powder rooms that pack a punch by Claire Grotz

The difference between designing bars and restaurants, which we do a lot of, and designing a home (which we also do a good deal of) is that a bar or restaurant is a highly experiential space, while a home is a comfortable, livable space. However, one place in the home that's great for adding a bit of flair is the powder room.  It's a small space that can be designed to make a big impression, whether with tile, wall-covering, a funky mirror, unique lighting or a bit of bling. Check out these rooms to get your inspiration going!

screen time by Unknown

We appreciate the usefulness of a well-designed screen that is both aesthetically pleasing and a powerful workhorse. Need to divide a space without constructing permanent walls? Either a freestanding or ceiling hung partition could be the answer. Maybe you want to obscure an unsightly view of the neighbor’s garage. A screen that lets light filter through while obscuring the view could enhance your living space. How about providing some privacy with acoustic benefits in an open office layout? Yes, there are partitions for that too. We even found a screen with built-in storage. Enjoy perusing some of our favorite screen time options.

Facet by 3form

BuzziZone by BuzziSpace

Nomad System by Mio

Nebula by Tacchini

FeltWall by B&B Italia

sign of the times by Unknown

Recently, we've been doing some research on coffee shop signage for Caffe Ladro and we came across some really awesome designs we couldn't help but share. Exterior signage not only announces the name of the coffee shop but the initial impression from the sign can also play an important role in shaping the overall experience for the consumer so it is a crucial part of the design process! Effectively designed signage can capture the culture and atmosphere of a coffee shop, attracting customers to the shop. Check out some of the signs we loved.

Too see images like this and everything else that inspires us, check out our Pinterest page, here! Also, congratulations to Caffe Ladro for their grand opening this week!  Make sure to stop by (400 Fairview).

sofa to sitcom by Unknown

When we're not busy designing living rooms we're busy watching them on our favorite sitcoms. It's fun to test if we're absorbing any of the interior decor while laughing along with some of our favorite characters. How many of these do you recognize? We got a 93%, think you can beat our score? Try the quiz here!

This . Now . That by Shannon Wing

Have you ever noticed that some of the most interesting details in people's homes can come from re-purposing certain items (old doors, custom built-ins, funky light fixtures, furniture...)? People nowadays flock to salvage stores to find those singular details that just don't exist in today's fast paced, profit driven construction market. This type of unique detail is not limited to just certain snapshots of a home, but can, in fact, encompass an entire home. Today, people have found ways to creatively re-purpose old buildings such as churches, fire-stations, and even banks into one-of-a-kind homes for themselves. Take a look at some of our favorites below.

This first example isn't actually a house, but a really neat adaptation of an old 1920's era building. A long abandoned bank in Chicago's South Side was purchased for $1 by a local artist and urban planner. He set out to restore the bank and turn it into an incredible public art resource. Now called the Stony Island Art Bank, it is a great example of the kinds of spaces that can be created when transforming a building's former purpose into its new one.

This old fire station in St. Louis was purchased as a foreclosure in 2013 by its new owners. The two-level structure was originally constructed in 1900 and was last used as a fire station in 1965. The new owners have transformed it slowly into a contemporary abode and in-home photography studio and office for their family. It comes complete with a fire pole in the dining room!

This last example is quite a dazzler.  Located at 1658 W. Superior Street in the East Village neighborhood of Chicago, this former Romanesque style church was built in 1888. It was converted to 14 condominium units back in 1998. This former church retained much of it's character throughout the transformation (which can be tricky for commercial resale projects): large, intricate stained glass windows; vaulted spaces, some as high as 30 feet; and brickwork can still be found in each unit.

Thanks for touring these unique spaces with us. All things morph over time, buildings included. Maybe we've sparked some ideas for new avenues for you to explore on the homefront as well!

how to bring unique character into your space by Unknown

Nowadays it’s easy to step into a space for the first time and feel a strange sense of déjà vu. It seems like every other room is just a rearrangement of the same mass-produced furniture and art. Who can blame them? It’s so much easier and more economical to pick up a chair from Ikea even though you know your neighbor down the street has the exact same one. So how do we create a space that is uniquely our own?

When we designed Ballard Pizza Company, it was important that the space stood out from the rest of the pizza shops out there. The pizza is unlike any other pizza you’ll find in Seattle, so why should it look like all the other pizzerias?

While we custom designed and built our chairs and bar tables to bring Ballard Pizza Company its unique look, another way we created the distinctive character was by salvaging pieces from stores like Second Use in SoDo. It’s amazing how much history and character is added to a room by adding small details like this vintage doorknob.

The great salvaged pieces hanging on the walls of Ballard Pizza Company are reminiscent of the art gallery that used to occupy the space previously, making the space richer in history.

To incorporate charismatic pieces into your own home, check out Second Use’s online inventory. It is updated once a day so you’re bound to found items to fall in love with!

What are some of your favorite ways to display your personality in your space?