You can't deny that old school kitchen appliances - circa the 40s to 60s - have a tad more character than the selections we have now. Often, here on Unplggd, we drool over modern stoves and refrigerators that are heavily influenced by the designs of yore, but you don't have to buy new to get that vintage feel. Claire Joyce and her husband Garth Johnson, who blog about their fixer upper on ReadyMade's Inside, Out blog, recently purchased a 1940s Wedgewood stove from a homeowner who was upgrading their kitchen with modern appliances. In the former owner's home our stove looked fairly clean, I could tell it would need a good scrubbing but I was not prepared for the incredible mess I would have to deal with when it was pulled from its longtime home. When we came to collect our Wedgewood stove it was covered on both sides with years of grease and grime. Bleh! Stove grease is gross enough, but there's something about cleaning up someone else's grease that's super gross. Anyway, Claire and Garth didn't want to go the old toxic chemicals route so they began researching natural ways to cut through the grease and grime.
Q: I just moved into a great apartment in the East Village. Even though my bedroom is small, it has nice wood floors, a brick wall and an amazing view of the Empire State Building. Sometime soon I need to paint the walls, except for the brick, but I don't want white walls. All of the pictures that I see online with a brick accent wall have white walls! I might paint them a light blue or a light gray, like Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore. Editor: Leave your suggestions for Kimberly in the comments - thanks! Have a question for our community? Send us yours with a photo or two attached.
Last week, I had a luck-of-a-lifetime stay in a 16th-Century villa in Tuscany. I'd love to show you all my photos, but this plate wall seemed particularly Apartment Therapy-esque. We've discussed countless ways to make hanging plates look modern: our favorite plate cluster walls, the best plate hangers, spray-painted plates, and my very own winter plate wall. This old-world display makes no attempts to be modern, and is all the better for it.... Villa Ugo in Cortona, Italy, is full of such timeless and tasteful wonders, and I was lucky enough to eat many delicious meals while gazing at this wall. Of course, the thing that really makes this display is the amazing ceiling. The plates are beautiful and the collection is impressive, but the juxtaposition of delicately painted ceramics and ancient, solid wood is what makes it so perfect. I could buy plates 'till the cows come home but there's no way I could recreate this in my California studio apartment. Still, it's nice to dream, and maybe someday I'll live in an old house and will be able to rock a similar look.
Letting go of this giant, 60'x60' mirror we have in our apartment is like cutting our perceived square-footage in half. The mirror is borrowed, and we enjoyed it while it lasted. We're on the hunt for affordable replacements. Costco actually caught our eye, with their Joan Wall Mirror. It's 40'x50' and costs $440. That includes shipping, which really counts for something on an item of this size and fragility. The mirror has beveled edges and is set in a walnut frame. This baby might just ease the pain of letting go of our old giant.
My room makeover:: When we bought this condo,the room that serves as a living, dining and office space was dark, dated and dingy. It measures 22' x 15', has a 7'6' ceiling and one source of natural light. Our first order of business was to visually lift the ceiling, push the vertical boundaries, and brighten the area without doing structural modifications. We re-plastered the scrolled ceiling to a smooth finish and painted both the ceiling and walls in a super white with a high light reflectance value. We removed the beige carpeting at the living room end and the vinyl flooring at the dining end of the room and ran solid oak throughout. New recessed LED lights and a see-through chandelier replaced the old off-centered, brass/glass pendant. White slipcovers, mirrors, and furniture that does not visually take up a lot of space helps to keep our multifunction space looking spacious and bright. What I love most about my new space:: We love living small and being surrounded by only those things that have significance and meaning to us.
The other day, sitting in a friend's backyard, we were intrigued by the variety of flowers. We were even more intrigued by the number of hummingbirds her garden attracted. Sitting quietly, watching them hover, their wings beating at extraordinary speed, we couldn't help but notice that her garden was full of wildlife from pretty butterflies to curious squirrels. Some tips for attracting wildlife to your own garden, after the jump.... Localize: Native plants attract native wildlife. Variety: An eclectic choice of plants and flowers equals more types of animals. Ladybugs, for example, eat aphids, green flies, mealy bugs and other scale insects. Shade: Good for humans, inviting to our animal brethren who don't have air-conditioned homes to retreat to. A water feature is another option to encourage animals, block out noise and encourage a tranquil, inviting atmosphere.
From AT:Chicago's own classifieds there are two glass vessel sinks for $150. Victor, the seller, says they are new and includes the drain assemblies and faucets in the price. Apartment Therapy Furniture Classifieds are open for your business in the NAV BAR. Post a particularly good thing, and we'll post you here on the front page.... OTHER GOOD STUFF.White dining table/chairs for $125Crate and Barrel console and coffee table for $90 Heywood Wakefield dining table for $600.Set of large carved mirrors for $100. each. Room and Board daybed for $250.Faux bamboo coffee table needs work for $40 Mid-c dining set with sideboard for $200 obo.
Way back when I entered the Smallest Coolest Contest in 2007, I had a dark brown danish modern sofa with blond wood. All in all, it was a lot of brown, lighter brown and white. I love color so I was a little bit surprised to see such neutral shades show up in my own home. When I thought about adding color, I got paralyzed. I didn't even know where to begin.... Beyond having a couple of throw pillows in various shades of green and blue, I didn't really know how to build a color palette. Layer Color and Pattern:If you take away the bold flower pattern, painting and bright orange lampshades, you're really left with somethig similar to what I had going on a coupe of years ago. Don't worry about being matchy matchy:The orange, the green, the purple, the browns; they don't really match, but because they're layered along with the fun texture of the sheepskin pillow and natural grass floor pillows, they work with each other to build a whole picture. Just start somewhere:It's not likely that the person putting this vignette together had a finished picture in their mind when they started, but by sticking with colors you already know you love, or bold patterns that you've been admiring for a while, you can rest assured that you won't hate the colors that you start with. As you start building up colors you'll see how they work with one another. This gives me more space to take risks, because I know I won't have to live with something forever.
Wow, I thought my minimalist modern tendencies had faded away since my days in college studying to become an architect. Then every once in awhile I see a residential structure like this and I think I might be able to live in a concrete box.... The big box, known as the House kn, is located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan and designed by Kazuyasu Kochi and Mana Kochi of Kochi Architect's Studio. Also below is their Shinkawasaki Infill condominium, which has a stunning white washed interior space with a most curious crawl space only reachable by ladder.
In this Southampton renovation of a 1960's ranch house, architect Elmslie Osler added continuity to the interior by carrying blue accents through the crisp white spaces. The kitchen's blue is found in that striking floor.... The project's description describes the floors as tile, but I'm not seeing much more detail than that. Are they some kind of resilient tile material? Porcelain? It's not clear exactly, but one thing's for sure: that oceanic blue bouncing its fresh hue off of the ceiling is exhilarating. See the rest of the home, the Alexander Residence, at eoarch.com.
Ok, that's a dramatic opener, but this book is really remarkable in its structure, quality of photos and pure enjoyment value. Arranged from smallest to largest, the homes featured in Living Large in Small Spaces start at 100 square feet and go up to 1000 square feet; from simple student digs to the just-so grandeur of some very elegant abodes. It's the closest thing we've seen to the AT House Tours meets the Small Cool Contest....on paper. 400 pages of inspiration, ideas, eye candy and voyeuristic forays into the homes of people from across the US. Our copy is getting worn out from the many many times we pull it off the shelf and enjoy it. We've often wondered how many fellow AT-er's also have this book in their design library.... Written by Marisa Bartolucci with photos by Radek Kurzaj, it is available in bookstores everywhere and online.
It's that time again, our annual Room For Color Contest, and lotsa folks are sharing great pops of color in a place that is easier than painting a wall: throw pillows. This year I've cleaned up last year's list and culled some great new sources for the freshest pillow list ever. It's not perfect, but it really helps to navigate all these great designs. Enjoy, pass it on, and if you know of a great one I've missed, leave it in the comments or email me 'PILLOWS' at maxwell apartmenttherapy com. >> Sylvie Guyiesse>> Refinery silk covered buckwheat pillows. The pillows above are from Rob, who sent this in: 'I spoke to my mom and told her about the amazing needle-point pillows that Jonathan Adler created. Knowing she was a needle-pointing maven in the 70's, I asked her if she could make some for my red leather couch. We decided on Andy Warhol icon's and we had an artist in Cincinnati paint the images for us onto a canvas. While each took months to complete, the pillows are the centerpiece of my apartment and speak for themselves. Thanks, MOM!!!'.
Last month, we mentioned that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa asked LA residents to do their part to help conserve water this Summer. Since summer is officially here and this is also Green Home month here at AT, we thought we could all use a reminder. If any of you caught the LIVE EARTH concerts on tv this weekend, there were a lot of website links given, one of which, is from an Arizona based site called Water...use it wisely. It's a great and easy-to-navigate website that covers all the bases regarding water conservation. Here is a great link to a list of 100 water saving ideas for those of us that live in the Southwest. Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for cold drinks, so that every drop goes down you, not the drain. Water your garden during the early morning hours, when temperatures are cooler and winds are lighter. Wash your produce in the sink or a pan that is partiall filled with water, instead of running water from the tap.