There has been an increase in demand for apartments and homes featuring an open layout. Often the kitchen, dining area, living room and/ or family room are connected into a larger open space so homeowners can entertain guests. Connecting these spaces through renovation and redesign is also an effective way to increase the resale value of a residence, especially if the new floor plan generates more natural light throughout the space.
Invariably open floor plans will have a counter area either as a build in or as part of an island in the kitchen. If the layout incorporates stools, the first important distinction is between bar stools and counter stools. Bar height stools are generally 30” tall facing a bar area of 40-42”. Counter stools are lower, with a height between 24-26” at a counter height of 36”. The average height for kitchen islands is 36” and counter stools are usually the most appropriate option.
For outdoor spaces in residential environments bar stools with 40-42” tall tables can work. Bar stools can be a great option if you would like to be able to sit higher to see a view or or possibly be able to see beyond a window/ guardrail. Spacing between the stools will also determine how many you will be able to place, typically requiring 26-30” between the middle of the seat top. Additional space will be required if you purchase stools that swivel or feature arms.
Stools are not typically thought of as a centerpiece in the same way as a chandelier or dining room table. They are usually a substantial focal point and selecting stools that have the right combination of elegance, design and functionality is important. Here are several options we considered for a project in Soho. The first option features leather, wood and metal with a comfortable seat back. The second option is a leather seat with a lacquer wood finish. The third counter stool is stainless steel with a leather seat and the last option features leather, solid oak and metal.
This a a modern bedroom designed by Jenny Dyer was featured in Elle Decor. They did a beautiful job on the design, color palette, space planning and furniture selection. Upholstered walls and upholstered panels in bedrooms are the key component in bringing warmth to the space, particularly if the ceilings are high. Gray tones can be tricky to get right, especially in a bedroom where you want to increase the feeling of warmth.
Incorporating grays into a color scheme can be tricky. The wrong combination or palette can feel too cold or too dark. Here are some nice examples of designs which combine light and mid tone grays with textiles and natural wood components. The first example is a ski lodge in Colorado. By opting for dark gray accents on the fireplace, seats and wall console unit (to the left) the designer was able to add subtle light gray variations in the upholstery, flooring and left hand accent wall. With this combination of grays together with the fireplace, subtle warmer brown and yellow hues, the space feels balanced, modern and comfortable.
The second space varies the focal point of the dark gray accent in the painting, and the fireplace is a warm light gray color. Here the designer was able to make use of more earth tones while still implementing a fair amount of gray. The organic surfaces such as marble and wood grain help to warm up the space and augment the range of gray tones.
Ideas for accent walls can extend beyond simply a single painted side of a room. Fireplaces, framed or unframed large scale paintings, built ins and a host of other options can serve as an accent wall.
Where space is limited it is helpful to think outside the box, and in the case of this bedroom, the designer incorporated an accent wall, built in storage unit, banquette/ seating area, window and natural organic texture. A multifunctional accent wall is the perfect example of getting the most out a space, a critical component of any renovation, where the price per sq ft is at a premium.