Inspiration Album

Dining

Living room and dining room

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Open plan dining room

This question has popped up four times in the past two days, and we still haven't figured out a foolproof solution. So we're asking you, dear readers, to help us out: What kind of window treatment could you use for a bay window? We're thinking maybe breezy panels to add a punch of color, but we're afraid of the movie theater look.

Dining room with pop art

We write about small homes and small rooms throughout the year, but it's our special focus this month so look for tips, solutions and inspiration for happy family living in small spaces. Do you have a Good Question about coping in small homes? Maybe you have some answers - a smart way you've divided or shared space in your home? A product that has made life infinitely easier? Tell us how you're livin' large in small homes - ways to contact us below. Email us at ohdeedoh(at)apartmenttherapy(dot)com use our contact form tag a photo on Flickr with 'Ohdeedoh' leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Dining room with dark wallpaper feature wall

It looks like the pigeon chick that had been nesting inside our building's exposed roof line trim has finally flown the coop. It's actually a little sad not hearing that baby bird coo or chirp for its supper from its attentive parents, as I got used to checking on its growth status from an invisible, but audible, chick to a full-sized winged poop machine. Maybe I'll need to get one of these Window View Nest Boxes, all in the hope next spring I'll be able to watch Discovery HD-quality nature programming from my own window.

Small living and dining room

My friend was indoctrinated into a High Modernist paradigm, in which all surfaces and materials were meant to have integrity and remain of a piece with the structures they refer to. Something like wallpaper was antithetical to this belief because it covers a surface but doesn't reveal it. My counterpoint has always been this: what about narrative? What about whimsy, sensuality and character?.... My friend acknowledges that his Modernist philosophy allows no room for 'Theatre,' but sometimes I like being entertained. So let's take a poll: do you like doilies, curlicues and wallpaper, or are you a white-box modernist? And if I must be held to the purposes of this column, this whole argument resurfaced because I mentioned that I like the base color of this wallpaper. Special thanks once again to Benjamin Marcus for his endlessly quotable assistance. Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter.

Classic dining room

What about marble in a black kitchen? Now you've got something really interesting. In the photo above, from WS Workshop via Inside Living, a luxurious, light marble is the perfect counterpart to moody, minimalist black cabinets. Here's another kitchen, from 24 Design Construction, where marble countertops pair beautifully with dark cabinets. Of course, you don't need to paint your whole kitchen black to get the effect. In this kitchen from Shoot Factory, a light marble makes a lovely pairing with a vintage-style black stove. In this kitchen from Traditional Home, marble gets punched up with just a bit of black, in the window frame. Finally, my very favorite of all these spaces - an incredibly elegant, light, modern kitchen, rendered lively with just the right amount of black from a black sink, black faucet and that gorgeous black lamp.

Contemporary dining room

No, it's not wallpaper we're talking about but tile. Italian ceramic manufacturer Iris does a great job of bringing tile out of its bathroom/backsplash niche into the rest of the home. Although these rooms are beyond the reach of most, we found some inspiring ideas in the mix: patterned kitchen walls, modern-meets-traditional dining rooms, and a few great color combos.... For more inspiration, visit Iris Ceramica.

Small living and dining room

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Classic dining room

Color is a fun and playful way to make a space my own. Color in the home is a great place to start living boldly. Using bright colors is a cheap way to distract from bland architecture. Start picking your color with your furniture first and your paint color last. Paint comes in any color you can imagine, but furniture options are more limited. Limit the number of colors you use and repeat your color choices through out the room. Remember black and white are both colors, and neutrals make a great backdrop for bright colors. Find a piece art you like and base a room on the colors in it. Look at a full range of colors in the room you are planning to decorate. You can create a color wheel by grabbing paint chips from the paint store in a rainbow of colors.

Artsy dining for two

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Contemporary dining room

It's inevitable if you have wood floors, you will get a scratch at some point or another. We saw this tip for repairing wood floor scratches over on Domino Magazine's Scrappy Girl site the other day. As she describes Tibet Almond Stick, 'It's this weird little lovely-smelling oil-soaked stick wrapped in wax paper. You just open it up and apply it.' Thanks Scrappy Girl! Oops! we didn't know that Maxwell covered this last year over at our sister site NYC, there are some great comments from readers who have used the product if you're interested.

Red table dining room

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.

Large dining table in open plan kitchen

Welcome to our Romantic Bedroom Giveaway - all info hereName: Liz Caldwell. Location: Riverside, CA. Sassy sent us her Romantic Bedroom inspiration photo and shared the following Valentine's sentiment and our last post for the week: 'Love the one you are with.' Her bedroom tip is after the jump.... Romantic Bedroom Tip: 'Keep it clean'. I've always personally prescribed to the similar axiom of 'Keep the bedroom clean, but the mind otherwise'.

Small gray and white dining room

Inevitably I would let it go and then really dread having to clean the bathroom. Real Simple offers up a cleaning routine that will make your bathroom sparkle in minutes so you can get on with the more important things in life. Arm yourself with some Alka-Seltzer, disinfecting wipes, glass cleaner, a microfiber cloth, and a toilet brush, then get to work! Minute 3: Spray mirrors with glass cleaner and rub in circles with the cloth. Minute 4: With a fresh wipe, clean the top of the toilet tank, the flusher handle, and the lid. Take one more wipe and do the base of the toilet and the floor around it. Using another wipe, clean the vents and the baseboards. Minute 5: Move the wastebasket to just outside the door. Set out clean hand towels and a roll of toilet paper. Clean dust and hair from every corner, starting with the corner farthest from the door and backing out.

Rattan dining room furniture

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Dining room with chocolate walls

With all the messes that are made in kitchens, some may wonder why white is such a popular color for the space. We love a white kitchen for just that reason: it conveys a sense of cleanliness that can't be faked. If there are any spills, stains, or grime you'll know immediately.... And here's an idea: instead of spending big bucks on a professional range or refrigerator, get the 'I mean business' look of a working kitchen by painting yours white. Instantly the emphasis is shifted to the food and cooking implements throughout the space, giving it that same professional feel at a fraction of the cost. The one drawback is that you'll have to wash the walls every few months and paint more often, but really, those things should be done in a kitchen anyways - using white just means you'll have less leeway to slack. Of course, having amazing natural light like this certainly helps things!