Glass Shelves- Simple and Beautiful

Below is a guest posting on the subject of glass shelves.  Whether inside a lit cabinet, or used to showcase items, glass is a great option for shelving materials to consider

Glass Shelves: Simplicity + Beauty

No matter which room of your house you’re redecorating and how clutter-free you live, you will always need a place to keep your possessions. Even the strictest minimalist requires practical objects at hand on a daily basis. Closets or cabinets are functional, but their overuse can make your rooms look smaller. If you have an empty corner or wall space that you want to utilize more effectively, glass shelves may be the solution.

Let’s say you have an all-white or cream-colored bathroom with a large tub for luxurious baths. You want a clean and simple way to organize your bare necessities. Fitting a set of glass shelves in the nook next to the tub will maintain the room’s relaxed, spa-like ambiance, while keeping your toiletries, candles and towels nearby.

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If you’re transforming your living room or basement into a bar, you will probably use wooden cabinetry. To create a contrast to the dark wood, install a few floating glass shelves above the sink. The shelves, as well as the glasses and bottles you display, will sparkle in the light. In this particular example, the thick, frosted shelves match the modern fixtures and feel of the bar. The great thing about glass is that you can customize it, choosing the hue, finish, and width of your shelves.

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On the topic of customization, glass shelves can also be fashioned in unexpected shapes and designs. Are you an art lover looking for a unique way to show your collection? Get your sculptures and vases out of the stuffy display case and onto multi-level, zigzagged shelves. The interesting form of the shelves will guarantee that the art is the focal point of the room, starting conversation and spurring compliments from your guests.

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As you can see, glass shelves are a simple, beautiful way to add practical storage space to your home. There is an abundance of shelving styles on the market, but don’t limit yourself to the options found in big-box stores. Whether you want etched or smooth, curved or straight, green-tinted or crystal clear glass, have an expert create shelves that match your taste.

About the Author: Glass and Mirror Pros in Orlando is a company with over 30 years of experience in the glass industry. Our dedicated technicians can repair or replace windows, sliding glass doors, and install glass shelves, shower enclosures, and more. We are passionate about interior design and making homes beautiful with glass products. Find us on Facebook for more information and creative ideas!

2014 Kitchen Design Trends

Okay, we are not trend followers.  Here at S Interior Design we believe in the best designed spaces are unique to the homeowner.  That said, we did want to share this article from Fresh Home Design and Architecture with our followers. Interesting ideas for those considering a kitchen remodel!

13 Fresh Kitchen Trends in 2014

 

 

11 Things to Expect During a Remodel

S Interior Design has been working with clients on a lot of remodel projects lately. Folks are investing in their homes, or moving into new homes that need a bit of updating. Below we share a well written article that high lights some of things to expect when you under take a remodeling project.

11 Things to Expect With Your Remodel
Prepare yourself. Knowing what lies ahead during renovations can save your nerves and smooth the process
By: Anne Higuera CGR, CAPS

If you’ve never remodeled before or are taking on a big project, you may feel a little nervous. How much will it cost? How long will it take? Between the large expense and the excitement of anticipating your finished remodel, it’s hard not to feel a little apprehensive. Knowing what to expect can help allay your fears and make you better prepared for what’s to come.

1. Dust.   Even with elaborate ZipWalls, a fine layer of dust can gather in parts of your home far from construction. There are a few ways to control it. If you can, close off the construction area from the rest of your house with a compression-fit temporary wall. Running air filtering systems called air handlers can also pull the dust from the air on the non-construction side of the house. Heat the house without your furnace if possible, or completely block the warm-air and cold-air returns in the construction area. If you don’t, you’ll just be pulling dust from that section of the house into the part where you’re living. Consult an HVAC company before blocking ducts to make sure your furnace will still work effectively.

2. Noise.  It will be incessant. Whining saws, scratching Sheetrock sanders and thumping nail guns followed by bellowing compressors: in short, little peace or quiet. Find another place to nap and don’t count on working from home unless your home office is far away from the construction zone. If you’re sure it couldn’t possibly be that bad, visit someone else’s home under construction and you’ll see.

3. Triumphant highs. For you it may be the demolition of the ugly vinyl floors in your kitchen. For others it may be the installation of the carefully selected back splash tile. Others still may feel elated only when they see Sheetrock go in or get to relax when their project is completely done.

4. Multiple sighs. It may be that you just want to be done, or that you’re tired of answering so many questions and writing so many checks. Or you may just be tired of having so many people in your house. Hang in there — remodeling fatigue will be short lived when you get to move back into your newly remodeled space.

5. The unexpected. If you expect anything, expect this. Asbestos, irregular framing, jerry-rigged wiring, funny plumbing and more unexpected surprises are bound to arise. No, you won’t be laughing, and neither will your contractor. Count on finding something no one could have anticipated in your budget and your time frame, and you will be well prepared when it happens.

6. Change orders. The unexpected’s cousin is the change order, by which any new and changed work is documented, along with added or reduced cost. Change orders can also be used to resolve allowances, which are placeholders in the budget for particular items. But most often change orders occur because of things that clients decide to add or change. When you absolutely positively have to have that Italian tile, you can bet a change order is on the way.

7. Cash concerns.  Even if your project is right on budget, the sheer amount of money you are spending may cause a bit of a freakout. If you’re used to writing four-digit checks, you can easily be writing checks with one or two more zeros during a large remodel. If costs are increasing, along with change orders, it could increase your anxiety. Having cash on hand that’s a bare minimum of 10 percent above contract for contingencies will help alleviate that stress. Have 20 percent if you want to worry less.

8. Delays. Snow falls, people get sick, cars break down and sometimes faucets ordered from the factory take 10 weeks instead of six. You and your contractor will likely be working from a schedule that assumes the world is a perfect place. It’s not, and knowing that will allow you to be resilient when your schedule shifts a bit.

9. Decisions. Where should that outlet be? How high do you want the shower head? Where do you want the cabinet hardware mounted? Oil-rubbed bronze or chrome or brushed nickel or satin nickel? Is your head spinning yet? Count on hundreds of questions that you’ll need to answer as your project proceeds, or select your architect (OR DESIGNER!) as your proxy. Just know that your selection of a contractor is the first of many you will make.

10. Outliers. At the end of your project, expect one or two punch-list items that will take longer to resolve than anything else. It may be a light fixture that arrives broken or the very last two pieces of tile. The important thing is to get the final details right, even if they take a little longer.

11. A party! Expect that you will want to show off your newly remodeled kitchen, living room or addition. We have had clients throw parties and invite friends, along with us and our trade partners. It’s gratifying for everyone to see a beautifully finished home filled with people enjoying themselves.

Tell us: What have you learned from your latest remodel?

Too Hot For Outside Fun This Weekend? Transform Your Kitchen

Below is a guest post on relatively simple, low cost things you can do to transform the look and feel of your kitchen quickly.
Here in Phoenix the temps are so high that staying in an inside air conditioned space and doing fun house and design projects over a weekend sound like a great idea.  I just sourced some whimsical hardware for a client that definitely will change the feeling in her kitchen–

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A Kitchen Update in a Weekend

Tired of looking at your drab kitchen but don’t have the time or money to invest in a complete makeover? Don’t fret. With a little imagination and some elbow grease you can spruce up your culinary digs in a weekend. The best thing about these projects is that you can do them one at a time and not have to deal with the mess and hassle of a complete remodel.
So what are you waiting for? Dig out your paint brush and screw driver (and maybe a hammer) and put on your weekend warrior face. Here are a few projects that won’t break the bank and will leave you beaming with a feeling of accomplishment.

Install new lighting
A new light fixture can literally brighten up your kitchen. Pick a fixture that appeals to your kitchen décor but also provides adequate light to work under. Wish you had a number of lights overhead? Choose from a variety of track lighting options that replace your old fixture yet don’t require additional wiring or holes in your ceiling. They look great and instantly update an older kitchen.

Change cabinet hardware
Sometimes it’s the small details that make all the difference. Replacing outdated cabinet hardware with a modern design won’t go unnoticed. This is one of the easiest updates you can do yourself. If you don’t want to drill new holes in your cabinets and drawers, simply take one of your current hardware pulls with you to the store and match it up against the selection there.

Paint the walls
Brighten up your kitchen with fresh coat of paint on the walls and/or ceiling. If you’re feeling bold go for a bright color. A splash of color on the walls will transform the whole feel of the room. Remember, ceilings don’t have to be white (or one of the millions of off-white). And if that’s not enough, consider painting the cabinets as well (or instead). It’s remarkable what a fresh coat of paint can accomplish and with some sandpaper and elbow grease—and paint, naturally—you can turn dreary or boring into a high-class fashion statement.

Replace the floor

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Depending on how much kitchen floor space you have, this project may be a little more involved, but it can easily be worth the addition effort. The floor can often go unnoticed and many kitchen floors are notorious for being drab and outdated. Rip out the old and put down something new and fresh. Consider hardwoods, stone, and eco-friendly bamboo. If you already have a hardwood floor, then it’s even easier! Give it a nice sanding and a new finish.

Update the faucet

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It may be time to replace the workhorse of your kitchen, the faucet. An updated faucet will not only be more versatile than your old one but it will make a fashion statement as well. These days the selection is simply astonishing with everything from hands-free operation to faucets designed to accommodate the largest of pots.

 

 

About the author: Jonathon Ensor stays on top of the latest home design trends as a writer for Empire Today. He loves to get unique furniture and decorations from thrift stores and garage sales.

 

 

4 Design Innovations to Improve Workplace Satisfaction

Below you will find a great article about how to design for today’s office environment.  S Interior Design is currently working on a project for a company who has obviously read the research.  We are opening the work space up while still providing some privacy, and have added a communal break room- kitchen.  Here is a sneak peak of the break room design in progress

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4 Design Innovations to Improve Workplace Satisfaction

Henry Ford’s assembly line and Robert Propst’s cubicle were groundbreaking innovations aimed at increasing productivity in the workplace. While productivity is still one of the critical success factors in a work environment, many major companies have been shifting away from industrial designs towards the type of office that promotes employee satisfaction. The idea is simple: a happy workplace will attract top recruits, improve employee retention, and ultimately allow employers to build an efficient and cohesive workplace.
How does that work? Simply put, happy workers are more productive than their unhappy peers, and there’s now quantitative evidence to back up this claim. Economic researchers in the UK and Germany recently conducted a study revealing that happy people are 10-12% more productive than unhappy or emotionally neutral people.

The truth is, top companies recognized the importance of happy employees well before the results of this study came in. Many businesses have discovered that happy employees are more focused, get more work done, take fewer sick days, and stay at the company premises for longer. With that in mind, tech giants such as Google and entertainment leaders such as Pixar have introduced all kinds of in-office perks, including fitness centers, game rooms, and cafes with gourmet food.
Of course, you don’t have to allot an enormous budget for extravagant perks to boost employee happiness in the workplace. Here are 4 ideas to improve worker satisfaction and productivity through the layout of your office, with minimum investment.

Adjustable Workstations

In their 2013 Workplace Survey, Harvard Business Review found that workers whose employers gave them greater autonomy were more likely to be satisfied at work, perform better, and view their employers as more innovative than other industry competitors.
One easy way to give employees greater autonomy is to let them work from adjustable workstations. For example, Facebook lets employees at their headquarters adjust the height, layout, and configuration of their desks to create their optimal workspace. So it’s okay if you feel most productive and energetic working at a standing desk station all day, while your coworker does best with a seated corner desk – Facebook is happy to accommodate both of you.

Individual departments within Facebook are also able to rearrange their desks whenever they need to. If the marketing team needs to have a brainstorming session, they can easily circle their desks up in the center of the room, then move them back against the wall when they need to focus on individual projects. This freedom to create the ideal workspace improves employee happiness and productivity.

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Rotating Seating Chart

In a medium or large office, it’s all too easy for employees to become isolated within their department or even their immediate seating area. Research has shown that a worker’s immediate neighbors account for 40-60% of their interactions throughout the day, meaning that there’s frequently a disconnect between employees who aren’t geographically close together.
To improve company culture and encourage greater connectivity, some companies, such as inbound marketing specialist HubSpot, have adopted a rotating seating chart every six to eight months. Shifting the seat locations around gives employees the opportunity to get to know more people and to collaborate with people outside of their department. It also gives employers a chance to rearrange employees with work style and personality in mind, so that there are no major office clashes.

A Central Atrium

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The Pixar headquarters have a large, central atrium with bathrooms and a cafeteria set far apart from the work spaces. Their goal is to promote connections between workers in different departments and to encourage new ideas from casual conversations. While not every business has the building space to create this kind of grand atrium, smaller businesses can still set up a central space, such as a break room, for employees from across departments to meet in a relaxed environment.

Distraction-Free Workspaces

While the open-office layout has become the overwhelming trend in the US (70% of all offices in America now have an open-floor plan), some employees find this collaborative environment distracting and need privacy to be able to focus on their work tasks. Businesses that use an open-office layout can provide this by setting up areas that are blocked from the main floor. Even companies that don’t want to add walls can resort to couches, bookshelves, desks, and moveable walls to set up an area for employees who are happier and more productive when they’re not in a sea of people.
The key to designing any workspace is to take into account the individual preferences of employees. There can be many different work styles within a single workplace, and the more flexible companies are in catering to those different styles, the more productive and happy their employees will be.

About the Author
Lynne Lemieux, Founder and President of Alliance Interiors Inc., has devoted more than 20 years of experience developing and implementing growth opportunities for some of Canada’s leading office furniture dealers. Her ability to provide clients with inspiring and versatile interior solutions for both business and home office environments has garnered her title of Aboriginal Business Woman of the Year in the city of Toronto for 2012. In her spare time, Lynne takes an active interest in politics, public speaking, and philanthropy, but also enjoys gardening, interior decorating, cooking, yoga, and traveling.

 

Inspiring Offices – 5 Creative Green Workspaces

Great guest post that speaks to the benefits of Green Design in the work space.  Many of these principles and practices are scalable to the residential environment too.

S Interior Design encourages eco-friendly design elements where ever feasible for their projects residential and commercial.

 

Inspiring Offices – 5 Creative Green Workspaces

Protecting the environment has become a vital issue for many people. As the need for environmentally conscious ways of living increases, businesses are now doing their part to introduce green initiatives into their workspaces.
Listed here are 5 examples of the most interesting and creative green work environments that have been developed by companies in recent years. Each example goes out to prove the various tactics that industry leaders are tackling in order to accomplish, essentially, their most important job: preserving the environment!

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Seattle’s Bullitt Center
Considered the greenest business building in the world, the Bullitt Center in Seattle has over 50,000 square feet of space and uses a small percentage of the energy normally required for commercial buildings.  It has been designed to create its own energy source by using solar panel technology. But because Seattle has relatively little sunshine throughout the year, the Bullitt Center also utilizes the grid when needed.  The building contains showers on each of its floors and has no automobile parking on its premises. It does provide covered parking for bicycles, encouraging occupants to use bikes in place of cars.

Skanska, Väla Gård 120925Foto: Klas Andersson
Skanska’s Green Building
Skanska’s office building is located on a former farm in Sweeden. It’s the nation’s first Deep Green building and has a net-zero energy consumption level. No hazardous materials were used for its construction, and none of the waste produced during the process ended up in landfills.

Similar to the Bullitt Center, Skanska’s green workspace uses a solar power system for its energy. The building uses heat recovery units that help reuse a large percentage of heat that would otherwise be lost in outgoing air. The building cost $5 million and used locally sourced materials in its construction.

The Jones Lang LaSalle building prioritized non-hazardous materials in its construction and recycled approximately 75 percent of the waste produced. The building uses sensors to monitor daylight and occupancy as a means of controlling its energy requirements. This creative green workspace was able to reduce its water use by 40 percent along with an overall energy reduction of 13 percent. But perhaps more significant was the result it had on the building’s occupants.  When looking at the number of sick days of its employees, the company discovered that absenteeism was lowered by over 30 percent. The green technology led to fewer sick days among workers, pushing the notion that going green isn’t just beneficial for the environment, but for the people as well!
Lohre and Associates
Cincinnati saw the green workplace revolution appear in the workspace of Lohre and Associates. It saved considerable costs both in its construction and in its operation. Scraps from carpet and wood were recycled and composted in the building process, while old window blinds were reused. The building features creative green bathroom technology that uses hand-washing adapters that funnel sink water into toilets, which in turn, reduces massive amounts of water usage.

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Energy Systems Design

Energy Systems Design utilized environmentally-friendly energy controls, plumbing and lighting systems within their green workspace. Although limited in their ability to renovate the existing structure, they found creative ways to design a greener workspace.   Throughout the building, recycled materials such as used glass and wood were utilized in a remarkable act of turning junk into something new. Also, rubber cork tiles were used for the building’s flooring, which helped to further the project’s resourcefulness and aesthetic appeal. The result of is a set of high-efficiency units that save energy and reduce costs.
The possibilities are endless…

Plenty of other companies now, too, are joining the green workspace revolution, by initializing smarter design tactics that consist of recycled and eco-friendly materials. To some it may mean resorting to more heavily involved projects such as harvesting solar power and implementing smart water systems to cut down wasteful consumption, but to others, it may be something as simple as installing glass balustrades, such as those offered by Aqua Vista Glass. A solution like this allows for the use of more natural light to indoor spaces and less dependency on timber resources. This saves energy and costs for business owners, while creating a more naturally lit open space that promotes a smarter, eco-friendly standard.

As more people become conscious of the need to reduce waste and energy consumption, eco-friendly workspaces will become the norm. Employees will reap the benefits of a greener work environment, and will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are part of the solution, and not the problem.

Image credit: wikipedia.org and http://www. group.skanska.com/
Mary Ann Keeling is a freelance writer and business consultant who travels frequently. She is interested in all forms of green design, particularly those modern, clever ideas that can help in protecting the environment.