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Article:: A Place for Family, a Place for Self

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A Place for Family, a Place for Self

(ARA) - Today's families are a whirlwind of activity, running to school and work, to and from meetings, events and get-togethers. Research has shown that because today's families are so busy, home has become a retreat, a place to escape and relax. The desire to be at home -- sometimes referred to as "cocooning" -- has driven many of the architectural and design changes seen in today's new homes.

Today's homes are much more informal and versatile than homes of the past. The great room has replaced what was once a collection of individual rooms. Designers have proven that walls are not the only way to create separate areas. Individual spaces can be established by arranging furniture or d?cor, or by adding private areas like window seats.

To create a true family home, there should be a balance of public areas and private retreats. While kitchens, living rooms and outdoor areas are usually areas of group interaction; bedrooms, bathrooms and hobby rooms can be areas dedicated to personal time. Since a home's spaces can vary widely, one of the keys to effective home design is finding a way to tie these areas together.

Some of the new ways homes transition from room to room includes floor elevation changes, ceiling height differences or simply the way furniture may be arranged. But the oldest, and still most common way to move from one room to another is through a door. Fortunately, homeowners are no longer stuck with choosing the same, simple door throughout their home. There are hundreds of door choices today and it is common for a homeowner to use different types of doors throughout a single home.


In order to select doors that will work best for your home, consider what kind of transition you want between spaces. Looking to create complete privacy? Select a solid wood panel door. Looking to make a seamless transition from one room to the next? Try a French door or a door with a lot of glass. Looking for a formal feeling? Opt for a door with decorative accents like moulding, raised panels and hefty, ornamental hardware.

Let in the Light

One of the current trends in residential architecture is to open up a home with large windows or by grouping multiple windows together. This exposes a home to views and permits natural light to flow in. But what about rooms toward the center of the home or rooms that aren't positioned well in relation to the sun?

French doors are a common solution. French doors come in a variety of designs from those that feature one large piece of glass to those that feature many smaller pieces of glass. And each design can be made with dozens of glass options.

Obscure glass options like frosted glass and reed glass let in light yet still provide privacy. In fact, French doors with obscure glass are a popular choice for private areas like bedrooms and bathrooms. To get an idea of the obscure glass options available, visit your local building retail center. If you have Internet access, a good resource for viewing a number of options on screen is www.simpsondoor.com; just click on "products" to find what option might work best for you.

Getting Decorative

Obscure glass is not the only non-clear glass option available to you. There is also decorative glass, sometimes referred to as art glass. This type of glass combines leading -- something typically used in stained glass windows or in front doors -- and smaller glass pieces of various sizes, colors and shapes. The lion's share of decorative glass is used in period homes like Craftsman, Bungalow or Victorian-styled homes, but is becoming more common as homeowners attempt to differentiate their homes from their neighbors'.

Using decorative glass interior doors can create a sense of architectural consistency if the front door has decorative glass. And decorative glass is a good solution for matching other elements of the home like light fixtures, tile and hardware. The popularity of brushed silver and black metal used for hardware and lighting can be carried through to your doors by selecting decorative glass with silver or black leading.

Open Communication

What about the kitchen? As the central hub of many of today's homes, we find ourselves using this space to do far more than cooking. It's a place to do homework and bills, a place to talk with visitors and it's often a place to set your keys, mail and whatever else you came in the door with. With this kind of activity, consider doors that are just as functional as the room.

Simpson's Chalkboard Panel Doors are a great solution for the kitchen or pantry, giving parents a place to write grocery or to-do lists and giving children a place to post artwork or report cards. It also saves the wall space you might be using already for a message board. These doors use a 1/4" thick double-sided magnetic chalkboard panel in place of where you would typically see a wood panel or glass.

Chalkboard doors come standard in three different designs and five different wood options including fir, hemlock, cherry, maple and oak, allowing you to match your cabinets, flooring or other millwork. To learn more about chalkboard doors, visit www.simpsondoor.com and click on "Products."

Create a Signature Statement

If you can't find exactly what you want at your local retail center or by looking in a brochure, there are a number of companies that will make exactly what you want from the ground up. There is nothing that can communicate your own decorating taste like something envisioned and designed by you. To create your one-of-a-kind door, it's as simple as making the sketch yourself, writing down some features that are important to you and taking your notes to your dealer. To find a custom door dealer near you, call (800) 952-4057 or visit www.simpsondoor.com.

To make your home perfect for your family, you could commission a complete demolition and reconstruction, or the answer may be just as simple as updating a few parts. Considering the impact that doors have on how you live and how your family interacts may go along way to getting your home to where you want it to be.

Courtesy of ARA Content

Authors Website: http://www.aracontent.com/

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