A Primer on the Language of Design

I was introducing a job to my client a couple of days back. I stood at the head of the conference table, flanked with my renderings, and began to ruminate on the design idea. The job was to be an urban intervention, and as this could be formal understanding of the tenuous balance between the requirements of the community and the needs of the individual. The project would represent, in built form of course, the space between these contradictory forces — the interstitial kingdom, if you will.

As I finished my presentation and opened my eyes I was greeted with a collective blank stare.


I had the sobering realization that my clients had no clue what I was talking about. Why does this keep happening to me? I mean, we’re talking the same language, aren’t we? I’m being perfectly clear, aren’t I?

Well, obviously, since I did not do anything wrong, I can only assume that everybody else needs to brush up on common architectural terms. I thought we’d done this before (here), but obviously more study is justified. Feel free to review these flash cards one or two times a day, as required.

And please refrain from staring blankly at me meetings. I’ll lose my train of thought.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Frankly, I could specify “architecture” all day long. And occasionally I do. Then my clients go to the “structure,” and also the “structure” starts to specify them. It’s like the circle of life, just with more angst.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

We know, we know: All great architecture leaks. Please stop reminding us.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Actually, “interstitial” is just one of my favourite words. This means “the space between.” Tell me that’s not awesome.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

It must be in the unbearable lightness of shining.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Here’s a fun fact: Whenever an architect designs a building that struggles with its surroundings, we call it “juxtaposition. ” That is a large word, and it will take you a couple of minutes to emotionally process it. We do this mainly to distract you from the fact that our design does not fit with its surroundings. It buys us some time. Then we will point out the “interstitial” space between our building and its surroundings. Eventually, you’ll get bored and proceed. So it’s a truly win-win.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

I believe they should remove that cushion.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

“It’s all part of the process.” This is what I tell my clients when they are unhappy with the very first attempt at the design. “It’s all part of the process.” But this isn’t really correct. I just allow the interns slap a design together. I’m really seeing it for the first-time today too. We’ll continue working on it.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Have you been considering me? Great.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

This is the style admired by hipsters. I discovered Bon Iver has a fishing shack at Minnesota clad entirely in flannel.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Architects do not wear pleated trousers. Ever.

Keep reading. You will get it eventually.

More by Coffee With an Architect:
Find Your Inner Minimalist
Flash Cards for Architectural Terms
Find Your Architectural Style
Great Architecture Speaks to Us

See related

11 Seductive Landscapes That Lure With Less

At the tender age of 16 I had been introduced by my mom to the fan dancing — a dated, although a lot of unkind, variant of this striptease. She gave a running narrative as she broke her moves, known as, I suppose, by some maternal instinct to give me critical life skills I’d need as a grownup. The timing of her dancing tutorial was a little suspicious, but the lesson I learned has served me well.

Here is the takeaway piece from Mother’s fan dance instruction: It isn’t necessarily what you show that produces something sexy/alluring/compelling; it’s exactly what you do not show. When you get right down to it, the mere suggestion of something more to come really grabs your attention, doesn’t it? Surprisingly, this principle applies to a broad range of topics far beyond fan dancing.

Try this easy trick the next time that you would like to enthrall and engage your viewers: Don’t reveal the whole image in one glance — stimulate their imagination and draw them with a tantalizing glimpse of a part of this picture. Trust me, they’ll clamor for more.

Read on for examples of how to apply the theory to the business of landscape design.

Cary Bernstein Architect

I don’t know about you, but that framed partial view of the pool and slice of the distant mountains topped with a huge, clear skies makes me want to run out and see what lies beyond the limits of this window frame. I wonder what’s past the far side of the pool. I am compelled to go out and look over the edge.

Andrew Renn

The sumptuous curves of this garden draw you to the composition immediately. The enchanting arbor brings you into deeper and guarantees access to the garden which can be found in the distance. But without passing under that arch, crossing that threshold and rounding that last curve in the yard, you’ll never understand what’s back there.


What lies beyond this garden gate? The glimpse of red foliage draws the attention to the garden, and the yard appears to lead beyond it to the left, inviting the viewer to research.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

This”humble” door is utilized to present the viewer with a photo of the water component within the walled garden. The come-hither path brings the attention to the garden wall, throughout the door and to the garden, leading to we know not where.

Intriguing, right? (Not to belabor my point, but see the way you might think about this trick as the landscape design equivalent of a peep show?)

Shirley Bovshow

This is a joyous and beckoning path. I would like to pass through the arch, then skip down the stepstones, nip under that jacaranda tree and determine what’s back there!

Exteriorscapes llc

Here is another path you simply need to follow.The secret is to create a strong visual pull down the path without showing its own destination.

Don’t have a huge garden? Simply curve the trail beyond view to draw the eye down the path and create the illusion that there’s more garden to be discovered around the bend.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

This proposal of a path invites a leisurely stroll in the woods.

Whether you heed the siren’s cry, only looking out the window and the trail gives a momentary respite from the workaday world.

Donna Lynn – Landscape Designer

Play to all the sensations to enchant your garden guests. Add a couple of aromatic plants, such as the stephanotis wrapped around this particular column. Perfume the atmosphere with a touch of orange blossom or lavender — only enough to make 1 wonder where that heavenly scent is coming out of and seek its origin.

Tip: Subtlety adds to the allure. Avoid overwhelming the senses with overpowering odor.


Add soothing sounds to your own garden — the murmur of trickling water, the cooing of doves, the distant notes of a wind chime — but visually downplay the origin of the sound, incorporating it in to plantings or tucking it just past the field of vision. You’ll find folks are drawn to audio.

Troy Rhone Garden Design

Look closely at this picture. It’s possible the whole composition is an illusion. Is that a glimpse of a secret garden throughout the”gate,” or is that a broken light door glazed with mirror reflecting the greenery along the edge of this path? Wonderful trick, eh?

(I adore the”protector” goats flanking the door/gate. They add a whimsical touch, making what could otherwise be an intimidating facade very approachable.)

Tongue in Cheek Antiques

Ahhh… The breezy curtains supply a peekaboo view of this intimate sitting area. I can envision myself in this setting savoring a summery vintage and good company on a sultry candlelit evening. Count me in!

Garden Design Principles: Emphasis and Focal Points

See related

'James Bond' Tree House at Greece

Simon Payne, cofounder of Blue Forest at the Uk, grew up in the great outdoors of east Africa. Payne is nostalgically connected to tree houses, which he says remind us youthful experiences with “dens, playhouses and hideaways.” After a day visit to Athens, Greece, to visit a client’s estate to determine whether a tree house build was possible within the client’s gardens, Payne had a sense that this tree home build would be one of the most extravagant constructions that his team had done. After walking round the client’s house to identify the most appropriate place, Payne picked a website one of a collection of older pine trees close to the client’s most important house and not far from an current children’s play area.

in a Glance
Who performs here: Two and their 11-year-old son
Location: Athens, Greece
Size: 376 square feet (inside floor area)
That is interesting: The tree house is filled with a wide range of high-tech gadgets and can be fittingly known as “James Bond’s HQ.”

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The customer wanted to build a large tree home with enough room to include a kitchen, a washroom and a living area. From the initial conversations, TVs, security cameras, biometric security systems and other high-tech gadgets weren’t even in the picture.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The tree home, using a deck perched about 10 ft from floor level, was developed to become part of the landscape so that trees may be retained; no trees were removed to make way for the construction. The construction is supported on Blue Forest’s bracer system, which allows for tree movement and expansion where the trees pass through the decks.

Read through numerous tree home photos

Blue Forest UK Ltd

“Our client’s brief for this project was really brief, but following our initial meeting, it had been clear to us that what they desired was a tree house on a bigger, more functional scale. Having designed and built over 200 tree houses, we’ve become quite good at being creative and allowing our imaginations to run rampant after the first meeting,” says Payne.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The building of the tree home was carried out almost completely onsite in Greece by three of Blue Forest’s craftspeople. The team used a unique technique that enabled for the tree house’s subframe erection with no fixings into the host tree.

Unique to this project was the high website security required by the customer. “Someone from the client’s security detail remained with our craftsmen at every minute — even to the bathroom or while waiting beyond the doorway to enter. My staff was required to hand in their passports, cellular phones and cameras to armed security staff in the main entry,” says Payne. Despite being slightly amused by the exceptionally private nature of the customer and the high security, Payne’s team jumped just as though they were constructing at home in the uk.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

This biometric fingerprint lock has been one of those high-tech gadgets conceived by Blue Forest. “After much searching, we were able to supply a professional of biometric security systems in China,” says Payne.

The client’s wish to make an exclusive tree home with a number of luxurious accessories made it hard for Payne and his team to take sustainability into account. However, despite the extravagant nature of the plot, he used a few methods to help improve endurance.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The tree home substructure, deck, frame and roof are built almost completely from FSC-certified soft wood timber, being one of the most sustainable building materials available and perfect for tree home contruction.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

Timber was the perfect material for this particular tree home because it is ideal for Athens’ hot climate; wood, a natural insulator, has air pockets that make it a natural barrier to cold and heat.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

A few of the tree house’s high-tech features: a bespoke CCTV console, a plasma TV, plasma plates along with the sacred trinity of game consoles: Xbox, PlayStation and Wii — a tween boy’s fantasy come true.

Read through tens of thousands of media room photos

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The tree house was designed to blend in with its natural surroundings. Cedar tongue-and-groove planks, cedar shingles and hand-split oak shakes make up its exterior cladding. The combination of these neutral colours is not only very attractive but is also helpful in breaking up the outline of this construction, which makes the tree house less oppressive in its own surroundings.

9 Incredible Tree Houses

5 Fantastic Homes With a Tree House Feel

Pennsylvania Hobbit House

See related

Kids' Study Spaces Earn High Marks

It feels enticingly like summer lately in the Midwest, and I’m sure kids everywhere are getting the itch to ditch the novels for the wonderful outdoors. Unfortunately, this early streak of hot temperatures is a bit of a tease: It might feel like school is outside, but homework remains on the table.

If you’re having difficulty luring your kids inside to complete their assignments, consider sprucing up their study region. It is hard to make it as tantalizing as a bright backyard, but there are definitely ways to boost its aesthetic and performance — perfect for cracking a couple of quadratic equations.

Neslihan Pekcan/Pebbledesign

Instead of working with a regular desk and seat, consider unusual designs and different designs. You never know; they can inspire your child to become a designer.

Cedo Design

Spruce up the place with paint. In reality, let your kids tag along with you to the paint shop in order that they can help pick. A room painted in a colour they adore and select provides them a sense of pride and ownership in the space, ideally advocating them to invest more time in it. (A TV might not be the best idea, though.)

Moon Design + Build

If painting the walls is from the question, get creative by sprucing up the desk. Give it a fresh coat of paint or add patterned cubes within the drawers to get a hit of colour every time your kids go hunting for a pen.

Fiorella Design

Just as you want in your office, accessorize your kids’ workspace with things they love. These make it more personalized and comfortable, and much less like a bare desk which screams work, work, work.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Put in a brand new board so your kids can pin up anything from homework to-do lists for their most recent art projects. Fill it with ornamental pieces so the distance feels energetic and inspiring.

Equip the distance with the right supplies. This will keep your kids from wandering to your storage cupboard to “look for crayons,” just to escape to the swing set whenever your back is still turned.

TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design

In case you have a couple of kids, figure out how they learn best. Do they prefer to study together? In that case, prepare the desk so it can accommodate two. Your kids might be more prone to come inside if they know they can at least be in one another’s company when researching.

Ellen Grasso & Sons, LLC

In case you’ve got the space, create a really collaborative study atmosphere. Invite your kids to work together to fix their homework issues. Studying feels like a job when everybody teams up.

Laura Bendik Interiors

Maybe your kids prefer their private space. Allocating a desk to every child provides them sufficient storage for their unique supplies and items. Don’t forget to have a little fun with the décor; vibrant wallpaper and vivid colours make for a far more enjoyable study room.

In case you’ve got a space in your home that’s not being used, perhaps you may convert it in your child’s particular study room. Possessing a private escape may encourage them to invest time in it.


Last, do to do your very best to bring sunlight in by putting together a study area near windows. If kids can’t be outdoors, they can feel the atmosphere when handling the intricacies of photosynthesis.

Enriching Children in the Summer
Guest Picks: Creative Ideas for Organizing Kids’ Rooms
Containing Kid Clutter: Fashionable Storage Solutions for Kid Spaces

See related

Porch Life: 8 Suggestions for Great Outdoor Dining

Dining on the porch brings the very best of both worlds. Whether out front or back, open or screened, with a meal on the porch allows you to enjoy the fresh air and outdoor views without having to pack a basket or cram together on a picnic blanket. Here are eight tips for setting up a dining space.

Rauser Design

Mix and match furniture just like you would inside. Matchy-matchy outdoor dining sets are no longer required; today there are many options for furniture that can stand up to the components. Furthermore, a porch roof provides ample protection for the majority of the year, so long as golf-ball-size hail is not coming in sideways.

If space is limited, treat 1 corner of the porch like a little breakfast nook. A little rounded dining table and two to four chairs may cozy up into a little space and leave room for settees, rockers and armchairs on the remaining part of the porch.

Witt Construction

On a screened-in porch, put a round table in an outer corner. This maximizes the views for as many folks in the table as you can.

Crisp Architects

Heal your porch table for example your formal dining table. That means incorporating fresh blooms and candleholders.

Su Casa Designs

Take cues in your formal dining room when it comes to hanging lighting. This onion lantern pendant has outside style, but it is hung in an interior way — centered over the dining table.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

In case you’ve got a very long dining table, consider hanging more than 1 lantern.

Browse lanterns in the Product section

Permit your rustic flag fly. If a number of the previous images are a little too formal for your perfect porch, then by all means, go more crude. This charmingly rustic porch and its coordinating twig furniture make a comfy picnic atmosphere where you are able to pretend you’re roughing it — you know, like MBAs on a dude ranch.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

Insert an outdoor kitchen. A porch provides great cover for cooking al fresco, and you won’t need to take the serving dishes very much better.

Witt Construction

Or incorporate your grill with built-ins. A stucco port hood, stone stands and counters give the grill a presence that fits into the old-world European flair of the rest of this home.

More Porch Life:
Wraparound Porches
Sleeping Porches
Screened-In Porches
Modern Porches
Banishing the Bugs
Porch Plants

See related

Striped Rugs Lay It on the Line

There’s a reason you see a lot of guys wearing striped tops and pin-striped suits: Stripes are a timeless pattern. And they are not only sartorially chic; striped patterns are a great choice for the home as well. They are a particularly nice choice for area rugs and carpets, which may be a major investment.

A striped rug is frequently a sensible choice. A patterned rug is obviously better at concealing stains compared to a solid-hued carpeting. Plus, a striped rug will match with a number of other patterns and will still be in fashion a few years from now. Stripes may also be used to draw attention to or away from elements you wish to highlight or hide in a space.

Stylewise, stripes underfoot can be a bold selection or a subtle one: Broad bands of white and black make a statement, while subtle tone-on-tone stripes blend into the background. Have a look at these 13 rooms to get a dose of striped-rug inspiration. Perhaps you’ll come across this perennially fashionable layout is just right for your house.

Tara Bussema – Neat Organization and Design

A white and black rug is a powerful choice in this nautically inspired room. This striped version is comparable to Madeline Weinrib’s Black Buche carpets and Ikea’s Stockholm Rand rug.

SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

In this enchanting cabin, Steve Schappacher and Rhea White added some picture appeal to the usual beach-house aesthetic with a black and white palette and ample usage of stripes.


Set against a dark stained hardwood flooring, this blue and cream coloured rug defines the dining area of an open-plan kitchen and dining space. Coupled with aluminum Navy chairs and a rustic farm dining table, the look is country contemporary.

Richard Bubnowski Design LLC

The subtle cream and tan runners lead the eye through the transitional space enclosing the staircase in this house by Richard Bubnowski Design.


Bright, bold stripes enliven a upper stairwell within this house by Vanillawood. You may easily create a similar look in an unusual space with carpet tiles in Flor.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc..

All colors of whites and blues match within this living room by Garrison Hullinger Interior Design. The Dash & Albert rug acts as a canvas on which the designer has put many other striped fabrics.

Scot Meacham Wood Design

Striped rugs aren’t only for inside your home. With a weather-resistant outdoor area rug, you may enjoy a pinch of pattern in your patio as well.

Schranghamer Design Group, LLC

An attic space becomes an airy escape when painted white and accented with calming blues. This white and blue rug is a mild, soft covering for the floor.

Studio Marcelo Brito

A striped floor covering is also a energetic choice in this den. The pattern of these stripes echoes the wall therapy, which resembles the exterior siding of a beachfront cottage.

Patrick Sutton Associates

A barely there stripe is a calming choice within this airy bedroom. The subtle layout enhances the space without drawing attention away from showcase beams like the floating vessel and wall-hung oars.

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Section of Tobi Fairley’s layout for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra League’s designer show house, this unassuming hallway readily becomes a focal point with its own striped rug and red accents.

Palmerston Design Consultants

You may also stripe right up the stairs using a vibrant runner.


Putting a striped rug within this low-ceiling room gives the illusion of more space by drawing the eyes outward, rather than around the narrow eaves overhead.

11 Area Rug Rules and How to Break Them
Guest Picks: Rugs for Every Room
Browse rugs in the Products section

See related

Designer Sketch: Lea Hein

Lea Hein’s carrot bud made the cut of pupil work showcased at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in February 2012. This year’s subject was “grow,” and also the design challenge was to locate unexpected and creative ways to attract vegetable growing into homes.

“I had to make something for indoor climbing, something which will help urban dwellers find a way to produce indoor gardens,” says Hein, a pupil at the Steneby craft and style school at Gothenburg University in Sweden. “The veggie pot was what I came up with. “It is made from honest materials but remains visually attractive.”

Find an architect or designer


What’s the most exciting thing you are working on today?
The veggie pot, together with Daniel Eidhagen and Kristoffer Nolgren, the Swedish guys behind the Massive window-farm screen at Kulturhuset. The window farm was a really inspiring project that utilized a hydroponic technique. I felt like I always wanted to do something similar, to spread the word to people in town about constructing an urban garden. But, I did not like how plastic bottles were utilized in the window farm, therefore in coming up with the carrot, I conceptualized something which utilized trustworthy stuff but was nevertheless appealing.

My end goal is to earn the veggie baskets readily available for purchase, but we must find a company that can actually produce the pieces and refine the parts a bit more.

When did you know that you wanted to design furniture and products?
I’ve always seen the craft [of furniture layout] as a very important skill. When I knew I wanted to go on this course, I studied cabinetmaking for nearly 3 years before I even entered Stenebyskolans’ furniture layout program at Gothenburg University.

Design Within Reach

Chieftains Chair by Finn Juhl – $11,500

Which famous furniture designer would you wish to work with?
I’d have loved to work with Finn Juhl. I’m very inspired, as I am by a lot of Danish architects and designers, by his understanding of the craft and his
profound comprehension of aesthetics.


What inspires your designs?
My layout is frequently inspired by a form. I guess you can say that I work a bit opposite from the idea that form follows function. I get my inspiration largely in art, nature and geometrics. I have worked a bit with images, and folks tell me that they view the picture changes in my work.

Where is your go-to location for inspiration?
That I love going to flea markets. You can see so many interesting and fun things there.

Where on earth do you wish to go next?
I want to visit Alaska, to get lost in character for a bit.

Can you still draw, or is everything on the pc today?
In the start of a project I always draw freehand. I carry my sketchbook with me. However, the clearer my idea gets, the more I use the 3D drawing apps. To current goods, I always use rendered images.

Herman Miller

Nelson Swag Leg Desk – $1,849

Who is one of your favorite artists?
A Norwegian artist, Magnus Pettersen.

The most significant thing on your desk is …
A glass of red wine.

What’s your favorite traditional furniture piece?
The Nelson Swag Leg Desk.


If you could change 1 thing about furniture layout, it might be …
To mandate that everybody read and use the cradle-to-cradle strategy. Basically, cradle to cradle is a way of honoring our world at the design and manufacturing process, but it can be applied to social systems and businesses outside style.

What’s your favorite new website?
Produced in School

What’s your favorite up-and-coming design company?
We Do Wood at Denmark. Henrik Thygesen and Sebastian Jørgensen are all cabinetmakers and furniture designers who share my style philosophy: design and sustainability principles really ought to go hand in hand. We Do Wood creates honest and simple layout.

Your ideal client is …
A customer who appreciates quality and cares for your environment. It is really important for me to not mistreat the world once I really do product/furniture design. This usually implies that the price of my furniture pieces might be a bit bigger, as you cannot compromise quality in sustainable materials. But if you care about sustainability, you will probably be inclined to pay a bit more.

Find an architect or designer

More Designer Sketches: Josh McCullar | Jean Dufresne

See related

Uncramp Your Small Bathroom

When you think about your toilet, do phrases such as”itsy-bitsy,””minuscule” and”claustrophobic” pop into your head? Or maybe you’re going to add a new toilet with limited square footage. Unsure how to fit everything you want into the space? Not to worry. This ideabook will explain to you how to get the most out of whatever room you do have.

K2 Design Group, Inc..

1. Claim as much space as possible. Creating markets is a great way to use space you may not even know you have. Inside your walls are claws, and they are usually 16 inches apart, while the depth of the stud plus the drywall on the very front of it gives you a little over 4 inches in depth. If that is an inside wall that does not have insulation or pipes running through it, that’s space you may utilize.

This very long market next to the vanity envisioned here has glass shelves and light on very top. It provides a convenient place to get a towel or toiletries, and it looks amazing at precisely the exact same moment.

Hint: When utilizing open storage like this, move toiletries out of their ho-hum, mishmash plastic bottles and to decorative containers. It will instantly make the room feel much less cluttered and more stylish.

Downey Robbins Szafarz Architects Inc..

Alright, I know this is a huge toilet, but large bathrooms frequently offer ideas that work in more compact spaces too. The towel market next to the shower here would work really well in a tiny toilet, because towel bars normally protrude 4 inches in the wall and can stop doors from opening all the way. This type of market gives you extra storage without taking up space, and it frames the towels so they look neat and clean, even if hanging on a hook.

Mostert Architecture

Reflected in this mirror is another towel market. This one needed to be framed out since it’s wider than the space between the studs. Nonetheless, it gives room to store full sets of towels and washcloths. If you look carefully, you’ll realize that the toilet door opens onto this wall. There could have been no space to hang a towel bar with no interfering with fully opening the doorway.

Hint: Using white towels in this bathroom gives a minimalist, soothing look. You don’t need to go totally monochromatic, however a minimalist colour scheme will help to maintain a small bathroom from appearing busy.

Archipelago Hawaii Luxury Home Designs

A very low privacy wall is another spot where a market can be set up. In this case it happens to provide a spot for soap next to a pedestal sink. Another market below that you on the other hand could hold extra toilet paper.

Lizette Marie Interior Design

If you’re seriously interested in gaining some space, then look at taking your shower market to the extreme in proportion. The black band into the left is a market that runs the entire length of the wall. This is a very custom approach to go and entails framing out that space, so it raises the expense of making this shower. But wow! You’d have space to put whatever you need in the shower or bath.

Michael Tauber Architecture

If you place shelves in your niche, then you can go the intense vertically rather than horizontally. This is a little more affordable option when it comes to the job of constructing the wall.

2. Entrance door space. This bathroom has a pocket door that takes up zero space in the room. And what I particularly love about this pocket door is that it’s amazing and includes a handle that’s easy to contact. Most pocket doors have a little, circular depression to hold so it may slide all the way within the wall. If you can make your pocket door opening a little wider, then you can spare a couple inches to get a skinny, vertical handle like this.

Whitten Architects

Notice that in this toilet, if the door was a swinging type, it would bang into the bathtub. The pocket door was an ideal solution here.

Mark Brand Architecture

Pocket doors slide inside the wall, whilst barn door hardware allows you slip a door across the exterior of a wall. There are times that you have wall space at which you could slip a doorway, however there are plumbing or electrical inside the wall that would be hard to reroute. A garage door– fashion slider may then be a good option for you.

Using a translucent material is a excellent way to permit extra light to the space and provide privacy. Additionally, it is a great fashion statement in this house.

dSPACE Studio Ltd, AIA

Bifold doors are a choice you don’t see quite often. If folks think about those, they usually envision those louvered ones hiding laundry facilities. But these gorgeous wood and frosted-glass bifold doors are a great way to minimize the space taken by means of a door that swings its full width into a space. These take half the space when folded.

Kerrie L. Kelly

If your toilet door swings inward and also a pocket door isn’t an option, consider turning it about so that it opens away from the space. Yes, it will require some work on the framing around the doorway, but it may be well worth it to not need to attempt to scoot round the door when it’s open and taking up space in your room. You also may have to open your door using a little more caution to prevent whacking someone coming down the hall — but this may be an acceptable trade-off whenever you’re desperate to get a little extra room.

Hint: Permit your doorway do double duty as a message centre or a full size mirror. If household members get ready at different times of the morning, this is the ideal spot for everyone to post messages. If you want a full size mirror and don’t have wall space for one, then placing a mirror on the door also is a great idea.

CWB Architects

3. Believe”wall mounted” to create good use of space. The tank of a wall-mounted toilet is within the wall behind it, so it uses the depth of the wall to reduce how far it protrudes to the space. For the carrier inside the wall, it is possible to get one that fits right into a wall using 2-by-6-inch studs or one that recesses to a wall using standard 2-by-4 studs.

I am not a contractor, but generally speaking, exterior walls have 6-inch studs and inside walls have 4-inch studs. Once in awhile you may have things already within the wall that would be problematic to reroute, so installing your wall-hung toilet shining into the wall may not be perfect for you. But consider building out a section of wall specifically to house the carrier system. Although it won’t reduce how far the toilet protrudes into the space, it is possible to create storage above it for a seamless look that’s highly functional.

Capturing all that storage space above the carrier system certainly costs far more than installing a cupboard on stilts that straddles your toilet tank, but it seems so much nicer.

David Churchill – Architectural Photographer

This is yet another toilet with precisely the same notion of utilizing that space that would normally not be fully utilized above a toilet tank. It is a really clean-lined and uncluttered look.

Product Bureau LLC

A wall-mounted vanity will provide you some undersink storage whilst visually opening your toilet space, because you can see the floor all the way back. If storage isn’t such a huge issue, but the sensation of being crowded is what is bothering you in your small bathroom, this remedy is still better than a base sink because of the storage space. And it isn’t any tougher than hanging wall cabinets in the kitchen.

The Sky is the Limit Design

These little wall-mounted sinks also have the advantage of utilizing corner space. Corners are often wasted space in a small toilet, and these are a great way to utilize that space.

Birdseye Design

A custom wall-mounted organizer next to the toilet keeps items handy and off the ground. I like this better than baskets and magazine holders on the ground around a toilet.

Helios Design Group

4. Have a page out of kitchen-cabinet efficiency. The cabinets on each side of this shower are roll-out cabinets. We frequently find this kind of item in kitchen pantry cabinets, where a roll-out organizer allows you reach things saved in the back of a deep cupboard. With no roll-out feature, the complete depth on each side of this shower wouldn’t be simple to access.

Toe-kick drawers eke out a little more space in this toilet.

De Meza + Architecture

Cabinets beneath the sink are frequently completely wasted space since they are only an empty box; once things go in, you can’t see anything in the trunk. Installing drawers beneath the sink maximizes every cubic inch of space. These drawers are U-shaped to slip round the pipes beneath the sink.

Filmore Clark

5. Find great spots for shelving. Shelving isn’t a new idea for wall mounted storage. But is there a spot that you haven’t thought about for this shelving? How about the ending wall of a bathtub? This may not work when you have a shower-bath combo, but it is great to get a tub on its own.

Space above the door may be a bonus spot. You could also run open shelving above your vanity mirror or the complete length of just about any wall as long as it’s high enough so you won’t bang your head. Toilet paper or rolled-up towels could be stored attractively in this manner.

dSPACE Studio Ltd, AIA

Wherever you mount those shelves, they ought to fill the space and relate to the kind of the restroom. Adding shelving that does not quite fill the wall or link in fashion makes it look like an afterthought. Frequently, it takes having custom shelving to fully use the space and provide the space that designer look that we love.

The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn

6. Go curbless. This tiny bathroom uses many techniques to make the most of the space both visually and functionally. Creating a curbless shower space allows you to use exactly the exact same floor in an unbroken line, eliminating the chopped-up atmosphere created by means of a step upward into the shower. Click the picture to read the designer’s complete description of all the things done to create a functional bath out of 2 prior cabinets.

Haddad Hakansson Design Studio

7. Use a boat sink. The counter space of this tiny cupboard would have been completely taken up with a typical type of sink. Using a bowl-shaped vessel sink frees up nearly the entire top of this cabinet as usable counter space for toiletries. Using a wall-mounted faucet keeps the counter space free.

Synthesis Design Inc..

Vessel sinks also free up space in the cupboard below that could normally have been consumed by the sink inside. Take advantage of that space below with drawers or cabinets.

Have a great small bath? We would really like to see it. Please share your best design tip and a photograph in the Remarks section below.

Where to Store the Toilet Paper

9 Ways to Make a Not-So-Standard Toilet

See related

12 Colors for Night Owls

It’s a lesson straight from Color 101, but I’ve forgotten it over once: Always test paint colours in day light. A shade that looks great in bright sunlight can fade or be muddy as nighttime approaches. Fortunately, the opposite is true: Some colours reach their peak only when the evening is winding down. Check these better-by-night ideas out.

Kerrie L. Kelly

Moody and mysterious, this smoky blue color evokes the feeling of twilight. I love the controlled impact of this framed blueprint on the wall — it adds only enough picture interest without jarring the eye.

Elizabeth Dinkel

The time of day, a pale blush hue glows.

Somewhere between apricot and terracotta, this dining area becomes prettier as the sun sets. Wouldn’t it look inviting with dimmed lights and a lot of candles?


While black rooms may feel gloomy during the daytime, nighttime is a different story. Sleek, mysterious and — dare I say? — alluring, this ebony area comes alive as the day ends.

Brilliant tangerine walls exude warmth. I can only imagine how pretty this space appears in the late afternoon and early evening.

Casart Coverings

Clear pink looks great with soft light bouncing off it. And if that light hits skin, it’s universally flattering. I can’t think of anybody who wouldn’t look a little more fetching in this area.

Vanni Archive/Architectural Photography

Walking into this salmon-colored entry would feel as a big, warm hug, particularly at nighttime. What a welcome!

Erika Bierman Photography

The aubergine colour on the curtain panel is sink-right-in flavorful, and it would just intensify in the day. I would extend it to all four walls for a glamorous effect.

Glenn Gissler Design

Lipstick red sizzles, regardless of what. But at nighttime time, it takes on an exotic, daring allure.

Ruth Kintzer Interior Design

Rich chocolate brown almost always looks amazing in low light. This colour, which feels like a melted Hershey bar, is especially scrumptious.

As soon as I saw this picture, my first thought was”Where’s the pub?” It seems as though it’s just waiting for a cocktail party. The deep gray-green on the walls feels intimate and cozy, and the mirrored accents help spread light around the room.

Economy Interiors

Yellow tones can perish at night if they’re too light, too green or too lemony. This is a little cluttered, with just enough brown in it to keep it warm.

More: Pick Your Favorite Out Of Our Paint Color Hall of Fame
More guides to selecting and using colour

See related