Danica's new house came with an old kitchen, and she knew it had to go. With a nice layout and some Craigslist luck on her side she was able to DIY her way to a gorgeous updated kitchen. From Danica: We moved into our home last year and the first project we tackled was the horribly boring builder grade kitchen. The layout was great but the oak cabinets, white laminate and checker backsplash needed some serious updating. After weeks of research and anticipation, I got to work on demoing as soon as we got the keys ! It was a massive DIY project that took on a life of its own. We replaced the square tile backsplash with a classic subway tile and dark grout, painted the existing cabinets, traded the countertops out for a stained wood, switched out the boring island for a hand carved dresser with Carrara marble counter and finally replaced all of the appliances. I now wake up to such a beautiful kitchen that puts a smile on my face everyday.
This little corner recess in my rental apartment living room had gone through many changes over the years. That is until I found this gel fuel fireplace that was within my budget. Once it was delivered and put in its place, I realized it looked very small and toy like. After a couple of years of what I call my 'Eclectic Country French' phase, I decided I wanted a more light and bright living room. I wasn't sure how I wanted to achieve the look I wanted, so I poured over living rooms online and in magazines. The living rooms that spoke to me the most all had one thing in common, a white fireplace. I loved the grain on my fireplace and I knew once I committed there was no turning back, so it took me awhile to make up my mind. A couple of gallons of paint and some 'New to me' chairs along with a new area rug changed my once dreary living room into a bright cheery home.
Cara could have given up when tasked with turning this space into a dining room, but she persevered. There is no question that it took a bit of vision and a large leap of faith to see the potential in our dining room. Lots of 1960 going on here, but the absolute best part of this space was how open it already was to the kitchen. Right off the bat, dreams of an open kitchen and dining space danced in my head. Sure enough, once the reno ball began to roll, our vision for an open kitchen/dining area made for entertaining started to take shape. You can find a lot more photos of this dated transformation on Cara's blog.
Solar energy and windows just seem like a no brainer, but while there have been plenty of concepts we've yet to see real life glass that can collect energy from the sun. One promising new product hopes to make that idea a reality. Engadget reports on Chin Hua, a company that's developing solar windows. They recently showed off their innovation at the Taipei International Optoelectronics Week. According to Engadget, the slightly foggy pane of glass can collect and deliver two watts of energy. It's unclear how long it takes to collect that amount and there aren't very many details, but it's an exciting development nonetheless. From what we've gathered, it sounds very similar to the Peer+ concept from the Dutch, in which, depending on how much light you let in through the window you collect more or less solar energy.
Wood may seem like an obvious choice for green homes, but certification matters. For now, we're talking wood in its full-fiber form: no MDF, OSB, plywood, Glulam, or other 'Carbohydrate' wood here. Foremost: vast tracts of land are owned by timber companies, like Weyerhaeuser, that would go out of business if they didn't have wood to sell. They're behind the SFI, or Sustainable Forestry Initiative, a certification program often criticized as weak. We think FSC certification, which is administered by The Forest Stewardship Council, a truly independent nonprofit, and more local choices, like the Northwest's Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities certification are better options. FSC wood is widely available at outlets... including the Home Depot. Inquire at your local lumberyard if any of their wood comes from nearby family forests. You might even consider taking a weekend trip out to see where the studs or floor for your home will come from.
Yesterday we showed you an assortment of all-white interiors, and today we're headed in the opposite direction, towards all things dark and moody. If you love black walls and velvet and intricate textures and the perfect place to curl up with a book on a cold winter afternoon - have we got a treat for you. Above: this space from Milk Magazine takes black very seriously: black walls, black ceiling, black floor, black rug. It's the perfect backdrop for assorted textures and luscious velvets. It confirms what we saw above: that the way to make black on black on black seem wonderfully moody and not cavernous is to ensure that your space gets plenty of natural light. Photo by Douglas Friedman for InStyle, via Ananas a Miami. The perfect English library, from House and Garden via Habitually Chic. All these dark things create a wonderful texture, and a dramatic backdrop for those few white pieces. I love the look of dark paneling, with slightly less dark walls above. A dark room enlivened with a few gold touches, from House and Garden.
We've been redoing our bedroom, and just for fun we did a little research on how to Feng Shui your sleeping quarters. We found that the most soothing colors for a bedroom are skin tones: pinks, taupes, and browns. We don't know how much truth there is to be found in our quick Internet search, but it does make sense that skin tones would promote good sleep and, well, good sex. Plus, we recently painted the walls a light chocolate color and bought new pink sheets for the bed, so we're happy to hear we're on the right track.
Hello AT,My in-laws have been kind enough to offer to purchase bedroom furniture for my husband and myself. They want us to buy a 'Bedroom set' that we will use throughout the rest of our marriage. Problem is, I dislike matchy - matchy furniture sets. I'm trying to put together combinations of good-quality pieces that relate to each other without matching the whole room. The Room & Board Portica Canopy bed is a contender, paired with the Calvin five-and six-drawer dressers in Mocha finish. We're also fans of the Lexington bed from R&B. We don't yet have a color scheme, but love dark warm-grays, pale blues, and printed Dwell linens as potential accents. Our style is modern, but I'd love to warm it up a la the 'Boutique hotel' look in Vanessa's home. Any suggestions on the combination mentioned above, or any others? Any ideas of night stands or tables that would coordinate well? Laura- I really like the idea of mixing different materials together ie wood and steel. I like the canopy bed you chose that could look great with these side tables from West Elm or these from Jonathan Adler.
When you're sharing an apartment with a roommate, compromise and settling on 'Safe' colors and design tend to come with the territory. While it's good to expand your creative tastes and try new and different ideas, it's also important to have at least one place that is 100% your own; a place that just fits you. I chose colors that I respond well to, both physically and emotionally, and turned a room that's mainly viewed as a place of rest and peace into a place where I have complete and absolute freedom. Everyone always says 'Don't be afraid of color!' I prefer to say 'Stop pretending!'. There's usually a good reason for thinking that you're afraid of color, but it's usually not a bad fear. It's best to assess your apprehensions in order to determine exactly a.) WHY you are afraid of color and b.) WHAT the best way is to incorporate color into your life, while removing the fear of it, instead of just ignoring it. In fashion, they say you'll never TRULY know if you like something until you 'Try it on.' The same goes with color. If you think you like a certain shade of pink, but are wary about designing a whole room around the color or even just painting one wall that color, find a decent size decorative object in the same shade of pink and place it in that room or on/against that wall for a couple of weeks and see how much you like it, how well it gets along with the surrounding objects/area, and most importantly how it makes you feel. I'm used to painting rooms with plain old flat matte paint, but we just painted our entrance hallway with a satin finish paint and I'm in love with it! It's a great alternative to flat matte when you really want a wall to hold its own in a room. I'm more concerned with finding the exact color that I want.
I can't find any lamps that look good with my sectional sofa. Our sectional sofa fits perfectly in our small, oddly shaped living room, but leaves almost no room for table or floor lamps. We're stuck with table lamps across the room or icky overhead lighting, and I'm fed up!....apartmenttherapy(dot)com)Link To All Good Questions. I've been looking at arc-style lamps, but I'm unsure of the scale because of the windows. My boy suggested sconces, but we can't do anything hardwired and I'm unsure of only having one.
Are you looking to carve out a small little spot in a corner of your living room or dining room for a work or hobby space? Just a little bit of room that's all for you to flex your creative muscles? You might find inspiration for what should be in that corner from this beautifully appointed home office set-up. Whether you do your work during the day next to a natural light source like a window, or you prefer to burn the midnight oil, you'll need some sort of light to get your work done. If any of your work needs a computer to get it done, make sure you have room for your laptop or desktop, and make getting power to your technology easy to access and the wires easy to disguise. If you do any other type of work outside of the digital realm, make sure you have surface room that can support your art or creative work. Having inspiration outside your field of work within reach can help you take yourself out of your own thoughts and give your brain a break that could result in letting the creative gears work on the problem in your brain's background. No matter what creative work you like to dig into at home, make your tools easy to get to and appealing. Whether you buy it or build it, make sure the surface - the desk or wall-mounted shelf - that you do your work on is sturdy and can literally support your creative efforts. If you will be commandeering a corner for your creative work at home, consider styling and decorating this work corner in the same style as the rest of the room so it blends in and complements the room, rather than sticks out and makes the space feel disjointed.
When we first saw this structure, we thought 'Cool, another creative use of recycled material.' But on closer inspection, we realized what the structure was actually made of... kitchen sinks! This reclaimed pavilion was built by 2012 Architechten in cooperation with Jeanne van Heeswijks of Jeanneworks and exists in Utrecht, Vlaardingen and Amsterdam. The structure is created primarily of sinks held together with scaffolding, wire and waterproof multiplex boards. It's pretty bare inside, but serves as a multi-purpose space for cultural activities. We think one of the nice drainboard sinks would also look good in our kitchen.