The Truth About 'Straightforward' Modern Details

Among those projects that I’ve been working on is a pair of additions to a 1970s modern house in a North Shore suburb of Chicago. This home has all the modern architectural design attributes: big walls of glass, shows, a low-slope roof with interior roof drains and much more. Each one these design details are not typical for the manner of job I usually work on. As a result, and because we would like to combine the improvements to the present arrangement seamlessly, I’ve been having fun learning about just how a modern home is detailed.

Among those things that has become evident, though a bit counterintuitive, is that a modern houses likely cost more to build than the usual sized more conventional residence. While you may look at these houses and thing that the apparent absence of detail makes for a costly endeavor, you would be confused. In fact, the urge to express accuracy, rather than cover things up with trim, necessitates some exacting workmanship and precise use of materials.

Below are some modern details and the way they’re created.

John Maniscalco Architecture

The Reveal

The show is a classic modern detail. 1 instance is when the base trim is placed flush with the plane of the drywall above, but it’s separated by a gap — or show — between it and the drywall. This detail is classically modern in that each bit is ascribed while present in precisely the same plane, or flush. And it’s functional, as the foundation trim is a stronger material to maintain up to toe kicks and the like. Though this is just one really sweet and simple bit of detail, it takes a little bit of work.

First, there are generally two layers of drywall instead of the usual one, which is only about double the cost of all those walls. The base layer of drywall is put from floor to ceiling, just as every other drywall job is finished.

Secondly, the outer high, layer of drywall is cut with a distinctive molding just over (usually a half inch over) the foundation trim. The important thing is getting the width of this show perfectly even and consistent throughout the room.

Laidlaw Schultz architects

The show is also utilized to articulate window and door openings. The detailing and building of the show round a door frame is much because it is at a foundation. And as with the foundation condition, setting an even and consistent show that is flush with the frame takes some care.

To attain this particular detail, the door frame must be set prior to drywall installation. This is out of regular sequencing and will throw away an inexperienced builder.

Naturally, the excess material and additional labour add up. Depending upon the base trim material, a detail like this could easily add $5 to $7 per square foot to the cost of your job.

Baldridge Architects

And then there is the mother of all show details. This is the show that is created between the treads and risers of a stair that provides the illusion which the stair disappears behind the walls. Much like other shows, this necessitates an additional layer of drywall and some precise craftsmanship.

Schwartz and Architecture

The Slab Door

Another modern detail is your slab door with top and bottom pivot hinges instead of the typical butterfly type of hinge. The pivot hinges are installed in the ground in addition to at the mind of the door frame instead of the door jambs and are utilized to create a door that’s flush with the wall.

Once the doors have been shut, the wall has a more uniform and monolithic look, a modernist design characteristic for sure. And when the door is open …

… it’s like a large panel, one of many that the wall is made of, is what opens. Architecturally, the doorway becomes a piece of the wall instead of being something completely different from the wall, as in conventional architectural design.

In fact, whereas in conventional architecture the doorway is a celebrated architectural element that announces the link between two rooms, in a modern aesthetic the doorway becomes subservient to the plane of the wall.

These hinges along with the job to set them are generally more costly than a typical hinge and its setup. A pair (typically three or four) of high quality butterfly hinges will put you back around $50; a pair of pivot hinges will likely be 200.

Renzo J Nakata Architects

Storefront Windows

Another identifying characteristic of modern architectural design is your storefront glazing system. These aluminum-framed systems allow for much larger expanses of glass inside smaller-profile supports when compared to wood-framed systems.

The result can be floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall glazing which dematerializes the wall and, therefore, the overall mass of the home. The title, unsurprisingly, comes from the fact that most of these types of systems are utilized for storefronts, where maximizing the glazed area is crucial.

While a storefront system does not necessarily cost more on a square-foot foundation than a conventional window, the absolute size of this window wall at a modern home means that, as a proportion of the budget, glazing and glass will be more.

Jaime Kleinert Architects

Low Roofs

What will a modernist home be with no apartment, or even more appropriately termed, low-slope roofing? These types of roofs require particular care, because they may be prone to leaking if not nicely detailed and constructed. And because gutters and downspouts in the exterior will ruin the overall aesthetic of the home, modern designs frequently depend on using interior roof drains to get and keep water off the roof.

To direct the water to these roof drains and keep water from spilling over the outside walls, the roofs normally have a parapet, or quite low wall, along the perimeter of the roof. These parapets not only keep water from spilling over the edge and onto the wall but they also conceal the slopes and pitches that any roof must have. From the outside a parapet is likely to earn a roof look as though it’s an entirely regular and even geometric shape, when actually it is not.

Rectangular Shapes

Last, a modernist home relies on an overall form that’s generally rectangular and boxy. The exteriors of these boxes are sided using materials that give a uniformity of expression that does not distract from the overall form. So horizontal flush siding using a minimal amount of joints is standard …

Lucid Architecture

… as is a panel system, normally fiber cement, which provides for a monolithic look. And note the use of shows between panels. With shows both inside and outside, there is consistency of detail — a part of any good modern residence.

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Modern Icons: Kartell Componibili Storage Modules

The cute small cylinder-shaped bodies of Componibili storage units happen to be in homes around the globe for more than 40 years. Designed by Anna Castelli Ferrieri in 1969, they remind me of stashing my books and mittens in my cubbyhole in elementary school — and I mean that in a good way. Of course, they possess the smart Italian touch; you stick your finger in a round hole at the curved doors and the doors slide open to reveal the compartments.

You will find several different configurations for your Componibili; each drawer of the larger system (15⅛ inches high by 161/2 inches diameter) along with the tray top are sold separately, and you will stack as many zoom units as you’d like. The standalone smaller cabinets simplify the procedure; you could purchase a 2- or three-drawer unit that’s 121/2 inches in diameter as just one single piece of furniture (the two-drawer version is 153/4 inches high, and also the three-drawer version is 23 inches high). If you are considering a Componibili buy, have a gander at all the ways to use these pieces in a variety of space styles and types; I expect this will make your decision easier.

Emily McCall

Place a three-drawer Componibili alongside a favorite reading chair and stash your books, newspapers, studying specs, voucher case, ribbons, crossword puzzles, pens and other unpleasant items indoors. Insert a timeless anglepoise lamp on top and you are ready to go.

Leslie Goodwin Photography

Red adds a playful touch and will hold its own alongside some killer racecar bed and giant Union Jack.

Hufft Projects

The red version is a limited edition, so if you are on the fence about ordering one, then you might want to boost your decision.

FORMA Design

Add castors to put make your Componibili even more portable.

Collette Hanlon Home Stagers

The cabinet makes a smashing side table at a modern room; its curves play sculptural furnishings.

Moon Design + Build

Three drawers make the larger standalone Componibili an extremely helpful modern nightstand, with lots of room for your flashlight, night time mask, love letters and anything else you maintain in there which is not one of my business.

Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture

Another advantage is its slim profile; if you’ve only a little over one foot on one side of the bed, you’ve got loads of space to squeeze one in.

sarah & bendrix

The cabinet fits into more diverse or traditional bedrooms too.

Glamour Nest

The nightstand functions not just for small kiddos and adults, but also for tweens and teens also. Should you purchase one, you’ll always find someplace around the home at which you are able to set it to good use.

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

The Componibili cabinet is a genius addition to a bathroom that combines classic and modern touches. It attracts in iconic Italian modern design, it can conceal those additional rolls of T.P., and you can place your towel or a candle on top of it while you soak in the bathtub.

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Exotic Laguna Beach Family Home

Joe and Lisa Preston couldn’t wait to move to this traditional Spanish Mediterranean home in California, in which a gorgeous perspective of Laguna Beach meshes beautifully with all the old-world architecture and the owner’s art collection. The plaster walls, vaulted beam ceilings, planked walnut doors and clay roof tiles are a fantastic match for your incomparable sea view from among the city’s best vantage points.

The couple worked with Ohara Davies-Gaetano of Bliss Design to incorporate a vibrant and private design that would grow with their children’ needs and display their collected global art and paintings. “The Prestons are very colorful folks,” says Davies-Gaetano. “They’re also understated, down-to-earth and casual. They just wanted their home to be fabulous, which has been the underlying theme for the job.”

in a Glance
Who lives here: Joe and Lisa Preston and their 3 young children
Location: The mountains of Laguna Beach, California
Size: 3,400 square feet on 3 levels; 4 bedrooms, 3 baths
That’s interesting: An 18th-century turtle shell from France hangs above the mantel.

Bliss Design

The living room is bordered on both sides by glass doors, together with all the sweeping Pacific on one side and a hillside and courtyard on the other. As there’s no anchor wall, the designer pulled everything to the center of the space.

A oversized ottoman with tray in the living room serves as a coffee table. The mother-of-pearl inlay fits the seat in the hallway between the living and dining room.

Leather armchairs: Holly Hunt

Bliss Design

“We don’t see a reason to reduce our layout standard for life with children,” says Joe. The couple believes that should they love the things in their house, their little ones can learn to respect that.

The velvet saffron-yellow couch, chaise and ottoman were custom made and upholstered locally. The colorful throw pillows are covered with textiles collected during the couple’s journeys. The Tibetan hand-woven area rug is coloured with vegetable dye to get a natural gradation, and the antique lamps were purchased from the initial owners of the house.

Bliss Design

A cut and mounted slice of petrified wood is placed before a spectacular abstract art piece by Paul Ecke. “It needed something textural that would not take from the vignette,” says Davies-Gaetano.

When requested his advice into other art collectors, Joe shares,”Our guidance in artwork collection is not to buy a piece for decorative motives. Buy what you love, and it’s going to be a part of your daily life forever.”

Bliss Design

For extra seats with flexibility, Davies-Gaetano placed a matching duvet from the fireplace. This comfortable setup is part of what makes the living room Joe and Lisa’s favourite room in the home. They wanted it to be formal and sophisticated, but also practical and lively. “Ohara attracted that together with all the vibrant colors and the spirit of our artwork, which represents a time and place in our own lives,” says Joe.

One of the last items added to the decoration — and among the greatest splurges — was that the 18th-century turtle shell from France above the mantel. “The extra tortoise shell and butterflies provide the space an exotic feel. We love to travel, and it reminds us of French island living,” says Joe.

Bliss Design

Real butterflies are mounted within a classic wedding veil globe, set on a classic sculptor’s base from France.

The painting of a woman reflected in a pool is by California artist Eric Zener. It holds special significance for Joe, who’s an avid swimmer.

Bliss Design

Like the living room, the sophisticated dining room occupies inside the home’s open floor plan without an anchor wall. The table and chandelier were also inherited by the previous homeowners. Upholstered chairs modeled after Italian antiques perform up the home’s old-world Mediterranean personality. A grass-green ceramic horse sits on a French antique oak chest that’s used for storage.

Floor-to-ceiling windows flow from the dining room to the kitchen. Guests enter the house on the top floor, where the living room, den, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom are located.

Bliss Design

The master bedroom has been flanked by windows and doors on both sides of the bed. Pressed aluminum bedside tables from India and lamps made from gypsum and acrylic assist the space to feel light and airy.

Bliss Design

Davies-Gaetano chose sea-foam linen window treatments and also a graphic headboard to create an effect in the master bedroom limited distance. The headboard fabric — designed from the Uzbekistani suzani design — is manufactured by Donghia.

Bliss Design

The upstairs den is bathed in afternoon light. The preexisting 1950s curtains and also the owners’ vibrant artwork determined the orange and orange color palette. An African mask collection hangs alongside the fireplace, and a blue Tibetan rug warms the floor.

The locally custom-made couch is covered in wool, followed by a Baker reading seat and a Holly Hunt coffee table. The TV sits opposite the couch.

Bliss Design

The guest bedrooms on the lower level kept a lot of the original flair. The orange room’s walls and window treatments are a lively take on the preceding homeowner’s affinity for its citrus colour. “When the family moved in, their 5-year-old daughter said this is her castle in the sky,” Davies-Gaetano says.

Bliss Design

The key garden patio downstairs is tucked right into hedges with tiny pebbles that crunch underfoot. A guest could easily imagine themselves in a timeless European garden. “What makes this house special is that you’ve got different experiences as you go through. To begin with, you don’t see the sea view till you enter the home. Then you go downstairs and have this entirely fresh adventure,” Davies-Gaetano says.

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We've Got a Golden Ticket

Can you remember how you felt watching Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory when Charlie opened the Wonka Bar and you saw the glimmering gold ticket? I feel that way in chambers when gold is used at a manner. I feel fancy sitting in an area with delicate touches of golden even when I am not elaborate, which is the majority of the time.

The late American fashion designer Bill Blass, famous for utilizing pattern and texture within a neutral palette, used gold in this manner. In his designs he would utilize an unexpected golden button. In his home he would put a brass fire screen on his hearth that would shimmer with the flames from a neutral palette.

I am not going to say that gold is back, since I don’t think it ever endured. Have a peek at these designers are pulling the gold prize in their own spaces.

J. Hirsch Interior Design

My treasured gold ticket is this powder room with its tasteful gold sink and tap. Now that’s fancy and enjoyable.

For People design

One of my favorite accessories in a while, this gold pachyderm retains its own in this whimsical arrangement.

Charmean Neithart Interiors

I think that the glimmer of this faucet indicates the versatility of gold. Here it is perfectly paired with all the trendy colors of the background and the antiqued mirror. Yes, gold and silver do play nicely together.

Shirley Meisels

Even though this is technically not a metallic gold, the lush gold vibe with this settee is brilliantly positioned one of a variety of shades and textures. If I clarified this room until you could see it, you’d probably say”no method” into its gray walls and hot pink, chartreuse, acrylic and striped rug details — no way would they work together. Way, they can!

Cravotta Interiors

I included this picture simply because it is so over the top. Gold doors embossed with dinosaurs that result in your own personal movie theatre? Why not?

The splash of gold from this pendant is simply enough to set a dramatic tone for this entry, with its own geometric background.


I really like the imperial elegance of the gold-toned frame on this oil painting. This is just plain stunning.

J. Hirsch Interior Design, LLC

This elegant area of neutrals is perfectly paired with a splash of gold leaf on the legs of the rocking seat. Along with the amber tones of the lamp put off the hanging cloth in the background.

For People design

I adore this vintage-inspired brass division, particularly when paired with the gold tassel lamps and blush shade of the walls.

What will Veruca Salt, the spoiled girl in Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, say? “Gold splashes! Do not care how; I want it today.”

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Resolutions for the New Year

According to AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, 90 percent of Americans wish to age in their own houses. Unfortunately, about 90 percent of homes aren’t intended to facilitate aging that was comfy, secure. (Maybe you discovered that during a recent sports accident recuperation.)

Below are some resolutions you can make to help your home facilitate aging, whether for your long-term needs, to get a live-in comparative or to the security of your visitors.

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The Garden Route Company

AIP Resolution No. 1: I will make my home visitable.

Stairs create a grand entrance for your home, but are not so grand for people or residents using wheelchairs or walkers. Consider a zero-barrier entrance to your home and at least one available ground floor bath.

Not just will this make your home more visitable, it is also going to aid you if an older relative with freedom problems move in, or if you sustain a sports injury which precludes stair climbing during your recuperation.

On a related note, zero-threshold showers are also recommended for aging in place.

Michael Fullen Design Group

AIP Resolution No. 2: I will make entering my home more convenient.

You want your entrance to speak eloquently to the style of your home, as this one does.

In spite of a couple stairs, an entrance can be more user-friendly for vistors or citizens posture markets, gifts, luggage and the like. Think about a seat, ledge or outdoor-friendly table where somebody can rest their bundles to achieve keys and door knob.

Within this handsome area, there’s space for a resting place on the hinge side of the door.

Michael Robert Construction

AIP Resolution No. 3: I will make my stairs safer.

The well-secured runner on this elegant staircase is a good measure in the aging-in-place standing of the home. It will most likely keep people from slipping on the glistening wood treads.

Also, think about adding stairway lighting with a two-way switch on top and bottom and a matching handrail across the wall.

Residential Elevators

AIP Resolution No. 4: I’ll plan for future years.

Most multi-story houses do not have, or need, elevators, but when your master bedroom is upstairs and you also build a freedom issue, an elevator can be a resource. It’s not cheap to include one, but is relocating to assisted living.

If you’re building a custom multi-level home you intend to live in indefinitely, ask your architect to organize space for an elevator so that it will be easier to add later if you need one.

Elizabeth Gordon

AIP Resolution No. 5: I will decrease trip hazards in my home.

Table lamps are elegant additions into a living space and a fantastic way to add reading light in a study. Just be absolutely sure that their cords aren’t crossing a walkway and making a trip hazard.

Scatter rugs can also present trip hazards, therefore consider eliminating those if you have eyesight, mobility or balance problems.

Vintage Tub & Bath

Town Square Faucet

AIP Resolution No. 6: I will improve my lever-age.

Levers are a lot simpler for older hands to operate than pops or cross-handles, especially for those suffering from Parkinson’s or arthritis.

Change out your door knobs, cabinet hardware and taps with lever-handled versions for increased accessibility and absolutely no lack of style.

InterDesign Studio

AIP Resolution No. 7: I’ll add accessible seating to my kitchen.

Hopping up on a barstool is simple when you’re a athletic 20-something. It’s not so simple for seniors. Having counter height (greater ) or table elevation (optimal ) seating makes older consumers more comfortable and safer. It’s also a blessing for anyone visiting or moving in your home in a wheelchair.

If you’re planning to add an island or remodel your kitchen to get long-term living, contemplate available chairs as part of your plan.

CliqStudios Cabinets

Pantry Cabinet |

AIP Resolution No. 8: I’ll begin rolling.

Roll-out trays, swing-outs, Lazy Susans and other”pull-forward” cupboard accessories are a lot simpler for aging eyes and backs to use. They also greatly enhance the storage capability of your own kitchen by creating the deep recesses of your cabinets more accessible.

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Dive Into Palm Beach Style

I really don’t know how to define it, but I know it when I see it. Palm Beach style may go ’60s groovy, incorporates some dashes of Hollywood Regency, leans heavily on wicker, has bold preppy rolls, has never met a trellis it didn’t like, is crazy for all shades of green, appreciates tropical rolls and is a look unlike any other. Here’s a group of rooms which look like they sprang straight from this posh and playful Florida town.

RLH Studio

Although this sun porch is in Minnesota, it might easily transfer south to Palm Beach. The soft colors, green touches and scalloped window treatments are upscale Florida flourishes.

See the rest of the home

Tara Bussema – Design and Neat Organization

Palm Beachers are not scared to go bold, and they adore their wicker. This room is diverse and soft yet unified and crisp.

Kate Jackson Design

Mixing florals, prints and animal prints is a timeless Palm Beach move. A framed classic bathing suit is the best adornment for the wall.

Anthony Baratta LLC

Palm Beachers are not scared of going over the top. Here, opulent window treatments and molding combination with informal, boldly upholstered woven furniture

CIH Design

You can not have too much preppy pink and green in Palm Beach. The palm tree artwork over the fireplace is an excellent finishing touch.


Pink and green is a favorite combination although not crucial. Corals and blues in a mix of patterns produce a different kind of Palm Beach room.

LLC & Sons, Ellen Grasso

This glowing bedroom looks like it pulled its color palette straight from one of Palm Beach denizen Lilly Pulitzer’s change dresses.

David Hicks’ La Fiorentina geometric print and upgraded round drawer knobs provide a fresh take on Palm Beach.

Casart Coverings

This bed looks like it was inherited from Granny and given a fresh look with glossy grass-green paint. The artichoke wall covering includes a large, playful touch.


This space, with its stripped-down color palette and elegant black and silver touches, is much more of a Palm Beach/Palm Springs mash-up.

Studio Marcelo Brito

While Palm Beachers adore their vivid colors, they are not reluctant to black and white schemes, particularly when those approaches include stripes and a fabulous peacock seat.

Trina Turk

Trina Turk Ping-Pong Establish – $54

Ping-Pong is almost the city game of Palm Beach, and these peppy Trina Turk paddles are an ideal accessory.


Celerie Kemble: On Your Taste: Establishing Modern Rooms with a Traditional Twist – $15.30

For a fresh take on personality with profound Palm Beach roots, check out Celerie Kemble’s For Your Taste. It is not only full of inspirational photos, but Kemble is one of my preferred design authors.

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