Inspiration Album


Large white bedroom

We're about to undertake the task of redoing our dining room to make it function better as an office and instead of showing you a before and after and then being frustrated by great suggestions once we've already done the work, we thought we'd solicit some opinion for AT readers before we got started. Our dining room currently serves as somewhat of a catchall, and in the end doesn't get used very much. There's a desk tucked into the corner, but it's used mainly as storage for piles of paper and we end up working at the dining room table. While we eat most meals on the sofa we throw relatively regular dinner parties and need to keep the dining table available for that. The biggest adjustment that needs to be made is to make this into a functional workspace for two people working together - we're thinking we'll use the dining table as a large desk but keep all paperwork/office supplies off of it when not in use. We obviously need to find a better storage solution to replace the three small pieces on this wall. We're planning on painting the walls a more vivid color, possibly a deep blue, and would like to also paint the table - we're thinking gloss white, but are open to other suggestions. We know that right now there is too much art and too many knickknacks, so we'd like to streamline the accessories while possibly adding a large bulletin board.

Dark gray walls bedroom

Volkswagen is publicizing initiatives that get people to make changes for the better by having more fun doing everyday activities. The Fun Theory shows many of these projects, and also sponsors an award for the most effective of the bunch. At a subway station in Stockholm, an amazing 66% increase in taking the stairs over the escalator was recorded, simply because the activity was made fun by adding musical notes to each step. This had the benefit of not only giving stair-takers some physical activity, but it also put big smiles on their faces. Do you think about the fun theory when planning a space?

Large master bedroom


Country bedroom

A leather Chesterfield is something that just gets better with age. That perfectly distressed look isn't cheap, but there are some great bargain versions of this classic British sofa. Would you invest in the collectible, or scoop up this cozy library living room?

White bedroom with splash of color

The casual look combines the sleek style we expect in contemporary kitchens with the natural warmth of wood-just another reason we're adding 'Kitchen renovation' to our home wish lists. The Danish company Dinesen, makers of beautiful plank wood flooring, decided to use the natural material throughout the entire room, covering both the walls and cabinets. I'm now convinced that textured wood below, glass cabinets above, and marble in the middle is the recipe for a flawless kitchen. If you're a fan of butcher block counter, this kitchen shows us you don't have to stop there-extend the look to the cabinets, as well. Matching wooden cabinets and window frames pull the room together, while clean white subway tiles keep the look fresh. In this New Zealand home by MRTN Architects featured on Design Milk, pale wood cabinets join forces with black hardware for a striking study in contrasts. In this deVOL kitchen, natural slated cabinet fronts sit beside those with a dark wood stain. While your first instinct may be to balance wooden cabinets with crisp white walls, critics of the all-white kitchen will be pleased to see how beautifully jewel-tones complement reclaimed wood cabinets and shelves in Swoon Edition's showroom, above.

Green floral wallpaper bedroom

Havalah's family room fireplace featured an extra-long mantel that also spanned some strange built-ins. With an update, this focal wall becomes much more functional. When we moved into our house, there was this funny looking mantel in our back family room. Then next to the fireplace, there were these two 'holes' like cabinets that were completely useless to us. We started by tearing down the old mantel, then my husband added wainscoting to the back of the holes and added some built in shelves. To tie everything together, he also added some white trim, which also matched the window and the finished mantel. For more photos and details, check out Havalah's blog, Sisters, What!

Large bedroom

Hello All,I start a new job and I need a home office. Please guide me to a great desk that doesn't look like an office. Thanks,T. Dear T,We saw this desk at the Container Store and think it's a great option for the home. More ideas below the jump.... The Java Roll-Out Desk is on sale at The Container Store for $224.25. It measures 34' x 21.5' x 37.75' and offers up to 36' of workspace when pulled out. Does anyone have this desk? Any other desk recommendations?

Modern bedroom with ocean view


Contemporary furniture bedroom

Last week we saw Gregory featured on the New York Times, where he spoke candidly about living minimally with tech. Though primarily due to a constrained budget at the time, in time has morphed into an ongoing lifestyle. In the spirit of living like a technophile-minimalist, we'd like to open it all up to our readers. Do you consider yourself an electronics aggregator or one that carefully plans out an entire spreadsheet of plus/minuses before adding another piece of technology into their life? Personally, I have a hard time myself keeping my purchasing fingers off that Checkout button online when it comes down to consumer goodies. I tend to purchase a number of different headphones, but use my desktop speakers to listen to my music about 90% of the time. This observation only came about after the fact, so I guess it could be considered a worthy investment in the spirit of self-acknowledgment of a personal headphone addiction, yeah?

Attic bedroom


Small black and white bedroom


Industrial bedroom

There's just something about these colorful chairs located in front of a restaurant in Soho that called out to us. We really like the funky little legs and feet, and the peeling paint - and we imagine that if we found similar ones at, say, Alameda, they'd make a great little perch outside our front door for us to set down bags while we juggle keys, our dog, etc.

Bedroom with wood panels

Scandinavian Details is the first stop on our tourof the furniture and design stores in Hayes Valley. Many shop owners along Hayes Street in popular Hayes Valley will tell you how difficult it is to open a store there, and even how much more difficult it is to keep the doors open. It must mean something that Scandinavian Details was opened in 2004 by Kristina Runske and is still doing fantastic. Her eclectic yet modern taste can be seen throughout the many gorgeous and practical products she has in her store. The store's limited furnishings are mostly black, white, and neutral, which set a great stage for the accessories and tabletop items that are typically brightly colored, clear glass, or stainless steel. They were on sale! The small one was $28 and the large was $48. Be sure to visit Scandinavian Details online store if you're not in SF. It's packed with plenty of great products, all of which are for sale.

Brown and blue 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.

Paris loft bedroom


Luxurious bedroom

Growing up, we became familiar with the word decoupage at a very early age. Today, we use decoupage in a similar way; we've updated this tried and true art form to fit in our home decor. It's a great way to use up magazine and newspapers, and create original art for your nest. Decoupage a scrap piece of wood, then hang it on a wall or set it on a shelf. You could even incorporate flat items, such as ribbons, stamps, or coins. They use a clear resin available at most craft stores, which gives the tray a high gloss and makes the items look like they're way down under a layer of glass. Get super-sized and decoupage a piece of furniture or accent a piece with panels. If you're wanting to decoupage something flimsy, be sure to use as few layers of glue or varnish as possible-the more saturated you make the paper, the more it will curl up at the corners.