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Habitar Design
1520 N Sedgwick St
Suite 5A
Chicago, IL 60610
T (312) 274-2299
F (773) 289-0714
info@habitardesign.com

Habitar Design Interior Design Blog

  • Pocket Doors

    If you’re looking to add a unique feature to your home, you may want to consider something you rarely see; pocket doors. These types of doors are housed inside of your wall, mounted on a track system. Pocket doors give you more options in how you utilize the space in your home. When open, they are hidden away and seem to be non-existent in the space, portraying a more open feeling. When closed, they appear to look like any traditional door.

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/121143/sliding-barn-door-eclectic-living-room-other-metro

    Pocket doors are a great solution for limited space. They eliminate the area required in a room for the door to swing open and closed. This may give you some additional privacy that wouldn’t be possible with a standard swing door.

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/104294/Surfers-End-Master-Bath-craftsman-bathroom-new-york

    Some sliding doors are even mounted on the outside of the door opening. This method still has the benefits of your typical pocket door, but it is used in a decorative fashion and allows you to showcase your door in a unique way.

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/121143/sliding-barn-door-eclectic-living-room-other-metro

    Mackenzie Cain is an Assistant Designer at Habitar Design, a leading Interior Design firm in Chicago. Habitar Design specializes in luxury home, kitchen, and bathroom designs and remodels.

  • Murphy Beds

    Having an extra bedroom for visiting friends and family is a huge plus when living in a city where hotels aren't cheap.  But sometimes we don't have the space for an extra room strictly designated for occasional guests. The Murphy bed, also known as a fold-down bed, is a great solution that offers a variety of options. 

    Using a foldaway or convertible furniture piece will maximize floor space and allow your room to boast multiple functions. Here are a few preliminary considerations:

    1. Size

    The first thing to consider is the amount of space you'll need for the bed. Allow at least two feet from the wall to house the bed, mattress, and hardware in the upright position. From there, depending what size bed you'd like to use, you'll need an additional five to six feet out. 

    Recent Murphy Bed/ Built-in Design by Habitar Design



    2. Purpose

    Besides a place to sleep, what other purpose should the room serve? Do you need extra cabinetry for storage space? Or or space for a built-in television? Or perhaps a pull down desk for a quiet study. Take these options into consideration when making your design and purchasing decision.

    Recently Designed rendering By Habitar of this recessed Murphy Bed wall unit featuring a closet and plenty of storage.


    3. Who to Hire

    Habitar Design and Stratagem Construction! Many companies sell pre-fabricated Murphy beds. At Habitar/Stratagem we design and build our own to our client's personalized specifications. Working with us to design and build your Murphy bed will allow you to integrate the unit in any area of your home as well as have the opportunity to have it completely customized to fit all of your needs.

    Mackenzie Cain is Assistant Designer at Habitar Design, a leading Interior Design firm in Chicago. Habitar Specialize in luxury home, kitchen, and bathroom designs and remodels.


  • 10 Open Shelving Ideas for your Kitchen

    When the designers at Habitar put together a kitchen, one important aspect we consider is the incorporation of open shelving. A great layout will set your kitchen apart and really impact how you use your space. Personalizing your design with open shelving is a one way to make your kitchen match your lifestyle functionally and aesthetically. Here are 10 open shelving tricks-of-the-trade to factor into your own kitchen:

    1. Open Cabinets
      Selecting some open cabinets, without doors, will decrease the visual weight of the room and lend to the illusion of a larger space.
    2. Floating Shelves
      Floating shelves will take the open cabinetry a little further with an even cleaner look, especially effective in smaller kitchens.
    3. Wine Racks
      Wine racks are more than a savvy visual display for your wine. Most importantly they store wine in an orientation that minimizes exposure to light and keeps the cork from drying out (when the cork dries it’s easier for air to sneak in and spoil the wine). At Habitar we custom design-and build these racks to keep your wine aging gracefully.
    4. Stemware Racks
      Stemware racks allow you to display and access your precious glassware efficiently. Incorporating both wine and stemware racks not only looks great, it makes pouring a glass of wine for your guests quick and easy.
    5. Built-In Bookshelves
      Built-in bookshelves are another great option for open shelving. They can be designed to fit any area of your kitchen to better utilize unused spaces. In the photo below the bookcase is integrated into the back of the island, adding a great deal more display and storage for books, pottery, trinkets, etc.
    6. Modular Shelving
      Modular shelving is a great solution and an ideal choice for kitchens with an odd amount of wall space. You can position the shelves in any way that you like, as well as mix and match materials, finishes, and textures.
    7. Drying Racks
      Try mixing in a drying rack or two in the modular shelving over or near your sink for an easy-access, clutter-free dish-drying solution!
    8. Hanging Shelves
      Open shelving doesn't always have to be hung against the wall. Hanging shelves are a good solution in a kitchen with limited wall space. They allow you to add storage to your kitchen in an area that normally wouldn't allow for it, without obstructing the view.
    9. Spice Rack
      Keep your spices near-at-hand and highly organized with a spice rack built in to a cabinet side or wall. This makes cooking and baking a little easier and less messy. Not to mention fresh spices add a pop of color to whatever decor you've already established.
    10. Plate Racks
      Plate racks improve the overall functionality and work-flow of your kitchen. A fine display for your fine dishes makes serving food for large gatherings a breeze.

    MacKenzie Cain is an Assistant Designer at Habitar Design, a Chicago Interior Design firm that specializes in luxury home, bathroom, and kitchen remodels.

  • Chicago's Hyde Park Art Fair: Pottery Favorites

    At Habitar Design ceramics and pottery rank highly among our favorite decorating accessories. Art fairs are a great place to make unique finds while enjoying a great summer day. Chicago has a wide variety of shows throughout the summer and each show has its own character and multitude of offerings. For me, the season begins in historic Hyde Park. The show is a mix of artisan’s and fine artists almost all willing to discuss their work, process, and whatever else crosses their mind.

    I was impressed with a number of ceramic artists this year and though there were many more than I’ll mention here, here are three that caught my eye.

    Paul Eshelman’s pieces had a clean, light-hearted and distinct style. His work is available at www.EshelmanPottery.com:

    Natalia Sot (NataliaSots.etsy.com) combined of ceramic artistry, precise glaze work and fantasy to create extraordinary pieces that possessed a feeling of life:

    Finally, Mark William of Blue Star Pottery (bluecoastartists.com) used leaves to imprint earth-tone glazes to create bowls with the beauty of a new fallen bed of leaves. His other pieces captured the rhythmic lines of nature as if formed from sea anemones.

    Those who missed the Hyde Park art fair this summer can expect to see some great art at the Old Town Art Fair this coming weekend.



    Mitchell Newman is the principal of Habitar Design, a Chicago Interior Design firm.
  • Three ways Two-Tone can Improve your Kitchen.

    One trend that is becoming increasingly popular is a two-toned kitchen. Choosing different colors for your lower cabinets or island and upper cabinetry will add character and individuality to your space.

    1. Small kitchens benefit from this bi-color design because it makes the room feel more spacious. The colored darker lower cabinets anchor the room, while the lighter upper cabinets make it seem more open.

    http://www.habitardesign.com/kitchen-remodeling-chicago

    2. One of the most popular uses of two-toned cabinets is the creation of a focal point. This is often times an island that will be in a contrasting color than contrasts with the rest remainder of the your cabinetrys. This can work particularly works well for traditional designs without a lot of with little color or visual diversity contrast.

    http://www.habitardesign.com/kitchen-remodeling-chicago


    3. Two tones create interesting opportunities for backsplash selecitons. Choosing a backsplash with colors and textures similar to both the upper and lower cabinets will help creates a unique bridge. the gap between them and add to the overall success of the design.

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/116570/Heights-Kitchen-Remodel-traditional-kitchen-houston

    Whether you choose a neutral gray or a bright yellow, adding another color to the cabinetry or island is a great way to incorporate an accent into your kitchen without the color becoming too bold or overpowering.

    MacKenzie Cain is an assistant designer at Habitar Design, a Chicago Interior Design firm that specialize in luxury home, bathroom, and kitchen remodels.


  • Waterfall Countertops

    With all the different countertop materials that are available today (i.e. granite, quartz, marble, butcher block, onyx, etc) many homeowners find themselves designing their kitchens around the natural beauty that these surfaces provide. So why limit the use of these materials to just horizontal applications?
    Waterfall countertops, also known as risers, are becoming very popular in kitchen renovations today. Waterfall counters continue the surface material down the side of your cabinets all the way to the floor, giving the space a unified, connected feeling. It breaks away from the expected, and is much more visually enticing than the side of a cabinet.  Waterfall countertops and the timelessness of stone can give new life to an outdate kitchen.
    Here are some fabulous examples of waterfall counters that you can use as inspiration for your next kitchen renovation!

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/72400/Margarido-House-Kitchen-Counters--Backsplash--and-Floor-contemporary-kitchen-san-francisco

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/32102/Kitchen-Breakfast-Room-contemporary-kitchen-seattle

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/1655146/Waterfront-Luxury-Home-on-Lake-Travis-transitional-kitchen-austin

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/1859277/1095-Royal-York-eclectic-kitchen-toronto

    http://camillestyles.com/life-2/bring-it-home-bold-as-brass/

    Hannah Tindall is a senior associate interior kitchen and bathroom designer in Chicago at Habitar Design. Mitchell Newman is principal at Stratagem Construction, a leading residential Chicago construction company focused on luxury home, kitchen and bathroom renovations in Chicago as well as custom built-ins and cabinetry in Chicago.


  • Layering and Overlapping Rugs

    At Habitar Design we've seen not all rooms fit the proportions of standard rug sizes. Having a rug custom-created is a pricy solution. One current trend that provides a great solution is laying and overlapping rugs.  Not only does this look add a playful, relaxed feel to any room, but it can come in handy hiding imperfections such as scratches or stains in hardwood. Here are 7 tips to keep in mind while utilizing this look:


    1. To Create an interesting effect, play with angles, textures, and different piles of rug. Here a neutral, regular rug anchors the irregularity of the shape and pattern of a hide rug.


    2. When a bold patterned rug is too busy, it can be moderated by placing a solid rug on top of it, allowing at least 12”-18” of space on all sides to reveal the contrast between the rugs.


    3. To gain strength and vitality rugs can overlap each other.


    4. Overlapping rugs need not match, rather they can "go" together when they share a common detail, color, material, or motif.


    5. To help reduce cost, consider several small rugs, which often cost less than one large rug.


    6.Children’s rooms are perfect for layering rugs on top of carpet, adding extra cushions for first steps and falls.


    7. For extra comfort and warmth try layering a sheepskin rug on top of a lower pile rug.

    Hannah Tindall is a senior associate interior kitchen and bathroom designer in Chicago at Habitar Design. Mitchell Newman is principal at Stratagem Construction, a leading residential Chicago construction company focused on luxury home, kitchen and bathroom renovations in Chicago as well as custom built-ins and cabinetry in Chicago.


  • Black Doors, White Trim

    In Chicago one can find many older homes that possess plenty of character and charm, but still feel a little outdated. These clients often aim to maintain the existing vintage charm while making it feel more up to date with a minimal amount of work.

    In this case, paint is a great place to start.  Painting a wall can dramatically change the look of a space for a relatively low cost. Painting trim is an additional opportunity to modernize the home in an inexpensive way.

    Recently, painting doors black and trim white has become a popular trend. It immediately takes any space from ordinary to elegant, sophisticated, and sharp. Yet, this white and black are still neutral enough to work with any color scheme. 

    Have simple doors with no trim? Not a problem! Just pick up some decorative trim from your local hardware store and apply it to your doors before you paint!

    Here are some of our favorite spaces that utilize this timeless look:

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/140478/T-Eatons-Loft-Entrance-contemporary-entry-other-metro

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/442609/Contemporary-Bedroom-contemporary-bedroom-philadelphia

    Hannah Tindall is a senior associate interior kitchen and bathroom designer in Chicago at Habitar Design. Mitchell Newman is principal at Stratagem Construction, a leading residential Chicago construction company focused on luxury home, kitchen and bathroom renovations in Chicago as well as custom built-ins and cabinetry in Chicago.


  • 5 Benefits of a Built-In

    Whether it is in your living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, or even mudroom, built-ins are a great asset to have within your home. Here are 5 benefits to having a built-in in your home:

    1) Built-Ins Save space:

    When you are pressed for space, especially in a city, a built-in is a great way to conserve. It can eliminate free-standing furniture that would normally project into your room and seem too bulky.

    2) Increases storage & eliminates clutter:

    Everyone always has extra items that need to be stored somewhere. Built-ins can include customized drawers, cabinetry, or shelving to cover large spans or even entire walls, greatly increasing the amount of storage available in a room.

    3) Full customization:

    Built-ins are completely customizable so they can be designed to fit any space or function and match any style, trim, or molding. Integrated lighting, specialized cabinet hardware, glass panels, aquariums are a few options that we've explored at Habitar Design.

    4) Takes advantage of unused or awkward spaces:

    Built ins can optimize unruly spaces too small or awkwardly shaped for normal furniture or cabinetry. For example, under stairwells,  below sloped ceilings or in tight corners. Built-ins can be designed to fit into these areas in order for you to better utilize the space.

    5) Acts as a focal point:
    The area that was once a bare wall or fireplace could now have a custom built-in installed that will bring attention to your favorite art piece or serve as an entertainment area in your room.


  • Window Treatments 101

    Window's aren't always the first thing that come to mind when decorating a room. However, selecting the perfect window treatment is a wonderful way to optimize the overall function of a space.

    What type of window treatments should I select?

    There are several different types of treatment options that can be applied to your windows. The most common types are blinds, shades, curtains, and shutters.

    For maximum lighting control, blinds are your best option. Blinds can be made of wood, faux woods, metal, and many other materials. The slats can be rotated in two directions allowing for as much or as little light as you want.

    Shades are often confused with blinds. Shades are generally one long piece of material that rolls down and does not include the rotating slats that blinds use. Shades come in a variety of types, including honeycomb, roman, roller, solar, fabric, natural woven, and pleated. They keep light out and help insulate; serving as a great energy saver in all seasons.

    Curtains are the most popular choice for window treatments due to the large variety of options that are available. They improve insulation, especially in layers or in combination with another type of window treatment. They give the room a sense of warmth and beauty, as well as the opportunity to add pattern, color, or texture in the space.

    Shutters are available to match any taste and style. With their ability to protect and insulate, as well as add character and value, applying shutters is a great way to enhance your home.

    Each type can be used individually or even in combination with each other. Choose the type that fits beEach type can be used individually or even in combination with each other. Choose the type that fits best with your desired treatment function and the style you are trying to achieve in your space.

    Shades


    What size of window treatment should I choose?
    Window treatments, specifically curtains, come in a variety of lengths ranging from 63” to 144” to fit any standard window size. When selecting curtains, keep in mind that they should be floor-lengthor sill-length. If curtains are too long or too short, they'll look awkward. Curtains are best mounted just above and outside the window trim. Based on the height of your window, measure the length from the top of the window trim directly down to the floor. This measurement is the length of the treatment you should get. If wanting sill-length treatments, measure down to the sill instead of the floor. Panel widths are important as well. Both panels together should span 2-2.5 times the window width.




    Current Trends in Window Treatments

    Here are 4 current window treatment trends to help you with your design decision:

    1) Simplicity: Many window treatments are solid, often neutral colors, made up of either thick luxe or thin sheer materials. In either case, it adds a cozy feeling to your room without being too overwhelming. 

    2) Sustainability: Window treatments are becoming more eco-friendly because of both their manufacturing processes and their insulation properties. For example, there are curtains made of organic materials that allow a significant amount natural light to pass through, while still insulating the window; saving warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer.

     3) Cordless: Tired of tangled and confusing strings? Cordless window treatments have become more and more popular. With a manual system you can move the shade up and down with your hand, holding its location wherever you choose. You could also opt for an automatic, remote-controlled system to move the shades. 

    4) Big and Bold: Contrary to the simplicity route, adding bold colors and big patterns within your window treatment is a great way to bring color into your space and make a design statement in your room.

    Window treatments are one of our specialties at Habitar Design. Visit our interior design portfolio for more beautiful window treatment photos or contact us now for more information!

    Mackenzie Cain is Assistant Designer at Habitar Design, a leading Interior Design firm in Chicago. Habitar Design specialize in luxury home, kitchen, and bathroom designs and remodels.

  • Paint Color: Designing the Mood of A Room

    Colors and the associations we have with them have a dramatic impact on the way we feel in a space. Before you and your designer discuss color selection, think about what different rooms used for and the type of mood that would be most appropriate for their function.

     For large scale application- in full rooms or on several walls- colors such as blue, green, brown, gray, and white (including all of their various shades) will often be the best choice:

    Blue can be used to achieve a calming effect. It often reminds people of the sky or ocean. It should evoke feelings of peace, tranquility, harmony, loyalty, security, and cleanliness. On the other hand, a sterile shade of blue can produce associations with coldness and melancholy. Blues are most commonly used in living rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms.

    Green resembles nature and the environment. It should procure feelings of relaxation, health, growth, and renewal. Green has also been historically portrayed as a symbol for wealth and generosity. Negative associations with green include misfortune, queasiness (remember those pea green paints from the seventies?), and jealousy. Greens are most popular in kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, and bedrooms. 

    Brown is another color that recalls nature. It's a versatile neutral tone, especially in lighter shades, that can be used all over the home. It portrays a feeling of stability, safety, and elegance. If not used correctly, the color brown can be seen as dingy or sad. Browns are common in kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, and bedrooms. 

    Gray is another neutral color, especially in lighter shades. Gray today is cool and contemporary. It's emanates calm and sophistication and is a great way to blend masculine and feminine tastes. Caution: use dark shades sparingly or the effect can be too overwhelming. The color gray is used most popularly in kitchens, bathroms, and living rooms.

    For small scale applications- single wall or accent pieces- colors such as red, purple, orange, and yellow (including all their various shades) will often be the best choices.

    Red is a stimulating, high-energy color. It's perfect as an accent for adding a pop of color to a room. It often portrays feelings of speed, strength, celebration, happiness, and even romance. Red has also been known to increase appetite. Red, when overused, can become overwhelming; often evoking feelings of danger, violence, anger, and restlessness. Red is most commonly seen in kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms.

    Purple is most often associated with royalty and power. In history, the color purple was once only attainable by the wealthy. It portrays feelings of enlightenment, excitement, wisdom, passion, sophistication, and luxury. It can also be seen negatively as artificial. Purple is best used in a living room or bedroom.

    Orange is most associated with energy. It portrays feelings of enthusiasm, vibrancy, communication, concentration, and warmth. Similar to red, it has been known to increase appetite as well. The intensity of orange is the opposite of relaxing and can evoke feelings of uneasiness and rebellion. It's best used in a living room, dining room, or kitchen.

    Yellow reminds people of sunshine. It elicits feelings of happiness, optimism, decisiveness, hope, and inspiration. Yellow is another color that if overused has the potential to be too bright and overwhelming. It can be associated with rigidness, illness, and dishonesty. It has been known to cause people to lose their tempers more easily than in the presence of other colors. However, similar to red, it is a perfect accent color. Put a few yellow pieces in your space and it will brighten up tremendously. Yellow is usually used in kitchens and living rooms.

    Mackenzie Cain is Assistant Designer at Habitar Design, a leading Interior Design firm in Chicago. Habitar Design specialize in luxury home, kitchen, and bathroom designs and remodels.

  • Bathroom Design Trends: 5 Updates for your Bathroom Renovation

    Home Renovation is on the rise. In today's economic climate, homeowners are looking for ways to update their current homes instead of buying something new. Here are some of the top current Bathroom trends to keep in mind for your next renovation:

    1. Double Vanity & Sinks
    With dual sinks and double the storage space, your bathroom becomes much more efficient and much less crowded and cluttered. 



    2. Heated Floors
    Adding radiant electric heat under your hardwood or tiled floors is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. You'll love the added comfort (Chicago winters, anyone?) and personal temperature control. When your feet are warm, you feel warm.

    3. Walk-In Showers
    Homeowners are moving away from the typical bathtub/shower combo and moving toward walk-in showers with full glass doors and luxurious finishes and fixtures. A walk in shower can be smaller since you don't need room for a tub. It's safer when entering and exiting and embodies a more contemporary look. 

     

    4. Going Green
    No, not talking sustainability (even though that's great too, see below!) but literally the color green. Green is the most popular color being used on bathroom walls right now. Combine green with natural materials such as wood or stone to create a natural, spa-like ambiance. 



    5. Recycled Flooring
    There has been a huge increase in the use of sustainable materials all over the household, and the bathroom is no exception. One of the hottest growing trends out there is tile generated from recycled ceramic, glass, or metal. This material is durable, easy to clean, and comes in a wide variety of unique colors and patterns. It also helps the environment by keeping these materials out of landfills and putting them to great use!

    Mackenzie Cain is Assistant Designer at Habitar Design, a leading Interior Design firm in Chicago. Habitar Design specialize in luxury home, kitchen, and bathroom designs and remodels.

  • Treefrog Veneer

    Laminates aren't usually a person's first choice when selecting the type of wood and finish they want for their built-ins or kitchen cabinetry. Treefrog Veneer, however, a new product hitting the market, offers desirable finishes for both commercial and residential applications. Their veneers come in over 50 real wood laminates inspired by the most beautiful wood species from around the world. The wide selection of many types of wood provide suitable options for many design needs.

    Here are some examples:

    Treefrog Veneer-Zebrawood Grove 

      

    Treefrog Veneer- Black Oat Straight Grain 

    Treefrog Veneer- Salsawood Straight Grain 

    For more info, visit http://www.treefrogveneer.com

    Mackenzie Cain is Assistant Designer at Habitar Design, a leading Interior Design firm in Chicago. Habitar Design specialize in luxury home, kitchen, and bathroom designs and remodels.


  • Bright Ideas: 7 benefits of LED lighting

    7 BENEFITS OF USING LED LIGHTING IN YOUR HOME


    Here at Habitar Design, we use LED light bulbs in our very own office. LEDs are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and have a long lifespan. Here are 7 reasons why you should switch to LEDs in your own home.

    1. Long Lifetime
    LED lights last up to 25 times longer than other types of light bulbs.

    2. Energy Efficient
    LEDs are 80%-90% more energy efficient when compared to traditional and conventional light bulbs.

    3. Ecologically Friendly
    LED lights are free of toxic chemicals and are 100% recyclable.

    4. Durable
    LEDs are extremely durable and can operate in extremely hot or cold temperatures, therefore working well in both indoor and outdoor applications.

    5. Zero UV Emissions
    LEDs produce close to no UV emissions.

    6. Variety of Designs
    LEDs can be manufactured in nearly any shape, which allows them to be used for many applications. They also have the ability to dim individually, which allows for a variety of options in regards to light distribution, effects, and control.

    7. Low Voltage
    LEDs only require a low-voltage power supply. This makes it easy to use in any area of your home. They also illuminate immediately and have the ability to be switched on and off frequently without affecting the bulbs overall lifetime.

    Mackenzie Cain is Assistant Designer at Habitar Design, a leading Interior Design firm in Chicago. Habitar Design specialize in luxury home, kitchen, and bathroom designs and remodels.


  • Four Fall Color Trends for 2013

    Fall is quicly approaching! As the weather begins to change, the color trends are changing too. This fall there are four new colors to keep in mind when updating your home:

    FERN GREEN

    Add a pop of color on the wall behind a white bookcase or shelving unit.

    FLOURESCENT

    Select a flourescent side table that will break up a neutral color scheme and brighten up your room.

    MINT GREEN

    Almost considered to be neutral, a mint green piece, like this chair, can add a fresh look to any space.

    DEEP-SEA BLUE

    Accessories like these deep-sea blue curtains add richness and warmth to your room.

    These are just a few examples of ideas and products that can easily be added to any room, giving it an update that is both functional and trendy. For more home design and interior design ideas, visit the Habitar Interior Design homepage and peruse our portfolio.

    Information from:  http://www.lonny.com/Shop+The+Look+Fall's+Trending+Colors/articles

    Author Mackenzie Cain is Assistant Designer at Habitar Design, a leading Interior Design firm in Chicago. Habitar Design specialize in luxury home, kitchen, and bathroom designs and remodels.



  • 3 Types of Lighting for Your Bathroom

    Bathroom Lighting

    Bathroom Lighting is often overlooked and isn't addressed to be as efficient as possible for its users. Here are a few different types of bathroom lighting we at Habitar implement in our own bathroom design and bathroom remodeling projects that help our clients light their bathrooms more adequately.


    Central Fixtures

    The first type of bathroom lighting to consider is a central fixture. Usually this type of light is in the form of a recessed or surface-mounted ceiling fixture, serving as the main light source for your bathroom. Other options include a pendant light or even cove lighting.

    Vanity Lighting

    The second type of bathroom lighting to consider would be vanity lighting. The best ways to properly light the vanity and avoid unwanted shadows on your face is to 1) install vertical wall-mounted fixtures on either side of the mirror, which are the best solution to evenly distributing light across the space; or 2) install a fixture above the mirror that is long enough to spread light along the entire length of the vanity. Both solutions are successful in producing enough light for your daily bathroom rituals.

    Bathing Area/Shower Lighting

    The third type of bathroom lighting to consider would be in the bathing area. In smaller sized bathrooms, an extra light in this area may not be necessary. In larger bathrooms, however, a recessed light over the shower or bath serves as extra light source for bathing.


    Mackenzie Cain is Assistant Designer at Habitar Design, a leading Interior Design firm in Chicago. Habitar Specialize in luxury home, kitchen, and bathroom designs and remodels.

  • 6 Simple Ways to Go Green in your Home Remodel!

    If you are planning to remodel part of your home, consider a more eco-friendly route. There are many benefits to “going green.” In the long-run, the goal would be to lower the overall cost it takes to run your home and lessen the waste produced, ultimately reducing the impact your own home has on the environment. Implementing these few simple things in your remodel will result in a more sustainable and healthier home for you and your family.

    1) Install energy efficient appliances

    When selecting appliances for your kitchen be sure to look for the Energy Star label.

    2) Take advantage of Natural Light

    Turn off the lights and take advantage of natural light. Maximizing the natural light in your space allows less energy use. If you have the opportunity to install more windows in your space, do so! The more windows the better; especially on south facing walls, which allow the most light to be let in during the day.

    3) Install compact fluorescent light bulbs

    When selecting your new light fixtures, be sure to install compact fluorescent light bulbs, or even fluorescent. CFLs use significantly less energy than the standard incandescent light bulbs.

    4) Choose reclaimed, recycled, and reused products and materials

    In your remodel, selecting reclaimed, recycled, and reused products and materials allows for a more eco-friendly environment. For example, having bamboo or cork flooring installed works towards having a more sustainable space because these products are rapidly renewable materials.

    5) Make space for recycling bins in your kitchen

    Make it a point in your design to leave space and install recycling bins in your kitchen. Actively recycling in your day-to-day routine will help lessen the amount of waste collected as well as reducing the overall amount of waste sent to landfills.

    6) Repurpose and reuse old furniture in your space

    When selecting furniture for your new space, don’t forget about your existing furniture! By repurposing and reusing the furniture you already have, you are able to save money as well as lessen potential waste. Visit thrift stores in your area for recycled pieces.



    Mackenzie Cain is Assistant Designer at Habitar Design, a leading Interior Design firm in Chicago. Habitar Design specialize in luxury home, kitchen, and bathroom designs and remodels.
  • 6 Countertop Classics for your Kitchen!

    When selecting a kitchen countertop material, important considerations include the overall look, maintenance, lifespan, and cost of each potential countertop option. Here are six kitchen countertop materials that we at Habitar Design most often utilize as Interior Design and Remodelers in Chicago:

    1) Natural Stone: Granite, Marble, Limestone, and Soapstone

    Granite, soapstone and quartz are great for a highly active kitchen. They are durable and long-lasting, as well as heat resistant. Each countertop is unique because of the stone’s natural variations in pattern and color, resulting in a classic look that never goes out of style. Some natural stone countertops, such as marble and limestone, are softer and more porous. Not only can they be chipped but they are easily stained. They can be stained by red wine or inappropriate cleaners though in some circumstances “the patina of use” is desired. For light surfaces, when staining is not desired, quartz or quartzite materials are optimal as they are non-porous. Most stone countertops require periodic maintenance to seal them.

    2) Wood: Butcher Block and Wood Slabs

    Wood countertops add charm to any kitchen and are great for those who love to cook. Butcher blocks and wood slabs serve as a great food prep surfaces and quicken work as cutting boards are not needed. Unlike most other surface in the kitchen, cuts and scratches do not worsen their appearance. They are very durable and have stood the test of time as a kitchen element. They do require regular waxing to prevent any shrinkage or expansion caused by extreme amounts of heat and moisture.

    3) Concrete

    Concrete countertops bring a natural look to your kitchen. They are very durable, as well as heat and stain resistant. They are customizable and can be manufactured with any stain, color, and texture. Concrete countertops do require some maintenance and must be sealed regularly.

    4) Quartzite

    Quartzite countertops have the look and feel of natural stone and come in a variety of colors, textures, and graining. They are heat, stain, and scratch resistant, and do not require any extra maintenance or sealing. Quartzite countertops, though not quite as natural looking as real stone, have a similar cost.

    5) Tile: Ceramic

    Tile countertops come in a variety of colors, shapes, textures, and sizes. They are the most affordable and you can install the tiles yourself. Tiles are also heat, stain, and scratch resistant. The tiles are very low maintenance, but the grout requires a regular cleaning. They can be chipped or cracked under extreme pressure, but individual tiles are often easy to replace.

    6) Metal: Stainless Steel, Copper, Pewter, and Zinc

    Metal countertops are antibacterial, easy to clean, and durable, as well as heat and stain resistant. Stainless steel, the most commonly used metal countertop application, can be customized for any design style and matches with many kitchen appliances. The downside: metal can be expensive and has potential to scratch and dent.



  • Choosing the Right Wood for Your Cabinetry

    While designing a new kitchen, bathroom or built-in, one of the first things to consider is what type of wood you will use for your cabinetry. Whether you live in a country cottage or a city loft, the look and feel of your room will be influenced by the natural characteristics of the wood that you will choose. When choosing a wood for your cabinetry, the three important details to consider are type, color and grain pattern. Here are a few types of wood that we like to use for our custom cabinetry here at Habitar Design.

    · Maple is a medium to hard wood with straight, wavy or curly grain. Popular for its shock resistance and durability, maple has a light, uniform appearance that produces a smooth, clean look when stained. Another plus is that it can also be finished to resemble other more expensive hardwoods and softwoods such as Cherry and Cedar. Maple is a great choice for a light, airy kitchen or a dramatic kitchen with darker finishes.

    · Cherry is well known for its smooth grain and unique color that mellows and deepens as it ages – like fine wine. This mellowing effect is enhanced by exposure to bright light, and, depending on the amount of exposure, will tend to darken several shades over time. Considered a luxury wood, cherry has pinkish-brown hues and occasional shades of white, green or gray. Its dark color brings a warm elegance to any room.

    · Walnut is one of the most versatile and popular cabinet making woods. It has excellent wood working qualities, and takes stains well. It is resistant to warping and is subject to only light shrinkage. The wood is light to dark chocolate brown in color with a straight grain in the trunk. Wavy grain is present toward the roots, and walnut stumps are often dug out and used as a source of highly figured veneer. It’s beautiful figured grains with a very uniform texture are appealing to many people with a modern aesthetic.


    Hannah Tindall is a senior associate interior kitchen and bathroom designer in Chicago at Habitar Design. Mitchell Newman is principal at Stratagem Construction, a leading residential Chicago construction company focused on luxury home, kitchen and bathroom renovations in Chicago as well as custom built-ins and cabinetry in Chicago.



  • On the move with Removable Wallpaper

    With many city dwellers choosing to rent, there becomes a need to find unique ways to make a space feel like home, even though you don’t own the property. In many rentals, one major issue prohibiting you from making your home unique is that nothing can be done to change the state of the walls. A new product that we are excited about here at Habitar Design is removable wallpaper. It has the same look and feel as real wallpaper without being so permanent. No glue is needed; it sticks to your walls using a non-toxic, low-tack adhesive, making it easy to install and even reuse! We have used this new product on a few of our projects, and have found a few websites that offer some fabulous colors and patterns:

    o Chasing Paper
    o Timothy Sue
    o Swag Paper
    o Tempaper
    o The Wall Sticker Company
    o Spoon Flower
    o Blik
    o Easy Wallz
    o Murals Your Way
    o Dormco


















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Habitar Design • 1520 N Sedgwick St, Suite 5A • Chicago, IL 60610 • T (312) 274-2299 • F (773) 289-0714 • info@habitardesign.com