Hicks/Schwamb Neahkahine Beach House
MH: I remember in our old beach house wishing that there were more hooks to hang wet coats, hats, gloves, and other clothes. I would like to plan for an open area like this to hang wet clothes. I would prefer that the wet clothing not be placed inside a closet behind a shut door. I like the design that we have (as of Jan 2021) with a closet near the entry for storing a broom, dust pan, maybe a vacuum and other gear, but not clothes. I like the open shoe storage under the bench, I would make the bench high enough that tall boots could fit underneath it. From "New This Week: 5 Marvelous Mudrooms."
open floor plan
MH: "3. Hide the Knocks All kitchens get their fair share of wear and tear, but some show it less than others. A kitchen with dark cabinets, such as this one by Compass & Rose, is a good choice if you think your cabinets are going to need to stand up to frequent spillages and dings. A dark surface can be more forgiving than a light one and won’t instantly show scuffs and stains. If you’re painting your cabinets, make sure you apply a few coats, so the dark undercoats hide any scratches in the topcoat." The concept: Dark cabinets hide the dings better than light cabinets. This would be a plus in a rental.
MH: "If you’re going for a white countertop, contrasting it with a dark shade will have the most striking effect. The gleaming marbled surface here looks stunning against the deep-hued cabinets. The House of Beulah designers embraced the contrast, mixing white walls with dark gray features. To warm up the room, they added a wooden floor and some soft foliage."
MH: "Just as dark cabinets set off a white countertop, they also can form a dramatic backdrop for other vivid colors. Take a look at this kitchen designed by Roundhouse, for example. The dark gray cabinets are neat and practical, but it’s the accents of green and red that really make the space. The cabinetry works as a moody canvas to showcase those bright bursts of color." I like how the red and green colors work with the grey cabinets. White countertops would look nice here.
MH: "In an open plan, it’s a good idea to use color to zone different areas. By using a dark shade on your cabinets, you can make your kitchen appear grounded in its spot. The dark cabinets in this kitchen by Hannah Gooch contrast with the white walls around them, helpfully marking out the kitchen from the rest of the room." Good idea! From: 7 Reasons to Choose Dark Kitchen Cabinets
MH: I'm a big fan of plenty of hooks or bars to hang damp towels, otherwise they end up hanging on top of doors, over the shower encasement, or in other rooms. I also like ample space to hang and dry wet jackets, shoes, hats, etc in the mud room. From article "Where to Store the Towels When You Don’t Have a Linen Closet;" The author wrote: "A row of hooks can add a functional and decorative element to a blank wall. But if you will be mixing your damp towels with your fresh ones on a rack like this, make sure the wall behind it can stand up to moisture."
MH: This is a material worth considering (Lapitec sintered stone slab) for kitchen and bathroom counters, and maybe for the indoor/outdoor benches in the mudroom and outside the front door. It seem to tick all the boxes, including enviro and human health friendly. May be quite a bit more expensive than the alternatives, though. From "5 Sustainable Kitchen Countertop Materials to Consider"
MH: Ths is compelling to me: "5. Their Durability Will Stand the Test of Time With fewer fittings involved in their design than in standard enclosures, walk-in showers are a robust feature that will stand up to years of usage and plenty of wear and tear. No more replacing hinges or door seals that have worn out; a walk-in shower will keep its good looks for a long time."
MH: This shower looks nice. "You’ll also be pleased to know that achieving this designer look doesn’t need to come with a hefty price tag, thanks to the minimal fixtures and fittings required. Fitting a visible tray will bring your costs down as you won’t have the need for extensive waterproofing under the floor, although you’ll still need to tile from floor to ceiling around the tray." What are the cost differences between walk-in and non-walk-in showers?
MH: Something to note about walk-in showers: "If you’re worried about a walk-in shower feeling a little chilly because it’s so open, you could try fitting a heat lamp overhead, or even underfloor heating, which will add another luxurious touch to help at resale." This is not to suggest that we put in a heat lamp or underfloor heating, just that heat loss may be an issue comparted with standard showers. Also, most of these bathrooms have a tub in addition to the shower, and the tub is outside the shower.
MH: It may make sense to pay attention to resale value when designing/building the kitchen and at least one of the bathrooms: "4. You’ll Get a Designer Look That Adds Value The sleek lines and minimal styling of walk-in showers gives them a high-end, luxe look that will boost any bathroom’s style credentials. It’s well known that buyers consider the kitchen and bathroom to be game-changers when it comes to purchasing a house, so installing a walk-in shower is sure to create a stunning feature that will help make your home memorable if you decide to sell."
MH: Regarding Walk-In or I suppose any shower with glass, "If you want to keep the screen pristine, try using a daily shower spray that you can buy in any supermarket to build up a clear film on the glass that will repel the water and keep mold at bay." I"m not sure if this is of any value, especially if the home is a rental and guests can't be expected to spray the glass after use.
MH: From article "5 Reasons to Choose a Walk-In Shower," "3. They’re Easy to Maintain Minimal hardware equals minimal cleaning. With no door handles or hinges to scrub, just the shower head and faucets to buff now and again, you’ll have more time to enjoy a relaxing shower. Most glass panels come complete with easy-to-clean tempered glass, which makes it super simple to spray down, while the tiled floor inside the shower area can be cleaned with the rest of the floor in your usual routine."
MH: I like recessed medicine cabinets; they are shallow depth which helps prevent stuff from getting stashed in the back and out of view. I like open shelving in general, but think that it may not be a good idea in a home that will go unoccupied for stretches of time since dust will likely collect on the open shelves, leading to more time spent cleaning. Storing towels on open shelves may be OK since moving towels on and off the shelves will tend to remove dust from the shelves, and it's easier for guests to quickly identify where the towels are located. See "How to Know if an Open Bathroom Vanity Is for You"
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"