We've made it a point, at every election, to take our son with us to vote. From having him sitting on our hip while we punched our ballot, to standing next to us curiously observing, he's been there every time. We like to think of it as early exposure to our civic duty. The recent article in the Seattle Times, by Leanne Italie, How to Take Your Kids to the Polls and Make Voting a Meaningful Experience touched upon some great tips on doing just that and claiming that with a bit of prep work, Election Day, '....can even be fun.' Set the stage - Prepare the children by holding mock elections or simple votes at home. Stake it out - Are children allowed in your area? Will you be going when it's not so crowded?Election entertainment - Political puzzles, coloring books and games can provide entertain while waiting in lives. To read these tips and more, visit the Seattle Times Web site. Do you take your children to vote with you? Is it a tradition you hold or plan on starting?
The brand-new store in Fremont makes custom couches out of eco-friendly materials with the smallest mark-up possible, cutting overhead costs by sharing space with Orange Spot gallery. Owner Ameer Radwan is motivated by a personal disgust with overcharging, a near-religious zeal for a good deal, and ambition to be known as the place to go in Seattle for a couch. The contact page on his website includes a personal 'Batphone' number, with this to say, 'If it's midnight and you simply MUST see couches because you're watching HGTV and you're inspired to change your whole decor - call the batphone. I'll probably want to talk about couches at midnight too. I'm not kidding. Repeat: I'm not kidding.' Think folks take him up on it? Each couch starts with an FSC-certified wood frame and water-based adhesives that give off no volatile organic compounds. The choice of style, fabric and filling is all yours, and Radwan is there to guide you and point out which material choices are recycled or organic. You'd think this service would come at a higher cost, but Couch's website lists example after example of earth-friendly, custom copies of big-box couches for less than the original - most under $1500. Couch doesn't just do couches, but chairs and upholstered beds as well. More surprisingly Couch offers custom framing through his partnership with Orange Splot.
Bathrooms are a perfect place to do something a little out of the ordinary on the walls. The space is typically small already so a dark color or highly textured wall treatment won't make it look any tinier; instead it can seem cozy and unique. Check out this great wall treatment using salvaged wood, it transforms the space and creates an unexpected environment. Designed by Andrew Melaragno, this bathroom uses salvaged pine throughout. With an ebony stain, the walls are covered in a textural pine laid in a repeating pattern. The vanity is created using the same salvaged wood while a white toilet and other accessories keep the room from seeming too heavy. This bathroom just begs a do it yourselfer to take on a project like this!
San Francisco-based Transparent House had an idea: To integrate an iconic object - such as a vintage Leica - into modern-day life while maintaining the qualities of art and function. Their Perspektiva Lamp uses the camera as a lighting source.
White-painted floors are just plain beautiful, but we just might prefer the slightly softened version: whitewashed floors.... Whitewashing allows a bit of the wood grain and color to show through the finish. The result is a soft, hazy white layer that's a little bit rustic, but still spiffs up an old floor quite nicely, unifying the entire surface in whiteness. If a brick wall is what you're wanting to whitewash, AT's got it covered here.
Victor sent us a link to a photo tour of an art collection displayed in his livingroom. Few people commit to collecting the work of just one artist, but it's often a high-impact way to integrate art into a room. 'He says:'The pieces on the walls are lithographs and seriographs and the statuary are bronzes made from lost wax molds. 'The lamp is made of traditional Oaxacan black clay pottery, and is actually a creation of my own!'.
Maybe it's because he's french and had a fixation with the idea of the American old west, but when I was young my dad used to drag me around to the Rose Bowl to buy awesomely bad thrift store paintings of cowboys, cactus and horses, sometimes even40's era Indian Chiefs. As a little girl I did not have the same appreciation that I have today. The bathroom can be a great place to go big with color or with overscale artwork or fun collections that might not make the same impact in another part of the house. I like this collection of deer prints from gentillefille's flickr set that she picked up at a thrift store and put on display in the bathroom.
'Q: I have a beautiful piece of vintage Marimekko fabric that I want to hang on my wall. It's 54' by 59'. The 59' side is a white selvage with a Marimekko stamp and the date, so I don't want to cover that up by putting the fabric in a frame. How can I hang this fabric, other than framing it or stretching it over a frame? I really love the CB2 hanging rails where fabric is stretched between two metal rails, but they have poor reviews. This seems like an easy DIY or IKEA hack, but I can't quite come up with something that would look polished. Editor: Please share your ideas and suggestions with Leslie in the comments below - thanks! Got a question? Email yours with pic attachments here.
Q: We just moved into a new apartment and have a Room and Board Maddox Sofa that we will put against the bay window, a CB2 Parlour Sofa that will be parallel to the Maddox with the CB2 Smart Glass Coffee Table in between. We're also thinking about a classic brown leather club chair with curved arms and nailhead trim. We have a TV mounted where the previous owner had one mounted and surrounding it we have dark brown wood shelving and entertainment unit pieces. Now we need suggestions for a rug.... I really love the grays, yellow and white that we already have in the room but now I'm trying to find an appropriate rug and I'm totally stumped. Should I go neutral with the rug? We generally like modern furniture and clean lines. We're open to bright colors and geometric shapes but I also want the room to feel fun and inviting and not overly child-like with too many colors. I was also considering a round or a rectangular rug with a moorish-tile type pattern. At this point though I'm open to all ideas! The rug budget is capped around $600 but I'd love to spend less. Comments with links to actual rugs for sale would be best, I am stumped here. Editor: Leave your suggestions for Allison in the comments - thanks! Got a question? Email yours with pic attachments here.
I have been on the hunt for a small, simple and affordable hamper for what seems like forever, and over the weekend I finally spotted this model that perfectly fits the bill while I was photographing a house for an upcoming tour. It's ridiculously affordable and I was surprised to find out where it came from. The hamper by Koala is actually from Babies 'R' Us - though it's as easy to picture in a grown-up space as in the nursery. Best of all, the hamper rings in at $19.99 and even comes in 5 colors. Visit Babies 'R' Us to see all the color options or to claim one for yourself.
Awhile back, we got a question from AT reader Mike who had recently stayed at the Custom Hotel near LAX. He loved the bedside lamps that they had, and we just stumbled on the source over at Bromhead Design: The Bestlite wall light designed by Robert Dudley Best. These industrial-looking sconces come in three different colors; and are available at Bromhead Design.
Q:I am looking for two chairs to be accent kitchen table chairs. Our table is wood, painted silver, and the six chairs are vintage school chairs with a very faded yellow paint. I love the chairs and don't want to paint them, but I would like two accent chairs that are a little more modern since the chairs and table and the wallpaper in the coffee maker nook all tend toward country. Our kitchen is white with a grey/white marble backspash and honed black granite countertops. I love the Eames molded plastic chairs and the metal navy chairs, but I don't want our kitchen to look like 'The kitchen design blogs made'. Editor: Leave your suggestions for Lisa in the comments - thanks! Got a question? Send us yours with pic attachments here.
The semi-annual warehouse sale is going on at Odegard next week! I made it out to the spring sale and was not disappointed.... Odegard's lush handmade wool rugs are sold at about 80% off at these warehouse sales, alongside a small selection of Fortuny lighting and furnishings. The sale is open to the trade only on Monday, November 13 and to the public on Tuesday, November 14 through Sunday, November 19.