Ask an Expert: Laurie B. Haefele
Q: Hi Laurie. I recently moved and am in the process of decorating. My bathtub is separate from my shower area – one side is a blank wall next to the tub. I was wondering if you had a suggestion on what would look modern but feminine on the wall over the tub. I was thinking of adding in some nature elements… would love your thoughts and ideas! Thank you - Melissa
A: Hi Melissa. Congratulations on your move. A blank wall provides an excellent opportunity to add some texture, life and color to a room. If it is an outdoor wall, consider adding a window which will brighten up the space and allow you more color options. Another idea is to create a horizontal niche for decorative elements, such as candles or soaps. My favorite option would be to tile the wall with a laser cut decorative tile that has an unending pattern. I also like the Casarstone Motivo Lace which is an embossed pattern with a glossy finish on the raised portion of the stone.
Image: Haus and Home
Q: Hi Laurie. I am very social and love the idea of having a kitchen that is more casual and a go-to for late night conversations and cooking. How would you recommend redesigning a kitchen that caters to kitchen guests and has comfortable seating? – C. Bird
A: Hello C. Bird. I am also very social and understand very well how the party always ends up in the kitchen, so why not make the kitchen part of the rest of the house. This may entail removing some walls to open up the space. Comfortable seating is a must. I prefer slightly raised counters and to wrap the seating around the ends if possible.
Q: Hi Laurie. I live in a small studio (which means an even smaller bathroom) but as a girl I’m sure you can relate to having many toiletries and spa products! What do you recommend for organizational storage that is both practical and not an eye sore? Thank you for your help!! - Ellen
A: Hello Ellie. I too have products galore on the bathroom countertop and it drives me nuts! As soon as I have some extra time, I am going to add these thin pullout inserts to my cabinetry at home. They are fantastic and have specific slots for everything from hairdryers to nailpolish! The pull out hardware makes it easy to access everything that is difficult to get to in the back of the cabinet.
Q: Hi Laurie. My family home has one bathroom on the Main Level (and one on our lower level) that is used for myself, my husband, our two children (3 and 6) AND it is the guest powder room. It is tiny and includes a pedestal sink, toilet and tub/shower combo. How can we create a functional bathroom and also maintain a sense of style for our guests? Thank you! - Rachel
A: Hi Rachel. I love pedestal sinks but they do not work well when you need storage. How about a beautiful freestanding cabinet that has the look of furniture? It can hold the necessities and maintain that sense of style you wish for your guests to enjoy.
Also, I would incorporate as many medicine cabinets as possible. For example instead of one mirror in the middle of the wall behind the sink, why not three and then you and your husband get your own and the kids can have one to share.
Meet The New Ask an Expert: Kari Whitman
Kari Whitman, acelebrity interior designer and television personality, is best known for her trademark eclectic style and knowledge of eco- and pet-friendly designs. A noted producer, Kari hosted and produced her own show Designer to the Stars on the WE Network, was a featured designer on The Dude Room on The Discovery Channel, and is currently developing several new shows about pet-friendly and green design.
This Week's Topic: Eco-Friendly Design - To Reuse is to Recycle
Kari will be answering questions about eco-friendly designs. Click here to ask here a question.