Gorgeous Garage Door Design

Most people probably don’t give garage doors a second thought or really have an opinion about them, so long as they open and close when we hit the button.  I am not one of those people.  In fact, I have some pretty strong opinions about garage doors.    First, I love a two-car garage, a three-car, even better.  But in a two-car garage I much prefer if it has 2 separate doors, not one large door.  Certainly, the large two-car door has advantages… if you want to park something wide, angle park or push in a boat that wouldn’t fit any way but diagonally.  But aesthetically, I think two separate doors looks better.  I also much prefer when a garage is a side-load, in other words, when you can’t see it from the front of the house.  If it has to be a front facing garage, doors that are attractive and beautiful are of course ideal if your community association allows it.  It’s one of the things I wish I could change about my house, I’d love to have something more appealing than my standard 16 panel contractor grade door to welcome me every day.

There are a million options out there in garage doors these days for every style house in a number of materials.  Doors now come in vinyl, wood, steel, fiberglass, composite and glass-paneled in roll up, swing up, swing out and other various options.  I’ve assembled a collection of great looking garage doors in both single and two-door varieties check back next week when I’ll show a few ways to transform a builder grade door just by adding some strategically-placed hardware.

Garage Door Design


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Eco-Friendly Farm House

In this month’s edition of This Old House Magazine, they’ve featured a home that I think is almost absolute perfection (for me, it would be absolutely perfect if it were on a larger piece of land).  This Old House’s 2016 Idea House is a newly built farmhouse that’s a modern version of classic farmhouse style, with lots of green features and a smaller footprint…. not the McMansion size of yester-decade, nor the tiny mouse-house size, but a Goldilocks just right size of 1900 square feet.  Here’s some of what I really love about this place.

First, the outside look is just so appealing and charming, with the copper roof over the porch, the black vinyl windows and that salmon door is just so inviting! Sometimes it’s also what’s NOT present that can improve curb appeal, in this case, garage doors, which are located in a detached garage at the back of the property.



This house uses less than half the energy of what the average house of a similar size would consume, thanks in part to the solar array on the roof of the garage.  Sure, it requires an investment up front, but if you plan on living in the home for a while, live in a state that offers tax advantages for eco-friendly home improvements, and idealistically want a better planet for your kids, then solar is the way to go.  Plus, who could resist an adorable cupola?



I’ve always thought rain chains were a charming feature of older homes, but I never considered their eco-friendliness before.  The rain chain channels the water to a bell cup and releases it in a controlled fashion down the chain to the awaiting garden, or terminates in a cistern where water can be used for watering plants later.













The inside of the home has some wonderfully modern yet charming features as well.  This baluster and railing system is amazing.  And can we talk about that board and batten on the interior for a minute?  It adds so much visual interest, and the white keeps the room bright and airy.  From a practical standpoint, the board and batten can be painted in a semi-gloss, since it’s technically a “trim” and will be so much easier to wipe down when dirty or scuffed which is perfect for a smaller space that is inhabited by kids and pets.  I’ve been seriously considering a board and batten for this very purpose up and down the stairs and halls of my rental beach property, I may be thoroughly convinced now.













I’ve always wanted a reason to use penny tile and I just haven’t found the right place for it yet.  I like that the designer of this space not only went with the penny tile but went bold and selected a red shade with bright white grout.  It’s a classic look that shouts “farmhouse!”













It’s a small kitchen, but taking the tile all the way to the ceiling adds visual height and space and the oversized contrasting island adds all the usable storage, counter and seating space a growing family could need.













Even though most of us don’t live down on the farm, everyone these days still wants a mudroom.  And if it looks like this, well, who wouldn’t?  The bold citron cubbies paired with the dark wood floors and the white shiplap walls welcomes the entering  family with a vibe that says, “organize your crap”, but “still have fun”.













I might actually LIKE doing laundry if it were in a laundry room like this.  Ok, admittedly, I’d probably still not like it, but at least I wouldn’t cringe every time I walked past my laundry room. Now on my to-do list, revamp laundry room and include a barn door.













Navy blue and crisp white is a tried and true design trick that looks fresh and clean every.single.time.  I don’t think you can ever go wrong with navy and white.  This reading nook capitalizes on the navy and white perfection and takes it one step further by adding additional visual interest on the ceiling with a blue and white patterned wallpaper.













All the related articles and photos, all by William Geddes can be found at This Old House’s website, here. What’s your favorite part of the This Old House Idea House 2016?


What to Wear Wednesday: Modern Rustic

You never know where you’re going to get inspiration from.  I saw this room that was showcased as one of Williams Sonoma Home’s curated interior looks for their website.  I really like the look (because let’s face it, those wood windows, floors and beams are killer) but I also thought you could get this same “Modern Rustic” feel in an outfit too. Here’s their interior and my take on a fall modern rustic ensemble:





















  1. Joie Airlan Tank
  2. Michael Kors Elyse Large Suede Shoulder Bag
  3. Paolo Shoes Annie Dark Brown “Moro” Nappa Leather Zipper-in-the-Back with Snap Tall Riding Boots 
  4. Isabel Marant Etoile Anna Suede Skirt
  5. Kenneth Jay Lane Mixed-Shape Wood Bangles 
  6. Theory Milano Knit Cape
  7. Horseshoe Stud Earrings 

Going Grey

This post could be about the slow transformation of my hair and how I spend five minutes every night plucking those greys from my scalp. (Yes, I’m aware it’s a no-no to do that.  I keep promising to stop…. I will… maybe…. when I’m bald.)  Anyway, thankfully, I’d much rather discuss the grey floor trend.  I went floor shopping yesterday with a friend and client.  She ultimately decided on a smooth medium grey hickory engineered wood.  It’s gorgeous.  It’s a great choice for her home in a neighborhood of classic brick ramblers.  It will hold up well to pets.  It will be a solid backdrop for her classic coastal inspired design, but will still be able to pull off other looks if she decides to change the décor down the road.

Grey made a serious comeback in interiors a few years ago and it’s meandering its way through our homes.  It began with the light grey or, even better, greige wall paint and morphed into grey-washed furniture a la Restoration Hardware, then grey creeped onto kitchen cabinets and now it has puddled on the floors.  That may sound negative; it’s not.  I like grey.  The floors in my own beach cottage are grey.  However, this color can be tough to find exactly what you want and more importantly to decide if it’s something you’re going to love forever.  Here are a few examples of some rooms where the grey floors did exactly what they were supposed to, be the backdrop for spectacular design.

This first one happens to be an engineered wide wood plank called Braided River Driftwood Oak by The Reclaimed Flooring Co.











These in a design by Fiorella Design are Antique White by DuChateau Floors.  This is a less grey take on grey, if that makes sense, as a lot of the wood’s natural light brown color still comes through.










If going for a super durable option, this floor is tile that looks like wood, and it’s very affordable.  This is Oceanside Oak Grey HD Porcelain.  available at Lumber Liquidators.

P.S. Flooring stores, we know you want to highlight those gorgeous floors but it’s okay to put an area rug in the styling of the photos.  It’s what people actually will do (or should do) when they put the product in their home.










Most people when they think of vinyl they think, ew, that stuff that was rolled out by the miles in every kitchen and bath between 1965 and 2000?  Nope, this is not granny’s vinyl.  The new Luxury Vinyl Planks look like wood and wear better especially in very harsh environments like beach homes and commercial applications.  This is Bali by Beaulieu America in a dining and kitchen space I designed two years ago.














Now if you have a boatload of cash sitting around or really just want one splurge item, you can go with the real deal – reclaimed barnwood.  These beauties are Continental Oak by Ebony and Co.









Those of us with the smallest of budgets probably have the most options in laminates because there are a ton of grey laminates out there.  DIYers can pick up the Pergo Vintage Pewter Oak, which is a dark woodsy grey, at Home Depot.