10 things about me

The sweet and talented Monika sent me the Honest Scrap Award and I'm about to share with you 10 things about me. After that I will pass the award to 7 other great bloggers out there.

1-I studied Kabbalah for a while and I have a better understanding about life.

2-I absolutely REJECT everything about drama.

3-Sometimes I find myself questioning my obsession with Christmas. Really, it's surreal how happy Christmas spirit makes me.

4-I wear something I don't like to make the person who gave it to me happy but I never display anything in my house that I don't like, regardless of who gave it to me.

5-I am a very grateful and just person, I can easily admit when I'm wrong and trust me that's quite often.

6-I love to dress up. My perfect life would be one full of black-tie social events.

7-I believe that good style has NO race or sex.

8-I am my worst critic. I think there is a lot I still need to change and it's my everyday effort to become a better person.

9-I don't come from a rich family but I grew up with maids until I was 16 and emigrated to this country. At some point there were as many as 5 maids working at the same time in my house.

10-In reference to the last one, I have to admit that I absolutely dislike housework. It's overwhelming.

I now pass this Honest Scrap Award to these very talented bloggers without knowing if they have already been tagged.

Cote de Texas
So haute
Fabulously French
French Essence
Colours Dekor
My marrakesh
This is glamorous

Bathroom Towel Storage Option Series Part One-Vanity

Welcome to my Bathroom Towel Storage Option Series. Over the next two weeks I will publish several posts showing options for bathroom towel storage. This first post will give you ideas for storing your bathroom towels in the bathroom vanity.  You will find some towels are folded while others are rolled. Enjoy! 


Source: Beautiful Baths 2008

^The white towels perfectly folded in the photo above add to the elegance of this vanity.  I think they would also look elegant if rolled.  Another option would have been a glass cabinet door.


Source Unknown-if you know the source and contact me I will note it.

^Don’t you think these open shelves add to the design of this vanity?


Source: Villa Decor by Betty Lou Phillips

^The blue towels stored in the open shelves above serve as an accent color for this blue and white bathroom. 


 Source Unknown-if you know the source and contact me I will note it.

^The double row of open shelves in the photo above is very spacious and provides many options for towel storage as well as other storage. There is plenty of space for folded or rolled towels. The baskets actually replace drawers. They could hold hand and wash cloths. The rest of the baskets could hold hair products, with another one holding make up, another hair dryers/curling irons/ flattening irons, etc. 


Source: Bathrooms by House Beautiful

^A large open shelf as shown above gives you lots of towel storage options. They have rolled the large bath sheets, made a stack of bath towels with wash cloths on top, and then made a stack of hand towels. One could add a small basket and put rolled wash cloths in it to offset the basket of bath brushes. Another interesting detail in the photo above is the towel bar located under what appears to be a medicine cabinet. Take a moment and think about how you would store towels on this vanity shelf.


Source Unknown- if you know the source and contact me I will note it.

^When I was looking for photos for this post, I ran across this one showing four cubby holes to store folded or rolled towels. An attractive option for storing towels. As I was studying this photo for this post, what caught my attention were the interesting sconces, the three-way mounted magnifying mirror and the shutter to cover the windows. Sometimes I find interesting elements in a photo I have chosen to support my post!


Source: Bathrooms by House Beautiful

Above is another option- this time it is storing towels on a rounded corner shelf.  The monogram adds a design element.


Source: Dream Baths

^Storing towels on an opens shelf under the sink in this photo is a great way to hide the plumbing. Additionally, I am wild about the drawer under the towels!

Of course you can always store towels behind a vanity cabinet door or in a vanity drawer.  Check back for Part Two of this series.  Blessings.  …susan

Minimalist House Design by Aris Architect

Minimalist House Design, Minimalist Design, House Design, Modern Minimalist House, Modern House Design

Minimalist House Design by Aris Architect

Sagaponac Minimalist House Design

Minimalist House Design, Minimalist Design, House Design, Modern Minimalist House, Modern House Design

Sagaponac Minimalist House Design

Simon Winstanley Architects - Deepstone Residence

Simon Winstanley Architects

Deepstone Residence

Of the earth - nestled in to the site of a former quarry, Simon Winstanley Architects have created the perfect "viewmaster" in the Solway Firth, Scotland (National Scenic Area).

The design meets the client's brief for a contemporary, energy efficient home which fully embraces the view
and relates to the surrounding context and landscape. The light, airy first floor contrasting the solid lower level, minimising the visual impact of the house, nestling it into the site. Open plan, the predominantly glazed top floor, provides two living rooms and a wonderful central entertaining kitchen dining area. Quite how the guests will tear their eyes from the view is another issue all together.

The site is a steeply sloping, former quarry in a National Scenic Area which slopes steeply in two directions from the quarry base which forms the only level ground access.
The house is conceived as a stone plinth which echos the exposed quarry face and houses the bedrooms
with a garage & entrance under at the level of the quarry base.

Layout & Materials
The principal living accommodation is expressed as a lightweight glazed "pavilion" sitting on the solid plinth. It is set back to form an external terrace facing the sea and to reduce the apparent mass of the house.
The glazed pavilion is constructed with a steel frame and highly insulated timber infill panels clad in cedar and triple glazed windows. The roof, although thick internally to provide very high levels of insulation, is cantilevered on all sides with projecting expressed douglas fir rafters to give a thin, elegant leading edge.
The roof is finished in standing seam pre-fabricated grey zinc. The masonry base is finished in stone from re-cycled quarry waste.

The design uses the most energy efficient construction & technology where possible as part of a sustainable approach to building for the future:

  • the external walls, floor and roof are insulated to a high standard and air infiltration is minimised.
  • triple glazed windows with warm edge spacer bars, thermally broken frames and inert gas filled to achieve a whole window u-value of 0.7W/m2K.
  • heat pump using a borehole as the ground source for the underfloor heating and hot water system with a closed combustion wood burning stove as back up.
  • micro generation of renewable electricity using roof mounted Photovoltaic Panels.
  • whole house heat recovery ventilation system.

The project has recently received a string of awards - a prestigious Saltire Society Housing Design Award, one of only two awarded this year, a Design Commendation from the Glasgow Institute of Architects and a Chartered Institute of Building Commendation Award. The project was also shortlisted in the Roses Design Awards.

Project location
Solway Firth, Scotland
Simon Winstanley Architects


Further photos flickr

Modern RainShine House Design - Minimalist Facade Exterior

Minimalist House Design, Minimalist Design, House Design, Modern Minimalist House, Modern House Design

Modern RainShine House Design - Minimalist Facade Exterior

Dream House - Modern Minimalist

Minimalist House Design, Minimalist Design, House Design, Modern Minimalist House, Modern House Design

Dream House - Modern Minimalist


A book giveaway contest

We all know who Elaine Griffin is, unless you've been living under the rocks, her incredible interiors have been featured in many Interior Design magazines. I personally love her lush elegant interiors and I am more than honored to host a give away of her "first in its kind" book, Design Rules, The Insider's Guide to Becoming your own Decorator. Yes, you heard right, Elaine generously is giving her readers those great Interior Designer's secrets that we all wonder about. I have the pleasure to have read her book over this weekend and it's easy and enjoyable to read.
At first I was hoping to see more photos of her gorgeous interiors but as I was reading it I understood that Elaine's intention is not for readers to copy a photo or image but to provide the tools to let our own creativity flow. This book is a must-have for all those do-it-yourselfers who struggle with the basic how-to's and ideas. Design Rules, The Insider's Guide to Becoming your own Decorator will give you valuable advice and ideas to make your home the best reflection of yourself and your loved ones.
"If you are a patient and creative genius, make your own wallpaper from newspaper, graph paper, or gift wrap-affix to the wall with thin white school glue diluted with water to resemble a soupy paste..." is one of the genius ideas you will find in this Elaine's book. But if you don't believe me about how helpful this book can be, believe Margarette Russel when she says "...Translating the basics of chic design for the nonprofessional, she provides irresistible foolproof tips that make sense for every taste, style, and budget."
To enter the contest, leave a comment in this post and I'll select a random lucky winner next Tuesday, 24th of November. The book will be sent to the winner directly from Gotham Books Publishers.

Minimalist Interior of Office Room

Minimalist House Design, Minimalist Design, House Design, Modern Minimalist House, Modern House Design

Minimalist Interior of Office Room

Storing Wine In Your Kitchen: Mistakes to Avoid

As a follow up to my Storing Wine In Your Kitchen Series, I want to share with you some mistakes to avoid.

1. Make sure the openings for storing wine is deep enough so that the wine bottle doesn’t stick out too far.

2. Don’t make the opening so tight it only fits the standard size wine bottle (750 ml). The 1.5 liter size wine bottle (magnum) is also very popular and I recommend that your openings be able to fit both sizes.

3. Pay attention to the location of the kitchen windows and make sure sunshine will not shine directly on your bottles of wine.

4. If you store wine behind a cabinet door and want to be able to lock that cabinet, inform your builder/cabinet maker before the cabinets are made.

5. Consider any physical restrictions you might have that would prevent you from stooping over to retrieve wine stored below the kitchen counter or reaching high to retrieve wine stored above the kitchen counter.

6. If you have young children, make sure wine stored below the counter is located behind a door which can be locked with a key or childproof locks can be applied.

7. Though in the series I showed some photos of wine stored above the refrigerator, it is important to make sure the heat generated from the refrigerator motor does not reach that area as it can dry out the cork and spoil the wine.


Source of photo unknown

8. Avoid storing wine above an oven due to the heat that escapes when the oven door is open. IMG_0018

9. Ice makers generate a lot of heat so make sure if you are storing wine near an ice maker it will not be affected by the heat.

10. Spend time calculating how many bottles of wine you will be storing so you do not end up not having enough storage or you end up wasting space with too much storage.  In the photo below over 100 bottles of wine can be stored under the island. If you do not have that much wine, a better use for some of the space would be to add  cabinets, drawers, or shelves for cookbooks. IMG

Source: The New Smart Approach to Kitchen Design by Susan Maney

11. Make sure if you use decide to have individual storage using the criss-crossed design that the wood is substantial enough so it will not split or break.


Source: Kitchen Ideas That Work by Beth Veillette

My hope is that you enjoyed this series- giving you ideas and preventing mistakes!  Blessings.  …susan

PS I forgot my laptop at home when I left town this past weekend so I skipped my Spiritual & Inspirational Sunday Post.

Minimalist Interior Design of Living Room

Minimalist House Design, Minimalist Design, House Design, Modern Minimalist House, Modern House Design

Minimalist Interior Design of Living Room


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