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Not Your Typical Man Cave: Family Rooms with the Ultimate TV Cabinet

College football season will officially begin tonight.  And I know many of my Texas friends are getting ready to watch their Aggies play in Columbia, South Carolina.  What is the most important aspect of football season when not attending the game?  Why, the perfect location to watch the game at home, and that TV location is of utmost importance.  Most of our TV’s are placed either above the fireplace or in a TV cabinet.


I have posted on the ultimate man cave several times (here & here), but many of us do not have a designated area for you or your man to watch your beloved team other than the family room.   Large TV’s are becoming pre-requisites for family rooms these days.  The location of those TV’s is something that is discussed early on in the design phase of new construction.  Often times we see them mounted above a fireplace or in a custom built-in cabinet or in a piece of furniture.


Today let’s look at designing a custom built-in cabinet to house that large TV.  Other than TV location, size does matter.  Ask any man!  Size of the room and size of the TV determines the overall size and design of the built-in cabinet.  Design the built-in cabinet to be the focal point in the room; it’s the perfect piece to be the star!  Also, when designing the area the TV is located in the cabinet, build in a false back so the TV itself does not sit too far back in the cabinet–make it as close to flush to the front of the cabinet.  There are several factors to consider when designing the ultimate TV cabinet.

TV: Hidden or Not


Storage: AV equipment & movies


Display Accessories:


Location: Fireplace, Corner, Wall






In the Kitchen: Backsplash Tile Design

Since kitchens generally are the center hub of the home, every detail should work together to reflect the kitchen’s overall style.  One small, but very important detail, is the kitchen backsplash.  More often than not, tile or stone is the material choice for kitchen backsplashes.  Kitchen backsplash tile design can be simple and basic or complex.


When designing your kitchen backsplash tile design, there are many types of tile materials to choose from:

  • Stone
  • Ceramic or Porcelain 
  • Concrete
  • Glass
  • Metal

With so many materials to select from, the options are endless.  I suggest you look at many kitchen designs to see what ‘your style’ would be.  And think outside the box, your backsplash doesn’t have to be boring straight laid tile.We can incorporate different textures and materials with your backsplash field tile (the main tile).


Two factors to consider when selecting the tile material is can it get wet or how grease will affect the tile.  Some natural stones have issues with wet areas, etc.  You do not want to spend money on a nice product and find out after it’s installed that it’s been ruined from grease spatter behind the range area.  This shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, because your designer and tile representative will let you know what materials will work or not.


Also, consider patterns and accent tile.  Sometimes our kitchen backsplash tile needs to shine, and adding this extra eye candy to the space creates an exciting visual affect. When designing your patterned tile design, mixing materials will add another textural element.  If adding accent tile around the entire perimeter of the kitchen is too much, just add accent tile over your range area.  This is a focal point already, so why not make it shine even more.








Dramatic Black Floors

Black interiors are back!  We have seen black walls increase in popularity, but if that’s too much for you, try going black on your floors.  Black floors add depth to a space, and is a timeless look.


What types of material can I get in black?  Wood floors and varying types of stone come in black.  Choose an ebony stain or an ebony wood for your floors.  The way the wood grain takes the stain will vary with each type of wood as well as each board within that specific type, adding visual texture.  Choose a natural stone such as black granite, slate, or marble for your floors, depending on the finish will reflect the light, adding another visual element.   Also lets not forget about black porcelain tiles, they come in so many textures and patterns, as well as staining concrete floors black.  When selecting a stone or tile floor, design the floor to have a pattern mixing the tile finishes, for example use a combination of honed & polished together–creating visual and textural interest.