Inspiration Album


Large open plan dining room with reclaimed wood table

Did you know the architect who got her start designing peaceful, introspective memorials also has a few amazing residential projects in her portfolio? One is this NYC residence. The chairs fit neatly under the table when it's not in use, making a minimalist wood mass that's like a piece of sculpture. We love this look, and it's space-saving to boot. See more work, residential and otherwise, at Maya Lin Studio.

White contemporary dining table

There are so many reasons to love this little bedroom. Let's just start with that Marimekko bed canopy.... Kaivo pattern by Marimekko. Using Marimekko's 1964 Kaivo pattern, a few yards of fabric draped from the ceiling creates a simple, bold, and easy-to-make bed canopy. The second reason for loving this bedroom is its compact size: It's only about as wide and long as the bed itself. Those glass-paned french doors centered at the foot of the bed do a lot to open up the little space but even without them we're loving the intimate scale of this compact and cozy bedroom. Gives hope to those of us with 8-foot-and-narrower bedrooms of our own.

Reclaimed wood table and benches

Hotel bathrooms tend to be a touch more fearlessly designed than your average residential bath, which resulted in this list of ideas that all focus on don'ts that are worth doing. Don't buy into the concept that a bathroom HAS to have ultra-practical glossy washable walls and traditionally tiled floors break some rules and bring on some unique textures and finishes! This bathroom from the Bellinter House in Ireland shows how chalky matte-finish dark walls and painted wide plank floors look just as gorgeous in the bath as they would in the rest of the house. While they would require different maintenance, it might be worth it for such an elegant look. Don't relegate the penny tile flooring to just the floors. The floor plus wall install is classic concept when done with expensive marble and stone, but it works just as well with more affordable smaller-scale tile. Another point to remember: stopping at the chair rail works well in this example from the Hotel St. Cecilia in Austin - the dark color and intense pattern is made more powerful visually by the balance of the white space. While some closed storage is essential, it takes up lots of room and can visually really close in a small space bathroom. Now, if you were planning a reno and someone suggested a black toilet and sink, you be a little worried, right? But then they say, no, no, it looks great because the floors and walls are also all black - they are done in a super shiny black tile. Eek - you'd be even more doubtful, no? But then, look at this photo of a bathroom from the Hotel on Rivington and it all makes sense. It feels amazingly clean and not at all scary 80s. The main point of looking at these sounds-funky-on-paper ideas? The reminder that there are very few real absolutes in the world of design - keeping an open mind can net the most interesting and beautiful results!

Salvage wood table

We're smitten with the color of these powder-coated stainless steel cabinets in House Beautiful's Kitchen of the Month. Read on to find out all about them and this serene Florida kitchen. See more photos too - including an interesting storage drawer solution for pots and pans.

Minimalist japanese dining room

Wood pallets are an unfortunate innocent bystander of our shipping needs. Often found discarded behind grocery stores and shopping malls, I'm sure they would long for a greater meaning to their one use lives. Jen Turner felt the same way and decided to turn four lucky pallets into a rustic DIY dining table. Using four pallets and some decent carpentry skills, Jen built this table that can be customized based on the sizes of the pallets you are using. This table would be great for both indoor or outdoor uses. Personally, if I were a pallet table, I'd be happy spending my days in the room above with that awesome bird decal.

Small formal table

Being nickel and dimed by the library? Those 5 and 10 cent fines for children's books don't seem like much until you have 20 books overdue for a few weeks. What if a kindly elf whispered a reminder in you ear a few days before they were due? Library Elf, a free internet service, attempts to do just that. It's a service we wish our own library offered, but until they do we're happy to take advantage of Library Elf. You choose how far in advance you want a reminder that your books are coming due and Library Elf will send an email or notification by RSS. You do have to provide your library card number and PIN when you register in order for the service to work. In addition to due date reminders, you can also log in to see your library account - what you have out, what holds might have arrived, etc. The advantage of using Library Elf is that you can enter multiple cards into one account and see the big picture of your family's library situation. The service works with hundreds of library systems around the country and more are being added everyday.

Dining room with feature wall

We're suckers for fun photo ideas and what could be better than those old fashioned photo booth strips? Making your own at home. If you're suffering from cabin fever, grab a curtain, a stool, and set up your camera on a tripod. Have fun! Find out how Brooke made her photos look like those old-fashioned strips here.

Dining room with stones feature wall

There are a select few of lucky folks out there who get to live in authentic converted lofts full of character- and then there's everyone else. Even if you live in a suburban home, you can still infuse your space with the feeling of wood beams, cement floors and exposed brick walls. It's true! This amazing transformation by Shannon from AKA Design + Life is proof. She turned this simple space into a brick wall full of character that could pass for any cool downtown coffee shop. Doesn't that look amazing? Talk about adding character to a space! This is such a great spot to pretend you're enjoying a coffee or catching up on a magazine in a hip downtown lofty coffee shop. To see how Shannon created this old look in a new space visit the full blog post on AKA Design + Life.

Light filled dining area

From the designer: The residence belongs to a young working professional originally from the East Coast. His fast-paced work ethic coupled with cool calming demeanor called for a marriage of the east coast and west; as the loft reflects the bachelor's point of view, without feeling very man-cavy at all. The challenge was designing a cohesive space with both aesthetics in mind. Since the open floor plan allowed for clear visibility from one end of the space to the next, the design called for low, loungey furnishings featuring pops of color that add interest to the original beige box. We had the 21' high walls painted in blues and greys, pulling in various colors of the mixed media artwork the client had collected over the years as well as new pieces we found while out sourcing for the space. We started out with a custom sectional in a beautiful heather grey ultrasuede and quickly devised the space to be broken up into 2 major areas: living/kitchen. Since the client is currently a renter, we didn't spend too much on permanent solutions opting instead to outfit the loft in pieces that he could easily transition into subsequent spaces. I specialize in color and pattern so when the client gave me a go on selecting the palette for the space, I opted for high contrast in a comfy cozy livable manner. Orange pillows covers from Macy's pepper the sectional while repurposed vintage chevron covers from West Elm add texture. I anchored the space with a patterned area rug from e-tailer Joss and Main and added surface space with our star coffee table from Home Consignment center and nesting tables from Ikea.

Minimalist luxury dining room

Q: I just moved into a new apartment and am having trouble deciding how to best set up a couch and kitchen table. I don't have an eat-in kitchen, but I do have two 'Living rooms' that join each other by a double-wide doorway with the doors removed. The rooms are of equal size although one has a closet that cannot be blocked. The front door opens directly into the first living room which then leads into the second and down the hallway to the kitchen. It would make sense to put the kitchen table in the room closest to the kitchen but I don't know what wall would fit the couch in the first room due to the front door and closet that cannot be blocked. I'm not opposed to making the second living room the room with the couch and having to walk through it from the kitchen to get to the kitchen table but am wondering how to configure everything so that it is cozy but so that there is room to walk through when needed. Editor: Leave your suggestions for Anne in the comments - thanks! Have a question for our community? Send us yours with a photo or two attached.

Industrlia look table and benches dining table


Formal dining room with mirror

We're always looking for more candidates for house tours. Biggest Challenge in designing my home: The open floor plan required creative solutions to space planning. What friends Say about my home: They admire our view and say that the place is fancy and modern, yet comfortable and relaxing. Biggest Embarrassment in my home: In the beginning, Edwin tried to hang a very heavy Pablo light on a wall that buckled. Biggest Indulgence with respect to my home: The loft itself´┐Ż we will be paying it for a loooong time. You are never really finished, your home is a constant evolving expression of yourself. ResourcesAppliances: Designer Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, stainless steel Amana refrigerator, LG front load washer and dryer.

Small round table

Changing one's workspace from a regular desk to a standing desk can be a big challenge, but I made the switch over a year ago and haven't looked back. Attractive and affordable standing desks can be hard to find, but this DIY version from IKEA fits the bill nicely. 'Using just two 2x2 Expedit bookshelves, a Linnmon tabletop, and some 6' Capita legs from IKEA, IKEA Hackers user Sharon created a cute and functional standing desk that's perfect for a small space, and came in at under $200. 'The perfect height for a standing desk depends a lot on the person using it, of course. Sharon says she's 5'6', and this setup measures in at 39' tall, which she says has been a very good height for her. The best thing about this hack is all the storage space it creates under the desk. Usually that area goes to waste, and in a small apartment losing that much space can be a disaster. The bookshelves under the desk make a clever storage area for books, and a stool for when the novelty of standing all day starts to wear off. Check out the full instructions over at IKEA Hackers.

Black and white dining room


Open plan dining and kitchen

I've always been a fan of minimalism - and somehow it's especially appealing in the bathroom. With the right materials and the right detailing, minimal spaces can actually be very lovely, even luxurious. Here are 14 bathrooms that prove that sometimes, less really is more. Above: Marble makes a minimal space from Vogue Australia. All the details in this bathroom from Homedit are executed perfectly, from the marble shelf above the wall that carries the toilet, to the beautifully minimal glass shower enclosure, to the ceiling-mounted shower head. Quirky cabinets add a touch of levity to a minimal space from the New Zealand Design Blog. Minimal styling means that the wood vanity and black faucets in this room from Nordic Design really stand out. White marble with black accents in a bathroom from Apartment 34.