Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Brandon's Rules of Design-It is NEVER OK to Carpet Your Toilet

I made a tongue-in-cheek comment on Facebook the other night regarding my "Rules of Decorating" that generated a great little conversation among my friends. So, I've decided to add these to the blog. Be warned, most of them are things no design afficianado would even deign to give thought to. But, I can guarantee, there are homes across the world that will benefit from hearing this.

And, so, Brandon's Rule of Decorating Number One:

It is NEVER. EVER. NEVER EVER EVER, ok to carpet any portion of your toilet. Not only does the idea make the clean freak within me convulse, but it just looks awful. Why do this? If it's to cover a damaged toilet seat or time-worn toilet tank, whatever investment is made in these carpet accoutrements could be applied to replacement plumbing. If anyone out there is laboring under the delusion that this looks good, let me assure you that it does not. So if you are reading this and have, for whatever reason, carpeted your toilet, RUN to get your rubber gloves, peel that cholera infested mistake off your potty, and throw it out!

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

On The Boards--An In-Town Complex

Historically, this time of year has been my busiest, as people hustle to get plans ready for spring ground breakings. This year has been no exception--I've recently finalized two sets of custom plans, worked on two collaborations with a colleague for more custom designs, and have two more custom homes in their final stages.

Some time back, I shared a courtyard style house that I designed on the site of a tear-down in the heart of downtown Greenville, SC (take a look HERE) That house is moving right along:

An inset balcony overlooks the courtyard.

The front of the house doesn't hint at it's true size. I'm disappointed to see that the deep cornice fell under the budget hatchet, but overall the house is looking just as I imagined.
Just behind this house is another lot, owner by friends of these clients. I actually started working with them several years ago. They planned to tear down another small, characterless house, and build a small compound comprised of main house, oversized garage with apartment above, and a pool. The project was put on hold while they sold their previous residence, but came back to life a month or so ago, and it has been full steam ahead.

The main house is a simply detailed European country style. The painted brick corbels at the gable ends, and cast stone lintels highlight the entrance and porte-cochere. Clipped gables soften the roofline.

The client's had a great attitude about this house--all of the rooms and spaces are "just right" sized. The master suite, on the ground floor, is small by today's standards, but more than adequate for the owner's needs. They tossed out the formal dining room, resisted the temptation to do a big showy foyer, and instead created spaces that they will use daily. The biggest space splurge is a large family room, big enough for a pool table and wet bar, that their extended family will gather in. When the couple is home alone, they'll cozy up in the front living room--warmed by a fireplace flanked by walls of books. While the house is just over 3,000 square feet--every one of them was carefully considered.

Out back, a series of porches hug around a small splash pool. We used every bit of the property...an appropriate thing to do here, as most neighboring houses sit on the setbacks of their narrow lots. The owners will be able to enjoy the downtown lifestyle on weekends rather than spend their time tending the lawn.

We have many special touches planned for this house--I look forward to sharing them with you as construction begins!

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