Posts tagged ‘design’
We get asked this great question quite regularly:
“I LOVE my new tile, but I need some advice…What should I do with the electrical outlets that fall within the kitchen backsplash area?”
Good news! We’ve got several creative solutions for you – yay!!!
These little necessary items can possibly ruin your beautiful, and often pricey backsplash! We are confident that if you consider the locations ahead of time, you will improve the finished look of your kitchen or bathroom.
Details on outlets…
It’s required by law that you have electrical outlets within your kitchen – which is a good thing!
Your kitchen has many electrical needs: major appliances, small appliances, built-in appliances, lighting, exhaust fans, and basically anything you might want to plug in or switch on while you’re in there.
In regards to your kitchen or bathroom, the National Electric Code requires:
- Small appliance circuits feeding countertop receptacle outlets are required to be Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected
- Any countertop wider than one foot requires a receptacle outlet
- Receptacle outlets must be installed every four linear feet at minimum – more is totally fine too
- Countertops separated by range cook top, refrigerators, or sinks are considered separate countertop spaces
Are you in the planning phase of your new kitchen or bath remodel?
If you are planning your kitchen or bath remodel, congrats(!), you are thinking ahead! Here are some helpful questions you can ask yourself and discuss with your electrician regarding your kitchen or bath’s electrical needs:
- What fixed/portable appliances do you plan to install/have in your kitchen? What are the locations and their power requirements?
- What kind of lighting do you want/need: Ceiling? Under cabinet? Toe kick? Pendant or chandelier? Recessed? Surface Mount? Ceiling fan?
- What kind of lighting controls do you need?
- Where do you want your light switches and appliance outlets?
- What materials/installation practices do you need to comply with National Electric Code requirements? Hint: ask your electrician
- Do you have special requirements due to disabilities and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act?
- What are the brand specification of all fixtures you want? Have your electrician check these out too.
After you discuss your electrical needs with your electrician and have a final layout in mind, the electrical outlets and switches can be located and installed. Don’t worry if you already have your outlets in place, it’s really easy to move them around and make adjustments before the installation of your backsplash.
There are several different ways to approach this without ruining your backsplash with a bunch of ugly, poorly placed outlets and switches. Here are some creative solutions as to how you can address the outlets & switches within your backsplash.
Implementing Creative Solutions…
#1 – Flip your outlets horizontally to coordinate with the pattern of your backsplash (but if your backsplash has a vertical pattern to it, keep you outlets vertical too)
#3 – Install the outlets or switches on or within your cabinets…(some additional planning involved).
#4 – Install your outlets where you know you’ll need them!
#5 – Install custom pop-up grommet outlets where you know you’ll need them!
#6 – Specify outlet and switch plate covers to coordinate with your material selections: making them a design element instead of an eyesore!
#7 – [Bathroom specific] – Install the outlets or switches within your bathroom mirror and trim with a mirrored cover…some additional planning involved. Look closely for them!
Q: Have some other creative outlet and switch solutions? Share them with us and we’ll add it to this blog!
Modwalls® has been making Colorful Modern Tile since 2005. We have high end and unique designs that are in stock and available for purchase online 24/7 at modwalls.com Samples Available and Discounts to the Trade. Residential, Commercial and Hospitality. Live Your Colors with Modwalls Tile.
“Color can be a powerful way to evoke feelings and to connect interior and exterior spaces.”
Jody Beck of Traction Architecture became interested in architecture through studying art and architectural history.
“I loved the way that buildings could be unraveled to tell stories about distant times, places and cultures. By understanding the soaring space inside the nave of a Gothic cathedral, or the meticulous proportions of Palladio’s villas, you can learn a lot about the aspirations of the people who built them.”
The view of space as a conduit to story inspired us to learn more about this successful Florida-based company that often uses Modwalls‘ tiles in their work.
How does your company’s approach differ from other architects?
The phrase that most defines our work is “design for thoughtful living,” and by that we mean creating architecture that addresses the spirit of a place – not just its physical characteristics, but also the subjective narratives that it evokes. Many of our projects are houses, which, while humble in scale, are the single most important piece of architecture to the family who lives there.
We strive to create thoughtful spaces that address the way that people live and interact. We are interested in design that celebrates the mundane activities of the everyday, in creating moments that are suggestive of old memories and capable of generating new ones.
How do you use color in your work?
Our work is generally pretty subtle, especially when it comes to finishes. Sometimes we like to let a well-chosen color set the mood for a space. We try not to overpower the sensory experience but a judicious flash of color can have a big impact.
“Seagrass” is a favorite but also, in the strong Florida sun, we like some of the quieter shades such as “Thistle” & “Rain”. We like the richness and consistency of the colors in the Modwalls’ tiles.
Color can also be a powerful way to evoke feelings and to connect interior and exterior spaces.
In one of our projects, the Bougainvillea House, a deeply inset window is positioned at eye level to serve as an oculus to focus the view. The exterior head, sill and jambs of the oculus are painted a vivid blue that casts a calming glow into the space suggesting the sky and the nearby sea.
Speaking of color – you lit up the sky with your Sky Striker installation. Can you tell us a little about that and how you came up with it?
Sky Striker was an interactive urban experience that transformed an iconic cylindrical-shaped Tampa skyscraper into a giant carnival game.
Participants – young, old, big and small – lit up the city’s skyline by swinging a mallet and striking a carnival high-striker that was wirelessly connected to light fixtures throughout the Tower. With each hit, the puck shot up the machine and simultaneously illuminated rings of light around the building, broadcasting the strength of each participant across the skyline.
We wanted a way for the average ‘passer-by’ to be able to interact with this landmark in Tampa’s skyline and have that person be able to transmit what they were doing visually to people across the city.
Inevitably, people miles away were staring at the blinking lights in the skyscraper thinking ‘what’s going on downtown?’ Tapping into that sense of wonder and observing people engage with architecture on a range of scales was both fun and thought-provoking for us and our firm.
What are some examples of how design can enhance the every day?
One example that comes to mind is the creation of framed views. Sometimes, instead of providing the maximum view possible, if you deny a general view but curate a specific view, you can draw attention to aspects of the environment that may otherwise be overlooked. For example, a view highlighting a single tree or branch of a tree can illuminate the texture of the bark or the arch of a twig – the details that are hard to notice when viewing the whole forest.
How can transformed spaces transform lives?
We design many of our homes around an open den area, which we think of as a “modern hearth.” It’s often elevated above the main living space, so that it is visually connected but separate. It’s a special space where family can gather for a wide range of interactions – helpings kids with homework, working on a puzzle, planning the next pillow fort, or simply a place for quiet contemplation.
“Red hibiscus – it’s almost like a kiss.”
That is how artist, resort-wear designer, and illustrator, Dana Cooper, describes a color. “Green, for me, is the color of happiness. It’s one of my favorite colors – specifically lime green. Also, turquoise and aqua because they remind me of the ocean.”
Cooper’s resort and swimwear reflect the colors and environments of her native home in Bermuda. Her father was a sailor so when she wasn’t with him on the boat, she was running barefoot on the beach.
“You’re surrounded by the Atlantic, and the colors of the sky…it’s like watching God in motion.” She talks about shades of blue, orange, magenta, and “tons of rainbows.” These are the colors she captures in her work, first as an illustrator, and then as a clothing designer.
WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES…
“In 2005, I got divorced, and I designed my first beach wrap. It was basically a leap of faith.”
A textile manufacturer from Bali encouraged her to take her colorful illustrations off the page and transfer them to fabric. She started with a leaf design found along the shores of Bermuda and Florida and added beads to it. Much to her surprise, the orders started pouring in.
“An old friend of mine who works in the fashion industry started a company and wanted to take my design one step further, so we went from a square beach wrap to dresses, skirts, and other stuff.”
Soon her line was sold at Saks, Calypso, and small, hip boutiques. In 2013, she branched out on her own.
“People respond to the prints; they resonate. They’re seeing a landscape. It’s a landscape embedded in my mind.”
She splits her time between Bermuda and New York, and is proud of the fact that all her work is made in the U.S. and hand sewn in New York. Her line includes SPF fabric, which is in high demand, and there has been interest in expanding her collection to include home textiles such as duvet covers, pillows and sheet sets. “People have remarked how soft they are. They’re like a baby’s blanket.”
To view more of Dana Cooper’s designs, visit her website and receive 10% off their first order – just mention your friends at Modwalls!
Micheline Auger is a freelance writer who loves art, design and all things Modwalls.