Inspiration Album


Open plan dining room

Before Libertine touted their bicoastal relationship, there was Green Lady/HunterGatherer. While these guys don't dabble in couture for Target, they do churn out an impressive amount of art and design for the home-all while squeezing in gallery exhibitions, motion graphics spots for MTV, and some teaching gigs. While Todd operates a full-on design studio in NY, Gary opened a small boutique in downtown San Diego called Iglooshop. In addition to their own prints and office necessities, this shop is stocked with merchandise from mainly West Coast-based artists and collectives such as The Quiet Life, Commonwealth Stacks, Arkitip, and Bob Kronbauer. Our personal pick? Gary and Todd's own wood-grained Wave Print.

Small white dining room

We first started paying attention to the whole mattress debate three years ago when a good friend chucked their old bed, did a ton of research and then chose the EXPENSIVE Dux Bed. Readers consistently give these mattresses high quality, high price and high service votes. A Swedish design, the Dux Bed claims its fame from the huge multiple of springs in each mattress: 3,600 springs compared to the up to 900 springs found in conventional queen-size mattresses. This allows you just the right amount of firmness and softness so that your spine is straight and not bent. Dux Beds come in a few diffferent configurations, are extremely well made, have tons of springs and top layers of latex to conform to the body. A queen size will run you from $6,500, but should last you 20 years.... What's not to like?

Small ecletic dining room

Mixing up iconic designs can bring out the best in both styles. This pairing of a tulip table and original Bertoia chairs from Chris and Jenna's Collection in the Castro was achieved by patiently perusing Craigslist. For those of us without patience, we've rounded up resources to make this dining space happen with a few clicks of a mouse.

Casual dining room in open plan kitchen

It's not just handy to have them out in the open. Sometimes kitchen utensils are just plain beautiful. It's no wonder many kitchen designs now incorporate rails, racks, and open shelves that both store and display such wares.... The utensils pictured up top are well-used and pretty run-of-the mill. It doesn't take expensive 'Design-y' utensils or unrealistic standards of cleanliness to make for a beautiful display of these common household items. We touch and use and clean many standard kitchen utensils every single day. Why not elevate them to a position of display within our kitchens? Image: Library of Congress.

Bright dining room

Welcome to a new series, Anatomy of a Room, where we show you one room that gets it really, really right and then break down exactly why it works and how to copy the look for yourself. Today, let's look at a rustic living room which manages to be light and bright yet cozy and comfortable at the same time. The light color spotlights the beautiful, natural knots in the timber. The beams' rich color contrasts with the lighter walls for added interest. Lots of streaming light makes the honey-colored floors and light walls really glow. A large, rustic wooden console table mirrors the 'Heaviness' of the ceiling beams to ground the room. Glass lamps are visually light - they contrast with the bulkier elements in the space, embellish the decor and are utilitarian without adding any discernible weight. If you revel in the rustic look, steal a hint or two from this perfectly proportioned room.

Elegant dining room

On a visit to Clover House, the new home accessory store we wrote about a bit ago, we spotted these charcoal sachets from Breathe. Encased in modern-looking triangle pouches, the sachets are great for those of us who appreciate fresh-smelling clothes, but not so much the lavender or English rose variety of ribbon-tied sacks normally associated with the word sachet. The sachets are not available for sale online, but you can contact Clover House for ordering information through their store.

Colorful chairs dining room

Awhile back, we got a question from AT reader Mike who had recently stayed at the Custom Hotel near LAX. He loved the bedside lamps that they had, and we just stumbled on the source over at Bromhead Design: The Bestlite wall light designed by Robert Dudley Best. These industrial-looking sconces come in three different colors; and are available at Bromhead Design.

White dining room


Neutral dining room

Oh, IKEA. We applaud your green initiatives: taking the formaldehyde out of your products; charging a nickel for a plastic bag; making a public commitment to phase out PVC in both your products and your packaging... and we're sure we're forgetting a few other green deeds. When we stumbled upon, happenstance, a promotion for your Tempe, Arizona, store, we sighed. This sigh was not a sigh of contentment at reasonably priced, well designed, mass market housewares. HELP REDUCE C02 EMISSIONS BY USING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION! Bring in your monthly bus pass to the AS-IS section of the store any day of the week, and receive an additional 10% OFF discount on AS-IS purchases only - on products $20 or more. Not valid on previous purchases and cannot be combined with any other offers. If you've been to IKEA, the above conjures up a comical image of some poor bus pass holder lugging a lightly used, heavily discounted Swedish bookshelf up the front steps of a bus. The bulk of IKEA products are made of particleboard and are therefore very heavy; most IKEA products are sold 'Knocked down,' which is a fancy way of saying you have to put it together yourself; however, AS-IS is the section of the store where IKEA offloads floor models and returns: ergo, things that have already been assembled. Heavy, large things that have already been assembled and that are unlikely to fit through, much less be allowed on, a public bus. We applaud IKEA for giving props to people who use public transportation, but perhaps a free cup of coffee might be a better promotion that recognizes that the vast majority of IKEA's merchandise leaves the store strapped to the roof of a car or stashed in the back of an SUV. image via

Yellow and gray dining room

If you like the idea of a pegboard, but you're looking for something a little more sleek, these new stainless steel organizers from Chiasso are a modern take on a classic small-space solution.... Each part is sold separately. The magnetic board is $68, and each component ranges from $10 - 28. The magnetic board and accessories are available through Chiasso.

Eccletic furniture dining room

The British have so many more radiator options than we do here in the States. This one's new to us: it's the Marble Heating Company's stone radiator. The design takes advantage of the heat retention properties of natural stone. The radiators become almost architectural, as large, solid, slabs of stone.... The slabs are warmed with electric heat, retaining it and distributing it through a space. The Marble Heating Co. states that in any given hour, the actual heating element is working for only 10 to 15 minutes. The rest of the time, the stone is slowly releasing heat. The stone radiator design won the Product of the Year award at the Design and Decoration Awards in 2005.

Table and bench dining room

'...Consider the space known as the guest bedroom. First calculate the cost of constructing an additional 300 square feet. How many times per year is the guest bedroom used? In terms of cost-to-benefit ratio, it might be logical to invest that same amount of money in the bank, use the interst to house the occasional visitor in the local bed-and-breakfast, and retain the capital for other uses.' What a good way to consider any extra space in the home. Helps one realize the true cost of all that spare square footage in many homes. How many homes have guest bedrooms that go unused but for a few times a year? Just another case for the small home. I highly recommend the book quoted here: The Rammed Earth House by David Easton. Make sure to check out the entry called Small is Beautiful.

Purple dining room

As promised in Monday's How To on making your space more flexible, here are our top ten caster choices. Remember, casters come in many flavors: with wheels of rubber, metal, wood or plastic; ball or wheel mechanisms; hardware that's hooded, that swivels, or is rigid; and with brakes or without. The goal of using casters at home is to make your furniture moveable, so think about your specific needs before you make a purchase. Where will you attach them, and what load capacity do you need?

Modern dining room

Have stubborn rust stains in your toilet bowl? If you live in an older apartment then chances are you do. As much as we try to stay green with our cleaning products, sometimes it seems like you have to go harsh to tackle a major stain like rust. We just read on the queen of clean that Tang sprinkled around the bowl and left for an hour or two will do the trick. Apparently the Tang works because of the citric acid that oxidizes the rust stain. So anything powdery that contains citric acid will do it, even lemon flavored kool aid. What a relief to not have to bust out the harsh chemicals. An added bonus is that we don't have to worry if someone leaves the lid up and our kitty goes in for a drink that she'll be ingesting harmful chemicals. Finally it'll leave your bathroom with that fresh tang scent!

Dining table with leather chairs


Modern open plan dining room