Hicks/Schwamb Neahkahine Beach House
MH: Interesting idea: "Here’s an option you might never have thought of: using open shelves to dock your devices, like tablets or laptops. Angled shelves like these are great for storing devices securely, with any charging cables discreetly tucked behind the lip. It’s especially handy for those who cook along to online recipes. Alternately, you can locate them on a side wall out of the main cooking area, paired with some books to make an attractive library-like display." Article: "The Best Things to Store on Open Kitchen Shelves"
MH: I like open shelving and think it could work really well in a primary residence where stuff is getting used on a daily basis. In a home that will go unoccupied sometimes for weeks at a time, open shelving makes less sense to me mostly because of dust accumulation on the shelves and on the stuff on the shelves. Article "The Best Things to Store on Open Kitchen Shelves"
MH: Author: "Clear the decks. Don’t forget to add accessories like a soap dispenser and an air switch to keep clutter off the counters and backsplash." Do we want a garbage disposal?
MH: Author: "Account for lid storage. Having to store pot lids can be a nightmare. There are many ways to solve this problem, but my favorite is to create a divider in a pullout drawer, as shown in this photo." I really like this idea! In fact, I'm going to look into doing this in our Portland kitchen!
MH: This is the follow up to the previous image and text: "Here’s an easy fix: Just have your contractor countersink the screw so that the head of the screw is flush with the wood and no longer protrudes."
MH: Good tip: "Countersink the screw. The cabinet next to a Lazy Susan cabinet with a bifold door often shows scratches over time. That’s because the head of the screw holding the Lazy Susan’s cabinet hardware in place protrudes and scrapes across the adjacent cabinet when the door is being closed." See next photo and text...
MH: If we don't have an island, could the large kitchen table be used for prep space?
MH: Author: "Define the zones. Think in terms of prepping and cleanup zones when planning your kitchen. Do you really want your cleanup sink to be in the island filled with dirty dishes? Put the prep sink on the island and tuck the cleanup sink out of the way." Are we OK with just one sink in the kitchen? I think so. What style of sink is best? Single basin? Double basin? Deep? Stainless steel? I like the deep, single basin, stainless steel sink in our Portland kitchen.
MH: Author: "Rethink glass cabinetry next to a hood. Glass cabinets create a lovely focal point when placed next to a hood, but are they practical? Unless you’re prepared to constantly clean the glass of the grease and grime emanating from cooking, it’s best to install them elsewhere." Makes sense to me. I like glass or some other see-through material for cabinets simply because it's easy to tell what's in the cabinets without opening them. But it may look bad if the stuff in the cabinets isn't arranged nicely, and we will have a relatively small amount of cabinet space so it's not too much of a pain to open the cabinets to find something.
MH: Author: "Don’t crowd the hood. When using a chimney hood, always leave at least 2 to 3 inches between the hood and the wall cabinets to the left and right. Visually, the hood will not look cramped, and the sides of the cabinets will stay cleaner longer." We didn't do this in our Portland home and the cabinets seem clean, but maybe something to consider.
MH: Author: "10. Conceal the microwave. Microwaves are still an integral part of most kitchens for reheating beverages and leftovers. Most clients prefer them out of sight rather than occupying valuable counter space. One option is to keep them hidden in a wall cabinet with a lift-up door, as shown in this photo." We don't use a microwave oven in our home or when travelling. Since I assume that lots of people use it, I think it's probably a good idea to plan for a space for a microwave oven, even if we don't end up installing one ourselves.
MH: Author: "Hide the dishwasher with paneling. Whether or not you are paneling the refrigerator, consider paneling the dishwasher for a clean, harmonious look, uninterrupted by a stainless steel appliance next to the sink. In this photo, the dishwasher lies to the left of the sink." We have this in our Portland home. I don't think it's necessary in the beach house, and may be some benefit to having the DW unpanneled so that guests know right where it's located.
MH: I don't know if we need to do this, but I thought it was a pretty good idea: "Make cabinets glow. In the past, lighting the interior of a wall cabinet meant that each shelf had to be glass. The light source came from the top of the cabinet and needed to penetrate the shelves to illuminate those below. The farther away from the light source, the dimmer the shelf. But times and lighting have changed, and these days, I prefer to install an LED lighting strip on both sides of the cabinet. That way, each shelf can glow, as shown in this photo. Hide the LED strip behind the cabinet’s face frame. If it’s a frameless cabinet, embed the strip in a prepared groove in the cabinet’s side wall."
MH: I'm a big fan of undercabinet lighting, but don't know much about the various options. This author suggests: "Provide task lighting. The primary purpose of undercabinet lighting is to illuminate the countertop, which in turn makes food preparation easier on the eyes. That’s why it’s known as task lighting. Always install the task light toward the front of the cabinet, not toward the back. If the light is stationed closer to the back wall, it primarily highlights the backsplash tile and not the counter, defeating the purpose of the light."
MH: I really like this idea. It doesn't have to be a drawer, although this would work. Maybe in a closet like the one by the upstairs bathroom. We would need space for a laptop or two, up to 4 cell phones and 4 Kindles, and maybe an iPod or 2. That should do it. Article "Details That Count: 17 Designer Tips for a Great Kitchen"
MH: The author of this article also suggests "I always ask clients if a toaster or a coffee maker will live on their counter. If so, I add a wall outlet behind that appliance since it will always be plugged in. Otherwise, the electrical cord will be visible as it dangles from the plug molding above. Remember to combine a mixture of outlets and plug molding into your design." I really like this idea, it makes sense to me. Article "Details That Count: 17 Designer Tips for a Great Kitchen"
MH: I had not thought of undercabinet plug molding. Not sure if it's necessary, but something to consider. I'd like to have undercabinet lighting that is easy to maintain (probably LED) and easy to fix or replace. What we have in our kitchen in Portland is failing, worked just OK, and was somewhat of a pain and costly to replace bulbs as they failed. Article "Details That Count: 17 Designer Tips for a Great Kitchen"
MH: This may be a good idea for under the big table in the kitchen space. Article "Details That Count: 17 Designer Tips for a Great Kitchen"
MH: "New TVs also double as art, showing your favorite painting instead of a screen when not in use." Hmmmm....I kind of like this idea! From "5 Steps to Simpler Smart Tech (So It Can Do Your Chores)"
MH: I like the ample wall hooks for towels in this photo. We don't need the bench and all that much storage. From "10 Stylish Ways to Maximize Bathroom Storage"
MH: In the beach houses we rent, we seem to dump everything onto the limited vanity countertop space. I'd rather have other places to put the toiletries off of the vanity, and still out in the open so I don't have to go digging through drawers to find what I'm looking for. From "10 Stylish Ways to Maximize Bathroom Storage"
MH: I'm all for effective towel-hanging ideas in and around the bathroom. From "10 Stylish Ways to Maximize Bathroom Storage"
MH: Aidan wants a "secret door" opening into the space under the staircase.
MH: Something like this could be a storage option in the downstairs (and upstairs) bathrooms. "10 Stylish Ways to Maximize Bathroom Storage"
MH: Could we put shallow open shelves in the bathrooms in the lower floor? In the master bath, the shelves could be recessed into the shared wall with the master closet; in the non-master bath, the open shelves could be recessed into the shared wall with the master bedroom. How much noise will transmit from the non-master bath into the mater bedroom? Do we want/need closets in the bedrooms? We don't seem to use the closets in the beach homes we rent. Maybe good to have closets for resale, though.
MH: I like the use of space shown here by placing open shelving in an otherwise useless space. I like the idea of containers to keep the shelves from getting too cluttered with small stuff, although folded or rolled towels wouldn't need to be put in containers. I prefer to have the containers transparent or see-through for easy identification of what's inside. From "10 Stylish Ways to Maximize Bathroom Storage"
MH: Open shelving above and a cabinet below may make sense to keep stuff on the bottom shelf from getting dusty and full of dog hair. From "10 Stylish Ways to Maximize Bathroom Storage"
MH: I like open shelving for towels in the bathroom, and lots of hooks to hang towels to dry. Shelving up high is of limited functionality in my opinion. From "10 Stylish Ways to Maximize Bathroom Storage."
MH: The master bathroom is shown in the first set of Joe's birdseye views with the vanity against the wall with the bathroom door, then the toilet on the same wall as the vanity, then the shower. this bathroom is similar, except the shower in our home will be where the window is in this photo. From "10 Stylish Ways to Maximize Bathroom Storage"
MH: This looks like something we may want in the downstairs non-master bathroom. From article "10 Stylish Ways to Maximize Bathroom Storage"
MH: I like undermounted, stainless steel sink for the kitchen. See article: "Which Type of Kitchen Sink Should You Choose?" for a discussion of mounting styles and materials.
MH: Text about this photo from the article, "This Sky Tunnel has decorative diffuser options that make it look like an electric ceiling light. These models also have an integrated LED light so they can be used to illuminate a room at night. This is handy in a tight space — one fixture is more pleasing to the eye than the clutter of a light tube and a separate ceiling light. And whether the sun or the grid is providing the light, it is dimmable."
MH: These Light tubes, integrated w/ LED lighting, seem pretty cool, although we'll have enough south and west glass that light on the top floor shouldn't be a problem. See article "Highlights in Sustainable Design at the 2019 Greenbuild Expo"
MH: This is the previous image during construction. The text with this image is: "Before: Here is how the garden looked during construction. The boulders that comprise the retaining walls are Armour stone, a durable quarried natural stone that is resistant to erosion. The existing silver maple is on the left." I just thought this was interesting.
MH: We don't have to do this on our property, but this property is sloped like ours, and we will need some sort of path along the north side of our house to access the outdoor shower that I envision somewhere around the northwest corner area, and to access the lower level exterior door. See article "Patio of the Week: Sloped Yard Now an Entertainment Hub"
MH: This looks nice. Maybe some elements of this for the master bath? See article "How Much of Your Bathroom Should You Tile?"
MH: This looks nice, and tile is only placed where water will splash. See article "How Much of Your Bathroom Should You Tile?"
MH: Joe, does it make any sense to you to have the toilet and sink wall-jhung off the ground? Seems like this would make cleaning easier. See article "5 Keys to a Peaceful Bathroom That Promotes Wellness"
MH: This is from the article "How to Design a Home That Boosts Well-Being." I like the fireplace and small living room in this photo.
MH: See article "5 Innovative Home Products Made of Recycled Materials" for ideas of other recycled materials for home construction.