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Banquettes: Where Comfort Meets Function

Banquette Affection We love banquettes! Built-in benches, also known as banquettes, are one of our favorite space-saving tricks for maximizing function in the dining room. Banquettes not only use space efficiently by providing a large amount of seating in a small area, but they are inviting, comfortable and multifunctional. They encourage lingering over a casual meal, working on a laptop, spreading out projects, playing games, or reading the morning paper with a hot cup of coffee. Below are a few examples from our portfolio which illustrate that banquettes are versatile enough to be included in any style of home. They fit especially well in a modern or contemporary style and reduce the cluttered look of so many chairs. The fabric adds warmth, texture and pattern to the space. Placed ... Read More »

Exploring Asia

Hi all, I'm sharing some photographs and highlights from my recent trip to Asia. I visited Beijing, China in late May, then we traveled to Hanio, Halong Harbor, Danang and Hoi An in Vietnam. Asia was not necessarily on my bucket list, but I loved it and would love to go back someday. I found the people gentle and warm, the food fresh and good and the shopping fantastic! It was hot, so I'd recommend going at a cooler time of year, but we had a great time anyway. Beijing, China Beijing Highlights: Transport – Cars and scooters and everything in between! Lots of electric vehicles, so it's quiet. Metro/Underground – The people all dress nicely, trains come every 2 minutes, there is always a bike waiting at the other end. People – gentle and ... Read More »

Kitchen Backsplash 101: 7 Tips to Get it Right

A kitchen backsplash is a great opportunity to make a significant impact and/or to enhance your other design elements. Backsplashes are one of our favorite finishes to select for our projects. These seven tips will help ensure that you get it right: 1. Keep It Full Height We always recommend a full-height splash – countertop to underside of upper cabinets – usually 18-20” high. A 4”or 6” backsplash breaks up the space and is a missed opportunity. 2. Use One Material I've seen homes where 4” of the countertop slab was installed and then a tile or stone backsplash was added above. Instead, use the same material for the whole area. The same goes for adding a different material over the range. Unless you have a porous material you want to use, such as marble, or are a messy cook and ... Read More »