Mudrooms:

So as I got to thinking about what to blog about next, I came across this post over on Remodelaholic, and I thought what a great list of awesome mudrooms and then I thought maybe I could talk about just a few that stood out to me.

Mudrooms are one of the most needed or wanted parts of the home. Especially when you have kids, then they have a place to hang up their coats, jackets, backpacks and a place to leave their dirty shoes. This goes for the rest of the family too… A great place for the husband to take off his muddy shoes if he was just out on the farm or maybe it was just a motorcycle ride up in the mountains. And for the wife to hang her purse and kick of her heels after a long day at work or long day of shopping. Whatever the case, this room is either a necessity or a room that everyone can fantasize about having.

There are endless ways of making (or dream about making) a mudroom fit your style and your needs. A mudroom doesn’t have to be overly large, it can be as simple as installing a few box shelves and hooks. Like for example this mudroom wall from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia:

 

Or hey!… Why not just stuff your mudroom in a closet? That’s pretty simple, right? This mud closet on The 36th Avenue is your example, and in my opinion it’s brilliant.

 

I do like the idea of just having the mudroom right in the garage. Just dress it up a bit and it will be simply perfect. Like this one from Thrifty Decor Mom. On her blog, you can see the before and after pictures of her mudroom that was created in her garage:

 

This last one I am about to show you is probably my very favorite of all. The Pioneer Woman created a mudroom/throne room from an old and too-large bathroom. A wall was taken out and was replaced with cubby holes to fit all the kids sports gear and whatever else. And a latter on a track was installed for easy reach. The sink is large enough to wash off whatever necessary. This mudroom will be the one I fantasize about.

 

Barns:

“No matter, where the road may lead, passing an old barn is not just passing by rotted out boards, or weather-beaten walls, the barns still standing in the distance represent the history of this country. With a few thousand still standing, the American stories embedded in the interior and exterior walls, recount the tales of our country. When listening to stories told about old barns – some are sad, and others are happy. There are funny stories, and scary stories. Regardless, of what kind of stories, you prefer, there is a barn story that will entertain and delight you.”

-preservemassbarns.org

I think old barns are so very cool. Seriously so cool. I don’t think I am the only one either. I think there is always someone taking a picture of an old barn, taking pictures with a barn (you know like family pictures or something), having a reception at a barn, or any kind of party for that matter, they also could be used in the original way – barn animals. There are some really awesome looking ones that are run down, not being used, and just as interesting and gorgeous as the rest.

Cheyenne, Wyoming. This barn backs up the taking a picture of an old barn. I wonder how old this one is.

Below is another old old barn.

This barn photo was taken during a wedding in Hudson Valley.

Some people build their barns super fancy, and I always get a little curious how much it cost them to build it that way. I will probably never know. Like this one for instance:

C Lazy U Ranch. This is not an ordinary barn, this barn has a Spa, and family style dinners. You can stay in lodges all scattered in the hillside, maybe to take a skiing trip, or go snowshoeing or whatever else.

Here are just a few more barns that I found interesting,

Cigar Barn

Turquoise barn from Genevieve Haudricourt photography

This hay barn was originally built in 1860 in Cobleskill, NY. It’s been restored as a barn style home in Michigan. So, I guess I forgot to add to the list that people also use barns as homes for themselves.

Tiny Houses

My husband and I were watching TV the other night, not unusual I know, but there was a show that came on and they were talking about tiny houses. And I am serious, when I say tiny. Some of these were the size of an RV and even smaller. And I thought to myself, How cool would that be? To have just enough space to easily clean and manage for you and your spouse? Maybe a cool retirement? Seriously though, how cool would it be? I am not saying I could do it right now, but maybe someday. Living life so simple, that seems dreamy…

Anyway, then today I came across another tiny house on Pinterest.

Check out this couple’s tour of the house here.

It seriously is so tiny, their bed is up a ladder and in a tiny loft. A very cozy little mobile home, with simple plumbing and a small wet-bath to wash up. Tammy says she wanted a more simple life and she and her spouse took the time to pay off their debt and downsize to a tiny house to focus on their relationships instead of worrying about things that don’t matter. How great is that?

This is one that I fell in love with… I would totally live in this one called “Tiny Retirement“.

How much more gorgeous can it get? I guess I didn’t just fall in love with how perfect the home is, but the landscape as well! I am sure it’s probably Photoshopped in there, but let’s pretend it’s real shall we?

And wait until you check out the inside. It’s so great!

It’s just the right size for 1-2 people.

Here is a ‘bigger’ tiny house, maybe a little more like a full sized tiny house that I thought was pretty awesome and a good size for a couple to downgrade too if they were worried about claustrophobia. with one bedroom and one bathroom.

When I started scrolling more through the Tiny House Blog to see more little homes, I saw this.

A Tiny Wish House. I can’t even breath. It is breathtaking. And the story behind it is even better. This tiny house was made for a 6 year old child who was diagnosed with Leukemia. And this was his “Make a Wish” wish. He wanted a fairy tale cottage, a tree house. You can read the rest of the story and the process of building this magical place and also see more pictures here.

Wallpaper

{Piet Hein Eek – Scrapwood Wallpaper}

I think wallpaper is coming back into style like nobody’s business. You can find pretty much any style of wallpaper possible. I mean, look at the one above – it’s wood for crying out loud! If it didn’t say scrap wood wallpaper, I know I would have figured it was just a really cool wood wall. Some reasons I have found why people are going with wallpaper now over anything else out there is because:

1. The number one reason I would say is of course the variety! You can find any color or design in wallpaper. Yeah I know there are lots of designs to paint on a wall with the professional painting tape and such, but lets be honest not everybody likes to take the time to paint a wall with designs. And even if you are willing to paint the design, the options of designs are limited. I don’t even like painting a solid color on the wall. Props to those of you that do! With wallpaper the designs are never ending.

2. The rest of this list is in no particular order – Another thing wallpaper is good for, some people say, is that wallpaper can cover up or disguise the uneven surfaces, dents, or cracks some walls may have.

3. Wallpaper is easy! – Well easier than other walls. And when things are easy it saves you time and even money.

4. Wallpaper can bring out your personality. This one kind of goes along with number 1, because you can find any design, pattern or what I like to call a common noun style wallpaper (person, place, thing). I don’t really call wallpaper that, I actually just made that up. But it’s true, you can find any type of wallpaper to bring out your style, interest or hobby. This could be a really cool idea, or it could also turn into a disaster. I’m sure you have seen some nasty wallpaper in the past, I know I have.

5. Wallpaper can change the entire look of a room. Some styles can make a room look bigger and maybe even brighten or soften it up a bit.

The trend of Wallpaper has come and gone and come back again. You can make wallpaper on a wall look truly amazing, but be careful because there is some wallpaper out there that should have never come to pass.

Countertops

I love that there are a million and one ideas for counter tops. Well maybe not that exact number, but even still there are a ton of options. And this goes for every counter in the home – kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, craft room, whatever you can think up. I think I have become a die hard fan of the cement counter tops, the stone stuff like granite and quartz… and the butcher block wood, just to name a few. There are more like marble, limestone, slate, lava rock, turquoise, the sweet classic laminate, tile, and stainless steel. But wait just a second! The list isn’t over yet… I just found out that people are even painting their old counter tops to jazz them up a bit for a heck of a lot cheaper than replacing them all. So you see, like I said before, there is pretty much a million and one ideas to choose from to make your counters elegant, formal, casual, sleek, contemporary, or colorful and fun!

From Laminate all the way to the natural stone like Granite. Laminate being the cheapest way to go, there are a ton of colors and patterns, but these counter tops aren’t very durable like the others listed. Granite being heavy duty enough to hold the heat and withstand what whatever it is you have going on in your kitchen, but this material can get a little pricy. All the counter materials I listed have great looks, but there are some downs like high maintenance, scratching, smearing of finger prints, and staining, but with tender love and care there are no worries! With research you can find exactly what will work for you and your situation. Whether you have a family and need some type of counter to put up with all the bangs and stains, or you have a life where you have all the time in the world and means to take the time to keep you counters looking as nice as the first time they were installed.

 

backsplash ideas

I think it’s super interesting that there are like a gazillion different back-splash designs, colors, textures… I can’t even begin to tell you how many styles I have seen just by searching back splash ideas. I have found tons on Google and Pinterest and I am sure there are some that I have yet to see. Anyway, I just thought it would be interesting to show the different kinds of back splashes I have found. The most popular is probably tile. And I LOVE the tile, especially with a great looking granite or that awesome looking quarts counter top. There are all kinds of varieties of tile and that can be an overwhelming task if tile is in fact what you are searching for. Square, round, rectangle, hexagon, octagon, triangle, small, big, tiny, big, small and tiny – puzzle pieced together, and there is always the unique shape category. Like I said there are like a gazillion options and I have only started talking about tile shapes…

Tiny square tile/ Hexagon shape/ Tiny and long rectangle tile/ Subway tile/ Round tile/ Different size rectangular tile.

As you can see, tile isn’t the only kind of back splash you could choose from. The other types of back splash ideas I found and/or have seen are as follows, a full on solid metal back splash, glass, ceramic, wood, concrete, porcelain, brick, tin, rock/pebbles. Check out the super unique back splash ideas (shown above) like the really cool design made of broken china dishes, one made of pennies, and another that is chalkboard!

Back splashes totally help give character to the home and helps show off your style! I’m sure there are still a gazillion other styles of tile and other material in all kinds of shapes, colors, designs. The ideas for a back splash are endless.

Recycled House:

Can you guess what the main material this house is made of? It struck my interest when I saw it for the first time, for sure. It’s made from recycled wood pallets and shipping containers! This house was designed by Chilean architects and construction firm Infiniski and made in Curacavi, Chile. The Recycled Eco house by the Chilean Architects was built from already made material, which allows the construction to move quickly, make the home more cost-effective (which is always a huge plus), and provide sustainability. Reading this post, explains that it was built from two 40 feet and two 20 feet re-purposed shipping containers and recycled wooden pallets that surround the entire exterior of the home. They go on to say that the wood pallets are not just for the look and feel, and we can all see by the photographs it’s definitely a cool and interesting look, but the pallets also provide shade which gives natural cooling and ventilation to the entire home. The recycled home offers comfortable and simple style rooms which feature sliding floor-to-ceiling windows. You can’t go wrong with great big windows that allow the room to appear much larger than say a room with tiny windows or perhaps not at all. The interior’s open concept with glass walls and the outdoor is sheltered by an awning which welcomes entertaining any guests or just as perfect for family. The house also includes geothermal heat pumps for heating as well as cooling.

A Spiral Dome Style Home

This is quite a bit different than the posts you have seen or probably will see on here. I just thought this style was really interesting. It’s called a Spiral Dome Style home, designed by Owen Geiger. It’s basically built to reduce the cost of housing. And it looks awesome too! The description of his design was described as “almost Hobbit like”, which I agree; I thought the exact same thing when I first saw the style before even reading the description and thoughts. Most plans that Owen designs are less than 1,000 square feet because it easily cuts the cost. It’s a perfect size to live comfortable. He describes the materials he recommends for the home: earth bag walls filled with soil or insulation, earth-berming for improved energy performance, earth or lime plaster, roof options such as domes, spiral roofs, green roofs, poles, pallet trusses, metal roofing for collecting rainwater etc. And for the insulation for the roofs: cellulose, wool, cotton or rice hulls. Recycled materials such as tubs, sinks, hardware, tile etc., the floors he recommended tamped earth floor, stone or recycled brick which saves a lot of money. For heat, wood stoves. Solar equipment is also recommended such as solar panels and solar water heaters. Owen also recommends energy efficient windows, doors and appliances.

Floor Plan for Spiral Dome Magic 1

Floor Plan for Spiral Dome Magic 2

 

Can you see why it’s called a spiral dome? I am glad that he inserted furniture to kind of get an idea how things could look. I wouldn’t have known how to arrange furniture with round walls. It looks great! There are 2 different styles here. The only things I’m not liking so much in these 2 designs are where the pantry is located in the Magic 2 plan, I would like to see it more accessible from the kitchen, and in the Magic 1 plan, I don’t understand what the extra table and chair room is to the left of the kitchen.  The living roof is a cool feature and there are exposed timber ceilings. I was picturing this home to be kind of dark, but after reading the features, there is lots of light provided by the window wall next to the grow bed, window and door glazing, and suntubes.  Owen Geiger designs are described in an inviting way and I can picture this being a perfect summer home!

European Style

House Plan #132-168

I went on a drive with family the other day and we looked at all kinds of Luxury homes/condos and they were so cool to look at, even though it was only from the outside. I wish we could have seen the inside of some of them. I think Luxury homes are definitely some of the funnest to look at as well as walk through if you get the chance. There are so many unique and interesting designs that these homes offer. This luxury European style home is exactly one of those styles to back me up.

The main level of this home I found includes a family room, the kitchen, a nook, dining room, living room, den, and of course the garage to fit 3 cars. What I like most about this style is that it features vaulted ceilings and a rotunda design, which basically is a round floor plan shown below. All of the rooms are placed around this circular ground plan.

The kitchen includes and island and a nice size butlers pantry. It leads into the nook/breakfast area and on the other side, the dining room. The living room area is connected to the dining room and across from the foyer is the den or office, it would make a nice library. There is also a half bathroom off from the rotunda, in the center of all the house, easy access from any room on the main level.

Upstairs and to the sharp left is the Master Suite. It features walk- in his and her closets and then leads to the master bathroom. I can imagine there are big windows in there that bring in lots of natural light. Before the master bedroom there is an open area that you could spy down in the family room from above. The rotunda area is open as well. This home includes a bonus room, which could be a game room for the kids, and a Guest Suite, that includes it’s own bathroom. Could be used for a teen’s room. The loft upstairs is so neat! You can see it in the picture from the front of the house with great big windows. On either side of the loft includes 2 bedrooms, full bathroom, and the utility room. Upstairs laundry where all the bedrooms are. Great idea!

I like using my imagination to come up with my own ideas just fine don’t get me wrong, but if I could just do a walk through and see this in real life, I would be super pleased and satisfied.

A Comfortable House

House Plan #453-9 HousePlans.com

Lot’s of house plans I have seen lately have the garages right in the front. Which is convenient I’m sure, but as long as I can remember I loved the idea of a breezeway leading to a hidden garage in the back. Then people could walk or drive around the back and see a luscious garden. As you can see in the picture above, the 2 garage is in the back. The master suite and laundry area/mud room share the covered porch. I wouldn’t mind the covered porch wrap around the house. Inside the master bathroom is the walk in closet, which is a great idea. The kitchen is in a great spot right where it is, and I think it would be sweet to include great big windows throughout the kitchen to let in as much light as possible. Maybe knock out a wall to make the pantry a nice big walk in pantry. The simple half bath between the kitchen and dining room provides convenience for guests. The dining room shares the kitchen with a snack bar and it looks like it has doors that lead to the front porch. It could be great for a party and then people can come right in to where all the snacks and desserts would be. Or it would be refreshing to let all that pleasant spring or summer air come inside and join family dinner.

This plan is perfect for a family of 5. If you take a look at the picture below, we will take a walk upstairs. There are 3 bedrooms upstairs. 2 of the rooms share a bathroom, I think I have heard people call those Jack and Jill bathrooms. And then the other room has it’s own bathroom, maybe for an teenager.

I really think this house plan is great. With the large gathering room, kitchen and bedrooms, this home is welcoming to guests and comfortable for a small family of 5.