May 13, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES III • Page 31 Home Improvement & Gardening Rustic modern: Transitional design that’s cool and warm (ARA) For many, the thought of decorating in the modern style can be daunting. Images of sterile, stern lines come to mind, often suggesting cold and unwelcoming environments. But the idea of modern does not always mean minimal and white. Today’s designers and homeowners are pairing rustic finishes and furnishings with crisp aluminum and glass details. The look is a sort of rustic transitional. The beauty of transitional design is that it affords the ability to create an eclectic look, pulling from both traditional and modern styling. An obvious interest in pieces that evoke a respect for nature and are sustainable accounts for the some of the mix, but for many it is the desire to blend simple lines with warm finishes that has caused this transitional look to take hold. Transitional design is perfect for homeowners who want an easy take on modern or a slightly edgier approach to traditional. The room most comfortably wearing this transitional cloak is the kitchen. Here, the look is accomplished by designing a kitchen with clean lines, featuring contemporary full access cabinetry while incorporating a very traditional walnut wood. The benefit of a transitional kitchen is that homeowners can still have the comfort of traditional elements without sacrificing modern technology and up-to-date amenities and storage features. The easiest way to accomplish the look is to work with a custom kitchen designer. Custom cabinetry allows designers and homeowners to make a number of modifications including finishes, materials, sizes and shapes. Additionally, custom kitchens can incorporate more or less of either style. By combining contemporary and traditional looks, you can bring a fresh twist to something familiar or take a little risk without losing comfort. Transitional kitchens often mix European and American details, bringing a bit of Milan together with a slice of Philadelphia. Cool and warm. An easy way to achieve the transitional look in the kitchen is through wood species, custom colors and a variety of accessories. The trick is to find the perfect combination that suits your personal taste. If you happen to like modern amenities such as glass, steel and concrete, but don’t want a strictly contemporary kitchen, select a door style that reflects a more traditional design to warm up the space. To modify a traditional space, think hardware, stainless steel appliances and a simple, flat door style. Go for cool warmth. Go transitional. Spring Take the bath from bland to grand with 30-minute makeovers (ARA) Many of us dream of updating the most-used room in our homes, the bath, to create a beautiful and inviting space. Luckily, you don’t have to sink a hefty sum of time and money into your bath to achieve dramatic results that you can enjoy every day. Try these few simple upgrades that can change the entire look of your bath within minutes. Mirror Miracles About 30 percent of homes have at least one plateglass bathroom mirror. While functional, these large mirrors lack a luxurious look. Luckily, adding a mirror frame create a custom look that makes a striking style statement in the bath. Hint of Hotel Luxury When entering a luxury hotel room, many people check out the bathroom first. Instead of waiting for your next vacation to enjoy hotel comforts, add simple amenities to your own bath, concentrating on the shower area. To start, a curved shower rod can make you feel like you have an oversized, lavish shower without adding any square footage. Plus, it’s an affordable solution that provides up to 7 1/2 inches of elbow room while adding terrific style and visual appeal. Moen offers both fixedand adjustable-length curved shower rods with pivoting flanges to make installation a breeze -- even on irregular wall surfaces. Next, update your current showerhead with a more luxurious style. If you prefer a powerful, full-body spray, perhaps you would like a rainshower showerhead. Or, if you like options, try a multi-function version that allows you to switch from a relaxing wide spray to an invigorating concentrated spray -- or somewhere in the middle. You can find a variety of designs and functionality. Add Accessories Just like in fashion, it is often the accessories that pull a look together to make a “wow” statement. You can quickly update your bath with new exquisitely designed and easy-to-install accessories, such as robe hooks, paper holders, towel bars, towel rings, and shelves. Today’s manufacturers offer a wide variety of styles and finishes to match or coordinate with your faucets to make a dramatic style effect -- and add a bit of organization to your bath. Cool Colors and Luxury Linens As the final step to your newly designed bath, add a splash of color. Touch up any nicks or scratches in your baseboards and freshen the walls with a coat of paint in your favorite color. Next, bring in the soft finishing touches by adorning your new accessories and a shower rod with high-quality linens: a new shower curtain and fresh towel sets. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to something plush and cozy -- you’ll want towels that stand up to daily wear and still keep their attractive appearance. Each of these simple projects can be accomplished with very little time or expense -- but your enjoyment of your new bath will be immeasurable! G.R. 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