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Design Dilemma: Decorating with Roommates

home design how to tips advice

It’s a fact of life today: More of us live with roommates. While it used to be that having roommates was just a brief experience  in college, today, living with roommates is a lifestyle that often continues straight through middle age and beyond. The reason? Sky high rents make it impossible to pay rent on just one paycheck alone. For those who are not living with a partner or spouse, the only way to foot the bill is with the help of one or more roommates.

But living with roommates can become a significant design challenge. How do you create a coherent design if you’ve got two or more different design visions happening? What happens when one roommate likes shabby chic, the other appreciates minimalism and the third is into a Victorian parlor look? How do you make a space functional for two or three people and their significant others?

Ironing out all those wrinkles can get a little sticky, but there are a few ways to make your home with roommates a functional, beautiful and stylish place to live.

Create zones.

traditional living room how to tips advice

Before you focus on style, you need to focus on functionality. When you have several independent souls living together in one space, you will need to set up areas where different people can do different things without getting in each other’s way. In the open concept living room above and the kitchen below, areas have been devised that lend themselves to different activities. A couch and chairs provide a conversation area which stands apart from a table that can serve as a place to serve meals or catch up on paperwork. A separate Eames chair serves as a perfect reading nook, as does a window seat. No one gets left out. In the kitchen below, it’s possible not only to cook a good meal, but a space has been set aside as an office.

traditional kitchen how to tips advice

And in the kitchen below, the simple addition of a couch adds a whole new dimension. Now the kitchen becomes a place not only for food preparation, but a place to relax or have a conversation. If the living room couch is in use, there’s always a backup.

contemporary kitchen how to tips advice

Consider room dividers.

contemporary living room how to tips advice

A room divider is an easy way to create space and allow for some separation for privacy and multiple activities. It can be as simple as a screen, or more complicated, such as a sliding door or wall or a bookshelf. Above, we have folding doors, below, a room is divided with the help of an open bookshelf.

modern living room how to tips advice

In the bedroom below, a screen allows for the addition of a living area.

contemporary bedroom how to tips advice
contemporary bedroom how to tips advice

Below, the clever use of vintage windows creates a separate dining room apart from the living room.

industrial dining room how to tips advice

Here, a decorative partition creates a double-duty space.

contemporary bedroom how to tips advice

Even just a fabric screen can work.

traditional living room how to tips advice

Make the most of your bedroom.

contemporary bedroom how to tips advice

When you’ve got roommates, sometimes, the only retreat you can count on is your own bedroom. That means you’ll need to pay extra attention to creating a bedroom that is also multi-functional. The perfect bedroom has not only a place to sleep, but also a couch or seating area and a work area as well.

Like this, for example:

transitional bedroom how to tips advice

Or this:

transitional bedroom how to tips advice

Or this:

scandinavian bedroom how to tips advice

Talk it out.

transitional living room how to tips advice

Just because you have roommates doesn’t mean you have to settle for less when considering a design aesthetic. Sit down with your roommates and have a discussion about what you each envision for your space, and where you might make compromises on that vision. You might even consider hiring a design professional to help your styles and furniture meld. In the Washington D.C. apartment above and below, roommates made no sacrifice in style.

transitional dining room how to tips advice
transitional bedroom how to tips advice

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5 Benefits of a Walk in Shower

When remodeling your bathroom, it is important to make suitable choices and consider options that add to the overall improvement. Making the same old choices that might have created issues for you or your family in the past can make remodeling your bathroom absolutely ineffective.

One such feature you might want to consider for your bathroom is walk in showers; you can find more about products on www.homedesignfind.com. Rising in popularity, walk in showers feature a minimalistic design, and offers a number if benefits. Some of them include:

photo1 bed bath

Photo Credit :http://kenhayden.com/

1. Additional space in your bathroom
A bathtub can take up a lot of space in your bathroom, and makes it look even more congested, especially if the area is already small in size. In order to make the best use of your space, you can install a walk in shower while remodeling your bathroom.

photo2 bed bath

Photo Credit: http://www.atelnoel.com/

2. Functional for all members of the household
For big households, including grandparents as well as grand kids, it is important that facilities inside the house be functional for all.This involves catering to the needs and requirements of all family members living under one roof. Having a shower curb that is effortless for your teenage kids to climb, might be difficult and require extra efforts to climb for their grandparents. Walk in showers are equally beneficial for everyone can be used by all members of the family.

3. A walk in shower can be easier to clean
With stand-alone or bathtub showers, it can be difficult to get to corners and fissures which might make the task of bathroom cleaning an ordeal. In comparison, the amount of corners, joints and fissures pertaining to a walk in shower are minimal and may not be as hard to get to, while cleaning the space.

photo3 bed bath

Photo Credit: https://www.jkdesigner.com.au/

4. Add to your bathroom’s design
It is important to consider the factors that might improve or add to the design of your bathroom when remodeling it, or building one from the scratch.
Designing a bathroom in a way,so as to provide a relaxing bathing experience might be achieved if you decide to install a walk in shower. A crowded bathroom space can limit movement, whereas a walk in shower can be a suitable choice for those looking for more open space.

5. Ease of access
As with walk in showers, there are no thresholds or barriers that can act as obstructions for the elderly as well as children, so, ease of access won’t be an issue.However, this benefit is not just restricted to children and the elderly. For people that face mobility problems or those suffering from joint pain, a walk in shower does not require them to make extra effort while getting in and out. This also reduces risks of falling that is a major concern when it comes to the elderly or children.

photo4 bed bath

Photo Credit: http://www.studioppark.com/

We hope you keep these in mind when making the decision to renovate your home and reinvent your bathroom. Knowing what you want and how it will affect your lifestyle is the key.

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Design Dilemma: Five Secrets to a Great Patio

mediterranean patio gardening outdoor

We all know one when we see one. Some patios stand out for their beauty, comfort and ease. They welcome you in, and ask you to stretch out and relax, or gather with friends. But it doesn’t just happen by itself. To have a beautiful and functional patio, you have to incorporate several crucial elements that will go a long way to making your patio the favorite room of your house.

  1. First, create a basic infrastructure.
     The reason a great patio doesn’t just happen by itself is that there are some basic elements any patio needs to feel comfortable. Electricity is helpful for adding lighting. A gas line or water line might be necessary if you plan to add a gas grill or an outdoor kitchen. Of course, it is possible to have a basic patio that doesn’t include any of these things, but if you hope to get a lot of use out of your patio, to eat often there in the evenings and to use it for entertaining, you’re going to need some infrastructure to make it all happen. A simpler patio, like the one below, might be nice for a few drinks in the early evening, but becomes harder to use for big parties and grillfests without electricity, gas or water.
traditional patio gardening outdoor

2. Lighting, lighting and more lighting!
Nothing sets a successful patio apart from its less successful peers then good lighting design. This means soft lighting coming from a variety of sources that are suited to both work tasks and setting the mood.

Below, lights strung overhead provide a nice, romantic feel that never feels too harsh.

traditional patio gardening outdoor

Here’s the same idea on another patio:

mediterranean patio gardening outdoor

Finally, lighting from strung lights doesn’t preclude general lights that are stronger and perhaps necessary for completing tasks. Here’s an example where strung lights work in tandem with general spotlights:

midcentury patio gardening outdoor

Below, a lighting designer used five different light sources ranging from barn lamps to light posts to lanterns to get just the right glow. And don’t forget the candles!

eclectic patio gardening outdoor

3.Make it accessible.
What good is a patio if you can hardly get to it! The best patios allow for an easy flow between the indoors and outdoors. Windows and doors that open directly onto the patio, and that generally open and close easily, even when you’re carrying trays, are what you should aim for. A great patio feels like a simple extension of the house.

rustic porch gardening outdoor

4. Add a grill.

It’s practically mandatory for any outdoor space where you plan to entertain. A gas line is the easiest way to go, although propane and charcoal grills can be another option. If you want even more comfort and ease, add a water line for rinsing off plates or getting a quick drink of water.

eclectic kitchen gardening outdoor

5. Add a pergola or an enclosing structure.

Nothing will up the cozy factor more quickly. Pergolas and enclosures make an outdoor space feel like a room. It will feel intimate, safe and inviting. Just check out the cozy patio below.

traditional patio gardening outdoor

Here’s another example.

traditional patio gardening outdoor

An added bonus is that pergolas allow you to hang lanterns, string up lights and plant draping flowers and plants.

So there you have the five basic secrets to a great outdoor patio space. There are plenty things you can do to go further — add a fireplace, furnish your patio with eclectic and vintage flea market finds to add charm and quirkiness. But these are just the extras. Follow the first five back rules and you’ll find yourself spending the entire summer out on the patio!