This California Kitchen Is Made for Holiday Entertaining. Kitchen designer Alison Pickart hails from a long line of engineers — her great-grandfather founded the model-railroad company Walthers — so it’s no surprise that every millimeter of her renovated double-height kitchen, in a 1932 cottage in Ross, California, is as charming and carefully plotted as a train set. “Every area around our farmhouse table has a purpose,” Pickart says. As a parent and frequent party giver, she created “stations” so that nearly every family member can partake in the prep work. In this house, there’s no such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen. “It gets beat up and keeps on ticking,” she says.
This Laundry Room's Dog Shower Is the Pampering Your Pooch Needs. When designer Dina Bandman got the chance to create a laundry room at this year's San Francisco Decorator Showcase, she gave the typically overlooked space a dramatic upgrade: unexpected lighting, scenic wallpaper and a spot for sudsing pups were all integral. "The laundry room is the new powder room!" Bandman says. "It should feel special and be an extension of your home's design."
Shower or Tub? The Way You Bathe Could Affect Your Property Value. Do you rinse off in a glass-enclosed shower amid soothing rainforest sounds? Or would you rather lounge languidly in a porcelain clawfoot tub? Choose wisely. Your preference could affect your property value. According to The New York Times, real estate agents and designers are debating the value of tub over shower when it comes time to list a home. There isn’t any definitive data on how removing a tub affects resale value, but Jonathan J. Miller, president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, says not having a tub poses an issue for young families, “so the risk of impacting the value rises as the apartment size rises.” In other words, if your home gives off more Full House than bachelor pad vibes, keep the tub. On the flip side, Katherine Salyi, a broker at Sotheby’s International Realty, says removing the tub from a studio or one-bedroom often increases the home’s value by as much as 10%. For a two-bedroom or two-bathroom apartment though, Salyi says “if you were to take away all the tubs, it would have a negative impact. ”The end takeaway: invest in your bathroom in some form. Put money into your bathroom and “watch it go up every year,” advises James Mansfield, chief executive of West Village General Contracting. “Your house gets more valuable because of the alterations.”
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