulls every element in this room together. The border also adds some welcome contrast.vanity-cropped-web

You don’t need to use this much tile to have a design impact in a guest bathroom. Take a look at the vanity on the left. The countertop uses a simple tile pattern to create a charming rustic feel. Then a six-inch backsplash of narrow rectangular tile picks up the tones of the vanity’s wood finish to create an integrated design element that makes this guest bath memorable. The oil-rubbed bronze hardware with its rustic flavor makes so much sense with this look.

Finishing Touches:bath-2-web

Don’t stop with the design elements. Once you move in, take the time to find the right art and accessories to complete the look in your guest bathroom. In the photo above, the design of the bathroom is enhanced by the choice of shower curtain, towels, art and accessories.

Notice that although the design itself is neutral, it left the homeowner open to introduce color into the room. By bringing in orange-red and the grey-blue, the neutral elements actually connect with the color palette. While you don’t need to be afraid to pull color into your design choices, if you would rather keep your permanent options neutral, think about what colors you will want to bring in with more temporary elements later. You may want to bring some of those colors with you to your design appointment.

Above all with a guest bathroom, have fun! It’s the smallest room in your home so it’s OK to take a few chances. And those extras aren’t going to break the bank with the minimum square footage involved. So as you wander through the Fulton Design Center, if you spot a special sink, faucet, tile design or light fixture you can’t resist, why not consider the guest bath for its home?

 

Create Cozy

wWarner-Groves-at-Morrison-Ranch-074 - Copyit’s not hard to make your family room to feel cozy and welcoming like this one. Here are some suggestions to bring the cozy into your home.

Darker Walls: You may have heard that darker walls make a room feel smaller. Not true. Instead, dark walls make you feel more secure and enclosed. The dark grey wall in the back adds warmth even though it is a cool color. It also provides a nice contrast to the bright windows.

Comfortable Upholstered Furniture: Getting comfy is an important part of feeling cozy. This plush sectional offers plenty of room to sit or stretch out. Throw pillows add comfort. You can tuck one or two under your head or at your feet on the coffee table.

Floor and Table Lamps: Ceiling light fixtures alone can’t add the ambiance that floor and table lamps can. Set your ceiling lights at a low level and turn on the lamps to create a cozy feel to any space.

Low Furniture: The television, coffee table and console are all close to the ground. This means that you can sit on the floor and still access everything. It’s an inviting space for lounging.

Carpeting: The choice of carpeting or a large rug adds softness to a room. Once again, a comfy soft flooring surface invites lounging on the floor.

Make your family room a place where friends want to linger. Create a cozy space for relaxing and fun evenings with guests or just family. Visit the models at Warner Groves at Morrison Ranch for a closer look.

Layers in Decorating

wWarner-Groves-at-Morrison-Ranch-052 - CopyWhen you’re planning to decorate a room, it’s easy to focus on the furniture and accessories, but there’s much more to consider. Let’s take a look at this photo and consider all the elements we see.

The view: From this angle, the first thing our eyes focus on is what’s outside the house – the backyard. In a way, the focal point of this space is actually the trio of waterfall fountains in the back yard. It’s nice to have this kind of special view from your back windows because it adds so much not only to the yard itself but to your home too. But even if you don’t have a view like this, be sure to think about what people will see when they look outside. Plan your landscaping with the view in mind and keep the yard free of clutter.

The window treatments: This room has curtains framing the back window that capture the accent color in the room – yellow – as well as shutters behind the sofa where drapes would be awkward. When you’re choosing window treatments be sure to consider how furniture placement will affect your choice.

Lamp and accessories: Notice that the shape of the jar on the side table echoes the base of the lamp. That creates a comfortable consistency that makes the room feel well pulled-together. The colors also work well together – staying in the background rather than pulling too much attention to that corner. And the curves flow with the soft upholstery and throw pillows.

Altogether, the layers of this room work well to make the space feel integrated and well designed. This makes the room a pleasure to spend time in and share with family and guests.

Cozy Guest Room Doubles as Lounge

cozy-guest-room-doubles-as-loungewIf you have family and friends who enjoy visiting, particularly when the weather is wintery where they live, having a guest room makes everyone feel welcome. But that’s a lot of space to sacrifice for just a few weeks of use a year. Consider using it as an additional lounging space for family members the rest of the time.

This comfy guest room from the Capital model at Seaboard in Cooley Station has everything needed to make a house guest feel right at home. The bed is roomy and set up with a nice quilt and extra pillows and the desk includes a comfy chair for reading or writing smug postcards or Facebook posts to people back home in colder climates. There’s also a nice lamp for reading. The dark brown walls add to the warmth of the room.

Then once your guests are gone, this room can become an extra space for any family member who wants to relax and spend some alone time. Maybe it works for your high-school student who needs to finish a paper or study without distractions or a parent who wants some quiet time before dinner. It might be the right spot for a few of the junior-high set to plan a party or for mom to sit alone while penning a thank-you note to a favorite aunt.

Having an extra space for relaxing, thinking, reading or chatting that’s set a bit away from the rest of the living space can be nice at times. And this guest room is the perfect opportunity to create a room for this type of double duty.

Family Room Uses Brown

family-room-uses-brownwWith a strong dark grey influence, it would be easy for this family room from the Capital model at Seaboard in Cooley Station to feel cold. But it doesn’t, and that’s because of the careful use of brown. From the light brown/almost beige of the sofa and loveseat to the dark brown leather on the coffee table/ottoman combo, brown pulls in a feeling of comfort and welcome. Let’s look at the design choices that warm up this space.

Gold walls: The rich gold-brown tone on the walls creates a cozy feeling. Using darker tones helps draw people to a room, making it feel like a special club. This tone is warmer than the flooring so that together they play on the grey and brown tones that make up the color palette of the space.

Plaid chair upholstery: Plaids have always said comfort, and this windowpane pattern in dark tones brings comfort to the foreground. With the ottoman and curtains, they are the darkest elements in the room, and help anchor it without making it feel dreary.

Area rug choice: The mix of greys has an almost tweedy feel, fitting well with the plaid and maintaining the traditional comfort approach. This is a room made for wearing slippers.

Plants: Houseplants in a room always make it feel fresh and homey. Just a few green plants make a difference.

When decorating your family room, think about the choices you can make in both color and style to create an environment that says comfort, to encourage family and friends to relax and stay a while.

 Make Room for Art

make-room-for-artwWhen decorating a home, many people focus only on the big items such as furniture and then slowly add accessories over time, and this is a good approach. But while you’re furnishing your new home, be sure to include art in your plans.

If you’ve been living in an apartment, you may find that your current collection of wall art looks rather small in your new larger rooms. This photo shows one way to deal with this – by hanging two smaller pieces together. This way the art takes up more space. Two or more pieces like these – with the same size, the same kind of frames and the same feel to the art – work well as a team on the wall.

Don’t limit your art thinking to walls. Notice the book set on the stand on the counter to the right of the photo. With the luscious photo on the cover, this book positions itself nicely as another art piece. In fact, if you didn’t look closely, it could be a small canvas set on an easel. You may have books or other elements that can double as art in your home if you take a look around.

If you would like more art on your walls but your budget is limited, consider photographs. Visit the Library of Congress photo collection online to view a rich choice of historical and other photos. You can have these reproduced for a minimal cost and frame them to create instant art at an extremely reasonable price. And family photos can be enlarged at your closest warehouse store at good rates.

Thrift shops and consignment stores are also a great resource for art at good prices. This is also an excellent place to pick up inexpensive frames. Just replace the art you don’t like with something that you do.

Take advantage of all your options to add art to your home. It can contribute color, interest, style and personality to your décor.

Integrating Space in an Open Floor Plan

integrating-space-in-an-open-floor-planwLiving with an open floor plan has so many advantages.  The space works well for families and entertaining and arrangements can be modified to expand and contract living and dining areas to meet specific needs. However, open architecture does present decorating challenges. Here are some tips to make your open living space work well.

Define living areas: Use furniture, area rugs and artwork to define each living area. Without walls you can have the back of a sofa, a bookshelf, or a table set limits for a particular space.  Notice in this photo from the Cooley Station community how the sofa defines the end of the dining area and the start of the living area. Large pieces of furniture like sofas are some of the best tools for defining each space.

Create transitions: The plants on the kitchen counter and the floor and artwork make a softer natural transition between the kitchen and the dining area. Without these, the adjustment from one area to another can feel too abrupt. Having two larger houseplants in the dining area also helps define that space and keeps it connected.

Use lighting: Chandeliers such as the one over the dining table also help create a specific mood in one area of a large living space. Often the family room will have a ceiling fan. Our brains turn those light fixtures into room definitions.

Use color: Pulling the same accent colors throughout the space helps everything feel integrated. Throw pillows, area rugs, artwork and accessories in this room all use dark rust and peach tones to tie this living space together.

Bring Color into your Dining Room

web-bring-color-into-your-dining-room-blogMany people are hesitant to choose color for large furniture pieces for fear that they will tire of it or that it will go out of style. But you can bring temporary  color into your dining room with very little effort or expense. Let’s take a look at some of your options.

Slipcovers: The two chairs in this photo are upholstered in a fun coral, rust and gray pattern, but you can get the same result with slipcovers. Choose chairs in a simple style and you can have slipcovers made in a variety of fabrics and colors. By only covering the chairs at each end of the table, you get a nice pop of color without as much expense or trouble.

Table Linens: The placemats and napkins on this dining table match the colors on the two chairs, connecting everything together. This enables you to carry your colors across the table, once again with the flexibility to change your color scheme to match the season or your mood.

Centerpiece: Whether you use flowers, candles or other choices, your centerpiece can pull in all of your colors and integrate your color scheme. If you plan a buffet as part of your dinner plans, be sure to bring the colors into that area also.

Any dining room can be enhanced by adding temporary bursts of color. Be sure to look for opportunities to include color when planning your entertainment events.

Industrial and Traditional Styling Combine for Sophisticated Den

From the Atherton model in Penninsula at Queen Creek

From the Atherton model in Penninsula at Queen Creek

You may have noticed a decorating trend capturing an industrial feel in furniture and accessories. These items draw some inspiration from the Steampunk style, based on an alternate world where Victorian elements combine with steam-based technology to make an interesting setting for fictional universes.

If you want to add that industrial feel to your home’s décor, you may be concerned that the look will lead to a cold space rather than one that is warm and inviting. However, you can incorporate industrial elements into a room without losing the warm feeling. This den is a good example.

The strong grey tones in the color scheme are consistent with industrial-style design. But notice the cream, gold and yellow fabric at play on the chair upholstery. Those colors are echoed subtly in various accessories, such as the gold clock face and several yellow books. These splashes of warmer tones go a long way toward making this space welcoming.

Industrial accessories such as the oversized watch face clock and the tool boxes say industrial, but the globe on the desk, the plants and other containers keep this residential space grounded in more traditional elements.

den 2The bookshelves show one of the best ways of combining industrial with traditional styles. The metal framing is classic industrial, but the wood shelves with crown molding along the top capture a much more traditional feel.

Finally, color-blocking on both the walls and the drapes add contrast and interest, while fitting with both an industrial and a traditional style.

Overall, the space makes the best use of two design styles, combining them to end up with a room that is sophisticated yet totally welcoming.

Create a Sophisticated Dining Room

From the Atherton Model at Penninsula in the Oasis at Queen Creek community

From the Atherton Model at Penninsula in the Oasis at Queen Creek community

Grey has become a popular tone in decorating, and it is the strongest color influence in this dining room.  Yet this space feels warm and inviting. It’s the warm tones that balance the grey and make this dining room a place to linger. Let’s take a look at the elements that make this room so special.

Generous sizes: Start with a large table made with a thick top in a wood finish that combines grey with warmer hues. Add high-backed chairs with cushions and padded backs in a taupe/cream that uses both cool and warm tones. Finish with oversized art and substantial candlesticks on the table. All of these pieces give the room a weight and drama that combine to make the décor work.

Dark and light tones: Although most of this room uses neutrals, there is a nice distribution of light and dark tones to provide contrast and add interest. The curtains are the darkest permanent element in the room, but their pattern echoes the lightest tone. That light feeling is picked up in the chair upholstery and the candles. It’s too easy for a room filled with neutrals to end up boring, but these contrasts keep that from happening here.

A single pop of color: The blue napkins add a simple pop of color, drawing the eye to the table and adding just the right spark to the tablescape. Because the rest of the room is done in neutrals, you could easily switch out that blue for any bold color. How about yellow, red or coral? Or you could choose to go with black for extra drama. No matter your choice, this sophisticated dining room is ready for any dinner party.