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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Green Concrete

 FAVE of the week:

As you know, Concrete is used to build bridges, roads, sidewalks, and foundations for homes. But did you know that the manufacturing of concrete is the third largest source of greenhouse gas from the emission of CO2?  Well, a start up company named Novacem has come to the rescue! Novacem has concoted a new cement that negates Co2 emmisions when it hardens! What an impact this will have on our planet if all future cement can do what Novacem's green concrete can do!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kitchen Nana Wall remodel

Hey Gang,
Sporting some ideas to expand my kitchen without the expense of a house addition. You are probably wondering, how do you do that? Join me and I will share my design ideas for my home remodel #2.

Now that we successfully completed house remodel #1 (see Zen Modern blog), we are planning to redesign our deck and create an outdoor livingroom that will step down to grade level. My husband has been asking me to start drawing up these plans for the deck. But what he doesn't realize is that I would also like to build the deck right behind the exterior wall of the kitchen (on second level) allowing us to create an outdoor livingroom off the kitchen. Surprise,are you reading this hubbie? This is a picture of the back wall of our 1986 kitchen soon to be renovated:

How do I rebuild our deck and transform our kitchen at the same time? By using the NanaWall Transition Kitchen system by Nana Wall, a leader in Opening Glass Walls. This system is a glass window-door combination that folds back to create a large wall opening up to 35 feet. The panels are hinged and connected together on a track allowing the glass wall to fold up and expand space. So, do you get me? I do not intend to add more square footage to my home. I only intend to structurally change the existing back wall by using the NanaWall Transition kitchen system and gain more space onto my 'new deck'.  I envision an entertaining space where friends and family can gather without the headache of bringing food, plates,etc in and out. Everything is open and easy. The pictures below are not my new kitchen but are images of how the Nanowall system works:  

This system would transform my home by enhancing our view to our wooded backyard, let natural light in and plenty of buggies in (ha ha) and expand our kitchen space for some awesome parties!! How cool and convenient would it be to add a bar right behind my kitchen counter? I can do this with the folded back window!

Technically, the wall system is weather tight, air tight and has been structurally tested for hurricane-resistant requirements. They are available in aluminum,wood or aluminum clad over wood frames in a wide variety of colors, finishes, panel widths and folding configurations. It works with the Nanowall SL45 Aluminum, WD65 and WD66 Wood systems. The 10 wood options include Lamboo (laminated bamboo), pine, spruce, beech, Douglas fir, oak and sapelli mahogany. Aluminum systems are available in durable powder coating in a choice of gloss or matte colors.

So my hubbie is now thinking, how much is this going to cost? Well, its not cheap. My NYC representative tells me the cost ranges between $500 and $1000 per running foot or $60 to $125 per square foot.

This is a revolutionary glass wall system that's as simple as flipping a latch and unfolding a door!
We all can dream!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Equator 'scape'

Hey MDG,
I saw your readymade 'Zebra bathroom scape' last Sunday and  I was hoping to get some advice for my powder room bath.  I would really like to incorporate black, gray and white into my room. Do you know of any stones to suggest with these colors and any design advice on how to use them?
Becca from NYC

Hi Becca,
I have a stone for you! It is called Equator White. It is a sleek and sophisticated marble featuring a white background with dramatic dark grey and black banding. It is available in both tile and slab and would compliment any modern home. You can find it at the Artistic Tile showroom in New York City.

Now how to use this gorgeous stone:

Put your money into the Equator stone flooring using 12"X24" tiles and create a chic focal wall by framing the Equator stone around a large mirror. On the frame, play with the vein direction of the marble. That's what will make it look so interesting! I am showing dark gray walls to accentuate the dark banding in the stone which is Benjamin Moore's  trout gray # 2124-20.

To make a statement, either sit the sculptural Vitraform Coppa glass pedestal (1) infront of the mirror or the Cogliati sink (3), oh my! These sinks are very special in that Cogliati encases stone or enamel sinks in transparent glass. Pair the sink with Dornbracht's Symetrics (2) single hole faucet. Water will project from the mirror, how cool! To echo the rectangular shape of the Cogliati glass sink, use the Duravit Vero toilet (4). Love those contemporary lines! To finish off the room, you need a spectacular chandilier. Switch collection has a beauty called mercury (5). The reflective mirrored pebbles can float from the squared off cove.

If you need further showroom information, contact me. Love to see some pics, Becca!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Zebra 'scape'

Digg this! Let me INTRODUCE a new segment to my blog: Readymade Design Scapes. My intention is to plan and artistically fashion 'scapes' which are conceptual rooms (bathroom, kitchen, etc ) that will be intimate, quirky, luxurious and offer products that you can find at your local plumbing, tile and lighting showrooms.

Series 1 will focus on edgy bathroom 'scapes'  highlighting tiles from Porcelanosa and fixtures and fittings from Alape and Duravit.

The Zebra 'scape' is a conceptual boutique powder room found in a contemporary residential home. The intention is to have a powerful feature wall as you walk into the room balanced with circular cove lighting above and modern fixtures, fittings and accessories.
Lets break it down:
1. The mosaiced focal wall is a powerful coordination of colors, textures and lost objects by artist Sophie Verrecchia.
2. Wall & Floor tiles: Porcelanosa's Crystal dark 13" X 40" porcelain tile. It looks like black glass.
3. The 41" Subzero chandilier puncturing thru the circular cove is made up of Bohemian crystals, fabric and metal. Its a WOW piece! It  provides ambient illumination and also has a center halogen down light to provide task or accent illumination. You can purchase it thru
4. Uttermost Kagemi 30" wide contemporary metal mirror combines the square and circle echoing the geometry of the space and circular cove in the ceiling. Can be purchased thru
5. Hansgrohe's Axor Stark X Faucet  is a wall mounted facuet, truly minimalistic in design.
6. Circa Alape white enameled vessel sink. It is a simple contemporary design.
7. Wall Hung Vanity called Mizu Bliss by Alape. It is made of timber veneer and polyurethaned a satin white or black finish. It features a contempoary design with an open storage area
8. Duravit's floating Second Floor toilet #220509.  How can you love a toilet? But I do! I have it in my Zen bathroom! (see Zen modern blog) The flushing system is hidden inside the wall. All you see is the toilet and a plate for flushing. Very cool!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Nook space becomes Home Mini-Bar

Hey MDG,
Inside my home there is a 7'-0" wide x 2'-4" deep x 7'-11" high nook where I want to build a low storage unit that houses an undercounter refrigerator, wine bottles, liquer and glasses. Any tips?
Thanks,Scott from Florida

A Home Mini-Bar for your nook sounds like a great idea! I love the idea of having a space where you can entertain friends. But lets put an edgy spin on it. I took a look at your space and thought it would be nice to take advantage of the 7'-11" height instead of just building a low cabinet.

Frame the nook with 2" piece of paint grade wood all the way around. The lower section can be more functional with your undercounter refrigerator and storage. The upper portion can be more decorative by showcasing your liquer, wine and glasses inside a geometric pattern of niches.

To keep cost down, purchase paint grade wood and paint the large 2" wood frame a steel gray color. Then paint the inside of the niches, a dark blue. The rest of the wood can be painted a light gray. To get a more modern edge, incorporate frosted glass on the back of the niches and backlight them, baby! You will have to run electrical to (2) Bartco linear fluorescent tubes that will be hidden in the back of your storage unit. Make sure you leave room to access the lights for when they blow out.. If you want to add color to the lights, add a tube guard over the light fixture. They come in many colors and you can get a 'bar' effect right in your own home!!

Cheers to you!