Inspiration Album


Bedroom with modern bathroom

Just about anything will look great in a high-ceilinged, light-flooded space, but despite what Pinterest tells us, style does exist in spaces 8' and under. In the kitchen from Simple Colorful above, white walls, ceilings, and furnishings keep things airy, while gracefully draped cords draw the eye up. Same goes for kitchen cabinets: that useless gap above upper cabinets looks especially silly in a shorter room, so take everything up to the ceiling. Older homes don't shy away from paneled or bead board ceilings, even when their ceilings are low. Keeping the ceiling, barn door, and bathroom vanity the same material creates flow and serenity, while the rustic wood itself is a cool feature. While shelving can happily climb short walls, if you're looking to visually increase the height of a space, keep the big, heavy pieces of furniture nice and low. Conventional design wisdom says that white paint will make a small space feel larger, but without lots of natural daylight, that just isn't the case. Cozy colors are often best in smaller rooms, and that goes for height-challenged ones as well. The bedroom above, featured on Lonny, proves that adding color on the ceiling can work to create a chic cocoon. No one's looking at the ceiling in this fun bedroom on Houzz.

Classic bedroom

Hidden storage is probably one of the key ingredients to solving small space problems. That's why we love this Storage Cube at Tiny Living.... 'It combines two of our favorites: solid wood and hide-away storage. The cubes are 18 1/2' square and at first glance appear monolithic. The size is great for side tables or stools and the storage you get out of it is icing on the cake.

White bedroom

You may already be familiar with Yvonne Eijkenduijn and the home she shares with partner Boris and their cat Boo in Belgium-she authors her own blog Yvestown which was one of our favorite blogs of 2009. Yvonne's home is a study in white mixed with pastel pinks and blues with minimal clutter and a lot of crafty accessories. Her bathroom perfectly ties together color and texture all in one neat little package. With crisp white as the backdrop, this small bathroom doesn't look cramped as the sink, toilet, and heater blend into the walls. The real star of the room is the pretty blue and white tiles with the red accent, which Yvonne matched perfectly with a piece of art that once hung in her office and a little mushroom figurine to balance out the visual. Beyond color, this bathroom uses wood grain to its full advantage: from the retro toilet seat, the wicker shelf unit next to the sink, to the small details like the wooden horse figurines and birch frame. Even the silver chrome of the sink and toilet fixtures get a nice tie in with the waste basket. See more of Yvonne's sweet home on her blog, Yvestown.

Bedroom with beach views

Found on ATSF, this adorable home office/craft station in Leah's new dining room. The desk is West Elm's white Parsons, the vintage tulip-style chair was found on eBay, and that's an IKEA Grundtal rail and Asker containers holding corral scissors, rulers, pens and pencils, paperclips, and other supplies. Leah explains on her blog that the room used to be a dark crimson red. It took two coats of gray-tinted primer to fully cover the red. They then used a paint mixed to match Benjamin Moore's Sonoma Skies. The paint ended up too bright on the walls, so they added equal parts of white paint to dim it down. This just shows you that a little color in your home office can really make a difference. More examples of great use of color in home offices can be found here.

Large bedroom

Here's another way to monitor your water usage in the bathroom: use a plugless sink! It's a modern take on the old traditional basin bowls. In order to get rid of the water in the sink, you have to tip it over. According to its designer Maja Ganszyniec, the act of manually tipping the sink over and dumping out the water makes us more aware of how much water we are using and throwing away.... We think it's a beautiful design, and we actually really like the concept and think it could work.

Contemporary bedroom

Years lived in: 6 months - owns the Airstream, rents the land. After seeing Matthew Hoffmann's Before and After makeover of his retro Airstream railer, I jumped at the opportunity to photograph it for a full tour. A licensed architect, founder of HofArc, he was able to reconfigure the original bones of this space while refurbishing it, and restoring some of the original charm.....

Medieval inspired bedroom

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.

Bedroom with great view

We might just enjoy bathroom stuff more than anything else. It's the room we feel most entitled to do small updates to regularly. Out with the old bathmats, in with the new; work out creative organizational systems; start over fresh whenever the mood strikes.


If you've shortlisted your favorite wall colors but are having a hard time narrowing it down to a final choice, why not take inspiration from this beautiful feature wall and use them all? Posted by Flickr member anonymous to you, this feature wall works without looking too busy because the colors all come from the same refreshing-yet-soothing palette of greens and neutrals. You can use painter's tape to create the same effect. Just block off the squares and rectangles using painter's tape, then carefully roll in the desired colors, starting with the lightest-colored blocks and ending with the darkest.



Bedroom with low ceilings


Bedroom with low ceilings

We heard from a Canadian furniture designer who is making a trip to Chicago soon to meet with potential retailers for their normally to-the-trade brand. They are hoping for some leads and sent us a good question: What are some of Chicago's most reputable contemporary-furniture stores I can look into? Please share the shops the you would recommend in the comments below...thanks!


The Laundry Pod is a prototype product that had a big presence at the Home & Housewares show this week. Of course, the concept of actually being able to do laundry at home in a residence that doesn't include a conventional washer is always an attractive idea. Fewer trips to the laundromat and cleaners, self-sufficiency, convienience and ongoing money savings all factor in. Finally, the initial purchase is very affordable - just under $100. But, and this is where we leave it up to the home-laundry-less in the Apartment Therapy community, do you would you give this a go or is it just not realistic as an ongoing solution? It's super manual - a wash cycle involves filling up a tub, adding soap, churning a crank, emptying, filling again with clean water, more churning, emptying again, and finally, hanging to dry. The capacity is approximately 25% of a standard washer. It's not UNdoable, of course, but were curious to know whether those of you who live without a traditional home laundry set up would consider this a viable alternative to how you handle your laundry now? Let us know in the comments.... MORE INFO: The Laundry Pod.

Minimalist bedroom

My grandfather is coming to stay with me a few weeks and I'd like to find a stool or bench for him to use in the guest shower. I've found some really ugly ones online, but I'd like to find something a bit more visually appealing that I could keep in there all the time. Perhaps something in Teak? Does anyone have ideas on where I could find something cool? Thanks! Jake. The Hinoki Stool from Design Within Reach is exactly what you are looking for - but expensive at $300. It's made of Japanese cedar and is the same kind of stool used in Japanese saunas. We found some other cedar and teak options but many were folding, which didn't seam stable in a shower. If you have a tub, you could use the Hinoki Tub Bench, made from the same rot-resistant cedar, which is only $100. Anyone have alternative ideas?


Kateri is looking for some suggestions: Right out of college, I had the very expensive urge to purchase my very first sofa. The sofa in my head was white, and I knew I wouldn't be happy with anything else, so I got the Hampton Sofa from Ethan Allen, custom upholstered in a bright, crisp white. It is gorgeous, and supremely comfortable, and has weathered surprisingly well. Until recently, when my boyfriend and I broke up, and I got another expensive urge. This time, to buy a dog.... So, two years after purchasing such a beautiful piece, I find myself looking to reupholster it, in preferably a darker and more pet friendly fabric. I can't afford to have it done professionally, and am pretty crafty myself, but am having a hard time finding affordable, and not atrocious, fabric. Any suggestions? Not just on the fabric, but tips for attempting this myself? The Hampton Sofa from Ethan Allen that Kateri owns is shown above. Please add your upholstery fabric suggestions and tips for the DIY with Kateri in the comments below...thanks!


This mud room is so organized that it looks like a retail shop: every pair of sunglasses has its own specific ledge, motorcycle helmets are tucked neatly on the top ledge, a handy wall mirror for a last look before heading out. Before we forget: the sweet window corner seat with black and white striped cushions would be an ideal spot to throw shoes on or to climb up to grab a helmet. Sigh...we'd be lucky if our entry was 1/10th as efficient or as nice looking!