Tag Archives: Simple Details

Simple.

Simplicity.  It’s something we hear in reference to many aspects of our lives.  But what does it mean for home design?  First, let’s discuss what it does not mean.  A common misconception is that simplicity is synonymous to boring, modern, cold, plain, or sterile.  Simplicity should not be confused with these descriptors.  So what does it mean?  Simplicity is timeless and unfussy.  It is effortless.  It puts emphasis on quality materials, functionality, and efficiency rather than ornate details and expansive floor plans.  How does one achieve simplicity?  Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource explores the “how” in this article.

Subtle InterestHartford Sunroom Addition

Although order and repetition can be used to achieve simplicity, there are many opportunities to add detail and character to a simple space.  Include “imperfect,” yet soft, elements such as distressed woodwork or hand-hewn beams.  Consider a monochromatic color scheme.  Create contrast with a mix of old and new items.  Add texture or pattern to your home.  Reclaimed materials, hand-scraped floors, honed countertops, a herringbone backsplash or floor, tin ceilings, brick – the options are endless to add charm and showcase your style in an understated manner.

Wauwatosa Master Bath RemodelNeutral and Natural

Cool neutrals, soothing earth tones, natural textures – simplicity is warm and adaptable to changing styles and trends.  Many homeowners opt for tone-on-tone grays, beiges, and off-whites.  For an organic feel, weathered wood, natural stone, and various metals are just a few ideas.  These elements can add a calmness to your space.

Restraint

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

-William Morris

This quote is a great example of simplicity.  For a simple, uncluttered space, homeowners need to learn how to “edit.”  They must choose what’s important to include and what is not necessary.  This is the “less is more” or “quality over quantity” idea we’ve discussed in the past.  Instead of a huge, open floor plan or elaborate design details, opt for efficient space planning and quiet elements.

ConnectionWauwatosa Sunroom Remodel

Simplicity and less “stuff” can connect you more to your surroundings by emphasizing natural light and showcasing views of your home’s backdrop.  It also focuses on establishing a better flow and seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors such as a sunroom with a patio door or accordion glass door that creates easy access to an outdoor entertaining space.

Timeless Design Part III

Classic Style

We have reached the final section of our three-part discussion on timeless design.  After focusing on your remodel’s layout and flow, it’s time to concentrate on the details.  Although there are many style possibilities for your home, one that seems to be the most approachable is a classic style.  It’s an option that stands the test of time and offers flexibility, allowing you to change your home’s look with accessories and fixtures.

Keep it simple.Classic White Kitchen

When a home has too many ornate details, it can quickly become dated.  Consider using clean lines and understated architectural details.  For instance, a timeless kitchen often features inset doors rather than raised panel doors (traditional) or flat panel doors (modern).  In a classic home, you may also see elements that add interest without overpowering the space, such as coffered ceilings, wainscoting, furniture-style toe kicks, and crown molding.

Opt for a neutral palette.

Classic White Master Bathroom“Neutral” is not necessarily a synonym for “boring” or “bland.”  Actually, neutrals often have a strong presence in a classic style home.  Beiges, grays, whites, off-whites – they are all common options and can be spiced up with trend colors through accessories or other items that are easy to adjust, if desired.  You can also combine different neutrals or play with textures to create interest.  Using the kitchen as an example again, many homeowners will mix white perimeter cabinetry with a stained island to keep it classic, yet add some variation.

Use quality, classic materials.

Classic style has “staying power,” so you want to ensure the materials you choose were made to last and won’t look passé in a few years.  Here are some examples of classic products and materials for two popular rooms in the home:

In the kitchen:

  • Marble mixed with honed black countertops
  • White subway tile
  • Butcher block tops

In the bathroom:

  • Hexagon or basketweave tile
  • Carrara or Calacatta marble
  • Free-standing tub
  • Pedestal sink
  • Subway tile
  • Nickel fixtures