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J Steinberg Design's Advice

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J Steinberg Design wrote:

What is the definition of a Craftsman Home?

Answer
Well...you can't really talk about Craftsman without talking about Arts and Crafts. Arts and Crafts started in England as a reaction to the Victorian. Arts and Crafts was like haute couture- very few could really afford the true style, even fewer wanted it when it first came on the sceen, everything was handmade of the finest materials, very calming peaceful and looked "of the earth". Also A&C homes were very simple compared to Victorian homes- open floor plans (rather than the Victorian notion of separate rooms for different activities), materials were dark (dark woods, earthy colors for interior and exterior), little pattern (no flocked wallcoverings!)...it was everything the Victorian was not. This was England. Then the movement caught on in America. And we get Craftsman style- following much of the same principals of the Arts and Crafts. In a way, its like a "sub" group. More mass produced, but still in keeping with Arts and Crafts thinking. Craftsman and "Bungalow" architecture are subheadings to Arts and Crafts, they are not the same thing- but most people mistake them for the same thing when describing them.Craftsman homes are typically of the same style, mimic the same materials and concepts as A&C homes...open spaces, lower roof lines (as compared to gables and turrets of Victorian homes)- they are low slung and try to blend in with the environment. Craftsman is like the poor mans A&C, more mass produced, much smaller square footage, not as "fine"- but still highly appreciated and very popular even today.
April 27 2009
(3)

Fireplace surround tile

Response
I would surely get an estimate from a local sub for this. I will probably be less than you might think to get it professionally done with a fix that is appropriate and that will last. That being said, what type of stone look do you want? A clean and mod approach would be flat tiles, such as travertine or, if you are on a strict budget, something porcelain that strikes your fancy. I would look into the difference for natural stone to porcelain or ceramic, though. Since its such a small application, going for the natural stone probably wont be that much more (granted that your fireplace is not one of those that goes floor to ceiling in the middle of a room or something). The main thing to remember is scale. Look at your fireplace, then choose the appropriate tile size based on the size of your fireplace. If its small, go 16", no bigger than 18". If its bigger, you can go 18" to 24". Your mantle usually helps determine the size of tile, too (for instance, you don't want the tile sticking out past your mantle!). If you want a warmer and more current look- consider stacked "ledger" stone. Check out Eldorado Stone and Cultured Stone. Any sub can purchase these products, and they are usually available at local building supplier showrooms. I am working on a project right now and we are refacing the fireplace with ledger stone. Its about a $2,000 project with labor and materials. You may find better pricing, depending on your area.
January 14 2009
(1)

I did my track lighting lol

Answer
It does look better than most track lighting, I'll give you that! You chose a nice fixture for your space. As well as your moulding above/below the cork tiles (which I think you should do stain grade oak instead of white. The white may stick out like a sore thumb against the black, green and oak, unless you also do white crown, possibly?), you should consider painting your ceiling. Not a huge color- but something light to finish it out. Possibly a celedon that works with the current green. I am a fan of the painted ceiling- it just finishes everything off.  Good job- nice before and after. Did you put it on dueling digs?! How did you like the chalkboard paint? Did it take well?
January 14 2009
(0)

custom kitchen cabinet worth it?

Answer
If the cabinets function the way you want and you have enough storage, look into refacing. They will still need to restain the other part of the cabinet, but it could be more cost effective. If you go with new cabinets, I highly encourage you to shop your local mom and pop tradesmen. Often times, they are a joy to do business with, they give personal and attentive service and they create and sell superior product versus big box stores. At least look into it before you think its too expensive. As for the counter- replace it if you can. If you will be in your home for 5 to 10 years- do the things that really bug you now. Chances are, you will break down and do it before you move, anyway. Have it the way you want it asap so you can live with it and enjoy it- instead of updating in order to sell or make it look more appealing to a new owner. Again, when it comes to the stone, look into and gain bids from a few local stone subs. Don't let the allure of the "easy" and seemingly discounted big box store fool you into thinking smaller guys are more expensive. Sometimes they are, but often times its comparable if not more cost effective. Im not sure if they can beat Ikea- but remember this: buy cheap, pay twice.
January 12 2009
(0)

Is small closet in master a real big problem? Are buyers expecting huge closets?

Answer
I agree with Nate in that an organized closet is the key. Systems to maximize the verticle space, and help organize the everyday horizontal space are more useful than anyone realizes until they install org systems. 
January 12 2009
(0)

Any ideas for putting wow in dull entryway?

Answer
I agree with the other posters that you should ditch the pegs- all it does is encroach. Explore mirros and more mouldings. Mouldings don't take up a lot of space and typically add a lot of "wow". Have you considered a verticle element? Possibly a striped paint treatment or wall covering? A verticle element can also be achieved with mouldings and mirrors. Its hard to say without photos or knowing about your style. What is the ceiling like? Any recessed lighting or ceiling treatment to bring the eye up? 
January 12 2009
(0)

Soapstone Counters

Response
To clarify, that was not my personal link...just a good one!Regarding the flat screen, I am currently doing a large project and we are in the Kitchen/Family Room phase. Its a big house, and the kitchen opens to the Family room and a morning room area. The client is requesting two flat screens in his Family Room. One in the normal place to put a TV (a custom built-in I am designing) and one over the Family Room fireplace so my client can watch TV while cooking. These two flat screens will be, oh, about, four feet from each other, (on different walls). I am almost positive he would want one in the kitchen, but there is no wall space. We have a stone backsplash that meets the high base cabinetry and the morning room is all windows that look out to his view. So, yeah....this client, essentially, is putting in an additional TV so he can see it from the kitchen when he cooks.
December 12 2008
(0)

Soapstone Counters

Response
I know this is an old post, but in case there are more people searching for Soapstone, here is a good link. The type you would use for your kitchen (or any home application, for that matter) is not the feeble material many of you think it is. It is, actually, one of the more perfect kitchen counter materials around!In case the link does not work:http://www.kitchendesignnotes.com/2007/09/are-you-thinking-about-soap-stone.html
December 11 2008
(1)

My counters are here!

Response
You are RIGHT! They DONT show *real* life stuff on HGTV (or timelines!!!)! Thank you for noticing and bringing that to everyone's attention. While HGTV has done a lot to make better design more desirable for more people, they have really done a number on client expectations. Things arent done in a week and projects cost more than $1,000 a room!
November 19 2008
(0)

Mold

Response
I feel that if someone is buying a home, a mold/mildew issue is a MAJOR concern. Of course you have to have a specialist come out to look at it- no one can deduce the situation without seeing it. Yes, there are many types of mold. Some are good for you- like certain, particular types of mushrooms. Most of them, however, are not. And, there are solutions and fixes to mold problems. That's why a pro is needed to access the situation. If its was me buying this house, and the inspector said there was mold- I would hire a pro before I went forward on buying the house. To brush it off because it might not be a bad mold would be very poor judgement.   
November 12 2008
(0)