Vibrant civic centers are a defining characteristic of a great many cities, towns and counties across the United States, and often linked to the historic roots of the community. There’s been a refreshing push in recent years to transform historic and aging buildings into modern facilities that continue to serve as civic gathering spaces rather than construct new municipal buildings on a greenfield site far from the traditional town center. With technology-dominated lives and an all too familiar sense of disconnection from others, ensuring physical gathering places and a sense of in-person connection, such as a courthouse green or town square, is more important than ever.
You may know it as the bathroom, restroom, water closet, WC, lu, or privy… but no matter what you call it, we all need one from time to time! While the bathroom/restroom may be one of the most functional and potentially utilitarian rooms in your residential or commercial space, that doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful too.
Since moving indoors, there have been many advances in plumbing, and there are a variety of design opportunities to create character defining details and spaces of repose.
Let’s take a look at flooring. Use of large tiles can be problematic when it comes to sloping-to-drain. Consider installing a trench drain at one end with a decorative grate. This is especially useful for commercial projects that are subject to frequent and heavy cleaning.
Walls present a variety of options including painted gypsum board, stained or painted wood wainscot, or decorative tile and accents. When niches are provided in shower walls, additional storage can be added.
Toilet partitions are another opportunity to provide character. If the budget allows, consider wood or stone partitions rather than phenolic. A row of toilet stalls can be enhanced with a bit of decorative trim work as well.
Consider a statement piece such as a large mirror with decorative trim or a beautiful stand-alone mirror.
The vanity area is yet another focal point where there is an opportunity to create beauty with function. Consider a metal sink rather than the traditional porcelain and add a matching faucet…
…Or a large scale stained wood console with stone countertop.
The same idea can be applied in a commercial setting as well, where a built-in vanity can appear to be a piece of furniture.
Attention to detail can turn a utilitarian space into a memorable one, and maybe even one in which you choose to linger, spend some quiet time, or simply take in the view. There is opportunity for design in every living space.
Hotel & Home Studio Director
AIA, LEED AP BD+C
As the winter season passes and the thought of warm spring breezes begin to tease the senses, our desire to come out of hibernation urges us to transition our indoor living habits to a more active and renewed outdoor lifestyle. No matter the region, architectural style of the house, or size of the yard, outdoor living spaces are becoming the center of the home and family for many of the same activities that take place inside of the home. More than ever, people retreat to outdoor living spaces for relaxation, entertainment, work, and exercise. This modern revolution of living space integrated within the breast of Mother Nature has become as much the heart of the home as their conventional indoor counterparts, traditionally known as kitchens and great/gathering rooms.
The growing popularity is in part due to the “green” movement where people have become more aware of and in touch with their natural environment. Our affection for outdoor spaces is also due to the ever evolving modern ingenuity that allows us to enjoy all of the same comforts of the indoors such as television, music, efficient cooking and appliances, cooling and heating devices, as well as comfortable and durable, worry free finishes, furnishings and textiles. These modern advancements have allowed home owners to create outdoor living environments that nearly equal the posh comforts of indoor living. Convenient amenities, integrated with the natural landscape, and in many spaces, properly designed exterior architecture that forms the outdoor living space, create an experience that even the most reclusive, indoor loving couch potato could enjoy.
This new lifestyle trend has inspired a tremendous growth in the interior design as well as the architectural and landscape design industries. A beautiful and functional outdoor living space cannot exist without those three elements. In many well designed outdoor living spaces, the landscape design, which creates the natural canvas and forms the architecture, the architecture which provides form and shelter, and the interior or exterior design which provides the luxuries of furniture and fixtures, all become one cohesive element. A well planned design can transcend the seasons allowing accommodations for comfort and entertainment throughout the year and changing seasons and weather conditions.
Our lifestyles are ever evolving. It is an innate need of most to relax and to enjoy their home or living environment. For many, outdoor living spaces are the epitome of the perfect environment to satisfy those needs or desires. Thanks to ingenuity and good design, so many outdoor living spaces can now allow people the enjoyment of their their normal indoor lifestyles in the beauty of a natural outdoor retreat simply by “bringing the indoors out”.
Interior design and decorating should not be about creating a space that reflects the designer/decorator’s personal style/tastes. Nor is it just about incorporating all of the latest design trends. It should be about creating a space that reflects the client, and the story that they would like others to perceive when they walk in their door.
Often, the client is unsure as to what kind of story they would like to tell…and that’s where we come in. We can help them develop their personal style and show them how to add in the details that make the space on trend, but not trendy. We, as designers and decorators, will help develop their story, through their home or business, just as one’s fashion style can portray one’s story through their clothes, shoes and accessories.
In partnership with a hospitality client, we created a hotel lobby that would subtly honor the longstanding history that this grand hotel holds, while embracing its ever steady climb towards the future. The beauty of this hotel is its ever visible celebration of nature and love for the people who have graced it over the years, whether by visiting as a guest, or entering into the service of those guests.
This same story continues into guest rooms with the use of colors, artwork and custom crafted items inspired by nature.
From start to finish, this residential project allowed us to help the client tell a story that included a realization of the desire for details and craftsmanship not often seen in new construction in this day and age. Thought and care were put into every design aspect of this private home, from the detail of adding linen fold panels and iron straps into the front doors, to creating a wine cellar that allows them to wind down a spiral staircase, away from the troubles of the day, and into a sanctuary of cool temperatures and beautiful bottles of wine waiting to be enjoyed with friends.
What kind of story can we help you tell?
Hardware allows us to perform everyday actions without thought… such as opening doors and drawers, traveling on stairs and turning on faucets. We tend to take it for granted, as function is its primary purpose. When carefully considered as part of an overall design, however, it can offer the opportunity to elevate the ordinary into something spectacular. Shape, material, and finish decisions contribute to the beauty and longevity of the overall result.
Thank you for allowing us to share just a glimpse of our “jewelry” collection. Please subscribe to our blog and watch for more new releases from the Glavé & Holmes Architecture Hotel & Home Studio.
Veronica Ledford, LEED AP
Veronica has spent fifteen years in the graphic and interior design fields, working in Richmond and New York City. She is a fan of DIY projects, Mid- Century Modern and bonsai trees.
Axminister wool carpet was first developed in Axminster, England in 1755 as a way to emulate richly hued Turkish carpets. Two hundred and fifty-eight years later, it is still the preferred carpet weave for hotels, conference centers, and historic buildings.
This Axminster carpet is for Grand Prefunction and Ballroom spaces in a four star resort in North Carolina.
The carpet was a custom design and is the result of a collaboration between Hotel & Home designers at Glavé & Holmes Architecture, and Stark Carpet.
The scale of the patterns, the space in which it will be installed, and the client’s desire to minimize seams all led to production on a unique 5 meter wide loom.
The various elements incorporated into the design include references from architectural elements on the nearby Duke Campus as well as medallions, some of which are over 25 feet in diameter for the largest of the ballrooms.
Stay tuned for more updates as we follow the progress of the design, creation, and installation of this custom broadloom.
Bespoke is a lovely English word, associated with fine Savile Row tailoring. In recent years, furniture makers have adopted the term to describe hand crafted furniture designed and built for a singular client.
Glavé & Holmes Architecture has a long history of these unique commissions to create one of a kind furniture, lighting, wallpapers, rugs, and fabric. Each is a reflection of the individual character and desires of the client and adds distinctive heirloom character to their hotel or home.
The Hotel & Home team partnered with Kevin Lipnicki to create an Asian style sideboard in ribbon mahogany. The marble top makes it a perfect surface for culinary presentations while the case houses media equipment. Created for the Robert H. Smith Center at Repose, the 11,000-square-foot house atop Montalto, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.