Inspiration Album


Kitchen with fresh yellow backsplash

When Elise and Ben bought their Mount Washington house, the kitchen looked like this. They used this sad kitchen for five years until they finally updated it. The end result is modernized, but still captures the spirit and integrity of the storied older house. Using IKEA cabinets to keep the costs down, they were able to upgrade and personalize the look with Calcutta marble and Schoolhouse Electric hardware for all the cabinets. Removed a wall between our tiny kitchen and mud room to make one larger kitchen and create a peninsula for the kids to sit and eat. Replaced two louvered windows with one awning window. The surprise that Elise found during renovation was unreal.

Dark timber kitchen cabinet

If you've dipped a toe into wedding planning, you know that the wedding industry likes to talk about deciding on a 'Theme' for your big day. To see how it's done, just check out this wedding on Wedding Chicks, shot by photographer Steve Cowell. You can spot a few details below, but nothing compares to seeing the whole wedding right here. That wedding is proof positive that, if you're a fan of mid-century modern at home, you can absolutely take that style and extend it to a few key details in your wedding. Chairs from Industrial Revolution in a wedding from Smitten Events featured on 100 Layer Cake, with florals by Garden Party Flowers, shot by Kirill Bordon. Calligraphy by Luminous Lines in a wedding shoot on Green Wedding Shoes, styled by Green Apple Events Co. and shot by Sposto Photography. It's the Mid-Century Mini Desk from West Elm topped with a cake by Cloud 9 and flowers from Ever After Floral Design, from a wedding featured on Magnolia Rouge and shot by Gianny Campos. Rental furniture from Modi Event Supply, featured in a wedding shoot on Green Wedding Shoes styled by Green Apple Events Co. and shot by Sposto Photography.

Graphite kitchen cabinets

We've been talking about giving your spaces a mini green clean makeover and on today's agenda is the living room. If your living room is used as much as ours is, not only could it use a little sprucing up, but a green touch would make us feel more comfortable in the space. Try leaving your shoes at the front door when you enter your home, or even just outside the living room if you're a shoes-on person. Upholstery Is Meant To Be Cleaned: Although the thought of cleaning your upholstery sends some minds into a frantic state, we promise it isn't as difficult as it sounds. 'Mix 1/2 cup of an environmentally safe dish washing liquid and 1 cup water in a large bowl, then whip with a hand mixer until the mixture looks like whipped cream. Using a small scrub brush, gently shampoo a small area at a time, using a spatula or rubber scraper to lift away the dirty suds. Wipe with a clean, damp cloth. Rinse the cloth frequently in clean water, wringing it out until it is nearly dry.' With open windows to keep you cool a fan is a great compliment, but the dust that builds up is simply redistributed around the room if not caught. Do you have a green cleaning tip to add to the list? How do you keep your living room clean while being earth-friendly? Let us know below!

Kitchen with bold color details


Large modern kitchen

If having a home library is the dream, then having a home library with bookcases so toweringly tall you need a ladder to access them is a dream within a dream. Library ladders are actually quite practical, because who wants to drag over a stepstool when you desperately need to reference that copy of War and Peace, but they're also a bit romantic and present a lot of scope for the imagination, really the next best thing to having a library like this. In short, library ladders are both dramatic and useful, like the perfect partner we've all been looking for. A library ladder is just one of the beautiful details in this Swedish home spotted on Elle Decoration. We love the unique shape of this library ladder, from One Kind Design. This library ladder in Nicole Phillips' gorgeous home, is placed parallel to the shelves for easier access to the highest books. A library ladder graces a living room form Bo Bedre. Even if yyou don't have a lot of space for shelves, a library ladder can help you make the most of what you've got by taking the shelves all the way to the ceiling.

Modern black and white kitchen

When's the last time you intentionally wrote on your chair leg or bureau with permanent marker? Unless you're Love Anna James, we're guessing it has probably been a while. Here's an industrial Sharpie marker that you can use to draw out and touch-up scratches, scrapes and dings on wood furniture.... Sharpie's wood markers are made for touching-up furniture, floors, doors, cabinets, wood trim and picture frames with a few quick strokes. They come in 3 colors- the idea is to start light and then add more strokes or a darker color to blend with oak, cherry, walnut and mahogony woods. We can see these working best on worn edges and on large scratches. Faced with the alternative of breaking out the chemicals or shoe polish, these seem worth trying out for small repair jobs, especially on inexpensive furniture. They're sold in packs of three at many DIY stores.

Red high gloss kitchen cabinets

Showering at a friend's home recently, I spotted something different in their shower: an hourglass. It's the 'Shower Coach', a five-minute timer made to help minimize water consumption in the shower. When you turn the water on, you simply rotate the hourglass to start the countdown. Five minutes later, the sand has run out and showertime should be winding down.... It really helped me see where I stand against the timer's five-minute goal. I thought I was a pretty conservative shower-er, but unfortunately my typical shower doesn't make the five-minute cut. With an hourglass timer at home, I think I could 'Train' myself to speed it up in the name of water conservation. How about you? How long is your typical shower? Would an hourglass in the shower help you to kick any wasteful showering habits? My friends got their 'Shower Coach' through the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

Large island kitchen


Blue cabinets kitchen

Found on ATSF, this adorable home office/craft station in Leah's new dining room. The desk is West Elm's white Parsons, the vintage tulip-style chair was found on eBay, and that's an IKEA Grundtal rail and Asker containers holding corral scissors, rulers, pens and pencils, paperclips, and other supplies. Leah explains on her blog that the room used to be a dark crimson red. It took two coats of gray-tinted primer to fully cover the red. They then used a paint mixed to match Benjamin Moore's Sonoma Skies. The paint ended up too bright on the walls, so they added equal parts of white paint to dim it down. This just shows you that a little color in your home office can really make a difference. More examples of great use of color in home offices can be found here.

Minimalist kitchen


Brick wall kitchen

In this single space, we see a dining area, living area and a kitchen beyond. Each is broken into its own distinct 'Room' quite successfully. It's a low partition, but it creates a room within a room. That soffit divides space without a single partition. Cohesion Even though the elements of the room are separate, they are also cohesive through the choice of materials and color. This allows for separate areas without making the space feel too chopped up and scattered. See more of this inspiring space at House Beautiful.

Vintage kitchen

We've written a lot about how to deal with a small bedroom, but what if you have the opposite problem? A giant, cavernous space can feel just as oppressive as a tiny, cramped one. With that in mind, we've rounded up some ideas for making your big bedroom feel cozy. Above: a big fluff comforter will go a long way towards making a big space feel homey. An oversized headboard makes a big statement... and makes a room feel fuller without being overcrowded. Make a big room feel cozier with thick rugs and lots of layered textiles. A sitting area in your bedroom is a nice way to relax before bed - and a nice way to fill up a little extra space. If you don't mind working in the bedroom, adding a desk at the foot of your bed is a great way to fill a little extra space. How cozy is this ceiling-hung canopy? Perfect for a big bedroom - or any bedroom.

Narrow kitchen with industrial tiles


Dark wood cabinet kitchen design

We're often cautioned about design for small spaces, told to keep things light, solid, and neutral in order to avoid overwhelming the space. Especially when it comes to wallpaper! I think a small room-or part thereof-is the perfect place to add a bit of color and pattern. Using wallpaper makes smaller spaces special, and the limited amount of paper needed keeps costs low. Read on for 12 small papered rooms that pack a punch. There's a reason we often think of wallpaper as being perfect for powder rooms. These small spaces provide the opportunity to play with something a little bold, like this graphic black-and-white tree print in a bathroom by Regan Baker Design, while being relatively safe from design fatigue-after all, it's unlikely you'll spend so much time in the powder room that you'll tire of the paper. The owner has even made the unusual decision to paper the ceiling, which works perfectly in this small space. Why not treat utility spaces as something special? It might even make doing the laundry more fun. In a small, white, modern space, the pattern is the focal point; it could almost be too much in a larger room, don't you think? Here, trendy banana leaf paper completely covers this Tracy Murdock-designed sunroom/conservatory, and even though it's a small space, it looks fantastic.

Farm kitchen

Scandinavian Details is the first stop on our tourof the furniture and design stores in Hayes Valley. Many shop owners along Hayes Street in popular Hayes Valley will tell you how difficult it is to open a store there, and even how much more difficult it is to keep the doors open. It must mean something that Scandinavian Details was opened in 2004 by Kristina Runske and is still doing fantastic. Her eclectic yet modern taste can be seen throughout the many gorgeous and practical products she has in her store. The store's limited furnishings are mostly black, white, and neutral, which set a great stage for the accessories and tabletop items that are typically brightly colored, clear glass, or stainless steel. They were on sale! The small one was $28 and the large was $48. Be sure to visit Scandinavian Details online store if you're not in SF. It's packed with plenty of great products, all of which are for sale.

Large kitchen design

I designed a little cocktail/side table for myself and realized it's awfully cute and clever and maybe there is a way I can get it on the market. I'm going to make at least a few of them to sell myself. Contact Jim at jimcollins(at)pacbell(dot)net with any questions.