Living in a small living room, like living in a small home, is a delicate balance of aesthetics and sacrifice. Your living room is often the central hub of your home, and so should have special attention paid to it, particularly if it's on the small side. Instead of a wall collage of art, use mirrors to expand the space, reflect light and make the space feel livelier. Leggy furniture - furniture that doesn't sit flat and low on the floor - makes a room feel airier. It can be the difference between a comfortable living room and a claustrophobic one. Whether you choose one that's upholstered so you can use it as extra seating, or you find a coffee table that offers up extra storage for your space, it doesn't make sense to put a big piece of furniture in the center of a small living room and not get extra function out of it. If you find yourself in a corner situation where you might naturally put a side table next to a chair or sofa and between a wall, why not replace that side table with a tall shelf that offers up more storage space and style? Hey, when all else fails, really emphasize the cozy aspect of your small living room, from choosing extra-plush furniture to filling the space with throw pillows, sumptuous textures and more.
Sitting with your face buried in a computer screen can really make you lose track of time, especially if you're working in a window-less office. You can create your own 'Window' with your computer wallpaper and keep track of the passing of time in a clever way-no numerals required. Just using your computer's built-in rotating wallpaper setting, you can use your background to keep track of the passing hours, just like a bell tower. Each time the scene changes, you'll know another 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour has passed, depending on how you set it. If you want to get really creative, pick out 24 stellar wallpapers to represent each hour of the day. A quick Google search will return images of gorgeous day- and night-time scenes from around the world. If you're a budding photographer, you could even shoot the same scene at different hours of the day for a time-lapse-style wallpaper. It's the perfect background for your work to keep you on top of your time management.
Looking to make your home office greener? Well, this store may help you make some appropriate environmentally-friendly choices. We're suspicious of the term 'Green,' especially when it comes to a store. When we first clicked over to The Green Office, we wondered how much of it would be hype or faux green. We instantly liked their indicator system, which gives you a snapshot of each product's 'Greeness.' The selection of products is extensive, from envelopes to electronics. It's not so much that the products are made or marketed to be green, but sold from a green point-of-view. While they sell traditional office products as well as greener choices, each is clearly defined through their green rating system. If a choice offers no environmental savings, it is marked 'Conventional product.' It also promotes recycling with its extensive list of recycling centers, and has a newly founded blog to promote environmental issues.
Juliana's Toronto loft is flooded with light from the floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing one to appreciate the subtle textures and hues with which she has filled her home. If you are not as blessed, window-wise, you can still achieve a similarly sophisticated look by shopping her style!
The Quilted Monkey is a cool little store on fancy Montana Ave. The shop is filled with beautiful quilts, specialty bedding and great little gifts. The quilts range in price from around $260- 400(queen) and they have regular sales on old inventory at up to half off. The sheet sets are not priced like Target, but the bold, retro stripes and patterns are great and unique, which is what we all want really, isn't it? The store also has a great selection of those embroidered 'State' pillows, dish towels and even glasses($15). It looks like quaint New England, but there is plenty of cool, kitch, fun for your favorite hipster's housewarming or baby room.
Are your kitchen cupboards coming apart at the seams? Do you need a little help in getting them organized? When it comes to reorganizing, we are firm believers in hard work and creative solutions; no one product is going to solve your organizational dilemmas. Here are a few good ideas, examples, and yes, a product or two, to help make your kitchen cupboards more healthy, beautiful, and organized. Before and After: My Ikea Shelf Epiphany - A before/after guide to decluttering a kitchen shelf. Kitchen Tour Favorites: Five Creative Storage Solutions - Five good ideas from past kitchen tours. Kitchen Organization Tour: A Visit With Bento Expert Biggie of Lunch In a Box - See how Biggie organizes all the little accessories and snacks that go into her bento boxes. Good Product: LifeLiner Ribbed Shelf Liner - In old apartment kitchens, shelf liner is a first step towards having easy-to-clean cupboards. Beautiful Spice Storage Solution - A lovely spice storage box made with repurposed materials. Click-Clack Storage Containers for Flour and Sugar - These are great storage jars; they're going strong in my own kitchen. Blomus Obar Kitchen Multi Storage - One-stop storage for plastic wrap, paper towels, and aluminum foil. Look! Painters' Butcher Trays in the Kitchen - A pretty way to organize the countertop and cupboards.
Last week, we toured Ulrika & Mark's bright, beautiful Cambridge kitchen and were completely taken with the fabric on their custom window seat and curtains. Designed by Maine artist Gretchen Langner, the subtle, overscaled patterns exude a fresh, contemporary simplicity that works equally well in modern and traditional settings. Each of Langner's designs comes in multiple colorways and can used to as upholstery, slip covers, draperies, quilts, pillows, shower curtains, or lamp shades. Fabrics are hand-screened on 100% linen/cotton, sailcloth, or cotton duck and sold direct to consumer for $78/yard. To see more of Langner's designs, visit her site: Gretchen Langner Dzign.
Our college-style 'Make-whatever's-in-the-fridge' culinary habits don't really facilitate the need to own an egg cup. If we ever had to get one, we'd get this to soothe our gadget-loving souls: the eiPOTT. 'Ei' is German for egg and 'Pott' is German for pot. So we have to imagine there was much confusion in Germany when Apple's music-playing iPod arrived on the scene. The little kinder thought they were getting egg cups for their birthdays! Well now the wrong has been right-ed and we have officially found the eiPOTT egg cup. From German design group qed*design, this little guy keeps all the Apple iPod styling-rectangle shape with a circular 'click wheel'-with an Ei-appropriate twist. If you're a geek who needs someplace to stick your boiled egg, we've found it.
If you've been thinking about swapping out that old dining table, first take a look at some of the star pieces that caught our eye this past year. Our favorites include tables in various price ranges and styles ranging from reclaimed rustic to classic mid-century, with some designers putting modern twists on traditional designs. Check out the best of 2011 and give us your recommendation by leaving a comment.
The Wow Dining Table at The Conran Shop is probably the best extending table we've ever seen. There are no 'Hidden parts' that don't keep up with the aesthetic quality of the exposed parts of the table. The table consists of two equal beech wood leaves on an aluminum frame. When unfolded, the size expands to 82.5x30'. A pivoting arm offsets the tabletop to recenter it when opening and closing. Sorry for the small photo - there don't seem to be any large ones out there.
Sometimes when you invest in one timeless piece of furniture, it can elevate everything around it. These pairings combine one high-end sofa with one less expensive coffee table, and vice-versa. Click below for two more pairings, as well as links and prices.