Helpful Tips for Sound Control in the Home

Sound control in your home plays a particularly important role in comfort. Residential designers be it architects, interior designers, or builders are challenged to incorporate acoustics into their design solutions. Acoustic controls are considered a must in public, educational, and some commercial spaces. Have you ever wondered how museums are designed to be so quiet?  What about churches like Sagrada Familia in Barcelona designed by the great architect Gaudi? The sound control is amazing given there is marble on the floors, the columns, and parts of the ceilings.

What may be overlooked in residential design is sound and how it affects our emotional state.   It is an important part of holistic design. Sound flows through the windows, under the doors, through the vents, and through the walls. How do you want to control sound in your home?  Sound also bounces off the floors, walls, and ceilings and can make it difficult to understand conversations or even think.

In order to effectively control sound in your home, it is important to understand both sound reverberation and sound transmission, as well as ways to address each.

Acoustic Control

Sound reverberation occurs when sound bounces off surfaces. Open floor plans with hard surfaces create reverberations and makes it difficult to control noise levels.

What will help reduce reverberations? Here are 5 suggestions!

1. Carpeting or other soft flooring solutions such as LVT

Home Control

2. Drapery and other soft window treatments

Sound Control

3. Walls can also absorb sound

Home Sound Control

4. Ceiling heights in ratio with room size

House Sound Control

5. Ceiling treatments such as coffering

Home Sounds

Sound transmission occurs when sound moves between materials. Sound transmissions are more difficult to control with residential design, but there are measures that can be implemented to help reduce sound transmissions to an acceptable level. Below are 4 areas to assess when trying to mitigate sound transmission in the home.

  1. Sound controlled glass for windows and doors
  2. Underlayment used with wood floors and other types of hard surfaces
  3. Soundproofing walls and plumbing chases
  4. Door sweeps

Stay tuned into our blog for more helpful information on creating a healthy and happy home! Are you looking to improve your home’s overall wellness and functionality but don’t know where to begin? Give SDG a call. Our team would love to help!

Improve the Flow of Your Home

Many have mentioned to me the challenges of living and working at home during this time of the pandemic and how chaotic their environment has been. Architects are now discovering that beautiful homes that have been designed with open floor plans work well for creating a welcoming environment, but do not work so well for multifunctional needs. Here are some questions to consider to improve the flow of your home.

The flow of a home should consider the use of space, traffic patterns, views, and natural daylight. Here is a list of considerations to keep in mind when you are thinking of how to re-configure your space. These questions and guidelines can be applied to your home whether you are building new or remodeling.

1. If you might need a space to have multiple functions, consider a sliding door system so you can close it off when privacy is needed (or if its messy😊)

Flow

2. What are the access points of entry to a given room and how does that impact the use of the space?

Your Home Flow

3. Is a view to the front important to see who is dropping by or leaving packages? Or is a view to a garden important to keep your mind balanced and healthy?

SDG

4. Is there enough natural light? Would you need to consider skylights or clerestory windows to optimize your wall and floor space and still maintain natural light?

The flow of a space

5. How are you planning to treat your windows? Will you cover them with shades, drapes, or shutters? What are the benefits of each and how will the window treatments affect your natural light?

Home

Schlosser Design Group specializes in holistic living and wellness in design and has been helping families and individuals create homes that are both beautiful and functional for decades. Whether you are building a new home from the ground up, remodeling your existing home, or needing to refresh your spaces to be more conducive to your current needs, SDG is here to help. Call us today to see how we can assist in bringing form and function to your home.

Quartz Countertop Vocabulary

If you’re not an experienced interior designer, talking about bathroom or kitchen countertops can be like speaking a foreign language. Veining, movement, porosity… what does it all mean? This is my cheat-sheet to understanding the professional lingo when choosing a stone countertop.

Edge Profile – The shape of the edge of the countertop. There are many different edge styles to choose from, like flat, bullnose, beveled, and quarter-round.

Engineered Stone – Countertops that are man-made from combining quartz with binders. These countertops look like natural stone but allow the manufacturers to have more control over what the finished product looks like. Engineered stone is more consistent than natural stone because it is manufactured instead of mined.

Fading – When a stone loses color after being exposed to sunlight.

Movement – A unique pattern that flows through a slab. Movement is the opposite of uniformity or consistency.

Non-Porous – A surface that does not have holes in it, so it does not absorb air and moisture. Non-porous surfaces are ideal for countertops because they do not need to be sealed. Most engineered stones are non-porous.

Porous – A surface that has microscopic holes in it, allowing it to absorb air and moisture. Most natural stones are porous and if it is being used for a countertop, it must be sealed.

Sealing – The process of putting a clear coat on top of the stone to protect it from stains. Sealing is especially useful for porous stones.

Slab – A large, flat piece of stone. Stone countertops are made from slabs of either natural or engineered stone.

Veining – Long, thin strips of contrasting color in a countertop slab. Depending on how a slab is cut — either with the vein or across it — the veining can appear swirled and cloudy, or distinct and linear.

Faint veining - engineered stone

This faint veining in this engineered stone picks up on the softwood tones from the custom cabinets. Design by Schlosser Design group.

Watch Behind The Scenes

In the second video of my four-part series SDG Renovation, I take you behind the scenes as I select an engineered quartz countertop for my clients. To learn more about the project I’m selecting countertops for, go back and watch Episode One.

Beautiful engineered stone

In my video, you’ll see how I selected this beautiful engineered stone for my client’s master bathroom. Design by Schlosser Design Group.

Reinventing Light

It’s easy to convert existing down lighting to LED by using retrofit kits from companies like Nora lighting. Companies such as Phillips and Toshiba have designed LED lamps that screw in to A19 sockets and MR16 low voltage. These are two great ways to incorporate LEDs into your existing lighting without a great deal of expense. We use LED lighting for general illumination, accent and task lighting as in under cabinet illumination, bathrooms, chandeliers and cove lighting when specifying new lighting fixtures. Currently we are designing a new construction residential project with 100% Energy efficient lighting. LEDs come in a variety of color temperatures and their CRI ratings are very good, in the high eighties which is much better than fluorescent. When selecting LED lamps, pay attention to the lumens vs. the wattage. – See more at: https://schlosserdesign.net/reinventing-light/#sthash.jk52JABa.dpuf

SDG was recently featured on Texas Homes. You can view the full article here.

 

Check out my interview, Interior Design That Fits Your Lifestyle and Personality on Texas Homes, one of the top sites for Texas real estate, including Plano, TX real estate. Texas Homes also services New Mexico real estate and Oklahoma homes for sale.

Aging with Elegance

Traditionally, growing older is associated with hospitals, nursing homes, or institutionalized equipment for those who choose to continue living at home. However, this is 2014! Forget everything you think you know about disability-friendly bathrooms. There are many more options these days for people who want to live comfortably in their home as they age.

Old bathroom equipment Seliger, Susan. Bathroom Equipment. Photograph. 14 Jan. 2014. Preparing for a Loved One to Die at Home. The New York Times. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

Old bathroom equipment
Seliger, Susan. Bathroom Equipment. Photograph. 14 Jan. 2014. Preparing for a Loved One to Die at Home. The New York Times. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

Walk In Tub. Photograph. N.d. Walk In Tub Installation. Ameriglide. Web. 1 Mar. 14.

Walk In Tub. Photograph. N.d. Walk In Tub Installation. Ameriglide. Web. 1 Mar. 14.

Modernized equipment allows for a seamless look in the home. Just because we grow old doesn’t mean our house has to reflect it! One of these great advancements is a ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant tub from Kohler. Typical walk-in tubs can take up to 15 minutes to fill and drain. That’s a long time to be just sitting in the shower, waiting for a warm bath! The new Elevance series in the Kohler collection solves this problem stylishly and efficiently. Instead of the swinging door that most walk-in tubs use, these tubs have a rising side wall that is pulled up once you are seated on the wheelchair height bench. While this setup allows you to get out of the tub much quicker, they also went to the added conveniences of a dual draining system and heated seating. Bonus- it doesn’t look ugly! Check out this beautiful bathroom full of Kohler appliances:

Kohler ADA Compliant Products

Kohler ADA Compliant Products

Kohler

Kohler Elevance Series

One last cool new gadget that can be useful for refrigerated medicine is the M Series Cold Storage medicine cabinet from Robern. Now you can keep all of your medication together instead of making the long trek to the kitchen! This cabinet is a trendy solution for bathrooms. It fits seamlessly into the overall look of the room.

Accessories finish out any room! Check out these photos of grab bars (and more!) from Moen:

Iso collection from Moen

Iso collection Kingsley collection from MoenKingsley collection

Sage collection Brushed nickel mirror

Sage collection
Brushed nickel mirror

Eva collection Brushed nickel towel shelf

Eva collection
Brushed nickel towel shelf

 

Bathroom Therapy

The bathroom has evolved from a simple place to take care of business to a place expected to be serene and relaxing, much like a spa. People love to spend hours lounging in the tub or singing in the shower. As the demand for these luxury spaces increases, the variety of options explodes to meet the wants of the people.

Many people are already aware of the hydrotherapy options that are available, including bubbles or jets in whirlpool baths. Another less well known (but equally relaxing) option in tubs is heat. Several companies have combined these two therapies to create a bath that is even more luxurious. Most recently, music therapy has been integrated into bathing systems. Kohler has a new tub in their VibrAcoustic collection that uses Bluetooth technology to take advantage of the relaxation caused by music. Through the Bluetooth integrated into the bath system, your smart phone hooks up to the tub, allowing you to create a giant speaker out of the empty basin, or fill the bath and allow the vibrations to soothe your body. Lastly, there in an increased use of chromatherapy, added lighting in the bath to make the mood. With the wide variety of therapies available through tubs, you can choose your favorites and let the stress float away.

Kohler VibrAcoustics Tub

Kohler VibrAcoustics TubMore trendy features that can help create a spa-like environment in your bathroom are bamboo backsplash tiling, large, heated tile flooring, natural paint colors, frameless glass showers, and polished nickel features.

Schlosser Design Group Large tiles

Schlosser Design Group
Large tiles

IMG_0234

Schlosser Design Group
Large tiled shower

Having a clean, spa-like bathroom can positively affect your health and attitude. You will feel like you can relax, slow down, and enjoy the time your spend in your personal oasis.

Design 101 – The Golden Ratio

Written By Guest Blogger: Kayla Harvey

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Prime the Flux Capacitor, and secure your time-travel helmets for this installment of Design 101.  We will be reaching back, way back, to discover the origins of modern design through the birth of geometry and the Arabic numerical system.  If all that does not sound like enough fun for you, there are even algebraic formulas you can try out for yourself!  So, hold on tight, here we go!

 

Our first stop on this trip is ancient Alexandria around 300 BCE.  There the “Father of Geometry”, Euclid, is writing what will become one of the most influential works of mathematics the world has ever seen.  Amongst the many significant geometric observations Euclid records the Golden Ratio.   Simply put this means, a+b is to a as a is to b.

 

Da Vinci Vitruvian Man

Fast forward several hundred years to the middle ages and a man who became known as Fibonacci is exploring the Arabic Numeral system and its advantages compared to the then standard Roman Numeral system.  Fibonacci is credited with a series of numbers, and a subsequent formula, for determining a golden ratio.  Numbers in the Fibonacci Sequence work on a recurrence relation.  This means that it can be infinitely scaled larger or smaller.

 

The Golden Ratio via HongKiat

Fheeew!  That was getting heavy!  What do all these formulas and complicated mathematical lingo have to do with modern design?  If it feels abstract and irrelevant, know for sure it isn’t.  These are simply attempts to explain why we find certain things to be beautiful.  Why across cultures and centuries humans have gravitated toward specific proportions in design.  It might be because these ratios are an expression of our own, as seen in Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, or possibly because the Golden Ratio is everywhere in nature.

 

Golden Ratio In Nature

Regardless of its origins, the Golden Ratio is one element of design that is here to stay.  Interior Designers constantly find this principal at work.  The Golden Ratio is the reason why rectangular rooms feel the most comfortable, and typically have the best furniture placement options.  It is not just a number or a mathematical concept, it is just as much an intuitive feeling that you get when entering a space.   If things feel pinched, or out of balance, the Golden Ratio might be the answer.  So next time you see an ultra modern house, or a blooming flower, remember the Golden Ratio and see if you cant find this design concept at work.

 

Golden Ratio In Modern Design

Golden_Ratio_FP_Perspective