We're always simultaneously heartened and chagrined when we read about New York families making clever use of their small spaces. Heartened that it can be done, yet chagrined knowing that we're probably not making the most of what we ourselves have. The Finger-Kennedy family whose apartment was recently featured in Dwell is definitely making the most of their 640 sq. Feet in the East Village with multi-functional furniture, hidden storage and skylights. 'When the family met with the architects who helped them transform and rejigger the apartment young Jonah voiced his opinion that the apartment should feel like a pirate ship. And indeed the architects incorporated ideas from boat design which demands clever solutions for small spaces. See Jonah's bed above? It's also a desk that the whole family can use. There are hidden 8' compartments in the floor to eke out every last bit of storage space. The family's dining table folds down from the wall, but can accommodate a dinner party if need be.
You don't need to be Mr. Money Bags to afford stylish home office furniture. Whether you're straight out of college with hardly any funds, a must-have-design-at-any-cost, or somewhere in between, there are lots of options when it comes to outfitting your home office with the basics - a desk to write on and a chair to plop our behinds. We explore some great options for both ends of the spectrum. Okay, so we're not talking Hellman-Chang money for the high end, but let's say our high budget is perhaps a grand and low is a few hundred. What kind of options do we have for setting up our new home office? High: The Herman Miller Aeron has been an iconic work chair for generations. Get a true original with an Eames Management chair but boy is it expensive, especially when you consider the alternatives. Low: You could pop into any office supply or cheap furniture store and find yourself an 'Ergonomic' office chair. For a couple of hundred you can actually get yourself a decently comfortable chair. For example a Tempur-Pedic mesh chair provides great comfort and support for those long hours you're likely to be sitting in one spot. If you don't mind knockoff designer furniture, you can always try an AG Management Chair for the classic Eames look at a fraction of the price.
Inspired by yesterday's ColorTherapy post on Christmas Red #2, we thought long and hard about the fact that a) we love a range of reds, including that post's most vibrant one and b) we don't know if we could live with walls like that. We pulled a few pieces from across the web that would add a fantastic, heart-melting punch to any room. Misregistered linen/cotton pillows from John Robshaw, $75-$125. 'Beads' rug in tomato from Room & Board, $249-$999. Regency Bamboo Canterbury magazine rack from Source Perrier, $195. Sapporo plexiglass doors from DWR, $88 for one pair. Red lacquered tray from Target, $7.49 on sale.
It's not too early to plan for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. In our house, we always like to make a fun dessert to celebrate the occasion. We're all set now that I found this red, white and blue layered dessert. This fun concoction is the creation of the fabulous Megan of Penny Carnival. Of course you can make this layered jello dessert anytime of year in all different color combinations! For the complete recipe, check out her blog Penny Carnival.
When it comes to screen size, going big can sometimes cause more pain than pleasure. Case in point, when we were living in our 300-square-foot studio, there was no way to engineer our media space without practically sitting on top of our 42-inch LCD. Jason Sewell had a similar dilemma with the layout of his living room in Richmond, Va. but rather than endure eye strain, he used the space under his stairs to build his media center. Jason created a built-in where his 50-inch Samsung DLP could rest. Recessed below the TV are Jason's peripherals - a Dual-Core Mac Mini, Series 2 Tivo, and a Comcast HD STB. A closet under the stairs, accessible from the other room, gives Jason access to all the wiring, plus hides a 1-terabyte hard drive array, audio amplifier, 30Mb/s FIOS connection, EyeTV 500 HD tuner, and a big UPS backup. Jason uses the EyeTV to record HD content, both over-the-air and clear-QAM broadcast on cable. 'I've got 5 tuners total in the setup and I can record three shows concurrently while watching a fourth,' he writes on his Flickr page. He uses a bluetooth mouse and keyboard to control the MacMini.
To be honest, we never really gave much thought about our kitchen sponges nor what goes into making them. We just recently realized while replacing our ragged old sponge that the odor fighting germ protection feature is formulated with a chemical additive we're trying to avoid: triclosan. That's the very same antibacterial additive that is contributing to the evolution of drug resistant bacteria that eat up antibiotics like it was an afternoon snack.... So what to do? A simple change is just avoiding sponges with germ-odor protection. There are natural kitchen sponges on the market, like Natural Value's scrubber sponge, which are made with 50% post-consumer recycled material and are even certified kosher if you want to go the eco-recycled route. We're also considering switching to using a natural loofah sponge...maybe the larger natural shaped style used in the bath/shower, cut in half. The funny thing is we just saw the real vegetable this past weekend at the Alhambra farmer's market and purchased one for dinner without realizing its other use besides being a delicious veggie.
Well, speaking of moods - do you ever feel like dancing at home? Like, in your living room? Check out this interesting little project by Engineered Environments of Alameda, CA, where they basically turn a living room into a full-on night club - lights, discoball, and all. The night starts with a quaint dinner with a couple of friends. Little do they know that.... ...behind all of that jazz and modernist ways is a night club just waiting to happen. With the click of a button, the AMX system goes into effect, making good use of the Mac-driven media server that controls the music via the in-wall touchpanel or iPad/iPhone. Motorized shades and LED nights move into motion, with dual video projectors to finish off the party theme. The pole, well... you can consider it a bonus. In the other room, guests can enjoy films and TV shows on the huge 65-inch LED TV. What a cozy lifestyle this couple must have!
Q: Hello, my 16-year-old daughter is moving in with me and we are VERY budgeted! A friend of mine gave me an older 1980's style American Drew brand bedroom set. It is outdated and I need some advice on how to snazzy this up for her. I'm thinking maybe paint but not just boring old paint. The style isn't very cool but maybe with the right touch it could be cute! I'm not very creative so pleeease help... walls are light aqua color and she wants a zebra stripe comforter and I'm thinking accent with black accessories...any advice? Editor: My vote is to paint it white and let the other decor in the room be more creative. White paint will give it an instant update and also keep it flexible to be used as a possible guest room in a few years when your daughter leaves home. Got a question? Email yours with pic attachments here with the subject line: Good Question.
We relish our old bathroom sink; it's decrepit but it's original to our 1907 home in Jamaica Plain and for that we remain faithful. Granted, it can get a little irksome to not be able to generate warm water. Since there are two separate faucets, you have to choose between hot and cold. So when we stumbled across this old faucet adaptor at a client's apartment in Harvard Square, we were tickled.
Yesterday we took a look at the fall bedding collections from Dwell. Today we're getting a sneak peek at their new wall art and toys. Duplicating graphic motifs in their bedding, they've collaborated with British wall covering manufacturer Graham & Brown to produce hand-screened canvases which are bright and playful. Marrying design and play, Dwell's new Mind Blocks offer opportunities for discovery and learning. This 9-piece set of soft blocks with a puzzle-like configuration will please an inquisitive child. Updating the classic stacking rings, Dwell has also made them interactive by adding a rattle, bell and crinkly fabric. All of these toys have a traditional element, but we love then for their softness and for their use of modern prints. The color palette is warm and comforting without being syrupy sweet. As with the bedding collections, Dwell's new wall art and toys will debut in stores in November.
Spa style bathrooms on the cheap! We're loving the styling that's gone into these Ikea bathrooms. This bathroom could easily feel sterile except for the warm woods and comfy textures of the towels and the baskets on the shelves. If you currently have mismatched fixtures in the bathroom it's worth checking out what it would cost to change one of them. Having all the same finishes helps to tie together a space and will make it feel bigger. This all white bathroom also avoids feeling sterile because of the textures on the walls, the addition of some softer gray tile and the details of the cabinets. It also helps that the white surfaces aren't glossy or shiny which would also bounce more light and sound around and make it feel empty. Not quite neutral, we wouldn't have considered purple or such dark grays, but we applaud the effort, this bathroom looks sleek and modern and because it is well lit, doesn't feel like a cave. What we love is that you can borrow any of these ideas to hep make your bathroom feel a little bit more luxurious. See all the Ikea Products in these pictures right here.
Tree stumps cast in fiberglass and covered in a 'Gelcoat' finish. These Timber stools by Fleetwood Fixtures are shaped like nature, but they sure don't look like anything you'd find in the woods.... New metallic finishes give these shiny stools even more bling. The Gelcoat is more akin to Corvettes than tree stumps. Isn't it the contradiction that's alluring here? The stools are 17' high and 16' diameter, making them good for casual seating or small side tables. Find out if these stools were Hot or Not at AT:Chicago's survey Stumpie Seat/Floor Cushion by Little Odd Forest.
Adding a splash of color to your home with these rugs by Prairie Rugs is a great and affordable eco-option. From door mats to large living room rugs, there are a variety of sizes to fit your perfect living space. They even have strips and multi-colored rugs if you like to add more pizzaz to your room. Handmade Bring out the manual looms! These rugs are handmade by Indian workers that receive healthcare, a pleasant working environment, and a paid month off during the Festival of Lights. Made from Recycled Rags Gathering the scrap rags from pre-consumer products of local textile mills, these rugs are made up of scraps from bedding. These rugs are extremely durable, made from heavy weight cotton that they should last you for quite sometime. Did we mention they are beautiful and washable? Now where to put them.... Buy It! Prairie Rugs, available at various online retailers.