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Posts Tagged ‘serpentine wall’

5 Condo Design Ideas for A Space Built Around You!

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Glass Block

Condo Design Ideas for a Space Built Around You | Innovate Building Solutions | #GlassBlockDesign #GlassBlockWall #GlassBlock

Updated March 23, 2019

Are you entering a stage in life where your current suburban home, or active senior community, just doesn’t fit the lifestyle or mix of neighbors you want?

Are you kicking the curb (pun intended) on condo living, but aren’t completely sold it’s a fit for you?

Are you struggling to figure out how to inject style, life and personality into a ‘stuck-in-the-80’s-big-hair-shoulder-pad-looking’ condo which needs a swift fashion ‘kick-in-the-pants?”

Bob and Nona Pickering recently hit this stage of life. Their existing condo in an active senior community in the middle of “Go-Blue-Land” just wasn’t cutting it for them. (note: for those of you playing at home “Go Blue” land would be Ann Arbor, Michigan home of the University and Michigan. It’s a beautiful college town. Sorry for saying this Buckeye fans).

While this active-adult community was perfectly fine – they wanted a broad mix (and age range) of neighbors and less traffic (Ann Arbor can get crazy on game-day weekends). While Bob and Nona are both U or M grads – and big fans – game-day they can largely do without.

They wanted more time for golf and relaxing. They like the idea of being part of a larger development with a more variety of housing and people. So, the search for a new home and location began.

As Bob told me, “Mike, Nona and I found our condo in a strange way. As Nona was looking for a home for her sister they found one on a golf course with a décor which screamed out – D-A-T-E-D! Nona’s sister wanted no part of the extensive remodeling and redecorating challenge. Nona and I loved the golf course setting and proximity to Ann Arbor.

Our new condo is in Brighton Michigan (in the Pine Eagles subdivision within the Oak Pointe Community). It’s only 35 minutes from the University of Michigan and has view views of the golf course and a broad mix of neighbors.

We can still go and watch our Wolverines hopefully beat the Buckeyes (OK I’m an Ohio State fan so I had to throw the word ‘hopefully’ in there) but be outside the hustle and bustle of Ann Arbor.

The tired 1988 layout and décor had to go. Nona and I asked her sister if she would let us put a bid in on the home – since she was planning to pass on it. Our bid was accepted and that’s how this condo redesign journey began.”

In this article I’m going to highlight 5 condo design ideas Bob and Nona used to recraft their space around their needs and tastes. This project is an example of how a condo can combine good function (practicality) and good form (personality). Let’s check out these 5 ideas.

How to select the best shape for a glass block shower wall

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Glass Block

How to select the best shape for a glass block shower wall | Innovate Building Solutions

Updated March 16, 2019

Figuring out a glass block shower can be a pain in the rear! If you’re using a contractor they may be vaguely familiar with this type of wall system – or, if they are not, they will try to steer you to a “standard” shower enclosure since it’s what they know how to do. But, if you have your heart set on the benefits of a low maintenance, high privacy glass block shower and want to make it happen – no matter how difficult it is to figure out – you’ll want to read this article.

Well I’m here to tell you a glass block shower doesn’t require a brain surgeon to design and install (and my wife would agree I’m not a brain surgeon – or at least I don’t have the listening skills of one)! I’ve been working with this product since 1985 (wow- that makes me old) and have learned a few “tricks” along the way about glass block design. In this article, my goal is to help you identify the top 6 glass block wall shapes. Then we’ll look at each shape (I’ll give you some “out-there” names for them) and look at the strengths and weaknesses of each so you can wrap your arms around which is best for you.  Just to let you know I’ve saved the most popular design for last (but don’t jump ahead because the other 5 designs may be better for your project) So let’s get ‘er done and figure this project out!

Glass Tile Blocks – Where Art meets Architecture

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Glass Block

Decorative Glass Tile Necklace

Decorative Glass Tile Necklace

When architect and Managing Director at Gensler Architects Karen Hargarther Thomas was asked how she got into the field of architecture she said, “The world of architecture has the power to create special places for people to inhabit, work, play or provide a private retreat. At the most minimal level we can create a shelter – but through architecture we have the ability to move the human spirit through the built environment.”


Creating a special place and adding an architectural and artistic touch is what inspired the development and use of glass tile blocks in showers, walls and windows. Learn below how glass tiles used in women’s necklaces and other jewelry where repurposed in the use of inspirational windows and walls to not only create a functional window or wall and bring in light – but to make a distinctive artistic touch to a home or commercial building.


Glass tile blocks used for a shower wall

Glass tile blocks used for a shower wall - Columbus Ohio project

Project Spotlight: Pool House Bathroom with a Serpentine S Shaped Glass Block Shower Wall and Base Design

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Basement Remodeling, Glass Block

Pool house room addition with serpentine glass block shower wall
Pool house room addition with serpentine glass block shower wall

When the Mills family starting thinking about a creating a unique and functional pool house bathroom they were looking for construction products with style and substance. Working together with Larry Harp and Jon Innis of L & J Contractors of Cookville Tennessee (a high end builder and remodeler) the Mills family identified products to make a one of kind bathroom design that were also “smart” (meaning they provided long term ease of maintenance and kept costs down over the long run). Learn more below about the products used in this 1,800 square foot room addition project.

Project Spotlight: Serpentine S Shaped Glass Block Shower Wall and Base Design

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Commercial Remodeling & New Construction, Glass Block

Serpentinve glass block walls ready for shipment
Serpentine glass block walls using vinyl stack spacer system ready for shipment
Serpentine glass walls set on custom ready for tile shower base

Ah, the beauty, style and sophistication of a serpentine wall – stunning, dramatic, an architectural masterpiece. If you’ve seen the brick serpentine walls at the University of Virginia or the curvy, stepped concrete wall arising out of the Ohio River in Cincinnati you know how cool an S shaped wall can look. But – have you ever seen an S shaped wall made of glass blocks for a residential shower design? Have you ever thoughts about using a curved wall in a bathroom, kitchen, basement or commercial space? Are you intrigued? Read on.    

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